Kernels - Wednesday, January 14, 2015

by Mark  

Welcome to the latest edition of Kernels From the Cornfield - No Husks, No Hulls, No Shucks!

News with a dash of commentary to spice up your fare for Wednesday, January 14th, 2015.

1. Not Islamic Terrorists - 'Violent Extremists' - The White House is refusing to call the Muslim radical jihadists what they are: Islamic terrorists. The terrorists are corrupting the Muslim faith to justify their murderous ways.

The White House claims it is not accurate to refer to the terrorists as Islamic or Muslim - even if that is what they are. The White House asserts it is not those adhering to "radical Islam", but "radical extremism".

The White House also asserts that since the massacre at Charlie Hebdo last week was condemned by Muslim leaders, it is inappropriate to refer to the terrorists as being Muslim or Islamic.
The issue is not with the moderate followers of Islam. But the reality is those committing atrocities around the world, including last week's massacre in France, call themselves Muslim.

In the US of A we have such corrupters of Christianity who are anything, but Christ-like such as: the Westboro Baptist Church, various white supremacy groups and others. They attempt to justify their hatred, take advantage of our First Amendment to spew vindictive and blatantly evil rhetoric, while clinging to the Christian banner, which they tread under foot.

What is is.

These terrorists are in jihad, holy war for Islam in their perversion of the religion - no matter what the White House says.

Then again, the White House deemed the terrorist rampage of murder and mayhem by Army Major Nidal Hasan as "workplace violence" rather than upset or offend the sensibilities of adherents of Islam.

It was the terrorist act of a Muslim who had corrupted Islam and pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda over his pledge to the US of A and the US Army.

None of this is to be construed that I blame Islam any more than I blame Christianity for the Westboro Baptist Church, who are hate-mongers and far from what Christ taught. and white supremacist with a Bible in one hand and treachery in the other.

2. Charlie Hebdo Stands Tall - Three million copies were printed and sold out quickly of the magazine targeted one week ago today by jihadists. Four world-renown cartoonists were killed along with eight others including two police officers.

The magazine's staff refuse to go into hiding, refuse to crumble in fear. An additional two million copies may be released within a week.

Meanwhile in the US of A, the fortress of truth, justice and liberty, major news organizations are crumbling and cowering in fear of reprisals and fear of offending anyone.

I have been advocating that whether offensive or not, since the Charlie Hebdo cartoons are integral to the news story, the cartoons should be shown. Even Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame believes that the images are the news and should not be hidden.

It is not just CNN, who states a policy of not showing what is offensive to religious sensibilities, but also the New York Times and other major US publications and broadcasters are cowering and bending to the terrorists.

Not right.

As to CNN's position on offensive material, it has not stopped the network in the past on showing what Christians or Jews or other religions find offensive to show the offending material.

Does this policy only apply to Islam?

The other reason given by CNN is safety. Again was that not the aim of the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo to have the satirical magazine and others cease operations out of fear and concern for their own safety?

CNN iReporter Police State put it this way: Cowardly CNN Yields to Terrorists.

ASIDE: Some Ebay sellers are hoping to cash in by putting the new edition of Charlie Hebdo up for hundreds of dollars. Price off the shelf is $3.50.

Some 300 copies are being shipped to the US on Thursday.

3. Boehner's Life Threatened - A bartender, who was fired from a local watering hole back in Ohio frequented by House Speaker John Boehner, is alleged to have threatened to kill Boehner. The bartender, with a history of mental issues, called Boehner the "devil".

The would-be assassin had hoped to poison Boehner by putting something in his drink. He was fired before he got the chance.

Reportedly the former bartender told police he was Jesus Christ and Ebola virus was the responsibility of Boehner.

4. Republicans Press Agenda - The new majority in both chambers of Congress is pressing ahead with its agenda in the face of veto threats from President Barack Obama.

House Republicans with some Democratic support have passed legislation to delay the Volcker rule contained in the Dodd- Frank restrictions placed on the financial industry following the 2008 housing bubble burst. Expect challenges and changes in the Senate before it goes to the President.

A revision to the Affordable Care Act's mandate of full-time to 30 hours per week would once more make 40 hours the threshold, the traditional number of hours to qualify as full- time. This bill also passed by the House will likely be changed in the Senate. The President has already said the change is dead on arrival.

