Saturday, April 7, 2012

I knew this was coming...

Marines seek guidance on social media after anti-Obama posts

Maj. Gen. Vaughn Ary, staff judge advocate to the commandant, is asking the Pentagon to incorporate social-media guidelines into its policy covering political activity in uniform.

Ary's call for review was spelled out in a letter he sent to Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-Calif. The congressman's spokesman provided the letter to Marine Corps Times.

The letter stated that Marine Corps staff was being instructed to contact the Defense Department to recommend an update to "provide service members with additional guidance on how to use social media in a responsible manner."

This came in response to a letter Hunter sent Tuesday urging the Corps to withdraw discharge proceedings against Sgt. Gary Stein and update the directive. Hunter spoke out in Stein's defense last week, stating that the Corps would lose the majority of its force if it kicked everyone out based on political speech.

DoD directive 1344.10 is the one Ary is suggesting be changed. It addresses appropriate political activities for service members. Stein was told he violated Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice by failing to adhere to that directive after criticizing President Barack Obama on Facebook.

Ary does not advocate for Stein in the letter.

"I am confident that the leadership at (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) San Diego will make the very best decision in Sgt. Stein's case in accordance with time-honored and well-known Marine Corps standards," the letter states.

Stein faced a Marine Corps administrative separation board Thursday after his commander recommended he be discharged from the Corps. After a daylong hearing, the three-person board -- made up of a lieutenant colonel, a major and a sergeant major -- recommended that Stein receive an other-than-honorable discharge. 

This could cause Stein to lose his Veterans Affairs benefits and never find another government job again.

Social media sites are posing new challenges to military leadership. Stein is not the only Marine to vent his disdain for a commander in chief on Facebook. But with more than 27,000 followers on his Facebook page, Armed Forces Tea Party, Stein's message is being heard.

Philip Cave, a retired Navy judge advocate who practices military law as a civilian, said Stein got himself into real trouble by running the Facebook page.

"Armed Forces Tea Party conveys a message that he's holding a political group just like the Tea Party of Virginia or Tea Party of Texas," Cave said.

Brig. Gen. Daniel Woo, Stein's commanding general, now will decide whether to uphold the board's other-than-honorable discharge recommendation. In the meantime, Stein continues to work, but the Corps has taken away his computer privileges.

Stein said other Marines should realize that what they say on Facebook can be held against them.

"Marines need to know, whether it be a status update or anything, that they're being watched like Big Brother," he said. "They need to watch what they say."

FreedomWorks Petition:

DEFEND HIM NOW: Marine to be Discharged for being a Tea Partier

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DEFEND HIM NOW: Marine to be Discharged for being a Tea Partier

A military board is trying to dismiss Marine Sergeant Gary Stein because he opposed President Obama on his Facebook page.

"The government submitted screen grabs of Stein's postings on one Facebook page he created called Armed Forces Tea Party," reported USA Today.

That's right. A service member who defends our Constitution is being recommended for an "other-than-honorable discharge" for expressing our First Amendment right to free speech.

Send a letter to the President and Members of Congress right now and demand they defend Sgt. Stein!

Sign the petition here:

A disgrace of the first degree!

Another American Flag With Obama’s Face Shows Up In South Jersey

The mid-Atlantic might widely be seen as a pro-Obama region of the United States, but apparently there’s such a thing as going too far even there – and a sleepy neighborhood full of senior citizens has just drawn the line. After an Obama supporter brought home three flags which replaced the stars on the American flag with a giant picture of President Obama’s face, many in the community – whose residents include some military veterans – expressed anger.

See the video report in the link below the picture:
Report: Israel threatens to strike militants if Egypt fails to secure Sinai

Egyptian officials say recent rocket attack on Eilat, along with Egypt’s denial that it was fired from the Sinai, have created tension that puts peace treaty at risk.

By Zvi Bar'el / Haaretz

Israel delivered a threatening message to Egypt, according to which it would take action against militants in the Sinai if Cairo did not take responsibility and secure the countries' shared border, Egyptian officials indicated on Saturday.

