TechNews: Apple and App Makers Hit with Privacy Lawsuits
Consumers who say their personal information has been sent to advertisers without their knowledge have launched a legal battle against Apple and the makers of some of its most popular apps, the latest skirmish in the fight over the boundaries of privacy online.
Two new class-action suits filed last week in U.S. District Court in California name the creators of Backflip, Dictionary.com, Pandora and the Weather Channel, among others, in addition to Apple.
The suits follow attempts by federal regulators and lawmakers to set clear standards in the rapidly evolving - and often murky - world of digital data.
“Users ought to have control over the amount of data that is sent of their activities,“ said a lawyer who is working on the case. “It’s an invasion of their privacy, and it’s done without their consent.
The suits said personal information at risk included users’ ages, gender and location along with a unique device identifying number, or UDID, that Apple assigns to all iPhones and iPads.
Apple and Pandora declined to comment on the lawsuits.
The Weather Channel did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and Backflip and Dictionary.com couldn’t immediately be reached.
Several app makers told the Wall Street Journal that they only aggregate the data and do not link it to individual users.
The Mobile Marketing Association, an industry trade group, announced last week that it is crafting privacy guidelines for data collection and use and said the industry was committed to transparency.
Washington policymakers have struggled to keep pace with the overflowing stream of information transmitted online, and mobile devices such as the iPhone represent the latest frontier.
A Senate subcommittee held a hearing on the issue over the summer, and Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA) has sought privacy legislation for consumers.
Then, in a report this month, the Federal Trade Commission criticized the industry as “too slow” in establishing privacy standards and said it has “failed to provide adequate and meaningful protection.“
The agency also found that consumers are shouldering too much of the burden in protecting themselves, particularly when privacy disclosures, if they exist, can be difficult to find and understand. It suggested allowing consumers to choose how much of their personal information to share by creating a do-not-track system similar to its popular do-not-call list.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department issued guidelines for balancing consumer privacy with mobile innovation.
The report called for a “Privacy Bill of Rights” for consumers and codes of conduct for businesses - and consequences for violating them.
The lawsuits “illustrate what consumer groups have been telling Congress, the FTC and the White House: The same rampant data collection techniques threatening privacy on the Internet have been purposely migrated to our mobile phones,“ said the founder and executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a consumer advocacy group.
He said his suit does not seek to stop the companies from accessing and distributing consumers’ data. Instead, the suit is looking for greater transparency and control.
“It’s not, ‘Is it bad to transfer information about somebody?‘ “ He said. ”It’s, ‘Is it bad to do it without their knowing about it and having a choice in it?‘ “
“All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.”—James Madison
After a lawsuit and pressure from private interest groups, the Justice Department finally released a 617-page report detailing how the American government not only welcomed but employed Nazis after World War II. Although this might appear to be ancient history, this report is perhaps more relevant to our age than it might seem. After all, if our benevolent government leaders—part of the so-called “greatest generation”—brought Nazis home to roost back then and enlisted them in subjecting Americans to all manner of experiments, what are they capable of doing to us now?
Take Project Paperclip, for example. Few have heard of it because the U.S. government has successfully concealed most of the facts surrounding the project. The government has passed it off as a short-term operation limited to an innocent investigation of Germany’s scientists after World War II. In reality, Project Paperclip was the largest and longest-running operation involving Nazis in the history of the United States, and its effects are still being felt today.
At the close of World War II, U.S. officials and the Allied countries discovered that Germany had achieved a technological superiority far beyond what they had imagined. In Nazi Germany, 20,000 scientists had revolutionized the weapons of war, and reports written by Allied investigators described the Germans’ “astonishing achievement” and “superb inventions.” In order to learn about the new German technology and weaponry, Russia, France, Great Britain and the United States began transporting German experts to their respective countries for interrogation. The Cold War was just beginning, and U.S. officials were determined to use any means necessary to keep the scientists responsible for Germany’s scientific supremacy out of Russian hands. At the same time, they aimed to acquire a technological lead against Russia. Thus, the United States began recruiting Nazi scientists.
In 1945, President Harry S. Truman authorized Project Paperclip, a program designed to bring selected German scientists to work for the United States during the Cold War. However, Truman expressly forbade anyone found to have been “a member of the Nazi party and more than a nominal participant in its activities, or an active supporter of Nazism.” The War Department’s Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) was to conduct background investigations of the scientists, to be approved by the State Department.
Against Truman’s orders, however, the JIOA, Army intelligence and the CIA concealed incriminating information about the Germans they were hiring. Many of the 1,600 scientific and research specialists and their dependents brought to America under Project Paperclip had been deeply involved in Nazi society during the war. However, some U.S. officials, determined to recruit these men, sidestepped the problem of their Nazi backgrounds by “cleansing” and re-writing their information files to eliminate incriminating evidence. As a way of identifying the German scientists, American officials put an ordinary paperclip on their personnel files—thus the origin of the operation’s name.
While official American policy after the war was to prosecute war criminals for the atrocities committed under Adolf Hitler, many sectors of the U.S. government concealed incriminating evidence in order to bring these individuals into the U.S.
For example, Wernher von Braun was described in early security evaluations as “a serious potential security threat.” He had been a member of the SS and risen to the rank of major under Hitler. From 1937 to 1945, he was the technical director of the Peenemunde rocket research center in Germany, where the V-2 rocket was developed. When von Braun was brought to the United States in 1948, his file was re-written: “No derogatory information is available on the subject. He does not constitute a security threat to the United States.” Von Braun worked on guided missiles for the U.S. Army and later became director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. In 1970, he became NASA’s associate administrator.
Arthur Rudolf was operations director of the Mittelwerk factory at the Dora-Nordhausen concentration camps, where, according to Tom Bower in The Paperclip Conspiracy, 20,000 workers died from beatings, hangings and starvation. A member of the Nazi Party since 1931, Rudolf’s 1945 security evaluation read: “100% Nazi, dangerous type, security threat.” However, when the JIOA took an interest in Rudolf’s scientific work, it changed his dossier to read: “Nothing in his records indicating that he was a war criminal or an ardent Nazi.” As a result, Rudolf became a U.S. citizen. He later designed the Saturn 5 rocket used in the Apollo moon landing and received NASA’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal. He remained in the United States until 1984, when an investigation of his war record finally began and he fled to Germany.
Kurt Blome, a high-ranking Nazi scientist, told U.S. interrogators in 1945 that he had experimented with plague vaccines on concentration camp prisoners. He was tried in the Nuremberg War Trials—but acquitted—on charges of extermination of sick prisoners and conducting experiments on humans. Only two months after the trial, he was interviewed at Camp David, Md., about his scientific expertise. His file showed no record of his Nuremberg trial. Blome was hired by the U.S. Army Chemical Corps to work on chemical and biological warfare.