The House moved forward with funding Homeland Security, but defunding the President's executive actions on immigration late last year. The Senate will likely pass it, but will be vetoed by the President.

In the Senate, Republicans with some Democrats, are moving to eliminate the medical device tax in the ACA, claiming it is a job killer.

Both chambers are moving legislation to authorize the construction of the Keystone pipeline. That legislation is also seen as dead man walking when it reaches the President's desk.

Compared to the past couple of years, the Congress is acting and acting in rapid fashion to move legislation through both chambers. A big complaint of the last six years is that many House passed bills never got passed former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's inbox.

5. 2016 Watch - California Attorney General Kamala Harris has tossed her hat in the ring to succeed long-time California Senator Barbara Boxer, who announced she will not seek re- election in 2016.

How crowded will the field get?

Do Republicans stand a chance of snatching away the Senate seat?

6. AQAP Claims Attack - Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. based in Yemen, is claiming that the organization planned the massacre and funded the terrorist brothers who attacked satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's offices last Wednesday. The terror group says it funded the brothers with $20,000 to carry out the attack.

AQAP disavowed the taking of a kosher grocery store on Friday. However, the group did praise the attacker and called the action, in which four hostages were killed, a "blessing".

Many terrorist experts doubt that AQAP had direct command and control of the massacre.

The search for six other suspected terrorists at-large goes on. The most wanted woman in the world is thought to be in Syria.

A fourth gunman has been identified by French authorities. That gunman is thought to have escaped out of the country and was involved in the taking of the grocery store.

An Al Qaeda recruiter was arrested in Bulgaria as he and his young son attempted to cross into Turkey. He is thought to have ties with the jihadi brothers and arranged their recruitment into AQAP.

7. NATO Ally Turkey Slams Charlie Hebdo - Turkey, a NATO ally, which was reluctant to allow Kurdish fighters to cross its territory to stave off an Islamic State assault on a Syrian city on its border, is strongly condemning the publication of the latest issue of Charlie Hebdo today.

The Turkish government is calling the cover which depicts a tearful Mohammed saying, "All is forgiven," while holding a sign reading, "I am Charlie", as being an affront and attack on both Mohammed and Islam.

Turkey is the route of choice by western radicalized youth wanting to join with the Islamic State or Al Qaeda.

8. Stock Market Slide - The US stock market continues its slide after the Dow closed down over 100 points on Tuesday. At one point today, the Dow was down 350 points closing down at 187 points..

Being blamed for the sell-off are the much lower than expected December sales. What was thought to be a brisk Christmas season has turned out to be a bust.

Oil per barrel dropped to $45. Prices at the pump continue to fall with a cost of $1.83 per gallon in the Cornfield.

Other factors are a prediction by the World Bank of more sluggish global economy and weak results reported by mega- bank, JP Morgan Chase.

9. Space Station Scare - The American portion of the International Space Station had to be evacuated today after electronic monitors indicated a leak in the cooling system.

The American astronauts are for the moment sharing quarters with Russian cosmonauts until the problem can be fixed. No one was harmed.

10. THIS JUST IN - Another Ohio man has been arrested for plotting to pipe bomb the Capitol and shoot people as they ran from the congressional building. An undercover FBI agent has been working the case.

The American would-be terrorist claims allegiance to the Islamic State.

This story is still developing.

That's what caught my attention for Wednesday, January 14th, 2015.

Tune in tomorrow for another episode of Kernels From the Cornfield.

I am Mark Ivy.

Good evening!

Location: Indiana, United States

Kernels - Tuesday, January 13, 2015

by Mark  

Welcome to the latest edition of Kernels From the Cornfield - No Husks, No Hulls, No Shucks!

News with a dash of commentary to spice up your fare for Tuesday, January 13th, 2015.

1. Day of Mourning - It was a day of memorials and funerals in both France and in Israel today.

The four hostages killed in the terror act of siezing a kosher grocery last week were laid to rest in the Jewish homeland. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on hand to eulogize those now gone.

French President Francois Hollande presented all three police officers - Ahmed Merabet, Franck Brinsolaro and Clarissa Jean-Philippe - killed in last weeks terror rampage with the country's highest honor.

Also in attendance in France and visiting the site of last week's massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo were police officers from New York, Los Angeles, the US Secret Service and other American police departments.

