It's the Girls Gone Wild: Secret Service Edition!
Contributed by Alex Shrugged
As with any Presidential visit, a team of Secret Service agents are sent ahead to set up security. Back in the "good old days" this also meant "Wheels up! Rings off!" President Barack Obama will be arriving in Cartagena, Columbia for the 6th Summit of the Americas to discuss the War on Drugs. The Secret Service arrived ten days earlier, and it's party time! After a particularly hard night of drinking and cavorting, a complaint comes in from a woman of negotiable virtue. She hasn't been paid, and she is hopping mad. (FYI, if you are going to do something immoral or illegal, make sure everyone gets paid what they were promised and a little more. This includes drug dealers, prostitutes and assassins. They can do a lot more harm to you than you can do to them. OK. Moving on.) The fly in the ointment is that the new Secret Service supervisor, Paula Reid, is a woman of integrity. This ain't your daddy's Secret Service any more. If you mess up, she is going to mess with you. Believe it. She sends them all home, and makes a full report. But some secrets are just too good not to share, so as President Obama arrives for the Summit, the news breaks. After the recent gate crashing incident by those reality TV knuckleheads (The Housewives of Washington D.C.), it raises doubts as to the competency of the new Secret Service. But don't worry. At least no one is jumping the fence, and wandering around the White House unchallenged... yet.       
A YouTube video kills the ambassador?
Contributed by Southpaw Ben
At 9:40 on September 11th, members of the terrorist group Ansar al-Sharia attacked the US diplomatic compound in Libya. Later, the group attacked a CIA annex that was a mile away with mortars, resulting in a dozen CIA contractors being killed or injured. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton took responsibility for the lapse in security that resulted in a lack of additional security being provided to the embassy. Initially blamed on a YouTube video that was considered blasphemous, as it portrayed Islam's founder in a bad light, later evidence supports the assertion that the attack was premeditated, and the release of the trailer was just a coincidence that made a good scape goat.
Here Comes Superstorm Sandy
Contributed by Alex Shrugged
It's not a very strong storm as such things are measured. It's called "Superstorm" Sandy because it is no longer a hurricane. Its winds have been dying down which why it comes as such a surprise when it causes so much damage and loss of life at the end of its run. Sandy began as a tropical storm that developed into a Category 3 hurricane. It hit the Bahamas hard, and then headed north along the Atlantic. It seemed like New York and New Jersey had dodged a bullet when the storm suddenly hooks and comes right at them. Even though Sandy is weakened, it covers a very large area. Sustained winds, even if lower than hurricane force, can be devastating if maintained long enough. The tide is coming in, making the storm surge even greater. The waters surround a neighborhood just as a fire breaks out. They are lost. Firefighters can't get to the blaze. A crane collapses. New Jersey's boardwalks and amusement rides slip into the sea. When it is all over, 117 are dead in the New York/New Jersey area. 40 deaths were from mandatory evacuation area A. They received their notices, but some people insist that it couldn't happen to them. Homes are lost. Power is out, yet here and there some people are prepared. Quietly, extension cords are shared between friends. It's good to have friends. Governor Christie reaches out to President Obama for help. It's their job, but the image is burned into the minds of the public as Christie walks along the beach with Obama. One can almost imagine them holding hands. With only days until the election and Sandy's aftermath dominating the news, Mitt Romney can't get a word in edgewise. President Obama coasts to reelection. Sandy's damage is costly indeed.  
None that I can find other than princes and princesses.--alexshrugged
- Sally Ride (age 61, Pancreatic cancer): First US woman in space and a very private woman in her personal life. 
- Rodney King (age 47, accidental drowning after alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, and PCP use): His public beating by police and subsequent exoneration of the police sparked a riot. 
- Whitney Houston (age 48, accidental drowning after cocaine and marijuana use): Actress and singer. (She seemed bent on destroying herself.--alexshrugged) 
This Year in Film
- The Avengers: Superheroes must stop the Norse god Loki. 
- The Dark Knight Rises: Batman save Gotham City from nuclear destruction. (I didn't see it so I don't know if he made it.--alexshrugged) 
- And...: The Hunger Games, Wreck It Ralph, and Brave. 
This Year in TV
- Anger Management: Charlie Sheen is on the FX channel. 
- HBO's Girls: Starring Lena Dunham and situations based on her life. 
- Lilyhammer: The first Netflix original content. A gangster makes a new life for himself in a small town in Norway. 
- "Patently offensive language" is allowed on TV: Without a clear definition of what "patently offensive" means, free speech is infringed. 
This Year in Music
This Year in Video Games
- Street Fighter and Megaman are 25 years old: (How old am I again?--alexshrugged) 
- The Walking Dead for the PlayStation 3: The critics love it. (The critics hate anything that comes from a movie or TV, so this is really something.--alexshrugged). 
