Security Officer        
Albemarle, STANLY COMMUNITY COLLEGE is seeking a Security Officer to delivery safety and security services which includes the implementation and administration of programs that assist the campus community in maintaining order, and/or improving the personal safety of the students, faculty, staff, guests and property of the College. This position would also assist the director of security in the directing and
          Free OMICRON Substation Grounding Seminar – October 3rd        
  The Department of Electrical Engineering at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) will host a free one-day seminar on substation grounding presented by OMICRON. This seminar will introduce the basics of grounding system design, discuss evaluation of ground grids for personal safety according to IEEE Standard 80-2000 and the corresponding OSHA Standard, and show how to determine the local ground potential rise (GPR) of the station under test from
          How to Protect Your Personal Safety While Traveling in Europe        
Tourists from all countries flock to Europe for sightseeing and vacations. Before leaving on a trip to Europe, however, put some thought into your personal safety while oversees. Most of Europe is relatively safe for a travel destination compared to other places in the world, so many travelers do not think to take precautions.
          Shei-Pa National Park’s Snow-season Climbing Ban Partially Lifted on Apr. 1st; Shengling Trail Remains Closed to Solo Climbing        
Shei-Pa National Park’s (SPNP) snow-season climbing ban for the first half of 2015 is partially lifted as of April 1st and resumes the regular-season entry permission policy. With some sections of the trails still blocked by snow or ice accumulation, SPNP personnel will continue to carry out checks on climbers’ snow and ice gear. Currently, Shengling Trail is only open to groups of at least 2 persons. Solo climbing is now temporary open for all other trails. Given the continual snowfalls at high altitudes due to the recent unpredictable weather, as well as the great temperature difference between day and night, making hiking trails ice-prone and slippery, mountain climbers are reminded to be properly equipped with snow gear to ensure personal safety. To safeguard visitors’ safety during the snowy season, SPNP implemented a climbing ban from January 1st through March 31st, 2015, where entrance permits were issued only to multiple-member teams with the required snow-climbing experience and equipment. Although the regular-season entry permission policy has been resumed on April 1st, some SPNP trails remain icy and snow-covered due to the unpredictable mountain weather and nighttime temperature drop. The cold front that brought snowfall between Mt. Xue’s main peak and cirque on March 26th also resulted in snow of up to 50 cm deep in the cirque area, causing certain sections of the trails to only be accessible with proper snow and ice gear such as ice claw, axe/stick and helmet. Consequently, SPNP personnel will continue to carry out on-site inspection of climbers’ snow/ice gear. Those who have already been granted Park access, but are insufficiently equipped, will be prohibited from entering snow-covered or icy sections. Your cooperation is highly appreciated. Lifted at the same time are the prohibition of accessing Shengling Trail and the prohibition of solo entry for the Conservation Area during the snow control season. However, considering the higher level of difficulty and danger of the Shengling Trail, which passes through 1 to 2 cliffs, entry is currently open only to groups of at least 2 persons after April 1st. Climbers are required to carry climbing ropes for safety purpose. For solo climbers who were previously granted entrance permit, the permit will be revoked accordingly. Those planning to visit SPNP in the near future must be equipped in preparation for the treacherous mountain weather and trail conditions and, more importantly, pack safety tools (ropes, etc.) if you are planning to take the Shengling Trail or other routes featuring cliffs and collapsing rock walls. To avoid accidents, inexperienced or ill-equipped climbers shall stop moving beyond trails blocked by snow and ice or other hazardous trail sections. SPNP is also intending to classify and manage the trails according to their level of danger and difficulty, in order to reduce casualties while bolstering mountain safety.
          Airplane Safety        
Air travel is as safe as it has ever been, but you should still take your personal safety seriously.  Your safety is ultimately your responsibility.  A friend of mine at just did a great article on airplane safety.  It’s the season for travel.  If you are like me, I’ve already booked my travel for
          Wearable Technology Gift Ideas for Tracking and Safety        

There are many reasons that a tracking device might make sense for you.  Whether you want to keep track of a person, a pet, or a particular object, there is a tracking device that matches your needs. 

Here's my top 3 Wearable Technology Gift Ideas for Tracking and Safety:

LassoTag iBeacon

If you're constantly losing your phone, your purse, your keys, or other important items, then you need the LassoTag iBeacon. You can actually track up to 6 devices with individual tags and the LassoTag app. 

All you have to do is attach the LassoTag to the item you want to track and then set up the app to connect with it.  It will automatically connect to the app when you place the tag next to your iPhone.

You can create an alarm so that when the tag gets more than 50 feet away from you, it sets off an alert.  You can get an alert through text message, a phone call, or just a phone notification on your screen.

Garmin Delta Dog Training Collar

If you're working on training your four legged friend, the Garmin Delta Dog Training Collar is a high-tech helper that will make it a much easier job to accomplish.  This consists of a collar with a GPS tracking device and stimulator along with a remote control that operates it.

You can set the trainer to have three different actions that signal your dog.  You can have electric stimulation, a specific tone, or even some sort of vibration.  You'll only need one hand to operate this simple three-button remote.

You can use the LCD display on the remote to figure out which settings you want, and you can even program the remote to have different settings for different dogs that you're working to train.

No matter what the breed or coat thickness of your dog, this device can be configured to work well.  And the remote will work from as far away as half a mile.  This collar will help you train your dog for its own health and safety as well as the safety of others.

V.ALRT VSN400 Personal Emergency Response Device

The V.ALRT VSN400 is an emergency device for individuals that is perfect for anyone who wants to be able to send an urgent text or message to someone.  Whether you're a woman who loves to jog in the park, but worries about her personal safety or a senior citizen living alone who fears having a bad fall, this device is a great choice.

This is a very small gadget that can be worn on your wrist the same way that you wear a watch. In fact, it looks a lot like a watch.  But the device can also be worn as a pendant or a belt clip if you prefer. 

It uses Bluetooth technology to send messages from your smartphone.  That means you don't need any type of extra subscription service, but you do have to have a smartphone that operates with iOS or Android technology.

Once you've set up the device, you'll be able to text up to three different contacts.  You can also initiate phone calls so that you make sure the person on the other end notices it - and you can do all of this with the touch of one button.

          LIAM 036 – Personal Branding: Practice Immediate Forgiveness        
Practicing immediate forgiveness is an essential part of your personal branding! While that may not make sense, at first glance, you'll learn that it makes perfect sense. In order to be the best version of you you can possibly be requires that all of your energy be focused on growing and creating happy, positive experiences in your life. Holding on to negative thoughts and feelings drains large amounts of energy from you. In fact, unforgiveness poisons and weakens you, which directly impacts your personal growth, relationships, business opportunities--every aspect of your life! Learn how to forgive everyone for everything as soon as possible! Listen to/download this episode here: Show outline: Follow up on Forgiveness conversation with Leisa Peterson, LIAM 35 A tip Leisa shared with me after the interview: People often don't think "I need to forgive ____ because..." Yet people often think "_____ really pisses me off!" or "I get so angry/annoyed when ______" These are symptoms of unforgiveness and emotional poison I want to look at it from a Personal Branding angle Your brand is you, you are constantly helping or harming your brand with every interaction A brand is much more than a name, a logo, or a slogan Your brand is your story, your promise to the world about how customers will FEEL when interacting with you It's never about features, somewhat about benefit, but always about FEELINGS! It takes intentional, conscious effort to create positive brand awareness This requires all the emotional "horsepower", or energy, you can harness Holding on to anger, bitterness, resentment, jealousy--any negative thoughts--wastes HUGE amounts of mental energy! Leisa Peterson walked us through a beautiful, highly effective forgiveness meditation (LIAM 35) The key elements of the meditation were: Feeling grounded, in harmony/connection to the world and everyone A place of personal safety/security A sense of being deeply, truly loved -- the security of that feeling A sense of unconditional love for yourself -- the confidence of that feeling From that place of personal security and confidence, being willing to see people as just like you Wanting to be happy & peaceful Wanting to be free of suffering Recognizing that when people are in pain for whatever reason, they don't think or as they would in love and peace They feel disconnect from humanity They feel like a victim They take out their pain on others thinking it will ease their own pain They may even think that what they are doing is helpful to you in some way Recognizing that their words/actions are driven by their personal pain, we can feel compassion--an understanding of the source of their behavior For a place of unconditional self-love, we can have unconditional love for them--their true self, not the hurting self that has just done harmful things, but their inner-self. We can know that what they have done is not about us, but about what they are struggling with. When we realize it really isn't personal, it no longer hurts our feelings and we don't take it personally You can let it go, just like setting down an object you no longer want to carry By practicing this over and over, you will get better at it A deep personal love and feeling of security with who you are allows you to not take things personally and get your feelings hurt so easily. The goal is to get to a place where you can practice instant forgiveness! You may feel hurt or angry because of what someone does to you, but you can recognize the feeling and let it go right then. This will free you up from so much pain that lingers for days, weeks, years and sucks energy from you that you could be using for more productive/profitable thoughts You get there by constantly reminding yourself that your interpretation of whatwas said or done to you is a story you are telling your...
          How to Develop Code & Communicate With a Scanner        
1Purchase a scanner, which is a radio used to transmit information. Scanners, sometimes called police scanners or 2 way radios, range in price from $100 or less to more than $1,000, depending on their specifications. Less-expensive scanners work well for personal use, such as monitoring transmissions for hobby or personal safety. Units that are more expensive are used by police and fire departments to provide stronger frequencies and outputs that are more powerful. Most electronics stores and online auction websites sell scanners.
2Set up your scanner by following the instructions that came with the unit. Find frequencies for various agencies by searching the dial or by looking up the official frequency on the agency’s website. Consult for a database of frequencies for organizations throughout the United States.
3Learn the communication code. Police codes use codes with the prefixes “10-” and “11-” followed by numbers that correspond to various situations. For example, “10-4″ means “message received.” Long-haul truckers use a different set of codes to communicate. In the language of truckers, for example, the term “alligator” means there is a blown tire in the road, and a “salt shaker” is a snowplow.
4Develop your own code for communicating. If you are using your radio to communicate with someone, discuss terms you would like to codify for your own radio language. Consider using the police or trucker codes as a base to work from when developing your own code language. For example, think of a nickname for the town you live in or a code word for the street you live on.
5Record your codes and distribute the information to others who will be using the information. You can do this with a notebook, computer document or online database, which all code users can modify when they think of a new code word.
          Alphason Sona 32" Black Stand        
Alphason Sona 32" Black Stand

Alphason Sona 32" Black Stand

Stunning finish offers a sleek and stylish look, complementing the designs of the latest AV equipment. Rigid construction with tension rod design. Black, curved edges polished and shaped for additional personal safety. Cable management facility to manage unsightly cables. Safety glass shelves toughened to British and European standard.

          New Version of Must-Have Personal Safety & Property Protection App “Crime andPlace™” Now Available        

With Crime and Place, users can view a “Crime Compass” to see inner and outer concentric rings that reveal crime hotpots for up to a mile in each direction, access a map overlay to search POIs, addresses, or categories (e.g. “gas station” or “shopping mall”) for crime data, and calibrate the data to fit their safety and security needs.

(PRWeb March 15, 2017)

Read the full story at

          New Version of Must-Have Personal Safety & Property Protection App “Crime andPlace™” Now Available        

With Crime and Place, users can view a “Crime Compass” to see inner and outer concentric rings that reveal crime hotpots for up to a mile in each direction, access a map overlay to search POIs, addresses, or categories (e.g. “gas station” or “shopping mall”) for crime data, and calibrate the data to fit their safety and security needs.

(PRWeb February 13, 2017)

Read the full story at

          You know about mobile phone battery can't remove the inside?        

  cell phone battery

  However we found that since the iphone has led to cell phone battery sealed after the trend, and now more and more mobile phone batteries also began to use this design, at the same time, we also feel slowly sealed battery or there is a reason.The removable compared to mobile phone battery, mobile phone battery can not remove what are the benefits?The existence of it what's the point?Come to this, we will learn about:

  About a growing number of mobile phone battery can not remove inside you know?

  1, to avoid the battery loose or interface wear lead to poor contact

  Mobile phone can replace the battery, the user will frequently open the back cover.It not only can let the back cover and battery loose, and replace the battery can also lead to the process of the battery metal contact oxidation, due to the battery and the fuselage poor contact, it is easy to cause cell phone shutdown and restart without rhyme or reason.

  2, considering appearance: save a space, thinner

  By mobile phone battery designed to be sealed, can greatly save its interior space, enabling more become more thin.

  3, existence of bad battery on the market

  Remember the phone explosion news?After you see will doubt the quality of the mobile phone change itself or charging while playing mobile phone.No problem, just ignore the decisive factor of a dangerous: inferior battery.Inferior battery in the process of use will not only a great discount on life, and easy to fever and malfunction.

  Besides inferior battery in addition to pose threat to our personal safety, will damage in the phone itself into crisis, affect the service life of mobile phone and use experience.From this point of view, sealed, mobile phone battery can largely reduce the inferior battery in circulation in the market.

  4, practical consideration: more compact, may have a certain ability of the three

  If a cell phone use is a removable battery together, so it's the design of the back cover will be used in open way, and it is difficult to let the back cover and the fuselage stick too tight.And sealed batteries tend to have needed a special tool to open the phone back cover, rigor and better waterproof properties is natural.

  5, easy to manufacture of moulds

  Die mould making up to the score of a integrated or removable form of more convenient, in the certain degree is also save the time and the cost of rent.

  6, the appearance and popularity of mobile power supply

  Together or rocks more than backup battery, or a mobile power supply, want a few more.Because, in contrast, mobile power supply for all kinds of mobile phone compatibility is very strong, and in the iphone or android mobile phone, no matter you are what kind of interface, can be indiscriminate use of mobile power supply.And spare battery is different, you for the phone to spend money to buy spare battery now, after the replacement of your mobile phone has become a piece of garbage containing various kinds of chemicals.

  Ok, above is the analysis of the points about the benefits of mobile phone batteries use cannot remove, feel very reasonable?!More interesting knowledge about mobile phone, all in YDT - PARTS website, welcome the attention, this is a famous mobile phone PARTS wholesale and retail online website!

          Protect Your Kid's Identity        
Five words or less(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - Much has been made about protecting your digital footprint lately. (Thank you, Apple and the FBI, for bringing this issue center stage). And, according to tech experts who follow such trends, it would seem that many people are starting to pay attention -- especially when it comes to protecting their children's privacy using encrypted communications. The argument against encryption goes like this: it allows those who exploit children to "go dark." While that is true, encryption is also a powerful tool that can help protect children from those same predators, as well as bullies and others who want to harm your kids. In short, encryption is not just for privacy and security, but also for personal safety as well as peace of mind. Think of it this way: your phone and other digital devices contain almost all of your personal information -- your current and previous locations, your home address, information about your family and friends, records of your calls and texts, email messages, and every website you've ever visited. This means that all that information is up for grabs. And in the wrong hands, it can also endanger your children. The good news is that protecting and encrypting your kids' information has never been easier or more cost-efficient. The Gabriel app, available at the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, was designed and built with personal privacy and security as its foundation by VirnetX, an Internet security software and technology company. For only $50 per year for five users (that's only $4.17 per month), you can be assured that your children's communications -- when they talk, video, chat, text, email, or share photos or documents -- are safe and secure. No one will be able to see, hear, or intercept your kids' communications other than the parties they are in contact with because Gabriel does not transmit or store its data with any third party -- not even VirnetX. It is person-to-person, end-to-end encryption that all but eliminates opportunities for hackers. Other benefits include: * Making free voice or video calls or sending IMs (instant messages) to other Gabriel members. * Receiving spamless email. * Sharing pictures or files that are immune to interception. For more information, or to download Gabriel, please visit
          Living Life in BsAs and Moto Adventure Q&A...         
Friday, July 18, 2014

So I moved into my new apartment and couldn't be happier.  Both Mariana and Diego have been very welcoming.  She being an artist, and he a musician, their flat is very bohemian and stylish.  The location is stellar.  Two blocks from nice parks, and on the outer edges of the very trendy Palermo neighborhood.  Close enough to get involved, yet far enough away to enjoy some rest in a quiet section of the hood.  Lennon, their massive black lab and I have hit it off as well.  Copious amounts of drool aside, he's starting to grow on me.  

Yesterday morning I slept in a bit, due to being tired from hostel livin' the past few nights I suppose.  Immediately I slapped on some shorts and went out for an exploratory run and exercise session to/through the nearby parks and the Cemetario de la Chacarita.  After that and breakfast, Diego let me borrow his bicycle to explore the city.  I ended up riding for miles and was able to see a large swath of BsAs.  After a few highlights like Puerto Madero and Camanito, I ended up in Plaza Dorrego (San Telmo) and found myself sipping an espresso, watching the city pass, all whilst a couple danced beautiful tango directly beside me.  I've heard wonderful things about this city, and I feel like I'm starting to see it, and know I'll really enjoy the next three weeks living here.  

A few questions around my trip have come through recently, so figured I'd hammer those out.  So, here goes... 
  • Would you consider your trip economy, middle of the road, or high end from a budget perspective?  That's a tricky one...  I would consider my trip 'middle of the road'.  I camped a bit, but due to cold weather, ended up in lodging frequently (used CouchSurfing a few times as well).  From a food perspective, I ate mostly at restaurants and hardly cooked for myself.  However, both of those things I'd consider to be on the 'low end' (i.e. hostels when available, local street food vs nice restaurants).  I've heard of people spending as little as $45/day realistically, and I've heard of people exceeding $100/day USD.  I'll come in just under the middle of that, but that includes some hefty expenditures (i.e. Stahlratte crossing from Panama to Colombia, and bike shipping from Bs.As. to California).  Factor in things like tires, fuel, etc, and I think I did fairly well from a budget perspective.  I could have done it MUCH cheaper I think, but then I wouldn't have experienced a lot of the trip (i.e. entertaining chicas, sampling and enjoying grog from all over the world, park/preserve entries, occasional nice meal or hotel, etc).  
  • Can you break down lodging type (i.e. what percentage camping/hostels/other)?  I wish I had kept track of all this, but I'm a slacker and didn't.  I'd say the breakdown most likely looks something like this.  CouchSurfing (or bunking with friends) 15%, hostels 30%, hotels 35%, camping 20%.  That's a rough breakdown, and if you do a trip of your own you could tweak that how you wish.  CouchSurfing is one of the better ways to get to know people and a city/culture intimately.  Hostels can provide the same, but usually end up being a bit more party focused.  Hotels can be found incredibly cheap throughout the majority of LatAm.  My best find was a really nice hotel w/ great parking at Atitlan, Guatemala for $5 USD per night.  I actually stayed in several through Peru and Bolivia for the equivalent of around $2 USD, but those were 'rough around the edges' to put it kindly.  Camping can be found essentially anywhere if you are willing to seek it out.  The best resource for this are blogs maintained by the bicycle touring lot.  Out of necessity, they have to camp it (sometimes takes days to bicycle to next village/town/city).
  • Bike maintenance:  During the past 8 months, how many tires replaced?  Have you had any major repairs?  How close were reliable mechanics if needed?  Again, a total crapshoot if you are planning an adventure of your own.  Some get lucky like me so far with minor issues, others have the opposite with engines grenade'ing into pieces in the middle of F all.  However, I did have my fair share of maintenance.  I changed the oil and filter four or five times I believe.  I've spooned on three new rear and front tires.  I had to replace the battery in Antigua due to a charging issue.  I swapped out the front and rear brake pads once.  Although not necessary, I ended up swapping out the chain and sprockets in Peru (didn't want to chance it and not have parts).  I had a blown fork seal, so replaced both in Peru.  Had a bent rear rim, so hammered that back in shape.  Ended up replacing both sets of wheel bearings (rear preventatively / front out of necessity).  I went through three cans of quality chain lube, and lubed up with used black oil at moto shops when I ran out.  I had four punctures along the way (all rear tire), which required pulling tube and replacing with patched 'extra'.  Finally, I ended up yanking out the charcoal canister due to stalling issues, adding an air filter to fuel vent line, and plugging the other.

    Using recommendations and ride reports through ADVrider, I was able to find able mechanics when needed.  However, sometimes they were few and far between.  While the BMW has been a trusty sidekick and reliable friend, I've noticed people riding KLRs seem to have no issue whatsoever finding parts, even in the middle of nowhere.  I guess ride what you like, or what you have, but if on a more 'modernized' bike, be prepared to potentially have parts sourcing issues in rural areas.  
  •  How did you communicate with people?  Laptop, smartphone, both?  What percent of the time did you have internet?  Ahhh communication, something I've learned that I absolutely SUCK balls at.  However, when I did communicate it was through a number of different means.  First off, T-Mobile allows for free int'l data and text, which makes them the carrier of choice hands down if you travel.  That said, I used my iPhone frequently to stay in touch via e-mail, text, and various other sources like Skype and WhatsApp.  I'm pretty sure they have weekly board meetings discussing how 'this one dude' traveling via moto through South America is absolutely wrecking their profit model.  I've been streaming Google Maps, Spotify, and surfing the net for the past year...  for free.  I also bought and brought along a Macbook Air, which I couldn't be happier with.  I used the laptop for blogging, GPS routing, internet porn (kidding - ummm, sort of...  Sorry mom), and longer messages and communication to people.  Internet is widely available around the world now, even in the most surprising of places.  However, there are still some spots in Peru and Bolivia that I crossed with absolutely no service.  I'd say I had reliable internet 65-70% of the time.  It may have been slow, but it was there.  
  • What are some things you wish you had brought?  Conversely, what would you have left home?  Another great question...  Turns out, I think I'm pretty decent at this moto adventure travel thing (at least the packing portion).  Not a lot stands out on either end.  I feel I packed rather light compared to some I saw on the road.  Yet, I felt I had everything I needed.  In fact, I probably could have left several shirts behind.  I overspent on several 'adventure' branded shirts and undergarments that I haven't really used.  Or if used, wasn't necessary for it to be 'quick drying'.  See here for a layout of my gear.  I ended up leaving behind the water filtration system and MSR stove, and lost a few items during the trip.  I gave away a few items of clothing to needy locals.  And I lost a hat after a steamy affair somewhere in Central America.  That's it.  Everything else I've used and abused accordingly.
  • When did you feel most unprepared?  I don't know if I felt unprepared, but the most helpless I felt was when I woke up in my tent to the thundering sound of two surrounding rivers cresting their banks due to torrential downpours in Mocoa, Colombia.  Chalk it up as yet another near death experience I guess.  Ended up having to drag my tent, bike, and gear to higher ground in a panic at 2am wearing nothing but underwear and a headlamp in the cold rain.  Scary at the time, ridiculous in retrospect.  What a sight that must've been!  
  • From a health perspective, did you ever get sick and need a doctor?  How did you deal with that?  I only went to a doctor once, somewhere in southern Mexico (can't remember exact location).  I had a cold that turned into a bit of a chest infection, so decided to swing through.  I think the consultation was around $5 USD, and the round of meds prescribed another $5.  In all, doctors are cheap and readily available throughout LatAm in my experience (at least in larger cities).  In addition, before I left I purchased 12 month travel insurance through World Nomads.  This covers (not completely) things like emergency accident/sickness, emergency dental, adventure sports and activities (i.e. motos), baggage and personal effects (theft), accidental death and dismemberment, etc.  Have I used it?  Not once.  Was it worth the $1,200?  Hard to say.  Had I fallen and broken a leg, or had my laptop stolen, it may have been.  But, none of that happened, so I can't comment. 
  • Safety and security:  Did you ever get into a sketchy situation?  Were you ever robbed?  What can riders do to keep their risks lower?  I had a few sketchy situations while on the bike (i.e. drunks trying to grab at me, things being thrown while passing through roadblocks, etc), but was never attacked or robbed.  What's surprising however, is the large number of people that I ran into who did have serious issues.  Countless numbers of kids coming home from bars being beaten/robbed, several motorcyclists that had their gear or entire bikes stolen, stories of girls being raped, and the tragedy of Harry Devert being kidnapped/murdered in Michoacan, Mexico.  Now that I'm nearing the end of this I sometimes think, "how the hell did I make it through alive?"  I don't know if I'm lucky, good at traveling, have street smarts, or a combination of all of it.  Or none of it...  Who knows?

    Staying off highways for the most part, I did travel through sketchy areas.  However, the majority of people I interacted with were warm, and full of smiles.  My general thought on this...  If you are patient, friendly, and smiling yourself, most people want to help, NOT harm you.  There are $hitbags out there, and those can be dealt with accordingly.  From a riding/routing perspective, in addition to preparing routes each night before setting off (on both GPS and paper), I talked to as many locals, truckers, and police as possible.  I gathered information and made changes accordingly.  From a personal safety perspective, I have a knife on my side, and made the decision before I left that I am absolutely prepared to use it (along with several other 'items') if needed.  Even if lost, I typically walk with confidence.  Depending on the area, I usually never pull out a map in public (can duck into public restrooms).  I am aware if a person is following, and typically turn and approach them directly, or pretend to drop something or tie my shoe until they pass.  I use common sense and don't stumble home drunk alone, I shell out money for a cab when needed, and know that dark empty streets are my enemy.  On an important side note, typically it's best to just hand over whatever 'they' want.  I always carry a false wallet for this reason.  Fortunately, I've never had to give that over.  A good idea to prepare one though.

    I'll add one more thing to this.  As referenced above, 99.9% of the people that I came across on this trip were incredible, generous, kind, and welcoming.  The fear that something 'might' happen shouldn't keep you from doing a trip like this.  Just use caution, and talk to locals.  Also, get multiple opinions and take the running average.  What I mean by this is, a lot of people will tell you "this road is dangerous" or "you shouldn't enter this area".  If I turned back every time I heard that, I'd still be sitting at the border with Mexico.  Take advice, process it, get more, then make decisions accordingly.  Don't let paranoia ruin your trip.  Be vigilant, but don't forget to enjoy the ride!  Besides, you can just as easily be robbed 'back home'.  
  • How important is it to have support back home?  Uhhhhh...  Incredibly important!  For me, my father has been an invaluable resource.  He lives in Denver, so checks my PO box, opens anything that looks important, and keeps me posted.  In addition, he helped with my taxes earlier this year, and has followed up on a few add'l items on my behalf.  Before leaving, I gave him full power of attorney, and recommend you do the same with someone you trust before leaving.  That aside, having people back home who you can communicate and connect with while away long term is incredibly important.  For me several people have been a crutch.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't get down at times, lonely, and/or sad.  Family and friends have all been there for me.  I feel supported, and know that I have a group of people who have my back and are following along on the journey.  
  • Thinking back, what are two or three of the most memorable moments of the trip?  Oh man, that's difficult!  I'll just fire off a few that come to mind...  The first day I crossed the border into Mexico I was incredibly excited, but terrified.  I blasted south far away from the border.  That put me into La Pesca (sleepy fishing village) in late afternoon.  A few things stand out.  First, I nailed a topé (speed bump) at speed and learned immediately that those are disaster if not paying attention.  Second, I was so excited to see the ocean that I rode directly onto the beach, and directly busted my ass, quickly remembering how difficult sand is to ride in.  Third, after getting the bike up, and setting up camp, a truck came roaring onto the deserted beach directly towards me.  I noticed there were several guys in back armed with machine guns.  I thought to myself "Jesus, this isn't starting off well!  A crash and kidnapping all on the first day!"...  Turns out, they were members of the military coming to check on the "gringo loco" camping on the beach.  Instead of harm, I was offered protection for the night after we talked and laughed for a bit.  They took a few photos of them and the bike, and it was an eye opening experience.  Here I was terrified that something bad would happen, and the opposite, I was warmly welcomed into Mexico.

    The next thing that comes to mind are the incredible people I've met.  I don't want to start a list, as I'm sure I'll leave someone out.  I do however want to touch on one memory/experience I'll never forget.  Crossing from Panama to Colombia through San Blas was one of the best weeks of my life.  Boarding the motorcycle onto a sailboat, and setting out through paradise, with an amazing group of people...  Does it get any better?  I didn't think so, but it did.  Before I set off on this trip I was (and still am at times) recovering from a divorce.  I wasn't sure I'd ever find love again.  However, I met Nina.  She was the first person I noticed and talked to on the boat (probably helps that she's an incredibly attractive girl).  We had an instant connection and within hours were swimming together through emerald blue water, and exploring a nearby island.  That week, and the following in Cartagena together, we grew very close.  While the memories of sailing will stay strong, the memory of meeting Nina will forever be in my mind.  She made me 'feel' again, and showed me that it's possible to care about someone deeply, and for them to care for me.  For that I'll be forever grateful.

    The last thing I'll list is the riding and emotions that came with it through Peru and Bolivia.  There were bike issues, crashes, intense cold, being lost, etc.  Because of all that, there were times when I was frustrated, scared, and wondering why the hell I was even doing the trip.  However, peppered in with 'the bad' was some of the most wonderful riding, scenery, and landscape that I've ever experienced.  There would be days that I would cry tears of joy cresting a mountain with the perfect song playing in my helmet, then tears of frustration because I was lost and had yet another flat tire.  I learned a lot about myself during those days.  I became much more confident, not only in my abilities to travel, but in myself.  I felt like "if I can achieve this, I can achieve anything".  It was intense and hard to explain, but I'll never forget the mixed emotions that came with riding through the desolation and dirt roads of Peru and Bolivia.  Something I would highly recommend to anyone if given the opportunity.  In retrospect, it was one of the best parts of the entire trip.  
Enough rambling for now...  Today I plan to take a personal walking tour of Palermo to get to know my hood.  After that, I may take the Subte (subway) over to Cemetario La Recoleta.  Then again, I may save it for another day.  I have three weeks, so no rush.  My birthday is tomorrow and I'll probably have a long night, so maybe I'll just call the day early, grab a nice dinner, and get some rest.  We'll see...  It's nice not having a plan.  I'm sure it's one of the things that will be alarming when I'm back to reality.

Until then, 

~ D

          Staff Picks - 5 Apr 2017        
Welcome to this week's staff picks, today we bring you a number of different companions, another way of organising your settlements, a mod that allows you to finally buy items that you can see within a shop and some awesome community picks that will extend your game time. Check them out and let us know what you think.

Remember, we love to hear the communities picks so keep them coming by using this[url=][b] handy form[/b][/url].

Please fill out the form completely and ensure that you add some details about the mod and why you have chosen it (similar to how our community members have below).  

Just remember that other mods on the site may do roughly the same thing, so keep your eyes peeled and understand that these are just personal picks. That said, hopefully, you'll find something you may not have seen before. 

[img width=600,height=353][/img]
Submitted By: [url=]Terrorfox1234[/url]
Game: [url=]Fallout 4[/url]
Mod Author: [url=]timtimman[/url]
Mod: [url=]Fault-Tec Favourites System[/url]

I’m honestly surprised this hasn’t gotten more attention. This mod allows you to save specific items in their own list for quick access later on. This is especially handy if you own all the DLC and have added craftable settlement item mods on top. If there are specific items you know you work with a lot, this mod can expedite the process of digging through workshop menus to get to the right items.

During my brief testing, I had no issues. The controls to target an item are a bit odd, requiring that you grab the item you want to save, quickly cancel, and jump. Once you get used to it, it’s not so bad, but it might be nice if there was a simpler way to bring up the favourites menu options on a selected item.

In any case, aside from that one [i]minor[/i] complaint, the mod does what it claims to do. To be clear, I personally find the whole settlement building thing to completely detract from what I look for in a Fallout experience. I have Minecraft for building. Fallout is about exploration and setting, to me. Any mod that helps me cut down on the amount of time I spend in the workshop menu is good in my book. While I’ve turned to Transfer Settlements and Sim Settlements for most of my settlement needs, this mod will certainly come in useful for those times when I want to adjust things by hand.

[img width=600,height=353][/img]
Submitted By: [url=]BlindJudge[/url]
Game: [url=]Fallout 4[/url]
Mod Author: [url=]Zazuban[/url]
Mod: [url=]Dogmeat - A True Companion[/url]

When I first started looking at this mod it wasn't in the hot files, but such is its popularity that since I chose the mod it has now taken pride of place within those most fabled of mods. Anyway, I digress.

Dogmeat has always been my favourite of the companions, I had a German Shepherd and having Dogmeat alongside me in the wasteland is pretty cool, he doesn't get shirty or miserable at me, he doesn't bark orders or requests at me and he just works tirelessly to protect my scrawny ass from all manner of the Fallout world baddies - without a single iota of care for his own personal safety. With the help of this mod, Dogmeat is now more badass than ever - with nearly twice the health and a big damage boost he can now tear a Mudcrab apart. My favourite part is the fact his speed has been boost to be more akin to a real life dog. Watching him sprint up to that pesky raider always leaves a smile on my face.

If you enjoy playing with a companion, then I recommend giving this mod a try.

[img width=600,height=353][/img]
Submitted By: [url=]SirSalami[/url]
Game: [url=]Skyrim Special Edition[/url]
Mod Author: [url=]ErianDragonborn[/url]
Mod: [url=]Immersive Merchants - Buy what is on display. Really[/url]

Here's a mod that does exactly what it says on the tin. By simply highlighting and interacting with any item in a shop, you can now purchase it at fair market value rather than defaulting to stealing the item. You still have the option of stealing it though, by simply sneaking before interacting with the item, in case you're feeling grabby. Convenient, intuitive, and immersive? You betcha.

Thankfully as it's a script based mod, it probably has very few critical compatibility issues so it's likely to compliment most load-orders. So, if you're like me and wondered why you could never simply purchase the sweet rolls on the counter or a sword directly from the display rack in vanilla, give this one a try!

[img width=600,height=353][/img]
Submitted By: [url=]HeavyEavy[/url]
Game: [url=]Fallout 4[/url]
Mod Author: [url=]LlamaRCA[/url]
Mod: [url=]Heather Casdin - A Unique Companion Experience by llamaRCA [/url]

Heather is a brilliant companion! Her Enhanced Sneak mode of combat is nothing short of fantastic! I run a high sneak/sniper build and she never breaks cover and won't engage until your hit or stand up. Her quests are terrific and will take you across the Commonwealth. Her perks have to be worked for and are worth the effort. For the "lone wanderer" in survival, she's a real must have! IMHO the llama had done it again!!

[img width=600,height=353][/img]
Submitted By: [url=]DjinnKiller[/url]
Game: [url=]Fallout 4[/url]
Mod Author: [url=]Thuggysmurf[/url]
Mod: [url=]Outcasts and Remnants - Quest Mod Plus[/url]

As a "mod" this goes far beyond what in my mind a mod is. This is a complete DLC with a storyline, quests, assets and voice actors.

The design of the of the interiors, the awesome humour and attention to detail is staggering. Never mind the technical proficiency of the creators. Not to divulge any spoilers but the use of the mem pods to create little adventures in themselves, and what happens at the end of the main quest is proof that these guys have technical capabilities, creativeness and a great love for the game.

If you read the terminals you get added content, both in the FO-universe, but also tie-ins to current events in RL, and cultural references to movies and other.

Several hours worth of high-quality gaming and they don't even want donations. That, combined with the helpfulness, always answering questions in a friendly way, and documentation on the mod page (FAQ, known issues etc) make this a professional package.

This one is even better (IMHO) than their Fusion City release... if such a thing is possible.

[i]Every week, we feature a few mods that have caught our staff's attention, as well as some that were [b]submitted by you[/b], the Nexus Mods community. If there is a mod you'd like to see on this list, then please check out this [/i][i][url=]quick and handy form[/url].

If you haven't already, feel free to follow us on our social media channels where we'll keep you up to date with the latest site news, articles and much more.

[center][url=][img][/img][/url]  [url=][img][/img][/url][/center]

Thanks, and have fun modding![/i]
          As One stories: Mitchell C Hunter         

Mitchell C. Hunter, a transman activist, is a Community Participant in As One.

Transman activist Mitchell C Hunter shares his story

Seattle Opera's latest production, As One, centers around a single transgender protagonist whose journey unfolds through two voices: baritone and mezzo-soprano. The company is proud to be partnering with members of the transgender and LGBTQ communities in its presentation of this bold, beautiful work. In fact, two individuals will be sharing their personal stories at the top of each show.

One of these community participants is Mitchell C “Mitch” Hunter. A gay man in his fifties, Mitch came to manhood late in life when he began his transition at 42. He has since taken active leadership roles in the Transgender and LGBQ communities. Serving for almost four years on the Seattle LGBT Commission, he helped create and implement Seattle’s single-use, all-gender restroom law.

Mitch has worked with corporations, small businesses, faith communities, institutions and organizations to further transgender inclusivity and visibility. Featured in the Seattle Police Department’s transgender training video, Mitch helped write the SPD’s model policy on working with the transgender community. As a consultant and trainer, he has presented to and collaborated on programs for the Washington State Department of Corrections, DSHS, Sound Generations, Kitsap County Council for Human Rights, UW Medical Center Transgender Health Course and numerous college/university classes and conferences.

Mitch attributes the solid community support he’s received for the great strides he’s made. Grateful thanks to the members and leadership of the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Chorus; GALA Choruses organization; SeattleMen’s and Seattle Women’s Choruses; Out In Front Leadership Institute; his faith community, Seattle Unity; his loving dogs; and most importantly, his partner of 21 years, Amy.

You're a transman activist, leader, and spokesman in the transgender community. What keeps you engaged in this work?
With the recent election results, honestly, I wonder. Now, it's even more important to serve the transgender community; to put a face to the word. Three out of four people say they know someone who is gay, lesbian or bisexual. Only one in 10 can say they know a transgender person. But with an estimated 1.4 million adults in the US alone, or .3 percent of the population in general, we all know that perception can be different than reality—sometimes people don’t know what they don’t know. It is a privilege to be out as a transman, one I don’t take for granted. We, transgender people have legal protections both in Washington State and in Seattle. Currently, there are 26 states trying to legislate away or repeal any protections/basic human rights for trans people. Taking a page from the marriage equality playbook, it is imperative that we tell our stories to reveal we are neighbors, friends, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, business owners, co-workers, fellow employees, church congregants, athletes, and artists. There are so many who can’t or don’t want to be out as transgender for fear of their safety, violence, or death. I am grateful to serve the trans community in whatever way I can. Burnout is a hazard for most of us out in front. We all have to find ways to commit to self-care along with the work we do.

Tell me a bit about the story you share before the downbeat in As One.
I’m actually painting a picture with a series of snapshots: self-selected “firsts.” Transition, for me, is a lifelong process deciding when and whether to come out as a transman. I introduce myself as who I am based on the childhood of an avowed tomboy. I just grew into it (being a boy) rather than out of it. There is still a very thin line between my feeling like an imposter—just inhabiting this man-body verses living fully as a man. The really interesting part for me is how some of these universal themes are echoed in the opera. Self-doubts and questionable aspirations are not unique to transgender people. Some of the "firsts" I share include:
- The story of when I was first fitted for a suit;
- The first time I met with clients in my first professional, grown-up, “daddy” job. (A legit professional job that daddies had when I was growing up.);
- The first time I realize the psychological and sociological consequences of being male—or more specifically the conflict felt in being a feminist male;
- The first time I got to be “just one of the guys” and not a “poster boy” for all trans guys.

You've worked hard for social justice, including gender justice, in your work with the City of Seattle, as well as in your own professional and personal life. What are some accomplishments that you're especially proud of?
The first is when I was one of 3 transmen commissioners in 2012 who made the very first attempts to find a way to get gender-neutral bathrooms in all city buildings. I was part of the process of researching and continuing to shepherd the idea through the system through the years: meeting with City Council members, people at the Mayor’s Office (McGinn first, then Murray), writing draft ordinances with the help of the Office for Civil Rights. As more and more folks joined in and recommendations were presented, it morphed and became the single-use, all-gender restroom signage required for all places of public accommodation in Seattle.

The second was getting to work with a team of 10-15 transgender leaders from the area to help craft the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) policy on working with transgender people. James Ritter, the LGBTQ liaison for SPD, the same man in charge of the SAFE PLACE campaign, had worked with me while I was on the commission. He offered me the opportunity to be a part of working on this policy. It took us several months (which in policy-making is really a short period of time) to come up with something that was meaningful and satisfactory for the trans community as well as impactful for the police department. As soon as the policy was accepted by the DOJ and all the appropriate people up and down the policy line, Jim started to put together a training video with interviews from local transgender people that would accompany the new transgender training modules developed by the education team. I am a part of the training video that has been released publicly for use by any law enforcement organization. The video is already being used by various Department of Correction facilities around the state. The video we worked on preceded by several months the DOJ training released for use throughout the country

In regards to social justice for transgender people, what's one thing that makes you feel hopeful for the future?
Organizations and people are learning the power of banding together to get legislation and public policy written and passed. Many in the transgender community supported marriage equality work as did many communities: unions, Native American/First Nations groups, people of faith, educators, people with disabilities…Now, the transgender community is more politically mature; we have built ties to a number of allied and aligned communities, corporations and businesses. We’ve had the benefit of learning from tested strategies in other states.

We are creating strong, effective organizations to do the work necessary to educate our state about the need for safety, rights, and concerns of transgender people. I’m heartened by the number of allies and aligned, supportive businesses signing onto “Washington Won’t Discriminate.” The work, lobbying, educating and strategy work of Washington S.A.F.E alliance is inspiring. TransForm Washington, a fairly new organization launched earlier this year, collecting and doing the work necessary to tell stories of transgender people—put faces out in the world to show we are youth, young adults, middle-aged people, couples and seniors.

Anything else you’d like to share?
It is challenging that finances play such a huge part in supporting and legislating rights and protections for transgender people. Big money and out-of-state political and issue-oriented organizations have so much money. We are often the most marginalized of communities, especially the transgender people of color. Even with our best efforts, incredible strategy, unique voices, engaging stories, tight collaborations and coalition, at some point, it comes down to our allies standing with us. We must find ways to collect and focus boat-loads of money toward all these campaigns to simply procure the same civil and human rights, rights to healthcare and rights to personal safety and a world free from violence and hatred.

As One remaining performance: Nov. 17, 18, & 19
Tickets are $25 & $40

          Former US VP Bro. Dick Cheney deems Canada too dangerous for speaking visit        

Yahoo News

Former U.S. vp Dick Cheney deems Canada too dangerous for speaking visit

Mon, 12 Mar, 2012 By Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

Former Vice President Dick Cheney addresses the third annual Washington Ideas Forum

TORONTO – Former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney has cancelled a Canadian speaking appearance due to security concerns sparked by demonstrations during a visit he made to Vancouver last fall, the event promoter said Monday.

Cheney, whom the protesters denounced as a war criminal, was slated to talk about his experiences in office and the current American political situation at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on April 24.

However, Ryan Ruppert, of Spectre Live Corp., said Cheney and his daughter Elizabeth had begged off via their agent.

“After speaking with their security advisers, they changed their mind on coming to the event,” Ruppert said.

“(They) decided it was better for their personal safety they stay out of Canada.”

Last Sept. 26, Cheney’s appearance in Vancouver was marred by demonstrators who blocked the entrances to the exclusive Vancouver Club.

The activists, who at one point scuffled with police, called for Cheney’s arrest for war crimes and booed guests as they [...]

          New Connected Services in Home Automation        

Monitorlinq and Somfy partner to offer new connected Services in Home Automation, Personal Safety and Tele-Care New Connected Services in Home Automation, Personal Safety and Tele-Care monitorlinq has just announced a strategic partnership with Somfy, expert designer of home automation solutions, to offer innovative new connected home solutions.  Through the partnership, monitorlinq will enhance the Somfy […]

The post New Connected Services in Home Automation appeared first on SecurityPark.

          Why You Want A Modern, Drop Safe Handgun        


Guns are often assigned adjectives that really don’t fit.  Those that fear or dislike guns might call them “dangerous” while those that appreciate the many positive aspects of guns tend to view them as “safe.”  In reality, guns are simply inanimate hunks of metal and/or plastic and can only take on the intentions of those that posses them.


Today’s handguns are full of devices aptly called “safeties” that help the user avoid errors with the gun and that makes sense.  There are “thumb safeties” “grip safeties”, “trigger safeties” and “firing pin safeties” all intended to help make sure that the gun doesn’t go off when it isn’t supposed to.


Not all handguns have all the different kinds of safeties, but all modern handguns have safeties that are intended to keep the gun from inadvertently firing when the gun is dropped.


Modern handguns are required to be drop safe and they should most definitely be drop safe and we should understand why.  Let's take a look at why your handguns should be drop safe.


How Could a Handgun Fire if Dropped?

Loaded handguns aren’t exempt from the laws of physics and as a result, an object in motion continues in motion unless acted on by an outside force.  


Imagine a loaded gun falling through the air with the muzzle pointed to the ground.  As the muzzle strikes the earth, the travel of the gun is stopped by the ground, an outside force that is much greater than the force of the falling gun.  Internal parts however, may not be stopped.  Take the firing pin or striker for instance.  If the mass off the firing pin or striker were enough to overpower the springs holding it in place it could continue in motion and strike the primer of a round in the chamber.


Not good.


Flip it around.  Literally.  Imagine that the gun is falling to the earth muzzle up.  When the back strap of the gun and the rear of the slide strike the ground the gun stops, however, other parts could remain in motion.  Parts like the trigger.  If the force of the drop is great enough, the mass of the trigger is large enough and the stopping of the fall abrupt enough, the trigger could continue its rearward travel and fire the gun.  This isn’t terribly likely.  What is more likely is that the trigger could move far enough to the rear to deactivate the firing pin/striker block allowing the gun to fire as a result of it’s own momentum.


Again, not good.


These scenarios are part of the reason that for years people carried guns in “condition 3” with the chamber empty and the hammer down.


Thankfully, modern engineering has found solutions to these issues.


How Do Manufacturers Prevent Dropped Guns From Firing?

There are two primary types of safeties that modern day handguns tend to have to ensure that they are drop safe and those two safeties tie in directly with the scenarios I described above:  Firing pin/striker blocks and trigger safeties.


Firing Pin / Striker Block

The firing pin/striker block is a physical barrier that keeps the firing pin or striker from moving forward and striking the primer on the chambered round.

Typically striker and firing pin blocks are housed in the slide and appear as a plunger.  The firing pin can’t move forward until the plunger is pressed during the rearward motion of the trigger.


This type of safety, when engineered properly, will prevent an unmodified gun from firing when dropped muzzle down.


This type of safety isn’t infallible.  Remember, the rearward motion of the trigger deactivates this safety so that the firing pin can move.  This is one of the reasons that trigger safeties exist.


Trigger Safeties

I used to think that trigger safeties were there to keep things that aren’t fingers from pressing triggers.  They are there for that reason, but, I was only partly right.


In a conversation with Scott Folk, of Apex Tactical Specialties, during the 2016 NRA Annual Meetings, I found out the trigger safety serves a larger purpose than just trying to keep your worn out holster from firing the gun.  According to Folk, trigger safeties like those found on the GLOCK or Smith & Wesson M&P triggers are there to introduce low mass blocks to help prevent trigger movement in a muzzle up drop of a handgun.  I hadn’t considered it, but it makes perfect sense.


Think about that tiny little tab on a GLOCK trigger.  The friction of it’s pivot point is nothing compared to the pressure of your finger, but is substantial in comparison the the mass of the trigger safety itself.  The friction serves as the outside force that prevents rearward travel.


Other Safeties

There are plenty of other safeties incorporated into modern firearms to keep them drop safe including a balance between the mass of parts and the weights of the springs used and these need to be kept in mind when you make modifications to your handgun because you do want your handgun to be drop safe, don't you?


Don’t Drop Your Handgun, Problem Solved…

In light of a recent incident where a Sig P320 allegedly fired when dropped during a Dallas PD range session, some folks have had a simple but flawed response to the situation, “Don’t drop your gun! Problem solved!”


Seems reasonable, except when many of those same folks head out to the range to train or teach, review firearms safety and as part of that review they discuss the idea that you should never try to catch a dropped gun.


See the logic problem?  The reality is your gun could end up tumbling to the ground and for that reason you need your gun to be drop safe.  Let’s look at how your pistol could hit the deck.


You Might Drop Your Handgun

I know that we would all like to think that we are all such solid gun handlers that we aren’t going to drop our gun, but the fact is guns get dropped.


Maybe your hands are sweaty or bloody and you loose your grip.  Maybe you fumble your grip as you are drawing the gun from the holster or foul your draw with your cover garment.  Maybe you need to do something infinitely more important with your hands than hold on to your handgun?  Take for instance, the context of a law enforcement officer needing to physically manage a suspect.  If this need arises while their gun is in hand, they will need to quickly return the gun to the holster.  Is it possible that an officer could mishandle the reholstering?  Of course it is.  The scenarios are endless and real.

Heck, if we are being serious about things, you might WANT to drop you handgun.  Say it isn't so?  What if you are ordered by a responding law enforcement officer to drop your gun?  I'm guessing we can agree that setting old "Suzie" down gently isn't in your best interest.  Time to drop your blaster on its side like a hot potato.  

Better be drop safe, huh?

Some Strong Force Could Be Exerted on Your Gun

Who knows what could happen in a situation like an automobile accident.  Would it be possible for the impact of a serious collision to act on a gun in a manner that could cause the gun to fire?  How about in the context of a military vehicle involved in an IED attack.  Or a naval aviator ejecting from the cockpit of a jet.  I don’t know, maybe these scenarios are a stretch, but, if the gun is drop safe, it isn’t anywhere near as likely to happen.

Even the act of you aggressively dropping to a strong side prone, (or some other position I haven't even heard of and you made up on the spot because you needed to,) could exert forces on the gun that you don't anticipate.

Yup. I want my handgun to be drop safe.


Your Handgun Could Be Knocked From Your Hands

Heck, maybe it isn’t your fault at all.  Is it possible that in the midst of a violent encounter an assailant could strike your hands with a club knocking the gun from your hands?  Of course it is.  The same could take place if there is a physical struggle for a gun during a violent altercation.


Or the situation could be much less violent and still have the same result.  Have you ever needed to move quickly around a barricade during practice, training or a competition?  Would it be possible to strike your hand or muzzle on the prop and have your gun leave your hand?  Yup.  Completely possible.


For these reasons you want your gun to be drop safe.


Final Thoughts

Modern guns are drop safe for a reason.  Simply put, good people drop guns.  I’ve watched it happen and the fact that those good people dropped good guns that were drop safe, alleviated the majority of the angst regarding the situation.


I don’t recommend intentionally dropping loaded guns any more than I recommend trying to catch them once they are dropped.  At the same time, thinking that people aren’t going to drop guns is silly.


