Jurisdiction Is Everywhere. It Hit Me On The Head.

                                                                          

                                       (Cadet 1/C Michael Shermot, USCG, pictured above.)

Cadet 1/C Michael Shermot, USCG was charged with sexual assault by impairment, meaning the alleged victim was unable to consent. His court-martial was held in Norfolk, Va.

Cadet Shermot was suspended from the corps of cadets on Dec. 29, 2015. He was a member of the wrestling team and a native of Shillington, Pa., according to the academy’s athletics website.

He faces up to 30 years in prison, dismissal from the Coast Guard and total forfeiture of all pay and allowances.

The alleged assault occurred in Westchester, Pa., sometime between Sept. 4 and 5 of 2015, according to Santos, a Coast Guard spokesman.

The Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) became involved in the case after a civil investigation was started by local police in Westchester.

After concerns were made about Cadet Shermot’s military status and some of the witnesses involved in the case, the decision was made to have the Coast Guard take over jurisdiction of the case, said Lt. Cmdr. Rob Stiles, a legal instructor at the academy.

LCDR Stiles was previously the chief of military justice for the Coast Guard Legal Service Command.

Cadet Shermot was been reassigned to the Coast Guard’s yard in Baltimore, Md., while he awaited court-martial. He was assigned work that is comparable to what a lower-grade enlisted member does.

Because the military has much more control over the movements of its members, pretrial confinement is usually not used unless the person is a flight risk or poses an imminent threat, Stiles said.

THERE IS NO JUSTICE IN MILITARY JUSTICE, ONLY PUNISHMENT.

https://www.amazon.com/Court-martial-Webster-Smith-Last-Word-ebook/dp/B01GZL6XR6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) specifically requires active duty personnel to follow all applicable rules of military conduct, whether on or off duty, or on or off base. Furlough, a temporary leave of absence from the military, does not change this Rule.

The UCMJ is federal law and as such, is not enforced by civilian law enforcement. The UCMJ is instead enforced by federal officers and federal military courts. This has practical implications for enforcement, especially because local law enforcement may not be aware of certain proscriptions on military life. Further, local police have no direct legal authority for enforcing breaches of the UCMJ.

Many crimes under the UCMJ such as murder, rape or robbery, are defined the same way as they are in a civilian court. If a solider commits a crime off-base, and is caught by local law enforcement, the solider will still be under the jurisdiction of the UCMJ. The soldier will be tried for their crime in the military courts.

The military justice system also enforces crimes under the UCMJ that are outside the realm of the civilian courts. However, this does not mean that local law enforcement is required to enforce these UCMJ provisions when a soldier is off-base. For example, the UCMJ prohibits certain adulterous conduct by active military members. This means that if an active military member is caught engaging in adulterous conduct, even if they are off-base, they may be still be subject to military law.

If an off-base soldier engages in adulterous conduct, local law enforcement does not have the responsibility of charging the solider with the breach of the UCMJ. Law enforcement may inform the military that the off-base solider breached the UCMJ, however, they are not obligated to. Further, civilian agencies may have jurisdiction over some off-base conduct that they are not required to inform the military of. Domestic violence incidents are an example of this type of conduct.

 The Issue of Personal and Subject Matter Jurisdiction was settled forever by the Supreme Court U.S. Supreme Court

Solorio v. United States, 483 U.S. 435 (1987). It was a COAST GUARD Case.

The case presented the question whether the jurisdiction of a court-martial convened pursuant to the UCMJ to try a member of the Armed Forces depends on the “service-connection” of the offense charged.

It does not, and the decision in O’Callahan v. Parker, 395 U. S. 258 (1969) is overrule!

The petitioner Richard Solorio, USCG was on active duty in the 17th CG Dist, Juneau, Alaska. He sexually abused two young daughters of fellow Coast Guardsmen.

He engaged in this abuse over a 2-year period until he was transferred by the CG Base Governors Island, NY.

He later committed similar sexual abuse offenses while stationed in New York.

He was charged with 14 specifications alleging indecent liberties, lascivious acts, and indecent assault in violation of U.C.M.J., Art. 134, 10 U.S.C. § 934, 6 specifications alleging assault in violation of Art. 128, 10 U.S.C. § 928, and 1 specification alleging attempted rape in violation of Art. 80, 10 U.S.C. § 880. The specifications alleged to have occurred in Alaska included all of the Article 128 and Article 80 specifications and 7 of the Article 134 specifications.

The CO convened a general court-martial to try Solorio.

There is no “base” or “post” where Coast Guard personnel live and work in Juneau.

The offenses were committed in his privately owned home.

The the fathers of the 10-12-year-old victims were active duty members of the CG assigned to the same command as Solorio.

The NY offenses involved daughters of fellow Coasties; they were committed in Government quarters on the Governors Island.

Solorio moved to dismiss the charges for crimes committed in Alaska on the ground that the court lacked jurisdiction.

Ruling that the Alaska offenses were not sufficiently “service-connected” to be tried in the military criminal justice system, the court-martial judge granted the motion to dismiss.

The Government appealed.

The Court of Military Appeals reversed stating that “not every off-base offense against a servicemember’s dependent is service-connected,” but “sex offenses against young children . . . have a continuing effect on the victims and their families, and ultimately on the morale of any military unit or organization to which the family member is assigned.”

