Saturday, August 28, 2010
545 vs. 300,000,000
EVERY CITIZEN NEEDS TO READ THIS AND THINK ABOUT WHAT THIS JOURNALIST HAS SCRIPTED IN THIS MESSAGE. READ IT AND THEN REALLY THINK ABOUT OUR CURRENT POLITICAL DEBACLE.
545 PEOPLE--By Charlie Reese
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them..
Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes,WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.
You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.
You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.
You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.
I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.
I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.
Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.
What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits..... The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.
The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.
It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.
If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.
If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red ..
If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan...
If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.
There are no insoluble government problems.
Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.
They, and they alone, have the power..
They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.
Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees...
We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!
Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.
What you do with this article now that you have read it......... Is up to you.
This might be funny if it weren't so true.
Be sure to read all the way to the end:
Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he's fed.
Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.
Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts anyway!
Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.
Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.
Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.
Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.
Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.
Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid...
Put these words
Upon his tomb,
Taxes drove me
to my doom...'
When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax..
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Marriage License Tax
Personal Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
What in the hell happened? Can you spell 'politicians?'
Hat Tip; Eric
Looks like a great day for a bike ride!! Be safe and have a great time.
I am writing this just shortly after midnight and I already know that when dawn comes it is going to be a beautiful day on Delmarva!!
But just a note to those that have been following Courtney and her wonder Mother, along with her family and friends, as they all struggle with Courtney's recovery.......
Earlier this evening Courtney was having a rather difficult time. So PLEASE send prayers and lots of them for Courtney and family.
Have fun. Eat hearty. Be safe. And take pictures so I can post them!
Starting Sept. 1, feeding deer will be illegal in Virginia.
The annual prohibition runs through the first Saturday in January.
The state Department of Game and Inland Fisheries says the ban is intended to curb the negative consequences of feeding deer, such as unnaturally increasing population numbers. That can lead to damage to natural habitats, disease transmission and human-deer conflicts, including vehicle collisions with the large animals.
Besides the September-to-January feeding ban, it is now illegal to feed deer all year in Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah and Warren counties.
The feeding ban in those four counties is part of the department's chronic wasting disease management plan established in April.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Heading east for a grass-roots show of force on Saturday, they will join the conservative icon for a rally that he says is aimed at "restoring honor" to a troubled nation."People are upset with the direction of the country," says Patti Weaver, head of the Pittsburgh Tea Party, who is bringing 900 people on 16 buses to the event at the Lincoln Memorial. The rally will "continue to unite people who are upset with our government. … We can take our country back."
He has instructed his followers not to bring signs, and in a post on his website this week he chastised those who he says are trying to "label this a gathering of hatemonger's."
Beck's supporters, however, talk about the event in political terms. The keynote speaker is Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee and a potential 2012 White House aspirant. In her home state of Alaska, Palin's endorsement appears to have helped propel a little-known lawyer named Joe Miller to a possible upset victory over incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Tuesday's Republican primary. Miller, who was backed by the Tea Party, is almost 1,700 votes ahead and awaiting a final tally of absentee ballots.
Many of Beck's supporters identify themselves as members of the small-government, anti-tax Tea Party or other conservative grass-roots groups and they recruited rally-goers through those organizations.
"It's time for Americans to let themselves be heard instead of being spoken to or spoken for by people who don't represent us," says Dan Baltes of Salt Lake City, who boarded a bus at 2 a.m. Wednesday for the 50-plus hour ride to Washington, D.C.
Baltes, who runs a group called Americans Against Immigration Amnesty, says "the government has a deaf ear to our best interests."Thelma Taormina of Houston, who has organized two busloads from Texas, says she's concerned that the Obama administration and Congress are passing legislation that strips Americans of their rights. The sweeping new health-care law means people are going to "lose our human rights in one fell swoop" and new credit-card legislation aimed at protecting consumers' rights "means they can go into your personal bank accounts and get information," she says.
Taormina says she hopes the rally "wakes up America."
How much attention the rally gets likely will depend on how many people show up. Beck's permit from the National Park Service estimates 300,000 attendees.
Beck, who last year called President Obama a "racist" and accused him of having a "deep-seated hatred for white people," says he never intended to hold his rally on the anniversary of King's speech. He says he was hoping for Sept. 12th, but that's a Sunday and he didn't want to have the rally on the Sabbath. That Aug. 28 was the only other day the site was available that worked with his schedule was a matter of "divine providence" not political intent, he says.