Hermann Becker-Freyseng was convicted at Nuremberg and sentenced to 20 years in prison for conducting experiments on Dachau concentration camp inmates, including starving them and force-feeding them chemically altered seawater. Before the trial, however, he was paid by the Army Air Force to write reports about his inhumane experiments.
Georg Rikhey worked for the JIOA at Wright Field from 1946 until his arrest a year later for Nazi war crimes. During the war, Rikhey headed the slave labor factory Mittelwerk at the Dora concentration camps. Among other atrocities, there are reports that Rikhey had numerous slave laborers hung from a crane to die slowly in public view. During his time in the United States, Rikhey’s job was to translate 42 boxes of Mittelwerk documents shipped from Normandy—the very documents a U.S. Army war crimes unit sought to use as evidence of Rikhey’s own crimes.
Defenders of Project Paperclip cite achievements such as the moon rockets and jet planes as positive products of postwar research in our country. But what Paperclip’s defenders fail to mention is the shockingly inhumane psychochemical experimentation conducted on over 7,000 U.S. soldiers under the project.
Edgewood Arsenal, located near Baltimore, Md., is the most secret military base in the country. Paperclip scientists worked there between 1947 and 1966 conducting experiments on American citizens. Initially, their main efforts were to test the poison gases that had been invented by the Nazis during the war. Soon, the testing turned to LSD and other mind-control agents. Nazi science that was reminiscent of concentration camp experimentation was used as the basis for research in the United States on Americans.
MKULTRA, for example, is the name of the mind control experiments conducted on U.S. soldiers under Project Paperclip. Reviewing the experiments in the late 1950s, one CIA auditor wrote of them: “Precautions must be taken not only to protect operations from exposure to enemy forces but also to conceal these activities from the American public in general. The knowledge that the agency is engaging in unethical and illicit activities would have serious repercussions.”
Master Sergeant James Stanley, for one, remembers being locked in an isolated room with barred windows, padded walls and furniture bolted to the floor. A doctor instructed him to drink a glass of clear liquid containing LSD, telling him it was water. An hour later, Stanley’s head filled with terrifying visions and he became violently ill.
In 1992, the highly respected physician Dr. D.C. Hammond gave a lecture at the Conference on Abuse and Multiple Personality. In his discussion of horrifying brainwashing methods being used in the same way all over the country, he notes its beginning:
Here’s where it appears to have come from. At the end of World War II, before it even ended, Allen Dulles and people from our Intelligence Community were already in Switzerland making contact to get out Nazi scientists. As World War II ends, they not only get out rocket scientists, but they also get out some Nazi doctors who have been doing mind-control research in the camps. They brought them to the United States.
The recruitment of the men responsible for atrocities committed under Hitler to fight the Cold War resulted in serious breaches of U.S. security, as well as extremely inhumane treatment of American soldiers, similar to that of concentration camp prisoners. On the security level, as Linda Hunt writes in Secret Agenda:
In direct defiance of President Truman’s policy, the Paperclip masterminds brazenly had the German scientists’ records changed to expunge evidence of war crimes and ardent Nazism and secure permanent immigration status for them in the U.S. Ostensibly that was done in the interest of national security. Once here, however, the scientists were given access to classified information that revealed the inner-most workings of our defense system. As a result, it was not long before the very people brought here to ensure our security had themselves become a security risk. Eventually some of the scientists took advantage of security lapses and left the country with classified material. German specialist Heinz Gartmann, for example, left Wright Field air base with turbojet rocket engine blueprints in his hand luggage. The full extent of the damage from incidents like that is still unknown.
Even worse, on a moral level, Nazis went unpunished and federal law was violated. Worst of all, as Linda Hunt has documented, Nazi attitudes toward research on human subjects were imported and adopted by various U.S. officials. “The Machiavellian attitude behind these operations was born when a World War II ally became a new enemy and the world axis shifted…[but] no matter how necessary intelligence activities may be, they cannot be allowed to operate unchecked, in secrecy and darkness, shielded from the democratic process of accountability. Otherwise, in the end we become our own worst enemy.”
Opens today December 29, 2010 | Runtime: 1 hr. 54 min. R - Strong graphic sexual content, language and a beating
BLUE VALENTINE is a story of love found and love lost told in past and present moments in time. Flooded with romantic memories of their courtship, Dean and Cindy use one night to try and save their failing marriage. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams star in this honest portrait of a relationship on the rocks.
While Cindy has blossomed into a woman with opportunities and options, David is still the same person he was when they met, and is unable to accept either Cindy’s growth or his lack of it. Innovatively structured, the narrative unfolds in two distinct time frames, juxtaposing scenes of first love and youthful sexuality, with those of disenchantment and discord.
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel, John Doman, Faith Wladyka Director: Derek Cianfrance Genres: Marriage DramaDrama
Opened December 29, 2010 | Runtime: 2 hr. 9 min. R – Language
An aging receptionist (Lesley Manville) desperately tries to ease the pain of her loneliness by flirting with her employer’s much-younger son.
Cast: David Bradley, Jim Broadbent, Karina Fernandez, Oliver Maltman, Lesley Manville Director: Mike Leigh Genres: Drama
UPCOMING RELEASES (Dates Subject to Change) January 07: Season of the Witch, Country Strong January 14: Green Hornet (3-D), The Dilemma, Rabbit Hole January 21: No Strings Attached, The way Back January 28: The Mechanic, The Rite February 04: The Roommate, Sanctum (3D) February 11: The Eagle, Gnomeo & Juliet (3D), Just Go with It, Justin Bieber Never Say Never February 18: Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, I Am Number Four, Unknown February 25: Drive Angry (3D), Hall Pass, Shelter
Bon Appétit: Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Crisp Pancetta / Bacon
1lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed
5oz diced pancetta or bacon
7oz cooked chestnuts, broken into large pieces
1 tbsp sugar
7 fl oz vegetable stock
Boil the sprouts for three minutes until starting to soften slightly, then drain.
Fry the pancetta/bacon until crisp, then remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the chestnuts and sugar, tossing in the pan, then add the stock and reduce by half.
Add the sprouts and pancetta/bacon back to the pan and warm through to serve.
Issued by The National Weather Service
6:36 AM EST, Thursday, December 30, 2010
... FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON EST TODAY…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHARLESTON HAS ISSUED A FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY… WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON EST TODAY.
* TIMING: LIGHT FREEZING RAIN OVERSPREADING THE AREA FIRST THING THIS MORNING WILL CHANGE TO PLAIN RAIN AROUND 11 AM TO NOON… AS TEMPERATURES SLOWLY CLIMB ABOVE FREEZING.
* ICE ACCUMULATIONS: LESS THAN A TENTH OF AN INCH.
* IMPACTS: A LIGHT ACCUMULATION OF ICE MAY CAUSE TRAVEL PROBLEMS THIS MORNING… ESPECIALLY ON UNTREATED ROADWAYS AND WALKWAYS. PROBLEMS ARE MOST LIKELY WHEN AND WHERE THE TEMPERATURE IS 30 DEGREES OR LOWER.
