GOVERNOR ORDERS U.S. AND STATE FLAGS TO BE LOWERED IN COMMEMORATION OF SPECIALIST STEPHAN
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin issued a proclamation ordering all U.S. and state flags displayed at state facilities be lowered to half-staff the entire day of Friday, December 31, 2010 in memory of Stephan Charles Stearns.
Stearns enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2008 and achieved the rank of specialist.
Stearns served on active duty at Fort Bragg, NC as a member of the 27th Engineer Battalion, 618th Engineer Support Company.
Stearns died an unexpected and natural death while visiting his family in Point Pleasant, WV for the holidays.
“Specialist Stearns’ commitment and dedication to serving his country brings honor to his family, the citizens of WV, and his country. We mourn the tragic death of this young soldier,” said Governor Tomblin.
Stearns is survived by his wife, Rachel Stearns, a daughter, Kylie McKenna Faith Wilmoth, a daughter, Christin Cheyenne Stearns, his parents, Richard and Janet Parsons, his father, Charles Stearns, his sister, Susan Caroll Thomas, his sister, Staci Caye Grimm, his brother, Richard Parsons, Jr., his brother Garrett Stearns, and his extended family.
Filling up at the pump is getting more and more expensive.
Gas prices here in West Virginia have skyrocketed in the past two weeks. They’ve increased by more than 20 cents a gallon.
American Petroleum Institute Senior Economist Sara Banaszak says there are several reasons why.
“Crude oil, which is 70% of what you pay at the pump and what we use to make gasoline, has gone up in price internationally.“ She says what happens on the worldwide market impacts us right here at home.
“When we get back to economic growth in the U.S. and globally, there’s going to be pressure on oil prices again and that’s what we’re seeing happening.“
Banaszak says it all comes down to supply and demand. The U.S. remains the largest consumer of gasoline in the world. Developing nations like India and China, though, are using more and more fuel each year, creating more demand and less supply. That drives up the cost.
Industry analysts predict we’ll be paying in the $3.10 to $3.20 range for most of 2011. But Banaszak says don’t be surprised if the price goes beyond those levels every once in a while.
“Something happens to a major oil producer, a super-hot summer where everyone has to burn a lot more fuel that way, those things can still affect this outlook,“ she said on Thursday’s MetroNews Talkline.
Even though prices of other products are now on their way back up as well, Banaszak says increases to the price of gas get much more attention.
“People say they’ll drive 50 miles to buy gas at a penny less a gallon. But then they’ll go inside the convenience store and buy a Coke and a candy bar and plunk down whatever it takes to get that. I think, partly, it’s the posting of the prices in very large letters.“
Currently a barrel of oil is going for $97. During the summer of 2008, when we were shelling out more than $4 for a gallon of gas, that same barrel cost $140.
WV Republican Party Chair Criticizes Acting Governor
WV Republican Party Chair Criticizes Acting Governor
The Chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party says he is not happy with plans to create an Acting Senate President position in the state Senate and put Marshall County Senator Jeff Kessler in it next month.
“(Acting Governor) Earl Ray Tomblin didn’t have, sort of, the political strength to be able to do the right thing and the Legislature is moving to the left, under (Senator) Kessler,“ Mike Stuart said on Thursday’s MetroNews Talkline of this week’s Senate leadership developments.
Earlier this week, Senator Kessler announced he had secured enough support from his fellow Senators to make the rule changes necessary to form the role of Acting Senate President. That will happen when the 2011 Regular Legislative Session opens on January 12, 2010.
Kessler, who has most recently served as Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, plans to fill that new role now that Senate President Tomblin is serving as Acting Governor. In a statement this week, Tomblin indicated he will not stand in the way of such a move.
Stuart is critical of Tomblin, saying he has handled the whole situation the wrong way.
“He (Tomblin) should have called a Special Election at the outset, instead of running from the fear of being on the ballot for fear he can’t win, which is probably correct,“ he said.
The West Virginia Republican Party Chair claims West Virginians are now going to be represented by two more liberal bodies at the State House, both the state Senate and the state House of Delegates, because the Acting Governor wanted to serve two years from the Governor’s Office before actually running for the office.