2. Charlie Hebdo Not Backing Down - The satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, attacked by terrorists last week and 12 were killed, will release a new edition tomorrow. The magazine is printing 3 million copies in English, French, Spanish and Arabic. Normal print is only 60,000 per issue.

The cover cartoon by Luz is of a crying Prophet Mohammed with the French words for "I am Charlie" underneath and inscribed above, "All is forgiven."

Instead of shutting the magazine down, its resolve was put through the fire and made stronger. The rest of the western world united behind free speech, a free press and freedom of expression.

3. Security Beefed Up - If you travel by air, expect longer delays and searches before being allowed to board a plane in the US of A. With new threats coming out of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghrib (AQIM) in northern Africa and the ongoing threat in France with six suspected terrorists at-large, the US has upped the security threat.

Meanwhile the Nigerian Government seems powerless against its homegrown Islamic terror group, Boko Haram. Nigerians are fleeing in the tens of thousands to neighboring Chad.

Terrorists seem embolden and more determined to push the world back to the Dark Ages.

Are todays extremists attempting to rewrite history when Polish King John III Sobieski turned back Ottoman Muslim forces at Vienna in 1683, stopping the over-run of Christian Europe?

4. 2nd 'Black Box' Found - The second black box from AirAsia Flight 8501 was found along with the fuselage of the downed plane, where 162 lives were lost.

The first box was found two days ago and was the data recorder. The cockpit recorder was found overnight. 48 bodies have been recovered. It is thought many more bodies will be discovered in the fuselage.

5. 'Work with Me' as I Use My Veto Pen - President Barack Obama asked Republican leaders in a meeting at the White House Monday to work with him and develop a better relationship. However, the President continues to threaten to veto anything that does not match his policies or agenda.

So much for finding common ground.

The Congress, Republicans primarily, continued to press on with bill after bill as the President continues to threaten a veto. The Senate is near passing the Keystone Pipeline authorization bill passed by the House last week.

The House is pushing on with funding the Department of Homeland Security, but defunding the President's executive order revamping immigration for illegal immigrants signed late last year. A veto threat is on the table.

The House moved to change the 30-hour threshold in the Affordable Care Act back to the traditional 40 hours to be considered full time. The President threatens veto.

Since the year began 13 days ago, the President has issued five veto threats.

What was that about working together?

Did I mention the bills have been getting some support from Democrats, making the legislation bipartisan?

6. The OOPs! File - Looks like I may have to revive the OOPs! File as we get ever closer to the 2016 presidential race.

But today's file comes not from a possible presidential candidate, but from the boneheaded comparison by a Republican Congressman of President Barack Obama and Adolph Hitler.

The Congressman Texas Representative Randy Weber has since apologized.

Weber quipped, "Even Adolph Hitler thought it more important than Obama to get to Paris. (For all the wrong reasons.) Obama couldn't do it for right reasons."

When will politicians learn it is their tongues which are the most dangerous enemy they have?

7. Full Time is 40 Hours - In a new poll 60% of the nation say that 40, not 30 hours, is full-time. That majority also support the efforts by Republicans in Congress to change the 30-hour rule in the Affordable Care Act back to 40 hours to kick in the employer mandate.

Because of the 30-hour-equals-full-time mandated in the law, companies and businesses across the country have cut employees hours to 29 hours to not trigger the mandate and being forced to provide health insurance.

I, for one, agree that full time work means working 40 hours per week.

8. Sports Bone - In the first ever national college football championship, the Oregon Ducks were no match for the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Buckeyes knocked the Ducks 42-20 Monday.

Columbus Ohio police officers, however, were video taped indiscriminately pepper spraying students and fans celebrating the win. The celebrants were not rioting or looting or turning over cars. They were simply in the street dancing, yelling and celebrating.

OK so there were some fires. And some were bouncing around on a frozen lake.

Police claim it was to control the crowd. There were also reports of 89 fires confined mainly to dumpsters, trash bins and couches.

9. No Pay for Judges - Texas and South Carolina have legislation pending which would withhold the paycheck of any state judge who rules in favor of equality for same-gender couples. Never mind that in South Carolina, it is already the law after the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a constitutional right to equality for the states in its jurisdiction this past summer, which includes South Carolina.