A FREEZING RAIN ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF FREEZING RAIN OR FREEZING DRIZZLE WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS. SLOW DOWN AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
We are told that she was a prophetess, old, a widow, and served God day and night in the Temple.
We are told elsewhere that Anna was given charge of Mary when Mary was dedicated, at age 11, to the Temple.
Anna the prophetess recognised who the infant Jesus was.
Anna praised God and ‘spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem’.
It is interesting that Anna is named as a prophetess.
Interesting that a woman spoke in the Temple.
Interesting that, with Simeon, she recognised the baby for who he was.
And she, a woman, proclaimed it.
In the Temple.
Not many women are named in the Hebrew or Christian scriptures.
Anna is one of the few.
1 John 2:12-17. Let heaven and earth exult in joy! —Ps 95(96):7-10. Luke 2:36-40.
Harold Joe Taylor
Age 84, of Frametown, WV departed this life on Thursday, December 23, 2010 after a long illness.
He was an avid fisherman and hunter. He loved the outdoors. He was retired from Columbia Gas and was a Navy veteran. He was founder of Taylor Heating and Cooling, Charleston, WV.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Glenna Mae Taylor; his parents; two sisters and one brother.
He is survived by two daughters, Brenda Walton and husband, Ron of South Charleston and Debbie Mullens and husband, Robert of Cross Lanes; son, Billy Joe Taylor and wife, Nancy of South Charleston; seven grandchildren , seven great grandchildren and one on the way.
Service was 2:00 PM Monday, December 27 at Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway with Elder Robert Wood officiating.
Burial was in the Sugar Creek Cemetery, Gassaway.
Friends called one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
Arrangements by Richard M. Roach Funeral Home, Gassaway.
John Leslie Prutsman
Age 58, of Rt. 1 Pennsboro, Greenwood Community, departed this life on Friday, December 24, 2010, in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
He was born on May 06, 1952, a son of the late Lois York Prutsman and Everett L. Prutsman, Auburndale, FL.
On June 20, 1997, he married Susan Perine Prutsman, who survives.
Also surviving are one daughter, Wendy Price, Bement, IL; two sons, Michael Prutsman, Chicago, IL, Daniel Prutsman, Urbana, IL, one adopted son, Randy Prutsman, Salt Lake City, UT; stepmother, Evelyn Youngs Prutsman.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Donna Prutsman, and stepmother, Mary Rose Hart Prutsman.
Mr. Prutsman had served as a deputy in Wendover, UT, and was a truck driver for 25 years. He was a loving husband and father and will be sadly missed by his family and friends.
At the request of Mr. Prutsman, he was cremated. Services will be held at the convenience of the family.
Spurgeon Funeral Home is privileged to serve the Prutsman family.
Orval Lee Lamb
Age 78, of Jane Lew, WV, died Saturday, December 25, 2010, at his residence following an extended illness.
He was born May 21, 1932, in Alum Bridge, WV, a son of the late Charles B. Lamb and Sara L. Lamb.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one son, Gary Lee Lamb; one daughter, Lois Marie Lamb; one son-in-law, Donald Cress; one grandson, Kyle Lee Cress; four brothers, Bob Lamb, Harold Lamb, Ronald Lamb and Charles Lamb; and three sisters, Norma Jackson, JoAnn Myers Burkhammer and Eileen Bailey.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Juanita Carter Lamb; three daughters, Pattie Cress of Horner, WV, Kathy Smith and husband Harold of Jane Lew and Kim Oxley and husband Allen of Thornville, OH; seven grandchildren, Christopher R. Franklin, Sean G. Cress, Michael B. Franklin, Gary L. Lamb, Robert M. Smith, Taylor Oxley and Alexis Oxley; seven great-grandchildren; three brothers, Gerald Lamb and wife Helen of Jane Lew, Jack Lamb and wife Geneva of Alum Bridge and Bill Lamb and wife Carolyn of Alum Bridge; and several nieces and nephews.
Orval retired from Consolidated Gas with 42 years of service as a heavy equipment operator.
He was Christian by faith.
He enjoyed working on hot rods and watching NASCAR races.
Friends called from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Tuesday, December 28, 2010, at Boyle Funeral Home, 322 Main Avenue, Weston, WV.
Funeral services were held 2:00 PM Tuesday, December 28, 2010, at the Boyle Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Bill Hunt, Sr. officiating.
Interment will follow in Rock Grove Cemetery, Linn, WV.
Elma B. (Davis) Barnett
Age 86, of Parkersburg, WV, departed this life on Wednesday, December 29, 2010, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Parkersburg.
Elma was born November 11, 1924 in Braxton County, WV, a daughter to the late C. Dale and Ethel Mae (Bosley) Davis.
She started working with her twin sister, Wilma, as a “Rosie the Riveter” in an airplane plant in Ohio. She later served as a school cook for three years in Webster County, and later became a housewife for her family.
She faithfully attended North Parkersburg Baptist Church, loved to crochet, loved her flowers, and visiting the sick.
She is survived by her children, Cheryl Messer (Marvin), West Milford, WV, Brenda Barnes (Mike), Vienna, WV, Terry Barnett (Mary Jo), Davisville, WV, Tim Barnett (Tammy), Parkersburg; sisters, Sharon Ellison, Concord, NC; her identical twin, Wilma Hollister, Parkersburg; brothers, Oris Davis, Mercersburg, PA; Larry Don Davis, Fredericksburg, VA; 14 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren, and eight great-great-grandchildren. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Howard Barnett; sister, Veda Hill; brother, Gerald Davis, and grandaughter, Kathyrn Lynn Keister.
Funeral services will be 11:00 AM Friday at the Leavitt Funeral Home, Parkersburg, with interment to follow in Sunset Memory Gardens.
Friends may call the funeral home from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 PM Thursday.
Today is Thursday, Dec. 30, the 364th day of 2010. There is one day left in the year.
Thought for Today: “I respect faith, but doubt is what gives you an education.“ - Wilson Mizner, American playwright (1876-1933).
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 30, 1860, 10 days after South Carolina seceded from the Union, the state militia seized the United States Arsenal in Charleston, completing a takeover of all federal property in the city except Fort Sumter.
On this date:
In 1813, the British burned Buffalo, N.Y., during the War of 1812.
In 1853, the United States and Mexico signed a treaty under which the U.S. agreed to buy some 45,000 square miles of land from Mexico for $10 million in a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase.
In 1903, about 600 people died when fire broke out at the recently opened Iroquois Theater in Chicago.
In 1922, Vladimir I. Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
In 1936, the United Auto Workers union staged its first “sit-down” strike, at the Fisher Body Plant No. 1 in Flint, Mich.