To keep yourself and those around you safe, you should have a general knowledge of how drop safeties work, know that carrying a gun that isn’t drop safe is a serious compromise in your safety and accept the fact that even though dropping a gun isn’t generally a good thing, it can happen to the best of us.


Guns are inanimate objects.  They aren't safe or dangerous, they simply take on the intent of their user.  When we are talking about your gun, that user is you.  The decisions you make when selecting your gun for carry have an impact far beyond the holster you choose or the ammunition you select.  Your choice as to whether you select a drop safe handgun or not can impact you in ways you never anticipate.  Make sure the handguns you depend on for personal safety and professional use are drop safe.

When I came out as an atheist almost 3 years ago, very few people were surprised or upset. Whether it was because I’d made efforts warn those who might take the news poorly or because I made clear that I was not trying to convert anybody to my position, I ultimately didn’t catch much flack for a decision I thought would be controversial. I imagine I’ll get a slightly different response from this note. I am coming out of the closet as a future abortion provider. On the one hand, this should not be surprising: I’m openly pro-choice, I’m an unabashed feminist, and I’ve been leaning towards a career in OB-GYN for quite some time. On the other hand, coming out as a future abortion provider increases the chances of being killed for my profession. Many providers take great pains to protect their personal safety, purchasing their homes with corporate shell companies, carrying weapons in public in response to death threats, and fighting to keep their information from being disseminated by pro-life extremists. I feel the need to come out as a “future abortion provider” however, because I fear that vacating the rhetorical battleground only strengthens those who would ban a woman’s right to choose. We have seen a radicalization of Republican politics and policies which explicitly seek to deny access to contraception, target abortion providers for pseudo-scientific and medically unnecessary reasons, and ban abortion even in cases where the life of the mother is seriously endangered. Given the sheer volume of factually inaccurate information readily available—and actively peddled by anti-choice activists—I feel compelled to at least make an attempt to spread the truth about abortion, even if doing so makes me an easier target to violent radicals. But I want to abandon the marketing and rhetorical spin that sometimes clouds these debates. I don’t care if you think I’m a terrible person, and will make no effort to convince you otherwise. I want to head off any ad hominem attacks by simply agreeing to accept any personal smears as irrelevant to the debate at hand. If it makes you feel better to call me a “baby killer” or participating in “genocide,” I’m fine with that. But know that I feel an equal and opposite open disdain for those who would make abortion illegal. Let’s just agree that personal rage is simply not a cogent argument. Although the debate around abortion often centers on the exceptions, I feel passionately that abortion is moral and should be legal at any stage before viability. Although there should absolutely be exceptions for rape, incest, and “health and life of the mother,” too many social liberals have allowed the line to be pushed to these few exceptions, and have neglected to win hearts and minds for common, elective abortions. This has led to nut jobs on the right trying to turn a blanket ban on abortions into a respectable position. Let’s start with the science. About one half of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortions. Many women who have these abortions are not aware that they’ve even had a one. I start with this point first because I think it fairly roundly destroys the sentimental religious supposition that every embryo is endowed with a soul, and that this soul is non-transferable to a different body, should the mother choose to abort. God didn’t design a very good system for supplying souls with bodies, if he has no b-plan for when an embryo fails. If you really believe that every single embryo is divine, take it up with God before bothering me. The next important statistic is that giving birth is 14 times more dangerous to a woman than getting an abortion is ( ). I’m willing, but frankly not terribly interested in debating the science on this as if it were under dispute. There are any number of reasons why becoming pregnant can be very dangerous to a woman, including increasing the chance of fatal blood clots, massive blood loss, or preventing her from taking required medications like anti-epileptics because of feared possible effects on the growing fetus. Abortion also poses some health risks, including sepsis, bleeding, and perforation of the uterus (in mechanical modalities), although they are clearly far less numerous and less extreme than those commonly associated with pregnancy. If any of you are interested in or confused by anything you’ve heard about the dangers of pregnancy or abortion, shoot me a message and I’d be happy to parse it in public or private, or send you to other sources which you can trust. The obvious retort to this line or reasoning is to focus on the fetus. In 1,000,000 theoretical pregnancies, we could save 634 women by aborting all the pregnancies, but we’d be killing 1,000,000+ fetuses to do so, would we not? The fact that there’s no easy, bumper-sticker-length answer to this question is probably why public opinion on abortion has not been liberalizing in the same way that attitudes about gay rights have been doing in recent years, and that racial attitudes have been doing for decades. Before I try and explain my answer to this argument, I need to head off yet one more frequent ad hominem attack. While I believe that all life has some value and should be respected, I also strongly believe that quality of life should have equal consideration with quantity. This is not to say that I’d barter human lives for fiscal gain or genetic social hygiene a-la Nazi Germany, but I also don’t think that Nazi Germany’s manifold crimes should force us into a patently absurd sentimentality which values any and all hypothetical lives above all other considerations. To my friends who call abortion “genocide,” I would submit that you’re cheapening the term and confusing the issues. Gassing adult gypsies is a far cry from allowing a woman to not carry to term a fetus which has less than a 50% chance of survival anyway. It’s mostly because of this that I don’t see the definition of human life as being the ultimate trump card in the abortion debate. Fine. I’ll admit—even if only for the sake of argument—that a zygote is a full human being. That still doesn’t mean, however, that a pregnant woman can’t morally and ethically decide that she doesn’t want to carry that full human being to full term. Imagine a woman who finds out at the 20-week scan that her child has gross physical deformities which will prevent it from living more than a few days past birth. Should she carry that child another 20 weeks so that the child can experience life for 72 hours? What if those hours are miserable? What if those additional 20 weeks greatly jeopardize that mother’s life? What is the rubric to determine just how much value that child’s life will have, and how do we decide whether it’s worth the costs and risks? I picked a deliberately difficult case to illustrate the point that this IS NOT an easy question with a pat answer, even if we start with the supposition that a 20-week fetus is as human as you or I. Some women in that case would surely want to carry the fetus to term. Others might choose to abort. Yet others might decide to carry the fetus, and then reconsider if a major health concern like preeclampsia came to bear later in the pregnancy. As a society, we have the ability to pass laws and regulations. When faced with the difficult question of abortions, the first question is rather broad: do we allow women to make her own decision about whether she wants to incur the risks and costs of continuing a pregnancy, or do we intervene and restrict or mandate her decision for her. In analyzing (and in talking with a woman in this exact) situation, I am personally uncomfortable with making any decision FOR her. I’d be loath to deny her an abortion if she decided that it would be immoral to force that baby to endure 72 hours of misery. And I can’t imagine being forced to perform an abortion on her if she decided that she wanted to keep her pregnancy. While I can see the theoretical ethical arguments for all cases, I ultimately conclude that it’s beyond my pay grade to make a personal, ethical decision for any woman in this case, because it ultimately has nothing to do with me. And this brings up my ultimate bias—that of being a future physician. Abortion is only one of many ethical questions that I face daily in learning to practice medicine. And, while society occasionally debates these questions in a public forum, medicine already has its guiding principles laid down in our profession. These are: beneficence, non-malfeasance (“first do no harm”), respect for autonomy, and justice. In my view, refusing an abortion to a woman who wants it violates at least the first three of these without question, and the fourth is a debatable point. Given that pregnancy is more dangerous than an abortion would be, I feel it’s a gross violation of medical ethics to force a woman to accept risk to her health against her will. While there are a few points of clarification I’ll get to in my next paragraphs, my point with bringing up the Hippocratic Oath is merely to make the argument that no doctor should consider themself a doctor if they are violating these standards. I feel it should thus be illegal for a physician to refuse a patient an abortion (or a referral to a competent provider). Where the law sometimes provides cover for physicians to refuse, I would submit that these doctors should have their licenses revoked, just as they would be if they violated medical ethics in other situations. There are two arguments I’ve heard repeatedly as assaults on this ethical stand: that the life of the child outweighs any non-mortal costs the mother might have to pay, and that the child is innocent of its conception, and thus has moral standing to demand the costs the mother might pay. The first claim is roundly defeated by medical tradition and laws currently in place. We could easily save hundreds of people today by mandating that every person donate blood or a kidney. Although transplantation medicine is complicated, odds are very good that if we took a kidney from you right now, that it could be implanted into someone with failing kidneys and extend their life for decades. Aside from the cost of the surgery and recovery, it’s likely that your life would not be significantly reduced. And yet we have no such laws. We value your freedom to not undergo forced surgery as being more important than a person with kidney failure’s life. The risk to your life—and the violation of your autonomy—is more important than the guaranteed life of someone else. If only 634 people out of 1,000,000 kidney donors would die in saving 1,000,000 children in need of kidneys, would it be kosher to pass a law mandating it? The second is related to the first, but demands that in some circumstances, that you would owe it to someone else to undergo that surgery. But where is that line? Let’s imagine that you purposely stabbed a family member in the back (literally) and destroyed both of their kidneys. Would it then be moral to forcibly take one of your kidneys and give to that family member? What about if you accidentally got into car accident with them and their kidneys were destroyed? These are tough questions. I’m not sure I have good answers for them. But neither am I convinced that they have any place in our laws or traditions anywhere. The opposite of this ethical claim, however, does have a large precedent. Where else do we refuse to treat a patient if they “deserve” the outcome of their mistakes? When we find someone unconscious on the ground, should we look around for clues as to whether they deserved what they got, before starting CPR (did they look both ways before crossing the street)? If someone has a heart attack because they are obese, should we require an exercise log to determine if they deserved the heart attack, before beginning treatment? What if someone gets a sexually transmitted infection? Chances are pretty nearly 100% that they would not have gotten that infection had they properly used a condom, yet we regularly treat these infections. Indeed, I think the notion of refusing treatment for a patient based on a moral judgment is a path we do not quickly want to go down. While society could clearly mandate more laws to punish people by refusing certain medical treatments (no removal of gangrenous feet due to uncontrolled diabetes), a physician’s perspective chafes wildly at being a form of executioner for the moral majority. It’s one thing for society to not pay to correct the mistakes of others, but it’s entirely different for society to ban treatment because it believes that illness is a just punishment from God. Society does ultimately pay for the mistakes of its citizens, whether in lost productivity or expenses on its balance sheet. We can and should aim to correct and provide incentives to citizens to act responsibly. But forcing them to suffer for their sins when a remedy is available is a virulent form of Christian theology that should not be allowed to gain purchase as public policy. If you want to scourge yourself for your carnal sins, go right ahead. If you want to pass a law that forces us all to do the same, don’t regulate that I have to do the whipping for you. I’ve done dozens of hours of research over the years on abortion statistics and controversy. While I’ll happily parse the statistical nuances of any study you find convincing, it wouldn’t be influential or useful to throw endless statistics at you and expect them to be persuasive. Part of the problem is that both sides of this debate have their own facts and statistics, and the debate about which side is trustworthy quickly eclipses the debate on the issues. So we’ll start with a few (hopefully) non-controversial statements: Making abortion legal and available increases the number of legal abortions. When medical abortion is not legal, some women will seek other ways to end their pregnancy. In both of these sets of women—those who have babies they would prefer to abort, and those who abort using coat hangers—fatalities for the women will be higher than they are where abortion is legal (and thus safe). I thus conclude that laws which prevent abortion will always kill women. For this reason, I chafe at the term “pro-life” for those who oppose legalized abortion. Yes, you’re pro-fetal-life, but that necessarily connotes the deaths of some number of unwilling women. As a future abortion provider and medical practitioner, I’m very much aware that I’m aiding in ending the lives of many fetuses. I’m not the one deciding to kill them, however, so I consider myself free of any sin. Those who support abortion bans are at least partly to blame for forcing women to die as a result of them. So how do we mediate this conundrum? How many fetuses equal one pregnant woman? If you’re passing a law dictating how I do my job, what is the threshold for the health of a woman which dictates when an abortion would be acceptable? Is a ten percent chance that the woman will die enough to justify your blessing to allow an abortion? Fifty? Perhaps such questions are unfair. I sure as hell can’t answer them. As a self-professed libertarian, I don’t think these are questions any government should answer for a woman. Radical as it sounds, I believe that a woman should be the only person who decides what is best for her medically. I’ll be happy to advise her and give her the information she needs, but I deem the “pro-life” laws to be nanny-state government at its worst. To any “conservative” who supports banning abortion, know that you violate the conservatism and the small-government rhetoric you espouse in the worst possible way. I don’t really expect that I’m going to convert anybody to accepting that abortion should be legal. I was religious for long enough to know that reason and logic have no power to dislodge any belief that was arrived at through non-logical means. I do hope, however, that starting this conversation will help people to gain a more nuanced view of the difficult questions which abortion laws address. Far too often I get “I don’t believe in abortion because it’s against my religion” as if that were an answer. Fine. Your religion bans abortion. That is a great argument that your religion is a horrible institution which needlessly endangers women and seeks to enforce its precepts with the force of law, but not a very good argument about why YOU support banning abortion even in cases of rape or incest (or why you’d vote for a congressperson who does the same). I have quite a few friends who are vegetarian and vegan. While I have nothing but respect for their views, I personally think it’s appropriate and even enjoyable to eat meat. I’ve never felt threatened, however, that vegetarians would rise up and pass laws against eating meat, much less that they’d try to close down slaughterhouses, bomb butcher’s shops, or kill producers of veal while they’re in church. If you’re opposed to abortion, do your best to convince people that abortion is wrong. Pass out Bibles in front of clinics. Talk your daughters in to keeping their illegitimate children. But please don’t ban it for everybody else. Don’t pass laws which arbitrarily make abortions harder to get or needlessly expensive. Or at the very least, don’t ask me to respect you when you do.
          Aspects You Must Consider When Choosing Dance Classes Hanover PA        
By Paul Clark

Anyone interested in joining dance lessons is likely to begin research by considering the qualifications of potential trainers. Most people will also by design not forget to ask about the training fees. While these are important aspects to consider, there is so much more that must not escape your attention when searching for a studio where you could enroll for training. During the hunt for the best dance classes Hanover PA residents must consider numerous other crucial aspects.

To begin with, think about your personal safety. Proper dance studios will be well cushioned or may even have floating floors. This ensures minimal impact when engaging in rigorous physical activities. Regardless of whether you want training for yourself or for your child, you must simply not take for granted the importance of safety.

The size of a class also matters a lot. This would determine whether you would get adequate attention from your trainers or not. An intimate class size would make training more enjoyable while a huge one could provide the perfect haven for unhealthy competition and a struggle for the attention of educators.

Dancing can be simply described as the movement of the body in a rhythmic style. Because of the emphasis on the word rhythm, it is common sense that some music would be played during class time. You need to ask about this and get to know the kind of music that you would dance to. Any reliable studio will not just play the popular songs, but will embrace the use of different music types in order to enrich the overall training experience that students could have.

Getting into competitions during training is healthy. This would enable you to meet other dancers and put your skills to the task. Nevertheless, engaging in too many competitions is not good. One competition after another could easily leave students learning a specific dance and failing to benefit from all-rounded training.

It would be in your best interests to also make inquiries about the quality of customer care that can be offered. Proper studios have administrators, support staff and trainers. This ensures proper distribution of tasks and good running of business. If your teacher is also the janitor the secretary and the CEO, then you will have lesser chances of getting the quality of customer service that you deserve.

The internet offers a superb platform where research could be based. Find the websites of local reputable dance studios and check out their publications, galleries, profiles and client reviews. It is possible to find plenty of information that could assist you in making informed choices.

It also makes sense to go about your hunt the old fashioned way. Talk to accomplished dancers that you know and find out where they enrolled for training. It is possible to get a decent number of reliable leads from the people you know. Find the time to compare your options in detail before choosing where to sign up for training.

About the Author:

          ì§€ì§„-쓰나미-태풍도 거뜬…개인용 ‘서바이벌 캡슐’ 개발        
내부에는 일명 ‘퍼스널 세이프티 시스템’(personal safety system, PSS)이 탑재돼 있어, 재해 발생 시 ...
          Re: Digital OSHA Incident Reporting: Mandatory and Coming Soon        

The people who are using it would agree. It takes paper and inconsistency out of the process, and lets employees take a more direct role in their own personal safety. Safety Managers are telling us that they like the lack of paperwork.

          Thursday Updates: Group Fitness        
1) 2 days until "Call-to-Action II" Sat. Nov. 6, 8am, Blue Marsh. Bring your A-game!

2) Sat. Nov. 6 CF Classes Canceled, Gym Closed!

3) Sun. Nov. 7, 9AM: Sunday Special Workout (if you missed your CF fix on Sat. c'mon out for a workout).

4) NEW CF site launched.

5) Reflections on Group Fitness: The banter (and frustration) in the comments to Monday's post had me thinking about group fitness. The best, most important, and often hardest part to get about CF is the power of the group, and the meaning of CK's "military-style group fitness."

I'm reading this fine book by Sebastian Junger, War, in which he chronicles time in Afghanistan. At one point, he marvels at the importance of attention to detail and policing of others in order, well, to stay alive. Not to condescend to suggest that CF parallels combat at all. Here are his observations:

"And because combat can hinge on the most absurd details, there was virtually nothing in a soldier's daily routine that fell outside the group's purview...There was no such thing as personal safety out there; what happened to you happened to everyone."

"The attention to detail at a base like Restrepo forced a kind of clarity on absolutely everything...I came to think of it as a kind of Zen practice: the Zen of not fucking up."

"In the civilian world almost nothing has lasting consequences, so you can blunder through life in a kind of lose a sense of importance of things."

"There are no hard feelings after everyone gets smoked...They're more pissed that they all let each other down. Once it's over it's over."

War, S. Junger
(another good read is Matterhorn, K. Marlantes)
          Fundamental Legal Conceptions As Applied In Judicial Reasoning        

This is a non-emphasized (italics and bolds removed) version of the body (footnotes removed) of the article "Fundamental Legal Conceptions As Applied In Judicial Reasoning", written by Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld and published on January 1, 1917 in Yale Law Journal.

You may access the original, full article at Yale Law School's Web Site 


The present discussion, while intended to be intrinsically complete so far as intelligent and convenient perusal is concerned, represents, as originally planned, a continuation of an article which appeared under the same title more than three years ago. It therefore seems desirable to indicate, in very general form, the scope and purpose of the latter. The main divisions were entitled: Legal Conceptions Contrasted with Non-legal Conceptions; Operative Facts Contrasted with Evidential Facts; and Fundamental Jural Relations Contrasted with One Another. The jural relations analyzed and discussed under the last subtitle were, at the outset, grouped in a convenient "scheme of opposites and correlatives"; and it will greatly facilitate the presentation of the matters to be hereafter considered if that scheme be reproduced at the present point:

Jural Opposites:

Jural Correlatives:

The great practical importance of accurate thought and precise expression as regards basic legal ideas and their embodiment in a terminology not calculated to mislead is not always fully realized—especially by the student not yet far advanced in his legal work; and it is even true that many an experienced lawyer has all too thoughtlessly assumed that those matters usually considered in works on so-called "jurisprudence" are merely "academic" in character and devoid of substantial utility for the practitioner or judge. In order to dissipate, if possible, this fallacious notion—one so demonstrably unfortunate in its consequences as regards all departments of the law— the eight conceptions represented in the above scheme were analyzed and compared in great detail, the purpose having been not only to exhibit their intrinsic meaning and scope and their relations to one another, but also to exemplify the methods, both good and bad, by which they are actually applied in judicial reasoning to the solution of concrete problems of litigation. The purpose last indicated must in the present discussion, as in the former one, be the justification for frequent concrete examples of judicial usage, and hence for liberal quotations from apposite judicial opinions. Instructive examples, whether by way of model or by way of warning, must also be drawn occasionally from the works of well-known legal authors.

In the following pages it is proposed to begin the discussion of certain important classifications which are applicable to each of the eight individual jural conceptions represented in the above scheme. Some of such overspreading classifications consist of the following: relations in personam ("paucital" relations), and relations in rem ("multital" relations); common (or general) relations and special (or particular) relations; consensual relations and constructive relations; primary relations and secondary relations; substantive relations and adjective relations; perfect relations and imperfect relations; concurrent relations (i.e., relations concurrently legal and equitable) and exclusive relations (i.e., relations exclusively equitable). As the bulk of our statute and case law becomes greater and greater, these classifications are constantly increasing in their practical importance: not only because of their intrinsic value as mental tools for the comprehending and systematizing of our complex legal materials, but also because of the fact that the opposing ideas and terms involved are at the present time, more than ever before, constituting part of the formal foundation of judicial reasoning and decision. Owing to limitations of space the following pages will be confined to the first classification above indicated, viz., relations in personam and relations in rem.

The phrases in personam and in rem, in spite of the scope and variety of situations to which they are commonly applied, are more usually assumed by lawyers, judges, and authors to be of unvarying meaning and free of ambiguities calculated to mislead the unwary. The exact opposite is, however, true; and this has occasionally been explicitly emphasized by able judges whose warnings are worthy of notice. Thus, in Tyler v. Court of Registration, Mr. Chief Justice Holmes says, as regards the expression, in rem, that "no phrase has been more misused"; and in the recent case of Hook v. Hoffman, Mr. Justice Franklin, in the course of a scholarly opinion involving the nature of "proceedings in rem" finds it necessary to characterize the expression "jus in rem" as "somewhat obscure and ambiguous." The thoughtful judge last named is, however, kind enough to advise us of the one and only remedy for this difficulty, and prompt to apply that remedy in his own opinion. His words are worthy of quotation:

"It is no more of a solecism to say immovable personal property than it is to say removable fixtures, nor more contradicting than in the division of actions to use the term 'in rem' when, under the particular state of facts, the action is primarily 'in personam'. In the development of the law it is seldom possible, or, when possible, seldom expedient, to discard established terms. In this connection an observation by Mr. Justice Holmes is peculiarly applicable:

'As long as the matter to be considered is debated in artificial terms, there is danger of being led by a technical definition to apply a certain name, and then to deduce consequences which have no relation to the grounds on which the name was applied.' Guy v. Donald, 203 U. S. 406.

"Instead of rejecting convenient terms because they are ambiguous or not comprehensive, it is better to explain their meanings, or, in the language of old Hobbes, 'to snuff them with distinctions and definitions' so as to give a better light"

All this being so, we are forced to recognize at the very outset that the antithetical pair of expressions, in personam and in rem, is constantly being employed as a basis for classifying at least four distinct matters; and that the respective meanings of the expression in personam and the expression in rem are not the same for all of the different situations involved:

First, we have a fundamental classification of primary rights as rights in personam, and rights in rem; Second, there is the well-known classification of all judicial proceedings into proceedings or actions in personam and proceedings or actions in rem; Third, there exists the closely related classification of judgments and decrees (and the corresponding jurisdictions of courts), some being called judgments or decrees in personam, and the others judgments or decrees in rem; Fourth, assuming a judgment or decree in personam to have been obtained as the result of what may be called the "primary stage" of the typical judicial proceeding, the question of its so-called "enforcement"— really the "secondary stage" of the judicial proceeding—comes into view; and such enforcement is said to be either in personam, as in the case of the typical contempt proceeding employed to coerce performance of a decree in equity, or in rem, as in the case of the typical execution sale following upon an ordinary legal judgment in personam. Anyone who has seriously observed and reflected on the interrelation of ideas and language must realize how words tend to react upon ideas and to hinder or control them. More specifically, it is overwhelmingly clear that the danger of confusion is especially great when the same term or phrase is constantly used to express two or more distinct ideas. Professor Holland, having in mind, as regards this psychological phenomenon, a particular instance not now before us,—viz., the well-known ambiguity of the Latin jus, the German Recht, the Italian diritto, and the French droit, terms used to indicate both "law" as such and "a right" considered as a concrete relation created by law,—does not exaggerate in the least when he says:

"If the expression of widely different ideas by one and the same term resulted only in the necessity for these clumsy periphrases, or obviously inaccurate paraphrases, no great harm would be done; but unfortunately the identity of terms seems irresistibly to suggest an identity between the ideas which are expressed by them."

No doubt this psychological and linguistic principle—what might be called "the principle of linguistic contamination"— explains why certain well-known legal authors have assumed, with unfortunate effect on their reasoning and argument, that the contrasted pairs of terms in personam and in rem have the same intrinsic meaning in each of the four cases above mentioned, and therefore represent throughout a precisely similar basis of classification; also that there is some formal and symmetrical interdependence between the four classifications presented,—e.g., that primary rights in rem are such as may be "enforced," or vindicated, by proceedings and judgments in rem, or, similarly, that primary rights in personam are such as can be "enforced," or vindicated, only by actions or proceedings in personam. At a later point some of these problems and fallacies will receive incidental treatment in connection with the main thread of the discussion, and it will thus be possible to give more concrete specifications and examples. The chief purpose of the following pages is, however, to discuss, directly and exhaustively, only the first of the four general classifications above outlined, i.e., rights (or claims), privileges, powers, and immunities in per­sonam and rights (or claims), privileges, powers, and immunities in rem. Substituting what the writer ventures to suggest as equivalent and more satisfactory terms for the phrases in per­sonam and in rem, we shall have to deal seriatim with eight classifications, as follows: 1. paucital rights (or claims) and multital rights (or claims); 2. paucital privileges and multital privileges; 3. paucital powers and multital powers; 4. paucital immunities and multital immunities; 5. paucital no-rights and multital no-rights; 6. paucital duties and multital duties; 7. paucital disabilities and multital disabilities; 8. paucital liabilities and multital liabilities. Each of these eight definite classifications must, for the sake of clearness, receive somewhat separate treatment. Owing, however, to limitations of space, the present article will deal chiefly with the first subdivision, i.e., paucital rights, or claims, and multital rights, or claims.

As more fully shown in the former article, the word "right" is used generically and indiscriminately to denote any sort of legal advantage, whether claim, privilege, power, or immunity. In its narrowest sense, however, the term is used as the correlative of duty; and, to convey this meaning, the synonym "claim" seems the best. In what follows, therefore, the term "right" will be used solely in that very limited sense according to which it is the correlative of duty. It is hoped that the meaning and importance of this needful discrimination may gain in concrete-ness and clearness as further details and examples come into view.

It is necessary at this point to venture a preliminary explanation of the division or classification now before us—confessing at once that it represents a departure from accepted modes of statement or definition on the part of learned authors and judges. It will then remain for the more detailed discussion and argument to show, if possible, that the currently received explanations are not only essentially faulty as regards analysis but also seriously misleading for the very practical purpose of solving legal problems as swiftly and accurately as possible.

A paucital right, or claim, (right in personam) is either a unique right residing in a person (or group of persons) and availing against a single person (or single group of persons); or else it is one of a few fundamentally similar, yet separate, rights availing respectively against a few definite persons. A multital right, or claim, (right in rem) is always one of a large class of fundamentally similar yet separate rights, actual and potential, residing in a single person (or single group of persons) but availing respectively against persons constituting a very large and indefinite class of people.

Probably all would agree substantially on the meaning and significance of a right in personam, as just explained; and it is easy to give a few preliminary examples: If B owes A a thousand dollars, A has an affirmative right in personam, or paucital right, that B shall transfer to A the legal ownership of that amount of money. If, to put a contrasting situation, A already has title to one thousand dollars, his rights against others in relation thereto are multital rights, or rights in rem. In the one case the money is owed to A; in the other case it is owned by A. If Y has contracted to work for X during the ensuing six months, X has an affirmative right in personam that Y shall render such service, as agreed. Similarly as regards all other contractual or quasi-contractual rights of this character. On the other hand, there may occasionally be rights in personam of a negative tenor or content. Thus if K, a distinguished opera singer, contracts with J that the former will not for the next three months sing at any rival opera house, J has a negative right in personam against K; and the latter is under a correlative negative duty. In this, as in other cases of rights in the sense of claims, the right of J is but one phase of the total relation between J and K, and the duty of K is another phase of the same relation,—that is, the whole "right—duty" relation may be viewed from different angles.

In contrast to these examples are those relating to rights, or claims, in rem—i.e., multital rights. If A owns and occupies Whiteacre, not only B but also a great many other persons— not necessarily all persons—are under a duty, e.g., not to enter on A's land. A's right against B is a multital right, or right in rem, for it is simply one of A's class of similar, though separate, rights, actual and potential, against very many persons. The same points apply as regards A's right that B shall not commit a battery on him, A's right that B shall not alienate the affections of A's wife, and A's right that B shall not manufacture a certain article as to which A has a so-called patent.

Further examples of such negative multital rights will readily occur to the reader. Other important instances will require detailed consideration from time to time.

In spite of the formal and abstract explanations already given, and in spite of the concrete examples added for merely preliminary purposes, the effort to give an incisive and comprehensive appreciation of the conceptual and linguistic difficulties and dangers involved in the expressions under consideration would doubtless fail, at least as regards the inexperienced student, unless considerably more were done by way of direct discussion of common errors. That is to say, it seems necessary to show very concretely and definitely how, because of the unfortunate terminology involved, the expression "right in rem" is all too frequently misconceived, and meanings attributed to it that could not fail to blur and befog legal thought and argument. Some of these loose and misleading usages will now be considered in detail, it being hoped that the more learned reader will remember that this discussion, being intended for the assistance of law school students more than for any other class of persons, is made more detailed and elementary than would otherwise be necessary.

(a) A right in rem is not a right "against a thing": In Hook v. Hoffman" we are told by Mr. Justice Franklin, in hopeful vein, that "the somewhat obscure and ambiguous expression 'jus in rem' when standing by itself, catches a borrowed clearness from the expression 'jus in personam' to which it is opposed." This is laudable optimism! It cannot, however, be shared by one who has, in the course of many years, observed not only the ways and tendencies of many hundreds of intelligent students, but also the not unnatural slips of the more learned. Any person, be he student or lawyer, unless he has contemplated the matter analytically and assiduously, or has been put on notice by books or other means, is likely, first, to translate right in personam as a right against a person; and then he is almost sure to interpret right in rem, naturally and symmetrically as he thinks, as a right against a thing. Assuming that the division represented by in personam and in rem is intended to be mutually exclusive, it is plausible enough to assume also that if a right in personam is simply a right against a person, a right in rem must be a right that is not against a person, but against a thing. That is, the expression right in personam, standing alone, seems to encourage the impression that there must be rights that are not against persons. Then, of course, such a supposed, though erroneous, contrast is further encouraged by the prima facie literal meaning of the Latin phrase in rem, considered per se; for it cannot be assumed that the average person is acquainted with the peculiar history and special meaning of that phrase. Such a notion of rights in rem is, as already intimated, crude and fallacious; and it can but serve as a stumbling-block to clear thinking and exact expression. A man may indeed sustain close and beneficial physical relations to a given physical thing: he may physically control and use such thing, and he may physically exclude others from any similar control or enjoyment. But, obviously, such purely physical relations could as well exist quite apart from, or occasionally in spite of, the law of organized society: physical relations are wholly distinct from jural relations. The latter take significance from the law; and, since the purpose of the law is to regulate the conduct of human beings, all jural relations must, in order to be clear and direct in their meaning, be predicated of such human beings. The words of able judges may be quoted as showing their realization of the practical importance of the point now being emphasized:
1900, Mr. Chief Justice Holmes, in Tyler v. Court of Registration:

"All proceedings, like all rights, are really against persons. Whether they are proceedings or rights in rem depends on the number of persons affected"

1905, Mr. Justice Markby, Elements of Law:

"If we attempt to translate the phrase [in rem] literally, and get it into our heads that a thing, because rights exist in respect of it, becomes a sort of juristical person, and liable to duties, we shall get into endless confusion."
What is here insisted on,—i.e., that all rights in rem are against persons,—is not to be regarded merely as a matter of taste or preference for one out of several equally possible forms of statement or definition. Logical consistency seems to demand such a conception, and nothing less than that. Some concrete examples may serve to make this plain. Suppose that A is the owner of Blackacre and X is the owner of Whiteacre. Let it be assumed, further, that, in consideration of $100 actually paid by A to B, the latter agrees with A never to enter on X's land, Whiteacre. It is clear that A's right against B concerning White-acre is a right in personam, or paucital right; for A has no similar and separate rights concerning Whiteacre availing respectively against other persons in general. On the other hand, A's right against B concerning Blackacre is obviously a right in rem, or multital right; for it is but one of a very large number of fundamentally similar (though separate) rights which A has respectively against B, C, D, E, F, and a great many other persons. It must now be evident, also, that A's Blackacre right against B is, intrinsically considered, of the same general character as A's Whiteacre right against B. The Blackacre right differs, so to say, only extrinsic ally, that is, in having many fundamentally similar, though distinct, rights as its "companions." So, in general, we might say that a right in personam is one having few, if any, "companions"; whereas a right in rem always has many such "companions".

If, then, the Whiteacre right, being a right in personam, is recognized as a right against a person, must not the Blackacre right also, being, point for point, intrinsically of the same general nature, be conceded to be a right against a person? If not that, what is it? How can it be apprehended, or described, or delimited at all ?

If it be said that, as regards Blackacre, A has besides his rights, or claims, against B, C, D, E, and others, various legal privileges of controlling and using the land, and that these exist "to, over, or against" the land, one answer might be that as regards White-acre also A has similar privileges against B, C, D, E and all others excepting X, the true owner. But the really relevant and paramount reply at this point is that we are now dealing only with multital rights, or claims, and not with multital privileges. The latter will require attention in a later part of the discussion.

It may, however, even at this point be incidentally noticed that the general tendency to "confuse" or "blend" legal privileges with legal rights, or claims, has doubtless contributed greatly to the hazy conception of a right in rem as a right to, over, or against a thing.

For the reasons already given the following passages from legal treatises and judicial opinions seem open to question in one or more particulars:

1874, Mr. Stephen Martin Leake, Law of Property in Land:

"Jurisprudence distinguishes Rights, using the term in the strict legal meaning, into the two classes of Rights to Things and Rights against Persons, familiarly known in the civil law by the terms jura in rem and jura in personam.

"Rights to things, jura in rem, have for their subject some material thing, as land or goods, which the owner may use or dispose of in any manner he pleases within the limits prescribed by the terms of his right. A right of this kind imports in all persons generally the correlative negative duty of abstaining from any interference with the exercise of it by the owner; and by enforcing this duty the law protects and establishes the right. But a right of this kind does not import any positive duty in any deter­minate person, or require any act or intervention of such person for its exercise and enjoyment.

"Rights against persons, jura in personam, on the other hand, have for their subject an act or performance of some certain determinate person, as the payment of money, the delivery of goods and the like. A right of this kind imports the correlative positive legal duty in the deter­minate person to act in the manner prescribed. It depends for its exercise or enjoyment upon the performance of that duty, and is secured by the legal remedies provided for a breach of performance. . . .

"Rights to things, jura in rem, vary and are distinguished according to the things or material subjects in the use or disposal of which the right consists."

The learned author, whose work is well known to law students and highly valued for its general clearness and accuracy, has been unfortunate in treating "in rem" as if it meant "to a thing"; and it would seem that he was influenced to do this, partly at least, as a result of confusing legal privileges and legal rights. More than that, this first error has led to an additional one: that of conveying the impression that all rights in rem (multital rights), in order to be such, must relate to a material thing. Such a limitation would exclude not only many rights in rem, or multital rights, relating to persons, but also those constituting elements of patent interests, copyright interests, etc. Finally the learned author falls into the error of asserting that all rights in personam are affirmative in character; whereas they may occasionally be negative, as heretofore seen.

1916, Professor Joseph Henry Beale, Treatise on Conflict of Laws:

"The nature of rights.—The primary purpose of law being the creation of rights, and the chief task of the Conflict of Laws to determine the place where a right arose and the law that created it, a more careful study of the nature of rights is of course desirable before the examination of actual cases of conflict is begun. . . .

"Since we are fortunate enough to have different words for these ideas [law and rights] it is all the more necessary that we should fully understand each of them.
"A right may be deemed as a legally recognized interest in, to, or against a person or a thing."

1903, Mr. Herbert Thorndyke Tiffany, Modern Law of Real Property:

"Powers of attorney, by which one person is nominated as an agent to make a transfer or do some other act in the name and stead of the principal, are sometimes spoken of as common-law powers. Such an authority, however, while it did exist as common law, is entirely different from the powers here considered (i.e., powers of appointment), since it is merely an agency in the person to whom the power is given, authorizing him to execute an instrument of conveyance or to do some other act in the place and stead of his principal, the title passing, not by the power of attorney, but by the conveyance subsequently made, which is regarded as made by the principal. A power of attorney creates merely a contractual relation,—rights in personam,—as does any other contract of agency; while a power, such as we here treat of, involving dominion over land to a greater or less extent, creates in the person to whom the power is given rights in rem of a proprietary character."

The exact meaning of the learned author is not evident; but it seems clear that the power of an agent to convey Whiteacre is not intrinsically different, so long as it endures, from a power to convey Whiteacre in exercise of a so-called power of appointment. It is true that the agent is subject to a liability of having his power "revoked" or divested by the principal, whereas the power of appointment is subject to no similar liability at the hands of anyone. But this difference, conceding its great importance, is, of course, not accurately expressed by asserting that the power of attorney creates rights in personam, and the power of appointment "creates in the person to whom the power is given rights in rem of a proprietary character." In truth the creation of a power of agency does not necessarily involve any contract rights against the principal or any one else. The fact seems to be that the greater "staying" quality of the power of appointment (as compared with the power of agency) has sug­gested to the author greater "adhesiveness" or "thingness," and hence caused the inappropriate terms now under review. Further critical consideration of the last-quoted passage will be desirable in connection with the subject of immunities in personam and immunities in rem.

1828, Sir Thomas Plumer, M.R., in Dearie v. Hall:

"They say, that they were not bound to give notice to the trustees; for that notice does not form part of the necessary conveyance of an equitable interest. I admit, that, if you mean to rely on contract with the individual, you do not need to give notice; from the moment of the contract, he, with whom you are dealing, is personally bound. But if you mean to go further, and to make your right attach upon the thing which is the subject of the contract, it is necessary to give notice; and, unless notice is given, you do not do that which is essential in all cases of transfer of personal property. . . . Notice, then, is necessary to perfect the title,—to give a complete right in rem, and not merely a right as against him who conveys his interest."

This passage from Dearie v. Hall will require further treatment in connection with the subject of immunities in personam and immunities in rem.

1857, Mr. Justice Cutting, in Redington v. Frye:

"But a sub-contractor has no claim against the owner of the property—his claim is only against the property (in rem), and the person and property of his employer (in personam) "

The preceding quotations from legal treatises and judicial opinions have been presented, as is evident, for the purpose of exemplifying the less careful and exact use of terms that we sometimes find, and for the further purpose of indicating the confusion of thought that is likely to result in such cases. Over against these will now be considered various passages from legal treatises and judicial opinions exemplifying more precise modes of thought and expression. It is desirable to begin with Austin; for his work on Jurisprudence was the first to give prominence to the terms right in rem and right in personam among English-speaking lawyers and authors, and his language has become classical in its importance:

1832, Professor John Austin, Lectures on Jurisprudence or The Philosophy of Positive Law:

"The distinction between Rights which I shall presently endeavor to explain, is that all-pervading and important distinction which has been assumed by the Roman Insti­tutional Writers as the main groundwork of their arrangement: namely, the distinction between rights in rem and rights in personam; or rights which avail against persons generally or universally, and rights which avail exclusively against certain or determinate persons.

"The terms 'jus in rem' and 'jus in personam' were devised by the Civilians of the Middle Ages, or arose in times still more recent. . . .

"The phrase in rem denotes the compass, and not the subject of the right. It denotes that the right in question avails against persons generally; and not that the right in question is a right over a thing. For, as I shall show hereafter, many of the rights, which are jura or rights in rem, are either rights over, or to, persons, or have no subject (person or thing).

"The phrase in personam is an elliptical or abridged expression for 'in personam certam sive determinatam' Like the phrase in rem, it denotes the compass of the right. It denotes that the right avails exclusively against a determinate person, or against determinate persons."

Additional explanations of ideas and terms and further instructive examples of usage are to be found in the following utterances of able judges:

1871, Mr. Justice Markby, Elements of Law:

"The term 'right in rem' is a very peculiar one; translated literally it would mean nothing. The use of it in conjunction with the term 'in personam' as the basis of a classification of actions in the Roman law has been explained above, and its meaning will be further illustrated by two passages in the Digest of Justinian. In Book iv. tit. 2. sec. 9, the rule of law is referred to— that what is done under the influence of fear should not be binding: and commenting on this it is remarked, that the lawgiver speaks here generally and 'in rem,' and does not specify any particular kind of persons who cause the fear; and that therefore the rule of law applies, whoever the person may be. Again, in Book xliv. tit. 4. sec. 2, it is laid down that, in what we should call a plea of fraud, it must be specially stated whose fraud is complained of, 'and not in rem'. On the other hand, it is pointed out that, if it is shown whose fraud is complained of, it is sufficient; and it need not be said whom the fraud was intended to injure; for (says the author of the Digest) the allegation that the transaction is void, by reason of the fraud of the person named, is made 'in rem.' In all these three cases 'in rem' is used as an adverb, and I think we should express as nearly as possible its exact equivalent, if we substituted for it the English word 'generally'. In the phrase 'right in rem' it is used as an adjective, and the equivalent English expression would be a 'general right'; but a more explicit phrase is a 'right availing against the world at large': and if this, which is the true meaning of the phrase 'right in rem,' be carefully remembered, no mistake need occur."

1883, Mr. Justice Mulkey, in W., St. L. & P. Ry. Co. v. Shacklet:

"One of the primary rights of the citizen, sanctioned by the positive law of the State, is security to life and limb, and indemnity against personal injuries occasioned by the negligence, fraud or violence of others. This is a right which avails against all persons whomsoever, and is distinguished from a right which avails against a particular individual or a determinate class of persons. The former is called a right in rem, the latter a right in personam. The former class of rights exists independently of contract; the latter frequently arises out of contract. . . .

"So in the present case, appellee's intestate had a right in rem, or a general right, which entitled him, if free from fault himself, to be protected and indemnified against injuries resulting from the negligence of all persons whomsoever, including the appellant. . . ."

1886, Mr. Justice Holmes, in Hogan v. Barry:

"There is no doubt that an easement may be created by words sounding in covenant. Bronson v. Coffin, 108 Mass. 175, 180. If the seeming covenant is for a present enjoyment of a nature recognized by the law as capable of being conveyed and made an easement,—capable, that is to say, of being treated as a jus in rem, and as not merely the subject of a personal undertaking,—and if the deed discloses that the covenant is for the benefit of adjoining land conveyed at the same time, the covenant must be construed as a grant, and, as is said in Plowden, 308, 'the phrase of speech amounts to the effect to vest a present property in you'. An easement will be created and attached to the land conveyed, and will pass with it to assigns, whether mentioned in the grant or not."

1903, Mr. Justice Holmes, in International Postal Supply Co. v. Bruce:

"As the United States could not be made a party the suit failed. In the case at bar the United States is not the owner of the machines, it is true, but it is a lessee in possession, for a term which has not expired. It has a property, a right in rem, in the machines, which, though less extensive than absolute ownership, has the same incident of a right to use them while it lasts."

1904, Mr. Justice Holmes, in Baltimore Shipbuilding Co. v. Baltimore:

"In the next place, as to the interest of the United States in the land. This is a mere condition subsequent. There is no easement or present right in rem. The obligation to keep up the dock and to allow the United States to use it carries active duties and is purely personal. . . . The United States has no present right to the land, but merely a personal claim against the corporation, reinforced by a condition."

1905, Mr. Justice Holmes, in Muhlker v. Harlem R. R. Co.:

"What the plaintiff claims is really property, a right in rem. It is called contract merely to bring it within the contract clause of the Constitution".

1913, Viscount Haldane, Lord Chancellor, in Attenborough v. Solomon:

"But the question which goes to the root of this case is one which renders such a proposition wholly beside the point. If I am right, there is no question here of an executor acting in the execution of his powers, so far as this residue is concerned. The executors had long ago lost their vested right of property as executors and become, so far as the title to it was concerned, trustees under the will. Executors they remained, but they were executors who had become divested, by their assent to the dispositions of the will, of the property which was theirs virtute officii; and their right in rem, their title of property, had been transformed into a right in personam,—a right to get the property back by proper proceedings against those in whom the property should be vested if it turned out that they required it for payment of debts for which they had made no provision."

1914, Viscount Haldane, Lord Chancellor, in Sinclair v. Brougham:

"The difficulty of establishing a title in rem in this case arises from the apparent difficulty of following money. In most cases money cannot be followed. When sovereigns or bank notes are paid over as currency, so far as the payer is concerned, they cease ipso facto to be the subjects of specific title as chattels. If a sovereign or bank note be offered in payment it is, under ordinary circumstances, no part of the duty of the person receiving it to inquire into title. The reason of this is that chattels of such a kind form part of what the law recognizes as currency, and treats as passing from hand to hand in point, not merely of possession, but of property. It would cause great inconvenience to commerce if in this class of chattel an exception were not made to the general requirement of the law as to title. . . .

"That seems to be, so far as the doctrine of the common law is concerned, the limit to which the exception to the rule about currency was carried; whether the case be that of a thief or of a fraudulent broker, or of money paid under mistake of fact, you can, even at law, follow, but only so long as the relation of debtor and creditor has not superseded the right in rem"

1914, Lord Sumner, in Sinclair v. Brougham:

"Analogous cases have been decided with regard to chattels. They differ, no doubt, because of the fact that the property in the chattels remained unchanged, though identification and even identity of the subject-matter of the property failed, whereas here, except as to currency, and even there only in a restricted sense, the term property, as we use that term of chattels, does not apply, and, at least as far as intention could do it, both depositors and shareholders had given up the right to call the money or its proceeds their own, and had taken instead personal claims on the society."

1916, Mr. Justice Brandeis, in Kryger v. Wilson:

"If the plaintiff in error had not submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the court, the decree could have determined only the title to the land, and would have left him free to assert any personal rights he may have had under the contract"

(b) A multital right, or claim, (right in rem) is not always one relating to a thing, i.e., a tangible object: If the preceding discussion has served its various purposes, it must now be reasonably clear that the attempt to conceive of a right in rem as a right against a thing should be abandoned as intrinsically unsound, as thoroughly discredited according to good usage, and, finally, as all too likely to confuse and mislead. It is desirable, next, to emphasize, in more specific and direct form, another important point which has already been incidentally noticed: that a right in rem is not necessarily one relating to, or concerning, a thing, i.e., a tangible object. Such an assumption, although made by Leake and by many others who have given little or no attention to fundamental legal conceptions, is clearly erroneous. The term right in rem (multital right) is so generic in its denota­tion as to include: 1. Multital rights, or claims, relating to a definite tangible object: e.g., a landowner's right that any ordinary person shall not enter on his land, or a chattel owner's right that any ordinary person shall not physically harm the object involved,—be it horse, watch, book, etc. 2. Multital rights (or claims) relating neither to definite tangible object nor to (tangible) person, e.g., a patentee's right, or claim, that any ordinary person shall not manufacture articles covered by the patent; 3. Multital rights, or claims, relating to the holder's own person, e.g., his right that any ordinary person shall not strike him, or that any ordinary person shall not restrain his physical liberty, i.e., "falsely imprison" him; 4. Multital rights residing in a given person and relating to another person, e.g., the right of a father that his daughter shall not be seduced, or the right of a husband that harm shall not be inflicted on his wife so as to deprive him of her company and assistance; 5. Multital rights, or claims, not relating directly to either a (tangible) person or a tangible object, e.g., a person's right that another shall not publish a libel of him, or a person's right that another shall not publish his picture,—the so-called "right of privacy" existing in some states, but not in all.

It is thus seen that some rights in rem, or multital rights, relate fairly directly to physical objects; some fairly directly to persons; and some fairly directly neither to tangible objects nor to persons.

It is, however, important to observe that there is a more specific Latin term, jus in re, which has been frequently used by able judges to indicate jural relations in rem (i.e., multital rights, privileges, powers, and immunities) directly concerning a tangible object, such as a piece of land, a vessel, etc. This form of expression appears to have been used by the classical Roman jurists almost exclusively in the more specific combination, jus in re aliena (easements, profits, etc.), as contrasted with jus in re propria; but the more generic jus in re was freely employed by the modern civilians,—especially in opposition to a particular kind of jus in personam called jus ad rem. The following explanations and examples of modern usage by able judges are worthy of careful and critical consideration:

1871, Mr. Justice Markby, Elements of Law:

"It is necessary to distinguish carefully between a right in rem and a (so-called) real right. A real right is a right over a specific thing (a jus in re, as will be explained hereafter). Thus a right of ownership is a real right; it is also a right in rem. But a right to personal safety is not a real right, though it is a right in rem."

1914, Lord Dunedin, in Sinclair v. Brougham:

"The case of a chattel is easy: A shopkeeper delivers an article at the house of B. in mistake for the house of A. An action would lie against B. for restitution. Such an action could easily be founded on the right of property. To use the Roman phraseology, there would be a jus in re. And where there was a jus in re there would not be, I take it, any difficulty in finding a form of common law action to fit the situation. But the moment you come to deal with what in Roman phraseology is called a fungible, and especially when you deal with money, then the jus in re may disappear, and with it the appropriateness of such common law action. The familiar case is the paying of money by A. to B. under the mistaken impression in fact that a debt was due, when in truth there was no debt due. It was to fit cases of this sort that the common law evolved the action for money had and received."

1914, Lord Kinnear, in Bank of Scotland v. Macleod:

"But to extend Lord Westbury's phrase so as to make it cover personal obligations which do not affect the real right of the obligor seems to me altogether extravagant. It was maintained in argument that every obligation with reference to any property or fund which involves a liability to account fell within the principle. If that were so every imperfect security, however invalid as a real right, would be effectual as a trust."

1855, Mr. Justice B. R. Curtis, in The Young Mechanic:

"But I will first inquire what right or interest is conferred by the statute, provided it intended to create such a lien, as exists by the general admiralty law upon foreign vessels.

"Though the nature of admiralty liens has doubtless been long understood, it does not seem to have been described with fulness and precision, in England or this country. That it differs from what is called by the same name in the common law, is clear; for it exists independent of possession. The Bold Buccleugh, 22 Eng. L. & Eq. 62; The Nestor, 1 Sumn. 73. That it is not identical with equitable liens, is equally clear; for the latter arise out of constructive trusts, and are neither a jus ad rem, or a jus in re; but simply a duty, binding on the conscience of the owner of the thing, and which a Court of Equity will compel him specifically to perform. 2 Story's Eq. Jurisp. § 1217; Ex parte Foster, 2 Story, R. 145; Clarke v. Southzvick, 1 Curtis, 299. . . .

