Saturday, November 29, 2008

Aphrodisiac from Ants: Man executed for massive investor scam!

Chinese authorities announced that they executed the leader of a scheme to swindle investors out of their money by making aphrodisiacs from ants. Wang Zhendong, was put to death in the northeastern province of Liaoning, according to Xinhua News Agency (China's official news source).

Wang managed to steal about 3 billion yuan ($439 million) from numerous investors. One of the investor's even committed suicide when he discovered he'd been ripped off. China does not mess with crime like this. If they catch you, that's it. You're dead. Needless to say, not many people try it.

Can you imagine if we did that here in the United States? a matter of fact that's not a bad idea! That would help deplete the overcrowded prisons. Of course, we would have to start off by executing all the mass murders, serial killers, and just plain old murderers first. And we all know that'll never happen. Oh well...just a thought.

Lakers beat Mavericks to extend their record to 13-1


I know the game was Friday night, but as a Laker fan since the early 1960s, I just wanted to crow about their NBA best record so far.

The Lakers have been dismantling opponents this season by an average of 14 points a game!

Left, Trevor Aziza gets a tough rebound against two Dallas players, and on the right - Pau Gasol makes life miserable for Antoine Wright driving to the basket.

What's a Wal-Mart Christmas Mean? See Sunday Times-Standard

As It Stands takes a look at what Wal-Mart's business practices and what they have done to help destroy American manufacturers who can't keep up with the giant retailer.

How desperate are people this year to get a good deal?

How about desperate enough to kill?

That's what happened in Valley Stream, New York, on Friday when shoppers trampled a Wal-Mart contract worker to death!

Where does it end when getting a great deal is worth this? See Sundays Time-Standard's Opinion Page and see where the wages of greed have taken us.

Police look at video tapes to see who killed Wal-Mart worker

Police are looking at surveillance cameras from Friday morning, when an unruly crowd of shoppers burst through the front door of a New York Wal-Mart store and trampled a worker to death. The store was back open hours later. The sales had to go on! Click here for full story.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Wal-Mart Worker Trampled To Death by Mob of Shoppers!

It really is Black Friday for one family in New York. A 34-year-old man New York man was knocked down when (according to Nassau police) "an unruly shoppers physically broke down the front door to rush inside." The man was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead this morning at 6:00 a.m. A pregnant woman shopper was also injured and taken to the hospital. her condition is still unknown at this time.

To me, this is a sad reflection of the desperate times we live in financially. Pundits have called this day Black Friday in reference to businesses coming out in "the black" this holiday shopping season. Still, I find it hard to believe that people wanted a "good deal" that badly, where they felt they had to actually break into the store! These are hard times in more ways than one.

My sympathies go out this Friday morning to the family of that poor man who died while working in Wal-Mart. The whole situation makes me feel sick.

I already hate Wal-Mart's business practices and have even wrote a column that is going in this Sunday's Times-Standard about Wal-mart's affect on the economy. Especially this season. Little did I know something like this would happen to put a punctuation mark on the price of doing business.  CLICK HERE to read more.

Meet James Kuhn: Eccentric Face Painting Artist!


James Kuhn calls his creations self-portraits because he uses his own face for a his artwork.


These are just some of the vast amount of characters he has come up with.

Happy Birthday to my wife Shirley who won't share her age today!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My wife and I couldn't find the turkey so we're dining out today

I've heard tales of how dumb turkeys are supposed to be, but I suspect some are smarter than others!

 I watched a great special on the History Channel about turkey's last night and it mentioned the rumor that turkeys would drown if left outside in the rain.

Not so, say the experts. The wild turkey's are smarter than the domesticated version grown in the millions every year - but neither version is THAT DUMB.

 Scientists have managed to "dumb down" the domesticated turkey (which is kinda scary when you consider that wild turkey's are the dumbest birds in the bird family!).

I guess the good news is...No dishes or cleaning up this year!


Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers - including Turkeys!

My interpretation of Thanksgiving has nothing to do with Pilgrims and myths.

 Instead I choose to make this a day of thanksgiving (not because of the myths and vague history) but because we ALL have something to be thankful for.