In 1940, California’s first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena, was officially opened by Gov. Culbert L. Olson.
In 1948, the Cole Porter musical “Kiss Me, Kate” opened on Broadway.
In 1972, the United States halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam.
In 1994, a gunman walked into a pair of suburban Boston abortion clinics and opened fire, killing two employees. (John C. Salvi III was later convicted of murder; he died in prison, an apparent suicide.)
In 2006, Iraqis awoke to news that Saddam Hussein had been hanged; victims of his three decades of autocratic rule took to the streets to celebrate.
Ten years ago:
• In the Philippines, 22 people were killed in five bombings in the Manila area that were blamed on terrorists.
• Hollywood screenwriter Julius J. Epstein, who co-wrote the script for “Casablanca,“ died in Los Angeles at age 91.
Five years ago:
• President George W. Bush, unhappy with Congress for not permanently extending the USA Patriot Act, signed a bill renewing the anti-terrorism law for a few weeks.
• Tropical Storm Zeta formed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean; it was the 27th storm of a record-breaking hurricane season.
One year ago:
• Seven CIA employees and a Jordanian intelligence officer were killed by a suicide bomber at a U.S. base in Khost, Afghanistan.
• British contractor Peter Moore was freed more than two years after he was abducted outside Iraq’s Finance Ministry.
• Former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid, 69, who had ruled after the fall of dictator Suharto, died in Jakarta.
Actor Joseph Bologna is 76
Actor Russ Tamblyn is 76
Baseball Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax is 75
Actor Jack Riley is 75
Folk singer Noel Paul Stookey is 73
TV director James Burrows is 70
Actor Fred Ward is 68
Singer-musician Michael Nesmith is 68
Singer Davy Jones is 65
Actress Concetta Tomei (toh-MAY’) is 65
Singer Patti Smith is 64
Rock singer-musician Jeff Lynne is 63
TV host Meredith Vieira is 57
Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph is 55
Actress Patricia Kalember is 54
Country singer Suzy Bogguss is 54
“Today” show co-host Matt Lauer is 53
Actress-comedian Tracey Ullman is 51
Rock musician Rob Hotchkiss is 50
Radio-TV commentator Sean Hannity is 49
Sprinter Ben Johnson is 49
Actor George Newbern is 47
Singer Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) is 41
Rock musician Byron McMackin (Pennywise) is 41
Actress Meredith Monroe is 41
Actor Daniel Sunjata is 39
Actress Maureen Flannigan is 38
Actor Jason Behr is 37
Golfer Tiger Woods is 35
TV personality-boxer Laila Ali is 33
Singer-actor Tyrese Gibson is 32
Actress Eliza Dushku is 30
Rock musician Tim Lopez (Plain White T’s) is 30
Actress Kristin Kreuk is 28
NBA player LeBron James is 26
Normantown Elementary School is celebrating Red Ribbon-Drug Free Week.
Each day features different attire in which students and staff can dress.
L-R: Tena Church 3rd grade, Jane Smith 2nd grade, Pam Minigh 1st grade, Julie Allen Title I,
Heather Phares Sp. Ed., Faye Chambers Principal, Julie Stewart 4/5th grade,
Tammy Moore 5/6 grade and Miranda Canfield, Interventionist.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 was Twins Day.
The students were excited to see their teachers all dressed alike!
On Friday, October 29, 2010 the students had a red balloon launch to end the festivities.
A Special Gubernatorial Election Is Up to WV Supreme Court
Those on the state Supreme Court now have all of the information they need to decide what happens next with the lawsuit calling on the Court to order a Special Gubernatorial Election for early 2011.
Last Monday was the deadline for those named in the lawsuit to respond.
They are Acting Governor and Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin, House Speaker Rick Thompson and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.
Tennant says her response explains that the Secretary of State’s Office does not have the authority to call a Special Election and details what would go into such an effort.
“We wanted to show how it would progress if there were a Special Election for Governor in 2011,“ Tennant said in a statement. “Our goal in the Secretary of State’s Office is to protect voters and third party candidates to make sure they have access to the ballot.“
She says, as opposed to the Special Primary Election for U.S. Senate earlier this year, she would like more time, at least 90 days, to pull off an election for governor next year, if that is what the Supreme Court orders.
In his brief filing, Acting Governor Tomblin says that there appears to be a consensus that current statutes provide for a new election in 2012. He says, as he sees it, waiting until then will not violate the state Constitution, but he says that is not totally up to him.
“In my view, the determination of when an election should be held lies with the people, as expressed through the Legislature, as an entire body,“ Tomblin said.
“Thus, if there is an overwhelming sentiment for an election, I would be happy to work with the Legislature to accomplish that goal and arrange for an election prior to 2012.“
Acting Governor Tomblin also said the following: “I have an abiding faith in our Supreme Court of Appeals and I know our justices will make a decision that is firmly based on the law.“
Earlier this year, the state Supreme Court combined the two Special Election lawsuits that were filed into one. Those filings came from South Charleston Attorney Thornton Cooper and the West Virginia Citizen Action Group.
The Court could opt to completely reject the case outright, schedule full arguments or issue an opinion without hearing full arguments.
New Year’s Day of 1861 saw the largest gathering ever to take place in the city of Parkersburg or Wood County.
The county courthouse was filled with western Virginians who opposed secession.
The group appointed a committee with General John Jackson, Sr. acting as chairman.
The committee submitted what would come to be called “The Parkersburg Resolutions.”
The resolutions declared that secession had no constitutional basis and was therefore “revolution,” stating, “…our national prosperity, our hopes of happiness and future security, depend upon preserving the Union as it is, and we see nothing in the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency of the United States—as much as we may have desired the election of another—as affording any just or reasonable cause for the abandonment of what we regard as the best Government ever yet devised.” The resolutions also called for a Virginia legislative convention to consider the state’s stand upon the revolutionary movement of South Carolina as “but a Southern ruse.”
In addition to General Jackson, prominent anti-secessionists who spoke to the assembly included his son John J. Jackson, Jr. as well as the future first governor of West Virginia, Arthur I. Boreman, and former member of the General Assembly, James M. Stephenson.
General Jackson was the grandson of George Jackson, a revolutionary army colonel and delegate to Virginia’s convention to ratify the constitution. After serving on the staff of Gen. Andrew Jackson, he represented Wood County as a prosecuting attorney and as a member of the state legislature. Less than a year later his son would be nominated as a federal judge by President Abraham Lincoln.
On the national level, just days before the meeting in Parkersburg, President James Buchanan lost yet another cabinet member. Secretary of War John B. Floyd, of Virginia, resigned December 29. Floyd opposed the president’s decision against reversing action by Major Robert Anderson in South Carolina. Major Anderson had transferred his garrison from Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter on December 26. South Carolina considered this a violation of the president’s agreement not to make military changes in the state. On Dec. 30 the Federal Arsenal in Charleston was commandeered by South Carolinians, leaving Fort Sumter as the last piece of property under federal control in state.