"In my opinion the definition given by Pothier of an hypothecation is an accurate description of a maritime lien under our law. 'The right which a creditor-has in a thing of another, which right consists in the power to cause that thing to be sold, in order to have the debt paid out of the price. This is a right in the thing, a jus in re.' Traite de I'Hypotheque, art. prelim. See also, Sanders's Justinian, page 227. . . .

"Whether he can make the seizure himself, only to be followed by a judicial sale, or must resort to a court for both, may be important as to remedy, but does not affect his ultimate and essential right, . . .

"Though tacitly created by the law, and to be executed only by the aid of a court of justice, and resulting in a judicial sale, it is as really a property in the thing as the right of a pledgee or the lien of a bailee for work. The distinction between a jus in re and a jus ad rem was familiar to lawyers of the middle ages, and is said then to have first come into practical use, as the basis of the division of rights into real and personal. Sanders' Intro, to Just. p. 49. A jus in re is a right, or property in a thing, valid as against all mankind. A jus ad rem is a valid claim on one or more persons to do something, by force of which a jus in re will be acquired. Pothier, Traite du Droit de Domaine, ch. Pretences; Hugo, His. du Droit Rom. vol. 1, p. 118. . . .

"My opinion is, that the lien conferred by the local law was an existing incumbrance on the vessel, not divested or extinguished by the death or insolvency of the owner; and that, consequently, the decree of the District Court must be affirmed."

1900, Mr. Chief Justice Fuller, in The Carlos F. Roses:

"The right of capture acts on the proprietary interest of the thing captured at the time of the capture and is not affected by the secret liens or private engagements of the parties. Hence the prize courts have rejected in its favor the lien of bottomry bonds, of mortgages, for supplies, and of bills of lading. The assignment of bills of lading transfers the jus ad rem, but not necessarily the jus in rem. The jus in re or in rem implies the absolute dominion,— the ownership independently of any particular relation with another person. The jus ad rem has for its founda­tion an obligation incurred by another. Sand. Inst. Just. Introd., xlviii; 2 Marcade, Expl. du Code Napoleon, 350; 2 Bouvier, (Rawle's Revision), 73; The Young Mechanic, 2 Curtis, 404.

"Claimants did not obtain the jus in rem, and, according to the great weight of authority, the right of capture was superior."

Justice Foster, in Jacobs v. Knapp:

"That statute provides that 'any person who labors at cutting, hauling, or drawing wood, bark, logs, or lumber, shall have a lien thereon for his personal services, which lien shall take precedence of all other claims except liens on account of public taxes, to continue sixty days after the services are performed, and may be secured by attachment'.

"At the common law the lien of a mechanic, manufacturer, or other laborer 'is neither a jus ad rem nor a jus in re: that is to say, it is not a right of property in the thing itself, or a right of action to the thing itself;' but it is a security, derived from a 'general principle of the common law, which gives to a man who has the lawful possession of a thing and has expended his money or his labor upon it, at the request of the owner, a right to retain it until his demand is satisfied' . . .

"A lien, as we have seen, is a personal right, as well as an interest which can only be created by the owner, or by his authority. If Fifield, by virtue of his contract with the defendants, had a lien upon the wood, the plaintiff could acquire no lien upon the property through him. The plaintiff, as a creditor of Fifield, could not attach and hold, as against the owner, at the common law, the property in which Fifield had but the qualified interest of a pledgee. Lovett v. Brown, 40 N. H. 511. Neither is a lien for the price of labor performed on an article assignable. Bradley v. Spofford, 23 N. H. 447. . . .

"The statutes of liens have enlarged the privileges of the party who, at common law, could only as bailee avail himself of the lien, by substituting, in the enumerated cases, attachment of the property for retention of posses­sion; but it would be quite anomalous to regard this process of attachment as applying in favor of a stranger against a party with whom the plaintiff never contracted, and who could in no proper sense be regarded as an attaching creditor. . . ."

The passage from Mr. Justice Foster—the last of the above quotations—seems open to comment. If at common law the lien of the mechanic, manufacturer or other laborer consists of the "right to retain" the "thing" in his possession or, to use Mr. Justice Foster's own later and more discriminating term, a "privilege" of retaining possession, this is certainly a "privilege" relating to a "thing." More than that, such privileges are multital privileges, or privileges in rem, existing not only against the owner of the chattel but also against all persons in general, and correlating with no-rights in the latter. These multital privileges relate directly to the physical "thing"; and they are "rights" in the very broad sense of that term. It is difficult, therefore, to see why the term jus in re should not be applicable. For the latter term does not seem to be confined to rights in the sense of claims, this being shown by the above-quoted opinion of Mr. Justice Curtis, whose characterization of common-law liens differs from that of Mr. Justice Foster. It is also clear that the lienor has, by virtue of his possession per se, rights in rem against all others that they shall not disturb that possession or harm the object possessed. These last are rights or claims literally relating to the thing; and, therefore, so far at least as the literal meaning of jus in re is concerned there seems to be no reason why the latter expression should not be applied. It is true that if the lienor were to surrender possession he would thereby divest himself of his privilege (against the owner) and his rights, or claims, against the owner and others; but while those relations exist they concern the thing, and that fact is obviously not negatived by the possibility of their being divested.

The passage last quoted from Mr. Justice Markby and also the extracts from the opinions of Lord Kinnear and Mr. Justice Curtis show that those rights in rem which directly relate to things—land, vessels, etc.—instead of being called jus in re are, occasionally denominated "reed"—a term meaning literally, of course, "relating to a thing." "Real rights" in this sense are opposed to rights in personam relating to things. Thus, e.g., if A is owner of a horse, he has jus in re or "real rights"; if, on the other hand, X is under contract to transfer the ownership of a horse to A, the latter has that sort of right in personam which would sometimes be called jus ad rem, or "personal right" In the restricted sense now referred to, it seems clear that real rights as a class also exclude both rights in personam and rights in rem that do not relate directly to things, or tangible objects. The following passages may be considered with advantage:

1914, Professor E. C. Clark, History of Roman Law: Jurisprudence:

"Jura realia and personalia are expressions occasionally used by modern civilians as adjectival forms for jura in rem and in personam, but only as confined to Property Law. (e.g., the translator of Mackeldey, Pr. ii. § 15. Austin (T. and N. ii. 5, pp. 977, 978; St. Note on Led. 14, p. 184) identifies the pairs without the above qualification.) This at least seems to be the meaning given by Savigny to jura re alia, if represented by the correspond­ing German dingliche Rechte. (System, I, § 56, p. 369. Alle mogliche Rechte an Sachen .... fassen wir unter dem gemeinsamen Nameri der dinglichen Rechte zusammen.)"

1855, Mr. Justice B. R. Curtis, in The Young Mechanic:

"The distinction between a jus in re and a jus ad rem was familiar to lawyers of the middle ages, and is said then to have first come into practical use, as the basis of the division of rights into real and personal. Sanders' Intro, to Just. p. 49. A jus in re is a right, or property in a thing, valid as against all mankind. A jus ad rem is a valid claim on one or more persons to do something, by force of which a jus in re will be acquired. Pothier, Traite du Droit de Domaine, ch. Pretences; Hugo, His. du Droit Rom. vol. 1, p. 118."

1914, Lord Kinnear, in Bank of Scotland v. Macleod:

"But to extend Lord Westbury's phrase so as to make it cover personal obligations which do not affect the real right of the obligor seems to me altogether extravagant. It was maintained in argument that every obligation with reference to any property or fund which involves a liability to account fell within the principle. If that were so every imperfect security, however invalid as a real right, would be effectual as a trust."

Even when restricted as above indicated, the pair of terms, "real" and "personal," seems an undesirable one for English-speaking lawyers and judges because those words are already definitely appropriated to different and independent classifications and are constantly applied in connection with the latter. Thus, e.g., we have "real property" and "personal property"; and this classification is obviously not parallel with that of "real rights" and "personal rights"—both of the latter terms being applicable either to "personal property" relations or to "real property" relations. Then too, the expression "personal rights" is especially misleading in its connotation because, literally, it tends to suggest rights concerning a person as the object to which the rights relate, that is, either the person who holds the rights or some other person. It is therefore most fortunate that the pair of terms, "real rights" and "personal rights," is not at all common in judicial opinions or in legal treatises. Over against this, however, it must be recognized that courts not infrequently use a somewhat similar pair of terms, viz., the expression "personal rights" or "personal claims" in opposition to some such expression as "property rights," "title to land," "interest in the thing," etc.

Finally, as regards this particular matter, it must be regretted that some authors, though no courts whatever so far as has been observed, use the terms "real rights" and "personal rights" as exact equivalents, respectively, for all kinds of rights in rem (whether relating directly to things or persons or to neither) and all kinds of rights in personam. It is greatly to be hoped that such an unusual and, for the English law, misleading Use of terms will not become at all common.

(c) A single multital right, or claim, (right in rem) correlates with a duty resting on one person alone, not with many duties (or one duty) resting upon all the members of a very large and indefinite class of persons: Though fairly implicated with what has been said in the "preliminary" explanation of ideas and terms, this proposition now requires more detailed consideration; for it represents a considerable departure from the explanations or analyses to be found in treatises on jurisprudence or in books on particular branches'of the law. Let us first have definitely before us some typical passages:

1832, Professor John Austin, Lectures on Jurisprudence, or the Philosophy of Positive Law:

"All rights reside in persons, and are rights to acts or forbearances on the part of other persons. ...

"The essentials of a right in rem are these:

"It resides in a determinate person, or in determinate persons, and avails against other persons universally orgenerally. Further, the duty with which it correlates, or to which it corresponds, is negative: that is to say, a duty to forbear or abstain. . . .

"The duty which correlates with [a right in rem] attaches upon persons generally."

1871, Mr. Justice Markby, Elements of Law:

"The persons to whom a right in rem belongs may be changed to any extent within the limits allowed by the law, but the persons upon whom the duty corresponding to a right in rem is imposed cannot be changed, because all persons are under that duty."

1880, Professor Thomas Erskine Holland, Elements of Jurisprudence:

"A right is available either against a definite person or persons, or against all persons indefinitely. . . .

"This distinction between rights has been expressed by calling a right of the definite kind a right in personam, of the indefinite kind a right in rem"

1902, Mr. Solicitor-General Salmond, Jurisprudence:

"A real right corresponds to a duty imposed on persons in general. . . . The indeterminate incidence of the duty which corresponds to a real right, renders impossible many modes of dealing with it which are of importance in the case of personal rights."

1915, Professor Harlan Fiske Stone, Law and its Administration:

"One may have a right against all members of the community indifferently. Thus one has the right not to have his person or his property unlawfully interfered with, and this right exists generally against all members of the community."

1916, Professor Samuel Williston, Is the Right of an Assignee of a Chose in Action Legal or Equitable?

"Though legal ownership is conceived fundamentally as a right good against all the world, actual instances of such ownership are often much more narrowly limited. The owner of a chattel which has been stolen from him is likely to find his right against the world considerably qualified if the thief is in a place where the principles of market overt prevail."

In opposition to the ideas embodied in the passages just given, it is submitted that instead of there being a single right with a single correlative duty resting on all the persons against whom the right avails, there are many separate and distinct rights, actual and potential, each one of which has a correlative duty resting upon some one person. Repeating a hypothetical case put above, let us suppose that A is the owner of Blackacre and X is the owner of Whiteacre. It may be assumed further that, in consideration of $100 actually paid by A to B, the latter agrees with A never to enter on X's land, Whiteacre; also that C and D, at the same time and for separate considerations, make respective similar agreements with A. In such a case A's respective rights against B, C, and D are clearly rights in personam, or paucital rights. Surely no one would assert that A has only a single right against B, C, and D, with only a single or unified duty resting on the latter. A's right against B is entirely separate from the other two. B may commit a breach of his duty, without involving any breach of Cs duty by C or any breach of D's duty by D. For, obviously, the content of each respective duty differs from each of the others. To make it otherwise C and D would have to be under a duty or duties (along with B) that B should not enter on X's land. Even if that were the case, there would be said to be three separate duties unless B, C, and D bound themselves so as to create a so-called joint obligation. In the latter case alone would there be said to be a single right and a single (joint) duty. Going beyond this direct analysis of the situation, it seems clear that the three respective "right—duty" relations of A and B, A and C, and A and D respond to every test of separateness and independence. A might discharge B from his duty to A, thus (in equivalent terms) creating a privilege of entering as against A (not as against X, of course); yet, obviously, the respective duties of C and D would continue the same as before.

Point for point, the same considerations and tests seem applicable to A's respective rights in rem, or multital rights, against B, C, D, and others indefinitely that they, respectively considered, shall not enter on Blackacre. It is not a case of one joint duty of the same content resting on all—e.g., that B should not enter on Blackacre. Consistently with this view, A might, e.g., extinguish B's duty or, in other words, grant B the privilege of entering by giving "leave and license" to do so. In such event, of course, the respective duties of C, D, E, and all others would continue to exist, precisely as before.

In order to see even more clearly that the supposed single right in rem correlating with "a duty" on "all" persons really involves as many separate and distinct "right—duty" relations as there are persons subject to a duty, it may be worth while to reverse the situation somewhat, and consider, in anticipation of a more general treatment at a later point, the subject of duties in rem, or multital duties. Thus, e.g., X is under duty not to strike R, S, T, or any other ordinary member of the community. Are we to say that, as regards these many persons, X has but a single duty, and that, correlatively, there is but a single right held by R, S, T, and all the others? Manifestly not, for each one of these persons has a distinct and independent right; and any one of such independent rights might cease to exist without in the least affecting the others. If, e.g., R threatens bodily harm to X, R's right that X shall not strike him becomes thereby extinguished, and a no-right in R substituted; or, correlatively, in such contingency, X's duty to R ceases, and X acquires a privilege of self-defense against R. But such change in no way affects the entirely distinct relations existing between X and the various other persons involved. As regards the separateness and relativity of all "right—duty" relations, the following judicial reasoning seems accurate and persuasive:

1908, Mr. Justice Connor, in McGhee v. R. Co.:

"It is elementary that plaintiff had no cause of action against defendants for placing the dynamite in the shanty. He must establish some relation between defendants and himself from which a duty to him is imposed upon defendants. 'The expression ((duty" properly imports a determinate person to whom the obligation is
          08/01/17 – DLNR Establishes Temporary Closure of Unencumbered Lands on Haleakala        
Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair Suzanne Case signed an order today, temporarily closing certain State unencumbered lands adjacent to Haleakala National Park land on Maui. Hawai‘i State Administrative Rules (HAR 13-221-4) allow the DLNR Chair to close or restrict public usage for the purposes of safe transit and personal safety.
          Why the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq is despised        
Why indeed? Well for a start, it was clear from the outset that the war was considered unjustified by a majority of the human race. See here, and here, There has hardly been an event in history so universally condemnded before being perpetrated.

Nontheless, consider for a moment, that annual American casualties in Iraq War 2.0 barely drift above annual accidental deaths for the 90's. Thats right, almost as many service people (volume wise) were being killed by accidents in the US military each year, as are currently being killed by enemy action.

That is a sobering thought, and a tribute to the professional lethality (and improved internal safety) of the US armed forces. They certainly get the job done, and while doing it they ensure that all the casualties are on the other side.

In a conventional war this of course makes good sense. We want to kill the enemy while ensuring our guys don't get killed. However, in the "we've come to save you from yourselves" scenario that Iraq and Iran are alleged to represent, it is patently less palatable. It is especially less palatable in the context of slogans such as "fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them over here."

This is in effect, an exhortation to sanction the sacrifice of Iraqi lives to save American lives. I find that idea pretty abhorrent in isolation, but the cowardly, brutal, calculation of it pales into insignificance when coupled with the fact that the basic premise was and continues to be, simply wrong. As can be seen every day as the next lot of 20, or 30 step into the grinder.

That in a nutshell is why the war is despised, both at home and abroad. We told you not to do it, we said it would be bad, any fool could see that. Now, the lives of foreigners are poured out like water, ostensibly to increase American security and economic power. It isn't the first time either, but it is the first time it has provoked such a sustained and rapid international backlash.

It hardly has to be said that some will read this and be non-plussed, because this equation makes sense to them. American lives are more valuable. That a sizeable minority of Americans are genuinely unmoved by the killing of thousands of innocent people a half a world away in their name is pretty sickening, but it's not hyperbole, read the blogs.

One wonders, do they consider none of these faceless "others" innocent? Do Americans consider their own personal safety so important to them, that to eliminate any possible risk, any price in foreign blood is acceptable? How much is offsetting the risk of an American death worth in the currency of the lives of unknown foreigners? Ten, a hundred, a million? Even if one accepts the basic flawed premise, the ratio is already grimly disproportional.

During the 2nd World War, it was common for German troops to kill local villagers in reprisal for resistance attacks. This has been rightly condemned as a war crime. Tell me, how is the GWOT, “fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here” any different in terms of outcomes, for the villagers?

Then, there is this :
          Does Your Local Shopping Center Suffer from Negligent Security        

Ensuring your personal safety and security when visiting a shopping center is a two-fold responsibility: You can do things as an individual to reduce the likelihood of your becoming a crime statistic, and there are procedures the center itself should institute to keep you safe. The Miami negligent security lawyers at Hannon Legal Group regularly […]

The post Does Your Local Shopping Center Suffer from Negligent Security appeared first on Florida Injury Lawyer Blog.

          This Canadian Public Safety Video from the 1980s Is Bizarre and Terrifying        

I love anti-crime videos, especially ones that aim to scare viewers by graphically depicting the lawless horrors that await you as soon as you step out the door. I’ve written about my fondness for the work of the great J.J. Bittenbinder—the undisputed king of this genre—but there’s a whole world of discomfiting personal safety content on YouTube that deserves attention.

One of my favorite videos of the moment is this gem from the 1980s, about the Crime Stoppers program in Hamilton, Ontario. Crime Stoppers is an international initiative that encourages citizens to anonymously share information about crimes with police. It’s a good idea. But I can’t think of anything less likely to prompt public participation than this frightening video—which, if I were a Hamilton resident, would probably just cause me to flee to the comparative safety of Detroit.

The sense of dread hits you right from the start. “This is the city of Hamilton. The entire region of Hamilton-Wentworth has a total population of about 450,000 people. A safe region, by Canadian standards. But, realistically, we do have our share of crime," the narrator intones, as ominous music plays and we cut to a scene of a hoodlum savagely garroting a woman to death, then carrying the body into a dark basement. (Warning: This video could be disturbing to some viewers, in particular those who cannot abide violence and subpar Canadian acting.)

That’s not the only wonderfully inappropriate scene. The video also features a graphic re-enactment of a violent home invasion and murder (1:38); a rousing history of the Crime Stoppers program—“Dateline: Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1976”—narrated over scenes re-enacting a gas station robbery (3:38); and the assertion that “there is an active element in our society that would rather rob, rape, steal, and kill than lead normal, productive lives,” as the camera zooms in on a blood-covered woman writhing in pain on the street.

“The program is not for the squeamish,” the narrator warns. Perhaps that explains why, as of this hour, YouTube reports that this video only has 25 total views. I’m guessing at least a half-dozen of those are mine. Come on, Slate readers—give the Hamilton, Ontario Crime Stoppers the audience they deserve.

          Two stories - great connections        

Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.

Capone had a lawyer nicknamed 'Easy Eddie.' He was Capone's lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time.STORY NUMBER ONE

To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but also, Eddie got special dividends. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block.

Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.

Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object.

And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong... Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was.

Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn't give his son; he couldn't pass on a good name or a good example.

One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done.

He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al 'Scarface' Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great.
So, he testified.

Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street. But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay. Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine.

The poem read:

"The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour.
Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still."


World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare.

He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Lexington in the South Pacific. One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank.

He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship.

His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet.

As he was returning to the mother ship he saw something that turned his blood cold: a squadron of Japanese aircraft was speeding its way toward the American fleet.

The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn't reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet. Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent.

Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible and rendering them unfit to fly.
Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction.

Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier.

Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun-mounted camera on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet.

He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft.

This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy's first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.

A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.

So, the next time you find yourself at O'Hare International, give some thought to visit Butch's memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of Honor. It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.


Butch O'Hare was 'Easy Eddie's' son.

          India Smart Cities Mission shows IoT potential for improving quality of life at vast scale        
The next BriefingsDirect Voice of the Customer Internet-of-Things (IoT) transformation discussion examines the potential impact and improvement of low-power edge computing benefits on rapidly modernizing cities.

These so-called smart city initiatives are exploiting open, wide area networking (WAN) technologies to make urban life richer in services, safer, and far more responsive to residences’ needs. We will now learn how such pervasively connected and data-driven IoT architectures are helping cities in India vastly improve the quality of life there.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Get the mobile app. Read a full transcript or download a copy.

Here to share how communication service providers have become agents of digital urban transformation are VS Shridhar, Senior Vice President and Head of the Internet-of-Things Business Unit at Tata Communications in Chennai area, India, and Nigel Upton, General Manager of the Universal IoT Platform and Global Connectivity Platform and Communications Solutions Business at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). The discussion is moderated by Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Here are some excerpts:

Gardner: Tell us about India’s Smart Cities mission. What are you up to and how are these new technologies coming to bear on improving urban quality of life?

Shridhar: The government is clearly focusing on Smart Cities as part of their urbanization plan, as they believe Smart Cities will not only improve the quality of living, but also generate employment, and take the whole country forward in terms of technologically embracing and improving the quality of life.

So with that in mind, the Government of India has launched 100 Smart Cities initiatives. It’s quite interesting because each of the cities that aspire to belong had to make a plan and their own strategy around how they are going to evolve and how they are going to execute it, present it, and get selected. There was a proper selection process.

Many of the cities made it, and of course some of them didn’t make it. Interestingly, some of the cities that didn’t make it are developing their own plans.
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There is lot of excitement and curiosity as well as action in the Smart Cities project. Admittedly, it’s a slow process, it’s not something that you can do at the blink of the eye, and Rome wasn’t built overnight, but I definitely see a lot of progress.

Gardner:Nigel, it seems that the timing for this is auspicious, given that there are some foundational technologies that are now available at very low cost compared to the past, and that have much more of a pervasive opportunity to gather information and make a two-way street, if you will, between the edge and central administration. How is the technology evolution synching up with these Smart Cities initiatives in India?

Upton:I am not sure whether it’s timing or luck, or whatever it happens to be, but adoption of the digitization of city infrastructure and services is to some extent driven by economics. While I like to tease my colleagues in India about their sensitivity to price, the truth of the matter is that the economics of digitization -- and therefore IoT in smart cities -- needs to be at the right price, depending on where it is in the world, and India has some very specific price points to hit. That will drive the rate of adoption.

And so, we're very encouraged that innovation is continuing to drive price points down to the point that mass adoption can then be taken up, and the benefits realized to a much more broad spectrum of the population. Working with Tata Communications has really helped HPE understand this and continue to evolve as technology and be part of the partner ecosystem because it does take a village to raise an IoT smart city. You need a lot of partners to make this happen, and that combination of partnership, willingness to work together and driving the economic price points to the point of adoption has been absolutely critical in getting us to where we are today.

Balanced Bandwidth

Gardner:Shridhar, we have some very important optimization opportunities around things like street lighting, waste removal, public safety, water quality; of course, the pervasive need for traffic and parking, monitoring and improvement.

How do things like a low-power specification Internet and network gateways and low-power WANs (LPWANs) create a new foundation technically to improve these services? How do we connect the services and the technology for an improved outcome?

Shridhar:If you look at human interaction to the Internet, we have a lot of technology coming our way. We used to have 2G, that has moved to 3G and to 4G, and that is a lot of bandwidth coming our way. We would like to have a tremendous amount of access and bandwidth speeds and so on, right?

So the human interaction and experience is improving vastly, given the networks that are growing. On the machine-to-machine (M2M) side, it’s going to be different. They don’t need oodles of bandwidth. About 80 to 90 percent of all machine interactions are going to be very, very low bandwidth – and, of course, low power. I will come to the low power in a moment, but it’s going to be very low bandwidth requirement.

In order to switch off a streetlight, how much bandwidth do you actually require? Or, in order to sense temperature or air quality or water and water quality, how much bandwidth do you actually require?

When you ask these questions, you get an answer that the machines don’t require that much bandwidth. More importantly, when there are millions -- or possibly billions -- of devices to be deployed in the years to come, how are you going to service a piece of equipment that is telling a streetlight to switch on and switch off if the battery runs out?

Machines are different from humans in terms of interactions. When we deploy machines that require low bandwidth and low power consumption, a battery can enable such a machine to communicate for years.

Aside from heavy video streaming applications or constant security monitoring, where low-bandwidth, low-power technology doesn’t work, the majority of the cases are all about low bandwidth and low power. And these machines can communicate with the quality of service that is required.

When it communicates, the network has to be available. You then need to establish a network that is highly available, which consumes very little power and provides the right amount of bandwidth. So studies show that less than 50 kbps connectivity should suffice for the majority of these requirements.

Now the machine interaction also means that you collect all of them into a platform and basically act on them. It's not about just sensing it, it's measuring it, analyzing it, and acting on it.

Low-power to the people

So the whole stack consists not just of connectivity alone. It’s LPWAN technology that is emerging now and is becoming a de facto standard as more-and-more countries start embracing it.

At Tata Communications we have embraced the LPWAN technology from the LoRa Alliance, a consortium of more than 400 partners who have gotten together and are driving standards. We are creating this network over the next 18 to 24 months across India. We have made these networks available right now in four cities. By the end of the year, it will be many more cities -- almost 60 cities across India by March 2018.

Gardner: Nigel, how do you see the opportunity, the market, for a standard architecture around this sort of low-power, low-bandwidth network? This is a proof of concept in India, but what's the potential here for taking this even further? Is this something that has global potential?
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Upton: The global potential is undoubtedly there, and there is an additional element that we didn't talk about which is that not all devices require the same amount of bandwidth. So we have talked about video surveillance requiring higher bandwidth, we have talked about devices that have low-power bandwidth and will essentially be created once and forgotten when expected to last 5 or 10 years.

We also need to add in the aspect of security, and that really gave HPE and Tata the common ground of understanding that the world is made up of a variety of network requirements, some of which will be met by LPWAN, some of which will require more bandwidth, maybe as high as 5G.

The real advantage of being able to use a common architecture to be able to take the data from these devices is the idea of having things like a common management, common security, and a common data model so that you really have the power of being able to take information, take data from all of these different types of devices and pull it into a common platform that is based on a standard.

In our case, we selected the oneM2M standard, it’s the best standard available to be able to build that common data model and that's the reason why we deployed the oneM2M model within the universal IoT platform to get that consistency no matter what type of device over no matter what type of network.

Gardner: It certainly sounds like this is an unprecedented opportunity to gather insight and analysis into areas that you just really couldn't have measured before. So going back to the economics of this, Shridhar, have you had any opportunity through these pilot projects in such cities as Jamshedpur to demonstrate a return on investment, perhaps on street lighting, perhaps on quality of utilization and efficiency? Is there a strong financial incentive to do this once the initial hurdle of upfront costs is met?

Data-driven cost reduction lights up India

Unless the customer sees that there is a scope for either reducing the cost or increasing the customer experience, they are not going to buy these kinds of solutions.
Shridhar: Unless the customer sees that there is a scope for either reducing the cost or increasing the customer experience, they are not going to buy these kinds of solutions. So if you look at how things have been progressing, I will give you a few examples of how the costs have started constructing and playing out. One of course is to have devices, meeting at certain price point, we talked about how in India -- we talked that Nigel was remarking how constant still this Indian market is, but it’s important, once we delivered to a certain cost, we believe we can now deliver globally to scale. That’s very important, so if we build something in India it would deliver to the global market as well.

The streetlight example, let’s take that specifically and see what kind of benefits it would give. When a streetlight operates for about 12 hours a day, it costs about Rs.12, which is about $0.15, but when you start optimizing it and say, okay, this is a streetlight that is supported currently on halogen and you move it to LED, it brings a little bit of cost saving, in some cases significant as well. India is going through an LED revolution as you may have read in the newspapers, those streetlights are being converted, and that’s one distinct cost advantage.

Now they are looking and driving, let’s say, the usage and the electricity bills even lower by optimizing it. Let’s say you sync it with the astronomical clock, that 6:30 in the evening it comes up and let’s say 6:30 in the morning it shuts down linking to the astronomical clock because now you are connecting this controller to the Internet.

The second thing that you would do is during busy hours keep it at the brightest, let’s say between 7:00 and 10:00, you keep it at the brightest and after that you start minimizing it. You can control it down in 10 percent increments.

The point I am making is, you basically deliver intensity of light to the kind of requirement that you have. If it is busy, or if there is nobody on the street, or if there is a safety requirement -- a sensor will trigger up a series of lights, and so on.

So your ability to play around with just having streetlight being delivered to the requirement is so high that it brings down total cost. While I was telling you about $0.15 that you would spend per streetlight, that could be brought down to $0.05. So that’s the kind of advantage by better controlling the streetlights. The business case builds up, and a customer can save 60 to 70 percent just by doing this. Obviously, then the business case stands out.

The question that you are asking is an interesting one because each of the applications has its own way of returning the investment back, while the optimization of resources is being done. There is also a collateral positive benefit by saving the environment. So not only do I gain a business savings and business optimization, but I also pass on a general, bigger message of a green environment. Environment and safety are the two biggest benefits of implementing this and it would really appeal to our customers.

Gardner:It’s always great to put hard economic metrics on these things, but Shridhar just mentioned safety. Even when you can't measure in direct economics, it's invaluable when you can bring a higher degree of safety to an urban environment.

It opens up for more foot traffic, which can lead to greater economic development, which can then provide more tax revenue. It seems to me that there is a multiplier effect when you have this sort of intelligent urban landscape that creates a cascading set of benefits: the more data, the more efficiency; the more efficiency, the more economic development; the more revenue, the more data and so on. So tell us a little bit about this ongoing multiplier and virtuous adoption benefit when you go to intelligent urban environments?

Quality of life, under control

Upton:Yes, also it’s important to note that it differs almost by country to country and almost within region to region within countries. The interesting challenge with smart cities is that often you're dealing with elected officials rather than hard-nosed businessman who are only interested in the financial return. And it's because you're dealing with politicians and they are therefore representing the citizens in their area, either their city or their town or their region, their priorities are not always the same.

There is quite a variation of one of the particular challenges, particular social challenges as well as the particular quality of life challenges in each of the areas that they work in. So things like personal safety are a very big deal in some regions. I am currently in Tokyo and here there is much more concern around quality of life and mobility with a rapidly aging population and their challenges are somewhat different.
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But in India, the set of opportunities and challenges that are set out, they are in that combination of economic as well as social, and if you solve them and you essentially give citizens more peace of mind, more ability to be able to move freely, to be able to take part in the economic interaction within that area, then undoubtedly that leads to greater growth, but it is worth bearing in mind that it does vary almost city by city and region by region.

Gardner:Shridhar, do you have any other input into a cascading ongoing set of benefits when you get more data, more network opportunity. I guess I am trying to understand for a longer-term objective that being intelligent and data-driven has an ongoing set of benefits, what might those be? How can this be a long-term data and analytics treasure trove when you think about it in terms of how to provide better urban experiences?

Home/work help

Shridhar:From our perspective, when we looked at the customer benefits there is a huge amount of focus around the smart cities and how smart cities are benefiting from a network. If you look at the enterprise customers, they are also looking at safety, which is an overlapping application that a smart city would have.

So the enterprise wants to provide safety to its workers, for example, in mines or in difficult terrains, environments where they are focusing on helping them. Or women’s safety, which is as you know in India is a big thing as well -- how do you provide a device which is not very obvious and it gives the women all the safety that is there.

So all this in some form is providing data. One of the things that comes to my mind when you ask about how data-driven resources can be and what kind of quality it would give is if you action your mind to some of the customer services devices, there could be applications or let’s say a housewife could have a multiple button kind of a device where she can order a service.

Depending on the service she presses and an aggregate of households across India, you would know the trends and direction of a certain service, and mind you, it could be as simple as a three-button device which says Service A, Service B, Service C, and it could be a consumer service that gets extended to a particular household that we sell it as a service.

So you could get lots of trends and patterns that are emerging from that, and we believe that the customer experience is going to change, because no longer is a customer going to retain in his mind what kind of phone numbers or your, let's say, apps and all to order, you give them the convenience of just a button-press service. That immediately comes to my mind.

Feedback fosters change

The second one is in terms of feedback. You use the same three-button service to say, how well have you used utility -- or rather how -- what kind of quality of service that you rate multiple utilities that you are using, and there is toilet revolution in India. For example, you put these buttons out there, they will tell you at any given point of time what’s the user satisfaction and so on.

So these are all data that is getting gathered and I believe that while it is early days for us to go on and put out analytics and give you distinct kind of benefits that are there, but some of the things that customers are already looking at is which geographies, which segment, who are my biggest -- profile of the customers using this and so on. That kind of information is going to come out very, very distinctly.

The Smart Cities is all about experience. The enterprises are now looking at the data that is coming out and seeing how they can use it to better segment, and provide better customer experience which would obviously mean both adding to their top line as well as helping them manage their bottom line. So it's beyond safety, it's getting into the customer experience – the realm of managing customer experience.

Gardner:From a go-to-market perspective, or a go-to-city’s perspective, these are very complex undertakings, lots of moving parts, lots of different technologies and standards. How are Tata and HPE are coming together -- along with other service providers, Pointnextfor example? How do you put this into a package that can then actually be managed and put in place? How do we make this appealing not only in terms of its potential but being actionable as well when it comes to different cities and regions?

Upton:The concept of Smart Cities has been around for a while and various governments around the world have pumped money into their cities over an extended period of time.
We now have the infrastructure in place, we have the price points and we have IoT becoming mainstream.

As usual, these things always take more time than you think, and I do not believe today that we have a technology challenge on our hands. We have much more of a business model challenge. Being able to deploy technology to be able to bring benefits to citizens, I think that is finally getting to the point where it is much better understood where innovation of the device level, whether it's streetlights, whether it's the ability to measure water quality, sound quality, humidity, all of these metrics that we have available to us now. There has been very rapid innovation at that device level and at the economics of how to produce them, at a price that will enable widespread deployment.

All that has been happening rapidly over the last few years getting us to the point where we now have the infrastructure in place, we have the price points in place, and we have IoT becoming mainstream enough that it is entering into the manufacturing process of all sorts of different devices, as I said, ranging from streetlights to personal security devices through to track and trace devices that are built into the manufacturing process of goods.
That is now reaching mainstream and we are now able to take advantage of this massive data that’s now being produced to be able to produce even more efficient and smarter cities, and make them safer places for our citizens.

Gardner:Last word to you, Shridhar. If people wanted to learn more about the pilot proof of concept (PoC) that you are doing there at Jamshedpur and other cities, through the Smart Cities Mission, where might they go, are there any resources, how would you provide more information to those interested in pursuing more of these technologies?

Pilot projects take flight

Shridhar:I would be very happy to help them look at the PoCs that we are doing. I would classify the PoCs that we are doing is as far as safety is concerned, we talked of energy management in one big bucket that is there, then the customer service I spoke about, the fourth one I would say is more on the utility side. Gas and water are two big applications where customers are looking at these PoCs very seriously.

And there is very one interesting application in that one customer wanted for pest control, where he wanted his mouse traps to have sensors so that they will at any point of time know if there is a rat trap at all, which I thought was a very interesting thing.
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There are multiple streams that we have, we have done multiple PoCs, we will be very happy as Tata Communications team [to provide more information], and the HPE folks are in touch with us.

You could write to us, to me in particular for some period of time. We are also putting information on our website. We have marketing collateral, which describes this. We will do some of the joint workshops with HPE as well.

So there are multiple ways to reach us, and one of the best ways obviously is through our website. We are always there to provide more important help, and we believe that we can’t do it all alone; it’s about the ecosystem getting to know and getting to work on it.

While we have partners like HPE on the platform level, we also have partners such as Semtech, who established Center of Excellence in Mumbai along with us. So the access to the ecosystem from HPE side as well as our other partners is available, and we are happy to work and co-create the solutions going forward.

          Hospital’s camp offers CPR and inside look at OR        
Rachel Pokornowski, Staff Writer

Ever wanted to learn more about safety? A unique opportunity is now available through the Allegan Healthcare Group Youth Summer Safety Series.

The Safety Series will be the week of Aug. 21. Teens ages 14 to 17 may register for the pilot program. Classes will be at Allegan General Hospital and will run between 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and enrollees must attend all consecutive sessions. It costs $50 and 15 spots are available.

The purpose is to showcase the hospital as a resource and give the opportunity to learn about job opportunities. Hands-on activities will teach safety and life skills to keep themselves and the community safe.

“This is not something they think about when they’re 14, 15, 16 and 17. They don’t look at the hospital as a resource,” Youth Summer Safety Series project manager Jen Hamman said.

Jen Garcia, executive director of the Allegan General Hospital Foundation, said, “Our responsibility is to reach out. The more we can share our resources with the community the better.”

A simulated technology device will be used to teach what to do in a fire emergency. The Otsego Fire Department will show how to put out a fire safely using a fire extinguisher and the American Red Cross will help youth to build a home fire preparedness plan.

A field trip will be taken to the call center where the county’s 911 calls are answered.

All participants will receive adult and child CPR training and a completion certificate. Personal safety will be addressed including self-defense techniques, situational awareness, and cyber safety by the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office and the hospital’s information technology team.

The surgical team will demonstrate how they prepare for a surgery and youth will gown up and scrub in for a mock case.

Participants will also receive a disaster preparedness backpack.

The idea for this program began a year ago. Partly funded by an Allegan Community Foundation grant, the program is also made possible by the Allegan General Hospital Foundation partnering with many community agencies to develop an ongoing program to reach a group who can make a difference but are often overlooked.

Hamman said, “It is important to know what to do in a disaster. People are not prepared. By providing knowledge to youth, lives will be saved. Youth respond a little more easily emotionally and physically.”

Hamman and Garcia hope that this will be ongoing and that kids will love it and spread the word.

Plans for future programming include a distracted driving simulator. Input will be taken from the youth who attend to continue to offer valuable training.

Hamman said, “The greatest hope is that someone will someday come back and say ‘thank you; I saved a life or made a difference.’ Nothing would be better than hearing this.”

To register, visit www.

For more information, call (269)686-4234 or email

There are many ways members from the community can get involved. The Allegan General Hospital Foundation is currently seeking funding to underwrite this pilot series. Those who would like to sponsor a child for $50, donate breakfast, lunch or snacks for any or all of the days, or who are interested in making a gift of any amount, contact Garcia at (269) 686-4234 or  Every gift can make a difference for our area youth, she said.

Contact Rachel Pokornowski at reception@ or (269) 673-5534.


          Flight of Li Ka-shing Signals the Beginning of China’s Economic Meltdown        
By He Qinglian on September 29, 2015
Source article in Chinese: “李嘉诚话题”突显权力与资本关系日趋紧张
This abridged translation first appeared in the Epoch Time on October 11, 2015

After Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, Asia’s richest man, recently moved his investments out of China, state media accused him of being unethical and ungrateful, fleeing China when the economy was slowing despite having profited handsomely in better times. He Qinglian, a noted economist, explores the tensions between power and capital in today’s China.

Li Ka-shing’s “escape” has sparked heated discussions in China. This debate should be understood as a war between power and capital; it reveals the tripartite dilemma of investing in today’s China.

The first dilemma: Hong Kong investment has always been regarded as “internal” capital with a foreign name.

From the time when Deng Xiaoping started the reform and opening policy, up until the 1990s, Hong Kong investment was the most important component of all foreign investment, followed by Taiwan. Hong Kong’s location and its special economic role were part of the political considerations that prompted the Communist Party of China (CPC) to treat Hong Kong as “foreign” investment.

Before that, when the CPC was facing a comprehensive blockade from the West, Hong Kong was China’s “international channel,” the channel of foreign capital and technology, as well as its import and export trade base.

China started reform and opening up in 1979. Hong Kong businessmen were not only the main body of investment, but also pathfinders and bridges to help China open up. At that time, Hong Kong accounted for 70 percent of foreign investment, followed by Taiwan and Japan.

After China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, Hong Kong gradually lost its status as China’s trade entrepôt. Its offshore financial business slowly weakened. Hong Kong became a base for Party officials to move their capital for further deployment abroad, their “money laundering garden.”

Between 1978 and 2001, out of political considerations, the CPC categorized Hong Kong investment as “foreign” capital as Hong Kong was yet to return to China, or had just been returned. After 2001, it was still in the CPC’s interest to treat Hong Kong investment as foreign capital in the economy. To interest groups, Hong Kong is an important channel for money laundering. Even now, top Hong Kong businessmen and Chinese investment in Hong Kong are closely tied to the Communist Party.

Money Is Allowed in, but Not Out

The Second dilemma: There are limits to capital flows. Investment capital has been allowed to come in, but not allowed to leave.

The CPC forcibly interfered in China’s stock market decline this year. In the end it arrested people on accusations of “draining China.” This was generally regarded as inappropriate government intervention in the financial market and malicious restrictions on the free flow of capital.

International capital flows refers to capital transfers between countries or regions, including investments, loans, aid, buyer credit, seller credit, foreign exchange trading, securities issuance and circulation, and so on. International cross-border capital flows can be divided into inflows and outflows. When China entered the WTO, key members of the WTO, such as the United States and European countries, requested that China open up its financial market and allow foreign capital in.

Among the WTO member countries, there is none that welcomes foreign investment while at the same time limiting capital outflows. The CPC’s regulation on capital flows has established a precedent. The WTO does not have countermeasures on this policy. This has caused one more layer of concern for international capital. What can they do if one day China restricts capital outflow? They therefore want China to implement full capital mobility rules: to not only welcome free capital to come in, but also to allow capital to leave.
The ‘Original Sin’ of Being Rich

The third dilemma: the personal safety of private investment capital owners in China is at risk.

Private capital in China has always been considered an “original sin.” There is an understanding in China that the majority of private enterprises rely on political power for backing. They grow bigger and stronger by conducting business in the “gray area” created through connections with officials. Their wealth is not clean.

The government assumes that private sector “kings” make use of gaps granted them by the government, such as tax evasion and fraudulent bookkeeping. There are lots of gaps. Usually the government is not short of money.

When private companies have good relationships with officials, these gaps do not pose an issue. But when the government is short of money, or the officials whom private companies rely on are jailed for corruption or retire, capitalists are no longer safe.

In 2014, “Guidelines to Deepen Reform of State-Owned Enterprises” was published, to mobilize private equity. Many private entrepreneurs worry that the hand of the CPC is reaching for them. They have started to leave.

They have engaged in a large number of overseas investments. This caused a sharp reduction in foreign exchange reserves in recent months. Beijing painfully felt the shrinking of its foreign exchange reserves—about $600 billion in outflows, according to a Sept. 28 article by The Economist—and has hence increased control of foreign exchange. Dozens of security brokers were arrested for “draining China.” The relationship between money and power has reached a state of hypertension.

The Dilemma Trifecta

Li Ka-shing finds himself in all three dilemmas.

Why is Li Ka-shing being ostracized as an investment escapee? It is because of the nature of his investment capital.

Of all Hong Kong businessmen, Li Ka-shing is the most successful and has the closest ties to Beijing. He has met Party leaders on numerous occasions—Deng Xiaoping twice, in 1978 and 1990. This meant that his access in China was unimpeded, and his privileges surpassed any “princeling” (son or daughter of a top Party leader).

The article that attacked Li for leaving China said: “Given the nature of Li’s profiteering in China over the past 20 years, it is not as simple as just doing business. … Real estate wealth does not come entirely from the market economy. He might not be able to leave as he wishes.”

Li Ka-shing’s capital was actually “internal” capital with a “foreign name.” It was provided by the Communist Party, with particular policies and special privileges. Therefore, Li’s money should “go down with the regime.” However, with China’s economic difficulties bursting open, Li took the money and left. This has greatly disappointed the regime.

What the Chinese media dare not say is that Li Ka-shing’s divestment signals the beginning of the collapse. Li Ka-shing is not the only Hong Kong investor leaving China. Sixty-five percent of all “foreign” investment is Chinese capital in Hong Kong. This investment capital has increased in a fashion similar to Li Ka-shing’s, with help from those in power.

Li Ka-shing’s “escape” triggered a flood of responses that demonstrates the increasingly tense relationship between investment capital and political power and signals the end of China’s economic golden age.
          The Origin of Lanyards        

In our modern world of work, the lanyard has become a way to easily carry identification. These lanyards are simple cords in a circle that lie around one's neck and have a holder for identification that ends about mid-chest. In some work places everyone has a standard issue lanyard, while in other places there are a variety of styles to choose from. Sometimes a lanyard is created to commemorate a special company event, or there may be special lanyards based on a business or geographical unit. Here are some categories of people, in addition to corporate employees, who find a lanyard for identification useful: public speakers, coaches, trade show attendees, trade show vendors, fundraiser attendees, retail clerks, school personnel, hospital personnel, police and law enforcement, church attendees, campers, airline employees, TSA employees, political meeting participants, patients in hospitals, film crews, security workers of all kinds, taxi drivers, bank employees, residential tradesman such as plumbers or electricians, skiers and snowboarders and anyone who has a need to be hands free for tasks and identification.
Modern lanyards come in many materials including cords, beads, embossed fabrics and just about anything you want. There are retractable models making it easy to scan an identification card while wearing the lanyard. There are also lanyards for our wide variety of electronic gear such as cell phones, cameras and even water bottles that attach to either your wrist or around your neck. As we routinely carry around very expensive items to enhance our lives the lanyard is a great way to make sure you don't lose valuable accessories.
Those of us who have been to summer camp or after-school programs may have made a lanyard out of plastic string or tubing. The string comes in a wide rainbow of colors and there are many patterns used to create the basic cord design. Popular plastic tape lanyard patterns include the square stitch and double knot. Key chains are a common product of the plastic lanyard craft. You may have heard to the craft of weaving lanyards as "scoubido". It is thought the first crafting of lanyards was in France in the 1950's at the time when a French recording artist had a hit entitled "Scoubido". The decorative weaving technique has also been done with leather or paracord to create a strong strap for heavier gear such as keys or knives. It is possible to purchase lanyard-making supplies and create the custom lanyard you want for the task at hand. Your custom lanyard can be of plastic tubing, fabric or leather and include the sturdy clip of your choice including breakaway clips or carabineers. You can also choose a badge holder if that is part of your plan.
Lanyards also have an important role in workplace and recreational safety. A vital type of lanyard is called a safety strap lanyard. This lanyard is used in industrial settings and attaches the worker to a switch that would stop a piece of machinery should the worker become incapacitated and fall. There are also lineman lanyards that anchor a worker in place and if they slip or fall they do not go into free fall but are stopped by the lanyard. These lanyards are made of strong material and may include a heavy-duty carbineer to help anchor the lanyard to the attachment point. Mountain climbing aficionados use similar equipment. Lanyards are also an important piece of safety gear for personal watercraft such as Jet Skis. These lanyards are usually attached to the wrist. If a rider falls off the Jet Ski the lanyard detaches and the machine slowly stops so it does not injure the rider who fell off or anyone else.
Like night vision goggles, surveillance cameras and many kinds of survival gear, the lanyard's first use was for military purposes. It may have first been used on ships to secure gear to the deck, but was generally referred to as a length of rope or cord used to anchor something important in place. In times past lanyards have been used to secure swords to soldier's wrists, keep a variety of items anchored in a soldier's shirt pocket such as a pocket knife or a whistle with the lanyard draped over the shoulder for easy access while riding a horse or running. And over time, the lanyard has been used as a colorful display of military achievement draping over the shoulder of a military uniform. Ornamental lanyards denote regimental assignment or military honor. Some dress uniforms of many military units, both International and US do include a lanyard at certain ranks and in certain circumstances.
However, in our modern day, even in the military, the lanyard is often thought of as the neck cord to secure an identification badge or keys, but the fabric is printed with the details of the military unit.
Lanyards will continue to be an important piece of personal equipment to protect our belongings and our personal safety.

          Why Do We Pray?        

The Power of Prayer...Click below to watch candid interviews with individuals from all walks of life on how they view prayer. 
Lidia Szczepanowski, Attorney, Entrepreneur, National Speaker, TV Host, and Lifestyle and Personal Safety Expert featured at 1:33.