Hints of possible Israeli intervention in Sinai could intensify tension between the Bedouin and the Egyptian government, as well as put the fate of the Camp David agreements at risk. 

Year end2
The built portion of the fence on the Israel-Egypt border, Nov. 2011
 Photo by: Alon Ron

The reported message was transferred days after Sinai militants fired a volley of Grad-type Katyusha rockets into a residential area of the southern Israeli city of Eilat, and a little over a month since militants attacked a gas pipeline in the desert Peninsula that transports fuel to neighboring Israel and Jordan for the 12th time. 

According to Egyptian officials, the fall of a grad rocket in Eilat and Egypt’s denial that it was fired from the Sinai Peninsula has created new tensions between Israel and Egypt, with Israel sending a resolute “and even threatening” message to the Egyptian Military Council regarding the council’s responsibility for events occurring in the Sinai. 

The warning message, sources said, included hints that Israel might be forced into taking action in the Sinai, if attacks against Israeli targets continue to originate from within the peninsula. 

Coupled with Egyptian media reports of Israeli forces massing close to the Egyptian border, the reported warning led to negative reactions from within the Egyptian public. 

In an editorial, Halad Salah, editor of the newspaper Youm al Sabbah, warned Israel against using the “false” excuse of attacks from Sinai in order to try and create a rift among the Egyptian Public. 

According to Salah, Israel is claiming that it now faces security threats originating from within Egypt, and that the situation in Egypt, specifically the rise of the Islamists “is the main threat, as reported by Israeli newspapers, under the influence of the Shin Bet and the Mossad.” If Israel continues to blame the Egyptians, it will soon discover that all Egyptians are united against it. 

However, despite public backlash, the Egyptian Supreme Military Council is aware of its ineptitude in the Sinai, especially after Bedouin militias “conquered” two police stations in El-Arish and Sheikh Zuweid, and are not allowing Egyptian forces to monitor the trade taking place through tunnels between Sinai and the Gaza Strip. 

In response, Egypt began sending reinforcements to natural gas facilities and El-Arish last week. General Salach Al Masri, responsible for the safety of northern Sinai, reported Egyptian intent to clear the Sinai of terrorist activity. 

Al Masri reported last week that an initial cadre of 50 police officers and dozens of armored vehicles entered the Sinai, with a mission to retake the police stations, and patrol the natural gas pipeline. 

On Saturday, Al Masri told the website “el- masrawy,” that a decision was made to increase the security presence in northern Sinai, and that an additional force of 150 police officers and additional armored vehicles will be dispatched to the area surrounding El-Arish and Rafiah. 

These additional forces will patrol the length of the natural gas pipeline, and attempt to thwart smuggling of weapons through the tunnels. 

This is not the first time that Egypt has sent reinforcements to Sinai. Last November, Al Masri declared that his forces succeeded in arresting those responsible for bombing the natural gas pipeline. A short time later, however, the pipeline was bombed again, and Bedouin militias took control of roads, and Egyptian police guard towers. 

The desert peninsula has become a gigantic weapons storage facility, the contents of which are available to anyone willing to pay the Bedouin a reasonable price. 

Egyptian Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri reported this month that at least 10 million illegal weapons, including heavy machine guns, submachine guns, rocket launchers and mortars have been smuggled into Egypt from Libya and Sudan since the beginning of the revolution. Some weapons are said to have been smuggled in from Israel as well. 

Security officials have reported to the Egyptian media that weapons caches are confiscated on a daily basis, and that it seems today that “every Egyptian family is in possession of a weapon.” Large quantities of weapons have made it into the Sinai as well, and are being sold into Gaza or to organizations active within the Sinai. 

In the past, Haaretz has reported that the Yemeni branch of al-Qaida built a munitions base in the Sinai, meant to serve its forces in Gaza while radical organizations also found cover at sites in central Sinai that the Egyptian military was unable to breach. 

The Egyptian government is aware of the fact that any military endeavor in Sinai will fail without cooperation from the Bedouin tribes. However, that cooperation would require a very substantial financial investment, including the creation of water and electric systems, the building of schools, and the creation of jobs in an area where unemployment rates reach 90%. 