Civil War Journal is produced by the Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation and Historic Beverly Preservation in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. For more information, please visit www.richmountain.org.
The “Golden Rule,” the legendary 30-foot ketch that once terrified U.S. government officials, will return to the seas again this coming summer.
The glory days of the “Golden Rule” occurred in 1958, when the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons sent huge clouds of radioactive nuclear fallout aloft and, later, raining down on people around the world. As popular revolt grew against this toxic practice, as well as against the preparations of the Cold War antagonists for nuclear war, a small group of pacifists, led by Albert Bigelow, a retired U.S. Navy captain, decided that the time had come for action. In January of that year, they wrote to President Dwight Eisenhower, telling him that they intended to sail the “Golden Rule” into the U.S. government’s unilaterally-declared nuclear testing zone in the Pacific.
Appalled, top U.S. government officials immediately began conferring on how to prevent what they feared would be a public relations disaster for the U.S. nuclear weapons program. When Bigelow and his crew — ignoring a special Atomic Energy Commission regulation, as well as a subsequent U.S. court injunction — sailed off across the Pacific for the test zone on board the “Golden Rule,” they were arrested, tried, convicted, and placed on probation. Not easily deterred, the intrepid pacifists set sail once again, this time undergoing arrest, trial, conviction, and imprisonment.
These well-publicized events helped tip the balance against nuclear testing. Inspired by the voyage of the “Golden Rule,” an American anthropologist, Earle Reynolds, and his family promptly sailed their own yacht, the “Phoenix,” into the testing zone. Antinuclear demonstrations sprang up around the country and debate over the issue reached new heights. Later that year, the beleaguered U.S. government agreed to a nuclear testing moratorium. In 1963, still reeling from popular protests, it signed the Partial Test Ban Treaty, banning nuclear tests in the atmosphere. Although nuclear testing continued underwater and underground, it was challenged in a similar fashion by a new organization, Greenpeace. Indeed, Greenpeace’s “Rainbow Warrior” was a lineal descendant of the “Golden Rule.”
Yet, despite its importance as a symbol of resistance to the nuclear arms race, the “Golden Rule” passed into other hands and dropped out of sight over the following decades. By early 2010, it was, quite literally, a wreck, having been battered and sunk off Eureka, in Northern California. Leroy Zerlang, the owner of a local shipyard, raised the “Golden Rule” from its watery grave, but without much hope for its future. “We thought she was a goner,” he recalled. “Nobody knew what to do with her. . . . We were going to cut her up.”
But it turned out that the remarkable voyage of the “Golden Rule” had not ended, after all. Zerlang knew enough about the ship’s history to contact the Swarthmore College Peace Collection about the possibility of its being preserved, perhaps in a museum. The curator of the collection, Dr. Wendy Chmielewski, brought the issue of the ship to the attention of members of the Peace History Society and subscribers to H-Peace (an online listserv), leading this writer and others to put together articles about its significance.
These articles, in turn, began to stir up some interest in preserving the “Golden Rule.” Although the Smithsonian Institution failed to respond to a letter-writing campaign suggesting that it provide a permanent home for the boat, two Northern California chapters of Veterans for Peace — in Garberville and Humboldt Bay — found the idea of preserving the vessel more compelling and voted to establish the Golden Rule Project. They would “repair, restore, and renovate” the boat and employ it to “once again carry on the struggle against nuclear weapons and all warfare.” Meanwhile, Zerlang offered space in his shipyard for the repairs, and promised to serve as a consultant.
The coordinator of the Golden Rule Project is Fredy Champagne, a U.S. Army veteran who served in the 1st Infantry Division during the Vietnam War. In late November, he reported that Veterans for Peace volunteers from San Francisco to Eureka were working together on the ketch’s restoration. They had managed to salvage the old sails, masts, brass, and some other gear, and reconstruction plans called for a new deck, cabin, and interior. The estimated costs are $50,000 and, though some of this money has been raised, further fundraising is necessary. If all goes well, Champagne expects the “Golden Rule” to be seaworthy once more by July 2011. After that, he predicted, “the boat will sail again, operating along the West Coast as a reminder to all of the mission of Veterans for Peace.”
And so it appears that the “Golden Rule” will resume the long journey it began more than half a century ago. Rebuilt by U.S. military veterans, it will (in the words of the project brochure), “renew Bigelow’s and Veterans for Peace’s mission — to abolish war and promote peaceful diplomacy.”
~~ By Dr. Wittner - Professor of History at the State University of New York/Albany ~~
Millions of H&R Block Inc. customers who relied on short-term loans backed by their expected tax refunds will not have that option this year, since Block’s banking partner was forced by federal regulators to stop offering the loans.
It’s a blow to Block, the nation’s largest tax preparation company, which could lose tax customers to competitors still offering the loans and has virtually no time to find a new funding partner before tax season starts in January.
That means Block could lose millions of dollars in revenue, since nearly 45% of its customers use a refund anticipation loan or refund anticipation checks. The company made about $146 million on the two products in 2010.
RALs, often referred to as “rapid refunds,“ are short-term loans backed by an expected federal income tax refund. A refund anticipation “check” is actually an account where a refund is deposited. This enables taxpayers to have their tax return preparation fees deducted from their refund, rather than paying up front. Both products are typically used by low-income customers who file their taxes early in the season.
Block’s contract with HSBC Bank to back its RALs dates to 2005, but bank regulators ordered HSBC to stop funding the high interest loans, which typically are offered to customers with spotty or no credit histories. A spokesman for the federal Office of Comptroller of the Currency, the Treasury Department agency that regulates national banks, would not provide any explanation for the directive, stating that such actions by the agency are confidential.
It is likely that a change in policy this summer by the Internal Revenue Service contributed to the OCC’s decision. The IRS eliminated a code that let tax preparers know if customers will get their entire refund, or if some will be held to cover things like unpaid back taxes. Tax prep companies used the code as a form of credit check for the loans.
After the IRS announced its policy change, HSBC tried to pull out of the contract with Block, which prompted the tax preparer to file a lawsuit. Block said in a statement released Friday that negotiations related to the suit had led to an agreement calling for HSBC to fund the loans for the 2011 tax season with Block covering any defaults. That deal was blocked by the OCC action.
Block said the proposed new terms would have made it nearly impossible for HSBC to suffer any financial losses, potentially a big issue for regulators.
“As a result of the OCC’s decision, millions of taxpayers will be deprived of credit, or they will be forced to use higher?priced alternatives, without the slightest benefit to the solvency of HSBC or the banking system in general,“ Block CEO Alan Bennett said in a statement. “While we are very disappointed by this decision, we have been preparing for the loss of RALs, so we have several other financial products available and under development for this tax season.“
He said while the company is working to provide other options, the OCC’s last-minute action makes it difficult to put alternative products in place at all locations in time for the early part of the 2011 tax season.