I set aside this day to be thankful, and to remember all of my personal blessings, which seems more appropriate.

I'm thankful for my wonderful family, and I'm thankful that people read my column and other articles that appear in this blog.

 I'm thankful to have a blog. I didn't know what I was missing all that time! I started this blog in July, but it seems like just yesterday.

Peace to All!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Using a Turkey To Make A Social Statement

There's just not much to say here. Turkey Day is indeed a bad day for for birds. It's like the Native Americans celebrating our so-called Thanksgiving...I don't think so! The White man brought nothing but grief to the original inhabitants of this country. FREE THE TURKEY! Become a non-meat eater in time to give a bird a reprieve this year!

Recent World Visitors and Today's Reader feedback comments

I really enjoy getting visitors from everywhere. I've found that most of my readership comes from around the US and other countries. I do have some California readership, but it doesn't compare to the other two segments of visitors.

Thanks to the following recent international readers from: Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; Gif-sur-yvette, Centre, France; Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia; London, United Kingdom; Tukums, Tukuma, Latvia; Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa; Taipei, T'ai-pei, Taiwan; New Westminister, British Columbia, Canada; Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain; Kalnciems, Tukuma, Latvia; Riga, Latvia; Vanda, Southern Finland, Finland; Bangalore, Karnataka, India; Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom; Skopie, Karpos, Macedonia; Beausoleil, Provence-alpes-cote D'azur, France; Portsmouth, United Kingdom; Paris, Ile-de-france, France; Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan; Quarry Bay, New South Wales, Australia; Biringham, United Kingdom; Rotherham, United Kingdom; Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom; Vancover, British Columbia, Canada; Matlock, Derbyshire, United Kingdom; Rekhasim, Hefa, Israel; Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada; Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada; Pembroke, Ontario, Canada; Munster Nordrhein-westfalen, Germany; Rotterdam Zuid-holland, Netherlands; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Chester, Cheshire, United Kingdom; and Seoul, Seoul-t'ukpyolsi, Korea.

Now let's talk about some reader feedback on one of my past columns. Today I got four emails regarding a column that I wrote October 5th "America in Crisis: Are we facing martial law?" (I'm just putting names and not where their from)

Jeff Betts wrote, "

I am not sure how much you follow what is going on as far as

arms sales and ammo sales. As I have observed people are stocking

up on both. So if say there are 150 million armed people out of the 300

million in this country good luck to this unit. Also after having talked to

active duty Marines they told me they would not fire on there own people

for Obama anyway. I know for a fact that I have never seen this many

people preparing for an uprising in the 30 years I have followed politics.

They don't trust Obama and are not prepared to roll over and let him

take away our rights.

Chuck Mason wrote:

Good morning,

I wanted to write you and thank you for your article on Martial Law.  I share your concerns and have been speaking to my family at home about this.  I wanted to share links that may be of interest to you.  Please take a moment to view or read each one.

Thank you again,




Thanks Chuck,

For the good informative links.It's nice to know that there are other people as considered as I am about this "strike force" in the American homeland.


I am in Warrenton VA and I read your work.

I feel when voters speak, the government listens.

In this case,, the govt is clearly demonstrating that states no longer have rights and this is really why the Civil War started.  Slavery was the cause, but States Rights were the issue.  When voters cast their ballot, our govt needs to listen.  Thank you for your hard work.

Carlene & Ken Richardson wrote:

THANK YOU, THANK YOU...This kind of information really needs to be out to the

public...We appreciate your effort.

Gerard Neautt wrote: (email to me & a Letter to the Editor at the Times-Standard.)


Your columnist wrote:

"As It Stands, the idea that active duty soldiers will be used to control unruly civilian crowds is both terrifying and unconstitutional."


"The last time I checked, the use of the military in domestic activities was prohibited by law, with the exception of the National Guard units under the authority of the states."

Those statements are incorrect.  The use of active duty Federal Military forces is governed by the "Posse Comitatus" law, not the Constitution, which prohibits the President from unilaterally sending forces within the United States for any purpose other than to stem an invasion from another country (in our case that would be Canada and Mexico or maybe Cuba).  Mexico tried it once, it failed.