The test for jurisdiction . . . is one of status, namely, whether the accused in the court-martial proceeding is a person who can be regarded as falling within the term ‘land and naval Forces.’ . . .”

Military jurisdiction has always been based on the “status” of the accused, rather than on the nature of the offense.

Military courts have identified numerous categories of offenses requiring specialized analysis of the service-connection requirement. For example, the courts have highlighted subtle distinctions among offenses committed on a military base, offenses committed off-base, offenses arising from events occurring both on and off a base, and offenses committed on or near the boundaries of a base, and other jurisdictional factors, such as the status of the victim of the crime, and the results are difficult to reconcile.

 DISSENTING OPINION:

The limitations may not, in the view of the majority, be desirable, but that does not mean they do not exist.

The requirement of service-connection recognized in O’Callahan has a legitimate basis in constitutional language, and a solid historical foundation. It should be applied in this case.

Application of the service-connection requirement of O’Callahan, as further elaborated in Relford v. Commandant, U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, 401 U. S. 355 (1971), demonstrates that petitioner’s Alaska crimes do not have an adequate service-connection to support the exercise of court-martial jurisdiction. Petitioner’s offenses did not detract from the performance of his military duties. He committed these crimes while properly absent from his unit, and there was no connection between his assigned duties and his crimes. Nor did petitioner’s crimes threaten people or areas under military control. The crimes were committed in petitioner’s private home in the civilian community in Juneau, where there is not even a base for Coast Guard personnel. Petitioner’s acts were not likely to go unpunished; the court-martial judge determined that the offenses were of a type traditionally prosecuted by civilian courts, that such courts were available, and that, while the Alaska courts had deferred prosecution in light of the court-martial proceeding, the State had not declined to prosecute the offenses. Nor did the crimes implicate any authority stemming from the war power; they were committed within the territorial United States while the Nation was at peace.

Moreover, the crimes caused no measurable interference with military relationships. Though the victims were dependents of Coast Guard members, the court-martial judge found that there was only de minimis military interaction between petitioner and the fathers of the victims, and that the relationships between petitioner and the families of the victims “were founded primarily upon the ages and activities of the children, and additionally upon common sporting interests, common spousal interest, and employment and neighborly relationships,” rather than the connection of petitioner and the families through the Coast Guard. Because the crimes did not take place in an area within military control or have any effect on petitioner’s military duties, their commission posed no challenge to the maintenance of order in the local command. The military judge found that the Government had not demonstrated any impact of the offenses on “morale, discipline, [or] the reputation or the integrity of the Coast Guard in Juneau.” The only connection between the military and the offenses at issue was the fact that the victims were military dependents. But the military judge found explicitly that the military association of petitioner and the victims’ fathers did not facilitate petitioner’s crimes, and that “[t]he impact apparent in this case, that is, on the parents and the victims themselves, is no different than that which would be produced by civilian perpetrator.”

Categories: Military Justice | Leave a comment

Coast Guard Academy Court-martials Another Cadet

On September 9, 2016 NEWS Channel 8 in Connecticut reported that the U. S. Coast Guard Academy (CGA) was about to court-martial two senior cadets. This marks the first know court-martial of a Coast Guard cadet since 2006 when Cadet Webster Smith became the first CGA cadet to face a court-martial. The charges sound remarkably similar.  Is this another case of “he said” “she said”?

The Webster Smith Case was the subject of two books; Conduct Unbecoming an Officer and Lady, and The case of Cadet Webster Smith, UCGC Vol02, Nr 01-03.

https://www.amazon.com/CONDUCT-UNBECOMING-Officer-Lady-Conviction/dp/1460978021/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

https://www.amazon.com/Webster-Smith-Court-martial-Justice-Dead-ebook/dp/B01H12LGZW/ref=la_B006WQKFJM_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474417649&sr=1-8

The AP is reporting that Cadet 1/C Michael Shermot was sentenced to a year in prison for sexual assault and dismissed from the service after being found guilty at a court-martial.

The Coast Guard says Michael Shermot was sentenced Friday, September 16, by a military judge in Norfolk, Virginia. He was found guilty Thursday, September 15th..

Shermot was a senior at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, when he was charged and suspended from the school in December. Authorities have not disclosed details of the sexual assault.

The Day newspaper of New London reports the assault was reported in West Chester, Pennsylvania, in September of last year. Shermot was charged with sexual assault by impairment, meaning the victim was not able to consent. He’s from Shillington, Pennsylvania.

 

There was a total news blackout for a whole year until last week. This is what was reported.

 

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — A court-martial has been scheduled in Norfolk, Virginia for two Coast Guard cadets who have been accused of sexual assault.

Coast Guard Academy spokesperson David Santos tells News 8 that Cadet Michael Shermot is charged with violation of Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Sexual Assault. Shermot, a native of Shillington, Pa. will appear before a military judge on September 12.

Santos says Shermot’s charge stems from an alleged incident in Westchester, Pa., that occurred sometime between September 4th and 5th of 2015.

 

 

WHO IS MIKE SHERMOT?

Meet your SAAC President, 1/C Mike Shermot. Shermot is a member of the Wrestling team where he finished last season with a record of 21-6. He made it to the NCAA Championships and earned All-Northeast Honors.
He is also the Student Naval Architect and Marine Engineer Vice President. Mike has been wrestling since he was 10 years old and aspires to go to flight school.