Since Mubarak was removed from office and the creation of the civil government, the Bedouin, numbering around 360,000, have heard numerous promises of government intent to improve their situation. 

Despite the fact that meetings have been held with the heads of the tribes, no significant changes have come. Without these changes, the Bedouin will continue to be forced to rely on smuggling and trade with terrorist organizations in order to survive. 

The tensions between the Egyptian government and the Bedouin have deteriorated far beyond the relations between the regime and its citizens. It is threatening the delicate relations between Israel and Egypt, just as the Supreme Military Council and the Muslim Brotherhood, set to control the country’s future, are declaring their devotion to the Camp David Accords. 

A scenario in which Israel would act on its own in the Sinai could turn the cooperation between the Bedouin and the terrorist organizations and the tension between the Bedouin and the Egyptian government into a strategic threat, capable of destroying the peace agreement for which all are worried.

ForgeryGate: Blackmailed By Putin, Obama Betrays United States And Her Allies

Barack Obama between flags SC ForgeryGate: Blackmailed by Putin, Obama betrays United States and her Allies

While the American media provide cover for the Constitutionally ineligible Barack Hussein Obama, Vladimir Putin and the nation of Russia are reaping a treasure trove of defense secrets and missile technology by threatening to reveal the true history of the Manchurian Candidate.

Obama has spent millions to prevent his personal story from being revealed to the American public. Records have been destroyed, information has been hidden, false claims have been advanced, potential whistle-blowers have been threatened and official documents have been forged. Enabled by a complicit media and the craven cowardice of political opponents, the most egregious felonies in the nation’s history have served to make the American people easy prey for the schemes of a dedicated Communist and committed enemy of our Constitutional Republic.

And those schemes have included the betrayal both of the United States and her allies.

  • In 2009 Obama scrapped the long awaited missile defense system for Poland and the Czech Republic because Russia objected.
  • He has refused to keep secret the technical data on the U.S Standard Missile-3, as called for in the 2012 defense authorization bill.
  • Obama will not pledge to keep American missile technology from China, North Korea and Iran, as it would  “…interfere with [his] constitutional authority to conduct foreign affairs…”
  • Obama will provide Russia information on every Trident missile supplied to Great Britain as part of an arms control deal signed with Russian President Medvedev.
  • Leaked cables show that the US will now provide Russia with ALL serial numbers of Trident missiles transferred to Britain.
  • Obama proposes the United States CUT its nuclear arsenal by 80%, yet demands no reciprocity on the part of Russia or any of America’s enemies.
  • Joe Miller, 2010 US Senate candidate from Alaska, reports that, under the guise of drawing a boundary, 7 Alaska-area islands and oil rich sea beds containing perhaps billions of barrels were given to Russia in an unannounced, secret deal by Obama’s State Department.

Under Obama’s programs, by 2016, defense will account for 20% of the national budget, yet bear over HALF of the deficit-reduction cuts.

In mid-March, Obama declared he would “…provide the Russians with detailed technical information about the anti- missile systems he plans to base in Eastern Europe…”

And Congressman Darrell Issa said that “the American people should be very afraid,” continuing with “I judge that in fact he is going to sell out our national defense after the election.”

On March 26th, Obama’s conversation with outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was accidentally picked up on an open microphone.  “This is my last election…After my election I have more flexibility,” Obama told Medvedev, who said he would relay that message to the new Russian “president” Vladimir Putin. “On all of these issues, but particularly missile defense this, this can be solved but it’s important for him (Putin) to give me space.”

Why would an American President need to secretly petition a notorious KGB thug for “space?” Because Vladimir Putin is aware of Obama’s criminal abuses of the United States and the American people.  He has Obama by the throat, possessing information which can put the Manchurian Candidate in prison for a lifetime. And he is using that information to literally blackmail the American president into betraying the U.S. and her allies around the world.

And though Barack Obama has certainly needed no persuasion to betray the American people and inflict massive damage on the United States since his election, that treachery is now proceeding according to a schedule and terms dictated by Putin, making the guilt of the American President even more obvious and his chances for re-election more tenuous. Thus, the plea for space.