Can anyone else see the unconstitutionality of such a law?

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal from the State of Louisiana after its law banning equality was ruled unconstitutional. The 5th Circuit Appeals Court heard arguments on the case and one from Texas and Mississippi this past Friday, but have yet to rule.

The Supremes have yet to rule on appeals in the 4th District Court of Appeals from Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky.

10. Cornfield Lawmaker Makes History - Indiana Democratic 7th District Representative Andre Carson has been named by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to be a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

What is historic is that Carson will be the first Muslim to sit on a congressional Intelligence Committee in either chamber. Carson's district includes Indianapolis, the state capitol, and Bloomington, home of Indiana University.

That's what caught my attention for Tuesday, January 13th, 2015.

Tune in tomorrow for another episode of Kernels From the Cornfield.

I am Mark Ivy.

Good evening!

Location: Indiana, United States

Kernels - Monday, January 12, 2015

by Mark  

Welcome to the latest edition of Kernels From the Cornfield - No Husks, No Hulls, No Shucks!

News with a dash of commentary to spice up your fare for Monday, January 12th, 2015.

1. *Gulp* White House Admits Screw-up! - Press Secretary Josh Earnest admitted today that not sending a recognizable and high profile figure to the Unity March Sunday in Paris was a "mistake".

While world leaders walked arm-in-arm in support of free speech, a free press and against terrorism, the US, except for its ambassador to France, was shockingly not seen. Even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas were linked arm-in-arm in the front row with French President Francois Hollande!

President Barack Obama still doesn't understand the importance of optics and symbolism. This is especially true in dealing with terrorists. It was symbolism and optics which lead to the murderous attack on the headquarters of satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo last week.

When will our President learn that a picture is worth more than any of his grand speeches and eloquent words?

Aside: Why didn't Attorney General Eric Holder, who was in Paris, join the march?

2. While the World's Eyes Were Diverted - With all attention on the horrific terror attacks in France last week, Islamic extremist terror group, Boko Haram, massacred 2,000 to 3,000 in Nigeria. The terrorists also used little girls as human bombs to wreak mayhem and death in town markets over the weekend, snuffing the life out of innocence wrapped in explosives.

Where are the protests?

Where is the outcry?

Where are the unity marches?

Where is the Nigerian government and army?

3. Found! - At least one of the "black boxes" from downed AirAsia Flight 8501 has been recovered. The flight crashed into the Java Sea on December 28, killing all 162 aboard.

It is hoped that the black box will reveal what caused the plane to crash in the near future..

4. Most Wanted Woman in the World - The woman said to be the girlfriend or wife of the terrorist who killed a French policewoman and took over a kosher grocery store on Friday, killing four hostages, is reported to be in Syria. The Turkish government says she entered Turkey on January 2, before the terror attacks, and slipped into Syria on Friday.

This leads to questions of who the "accomplice" was in the grocery store that is reported to have escaped with the hostages. It also asks who was the third gunman in the Wednesday massacre, who also remains at-large.

This just in: French authorities are now saying as many as six suspects may be at-large.

French authorities say that sleeper cells have been activated in France. France remains on high alert and has deployed 8,000 more police and 10,000 soldiers to protect the people and places with emphasis on Jewish schools and businesses.

The slain grocery store terrorist, in a video before his death, announced his allegiance to the Islamic State. The brothers who attacked Charlie Hebdo were reportedly trained in Yemen by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The brothers reportedly attacked to avenge the US drone killing of an American born and raised imam who became a leader and spokesman for terror before his just demise.

Are the terror organizations beginning to unite in their attacks on the West?

What does this mean for our own safety and security in the US of A?

This becomes even more pressing when an Administration official Sunday again proclaimed that "core Al Qaeda" is "decimated" and "on the run".

How blind and deaf is the President and his Administration to the reality that terror is terror and we are not winning the war?

5. Homeland Bombing - Last Tuesday an office of the NAACP was bombed in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Federal officials are terming the explosion an act of domestic terrorism. The suspect remains at large.

The attack comes with eerie throwback to the tumultuous days of the civil rights fight in the 1950s and 1960s as the movie, "Selma", is set to debut at movie theaters across the nation.

The suspect is a balding, white man in his 40s, driving a 2000 model or older white pickup truck.