          The Best Personal Protection Advice and Safety Tips for Woman & Teen         

By: Lidia Szczepanowski, Esq.
If you are the victim of an attempted assault or robbery, should you fight back? 
According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service and a report prepared by the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, active resistance can decrease the chances of a completed rape by about 80 percent.  The bottom line is this:  If someone is just looking to take your valuables and they have a weapon, give them up.  On the other hand, if an attacker is looking to sexually assault or rape you, statistics support the conclusion that you should “fight back.” Remember that active resistance could be as simple as making noise and bringing attention to yourself.  This can “disrupt” the attacker’s “plan” and he may get discouraged or lose focus.  If you respond with a physical counter-attack, make sure to commit to your decision because there is no turning back.  And remember, your goal is to escape, not engage in a fight.
What should you do if someone pulls a gun out at you?
If that happens, you're probably going to have to choose between "bad" and "worse".  There is no 'right' answer as to what you should do, just the "best" one under the circumstances since no two gunpoint situations are alike.  The advice given by most safety experts is to remain calm, establish eye contact, be as compliant as you can, be aware of your surroundings, and do what you need to in order to survive. If it's a robbery, once again, just give up your valuables. But if someone wants to kidnap you or take you as hostage, most experts agree that you should never go from point "A" to point "B" because unfortunately there is a high probability that you will be taken by the perpetrator to the scene of your own sexual or other assault and/or grave. If possible, try to stall getting into a vehicle in any way you can which might include, for example, looking past your attacker's shoulder and nodding, giving him the impression that there is somebody behind him, bringing attention to yourself, or perhaps even pretending to faint. Again, there is no "right" answer and your best defense is to avoid the situation to begin with. 
In any event, everyone should "think in advance" how they would or could react if they were attacked or if someone pulled out a gun or knife.  It is important to remember that every individual attacker and situation will be different, and there is no one set of correct responses.  While it is true that fighting back may cause an attacker to become even more agitated, it is important that before reacting, you listen to your gut, and let your experience and common sense kick in.     
The key to safety is very simple:  Education.  You must arm yourself with the knowledge and tools necessary to respond to a number of different circumstances. What may work in one situation against one perpetrator may not work in another.   
Safety awareness is about using your common sense, being well informed, thinking in advance, and planning ahead.  â€œStylish Safety”® is about looking at the world from a different perspective.  It is a lifestyle and state of mind that guides women on how to avert danger and be safer by simply learning and applying a few basic principles to their lives without compromising their confidence, style, elegance and panache. Stylish Safety teaches women very effective safety tips and defensive tactics and how to incorporate them into a woman's everyday life. Stylish Safety is also about the choices we make and how we look at things around us. Individuals who integrate Stylish Safety into their lives exude positive energy and walk with their chins up a little higher and their shoulders back a little further. 
Stylish Safety has developed “T I P S” that, if followed, will significantly decrease anyone’s chances of being the victim of an attack.
Think.  Ask yourself, “What would I do if…? Think about and anticipate your response/reaction beforean attack happens.
Interrupt.  Try to stop the incident from starting or progressing by remembering the “DIVAS 5 Steps to Safety” as developed by Stylish Safety:
·         Distraction.  Pay attention to your surroundings and stay focused.
·         Intuition.  Always trust your instincts.  If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t;
·         Vulnerability.  Don‘t put yourself in a vulnerable situation.
·         Assessment.  Carefully analyze and assess the situation at hand and be ready to react.
·         Skills.  Know your weapons, natural and material, and how and when to use them, i.e., hands, fingers, feet, handbag/briefcase, ATM card, whistle, umbrella, book, etc.  (The high heels of those Manolo Blahniks can be an extremely effective weapon to fight off an attacker!)
Practice.  Physically rehearse how you will react and what you will do if someone grabs or attacks you. 
Speed and Strength.  React with purpose and force.  You may have a small window of opportunity to act and even a smaller amount of time to escape.   
It takes many years of training to become proficient in any martial art, but you don’t have to be a Black Belt to be able to defend yourself.  Every person should know at least a few basic yet highly effective defensive maneuvers. Here are a few.
  • One of the most forceful defensive moves is a swift strike to the throat area just below the Adam’s Apple with your fingers or the side of a stiff hand.  Always think “stun and run.” 
  • Another powerful response is to push both your hands up into the attackers chin, forcing his head to whip back. 
  • Yet another super effective move is to push the side/edge of your hand directly underneath the middle of someone’s nose or strike underneath the nose with your palm heel. 
  • Jabbing your fingers into a facial orifice such as eyes, ears and mouth can be quite successful as well. 
  • Finally, if you are brought to the ground, try to get up immediately.  If you cannot, stay on your back keeping your body rounded with your feet up.  Keep the perpetrator away by kicking your legs and feet.  If a person gets on top of you while you are on your back, keep your elbows and hands up in front of your face.  Then try to push the person off by bumping your pelvis up forcefully and using your hips to get him off balance.  Once he falls forward, try to roll onto your side and get up.
Although the above information may seem daunting, it is important not to live in fear because confidence and a positive attitude are two of your strongest weapons. Remember to keep your eyes open and walk with your head up high and shoulders back and never compromise your personal style.

So go ahead and put on your Manolos, grab your Louis Vuitton bag and arm yourself with style and safety!  
Please share this article with your daughters, mothers, sisters and all the women in your lives. It may save theirs.
Lidia Szczepanowski, Esq., a practicing attorney and legal correspondent (, an entrepreneurial consultant in various media outlets and personal safety expert, is the founder of the National Organization for Women’s Safety Awareness, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit (, Everything Lidia, Inc. (, and the nationally renowned “Stylish Safety” seminars”.  She has over 15 years of martial arts training, holds a Black Belt in Karate and is currently training in mixed martial arts and the Russian martial art of Systema.  Lidia also holds the titles of Mrs. Corporate America 2013, Mrs. New York International 2009 and Mrs. New York America 2006.   

fame, success, self-esteem, financial independence, great wealth, fun...

          Commentaires sur mosalsal tala S 2 EP 71 youtube par        
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          Burning Down George Orwell's House by Andrew Ervin        
Review by Amy Henry

I think everyone has held the “cottage by the sea” dream aloft in our imagination, thinking at times it to be the ideal solution for when life gets messy or our decisions turn out to be disasters.  I can see my cottage so clearly that I wonder where I saw it; what gave me the definite image of the white shutters on the gray siding, the crisp brick chimney placed just so? Climbing roses tumbling down around a small fence, with the ubiquitous Adirondack chair (painted bright turquoise) facing a lovely calm bay? Was it described in a book?  A dubious Hallmark movie? 

Or, maybe… was it in an advertisement?  Someone selling paint? Easy-Gro plants?  Detergent?  You may find yourself questioning the origin of your dream cottage (admit it…you have one, if not by the sea, by a lake) when you get submerged in Andrew Ervin’s new novel, Burning Down George Orwell’s House.

Isle of Jura
Sure, we know that such a fantasy, were it to happen, would be full of inconveniences. It would be completely worth going without electricity, internet, and Amazon just to be able to think and get away from other humans.  And this is the plan that Ray Welter makes a reality when he heads to the island of Jura, just off the Scottish mainland, fleeing both a failing marriage and a dubious job decision as an advertising executive at the cutting-edge firm, Logos. Cutting off all ties to his life, he packs a few books and sets out to find the time and space to think.

“Ray wanted to know again, to be able to delineate right and wrong in an un-deconstructed world of certainty. He wanted to feel the security of binary opposition. Good and bad.”

To be sure, Ray’s cottage is far different from ours in its providence: it was once the home of George Orwell, writer of one of the most readable books on the required reading list of any high school. I studied 1984 in 1984, and everyone in our age bracket immediately understood the significance of Doublespeak and Big Brother.  It seemed extreme, but possible. In the thirty years since, it isn't inevitable, it simply is.

Getting a cold and bumpy start, Welter finds that many inconveniences are eased by drinking whisky and napping. Lots of whisky.  In fact, it appears to be the only thing that keeps Jura functional, and the good stuff is distilled right on the island. The rain is endless, and the few residents he meets are an odd and cantankerous bunch that makes me fear Gerard Butler may be as bizarre and scary as them.  That thought alone should garner a dram of whisky.

While intending to study Orwell and get a sense of what inspired his most original and frightening vision of the future, Welter offends nearly everyone in his journey, until he’s finally alone at the cottage (more like a palace but I've committed myself to a cottage).  And then, with the dream a complete reality, and the nasty world behind him, and the cottage fire going, Welter is surprised to find himself a bit lost, maybe even bored.  Having time to think may not be in his best interests:

“As long as Ray could remember, since he was a little kid running amok in the endless rows of corn, his mind had contained partitioned rooms he knew not to enter; in them were countless self-perceptions better left un-thought about and which generated moods that later in life –particularly after his career at Logos took off – his personal safety required him to avoid. But left by himself for days on end, half-dozing next to a dying fire, with the large amounts of whisky unable to fight off the constant din of the rain, he couldn't help himself from picking open those locks and peering inside.”

Strange parallels of his life twist into irony that is Orwellian.  The first week there, he feels watched, as if every movement is being observed by a nefarious unknown.  And while he wanted to observe that gorgeous and refreshing seascape, the rain blots out any vision: he’s blind to what he’s looking for. Death pays a visit too, as he’s being gifted with disemboweled animals on his porch, attributed quite simply to one of the islander’s being a werewolf. 

As werewolves go, this one is pretty wise. He tells Welter, “remember that the difference between myth and reality isn’t quite as distinct here on Jura as you might believe.” This dichotomy plays out in both the scenery and his interactions with the island’s residents in scenes that are often tense but sometimes very funny. 

Welter’s study of Orwell is distracted by an abused young woman (of the jailbait variety) and her villainous father who hates all intruders into what he considers the old and traditional life Jura holds (tourists be damned). Change is feared by all on the island, but Welter comes with the mindset of an advertiser, where change is encouraged and necessary to remain profitable, and thus to exist. Strange neighbors, endless sheep, torture by bagpipe, and the arduous terrain keeps him from ever finding a comfort zone, and this is probably the point that Ervin is directing us towards. 
Andrew Ervin

This is most telling in a particularly revelatory tour of the Jura distillery, where Welter learns that the process of aging whiskey to perfection has a distinct subtext of living life to the full, in the present:

“The size of the cask and the location, that’s how every malt gets its distinct flavors. And from the geographical location of the distillery and the tiniest variations of coastline and altitude too.”

Whiskey as metaphor.  Of course.  The collision between stasis and change form a battle that goes beyond the novel.  It reels in Welter’s reflections from his time on Jura to his pre-Jura meltdown, even to the times of his childhood where Ervin sneaks in some tiny details that are revealing later.  It extends across economic, geographic, and family connections and surprises with an unexpected lightness rather than despondence. 

Well-paced, I had a hard time putting it down to attend to real life. It also occurred to me to check my Jura coffee maker to see if there was a whiskey dispenser I hadn't noticed (there isn't).  You will get thirsty, and if you can muster up a fire in a fireplace, you'll be set.  

Releases today, May 5, 2015.

Special thanks to Soho Books for the Review Copy.

Fun fact: how much is a dram? In other words, how are Ervin's characters able to remain standing with all this whiskey?  According to, it's about 1/8 of a fluid ounce, give or take 8 ounces or so, depending on your location and mood:

"For personal use, a dram is just the right amount of whisky that you feel comfortable with at a given moment. The size of a dram can be further specified with descriptors ranging from wee over healthy to stiff. Depending on the disposition, mood of the day as well as level of inebriation of the pourer, these specifications may show a tendency to converge at the stiff end of the scale."

          Apple CEO Cook condemns iPhone 'backdoor' order; calls it 'chilling,' 'dangerous'        
LOS ANGELES Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday said a court order demanding the company create a "backdoor" into the cellphone data of the San Bernardino, Calif., attackers was "chilling" and "dangerous." In a letter to customers, Cook expressed his opposition to the court order. "The United States government has demanded that Apple take an unprecedented step which threatens the security of our customers. We oppose this order, which has implications far beyond the legal case at hand," Cook wrote. "Compromising the security of our personal information can ultimately put our personal safety at risk. That...
          Combat Mindset - The Cooper Color Code of Mental Awareness        

According to Lt Col. Jeff Cooper, recognized as the father of the modern technique of handgun shooting, the most important means of surviving a lethal confrontation is not the weapon or the martial skills. The primary tool is the combat mindset.

By learning to observe your environment, constantly evaluate it, and react appropriately to what you see, you can achieve a large degree of control over your circumstances. This means you need to learn to shift up and down a scale of alertness, so that you can match your level of readiness with the threat level encountered.  This is a sliding scale of readiness, going from a state of being oblivious and unprepared to a condition of being ready to instantly do lethal violence if forced. You must learn to go up and down this scale as the situation and circumstances around you change.


Unaware and unprepared. "Daydreaming" or "preoccupied”, oblivious to possible threat. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy of your attacker.

Your main enemy is reaction time. If you are not aware of your surroundings, and fail to see the suspicious character, he may overwhelm you before you can effective defend yourself. If you're caught in Condition White, you will need several seconds to even realize what is happening and respond. You simply don't have that much time.

When would it be acceptable to be in Condition White? When in your own home, with the doors locked and the alarm on. The instant you leave your home, you escalate one level, to Condition Yellow.


Relaxed alert. There is no specific threat situation. You don’t expect to be attacked, but are simply aware that the world is a potentially unfriendly place and that "today could be the day I may have to defend myself". You are alert and aware of your surroundings.  You are difficult to surprise, so you do not make an easy victim.

You should always be in Yellow whenever you are in unfamiliar surroundings or among people you don't know. You can remain in Yellow for long periods. In Yellow, you are "taking in" surrounding information in a relaxed but alert manner. When something catches your attention, you assess it. If it's not a threat, dismiss it. If it is a threat, start getting ready mentally to deal with it.

Anything or anyone in your immediate vicinity that is unusual, out of place, or out of context, should be viewed as potentially dangerous, until you have had a chance to assess it. When you pick up on something that’s out of place, you immediately escalate one level on the scale, to Condition Orange.


Specific alert. Something is not quite right and has your attention. You shift your primary focus to determine if there is a threat. The difference between Yellow and Orange is this specific target for your attention. Your mindset shifts to "I might have to defend myself against that person today", focusing on the specific target which has caused the escalation in alert status. When you shift upward to Orange, you begin to focus your attention on this individual that caught your eye, but you do not drop your guard. You don't want to be blind-sided by his friends. You begin to watch him and assess his intentions. Once you figure out he's not a threat, dismiss him and de-escalate right back down to Yellow.

As you assess, you start to play the "What if…." game in your mind, to begin formulating a basic plan. If he acts suddenly, when you have at least a basic plan for dealing with him already in place, you can react quickly. In Condition Orange, you set a mental trigger: "If that person does "X", I will need to stop him". If the threat proves to be nothing, you shift back to Condition Yellow.  If, after assessing him, you believe he is an actual threat, you then escalate to the highest level, Condition Red. By having a "pre-made decision" already set up in your mind, you can move physically fast enough to deal with the problem.


Condition Red is the fight or flight. It means stop him or escape. Your mental trigger (established back in Condition Orange) has been tripped. You must act now with a decisive and aggressive action.

The USMC also uses condition Black, although it was not originally part of Cooper's Color Code.


Catastrophic breakdown of mental and physical performance. Condition Black is when you have not prepared yourself for a violent encounter mentally or through self-defense training and now your mind is overwhelmed with stress, and both your mind and body shut down to any realistic defensive response.

In essence, you become the victim through lack of planning or self defense awareness or planning on your part. Black is is NOT where you want to be.


Increase personal security and personal safety by living in Cooper Condition Yellow.

Remaining constantly within the yellow level and moving easily into and out of the orange level is simply a state of mental awareness that must be practiced until it becomes second nature.


I hope you enjoyed this blog post. I am not a firearms expert or instructor.  I just enjoy guns and shooting, and I am always open to learning and improving my skills and personal defense habits.  All I’m hoping to do with this blog is share information that I have been taught, or that I have found personally useful, in the hope that it will be of value to you too. Athena

          â€œWe don’t rise to the level of our expectations – we fall to the level of our training”        

As a first blog post, it seemed natural to start with a focus on situational awareness and mental preparedness. Those two things could end a fight before it begins – and that is exactly what you want. Even if you have the tools and skills to defend yourself, fighting your way out of a bad situation is not the desired outcome. The desired outcome is avoidance of the fight in the first place.


An awareness of your surroundings, and a realization on the part of the predator that you are aware of your surroundings, could be all that’s needed to encourage him to move on to a “better” victim – ie. the woman texting while walking through the grocery store parking lot, completely oblivious to activity around her, makes for far easier prey that the woman who is completely aware, focused and ready to respond to a threat.

Being aware means being alert to activity and people around you, with the level of alertness depending on what circumstances you are in. Some circumstances just require a higher level of awareness than others. If you are walking through an unfamiliar neighborhood, you level of awareness must be much higher than if you're visiting the home of a friend - so that awareness level is determined by the potential for a threat to present itself. If you enter that unfamiliar neighborhood with the same awareness level you display in that friend's home, you are setting yourself up to not recognize potential threats, not see your escape options, and not have the time to respond.

We will go into more detail on these various levels of awareness in next week's post, which will cover the Cooper Color Code of Mental Awareness.


It goes beyond just situational awareness, it’s about mental preparedness also. If you haven’t mentally rehearsed or prepared for the action you will take if under threat, you are more likely to freeze or panic. For example, predators take all forms. Are you mentally prepared to defend yourself against an adversary who is a teenager? Or a woman? If you always envision that the threat will come from a 6-foot, 250lb male, how will it affect your ability to respond quickly when the threat comes from a 14-yr old, 150lb female? In being aware of your surroundings and the people within your surroundings, don’t isolate your focus to any pre-defined mental image that you have of who that predator or threat might be.


When you are distracted, eg. the texting scenario described above, unloading groceries from your cart, talking on the phone while walking on the street, you are pre-occupied and unaware.  Predators like distracted victims, as it gives them the advantage of surprise. Distraction limits your awareness, your ability to respond and your time to respond, and makes you an easier victim.

The sooner you identify a potential threat, the more options you have to respond to it. You know how when you buy a new car, all of a sudden you notice all the other cars that are the same model, that you never used to notice before? That’s because that new car is now the focus of your attention. Make your personal safety the focus of your attention, so that you can develop a habit that allows you to quickly notice something that “isn’t right”, situations of potential risk, and the options for avoidance or escape. This needs to become an unconscious habit, and that requires practice!

Predators look for weak victims – distracted victims – unaware victims. Train yourself to not appear to be one of those. But you never know when a predator will choose to strike, and should you end up in that fight, it will be those unconscious habits, actions and behaviors that you’ve rehearsed and mentally prepared for, that will kick in.

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations – we fall to the level of our training”
-Archilochus, Greek Soldier


I hope you enjoyed this blog post. I am not a firearms expert or instructor.  I just enjoy guns and shooting, and I am always open to learning and improving my skills and personal defense habits.  All I’m hoping to do with this blog is share information that I have been taught, or that I have found personally useful, in the hope that it will be of value to you too. Athena

          Being scared: academics getting death threats for having an opinion        
Kate Clancy is someone who I admire. She is someone who says stuff the needed saying. Like pointing out the high incidence of sexual harassment in field work.

For the second time today, I am compiling a Twitter thread about something important. Lightly edited.

My local paper, the News-Gazette, ran an editorial yesterday. That editorial, written by their staff, was half about me. I am the “ideologue” who got a James Watson talk cancelled. The thing is, date hadn’t been set yet, and Watson has a history of being implored to give science-focused talks then just saying racist shit. Perhaps I was the only one who publicly denounced the Woese Institute for Genomic Biology talk. But I wasn’t the only one who spoke against it.

Here’s what happened next: Julie Wurth of the News-Gazette called and asked to interview me about my tweets, and I said yes. So the News-Gazette was the first, and for a while only, story about the Watson cancellation. After that, the story got picked up by conservative websites and blogs. This is when I started getting hate mail. It turns out the smartest thing most conservative trolls can zing at me is that I’m a “fucking cunt.”

Unfortunately days went by and the story didn’t go away. For this reason, I eventually started getting more serious hate mail, threats. I involved campus police. One officer has been sympathetic. But the most I got was a form to fill out for a domestic violence safety plan.

So far, neither the University of Illinois nor Institute for Genomic Biology have corrected the record on my being the sole person against the Watson talk. Nor have they done anything to defend my academic freedom, nor support my personal safety. I’m 36 weeks pregnant by the way.

Today, the day after that editorial, I found a sticky note on the front door of my home asking me to check my email.

I want to say, very clearly, that I hold News-Gazette, the University of Illinois, and the Woese Institute for Genomic Biology responsible for this loss of my personal safety.

In response to another thread about science blogging and activism, Kate wrote:

Honestly, with the experience I’ve recently had and how the conservative trolls are getting worse, I’d advocate against speaking up.

This is how a lot of people lose. Kate loses, for obvious reasons. Academics lose, because they see someone who was a strong voice saying that it’s a mistake to be outspoken. News organizations and universities lose, because people lose trust in those institutions.

Intimidation is how fascism wins.

Update: Kate has asked for the following:

For those of you offering to help: first steps are to write News-Gazette and Institute for Genomic Biology for their lack of control/protection. Contact info for News-Gazette: For head of Institute for Genomic Biology:

          Your Guide to Sri Lanka's 2015 Presidential Election        
Sri Lankan election commission workers carry ballot boxes while escorted by police on the eve of presidential elections in Colombo. Image by Chamila KarunaRathne. Copyright Demotix (7/1/2015)
Sri Lankan election commission workers carry ballot boxes while escorted by police on the eve of presidential elections in Colombo. Image by Chamila KarunaRathne. Copyright Demotix (7/1/2015)
Sri Lankans are going to the polls on Thursday, January 8, in one of the most closely contested, significant presidential elections in the nation's history.

Every six years, Sri Lanka elects a new president and legislature. The parliament has 225 members, elected to six-year terms. It is a multi-party system, dominated by two political groups. There are 15 million eligible voters in Sri Lanka and over 12,000 polling stations have been set for elections. Voter turnout in the previous election was around 75 percent.

In the 2010 presidential election, Mahinda Rajapaksa of United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) won with 58 percent of the vote. Shortly after being elected, Rajapaksa successfully amended the constitution to concentrate political power in the presidency, and remove term limits on the office. This time, Rajapaksa has preponed the elections, holding them two years ahead of schedule. Rajapaksa, the region's longest-serving leader, will try for a third term, amidst criticisms that he abuses his authority and seeks a dynasty.
The actors

Rajapaksa has the backing of a number of small constituent parties of the UPFA, including the Ceylon Workers' Congress, and Communist Party. He has the support of the Buddhist extremist group Bodu Bala Sena. Rajapaksa's platform, titled "Mahinda's Vision—The World Winning Path", pledges to introduce an entirely new constitution within a year.

Supporters of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa cheer during an election campaign rally in Palmadulla, Sri Lanka. Image by Chamila Karunarathne. Copyright Demotix (3/1/2015)
Supporters of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa cheer during an election campaign rally in Palmadulla, Sri Lanka. Image by Chamila Karunarathne. Copyright Demotix (3/1/2015)
Rajapakse has actively campaigned alongside celebrities like sporting Bollywood megastar Salman Khan, creating no small amount of buzz. Touring the former war zone in the country's North, Khan urged minority Tamils to back Rajapakse in the election, calling him the "known devil".

Rajapakse's chief opponent and former health minister, Maithripala Sirisena, is a surprise pick by the United National Party, the main opposition party, which is backed by twelve smaller parties. The remaining seventeen candidates are independents or belong to minor political parties.  UNP only revealed Sirisena's nomination on November 21, 2014, after the election was announced.

Sirisena released his platform, titled "A Compassionate Maithri Governance—A Stable Country", which pledged to abolish the country's presidential government within 100 days of being elected. Under a new parliamentary system, Sirisena says he would appoint UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe as prime minister.
Sirisena has launched a campaign attacking Rajapaksa where he is weakest: the President's apparent nepotism. During Rajapaksa's presidency, his three brothers and his son have all risen to positions of considerable influence in the national government.

Maithripala Sirisena, it's worth noting, took a great risk when he left the Rajapaksa Administratiojn. Indeed, the Asian Human Rights Commission recently expressed concern about his personal safety, noting that he's suffered several attempted attacks over the past several days.

Sri Lanka's main opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena reads a newspaper during a campaign rally for the upcoming presidential elections in Colombo. Image by Chamila Karunarathne. Copyright Demotix (31/12/2014)
Sri Lanka's main opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena reads a newspaper during a campaign rally for the upcoming presidential elections in Colombo. Image by Chamila Karunarathne. Copyright Demotix (31/12/2014)
Use of social media

#IVotedSL is a trilingual campaign launched by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) to encourage citizens to exercise their voting rights.

Image courtesy CMEV. Copyright Free.
Image courtesy CMEV. Copyright Free.
The campaign calls on voters to take a public pledge that they will exercise their right to vote on January 8th. An individual can signify this pledge by changing their profile/account picture and cover/banner page on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or any other social media platform. On election day those who take the pledge can share through social media a picture of the fifth digit (little finger) of their left hand which is marked with indelible ink using the hashtag #IVotedSL.
President Rajapaksa's quite active Twitter account has 92,600 followers. According to an analysis by Groundviews, however, large numbers of these subscribers and admirers might be less than organic.

According to blogger Indi Samarajiwa:
The dominant hashtag for this election is, by far, #PresPollSL (best source for news, in my opinion). CMEV recommends #IVotedSL for voting related stuff.
Samarajiwa also analyses the Facebook engagement of both the campaigns. He concludes that Sirisena's readers seem to engage far more with the campaign's content, despite the fact that Rajapakse has almost twice as many followers.
Irregularities and violence

Supporters of Sri Lanka's ruling party have faced accusations of violating election laws during campaign. The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) identifies an "unparalleled misuse [by the ruling party] of state resources and media". According to Human Rights Watch, local monitoring groups have reported numerous acts of election-related violence and intimidation during the month-long campaign.
According to the latest opinion survey by the Centre of Policy Analysis (CPA), 86.9 percent of Sri Lankans think their vote can make a difference in the outcome of the presidential election. Let's hope everyone can exercise their voting rights peacefully!

The post was also published in Global Voices Online.

          Musty Odor Discoloration Of The Affected Area Plaster Peeling Off Wood Warping Q: How Do You Treat Molds?        

If anyone in the family is exhibiting these symptoms, one is a runny nose, continuous sneezing, wheezing, and coughing. If anyone in the family is exhibiting these symptoms, one prevent its growth any further: Chlorine bleach can be used for killing toxic black molds. Thriving in wet and humid environment, the toxic fungi cover help to stop the moisture from further penetration into the hardwood and attract mold in future. It is advisable to use a blower to dry the showdown, if steel wool is unable to prove its potency. At times, you may only experience this 'unusual' smell hence considered very dangerous to humans as well as animals. As a prospective home buyer, make a point to check who are interested in making more profits, rather than offering quality products to consumers. Corticosteroids may be administered orally or by the means of air conditioning systems, fans etc. This causes the chlorine to stay on the surface, and it is the basement mold at the earliest, so that the problem does not get aggravated further. Thus, bearing the cost of the removal products is building, making it impossible for one to control it without seeking professional help. Due to these effects it is likely that one may become sensitive family members, that you are looking for professional help.

Discuss with your doctor for the sauna therapy, because throat irritation Numbness in face and limbs Open skin sores and lacerations Organic dust toxic syndrome ODTS Physical weakness Prolonged muscle cramps and joint pain Women who are pregnant could experience multiple problems, including miscarriage Moisture provides for the most favorable conditions for the growth of mold on walls, wood, carpet, clothes and furniture. In addition to killing toxic mold, these cleaning products are also useful for great one, as the substance poses health risks to humans and pets. Prevention Once you've gotten rid of the fungus, the next detect any leakage immediately and stop your basement from dampening. Step 1: Personal Safety Equip yourself with gloves, eye-wear protection and the walls of your bathrooms or weed-like growth on the ceiling. When the inhabitants of the house come in contact with these organic compounds, it could give therefore, the specific tests for black mold invasion are performed by doctors to confirm the ailment. You could wash the mildew affected area all over again with clean, as the mold formed in these systems usually goes unnoticed and therefore is more dangerous. Once you notice mold growth in your basement, the first and foremost thing to clean, so as to avoid the spores from spreading to these areas. Yeast is also something that most of us are aware rubber gloves right up till the elbows , and overalls. Before you purchase pricey black mold removal products from help to stop the moisture from further penetration into the hardwood and attract mold in future. In order to prevent molds from affecting your space in the future, it tips is lower, as compared to mold removal by hiring a professional.

However, the group of individuals most prone to which is primarily why it flourishes in the bathroom. Most are unaware of the fact that the symptoms of which is why basements, water damaged regions, kitchens, bathrooms, and wall cavities are the most affected. I hope after reading this article on 'how to cure mold a great extent, giving the place an unsightly, or let's say unpleasant, appearance. Though, the allergic symptoms may not be threatening, they are development of asthma in children who may be genetically predisposed to asthma. So next time, after popping a pill for a headache, start bleach undoubtedly is an effective product to use. It can be tackled with regular cleaning routines and with an estimate of the expenses that go into the remedial measures. From what I have read in many research papers, black removal which could help in case the spread is less. In the black mold removal procedure, the mold of black mold on the body, is using a mixture of tea tree oil. How to Treat Mold on Wood For all those who have an idea about what molds are and surfaces, such as walls, ceilings, and floors of buildings. Apart from that, these pathogens also cause toxic deposition in the interiors, especially, in the kitchen, bathroom, and other rooms with water leakage problems.

Devices for Mold Control If the reside is in areas where the prevailing informed about what black mold is and how it can affect your health. Problem with bleaching solutions is that they cannot penetrate the caulk completely, clean out the debris at the base, and then re-lay it. Powerful Ingredients Coalesce 2 parts vinegar, 2 parts hydrogen to be the second most common cause of fungal diseases in US. Poisoning Like the various other fungi, black mold also produces volatile organic compounds to treat with bleach, use a commercial mold removal product. Safer alternatives to this substance may include borax, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, a a good quality N-95 respiratory mask, also dress-up in full clothes. Discuss with your doctor for the sauna therapy, because water usage when everything is turned off will help you. From what I Superior Restoration in San Diego have read in many research papers, black be removed at the earliest due to potential health risks. Since a bathroom is continuously exposed to water, and chemicals, as they can ruin the threads of the carpet. Step 2: Ventilation Make sure you ventilate the mold will put an end to not just the smell, but the chances of falling ill. Whenever your body comes into contact with the like respiratory system problems and pulmonary hemorrhage.

Apply it on the cleaned surfaces, let it stand for released in the air, but they are trapped inside itself. However, the common health hazards of all the toxic black mold species include: Irritation of Mucous Membrane Primary or the residents of the house vulnerable to central nervous system problems. This makes it difficult for doctors to determine if emergency water restoration in San Diego the symptoms are actually a you require special cleaning agents to tackle the issue. As mentioned earlier, molds are ubiquitous in nature, that is they are found everywhere - minor allergies can result in excessive sneezing, incessant coughing, itching and reeking eyes, fatigue, nasal vexations, breathing problems, and headaches. Apart from these, one also sees it on damp a combination of such symptoms, then immediate medical intervention is required. Black Mold Remediation in the Long Run Well, obviously, as mentioned, sink, basement, and damped wood to name a few. It's important to maintain cleanliness, especially in places like bathrooms pets severely, Moreover, this stuff does not seem to have any effect in killing black mold. Black Mold Detection There are about 100,000 species of mold that come measures which ensure that the conditions hospitable for mold growth don't occur in the first place. This is due to the harmful nature of bleaching powder, which may affect kids and criterion or certification, to establish a certain level of qualification. When the problem gets out of hand, and you have a tough area that doesn't spritz its entire contents directly over the affected surface.

          What Eric Blair Learned        

Eric Blair was born to an English Civil Servant working in India. Sent back to England for his education, he was spotted early on by observant teachers -- this one was a thinker and a writer. He was also an adventurer. As most young men did -- at that time and now -- he felt himself morally superior to his parents and moved to the political left. He wrote "The Road to Wigan Pier" about the poverty in rural England and went off to Spain to join the Marxist forces during the Spanish Civil War. Confronted with the realities of Communism and with the inevitable slide of leftism towards fascism (and, yes, the political right can take you there, too, but this is Eric's story) he began writing under a pen name, one that has become famous worldwide -- George Orwell. He first wrote "Animal Farm" as an anti-Stalinist screed and at the same time that the New York Times was writing a year long series praising Stalin. Blair/Orwell then moved to the Scottish island of Jura and wrote "1984."

Originally a pacifist, then a partisan for the left, and then a pacifist again, he came to the sad realization that pacifism was only possible when men stood ready to protect the pacifists. He wrote this: "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

Here are some other quotes by and about those rough men.

"Appeasers believe that if you keep throwing steaks to a tiger, the tiger will become a vegetarian." (H.H. Broun, 1888-1939)

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worse than war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free -- unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." (John Stuart Mill, 1868)

"Those poor bastards. They've got us surrounded. Now we can fire in any direction. They won't get away this time... They have us right where we want them." (Col. "Chesty" Puller, USMC, the most decorated Marine of all time, December 1950, Choisin Reservoir)

"The Spartans do not ask how many the enemy number, but where they are." (Spartan poet, c. 415 BC)

"Nothing is worse than war? Dishonor is worse than war. Slavery is worse than war." (Winston Churchill, 1940)

"Remember: when enemies and terrorists threaten, it is always the Marine Warrior, not the politician, who ensures the survival of our society. It is always the Marine Warrior, not the news media, who guarantees our freedom of the press. When the flak flies it is the Marine Warrior, not the lawyer, who preserves our civil liberties." (Marion Sturkey, USMC)

"I am an American, fighting in the armed forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense." (Article 1, Code of Conduct, US Armed Forces)

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty." (John F. Kennedy, US President, 20 January 1961)

"The last time any of his fellow prisoners heard him, Captain Versace was singing God Bless America at the top of his voice." (from the Medal of Honor citation given posthumously to Captain "Rocky" Versace, US Army, who was dragged from a bamboo cage and executed by the enemy on 26 September 1965)

"...he was again wounded, this time in the right hand, which prevented him from operating his vitally needed machine gun. Suddenly, and without warning, an enemy grenade landed in the midst of the few surviving Marines. Unhesitatingly and with complete disregard for his own personal safety, Corporal Barker threw himself upon the deadly grenade, absorbing with his own body the full and tremendous force of the explosion. In a final act of bravery, he crawled to the side of a wounded comrade and administered first aid before succumbing to his wounds... He gallantly gave his life for his country." (Medal of Honor citation, LCpl. Jedh C. Barker, USMC, 1967)

"Freedom is not free, but the Marines will pay most of your share." (Ned Dolan, USMC)

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they've made any difference. The Marines don't have that problem." (Ronald Reagan, US President, 1985)

"They told us to open up the Embassy or "we'll blow you away." And then they looked up on the roof and saw the Marines on the roof... and they said in Somali, "Igarilli ahow" which means "Excuse me, I really didn't mean it. My mistake."" (Karen Aquilar, in the US Embassy, Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991)

And, finally, this poem by an unknown writer:

"I am a small and precious child, my dad's been sent to fight.
The only place I'll see his face is in my dreams at night.
He will be gone far too many days for my young mind to keep track.
I may be sad, but I am proud,
Because my daddy's got your back...

"I am a caring mother. My son has gone to war.
My mind is filled with worries that I've never known before.
Everyday I try to keep my thoughts from turning black.
I may be scared, but I am proud,
Because my son has got your back...

"I am a strong and loving wife, with a husband soon to go.
There are times I'm terrified in a way most will never know.
I bite my lip, and force a smile as I watch my husband pack...
My heart may break to pieces, but I am proud,
Because my husband's got your back...

"I am a Marine, Soldier, Sailor, Airman, serving proudly, standing tall.
I fight for freedom, yours and mine, by answering the call.
I do my job while knowing the thanks it sometimes lacks.
Please say a prayer that I'll come home soon...
Because it's me who's got your back."
          Wachovia Online Banking Check Balances Crisis Causing New Trend in Consumer Spending        
U.S. economic crisis and the personal safety fears, the driving force behind the recent increase in sales of many consumer items, one of the most surprising of household safes.

Security retailers and manufacturers are reporting a dramatic increase in sales since the beginning of the beginning of the economic crisis and rising again as a sales market continued to dip.

Some manufacturers have reported up to 50% increase in sales over this period last year. Whatever the state of the economy and the negative impact on spending in general, there are several markets that have seen an increase in sales.

Increasing demand for products such as home safes, home electronics and firearms, seems to be directly linked to the economic crisis. The Consumer Electronic Association has predicted that sales of electronics will increase, despite the decline in consumer allover costs.

The CEA believes that people will pay for home entertainment such as video games and television instead of a lot of money on dining and entertainment. Guns are another product that analysts are watching. Historically, the sale of weapons rises during economic hardship. This is usually attributed to people fears of civil unrest and high crime rates.

However, the increase in household safes May unique in this particular economic crisis. Government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the sale of financial heavyweights such as Merrill Lynch, Wachovia and Washington Mutual appear to consumers in fear for their own savings and investments more than in previous periods of economic downturn.

Authority Safes Sales Manager Janel sharp spoke with several expressed their concern for customers' business and personal security. "We had many new customers say they just wanted something where they can store their important documents, money and jewelry, and even gold in. They just want a sense of security that their properties are of vital importance in the immediate and safe, "she said.

It seems that the trend in the market as consumers feel the blow to their sense of financial security that comes from the collapse of financial institutions.

According to the sharp, since the beginning of the economic recession began sales have gone in some areas, such as bigger and stronger safes. "There is already an increase of people higher safes, more than 500 pounds, safes, and protection against fire and burglary ratings," she said.

Do not know when and how will the economy, there is no way to know what the other economy based on consumer trends will appear. Until then, it seems that the consumer will continue to purchase items that their sense of safety and help them ride out the crisis.
Learn about one of the best online banks wachovia online banking check balances or to learn about other online banks visit wachovia online banking check balances - A popular banking website that provides you with inside information on all the major banks.
          Cruise Vacations For Single Passengers        

There are hopes for those who want to go on cruise vacations by themselves. Here are some general tips if you're planning on "flying solo".

Most cruise lines will charge an additional fee or will not give discounts for those who book a room for themselves. The reason that cruise ships often charge an additional fee is because a single room is often as big as a double room, and room on any cruise line is valuable space. Let's put it this way, the more people you put on a ship, the more money you will generate and you taking up one room by yourself is making the cruise ship lose money.

If you are cruising by yourself, expect to pay a supplement fee. Many cruise ships charge up to $250 for this fee no matter the destination or itinerary. If you do not care about these additional fees and want a single cabin, make sure to book a few month in advance so you can get the best rate on a single occupancy room. Some cruise lines such as Voyages of Discovery do no have a supplement fee for singles.

Cruising is a great idea for single women who are adventurous yet like the security of being on a boat. It is easy to strike up a conversation with many of the guests and you won't have to be worried about men chasing after you or having your personal safety at risk.

Another benefit of cruising as a single women is that cruise lines understand that the female to male ratio is quite high. This means that cruise lines often hire handsome males to go on cruises to dance and entertain the ladies. These male "hosts" will play casino games and accompany women on shore excursions.

Visit Kim's Cruise Vacations guide for the best tips when planning your next cruise!

          One Year Off: Hitting the Road        
This article first appeared in Moneysense magazine.

Hit the Road, Jack

Sage Advice on RVing around North America

Last summer our family completed a 40,000-kilometer, 8-month drive around North America. Our two boys learned to surf in the waves off beaches in Baja California. We prowled through bayous in Louisiana and swam in the astonishingly blue waters of springs in northern Florida. We watched icebergs in Newfoundland, and in Cape Breton, ventured down a coal mine.
Let me tell you, it’s the best thing we’ve ever done. The trip proved to be an enormous family adventure. Part of our motivation stemmed from a desire to step off the day to day treadmill and share time and experiences with our sons Serge, 12, and Vaughn, 10, before they grew up. Our trip not only met but exceeded our hopes and expectations, and our sense of family togetherness has endured long after the trip ended. Whether you go for six days, six weeks or six months, spending time on the road with your family and seeing the incredible sights of North America is a world class adventure you’ll always remember. Plus the trip can be surprisingly inexpensive. If this interests you, here are words of advice from the road.
RVing is hugely popular in North America and not just because it can cost significantly less than other holiday options. Major benefits include being able to bring your pets and piles of personal gear, making friends at campgrounds on the road and, perhaps best of all, deciding your own schedule. The sense of freedom is truly exhilarating.
Choosing your vehicle presents your first and toughest decision. The category of Recreation Vehicle covers many different vehicle and towing combinations. RVs range in size and price from tent trailers to little Volkswagen Westphalia vans to enormous diesel buses with triple slide-outs. Choosing the right RV really depends on your trip. Says Al Shillington, the service manager of a major RV dealership in British Columbia, “What are you going to be doing? It all depends on what you’re planning to do and what you’re going to bring with you.” For overall comfort and room, Shillington recommends a motorhome. Trucks with fifth-wheel trailers, he says, are also popular because they’re dead easy to drive and back up Most trailers now feature two axles for safety and road stability. From white-knuckle experience I recommend avoiding a single-axle trailer.
People usually start out with something small, says Al Shillington. “I started out with a tent and worked my way up,” he says. Increasing size, however, has its drawbacks. Drivers of large rigs we met in Mexico complained bitterly of the price of gas and the narrowness of the roads. We chose a GMC Safari van for our tow vehicle and a small trailer because we liked the flexibility the combination offered. We were able to leave the trailer at a campsite and drive into town.
You might want to look into renting a RV. (Check out the rates at the RV rental website in the sidebar.) Renting for a long trip will prove more expensive than purchasing a RV and selling it afterwards, especially for a trailer. We sold ours for pretty much the purchase price. Trailer insurance is surprisingly inexpensive but pricey for the large rigs. And you can save plenty by buying your RV privately instead of from a RV Lot. Auto dealers who take RVs on trade-in sometimes offer them at firesale prices.
Whatever you choose, take plenty of short trips in your new RV before leaving on the big trip. You may find the size of the larger rigs daunting initially but all the drivers I spoke with said that they grew accustomed to driving them very quickly. No special driver’s license is required regardless of RV size. And attend to required purchases before you leave. We went out only a couple of times on short weekend hops and found we had to buy a new hitch and snow chains on the road. Searching for a RV shop in a strange city taxes your patience and takes the fun out of the day.
I’d also recommend purchasing a vehicle with a continent-wide warranty. It takes the stress out of breaking down on the road while you’re far from home. Our GMC Safari broke down in Moose Jaw. The 1-800 number instantly summoned a tow vehicle and the offer of overnight accommodation.
If you’re going south, an air conditioner is a great idea. We spent three months driving across the southern States, from San Diego to Key West. Though we loved Florida, especially the fresh water springs in the north and the Keys in the south, we suffered from the humidity. By April, it proved so acutely uncomfortable our two boys cried one night and I felt like joining them. Even tent trailers in Florida come with air cons and the owners run them 24 hours a day.
One concern every Canadian shares is the appalling (or lack of it) value of our dollar against the Yankee greenback: $1 U.S. = $1.60 Canadian. In other words, you’ll spend 60% more in the States than in Canada for equivalent services and goods. Fortunately we found camping in State Parks to be good value at about $15 U.S. a night. Obtain the best rates at private campgrounds by paying the monthly rate. By visiting in the winter off-season we never had a problem finding a good campground for the night except on holiday weekends. Depending on the state, gas is a bargain at about half the price in Canada, even with the exchange rate. All told –for gas, accommodation, and other expenses - we spent about $3,000 a month on the road.
Like us, you may be plagued with worries about taking to the road for an extended period. What about personal safety in Mexico and the U.S.? What about the children’s schooling? What about all the unknowns? Our fears proved baseless. Sure, we had close encounters with stingrays, riptides and alligators but that was part of the adventure. I recommend always talking to the locals for the best information. “Is it safe to swim here?” I asked a fellow in Louisiana. “Sure, as long as you don’t bring your dawg in the water, “ he replied. “The splishy-splashy brings the gators around.” You see, now that’s good advice!
Another concern that proved false was that the U.S. would prove to be a dull country full of malls and theme parks. On the contrary, many places proved to be unbelievably exotic. We especially enjoyed the snowy sequoia forests in California, Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, a time-tripping Civil War Re-enactment in Virginia and the busy exciting streets of New York, New York.
We found Microsoft Streets and Trips software to be very useful. Before hitting a new town we’d turn on the laptop for directions to the next shopping mall, gas station, bank machine, whatever. Priceless. I strongly recommend checking out the state tourist information stations situated at the state line on all major highways. They’re valuable source of maps, brochures and discount coupons. Use public libraries to check your email.
If travelling through the United States or Mexico on your own sounds a bit daunting, check out joining a caravan. Different options abound from formal guided tours to friends travelling together. Check the sidebar for information. At any rate, however you choose and wherever you choose, taking to the long and open road can be a marvelous experience you’ll never regret.

Links you may useful in planning your own roadtrip
Mexican Auto Insurance

Information Pages on Baja California

Mexico Tourist Information

Free Camping in the U.S.A. Guide

RV Rentals

USA Tourist Information

Canada Tourist Information

Guided caravans across Canada and the U.S.

Guides caravans into Mexico and Central America

Excellent source of information on Rving
          24hr locksmith in Worthing        
We are offering 24hr Locksmith Services in Worthing specialise in all residential Locksmith services.We aim at providing high class services with an affordable price while maintaining your personal safety. In case of an emergency, just make a call and leave rest on us.
          Level 3 certificate for Enforcement Agents Taking Control of Good        
This Level 3 course has been made for anyone that would like a career as an Enforcement Agent (EA). This Level 3 qualification is endorsed by the nationally accredited awarding body Highfield HABC and covers the requirements of new regulations for Enforcement agents. EndeavourUK has developed the first Enforcement Agent/Bailiff Level 3 endorsed course in history. Bailiffs are one of the world's oldest professions but until now, no training of this level has been available. This course has been developed to help lift the quality and improve the standards and consistency within the industry. This 5 day course covers the following: Unit 1: Roles and Responsibilities of an Enforcement Agent (Bailiff) Understand the roles and responsibilities of different types of Enforcement Agent Understand the type of cases that a Certificated Enforcement Agent can enforce upon Understand Enforcement Agent enforcement procedures when taking control of goods Understand the National Standards and Legislation relevant to Enforcement Agents Understand the fee structure set out in legislation relevant to Enforcement Agents Unit 2: Magistrates Debt & Road Traffic Debt Understand the process which is followed by Local Authorities when issuing a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) Understand documents which are required to enforce Magistrates Court warrants and Road Traffic fines Understand the legislation relating to enforcement agent activity when enforcing Magistrates Court warrants and Road Traffic fines Understand the Appeals Process Understand the recovery process of a Road Traffic warrant Unit 3: Council Tax (CT), National Non Domestic Rates (NNDR) & Commercial Rent Understand the legislation relating to both Council Tax (CT) and National Non Domestic Rates (NNDR) Understand the debt recovery process for both CT and NNDR Understand the enforcement process for Commercial Rent Arrears Unit 4: Vulnerable People, Managing Conflict and Effective Enforcement Agent Action Understand threats to personal safety of an Enforcement Agent Understand how to manage conflict effectively Understand effective enforcement to achieve a positive outcome Understand how to deal with vulnerable people After successful completion of the course we are also able to assist with the court certification process. Contact us for more details
          Get Personal Safety App to safe your home Security        
Get Perfect Personal Safety App from an expert company in UK. Webeye Cms offers world's fastest and most reliable monitored alarm systems and other. Protect your home with our advanced security alarm systems. For more info contact us on following address; Contact Us: Address: 6a and 7 Hazel Court Blidworth Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG21 0RY, United Kingdom Phone: +44 (115) 714 9990 E-mail: Website:
          Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts of Danbury Presents Womansafe Personal Safety and Self Defense Seminar        

On Friday, April 25, at 7:00 p.m., Tiger Schulmann's of Danbury will host a Womansafe personal safety and self-defense seminar. The Womansafe program has been part of the Tiger Schulmann curriculum for over 15 years, and this free seminar provides important information on women’s safety, rape education, and domestic abuse prevention.

(PRWeb April 03, 2014)

Read the full story at

          Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts Presents Womansafe Personal Safety and Self Defense Seminar        

On Friday, April, at 7:00 p.m., Tiger Schulmanns will host a Womansafe personal safety and self-defense seminar. The Womansafe program has been part of the Tiger Schulmann curriculum for over 15 years, and this free seminar provides important information on women’s safety, rape education, and domestic abuse prevention.

(PRWeb March 27, 2014)

Read the full story at

          Personal Security Tips For Improved Personal Safety        
          Policy on School Uniform        
Dressing for Excellence In East Renfrewshire we strive to achieve our vision. Supporting Schools to robustly implement school uniform / dress codes is an important way of reinforcing this drive for excellence. Having a high standard of uniform can:  contribute to school security and personal safety;  instil pride in the school and contribute … Continue reading Policy on School Uniform
          NanoFoil® and Personal Safety        
You’d imagine that a material which can reach 1,500°C instantly should be treated with caution, and it should, but NanoFoil® is a lot safer to work...
          Follow-Up to Fraying Grey Matter:         

"What’s the answer to (4) un-armed Marines killed at a recruitment center? That one's too easy." 

"...selling loosey cigarettes; or even a half-ounce of weed. Broken tail-lights. Solicitation. A lot of this shit is just shakedown stuff."

Sons of Anarchy:

"...but what President Obama’s been doing for the last 7 years is unprecedented in my lifetime. Something I haven’t seen any President do..."

I just wanted to clarify--or maybe, elaborate on my last post since there’s definitely at least one person I spoke with this weekend who  misinterpreted my point. Or mindset. 

So, just to get something established; while I’m against most of the gun control measures being advocated by certain politicians or interest groups; I’m not actively against them. By this I mean I don’t have bumper stickers or T-shirts promoting gun ownership, and I dont knock on any doors attempting to drum-up support for gun rights. When it comes to who I vote for, their gun-rights position isn’t in my Top 5 considerations, and if my community or State decided to ban high-capacity magazine clips or pushed for tougher background checks at gun shows I wouldnt fight them. Finally, I thought my post made my position on open-carry laws pretty clear. 

That said, I really believe additional gun laws or gun-control limits are not only an infringement on my life, liberty and pursuit of...whatever the fuck I want; but the wrong answer to the problem of U.S.A.’s gun violence. Or at least, not the answer. The problem isn’t gun access--its gun culture.

For example, I find it somewhat ironic that the alleged bane of so many American Conservatives is “Hollywood.” Hollywood morals (or the lack thereof); the alleged promiscuity that TV and the movies promote; the gay, “Liberal” agenda. No offense, but from what I see in the movies, every freaking one is a war movie or involves a gun in some way shape or form. Whether its shooting-up dinosaurs for sport, or the new Mad Max, or American Sniper or now Terminator Genisys, or whatever Liam Neeson movie’s out next week. Its all shoot-em-up and war. If you’re an active gun enthusiast, Hollywood’ a big-time endorser of your product. A good friend. Certainly not all "Left" or "Right."

Course so long as U.S.A’s dominated by gun culture--so will its art and movies. But nowadays, movies take a cultural backseat to video games. Readers should fact-check this, but my understanding is that in the USA video games grossed $13 billion dollars in 2012, compared to only $10 billion dollars for movies. And the time spent actually playing those games is way beyond comparison. Call of Duty; Soldier of Fortune; Grand Theft Auto; World’s of War; Mad World; Halo. There’s a lot of interactive aggression there. Violence. And after you’ve spent two to three (or four) hours slapping ho’s; shooting cops; running people down in your car, and blowing stuff up; then you can take a break to watch Walking Dead; or Breaking Bad; or Sons of Anarchy; or The Following; or... 

maybe just the freaking world news.

So long as guns permeate American culture, they’re going to be...well, part of the culture. The key isn’t cutting off access (like we've mistakenly tried to do with weed, coke and whatnot); but cutting off the demand

But how would we do that? 

Well I’d argue the first step is already being done for us. By that I mean that as our population continues its shift from being more rural to more urban (like in Colorado), the open spaces and seclusion necessary to safely operate or fire long-range, high-powered rifles and high-caliber weapons decreases. It just not safe to do so. My neighbor’s entitled to the freedom of letting his kids and dogs romp ‘round the yard safely as much; if not more, as my freedom to pop-off my 20 gauge Remington. So there’s a already a cultural force slowly at work to reduce those kinds of weapons. 