“He’s an unelected governor who is not governing by the will of the people and the Constitution is very clear, we need a Special Election. We need one soon,“ Stuart said.
Kessler has denied claims that he will move the state Senate to the left as Acting Senate President.
A lawsuit calling on the state Supreme Court to order a Special Gubernatorial Election for early next year is pending.
Tomblin became Acting Governor, earlier this year, when former Governor Joe Manchin became a U.S. Senator. He has said he does not believe a Special Election is needed before 2012.
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman has awarded grants worth more than $1.55 million to 36 recipients through the Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan Recycling Assistance Grants program.
Huffman presented the 2011 grants during a ceremony at the DEP’s Charleston headquarters last week.
Grants were awarded to state solid waste authorities, county commissions, municipalities, private industries and nonprofit organizations.
Funding for the Recycling Assistance Program is generated through the $1 assessment fee per ton of solid waste disposed at in-state landfills.
Following is the grant recipients in our area:
Ritchie County Commission - $40,000 - To assist with the installation of a truss roof for the Ritchie County Recycling Center.
Ritchie County Solid Waste Authority - $61,555 - To purchase a used box truck, baler and overhead bay door and to provide support for the countywide program.
In 1967 Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church called “Beyond Vietnam,” where he declared that his conscience would not allow him to remain silent on the question of Vietnam, on the horrors of war, on the threat of violence to our existence. In this speech he pointed out the irony that young men of color were welcomed to join the military in order to burn villages and kill the people of Vietnam in the name of a democracy and of freedoms not yet granted to them in the country for which they fought. They could kill and wreak havoc side by side with white Americans in combat abroad, but they could not sit by one another in the same school or eat together at the same restaurant back home.
I could not help but be reminded of this speech when a colleague suggested that the repeal of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” legislation showed that, again in King’s words, “the arc of the universe bends toward justice.” But this colleague left out the most important word in that sentence: “the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice.” What is “moral” about war? War is and always will be immoral because it demands that we violate the first principle of moral conduct: thou shalt not kill. And while it is moral and right to stand firmly for conscience, which the lesbian and gay community achieves by not hiding their sexual identity, preferring to be open about whom they love, it is the moral right of no one to wage war and to kill.
Members of the lesbian and gay communities, this legislation is not a step toward justice. Marriage would be justice. Ensuring funding to eradicate anti-gay or anti-lesbian hate crimes would be justice. Serving in the military openly? Sure, it is a victory. It was fought for, tooth and nail, and won. It represents a new generation for whom sexual identity is, politically, a non-issue. It could even possibly chip away at the war system from within if one is apt to believe that homophobia breeds militarism. But please, friends, do not call it justice. Remembering King once more, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and drone attacks on Pakistani villages carried out by US service men and women–regardless of their sexual identity–is and can never be justice. Never. We are not thinking only of the victims on the receiving end of this violence: as David Swanson recently wrote in his superb “War is a Lie,” those “who survive war are far more likely now to have been trained and conditioned to do things they cannot live with having done.”
On the other hand, we stand to learn something from the successful campaign to end sexual discrimination in the military, precisely by being aware of this deep contradiction, by realizing that this victory in the matter of sexual identity was purchased at the cost of a much greater sacrifice - the matter of conscience about war. Don’t ask about the families of the people in Afghanistan. Don’t ask if they love life or have children the age of your children. Don’t ask if they may have the capacity to love even the ones who have bombed their village. Don’t tell that you question the motives of the government who sent you abroad to wage war. Don’t tell that you are scared to death. Don’t tell that you have nightmares. Don’t tell that you think of committing suicide upon returning home, if not before. Don’t tell that you are lost, isolated. Because asking and telling such facts opens up the possibility of ending a military career — and in time, who knows, ending militarism itself through the power of truth.
Violence is the weakest possible force for change we have available to us, and the most destructive to those who use it. It does not take a strong person to use violence, nor does it leave one stronger for using it. Don’t tell anyone about this…
Dr. King said that we have a choice: nonviolence or nonexistence. Only a person who has understood nonviolence would be willing to give up their career for conscience; to render service to a country by building up and not tearing down, to make a lasting contribution to the whole of justice, not only what feels like a kind of justice for oneself.
