Wednesday, April 18, 2012

More military personnel might have been involved in misconduct before Obama’s trip

Obama addresses Secret Service allegations (1:39)

Apr. 16, 2012 - President Obama, making his first remarks about allegations that Secret Service agents hired prostitutes, said he'll be angry if they are proven true by an investigation. The agency sent 11 agents home, placing them on leave for misconduct.

By and , Published: April 16 | Updated: Tuesday, April 17, 8:48 AM Investigators have determined that as many as 20 U.S. Secret Service and military personnel might have been involved in the hotel misconduct in Cartagena, Colombia, as the scandal that erupted during President Obama’s trip to the country last week put high-level officials on the defensive.
A preliminary investigation by the Defense Department, which included a review of video from hotel security cameras, found that nine military personnel were possibly involved in the carousing at the center of the probe, congressional sources familiar with the probe said. Already, 11 Secret Service agents have been placed on leave amid allegations they entertained prostitutes, potentially one of the most serious lapses at the organization in years.
Two of the Secret Service personnel are paid at one of the higher levels of the federal pay scale, meaning they are senior officials potentially in supervisory positions, according to a congressional official with knowledge of the investigation.
The accusations are triggering scrutiny of the culture of the Secret Service — where married agents have been heard to joke during aircraft takeoff that their motto is “wheels up, rings off” — and raising new questions at both the agency and the Pentagon about institutional oversight at the highest levels of the president’s security apparatus.
“We are embarrassed,” Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters in a briefing at the Pentagon. “We let the boss down, because nobody is talking about what went down in Colombia other than this incident.”
At the same time, details emerged about the night of partying Wednesday that led to the scandal. People in Cartagena familiar with the matter said that some of the Secret Service agents paid $60 apiece to owners of the Pleyclub, a strip club in an industrial section of Cartagena, to bring at least two of the women back to the Hotel Caribe, where Obama’s advance team was staying.
The following morning, one of the women demanded an additional payment of $170, setting off a dispute with an agent that drew the attention of the hotel, the Cartagena sources said.
According to the Pleyclub’s registry at the local chamber of commerce, one of the club’s owners is named Michael Adam Hardy, whom chamber officials described as either American or Canadian.
On Monday, the Secret Service moved to revoke the top-secret security clearances of all 11 men from the agency who are under investigation, spokesman Edwin Donovan said.
The revocation of such clearances is not uncommon, he emphasized, and security clearances can be reinstated after internal investigations are complete, depending on the findings.
In a letter to all agency employees, Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan stressed that it is “imperative . . . to always act both personally and professionally in a manner that recognizes the seriousness and consequence of our mission.”
Sullivan promised a “thorough and fair” investigation and concluded by saying that “in the wake of this embarrassing incident, it is my hope that each of us will be steadfast in our efforts to ensure that our performance and behavior mirror the oath we have sworn to uphold.”
The Secret Service personnel under suspicion include a mix of special agents who provide personal protection for the president and uniformed officers who perform building security and logistical support. They were part of a U.S. advance team of up to 200 people sent ahead to prepare for Obama’s arrival.
After the allegations of misconduct came to light Thursday, when hotel staff notified the U.S. Embassy, the service removed the 11 agents and replaced them with a new team. In addition, the military confined five of its personnel to their rooms at the hotel, pending the investigation. Military officials did not say how many more of its personnel might now be suspected of participating in the alleged misconduct.
Prostitution, legal and regulated, is a booming business in the Caribbean tourist hub of Cartagena, a city of about 1 million inhabitants that is famous for its Spanish colonial heart and a modern stretch of Miami-style high-rises. As a byproduct of its lure of cruise ships and conventioneers, Cartagena draws prostitutes from both the city’s poor and upper-class echelons — as well as from different cities around the country.
Before the summit, the government of President Juan Manuel Santos asked the city health department for an action plan outlining disease prevention efforts with prostitutes ahead of the gathering of 30 hemispheric leaders.
Officials at Cartagena’s health department said that there are about 80 streetwalkers in the city’s colonial district, which features bountiful nightclubs, boutique hotels and elegant restaurants. Another 550 women, who will spend the night with a client for about $250, are estimated to be available at 15 nightclubs, officials said.
The Pleyclub touts its services by distributing small, glossy advertisements featuring nearly naked women to taxi drivers who drive visitors around town. The ads, in Spanish, promise: “We’re the best good time in the city.”
Inside the Pleyclub, there is a stage with two poles and a glass-enclosed shower in which women perform strip shows.
Several hotel workers said some of the Secret Service agents spoke good Spanish.
The Hotel Caribe, like most hotels in Cartagena, permits overnight visitors to join hotel guests. But there are rules: Young women brought for the night must come after 11 p.m.; cannot spend time in public areas, such as the lobby; must present identification to prove they are adults; and must leave by 6 a.m., two hotel employees said. The hotel also levies a $60 surcharge for each overnight visitor, said the employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for the management.
Hotel management declined to comment about the incident, saying that it must protect the privacy of its guests.
Even though Secret Service officials have said Obama’s security was not compromised, lawmakers who oversee the agency have grown increasingly outraged as new allegations surface.
“I find this to be so appalling,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “I can’t help but think, what if the women involved had been spies?. . . It’s such a breach of trust, and it’s virtually unbelievable. I’m truly shocked.”