How much MORE damage could the treasonous Barack Obama cause with another 4 years in power? And who might blackmail him next?
At Easter and Passover...On God, Country, and Obama
By: Diane Sori

During this Holy Week for both Christians and Jews, let us remember and honor the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, the rights and privileges we sometimes take for granted, and let us celebrate in the knowledge that we live in the greatest nation the world has ever known. Let us remember our loved ones lost, and pray that our brave men and women in uniform are kept safe and out of harm's way. Let us find comfort in knowing that as we celebrate the Resurrection and the freeing of the Jews from bondage in Egypt, we should rejoice in knowing that our dearly departed loved ones have already been welcomed into God's Kingdom.

I pray that as we Christians and Jews celebrate freedom, restoration, redemption, and resurrection that we see this from both a spiritual and from a here and now perspective. The spiritual is obvious, the here and now not so much so, as our beloved America is at a dangerous crossroads. Do we return to God and the principals our Founding Fathers laid down in the Constitution or do we continue down Obama's path of destruction of all this country was founded upon and all we hold dear. It is up to us, 'We the People,' to choose the path which we will follow.

Our great nation was created with a single document called the Constitution, and we now have a president who has decided that the very document that has given us 224 years of liberty and justice for all, is obsolete, out of date, and no longer relevant in today's so-called global world. We have a president who wants to lead our great republic down a dangerous path towards socialism and lead us into a New World Order headed by a chosen few of the most radical and liberal persons the modern day world has known.

We now have a president whose radical brand of liberalism is so engrained in his very core that he would love to silence, ban and eliminate conservatism at all costs; a president who would love to take control of our country in a way that would make Nazi Germany's SS cringe (starting with abolishing the Second Amendment); a president who would love to abolish God from every aspect of our lives; a president who sees our Constitution as an inconvenience, a barrier that must be removed, as he and his minions spread his message of radically changing America into a socialist nation torn by class warfare and racial division.

We now have a president who wants to change the very foundation upon which our Judeo-Christian nation was built, a president who dishonors and defames the Ten Commandments, the very heart of what we as Christians and Jews believe; a president who mocks our true living God while catering to those who believe in a false god and who want nothing better than to kill us all.

And this brings me back to the words freedom, restoration, redemption, and resurrection. While the religious meaning of those words is known to us believers, those words can also be used to describe the crossroads our beloved America now finds herself at. And it's up to us patriots to restore the freedoms granted to us in the Constitution, to redeem ourselves before God, and to resurrect America to her former glory before it's too late.

I know which path I will take, hopefully you will join me on that same path.

What Did Jesus Do On Holy Saturday

Jesus Holy Saturday 
By Daniel Burke
Religion News Service

(RNS) Every Christian knows the story: Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. But what did he do on Saturday?

That question has spurred centuries of debate, perplexed theologians as learned as St. Augustine and prodded some Protestants to advocate editing the Apostles' Creed, one of Christianity's oldest confessions of faith.

Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and most mainline Protestant churches teach that Jesus descended to the realm of the dead on Holy Saturday to save righteous souls, such as the Hebrew patriarchs, who died before his crucifixion.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls the descent "the last phase of Jesus' messianic mission," during which he "opened heaven's gates for the just who had gone before him."

An ancient homily included in the Catholic readings for Holy Saturday says a "great silence" stilled the earth while Jesus searched for Adam, "our first father, as for a lost sheep."

Often called "the harrowing of hell," the dramatic image of Jesus breaking down the doors of Hades has proved almost irresistible to artists, from the painter Hieronymus Bosch to the poet Dante to countless Eastern Orthodox iconographers.

But some Protestants say there is scant scriptural evidence for the hellish detour, and that Jesus' own words contradict it.

On Good Friday, Jesus told the Good Thief crucified alongside him that "today you will be with me in paradise," according to Luke's Gospel. "That's the only clue we have as to what Jesus was doing between death and resurrection," John Piper, a prominent evangelical author and pastor from Minnesota, has said. "I don't think the thief went to hell and that hell is called paradise."