It has often been our observation that we of a progressive persuasion can be easily fooled by our relatively narrow focus on equality for one or another group, forgetting the question of equality for all. Poor people can step up economically by being conditioned to kill for the state; now lesbians and gays can emerge from a social shadow (and we do not minimize the value of this) by undergoing a far deeper kind of dehumanization. These are Pyrrhic victories. Let us not rejoice until we have won the only kind of victory that endures: the victory of everyone over the violence that hurts us all.
~~ By Michael Nagler - the President of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, and Stephanie Van Hook - Co-Director ~~
It has been some 130 years since the first European Jewish settlement was established here with the explicit aim of taking over the country. The few thousand native Palestinian (Arab) Jews did not support Zionism. Christians and Muslims resisted it over the decades, mostly by non-violent popular resistance as I detailed in my just released book, Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment. This popular resistance included at least 15 waves of uprisings called intifadas in the past few decades. The results of both the violent colonial settler activity and the resistance to it have been mixed.
The last six decades witnessed the development of a militarized Jewish state that subsists on (mostly US) security-related exports and foreign aid (mostly from the west). Millions of Jews from around the world settled here in place of millions of ethnically cleansed Palestinians (see Ilan Pappe’s The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine). Seven of the 11 million Palestinians in the world are refugees or displaced people. Remaining Palestinians are allowed to live on only 8.3% of historic Palestine and those shrinking areas are increasingly surrounded by walls that in the description of visiting South African leaders make this system of segregation (called Hafrada in Hebrew, apartheid in Afrikaaner) far worse than the system that existed in South Africa.
Yet, Israeli leaders and policy makers contend that the problem is not their policy but need of more public relations campaigns. Their constant lamentations about the “delegitimization of Israel” is disingenuous since they are the ones who delegitimize this enterprise by persistent violations of international and humanitarian law. What do they expect when Israeli armed forces murder 1,400 Palestinians and demolish thousands of homes and many schools and hospitals in a span of three weeks as they did in Gaza (starting 27 December 2008)? What do they expect when they continue to keep millions of refugees and displaced people from exercising their internationally recognized right of return to their homes and lands? Why should a refugee be denied her right to return to her home and land for being a Christian or a Muslim while any Jewish convert is given rights to come and live on stolen land and get automatic citizenship? Why do I as a Palestinian Christian get denied entry to my city of Jerusalem only five miles away while it is slowly being transformed via meticulous ethnic cleansing and Jewish settlement activity?
Tremendous changes came about since the issuance in 2005 of the Palestinian society call to action which read in part: “We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era” (bdsmovement.net). Since this call was issued, there were thousands of boycott actions around the world. In five years, we progressed more than in three decades in South Africa.
We in Palestine are also encouraged that this is the first such situation in history where international participation is not just from abroad but by thousands coming to Palestine annually. A recent example is the Gaza freedom flotilla with hundreds of courageous activists from more than 30 countries. This Christmas, hundreds of activists joined us in Bethlehem to call for an end to Israeli apartheid and distributed thousands of Christmas cards that have this headline: “Peace on Earth: Even in Palestine?” Hundreds of thousands of Christians have now read and began acting on the call issued a year ago by us Palestinian Christians calling for a stand for truth and for peace (www.kairospalestine.ps) Thanks to the internet and openings in mainstream media, more and more people around the world have come to understand what this manufactured conflict is all about. More and more people are questioning Western governments’ foreign policies that seem tailored to satisfy lobbyists for Israel rather than serve the people.
Here in Bethlehem were we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, we yearn for a just and durable peace. Like that good teacher 2,000 years ago who spoke truth to power without worrying about reprisal, we believe the power structures will collapse and the word of truth will remain and grow. We will thus continue to work to build bridges and challenge walls (both physical and metaphysical). We believe peace based on justice for the dispossessed Palestinians will be good for all people who inhabit this historically burdened land and for the world at large.
~~ By Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD - a Professor at Bethlehem University ~~
In a 3-quart microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, oil, curry powder, cumin and cayenne.