Staff writers Rosalind S. Helderman, Ed O’Keefe, Jason Ukman and Craig Whitlock and special correspondent Juan Forero contributed to this report. Wilson and Forero reported from Cartagena.

Inquiry points to wider Secret Service scandal involving as many as 21 women

Video: A scandal involving prostitutes and Secret Service agents widened Saturday when the U.S. military confirmed that five service members staying at the same hotel in Colombia may have been involved in misconduct as well.

By and , Published: April 17

Investigators believe that as many as 21 women were brought by U.S. Secret Service and military personnel to the Hotel Caribe in Cartagena, Colombia, last week during a night of carousing, a dramatic increase in the number of women previously disclosed by government officials.
Officials said 11 Secret Service and 10 military personnel are suspected of misconduct that took place before President Obama arrived in Colombia for an economic summit. Initial reports suggested that the military personnel, some of whom were confined to their rooms after the scandal broke, had violated curfew, while the Secret Service members had engaged with the women, who were allegedly working as prostitutes.
But Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said Tuesday that Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan told her that the preliminary investigation has determined that 20 or 21 women were brought to the hotel last Wednesday night. Agency investigators in Cartagena have obtained copies of the women’s identification cards, which they were required to present at the hotel, and are attempting to interview some of the women, said Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), head of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
King said investigators have determined that none of the women were minors.
In a statement, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said that Sullivan briefed Collins on the investigation “and advised her that 21 U.S. personnel were involved, to include 11 Secret Service personnel. The allegations involved misconduct with women. The exact number of individuals beyond the U.S. personnel is still under investigation.”
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.
At his daily briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama has “confidence” in Sullivan’s leadership of the Secret Service and is awaiting the results of an internal investigation.
“Sullivan acted quickly in response to this incident, and he’s overseeing an investigation as we speak,” Carney said. “This incident needs to be investigated, and it is being investigated. We need to see what the investigation reveals. We’re not going to speculate about the conclusions it might reach.”
Collins, the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said Sullivan told her that “the most important quality for a Secret Service officer is character. If the facts prove to be as reported on this, this is an incredible lack of character and breach of security, and potentially extremely serious.”
The Secret Service has revoked the top-secret security clearances of the 11 men under investigation and placed them on administrative leave. The men have also turned in their agency BlackBerrys, said King, who said the men did not have any sensitive documents in their hotel rooms. He added that some of the men said they did not know that the women were prostitutes.
“Even if they weren’t prostitutes, it’s not right to bring foreigners back to their rooms,” King said. “It would probably be safer if they were prostitutes because then we would know who they were working for.”
Two of the Secret Service personnel are senior agents paid at the higher levels of the government’s pay scale, according to congressional officials with knowledge of the investigation.
The two agents, whom one official referred to as “GS-14s,” are near the top of the General Schedule, the compensation system for federal employees. Depending on where the agents are based and other factors, they could earn $110,000 or more annually. Two people with knowledge of the investigation described the men as supervisors.
Meanwhile, the military is continuing its own investigation of last Wednesday’s incident.
An Air Force colonel and a military lawyer assigned to lead the inquiry arrived in Colombia on Monday, the same day the military personnel involved flew back to Florida. They include two Marine dog-handlers, five Army Special Forces members, two Navy explosive-ordnance experts and one Air Force member, an official said.
The personnel have since returned to their home bases, and investigators will contact them by phone or in person, according to Col. Scott Malcom, a spokesman for the U.S. Southern Command.
“The investigating officer is keenly aware of the high level of interest in this case and the concomitant need for speed,” Malcom said in an e-mail. “However, he also is instructed to conduct a fair, thorough and complete investigation.”
The military will not set a deadline to finish the inquiry, which will provide recommendations to top commanders on how to proceed, Malcom said.
Prostitution is legal and regulated in Colombia. But U.S. government agencies have varying restrictions governing the solicitation of prostitutes.
The State Department, which aims to eliminate human trafficking, specifically forbids all Foreign Service employees and contractors from engaging prostitutes, even in countries where it is legal.
In June 2008, the agency sent a cable reminding its workers that “irrespective of whether prostitution is legal in the host country, employees should not in any way abet sex trafficking or solicit people in prostitution. DOS employees who engage in this conduct are subject to discipline.”
The rules at the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service, are more vague. According to the regulations, employees are prohibited from engaging in any “criminal, infamous, dishonest, immoral, or notoriously disgraceful conduct, or other conduct prejudicial to the government,” an official said.
A military spokesman said soliciting a prostitute could result in a year of confinement, dishonorable discharge, and loss of pay and benefits.
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said in a statement Tuesday that the scandal “needs to be thoroughly investigated and, if the allegations are true, people should be punished.”

