Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I’m going on a Blog Break…


Time to recharge my batteries.

I’m stepping away from my word processor. My book. Newspaper columns. Daily posts on this blog. Making comments on other blogs or newspapers. I’m stepping away from them all. It’s time for me to walk on down the road…

See you next Wednesday – June 22nd. Please feel free to look over my column archives while I’m away. Peace.

The good news is: Lottery millionaire says he'll help charities, friends

I needed a feel-good story like this. The news has been so grim lately.

Ohio man on kidney dialysis plans to give back to those who helped him

LOGAN, Ohio — A local man won $5 million in the Ohio Lottery Tuesday, but even though he's dependent on kidney dialysis he’s already planning to share it.

Phillip Withem, of Logan, won the second chance drawing called the Top Prized Drawing.

"I'm going to help people because I love it. It makes me feel good and I think that's what God put us here for," he said.

Withem's life is sustained by kidney dialysis three times a week and said his sense of humor gets him by for now. He said his plans include helping some children's charities and friends who helped him during his illness.

image source  - story source

Just in time for summer: Army gets rid of stupid Berets, caps back in

Image: The black beret, which proved deeply unpopular with American soldiers, will be replaced by a patrol cap

Nice to see the Army is going back to it’s old patrol cap. I never did like those stupid Berets. Thankfully, back when I was in we had the patrol caps and bush/boonie hats in Vietnam.

Of course, those crazy Green Berets and other elite Army units wore the Beret. That made them feel special. Go figure. But it was their thing. If they wanted to look like those French sissies…I said let em!

Ten years ago former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki surprised troops in 2000 when he announced a shift to the beret from the utilitarian cap as a "symbol of unity" and a way to boost morale. But it irritated those elite units I mentioned who were given tan, green or maroon berets as badges of honor.

Army soldiers are gleeful they can ditch the ill-fitting black wool berets they've worn for years and go back to their old, brimmed patrol caps. Army Secretary John McHugh ordered the change to take effect Tuesday, which also happens to be the service's 236th birthday.

The change is one of several uniform adjustments, including allowing soldiers to either sew or use Velcro to attach uniform insignia, rank and name tags. In the past, badges had to be pinned on, a lengthy process that meant a ruler had to be used to keep them in line.

At ease troops! Time to go back to the good old American soft cap!

Actor comes to aid of famous glamor model and skeptical salvage diver looking for Osama bin Laden’s body

Image: Sean Bean

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Do you have your coffee or tea ready to go? Let’s slurp our hot beverages and take a peek at a story or two:

 The "Game of Thrones" and "Lord of the Rings" tough guy reportedly came to the aid of his famous glamour model companion after a fellow pub reveler made some untoward comments on her topless posing past. While Bean's white knighthood was obviously admirable, it also proved rather dangerous, as a melee ensued and the actor was ultimately stabbed outside the London pub.

Despite his wounds, Bean refused any medical attention and opted not to go to a hospital. Instead, the actor accepted a first aid kit from the bar staff, then ordered another drink.

Guess all those tough guy roles haven't been too much of a stretch, after all.

My favorite weird story for the day has got to be the following:

Skeptical Diver Plans to Find Osama bin Laden’s Body

Next month, a 67-year-old salvage diver from Fallbrook, California will journey to the North Arabian Sea to comb the depths of the ocean in search of the body of Osama bin Laden. It's a very expensive obsession this man has, and it made him very popular in the national and local media this weekend. Here's what we know about Bill Warren, the Osama hunter who refuses to give up.

Who is this guy?  He's a self-proclaimed "expert underwater treasure hunter." According to the New York Post, he has found "more than 200 wrecks" and is "confident he can find bin Laden's body." He told CNN that "there's no treasure that's ever eluded him, and doesn't expect bin Laden's corpse to be the first." He insisted, "There's never been a shipwreck I didn't find."

Why's he doing it?  The man is skeptical of the White House, especially after it refused to publish photos of bin Laden's corpse. "I am mainly doing it to prove a point to see if he is really dead," he told San Diego affiliate Channel 6. "We do this because we are patriotic Americans and feel that President Obama failed to provide the proof," he told TMZ. The New York Post got the best quote from him. "The Obama administration should have released the photo, like we did with Billy the Kid, or [John] Dillinger, or even Saddam Hussein," he said. "I have a Russian girlfriend, and she tells me that over there, in intelligence circles, they don't believe bin Laden's really dead."