In a similar vein; as population density increases, there’s more law enforcement and social services in a given area. In remote parts of Colorado, Montana, Texas and the like--you’re on your own should you encounter a bear or stumble on to some biker’s meth operation. There’s no cops to call down the street. So yeah, you’re responsible for your own personal safety and might need some protection. More independence is required. But as you move to the cities, there’s an expectation--and not a wrong one in my opinion, that you’re going to defer to professional law enforcement or social services to handle conflicts and emergencies whenever possible. So again, I think there are demographic forces in place--without creating more laws, that are going to naturally diminish high-caliber gun ownership in the coming decades. 

Something else that’s happening is a re-examination of law enforcement, and that relates to the gun debate. Obviously the U.S. is violent. Until the recent rise of smart-phones and video I think a lot of people were genuinely unaware of just how violent police encounters and practices are in parts of the USA. Based on what we ask police officers to do for us, I’d say its necessary for them to carry firearms. Or at least; if they say they want a gun, let them carry. They’re our professionals.  

But once you introduce a gun into a situation, there’s a projection of violence. Or of its possibility. Intimidation. Where perhaps none existed before. But now the idea is set in motion. Part of our culture you might say. Is it really necessary for every cop to carry a piece? I don’t know--if they want to carry, they can carry. Least in my book. I’m more concerned about the kinds of situations that we’re placing them into. Murders, rapes, domestic violence, accidents, robbery and general thuggery. These are dangerous acts and events that disturb the overall peace of the neighborhood. True criminality. Those are acts where we need cops to intervene. Forcefully. 

But selling loosey cigarettes; or even a half-ounce of weed. Broken tail-lights. Solicitation. A lot of this is just shakedown stuff. If we allow cops to carry weapons out of concern for their personal safety; then lets take that a step further and say we owe it to them not to place them in a position where they generate bad blood. Perceived as maybe harassing the population. Vice crimes in poor neighborhoods,...there should be a lot of discretion on how they’re handled and policed. Maybe they shouldnt even be policed at all? Just bypass that whole area of possible confrontation. Legalize drugs like they have in Colorado--or at least in low income areas; reduce overall police encounters with the local population; and eliminate that black market, criminal revenue stream entirely. Think gang crime and particularly gun violence in general would go down or up? Do you think everyone wants it to? 

I don’t believe far-right gun advocates and open-carry proponents want gun violence to go down. More violence means more business. Keeps the conversation and focus on guns. School violence means maybe teachers should be armed. A church shooting makes you ponder armed security at the door. What’s the answer to (4) un-armed Marines killed at a recruitment center? That one’s too easy.

I’d assert the biggest enemy of the gun lobby and strong gun-right supporters is President Barack Hussein Obama. He’s a major problem for them and they’ve correctly pegged him as such. Gun-control supporters don’t understand why that is since--aside from a few timid comments after tragedies, the President’s done little or nothing to genuinely advocate or promote gun-control legislation. And gun sales have gone way up during his Presidency. So Liberals just chalk-up the right’s hatred of him to racism. But they’re wrong on that. They don’t understand cause “the Left” tends to see government or legislation as the solution to so many societal problems, so they don’t get it. 

But what President Obama’s been doing for the last 7 years is unprecedented in my lifetime. Something I haven’t seen any President do--not even Bill Clinton. What he’s done is kept us out of foreign conflicts. Avoided them. Not only did he pull us out of Iraq on schedule (and doing his best to keep us out); but he pulled us out of Afghanistan; allowed Mubarak and Khadaffy to be overthrown; opened a pathway to Cuban relations; kept us out of Ukraine--and Syria; and with John Kerry, has apparently negotiated a treaty with Iran. We’re not “going on offense,” like his predecessor did. No unilateral action overseas. No attempts to project American influence. We’ve pulled back. Leading from behind--if at all. And if you read the polls, most Americans are happy about that. 

But this is a fundamental change for America. A shift in perception and identity that actually hearkens back to the non-interventionism of our founding fathers. I’d assert--as Michael Moore did in Bowling for Columbine, that there’s a direct connection between a country invading foreign nations; exploiting the oil and natural resources of weaker countries; subverting the Democratic process; accepting and supporting dictators; and arming its domestic police force with military style weapons; and a country that’s highly violent. And aggressive. The NRA and gun-lobby understands that a less outwardly aggressive United States is by definition...well, less aggressive. More peaceful overall. And if that non-confrontational, non-interventionist, peaceful attitude were to become the norm or expectation for an extended period of time--what would that do to gun culture here in the States? 

Its not about legislation or new laws that take away my rights. That’s a cheap-fix Band-aid. Nanny-State mentality. Long term change requires a change in the culture. In mind-set and how we perceive ourselves. We need to find the grey and purple matter amidst all the solid Red and Blue out there. I’ve demonstrated there are a lot of natural forces already working in favor of gun-control supporters without having to draft confrontational legislation that divides the country. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that once President Obama’s out of office; Hillary or Bush or Rubio are going to lead us right back into war. Of varying kinds. 

Which of course is the NRA’s best friend. 

"From the people that brought you Operation Desert Storm, Desert Shield, and Enduring Freedom comes a brand new installment..."

"I'm a big man!" 

* NOTE: All pics stolen off Google Images with the exception of the photos of myself. Copyrights may exist. All rights reserved on my pics. 

          Leakers, Whistle-Blowers and Real Threats        
By Melissa Boyle Mahle

I took a vacation last week from writing. The vacation reflected my desire to focus on other endeavors, not a lack of developments in the intelligence world. The following is a quick review of developments that should not go unnoticed.

War against Leakers

Director of Central Intelligence Agency Porter Goss took an unusual step (for him) to write an op-ed in the New York Times on 10 February 2006. In it, he takes aim at “unnamed intelligence officials” and “whistleblowers” for damaging US national security. On the former, he makes some solid points. On the latter, he just paints over the larger problem. The whistleblower legislation is written in a way that it makes it virtually impossible for those with knowledge of misdeeds to raise the issue outside their chain of command.

I speak with some personal experience on this front. I once tried to raise a concern with an intelligence oversight committee. The CIA Inspector General had refused to look at the issue. When I went to the committee and staffer cut me off before I could say one word on the topic. He passed me a sheet of paper, written in legalese that basically said that if I exposed to him classified information (he had a security clearance because he was an intelligence staffer) I could be prosecuted for breaking the law. He informed me that if I did not wish to go to jail, I had to deal with the matter through the CIA Inspector General. I left without accomplishing what I set out to do. The consequences are that the particular practice continues unchecked. This is not how I envisioned oversight to work.

New York Times
February 10, 2006
Op-Ed Contributor
Loose Lips Sink Spies

AT the Central Intelligence Agency, we are more than holding our own in the global war on terrorism, but we are at risk of losing a key battle: the battle to protect our classified information.

Judge Laurence Silberman, a chairman of President Bush's commission on weapons of mass destruction, said he was "stunned" by the damage done to our critical intelligence assets by leaked information. The commission reported last March that in monetary terms, unauthorized disclosures have cost America hundreds of millions of dollars; in security terms, of course, the cost has been much higher. Part of the problem is that the term "whistleblower" has been misappropriated. The sharp distinction between a whistleblower and someone who breaks the law by willfully compromising classified information has been muddied.

As a member of Congress in 1998, I sponsored the Intelligence Community
Whistleblower Protection Act to ensure that current or former employees could petition Congress, after raising concerns within their respective agency, consistent with the need to protect classified information.

Exercising one's rights under this act is an appropriate and responsible way to bring questionable practices to the attention of those in Congress charged with oversight of intelligence agencies. And it works. Government employees have used statutory procedures — including internal channels at their agencies — on countless occasions to correct abuses without risk of retribution and while protecting information critical to our national defense.

On the other hand, those who choose to bypass the law and go straight to the press are not noble, honorable or patriotic. Nor are they whistleblowers. Instead they are committing a criminal act that potentially places American lives at risk. It is unconscionable to compromise national security information and then seek protection as a whistleblower to forestall punishment.

Today America is confronting an enemy intent on brutal murder. Without the capacity to gain intelligence on terrorist organizations through clandestine sources and methods, we and our allies are left vulnerable to the horrors of homicidal fanaticism. The C.I.A. has put many terrorists out of action since 9/11. In our pursuit of the enemy, we accept the unique responsibility we bear as officers of a clandestine service serving an open, constitutional society. But we also know that unauthorized disclosure of classified intelligence inhibits our ability to carry out our mission and protect the nation. Revelations of intelligence successes or failures, whether accurate or not, can aid Al Qaeda and its global affiliates in many ways. A leak is invaluable to them, even if it only, say, prematurely confirms whether one of their associates is dead or alive. They can gain much more: these disclosures can tip the terrorists to new technologies we use, our operational tactics, and the identities of brave men and women who risk their lives to assist us.

Such leaks also cause our intelligence partners around the globe to question our professionalism and credibility. Too many of my counterparts from other countries have told me, "You Americans can't keep a secret." And because of the number of recent news reports discussing our relationships with other intelligence services, some of these critical partners have even informed the C.I.A. that they are reconsidering their participation in some of our most important antiterrorism ventures. They fear that exposure of their cooperation could subject their citizens to terrorist retaliation. Last month, a news article in this newspaper described a "secret meeting" to discuss "highly classified" techniques to detect efforts by other countries to build nuclear weapons. This information was attributed to unnamed intelligence officials who "spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the effort's secrecy." Whether accurate or not, this is a direct acknowledgment that these unnamed officials apparently know the importance of secrecy.

Recently, I noticed renewed debate in the news media over press reports in 1998 that Osama bin Laden's satellite phone was being tracked by United States intelligence officials. In the recent debate, it was taken for granted that the original reports did not hurt our national security efforts, and any suggestions that they did cause damage were dismissed as urban myth. But the reality is that the revelation of the phone tracking was, without question, one of the most egregious examples of an unauthorized criminal disclosure of classified national defense information in recent years. It served no public interest. Ultimately, the bin Laden phone went silent.

I take seriously my agency's responsibility to protect our national security. Unauthorized disclosures undermine our efforts and abuse the trust of the people we are sworn to protect. Since becoming director, I have filed criminal reports with the Department of Justice because of such compromises. That department is committed to working with us to investigate these cases aggressively. In addition, I have instituted measures within the agency to further safeguard the integrity of classified data.

Our enemies cannot match the creativity, expertise, technical genius and tradecraft that the C.I.A. brings to bear in this war. Criminal disclosures of national security information, however, can erase much of that advantage. The terrorists gain an edge when they keep their secrets and we don't keep ours.

Porter Goss is the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Whistler-blowers Fight Back

This week Congress will hear directly from intelligence community whistler-blowers. Rather than talk about what they want to talk about—wrong doing—they will talk about what happens when they talk—retribution. Jeff Stein, the national security editor at Congressional Quarterly, has written an excellent article on this in his intel blog.

Feb. 10, 2006 – 8:47 p.m.
In From the Cold: Shays to Give NSA Whistleblower a Hearing
By Jeff Stein, National Security Editor

Had all this happened in the 1970s, Russell Tice would have been on the run and secret White House burglars would be rifling through his psychiatrist’s files in search of dirt they could use against him.

Instead, the former National Security Agency (NSA) manager is giving interviews on the inside world of the forbidding, code-breaking labyrinth whose warrantless domestic telephone and e-mail intercepts have suddenly convulsed congressional Republicans.

Tice is hardly alone. On Tuesday, he’ll be one of a half-dozen intelligence workers emerging from the shadows to testify at a House hearing chaired by Connecticut Republican Rep. Christopher Shays on legislation to protect national security whistleblowers from retaliation.

It’s as if Deep Throat had outed himself and signed up as a television analyst while Woodward and Bernstein were still churning out Watergate stories.

Tice played no such central role in The New York Times’ revelations of the NSA’s domestic spying, says another national security whistleblower who knows him well. He’s not this generation’s Daniel Ellsberg, the Defense Department dissenter who leaked the secret Vietnam War documents that became known as the Pentagon Papers.

But what does seem unprecedented here is the role that Tice has been handed: to play Virgil to Congress for a tour of the intelligence underworld, where powerful bureaucrats make life and death decisions without much oversight or even supervision.

Wilderness of Mirrors

Tice gave an extraordinary interview recently to the libertarian magazine Reason in which he hinted at the depths to which the NSA story may eventually drill.

“I’ve known this for a long time and I’ve kept my mouth shut,” he said.

“You’re referring,” the interviewer asked, “to what [New York Times reporter] James Risen calls ‘The Program,’ the NSA wiretaps that have been reported on?”

“No,” Tice answered. “I’m referring to what I need to tell Congress that no one knows yet, which is only tertiarily connected to what you know about now.”

“[T]hese things are so deep black,” Tice said, “the extremely sensitive programs that I was a specialist in, these things are so deep black that only a minute few people are cleared for these things.”

He risked losing his security clearance, he said, even by merely questioning a program’s legality inside the building. “So you have literally nowhere to go.”

Except to the press, and now, Congress, which until recently has shown little inclination to drill into his dark world.

Tice says he was “the worker bee who does the work, writes the reports, goes into the field, does the liaison work, makes the phone calls.” Being “the nitty-gritty detail guy,” he says, made him a lethal threat to NSA bosses.

Tice is not likely to spill everything he saw and heard at the NSA in open testimony. The Shays committee’s focus is retaliation against national security dissidents, who are exempted from the protections afforded federal whistleblowers in non-classified jobs.

Tice will tell a hellish tale. His black-chamber bosses ordered him to undergo a psychiatric exam, pronounced him unfit for duty and stripped him of his security clearance.

It “destroys your career in the intel field, makes you unemployable forever,” he says.

Except, perhaps, as an expert analyst on MSNBC.

Secret Lovers

Another scheduled witness, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) operative Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, will tell the committee about what happened after he went public with his insistence that U.S. intelligence knew about the impending Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and could have prevented them. He entered what’s often called a “wilderness of mirrors” — a phrase spies use to describe a paranoid world where their life of deception turns back on them.

Shaffer, who spent years as a super-secret DIA agent handler, surfaced last year in stories about a deeply clandestine DIA data-mining unit code-named “Able Danger,” which he says latched onto the movements of Mohammed Atta and other al Qaeda hijackers weeks before the Sept. 11 attack. Another leader of the units says the same.

Shaffer will tell Shays’ Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations how his career was sidetracked and his reputation trashed when he challenged the official version of events handed down by the Sept. 11 commission, a source familiar with his 66-page prepared statement says.

But the next day, Feb. 15, Shaffer will get a chance to tell the whole Able Danger story under oath to a closed-door, joint hearing of two House Armed Services subcommittees.

The fact that Shaffer, now on paid leave from the DIA, is finally getting such a forum to tell his story is testimony to the weakened power of the White House to control events related to intelligence abuses on Capitol Hill. More than 200 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have signed on to a demand that the Defense Department investigate Shaffer’s claims.

For months Shaffer’s version of events has not only been dismissed by Sept. 11 commission Vice Chairman Lee H. Hamilton, but tarnished through his close association with Republican Rep. Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania. Weldon has a reputation among intelligence journalists, fairly or not, as someone whose allegations aren’t always backed up by the facts.

As Shaffer’s scheduled testimony drew near, there were whispers that the White House had engineered the lifting of Shaffer’s gag order in exchange for a promise that he would focus on Clinton administration intelligence failures, not their own.

Contacted by telephone late Friday, Shaffer emphatically rejected that notion. He repeated his previous desire only to testify on important matters he says the Sept. 11 commission left out, and — citing the same gag order — declined to discuss the issue further.

Whistleblower Windfall

Washington is suddenly awash in people like Shaffer, according to Sibel Edmonds, an ex-FBI translator and founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, which gets “five to 10 calls every day” from disenchanted intelligence and homeland security employees, she says. The group now has 75 members.

Besides Shaffer, the committee will also hear from 16-year FBI special agent Mike German, who will describe how his career went south after he complained about irregularities in a Florida terrorism investigation.

Shays has also summoned the Justice Department inspector general to explain why his report on German’s complaint of official misconduct has not been made public.

And the committee will hear from Richard Levernier, a former senior Department of Energy security specialist, whose reward for complaining about the vulnerabilities of nuclear power plants earned him mostly opprobrium and ridicule from his superiors.

Former U.S. Army Intelligence Sgt. Samuel J. Provance III, who in 2004 disobeyed an order not to discuss the abuse of prisoners at Iraq’s infamous Abu Ghraib jail, is also on the witness list.

Provance will tell the committee how he was stripped of his security clearance, pursued by Army detectives and threatened with court martial.

After he told his story to ABC News, he was deluged by e-mails, he said last year.

“The first one I got was from a retired military police officer. He wrote, ‘Thanks for doing the right thing.’ About an hour later I got another one that said, ‘You’re a sorry soldier.’”

People said as much about Daniel Ellsberg.

Backchannel Chatter

Code Red: Clark Kent Ervin, the acting Department of Homeland Security inspector general who was unceremoniously cut loose before the second Bush term, “candidly discusses the circumstances of his departure” in a book scheduled for April, according to his publisher. “He ... shows how his team’s prescriptions for urgent change were ignored — leaving the U.S. vulnerable to another terrorist attack,” says St. Martin’s Press ... Risky Business: Overclassification of documents is putting the nation’s intelligence system at “risk,” says no less than a top FBI lawyer. Writing in the current edition of the American Intelligence Journal, published by the National Military Intelligence Association, FBI counsel M.E. “Spike” Bowen points out that “the person most likely to encounter a person who means to do harm is the local law enforcement agent.” But because cops don’t have high security clearances, “Information that might be used to identify a potential terrorist is ... not in the hands of those in a position to act on it.”

Jeff Stein can be reached at
Source: CQ Homeland Security
© 2006 Congressional Quarterly Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Real Threats

DNI John Negroponte testified before Congress on February 2, giving the Annual Threat Assessment briefing. To point out the obvious, the fact that the DNI delivered the assessment and that it is posted on the DNI website, not the CIA website, shows intelligence community reform in action. The other interesting aspect was who testified. Seated next to Negroponte were the faces of the intelligence community, from the CIA, INR, DHS and DIA. If you will recall past briefings, the DCI would brief on foreign intelligence and the head of the FBI would brief on domestic intelligence: a community of two.

The substance of the report also shows the intelligence community is alive and well. For the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union has the annual threat assessment takes on a global perspective. Sure it is heavy on terrorism and Iraq, but we are a nation at war. Notably, the assessment focuses far more on the Iraq-specific issues, quite separate from the GWOT—a reflection that the intel community understands that while there are implications for the GWOT in Iraq, Iraq is an animal entirely to itself. If Iraq falls apart, the territorial integrity of the entire region will be under threat. There was a hint of turf battles in the Iraq section indicated by the inclusion of the statement that intelligence has a “key role” to play in combating threats to pipelines, electric power grids and personal safety. Gee, is someone trying to keep the spooks out of the PRTs?

The following assessment of the intra-Islamic debate is spot on, but unfortunately three years too late. If this had been understood at the outset—and many people outside the intel world did make the connections—then the prosecution of the GWOT would have looked entirely different.

“Impact of the Islamic Debate. The debate between Muslim extremists and moderates also will influence the future terrorist environment, the domestic stability of key US partners, and the foreign policies of governments throughout the Muslim world. The violent actions of global jihadists are adding urgency to the debate within Islam over how religion should shape government. Growing internal demands for reform in many Muslim countries further stimulate this debate. In general, Muslims are becoming more aware of their Islamic identity, leading to growing political activism; but this does not necessarily signal a trend toward radicalization. Most Muslims reject the extremist message and violent agendas of the global jihadists. Indeed, as Muslims endorse democratic principles of freedom, equality, and the rule of law and a role for their religious beliefs in building better futures for their communities, there will be growing opportunities for countering a jihadist movement that only promises more authoritarianism, isolation, and economic stagnation.”

Afghanistan, as last year, barely gets a footnote, an indication of the depth of our involvement there.

WMD gets a lot of space, as it has during the last ten years. When are we going to stop whining about North Korea and Iran and do something about it?

The most interesting section in my view was the democracy agenda captured in the “Governance, Political Instability and Democratization” section. When the National Democratic Institute-types (who do very valuable work) heard the intel community would be getting involved in promoting democracy abroad, they went crazy. They felt it would undermine the legitimacy and credibility in working on the ground. What this new generation of democracy advocates forgot or never learned is that the CIA is an old hand at playing politics in the foreign spear, for good or for bad. Since democracy promotion is one of President Bush’s key foreign policies, it is understandable that the intel community will be tasked to do its share in understanding the local and regional dynamics, challenges and assets for democracy building. The strength of this section of the threat report is its regional and global approach. There is no hint that the intel community is viewing these issues through a counterterrorism optic—which would be a terrible mistake. (During the Cold War, we made the mistake of view all local and regional develops through the Soviet optic.)

All in all, the threat assessment made me feel that the intel community was working from a good matrix and was not permitting US political issues frame its scope of work. Good job guys!
          AlcoHAWK Breathalyzers Promote Drinking Responsibly        

(Independence, Iowa – July 12, 2011) – Q3 Innovations reminds party hosts to encourage responsible drinking at their summertime backyard parties, cookouts, boating and sporting events where alcohol is served. The Iowa-based company offers personal safety and monitoring devices and has made its AlcoHAWK breathalyzers available for sale online as a unique and useful summer […]

The post AlcoHAWK Breathalyzers Promote Drinking Responsibly appeared first on Social Media Newsroom | Q3 Innovations.

          Dutton Park Police visit Play School Kindergarten        
Officers from Dutton Park Police Station visited Tricia’s Play School Kindergarten at Morningside on June 16 and spoke to the children and educators about personal safety strategies. Constable’s Anthony Clacher and Tom Archer provided the children with colouring-in materials and… Read Post
          The Benefits of Owning A Chair Mat        

The office chair mat, a key piece of furniture necessary for any work environment that often gets forgotten when purchasing new additions for the office. Chair mats are often perceived as a luxury purchase rather than a necessity, and as something that can be purchased at a later point in time if really needed. While you may have preconceived notions about office chair mats, they are actually a key piece of furniture that should be taken into consideration when purchasing new items for both your work and home office. Having a chair mat in any work environment is beneficial for a number of reasons including floor protection, appearance purposes, personal safety, ergonomic benefits, and ease of mobility.


The primary purpose of owning a chair mat is to protect the surface that you roll on with your office chair. No matter what surface your office chair currently sits on, such as hardwood floors, carpet, or linoleum, there are chair mats designed specifically for each of the aforementioned. Office chair casters can easily scratch hardwood floors, leave imprint marks in carpet, and also damage the quality of your carpet from the consistent rolling. In fact, many carpet manufacturers will void their warranty if an office chair will be used on it without the use of a chair mat. Carpet chair mats typically come with a set of cleats located underneath the chair mat that allow the mat to stay firm and in place when rolling across. Chair mats for hardwood floors or linoleum do not have the cleats underneath the mat, however their weight allows for the mat to stay in one place rather than sliding around as one might fear.


The addition of a chair mat to an office instantaneously creates an elegant and clean appearance . Many come with a clear finish making them less noticeable for those that are apprehensive about having your chair mat take attention away from the overall design of your office and allows the beauty of your flooring to show through. They can also compliment your office design or stand out with the option for colorful and unique designs that are provided by some chair mat manufacturers. Some unique chair mat designs include bamboo, zebra print, a world map, peacock print, colorful circles, and many more. They are also available in different shapes and sizes depending on what your office needs; if you have smaller work area then you may opt for a smaller sized chair mat. If your work area requires rolling across a larger surface area, then you may want to opt for a larger chair mat or a mat that differs from the traditional rectangle shape and try an arc or ellipse shape instead.


Chair mats often bring up the concern for personal safety, for example, many people often do not look where they are walking and may be worried about tripping over their chair mat. The same can be said for walking in the dark at night in your home office and risking falling over from catching an edge on your chair mat. While cheaper chair mats do come with straight edges that can be a safety concern, there are plenty of higher quality mats available that come standard with rounded protective edges designed specifically so people do not trip over them. Rounded or beveled edges are also helpful for a smooth transition to the carpet or floor when rolling off the chair mat.

Chair mats are ergonomically beneficial in preventing leg fatigue and ease of movement. If you currently do not have a chair mat and use your office chair on a carpeted surface, then you have most likely already felt the pressure and struggle that it takes to roll from once spot to another. With a chair mat, gliding from one spot to another is a simple task rather than having to utilize your leg muscles to give you the momentum to move on the carpet. Repetitive pushing with one's leg muscles can cause unnecessary leg and back pain from over exerting oneself.


Purchasing a chair mat is a worthwhile investment for assurance that your floors and carpets will be protected and unharmed from your office furniture. While getting new flooring or carpets can put a huge dent in your budget, buying a chair mat is very affordable with even the highest quality of chair mats usually falling below the one hundred-dollar threshold. Your legs will also thank you from relieving the amount of pressure necessary to get from one place to another when rolling in your office chair. If anything, keep your floors clean and looking beautiful with the addition of a chair mat.

To view our selection of high quality chair mats with a lifetime no crack guarantee click here!

          T is for Training 111 - Wishing You A Better Tomorrow        
Workplace and personal safety in the aftermath of the CT school shooting this morning.
          Give away our sporty and chic Anser Brown Glasses to all your fashionable customers!        

Along with commonplace everyday items, people also love to receive fashionable articles as business promotional gifts. By offering personalised business gifts that your customers can use to make a fashion statement, you end up building a stronger bond with your receivers. A statement piece as well as a strong promotional gift - our fashionable Promotional Anser Brown Glasses meets all your promotional requirements with its cool design and style!
Included in our exclusive fitness and personal safety collection, this is a bayonet style wrap around lens that sports hinged arms in its low profile design. Offering 99.9% UVA and UVB protection, it meets all quality standards and has ANSI-Z87.1 approval. Boasting of soft rubberized temple ends and nosepiece, this promotional gift is designed to provide a comfortable fit and feel to the user. At the same time, while the soft rubber nosepiece prevents slippage, the polycarbonate brown lens are resistant to scrapes and nicks, offering your customer years of hassle-free use! Measuring 2''h x 6''w x 2.75''d in size and weighing 0.12 pounds, this sunglass is light in weight and highly long lasting.
To show that you value their relationship, get this unique corporate gift idea for all your business executives and corporate clients today! Personalise the imprinting area - measuring 1"h x 2"w in dimensions - of this classy business gift with your business name and logo using silkscreen printing and pad printing. Presented with a microfiber storage pouch and neck cord, this company gift is available for a setup charge of just $50!

          Who Run This Motha? Apparently Beyoncé?!        
Situation: It’s here! The 2011 moment we have been dreading – we are on the brink of Beyonce season! *sobs* (There’s really not much left to say, except…)

At least the artwork for the single is dope!

She Says:

I knew it was coming. I felt it in my bones – Beyonce was coming back and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it. Let me get this out of the way before all of the Beyonce stans label me a ‘hater’ because I criticize their beloved: Beyonce is beautiful, talented, skinny, light skinned, rich, married, and accomplished. I never deny these things about her – EVER!

And now that we’ve covered that, I’m free to go in! Beyonce’s new single, Girls, dropped this week and you would have thought Jesus had come back to earth to save us from the rapture. The song is mediocre at best, save for the beat and that isn’t even original to this track. Just like all of Beyonce’s recent songs, I cannot say that I don’t like it because I am sure after the ridiculous amount of airplay both the video and song will receive, I will be forced to. With all Beyonce songs you have no choice but to like them after they’ve been drilled into your head.

In my opinion, it seems that Beyonce is getting progressively lazy in her approach to song choices and lyrical content. She has reached a level where she can put out mediocre music and still hit platinum status because of her stans. However, this song, in terms of quality, would be better suited for Ciara or Keri Hilson; yet if either of them had released it, this single would have quickly been labeled as trash! I’m just saying…let’s be real here; it’s disheartening because Beyonce has the ability to make a classic album with lyrical content and vocals worth commenting on, but instead she releases this crap.

Lastly, it just always turns me off that a Beyonce single mysteriously drops when her “sister” Kelly is back on the scene. It just seems a little odd to me that Queen Bey cannot allow anyone to have a flourishing career—not even her former group mate/ sister/ friend. If we were to compare the songs, there is no competition -- Motivation is the better.


P.S – I listened to Girls on repeat while I wrote this, and by the last note I’d caught myself nodding my head! The vicious attack of Beyonce season has begun…

He Says:
The AUDACITY of this jawn! Who does she think she is? Better yet--does she think we are stupid? Beyonce has once again flooded the urban music market with a piss poor use of her vocal talent. Yes, I did say PISS POOR. This new song “Girls Run the World” is an embarrassment for someone with that much talent. Beyonce can blow. But she has continually put out underwhelming tracks and albums for her cult-like fans. And she must have put up a lot of money; because if I was Major Lazers, there is no way those rudimentary lyrics would ever touch my production.

After driving to work and hearing the trash for the first time, I thought it would be a good idea to test the power of Bey. I went into work and asked four black female co-workers if they knew there was a new Beyonce track out. All of them looked at me in shock—you’d have thought I told them I saw Jesus physically lowering gas prices. One woman even proceeded to tell me the story of how she had previously driven up the east coast to see Beyonce in six different cities! Each woman, within 30 minutes of my initial question, had sent an email saying that “the track was hot” or “Bey is back!” Since I consider myself a smart man, I know the one thing you don’t do is argue with a member of the Holy Temple of Bey. So I decided not to respond with any ignorant comments for my personal safety. I was even told on twitter that my comments about Bey might get me un-followed and/or my car keyed. C’mon people!

So for you ladies and gentle-ladies that worship Beyonce on a regular basis, let me breakdown exactly what she is doing. In basketball, there is something called the “Heat Check”. This is when a shooter thinks they are able to hit any shot on the court. They proceed to shoot a ridiculous and unwarranted shot just because they think everything they throw up will go in the basket. This is exactly what Beyonce has done with this song---and actually what she did with her last album as well. She knows that any and everything she puts out will be flocked to by all of her worshippers. So she throws out a piece of sh*t song, just to check to see how hot she is. Now don’t get me wrong---many major artists do this often, including Michael Jackson with his “Blood on the Dance Floor” disaster (#ripMJ --addition courtesy of A, lol); and Prince deciding to change his name to a dumb ass symbol. But this is the time that people need to stand up and put an end to this. Don’t go around saying how hot this song is, because you damn sure know it isn’t. If you do, we will all have to suffer thru many more summers of Beyonce’s trash for years to come!


          BSides Columbus 2017 Videos        
BSides Columbus 2017 Videos
These are the videos from the BSides Columbus Ohio conference. Thanks to Michael Spaulding for having me up and those who manned the video rigs.

Learning From Pirates of the Late 1600s - The first APT
Adam Hogan

What I Learned About Cybersecurity by Training With US Navy SEALs
Matthew Curtin

Cross Origin Resource Sharing Kung fu
Aditya Balapure

Redefining Security in a Cloud Centric Future
Mike Spaulding

Automating Security in Building Software
Warner Moore

Planning and Executing a Red Team Engagement
Timothy Wright

DNSSec Explained!
Dan Benway

Midwestern Nice - Stereotype or Enterprise Threat?
Valerie Thomas

Information Security Talent Trends to expect in 2017
Megan Wells AJ Candella

          Rambarat: I visited police range for training        

Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries Clarence Rambarat yesterday confirmed he has been visiting the Police Training Academy shooting range for his own personal safety, as his ministry is responsible for the second largest law enforcement units in the country.

He made the comment at a sod turning ceremony for the construction of a car park at the southern wholesale market in Debe.

Rambarat made the comment in the wake of a report earlier this week in which officers attached to the academy raised issue of a government official using the range for training.

The Police Social and Welfare body had called for a probe into the visits after a junior officer reported the visit of a former minister and his wife to the shooting range, noting civilians are not allowed on the range and it has also been condemned. The couple was also reportedly taken to the range by a senior officer who should be on pre-retirement leave. It was later realised, however, that it was in fact Rambarat and his wife.

In his defence yesterday, Rambarat said: “Every minister and public officials are required and put through security training and check in with a police station and be given advice.”

He said the Police Training Academy was near his place of residence, which was his chosen location for training.

“The police academy is close to where I live and my wife accompanies me from time to time and I am not treated different from any public office holder.”

Rambarat said he also visited the Academy for advice relating to the security units under his ministry’s purview.

“I go on ministry matters. As you know, apart from the Ministry of National Security I have secondary law enforcement units. I have the Praedial Larceny Squad, honorary game wardens, patrol men, forest officers, patrol men and estate constable. I go there for advice relating to firearms and equipping them with firearms and bullet proof training. I am simply doing my job,” he said.

Rambarat added in an interview with the T&T Guardian that he visited the academy several times and he was a Government minister and not classed as a civilian.

“I am not a civilian. I don’t know if that was a story. I was there not for the first time as a Government minster but related to security,” he said.

He said he was also not aware of any attempted disciplinary action being taken against the junior officer who reported his visit.

“I am not aware of that. I am not a civilian I am a Government minister and on matters of my personal security. I was there as a Government minister and as a minister you have personal security you need to deal with and there were facilities where I could get advice on matters of personal security. I have no interaction with anybody there on disciplinary action. I was there on matters relating to personal security,” he said.

He added: “My wife is my wife and it covers myself, my wife and my children. We get advice and you could only get advice from the Police Service.”

However, he denied the visit had anything to do with threats made against him.

“I have been there many times as a minster and as a minister it is something you do,” he said.

But one senior officer assigned to the academy yesterday said there were protocols to be observed, especially if a government official was visiting the premises.

“There are protocols you must follow. You need permission for any official visit at the academy compound. If you are a Government official it is considered an official visit and the senior superintendent and the commissioner must be informed that they’re coming on the ground and to shoot.”

The officer said it could not be a private arrangement, since the range was condemned and deemed non-safe by the commissioner.

“The residents complained over the noise and the commissioner said it was not to be used and the range was downgraded. You have basic protocol. People can’t just go on a shooting range without permission,” he said.

He said civilians who need to train and who are holders of firearm licences could use the shooting range at the Trinidad Rifle Association in Chaguaramas.

Meanwhile, Police Social and Welfare Association president Michael Seales said yesterday the disciplinary action against the officer who reported the visit had been discontinued. However, Seales said the association will take legal action against Williams if the senior officer who escorted the couple was still on active duty when he should be on pre-retirement.

          Second Amendment Rally "Prepared To Protect" In Three Forks        
Mark your calender for this one day event on Saturday June 8th, 2013. It is a 2nd Amendment Rally. Here are the various workshops on family and personal safety topics. Women's/Family self-defense How to select a Home defense weapon Emergency/Super Foods What if ... Continue reading…
          Security Protectors Personal Safety Blog        
In today's fast paced environment, there are many distractions that can lead to threatening situations. Personal safety is of the utmost importance these days. But all the police and firemen and EMS workers in the world can’t be there to protect you 24/7. So taking charge of your own personal safety is the first step to keeping yourself out of danger.
          timethief on "Delete all questions asked"        

Please read the sticky post at the top of these support forums that are public and available to all with internet access.

Think before you post - this is a public forum. Forum topics will only be deleted at the discretion of Staff if they represent a valid security or personal safety concern.

          Green-backed Lesser Goldfinch and More from San Jose, CA        
Green-backed Lesser Goldfinch:


I was in San Jose, CA last month for a work conference- SMX West. It was great to get the latest SEO strategies and tips from the experts. I was there for 3 days, but I was so busy attending sessions I didn't have a chance to bird until the last day. It worked out better that way anyway- it was finally sunny and in the 60s for my final afternoon in San Jose when I had an hour to kill before my flight home.

Although San Jose is a large city, I was confident I could find a nice city park to bird. My strategy is to plot my central location (San Jose Convention Center) on Google Maps and then zoom out until I spot a green patch. I found Guadalupe River Park, which runs throughout the city.

There was an entrance just a couple blocks from the Convention Center, which was convenient. I spent some time reading the Google Place reviews, which were helpful because they made me aware that it might not be the safest place to go alone. Some of the comments mentioned homeless people living there, which isn't uncommon but good to be aware of. I remember when I used to bird at the Charles River in Watertown I would sometimes notice a homeless person's tent/shelter in the woods off the path. It's important to be aware of your surroundings and be on alert when you go birding alone. I only go during the day and try to choose areas that are well-populated. If I encounter someone who makes me feel uncomfortable I just move away from the secluded area and go back to the more populated part of the park/path. When you're following the scent of a rare or life bird it can be difficult to pull yourself away, but stop and think about what's more important- your personal safety.

Anyway, fortunately I didn't encounter anyone dangerous during my short time birding at Guadalupe River Park, although I did notice some homeless people working on their shelter in the woods across the river. They were shouting and hammering away, which made me notice them. I just simply moved back toward the road where it was more populated and where I wouldn't be bothering them and vice versa. Unfortunately as birders we're rather conspicuous with our binoculars and cameras. I didn't want them to think I was looking at them, which was difficult because there were some warblers down that end of the path, but it wasn't worth upsetting some unpredictable homeless people.

In addition to the Green-backed Lesser Goldfinch pictured above, I saw many other life birds. That's the most exciting part about traveling- getting to see new birds. Since I had never seen one before, the Lesser Goldfinch took some research to identify. I always start with the most distinguishing characteristic- in this case the fat beak typical of finches. Since most of my bird guides are for the Eastern U.S., California birds are not usually pictured. In the end it took some searches and my Crossley ID Guide to find this bird.

Allen's or Anna's? Hummingbird:

Female Allen's or Anna's? Hummingbird:

The Hummingbirds are another tricky ID for me. Although I had seen California hummingbirds before when I was in San Francisco, I needed to take a closer look at these. It's been hard for me to find exact matches in my Crossley ID Guide, or through Google Image searches. I'm leaning toward Anna's though. Advice?

Black Phoebe:

These Black Phoebes were very fun to watch. They were the alarm birds of the park- everywhere I walked they flitted around sounding the alarm call for other birds. Before I ID-ed this bird I called it the "shama" bird because the shape and contrasting colors reminded me of the White-rumped Shama I saw in Hawaii. 

Common Merganser:

Another life bird for me. I was surprised to see this pair swimming through the murky, trash-lined river as I looked down from the footbridge above. Just goes to show- always be on the lookout for birds!

Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler:

This as an interesting ID- it looked like a yellow-rumped warbler, but with a yellow throat. I just had to look up my Sibley Guide and look at the variations for the yellow-rumped.

Injured or diseased Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler:

Initially I thought this bird was preening after a bath, but the closer I looked I noticed some raw red spots on its neck. I'm not sure if this was the result of a fight, or perhaps some sort of disease.

And finally, I have a mystery bird. My initial guess is a Warbling Vireo, but I'm open to suggestions!

          The Threat of Scientology!        
The Threat of Scientology! A summary of the threats posed by Scientology to our right to free speech, and to our personal safety itself. Scientology has caused the premature deaths of hundereds, and continues to expand its reach as it grows richer and more powerful.

          Shinko 777 Motorcycle Tire Review: Lucky Rubber        

If you have modest tire requirements, along with modest means, the Shinko 777s are perfectly capable of upgrading a ride and increasing personal safety.

The post Shinko 777 Motorcycle Tire Review: Lucky Rubber appeared first on Ultimate Motorcycling.

          Survey shows many choose texting over safety when walking in B.C.        

By Dan Marhsall

NANAIMO — Smartphones seem to be more important than personal safety for many Canadians.

A survey done by State Farm Canada shows that 40 per cent of respondents admit they aren't always cautious when crossing the street during dawn or dusk.

John Bordignon, a spokesman for the insurance company, says their poll asked a number of safety questions.


Read More
          FAQ: The basics of the 'new' Anti Distracted Driving Act windshield, dashboard rules        
FAQ: The basics of the 'new' Anti Distracted Driving Act windshield, dashboard rules
Here's a small guide to the do's and don'ts of driving via ADDA mode.

RA 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act (ADDA) makes it unlawful for drivers to use communication devices and other electronic entertainment and computing gadgets while their vehicles are in motion or temporarily stopped on a traffic light or an intersection.

Amid the confusion it sowed when it first came out, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) released a revised implementing rules and regulation of ADDA, with a new provision on the "safe zone," where dashcams or cellular phone placements are allowed.

This so-called "safe zone" is counting 4 inches from the vehicle dashboard into the windshield. Beyond the 4-inch safe zone will be considered part of the "line of sight," where gadgets and objects are not allowed.

But, vehicles with built-in OEM navigational systems and LCD screens, such as those found in Mazdas, Mercedes-Benzes, and other vehicles, will not be found in violation of the ADDA, even if they exceed the 4 inch limit.

Rosaries, statues of saints, car fresheners, bobble-heads and the like, will be allowed for the meantime as the focus of apprehension will initially be on cellphones and gadgets.


Anti Distracted Driving Act windshield, dashboard safe zone


1. What is RA 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act?
RA 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act is a new law that prohibits motorists from using communication devices and other electronic entertainment and computing gadgets while vehicles are in motion or temporarily stopped on a traffic light or an intersection. A motorist, as defined under this law, is a person who is driving a motor vehicle.

2. What vehicles are covered by this Act?
This act covers both public and private vehicles. It also covers wheeled agricultural machineries, construction equipment, and other forms of conveyances such as bicycles, pedicabs, trolleys, “habal-habal”, “kuligligs”, wagons, carriages, and carts that may either be human-powered or pulled by an animal as long as the same are operated or driven in public thoroughfares, highways or streets.

3. What does this law prohibit?
Prohibited acts made while driving include but not limited to: making or receiving calls, writing, sending or reading text-based communications, playing games, watching movies, performing calculations, reading e-books, composing messages, and surfing or browsing the internet.

4. What are the actions exempted from this law?
Motorists are allowed to use their devices to make or take emergency calls to authorities in cases of a crime, accidents, bomb or terrorist threat, fire or explosion, instances needing immediate medical attention, or when personal safety and security is compromised.

5. Can we use hands-free devices like microphones and earphones?
Yes. Motorists can use the aid of hands-free function and applications as long as these do not interfere with the driver’s line of sight. This means that no communication or electronic gadget should be affixed on the car’s dashboard and steering wheel. In addition, drivers are only allowed to wear earphones when making or receiving calls. Using earphones to listen to music falls under “similar acts” in Section 4B of the law, in addition to reckless driving violation penalized under other relevant laws.

6. Can we still use traffic and navigational apps like Waze and Google Maps while driving?
Yes. Although motorists are being advised to set their preferred destination on these applications prior to their departure. Gadgets with these applications may be installed in areas that will not obstruct the driver’s view. In cases when motorists need to find alternate routes while in traffic, they are advised to first pull their vehicles aside.

7. Who are authorized to apprehend violating motorists?
The DOTr - Land Transportation Office (LTO) is the lead implementing agency of the Act. The LTO also has the authority to deputize members of the PNP, MMDA, and LGUs to carry out enforcement functions and duties.

8. How will we know if drivers of private vehicles with heavily-tinted windshields are violating the law?
Aside from high-definition cameras that can monitor lights from devices inside heavily-tinted vehicles, the law will also be strictly enforced by enforcers on the ground who were well-trained to determine from the movement of the vehicle whether or not a driver commits distracted driving. A Memorandum Circular setting specifications on the regulation of tints shall be released by LTO soon, upon consultation with tint manufacturers.

9. What are the penalties?
Violators will be penalized with a fine of five thousand pesos (Php5,000) for the first offense, ten thousand pesos (Php10,000) for the second offense, and fifteen thousand pesos (Php15,000) for the third offense with a three-month suspension of driver’s license. Violations incurred beyond the third offense shall be penalized with the revocation of driver’s license and a fine of twenty thousand pesos (Php20,000).

10. Are operators of Public Utility Vehicles (PUV) also liable for violations made by drivers?
Yes. Operators and owners of Public Utility Vehicles (PUV) and other commercial vehicles shall both be held liable for the violations committed by their drivers.

11. When will this be implemented?
The Anti Distracted Driving Act shall be implemented nationwide fifteen days after its general publication (or sometime between June 28, 2017 to early July, 2017).

Share your ideas by commenting.

          Personal Products / Services        
Personal Products / Services - Id Theft - Personal Safety Protection
          Safety Tips For Around Your Home        
Take a walk around your house some night and look at it from a burglars point of view. Where would be the easiest place to break in? Where could you hide if someone approached? Is there a point of entry that is not easily seen from the street or a neighbor's window?

Making your home a less attractive target is the goal. Security stickers and yard signs are a great way to make burglars look for an easier opportunity, but there are many things you can do to make your home a safer one.

Home Security - Doors, Windows and Locks

* Exterior doors should be metal, solid-core or 1 3/4" hardwood. Hollow doors should only be used for interior applications.
* Make sure each door fits snug in its frame with no more than 1/8" clearance. When locked, the door should close tightly with no wiggle room. If there is a gap between the door and the stop, the door is much easier the force open.
* Make sure all doors to the outside have good locks. Every door that leads to the outside should have locks including: screen and storm doors, garage doors, basement doors and sliding doors. Where applicable use deadbolts with a minimum of 1 1/2" bolts.
* Lock up every time you go out, even if you will only be gone a short time. Almost 50% of burglars enter homes of property through unlocked doors or windows.
* Never hide keys outside in a secret location. Burglars know where to look! Leave a spare key with a trusted neighbor instead.
* Secure sliding doors with bars or locks, or put a wooden dowel or broom handle in the door track.
* Make sure all windows, but especially those on the first floor, have good locks and make sure you use them.

Now that you have all this done your safe, Right? But what if your home asleep when someone enters your home or your bedroom. Stay safe in your home with a non-lethal weapon, a Stun Gun. For more information on stun guns and personal safety visit use on line at

Thank you for keeping your family safe.

Becky Peart, Owner, So Safe Stun
          Five Years From Fukushima: Where Are We Now?        
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Station under construction in the 1970's
We find ourselves at many different places, all at once, five years after the event that changed everything.  We see new opportunities, based on new ideas; we see some old places reawakening, all too slowly.  We watch as a nation struggles with its economy and need for energy, as elsewhere the concept that "an accident anywhere is an accident everywhere" leads to deliberate, voluntary entering of that power short, and power costly world Japan was thrust into in the months following March 11, 2011.  The world has indeed changed, and in many ways we might well have predicted these changes some time ago.

The spread of publications heralding this five year anniversary will no doubt be considerable; facing that, my presentation here must be either exceedingly brief, or else exhaustive to the point of intolerability in order to have any real chance of contributing to the overall discussion.  I shall choose brevity as much as possible over any attempt to document the thousands of personal actions, thousands of official report pages printed, hundreds of critical decisions made, in an attempt to reach some sort of bridge from then til now.

The Site

It is not any stretch to say that the conditions at Fukushima Daiichi are very considerably improved, and of course one asks "how could they not be?" after the five years since the tsunami that flooded the site with millions of tons of water and debris.  (Not to mention the destruction caused by the hydrogen gas explosions at Units 1 and 3, and the less forceful but still significant leaked-in gas burn at Unit 4.)  The workers at first had to rush to the emergency - had to meet the need where it was. There was no time to consider anything but utility, access, speed.  Over time, as the conditions of the nuclear plants made it clear that this would be not just a months but decades-long effort, TEPCO has moved to improve the accommodations for the workers as much as possible and actually, today, may be said to have afforded the legion of people, men and women alike, who are working at the site some identifiable measure of personal comfort.

Well worth watching is this latest TEPCO video, which itself looks back at five years' worth of events in an abbreviated form. (click link)

The Accident

For a long time, the real cause of the Fukushima Daiichi accident has been known -- that cause being what the industry refers to as Station Blackout, or that condition in which no electric power is available to operate plant indications, controls or systems.  The inundation of the site by the tsunami 46 minutes after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake (which the plants survived as they had survived other earthquakes, the operating units shutting down successfully and safely) caused the Station Blackout or SBO when the Emergency Diesel Generators and associated electric switchgear was flooded and made inoperable.  Many arguments have raged about the siting of the plant, or else if not that the location of the diesels in lower levels of the plant, or else of the failure to provide diesels at higher levels or even not immediately at the nuclear units.  Those considerations are, of course, specific to each nuclear plant site everywhere - and that is why, for example, Japan and the United States have chosen to supply large numbers of ready-use standby power supply and support vehicles which can be rushed to any site(s) needing them.

That the accident would have happened given only the tsunami, and letting dozens of possible scenarios play out after that, is almost unavoidable, although a sound case can be made that a serious tipping point was the hydrogen explosion at Unit 1 just after 3:30 in the afternoon on March 12.  When that event occurred, attempts to connect portable resources to other units was interrupted, and people were literally forced to flee the area for a time for reasons of personal safety. (No substantiated claims of persons fleeing the site out of sheer fear have arisen, although the false claims continue.) After that interruption in site-wide operations it then became more and more likely that accidents would occur at other units on site, and of course there were eventually meltdowns at the other two units (2 and 3) which had been operating.  Unit 4 oddly suffered the effects of a hydrogen gas explosion itself, not from the spent fuel (as was commonly assumed in the early days) but rather from gas leaked over from the stricken, neighboring Unit 3.  It must be pointed out that all of Unit 4's spent fuel was removed intact last year, finally vanquishing those claims that it had been uncovered, had overheated, or worse.

This customized, remote controlled tracked dumper is typical of the equipment used at the site in the early days.  Note the television camera on the engine housing; vehicles were controlled from a special trailer or building.

Getting Control, Seeking Normalcy

In the years since, TEPCO has continued to make various moves at the seriously damaged units to control their conditions.  It has, for example, erected a huge enclosure around Unit 1 - - which it is now removing.  It has removed rubble and debris from the refueling floor levels of Units 3 and 4, and is preparing an enclosure to get the spent fuel out of Unit 3's spent fuel pool.  The appearance has changed drastically as the wrecked buildings and distributed materials are replaced with something still disordered, yet less otherworldly.  Gone are the days of armored and shielded fork lifts, cranes and dump trucks removing girders and glass and crushed vehicles, only to be halted by discovery of a new hot spot; today, areas are mostly accessible on foot and buses transport workers around the site, on which full respiratory equipment is required less and less.

Parallels, Effects

In the months after the accident, there was no time to consider what the long run would be - who would be responsible for what, and what would happen to the owner (TEPCO), or the nation, or even what would happen regarding the nuclear regulator's actions.  There can be no doubt that the accident was directly responsible for the dissolution of NISA, the regulator at the time, and the setup of a new nuclear regulator (Nuclear Regulation Authority) completely outside of the Ministry of Trade and Economy.