Al Sharpton, who has organized his own rally and march on Saturday, is skeptical.
"Is he going to address civil rights?" Sharpton asks. His event on Saturday at a once-segregated city high school and a march to the Martin Luther King memorial site on the National Mall will include other civil rights leaders and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
Beck, whose Fox News show averages more than 2 million viewers a day, says critics are being unfair.
"Those opposing the rally do so from a position of ignorance," he wrote. "They have no idea what this rally is going to be. … It's not about bigotry or politics. It's about the content of character and merit. I hope those at the counter rallies this Saturday and others opposing this event actually listen to the words with an open mind."
Sharpton and others say they've already heard enough from Beck, Palin and those who support them.
But a recent petition made to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the potential to become much more than a scare. It wouldn’t do away with guns, but it’d do away with a lot of ammunition.
Environmental advocacy groups have petitioned EPA chief Lisa Jackson to ban the use of lead bullets, lead shot and lead fishing sinkers on the grounds that the continued use of lead violates the 1976 Toxic Substance Control Act.
The petition (available for review in PDF format at the EPA website) argues that lead shot and lead bullet fragments routinely poison scavengers, songbirds, predatory birds, waterfowl and some mammals. It cites valid scientific studies and makes a pretty fair case for the EPA to mandate non-toxic ammunition.
But to grant the petition and enact a lead ban, the EPA would literally have to ignore the very law the petitioners cite as the rationale for the ban. When Congress passed the Toxic Substance Control Act back in 1976, they specifically exempted lead ammunition.
No problem, say the petitioners. They argue, in essence, that the law refers to cartridges and shells, and not specifically to bullets or shot. They further argue that since bullets and shot are sold individually as ammunition components, they therefore fall under the Toxic Substance Control Act and can be banned by EPA regulation.
It is a sign of the times, I suppose, when perfectly clear legal language can be parsed into something completely contradictory to its original intent.
The EPA has until Nov. 1 to rule on the petition.
“I just want to be paid,” said Thom Gulyas, owner of ACE Printing and Mailing, who filed a lawsuit against Oglesby on Aug. 19. “I think waiting four years is long enough.”
Oglesby ordered printing and mail advertising that totaled $13,751.62. In November 2006, he made a $4,000 payment, Gulyas said. According to the online Maryland Elections Center at http://www.mdelections.org/, Oglesby made a $1,000 payment to ACE in August, a $4,000 payment to ACE in October and a $3,000 payment in November.
Also according to that Web site, Gulyas made a $4,000 contribution of campaign materials to Citizens for Beau Oglesby in November. The same Web site says Gulyas’ wife, Belinda, made a $2,000 contribution of campaign materials. Gulyas, however, denies that he or his wife ever donated campaign materials worth thousands of dollars, although he did donate some small printed items such as copies and fliers that he often donates to candidates who do business with him. The campaign materials, the envelopes, the mail processing and postage were not campaign contributions, Gulyas said. They were part of a business transaction.
In a press release issued Wednesday, Oglesby said Gulyas was a big supporter of his campaign and in the fall of 2006, “convinced Oglesby to use his services for a direct mailing in the closing days of the campaign.”
Also in the press release, Oglesby said he had not seen the lawsuit filing, which Gulyas said contains a copy of an invoice from ACE to Oglesby dated Dec. 13, 2006. It shows the total of $13,751.62, a payment of $8,004.89 and a balance of $5,746.73. It says the terms are “Net 10 Days.”
Gulyas continued to send bills and continued to be unpaid. Oglesby left his position as a prosecutor in the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office and moved to the Western Shore where he worked as a criminal defense attorney in Montgomery, Prince George’s and Howard counties. Gulyas found his addresses by looking online at the Web site for the Maryland Judiciary Case Search, http://casesearch.courts.state.md/. us/inquiry/inquiry-index.jsp. One of the addresses was for a law firm in Rockville. Oglesby also had a Greenbelt address.
“He lit me up,” Gulyas said Monday. “He was extremely angry.”
“He was cursing and swearing at me,” Gulyas said. “He kept ranting and raving.”
In July, Oglesby sent Gulyas a $2,000 payment.