National Guard units are under the command of the governors of their respective states and can therefore be deployed at their discretion.  To be deployed by the President of the US they must first be activated and them become part of Military Branch of which they are part (i.e. National Guard is Army, Air National Guard is Air Force,

Military forces can be deployed with permission from Congress, with the declaration of Martial Law ( which would be across the entire country), or at the request of local authorities.

In 1957 the mayor of Little Rock Arkansas requested and received assistance from an Active Duty Army unit when the problems with integration became extremely tense and threatened to break out into violence.  The mayor could not ask the governor to deploy the Arkansas National Guard because the governor did not support integration.  The mayor asked then president Eisenhower to send in the Army to maintain order.  The President seeing the situation did send in the Army.

Here's a link:

Active duty Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine personnel were used in the Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts but were delayed because the Governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, did not request the aid in a timely manner.

That a unit dedicated to a specific task is set up is not unusual.  Please keep in mind that crowd/riot control is not normally part of military training!  Having a unit dedicated to that type of task with the right equipment and rotating units in and out to get the right  training ensures that IF they are called upon they will be able to accomplish the tasks immediately instead of learning 'crowd control' on the job.  That was tried once in Ohio with predictably disastrous results.

If this column was an "opinion" piece, Mr. Stancliff's concern is duly noted, but his glaring inaccuracies make it nothing more than an attempt at inflammatory journalism.  Perhaps Mr. Stancliff could write a follow up article explaining what the law is and why the scenarios he envisioned in his first article couldn't come about.

I'm not holding my breath!

I wrote back:

Let's see if I got this right...

You read my column in the Opinion Page and wondered if it was an opinion.

Then you suggest that I'm not allowed to express my opinion because it does not agree with yours.

You sited a couple of incidents where active forces were used. If you noticed, that was mentioned in the column.

The "Posse Comitatos" law has been under assualt by critics for years because it does challenge the Constitution which forbids this kind of arrangement with active troops.

You say my statements are incorrect. Siting a contoversial law is supposed to be your proof that I'm wrong. With your obvious bias in this situation you seem to have overlooked the Consitition.

Finally, I would like to share something with you: this Martial Law column has been the most read article in the entire newspaper for over a month. I have received hundreds of letters from people in all walks of life throughout the country - including lawyers- who agree with this column.

The bottom line is this; I respect your right to not agree with my column.

Gerard wrote back:

Mr. Stancliff,

The link I had did not link to an "opinion" page.  If the page I viewed was an "opinion" page it was not clearly marked as such!

I did NOT suggest that you weren't allowed to express an opinion. I just said you should get all the facts

"Posse Comitatus" is very strict in what is and is not allowable regarding the use of the military in the within the U. S.

We actually had to sign a form stating we were volunteering and not part of a military deployment when some of us volunteered to help search for a missing child!

The incidents I cited are historical facts and were entirely within the parameters of the Constitution and the Posse Comitatus Act.  The instances were cited to show the point that the President cannot order troops into an area "on a whim".

The Constitution does not prohibit the president from deploying troops within the U.S.  Amendment III of the Bill of Rights does prohibit the quartering of military personnel without the consent of the owner and just compensation.

The Posse Comitatus Act limited the president's ability to deploy troops for use in law enforcement .  Prior to that act the President could send Federal troops anywhere to enforce the law without congressional authorization!  It was only because of the reconstruction after the civil war and the use of Army personnel in the southern states that the president's power was curtailed.

The Union troops were actually an "army of occupation" and could have been left there indefinitely but Congress stepped in and passed the Posse Comitatus Act.  The Insurrection Act of 1807 also "limits" presidential power in deploying the military.

There is some question as to whether those acts are Constitutional since Congress does not have the authority to take powers away from the president that are given him by the Constitution.  The only legitimate way to reduce (or augment) the powers of the presidency is by Constitutional amendment.  There is always, however, the "power of the purse strings"!!

Lastly, not ALL lawyers would agree with you!  (Actually if you get a roomful of lawyers to agree on anything other than lunch you have a major accomplishment!)