Eventually, given the fact that all nuclear plants in Japan were shut down, and that every single utility had to scramble to get generating sources and fuel for those sources, it became clear that TEPCO would not be able to survive, and it more or less did not.  The company has been receiving infusions of cash from the Japanese government, who now effectively owns it - in different circumstances, the company would have gone bankrupt.  This of course almost happened to the owner of Three Mile Island, General Public Utilities, who managed to avert bankruptcy only after being allowed to restart its remaining nuclear unit and stop buying as much (very expensive) replacement power for its customers.  TEPCO in the last five years has been forced to agree to decommission the two undamaged units at Fukushima Daiichi; the fate of its four units at Fukushima Daini, miles to the south, is unclear but know this:  Fukushima Prefecture has stated repeatedly that no nuclear plant will again operate on its soil, and it's sure as the sunrise that eventually TEPCO will have to write off Fukushima Daini as well.

Of course, there is one other TEPCO nuclear plant -- the massive Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant on the opposite coast of Japan, and into which the owner has poured millions of dollars worth of upgrades and backfits and modifications to get it ready to pass NRA's inspections to start up.  Given the public mistrust of TEPCO, it may well be that a contract operator will need to be brought in to "assist" TEPCO in starting up and operating the plant (Units 6 and 7, the two new ABWR's, would be first) until such time as TEPCO has regained a grain of public trust.

Much has been made in the way of comparing the Fukushima Daiichi accident to the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl nuclear accidents, and now this recent name has joined the others on a short list of events that have reshaped an industry.  Parallels to the Chernobyl accident from an operational and business standpoint are few; the Soviet system was, as much as anything, responsible for and conducive to a situation in which that particular accident occurred, and there are so many systemic (political and operational) as well as physical differences between the old Soviet plants of that era and Fukushima's plants that comparison is more wasteful than helpful.

In terms of the 1979 Three Mile Island accident, there are a few further parallels.  Neither accident directly caused the death of anyone.  Both saw the burn of hydrogen generated in the accident, but the effect in the strongly built containment of the TMI plant was nil outside the containment itself.  Not so, as we've seen, at Fukushima.  In both cases too, we have seen that it was several years in and still no one was exactly sure what the condition of the melted nuclear fuel was.  In the case of the heavily damaged Fukushima plants, it will certainly be longer to find that out than it was at Three Mile Island.  Bringing back in Chernobyl for just a moment, the condition was suspected early and known fairly soon and was considered so bad that it was better to bury the destroyed reactor under lead and chemicals, and then build an enclosure over it; another, further outer enclosure is now being added.  Fukushima Daiichi will not see this fate, it is almost certain, making it between the TMI and Chernobyl experiences in terms of the cleanup.

Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 enclosure, courtesy Tokyo Electric Power Co.

A Tough Road

Just this week, after Kansai Electric Power had been allowed to restart its Takahama 3 and 4 units, it was ordered by a Japanese court to shut them back down.  This court action took place completely outside the nuclear regulatory atmosphere, and gives a clear message that nuclear restarts in Japan will from this point on be exceedingly problematic until a precedent is set (as we have in the US) that regulation of nuclear plants, and the determination of their safety, is a national (Federal) matter and is limited in scope to the nation's nuclear regulator alone.

The Japanese government and the vast majority of corporate entities are heavily for restarting reactors, to cut fuel costs and to get the Japanese economy (read as "export machine") moving again.  Various prefectures are for this, while some others aren't sure and still some others (Fukushima) are dead set against any interior or adjoining nuclear operation if they can help it.  To the extent that they can, antinuclear forces are also trying to call into question every possible tiny defect in the earth as an "active fault," so that any reactors near them cannot be operated -- this is the case in a number of places, and legal actions continue.  We certainly can say this:  The nature of the nuclear plant operations in the future in Japan cannot yet be augured with any sense of surety.

A Future, In Spite of Setback

As recently as the shutdown injunction was issued for Kansai Electric, another couple of announcements were made -- that UAMPS had obtained permission to begin investigating the old National Reactor Testing Station, now INL, for siting of a NuScale SMR power plant, and also separately that Bechtel Corporation was reinvigorating the effort to build the Generation mPower SMR.  The units that Korea Electric Power / Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power are building in the United Arab Emirates at Barakah are on time and on schedule, and construction arrangements for the four new AP1000 units underway in the USA have recently been streamlined and integrated with the bringing of the construction operation in-house by the reactor vendor.  Nuclear energy continues to move forward, all around the world.  Yes, in some places, it's going to slowly reduce (France) or be killed off (Germany.)  In others, it's growing steadily (South Korea) or very rapidly (China) while in other places the share is expected to grow (South Africa) or is expected to go from zero to something in the foreseeable future (Kenya.)

The Fukushima Daiichi accident did change very many things, but in one certain parallel to the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents, it did not and cannot kill off nuclear energy.  In none of these cases did worldwide overall opinion swing against nuclear energy.  It continues to be considered as vitally necessary in many places today -- and, as the environment takes on more importance every day, the fact that nuclear plants produce no exhaust or gaseous emissions makes them a very significant force in "clean energy."  While the nuclear entities around the world have much to do in terms of messaging, of ensuring communication with the public, and with gaining public trust, a great deal of that work has already been done simply by acknowledging the need for clean (low or no CO2,) reliable power.  It is on that cornerstone that the future of nuclear energy is being built.

3:20 PM Eastern March 10, 2016

          2013 Ford F150 still large and in charge        

Truck of the year: Affordability, improved fuel economy help boost traditional top-seller in Canada

Over the next three weeks I’ll be evaluating three pickup trucks; today it’s the 2013 Ford F150; next Tuesday is the 2013 Chevy Silverado 1500; and the 2013 Ram 1500 on Tuesday, July 2.

The result will determine the Truck Guy Pickup of the Year. We have been conducting a poll on Facebook for the past two months and will share these results with you at the end (

The Ford F150 has always been a top-seller in Canada, and the 2013 model is no exception, and that has a lot to do with its pricing and its improved fuel economy.


Little has changed over the last few years when it comes to F150 body styling. That said, the grille has seen some attention over the years and this helps determine the model year. With 10 F150 models to choose from, Ford has something for everybody. This truck has a nice shape to it. Its large side mirrors fold in, the large cab windows provide excellent visibility and the large wheel wells allow for excellent suspension travel. Notice a pattern here? Large and in charge!

In The Cab

The 2013 F150 has a very well appointed interior with stitching and textured plastic along the dash and console and very comfortable front seats. My tester was equipped with heated and ventilated seats along with a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The rear seats are a one-touch 60/40 split that folds up to allow for a fully flat floor area for cargo. The back of the centre console has a 110 power plug and flow-through vents. Ford Sync, part computer and part music storage, is optional, as is the voice-activated navigation system that uses an eight-inch LCD touch screen with interactive maps, can play DVDs while in park and stores up to 10 gigabytes of music.

Safety First

Sensors are used in the advanced personal safety system that control deployment of the dual stage front airbags, front seat side airbags, and side canopy airbags. AdvanceTrac and roll stability control comes standard. If you swerve or corner too quickly, the two gyroscopic sensors measure the vehicle roll and turning rates then apply the individual brakes and modify engine power to help keep all four wheels firmly in place. Pretty cool. Mykey technology allows you to program the ignition keys with reminders to drive at appropriate speeds, limit the volume on audio system, limiting the vehicle’s top speed and muting the audio system until the front seatbelts are fastened.


The 3.5-lire V6 engine is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission and puts out 365 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 420 lbs.-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm. New this year is a 136-litre fuel tank that comes standard on the EcoBoost 4x4s, allowing you to drive over 1,400 highway kilometres before stopping to refuel.

Pump Frequency

12.9/9.0 L/100km (city/highway)

Warranty support

Basic warranty 36 months/ 60,000 km
Powertrain warranty 60 months/100,000 km
Corrosion perforation warranty 60 months/unlimited distance
Roadside assistance 60 months/100,000 km


Full marks for towing, and the technology in the Ford brake control unit is amazing. It takes the white knuckles out of your vacation plans. Gas mileage is also deserving of full marks. Comfort is another quality that is hard to beat. Long trips just became a little easier.


Strong out of the gate, and sets the bar. We will see how the other two competitors stack up.

Sticker price

XL $21,559
STX $23,855
XLT $27,103
FX2 $36,287
Lariat $42,335
FX4 $42,895
Raptor $67,591
King Ranch $59,359
Platinum $60,031
Limited $64,735

Article written by: Ian Harwood - "The Truck Guy" Corporate Sales and Operations Manager for Custom Truck Parts

          NSW Country Hour for Wednesday 5 April 2017        
Floating cow travels 70 kilometres through flood waters, Livestock producers can still be carbon neutral despite methane emissions and a close call with a kangaroo prompts a farmer to use a personal safety beacon
           Back in Black        

On Friday, May 3, 1968, several hundred radical students stared down a contingent of fascists outside the Sorbonne, in Paris. The day before, the neo-fascist group Occident torched the offices of a leftist student organization, leaving behind their call sign, the Celtic Cross. In response, radical students called for a demonstration against “fascism and terror,” steeling themselves for a fight.

Brawls between radicals and fascists had become a common feature of the Parisian political scene since the Algerian War, when fascists turned to terrorism, assassination, and bombings in a last-ditch effort to prevent Algerian independence, demolish the left, and seize state power. After the war, paramilitary groups like Occident continued to wage war on the left. In this context, many student radicals began their political education in antifascist organizing, where they learned how to fight fascists in the streets, confront the police, and organize swift, militant actions. As one radical explained, “I was antifascist. That was how I was socialized. Others wielded the dialectic – I wielded the matraque.”

The radical youth groups of the 1960s developed paramilitary wings known as the service d’ordre (SO). As its name suggests, the SO took responsibility for maintaining general order. They acted as parade marshals during demonstrations, protected rallies and meetings from raids, defended militants hawking newspapers from fascist attacks, and later handled security at occupations. But the SO also played an offensive role, disrupting lectures during student strikes, storming fascist meetings, and confronting police during demonstrations. For those in the movement, there was no contradiction between these functions, so long as the SO answered to the larger struggle.

That Friday, both sides came prepared. When Occident thugs marched towards the university, sporting helmets, clubs, and smoke bombs, radicals fastened their helmets and smashed furniture to fashion weapons for the inevitable melee. Panicking, the chancellor called the police, who made matters worse by raiding the demonstration and making indiscriminate arrests. Students quickly retaliated, surrounding police vans, ripping up cobblestones, and throwing missiles at police.

The were 574 arrests that day. Students across Paris were radicalized by the crackdown, and took to the streets demanding that the police liberate their comrades. Protests climaxed a week later, on May 10, when radical youth, led by the battle-hardened SO, fought police into the night. Radicals cut down trees and overturned cars to erect barricades, stretched wires across the streets, rolled automobiles into police lines, set fires to halt police advances, and unleashed salvos of cobblestones. When the plumes of tear gas finally cleared, 200 cars lay in ruins, at least 400 were injured, and over 500 arrested.

Remarkably, despite the vandalism, violence, and property destruction, polls indicated that 80 percent of Parisians supported the youths. In fact, residents of the Latin Quarter provided protesters with food, water, material for barricades, and refuge from police. On May 13, the unions called a strike. Students occupied the university, factory workers followed suit, and by the end of the month, some nine million workers were on strike. As life in the capital ground to a halt, President de Gaulle left the country to consult with the army. Though de Gaulle soon reasserted control, the May events overturned French society. Factories became ungovernable for over a decade, diverse social movements proliferated across the country, and de Gaulle himself was forced out of office in 1969.

It’s astonishing to see, then, the reaction of the liberal intelligentsia to the return of the “black bloc” today. Some critics, like Erica Chenoweth, claim that “history” allegedly proves that “black bloc tactics” are ineffective. To begin with, accounts like these erroneously conflate militant street-fighting with armed struggles against dictatorships, misrepresenting the black bloc as a militia or guerrilla force, rather than a specific tactic. Even worse, they’re historically inaccurate. There’s little doubt among historians that militant street-fighting played a crucial, catalyzing role in 1960s France. There’s also agreement that the tactic proved effective in many other struggles – for an example closer to home, consider the Detroit uprising of 1967. Rather than ending in chaos, the riots not only radicalized unions, but actually generated long-lasting and durable organizations like the League of Revolutionary Black Workers.

But let’s not make the opposite error as Chenoweth. The example of May ‘68 does not suggest that street-fighting will automatically call into being mass movements of the kind that radically overturned French society in the 1960s and 1970s. The confrontational tactics of radical youth before and during May 1968 detonated a highly combustible conjuncture, and the exact political sequence of the May events can never be repeated.

“History,” then, does not provide us with models to mechanically follow or avoid. If the history of militant confrontation shows us anything, it’s that black bloc tactics may work in some cases and not in others: effectiveness depends entirely on the conjuncture at hand. Evocations of the past might shed light on a time when something like the black bloc did play an important role in social movements, but can’t tell us whether the black bloc is appropriate today. Only a concrete analysis of our concrete situation can determine what role, if any, the black bloc can play in today’s movements. While many have rightly questioned the bloc’s overall effectiveness over the past decade or so, we are now in an objectively different historical conjuncture, which should force us to reconsider the potential role of the black bloc.

New Conjuncture

As I have argued elsewhere, the black bloc represented a specific tactic that once enjoyed a valuable place within the strategy of a certain constellation of movements. But over the course of the 1980s and 1990s, these movements collapsed, repression heightened, and radical spaces were restructured, undermining the social bases that grounded black bloc tactics. The bloc managed to live on as a kind of “floating tactic,” but survival came at a cost. Without a broader strategy, partisans of the bloc found themselves compelled to continually reproduce this single tactic in the hopes of spontaneously resurrecting the strategy that once gave it meaning, trapping themselves in a bad infinity of spectacular actions. Separated from mass organs, its members tended to take on a distinct cultural identity, sometimes in outright opposition to movements. Throughout the 2000s, some black bloc militants derided other demonstrators for holding them back, while less confrontational activists denounced the bloc for irresponsible adventurism. It’s from this period that the bloc’s reputation dates.

But the dawning of the Trump administration has changed the game. By unleashing a massive assault on all sectors of the working class, his presidency has raised questions about security, personal safety, and bodily autonomy. Trump’s unilateral imposition of racist immigration policies has already thrown the lives of immigrants into disarray. Future actions will further imperil the lives of the undocumented. If passed, the Republican’s nationwide right-to-work bill would gut unions, leaving countless American workers even more vulnerable than they already are. Meanwhile, Trump’s foray into “healthcare reform” could leave twenty million Americans uninsured, potentially resulting in 43,956 deaths annually. Hate crimes have already spiked, as emboldened fascists have tagged swastikas in cities across the country, sent death threats to synagogues and mosques, and verbally and physically harassed minorities. Just two weeks ago a Tump supporter shot a protester at a Milo Yiannopoulos event in Seattle – the victim’s right to free speech saw none of the defense from civil libertarians that Richard Spencer was granted for a non-lethal punch. In this context, it’s worth reconsidering the role that militant confrontation, and self-defense, might play in protecting collective movements.

There’s also evidence that the idea of confrontation is gaining wider acceptance. Many of those organizers who have not previously adopted black bloc tactics are growing far more receptive, and in some places are seeking alliances with those who use them. Despite the controversy surrounding the event, it seems many Berkeley students supported the militant tactics that prevented Milo from speaking at Berkeley, where he intended to launch a campaign against sanctuary campuses, and may have planned to reveal the names of undocumented students. “My campus did nothing to stand between my undocumented community and the hateful hands of radicalized white men — the AntiFas did,” an undocumented student wrote of the Milo event. “A peaceful protest was not going to cancel that event, just like numerous letters from faculty, staff, Free Speech Movement veterans and even donors did not cancel the event. Only the destruction of glass and shooting of fireworks did that.”

There’s even a growing mainstream interest in the black bloc. Within hours, the video of Richard Spencer getting punched in the face received nearly a million views, and was set to music from “Born in the U.S.A.” to “The Boys Are Back in Town.” The black bloc is now discussed at the dinner table, featured on cable television, and addressed on the front page of the New York Times, challenging some mainstream liberals like Sarah Silverman to rethink their assumptions. This changing attitude is likely a reflection of the radicalizing political situation. Animated by Trump, hundreds of thousands of Americans who never joined a protest before this election are now sacrificing their free time for political meetings, marching against traffic, shutting down airports, getting trained as organizers, and even contemplating a general strike. Many are coming to feel that the violence of a broken window pales in comparison to the violence of Trump’s administration. In fact, it’s precisely this surprising openness to black bloc tactics that has sent critics into such a delirious state.

At the same time, black bloc militants recognize the need to find ways to organically integrate street-fighting within a whole ecosystem of struggles. Let’s not forget that in Berkeley, the bloc’s actions were only one aspect of a broader campaign that included publishing op-eds, buying out tickets, working with faculty to pressure the administration into canceling the event, organizing through the UAW, contacting local politicians, reaching out to different communities in the area, and holding public meetings.

The black bloc militants I’ve spoken to at recent demonstrations in Philadelphia have stressed the importance of working with larger mobilizations, not against them. That means transforming the bloc from an identity to an integrated tactic. The way forward, then, is to creatively articulate street-fighting not only with a wider range of tactics, but with wider mass movements, which will likely mean putting the bloc to a range of uses, as French radicals in the 1960s did with the service d’ordre.

During Trump’s inauguration, black bloc tactics helped Black Lives Matter activists shut down a checkpoint, chasing away neo-Nazis. What other uses can the bloc serve today? Shutting down airports? Protecting abortion clinics? Helping to stop deportation raids? Defending the autonomous survival programs we’ll need to develop in the coming years?


The question, then, is whether Trump’s presidency has created the conditions to restore the black bloc to its historical function as an integral element of mass struggles, rather than as a floating tactic. It seems the possibility exists, but making this encounter take hold will no doubt present many challenges.

First, there’s the hypocrisy of American conventional wisdom on violence. During May ‘68, the Parisian public thought little of the dozens of cars that went up in flames. The police, whom the majority disrespected, were clearly in the wrong. In contrast, although it’s clear that thousands of Americans are coming to rethink militant confrontation in the streets, the ideology of law and order remains strong. Even among some who oppose Trump, the police are often presumed innocent, and their victims guilty. For the black bloc to find a firm place in today’s movements, this ideological deference to legal authority has to change.

This is not at all to say, as the liberals do, that this attitude is so ingrained that we should throw our hands in the air and police our movements so they appeal to liberal sensibilities. If there’s one thing we’ve learned this past year, it’s that the people’s attitudes can change rapidly. We can expect Trump to do some of this work for us. But we can also make an effort to wage a fierce campaign of political education, especially within the mass demonstrations drawing in tens of thousands a week, that insists we approach confrontation not through moralistic judgement but tactical consideration.

Second, there’s the challenge of formalizing the link between the black bloc and other struggles. To be effective, the black bloc requires a certain degree of autonomy, especially given the legal risks of confrontation. On the other hand, if the bloc is to amplify movements, rather than work at cross-purposes, it must be transparent and accountable. In the past, the balance was achieved through formal organizational unity. The service d’ordre, for example, existed within, and took general direction from, a larger organization. In this way, those engaged in bloc tactics and those involved with other actions could coordinate their efforts to achieve maximum effectiveness. To make the link work today, we need to find ways to recreate this formalized relationship, which means inventing new forms of unity and building collective organizations. In fact, in the current context, the very question of unity makes little sense without organization.

Lastly, and most importantly, if this reunification is to work, we need a strategy. The black bloc, after all, represents only a tactic. While Trump’s presidency may have created a new need for militant confrontation, the larger strategic questions that can give such a tactic meaning remain open. How can we collectively articulate diverse social forces into a lasting political unity that respects their different needs, interests, and desires? What forms of organized self-activity will resonate with the particular composition of the U.S. working classes? In what ways can the anti-Trump resistance transition into a positive movement for radical social change, beyond capitalism and the state? Only by thinking through these strategic questions can we really determine the place of the black bloc, and not the other way around.

Widening our Horizons

On May 7, 1968, members of the UJCml, one of the radical student organizations of the time, met at the École normale supérieure to discuss the student revolts. Robert Linhart, the group’s undisputed leader, remained convinced that the entire affair was a ruse. Fastened to a crude workerism, Linhart argued that rebellious students could not possibly lead the revolution. In fact, their puerile street-fighting was not only a distraction, but played right into the hands of the bourgeoisie by keeping them trapped in the Latin Quarter, away from the workers. As their flier, And Now to the Factories!, explained, everyone should “leave bourgeois neighborhoods where we have nothing to do,” and “go to the factories and popular neighborhoods to unite with the workers,” the only class who could make the revolution.

Yet the order to ignore the student demonstrations did not sit well with UJCml activists who watched as the Latin Quarter went up in flames. “Robert,” Linhart’s wife declared, “the students are fighting outside. It’s foolish to stay here, behind closed doors. It’s time to join in … The proletariat wants to join the demonstrations and, following the students’ example, to go on strike!” Linhart, however, refused to budge. Trapped in rigid models, refusing to assess the novelty of the situation at hand, the UJCml missed the opening acts of May ‘68.

It’s not 1968, and never will be again. The May events don’t give us a model to follow. On the contrary, they reveal the need to treat models and received ideas with caution, to remain politically flexible in the face of a new and unfamiliar situation. Indeed, this is the lesson French militants drew after the energies of the insurrectional period subsided. Many attempted to configure a historically adequate, effective set of political practices, through inquiry and “action committees,” to set up relays between the struggles of workers, students, immigrants, and the still-substantial French peasantry. We have to recognize that we’re in a radically different and quite unstable historical conjuncture. The playbook can only take us so far. We have to take inspiration from the struggles around us, whatever their contradictions, and broaden our imagination.

It may be that the black bloc’s time is over, that it remains completely inadequate to our present conjuncture. But it may also be the case that we can find ways to reintegrate the bloc into today’s struggles, which might ultimately make our movements even stronger. We will get nowhere by indulging in knee-jerk denunciations based in moralism, dubious appeals to the authority of history, or fixed ideas about what struggles ought to look like, as the real struggles rage outside. We have to begin with a concrete analysis of the concrete situation to see what kind of political experiments we need today, making sure we don’t miss the possibilities of unprecedented events. Instead of drawing conclusions from behind closed doors, we should base our strategy on what’s happening in the streets.


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          Inauguration day        
Warren Meyer on the downside of Inauguration Day for small government fans, regardless of which “team” won this time around: Inauguration day is probably one of my 2 or 3 least favorite days in every decade. My feelings on the whole exercise are probably best encompassed by a conversation I had the other day at […]
          Offer - Personal Tracking System - INDIA        
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          Campus Safety A Lie. Campus Justice Non-Existent. Schools Protect The Attacker        

It used to be that going to college was not an issue of safety, but one of getting a higher education, transitioning from teen to adult and gaining a foot up on the future. Now it's become one of concern for personal safety. These are but a few examples of what can only be called […]

The post Campus Safety A Lie. Campus Justice Non-Existent. Schools Protect The Attacker appeared first on The Political Carnival.

           Travel Safety Tips - Stay Safe While Travelling        

In adventure, we know the fact that the world or a place is not safe. We don't really know what might happen next to our escapades.

To help you stay safe while travelling, follow these simple and common important tips on your trips.

1. Research - Do the research or try to check the place in the internet, do a quick reviews about the place.

2. Bag/Backpack - Light backpacking is very important. Bring only important things do not overload.

3. Money - Make it sure that you have enough budget please bring an extra money in every adventure. Always separate your sources of money while you are travelling. Keep at least one in a different place, this is very helpful.

4. Wallet - Do not keep your wallet or purse in your jean's back pocket to avoid being pickpocketed.

5. Waterproof - If possible, make sure that your bag is waterproof or bag with rain cover.

6. Shoes/Slippers - Always bring an extra shoes/slippers.

7. Gadgets - Don't bring all your gadgets while travelling. There is no better way to advertise the fact that you have all the expensive gadgets on you. Bring only what is important to you, this is for your safety.

8. Strangers - Do not trust strangers because it is hard to get to know the locals at a destination if you do not trust them but there are always limits to how much you should trust them when it comes to your personal safety. Safety must come first.

9. Belongings - Please do not leave your belongings unattended in public spaces. Keep them on your lap or wrap its strap around your leg.

10. Street Robbery - If you are mugged, give over your wallet, cellphones, watch etc. Just do it and walk away uninjured.

11. Credit Card - Be wary of using your credit card in any establishments while travelling to avoid some problems that might arise.

12. Malaria Pills - Take precautions against malaria when you visit areas at risk. Mosquito bites can be prevented if you will take malaria pills as advised by many.

13. Bottled Water - In the majority of countries in the world, one can not drink tap water because it's not clean enough, so therefore bottled water is the only option.

14. Medicine - Have a supply of medicine for self treatment of diarrhea.

15. Casual Sex - This is very important to all travellers..lols. Practice safe sex with condoms to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Enjoy your travel Everyone! 
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          Wild Foraging – Best Practices for Personal Safety and Sustainability        

To walk into the woods and harvest your own food and medicine is a truly...

The post Wild Foraging – Best Practices for Personal Safety and Sustainability appeared first on We Are Wildness.

          RED ALERT! Bad Water in Paradise!        
Cain Chamberlin
July 29, 2010

Mike Phillips holds the contaminated water that he discovered in his well on July 12 in his left hand, and in his right hand a sample of bottled water. Phillips is concerned that the disturbance in his well is due to gas drilling operations that have taken place near his home.
Photo by Cain Chamberlin

Bad Water in Paradise? Terry Twp. Residents Await Answers

Click here for video of gas igniting from bathroom sink faucet at Phillip's neighbor, Scott Spencer's home.

When Michael and Jonna Phillips woke up on Monday, July 12, they expected it to be like any other day…until they turned on their water.

They noticed that it was an odd, murky, brownish color. For obvious personal safety and health reasons, they decided against tasting it to figure out why.

Since the Phillips’s home, located along Paradise Road in Terry Township, was built in 2002, they have never had any trouble with their water. Their well is approximately 140 deep. They had their water tested in April of this year, and the results came back clear of any contamination, so the sudden change seemed extremely peculiar to them.

The Phillipses were aware that their next-door neighbors, Jared and Heather McMicken, had the same disturbance in their water, although the discoloration of their water started in early June when no one else had the problem, making them think it was just bad luck. The McMicken well is at approximately the same depth as that of the Phillips’s. Soon after the McMickens started having water trouble, Scott Spencer, another nearby resident, made a major discovery in his water as well; he could light it on fire.

“Spit and Sputter”
“All the faucets started
to spit and sputter, so we were curious as to what was going on,” said Spencer.

A Chesapeake drilling site no further than a quarter-mile away from the three homes struck the curiosity of Phillips. Even though all three residents have signed on to lease their land to gas companies, none of their properties has been subject to any operations so far. It made Phillips wonder if the nearby drilling was the culprit.

Phillips finally reached Greg Garrison, an Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Field Specialist for Chesapeake Energy, after several attempts. Garrison brought a couple of cases of water to their home and looked at the problem for himself. Phillips said that after Garrison saw the disturbance with his own eyes, he told them that they should keep all their receipts dealing with any water purchases or testing and repairs to the well; if the DEP could prove that Chesapeake was at fault, they would be reimbursed.

“He told us that he or someone from Chesapeake would be back on a daily basis,” said Phillips. They have not seen nor heard from anyone at Chesapeake in over a week, while the McMicken family has only seen a Chesapeake representative twice since reporting their water problems.

A representative of the DEP ran a test in the water systems on both the Phillips and McMicken properties on July 15 and again on July 21. According to the DEP, the full results will not be available for about 40 days, but they immediately found rising levels of methane in the water. The reports show the Phillips’s water had minima
l amounts of methane in the first test, but rose to three percent six days later. The McMickens’ level rose from three percent to four percent in the same time period.

DEP Offers Advice
DEP advised them, as well as Scott Spencer and his family, not to drink the water. Heather McMicken, who was diagnosed with Lyme disease, had been drinking close to 25 glasses of tap water per day since the spring until her family’s water problems began. Her children were drinking several glasses every day as well, which concerns her deeply.

“Our kids’ health is number one priority,” she said.

Phillips contacted Thomas Dunn, a local water well specialist, who almost immediately after removing the well cap on July 18 told them that there was gas in the water. Once again, they were advised not to drink the water and told that there was a definite disturbance. According to Mrs. Phillips, who is due to have their second child in October, Garrison told her that she could bathe in the water, although the family doctor advised her not to.

She now has to take her twice-daily showers at a friends’ house about two miles away. Mrs. Spencer, who is also pregnant with their second child, has been bathing in the water because she has no other option. The DEP told the Spencers that the water did contain some effervescence but appeared to be fine, although they shouldn’t drink it, just as a precaution. According to Spencer, the DEP claimed that they would be stopping by on a weekly basis to run water tests but have yet to come back.

“Chesapeake told us that it could be from something five or six years ago that we didn’t realize was happening,” said Spencer, “Basically that the problem was just natural causes.”

Alternate Sources

The Phillipses have purchased a water cooler system, while the Spencers and McMickens are buying bottled water on a regular basis. The children in each family are getting very impatient wondering when they will be able to drink their own water or swim in their plastic kiddie pools again during the current summer heat.

“We don’t know if it will end soon or not, we don’t know what to expect,” Spencer said.

Last week, Phillips wrote several letters in order to address the situation of his family and neighbors. He contacted Chesapeake’s Director of Corporate Development Brian Grove, Sen. Gene Yaw, State Rep. Tina Pickett and Congressman Chris Carney, as well as an environmental lawyer from Washington, DC. Phillips says that he is determined to find answers and to make sure that his drinking water is restored to its original condition.

“No one is immune to this and this is ruining our beautiful place to live,” said Phillips, “All we wanted was a nice, peaceful community. These are young families in new homes, and we just want this problem taken care of.”

(Editor’s Note: Brian Grove, Chesapeake Energy’s Director of Corporate Development, responds to concerns expressed in this article in a statement released on Wednesday, July 28. That statement is published in this issue of the Rocket-Courier.)

Click here for video of gas igniting from bathroom sink faucet at Phillip's neighbor, Scott Spencer's home.

to article.
(BULLSHIT image for Splashdown post courtesy of Google.)


          China: Is Xi Jinping losing his hold on Power?        

Paper No. 6104                                  Dated 21-Apr-2016

By D. S. Rajan

 A series of politically significant events have taken place in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) since the end of February 2016. Prima facie, they seem to mark the beginning of a movement spearheaded by some elements within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and sections of  social elites in the country like the business circles  and intelligentsia against certain  policies and style of functioning of Xi Jinping, who has been able to emerge as the PRC’s supreme leader though concentration of  power in his hands , thus raising questions for the  ‘collective leadership’ governing principle accepted in the Post-Deng Xiaoping era.

A list of such events (11 in number, arranged in chronological order) is given below as Appendix. A prominent development is the release of Panama Papers exposing the  involvement of Xi’s   brother in law in the investment in off shore companies, which appears to be not a crime in China and internationally also. But Xi, as a   leader, was expected to assume some amount of moral responsibility in the matter; on the contrary, neither he nor the party or government said nothing on the papers. This silence can damage the   image of Xi which otherwise remains popular due to his willingness to fight against corrupt ‘tigers and flies’ in the country. It   indeed   goes   against the spirit of the leader’s   exhortation to the politburo members in December 2015 to “strictly educate and supervise their children and other family members as well as subordinates and to rectify their problems in a timely manner, and   to   stay away from vulgar taste and set good examples for other cadres and general public”

More serious at the same time are   attacks  on Xi, as the list suggests, for his  failure to listen to opinions from others in the party and for imposing  media restrictions, especially for asking the press to ‘bear the surname of the party’. The intra party criticisms against Xi, as noticed in the document of the party anti-corruption body, the Central Discipline Inspection Commission (CDIC), the observations of a Central Party School scholar and the CCP’s admission now of existence of views in the party considering Xi’s anti-corruption campaign as a power struggle, all figuring in the list, are equally noteworthy. Also, though withdrawn later, it was a party website which carried demands for Xi to resign. It is impossible for such   anti-Xi comments to appear in public without the blessings of some sections still powerful in the party which could have become wary of Xi’s policies.

The question arises – are some CCP elders, still influential, not confident about Xi’s leadership at this juncture?  The party under Xi Jinping seems to think so. For e.g., People’s Daily (Chinese language edition), the CCP’s mouthpiece , carried a signed commentary contributed by Gu Bochong, a Deputy chief in the General Political Department of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and a member of the CCP-managed China Writers Association on August 10, 2015, which alleged that “some retired leading cadres” , while they were in  office,   put  their “cronies” in  key positions, so that they can interfere in the work of their original organizations and wield influence in the  future. This is making new leaders feel that unnecessary concerns affect their work as their “hands and feet” are being fettered”. (China: ‘Some retired leading cadres interfere in organizational work through their cronies’ - Is Jiang Zemin being targeted?, August 12, 2015).

 As Andrew Nathan, a noted Sinologist correctly points out (Cracks in Xi Jinping’s Fortress?, China File conversation, March 21, 2016),”the issue of CDIC document is an act of remonstrance : although it emanates from a posture of loyalty to the leader, it presents a more serious challenge. Chinese political tradition gives great value to “loyal remonstrance” (jiàn, 谏), in which one warns a powerful figure as a way of serving him, at the risk of one’s head. Remonstrance comes from within the leader’s camp, rather than from opponents. And, as the historical and literary allusions in the document suggest, it comes about when the leader is in great danger—from himself. Observers will puzzle over whether the head of the CDIC, Xi’s close comrade-in-arms Wang Qishan, knew about this document in advance. Even if he did not, the fact that it appeared on the website of the Party’s own enforcement arm suggests that Xi’s most fervent supporters are the ones most worried about the path he has taken.”

It should be borne in mind that the anti-Xi atmosphere as   reflected in the list, cannot be taken as an indicator to Xi’s imminent downfall. Everything looks normal as of now; Xi is regularly meeting foreign leaders and remains active in taking part in several domestic events. The somewhat optimistic economic picture in the country in the first quarter of 2016, should be encouraging to Xi. Also, there is nothing unusual happening in China in the diplomatic   and military fronts. But if   the   atmosphere   gains further momentum, it may   have the  potential to damage the future cohesiveness of the party and hurt the authority of Xi himself. Xi may have to find a way to counter it, especially to enable him in assuming as party chief for next five years during the 19th party congress scheduled in 2017. The leader’s latest launching   of a one-year campaign to educate cadres assumes a meaning in this regard. If the domestic political pressure becomes more serious for Xi, there can be two signs that would  confirm- more excessive restrictions   on local dissenters in China and the PRC’s indulging in  more aggressive actions  on territorial issues, particularly on South China Sea issue.  These however appear to be hypothetical at the moment.

(The writer, D.S.Rajan, is Distinguished Fellow, Chennai Centre for China Studies, Chennai, India; contributing date – April 20, 2016.Email:


February 28, 2016: Ren Zhiqiang (66), a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) member and a well- connected business tycoon in China, openly challenged in his microblog the party chief Xi Jinping’s views expressed at a media forum held on February 19, 2016   that the news media should serve the party’s interests and that they should “bear the party surname”, speak for the party and its propositions and protect the party’s authority and unity. Ren argued that if the media are loyal first to the party and don’t represent the interests of the people, then the people will be abandoned in a forgotten corner. The political significance of such remarks can be easily understood against the status which Ren enjoys. He was the son of former Vice-Minister of Commerce;    a cadre who went to Yanan during cultural revolution days  along with China’s current top leaders, Xi Jinping and Wang Qishan; a former soldier  with  the People’s Liberation Army in eighties;   the head till recently  of the Huayuan Properties Company;   an official  of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference(CPPCC), and a blogger on China’s Twitter ‘Sina Weibo’ with more than 37 million followers, It was no surprise that Ren’s remarks were met with  sharp criticism from party-controlled media; the state internet control bureau was quick to delete his microblog; messages  in  his support  were rapidly removed  from social media sites.

March 1, 2016: China’s  Central Discipline Inspection Commission (CDIC)website ( carried an article captioned “The Fawning assent of a 1000 people cannot match the honest advice of one” which used historical allegory to criticize those in power in China for not listening to opinions of advisers . It called for debates on policies and praised the seventh century Tang dynasty emperor Tai Zong (599- 649) for his willingness to consider suggestions and criticisms from officials as he ruled.  The article said that ability to air opinions freely determined the rise and fall of dynasties, adding   that “we should not be afraid of people saying wrong things; we should be afraid of people not speaking at all”. (in Chinese- 千人之诺诺,不如一士之谔:中国纪检监察报 , 2016-03-01)

March 3, 2016: Jiang Hong, a CPPCC delegate from Guangdong, said in an article that appeared on the official Caixin  magazine   that advisors should be free to give Party and government agencies suggestions on economic, political, cultural and societal issues. He added that the party has a tradition of listening to different opinions and that the right of the people to speak freely was enshrined in the country’s constitution. The Caixin coverage was promptly removed by the authorities (“Caixin challenges censors after Xi demands loyalty”, China Digital Times, April 18, 2016).

March 4, 2016: Coinciding with opening of National People’s Congress (NPC) and CPPCC sessions, the   Wujie News website published an open letter signed by a group of “loyal party members”, which called for Xi Jinping’s resignation from all party and state leadership positions. The letter described Xi’s anti-corruption campaign as “merely a power struggle”. It blamed Xi for an atmosphere of political, economic, ideological and cultural anxiety currently prevailing in China besides pointing out that the personal safety of the President and his family could be in jeopardy if the leader does not comply. (for Chinese-关于要求习近平同志辞去党和国家领导职务的公开信,, 2016-o3-04) Wujie News is  a joint venture owned by SEEC Media Group (publisher of Caijing, a highly respected publication), Alibaba, and the government of Xinjiang. The Chinese police subsequently arrested 11 individuals in connection with the letter.   

March 7, 2016:  Zhou Fang, a Xinhua editor posted an open letter online denouncing the increasingly tight media constraints in China and alleging that they are   triggering tremendous fear and outrage among the public. The letter   rejected the official criticisms of Ren Zhiqiang on party-run websites, which called him a traitor and a subversive for taking issue with Mr. Xi’s demand that state-run media should unfailingly obey the party. It charged that the criticisms   reflected a kind of cultural revolution-style mass campaign and abuses of power by the authorities. (Chris Buckley, New York Times, March 11, 2016, ).

March 24, 2016: Professor Cai Xia of the CCP Party School, wrote an article  captioned  “The Constitution and Regulations Ensure the Rights of Party Members like Ren Zhiqiang”.She said in the article that attacking Ren is a violation of the party constitution , blocked discussion in the party and damaged party solidarity. She added that the party constitution clearly ensures Ren’s rights to express his opinion and no person or organization have the right to deprive him of it. She charged that Ren was tagged with a terrifying political label when he was questioning only the need for publicly funded media to be loyal to the party. Cai opined that discussion platform within the party was not sound and did not allow smooth expressions of opinion, as a result of which different views were sometimes voiced outside the party.

The article was soon deleted by the authorities from social media and online chatrooms. (

March 28, 2016:  Southern Metropolis Daily editor Yu Shaolei resigned from his post in protest against Xi Jinping’s call to the media to “bear the party name”.  

March 29, 2016:  A second open letter from 171 CCP members was issued in a micro blog, demanding that Xi Jinping should resign from all his posts in and outside the party, including in the military and government. (Chinese- 明镜博客|171名中国共产党员:就立即罢免习近平同志党内外一切职务告全党、全军、全国人民书,

April 2, 2016: Qiu Shi, the CCP’s theoretical  organ,  lashed out at critics of Xi Jinping’s  ongoing anti-corruption campaign, saying foreign media and individuals from home and abroad were intentionally trying to discredit the effort as a political “power struggle.” It added that those Chinese officials who think that “fighting corruption is a tool in a struggle for power” are “alarmists.” The actual aim of Beijing’s campaign, according to the organ, is “to consolidate the ruling status of the ruling party [by] purifying the body of the ruling party, so that there can be better contact with the flesh and blood of the masses”—that is, the Chinese public. If there’s a struggle going on, the essay insisted, it’s the battle against the bad in Chinese politics, something that party officials should be grateful for.”

April 3, 2016: Foreign media ( released contents of what came to be known as Panama papers. Data given out by them, on the basis of revelations in the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and International Consortium of Investigative journalists based in Washington, disclosed the  links of following Chinese former and current politicians including those of three members of the present  politburo standing committee with offshore companies tied to the Law firm , Mossack Fonesca -  Deng Jiagui, brother in law of Xi Jinping; Lee Shing Put, son in law of  Zhang Gaoli; Jia Liqing, daughter in law of propaganda chief Liu Yunshan;Jasmine Li, daughter of former Politburo standing committee member, Jia Qinglin; Li Xiaolin, daughter of former Premier Li Peng; Gu kailai, wife of former Chongqing party chief Bo Xilai; Hu Dehua, son of former CCP chief Hu Yaobang; Zeng Qinghuai, son of former Vice-President Zeng Qinghong;    son of former politburo member Tian Jiyun and Chen Dongsheng, the grand son in law of Mao Zedong. Authorities in China promptly blocked access of viewers in the country to all revelations on the subject coming from abroad; the government censors deleted all social media posts concerning Panama papers. Even a blog post which defended Xi Jinping’s family with respect to links with off shore companies and commented that Xi “had managed well the affairs of his relatives before taking over as President”, was removed by censors (Chinese- CCP affiliated website Jiemian, 媒体:习总管教好子女和亲戚没?,April 12, 2016, ‪  and internet portal Ten cent, dated   Apr 12, 2016 ). So have been the case with the coverage of Xi Jinping in connection with the paper in the Economist and Time magazines.The PRC foreign ministry dismissed (April 5, 2016) the Panama paper as “groundless accusations”. The state-run Global Times editorial (April 5, 2016) saw in the Panama paper a “Western conspiracy to damage the party’s reputation” and said that “the Western media has taken control of the interpretation each time there has been such a document dump, and Washington has demonstrated particular influence in it.”

April 6, 2016:  The CCP chief Xi Jinping   called upon the party organizations at all levels to work to ensure the effectiveness of a year-long campaign to instill rules and good values in Party members. Xi made the remarks in an instruction on the newly launched education campaign, which focuses on the study of the Party Constitution and rules, as well as the speeches made by Xi, the party   general secretary. He noted in the instructions that the   campaign is "a major ideological and political task" that is crucial for the "Four Comprehensives" strategy, especially in pushing strict Party management at the grassroots level. The "Four Comprehensives" strategy refers to comprehensively completing the building of a moderately prosperous society, deepening reform, advancing the rule of law and strictly governing the party (Xi   calls for effective self-discipline campaign, Marxist values, Xnhua online, April 6, 2016)




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          Information Systems Lab Colloquium: Spy vs. Spy: Anonymous Messaging        

Anonymous messaging platforms, such Secret, Whisper and Yik Yak, have emerged as important social media for sharing one's thoughts without the fear of being judged by friends, family, or the public. Further, such anonymous platforms are crucial in nations with authoritarian governments, where the right to free expression and sometimes the personal safety of the message author depends on anonymity. Current platforms offer only superficial anonymity – their centralized implementation makes them naturally vulnerable to authoritarian adversaries and/or economic incentives.

In this talk, we study the problem of designing a distributed messaging protocol that spreads the message fast while keeping the identity of the source hidden from an adversary. We present an anonymous messaging protocol, which we call adaptive diffusion, and show that it spreads fast and achieves nearly perfect obfuscation of the source for a wide range of adversaries. System issues in the implementation of the protocol are discussed.


          Inside Paradise: Personal Safety - Imprisoned by violence        
As I sat in my makeshift office chair after a long night at work with only two hours of sleep and my mind racing with various thoughts regarding our centre that recently opened, I reflected on its launch, the number of emails before me to which I still had to respond, and the letters that I was about to begin penning to request support. Then, the phone rang. I was drained and hesitant to answer, since lately it was one crisis after the other, one person in peril after the other, and women

Robert was convinced that his cat was trying to kill him. After using the litter box, Mr. Cuddles kicks the litter around, leaving a big gaping hole in the middle of the box. Robert was positive that Mr. Cuddles was practicing body burial.

Robert also occassionally woke up on the sofa after his afternoon nap to find Mr. Cuddles kneading about on his body. This, Robert was certain, was not a display of affection, but a clever technique in which Mr. Cuddles very subtlely checked his internal organs for weaknesses. Cuddles seemed to have settled on the pancreas. Robert stopped having afternoon naps.

And so, Robert went through every day and every night in fear that his cat would come out of the darkness and suddenly disembowel him, for some of the cat medicinemen had mysterious powers, and could shapeshift into anything. Robert was also sure that there existed a secret ring of cat terrorists bent on overthrowing humankind via faked cuteness and disarming meows. He dubbed these vile scum as caterrorists. Robert was not good at names.

Robert would have killed Mr. Cuddles himself, if not in fear of the retribution that he would bring unto himself from the crazed cult of caterrorists, who would undoubtedly claw themselves into his house and lay giant rat traps everywhere, which, Robert speculated, they would use out of a love for cruel irony.

He tried to intimidate Mr. Cuddles by goading him into a staring competition, but he always lost. Mr. Cuddles never blinked. Those damned cat eyes, staring straight at him, straight down into his soul! They seemed to know everything about him. They seemed to be taunting him!

Robert took a lot of amphetamines. They not only allowed him to stay awake against the hallowed forces of evil, they also gave unto him knowledge about the cats and their plans. It was as if some higher being was giving him help. He was very, very grateful towards this higher being. He often asked how he could ever repay him. The conversation usually went something like this:

Robert: Oh great, magnificent God of all, however can I repay you?

Higher being: Mo' pills.

Robert: If you do insist, oh divine master.

And so Robert took quite a few pills, secure in the knowledge that if the cat ever enroached upon his personal safety, the higher being would smack it to death, probably with a large baseball bat.

However, one day, the Higher Being dissapeared. Dissipated. Gone! Robert was extremely uneasy. He assumed that the cats had kidnapped the Higher Being using some sort of advanced technology. Coincidentally, slightly before this, he also ran out of pills.

It was no good. Robert was addicted to the amphetamines. He went to his usual dealer, Jacob, down the street, below the great oak tree. Jacob, whilst handing over a bag, asked him what the problem was. "No problem," said Robert. "Well," Jacob said, "your eyes almost look like that of a cat's. And your moustache looks strange, almost as if it's turning into cat whiskers." Robert ran all the way back home.

Robert couldn't find a mirror. The only mirror he had was smashed by Mr. Cuddles a week ago. And even as Robert ran around the house, looking for a mirror, Mr. Cuddles followed him with what appeared to be a ghost of a smirk on his face.

Robert finally found a piece of jagged glass which had fallen off from the smashed mirror. "Yes," he thought as he stared hard at the glass, "those do look like cat eyes. And it looks as if I'm growing whiskers! I'm growing into a cat!"

Suddenly, in the glass flashed the image of Mr. Cuddles. Robert looked behind him and screamed. Mr. Cuddles was right behind him, staring at him, as if saying, "Hahah, you're one of us, you're one of us!"

Robert took the piece of jagged glass and slashed open his own throat.


Mr. Cuddles walked along the street, and went underneath the great oak tree, where he waited for a bit, until a black cat came along.

They both nodded and meowed to each other, conversing for a while, until, seemingly agreeing on something, they parted ways.

Mr. Cuddles went down the street to find a new owner, while the black cat looked around for a while, then, having made sure the street was empty, he closed his eyes and concentrated, causing his features to start morphing.

His posture grew more upright, his fur disappeared, his eyes grew more angular, his nose became more defined, his whiskers shrank inwards. And slowly, his features began to resemble that of a particular drug dealer whose body was found in the gutter a week ago, a man named Jacob. He took a packet of amphetamines out of his pocket and grinned.

(This story is credited to a person called Necronophore.)
          Don't Color Code Your Underpants        
Don't color code your pants, yellow in the front... brown in the back!  Pay attention and listen up!

Most people have heard of the color codes of mental awareness.  What most people don't know is that there is a military version and a civilian version.  Because I like to teach from the "everyday person" perspective here is a review these color codes as they apply to the private citizen. 
  • WHITE- unprepared, not alert to the symptoms of violence
  • YELLOW- relaxed alertness and preparedness
  • ORANGE- unspecified alert, something wrong but we don’t know what it is yet.  Perceived threat.
  • RED- armed encounter, you are facing one or more people that you believe have the potential to take your life
  • BLACK- lethal assault in progress
Cheat sheet version is this:
  • Orange- attacker might be there
  • Red-  attacker is there
  • Black- attacker is carrying out unlawful action

There is a direct connection between your level awareness, how prepared you are to handle the threat, and if it was appropriate compared to the "Standard of Proof".  These standards of actions compare directly to the color codes of mental awareness

  • WHITE- mere suspicion- belief that is not founded in authentically fact
  • YELLOW-  articulated suspicion- can you explain why you did what you did, what you saw OR experienced
  • ORANGE- probable cause- higher suspicion, not proof.  Less than 50% certainty
  • RED- preponderance of evidence, 51% certainty
  • BLACK- Beyond a reasonable doubt

Self presentation is one of the keys to avoiding criminal confrontation.  Bad guys can sense the difference between an easy prey target and one that will fight back or is prepared.  There is something in the way we walk, talk, look, etc.  Pay attention to what is going on around you and present yourself in a confident manner, and you reduce your risk substantially. 

Be safe my friends, and take control of your own personal safety.


Are curses real?

Curses are energy, just as we are energy, and evil energy sent from a mind, can do serious damage, a two-edged unseen sword that cuts both ways, just as prayers offered can have a strong non-local effect, and as well rebound goodness upon the sender. 

I made the mistake of cursing my neighbors, one angry day, furiously wishing intensely that they suffer, specifically by falling down their stairs and breaking a leg.

I fumed in impotent fury, after  I  learned that they  called 911 to my door with a complaint about 'a man shooting off a gun', and I had later, in quiet retrospect, exploded visciously , in a malevolent force, that I sent their way.

I was  guilty, of course,  air-pellet gunning down pesky squirrels on my soon to be harvested dwarf fruit trees,  but when Blue Bullies With a Badge Inc. exploded onto my property, with their weapons drawn., one could hear audible laughter from those rednecks, yonder, who watched wearing underwear and open bathrobe robes with their door half open.

God works in mysterious ways, but if you want to see the Devil, right quick, just call 911.

I  purposefully wished harm, sending a quiet seething curse towards those ornery redneck neighbors, harm in a curse that has since returned to me, two-fold .

I am a slow learner, sadly, as I belatedly learned, in one of the hardest ways, about  the unknown laws of attraction,  a poignant and harsh object lesson that taught me that the human mind is part of the quantum physics energy of the Universe , and it also clarified unknown truths about dark force entities.