Staff writer Greg Jaffe contributed to this report.


Exclusive: Secret Service Bragged About Protecting Obama While Partying At Colombian Brothel

Apr 17, 2012 7:00am

The Shame of the Secret Service and certain Military persons

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Secret Service Sex Scandal: Woman Speaks Out

A woman who says she was with accused agents tells her side of the story.
01:57 | 04/18/2012

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Secret Service Sex Scandal: New Evidence

Pierre Thomas reports on the latest in the Columbian prostitution scandal.
02:28 | 04/18/2012

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Secret Service Scandal Expands to Sex Club

ABC News cameras capture footage of club where agents reportedly partied.
02:27 | 04/17/2012

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Secret Service Sex Scandal May Involve 21 Women

U.S. agents accused of bringing prostitutes to hotel in Colombia.
02:18 | 04/17/2012

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Secret Service Agents Sex Scandal

Agents and officers under investigation for allegedly partying at strip clubs.
02:41 | 04/16/2012

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Secret Service Scandal: Agents Solicited Prostitutes?

Eleven agents have been suspended for allegations involving prostitutes.
02:40 | 04/16/2012

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Secret Service Scandal Details Emerge

Congressional hearing likely, after agents caught with alcohol and prostitutes.
03:56 | 04/15/2012

ABC NEWS Diane Sawyer Interviews Mitt and Ann Romney

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Romney to Obama: 'Start Packing'

GOP candidate tells Diane Sawyer, Obama "doesn't understand the economy."
01:48 | 04/16/2012

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Mitt Romney, Wife Talk About the Obamas

Mitt and Ann Romney talk to Diane Sawyer, say Obama needs to start packing.
06:25 | 04/16/2012    

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Obama-Romney Likability Gap

GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney tackles popularity gap.
02:35 | 04/17/2012

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Romney Pulls Even With Obama, Despite Struggles

GOP front-runner's trouble connecting with voters fails to stop tightening race.
03:22 | 04/17/2012