Oglesby explains the $2,000 payment by saying in his press release that despite the prior agreement in which he had no legal obligation to repay the additional money, he decided he “would refund his donation from my new account as soon as it became active.”
“Now that Thom has publicly endorsed my opponent, the timing of this frivolous lawsuit, just two months before the election, a lawsuit that he knows is barred by the statute of limitations, speaks for itself,” he said.
“That’s a damn lie,” Gulyas said. “Business comes first. It’s my money and I want to be paid. It has nothing to do with politics.”
Christy A. Smullen is charged with tampering with physical evidence, reckless endangering, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, endangering the welfare of a child, criminal mischief over $1,000 and discharging a weapon in city limits. She was released on $8,000 unsecured bail, pending a preliminary hearing in the Court of Common Pleas.
It happened about 2:10 p.m. Wednesday when officers received a report that the Seaford Volunteer Fire Department was being shot at. When officers arrived on the scene, they found two bullet holes in a roll-up door on the west side of the firehouse.
Police say an investigation showed that a 3-year-old boy on a porch across the street had gotten the unsecured loaded shotgun from the home and fired at the firehouse.
Smullen, who is the boy's mother, was taken into custody and arrested on the aforementioned charges. Police say the shotgun was also recovered from the home and found to have been loaded with .38-caliber ammunition.
Seaford police detectives executed a search warrant at the home on the 200 block of Cannon Street where they located additional ammunition and a BB gun.
The Delaware Division of Family Services also responded and placed the child with his father.
A massive computer failure is crippling Virginia government, knocking out websites, blocking the issuance of driver's licenses, preventing the processing of jobless benefits and delaying welfare payments.
The outage, flaring Wednesday afternoon and expected to disrupt some services through the weekend, is attributed to 228 malfunctioning servers, which supply shared software and applications to clusters of state agency computers.
Twenty-six of more than 80 state agencies were hit by the shutdown, including the office of Gov. Bob McDonnell.
"We're disappointed to have a failure, an outage of this magnitude," Samuel A. Nixon Jr., head of the Virginia Information Technologies Agency, said yesterday. "No matter what you do, it's going to happen on occasion."
The incident is the latest embarrassment for VITA and Northrop Grumman, the company the state hired in 2005 to provide computer and communications services under a $2.3 billion contract -- Virginia's richest-ever privatization deal.
VITA and the firm, whose headquarters was lured to Northern Virginia from California by McDonnell, have quarreled for months over shoddy, expensive service. This past spring, VITA and the company announced a new agreement giving an additional $236 million to Northrop Grumman in return for a pledge of better service.
The Rain family of Lynchburg was hit twice by the computer blackout.
Marc Rain Jr., on his way to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, had lost his driver's license and tried to get it reissued Wednesday at the Department of Motor Vehicles office in Lynchburg, and then again yesterday in Richmond.
"We were dropping him off at college," said Rain's mother, Shelly Rain.
None of DMV's 74 offices could process license applications and may not be able to do so again until Monday, officials said. DMV still is handling other transactions, including vehicle decals and titles, and driving and vehicle records.
With its website inaccessible, thousands of out-of-work Virginians could not file jobless claims with the Virginia Employment Commission.
"Access to our website is down 100 percent," said VEC spokeswoman Joyce Fogg. "So no one can get to our website, not even us."
The Virginia Department of Social Services, which, among other things, manages child-support payments and aid to needy families, reports that the outage is disrupting benefits.
"It appears that some benefit payments will be delayed, but we will know more [today]," said spokeswoman Carla Hill. "We are still assessing and are doing everything we can to get back to normal business processes as quickly as possible."
Nixon, appointed by McDonnell under a new law strengthening gubernatorial control over VITA, said that the shutdown -- apparently the largest for the state since 2007 -- occurred about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Nixon said 228 of 3,600 servers were affected when technicians for EMC, a Northrop Grumman subcontractor, were checking for faulty equipment. Nixon said he believes state computer data are largely intact.
Nixon said it is too early to determine whether Northrop Grumman will be punished financially because of the outage. The latest contract, which extends the company's deal with the state from 10 to 13 years, includes new penalties for poor service.
"It depends on how long the outage remains," Nixon said.