Mike says he “loves long walks on the beach, candle lit dinners, and laying down watching shooting stars.”

U.S. Coast Guard Academy Student-Athlete Advisory Committee's photo.

 

U.S. Coast Guard Academy Student-Athlete Advisory Committee's photo.

(Cadet 1/C Mike Shermot, USCGA, above)

A second cadet, Anthony Livingstone of Plainfield, N.J., faces charges of sexual assault, extortion, and conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman. A violation of the Uniform Code of Military   Justice articles 120, 127 and 133.

                            (Cadet 1/C Anthony Livingstone, USCGA, above)

The alleged assault involving Livingstone occurred at the academy in September 2015, according to Santos. His court-martial is scheduled to begin on October 26.

Both Livingstone and Shermot are members of the Coast Guard Academy Class of 2016.

http://wtnh.com/2016/09/09/2-coast-guard-cadets-facing-court-martial-on-sex-assault-allegations/

Two Members of Coast Guard Academy Face Court-Martial
Gavel at rest

NEW LONDON — Two members of the Coast Guard Academy Class of 2016 are facing court-martial proceedings after being charged in separate sexual assault cases.

The cadets are suspended from the corps of cadets following a recommendation by academy Superintendent Rear Adm. James Rendon, while their cases go through the judicial process, according to academy spokesman David Santos.

Michael Shermot is charged with sexual assault by impairment, meaning the alleged victim was unable to consent. His court-martial trial is scheduled to begin on Monday and will be held in Norfolk, Va.

Shermot was suspended from the corps of cadets on Dec. 29, 2015. He was a member of the wrestling team and a native of Shillington, Pa., according to the academy’s athletics website.

Shermot faces up to 30 years in prison, dismissal from the Coast Guard and total forfeiture of all pay and allowances.

The alleged assault occurred in Westchester, Pa., sometime between Sept. 4 and 5 of 2015, according to Santos.

The Coast Guard Investigative Service became involved in the case after a civil investigation was started by local police in Westchester.

After concerns were made about Shermot’s military status and some of the witnesses involved in the case, the decision was made to have the Coast Guard take over jurisdiction of the case, said Lt. Cmdr. Rob Stiles, a legal instructor at the academy.

Stiles was previously the chief of military justice for the Coast Guard Legal Service Command.

Shermot has been reassigned to the Coast Guard’s yard in Baltimore, Md., while he awaits court-martial. He’s been assigned work that is comparable to what a lower-grade enlisted member does.

Because the military has much more control over the movements of its members, pretrial confinement is usually not used unless the person is a flight risk or poses an imminent threat, Stiles said.

Anthony Livingstone is charged with sexual assault by lack of consent, extortion and conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman.

His court-martial trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 26, and also will be held in Norfolk.

Livingstone was suspended from the corps on Dec. 1, 2015. He was a member of the football team and a native of Plainfield, N.J., according to the academy’s athletics website

Livingstone allegedly assaulted another cadet multiple times at the academy in September 2015, according to Stiles. He also allegedly threatened others in an attempt to prevent them from speaking about the alleged incidents and cooperating with law enforcement.

He faces up to 30 years of confinement, disenrollment and total forfeiture of all pay and allowances for the sexual assault charge; up to three years of confinement, disenrollment and total forfeiture of all pay and allowances for the extortion charge; and up to one year confinement and total forfeiture of all pay and allowances for the unbecoming conduct charge.

Santos said information about the cadets being suspended was not made public until now because “we typically release information on a court-martial prior to the convening date.”

Court-martial cases used to occur in New London, but in the last year the Coast Guard has moved most of its prosecutions to Norfolk and Alameda, Calif., where its two largest legal commands are located, in an attempt to create two large concentrated centers of prosecution, Stiles said.

The goal is to develop expert justice practitioners who can more quickly and ably handle prosecutions and sexual assault cases, he said.

In the past prosecutions took place all over the country, which provided challenges from a resource perspective, he said.

( The Day, New London, Conn. | Sep 12, 2016 |

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2016/09/12/two-members-coast-guard-academy-face-court-martial.html

Categories: Military Justice | 1 Comment

The New “I Have A Dream” Speech, Why I Believe In America.

I thought that I would never hear a sweeter refrain than I Have A Dream by Dr Martin Luther King. Then I read “I Believe In America” by Dr Ben Carson.

No one else has articulated better the essence of American Culture and Christian Values than Dr Ben Carson. He makes the case for American Culture and Christian Values better than anyone I have heard to date. His Declaration of Beliefs is a modern classic.

 

Listen to the words.

 

Why I Believe In America.

In a very telling moment, Hillary Clinton maligned me and millions of other Americans as racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamophobic “deplorables.”

I’m so tired of this line of attack that normally taunts conservatives.

Well let me be very specific in my response.

Why I Believe In America.

I believe in expanding opportunity, not welfare; that’s not racist.

I believe every life is worth protecting, particularly the unborn; that doesn’t make me sexist.

I believe marriage is between one man and one woman; that’s not homophobic.

I believe in borders, the rule of law and our sovereign right to decide who to let into our country; that’s not xenophobic.

I believe radical Islam is a mortal threat to America and Western civilization; that is common sense, not Islamophobia.

My nationwide ‘Fight for the Court’ project is about explaining and protecting our Constitutional values. As you can see, they’re under constant assault, and if we allow the Left to institutionalize their vision of a European-style, government-dominated, secular society through our courts, we are going to lose our country for a generation.