First-century Jews generally believed that all souls went to a dreary and silent underworld called Sheol after death. To emphasize that Jesus had truly died, and his resurrection was no trick of the tomb, the apostles likely would have insisted that he, too, had sojourned in Sheol, said Robert Krieg, a theology professor at the University of Notre Dame.

"It helps bring home the point that Jesus' resurrection was not a resuscitation," Krieg said.

Belief in the descent was widespread in the early church, said Martin Connell, a theology professor at St. John's School of Theology-Seminary in Collegeville, Minn. But the Bible divulges little about the interlude between Jesus' death and resurrection. Churches that teach he descended to the realm of the dead most often cite 1 Peter 3:18-20.

"Christ was put to death as a human, but made alive by the Spirit," Peter writes. "And it was by the Spirit that he went to preach to the spirits in prison." The incarcerated souls, Peter cryptically adds, were those who were "disobedient" during the time of Noah, the ark-maker.

Augustine, one of the chief architects of Christian theology, argued that Peter's passage is more allegory than history. That is, Jesus spoke "in spirit" through Noah to the Hebrews, not directly to them in hell. But even Augustine said the question of whom, exactly, Jesus preached to after his death, "disturbs me profoundly."

The descent might not have become a doctrine if not for a fourth century bishop named Rufinus, who added that Jesus went "ad inferna" -- to hell -- in his commentary on the Apostles' Creed. The phrase stuck, and was officially added to the influential creed centuries later.

But changing conceptions of hell only complicated the questions. As layers of limbo and purgatory were added to the afterlife, theologians like Thomas Aquinas labored to understand which realm Jesus visited, and whom he saved.

Other Christian thinkers such as Martin Luther and John Calvin disagreed on whether Christ suffered in hell to fully atone for human sinfulness. That question, raised most recently by the late Swiss theologian Hans ur von Balthasar, stirred a fierce theological donnybrook in the Catholic journal First Things several years ago.

Wayne Grudem, a former president of the Evangelical Theological Society, says the confusion and arguments could be ended by correcting the Apostles' Creed "once and for all" and excising the line about the descent.

"The single argument in its favor seems to be that it has been around so long," Grudem, a professor at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona, writes in his "Systematic Theology," a popular textbook in evangelical colleges. "But an old mistake is still a mistake."

Grudem, like Piper, has said that he skips the phrase about Jesus' descent when reciting the Apostles' Creed.

But the harrowing of hell remains a central tenet of Eastern Orthodox Christians, who place an icon depicting the descent at the front of their churches as Saturday night becomes Easter Sunday. It remains there, venerated and often kissed, for 40 days.

"The icon that represents Easter for us is not the empty cross or tomb," said Peter Bouteneff, a theology professor at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, N.Y. "It's Christ's descent into Hades."

Obama Invokes Republican Icons While Painting Mitt Romney As Extreme

Obama Republicans
President Barack Obama is embracing an unlikely group of political icons as he tries to paint Mitt Romney as extreme: Republican presidents 
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is embracing an unlikely group of political icons as he tries to paint Mitt Romney as extreme: He's praising Republican presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan.

The Democratic president typically offers up GOP leaders of the past as evidence of how both parties can work together in Washington to pursue big ideas and rebuild the economy. With Election Day seven months away, Obama hopes to convince voters that he, like his Republican predecessors, is a reasonable moderate.

At the same time, he's casting Romney as a candidate who would embrace too-conservative policies out of step with most Americans and with his own party in years past.

Obama invoked Reagan's name four times in a speech this week to The Associated Press annual meeting. He said the conservative hero, never accused of being a "tax-and-spend socialist," still recognized the need for tax increases as well as spending cuts to tame federal deficits. Obama's verdict: "He could not get through a Republican primary today."

Painting Romney as an ideological extremist might seem a curious strategy for Obama, given that the GOP nomination front-runner has been considered the moderate candidate in the Republican primary field and has struggled to consolidate support among conservatives in the party. But Obama's team hopes to define Romney in a negative light before the former Massachusetts governor has a chance to pivot toward the general election and emphasize his past positions that could appeal to moderates of both parties and the independent voters who can decide close races in polarized America.