Megan Mitchell, a spokeswoman for Northrop Grumman, said, "Knowledgeable and dedicated staff at the agencies, VITA and Northrop Grumman are working together to respond appropriately to the impacted systems.
She added, "It is our priority to minimize these impacts and restore services as quickly as possible."
However, the incident alarmed legislators already skeptical about the effectiveness of the VITA-Northrop Grumman deal, its rising cost to taxpayers and implications for other privatization ventures.
"It's pretty obvious that Northrop Grumman continues to underperform, and I think it would have been wise for the governor to require quality performance before extending the contract for three years," said Sen. Janet D. Howell, D-Fairfax, a member of the Senate Finance Committee.
"This is a sign that privatization is very complicated and should be entered into with caution."
SELBYVILLE -- The "kill pit" is where horses unworthy of auction are kept.
They are broken, bleeding and on the brink of death, awaiting transport to a foreign slaughterhouse.
"There was a horse there in extreme pain, suffering from stomach colic and a broken leg," said Shelley Wright-Estevam, owner of Sweet Meadow Stable. "While he was trying to lay down to relieve his pain, his rope was tied too short to find any comfort."
Moments later, she said, the horse died.
For 10 years, Wright-Estevam has been traveling to the New Holland Sales Stable in New Holland, Pa., to purchase horses that would otherwise be sold to slaughterhouses. She's rescued about 20 horses. This year, a group of her riding students took up the cause and purchased Rosco, a 5-year-old quarter horse cross.
"He was cute as a button," said Peyton Carter, 13. "We bid on him because he was in our price range and he turned out to be the most wonderful horse."
The other girls involved are Tarryn Chichester, 15, Rebecca Saltzman, 17, Taylor Smith, 16, and Andi Wade, 14. All live in the Bethany Beach and Rehoboth Beach area.(Scott Nathan photo)
If you help Contact Mindi or Peyton Carter at 302-227-6364 to find out how you can help rescue horses. For more information on Sweet Meadow Stable, visit www.sweetmeadowstable.com.
Carter and her friends began raising funds for Rosco early this summer, through bake sales, baby-sitting, business sponsorships and other means. They raised more than $1,000. With taxes, Rosco cost $505. According to Wright-Estevam, all horses worth less than $700 are purchased by "killer buyers," who ship the animals to Canada or Mexico where they are processed for their meat.
"All horses are slaughtered for human consumption in foreign countries," Wright-Estevam said. "With a large racing industry, America is the largest producer of horse meat."Rosco lucked out.
"We already have a few people interested in buying him," Carter said. "But we have to make sure that whoever takes him does not plan to send him back to auction."The girls have dubbed their effort "The Sweet Meadow Stable 2010 Rescue Team," and plan to continue raising funds to purchase more horses. Mindi Carter, Peyton's mother, said the girls could use all the community support they can get.
"They are doing this pretty much on their own, with guidance from their instructor, while learning valuable life lessons along the way," she said.
Philadelphia began rolling brownouts this month, joining cities from Baltimore to Sacramento that now shut some units every day. San Jose, Calif., laid off 49 firefighters last month. And Lawrence, Mass., north of Boston, has laid off firefighters and shut down half of its six firehouses, forcing the city to rely on help from neighboring departments each time a fire goes to a second alarm.
Fire chiefs and union officials alike say it is the first time they have seen such deep cuts in so many parts of the country. “I’ve never seen it so widespread,” said Harold A. Schaitberger, the general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters.
The risks of cutting fire service were driven home here last month when Bentley Do, a 2-year-old boy who was visiting relatives, somehow got his hands on a gum ball, put it in his mouth, started laughing and then began choking.
“It blocked the air hole,” said his uncle, Brian Do, who called 911 while other relatives frantically tried to dislodge the gum ball. “No air could flow in and out.”
It is only 600 steps from the front door of the neatly kept stucco home where the boy was staying to the nearest fire station, just down the block. But the station was empty that evening: its engine was in another part of town, on a call in an area usually covered by an engine that had been taken out of service as part of a brownout plan.The police came to the home within five minutes and began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, officials said. But it took nine and a half minutes — almost twice the national goal of arriving within five minutes — for the fire engine, with a paramedic and more medical equipment, to get there. An ambulance came moments later and took Bentley to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The San Diego Fire-Rescue chief, Javier Mainar, said it was impossible to say whether the delay contributed to Bentley’s death on July 20. But he said there was no doubt that the city’s brownouts, which take 13 percent of firefighters off the streets each day to save $11.5 million annually, led to the delay.
