Laws And Rules Aren’t For The People Who Write Them – Part One.

Bowe-Bergdahl-ROH The non partisan General Accounting Office released has released a report saying the Obama administration and the Department of Defense broke the law in the release of Bowe Bergdahl, the US Army sergeant who was exchanged for five Taliban members being held at Gitmo.

The report reads:

As explained below, we conclude that DOD violated section 8111 because it did not notify the relevant congressional committees at least 30 days in advance of the transfer. In addition, because DOD used appropriated funds to carry

out the transfer when no money was available for that purpose, DOD violated the antideficiency Act. The Antideficiency Act prohibits federal agencies from incurring obligations exceeding an amount available in an appropriation. 31 U.S.C. § 1341(a).

The report concludes by saying:

Share the Hoecakes

Is It Okay To Pee In The Ocean?

As a resident of a beach side community, this is a question that needs to be answered.

Luckily, thanks to the folks at Chemical and Engineering News, we now know the answer.

Peeing in the ocean: Many have done it, but few admit to it. Fortunately for beachgoers everywhere, our latest episode of Reactions explains why, from an environmental perspective, it is absolutely OK to pee in the ocean.

More on the science can be found here.

Apply For A Position In The Most Transparent Administration Ever.

This boggles the mind.

Morgan Smith is a reporter for the Texas Tribune who made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Department of Justice.

In return, Smith got a letter reminding her her request and related documents could be made public if someone else asked for them.

Smith provided a picture of the letter:

FOIA Denial Officer

Council Meeting Tonight.

Satellite-Beach-Panels-Orange-ROHThe City Council of Satellite Beach meets tonight in a regular meeting in which we suspect the Council will have no regard for their own rules of procedure as that has become a habit as of late.

You can see the agenda here and the agenda packet here.

The meeting starts at 7:00 PM and we hope to see you there.

Brevard County Schools And Sexual Predators.

Child-in-corner-ROH(Editor’s Note: We cannot express how deeply we despise those who harm children and who are sexual predators. There are times we wish we had a supply of millstones to donate.

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” – Matthew 18:6 NIV)

Last week, the Florida Today wrote that a new security system was being “rolled out” in Brevard County schools.

A new security system in Brevard Public Schools will run an automatic sexual predator check when volunteers and visitors sign in on campus.

Individuals will scan their driver’s license, and new KeepnTrack software will run a check through a sexual predator database from all 50 states.

According to the “KeepnTrack” software site, the software is written by COMPanion Corporation and will use another product – COMPanion’s CBC (Criminal Background Check) database.

The KeepnTrack software not only integrates with the CBC database, but also allows for tracking of staff (including teachers,) tracking of students, and tracking of vendors on school campuses.

(One wonders whether the new software will replace current staff and vendor tracking software or whether the school district will keep the current software for staff and vendors as well as paying for the new KeepnTrack software.)

According to the article, the cost of the KeepnTrack software and license scanners for schools is $136,000. The software will also cost the district $31,500 per year to run.

The background check will cost people $20 every three years.

The idea sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

More On Ferguson.

Brevard-County-MilitaryWe’ll let others dissect the meaning of the release of the preliminary findings of the first (of three) autopsies of the body of Micheal Brown to others. While we now seem to have some indication of the bullet wounds, we don’t know Brown’s position when the shots were fired.

Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a police officer, sparking protests around the nation, was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, a preliminary private autopsy performed on Sunday found.

One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was

bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury, according to Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, who flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family’s request to conduct the separate autopsy. It was likely the last of bullets to hit him, he said.

Mr. Brown, 18, was also shot four times in the right arm, he said, adding that all the bullets were fired into his front.

The bullets did not appear to have been shot from very close range because no gunpowder was present on his body. However, that determination could change if it turns out that there is gunshot residue on Mr. Brown’s clothing, to which Dr. Baden did not have access.

A friend sent us a link on an interactive map from the NY Times. Entitled “Mapping the Spread of the Military’s Surplus Gear,” the map allows you to rollover counties and cities to see what surplus military equipment was received by the county or city.

Ferguson – Where There Are Very Few Good Guys.

Ferguson-ROHOn Saturday, August 9, 2014 6′ 4″, 300 pound African American Michael Brown was shot and killed in on a street in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. The shooter of Brown was later identified as a six year veteran of the Ferguson Police Department, Officer Darren Wilson.

From everything that has transpired since that shooting over the past ten days, that statement seems to be the only thing that can be agreed upon by everyone.

On Sunday, the day following the shooting, protests and some riots broke out in Ferguson.

We want to be clear that the protestors have every right to express their feelings in a peaceful manner. The rioters and looters – many of whom were from outside of Ferguson – are scum. There is no polite way of putting it. Those who seek to burn and rob those who had nothing to do with the shooting are scum.

On social media, we have seen the worst of both sides of this issue. We saw people calling for the death of all police. We saw people calling the residents of Ferguson – even those who were calling for peace – “animals” and “deserving what they get.”

The police have made several interesting choices in response to this sitution. First, instead of protecting businesses and property, they decided to push back against the protestors to the point of going into residential neighborhoods and tear gassing people standing on their own property. On Wednesday, the police decided to launch tear gas at a news crew from the al Jazeera network. The crew was not blocking the police or interfering with the police at all, but another film crew from KSDK was filming from across the street:

The Al Jazeera crew was setting up to shoot a segment on the ongoing riots in the wake of the police shooting of Michael Brown when police shot a tear gas canister at them. As they tried to avoid the fumes, they were shouting “We’re the press!” repeatedly.

Undeterred, police officers walked over to the crew, disassembled their lighting gear, and pointed their cameras at the ground.

The officers then approached the KSDK crew filming the dismantling of the Al Jazeera America lighting rig with “guns drawn.” Elizabeth Matthews of KDSK said that she and a photojournalist with her put their hands up, while another photojournalist went to his knees as he informed the police that he was with the press.

According to Matthews, the police told her that they had received a call indicating that members of the media were in danger, but she and her crew assured him that they were not, and that they had not made the call. An officer then said, “we don’t want you here — somebody’s going to get hurt. We don’t want to see you guys get hurt.”

How Languages Evolve.

This still doesn’t explain pig Latin or Esperanto. (Just kidding)

Over the course of human history, thousands of languages have developed from what was once a much smaller number. How did we end up with so many? And how do we keep track of them all? Alex Gendler explains how linguists group languages into language families, demonstrating how these linguistic trees give us crucial insights into the past.

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