How's he going to do it?  Apparently, Warren has some considerable resources. He told ABC News he's going to rent a remote-operated submarine paid for by funding from his "associates." He estimates the trip will cost about $1 million. Channel 6 says he has investors lined up from Chicago, Scotland and New York. He boasted a little more to the local affiliate:

Warren claims he has a good idea where bin Laden's body is located, and said his 180-foot boat is waiting in Western India with high-tech equipment that can point out just about anything in water.

"It's what they found the Titanic with, it's side scan sonar, and it's very high tech," Warren said.

Is he worried the body may be decomposed beyond recognition? Nope. "The fish can't get at it. It's in a sealed Navy burial bag, zipped up," he said. "White canvass rubber lined inside, 200-pounds of weights." New York Post has more  details on his budget expectations. "He expects to spend about $400,000 on a two-week jaunt next month. He plans to rent a ship in India for $10,000 a day, and spend another $1,000 a day for a remote-operated submarine."

What's he going to do with the body?  "We would photograph, videotape, and do a DNA test, and then try to figure out what we are going to do with his body after that," he told Channel 6. And if he's really hurting for cash after the expedition, he's got a back up plan. "He says after he finds Bin Laden it is possible he'll sell his corpse to the highest bidder," reports Channel 6. "I'm very serious about it" Story source

Well okay then…what a bizarre world we live in. It’s time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rock and Roll Great 'Yakety Yak' singer Carl Gardner dies at 83

The Coasters other hits included 'Charlie Brown,' 'Smokey Joe's Cafe,' 'Poison Ivy'

The Coasters bring a lot of memories back for me. I loved their stuff. Carl Gardner had a great voice, and they were fun to listen to. Sigh…so long ago. 

“Carl Gardner, the lead singer of The Coasters died Sunday in Port St. Lucie, Fla. He was 83 years old.”

Once again the emperor has no clothes, James chokes with the rest of the Heat

Dallas Mavericks v Miami Heat - Game SixI’ll admit it. I can’t stand LeBron James. Watching him and the Miami Heat in a meltdown against the Dallas Mavericks last night was a highly pleasurable experience. I read this morning it was the highest TV rating for an NBA Finals Game 6 in eleven years.

That’s because there were a lot of other people like me who tuned in to see King James lose. When he left Cleveland hanging and went to Miami with tons of fanfare (did you see his big announcement on TV about the move?) he made a lot of enemies. Watching the ridiculous show time announcement (just prior to the NBA season) when James, Wade, and Bosh all appeared on runways with puffs of smoke at their feet and declaring that they were the BIG THREE and would deliver a championship to Miami, was enough to piss anyone off that didn’t live in Florida.

The arrogance that “King” James displays certainly doesn’t make him a fan favorite. Did you hear what he had to say after the game? Instead, he’s become the NBAs poster boy for a villain. I thought about that grand introduction at the start of the season as I watched the Heat get their asses handed to them last night. King James was a no show in the fourth quarter…as usual.

Los Angeles Lakers Hall-0f-Famer, Jerry West, will always be known as “Mr. Clutch.” LaBron James is well on his way to a legacy too… as “Mr. Choke-in-the-Clutch!”

Finally, I want to congratulate the Dallas Mavericks on their decisive win in clinching the Larry O’Brian trophy for the first time in their franchise history. They were due. That was obvious. I’m glad Dirk was picked as the series MVP. He was great and deserved the honor.

The Mavericks ran my favorite team, The Lakers, out of the playoffs in a stunning sweep this season. I’m looking forward to the Lakers getting their revenge in the 2012 season. I’d love to see the Mavs and the Lakers fighting for the Western Conference title next year. In an interesting footnote, I read where odds-makers are already predicting the Lakers and the Heat will be in the 2012 finals…and that the Heat will win. I highly doubt that. The “King” and his court have been exposed!  

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‘Oh dem bones’…dinosaur auction features fighting pair of skeletons

Good Morning Humboldt County!

Another day in paradise. Pull up a chair, pour a cup of coffee or tea, and take a quick peak at this story with me:

Natural history buffs with Tyrannosaurus-sized bank accounts got a chance to ante up on Sunday when an unusually large collection of fully assembled, museum-quality dinosaur skeletons was put up for auction.