Romney Picks Head of Veep Search

Apr 16, 2012 9:54am

Exclusive: , Says Talks Started This Weekend

gty romney tk 120320 wblog Exclusive: Romney Picks Head of Veep Search, Says Talks Started This Weekend
                                                                   (Image Credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)
BOSTON – Mitt Romney today revealed for the first time that he has put longtime adviser Beth Myers in charge of his vice presidential vetting process.
“I have selected someone who has been a counselor of mine for a number of years, Beth Myers. She was my chief of staff when I was governor,” the former Massachusetts governor told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.
“I’ve asked her to be the person who oversees the process of the vice presidential selection and vetting an analysis and so she’s begun that process and is putting together the kinds of things you need to do to vet potential candidates,” Romney added.

Asked whether there is a deadline for choosing his running mate, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said he does have a deadline in mind but would not reveal the specifics.
“It would certainly be by the time of the convention,” he said. “I don’t think we’ve chosen the time we’d actually make an announcement,” Romney said during a stroll through Fenway Park, where he is scheduled to join two contest winners at a Red Sox game.
Ann Romney said this weekend, which the couple spent in Florida fundraising, was the first time they had actually spoken seriously about a vice presidential pick.
“You know it’s been interesting this weekend was the first time we seriously really talked about it and there are some wonderful people out there,” she told Sawyer. “So we’re thinking about it now and we haven’t allowed ourselves to go there yet and I think this is a time when we realize it’s very important and it’s time to think about it.”
“There are some pretty terrific people out there,” she added.
Romney, who recently spoke about the need to appeal to Hispanic voters, said  Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is “one of the terrific leaders” of the Republican Party, but wouldn’t go as far as to say whether he is on the shortlist.
“I think it’s way too early to begin narrowing down who the potential vice presidential nominees might be,” Romney said. “But we’re beginning that process.”

Mr Ted nugent, Mitt Romney bosom buddies?

Published on Apr 15, 2012 by
At the 2012 NRA Annual Meetings in St. Louis, Cam Edwards talks to Ted Nugent, who takes questions from NRA members - NRA News - April 14, 2012 -

Uploaded by on Feb 27, 2012
Fair use - 17 U.S.C. § 107

Uploaded by 970WMAY on Feb 11, 2012

Springfield, IL - Rocker, hunter and gun enthusiast Ted Nugent was the keynote speaker for the 108th Sangamon County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner. He says "The world sucks but America sucks less." During Firday's address to the $100 dollar a plate dinner at the Prairie Capital Convention Center, Nugent urged Sangamon County Republicans to "fix" people who do not share the same values. Nugent also says that what happens in Illinois, like the ban on carrying firearms in public, happens to the country.

Uploaded by on May 20, 2011
Ten Nugent on CNN speaks out against Obama's gun control agenda

Published on Apr 17, 2012 by
Via The Huffington Post: "Rocker Ted Nugent has reportedly earned himself the scrutiny of the Secret Service after saying over the weekend that he would be "dead or in jail by this time next year" if President Barack Obama is re-elected. Nugent made the comments during an interview at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis, comparing Obama and his administration to "coyotes" that needed to be shot and encouraging voters to "chop [Democrats'] heads off in November"...".* Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur break it down on The Young Turks.

Published on Apr 18, 2012 by
The Secret Service is now looking into Ted Nugent's comments about the possible re-election of Obama later this year.

Over the weekend at an NRA convention the rock star compared Obama and the Democrats to a coyote who should be shot.

"It isn't the enemy that ruined America," he said. "It's good people who bent over and let the enemy in. If the coyote's in your living room pissing on your couch, it's not the coyote's fault. It's your fault for not shooting him."

Ted Nugent supports Mitt Romney for president.

He then predicted he will be thrown in prison or killed by this time next year if Obama is re-elected. "If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year. We need to ride into that battlefield and chop their heads off in November."

Nugent told the NRA members that if they do not "clean house in this vile, evil, America-hating administration, I don't even know what you're made out of."