Block said it will continue to offer customers refund anticipation checks, which are funded through H&R Block Bank, along with direct deposit accounts through its Emerald Card program.
Block also provides other programs to its tax preparation clients, such as its Emerald Advance revolving line of credit. Lines of credit have been used by more than 4 million customers, the company said. The company said last month they would not be used to replace RALs.
Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. analyst Scott Schneeberger said in a worst-case scenario, Block could see up to a 7% drop in its tax preparation volume in the 2011 season, compared with this year. But he expects a 4% loss is most likely. That would cut Block’s 2011 profit by 13 cents per share to $1.44, from an earlier forecast of $1.57. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect $1.61.
Schneeberger maintained a “Perform” rating on the company.
It’s expected some of Block’s customers may switch to a competitor still offering RALs. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. said on December 17 it had secured funding that allows it to offer refund anticipation loans for the upcoming tax season. Jackson Hewitt amended its agreement with Republic Bank & Trust Co. to allow 80 percent of the expected refund anticipation loans. That gives the No. 2 tax preparer a leg up on main competitor Block.
Privately held Liberty Tax Service has also said it will offer refund loans.
In a note to clients, Schneeberger pointed out that the regulatory action could set a precedent that also hits competitors’ refund loan funding, or Block could try to “muscle-in” on the banks backing their loans.
1/2 cup light rum
1-3/4 cups raisins (mixture of dark and golden)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus extra for coating the pan
1-1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, combine the rum and the raisins.
Cover and let soak for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Coat a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with baking spray.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and brown sugar.
Beat in the eggs and vanilla, then continue mixing until the batter is well combined.
Measure the flour and salt and sift together directly into the batter.
Mix the batter gently until no trace of the dry ingredients remains.
Strain the rum-soaked raisins and mix them in using a wooden spoon.
Using a silicone spatula, spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan.
You may have to use your fingers (lightly flour them first), as this batter is very sticky.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 1 hour.
Cut just before serving.
Light and darkness are potent and recurring symbols in the four gospels.
As worshipping Christians we use these symbols to good effect, especially in the Easter vigil liturgy.
In his public ministry Jesus proclaims himself as the light of the world, echoing the words of the aged prophet Simeon who identified him as such in the Temple forty days after his birth.
We are living in that light if we truly love our fellow human beings; for then, as John ensures the recipients of his first letter, ‘we are living the same kind of life as Christ lived’.
‘Lead, kindly light and I will follow you; illumine the way you would have me walk; and, lest I ever lose sight of you, expose my waywardness when I stray from it.’
1 John 2:3-11. Let heaven and earth exult in joy! —Ps 95(96):1-3, 5-6. Luke 2:22-35.
Anna Lea Houghton White
Age 75, died December 27, 2010 at home in Elizabeth, WV, surrounded by her family and friends, fighting a battle with cancer.
She was born May 10, 1935, in Braxton County, WV, the daughter of the late Flem and Avis (Dobbins) Houghton.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dorvin B. White Sr., and brother, Cledith Houghton.
She retired from the Bureau of the Public Debt in 1990 with 32 years of service.
Anna enjoyed cross stitch, crocheting, bluegrass music and her granddaughter.
She was a loving, giving person that touched many lives.
She is survived by her son, Dorvin B. White Jr. (Junior) and wife Jeanette; one granddaughter, Danielle Joanna of Elizabeth, WV. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Lou Carte; three nieces, Lisa Young, Beverly Young and Theresa Rose, all of Braxton County, WV; and several very special friends.
Funeral services will be conducted 11:00 AM Friday at the Lambert-Tatman Funeral Home, 2333 Pike St., south Parkersburg, with Pastor Everett Snyder officiating.
The family will receive friends from 2:00-8:00 PM on Thursday at the funeral home.
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 29, the 363rd day of 2010. There are two days left in the year.
Thought for Today: “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.“ - Rachel Carson, American biologist (1907-1964).
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 29, 1910, the capital of Oklahoma was moved from Guthrie to Oklahoma City as the state legislature approved a bill which was signed by Gov. Charles N. Haskell. (Although the move was challenged in court, the US Supreme Court upheld the action.)
On this date:
In 1170, Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral by knights loyal to King Henry II.
In 1808, the 17th president of the United States, Andrew Johnson, was born in Raleigh, N.C.
In 1845, Texas was admitted as the 28th state.
In 1851, the first American Young Men’s Christian Association was organized in Boston.
In 1890, the Wounded Knee massacre took place in South Dakota as an estimated 300 Sioux Indians were killed by US troops sent to disarm them.
In 1916, Grigory Rasputin, the so-called “Mad Monk” who’d wielded great influence with Czar Nicholas II, was murdered by a group of Russian noblemen in St. Petersburg.
In 1934, Japan formally renounced the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922.
In 1940, during World War II, Germany dropped incendiary bombs on London, setting off what came to be known as “The Second Great Fire of London.“
In 1975, a bomb exploded in the main terminal of New York’s LaGuardia Airport, killing 11 people.
In 1986, former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan died at his home in Sussex, England, at age 92.
Ten years ago:
• President-elect George W. Bush filled four more Cabinet slots, tapping Rod Paige to be Secretary of Education, Gale Norton to be Secretary of the Interior, Anthony J. Principi to return as Secretary to the Department of Veterans Affairs and Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Five years ago:
• International monitors said they would review Iraq’s parliamentary elections in response to fraud complaints by Sunni Arab and secular Shiite groups.
One year ago:
• Brushing aside international appeals, China executed British drug smuggler Akmal Shaikh, who relatives said was mentally unstable and unwittingly lured into crime; it was China’s first execution of a European citizen in nearly 60 years.
• Mexico City enacted Latin America’s first law recognizing gay marriage and said it hoped to attract same-sex couples from around the world.
Actress Inga Swenson is 78
ABC newscaster Tom Jarriel is 76
Actress Mary Tyler Moore is 74
Actor Jon Voight is 72
Country singer Ed Bruce is 71
Rock musician Ray Thomas is 69
Singer Marianne Faithfull is 64
Jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr. is 64
Actor Ted Danson is 63
Actor Jon Polito is 60
Singer-actress Yvonne Elliman is 59
Actress Patricia Clarkson is 51
Comedian Paula Poundstone is 51
Rock singer-musician Jim Reid (The Jesus and Mary Chain) is 49
Actor Michael Cudlitz is 46
Rock singer Dexter Holland (The Offspring) is 45
Actor-comedian Mystro Clark is 44
Actor Jason Gould is 44
Movie director Andy Wachowski is 43
Actress Jennifer Ehle is 41
Actor Patrick Fischler is 41
Rock singer-musician Glen Phillips is 40
Actor Kevin Weisman is 40
Actor Jude Law is 38
Actor Mekhi Phifer is 36
Actor Shawn Hatosy is 35
Actress Katherine Moennig is 33
Actor Diego Luna is 31
Country singer Jessica Andrews is 27
My name is Tim Butler. I am a West Fork Conservation District Supervisor.
