Portland Fantasy Fest -The Faeries and Dragons Fantasy Fest


Best Halloween Event in Portland Oregon! “Our ancient spirits are brought forth into the conscious realm starting THIS Oct. 27th! 12:00 Noon till howwwwwwwllllllll…Please RSVP this Portland pre- Halloween Costume and Music Event at http://www.facebook.com/events/443277412391370/

8560 Southeast Division Street  Portland, OR 97266. (85th St. and S.E. Division St. Portland Or.)

Dance into the night, under the stars, under a magic spell, as ancient Celtic, romantic, & electric vibes shimmer all around you.”

Castle Land Productions and the Faeries and Dragon Spirits of the Secret Realm proudly present: “Faeries and Dragons Fantasy Festival”
Our ancient spirits are brought forth into the conscious realm starting THIS Oct. 27th!
and join the production group at: http://www.facebook.com/groups/FaeriesandDragons/
Faeries and Dragons Fantasy Festival friends. We talk about all manner of things related to production, planning, and having fun. Faeries and Dragons Rule the Earth!12:00 Noon – All Night Sat. Oct 27th 85th St. and S.E. Division St. Portland Or.   From – Halloween Events in Portland Oregon

Most beautiful recording ever made? VOTE


 Rick Shell’s new release, “Angel of Time” has already been hailed as a masterpiece. We want to find out, is it the MOST BEAUTIFUL SONG EVER WRITTEN?. You decide! post your opinions here in the comments. LISTEN and Vote! —  Visit Mr Shells site

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Interesting Music Pick: Rick Shell aka Rizioule


Rick Shell is my interesting music pick for this month. Rick Shell aka The Artist Rizioule. Very nice stuff he has. This is one I would definitely like to hear more of.

Rick Shell has been performing all over the US and Mexico for over 25 years. This long musical journey includes many performances with other greats like Jason Mraz, Jewel, Deliverance, The Revelations, Gregory Page, Javier Batiz, William Clauson, and many others.

Rick Shell, also known as “The Artist Rizioule” has appeared in concert and on radio and TV shows across the US and Mexico, most notably “Buenos Dias” Mexico’s version of “Good Morning America”, He also appears in a frequently re-broadcast Channel Austin TV show and was featured in a 2011 Pecan St. Festival TV commercial.

What is the music like?

(Mike Burke, Stage Mgr.) “Well, you never really know with Riz. It depends on the place and the night. You might get Rock, you might get Reggae, you might get Folk. He might have 3 different bands on one night. One thing for sure, it is always interesting”.

Mike – Daytona Fla.says : “I’ve been listening to recordings we made the other night.Your music is incredible. Some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard. “Angel of Time” blew me and my wife away.

“I want to market your music in Europe”.

 

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For Booking Info for Rick Shell, “The Artist Rizioule” please visit Festival of Musicians and send us a note. Please indicate venue, and type of music desired. Mr Shell currently offers a full rock ensemble performing cover and original material. A full reggae ensemble performing cover and original reggae music or duo performance of cover and original material. Book Rick Shell today!

http://www.facebook.com/festivalofmusicians

Rick Shell Music Samples at http://myspace.ccom/rickshellband

His musical styling is diverse and tailored to meet venue needs.

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Marijuana use actually saves lives on the road?


Marijuana use actually saves lives on the road?

Kathryn Hawkins

Proponents of legalizing marijuana have long argued that criminalization of the drug causes more problems than it solves. For instance, taxpayers spend between $7.5 billion and $10 billion a year on arresting and prosecuting Americans for marijuana-related crimes. Supporters of legalized marijuana maintain that this money would be better spent cracking down on violent criminals.

Now, pro-legalization backers have yet another point in their favor: According to a new study from the University of Colorado-Denver, the 16 states that have legalized medical marijuana have seen an average 9 percent drop in traffic deaths since their medical marijuana laws took effect. The study analyzed data from 1990 through 2009.

“We went into our research expecting the opposite effect,” says study co-author Daniel Rees, a professor of economics at the University of Colorado-Denver. “We thought medical marijuana legalization would increase traffic fatalities. We were stunned by the results.”

When it comes to traffic safety, can marijuana really save lives?

Is marijuana an alcohol substitute?

Is this a sign of the times? A new study ties legalization of medical marijuana to a decrease in fatal car crashes in 16 states. One possible reason: Motorists who are high tend to drive slowly.