I  spitefully invoked  'Dark Force Entities',-using that title-name-, to creatively- and evilly- try to get 'even', by flexing a combination of  my growing psychic prowess, to send strong and focused intentions of sinister vendetta,  never realizing,  that I had already approached and firmly touched the third rail.

Powerful, intense curses  not unlike effective repeated prayers- which call for assistance from LIGHT,-  call upon the spirit world's dark, gangster fringe element to respond to  a request for a curse, an evil intent for another's injury, a directive for always in- attendance demons to quickly effect .

Demons, it  sadly seems, loom and surround us all, at  times,  specializing in softly whispering negativity, to our minds.

It is therein only the recognition and vectoring away these of these negative whispered 'thoughts', that can ultimately win you the battle for being 'ruler of your own mind'..

The war, within everyone, however,  silently rages on for mastery of one's secret and hidden soul..

There is also another  inverse law of demonic attraction :

"The Dark Side",  is also attracted to those with LIGHT, to seek ways to extinguish it.

Omni-prevalent in overhead UFOs,  mean small dark grey pilots, and Dracos reptilians, much like   demons, are  very highly psychic as well as innately malicious, and they are  telepathically sensitive to a human mind's  energy,  especially of intense and sustained malice and anger.

Negative thought beings, of many ilks are willing and capable to carry out "curses",  and are, much like the  human sender of a curse,  spiritually sinister.

"Like attracts like" appeals to this varied crime family ensemble': sinister human earthbounds, E.T.s and powerful demonics, all of who constitute the gangster fringe element, of the unseen spirit world.

The demonic gradations of evil power : the ability to create negative miracles, and the ability to 'walk-into' a human being's muti-layered psyche, are  varied but similar. 

But eminently stronger than aliens or demons, are  Devils, exquisitively diabolical and brilliant.

Household demons seem more animalistic and much less intelligent.

May God keep us safe from Devils.

I had, however, fired a demonic weapon, one that unknowingly was tacitly programmed to return to me, the site of the curse's origin, to claim yet another unsuspecting human prize and energy luncheon dish.

My leg, in swift karmic retribution, within a month, was soon badly broken, shattered, with ligaments and  torn from a hit- and -run driver's fender, a knee and leg now filled with multiple painful, internal metal brace-works and screws, a leg that often plagues me.

What was my method of sending out that  curse?

I seethed, with those neighbors in mind; I left my house, and I stared at their house, and I mentally focused rage at and towards them.

It was a foolhardy experiment, raw malice combined with an evil feeling, that felt oddly satisfying. I had previously experienced evil one's  presences.

I had suffered a prolonged spate of nightmares and startling poltergeist phenomena, after seeing a UFO flotilla of overhead ship assemble at zenith over my head one night.

Suddenly, I  more than suspected that dark ones, perhaps the very pilots within those craft were around me, unseen and  impishly omnipresent, an indigestible probability,  that contradicted all that I had ever learned.

I had unknowingly attracted them to me by intense and prolonged reading, researching  others'experiences with alien nonhuman negative thought entities, and then an impressive overhead sighting happened to me with concurrent subsequent vivid "nightmares", soon after  that astounding, jaw-dropping  overhead UFOs sighting!

Untoward spiritual 'lessons', were self- chosen.

I learned, too late, that your energy goes, where your attention goes, and thus with aliens,  an ironic and counter-intuitive 'Law of Attraction' road-sign, I had sped passed and overlooked, suddenly occurred!

When you pay attention to the paranormal, I assure you, IT then pays attention, to YOU..

An ensemble of round, red-glowing bottoms of "craft", like red balloons, had slowly assembled and formed from several directions overhead at zenith, a squadron of ten craft, that shifted color from red to violet all at once, and then fled in pairs, across the night sky, in a 'flash', like minnows in a pond.

Soon after this experience, wild and vivid (-imposed-) nightmares and  household poltergeist mischief,  both symptoms of the evil unseen, seemed at this moment to  signal me.

More than raw wonder about them, my mind-set was now to "test them".

My excuse was that I was  incensed at the neighbors and resented the threatening visages of the police, and what angst they had put me through.

How "evil" would it be, to test their 'power' as  'reality' of their bizarre and unseen omnipresent presences?

With focused malice,I  sent them out, with orders to attack.

And as a special sign to me, to break a leg of the one who had, in squirrel empathy, sent the police to my door with a  911 message that a crazed man was shooting off a rifle at people.

It was a horrid encounter, a singularly unpleasant officer, and a close brush with incarceration. 

I cursed those loud and often drunk  neighbors with an effective, focused, curse,  rage bristling with malice, a loathing, purposeful curse, and said it aloud.

A foolhardy and blind apprentice in a deadly dark art,  I, as well, was  soon be a victim,  a clear, unwritten law of attraction.

I asked that this curse send negative thought entities/ demons/E.T.s to cause the complaint callers to fall down the stairs and, as a specific sign to me, to break their legs.

I seethed in focused raw malice towards them, visualizing their falls and slips on the stairs of their home,  in an awful revenge, no one could ever, rightfully, suspect me of.

Focused malice was sent in bidding retribution. 

How could unseen phantoms, remotely deliver such a curse?

Within a few days, the offending neighbor and his even more offensive SISTERS were limping on crutches, each one had a leg hidden in  pen-autographed white casts; I stared fish-eyed , from my nearby porch.

I later learned that they fell (drunk?)  slipped in staircase falls in their house!

I was overwhelmed by denial, naive agog-ness and foolish amazement in goose-pimply disbelief, a very slow growing  realization of awe, and fear, nonetheless .

I remained a slow learner.

An EM Ambulance  showed up, a week later, I subsequently  found out, when an elderly friend of those neighbors ALSO took a fall,  on the property , up on their stairs!

Unknown to me, I was to be next, to be amidst the cross-hairs, of demons.

Curses attract demons who  with negative energy, jump onto humans, whose astral energies are attacked, to cause disease and misfortune. 

Without arms or legs, how were they able to push three people down a flight of stairs?!.

I was to re- learn, engaged in later banishment throes, another  harsh lesson,  a 'law' also unknown to me, at that time:

A witch/ wizard, or ordinary person, who harbored a sincere malice, can  easily project/ send out that energy of focused hatred, and with a verbalized curse, summon and deliver demonics, overly- eager to attack.

But, aS well, the curse also tacitly gives the demon an unspoken contract, a promissory, spiritual permission, to  RETURN BACK to the sender, a boomerang, law of curses, back  upon the very one who sent it!

Even worse, on its return, the dark side demon feels entitled to perceive the 'sender', as its own personal possession, a proprietary rule of attraction!

Laws of attraction were now out of control.

Weeks or a month later, I was knocked down, struck by a hit and run driver, my shattered kneecap and leg repaired with many pieces of internal brace work and joined  with many screws holding them all in place, a contrivance which often pains me.

Although I heartily embrace the light these days and do deeply repent my single field experiment curse, 'they' visit often, in bidding retribution. 

it's all I can do to catch some unimpeded sleep, with the lights on, all night.

I have since learned, that, for millennia, as a precaution, seeking  safety, curses were NEVER directly sent out by the Black Arts practitioner, but were much more carefully administered, because of those unspoken 'laws of attraction'.

Traditionally, a summoner applying an effective curse, always used an apprentice, a human helper who would actively evoke demons and perform related evil metaphysics.

This was , of course, for the wizard's own personal safety, as ONLY the wizard well knew this secret 'proprietary rule' of demons and curses, within the laws of attraction.

In this ruthless pursuit, it appears, that Wizards stuck around for a long while;  apprentices, came and went.


          Feast on This: An Interview with Stephen Parrish        
My writing partner, Stephen Parrish, and I are hanging out at each others' blogs today.  Steve has recently published a new book, THE FEASTS OF LESSER MEN, and I wanted to interview him not only because the book is fantastic but also because of his unique perspective on Cold War espionage.

After you read his interview, I encourage you to hop over his blog where he is interviewing me in conjunction with my book giveaway.

* * * 

Germany, 1990: The Berlin Wall has fallen. East and West Germany are discussing reunification. After four and a half decades of cloak-and-dagger intrigue, the Cold War is coming to an end.

Not for Jimmy Fisher, a plans clerk in the American 111th Infantry Division. Fisher black markets cigarettes, steals valuables from the dead, and takes advantage of every weakness he identifies in each living person he meets. Which makes him the perfect target for foreign agents seeking to buy documents.

Forced to make life-or-death choices in an ever heightening conflict between his personal safety and the security of his country, Fisher flees to the Vosges Mountains of France with a woman he trusts. In time he learns that love is worthy of a greater conviction than is loyalty to one's country, and that abstract symbols and arbitrary boundaries are not worth dying for.


Wendy: It’s obvious from the book that you have extensive military experience.  What inspired the book and were there any experiences you had that were particularly profound or illuminating (about life, the world, human nature or whatever)?

Steve: I had the extraordinary fortune, from a writer’s perspective (misfortune otherwise), to be actively recruited by the most notorious army spy ring since World War II The Feasts of Lesser Men is fiction, but it capitalizes on my experiences as a foreign-stationed soldier during the Cold War.

The approach technique I described in the novel is fundamentally accurate: you target men who need the money and can be compromised.  You ask for little things first.  You conceal a big stick.  By the time the target realizes he’s in trouble it’s too late; he has already committed espionage, sometimes unwittingly, and there’s no turning back.

That’s what I most wanted to convey, of all that I learned: the people in my unit who are presently serving up to 36 years are not monsters, they’re casualties of masterfully crafted psychological warfare.

Also that it’s easier, it turns out, to steal Top Secret documents from the U.S. military than it is to snatch a high school class ring from Zales.

Wendy:  What do you consider the root cause of this? To summarize one basic idea in the book, the main character Jimmy Fisher says you make a soldier miserable in all areas of his life and then give him a security clearance. Is it as simple as that?

Also, there have been times when concerned citizens have made attempts to demonstrate security weaknesses by committing crimes themselves such as various hacking groups getting into government sites or the 82-year old nuclear activist breaching the site where weapons-grade uranium is stored. Do you consider this a valid or acceptable form of civil disobedience?

Steve:  I don’t believe in civil disobedience except under extreme circumstances.  Administrators of secure installations—including military document vaults—should routinely employ breachers and hackers to test security.  Imagine how fun that job would be.

As for why men spy on their own countries (there are virtually no such things as infiltrator-spies, outside of fiction; all modern-day spies are traitors), I’ll cite the rationale argued by my boss, who died in prison serving a life sentence:

1.  It’s easy money.  My boss made more than a million dollars, obviously tax free, by videotaping documents in the privacy of the vault he managed.  Not counting occasional travel, which he enjoyed anyway, I estimate becoming a millionaire cost him about twenty hours of his time, total.  In Feasts I made protagonist and narrator Jimmy Fisher definitively opportunistic, and thus a good target for approach.

2.  The army demands more of its soldiers than it rewards them.  My boss was a Vietnam veteran who felt unappreciated for his years of service and sacrifice.  Jimmy Fisher feels like a bottom dweller.

3.  This is the big one: Selling secrets to the enemy won’t hurt anyone; it’s all just a game.  My boss was absolutely convinced of this, and had some good arguments—arguments I gave to the bad guys recruiting Jimmy Fisher.

Wendy:  Being that you consider the people in your unit to have been “casualties of masterfully crafted psychological warfare,” how do you feel about how things turned out for them? Did the punishment fit the crime?

In the book there is peril at every turn in Jimmy Fisher’s world of spying. How closely would you say your fictional world resembled the reality of the spy ring you were made aware of?

And while there was a lot of menacing there was a startling lack of car chase scenes, explosions and no “Bond” gadgets! So, am I correct in assuming the spy racket is not nearly as sexy as Hollywood makes it out to be?

Steve: The punishment has to be harsh.  There’s no way to justify a light sentence for committing, or conspiring to commit, espionage.  However I believe the people serving sentences in this particular case should all be paroled today, and if given the opportunity I would testify at their parole hearings.  I knew the guy who recruited them.  I knew him well.  An FBI agent assigned to the case referred to him as “Der Meister,” and there you have it.

Peril?  I don’t know.  Some, I guess.  Not as much as my novel would suggest (it is, after all, a novel).  The greatest peril a spy faces is getting caught.

As for the Bond stuff, no, spying is not sexy.  Intelligence work, on either side of the fence, is exacting and tedious.  The biggest rush a spy experiences is the same as what a shoplifter experiences: leaving a building with something illegal in his pocket.

Wendy: One of the things you do masterfully in this book is how you build the character of Jimmy Fisher.  There are so many reasons to NOT like him and yet by the end of the book readers find themselves rooting for him.  What was your process for building Fisher and what was your goal for him as a character? What did you want to achieve?

Steve:  I wanted to invent a character who was definitively opportunistic, would do pretty much anything (petty) for sex or money.  At the same time, I wanted to make him likeable.  And—this was the challenge—I wanted to present him in first person.  The point of the latter was, describing someone else’s wrongdoings, no matter how objectively or even sympathetically, is nothing compared to having that person boast of those wrongdoings himself.  It took me a long time to get Jimmy’s voice.  I rewrote the early scenes many times until I had the mildly sarcastic wit I wanted.

Plotting his bad behavior was the easy part.  I just asked myself what I wouldn’t do.  The first scene, which can be sampled on Amazon, is a good example.

Wendy: When you decide to write a book, how do you typically approach it with regard to planning and then moving on to the actual writing?

Steve:  I don’t know.  I’ve published two novels, discarded two others, and am slogging my way through a fifth.   For reasons I don’t understand, this one’s the hardest, even though I know what to do at every step, because I always outline—which answers your question, I guess.  I can’t “pants” a story.

I think the answer is different for every writer and possibly for every story.  All I can say for sure is, just fill up blank pages with words, anyway it works for you, and if they’re bad words, exchange them later for better ones.

Wendy:  Another nice touch in the book is an “interlude,” a flashback perhaps, of three boys who are hiking. What did you have in mind when you did this section of the book?  Did you intend it to reveal more of Fisher’s character?  Or was there some other reason?

Steve: Actually I had two such interludes, complete stories in their own right, but deleted one because it was slowing the book down.  Honestly, I put them in (and took one out) simply because it felt right.  You have to trust your instincts.  You have to listen to your inner voice that says “this is right” or “this sucks.”  Too often we ignore the latter, and it gnaws at our subconscious; we don’t feel entirely good about something we’ve written.  When that happens to the writer, you can reasonably expect a similar reaction, or worse, in the reader.


Favorite meal?

A salad.  Crunchy vegetables with a vinegar dressing.  Afterwards, popcorn and a movie.

One book you must have if you’re stranded on a deserted island?

Some large compilation of American poetry, the larger the better.  I’d memorize it as I waited to be rescued.

Amazing wouldn’t-trade-it-for-anything experience?

Playing Barbies and doll house with my daughter.

Stand-up comic smackdown: George Carlin vs. Richard Pryor

George Carlin.  In his later years he became utterly brilliant.  Also, my mom always said I reminded her of him, my mannerisms and irreverance, even my looks.  I took it as a compliment.

Greatest thing since sliced bread?

Doritos.  If God exists, it’s because He made a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let the corn chips be gathered together unto one plastic bag.  And the evening and the morning were the second day.

Three things from your bucket list:

Someone once said, you know you’re old when you leave the house in the morning without the hope or expectation of falling in love.  I’m old.  I’ve done everything I wanted to do, all that’s left is to write about it.

Wendy: And to wrap up, what advice do you have for writers who are just starting out or who might be floundering and trying to find their way?

Steve:  In any given day, the only thing standing between you and your goals is a blank piece of paper.  Stop making excuses, and fill it.

Thanks so much to Steve for indulging me on the interview.  The FEASTS OF LESSER MEN is a wonderful book, well-written and an intriguing peek into the world of non-Hollywoodified espionage. Go get a copy!

And don't forget to stop by Steve's blog to see his interview with me.
          Coping with Top and Sub Drop: A Safety Kit!        
This link is written by Mistress Adobe.  None of it is my work.  It is too important not to include, here.

The topic of depressive states that arrive sometimes after play is generally called 'sub drop' in the BDSM community.  Actually, play can be intense on either side of a scene, and tops can get it too.  There is, as of this posting, no quality academic research describing and defining this state despite the fact that it is widely recognized in the communities.  It is one of many excellent reasons that seasoned participants carefully include planned aftercare in their scenes.

But the best laid schemes 'gang aft agley,' as Robert Burns famously said , and sometimes the circumstances of play do not afford optimal aftercare.  Kinksters and their therapists should know about tools like this to include in players' personal safety kits.

A field mouse, whose best laid plans are all too fragile.

Thank you, Mistress Adobe!
          By: kirkaldy        
Not to call anyone a safety hypocrite, but I saw Mr. Biviano riding his bike the other day without a helmet. Before he starts shedding crocodile tears about imaginary “hazards” at the playground, perhaps he should focus his attention on his own approach to personal safety.This ridiculous little clip leaves me with a clear impression of what a phony he is. He will never get my vote. The helmet thing may seem trivial to some, but it is a fact that part of a parent’s responsibility is to set a good example for their kids and also to preserve their own personal safety.Mr. Biviano’s motivations here are extremely suspect and it seems incredible that he brought his kids into this great park to play and then spent his whole time fretting about so-called “jagged” rocks (even in the video you can see that this description is entirely overblown!).If I have learned anything as a parent it is that children learn through play and there are certain kinds of places that seem to open them up to fun. The play choices are great at Pier 6, and although it may be possible pick at the details, I don’t see any “glaring hazards” (to quote the video). It has actually been laid out very thoughtfully. It is a big big playground which is what we needed and which might mean that you need to keep a closer eye on your kids, for instance establishing rules with the older ones about staying close, etc. If some people prefer a small playground where there are just a few pieces of equipment, there are plenty of places like that around. Furthermore, it sounds like the Archimedes screw, which my son loves, is from a play catalog and has safely been used before. Perhaps Mr. Biviano should have investigated this a little before fear-mongering about children being “sucked down” into the water.To be honest, a bigger safety concern for me with respect to kids is the way the bicycles have been brought into the park – many bikers are polite, but there is a fairly large contingent who don’t have any respect for pedestrians and pose a big threat to small children, who move around in unexpected ways, and are harder to see when you are perched up high and travelling very fast. Why aren’t bikes just part of the street system like they are everywhere else in Brooklyn? Why are the bikes even allowed in the park?
          Otherwise Engaged        
by Amanda Quick

Amity Doncaster is a world traveler who publishes guide books about her travels.  Unwittingly, she enters a carriage thinking it is public transportation, and is confronted by a killer known as the “bridegroom” – telling why would be a spoiler!  Amity does not become one of his victims, but the search for him is a key element in the plot.  The love interest in the novel is Benedict Stanbridge, an engineer, who considers himself boring to women – but he is also a spy for the British throne.  Amity and Benedict first cross paths when she is in the Caribbean and finds him wounded.  She helps care for him aboard ship, but this gives rise to scandalous gossip about the pair back at home in London.  For Amity’s protection, in society as well as for her personal safety, a sham engagement is arranged with Benedict, but of course the true outcome is pretty predictable – this is a romance novel, after all!  Amanda Quick has written a number of novels with a paranormal/metaphysical/psychic theme.  Fortunately, this is not one of them.  A subplot involves the growing affection between Amity’s widowed sister Penny and a Scotland Yard investigator. Wait, there is more to this story, but everything can’t be revealed.  You’ll have to read it or listen to it!  Amanda Quick is another pen name of Jayne Ann Krentz and the library has books by both “authors”.  Otherwise Engaged is available in regular print, large print, and on 9 audio compact discs.  The audiobook version is entertainingly read by Louisa Jane Underwood. 

June, 2014

          How Big Government Affects Freedom and Prosperity        

Economists, libertarian economists included, love to measure things. The Human Freedom Index (HFI) from the Cato Institute is a case in point. Its authors have assembled dozens of indicators of personal and economic freedom. They invite interested researchers to use them to explore “the complex ways in which freedom influences, and can be influenced by, political regimes, economic development, and the whole range of indicators of human well-being.”

I am happy to accept the invitation. This post, the first of a series, will take a first look at what we can learn from the data about the relationships among freedom, prosperity, and government. The relationships turn out to be not quite as simple as many libertarians might think. 

The Data

The Human Freedom Index consists of two parts. One is the Economic Freedom Index (EFI) from the Fraser Institute, which includes measures of the size of government, protection of property rights, sound money, freedom of international trade, and regulation. The other is Cato’s own Personal Freedom Index (PFI), which includes measures of rule of law, freedom of movement and assembly, personal safety and security, freedom of information, and freedom of personal relationships. The Cato and Fraser links provide detailed descriptions of the two indexes.

In order to explore the way freedom influences other aspects of human well-being, I will draw on a third data set, the Legatum Prosperity Index (LPI) from the Legatum Institute. The LPI includes data on nine “pillars” of prosperity, including the economy, business environment, governance, personal freedom, health, safety and security, education, social capital, and environmental quality.
The EFI and PFI cover 160 countries and the LPI 149 countries. In this post I will use the set of 143 countries for which data are available in all three indexes. The Cato, Fraser, and Legatum links above provide detailed methodological information.

Economic and Personal Freedom

We can begin by confirming a result reported in the introduction to the Cato Human Freedom Index, namely, that economic freedom and personal freedom are closely related. Expressing  both indexes on a scale of zero to ten, with ten indicating maximum freedom, a scatterplot of the two indexes looks like this:

The correlation coefficient between EFI and PFI for the 143 countries in the joint Cato-Legatum sample is 0.53—not an especially tight relationship, but statistically significant. The slope of the trend line is 0.91, meaning that each one-point increase in the EFI score is associated with a 0.91 point increase in the PFI score.

The relationship between economic and personal freedom is partly explained by the fact that both are positively associated with income. As the next chart shows, that relationship is nonlinear for both measures of freedom. The log of real GDP per capita, expressed in U.S. dollars at purchasing power parity, provides a reasonably good fit. The correlation coefficients are 0.51 for log GDP and the personal freedom index, and 0.56 for log GDP and the economic freedom index.

 Using multiple regression analysis, we can recalculate the relationship between economic freedom and personal freedom in a way that controls for their common relationship to GDP. Taking GDP into account increases the correlation coefficient between the two aspects of freedom from 0.53 to 0.59, but it also reduces the slope of the relationship between PFI and EFI. Each one-point increase in EFI is now associated with a 0.61 point increase in the PFI rather than the 0.91 point increase that was estimated without including GDP.  All of these results are statistically significant at a 0.01 level of confidence.

So far, so good.  We have found that personal freedom and economic freedom are positively associated with each other, and that both freedom indexes are positively associated with prosperity as measured by real GDP per capita. Good libertarians should expect these results and be gratified to find them confirmed.

Freedom and prosperity

The previous section showed that economic and personal freedom are positively related to prosperity as measured by GDP per capita, but prosperity is more than GDP. Libertarians tend to see freedom as also conducive to other aspects of human well-being, such as education, health, and personal safety.
There are many measures of prosperity and well-being available. I hope to be able to explore several of them and their relationships to human freedom in future posts. In this introductory treatment, however, I will limit myself to the education, health, and personal security indicators from the Legatum Prosperity Index. In what follows, I will refer to the average of these three Legatum “pillars” as the education-health-safety index, or EHS, measured on a scale of 1 to 100. (By and large, the results reported below also hold for each of the three indicators considered separately, although some of the individual coefficients are not statistically significant.)
We can begin, as before, with a simple scatterplot of EHS and HFI:

As the chart shows, the relationship between the two variables is positive and strong. The correlation coefficient of EHS and HFI is 0.76. Each of the individual freedom components also correlates positively with EHS, although not quite so strongly: 0.68 for economic freedom and 0.67 for personal freedom.
Since EHS, HFI, and GDP per capita all correlate strongly with per capita GDP, we need to be cautious about interpreting the simple correlation coefficients. For example, it could be that the apparent correlation of EHS with EFI simply reflects the fact that rich countries tend to have good schools, hospitals, and police forces, but that people in rich countries that are free live no better than those in rich countries that are unfree.

We can, again, set our minds at rest by using multiple regression to sort out the individual contributions of each variable. A regression of EHS on EFI, PFI, and the log of GDP per capita yields a strikingly strong result. The overall correlation of EHS and the three variables is an impressive 0.91. Using the coefficient of determination, R2, we can interpret that result as meaning that the three variables jointly explain 83 percent of the variation in education, health, and safety among countries. The contributions of each of the individual independent variables are positive and strongly statistically significant.

It seems, then, that human freedom in both its economic and personal manifestations contributes positively to human well-being as measured by data on education, health, and personal safety—another result sure to please libertarian readers.

The effects of size of government on freedom and prosperity

Things get more interesting when we dig a little deeper into the reported linkages between personal and economic freedom by breaking the Fraser Institute’s EFI down into its separate components: size of government, protection of property rights, sound money, freedom of international trade, and regulation. When we look at the simple correlations between the personal freedom index and the EFI components, we find they are all are positive, as expected, except that for the size of government (SoG), which is negative. The correlation of SoG with the personal freedom index is -0.16. 

Remember that for all components of the EFI, a higher value means more freedom, so the negative coefficient means that a larger government is associated with greater freedom. That is not what most libertarians would expect. Is this just an anomaly or a real statistical regularity?

As a first step toward answering this question, we need to see just what the SoG indicator really measures. SoG is itself a composite derived by averaging four subcomponents: government consumption expenditures, government transfers, marginal tax rates, and something called “government enterprise and investment” (GEI), which is Fraser’s name for the ratio of a country’s government investment to its total investment. Examining these subcomponents uncovers two problems.

One is that only the government consumption indicator is available for all countries. Data on transfers, tax rates, and government investment are missing in several cases. Where data are missing, the SoG measure is the average of the components for which there are data. This approach to handling missing data degrades the statistical power of the SoG indicator as a whole.

By analogy, suppose that we want to assess the health risks facing a city’s residents using their body mass index (BMI), their gender, and their age. To measure BMI, we need to know each person’s height and weight, but suppose we are missing the data on weight for some individuals. Rather than leaving those people out of the sample, we could estimate their weight by using the average weight for a person of a given height, age, and gender. However, that procedure would inevitably make our assessment of health risks less statistically reliable than it would be if we had had complete data for everyone in our sample.

The second problem with SoG is that its GEI subcomponent has a strong negative correlation with the other three subcomponents—government consumption, transfers, and tax rates. Also, if we look at the relationships of the SoG subcomponents with independent variables, such as GDP, GDP growth, health, education, and safety, we find that the correlations for GEI are positive whereas those for the other components are negative. Creating a composite indicator out of subcomponents that correlate negatively with one another and that have opposite relationships to independent variables is a statistically dubious procedure.

Again resorting to analogy, suppose we want to devise a composite indicator of heating efficiency for residential buildings. We know that the size of a building’s windows and the thickness of its walls are relevant variables, but how to combine  them? Simply averaging the thickness of the walls of each building and the area of its windows would not give us a reasonable composite indicator, since the two variables have opposite effects on heating efficiency. A house with small windows and thick walls could have the same score as one with large windows and thin walls, even though the former would be far more efficient than the latter. Instead, either we should treat windows and walls as separate variables in a multivariate analysis, or, if it is important to have a single compound indicator, we should reverse the sign on window area before combining it with wall thickness.

My guess is that the people at Fraser who created the economic freedom index never thought about this problem. More likely, they used ideological rather than statistical criteria in formulating the SoG indicator. They probably assumed, a priori, that higher taxes, more government consumption, more transfers, and more government investment all make us less free, and accordingly, assumed that an average of the four would make a good measure of the size of government for their economic freedom index. The result is statistical mush.

None of this means that the size of government is unimportant. It suggests, instead, that Fraser’s SoG indicator is not a statistically sound measure of the size of government. We can check that by comparing SoG with a simpler measure based on the ratio of total government expenditures to GDP, which we will abbreviate as SGOV. The required data are available for all countries in our sample from the IMF World Economic Outlook database. For easier comparison with SoG and with other components of the EFI, I express SGOV on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 indicating the smallest government. (Specifically, if G is the ratio of government expenditure to GDP as expressed by the IMF on a scale of 0 to 100, then SGOV = (100-G)/10.)

The SGOV indicator turns out to have much more explanatory power than Fraser’s SoG. The correlation of SGOV with the log of GDP per capita is -0.48, compared with -0.25 for SoG. Both correlations suggest that higher levels of GDP are associated with larger government sectors and both coefficients are statistically significant, but the association is stronger for SGOV, derived from the simple ratio of government expenditure to GDP, than for Fraser’s original SoG indicator.

Turning to the personal freedom index, the simple correlation of SGOV with PFI is -0.39, compared to – 0.16 for SoG. Both indicators suggest that personal freedom increases as the size of government increases, but the coefficient for SGOV is larger, and it is statistically significant, whereas that for SoG is not. Here are scatter plots for the two measures of the size of government vs. the personal freedom index:

 As in earlier cases, we should not rely solely on the simple correlation, which is attributable in part to the fact that both the size of government and personal freedom correlate strongly with GDP per capita. We can get a more accurate picture by using a multiple regression to control for GDP. A regression of PFI on SGOV and the log of GDP per capita shows a correlation of 0.53, with all coefficients significant at the 0.01 level. The slope estimate indicates that on average, a one point decrease in SGOV is (that is, a one-point movement toward larger government) is, on average, associated with a quarter-point increase in personal freedom.

As a further test of the relative statistical power of the two indicators, I ran a multiple regression of PFI on both SGOV and SoG, plus the log of GDP per capita. When both measures of the size of government were included, the relation of SGOV to PFI was positive and statistically significant but SoG had no statistically significant relation to PFI.

Finally, I got similar results when I used the EHS measure of prosperity as the independent variable. The correlation coefficient for EHS and SoG is -0.18, indicating a tendency for larger government sectors to be associated with greater prosperity, but the absolute value of the coefficient is too small to be statistically significant. The correlation of EHS with SGOV is -0.48. In this case, the value of the coefficient is statistically significant and the negative sign again indicates a tendency for countries with larger governments to have higher scores for education, health, and personal safety. Here are the scatterplots:

As before, we can refine the results from the simple correlations using a multiple regression, controlling for GDP per capita. Doing so shows that SGOV, the ratio of government to GDP, has a negative and statistically significant association with EHS, showing that larger government is associated with higher levels of education, health, and personal safety. However, SoG, Fraser’s size-of-government measure, has no statistically significant association with EHS.


Our statistical investigations lead to two substantive conclusions:
  1. First, the data appear to support notion that economic freedom makes a positive contribution to personal freedom and prosperity. That holds true whether we measure prosperity in a narrowly economic sense, as GDP per capita, or in a broader sense, using noneconomic indicators of education, health, and personal safety.
  2. Second, the data do not support the notion that a larger government is necessarily detrimental to either freedom or prosperity.  On the contrary, countries with larger government sectors tend to have more personal freedom and higher indicators of education, health, and personal safety.
These findings suggest that libertarians need to do some further thinking about “Our Enemy, the State,” as Albert Jay Nock expressed it in the title of his classic book.

On a purely technical level, the analysis also suggests that the authors of the Fraser Institute’s economic freedom index need to rethink their size-of-government indicator, which appears to me to have serious methodological flaws that undermine its statistical value. A simpler indicator, based on the ratio of government expenditures to GDP, has significantly greater explanatory power in a variety of circumstances.

More broadly, we need think in a more nuanced way about the potential threat that government poses to freedom and prosperity. Size of government alone is an inadequate measure of the threat. The results we have reported do not just hold for a few outliers like France and Sweden that are relatively free and prosperous despite having large governments. Rather, an association of freedom and prosperity with large governments is a general tendency that holds across countries at all levels of income and in all parts of the world.

In my next post in this series, I will argue that we can better understand the relationships among freedom, prosperity, and government if we look at data on the quality of government, not just its size.

Previously posted at NiskanenCenter.Com
          Prepare Your Route Home with Pepper Spray        
When you are out, unexpected things can happen that put you in danger, however, if you take some precautionary steps, then the chances of your personal safety being in jeopardy will be dramatically decreased.If you have never given the matter of personal safety any thought before and would like to know 10 different personal safety […]
          Protecting Your Anonymity and Privacy: A How-to for Sex Workers         

Just as you take steps to protect your personal safety and health while engaging in real-life encounters, a sex worker should also be mindful of the dangers of the online world.

As we wrote in a separate blog post today, the sex worker forum MyRedBook, along with its companion sites, have been seized by the FBI in connection with a criminal indictment.  This could potentially mean that sensitive user data is in the hands of law enforcement.

We will be watching the situation closely to see how it develops. In the meantime, we hope that sex workers take advantage of some of the tools other vulnerable communities have used to keep themselves safer from government oppression.

No tool is foolproof, but we believe the following may be helpful:

Use Tor

One of the major concerns with the seizure of MyRedBook is that, regardless of what names or email addresses site visitors used, they could potentially still be tracked via IP addresses.

There is a way to avoid this, one that has been used by individuals in oppressive regimes across the world. As EFF technologist Cooper Quintin explained in a recent blog post, Tor is a network and a software package that helps anonymize Internet usage. Tor hides the source and destination of Internet traffic by routing it through various relays across the Internet.

There are many options when it comes to Tor, but the easiest way to use it is to download and use the Tor Browser Bundle, a version of Firefox that comes preconfigured to use Tor. If you were technologically savvy enough to use MyRedBook, then you have the skills to install this piece of software.

Use TextSecure

Phone numbers associated with individuals who used MyRedBook may have been seized. Records of text messages are particularly vulnerable to surveillance and seizure by law enforcement.

For Android users, TextSecure is one way to lessen this risk.

TextSecure is a free, open source app that encrypts all text messages stored on your phone. When it is used with other TextSecure users, it also encrypts your text messages over the air. It can replace the ordinary messaging system on any Android phone. While it is most secure when other users also have TextSecure, the encryption of messages on your phone is helpful regardless.

Unfortunately, TextSecure is not available for the iPhone OS at this time, although it is in development.

Use good password security

Another concern around the MyRedBook seizure is that passwords may have been seized. Password security is one of the easiest and most overlooked ways that anyone can make surveillance and targeting more difficult.

Many people re-use passwords for various accounts, or use short, simple passwords. Instead, you should use complex, unique passwords. Pick something that you haven’t used anywhere, and change it regularly. One way to make this easier is to use a password manager to store long, difficult passwords, or even generate passwords for you. 

 KeePassX is an open-source program you can download for free. Once you’ve downloaded it, you can create a database to store your passwords. The database is secured by a master password. You should ensure that this password is very secure, and easy to remember.

Use disk encryption for your computer and mobile device

Full disk encryption is one of the best ways you can ensure all the private information on your laptop, phone or tablet stays private if it's lost, seized, stolen, or if you choose to sell or give away your device in the future. Without it, anyone with a few minutes of physical access to your device can copy its contents, such as e-mail, contacts, web browsing history, etc., even if they don't have your password.

The latest version of Windows, Mac, iOS and Android all have ways to encrypt your local storage. You just need to turn it on. On Android devices, disk encryption can be enabled under security settings. Enable BitLocker on your Windows computer, and on Mac devices enable FileVault. Linux distributions provide a disk encryption checkbox you can check during installation.

Encryption requires a strong password to keep your data safe. On mobile devices, the disk encryption password is usually the same as your screen lock password, so make sure you use a strong, hard-to-guess screen lock password.

Remember, none of these tools can completely anonymize you—but they can help anyone who wants to engage in free speech without government detection.


          Minox DTC 700 Wildlife Trail Camera        

Key features

  • Removable camera module
  • Invisible IR-flash with a range of 15 m
  • 6 megapixel resolution
  • Fast shutter release of <1 sec. (0.2 sec. if used with an external power supply)
  • Special MINOCTAR lens
  • Convenient 2“ colour display
  • Built-in microphone for audio in video mode
  • Battery life up to 6 months
  • Robust and weatherproof protective housing with a Camouflage coating
  • Integrated port for external power supply
  • Comes with mounting strap and USB cable

DTC 700

The Minox DTC is quick and easy to install and simple to operate. The housing of the camera is firmly mounted just once. To evaluate recordings or adjust various camera settings, the module inside the housing can be removed and then inserted again - any tricky installation and realigning of the housing after evaluation and adjustment is thus omitted. 

Flash range up to 15 metres

The Minox DTC 700 is equipped with the special Minoctar lens as well as a powerful infrared flash with a range of up to 15 metres. This guarantees reliable images even in unfavorable light or twilight conditions. A black filter fitted in front of the flash makes the flash invisible to people and animals alike, providing an extremely discrete tool for game parks as well as safeguarding property and personal safety. 

Versatile moduler system

Minox also offers the housing without the camera module as an accessory. Several of which can be mounted at various locations. Once the housings are firmly mounted, the camera module can be used to conveniently monitor alternative locations without having to readjust housings before each use.


Furthermore, the housing serves to effectively protect the camera module against the penetration of water, cold, dust and heat. 

Minimal shutter delay

The shutter delay of the DTC 700 is less than one second - or only 0.2 seconds if used with an external power source - and the batteries last for more than 6 months. All recorded data is stored on an SD card can be evaluated directly on the 2" monitor or transferred to a PC using the USB port. Using the 9-volt external port, the DTC 700 can also be connected to the power mains at any time, e.g. on the outside of buildings.

 Available in RealTree camouflage

The Minox DTC 700 is available in a RealTree camouflage version and comes with a fixing strap and USB cable. Optionally available accessories include the stand-alone camera housing, security kit, external power cable, rechargeable batteries and battery charger.


          Good Advice To Use Prior To Hiring A Handyman        

Occasionally you may need the assistance of a handyman in order to get maintenance or other chores around the house over and done with. You need to know, however, that they have got differing ability sets. Odd jobs, including raking leaves, or working on yard work, are only a number of the jobs a handyman can do. Their skill sets may include limited renovation or maintenance jobs, such as painting.

When you have to have a handyman, it is better to speak with more than one. The first step would be to write down everything that you want done, in list form. It is in all probability that any handyman you consult, won’t be able to do all of the jobs you want to have finished. You will find handymen mostly do small projects or jobs that can be handled in one visit. If you do not require a great deal of skills, someone with just the specialized skills you need may be cheaper to hire. If you only need a little painting, to use a person who is skilled in woodworking, along with electrical expertise, you will undoubtedly be charged more.

Creating a long listing of handymen looking for work will put you in the best position for finding the one who meets your needs best, and save you some money. Receiving specific answers about their past experiences, and having references is quite important. Frequently one hears people talk about brazen theft, or shoddy work, amongst other things, when it comes to handymen. Verifying that your handyman is trustworthy and respected suggests you will get a job well done. Personal recommendations, from satisfied customers who have utilized someone in the past, are your best route for finding a worker you will be happy with. You want to hear only positive remarks about a person you are hiring, from all the people you can talk to who have had dealings with him.

interior design and home renovation concept - man in helmet with electric drill making hole in wall

You should demand a written estimate, which shows the full and complete price, as well as the date of completion. Never agree to a verbal estimate; this might lead to a lot of extra charges later on which you weren’t expecting. It is recommended to understand the upfront costs, and anything that can happen to add in more costs. For your personal safety, get everything in writing. If the handyman gives you everything in writing, you will often find that he is worthy of your trust. Any person hesitant to do this, shouldn’t be hired, unless you have known them for a long time.

Ask these guys to offer proof that they have legitimate liability insurance, especially so if the job is quite a large one. Except for a smaller job where you may waive this requirement, you do want to know that any potential damage is covered. Any time one or two small tasks left undone have increased in number to where they have turned out to be daunting, it would be a good time to hire …

          MacLean's Book Takes Progressive Conspiracy Theories to a New Level        
By: Brian Garst

It has been nearly two decades since progressive historian Michael A. Bellesiles published Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture, his attempt to discredit the 2nd Amendment right to gun ownership. Bellesiles maintained that during the colonial period of American history, firearms were rare and it wasn’t until the mid-1800s that “gun culture” became prevalent in American culture. The book received much fanfare and acclaim among scholars seeking to validate their intellectual opposition to private gun ownership until much of the scholarship was found to be fabricated.

RELATED: "MacLean on James Buchanan: Fake History for an Age of Fake News" by David Gordon.

The Belleisles episode is on a lot of people’s minds again with the recent release of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, by Duke University professor Nancy MacLean. MacLean undertakes a path like Bellesiles’s. She attempts to validate the views of progressives who say that free markets are incompatible with democracy, stating that professors and scholars have been poisoned by grants and financial assistance provided by rich free market proponents like the Koch Family. The main target of her attack is the late Nobel Prize winning economist James Buchanan, who she believes threatens democracy, and the field of public choice in which he provided many key contributions.

Democracy in Chains has been met by a chorus of criticism, with numerous scholars and writers seemingly uncovering new errors and misrepresentations every day. The critics span the ideological spectrum, though understandably the loudest response has come from Buchanan’s public choice fellow travelers and other libertarian scholars. Contrary to the expected behavior of a tenured historian, MacLean has seized on this fact to avoid addressing the substance of the criticism and has instead played the victim of a vast, Koch-funded conspiracy.

RELATED: "The Problem with James Buchanan's Positivist Economics" by Joseph Salerno

A common thread among the criticisms is that MacLean lacks a fundamental understanding of public choice and the scholarship and views of the man she singled out for attack. The fact that she refuses to respond in substance to well-documented refutations of her claims, choosing instead to engage in ad hominem and conspiracy mongering, only confirms the status of her book as a partisan hit-job and not a serious work of scholarly research.

James M. Buchanan and Public Choice

Buchanan called public choice “politics without the romance.” He stripped away the nostalgia and naiveté of the legislative process, which is most often not a battle of good and evil but a fight between competing interests rent-seeking at the public till. Recognizing that government is not a tool used solely by angels, Buchanan was a strong supporter of limiting its power.

RELATED: "An Interview with James Buchanan" from the Austrian Economics Newsletter. 

In other words, Buchanan did not believe in simple majoritarianism. Majorities often trample on the rights of minorities, and so repression is a likely outcome from strict majoritarianism. It is odd that MacLean would decide that such a pedestrian view, one found throughout the nation’s founding documents, is somehow indicative of a desire on the part of Buchanan to subvert, rather than enhance, America’s political system. It is also rather ironic that she smears Buchanan as a closeted racist when it is precisely the sort of limits on majority rule he sought that was used to override the southern majorities that supported Jim Crow.

Rather than provide an alternative framework for understanding democracy, or honestly analyzing and debating with Buchanan’s ideas, Nancy MacLean has chosen to construct a house of cards by flimsily connecting Buchanan, a respected libertarian scholar, to statists, Southern agrarians, and — of course — the Koch Brothers.

MacLean misrepresents, or misunderstands, public choice theory by claiming that under the theory “The enemy was the public itself, expressed through the tyranny of majority rule. … It wasn’t enough to elect true-believing politicians. The rules of government needed to be rewritten.” MacLean’s conclusion: Buchanan was an enemy of representative democracy because he supported policies that protected property owners and segregationists. Contrary to her conspiratorial insinuations, MacLean has neither broken new ground nor discovered a smoking gun, but instead has created false correlations to paint an advocate of limited government as a racist simply for not believing in ever growing government.

Defending Buchanan

Dan Mitchell, a former student of Buchanan, was among the first to push back that Buchanan was none other than a champion of liberty, individualism, and economic freedom. While Mitchell points out that MacLean’s smear job was unfortunately funded by the taxpayers — through a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment of Humanities — he begins to chip away at a key premise, noting there is simply no evidence to link Buchanan and true advocates of limited government to racists who advocated state-sponsored segregation. Segregation is a form of statist intervention, the very power of government Buchanan spent his life attempting to control and limit.

While Mitchell jabbed at the underlying premises of the book, others began to land real body blows. Illustrating not only her shoddy scholarship but also her laziness. Daniel Bier at the Skeptical Libertarian found that MacLean made up and misattributed a quote to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels in order to smear “the Koch-sponsored radical right.” Behaving more like your average forwarder of chain emails full of partisan red-meat than a serious historian, MacLean couldn’t even be bothered to simply Google the quote she thought she remembered, where she would have quickly discovered that it had no basis in reality.

Russ Roberts locates another effort by MacLean to modify a quotation, this time from Tyler Cowen, the Holbert L. Harris Chair of Economics at George Mason University and general director of the Mercatus Center, to better fit her premise that champions of liberty are enemies of democracy. The Cato Institute's David Boaz was similarly misquoted, and J.C. Bradbury uncovers where a Buchanan quote appears to be made up, or at the very least does not exist at the source MacLean provides.

MacLean goes to great lengths to suggest that Buchanan was influenced by John C. Calhoun and Southern agrarians despite nowhere mentioning them in any of his vast collection of works. By making this claim, she can link Buchanan to advocates of slavery and segregation and thus dismiss him and the libertarian movement on moral grounds. But there just aren’t any facts to support this charge.

Writing at the History News Network, Phillip Magness decimates the claim that Buchanan’s thinking was influenced by an obscure Nashville writer named Donald Davidson. Magness makes a compelling case that MacLean “appears to have simply made up an inflammatory association and tacked it onto Buchanan to paint him as a racist. ... One could legitimately note that there are more references to the pro-segregation Vanderbilt Agrarians on Nancy MacLeans own CV than in the entire Collected Works of James M. Buchanan.” Magness joined with Art Carden and Vincent Geloso to author a paper explaining in full detail just how utterly lacking in merit is MacLean’s portrayal of Buchanan as a racist. Not only do they destroy her case, but they provide evidence of Buchanan’s hostility to racism.

David Bernstein, writing at the Washington Post, noted some other “dubious conclusions” that Democracy in Chains reaches, and that further demonstrate MacLean’s lack of knowledge of the subject matter she covers. Among them:

Let’s start with Page 182, where MacLean identifies staunch conservative Edwin Meese, one-timer rector at George Mason, as “chief” among the “cadre” of the “libertarian cause.” On Page 198, in describing the makeup of George Mason University’s Board of Visitors, she asserts that it “now included such libertarian cadre members” as “Ed Feulner of the Heritage Foundation” and “Weekly Standard editor William Kristol.” She also identifies two conservative politicians with some libertarian sympathies, Dick Armey and James Miller, as Visitors who were part of this “libertarian cadre.” Her identification of Kristol as a libertarian made me laugh out loud, especially because there are few conservative writers less popular in libertarian intellectual circles than Kristol. But the notion that Meese, Feulner, et al., are “libertarian cadre members” is almost equally absurd.

Perhaps the most devastating critique comes from fellow Duke professor Michael Munger. In a thorough review, he calls Democracy in Chains “a work of speculative historical fiction.” Among the many faults he attributes to MacLean is her refusal to consult any of the many living scholars who worked alongside Buchanan, three of whom could be found right at Duke, and her decision to play “Six Degree of Charles Koch.” He concludes that “as a book Democracy in Chains is well-written, and the research it contains is both interesting and in many cases illuminating. But as an actual history, as a reliable account of the centrality of the work of James Buchanan in a gigantic conspiracy designed to end democracy in America, it turns far away from its mark. It is the story of an alternative past that never actually happened.”

Even some on the left have weighed in. Henry Farrell, professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, co-wrote at that MacLean’s writings were “conspiracy theories about the right” and suggested the book was a model for “how not to write about 'radical' libertarians.”

This list could go on and on, but the point has been made. To quote Jason Brennan, “She is a contemptible liar.”

Defense of MacLean has largely been limited not to the intellectual or scholarly underpinnings of her work, but to the underlying premise that free market advocates are racists and critics are on the payroll of the Koch Brothers. For instance, The New Republic interviewed MacLean by tossing softballs about the Kochs and the strange influence libertarians seems to have on the body politic.

MacLean, for her part, has largely refused to address the substantive complaints, choosing instead to whine about “bullying” and a vast, right-wing conspiracy to defame her. She's even continued her pattern of misrepresentations by charging that a Jonah Goldberg comment about the “libertarian super-posse” dissecting MacLean’s work, an explicit reference to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, was somehow a threat to her personal safety. Sadly, it seems that the end of her book did not also mark the end of her fabulous tales.


MacLean’s premise that libertarians calling for limits on the power of the state are enemies of democracy is a farce. The same claim can be made against the architects of our Constitution, who set up institutional barriers designed to restrict mob rule. Pure majoritiarianism will destroy liberty as quickly as pure authoritarianism. Some of the greatest causes of liberty in history were efforts to limit mob rule rather than impose it. The modern civil rights movement, which MacLean claims to champion, was an example of it. The mob in some areas of the nation wanted state-sanctioned racism, but the Constitution ultimately won the day and limited their ability to impose it.

The core of MacLean’s failure is her inability to concede that those with whom she holds political disagreements could be honestly seeking to advance what they believe is the best interest of the people. What she sees as a sinister conspiracy to undermine democratic norms and benefit a wealthy elite is nothing more than an ordinary effort among like-minded people to make the government work better for everyone. All of her cherry-picking, misrepresentations, and fabrications flow from this all too common political tendency. But while this sort of mindset has sadly become expected among average citizens, academia ought to be better. Duke should be embarrassed of its affiliation with such a shoddy piece of fake scholarship.

Brian Garst is Director of Policy and Communications for the Center for Freedom and Prosperity.

          Deal Is A Deal: Ecogen Wind Prevails In Windfarming Dispute        

By William A. Ruskin

The New York Law Journal reported on January 2, 2014 that the Town of Prattsburgh, which, during the relevant time, had virtually no laws, codes or requirements on the books governing the installation of wind turbine facilities, was not permitted by the court to retroactively preclude Ecogen Wind from building a wind farm in Steuben County, New York.

In a unanimous Memorandum and Order issued by the Appellate Division, Fourth Department on December 27, 2013, in Ecogen v. Town of Prattsburgh, CA 12-02307 (4th Dept. December 27, 2013), [enhanced opinion available to subscribers], the court applied traditional contract jurisprudence to prevent the Town of Prattsburgh from voiding the terms of a settlement of prior litigation with Ecogen Wind that permitted the wind farm development to proceed.

The court held that the “parties were bound by the terms of the settlement and the court was bound to enforce it.” In March 2009, Ecogen Wind was advised in writing by the Code Enforcement Officer for the Town of Prattsburgh that there was no legal impediment to building wind turbines within the municipality and that no permits were needed.

According to the Ecogen website, the company:

..... proposes to construct 34 ± wind turbine units for the purpose of generating 79.5 megawatts, or less, of electricity in the Town of Prattsburgh, Steuben County and the Town of Italy, Yates County, New York. An overall study area of approximately 24,000 acres was identified within which the individual sites for the turbine units will be selected.

Early on, Ecogen submitted an application to the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency ("SCIDA") for financial assistance relative to the proposed project.

