640px-Coat_of_arms_of_Senegal.svg900px-Flag_of_Senegal.svgWe have been watching with alarm as African nations pass more draconian anti-homosexual laws. Senegal has added its name to his ignoble list. President Yahya Jammeh signed a new law that establishes life imprisonment for some homosexual acts. Jammeh is a vehemently and vocal anti-gay leader who told gays and lesbians in 2008 to leave the country or risk decapitation. Five women have now been arrested as accused lesbians in what human rights groups are calling a national campaign of terror and torture by the police.

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La_monstrua_desnuda_(1680),_de_Juan_Carreño_de_Miranda.We have often discussed obesity rates in the world on this blog and their causes. However, a new report makes an interesting finding. First, not too surprising, it says that Americans are fatter than we previously thought. Second, and more surprising, the reason for the underreporting is that people think or say that they are taller than they are. The study findings were presented by researcher Zachary Ward of the Harvard School of Public Health.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

220px-Minke_Whale_(NOAA)Icelandic news source IceNews reports that the governments of Japan and Iceland are negotiating a trade agreement that also would include exports to Japan of whaling products. The agreement will certainly attract much attention from the environmental groups, and NGOs world-wide.

Japan does however have both cultural and culinary appetites for whale meat and will go to lengths to obtain these products which are a valuable commodity in Japan. A new trade agreement with Iceland could provide a means for sources that would have otherwise become increasingly restricted by International actions

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What Are You Thankful For


Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

Although I am a few days early, I wanted to wish all RIL readers a Happy Thanksgiving.  I would guess that most of us have many things to be thankful for at this time.  I am thankful for my wife of 40 years and my four kids and their spouses and significant others, and of course, my 3 beautiful grandchildren.  And I am thankful that we all have our health.  I am also thankful that my 91-year-old mother is still with me and my 4 siblings.

While our family has had its ups and downs, we always seem to pull together to solve the problems and issues facing us.  I am glad that many of us will be together at Thanksgiving to share one of the best family times of the year.

At this time of the year, many of us have many things to be thankful for.  I thought it might be a good idea to offer the chance for our readers to tell us what they are thankful for.

Let’s hear what you and your family are thankful for during this holiday season.  What can it hurt?  Happy Thanksgiving!


” The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.”

Foreclosure Fraud?


Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor

Since the Great Recession officially started in December of 2007, millions of people have lost their homes to foreclosures.  It turns out that many of those foreclosures may have been fraudulent or in violation of foreclosure laws. According to the Southern Essex County, Massachusetts Register of Deeds, John O’Brien, a forensic audit of his recording files suggests that at least 75% of the mortgage assignments were invalid.

“My registry is a crime scene as evidenced by this forensic examination. The Audit makes the finding that this was not only a MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) problem, but a scheme also perpetuated by MERS shareholder banks such Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan and others. I am stunned and appalled by the fact that America’s biggest banks have played fast and loose with people’s biggest asset – their homes. This is disgusting, and this is criminal.” Nation of Change Continue Reading »

Dawn on Billy Goat Trail

IMG_1719I did my dawn hike on the Billy Goat this morning but started out with wildlife coming to me. I try to quietly sneak out before 6 am in the morning, but Luna was barking like crazy. When I opened the front door, I found myself face to face with a large deer from the nearby forest. At 32 degrees, I was tempted to just take a picture and stay home. But I am glad I didn’t because it was an amazing morning on the trail.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

medical symbolA startling criminal case out of Germany could be reminiscent of Britain’s Harold Shipman case.

Prosecutors in the German State of Lower Saxony accuse a former nurse, identified only as Nils “H.” pursuant to German privacy laws, of killing one patient and the attempt of two others. He is also being investigated for possible involvement in over one hundred and fifty suspicious deaths occurring during his practice.

According to prosecutors his motive for committing such crimes was boredom.

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