DNC boss Debbie Wasserman Schultz demanded Mitt Romney denounce Nugent. Obama spokesman Jay Carney did not comment on Nugent's criticism.

Nugent told talk show host Dana Loesch that Wasserman Schultz is a "brain-dead, soulless, heartless idiot." He then characterized minority leader of the House Nancy Pelosi a "sub-human scoundrel."

Ted Nugent's strong criticism of the Obama administration and Congress is shared by millions of Americans who are fed up with the federal government. Since becoming president, the Obama administration has continued the wars and economic sabotage of the United States initiated by his Republican predecessor. Obama's administration is dominated by the same CFR, Trilateral and Bilderberg globalists as the Bush administration.

Unfortunately, Nugent is falling into the trap of the false left-right paradigm. If elected, Mitt Romney will continue the legacy of Obama. He is a confirmed globalist who has promised not to go after the Federal Reserve and the bankster interests that own the government.!/RealAlexJones

Uploaded by on Jan 26, 2012
From SHOT Show 2012 in Las Vegas, Cam Edwards talks to Ted Nugent - NRA News - January 18, 2012 -

Mitt Romney, Ann Romney, Hillary Rosen, John McCain, and the Women of the United States

ALERT: Is it 1851, all over again :ALERT

"Ain't I a Woman?", December 1851 

If you would like to read more about this amazing African American evangelist and reformer who applied her religious fervour to the abolitionist and women's rights movements. She supported herself by selling copies of her book, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth, which she had dictated to Olive Gilbert. Harriet Beecher Stowe published the following account of her visit with Truth. I have not read the whole book, but what I have read, wow, for someone who could not read or write and in her youth spoke only Dutch. She tells her story with passion and thought, and her memory clear and concise. Why this post is here, go back to a post for Feb 27, 2012, posted on March 16, 2012 titled "10 Reasons the Rest of the World Thinks the U.S. Is Nuts" the last paragraph mentions Sojourner Truth, with a quote and I did not know who she was, and since I did not know I am sure the men mentioned in the article did not know her either. 

She visited President Lincoln. On this page appears a painting in which the President is showing her a Bible given to him by slaves.

[This is a much less cleaned up version, than that normally given. It is worth reading outloud.]

Sojourner Truth (c.1792-1883) - was the adopted name of a woman born in New York who escaped from slavery shortly before mandatory emancipation became law in the state in 1828. Truth was nearly six feet tall and physically powerful from her years of hard labor. She gave this speech - which made her famous at the time it in Akron, Ohio, at a women 's rights meeting in May, 1851. This version includes an introduction a setting of the scene.

Sojourner Truth, Mrs. Stowe's "Lybian Sibyl," was present at this Convention. Some of our younger readers may not know that Sojourner Truth was once a slave in the State of New York, and carries to­day as many marks of the diabolism of slavery, as ever scarred the back of a victim in Mississippi. Though she can neither read nor write, she is a woman of rare intelligence and common­sense on all subjects. She is still living, at Battle Creek, Michigan, though now 110 years old. [note: In fact at time of publication she was c. 84 years old] Although the exalted character and personal appearance of this noble woman have been often portrayed, and her brave deeds and words many times rehearsed, yet we give the following graphic picture of Sojourner's appearance in one of the most stormy sessions of the Convention, from:
Reminiscences by Frances D. Gage: Sojourner Truth.

The leaders of the movement trembled on seeing a tall, gaunt black woman in a gray dress and white turban, surmounted with an uncouth sun­bonnet, march deliberately into the church, walk with the air of a queen up the aisle, and take her seat upon the pulpit steps. A buzz of disapprobation was heard all over the house, and there fell on the listening ear, "An abolition affair!" "Woman's rights and niggers!" "I told you so!" "Go it, darkey!";
I chanced on that occasion to wear my first laurels in public life as president of the meeting. At my request order was restored, and the business of the Convention went on. Morning, afternoon, and evening exercises came and went. Through all these sessions old Sojourner, quiet and reticent as the "Lybian Statue," sat crouched against the wall on the comer of the pulpit stairs, her sunbonnet shading her eyes, her elbows on her knees, her chin resting upon her broad, hard palms. At intermission she was busy selling the "Life of Sojourner Truth," a narrative of her own strange and adventurous life. Again and again, timorous and trembling ones came to me and said, with earnestness, "Don't let her speak, Mrs. Gage, it will ruin us.