The West Fork District is composed of Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, and Lewis
I represent Gilmer. I have been authorized by the Board of Supervisors to write an article summarizing our monthly meetings.
We would like to keep the general public informed of our activities and the opportunities afforded them through our efforts.
Would you please print these articles?
If you have questions, you may call me at 304.462.5275 or call the District Office at Mt. Clare. 304.627.2160.
The West Fork Conservation District Board of Supervisors met at the USDA Service Center in Mt. Clare on December 07, 2010.
Several items of business were discussed and acted on.
The Board approved the handling of funds totaling $106,000 from WVU Extension to be used to build a 36 X 250 foot building adjacent to the new Jackson’s Mill barn.
This facility will be composed primarily of pens to hold livestock during, and in preparation for, livestock judging and sales.
The board is working in cooperation with the Lewis County Commission to stabilize eroding creek banks in the Lewis County Park.
The Commission is currently seeking funds to match Conservation Agency funds.
The Board approved a one-year agreement with the City of Salem for the Operation and Maintenance of Salem Fork of Upper Ten Mile Watershed flood control dams.
The committee working with the Doddridge County Water Resource Study was released. The one and one-half year study was recently completed.
Requests for lime cost sharing under the Lime Incentive Program were approved for four area cooperators totaling approximately $7,500.
Payments were made to several cooperators who have recently completed applying lime to their property totaling approximately $10,000.
The Board discussed the WV Century Farm Program. This program is sponsored by the State Association of Conservation District Supervisors.
The State Conservation Education Committee recently approved the application forms.
Farms that have been continuously owned by the same family for 100 years are eligible.
Work is ongoing to prepare for the Appalachian Grazing Conference which will be held March 04-05, 2011 in Morgantown.
There will be a ‘Women in Agriculture’ program on March 07, 2011 at the Harrison County 4-H Center. It is sponsored by the Farm Service Agency and the West Fork Conservation District. Watch for invitations to attend from the FSA and in local news.
Three new Cooperators for the District were approved. Cooperators can be any person or organization needing conservation planning. Examples are private land-owners, schools, and businesses.
If you wish to become a cooperator with the West Fork Conservation District, call the NRCS office in Mt. Clare, Weston, or Glenville.
You may also call the West Fork District Office in Mt Clare (304.627.2160) or one of your elected Supervisors: Jim Foster and Randy Plaugher represent Doddridge County, Tim Butler and Denzil Huff represent Gilmer, William Coffindafer and Mary Lee Hines represent Harrison, and Bernadette Law and Richard Bonnett represent Lewis County.
It appears the battle over who will control the state Senate once the 2011 Legislative Session begins next month has been decided.
Marshall County Senator Jeff Kessler announced Monday he now has enough votes to change the rules of the Senate to create the position of Acting Senate President and be elected to that post.
“Over the holidays, there have been ongoing discussions between the [Acting] Governor’s Chief of Staff, myself and other members of the Senate,“ Senator Kessler said Monday at the State Capitol.
“I’m happy to report that several other members of the minority in the Democrat caucus have decided to come over and join their friends on the majority side as we come out of the caucus, as we lock arms and come to speak with a unified voice going forward.“
When the caucus met earlier this month, the vote was 16-12 to create the Acting Senate President position. That was not enough to make the change with Republicans poised to vote against it.
But Kessler says several senators have thought over the ramifications of not having the proper separation of powers between Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin and his new position as Acting Governor. With no election in the near future to elect a permanent governor, Kessler says the issue had to be addressed.
“It wasn’t about personalities. It wasn’t about people, It wasn’t about power. It’s truthfully about the principle of the [Acting] Governor is downstairs and these are very unique times.“
Kessler says he now has 19 votes in the Democratic Caucus with more on the way. But he would like to see those earlier opposed to the change of power, including Senate Majority Leader Truman Chafin, come over to his side.
“It takes 18 votes perhaps to get elected. It takes a lot more than that to govern effectively. I would like to come out of this Senate like we have over the years with a 34-0 vote and that would be my hope.“
Kanawha County Senator Brooks McCabe was standing by Kessler’s side as he made the announcement in the Senate Reception room Monday. McCabe says the votes are there.
“Now is the time we need to start coming back together,“ Senator McCabe says.
Kessler says there are key issues facing the Senate in the upcoming session that begins January 12th. The budget, energy and the OPEB debt are just a few, according to Kessler, that need the body’s full attention. He hopes to have that.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin releases the following statement regarding the rules of the State Senate:
“When as Senate President, I began acting as Governor, I indicated I did not plan to preside or vote in the Senate and that I would instead focus my time working as hard as I could to act as Governor and put West Virginia first. Based on current circumstances, I stand by my decision not to preside or vote in the Senate at this time, and will focus my efforts to act as Governor, as required under the Constitution.
“Over the past several weeks, I have been working to make West Virginia strong and keep our government stabilized. We have worked so hard over the years to make West Virginia a better place, and the seeds we have sowed are reaping big benefits. The recent decision by Macy’s Inc. to build a massive distribution center in West Virginia is proof of the type of success we can have in our great state. I reiterate now is not the time to allow politics to tear us apart. Now is the time for stability and strengthening our convictions to make West Virginia a better place.
“With respect to the Senate, as I previously indicated, I have been focused on getting Senators to come together so the Senate can move forward. As time has passed, I now believe a sufficient consensus has developed whereby the Senate is poised to adopt a set of Rules that have been adopted by the Democratic Caucus of the Senate. The Rules provide for the election of an acting President during those times when I am acting as Governor.
“More importantly, after discussion with my colleagues in the Senate, including Senator Kessler, I know a process of reconciliation has been put in motion that will permit the Senate to begin to come together. I believe Senator Kessler is committed to working with all Senators and developing a team that will put West Virginia first. From my experience in the Senate, I know our Senate is full of talented individuals who want what is best for West Virginia. I know all Senators will work together for the good of our State.
“The Legislative Session will soon be upon us. I hope everyone will continue to enjoy this holiday season and then roll up their sleeves and get to work for the benefit of all West Virginians.”
This is a great example of two broken and failed systems working in unison.
~Seventy pages of ‘regulation’ from our failed educational system.
~Over a year before a ‘charged’ person gets their day in court.
You say that my Internal Evidence is “one of the lamest pieces of sophistry I have ever seen.“ One of the oldest ploys in debate is ridicule. When you cannot deal with the argument, make light of it.
You agree that blood is the evidence, and scientific knowledge is the proof, but you do not say how you get that scientific knowledge. Is it not through testing the blood itself? And we are in agreement as to the white granular substance, the proof is in the lab test.