I did not, nor would I ever, not allow anyone to express their opinion.

BTW I got your second email as I was writing this one and haven't had the time to look at all the links.  I did look at the first

"video".  That looks like a large scale decontamination/quarantine facility.  Considering the chemical/biological warfare expertise of the Chinese military and their penchant to sell to the highest bidder....might be good planning!  A large facility well away from populated areas would minimize further contamination/spread of the contaminant.   I wouldn't be surprised if we were an attacked within the next few years!!

Consider this:  55 gallons of the right material and you can decimate the entire population of a major city.  Bring the material in small containers as part of a larger shipment of some safe material and it gets by U.S.Customs!

You would need a very large facility to process and treat the survivors, if there are any! 

BTW Sunny and 40 here!  Cooler than normal!


Hi Gerard,

I just wanted to say thank you for your last email. It appears that the link you used didn't note that this was an Opinion piece. Can you tell me where you got the link?

For some reason I got three emails just this morning on the subject, along with yours. That tells me some web site has picked it up since I first wrote the column on Oct. 5th.

Forgive me for asking, but are you stationed with this new unit we're talking about? If so, I want you to understand that have nothing but respect for all of our armed forces.

I'm a combat Vietnam Veteran (1970) and have been a veteran's advocate for well over twenty years.

I'm a freelance journalist who writes for the Times-Standard (a daily newspaper in Eureka, CA) and the McKinleyville Press, a weekly, in McKinleyville, CA.)

Thanks again for all of your points. It's warm (mid-fifties), cloudy, but should clear today here in Humboldt County.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,



No apology necessary!

Regarding where I got the link...I honestly don't know!  I briefly shut my computer due to a software issue and since I have my computer set up to wipe my internet history I won't be able to track it down.

I am no longer on active duty, I'm retired AF.

Was involved with NBC (that's Nuclear, Biological, Chemical not the TV network!) decon teams.  That's why I mentioned my take on that facility.

Get all the sick/contaminated people in one place (and keep them there) so it doesn't spread, concentrate all your medical personnel where you need them, destroy all the contaminated clothing, material and waste by burning.

Was at Travis AFB in Fairfield.  Nice country Northern California.  I liked the Russian River area and the coast around Santa Cruz.  Loved the skiing in the Sierra's.  Go play in the snow and get back home and not have to shovel the driveway!!  Not like here in Maine!! 

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Hope you'll be with family and friends. 

You may, at your discretion, overindulge in consumption of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy.

You may want to help out the lobstermen in Maine through this difficult financial time by adding lobster to your Thanksgiving meal.

It WAS on the menu at the original Thanksgiving!!


As Mortgages Went Bad - Executives Cashed Out!

While Irving subprime leader New Century was failing, key executives continually changed their stock trading plans and often sold within days of colleagues' trades, a LA TIMES investigation shows.

It's just further proof of how complicit these executives were in the eventual downfall of the stock market and resulting chaos. Tax payers continue to pay to bail out scoundrels like this.

To read the whole story CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

OPTICAL ILLUSIONS: How many faces can you find?



Meditation on a single red rose...

Outside, on my redwood porch, two Jasmine bushes have taken over the entryway intoxicating family and visitors alike. The heady perfume always there. But it's a single red rose this November day that leaves me standing there. Wonder and a sense of hope seem everywhere.

The rose doesn't know it's time should have come and gone. It does not sense - in alarm - anything wrong. The time for the other twisted vines are in accordance with the season. Bare. Just a few stubborn leaves, but no other roses. Somehow, this rose has picked this late date to bloom and to share it's glory. Against all odds.

I admire it, surprised at how healthy it is. Rich blood red pedals still snug and unfolding. It stands out - in the green garden in front of my porch - and calls out to all "Come see me! I'm still here in the fall!"

Hate Laws Should be Amended To Protect Veterans

                                                         By Dave Stancliff
        Students nervously milled around outside the classroom.
        Some were in shock, as police and other emergency personnel hurried into the building.