It’s long been known that alcohol is a primary contributor to deadly car crashes. According to estimates from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, drivers with a blood-alcohol level above 0.15 percent are 385 times as likely to be involved in a fatal crash as sober drivers are. In every state, the legal limit for driving while intoxicated is 0.08 percent.

The University of Colorado-Denver study found that the increase in legal use of medical marijuana often leads to a reduction in alcohol consumption. The study cites data from the Beer Institute, an industry trade group, indicating that beer purchases go down by an average of 5 percent after medical marijuana laws are passed. In these states, the researchers theorize, some people are smoking marijuana rather than downing booze.

A 2009 study from the University of California, Berkeley, backs up that finding. Four of every 10 patients at the university’s medical marijuana dispensary said they used marijuana to curb alcohol cravings.

Are high drivers better than drunken drivers?

The differences between drivers under the influence of alcohol and those who’ve smoked weed are stark, says Mason Tvert, executive director of the marijuana legalization advocacy group SAFER (Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation).

“People who abuse alcohol take more risks, drive faster and are less likely to recognize that they’re impaired,” Tvert says. “They feel like Superman when they’re drunk.”

By contrast, motorists who’ve puffed pot “drive slower, are less likely to take risks, and are more likely to recognize when they’re impaired and decide not to drive,” he says.

Studies support Tvert’s view: A clinical trial conducted in Israel compared the simulated driving skills of people who’d consumed alcohol and those who’d smoked marijuana. The researchers found that alcohol caused these people to speed up their driving, while smoking marijuana prompted the drivers to slow down. An analysis by the U.S. Department of Transportation found marijuana rarely is the only drug found in the bodies of drivers who’ve died in car crashes.

Is driving under the influence of marijuana safe?

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) advocates against impaired driving of any form, and that includes smoking marijuana and getting behind the wheel. Emily Tompkins, MADD’s executive director for Colorado, says the group is keeping tabs on marijuana legalization and how it affects traffic safety.

MADD isn’t interested in determining how much marijuana someone can consume to remain within a legal limit, but Tompkins urges people who smoke marijuana (medical or otherwise) to be aware of when their driving is impaired. Tompkins claims marijuana-impaired drivers often show their medical marijuana cards to police officers who pull them over, as though the card legally entitles them to drive under the influence of drugs — which it does not.

The U.S. Department of Transportation found that although the harm of marijuana for drivers is minimal compared with that of alcohol and other drugs, it may be dangerous in certain situations, such as when quick thinking is required or when a driver has combined marijuana with alcohol or other drugs.

No one is advocating that driving while stoned is better than being alcohol- or drug-free, but experts agree that marijuana use while driving presents far less danger than many other drugs as well as alcohol.

Meanwhile, more Americans appear to be embracing marijuana. A Gallup poll released in October 2011 found that a record-high 50 percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana. In 2009, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed 16.7 million Americans age 12 and older had smoked pot at least once in the month before being surveyed.

Could widespread legalization boost road safety?

Dan Rees, an economics professor at the University of Colorado-Denver, says he was “stunned” by the findings of the medical marijuana study.

While the University of Colorado-Denver study presents striking evidence of marijuana’s effect on road safety, the research was limited to motorists who have access to medical marijuana. In some states, that’s a relatively significant portion of the population. In Montana, 3 percent of the state’s population has access to medical marijuana; in Colorado, it’s 2.5 percent. Actual percentages for marijuana use may be considerably higher than that, however.

“Under medical marijuana laws, caregivers and patients can grow marijuana, and there’s very little policing of this,” Rees says.

Rees believes that authorized marijuana users often sell or give pot to others for recreational use. He says many of those recreational users probably are young adults — a group who’s responsible for a disproportionately high number of alcohol-related car crashes. Marijuana advocacy group NORML says pot is the third most popular recreational “drug” in the United States, behind alcohol and tobacco.

Rees teamed up with D. Mark Anderson, assistant professor of economics at Montana State University, on the marijuana study.

For now, medical marijuana is legal in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia. In those places, doctors prescribe marijuana to ease pain and suffering for patients with conditions like cancer.

Federal law prohibits the growth and sale of marijuana for any purpose. Opponents of legalizing the drug maintain that marijuana is a “gateway” to harder drugs like cocaine and heroin, and argue that the dangers posed by stoned drivers would rise.

While widespread legalization of marijuana isn’t likely in the near future, such a move might have a dramatic effect on road safety if drivers — particularly young adults — flock to marijuana instead of alcohol to get buzzed.

“When you see fewer traffic accidents in every state that legalizes medical marijuana, that’s strong proof,” Rees says.