Cover loosely with a paper towel to avoid splatter, then microwave on high for 30 seconds, or until the butter is nearly melted.
Whisk the spices and butter together.
Add the almonds, cashews, peanuts and coconut to the bowl and toss to coat.
Microwave, uncovered, on high for 2 minutes.
Stir well, then microwave, stirring every 2 minutes, until the nuts and coconut are lightly browned and fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes longer, depending on the wattage of the microwave.
Stir in the mango.
Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Dear Father, it’s amazing the power a word holds.
I remember the strength a word from my friends gave me when I was feeling low; and the word of congratulation and praise that lifted me up.
Their word came from the heart and touched mine.
Your Word, Father, comes from your heart—for us all.
A Word about forgiveness, healing, freedom, loving-kindness.
There are many times when we don’t listen to other people—the ears hear, but the heart doesn’t.
Help us listen with our heart.
Please don’t stop sharing your Word even when we are filled with other concerns that block our listening.
Help me hear your Word as it comes through loving family and friends and the goodness of my day.
1 John 2:18-21. Let heaven and earth exult in joy! —Ps 95(96):1-2, 11-13. John 1:1-18.
Mary L. Wheeler
Age 75, of Leeson Run Community, Greenwood, WV, died Wednesday, December 29, 2010, at the Ohio Valley Medical Center, Wheeling, WV.
She was born May 05, 1935, near Grantsville, WV, the daughter of the late Porter L. and Cassie B. Wilson Reese.
Mary Lou worked at the former Shepherd Nursing Home, Ellenboro, WV, she was a member of Ruley Chapel Church, on Aronld’s Creek Road.
She is survived by two sons, Randy Reese and Gary Wheeler, both of Greenwood, WV; one daughter, Brenda Todd, Greenwood, WV; six grandchildren, Randall, Brittnie and Dolton Reese, Tonya, Robert and Pam Todd; four great grandchildren.
In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by four brothers, Ford, Leo, Charles and Glen Reese; two sisters, Christina Britton and Arlene Hoalcraft.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, January 02, 2011, from the McCullough-Rogers Funeral Home, Pennsboro, WV, at 2:00 PM with the Pastor Ovid Lee Pernell officiating.
Burial will follow in the Nobe Cemetery.
Friends may call at the funeral home Saturday, January 01, 2011, from 4:00-8:00 PM and after 11:00 AM on Sunday.
Kathleen Mildred Murphy
Age 81, formerly of Criss Manor, Weston,, died Saturday, December 25, 2010 at Crestview Manor, Jane Lew, following an extended illness.
She was born June 29, 1929, in Lewis County, a daughter of the late Oswell Messenger and Flora Neal Messenger.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Argle J. Murphy on June 23, 1985; five brothers, Lawrence Messenger, Clarence Messenger, Russell Messenger, Clifford Messenger and Hartzel Messenger; and four sisters, Zana Messenger Matthew, Stacie Messenger Murphy and two infant sisters.
She is survived by one son, William L. Murphy and wife Rebecca of Vienna; one daughter, Cattie L. Fortner of South Charleston; one sister, Gladis Messenger Rinehart of Jane Lew; one brother; Bernard Messenger of Euclid, Ohio; four grandchildren; 5 step-grandchildren; one great-grandchild; eight step-great-grandchildren; a very special friend, Sylvia Hughes; and several nieces and nephews.
Kathleen was an active member of the Lewis County Senior Center, working as a hostess and performing other duties.
She also enjoyed singing in the Senior Center choir. She was a member of the local singles group.
Friends may call from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Friday, December 31, at Boyle Funeral Home, 322 Main Avenue, Weston.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 PM Friday, December 31, at the Boyle Funeral Home Chapel.
Interment will follow in Messenger Cemetery, Gilmer County.
Larry Glen Cochran, Sr.
Age 68, of Sutton quietly passed away Christmas afternoon at his home on Erbacon Road., 87, of Little Birch, WV.
Larry was born in Webster County, WV on February 17, 1942, the son of the late Glen and Rosalie Cochran.
He worked and lived most of his life in Ohio retiring from the Ford Motor Company.