That’s the point I was making with regard to the inspiration of The Bible. The Bible is evidence. Examining the scriptures is the proof…..if you want to draw a distinction betweeen the two. In my dictionary, proof is listed as a synonym for evidence, and evidence is listed as a synonym for proof.
You say that men have been testing The Bible through higher criticism for a century and a half, and it does not pass the tests. You fail to mention just who these higher critics are, their background and belief, and what tests The Bible has failed. It’s easy to make charges. Can you back them up with proof?
Do we not accept the testimony of eye-witnesses in a court of law, unless there is reason to believe they are not trustworthy? Should we not accept the testimony of these holy men of God who claimed they were speaking the word of God, unless we have reason to believe they were not being truthful? If you do not accept their testimony, then it is up to you to prove they were lying. What ever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”?
If you will take the time to honestly search the scriptures, you will be impressed with their Unity and Harmony, their Beauty and Influence, the Fulfillment of Prophecy, and the Scientific Foreknowledge, all of which we will examine in future articles.
What normally happens when organizations fail is a leadership change. One is needed now for Gilmer County, particularly for the high school. There is no evidence that citizens are getting value for their money over there with the disregardful performance scores our students are getting. Then too for the past few years there has been perpetual chaos with all types of problems, but nothing has been done by Ron Blankenship to effectively deal with issues. We have heard allegations about wild parties involving faculty and students, chronic down time with computer systems, low faculty and staff morale caused by fear, bullying, sex between faculty and students, grade changing and other forms of preferential treatment of students from rich and powerful families, wasteful spending, failure to solve the rash of bomb threats, and much more. Blankenship was the wrong person for the job because of his ties to the Butchers who helped achieve the State’s take over of our schools, getting him installed, and keeping him in the County. He needs to be replaced. While at it, why can’t another job be found for the principal so we can get a better one to lead with getting the new Common Core Standards started? Mr. Charles Heinlein, Dr. Phares, and Dr. Linger do you hear us or is it true that none of you care?
Many will concur with “I Agree”. Was it Einstein who gave us his definition of insanity? ‘Repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results.‘
That was long before we had a Dee-Cee Department of Education.
He would likely apply his definition now to the American education system pretty much in the same fashion.
We have had that Department of Education how long now? and they still can’t get it right?
Hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars spent on boards and task forces, studies and reports (not to mention a Governor’s Audit). Given massive and repeated failure the money would have been better spent on text books and Teachers.
Consolidation was NOT the answer. It’s been going on longer than most can remember with no real savings or educational improvement to show for it.
A moratorium on any consequences related to new and unproven programs is the right thing to do. It’s not as though there’s a history of getting much right when it comes to education.
Congratulations to Hunter Ashley for getting a 2nd place in the Discus throw. He may be a Freshman, but he can definately out throw a lot of sophmores, Juniors and seniors. Way to go Hunter. Practice always pays off. Proud of you.
West Virginia “is a full-fledged participant in the Common Core Standards program” according to >WVDOE Watcher<.
West Virginia is also a nearly, full-fledged failure incomparison to most other states. We have the reports that prove it too.
This is so simple. Even the writers of articles are blind or don’t wish to see it.
The State Board of Ed…..IF…...they were doing their job, the Governor would NOT need to be writing executive orders.
Clean out the BOE and employ people who have the knowledge to do the job.
We have how many years now of political appointees that are incompetent, poor or no result in progress?
There is no “one size fits all” educational model that will ever work because all people are unique individuals who learn a variety of ways. For the US to be a leader in education, the students need to be motivated to learn - not pigeon holed into groups and treated like a herd of cattle!
Ideas like Common Core have been percolating in the country for many years. It wasn’t until 2009 when the National Governors Association’s Center on Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers convinced their members to support an initiative to develop what they deemed to be voluntary, state-led standards, that it took root. The idea, however, that Common Core bubbled up from the states has shifted. A nonprofit group called “Achieve, Inc.“ stocked with federal standards advocates who’ve been around since many years, has been pointed to as designing the materials and the program’s progress has been spurred on by funding from, among others, the Gates Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education. For an undertaking that claims to be state-generated and largely free of federal involvement Common Core twisted, becoming a foot in the door for federal Race to the Top dollars.
Here is the header of a neat little report by the WV BOE you might want to google. The Machiavellian quote is so true. As long as this State BOE retains control and keeps remodeling more of the same we will see the same results. When will the Legislature do the research necessary to make something new happen? Global 21, 21st Century, Next Gen, Common Core,at least eight years documented as more of the same.
A Chronicle of West Virginia’s Global21 Initiative
“Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.” Machiavelli
WV is a full-fledged participant in the new national Common Core Standards program. The confusion is caused by the State’s reference to the Next Generation program that is actually the Common Core Standards program for K-12 English learning arts and math. One advantage of joining the national program is that there will be on-line testing to determine how individual schools, and county school systems in WV compare with education outcomes, and the State’s overall performance can be compared to other states. The objective for Common Core is to strive to establish the USA as a world leader in education, something we lag badly with now.
Your government ‘sells’ this sort of stuff to make you feel good, when in actuality, its just more invasion into your life, causes bigger government, and in the end you have less input and they have more control?
It is the job of the Principal to make sure the drinking fountains are covered, water to the sinks turned off while providing hand-sanitizer and drinking water plus make sure any water used for meals or dishes has been boiled. Did they do it? Last time someone was too busy looking down their nose with a do what I want attitude. Last time they had no water at all.
Can we be certain that the children at Sand Fork are NOT drinking and washing their hands in the bad water?
By the way—-
What is the status/outcome of Superintendent Blankenship standing in defiance of the Health Department Order to close the Sand Fork School in April when there was not water, and the unsanitary conditions that resulted?
Has there been any testing of students and staff to determine if any hepatitis or other disease issues have resulted in the defiance of Health Department Order?
Next Generation CSO Crosswalk to 21st Century CSOs.
You can find this link on the WVDE web site.
“The Crosswalks Documents were created by the work groups in English Language Arts and Mathematics who studied the Common Core State Standards and then placed these standards into the West Virginia Framework for Next Generation Standards.“
WV does not plan to comply with Common Core.That was revealed from RESA at the last Gilmer County BOE meeting. They will institute Next Generation standards. RESA now has their own consortium. We are aware WV has joined multiple consortia that were funded by federal grant monies.
When all is said and done, the WV BOE must be the ones held accountable for passing or failing to meet national standards. Right now deferral from meeting NCLB requirements another year is pending. Nothing shows it will ever happen.
Does any of this improve the educational future of WV children? Westest results in Gilmer County declined during the past two years ofintervention.
You can spend a lifetime following the political money trail,never be bored and often upset.That can only be changed at the ballot box. One of the most fundamentally important questions on the table right now should be, are the children getting true value for tax dollars spent on education today?