Obama has cited Reagan more than 40 times in speeches and public events since 2009, according to an analysis of public statements and transcripts by the AP. But Eisenhower is Obama's favorite Republican for name-dropping – the president has referenced him more than 90 times. Lincoln is right behind, with 80 mentions in public comments covered by the transcripts.

Among Democrats, Obama has cited Bill Clinton more than 60 times and Franklin Delano Roosevelt 45 times at public events. Jimmy Carter? Four times.

Romney, taking the same stage as Obama this week, a day later, told editors and publishers that the president was wrong. Reagan, he said, "would win handily in a primary, frankly, in all the primaries," if he were running today. Romney accused Obama of "setting up a straw man to distract us from his record."

Romney and his team say the president is trying to hide the fact that he's a liberal who has promoted government programs instead of individual opportunity – the antithesis of Reagan. Obama, these Republicans contend, has failed to bridge partisan differences so he must resort to rhetoric at a time when people care more about the economy and gas prices.

On the flip side, Democrats see the drawn-out Republican primary and rise of tea party conservatives in 2010 as prevailing currents pushing Republican candidates away from the political center.

At fundraisers and in speeches, Obama often plays history professor, using Lincoln, Eisenhower and others to try to make his case.

Lincoln, Obama frequently notes, launched the transcontinental railroad and the National Academy of Sciences – efforts, he says, that mirror his own attempts to rebuild the nation's economy and know-how. Obama points to Eisenhower's role as the father of the Interstate Highway System and reminds people that Richard Nixon, hardly a darling of liberals, created the Environmental Protection Agency.

George W. Bush – a frequent target of criticism during Obama's 2008 campaign – added prescription drug coverage to Medicare, the president told the AP annual meeting. George H.W. Bush was the first president to talk about a cap-and-trade system to curb pollution emissions – an approach that's now political suicide in Republican circles.

There are other reminders. In December, Obama traveled to Osawatomie, Kan., to argue that middle class families face a "make-or-break moment," echoing themes that Republican Theodore Roosevelt stressed in a 1910 speech in the same town.

On a Friday night in January, the White House released a photo of Obama sitting with President George H.W. Bush and his son former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush during a friendly get-together in the Oval Office.

About the only former Republican president who has taken heat from Obama is Rutherford B. Hayes, who Obama said questioned the usefulness of the telephone in the 1870s (something Hayes' presidential center disputed).

But Reagan – beloved by Republicans of all stripes – is the one who gets special billing lately as Obama works to cobble together a winning coalition from across the political spectrum.

For Obama, there's irony in his frequent Reagan references. In his 1995 book, "Dreams of My Father," Obama wrote that when he told classmates of his decision to become a community organizer in Chicago in 1983, he would "pronounce on the need for change. Change in the White House, where Reagan and his minions were carrying on their dirty deeds."

Now, Obama doesn't use "Reagan" and "dirty deeds" in the same sentence. At St. Patrick's Day events during his presidency, Obama has pointed to the friendship Reagan shared with Democratic House Speaker Tip O'Neill, both of whom "knew how to work together to find common ground."

In the heat of midterm elections in September 2010, Obama pointed to Reagan as a model of bipartisanship, telling an audience in Parma, Ohio, that Reagan "was willing to help save Social Security for future generations, working with Democrats."

During last summer's prolonged debt ceiling negotiations, Obama noted that Reagan raised the debt ceiling 18 times. And in September, he put Reagan forth as a model for immigration reform, saying he "understood that immigration was an important part of the American experience. Right now, you have not that kind of leadership coming from the Republican Party."

Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said Obama's frequent mentioning of Reagan and other GOP presidents has become a "major basis of his campaign," aimed "not to show himself as a moderate, but to paint the contemporary Republican Party as one that is really now an insurgent outlier."

Beyond that, there may be a more basic reason to emulate Reagan. As Obama seeks re-election, he is aware of a Reagan trait that every presidential incumbent covets: In 1984, Reagan won 49 states.

Watch ROMNEY'S speech about Obama has ended Medicare as we know it:

Associated Press writer Jack Gillum contributed to this report.