Proceeding him in death were his parents, and a sister Cordella Hall.
He is survived by his his loving wife Plessa and their children Leslie Sandy, Larry Cochran, Jr.and wife Marlena all of Sutton, Lynn Ellison and husband Michael of Summersville, and Trenton Cochran and wife Brandy of Wellington, OH., his grandchildren, Elizabeth, Peyton, Joe, Ashlee, Tiara, Darean, and Mika and great-grandchild Naomi. Brothers; Lynn Cochran of Diana, WV, Henry Cochran of Wellington, OH., 2 sisters, Vee Cruz of Ashtabula, OH., and Brenda Cochran of Geneva,OH.
At Larry’s request there will be no public service held.
Paul Edward Stoner
Age 85, of Horner, died Wednesday, December 22, 2010, at his residence.
He was born May 07, 1925, in Brickerville, PA, a son of the late Irvin Stoner, Sr. and Alice Fausnaught Stoner.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Jacqueline Rose Stark Stoner on November 23, 2007; three brothers, Irvin Stoner, Jr., Robert Stoner and Charles Stoner; and a sister, Mary.
He is survived by one son, Stuart A. Stoner of Horner; and three sisters, Elsie Moyer and Betty Bear, both of Lebanon, Pa., and Trudy Good and husband John of Lancaster, PA.
Paul was a WWII and Korean War veteran, serving 20 years combined in the United States Navy and United States Army.
After retiring from the military, he went on to work as a mechanic on heavy machinery.
He was a member of the Franklin AF & AM lodge, Buckhannon, and Buckhannon VFW Post# 3663.
Cremation services provided by Boyle Funeral Home, Weston.
Today is Friday, Dec. 31, the 365th and final day of 2010.
Thought for Today: “Though the past haunt me as a spirit, I do not ask to forget.“ - Felicia Dorothea Browne Hemans, English poet (1793-1835).
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Dec. 31, 1775, during the Revolutionary War, the British repulsed an attack by Continental Army generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold at Quebec; Montgomery was killed.
On this date:
In 1857, Britain’s Queen Victoria decided to make Ottawa the capital of Canada.
In 1879, Thomas Edison first publicly demonstrated his electric incandescent light in Menlo Park, N.J.
In 1909, the Manhattan Bridge, spanning the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn, was officially opened to vehicular traffic.
In 1946, President Harry S. Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War II.
In 1969, Joseph A. Yablonski, an unsuccessful candidate for the presidency of the United Mine Workers of America, was shot to death along with his wife and daughter in their Clarksville, Pa., home by hit men acting under the orders of UMWA president Tony Boyle.
In 1970, Paul McCartney filed a lawsuit in London’s High Court against his fellow Beatles to officially dissolve their partnership.
In 1985, singer Rick Nelson, 45, and six other people were killed when fire broke out aboard a DC-3 that was taking the group to a New Year’s Eve performance in Dallas.
In 1986, 97 people were killed when fire broke out in the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Three hotel workers later pleaded guilty in connection with the blaze.)
In 1990, football coach George Allen died in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., at age 72. (Allen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.)
In 1997, Michael Kennedy, the 39-year-old son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was killed in a skiing accident on Aspen Mountain in Colorado.
Ten years ago:
• President Bill Clinton authorized the United States to sign a treaty creating the world’s first permanent international war crimes tribunal to bring to justice people accused of crimes against humanity.
• Former US Sen. Alan Cranston died in Los Altos, Calif., at age 86. Flamenco dancer Jose Greco died in Lancaster, Pa., at age 82.
Five years ago:
• In central Indonesia, suspected Islamic militants set off a powerful bomb at a busy market frequented by Christians, killing seven people.
• Dick Clark, in his first television appearance since his stroke in 2004, helped ring in the new year in Times Square.
One year ago:
• A lone gunman dressed in black killed five people in Espoo, Finland, four at a crowded shopping mall, before returning home and taking his own life.