“You can just lock everything down and look at it sequentially, chronologically, as to what occurred,” Chief Mainar said in an interview. “There is no question that the brownout of Engine 44 resulted in Engine 38 having to take a response in that community, and because of that, Engine 38 was now out of position to respond to something that happened just down the street from their fire station.”
Fire service was once a sacred cow at budget time. But the downturn has lingered so long that many cities, which have already made deep cuts in other agencies, are now turning to their fire departments.
Some are trying to wrest concessions from unions, which over the years have won generous pension plans that allow many firefighters to retire in their 40s and 50s — plans that many cities say are unaffordable. Others want to reduce minimum-staffing requirements, which often force them to resort to costly overtime to fill shifts. Others are simply cutting service.
Analysts worry that some of the cuts could be putting people and property in danger. As the downturn has worn on, ISO, an organization that evaluates cities’ fire protection capabilities for the insurance industry, has downgraded more cities, said Michael R. Waters, ISO’s vice president of risk-detection services.“This is generally due to a reduction in firefighting personnel available for responding to calls, a reduction in the number of responding fire apparatus, and gaps in the optimal deployment of apparatus or deficiencies in firefighter training programs,” Mr. Waters said in a statement.
Several fire chiefs said in interviews that the cuts were making them nervous.
“It’s roulette,” said Chief James S. Clack of the Baltimore City Fire Department, which recently reduced the number of fire units closed each day to three from six. Officials saw that the closings in the 55-unit department were in some cases leading to longer response times. “I’m always worried that something’s going to happen where one of these companies is closed.”
Early in his mayoralty, Michael R. Bloomberg of New York closed six fire companies to save money. This year, a threat to close 20 more — a 6 percent reduction in New York’s fire companies — was averted when the city found savings elsewhere.
Several cities — including Lawrence — have said that they were forced to cut service because the unions failed to make concessions. Mr. Schaitberger, the union president, who was here for a union convention, said that protecting the pensions his members have won over the years was a top priority this year.
The pension issue has an added resonance in San Diego. The city was forced to consider a bankruptcy filing even before the Great Recession, and was barred from raising money by selling bonds to the public after officials disclosed that they had shortchanged the pension fund for city workers for years, even as they improved pension benefits. San Diego’s pension fund has only two-thirds of the money it needs to pay the benefits promised to retirees, according to an updated calculation made by the city in the spring, and faces a shortfall of $2.1 billion.
So even before the recession and the brownouts, fire service in San Diego was stretched thin. A previous San Diego fire chief, Jeff Bowman, was hired in 2002 with a mandate to build up the department, but he resigned in 2006, after the pension-fueled fiscal crisis surfaced and it became clear that he would not get the money to build and staff the extra fire stations he believed were needed. “The question is whether fire protection is adequate, and in my opinion it’s not,” he said in an interview.
After Bentley Do died, the City Council agreed to put a question on the ballot in November asking voters to approve a sales tax increase, which could be put in place only if the city adopts certain budget and pension reforms. The money could restore the fire service and help close a deep budget gap projected for next year.
But it would come too late for the Do family. Bentley, whose father, Nam Do, an American, was working in Vietnam as an architect, was just visiting San Diego with his mother, Mien Nguyen. Ms. Nguyen, who was six months pregnant, was here to take the oath of United States citizenship. She was sworn in the day after Bentley died, Brian Do, the uncle, said, but she fainted when she got her certificate and was taken to the hospital. Nam Do left his job in Vietnam to come here to grieve for his son, and goes to a temple every day, Brian Do said.
He said that the family had no plans to sue the city. “We’re not blaming the city or blaming the Fire Department,” he said, “but the reason I speak out is because I want them to do a better job for other people.”
After a day of outstanding surf Wednesday, organizers of the 48th annual East Coast Surfing Championships at the Oceanfront were expecting conditions to diminish for much of Thursday's preliminary heats.
There's nothing like a good surprise."It's actually been pretty good," competition director Paul West said early Thursday afternoon. "The tide is going out right now, and that's the worst time. But you can see we've still got some decent sets rolling in."