        It was 1977, and I was a journalism student at Fullerton Community College. A student in that classroom shot himself in front of a horrified English class. Later, I found out that he was a Vietnam veteran, just like me. I didn’t know him, which was kinda odd, as there weren’t many other Vietnam veterans on campus that year. I never found out why he did that, but I had my suspicions. Being a Vietnam veteran in 1977 meant that most civilians didn’t trust you. I can recall applying for jobs and not putting down I was a veteran on the application because of earlier experiences where it was evident I was being discriminated against.
      There were very few veteran programs at most colleges back then. Those veterans who did try going back to school faced hostile student bodies. We didn’t have people advocating for us. I never did get use to being called names, but realized that I was such a minority at school that no one would back me if I argued with those cretins who seemed out to “make their bones” by harassing a Vietnam veteran.
       What veterans like myself faced was nothing short of “hate speech.” Because we weren’t organized then we either suffered the indignities quietly, or got kicked off campus for “causing trouble.” I saw a couple of Vietnam veterans pushed to the brink and what happened after they struck back verbally and physically.
            A year later, after getting my AA in Journalism, I was attending HSU which offered a new program called, Veterans Upward Bound, that helped student veterans with their transition to civilian life. I became the editor of a publication called “The Veterans Gazette,” and spent a lot of time talking to student veterans.
         The contempt for veterans at HSU wasn’t as overt as down south, but it was still there. As a group, we would talk about it and share our daily campus experiences. Since those days, there has been a lot of improvement on how veterans are treated at colleges. I like to point out that HSU has a Student Veterans Association and a great new program called, Veterans Enrollment and Transition Services (Y.E.S).
         However, I would also like to point out that veterans still have to deal with “hate speech” on college campuses today. That includes HSU. Anyone who read student veteran Jennifer Fusaro’s article on Nov. 5th in The Lumberjack (the student newspaper) knows that’s true. Sadly, some things haven’t changed.
       What veterans suffer is no different than when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership in a certain social group, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, or political affiliation.
        Historically, veterans going back to college weren’t treated badly by other students. That dynamic changed when we entered Vietnam and college campuses became breeding grounds for dissidents and organized protests against that unpopular war.
         Today’s military is an all-volunteer force and you don’t see colleges making news with big protests against the war in Iraq or Afghanistan. So why do veteran students still get harassed? That’s a tough question to answer. From my experiences, it appears people tend to associate the veteran with the administration.
         Instead of looking at the veteran as someone who was doing their job, detractors de-humanize individuals and see them as symbols of a government they don’t believe in, thus fair game to pick on. This is patently unfair, and a stupid assumption to make.
         There’s a lot of reasons why people go into the military today. In this failing economy joining the military means employment. There are those who go in because they believe in the war, or are just seeking adventures, but no one has the right to hold that against them.
         The times are changing and this country is making progress towards respecting other people’s rights. Our new Commander in Chief is part African-American and Caucasian.
         In this spirit of change, there’s at least one state lawmaker, Utah Republican Rep. Eric Hutchings, who says he’s going to sponsor a hate crime bill that would extend group protection to uniformed service members, according to an Associated Press report on Nov.16th.
         I would like to see Senator Mike Thompson sponsor a similar bill here in California and not just limit it to uniformed service members, but to all those veterans who are out of the service and in the civilian population.        
          As It Stands, going back to school is a hard enough transition for veterans to adapt to without having to deal with prejudicial pinheads!

Global financial crisis: Russians cut back on Vodka!

You know things are getting serious when the Russians cut back on their prodigious Vodka drinking habits.

Warehouses are starting to fill up with unsold Vodka, as the Russian public tightens their belts.

Pavel Shapkin, president of the National Alcohol Association told Rueters that "people are having to save money, including on drinks, and this is connected to the impact of the financial crisis on people's disposable incomes."

Bathtub Vodka is starting to show up. The last time that happened bootleggers poisoned people with their low-grade market brew which caused widespread liver failure, jaundice, and toxic hepatitis.

A half-liter bottle of Vodka goes for about $1.80 a bottle in Russia. 

Monday, November 24, 2008

FAIR WARNING!: Non-Bloggers Fear Us Because...