Every newspaper in the land will have our cause mixed up with abolition and niggers, and we shall be utterly denounced." My only answer was, "We shall see when the time comes."
The second day the work waxed warm. Methodist, Baptist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Universalist ministers came in to hear and discuss the resolutions presented. One claimed superior rights and privileges for man, on the ground of "superior intellect"; another, because of the "manhood of Christ; if God had desired the equality of woman, He would have given some token of His will through the birth, life, and death of the Saviour." Another gave us a theological view of the "sin of our first mother."

There were very few women in those days who dared to "speak in meeting"; and the august teachers of the people were seemingly getting the better of us, while the boys in the galleries, and the sneers among the pews, were hugely enjoying the discomfiture, as they supposed, of the "strong-­minded." Some of the tender ­skinned friends were on the point of losing dignity, and the atmosphere betokened a storm. 

When, slowly from her seat in the corner rose Sojourner Truth, who, till now, had scarcely lifted her head. "Don't let her speak!" gasped half a dozen in my ear. She moved slowly and solemnly to the front, laid her old bonnet at her feet, and turned her great speaking eyes to me. There was a hissing sound of disapprobation above and below. I rose and announced "Sojourner Truth," and begged the audience to keep silence for a few moments. 

The tumult subsided at once, and every eye was fixed on this almost Amazon form, which stood nearly six feet high, head erect, and eyes piercing the upper air like one in a dream. At her first word there was a profound hush. She spoke in deep tones, which, though not loud, reached every ear in the house, and away through the throng at the doors and windows.
"Wall, chilern, whar dar is so much racket dar must be somethin' out o' kilter. I tink dat 'twixt de niggers of de Souf and de womin at de Norf, all talkin' 'bout rights, de white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all dis here talkin' 'bout?
"Dat man ober dar say dat womin needs to be helped into carriages, and lifted ober ditches, and to hab de best place everywhar. Nobody eber helps me into carriages, or ober mud­puddles, or gibs me any best place!" And raising herself to her full height, and her voice to a pitch like rolling thunder, she asked, "And a'n't I a woman?
Look at me! Look at my arm! (and she bared her right arm to the shoulder, showing her tremendous muscular power). I have ploughed, and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And a'n't I a woman?
I could work as much and eat as much as a man-when I could get it-and bear de lash as well! And a'n't I a woman?
I have borne thirteen chilern, and seen 'em mos' all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And a'n't I a woman?
"Den dey talks 'bout dis ting in de head; what dis dey call it?" ("Intellect," whispered some one near.) "Dat's it, honey. What's dat got to do wid womin's rights or nigger's rights. If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yourn holds a quart, wouldn't ye be mean not to let me have my little half ­measure full?"
And she pointed her significant finger, and sent a keen glance at the minister who had made the argument. The cheering was long and loud.
"Den dat little man in black dar, he say women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wan't a woman! Whar did your Christ come from?"
Rolling thunder couldn't have stilled that crowd, as did those deep, wonderful tones, as she stood there with outstretched arms and eyes of fire. Raising her voice still louder, she repeated,
"Whar did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothin' to do wid Him." Oh, what a rebuke that was to that little man.
Turning again to another objector, she took up the defense of Mother Eve. I can not follow her through it all. It was pointed, and witty, and solemn; eliciting at almost every sentence deafening applause; and she ended by asserting:
"If de fust woman God ever made was strong enough to turn de world upside down all alone, dese women togedder (and she glanced her eye over the platform) ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now dey is asking to do it, de men better let 'em."
Long continued cheering greeted this.
" 'Bleeged to ye for hearin' on me, and now ole Sojourner han't got nothin' more to say."
Amid roars of applause, she returned to her corner, leaving more than one of us with streaming eyes, and hearts beating with gratitude. She had taken us up in her strong arms and carried us safely over the slough of difficulty turning the whole tide in our favor. I have never in my life seen anything like the magical influence that subdued the mobbish spirit of the day, and turned the sneers and jeers of an excited crowd into notes of respect and admiration. Hundreds rushed up to shake hands with her, and congratulate the glorious old mother, and bid her God­speed on her mission of "testifyin' agin concerning the wickedness of this 'ere people."

From Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda J. Gage, eds., History of Woman Suffrage, vol. I (1881; reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1969), pp. 114­17.

In 1853, Sojourner Truth visited writer and abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe in her home at Andover, Massachusetts. Stowe's anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, was published in 1852 and had become a best-seller.

Stowe apparently saw Truth as a primitive original, fitting the ex-slave into her romanticized view of blacks in general. She described Sojourner to sculptor William Wetmore Story, who used this idealized portrait as the basis of a statue, which he called "The Libyan Sibyl."

This statue was exhibited at the 1862 World Exposition in London and was widely admired. The public soon became aware that the image was loosely based upon Sojourner Truth, which increased her notoriety. In 1863, Stowe published the following account of her visit with Truth and the identification of Sojourner with the Libyan Sibyl became almost universal. Newspapers referred to Truth as the "Sibyl" and Sojourner even described herself as the "well known Mrs. Stowe's African Sybil." (Rochester Evening Express, March 13, 1867)

Stowe's article depicts Truth as a brooding, powerful, mysterious African, which appealed to contemporary American tastes. In the process, Stowe perpetuated several myths about Sojourner, including the idea that she was of African origin and spoke with a Southern dialect. The embellished story of the confrontation with Frederick Douglass, including the phrase, "Is God dead?" is also included in Stowe's article.

Stowe also indicates that Truth was dead when she wrote in 1863, though Sojourner lived for another twenty years.

For an extended discussion of this subject, see Carleton Mabee, Sojourner Truth, Slave, Prophet, Legend (New York University Press, 1995), pp. 110-5 or Nell Irvin Painter, Sojourner Truth, A Life, A Symbol, (W. W. Norton, 1996), pp. 151-63.

Mom Killed, 3-Day-Old Snatched at Texas Pediatrician's Office (Updated)

PHOTO: A woman was shot multiple times in the parking lot of a pediatrician's office in Montgomery County, and then her newborn was kidnapped.
A woman shot a young mother several times today in the parking lot of a Spring, Texas, pediatrician's office, then snatched the mom's 3-day-old son and fled with the infant, police said.
Police said the victim was standing by her pickup truck outside the pediatrician's office at around 2:40 p.m., when a car with a man and woman inside pulled up.
The woman got out and shot the mother repeatedly, then took the baby, who was in his car seat, from the mother's pickup truck, police and witnesses said.
The mother was rushed to a hospital, but died there, police said.
The baby boy who was kidnapped was wearing a green and white one-piece outfit with the word "Handsome" on the front.
The suspect was described as a black female wearing a gray sweatshirt and blue jeans, and carrying a small caliber pistol, possibly a 9mm.
She was reportedly last seen driving an ice blue Lexus four-door with an unknown license plate.
Police issued an Amber Alert and are searching for the child.

Abducted Baby's Father: Wife Was 'Excellent' Mom

Apr. 18, 2012 - Little Keegan Golden, snatched from his mother's truck has been returned to his family, according to his father, Keith Schuchardt. Kala Golden, Schuchardt's wife was shot and killed outside of a pediatric center Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Nurse accused in baby abduction miscarried  

Apr. 18, 2012 - Authorities say a woman accused of killing a young mother and abducting a 3-day-old boy had suffered a recent miscarriage. Verna McClain now faces a capital murder charge and is being held without bail. (Associated Press)