- Mass Effect 3 for the Xbox 360: Third of the trilogy. 
- Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii: Fantasy/Sci-fi role playing game. (It seems to have a mystical story line.--alexshrugged) 
In Other News
|12 are dead and 58 injured after a mass murderer enters a Denver movie theater showing The Dark Knight Rises||James Holmes was masked and claimed to be "The Joker".||(My granddaughter, Alyse Shrugged, was working in the same shopping center.--alexshrugged).  |
|20 children are murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School||8 adults are also murdered by Adam Lanza. In the aftermath, the discussion is about gun control and video games.||(Yeah. Mario's evil brother, Wario made Adam do it.--alexshrugged)   |
|Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is hospitalized after falling at home||Doctors discover a blood clot.||(There is a rumor that she actually sustained her injuries in a plane crash, but she seems to be holding together.--alexshrugged)   |
|Obamacare as ruled constitutional under the "taxing and spending" clause||Chief Justice Roberts ruled that forcing people to buy heath insurance was a proper use of the taxing powers of Congress.||(What a load of crap. This why NO ONE should depend on the Supreme Court to fix what Congress has done.--alexshrugged)|
|Marijuana is now legal in Colorado and Washington state.  ||It is still illegal federally, but the feds are looking the other way.||(My only objection is that current rehab resources are not adequate to handle the inevitable X number of people who will get trapped, but the same is true for alcohol in that sense. We will adjust.--alexshrugged)|
|Gay marriage is legalized in Maine, Maryland and Washington state.||This has been a growing trend. ||(The state needs to get out of the marriage business.--alexshrugged)|
|Dallas declares a state of emergency after an outbreak of the West Nile virus||17 are dead in Dallas. Across the US, 243 are dead out of 5,387 cases this year. Aerial spraying of insecticide over Dallas begins.    ||(Don't breathe in.--alexshrugged)|
|A solar coronal mass ejection barely misses Earth||(Just a few more days and we would have plowed right into it.--alexshrugged)  |
|Google self-driving cars are licensed for testing in Nevada||It requires a licensed driver.  ||(I am handicapped, so it won't help me if I need a license.--alexshrugged)|
This Year in Wikipedia
Year 2012, Wikipedia.
- 2012 - Wikipedia.
- US to investigate secret service scandal - Al Jazeera English (April 2012). Retrieved on 26 May 2017. “The alleged incident occurred before Obama arrived in Cartagena, but the news broke while he was there. 'We let the boss down because nobody's talking about what went on in Colombia other than this incident,' Dempsey said at a news conference with Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary. 'I can speak for myself and my fellow chiefs, we're embarrassed by what occurred in Colombia.'”
- "Secret Service scandal: Rising supervisor set uncovering of misconduct in motion - The Washington Post", April 21, 2012. Retrieved on 26 May 2017. “Paula Reid, the new Secret Service boss for the South American region, was in Cartagena preparing for the president’s visit when she received an urgent report: A prostitute, upset because she had not been paid by a Secret Service agent, had created a disturbance in a nearby hotel, knocking on doors and yelling in the hallways at daybreak.”
- Secret Service dismissals 'biggest scandal' for agency - CBS News (April 14, 2012). Retrieved on 26 May 2017. “On 'CBS This Morning: Saturday,' Kessler said the Secret Service has a culture of corner-cutting. 'They don't have enough agents, they don't even put people through metal detectors sometimes because there's pressure to let everybody in,' Kessler said. 'It's like letting passengers in an airplane without putting them through metal detectors. They don't keep up-to-date with the latest firearms. They don't even do physical tests. So, it's a culture that leads to this kind of problem.' Kessler pointed to a couple crashing a White House state dinner without an invitation as an example of a potential security threat. He said that Mark Sullivan, director of the Secret Service, should have been fired after the fiasco involving gate-crashers Michaele and Tareq Salahi, but has continued in the same position because of President Barack Obama's confidence in the agency.”
- Secret Service revokes security clearances of 11 accused of misconduct - CBS News (April 14, 2016). Retrieved on 26 May 2017. “Two Secret Service supervisors were among the 11 involved. A top official confirms that the group also included three members of the Counter-Assault Teams, a unit which includes snipers and SWAT teams meant that support the president's personal protection detail. Secret Service officials are rejecting a Wall Street Journal suggesting there is a larger cultural problem at the agency known as 'Wheels down, rings off.' 'That's not true,' a top law enforcement official said. 'We hold employees to a high standard. This incident was an anomaly.' Separately Monday, the Pentagon said that at least 10 members of the U.S. military are under investigation for the alleged inappropriate -- not just the five announced over the weekend.”