TV producer George Schlatter is 81
Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins is 73
Actor Tim Considine (“My Three Sons”) is 70
Actress Sarah Miles is 69
Rock musician Andy Summers is 68
Actor Sir Ben Kingsley is 67
Producer-director Taylor Hackford is 66
Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg is 64
Actor Tim Matheson is 63
Pop singer Burton Cummings (The Guess Who) is 63
Singer Donna Summer is 62
Actor Joe Dallesandro is 62
Rock musician Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) is 59
Actor James Remar is 57
Actress Bebe Neuwirth is 52
Actor Val Kilmer is 51
Singer Paul Westerberg is 51
Actor Don Diamont is 48
Rock musician Ric Ivanisevich (Oleander) is 48
Rock musician Scott Ian (Anthrax) is 47
Actress Gong Li is 45
Author Nicholas Sparks is 45
Actor Lance Reddick is 41
Pop singer Joe McIntyre is 38
Rock musician Mikko Siren (Apocalyptica) is 35
Rock musician Bob Bryar (My Chemical Romance) is 31
This year’s Fall Forest Fire Season has been on par with the last few despite extremely dry conditions at the start of October.
As of earlier this month, the West Virginia Division of Forestry recorded 353 fires, charring 10,520 acres of land. Assistant State Forester Ben Webster calls those numbers “average” for a fall season.
“The numbers will continue to fluctuate, but there has not been a drastic increase. Actually, for the past couple of years, we’ve seen a constant decline.“
Webster says the major concern going into the season was the Eastern Panhandle where a drought was declared earlier in the Summer. The potential for major forest fires was dampened, though, just as the season started on October first by a drenching rain.
But Webster stresses that area is still not out of the dry woods yet.
“Due to the severity of the drought there in the Eastern Panhandle, we still have not recovered from that. It could lead to the possibility of increased activity come this Spring Fire Season,“ he told MetroNews.
Foresters say it can take months, even years, for the water table to return to normal after a severe drought. And, until that happens, the Eastern Panhandle will be a hot spot for potential blazes.
Meanwhile, the top three fall forest fire causes are arson, out of control debris burns and blazes started by equipment.
Webster says the most disturbing are those arson cases, 93% of which happened in the two Southern districts. “These are people who are intentionally going out and setting the hills of West Virginia on fire. We can’t really give a definite answer as to why they’re doing it.“
But Webster stresses, every year, the state’s three Division of Forestry arson investigators along with two blood hounds are zeroing in on the culprits.
“Their ability to catch and prosecute these individuals is going up every year just due to the training and the knowledge of our forestry staff,“ he said.
The official end to the Fall Forest Fire Season is December 31, 2010.
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.
I think that the mayor has done a great job the past 4 years. Alot of people don’t appreciate what she has done, then you have others getting into her business which has nothing to do with anyone but the mayor. I want to thank her for all she has done. Some people need to mind their own business!!!
People. Voters. This is your fault!
You elect an young, immature person to office what do you expect!?
You elect Kennedy, Ramsey and Chapman!?
You all know them. You got exactly what you voted for!?
Don’t claim “surprise” !?
We know the County treasury is empty!?
Is the town treasury empty too!?
By you get the government you deserve on 05.23.2013
For those four years the City got to pay a higher salary for Mayor and went from a part time to a full time secretarial position. The City doesn’t own the Park where we’re not allowed to sit and eat lunch on a bench. City taxpayers got a bill to remodel the Mayor’s office, We still have crumbling sidewalks, no street paving, collapsing water, sewer and drain lines, a failing treatment plant that badly needs an upgrade along with higher water and sewer bills. We paid the highest tax rate in the county for a couple of parties and 2 dogs to feed and vet. No infrastructure improvements and absolutely no maintenance. We did learn the Mayor likes to party.
According to three Council members and the main office it’s all true. Knowing all this it’s real easy to believe they got rid of one more that won’t play ball for the politicos at the High School.
By Is This Really the Gilmer County Way on 05.22.2013
If I had a dollar for every person that said they don’t vote anymore because “it doesn’t matter what you vote for, they do what they want anyway”, my cruise to Greece would be paid for.
Wish no bad on the ex-Mayor but given how business is done around here it’s too much of a coincidence.
Last election was what, 15 or 16 votes all together?
No doubt the family will be all that votes this time.
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?