California has a huge state debt and Washington has a huge national debt. But that does not discourage either Governor Jerry Brown or President Barack Obama from wanting to launch a very costly high-speed rail system.  
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has pledged to work for Puerto Rican statehood if the voters on the island commonwealth approve of it. Whether that will happen before or after Americans gain statehood for their settlement on the moon is uncertain. The former Speaker has said that has said that once the lunar colony he envisions reaches a population of 13,000, those residents will be eligible to petition for statehood. Since Puerto Rico has a population of nearly 4 million, perhaps the residents there should consider subdividing the island and petitioning for the entry of 333 new states. That at least would provide new employment for flag-makers, which could be called an economic stimulus.  
Elliot Fineman, CEO of the National Gun Victims Action Council (NGAC) announced last Monday that its members will boycott Starbucks starting on St. Valentine’s Day to protest the company’s resistance to demands that they cease serving customers who may be carrying weapons, open or concealed. Its purpose, according to Fineman, is “to eliminate the risk of guns in public places and ultimately to bring sane gun laws to the U.S.” Fineman claims that his group is “a network of 14 million gun victims” and that his boycott is being supported by the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, the United Church of Christ, the Fellowship of Reconciliation along with other secular groups that also support the anti-gun movement. Fineman said:  
Disgraced New York City teacher Alan Rosenfeld has been banished from the classroom for more than a decade, yet still receives an annual salary of $100,049 along with a bulky package of benefits, including health insurance, a generous pension, and vacation and sick pay. Deemed a danger to students, the 66-year-old teacher was accused in 2001 of making vulgar comments and inappropriately gawking at eighth-grade female students in a Queens public school.  
There are four Republican candidates left standing in the GOP’s presidential primary contest: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum.  But to listen to most of talk radio and Fox News — i.e. the so-called “conservative” media — you would think that Ron Paul had withdrawn from the race, if he was ever in it at all.   
Greece’s Finance Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, rejected the German idea of imposing a eurozone “overseer” as part of the agreement to keep bailout funds flowing to his country.  
As the Obama administration prepares to present a budget to Congress that includes $487 billion in military cuts over the next 10 years, some experts are warning that the downsized defense that is planned could severely jeopardize the nation’s security posture. As reported by the Associated Press, the projected military cuts announced by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta January 26 would include slashing combat brigades from 45 to as low as 32, and shrinking Army ground forces by at least 80,000 soldiers and the Marines by about 20,000 over the next five years.  
A coordinated effort to increase the United Nations’ role in the fields of mental health and substance abuse is now underway, with experts, national governments, and global bureaucracies lobbying for the UN World Health Organization (WHO) to get more involved. Critics of the schemes, however, blasted the notion of a global mental-health regime.  
Some time ago I received a letter from England that was written by an intelligent, accomplished and motivated adult who had a “reading problem.” He had been taught to read by the look-say method and exhibited the usual symptoms of dyslexia, and he wanted to know how to cure his disability.  
The Western-backed overthrow of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi likely provided huge stocks of heavy weapons to terrorist groups and criminal organizations operating in the Sahel region of North Africa, the United Nations confirmed January 26 in a report. Among the groups benefiting from the arms are al-Qaeda and the deadly Islamic terror organization Boko Haram, which is currently on a killing spree in Nigeria.  
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