If you’re tired of being vilified for believing in the Constitutional, Judeo-Christian values that made America great, please help me send a message by signing up to join me now.

We must use moments like this as opportunities because this is not just name-calling. The Left is using every tool at their disposal to whitewash our history and undercut our institutions.

The difference is that I believe in our nation as it was founded. I believe in “We the People,” but it requires us to constantly reach out, inform, and mobilize conservatives.

There are a lot of challenges before us and a lot of problems to solve. I’ve decided to concentrate on a few. ‘Fight for the Court’ is about protecting our Constitutional values.

Elections every few years are our opportunity to correct course if necessary, but the Supreme Court can be lost for a generation or more.

I ask you to join me by signing up and helping us to continue this fight.

Of the three branches of the federal government, the judiciary branch was supposed to be the weakest.

However, after decades of judicial overreach, the Court has accrued so much power that the opinions of nine unelected judges can dramatically affect the lives of every American.

This means that 2016 is not just about who will sit in the Oval Office. It’s about what kind of justices will be nominated to the Court — and the next President may have to fill two to three seats.

Whether it’s the protection of religious liberty or the 2nd Amendment, the legality of executive amnesty, or the future of school choice, we are facing two very different futures and we must ensure that every American understands the stakes.

Help us keep this issue front and center. Help us fight for the Court.Thank you for your commitment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: American History | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Man Of The Year 2016

articleimg-1

Sep 12, 2016

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s acceptance speech after receiving the “Person of the Year” award [full text in English]

September 7, 2016, Krynica-Zdrój

Good evening, everyone. May I ask your permission to speak my wonderful native Hungarian language?

Allow me to welcome the Prime Minister of Poland, President Kaczyński, the honourable members of the Polish government and representatives from Polish politics and Polish business. I listened to the laudation: if my father were here, he would be proud of me; if my mother were here, she would have believed every word.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When one receives an award, the first thing one must do is look around to see if there was some mistake. It seems that there was no mistake, and this award was indeed intended for me. This is despite the fact that, had you asked me about this, I would have been able to suggest a number of other excellent candidates, as the past few years have signalled the great initial steps of Central Europe finally finding its feet and the beginning of its renaissance. There are some excellent colleagues of mine in the V4 who could have been the person of the year – but without doubt I am the most senior of them, as I have been a Member of Parliament for twenty-six years and have been Prime Minister for a combined total of eleven years. So I gratefully accept the award with the greatest respect.

We must then ask the question: why was the person honoured in this way given the award? I am convinced that while awards are given to individuals, they are, in fact, given in recognition of causes: certain specific causes. And it is in the nature of causes that they can be represented through individuals. We have heard many things just now. I myself have trouble listing all the causes to which I have rallied over the past three decades: national independence, “Soviets, go home”, freedom, finding our way back to the West. But if I consider more carefully exactly why I have been given this award now, and what cause you have acknowledged with this award, I feel you must have acknowledged the cause of Central Europe. I am convinced that the cause which I stand for is that the Central European nations must preserve their identities, their religious and historical national identities. These are not just outdated pieces of clothing that one should discard in the modern era, but armour which protects us, in which we may engage in battle, which helps us to survive, and which may eventually make us successful. Believe me we are on the verge of some great times, and our whole continent is undergoing a process of transformation. The communities which will be successful, survive and be strong are those with strong identities: religious, historical and national identities. This is what I stand for, and this is what I am trying to protect. I regret to say that we must do so from time to time not only against the faithless and our anti-national rivals, but also from time to time we must do so against Europe’s various leading intellectual and political circles. But we have no choice: we must protect our identities – Polish, Hungarian and Central European identities – in the face of everyone; because otherwise there will be no room for us under the sun.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the award I see recognition of this cause. If you will allow me, I would say one other thing as a Hungarian to the Polish people. I am a country boy, and this has protected me from a lot of things in life, and a lot of trouble – but most of all from seeking to make politics unnecessarily complicated. Those who say that politics is about interests, calculation and cunning are right – and there is some truth in this. But let me tell you that politics does not work without friendship – not in your own party, in your own country, or in Central Europe. Polish-Hungarian relations will not be good if there is no friendship behind them, and if there are no personal friendships between the two peoples and the leaders of the two peoples. We Hungarians greatly appreciate friendship, as here in Europe we are an alien nation, without relatives: no one speaks our language, no one can read our literature, no one understands our culture; we are a strange people without relatives. A nation like this can indeed appreciate friendship. This is why, despite all difficulties, the Hungarian people value the Polish people’s friendship more than any of the friendships they have with the nations of the world. So while I appreciate that this award is given in recognition of a good cause, as far as I am concerned and as far as the Hungarian people are concerned, the value of this award is greatly enhanced by the fact that I have received it from the Polish people, and as a token of friendship.

Categories: Hungary | Leave a comment

What Did You Call Me?

What did you call me? Don’t say that to my face! I dare you. I double-dog dare you!!

My Fellow Americans, be careful. Words are powerful, and we are in the midst of a Cultural Revolution in America.

Don’t call him African-American. He is an “American” pure and simple.

He has no contact or connection with Africa.

But, he is thankful to his distant ancestor who survived the kidnapping from Africa and the treacherous trip across the Atlantic thru the Middle Passage African grave yard.