6. Sleep Cells Awake in US? - Former Chairwoman and current Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Diane Feinstein of California told CNN's Gloria Borger on State of the Union Sunday that there are terrorist sleeper cells in the US of A. She did not know if these cells may now be awake like the ones activated in France.

7. Central Command, YouTube Hacked - Terrorists or supporters have hacked the Central Command of the US of A Twitter account and various YouTube accounts. Names and addresses of military personnel were posted.

My own YouTube account was subjected to a spam comment and images posted saying, "I Am Not Charlie" in response to my article and video, "Today, I Am Charlie". The comment and images were removed quickly by YouTube before even I could view them.

8. Sports Bone - A tip of the hat to the Cornfield's own team, the Indianapolis Colts, for beating out the Denver Broncos and former Colts' quarterback, Peyton Manning, Sunday to land a spot in the NFC division championship. The Colts are now one step closer to a return to the Super Bowl.

Also, what is with that catch call?

The catch by Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant was ruled not a "catch". This has many crying, "foul", as the Green Packers moved on to the NFC top spot game after besting Dallas 26 to 21 Sunday.

9. Spreading Its Wings - Seems the Islamic State is not content with controlling large portions of Syria and Iraq. The caliphate is now active in southern Afghanistan.

Reportedly, the Taliban are not happy with the competition. Taliban leaders have warned the people and tribal leaders not to fall for the call to join the Islamic State.

And to think just over a week or so ago, the US ended the war in Afghanistan and began withdrawing all, but 10,000 advisers out of the country.

10. Week Starts in the Hole - The stock market reacted negatively as oil prices continue to fall. The Dow closed down 96.53 points today. NASDAQ dropped 39.36 points as the Standard and Poor 500 lost 16.55.

There are also worries about the upcoming revelations of corporate earnings. But the 5% drop in oil prices remains the main concern.

At the pump in the Cornfield, gasoline was down to $1.93 per gallon today.

That's what caught my attention for Monday, January 12th, 2015.

Tune in tomorrow for another episode of Kernels From the Cornfield.

I am Mark Ivy.

Good evening!

Location: Indiana, United States

Kernels - Friday, January 9, 2015

by Mark  

Welcome to the latest edition of Kernels From the Cornfield - No Husks, No Hulls, No Shucks!

News with a dash of commentary to spice up your fare for Friday, January 9th, 2015.

1. Justice Served - Three of four jihadists who have attempted to terrorize Paris, France since Wednesday were sent to hell in a rain of police bullets after the businesses they had seized were stormed by law enforcement. The fourth terrorist, a woman, managed to get away in the confusion and is on the run.

The two brothers who killed 12 and injured 11 on Wednesday in a brazen attack on the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, were thought to have been cornered last night in a forest northeast of Paris. The deadly duo managed to slip through the tightening noose and hijack a car.

The brothers drove south back toward Paris and took over a printing office in a small town to the north and west of Charles DeGalle International Airport. For several hours law enforcement bided its time waiting. An employee of the print shop was thought to be a hostage, but had hidden from the gruesome twosome.

When the two ran out, guns blazing, as night began to fall, police let lose a barrage of stun grenades and bullets. Both brothers were killed.

Meanwhile the terrorist who had shot at two police offices, killing a female officer, on Thursday, along with his girlfriend, took over a kosher grocery store just east of Paris.

Several hostages were taken. Four of the hostages were killed by the terrorists before police stormed the store killing the male while the female slipped away in the confusion.

It is not known if the gunman in the grocer was the third gunman in Wednesday's deadly attack or if that gunman remains at-large.

After it was established that at least one of the terrorists had trained with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen, in 2011, both French and US intelligence believe AQAP may have been responsible or at least inspired the assault on free speech and a free press.

It is not yet known if France may seek retribution from AQAP with a military assault on the terror group.

The US has announced a global travel alert.

2. Job Market - Over 2.9 million jobs were created in 2014. That is the best job creation figures since 1999, it was revealed by the Department of Labor today.

The unemployment rate dropped to 5.6% after unemployment applications dropped to 254,000. Those numbers, however, do not reflect the number of people who simply stopped looking for work or who are under-employed.

3. Keystone Pipeline Route OK'd - The Nebraska Supreme Court gave the go ahead for a route through the state for the Keystone Pipeline. The fate of the pipeline was thought to hinge not only on US State Department approval, but whether the Court would green light the route through the state selected.