Good news for a guy who is trying to pare a field that started at more than 800 competing in 34 divisions for amateurs and professionals.
West said he already had narrowed most adult amateur divisions to the finals. He expected to have most other amateur divisions down to the same point by the end of today.
Some professional preliminaries have concluded, and more will take place today to get the fiel down to the "main event" - essentially the quarterfinals.
West said only the hottest surfers will be left Saturday, when ground swells being pushed in from Hurricane Danielle are expected to arrive.
"The weekend will be nothing but the best," West said. "Some of the best pros in the world are here - the people you see in the surfing magazines."West said Saturday's pro heats will surround two special events - the Quiksilver Super Grom for the youngest surfers and the Joel Tudor Duck Tape Invitational longboard showcase.
"The Joel Tudor is going to be pretty awesome," West said. "Some of the best longboard surfers in the world are going to be here. They'll be surfing on old-style boards that have to weigh at least 12 pounds and have single fins. They're very difficult to surf on. But these folks are the best, and the bigger swells could help."
In the Super Grom, children will catch waves with the assistance of adults. Since its inception at the ECSC a decade ago, the Super Grom has become one of the most popular spectator portions of the event.
West said competitors are putting forth their best efforts to make it to the weekend's better conditions - which, according to Wave Watch, should be overhead by Sunday.
"We're going to have some of the best amateur and professional surfers showing off their stuff all day Sunday, and they're going to be doing it on a hurricane swell," West said, beaming. "No way you could ask for anything more than that."
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The previously classified incident, which took place in 2008 in the Middle East, was disclosed in a magazine article by Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn and released by the Pentagon Wednesday.
He said a "malicious code" on the flash drive spread undetected on both classified and unclassified Pentagon systems, "establishing what amounted to a digital beachhead, from which data could be transferred to servers under foreign control."
"It was a network administrator's worst fear: a rogue program operating silently, poised to deliver operational plans into the hands of an unknown adversary," Lynn wrote in an article for Foreign Affairs. "This ... was the most significant breach of U.S. military computers ever and it served as an important wake-up call."
The Pentagon operation to counter the attack, known as Operation Buckshot Yankee, marked a turning point in U.S. cyberdefense strategy, Lynn said.
In November 2008, the Defense Department banned the use of the small high-tech storage devices that are used to move data from one computer to another. The ban was partially lifted early this year with the approval of limited use of the devices.Lynn did not disclose what, if any, military secrets may have been stolen in the 2008 penetration of the system, what nation orchestrated the attack, nor whether there were any other repercussions.
The article went on to warn that U.S. adversaries can threaten American military might without building stealth fighters, aircraft carriers or other expensive weapons systems.
"A dozen determined computer programmers can, if they find a vulnerability to exploit, threaten the United States' global logistics network, steal its operational plans, blind its intelligence capabilities, or hinder its ability to deliver weapons on target," Lynn wrote.
"Knowing this, many militaries are developing offensive capabilities in cyberspace, and more than 100 foreign intelligence organizations are trying to break into U.S. networks," he said.
Defense officials have said repeatedly that the military system of some 15,000 computer networks and seven million computers suffers millions of probes a day with threats coming from a range of attackers from routine hackers to foreign governments looking to steal sensitive information or bring down critical, life-sustaining systems.
A worker at the site alleges the manager for the construction project swore workers to secrecy after human skeletal remains were found on the site last year.
Paul Smith, a pipe layer who was laid off last week from the nearly completed project, this week brought a collection of bones he says were found there to the Onancock Town Office.
"We found bodies all over that job site," said Smith, who until he was laid off, worked for Galway Bay Corp. of Mount Braddock, Pa., the company building the plant.
"It must have been an old cemetery," he said.
Smith said workers told the manager about finding bones that appeared to be human, but he allegedly told them to keep quiet.
"If we say anything, we're ... done, is what he told us," Smith said. "It was all about the mighty dollar."
The bones Smith handed over to the town included a human jawbone, some teeth, a femur attached to a hip socket and another leg bone -- all of which he said were dug up during the plant's construction.
He also said another worker had found a complete human skull.
The remains were turned over to the Accomack County Sheriff's Office and will be taken to the medical examiner's office in Norfolk, Va., for identification, said Major Todd Godwin.