As the last living descendant of that former slave, he has no cultural affinity to the African Continent.

Liberals preach diversity and label him an African-American; but, they do not persist in labeling European descendant as English-Americans or French-Americans or German-Americans, etc. They are simply “Americans”.

So is he; and so are we, who are “We The People”.

We are all Americans, first and foremost.

The Diversity propaganda is Liberal Jibber-jabber designed to divide Americans along racial and ethnic lines. It is divisive.

In “the most honest book to emerge from Africa in a long time” (USA Today), a black American correspondent for the Washington Post reports on the horrors he witnessed in Somalia, Rwanda, South Africa, and other troubled African nations-and reflects on his own identity.

Curious minds may ask why is this the first (and only) African American to admit that he is glad his grandmother made it to America – when he sees the fate of his brothers who are still in Africa????? Most of them would still be kicking a football in a dusty bowl in Ghana!!!!

That is a very good question. I challenge your basic premise that this is the first and only African American to admit that he is glad his grandmother made it to America from Africa. 

I have heard many say it, but they were not quoted. Not many Black Americans are quoted in the main stream media, and most do not write books or have public podiums from which they can shout their opinions on American life and culture.

Many Americans of African descent were raised on a diet of Liberal Left Wing propaganda praising the virtues of diversity, reverence for your “roots” in Africa, and disdain for most things and people who do not lean positively towards Black Culture. 

The English and Spanish Languages teach that most things Black are inherently inferior to white culture. A white Jesus, Santa Claus, Cinderella, and Snow White are praised and worshiped while Black Peter, Martin de Pores, A’int Jamima, and Uncle Ben are ridiculed as stereotypes. 

I am being a bit tongue-in-cheek, of course. I am serious for the most part; and, things had changed in America for the better before 2008. Then the Divider -In-Chief started organizing us into competing groups of “special interests”. This is not a new book, and probably not a best seller; but its message is timely. It is being popularized by Doctor Michael Savage, the well known talk show host.

By Keith B. Richburg: Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa

amazon.com.

Paperback, 266 pages

Published July 1st 1998 by Mariner Books (first published February 5th 1997)

Original Title

Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa

ISBN

0156005832 (ISBN13: 9780156005838)

Edition Language

English

Categories: American History | Leave a comment

Csikós, Hungarian Horsemen of the Puszta

Hungarian Horsemen of the Puszta are Hungary’s answer to cowboys. The traditional costume, shown above, is usually worn on ceremonial occasions.

The skills of Hungary’s whip-cracking horsemen have their roots in the tribes of Central Asia, and a history of herding and banditry.

The Hungarian, also called Magyars, are a blend of northern, eastern, and alpine characteristics, with a few Turkic-Mongolian traces. This unusual mix can be seen in the Hungarian people’s distinctive facial features and language.

The Hungarian language is classified in the Finnish-Ugic Group, and contains traces of German, Turkic and Slavic. It is a most difficult language to learn.

The great grassland plains that sweep out of eastern Hungary are home to an array of unusual animals and farming practices. Flamboyant csikos horsemen are the region’s cowboys, famed for their horseback tricks.

The csikós are the mounted horse-herdsmen of Hungary. The csikós tradition is closely associated with the Hungarian puszta, in recent times particularly in the environs of Debrecen and Hortobágy National Park. It is also closely linked to the Nonius breed of horse, for which one of the two principal breeding centres is the Máta Stud, some 3 kilometres from Hortobágy.

There are free-living herds of rare Przewalski’s horses and wild asses.

Jurassic Park-style scientific back-breeding has also brought back herds of massive-horned auroch cattle

Ancient predators, including wolves, wild cats and jackals, which once roamed the plains, now stalk these spacious enclosures.

There are also aviaries holding eagles, vultures and, oddly, pelicans.

Horses were trained to lie flat in the grass to make them “disappear” in exposed country while riders’ saddles were designed for quick getaways.

 Stock herders and csikos horsemen — Hungary’s answer to cowboys — oversee breeds of curly-haired pig and scimitar-horned cattle.

The most spectacular of these “Wild East” cowboys skills is more modern and involves standing on the backs of two galloping horses while controlling another three thundering along in front.

At the heart of the largest natural grassland in Europe lies the Hortobagy National Park — a stunning slice of rural Hungary that’s home to a strange array of beasts.

The park, 800 square kilometers of pastures, marshes and bird-filled meadows, was awarded World Heritage status in 1999, and is managed by centuries-old farming practices.

To visit the puszta — loosely translated as “barren land” but actually 250 acres of rich, fenced-in pasture — is to take a trip several thousand years into the past.

The puszta teems with prehistoric beasts that, long before the arrival of man, roamed central Europe’s grasslands and beyond.

Categories: Adventure Travel | Leave a comment

Rio 2016

American shooter Ginny Thrasher took home Team USA’s first gold medal in the Olympics on Saturday, August 6, 2016.

In an interview following her victory in Rio, the 19-year-old said she wouldn’t be celebrating yet. “I have to go refocus for my next match,” the teen gold medalist said, adding that she shoots again on Aug. 11.