- "Inquiry points to wider Secret Service scandal involving up to 21 women - The Washington Post", April 17, 2012. Retrieved on 26 May 2017. “The disclosures make clear that what first appeared to be an isolated case of misbehavior was in fact a night of more widespread debauchery that included heavy drinking and a trip to the Pleyclub, a strip club where the men allegedly paid for women’s services. The participation of two Secret Service supervisors, according to people with knowledge of the investigation, suggests that the men had little fear of repercussions — until hotel workers and Colombian police reported the matter to the U.S. Embassy.”
- Report Warns That Superstorm Sandy Was Not 'The Big One' - HuffPost (September 18, 2014). Retrieved on 26 May 2017. “In October 2012, Superstorm Sandy wreaked major havoc on the United States, causing 117 deaths and leaving $62 billion worth of damage in its wake when it passed through New York and New Jersey. But Sandy wasn't the strongest storm ever to hit that region, and there is the potential for other, much bigger storms to strike, a new report warns.”
- "Back to the Jersey Shore - The New York Times", April 4, 2014. Retrieved on 26 May 2017. “Of the 127 miles of New Jersey coastline that spans four counties from Cape May in the south to Monmouth County in the north, Hurricane Sandy hit Ocean and Monmouth counties the hardest. In all, the storm destroyed or damaged 346,000 homes in New Jersey.”
- 2012 Deaths - Wikipedia (2012).
- Neil Armstrong - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 25 May 2017. “His family released a statement describing Armstrong as a 'reluctant American hero [who had] served his nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut ... While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves. For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.'”
- 2012 in film - Wikipedia (2012). Retrieved on 27 January 2017.
- 2012 in television - Wikipedia (2012).
- 2012 in music - Wikipedia (2012). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
- 2012 in video gaming - Wikipedia (2012).
- Colorado Movie Theater Shooting: 70 Victims The Largest Mass Shooting - Yahoo!. Gma.yahoo.com (2012-07-20). Retrieved on 2012-08-18.
- "Deadliest mass shootings around the world", December 14, 2012. Retrieved on December 14, 2012.
- Newtown school massacre victims identified - BBC News (16 December 2012). Retrieved on 26 May 2017. “The killings took place in two rooms within a single section of the school, police have said. The shooting lasted just a few minutes. As they heard the shots, teachers in other parts of the building tried to protect children by locking doors and ushering them into closets.”
- CNN, By Elise Labott. Hillary Clinton faints, has concussion - CNN.com. Retrieved on 16 July 2016.
- Hillary Clinton gets concussion after fainting. Retrieved on 16 July 2016.
- CNN, From Elise Labott. Hillary Clinton hospitalized after doctors discover blood clot - CNNPolitics.com. Retrieved on 16 July 2016.
- National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 26 May 2017. “The Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, upheld by a vote of 5 to 4 the individual mandate to buy health insurance as a constitutional exercise of Congress's taxing power. A majority of the justices, including Chief Justice Roberts, agreed that the individual mandate was not a proper use of Congress's Commerce Clause or Necessary and Proper Clause powers, though they did not join in a single opinion. A majority of the justices also agreed that another challenged provision of the Act, a significant expansion of Medicaid, was not a valid exercise of Congress's spending power as it would coerce states to either accept the expansion or risk losing existing Medicaid funding.”
- Bly, Laura. "Colorado, Washington OK Recreational Marijuana Use", November 7, 2012. Retrieved on November 7, 2012.
- Gay marriage law goes into effect in Maine
- We Won Marriage – Now What? Answers to Your Questions. Equality Maryland (November 8, 2012). Retrieved on December 4, 2012.
- Official Press Release. "Gov. Gregoire and Secretary Reed certify Referendum 74", 'Governor of Washington', December 5, 2012. Retrieved on December 10, 2012.
- Virus emergency declared in Texas. Retrieved on 16 July 2016.
- Hennessy-Fiske, Molly (16 August 2012). Dallas West Nile aerial pesticide spraying to begin overnight. Retrieved on 16 July 2016.
- Aerial spraying for West Nile to start at 10 tonight in Dallas, Park Cities. Retrieved on 16 July 2016.
- Solar storm of 1859 - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 21 July 2016. “A solar coronal mass ejection hit Earth's magnetosphere and induced one of the largest geomagnetic storms on record, September 1–2, 1859. The associated 'white light flare' in the solar photosphere was observed and recorded by English astronomers Richard C. Carrington (1826–1875) and Richard Hodgson (1804–1872).”
- Solar storm of 2012 - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 21 July 2016. “The solar storm of 2012 was an unusually large and strong coronal mass ejection (CME) event that occurred on July 23 that year. It missed the Earth with a margin of approximately nine days, as the Earth orbits the Sun, and the Sun rotates around its own axis with a period of about 25 days.”
- Cy Ryan. "Nevada issues Google first license for self-driving car", May 7, 2012.