New study shows just how 'green' electric cars are

Switching to a battery-powered vehicle will yield measurable savings in a motorist’s energy bills, according to a new study, while also reducing global warming emissions.
But the report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, or UCS, finds that the advantages vary widely depending upon where you live.  In the best regions, savings on energy can add up to more than $1,000 annually – with battery cars cleaner than anything else on the road.  But even in the worst regions, those heavily dependent upon coal to generate electricity, the UCS report says battery vehicles retain a significant advantage over traditional automotive powertrain technology.
“No matter where you live in the United States, electric vehicles are good choice for reducing global warming emissions and saving moneyon fueling up,” said Don Anair, the report’s author and senior engineer for UCS’s Clean Vehicles Program.
The organization bills the new study as a first-of-its-kind, and unlike some more limited reports, it tracked total energy use on a wells-to-wheels basis.  In other words, it measures everything from the energy actually used to pump and then refine oil to the energy used to run an internal combustion engine.  For electric vehicles, the study also considered such things as the energy used and pollution created while mining coal.
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But the advantage, reports the UCS, is clearly in favor of pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, as well as plug-in hybrids.
The study shows that 45% of Americans live in what are categorized as “Best” regions, where battery vehicles result in reduced energy costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions than even the best hybrids or internal combustion-powered automobiles – those now getting at least 50 miles per gallon.
In fact, in California and New York State, a hybrid or conventional gas vehicle would need to yield at least 80 mpg to keep up with the likes of a Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt (the latter operating two-thirds of the time on battery power).
About 37% of Americans live in “Better” regions, according to the new study, where a battery car still is likely to meet or exceed the emissions performance of a 40 mpg hybrid.  And in “Good” regions, like Midwest states heavily dependent upon coal power, battery car emissions are equal to the best non-hybrids, such as a Ford Fiesta or Chevrolet Cruze, Anair said.
  • States in the “Best” category are located primarily along the East and West Coasts and include: California, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho and Arizona, New York, Massachusetts and Virginia;
  • “Better” states include Texas, New Mexico, Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee;
  • “Good” states are largely concentrated in the Midwest and Plains states and include Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, Kansas and Minnesota.
“No matter where you live,” he added, “electric vehicles save you on fuel costs.”  With the Chevy Volt, for example, the annual savings are likely to range between $580 and $890 annually.  The fully electric Nissan Leaf should bump that to anywhere from $770 to $1220 annually, according to the UCS.
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The UCS study acknowledged significant differences in the nationwide electric grid that need be addressed, said Anair, but he added that with such efforts already underway, “The good news is that as the nation’s electric grids get cleaner, consumers who buy an EV today can expect to see their car’s emissions go down over the lifetime of the vehicle.”
Consumers have a fair degree of control over how much they save on energy by choosing rate plans – as well as when they actually charge up their vehicles, noted the UCS.  Many utilities now have or are planning to offer interruptible or time-sensitive rates.  And early adopters appear to be taking advantage of these.  The study found the majority of current electric vehicle owners charge up overnight.
That not only means lower-cost power but also reduces the strain on the electric grid as there is less overall demand.  This could permit a significant increase in the number of electric vehicles on the road without forcing the addition of more generators, the UCS report suggested.
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Whether that will continue to be the case is far from clear.  Some industry analysts warn that as more battery cars get on the road – and as the number of public charging stations increases – it will become more common for vehicles to power up during daytime.  This could be especially true with the addition of high-speed “Level III” charging systems that could permit a vehicle like the Leaf to get an 80% recharge in as little as 15 to 20 minutes.
That, experts are betting, will enhance the appeal of battery technology beyond the relatively marginal audience now turning to the technology.  So far, plug-ins and battery-electric vehicles are capturing barely a tenth of a percent of overall U.S. new vehicle sales.
But Anair said the UCS is betting that demand will also increase as new models roll out, giving consumers greater choice.  Before the end of this year, a wide variety of makers will enter the market, including Toyota, with its RAV4-EV and Plius Plug-in; Ford with its C-Max plug-in and Focus Electric, and Honda, with its first battery-electric vehicle since the early 1990s, a version of the subcompact Fit.