“After I shoot that match, I’ll be going back, straight to classes for my sophomore year,” the Springfield, Virginia, native, who attends West Virginia University, said. “They start the day after I get back.”
Thrasher beat out China’s Du Li and Yi Siling, who took home silver and bronze respectively, in the women’s 10-meter air rifle, to win the first gold medal for Team USA in Rio.
“It’s a sport of precision,” Thrasher said of shooting. She described shooting for a perfect score, which would require hitting a target that is as small as the period at the end of this sentence.
(Read more: http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/hillary-wont-congratul…/…)

The 8th of August was an eventful day of ups and downs for the Hungarian Team. Katinka Hosszú won her second Olympic gold medal in 100 m backstroke and got into the final of 200 m medley with the 2nd best time. Tamás Kenderesi got into the final of 200 m butterfly with the best time, while László Cseh did the same with the 3rd best time. Judoists Miklós Ungvári and Hedvig Karakas finished in the 5th and 7th place on the repechage. Péter Sidi finished in the 5th place in men’s rifle shooting, boxer Zoltán Harcsa made it into the best 16, while fencer Anna Márton dropped out among the best 16. We can now firmly state that Katinka Hosszú is truly in her best shape ever. She won her second gold medal in 100 m backstroke, which is not her main event. This was much more surprising, thus touching as well. She was only in the 6th place after 50 metres, but what she did on the second 50 metres was incredible. She swam powerfully and easily at the same time. The whole world is blown away by her. Her husband and trainer, Shane Tusup wrote a love-felt letter to her after her first gold medal. Anyone who was afraid that he is too hard on Katinka can tell how much he adores her.

Read more at: http://dailynewshungary.com/day-3-rio2016-iron-lady-strikes/

The 8th of August was an eventful day of ups and downs for the Hungarian Team. Katinka Hosszú won her second Olympic gold medal in 100 m backstroke and got into the final of 200 m medley with the 2nd best time. Tamás Kenderesi got into the final of 200 m butterfly with the best time, while László Cseh did the same with the 3rd best time. Judoists Miklós Ungvári and Hedvig Karakas finished in the 5th and 7th place on the repechage. Péter Sidi finished in the 5th place in men’s rifle shooting, boxer Zoltán Harcsa made it into the best 16, while fencer Anna Márton dropped out among the best 16. We can now firmly state that Katinka Hosszú is truly in her best shape ever. She won her second gold medal in 100 m backstroke, which is not her main event. This was much more surprising, thus touching as well. She was only in the 6th place after 50 metres, but what she did on the second 50 metres was incredible. She swam powerfully and easily at the same time. The whole world is blown away by her. Her husband and trainer, Shane Tusup wrote a love-felt letter to her after her first gold medal. Anyone who was afraid that he is too hard on Katinka can tell how much he adores her.

Read more at: http://dailynewshungary.com/day-3-rio2016-iron-lady-strikes/

 

Katinka Hosszú  took home Hungary’s 3rd Gold Medal after winning the women’s Olympic 100 meters backstroke in the swimming competition at Rio 2016. It was a 2nd Gold Medal for Hosszú, the self-styled ‘Iron Lady’ of swimming, after her world record-breaking victory in the 400 individual medley two days earlier.

“It’s really cool, I can’t believe I’ve won the 100 back,” the 27-year-old said. “I know I’ve done the 100 back in the 400IM a million times and the goal was to make it like second nature when I came to Rio, which is how it felt. “This time I was fresh and in great shape. I just focused on the execution and was not worrying about where I came,” she added.

Hosszu, who  also swam in the 200 backstroke, butterfly and medley. She had come away empty-handed from three previous Olympic Games, despite winning five world championship titles.

Not only beautiful, but also talented, Hungarian women at the 2016 Rio Olympics are attracting girl-watchers from the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema into the Olympic Village.

Some of the most beautiful women in the Olympic Village come from Hungary. There are many beautiful girl on Copacabana Beach and Ipanema Beach. But the wholesome, healthy girls from Hungary are in another realm. They not only turn heads; they break necks. Here are just a few.

                                                             (Zsuzsanna Jakabas)

                                                                      (Zofia Foldhazi)

                                                                    (Villos Koromos)

                                                             (Bogi Kapas)

                                                   (Hedvig Karakas)

                                                                   (Edina Gangl)

                                                                          (Katika Hosszu)

http://dailynewshungary.com/rio2016-beautiful-hungarian-sportswomen/

                              

Ipanema is an affluent neighbourhood located in the South Zone of the city of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), between Leblon and Arpoador.

The beach at Ipanema became widely known by the song “The Girl from Ipanema” (“Garota de Ipanema”).

Ipanema is adjacent to Copacabana and Leblon Beach, but it is distinct from its neighbour. Ipanema is one of the most expensive places to live in Rio with world-class restaurants, shops, and cafes.

At the forefront of its beach culture are the many surfers and sun worshipers who socialise daily at the beach. 

                                     

 Ipanema has played a role in the culture of Rio de Janeiro since its beginning, with its own universities, art galleries, theaters and cafes. 

                                     

 It holds a street parade, the Banda de Ipanema, during Carnival festivities, separate from those of Rio de Janeiro, attracting up to 50,000 people to the streets of Ipanema.

                                     

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Decisions From Social Security Judges Often Have Frequent, Serious and Ignored Deficiencies, Appeals Court Says

7th Circuit judge reverses benefits denial,  and chastises Social Security process.

Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner had harsh words for the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of Disability Adjudication And Review (ODAR) regarding Vocational Expert (VE) Testimony: clean up your act.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the denial of Anne Hill’s application for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB)  and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), finding the Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) credibility analysis was flawed.