A bill making its way through Congress would force President Barack Obama to give the go-ahead for the pipeline. The President has vowed to veto that legislation.

The State Department has been sitting on a yea or nay for six years.

4. Bipolar Market - The stock market can't seem to make up its mind this first full week of trading for 2015. After rebounding from the worst start since 2008 on Wednesday and Thursday, the Dow closed the week down 170 points.

NASDAQ closed down over 32 points. The S&P 500 saw negative 17.33 numbers.

5. Free Education, Not Really Free - The free community college for those "willing to work for it" will not exactly be free. The President in outlining his idea in Knoxville, Tennessee today said he expects both the federal government and the states to pick up the tab.

In other words, our tax dollars to fund the program.

Students must do 8 hours of community service each term and maintain a 2.0 GPA and have a mentor. No mention where the money to fund the program - either by the federal or the state governments would come.

Sounds to me like another excuse to raise taxes. I do agree with an affordable college education and not the current mercurial costs which continue to soar each year.

Oh and the price tag on the President's plan? - $60 billion.

6. Charges for Petraeus? - Both the FBI and the Justice Department have recommended that former CIA chief, General David Petraeus, be charged with improperly providing classified information to a female Army Reserve officer.

That female officer it was revealed, was one with whom Petraeus had an affair. That affair led to his resignation from the CIA in 2012.

Petraeus is the former commander of troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

7. 2016 Watch - I can't believe what I am hearing and reading. Former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney is considering another run for the White House.

The 2016 race is already being called deja vu with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the son and brother of presidents, all, but announcing he is running for the top job. Shades of 1992 are being seen as former Secretary of State and New York Senator Hillary Clinton, wife of a president, also mulls a run.

Any chance some new faces or names might actually land the two top parties nomination spots?

8. Equality March - The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments from proponents and opponents of equality for same-gender couples in cases from Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas today. The hearing before the 3-judge panel is being called "cool" toward those seeking equality.

Should the 5th Circuit agree with the 6th Circuit that there is no constitutional right for same-gender couples, it ups the ante on the Supreme Court taking the issue this term.

The Supremes also considered hearing appeals on equality today since at this time most of the other Circuits, except the 6th, have upheld equality for same-gender couples. The Supremes may opt to wait on what the 5th decides or may settle the issue once and for all since there is already division between Circuits this term.

9. Nanny State - California restaurants and chefs may once more treat their clientele to fois gras after a federal judge put an end to the 2-year ban on the sale of the fatty liver of ducks and geese.

The judge ruled that California was stepping on federal law in forcing the ban, which is a no-no.

10. Pennsylvania AG Under Fire - A grand jury has recommended criminal charges against the state's top law enforcement officer.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane, the first Democrat ever elected to the office in Pennsylvania, is accused of leaking information to a newspaper in an attempt to embarrass political enemies.

The leak of the grand jury recommendation may itself also be afoul of the law.

Kane contends her innocence.

It is not yet known what the prosecutor in the case may do - accept the recommendation or toss it in the circular file.

That's what caught my attention for Friday, January 9th, 2015.

Tune in Monday for another episode of Kernels From the Cornfield.

I am Mark Ivy.

Good evening!

Location: Indiana, United States

Kernels - Thursday, January 8, 2015

by Mark  

Welcome to the latest edition of Kernels From the Cornfield - No Husks, No Hulls, No Shucks!

News with a dash of commentary to spice up your fare for Thursday, January 8th, 2015.

1. Freedom of Speech, Press Attacked! - Two values we in the US of A hold dearly, freedom of speech and a free press, came under deadly attack Wednesday in Paris, France.

Two of the three suspects are still on the run. The gunmen, brothers known to French police, may be cornered in a forest northeast of Paris.

At least one of the brothers may have been trained by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen. If so, this may have been planned in Yemen and not in France.

A second act of terror occurred in Paris this morning with the shooting of a policewoman. That gunman is also still at-large as of this time. It is unknown if it is connected to yesterday's attack of Charlie Hebdo.

Read my thoughts or view my video on this tragedy: Today, I Am Charlie Hebdo.

2. Honda Sin of Omission Cost - Honda has been fined $70 million for failure to report death and injury complaints. It is the largest civil fine on an automaker in history.