US Opens Oil Reserves, Oil Falls


By Jamie Dupree

In a surprise move, the Obama Administration today announced that it would open U.S. strategic oil reserves, and release 30 million barrels of oil in coming months, in a concerted effort with other nations to try to depress the price of crude oil.

The announcement – which comes as gasoline prices have been falling – was made this morning by the Energy Department.  Here is the news release that was sent to reporters:

Department of Energy to Release Oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Washington, DC – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that the U.S. and its partners in the International Energy Agency have decided to release a total of 60 million barrels of oil onto the world market over the next 30 days to offset the disruption in the oil supply caused by unrest in the Middle East.  As part of this effort, the U.S. will release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).  The SPR is currently at a historically high level with 727 million barrels.

“We are taking this action in response to the ongoing loss of crude oil due to supply disruptions in Libya and other countries and their impact on the global economic recovery,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu.  “As we move forward, we will continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to take additional steps if necessary.”

The United States has been in close contact with oil producing and consuming countries about disruptions to the international oil market that could affect the global economy.  The situation in Libya has caused a loss of roughly 1.5 million barrels of oil per day – particularly of light, sweet crude – from global markets.  As the United States enters the months of July and August, when demand is typically highest, prices remain significantly higher than they were prior to the start of the unrest in Libya.

The Administration will continue to consult closely with other consuming and producing countries in the period ahead.  The decision today is intended to complement the production increases recently announced by a number of major oil producing countries.  The United States welcomes those commitments and encourages other countries to follow suit.

 

Source = http://www.wdbo.com/weblogs/jamie-dupree/2011/jun/23/us-opens-oil-reserves/?cxntlid=cmg_cntnt_rss

President Barack Obama’s Ireland Speech Full Text


Full Text of President Barack Obama’s Ireland Speech

Monday May 23, 2011

The full text of Obama’s remarks in Dublin:

The President: Hello, Dublin, hello, Ireland! My name is Barack Obama – of the Moneygall Obamas. And I’ve come home to find the apostrophe that we lost somewhere along the way.

Audience member: I’ve got it here!

The President: Is that where it is? [Laughter.]

Some wise Irish man or woman once said that broken Irish is better than clever English. So here goes: Tá áthas orm bheith in Éirinn – I am happy to be in Ireland! I’m happy to be with so many á cairde.

I want to thank my extraordinary hosts. First of all, Taoiseach Kenny, his lovely wife Fionnuala, President McAleese and her husband, Martin, for welcoming me earlier today. Thank you, Lord Mayor Gerry Breen and the Gardai for allowing me to crash this celebration.

Let me also express my condolences on the recent passing of former Taoiseach Garrett Fitzgerald, someone who believed in the power of education, someone who believed in the potential of youth, most of all, someone who believed in the potential of peace and who lived to see that peace realized.

And most of all, thank you to the citizens of Dublin and the people of Ireland for the warm and generous hospitality you’ve shown me and Michelle. It certainly feels like 100,000 welcomes. We feel very much at home. I feel even more at home after that pint that I had. [Laughter.] Feel even warmer.

In return let me offer the hearty greetings of tens of millions of Irish Americans who proudly trace their heritage to this small island.

Now, I knew that I had some roots across the Atlantic, but until recently I could not unequivocally claim that I was one of those Irish Americans. But now if you believe the Corrigan Brothers, there’s no one more Irish than me. So I want to thank the genealogists who traced my family tree.

It turns out that people take a lot of interest in you when you’re running for President. [Laughter.] They look into your past. They check out your place of birth. Things like that. Now, I do wish somebody had provided me all this evidence earlier because it would have come in handy back when I was first running in my hometown of Chicago, because Chicago is the Irish capital of the Midwest. A city where it was once said you could stand on 79th Street and hear the brogue of every county in Ireland.

So naturally a politician like me craved a slot in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. The problem was not many people knew me or could even pronounce my name. I told them it was a Gaelic name. They didn’t believe me.

So one year a few volunteers and I did make it into the parade, but we were literally the last marchers. After two hours, finally it was our turn. And while we rode the route and we smiled and we waved, the city workers were right behind us cleaning up the garbage. It was a little depressing. But I’ll bet those parade organizers are watching TV today and feeling kind of bad because this is a pretty good parade right here.

Now, of course, an American doesn’t really require Irish blood to understand that ours is a proud, enduring, centuries-old relationship; that we are bound by history and friendship and shared values. And that’s why I’ve come here today, as an American President, to reaffirm those bonds of affection.