Pitbull vs Porcupine: it's apparent who lost this little encounter!

Miraculously, this female pitbull wasn't blinded or didn't suffer any permanent damages. She apparently wanted to play with a porcupine who didn't want to play, and in fact, felt quite threatened. The owner reported that it was a long and painful procedure pulling the quills out at the vets. The Queen of Quills, as her owner has dubbed her, is on antibiotics and pain meds and reportedly recovering just fine. I'll bet that given the chance...she'd do it all again!

Priestess with a Golden Eye is discovered in Sistan Desert in Iran

Note that there's two tiny holes in the gilded eyeball (inset). They were there to run a thin piece of silk through, which allowed the wearer to tie the eye on.

The 5000 year-old woman was six-feet tall and must have been imposing with her gilded eye and above normal height.

Archaeologists say the woman was a soothsayer or priestess. She was somewhere between 25 and 30 years-old when she died.

She was also buried with a bronze mirror so she could check her startling appearance. The eye wasn't made to mimic a real eye.

Instead, it was glittery and probably appeared mysterious to her followers. Perhaps even supernatural.

What an interesting story if they could find ancient records that told about her life. I could even see a movie being made about it.

Now who could star in the part? Hmmmmm.....

Here's one good reason I don't kayak along the north coast...

Another $20 million of tax-payer money pumped into Citigroup

Here we go again. More rewards for business with a lousy management team and greedy CEO. Regulators hope that plowing the cash into their coffers will avoid a worse global crisis than the one in the 1930s. Right now, every big corporate business in the country is running to the trough at Washington DC begging for a bailout. The Big Three automakers have been pleading their case recently, but were told to come up with a business plan. Well, imagine that.

A business plan. The same clowns who ran their companies into the ground now have the gall to ask for money. And the damn government is giving it to them. That's crap! Let them go bankrupt and re-do the way they do business. They won't learn their lesson if Uncle Sugar bails them out.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

RETI Gambit - Opening Theory & a fun way to fight the French Defense!

MOVE 4 - CASTLE Queen side

I use to belong to a chess club in Eureka many years ago and I do enjoy the game. I'm proud to say I taught one of my nephews to play chess and he's now a Grand Master! In other words, he can kick my butt now! We haven't played since he moved to Colorado eons ago.

Sometimes I pull out a book on chess moves and read about different games from one of my favorite all time players - Bobby Fischer. As a person he was a complete asshole...but his game was other worldly! I like going through the games he played against Boris Spassky, the Soviet Union Grand Master, and world champ at the time. Fischer went to Reykjavik, Iceland in 1972, at the height of the Cold War, and beat Spassky to become the one (and still only) American World Chess Champion.



Have you ever heard the adage 'smiling' like cats and dogs?




AS IT STANDS in the Times-Standard - Presidential Pardons & Turkeys!

While our Chimp-in-Charge wraps up his lame duck presidency, he has two more official perks that are full of irony - the pardoning of the traditional Thanksgiving turkey and any criminal he wants.

This photo shows last year's turkey pardoning which was never released to the public for obvious reasons.

AS IT STANDS takes a look at some past pardons that will ruffle your feathers when you read them. There's also some speculation on who Dubya plans to pardon before he slinks away into history.

He's got so many cronies doing illegal things that he may just issue a mass Pardon to anyone that worked for him in the last eight years!

To read today's column CLICK HERE.

Florida boy arrested for Gas Attack-He kept Farting in the Classroom!

A 12-year-old student was arrested earlier this month after he "deliberately passed gas to disrupt the class." The boy was also accused of shutting off the computers of classmates at Stuart Spectrum Jr/Sr High School. He was basically busted for disruption of a school function. "He continually disrupted his classroom environment by breaking wind and shutting off several computers," said the Police report.

Looks like his parents are going to have to make sure the boy doesn't eat beans or other gassy foods or he may not graduate from school! I can imagine the kids in the classroom got a big kick out of his hijinks however.

It's Time the Mainstream Media Admits This is not a Normal Election

The mainstream media is sending signals that they don't know what to do about the most corrupt presidential candidate in history. Trump ...