A second worker, Thomas Parks of Onancock, said he found "probably 20 or 30 bones" that appeared to be human at the site. He also claims he was told by the boss not to say anything.
"I just started stockpiling them," Parks said, adding that the manager's dismissal of the discoveries troubled him. "I was really frustrated about him not saying anything about it -- this is my home; I grew up here."
When reached for comment, Galway Bay President Greg Maynard said he became aware of Smith's allegations only a half hour before when he received a telephone call from Onancock Town Manager Sandy Manter.
Manter was out of town Wednesday and a receptionist at the town office referred all inquiries to the Sheriff's Office.
Maynard said after speaking with Manter he called the project manager, who denied knowing about human remains being found at the site.
The manager in question had "no knowledge of it happening; it was never reported to him by the workers," Maynard said.
Some 20-30 workers were on the job and many knew about the grisly discoveries, Smith said.
"All the electricians knew. Anybody that was on a backhoe knew," Parks said.
Smith said he kept the bones he found inside a shed at his home.
"It was an emotional burden," he said, but added he feared his livelihood would be endangered if he revealed their existence.
Parks moved back in with his parents after he was let go from the job and said the bones he found, mostly leg bones, are packed away among his stored belongings in a box from the job site labeled "mixed parts."
"That's just a bad joke," he said.
Parks said he originally thought reburying the bones himself once construction was completed would be "a respectful thing," but said he now plans to turn them over to authorities.
Last fall, two 19th century headstones were found at the plant site and an archaeologist was brought in to investigate. He concluded they likely came from a cemetery in Belle Haven.
Smith said he and other employees were "told to get out" and given three days off without pay during the period when the archeological survey was conducted.
Workers found the skeletal remains about 200 feet north of where the headstones were found, in a location between an old concrete tank and some metal tanks, Smith said.
Parks said the hole from which he saw human remains being pulled out was "at least 6-8 feet deep." The location is now covered by concrete, wires and pipes, he said.
That was not the case, though, for Linda Walton.
On Friday, nine days after a mortuary service picked up Walton's corpse from an apartment in Carrboro, police were called to investigate a foul odor in downtown Graham, a small Alamance County town about 55 miles west of Raleigh.
Investigators traced the smell to a hearse owned by David B. Lawson Mortuary, the undertaker that picked up Walton's body Aug. 11. Walton, 37, who investigators think died about a week before she was discovered, was still in the back of the undertaker's vehicle.
The gruesome find set off an investigation by police and the Alamance County district attorney's office. Their findings have sparked an inquiry by the N.C. Board of Funeral Service, which is responsible for the administration and regulation of the profession of funeral service in North Carolina.
Police do not suspect foul play in Walton's death. But investigators had not determined whether Lawson, the owner of the mortuary service that had her body, had run afoul of the law.
Lawson, a licensed funeral director and embalmer in North Carolina for 34 years, did notrespond to phone calls seeking comment.
Capt. Joel Booker of the Carrboro police department said Lawson's service was called after investigators couldn't find Walton's next of kin. Police believed that she had died of natural causes so there would be no autopsy ordered by the state medical examiner.
Lawson Mortuary, Booker said, was on a list of mortuaries that would pick up bodies. Carrboro investigators said when Lawson's showed up at the apartment in western Carrboro, investigators told the driver that they were having difficulty finding Walton's family.
"What the investigators told me is Lawson's said, 'Not a problem. We'll put her in deep-freeze,'" Booker said. "So off they go, and that's the last we know of it until we heard from Graham police last week."
It was unclear whether Lawson's had a refrigerated unit for storing bodies.
The panel deliberated for about three and a half hours last night before finding 47 year old Jeffrey Plishka of Onley, not guilty in the 1991 slaying of 24 year old Laura Ronning in a remote part of Wayne County.
Plishka was released from custody after the verdict and left the courthouse with his father, opera singer Paul Plishka and stepmother.
Ronning was a counselor at Camp Cayuga when she disappeared on July 27, 1991 while walking to Tanner's Falls. Her body was discovered the next morning.
The defense argued there wasn't enough evidence to convict and sought to shift blame to tow unknown men seen flirting with the victim a few days later.
And these are the brave men and women that gave their time and dedication to us and to this great country that we all share. It is safe to say that without them, without their sacrifices, without their loyalty and devotion to ALL of us and America, even small events like the races we plan to attend would not be the same.