Earlier today Michelle and I visited Moneygall where we saw my ancestral home and dropped by the local pub. And we received a very warm welcome from all the people there, including my long-lost eighth cousin, Henry. Henry now is affectionately known as Henry VIII. And it was remarkable to see the small town where a young shoemaker named Falmouth Kearney, my great-great-great grandfather, my grandfather’s grandfather, lived his early life. And I was the shown the records from the parish recording his birth. And we saw the home where he lived.

And he left during the Great Hunger, as so many Irish did, to seek a new life in the New World. He traveled by ship to New York, where he entered himself into the records as a laborer. He married an American girl from Ohio. They settled in the Midwest. They started a family.

It’s a familiar story because it’s one lived and cherished by Americans of all backgrounds. It’s integral to our national identity. It’s who we are, a nation of immigrants from all around the world.

But standing there in Moneygall, I couldn’t help but think how heartbreaking it must have been for that great-great-great grandfather of mine, and so many others, to part. To watch Donegal coasts and Dingle cliffs recede. To leave behind all they knew in hopes that something better lay over the horizon.

When people like Falmouth boarded those ships, they often did so with no family, no friends, no money, nothing to sustain their journey but faith: faith in the Almighty; faith in the idea of America; faith that it was a place where you could be prosperous, you could be free, you could think and talk and worship as you pleased, a place where you could make it if you tried.

And as they worked and struggled and sacrificed and sometimes experienced great discrimination, to build that better life for the next generation, they passed on that faith to their children and to their children’s children – an inheritance that their great-great-great grandchildren like me still carry with them. We call it the America Dream.

It’s the dream that Falmouth Kearney was attracted to when he went to America. It’s the dream that drew my own father to America from a small village in Africa. It’s a dream that we’ve carried forward, sometimes through stormy waters, sometimes at great cost, for more than two centuries. And for my own sake, I’m grateful they made those journeys because if they hadn’t you’d be listening to somebody else speak right now.

And for America’s sake, we’re grateful so many others from this land took that chance, as well. After all, never has a nation so small inspired so much in another.

Irish signatures are on our founding documents. Irish blood was spilled on our battlefields. Irish sweat built our great cities. Our spirit is eternally refreshed by Irish story and Irish song; our public life by the humor and heart and dedication of servants with names like Kennedy and Reagan, O’Neill and Moynihan. So you could say there’s always been a little green behind the red, white and blue.

When the father of our country, George Washington, needed an army, it was the fierce fighting of your sons that caused the British official to lament, “We have lost America through the Irish.” And as George Washington said himself, “When our friendless standards were first unfurled, who were the strangers who first mustered around our staff? And when it reeled in the light, who more brilliantly sustained it than Erin’s generous sons?”

When we strove to blot out the stain of slavery and advance the rights of man, we found common cause with your struggles against oppression. Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave and our great abolitionist, forged an unlikely friendship right here in Dublin with your great liberator, Daniel O’Connell. His time here, Frederick Douglass said, defined him not as a color but as a man. And it strengthened the non-violent campaign he would return home to wage.

Recently, some of their descendents met here in Dublin to commemorate and continue that friendship between Douglass and O’Connell.

When Abraham Lincoln struggled to preserve our young union, more than 100,000 Irish and Irish Americans joined the cause, with units like the Irish Brigade charging into battle – green flags with gold harp waving alongside our star-spangled banner.

When depression gripped America, Ireland sent tens of thousands of packages of shamrocks to cheer up its countrymen, saying, “May the message of Erin shamrocks bring joy to those away.”

And when an Iron Curtain fell across this continent and our way of life was challenged, it was our first Irish President, our first Catholic President, John F Kennedy, who made us believe 50 years ago this week that mankind could do something big and bold and ambitious as walk on the moon. He made us dream again.

That is the story of America and Ireland. That’s the tale of our brawn and our blood, side by side, in making and remaking a nation, pulling it westward, pulling it skyward, moving it forward again and again and again. And that is our task again today.

I think we all realize that both of our nations have faced great trials in recent years, including recessions so severe that many of our people are still trying to fight their way out. And naturally our concern turns to our families, our friends and our neighbors. And some in this enormous audience are thinking about their own prospects and their own futures. Those of us who are parents wonder what it will mean for our children and young people like so many who are here today. Will you see the same progress we’ve seen since we were your age? Will you inherit futures as big and as bright as the ones that we inherited? Will your dreams remain alive in our time?