Fla Gov Signs Law Inspired by Caylee

Casey Anthony Offers New Theory in Caylee's Death

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed a bill inspired by 2-year-old Caylee Anthony's death.
The law increases the maximum penalty from a year in jail to five years in prison for knowingly making a false statement to police about a missing child.

PHOTO: Caylee Anthony Orange County Sheriff's Office/AP Photo
Caylee Marie Anthony is shown in this undated... View Full Size
Grace: New Anthony Death Claim 'Unbelievable' Watch Video
Casey Anthony Claimed Rape? Watch Video
Caylee's mother, Casey Anthony, was acquitted last year of murdering her daughter but convicted on four counts of lying to investigators.

Caylee wasn't reported missing until 31 days after she vanished in 2008 in Orlando.

Casey Anthony completed her four-year maximum sentence while awaiting trial on the murder charge.

She could have gotten up to 20 years in prison if the bill had been in effect at the time.

Watch full news report here:
By Brad Knickerbocker / Staff writer Christian Science Monitor

The Trayvon Martin case is dividing the country racially, generationally, politically, and by economic status.
  1. More US news from the Christian Science Monitor
That’s the finding of public opinion polls taken since the Feb. 26 killing of a black teenager by neighborhood-watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla.

“How Americans perceive this case is divided on several variables,” says Raghavan Mayur, president of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, which conducted a recent Christian Science Monitor/TIPP poll. “A similar pattern emerges when asked if blacks should be concerned about racial profiling in predominantly white areas.”

IN PICTURES: Trayvon Martin 

For example, twice as many blacks and Hispanics as whites say race played a major role in the shooting death of Trayvon (73 to 36 percent). The Monitor/TIPP poll of 906 adults taken from March 30 to April 5 finds other disparities as well.

• Younger respondents are more likely to see race as playing a major role in the case than those of middle age (66 to 43 percent).
 • Women more so than men (48 to 39 percent). 
• Those of modest income more than the wealthy (51 to 37 percent).
• Democrats much more so than Republicans (64 to 32 percent).

Asked in this survey “to what extent should blacks be concerned about racial profiling by police or law enforcement in predominantly white areas,” 69 percent say to “a great” or “some” extent. Here too, younger respondents, women, blacks and Hispanics, and Democrats are more likely to see racial profiling as a problem.

A recent USA Today/Gallup poll finds similar results.

Given what’s known about the case, for example, blacks are more than twice as likely as nonblacks (72 to 32 percent) to believe that Mr. Zimmerman (who is white and Hispanic) is guilty of a crime in shooting Trayvon, according to an April 2-4 Gallup survey of 3,006 Americans.

In police calls, Zimmerman mentioned race only when asked.
“Blacks are paying much closer attention to the news of the incident; overwhelmingly believe that George Zimmerman … is guilty of a crime; believe that racial bias was a major factor in the events leading up to the shooting; and believe that Zimmerman would already have been arrested had the victim been white, not black,” writes Gallup editor in chief Frank Newport in an analysis of the findings.

The Pew Research Center finds similar racial and political differences in the extent to which Americans are paying attention to the unfolding story.

Blacks and Democrats are much more likely to be following the story than whites or Republicans, Pew finds, and whites and Republicans are much more likely to say there’s been too much coverage of Trayvon's death.

Some major corporations apparently are paying close attention to the Trayvon Martin story as well.

Website to raise funds for Zimmerman defense On Thursday, Kraft Foods Inc. joined Coca-Cola and Pepsico in pulling its membership from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

The ALEC is a conservative nonprofit policy organization whose major funders include billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. It’s been associated with laws like Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law (allowing citizens to use deadly force rather than retreat in the face of a potentially life-threatening encounter) as well as with efforts to restrict voter registration – neither of which has much to do with the organization’s stated probusiness agenda.

Gallup’s Mr. Newport finds similarities between the Trayvon Martin case and that of O.J. Simpson in Los Angeles in 1995.