LET'S GIVE THEM A HEROES WELCOME AND MAKE THEM PROUD OF US! And let's make this the biggest charity Gumboro Mudbog has ever had!
Admission: Adults $7.00
Children under 10 Free (ALL CHILDREN MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT!!!)
Pit admission will now be $5 per person.
All drivers & 1 crew person FREE in pits
Gate opens at 11:00 AM
Race will begin @ 1:00pm
(Mini-open & Unlimited Classes $50 to register)
ALL EVENTS WILL BE “RUN FOR MONEY ”
(Cash prize determined by number of participants per class)
*****RAFFLES THROUGHOUT THE DAY*****
NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ALLOWED
NO EXCESS VEHICLES IN THE PITS.
For more information on racing and for directions go to www.gumboromudbog.com
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The remains were discovered by a former employee of a contractor for the Town of Onancock and were taken to the town office. Further investigation revealed that during the early stages of construction at this site, a headstone from 1800's was found and work was ceased until the site was cleared by the James River Institute for Archaeology and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
Major Godwin stated the skeletal remains are being transported to the Medical Examiners Office in Norfolk, Virginia and the investigation is continuing.
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The country agreed to free 31-year-old Aijalon Mahli Gomes if Carter came to retrieve him.
The Boston resident was teaching English in South Korea, but was sent to eight years in a hard labor camp and fined $700,000 on Jan. 25 for allegedly crossing into North Korea and for an unspecified "hostile act."
Two officials who spoke anonymously because the sensitivity of the situation, told the Associated Press that Carter will spend one night in North Korea and will return with Gomes on Friday.
A senior U.S. official said that Carter is not representing the U.S. government and was going on the mission solely for humanitarian purposes. In early August, state department officials secretly took part in a failed mission to North Korea in attempt to free Gomes.
The case mirrors that of Laura Ling and Euna Lee, two American journalists detained in North Korea after they crossed illegally into North Korea. Former president Bill Clinton went to the country in August 2009 to secure their release at the request of the communist country.It is not clear why Gomes entered North Korea. He had previously attended protests in Seoul in support of Robert Park, a U.S. missionary who entered the country to protest human rights abuses. Park was eventually released.
Gomes had tried to commit suicide in the labor camp last month, North Korean news agencies reported.
No illnesses have been reported from the 380,000 pounds of meat products that were made by Tyson Foods unit Zemco Industries in Buffalo and may contain Listeria, said Gary Mickelson, spokesman for Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson.
"It's believed most of the affected products have already been consumed," he said. The sandwiches have been removed from store shelves nonetheless.
It wasn't immediately clear how many stores sold the meat products. A spokeswoman for Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation's largest retailer, could not say where it was sold.
The products being recalled were all labeled as Marketside Grab and Go Sandwiches.
The online classified advertising site Craigslist has been asked by a group of state attorneys general, including Virginia's Ken Cuccinelli, to remove its adult services listings category, which they say features ads for prostitution and "trafficking children."
A bipartisan assembly of prosecutors from 17 states this week sent a letter to Craigslist officials calling for "immediate action to end the misery for the women and children who may be exploited and victimized by these ads."
According to Cuccinelli, the recent letter follows a 2008 agreement between state prosecuters and Craigslist owners who pledged to step up monitoring for illegal activity and to coordinate with local law enforcement.
Since then, Cuccinelli contends, there hasn't been much evidence to suggest that the number of "illegal advertisements on the Web site" has been reduced.
"The Adult Services section of Craigslist.com has become a forum for inviting illegal - and potentially very dangerous - activity throughout Virginia," Cuccinelli said in a statement about the joint letter. "Given the frequency that law enforcement finds these ads on the site, it seems clear that whatever monitoring Craigslist may be doing of posts is not sufficient."
Cuccinelli's office plans to contact Virginia sheriffs and police chiefs about potential illegal activity on Craigslist and has offered the investigative assistance of the attorney general's computer crimes sections.
In a statement, Craigslist said: "We strongly support the Attorneys General desire to end trafficking in children and women, through the Internet or by any other means. We hope to work closely with them, as we are with experts at nonprofits and in law enforcement, to prevent misuse of our site in facilitation of trafficking, and to combat such crimes wherever they appear, online or offline."