This nation has faced those questions before: When your land couldn’t feed those who tilled it; when the boats leaving these shores held some of your brightest minds; when brother fought against brother. Yours is a history frequently marked by the greatest of trials and the deepest of sorrow. But yours is also a history of proud and defiant endurance. Of a nation that kept alive the flame of knowledge in dark ages; that overcame occupation and outlived fallow fields; that triumphed over its Troubles – of a resilient people who beat all the odds.

And, Ireland, as trying as these times are, I know our future is still as big and as bright as our children expect it to be. I know that because I know it is precisely in times like these – in times of great challenge, in times of great change – when we remember who we truly are. We’re people, the Irish and Americans, who never stop imagining a brighter future, even in bitter times. We’re people who make that future happen through hard work, and through sacrifice, through investing in those things that matter most, like family and community.

We remember, in the words made famous by one of your greatest poets that “in dreams begins responsibility.”

This is a nation that met that responsibility by choosing, like your ancestors did, to keep alight the flame of knowledge and invest in a world-class education for your young people. And today, Ireland’s youth, and those who’ve come back to build a new Ireland, are now among the best-educated, most entrepreneurial in the world. And I see those young people here today. And I know that Ireland will succeed.

This is a nation that met its responsibilities by choosing to apply the lessons of your own past to assume a heavier burden of responsibility on the world stage. And today, a people who once knew the pain of an empty stomach now feed those who hunger abroad. Ireland is working hand in hand with the United States to make sure that hungry mouths are fed around the world – because we remember those times. We know what crippling poverty can be like, and we want to make sure we’re helping others.

You’re a people who modernized and can now stand up for those who can’t yet stand up for themselves. And this is a nation that met its responsibilities – and inspired the entire world – by choosing to see past the scars of violence and mistrust to forge a lasting peace on this island.

When President Clinton said on this very spot 15 years ago, waging peace is risky, I think those who were involved understood the risks they were taking. But you, the Irish people, persevered. And you cast your votes and you made your voices heard for that peace. And you responded heroically when it was challenged. And you did it because, as President McAleese has written, “For all the apparent intractability of our problems, the irrepressible human impulse to love kept nagging and nudging us towards reconciliation.”

Whenever peace is challenged, you will have to sustain that irrepressible impulse. And America will stand by you – always. America will stand by you always in your pursuit of peace.

And, Ireland, you need to understand that you’ve already so surpassed the world’s highest hopes that what was notable about the Northern Ireland elections two weeks ago was that they came and went without much attention. It’s not because the world has forgotten. It’s because this once unlikely dream has become that most extraordinary thing of things: It has become real. A dream has turned to reality because of the work of this nation.

In dreams begin responsibility. And embracing that responsibility, working toward it, overcoming the cynics and the naysayers and those who say “you can’t”, that’s what makes dreams real. That’s what Falmouth Kearney did when he got on that boat, and that’s what so many generations of Irish men and women have done here in this spectacular country. That is something we can point to and show our children, Irish and American alike. That is something we can teach them as they grow up together in a new century, side by side, as it has been since our beginnings.

This little country, that inspires the biggest things, your best days are still ahead. Our greatest triumphs – in America and Ireland alike – are still to come.

And, Ireland, if anyone ever says otherwise, if anybody ever tells you that your problems are too big, or your challenges are too great, that we can’t do something, that we shouldn’t even try, think about all that we’ve done together. Remember that whatever hardships the winter may bring, springtime is always just around the corner. And if they keep on arguing with you, just respond with a simple creed: Is féidir linn. Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Is féidir linn.

For all you’ve contributed to the character of the United States of America and the spirit of the world, thank you. And may God bless the eternal friendship between our two great nations.

Thank you, Dublin. Thank you, Ireland.

Are You Being Gouged at the Gas Pump?


A new taskforce focused on fraud in energy markets will look into whether consumers are being gouged at the gas pump on gas prices or traders are manipulating the markets,

Tuesday U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee., “To the extent that there are inappropriate attempts to manipulate the markets, that there is price gouging, other things of that nature that have had a devastating impact on average Americans …. that will be the focus of this task-force,”  while cautioning that there are “market forces that are at work and I don’t want to oversell what it is we are doing”.

The task-force group includes representatives from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Reserve Board, Securities and Exchange Commission and the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Justice and Treasury.

The task-force held its first meeting on Monday behind closed doors.

Holder claims this is a “serious effort” by prosecutors to find possible violations of criminal or civil laws.

Rick Shell Reporting

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