Ms. Hill, 56, worked for more than 13 years at a steel factory where she had to carry steel sheets weighing up to 100 pounds. The manual labor took a toll on her body and she applied for disability benefits in 2011. Her physical issues included total hip replacement, knee pain, recommended total shoulder replacement, and severe physical limitations in the use of her left side.

Her daily activities included babysitting, but she was unable to lift the child, did chores and went to church, but was unable to sit or stand for long periods of time.

The VE in her case testified that she could work at jobs classified as light and unskilled, such as dealer account investigator or a counter clerk. The VE, using his own experience to opine on how Ms Hill’s issues with her left side would impact her ability to work, testified she could still perform sedentary jobs such as a registration clerk.

https://www.amazon.com/socialNsecurity-Confessions-Social-Security-Judge/dp/1449569757?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

Using the five-step analysis for assessing disability, the ALJ concluded Hill was not disabled. The ALJ noted that Hill was not taking narcotic pain relievers, but Hill had testified that was because of her past alcohol addiction.  The judge reasoned Hill exaggerated her back pain because she hadn’t been diagnosed with certain conditions, but that conclusion is not supported by any medical evidence in the record.

“We are not confident that the ALJ would have reached the same conclusion about Hill’s credibility had the ALJ not inappropriately ‘played doctor,’ ignored possible explanations for Hill’s conservative treatment, and conflated a desire to work with the ability to do so. So the ALJ’s errors are not harmless,” Judge Anne Claire Williams wrote.

Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Posner wrote a concurring opinion in which he focused on “a persistent, serious and often ignored deficiency in opinions by the Administrative Law Judges of the Social Security Administration” in denying benefits.

He noted the issues regarding VE testimony concerning the number and types of jobs that an applicant deemed not to be totally disabled could perform.  It appears the VEs simply divide census data estimates on the number of jobs in a broad category that includes the narrow category of jobs that the applicant can perform, by the total number of narrow categories in the broad category.

The assumption is thus that every narrow category has the same number of jobs as every other narrow category within the broad category – a preposterous assumption, Posner wrote.

“In short, the vocational expert’s testimony was worthless – and this apart from the apparent arbitrariness of his numerology,” he continued. “It is time the Social Security Disability Office cleaned up its act.”

The case is Anne R. Hill v. Carolyn W. Colvin, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, 15-1230.

(By Jennifer Nelson)

Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Posner in his concurring opinion made the point that he has noticed “a persistent, serious and often ignored deficiency in opinions by the Administrative Law Judges of the Social Security Administration” in denying benefits.

He stated that as fact. He did not offer or solicit any possible explanation for that fact. I submit that there is a probable easily explained reason for that fact. It is systemic. It could be remedied but at considerable expense. The SSA could hire only lawyers from the best law schools and pay them three times what the para-legal writers are receiving today. If only lawyers were writing SSA disability affirmations and the case load were reduced to a reasonable level, there would be a noticeable improvement in the quality of the denial decisions.

The hard truth is that SSA ALJs do not write their own decisions. They hold hearings and decide whether to pay or not to pay the claim. The decision is written by a staff writer who may not be a lawyer. The writers are often simply para-legal low level Government wage grade employees. Many para-legals have only completed a six month course at a junior college and received a para-legal certificate. Then through nepotism, favoritism, or affirmative action and luck they may find themselves at a Federal Agency writing Federal Court Decisions.

These writers do not have law degrees, but they are familiar with the SSA Regulations that pertain to disability evaluation. They simply choose which of the standard paragraphs in the SSA computer responds to each of the claimant’s allegations of symptoms and puts them into the decision. All of the parts of the decision are already written and are stored in the SSA computer.

Categories: Social Security Cases | 1 Comment

The Social Security Administration Must Follow Its Own Regulations

7th Circuit orders disability case back to administrative law judge

Because the Social Security Administration (SSA) Appeals Council (AC) did not consider new evidence when it was presented – despite its own regulations requiring it to do so – the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals sent a disability insurance benefits case back to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for further proceedings.

At the time of the hearing on Angela Farrell’s application for disability benefits, she was married with two children and extremely overweight. She suffered from multiple issues, including anxiety, insomnia, fibromyalgia, and plantar fasciitis. Her initial application was denied, but the Appeals Council remanded her case for reconsideration. On remand, the ALJ again ruled against her, in part because of Farrell’s failure to establish definitively that she suffered from fibromyalgia.

This time, the AC affirmed the ALJ’s decision, despite new evidence before the AC that confirmed Farrell’s fibromyalgia. The District Court also affirmed.

In addition to finding the Appeals Council didn’t follow its own regulations that require it to consider “new and material evidence,” the 7th Circuit found several other aspects of the ALJ’s decision independently require correction, including that the ALJ “failed to grapple properly with the competing medical opinions” in considering Farrell’s application.

Her Treating Physician (TP), Dr. Sarah Beyer, recorded Farrell suffered from several conditions and alluded to the possibility of Farrell suffering from fibromyalgia.

The other Consultative Examining (CE) Physicians who reviewed Farrell’s file as part of the application evaluation process believe that Farrell only had “moderate difficulties” or “mild restrictions on Average Daily Activity Level (ADL).” One doctor testified there was no evidence of a confirmed diagnosis of fibromyalgia or anything that would give rise to arthritic pain.