Honda failed to report some 1,729 complaints that its vehicles wre responsible for deaths and injuries. The company was also cited for not reporting warranty claims.

The failure to report stretched over an 11-year period from 2003 to 2014. This is in spite of the company learning of its failure in 2011, then setting on the information for another three years.

As another CNN iReporter would say, "Bad, Honda, bad."

3. 2016 Watch - In a surprise announcement sure to have an impact on the 2016 election in Calfornia, Senator Barabra Boxer, Democrat, announced she would retire and not run again.

Boxer, one of the Senate's most liberal members, is serving her fifth term. With Boxer's announcement the stage is set for what could be a free-for-all.

Meanwhile, her colleague, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, has introduced a bill to the Senate to cut funding to the Palestinian Authority, if it continues its pursuit of a seat on the International Criminal Court.

The move may shore up the dim support Paul has in the Jewish community. Paul has his eye on the White House in 2016.

4. Election Vote Promise Kept - Many Republican lawmakers ran on a promise last fall to weaken if not kill the Dodd-Frank legislation that put a host of new regulations on the banking and financial industry following the housing bubble burst in 2008.

A vote on a bill to do that failed to pass Wednseday in the House of Representatives. Supporters of the change came close, but lacked the six votes needed to pass.

5. Welcome to the Icebox - Most of the nation woke up to mercury readings below freezing this morning. Schools across the heartland shuttered the doors in reaction to the bitter cold, including the Cornfield's own state capital, Indianapolis.

Much of the heartland struggled to get up from single digits today. Some areas tried and failed to shake off negative numbers. In the Cornfield we broke free to a balmy 12 degrees.

The cold is expected to linger a few more days before temperatures gradually begin to rise.

6. Bad Start, What Bad Start? - Yesterday I noted that the stock market had got off to its worst start since 2008. You can forget all about that now.

The Dow closed today over 330 points. Seems investors were giddy about what appears to be a stabilization in the price of oil per barrel.

7. Rally Round the Flag - OK, so it is not rallying around any flag, but it is a rally around the world in support of free speech and a free press.

Cartoonists are not backing down. If anything, artists are more than ever determined to draw and express their thoughts.

It is not just editorial cartoonists, but print, radio and television journalists who are becoming emboldened to speak and report. There are those exceptions, including CNN, who refuse, however, to show what resulted in the fatal rampage at Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday.

There seems to be a divide between "old" and "new" journalism. Those more closely tied to internet news are showing the offending cartoons, while most television and print journalistic endeavors are refraining.

Such a journalistic icon as Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame thinks CNN, the New York Times and others should show the cartoons as they are a intregal part of the story.

I agree with Carl.

8. A Bone for Sports Fans - Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has completed his investigation into the NFL's handling of the case against Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. Rice was seen in a video, which went viral, taking his fist to his now wife in an elevator.

Mueller determined that League officials did not see the video, but that the League should have done a better investigation before it acted. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acted not once, but twice, after a public outcry when the video hit the internet.

Six recommendations, not released, were outlined by Mueller for the NFL to consider.

9. Free Community College? - An idea floated a short time ago by President Barack Obama is sure to have Republicans in Congress and conservatives across the country howling, "foul".

The President is set to propose free community college education to those who are willing to work for the degree. The proposed plan is expected to be rolled out by the President while visiting Tennessee Friday.

Without providing any details or how the program will be funded, the President said,

"Put simply, what I'd like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who is willing to work for it."

To think he is barred from running for re-election.

10. Don't Do It! - It is bad enough that a few years ago under Governor Mitch Daniels that Indiana was hit with the National Insanity of Daylight Saving Time. Now, an Arizona lawmaker wants the last bastion of sensibility when it comes to the clock to be inflicted with the disease as well.

Republican State Representative Phil Lovas of Peoria, Arizona wants to repeal the state's 1967 law which exempted the state from the National Insanity. Lovas claims being three hours and not two hours behind financial and market centers on the East Coast is not good for business.

I have only one thing to say, "Arizona, don't do it!"

That's what caught my attention for Thursday, January 8th, 2015.

Tune in tomorrow for another episode of Kernels From the Cornfield.

I am Mark Ivy.

Good evening!

Location: Indiana, United States

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