The featured stars of the Heritage Auctions bidding were a "fighting pair" of dinosaur skeletons that sold to a museum for $2.75 million, and an enormous, 19-foot-long triceratops that fetched $657,250 from a private collector.

The Dallas auction included more than 200 items, including meteorites, minerals and other fossils.

The fighting dinosaurs -- an allosaurus and a stegosaurus -- were offered together because of their discovery in a Wyoming quarry with the jaw of the allosaurus wrapped around the leg of the stegosaurus, leading to speculation that the two were engaged in a predator-prey battle. Story Here.

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Thanks  for stopping by. Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, June 12, 2011

As It Stands: Food conspiracy of government and chemical companies grows every year


By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 06/12/2011 02:40:43 AM PDT

Who would have ever guessed a food fight would bring together the alternative health left and the Tea Party right in opposition against anything? But the Food Safety Modernization Act (S510) accomplished that feat when President Obama signed it into law on January 4th.

Basically, the act precludes the public's right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes.

This strange alliance of ideological enemies is not that surprising because both sides fear the total control and power government can achieve by regulating our food supply and taking away our ability to feed ourselves.

When the White House ordered the FDA to promote biotechnology in 1991, a step was taken toward an unholy alliance between government and the chemical companies that continues to this day.

Instead of watching out for us, they are poisoning our food supply for profit. Call me a conspiracy nut, or whatever, but read on for the reasons I believe that. The first warning sign was when a new position was created: Deputy Commissioner for Policy to supervise government policy on genetically modified foods (GMOs).

Who do you think the Clinton White House wanted for the new position? Someone who had no “irons in the fire,” so to speak? Sorry. The White House recruited attorney Michael Taylor, a lawyer who represented Monsanto and other members of the biotech industry, to head up the formation of GMO policy.

Talk about selling the people out. Our government allowed this incestuous relationship to affect our food chain by hiring biotech industries employees to carry out their agenda.

All the independent testing around the world reveals that GMO foods contain bacteria, toxins and/or viruses that are transmitted to humans within the foods' DNA. Every independent test reveals a negative secret about genetically modified organisms despite Monsanto's efforts to quash their opposition.

The result is the U.S. is the only developed nation to allow milk or other dairy products from cows given artificial growth hormone. With the exception of items labeled “organic,” GMOs are in almost every dairy product sold in our stores. The hormones are also fed to livestock to fatten them faster for market.

The FDA and USDA will continue to misrepresent facts about the safety of our food products to support food and drug industries' goals. History proves that.

What bothers me is that one man's actions have such a huge impact on the food you and I eat. Taylor was the one who declared all GMOs, including rBGH/rBST, to be essentially identical to the natural product and therefore safe for human consumption, even though no safety studies were done. Sure, others are also responsible, but he's the poster boy for introducing GMOs into our food chain.

So what happens? To my utter disgust, President Obama appointed Taylor to the position of FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods in 2010, despite his clear conflict of interest with Monsanto. Call it cronyism. I call it a conspiracy.

Their complicity was never more obvious than when Wikileaks released documents on how Monsanto and the U.S. government teamed up to compel Spain to lift their ban on GMO products. At one point, Monsanto and the U.S. government used the World Bank to threaten Ireland. Irish ministers were told that if they did not permit GMO foods to be sold in Ireland, they would not be eligible to receive loans.

When some of our farmers decided the health of their cows was not worth the increased profits and began to market products as not containing milk from rBGH- or rBST-treated cows, the FDA moved fast (with Monsanto's insistence) and made them re-label their products.

The new label now has to say, “No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST- and non-rBST-treated cows.” This, despite the preponderance of evidence that shows otherwise, is just another example of the control they have over our food.

Something to keep in mind: when ideological opposites unite on the same issue, such as the safety of our food chain, it's no longer about politics. It's about survival.

As It Stands, if this arrangement between the chemical companies and our government isn't a conspiracy, then what is it?

Websites carrying this column:

Food Safety News Feed

Product Lawyer Reviews

Investigating the New Imperialism12 June page

NewsBlogged12 June page

Alternative Medicine and Holistic Health12 June page

Accountability-Central.com12 June page




Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...