The 7th Circuit concluded in Angela M. Farrell v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, 11-3589,  that the ALJ’s residual functional capacity determination for Farrell improperly discounted the Treating Physician, Dr. Beyer’s medical opinions and that the RFC determination was based on an incomplete assessment of the record.

The judges sent the case back to the ALJ for further proceedings. REMANDED back to SSA ALJ.

This is the Case of  Angela M. Farrell v. Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, 11-3589.

Categories: Social Security Benefits | Leave a comment

SSA Claimant Is Disabled and Cannot Work If There Are No Jobs Available

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The Commissioner  the Social Security Administration (SSA) has established a five step sequential evaluation process for determining whether a person is disabled.

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  1. First, it is determined whether the person is engaging in substantial gainful employment (SGA). Is he/she working? If so disability benefits are denied.
  1. Second, if the person is not so engaged, it is determined whether the person has a medically severe impairment or combination of impairments. If the person does not have a medically determinable impairment or combination of impairments, benefits are denied.
  1. Third, if the person has a severe impairment, it is determined whether the impairment meets or equals one of a number of “listed impairments”. If the impairment meets or equals a “Listed Impairment”, the person is conclusively presumed to be disabled.
  1. Fourth, if the impairment does not meet or equal a “Listed Impairment”, it is determined whether the impairment prevents the person from performing Past Relevant Work (PRW). If the person can perform PRW, benefits are denied.
  1. Fifth, if the person cannot perform PRW, the burden of proof shifts to the Commissioner of Social Security to show/prove that the person is able to perform any other kind of work.

The person is entitled to disability benefits only if he is unable to perform other work. (20 CFR Sec. 404.1520; Bowens v. Yuckert, 482 US 137, 140-142 (1987).

Step 4 explores a person’s ability to perform work you have done in the past 15 years, despite their physical or mental impairments. 

 It does not matter at Step 4 if the claimant’s former employer would not hire them, or if the place where the person worked is no longer in business, or if all those jobs are now done in China.

 If the Social Security Administration finds that the claimant can still perform his past relevant work, benefits are denied. The process proceeds to the 5th and final step.

Step 5 determines what other work, if any, a person can perform.

The claimant has the burden of proof and the burden of going forward with the evidence at Steps 1 through 4.

At Step 5 the Burden of Proof shifts to the Commissioner of Social Security to prove that there is other work that the claimant can do despite mental and physical limitations.

The Social Security Administration considers the claimant’s age, education, work experience and physical/mental condition to make this determination.

The  ALJ can use Medical-Vocational guidelines or “grids,” found at 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2, at the fifth step of the disability determination after the claimant has been found not to meet the requirements of a listed impairment, but found nevertheless incapable of performing past relevant work.

The ALJ will determine what the claimant’s Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) is. That means, considering all of his/her limitations what is the claimant still capable of doing in the workplace? What is the heaviest weight he/she can lift? How long can he/she stand without a break? How long can he/she sit without a break? What level of manual dexterity is he/she capable of?

VOCATIONAL EXPERTS (VE)

A Vocational Expert witness (VE) may be called to testify to determine his/her vocational profile and whether their skills are transferrable based on the Medical-Vocational Grid (20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 2). The VE will classify the claimant’s past relevant work according to the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT). The VE will also give an opinion concerning whether there are there a significant number of jobs available in the local or national economy that he/she could apply for? A claimant cannot work if there are no jobs or a significant number of jobs available.

Vocational expert means a vocational professional who has the qualifications required by the Commissioner of SSA. The VE provides expertise to the ALJ at the hearing.

Consider this recent case where the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected denial of disabled woman’s benefits.

                     Heather Browning v. Carolyn W. Colvin, 13-3836.

Finding repeated fault with the Social Security Administration (SSA) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who denied a Chandler woman Social Security disability payments, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case back to the SSA.

Heather Browning claimed she was intellectually and physically disabled. She has an IQ of 68 and suffers from a disease that limits the movement of her left leg.

The 7th Circuit faulted the ALJ for concluding Browning’s IQ score was invalid and that she actually had higher mental faculties because she was assessed as being sarcastic.

“The administrative law judge thought the fact that the plaintiff goes to ‘bars and clubs,’ does some cooking and shopping, helps care for a pet, watches television, and ‘only takes over-the-counter pain medications,’ showed that she can do at least sedentary work,” Judge Richard Posner wrote in Heather Browning v. Carolyn W. Colvin, 13-3836.

“He suggested (probably on the basis of her not using prescription painkillers) that she had outgrown the effects of the Legg-Calve-Perthes disease that she had had as a child and that her current problems with her left leg were the result of her obesity. (But so what? The issue is the disabling effect of those problems.)”

The appellate court asserted the administrative law judge committed an error by instructing the Vocation Expert (VE) to assume Browning could perform sedentary work.

Pointing to O’Connor-Spinner v. Astrue, 627 F.3d 614, 620 (7th Cir. 2010), Judge Posner wrote the VE could not determine Browning’s ability to work because the judge would not let her consider several of the claimant’s limitations.

Also, the 7th Circuit questioned how many jobs would be available in Chandler for Browning and noted the judge’s conclusion that Browning could work as a “hand packer” is not a job that exists in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Occupational Titles.

This was the Case of Heather Browning v. Carolyn W. Colvin, 13-3836.

(By Marilyn Odendahl)

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