In police calls, Zimmerman mentioned race only when asked.
“The situation in the Trayvon Martin case is different from the Simpson situation, however, because the victim, rather than the alleged perpetrator, is black,” writes Newport. “Still, both situations, even though 17 years apart, apparently tap into the same deeply felt views of the average black American that the criminal justice system in America is biased against blacks.”

Other observers see the split in public opinion over Trayvon's shooting death in a troubling context.

“Half the nation, generally younger and more minority, believes a grave injustice has been done. The other half, generally older and whiter, believes that a mob led by professional agitators is trying to railroad Zimmerman for their own political purposes,” writes broadcaster Geraldo Rivera on the Fox News Latino website.

“The case has fractured the country along the undeniable racial fault line that is always there, but is most apparent in charged cases like this and Rodney King, Amadou Diallo, Ramarley Graham, Sean Bell and a hundred others.”

State shuts down everyone to stop Christian message

Wyoming settles free speech dispute by banning public statements

by Bob Unruh / WND
The state of Wyoming has settled a dispute over Christian and pro-life speech in a pedestrian tunnel by ordering that no one again can display a message on the public property.

The case was brought by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of the WyWatch Family Action organization.

The state admitted violating the U.S. Constitution by restricting the speech of a group in a forum that had carried numerous messages from the public. But it decided to resolve the issue by banning all public messages in the forum entirely, ADF said.

“Honoring free speech doesn’t come about by completely eliminating it,” said Jonathan Scruggs, who litigated the case along with ADF-allied attorney Nate Kellum.

“Although the [state] commissioners have done the right thing by recognizing that they violated the First Amendment rights of WyWatch members who simply wanted to display signs as others had been allowed to do, we disagree that the solution is to then shut everyone up so that you don’t have to allow pro-life speech anymore,” Scruggs said.

The results are part of a consent order reached between WyWatch Family Action and officials in the state.

The case developed after WyWatch asked the state for permission to post signs in a “walk by” space in the state’s Herschler Gallery, a long and wide tunnel between the state Capitol and the Herschler State Office Building nearby.

Rich Cathcart, executive secretary of the State Building Commission, which supervises state properties, approved the request.

So on Feb. 3, 2011, WyWatch Family Action chairman Becky Vandeberghe erected two signs, one depicting a living pre-born baby in the womb with a Bible verse. The other sign showed a picture of a group of individuals with the caption “We Regret Our Abortions.”

The signs were placed in advocacy for two pro-life bills before the legislature.

But Cathcart, who reported getting a number of “inflamed calls,” deemed the signs unacceptable and removed them the next morning because the pro-life message was outside the “generic stuff” that he alleged was approved.

The legal action was brought because the application process never specified any such limitation.

The court consent order specifies that “the parties agree, and the court accepts, that the … defendants unconstitutionally prevented plaintiff from engaging in protected expression in the Herschler Gallery in February 2011 by enforcing an unconstitutionally vague policy against the plaintiff and by enforcing that policy in such a way to discriminate against the viewpoint of plaintiff’s expression.”

The agreement states the state will pay the plaintiffs $1 in damages plus fees and litigation costs of about $30,000.

ADF said the state was skirting the logical requirement that such messages would be allowed in the future “by simply eliminating the right of any outside groups to engage in free speech activities in Herschler Gallery.”

The organization said the state, “rather than allow pro-life speech in the Herschler Gallery, adopted new rules that prohibit the public from engaging in an free speech activities in the gallery.”

“WyWatch Family Action’s board of directors is pleased that the state realizes that it infringed on our constitutionally protected freedom of speech and religion and that they admit their previous policy was unconstitutional,” said chairwoman Becky Vandeberghe.

“It’s sad that it took such drastic measures to bring that about, but it’s even sadder that state officials decided to address the problem by stifling more free speech, not less.”

The Casper, Wyo., Star-Tribune reported in January that the speech ban was adopted to protect the tunnel’s function as a “protected and secure thoroughfare for foot traffic.”

Cindy Hill, superintendent of public instruction and a member of the state building commission, opposed the ban on free speech grounds.

But the report said various organizations for years had used the tunnel space to place exhibits that support bills in the legislature.