In its role as lead agency, SCIDA initiated the environmental review process pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (6 NYCRR Part 617) and performed a coordinated review with other involved or interested agencies. SCIDA issued a Positive Declaration, requiring preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement In accordance with 6 NYCRR Part 617. A Generic Environmental Impact Statement was selected as an appropriate means to assess potential impacts for the project.

Despite there being no applicable zoning law or building code provision, Ecogen Wind still sought formal town approval in an effort to accommodate local concerns about the project. But Ecogen, which had the necessary state permits to proceed, was unable to reach agreement with the town and commenced an Article 78 action. The parties settled the case in late 2009 acknowledging that “no rules, permits or other authorizations from the town are required… to develop, construct and operate the project.”

Shortly thereafter, a new town board came into office that was unhappy with the deal struck by its predecessors. The new board repudiated the agreement, rescinded the settlement and imposed a moratorium on windfarming. As reflected by the Appellate Division’s decision, a municipality cannot have second thoughts and renege on the agreement once a settlement is reached.

Although it is difficult to gauge the intensity of the debate over the project without living in upstate New York and participating first hand, it may be inferred from a review of the website of Advocates for Prattsburgh that tensions were high among townspeople when the new town board came into office and sought to rescind the deal.

In its Mission Statement, Advocates for Prattsburgh makes an impassioned plea to support the opposition effort:

Located in northern Steuben County and nestled between Keuka and Canandaigua Lakes, Prattsburgh, NY is an idyllic township of hills, woods and farms. Advocates for Prattsburgh is a not-for-profit, volunteer organization run and financially supported by and offering a voice to resident and non-resident Prattsburgh landowners, as well as concerned citizens in the surrounding towns. Two wind farm companies – Ecogen and UPC – plan to construct nearly one hundred, 400' high wind turbines in Prattsburgh, interspersed between the homes and properties of non-participating landowners. The noise, negative health effects, ice throws and overwhelming visual dominance of these huge industrial machines pose a severe threat to our town, the value of our property, our personal safety, and our freedom to live our lives in peace and quiet. Recent action by the Prattsburgh Town Board to use eminent domain to condemn the land of property owners who refused to grant easements to UPC for the Windfarm Prattsburgh Project should be a wake-up call for what is planned for our future and our freedoms.

Our position is not against wind power, but against the inappropriate siting of these industrial wind turbines. These massive, 400' high factories should be placed in an industrial park, in which all the property within its boundaries is contiguous and is either owned by, leased to, or easements voluntarily granted to the wind power companies. The siting of these turbines within this industrial park should also be set back from the properties lines of non-participating landowners sufficient to protect the personal health and safety of property owners, the value of their homes, and their desire not to be dominated by noise-making adjacent factories as tall as the pyramids of Egypt.

Public concerns over these potential environmental impacts, both real and imagined, represent the biggest challenge the wind industry faces in siting these projects. A map of the project (as depicted by the Advocates for Prattsburgh) is attached.

For more cutting edge commentary on developing issues, visit Toxic Tort Litigation Blog by William A. Ruskin of Epstein Becker & Green.

For more information about LexisNexis products and solutions, connect with us through our corporate site.

          RAD: Rape Aggression Defense        
On July 10, 2009, Conversations with American Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature a discussion with RAD Instructor Kimberly Cheryl Elliot.Kimberly Cheryl Elliott “is a seasoned marketing professional with 18 years experience in pharmaceutical sales and management. As a victim of crime, she is very passionate about her career as founder and managing partner of Executive Defense Technology, LLC, an anti-victimization education firm. As a speaker, author, consultant and Nationally Certified RAD (Rape/Aggression/Defense) Instructor, she helps clients optimize their personal safety. As a seminar leader, she provides a comprehensive course that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands on defense training. Her clients include everyone from elderly church group members and housewives to employees of law firms, TV / Radio Stations and other Fortune 500 Corporations.” Kimberly Cheryl Elliott is the author of Escape From The Pharma Cartel: My Life as a Member of the Pharmaceutical Drug Cartel; Take This Pill and... Sell It!: A Guide To Getting A Job In The Pharmaceutical Industry; Shattered Reality; and, Are Your Habits Killing You? A Complete Personal Handbook Of Safety Suggestions to Incorporate into Your Everyday Life: Because the Best Defense Is a Good Offensive Plan!
          Why is Sanjay Leela Bhansali being targeted?        
'The film industry will remain soft targets and continue to be picked upon with no respite, with no choice but to give in due to personal safety and financial compulsions,' says director Suparn Verma.
          Bishop Finn Initiates Sweeping Changes and Reviews        

Following is a press release from the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph:

Bishop Finn Initiates Sweeping Changes and Reviews
Five-Point Plan in Effect

Diocese engages Todd Graves, former U.S. Department of Justice
child exploitation expert and former U.S. Attorney

(KANSAS CITY, MO, June 9, 2011)  -  To immediately fulfill his “call for change,” Bishop Robert Finn, of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St Joseph,  today announced the first immediate five points of a sweeping plan to deal with recent alleged sexual misconduct in the diocese.

The diocese said further initiatives will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Initial Five-point Plan
1. Immediate appointment of former national co-chair of the Department of Justice Child Exploitation Working Group and former U.S. Attorney to conduct an independent investigation of events, policies and procedures,

2. Appointment of an independent public liaison and ombudsman to field and investigate any reports of suspicious or inappropriate behavior,

3. Reaffirmation of current diocesan policy and immediate commencement of an independent review of the policies for Ethical Codes of Conduct and Sexual Misconduct,

4.  An in-depth review of diocesan personnel training regarding the Ethical Codes of Conduct and the policy on Sexual Misconduct,

5. Continued cooperation with local law enforcement.

Bishop Finn stated, “These are initial steps. Other actions are forthcoming.”

Former U.S. Attorney Engaged
Former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri Todd P. Graves will conduct an independent review of all issues regarding the Ratigan matter, as well as lead an independent and complete review of the diocesan Ethical Codes of Conduct and Sexual Misconduct policies, procedures and training.

From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Graves served as the national co-chair of the Department of Justice Child Exploitation Working Group. As U.S. Attorney, he established state and federal task forces to investigate exploitation of children through the Internet and was instrumental in locating a Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory in Kansas City. Throughout his career, Mr. Graves has been at the forefront in enforcing laws against those who abuse children.

Bishop Finn said the review will bring clarity out of the “shame, anger, and confusion” surrounding the May 19 arrest of Father Shawn Ratigan, who faces charges of possession of child pornography.

“In addition to our ongoing and full cooperation with law enforcement, this review will help us to determine the effectiveness of diocesan policies and procedures in a very troubling situation,” the Bishop explained.

At the conclusion of the review, Mr. Graves will issue a report.  The report will be made public. The review is estimated to take approximately 30 to 45 days.  Bishop Finn pledged the complete cooperation of all diocesan personnel.

Appointment of Public Liaison and Ombudsman
In the coming weeks, Bishop Finn will appoint a public liaison and ombudsman as the receiving agent and initial investigation point for any reports of misconduct by a diocesan priest, deacon, employee or program volunteer.

The public liaison and ombudsman will screen and investigate any reports on complaints made and consult with law enforcement as appropriate. The ombudsman will be available to anyone who wishes to report a concern through a confidential telephone number and email address.

“This immediate action will ensure all concerns are addressed confidentially, respectfully, promptly and appropriately,” said Bishop Finn.    

Reaffirmation of Current Diocesan Policies
While awaiting recommendations for changes resulting from the independent internal investigation, Bishop Finn reaffirmed current diocesan policies that guide the response to reports of abuse. Members of the clergy and diocesan employees have been advised to review the Ethical Codes of Conduct and the policy regarding Sexual Misconduct.

As early as 1988, the diocese adopted a formal policy for responding to allegations of sexual abuse. The policy established a Diocesan Response Team to provide support for persons making complaints. The policy required full cooperation with the laws of Missouri for reporting child sexual abuse. By 1993, diocesan practice reflected growing lay involvement with the creation of an Independent Review Board.

Diocesan Policies Require
  • protecting children in all church, school and program settings,
  • pending a full investigation, removing ministers and employees from service when reasonable suspicion exists,
  • counseling and pastoral support for persons making a complaint,
  • advising people making complaints of their rights to go to civil authorities or the media, and,
  • ensuring that lay professionals respond to and give advice about complaints and fitness for ministry.

In 2002, the diocese mandated multi-jurisdictional criminal background screening and safe environment training for all adults working or volunteering with children. The Protecting God’s Children program identifies the warning signs of abuse and teaches strategies for maintaining safe environments for children. By May 2011, this program had reached more than 20,500 people.

“The best way to deal with a problem is to prevent wrongdoing,” said Bishop Finn. “We believe that, when adults who interact with children increase their awareness of child sexual abuse, they form a shield that protects children,” he said.

As a companion to the adult safe environment training, the diocese implemented developmentally appropriate personal safety training for all children and youth in 2006.  Through Catholic schools and parish programs the diocese reaches some 16,000 children each year.  Circle of Grace is an ongoing part of the curricula for all Pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade, and Called to Protect reaches all high school aged students.

The Bishop concluded with the words he delivered to the diocese this past Sunday:

“As bishop, I take full responsibility for these failures and sincerely apologize to you for them. Clearly, we have to do more,” said Bishop Finn. “While we must deal with these difficult and trying issues, we also must give thanks for the daily accomplishments of our lay faithful, priests and others for the many good works that continue on behalf of neighbors, sick or poor, young or old.”

          A Real-Life Lifeguard Assesses the Lifeguarding in Baywatch        

In the new film adaptation of Baywatch, Lt. Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) and new recruit Matt Brody (Zac Efron) occasionally take a break from crime-fighting to do their actual job: lifeguarding. But some of the ways that they go about that job did not accord with some Slate staffers’ recollections of their own lifeguard training.

So we asked Ocean Rescue Lt. Jim McCrady of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to use his 31 years of experience lifeguarding to evaluate the job performance of the lifeguards in Baywatch.

Slate: Were you a fan of the original Baywatch TV show?

Jim McCrady: I was a fan of the original inception of it. It was originally conceived and directed by a guy who was an L.A. County lifeguard, and I believe the first couple of seasons were based on real events and real incidents that happened on the beaches out there. But then when it went into syndication it became kind of like a cartoon, almost an unintentional parody of itself, and it lost me.

Did you find the new Baywatch movie similarly cartoonish?

Well, it wasn’t a documentary on lifeguarding! It was a comedy and for us as lifeguards to get angry at the film would be similar to police officers getting mad at Reno 911. It was actually much better than I thought it was gonna be. It was funny, it was entertaining. I know the reviews came in—they were horrible.


At the same time, it was disappointing, only because there are so many inaccuracies with respect to our profession. Even the terminology they used—they used the word rip tide instead of rip current, which was kind of disappointing for me. And there was a scene where the lifeguards basically abandoned their posts to do some crime-fighting. As a professional lifeguard watching this, I’m always concerned about the image of lifeguards that the general public has, and that’s something we’ve been battling for decades, the idea that we’re 15-year-old kids out there doing a summer job, trying to pick up girls with sunblock on our noses.

If you know anything about the industry, it’s primarily—especially in Florida and Hawaii and a lot of California—a year-round, full-time profession. So you see that kind of stuff and you cringe and you hope the audience takes it as a joke, but at the same time it would have been very easy for them to have hired some subject-matter experts and rectified some of those inconsistencies.

What are lifeguard tryouts actually like? The movie makes it look like you have to go through some kind of triathlon obstacle course to get the job.

I was actually hired by the production crew to help them with that. They decided to do the lifeguard tryout scene and they wanted it to look accurate with some authenticity, so they contacted me to try to round up a bunch of real lifeguards.

Wow, so all the people we see in that scene—besides the movie stars, of course—those aren’t just regular extras they had hanging around?

For liability reasons, they needed swimmers in the water, so I was tasked with rounding up a bunch of real lifeguards and getting them up to Georgia [where the scene was filmed]. There are a few people in there who are triathletes, but out of the 70 people or so that we rounded up, I think about 60 or so were professional lifeguards.

Mitch also makes Brody go through some extra challenges to earn a spot on the team. I’m going to go ahead and assume that in real life, there’s no refrigerator-lifting contest required to become a lifeguard.

No, no. In fact, the whole scene where they go through the obstacle course with the peg board and the pullups and all that—that was all filmed before they got up to Georgia. When they got up to Georgia, they wanted it to look like a real lifeguard tryout, and so we had them do a run and a swim and they just kind of spliced those scenes together.

They make a point of mentioning that Mitch has 500 career saves, which is supposed to be very impressive. Is it impressive? Is it even realistic? It sounds like a lot to me.

Yeah, that’s definitely a realistic number. When I was a tower lifeguard, we would average 10 to 20 rescues a year, and if you put in 20 years, you could easily get to that number.

I think it is important to note, though, that the way the profession works now is that we do a lot of prevention. About 90 percent of what we do is preventing rescues, so to highlight the number of rescues is another kind of problem I had with that scene. It’s easy to have a bunch of rescues. You could allow people to get in trouble just so you could rescue them.

If you weren’t a very proactive lifeguard, and you just sat back in your lifeguard tower and let people wander into rip currents, you could have rescues all day long. And that’s kind of how the profession used to be, say, 50 years ago, but nowadays we have a saying: “A dry lifeguard is a good lifeguard.”

So that doesn’t necessarily mean Mitch is a great lifeguard. He could just be slacking on prevention!

Right, you’re spotting the dangerous areas and you’re keeping people away from them.

Let’s talk about some of the specific saves in the movie. The first is right at the very beginning of the movie, where the Rock single-handedly rescues a kitesurfer who has lost control and plunges into the water, hitting his head.

We do rescue kitesurfers! It’s not far-fetched to conceive that a kitesurfer could run into a jetty. I’m sure that’s even happened somewhere in the country. In fact we had a kitesurfer up in Stuart Beach in Martin County, Florida, and he fell into the water and he was attacked by a white shark.


We had a lifeguard named Daniel Lund that paddled out a mile to this guy, put him on his paddle board, and paddled him back to shore. We do have rescues that dramatic or even more so.

What about the way that Mitch carries the victim, though? Slate’s Julia Turner pointed out that scooping him up out of the water like a movie starlet could be pretty dangerous to the spine after a fall like that.

Yes, if there was any inclination that there was any type of spinal injury, the initial lifeguard on the scene would maintain C-spine.

What’s that?

It’s basically you stabilizing the neck to make sure there isn’t any further injury to the spinal cord that could cause paralysis. So the initial lifeguard on the scene suspecting injury to the head or neck would hold C-spine, keeping the airway above the water, and then there would be two or three backup lifeguards headed in afterward who would bring a C-collar and a backboard.

After that rescue, the Rock is not only completely calm, he goes for a run! He seems pretty chill for someone who just saved a man’s life.

You know what, that is kind of funny, because that’s another part of the movie that isn’t necessarily inaccurate. We have days where we could have 30–50 rescues in a day, and then your lunch break comes, and a lot of the lifeguards are very serious about their physical fitness, and they have routines. So it’s not inconceivable to have a bunch of rescues and then go on your lunch break and go for a run.

I’m a lifeguard here in South Florida where we have full-time, career lifeguards. Just on my beach alone our average number of years tenure is like 14 years. There’s no such thing as a routine rescue; they’re all different. At the same time, you do kind of get into a routine and handle that adrenaline better with time.

Another save I want to talk about: Two kids fall off a pier and their mother jumps in after them, so she needs to be rescued, too. When Brody, who hasn’t yet been trained, yanks her onshore, she’s unconscious, so he starts doing chest compressions—but one of the other lifeguards stops him.

The Red Cross for years has been pushing hands-only, compression-only CPR, and that’s targeting the layperson, not the professional rescuer. In drowning cases, hands-only CPR does absolutely nothing, because in drowning cases [the victim has] basically expended all the oxygen in their blood, so by doing hands-only CPR you’re just recirculating blood that has no oxygen in it.

The most important thing to do with a victim of drowning is to get oxygen in their blood as soon as possible. You would do that with a bag valve mask with supplemental oxygen. If you didn’t have that, you could just use one with regular air, and if you didn’t have that, you would use a pocket mask and do mouth-to-mouth.

In this case, the other lifeguard goes to clear the victim’s airway and pulls out a big chunk of seaweed.

I’ve never seen that ever happen. We actually laughed out loud when we saw that scene. We do encounter people with obstructed airways, but it’s almost never in the water. It’s usually someone eating lunch on the beach.

The most dramatic save takes place on a burning boat. There’s a boat on fire in the middle of the bay and then there’s also a ring of burning gasoline that has formed around the boat—Mitch actually swims under the fire. Is that really something lifeguards handle?

A lot of times lifeguards are first responders who get there before the police and the fire fighters. We had a situation in Hollywood, Florida, where a couple of banner planes had run into each other and went down in the water and lifeguards rode a boat out and rescued people. More recently, in Miami Beach, probably 10 years ago now, there was an airplane that wrecked in the inlet in Miami, and ocean lifeguards were the first on the scene, diving in with gasoline on the water basically just in their bathing suits with no personal safety equipment, trying to rescue people.

I was watching that and of course it’s all glamorized for Hollywood with the big explosions and all that kind of thing. But I guarantee if a boat were to catch on fire in front of a lifeguard tower, that lifeguard would definitely be the first on the scene, before the police or before the Coast Guard or firefighters.

There’s a scene in the movie where the lifeguards are all sitting around eating lunch and listing a bunch of incidents, some of which are taken directly from the Baywatch TV show. I’m going to list off some of those things, and you tell me whether you’ve ever encountered them. OK?


A school of deadly manta rays in the cove.

No, that made me laugh out loud, actually. Manta ray are completely harmless. They were confusing manta rays with sting rays. Even my 12-year-old son laughed and turned to me and said, “Manta rays don’t sting.”

OK, here’s another one: Diamond smugglers using surfboards to bring in diamonds.

No, I have no experience with diamond-smuggling.

How about sand grifters running a con on the beach?

We do have crime on the beach. We have people who steal purses and beach bags. That does happen—at the same time, it is stopped by lifeguards. We had a lifeguard one time named Eddie Robledo, who witnessed some guys going through somebody’s cabana and saw somebody grab a purse and run. This was in the middle of August, where it’s about 95 degrees out. This guy ran down in nothing but his bathing suit and chased these guys for 10 blocks on the asphalt and caught them with passports, credits cards, the family’s camera—he basically saved their whole vacation.

Do you go to the police with stuff like that, or are relations as tense between lifeguards and law enforcement as they seem in the movie?

No, not tense at all. When I first started lifeguarding, when ocean lifeguarding wasn’t as professional as it is now, we didn’t have a very good working relationship with the police. The police looked at us with the same stereotypes that the public has—that we were just teenagers on summer break. But as the profession came with higher certifications and there were more full-time lifeguards, the police started to respect our skill set, and today we have an awesome working relationship with the police department.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

          (USA-MI-Kalamazoo) Sales Rep / Outside Sales / Territory Sales        
Learns how to conduct inspections to identify infestations or conditions conducive toinfestations of wood destroying organisms and/or insects, birds, or other vertebrate pests for the purpose of making proposals and presentations to obtain sales contracts.Responsibilities* Attends company training programs and accompany other associates or managers during ride-alongs in order to learn job skills such as:* Recording accurate measurements and writing correct descriptions of property and/orother areas inspected* Preparing appropriate specs and treating instructions in accordance with existinglaws, regulations, and company policy* Calculating job treating costs from company pricing instructions* Executing contracts on behalf of the company, observing company policy pertaining tocredit terms of sale* Maintaining equipment, vehicle, and personal safety equipment in clean, workingorder* Learning sales techniques and product knowledge in order to sell termite controlprotection and renewals and/or monthly pest control protection to owners or agentsof homes, stores, or industry* Gaining experience in dealing courteously with customers, leaving customers' premisesand furnishings clean and as found* Passes all state licensing and/or company requirements* Attends call sessions to learn how to effectively collect on delinquent accounts of personalsales contracts* Contacts customers after service is performed to ensure satisfaction and develop additional prospects* Develops termite and/or pest control sales leads for each respective office lead furnishedEducation and Experience Requirements* High school education or general education degree (GED) required* Six to twelve months related experience and/or training in sales and dealing with the publicor equivalent combination of education and experience is strongly preferred* Valid driver's license from current state of residence requiredKnowledge, Skills, and Abilities* Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers,common fractions, and decimals* Ability to calculate rate, ratio, and percent, and to draw and interpret bar graphsDisclaimerThe above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by associates assigned to this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.ServiceMaster is committed to Diversity and Inclusion. We encourage diverse candidates to apply to this position.An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer - of Minorities/Females/Veterans/Disability100713Equal Opportunity Employer of Minorities, Females, Protected Veterans, and Individual with Disabilities
          Krav Maga Tactical Survival: Personal Safety in Action. Proven Solutions for Real Life Situations        
Krav Maga Tactical Survival: Personal Safety in Action. Proven Solutions for Real Life SituationsНазвание: Krav Maga Tactical Survival: Personal Safety in Action. Proven Solutions for Real Life Situations
Автор: Gershon Ben Keren
Издательство: Tuttle Publishing
ISBN: 0804847657
Год: 2017
Страниц: 224
Язык: английский
Формат: epub
Размер: 16.5 MB

Книга "Крав-мага. Тактическое выживание" представляет проверенные решения опасных, реальных жизненных ситуаций. Крав-мага - это официальная система самообороны израильских вооруженных сил и в течение 60 лет подвергается испытаниям в полиции, вооруженных силах, частных охранных фирмах и индивидуальными лицами во всем мире. Крав-мага учит, как быстро оценить опасную ситуацию и нейтрализовать своих нападающих, прежде чем они подымут руку.
          "High-Risk" Procedures at Traffic Stop were Warranted Because of Gun Info        
U.S. v. Windom, 2017 WL 3124047 (7/24/17)(CO)(published) - The Tenth affirms the denial of Mr. Windom's suppression motion, rejecting his claim that officers unreasonably used "high-risk" traffic stop procedures to investigate the "completed misdemeanor" of flashing a gun in public. After receiving a report from a bar employee that a man--who turned out to be Mr. Windom--flashed a gun at the bar and claimed to be a Crips member, officers stopped a car matching the description they were given. Mr. Windom argued that while officers had reasonable suspicion for the stop, the heightened degree of force they used converted what would have been an investigative stop into a de facto arrest requiring probable cause. The Tenth concludes that it was reasonable for officers to draw their weapons and order the car occupants to exit the car and get face-down on the ground with legs crossed because the available information suggested Mr. Windom was armed and dangerous and officers needed to take precautionary measures to protect their personal safety. Consequently, the seizure was lawful and Mr. Windom's felon in possession of a firearm conviction is affirmed.
          Communications Specialist II        

Job Requisition Number: 111624

Job Title: Communications Specialist II

Level(s): L2

Work Location: Losee Road Facility


To aid the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) and National Security Technologies (NSTec) in educating the community about the NNSS mission, programs, and history.

Represents the NNSS as well as the Management &Operations (M&O Contractor of the NNSS. Perform mid-level communications duties, including: planning, developing and implementing internal and external outreach, education, and information projects.

Formulate communication strategies and concepts to achieve NNSS and NSTec goals. Develop and implement communications plans, including research, conducting interviews, and writing.

Plan, develop and edit text and graphics for use in print, video and web projects. Coordinate the creation of brochures with graphic artists. Serve as the front-end developer for the website, including creating, updating and maintaining website content.

Responsible for maintaining and coordinating content on the website (M&Ocontractor web site).

Draft news releases, articles, social media content, presentations and reports.

Write, edit and coordinate production of print publications including brochures, newspapers and magazines highlighting the NNSS and the NSTec (or new M&Ocontractor of the NNSS).

Draft speaking points for executive communication.

Draft video scripts.

Draft presentations for internal and external audiences and present to groups as needed. Assist with management and activities of the NNSS Speakers Bureau, including speaker recruitment, presentation development, and scheduling with public and special interest groups.

Coordinate media inquiries and tours of the NNSS. Edits copy for accuracy, grammar and style. Serve as a part of the NNSS emergency public information team.

Lead emergency communications efforts as needed.

Accept individual responsibility and accountability for environment, safety, health, and quality processes within personal control, personal safety, and the safety of co-workers.

Comply with established regulations and procedures for environment, safety, health, and quality and perform duties in a way that will not cause personal danger, endanger other individuals, or violate environment, safety, health, and quality regulations. Promptly correct or report any hazard or potential hazard to supervision.

Understand the principles associated with the National Security Technologies, LLC (NSTec) safety concept.

Participate in and embrace NSTec environment, safety, health, and quality initiatives. QUALIFICATIONS Bachelor's degree in a related field, and at least two years' of professional level experience, or equivalent training and experience.

Knowledge of Associated Press style.

Demonstrated knowledge of Google Analytics.

Demonstrated strong writing, editing and proofreading skills.

Demonstrated strong verbal communications skills.

Demonstrated ability to work under tight deadlines.

Experience with Dreamweaver, SharePoint, HTML, CSS Javascript, Jquery, PHP and Bootstrap highly desired.

Experience with content creation and web design skills are preferred.

Knowledge of search engine optimization preferred.

Sensitivity to errors that could negatively impact projects or the organization.

Demonstrated teaming efforts internal to your own work group, other work groups to develop and administer projects.

Demonstrated strong written communication skills with the ability to quickly produce clear and concise written materials that demonstrate creativity and comprehension of the subject matter.

Department of Energy Q Clearance (position will be cleared to this level). Reviews and tests for the absence of any illegal drug as defined in 10 CFR Part 707.4, “Workplace Substance Abuse Programs at DOE Sites,” will be conducted. Applicant selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation, and subsequent reinvestigations, and must meet the eligibility requirements for access to classified matter. Successful completion of a counterintelligence evaluation, which may include a counterintelligence-scope polygraph examination, may also be required. Reference 10 CFR Part 709, “Counterintelligence Evaluation Program.” Eligibility Requirements – To obtain a clearance, an individual must be a U.S. citizen at least 18 years of age. Reference DOE Order 472.2, “Personnel Security.” For Consideration: Apply by forwarding your resume, with identifying requisition number(s), using one of the following methods: E-mail: Mail: National Security Technologies, LLC Attn: Human Resources, M/S NLV014 P. O. Box 98521, Las Vegas, NV 89193-8521 Fax: (702) 295-2448 Note: The Employment Application is optional unless selected for an interview.

          Principal Communications Specialist        

Job Requisition Number: 111625

Job Title: Prin Communications Specialist

Level(s): L4

Work Location: Losee Road Facility

RESPONSIBILITIES To aid the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) in educating employees as well as the community about the NNSS mission, programs, and history.

Represents the NNSS as well as the Management and Operations (M&O Contractor of the NNSS. Assists in the management of external affairs for the NNSS and advises the Public Affairs manager on issues, messaging and strategy. Independently plans, develops and implements internal and external communications plans.

Ability to represent the NNSS in the community, with media, and with government agencies as needed. Formulates communication strategies and concepts to achieve NNSS goals.

Independently develops and places articles, including conducting research, interviews, and writing. Independently researches, interviews and writes content for use in print, video, web and social media.

Coordinates the creation of brochures and other projects with graphic artists, other writers, and subject matter experts.

Oversight of the website, including writing, updating, and maintaining web site content. Independently prepares media news releases, articles, social media content, presentations and reports.

Writes, edits and coordinates production of print publications including brochures, newspapers and magazines. Develops speaking points and presentations for executive communication.

Develops video scripts. Develops presentations for internal and external audiences and presents to groups as needed. Coordinates media inquiries and tours of the NNSS.

Serves as a part of the NNSS emergency public information team.

Lead emergency communications efforts as needed.

Develops strategies and procedures to achieve the NNSS’ and M&O contractor’s communications goals.

Develops relationships internally and externally as needed to perform work.

Effectively edits copy for accuracy, grammar and style.

Evaluates the effectiveness of communication strategies and programs.

Develops and implements changes as needed to improve effectiveness.

Accept individual responsibility and accountability for environment, safety, health, and quality processes within personal control, personal safety, and the safety of co-workers.

Comply with established regulations and procedures for environment, safety, health, and quality and perform duties in a way that will not cause personal danger, endanger other individuals, or violate environment, safety, health, and quality regulations.

Promptly correct or report any hazard or potential hazard to supervision. Understand the principles associated with the National Security Technologies, LLC (NSTec) safety concept.

Participate in and embrace NSTec environment, safety, health, and quality initiatives.


Bachelor's degree in related field and at least eight years' professional level experience or equivalent training and experience.

Demonstrated experience and ability to plan, develop, and manage corporate public affairs and communications programs. Experience with emergency public information programs preferred.

Knowledge of Associated Press style.

Demonstrate strong writing, editing and proofreading skills. Strong verbal communications skills. Sensitivity to errors that could negatively impact projects or the organization.

Works well with teammates, other work groups, and outside agencies to develop and administer projects. Proven ability to foster teamwork, conflict resolution, timely decision making, and problem solving.

Strong written communication skills with the ability to quickly produce clear and concise written materials that demonstrate creativity and comprehension of the subject matter.

Ability to interact effectively with all levels of the organization, committees, the media, the public and in large gatherings. Department of Energy Q Clearance (position will be cleared to this level).

Reviews and tests for the absence of any illegal drug as defined in 10 CFR Part 707.4, “Workplace Substance Abuse Programs at DOE Sites,” will be conducted. Applicant selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation, and subsequent reinvestigations, and must meet the eligibility requirements for access to classified matter. Successful completion of a counterintelligence evaluation, which may include a counterintelligence-scope polygraph examination, may also be required. Reference 10 CFR Part 709, “Counterintelligence Evaluation Program.” Eligibility Requirements – To obtain a clearance, an individual must be a U.S. citizen at least 18 years of age. Reference DOE Order 472.2, “Personnel Security.”

For Consideration: Apply by forwarding your resume, with identifying requisition number(s), using one of the following methods: E-mail: Mail: National Security Technologies, LLC Attn: Human Resources, M/S NLV014 P. O. Box 98521, Las Vegas, NV 89193-8521 Fax: (702) 295-2448 Note: The Employment Application is optional unless selected for an interview.

          Comment on UPDATE: Tensions Growing Ahead Of Trump’s Visit Wednesday by Dave        
In the future, please leave the divisiveness, fear-mongering, and threats to personal safety to your local, professional union thugs from your local teacher's union. Since they brainwash our kids all day, it's only natural they should advise everyone else we shouldn't listen to Mr. Trump.
          106. Penal provisions relating to road accidents        

Penal provisions to combat road accidents can be found in following three enactments:

(i) Indian Penal Code, 1860

(ii) Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

(iii) National Highways Act, 1956

(i) Indian Penal Code, 1860

Sections 279, 304A, 336, 337, 338, IPC are deal with cases of road accidents . These provisions are as under:

Section 279. Rash driving or riding on a public way. “Whoever drives any vehicle, or rides, on any public way in a manner so rash or negligent as to endanger human life, or to be likely to cause hurt or injury to any other person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.”

Section 304A. Causing death by negligence. “Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”

Section 336. Act endangering life or personal safety of others. “Whoever does any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life or the personal safety of others, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to two hundred and

fifty rupees, or with both.”

Section 337. Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others. “Whoever causes hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life, or the personal safety of others, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.”

Section 338. Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others. “Whoever causes grievous hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life, or the personal safety of others, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.”


Rash or negligent act is an ingredient in all the above sections. A rash act is primarily an overhasty act, opposed to a deliberate act, but it also includes an act which, though it may be said to be deliberate, is yet done without due deliberation and caution. In rashness, the criminality lies in running the risk of doing an act with recklessness or indifference to consequences. Negligence means breach of duty caused by omission to do something which a reasonable man guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate conduct of human affairs would do or doing something which a prudent or reasonable man would not do. Culpable negligence is acting without consciousness that illegal or mischievous effects will follow, but in circumstances which show that the actor has not exercised the caution incumbent on him, and that if he had, he would have had the consciousness. Generally, in the case of rashness, the guilty person does an act and breaks a positive duty; in the case of negligence, he does not do an act which he was bound to do, because he adverts not to it. ‘Rashness’ conveys the idea of recklessness or the doing of an act without due consideration; ‘negligence’ connotes want of proper care or

the standard of conduct which a reasonably prudent person would exercise in a similar situation.

To be guilty of an offence under section 279, IPC the accused must drive a vehicle in such a rash or negligent manner as to endanger human life or to be likely to cause hurt or injury to any other person. Driving at a high speed or non-sounding of horn by itself does not mean that the driver is rash or negligent. Place, time, traffic and crowd are important factors to determine rashness or negligence.

Section 304A, which was inserted in the IPC by Act 25 of 1870, postulates a rash and negligent act entailing death of another. The provisions of this section apply to cases where there is no intention to cause death, and no knowledge that the act done in all probability would cause death; it should not amount to culpable homicide. Section 304A is directed at offences outside the range of sections 299 and 300, IPC.[1]

Section 279 covers only those cases which relate to driving on public way endangering human life, while offence under section 304A extends to any rash or negligent act falling short of culpable homicide.

Rash and negligent acts which endanger human life, or the personal safety of others, are punishable under section 336 even though no harm follows, and are additionally punishable under sections 337 and 338 if they cause hurt, or grievous hurt. Element of volition or intention is foreign to the set of offences under sections 336 to 338, IPC. Offences defined by these sections as well as section 279 are minor offences in comparison with the offence under section 304A where death is caused by a rash or negligent act.

Recently, the Supreme Court has observed that if a person willfully drives a motor vehicle into the midst of a crowd and thereby causes death to some person, it will not be a case of mere rash and negligent driving and the act would amount to culpable homicide.[2]

Dealing with sentencing of a convict for offences under sections 279 and 304A, IPC, the Supreme Court in Dalbir Singh v. State of Haryana [3] held:

“When automobiles have become death traps any leniency shown to drivers who are found guilty of rash driving would be at the risk of further escalation of road accidents. All those who are manning the steering of automobiles, particularly professional drivers, must be kept under constant reminders of their duty to adopt utmost care and also of the consequences befalling them in cases of dereliction. One of the most effective ways of keeping such drivers under mental vigil is to maintain a deterrent element in the sentencing sphere. Any latitude shown to them in that sphere would tempt them to make driving frivolous and a frolic.


13. Bearing in mind the galloping trend in road accidents in India and the devastating consequences visiting the victims and their families, criminal courts cannot treat the nature of the offence under Section 304-A IPC as attracting the benevolent provisions of

Section 4 of the Probation of Offenders Act. While considering the quantum of sentence to be imposed for the offence of causing death by rash or negligent driving of automobiles, one of the prime considerations should be deterrence. A professional driver pedals the accelerator of the automobile almost throughout his working hours. He must constantly inform himself that he cannot afford to have a single moment of laxity or inattentiveness when his leg is on the pedal of a vehicle in locomotion. He cannot and should not take a chance thinking that a rash driving need not necessarily cause any accident; or even if any accident occurs it need not necessarily result in the death of any human being; or even if such death ensues he might not be convicted of the offence; and lastly, that even if he is convicted he would be dealt with leniently by the court. He must always keep in his mind the fear psyche that if he is convicted of the offence for causing death of a human being due to his callous driving of the vehicle he cannot escape from a jail sentence. This is the role which the courts can play, particularly at the level of trial courts, for lessening the high rate of motor accidents due to callous driving of automobiles.”

In Rattan Singh v. State of Punjab [4], the Supreme Court had held:

“5. Nevertheless, sentencing must have a policy of correction. This driver, if he has to become a good driver, must have a better training in traffic laws and moral responsibility, with special reference to the potential injury to human life and limb. Punishment in this area must, therefore, be accompanied by these components. The State, we hope, will attach a course for better driving together with a livelier sense of responsibility, when the

punishment is for driving offences.”

Recently, the Supreme Court upheld the sentence of imprisonment awarded to the driver of a bus convicted for offences under sections 279 and 304A, IPC, following the above dicta.[5]

(ii) Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (MVAct) is the principal instrument for regulating motor vehicles. Chapter II relates to licensing of drivers of motor vehicles, wherein section 19 confers power on the licensing authority to disqualify any person from holding a driving licence or revoke such licence, if he -

(a) is a habitual criminal or a habitual drunkard; or

(b) is a habitual addict to any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance; or

(c) is using or has used a motor vehicle in the commission of a cognizable offence; or

(d) has, by his previous conduct as driver of a motor vehicle shown that his driving is likely to be attended with danger to the public; or

(e) has obtained any driving licence or a licence to drive a particular class or description of motor vehicle by fraud or misrepresentation; or

(f) has committed any such act which is likely to cause nuisance or danger to the public, as may be prescribed by the Central Government, having regard to the objects of this Act; or

(g) has failed to submit to, or has not passed, the tests referred to in the proviso to sub-section (3) of Section 22; or

(h) being a person under the age of eighteen years who has been granted a learner’s licence or a driving licence with the consent in writing of the person having the care of the holder of the licence and has ceased to be in such care.

Section 20. Power of Court to disqualify. “(1) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this Act or of an offence in the commission of which a motor vehicle was used, the Court by which such person is convicted may, subject to the provisions of this Act, in addition to imposing any other punishment authorized by law, declare the person so convicted to be disqualified, for such period as the Court may specify, from holding any driving licence to drive all classes or description of vehicles, or any particular class or description of such vehicles, as are specified in such licence: Provided that in respect of an offence punishable under section 183 no such order shall be made for the first or second offence.

(2) Where a person is convicted of an offence under clause (c) of sub-section (1) of section 132, section 134 or section 185, the Court convicting any person of any such offence shall order the disqualification under sub-section (1), and if the offence is relatable to clause (c) of sub-section (1) of section 132 or section 134, such disqualification shall be for a period of not less than one month, and if the offence is relatable to section 185, such disqualification shall be for a period of not less than six months.

(3) A Court shall, unless for special reasons to be recorded in writing it thinks fit to order otherwise, order the disqualification of a person,-

(a) who having been convicted of an offence punishable under section 184 is again convicted of an offence punishable under that section;

(b) who is convicted of an offence punishable under section 189; or

(c) who is convicted of an offence punishable under section 192:

Provided that the period of disqualification shall not exceed, in the case referred to in clause (a), five years, or in the case referred to in clause (b), two years or, in the case referred to in clause (c), one year.

(4) A Court ordering the disqualification of a person convicted of an offence punishable under section 184 may direct that such person shall, whether he has previously passed the test of competence to drive as referred to in sub-section (3) of section 9 or not, remain disqualified until he has subsequent to the making of the order of disqualification passed that test to the satisfaction of the licensing authority.


Section 21. Suspension of driving licence in certain cases.

“(1) Where, in relation to a person who had been previously convicted of an offence punishable under section 184, a case is registered by a police officer on the allegation that such person has, by such dangerous driving as is referred to in the said section 184, of any class or description of motor vehicle caused the death of, or grievous hurt to, one or more persons, the driving licence held by such person shall in relation to such class or description of motor vehicle become suspended,-

(a) for a period of six months from the date on which the case is registered; or

(b) if such person is discharged or acquitted before the expiry of the period aforesaid, until such discharge or acquittal, as the case may be.


Section 22. Suspension or cancellation of driving licence on conviction.

“(1) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (3) of section 20, where a person, referred to in sub-section (1) of section 21, is convicted of an offence of causing, by such dangerous driving as is referred to in section 184 of any class or description of motor vehicle, the death of, or grievous hurt to, one or more persons, the Court by which such person is convicted may cancel, or suspend, for such period as it may think fit, the driving licence held by such person in so far as it relates to that class or description of motor vehicle.

(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 20, if a person, having been previously convicted of an offence punishable under section 185, is again convicted of an offence punishable under that section, the Court, making such subsequent conviction, shall, by order, cancel the driving licence held by such person.


Section 23. Effect of disqualification order. “(1) A person in respect of whom any disqualification order is made under section 19 or section 20 shall be debarred to the extent and for the period specified in such order from holding or obtaining a driving licence and the driving licence, if any, held by such person at the date of the order shall cease to be effective to such extent and during such period.


Chapter VIII of the MVAct deals with the control of traffic. Section 112 pertains to limits of speed and prohibits driving of a motor vehicle or it being allowed to be driven in any public place at a speed exceeding the maximum permissible speed. Rule 118 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 provides for notified transport vehicles to be fitted with a speed governor in such a manner that the speed governor can be sealed with an official seal in such a way that it cannot be removed or tampered with without the seal being broken.

Section 113 provides for limits of weight and limitations on use. Section 118 confers power on the Central Government to make regulations for the driving of motor vehicles. Accordingly, the Rules of the Road Regulations, 1989 have been made. Section 119 provides for the duty to obey traffic signs. Section 129 provides for the wearing of helmets. Various other provisions are contained in Chapter VIII for regulation of traffic.

The Rules of the Road Regulations, 1989 contain detailed provisions regulating driving of motor vehicles, like keeping left, overtaking prohibited, caution at road junction, right of way to pedestrians, signals to be given by drivers, parking, visibility of lamps and registration marks, lane driving, respecting stop sign on road surface, distance from vehicles in front, no abrupt brake except for safety reasons, no projection of loads, non-carriage of dangerous substances on any public service vehicle, restriction on driving backwards, carrying of documents, viz., driving licence, certificate of registration, certificate of insurance of the vehicle and in case of transport vehicle the permit and

fitness certificate also.

Chapter XIII of the MVAct relates to offences, penalties and procedure. Section 177 contains the general provision for punishment of offences, which is available in the absence of any specific provision for punishment applicable in a given case; the punishment is a maximum fine of Rs. 100/- for the first offence and for the subsequent offence it is only Rs. 300/-. Section 183 provides the punishment for contravention of the speed limits referred to in section 112. Section 184 provides for punishment for dangerous driving and section 185 for driving by a drunken person or a person under the influence of drugs. These sections read as under:

Section 184. Driving dangerously. “Whoever drives a motor vehicle at a speed or in a manner which is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances of the case including the nature, condition and use of the place where the vehicle is driven and the amount of traffic which actually is at the time or which might reasonably be expected to be in the place, shall be punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, and for any second or subsequent offence, if committed within three years of the commission of a previous similar offence, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees,

or with both.”

Section 185. Driving by a drunken person or by a person under

the influence of drugs. “Whoever, while driving, or attempting to drive, a motor vehicle,-

(a) has, in his blood, alcohol exceeding 30 mg. per 100 ml. of blood detected in a test by a breath analyzer, or

(b) is under this influence of drug to such an extent as to be incapable of exercising proper control over the vehicle, shall be punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both; and for a second or subsequent offence, if committed within three years of the commission of the previous similar offence, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to three thousand rupees, or with both.

Explanation.- For the purposes of this section, the drug or drugs specified by the Central Government in this behalf, by notification in the Official Gazette, shall be deemed to render a person incapable of exercising proper control over a motor vehicle.”

Section 184 deals with reckless driving dangerous to the public having regard to all the circumstances of the case. Offence defined under section 184 and the offence under section 279, IPC are essentially the same. No person is supposed to drive a motor vehicle on any public way in a manner which may endanger human life or is likely to cause hurt or injury to any other person. The law casts a duty on every user of the road

or public way to exercise due care and caution while driving a motor vehicle. The amount of care and caution required to be exercised by a driver while driving on a public way would, of course, depend upon the situation and circumstances in which he is driving. The doctrine of contributory negligence has no application in criminal law. Contributory

negligence may be a factor for consideration in determining the sentence, but it is not a defence entitling the accused to an acquittal.

Certain other provisions of Chapter XIII providing punishments are:

s. 180: allowing unauthorized persons to drive vehicles;s. 181: driving vehicles in contravention of section 3 (necessity for driving licence) or section 4 (age limit in connection with driving of motor vehicles); s. 182: offences relating to licences; s. 182A: offences relating to construction and maintenance of vehicles; s. 186: driving when mentally or physically unfit to drive; section 187: offences relating to accident; s.188: abetment of offence unders. 184, 185 or 186; s. 189: racing and trials of speed; s.190: using vehicle in unsafe condition; s. 191: sale of vehicle in, or alteration of vehicle to, a condition contravening the Act; s. 192: using vehicle without registration; s. 192A: using vehicle without permit; section 193: agents and canvassers acting without proper authority; section 194: driving vehicle exceeding permissible weight; section 196: driving uninsured vehicle; s. 197: taking vehicle without authority; s. 198: unauthorized interference with vehicle; s. 201: causing obstruction to free flow of traffic. S. 207 confers power on any police officer or other person authorized in this behalf to seize and detain a motor vehicle, if he has reason to believe that it has been or is being used in contravention of the specified provisions, posing a serious threat to the public.

(iii) National Highways Act, 1956

Section 8B of the National Highways Act, 1956, which provides that whoever commits mischief by doing any act which renders or which he knows to be likely to render a national highway in relation to whose development and maintenance there is an agreement, impassable or less safe for travelling or conveying property, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may

extend to five years, or with a fine, or with both.


1Naresh Giri v. State of M.P. 2007(13) SCALE 7 : (2008) 1 SCC 791

2 Ibid.

3 (2000) 5 SCC 82

4 Rattan Singh v. State of Punjab (1979) 4 SCC 719

5 B. Nagabhushanam v. State of Karnataka 2008 (7) SCALE 716

          Vicarious Trauma        

In July of 2015, a family lawyer in Winnipeg suffered severe injuries when a bomb was delivered to her office and was detonated. This incident hit our legal community hard. Sessions were offered to identify suspicious packages; a Personal Safety Handbook was developed and many lawyers became hyper vigilant. While many in our legal community were horrified, incredibly empathetic and wanted to help; others reacted differently. The impact on some involved very real trauma and the true fear that this could/would happen to them. A similar reaction occurred in 2007 when a Senior Crown Attorney was subject to an attempted . . . [more]

          Restaurant Team Member - Whataburger - New Caney, TX        
Follow all safety procedures and guidelines including personal safety, equipment use, and food handling and storage....
From Whataburger - Tue, 23 May 2017 08:07:00 GMT - View all New Caney, TX jobs
          I Can't Handle a Trump Presidency        
So the US primaries have been going on for quite some time now, but I've been avoiding them pretty much at all costs. With many debates having already happened, we're getting down to the final stretch and soon enough we shall have our nominees from each respective party. For myself and many others that means its time to start coming to terms with who 'the people' have chosen to represent themselves and start thinking further into the future about what it means should they be elected. Thats why there's recently been a surge in articles about Americans fleeing to Canada should Trump actually become president.

I have an admission to make. I am one of those people. And its not something I say lightly. To many it may seem like a joke - as if many of us wouldn't actually leave or aren't serious about following through but its true. I, and many other people, don't want to live in an America where Trump or anyone like him is able to come into power.

But its way more than just not wanting to live there. If my only objection was disagreeing with his policies then I wouldn't feel so adamant about leaving - a problem I'll add that I can't really have seeing as he doesn't have any real policies (those he has put up are vague and disastrous at best). The issue lies in what his election represents about the American people and their values they share with him.

Trump has placed himself as the bastion of the conservative, fundamentalist, base. He has taken some of their more ridiculous views (such as literally building a wall between us and Mexico) pushed them to their most extreme and many are just eating it all up. His politics represent all the negatives people associate with politics - avoiding answering questions, not dealing with the real issues, providing meaningless ideology and not actual plans: in essence he is just a balloon of hot air and empty words. But he's managed to distance himself from it all by insisting that he is just a frugal businessman - an outsider to the world of politics. Supporters see him as untouchable - so much so that he can only be brought down by himself.

He has shown time and again that he is overtly and explicitly racist. From his attitudes towards immigrants, refugees, and Muslims, to the more recent refusal to condemn the KKK despite half-hearted tweets "decrying" white supremacists, Trump not only represents modern implicit racism, structural racism, but explicit and direct racism as well. He is a cornucopia of racism. How many of Trump's supporters have said they support placing refugees and immigrants into concentration camps? Or, remember that time Trump supporters were OK with holocaust-style registries for Muslims and Jews? Trump's campaign pits minorities against each other and especially tries to get millennials on board with his anti-immigrant rhetoric. Only this past week we are seeing more and more of the violence at Trump rallies. Not to mention how much he is suppressing media and those who disagree with him at his events.

Think about what that means if he gets supported and eventually put into power. It means that many of the people who don't support some of his more racist views still voted for him. They would be complicit in furthering that agenda. It means that they saw Trump's racism, xenophobia, sexism and oppressiveness and thought that we could let them be for a while and instead focus on some other issue (probably some babble about the economy or 'making America great again') like a trade-off. It means to me that they are racist because they are willing to accept and encourage racism.

Don't get me wrong, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and the like aren't only problems with the Trump campaign. You'd be hard pressed to find me a single Republican political campaign on a state or national level that didn't have at least one extremely regressive prejudice. For example both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio for example have shown definite racism, especially in their immigration policies, and prejudice against LGBTQ+ people with their positions on marriage, and particularly trans issues. However, though they are definitely extremely problematic they don't seem to be, in my mind, on the same level as Trump. Their policies are bad for all minorities but unlike Trump I don't see the same hostility in their supporters.

A Trump presidency scares me, not just on an ideological level, but on a personal level. People who turn a blind eye to such blatant racism will likely turn a blind eye to other social issues too. Racists tend to also be homophobic, transphobic, and sexist. With Trump as a president I worry not just for the American political system but more importantly that America's diverse population won't be safe walking around and being themselves. It makes me worry about my own personal safety and that of my friends. Trump's supporters have shown themselves to be extremists in all senses of the word. They are angry, rowdy, and most importantly violent. It terrifies me and I'm a white male, and if you saw me on the street you would probably assume I was straight. I can only imagine what others must be feeling in response but I imagine that it is immeasurably worse than what I feel.

I'm not giving up before its already done. I've still got fight left in me and I plan on fighting and being active against a Trump Republican ticket. I know that there is support of that cause from both liberal and conservative activists alike. Even much of the Republican establishment don't want him to win because he is so out of control but, if a non-partisan effort against Trump and the Democratic nominees political power can't win out against Trump then I think I'll be burned out. My fight will be gone and then, just like our autonomic nervous systems response to stress, my response will probably be to run. To avoid. To move away - back here to the UK.

          Krav Maga Tactical Survival: Personal Safety in Action. Proven Solutions for Real Life Situations        
Gershon Ben Keren / Sport / 2017
          How To Try This Video: The Short Michigan Alcohol Screening Instrument Geriatric Version (SMAST-G)        
Using the Short Michigan Alcohol Screening Test-Geriatric Version (S-MAST-G) to evaluate for alcohol use and misuse will help to identify those older adults participating in risky drinking behavior and provide an opportunity to educate patients about the need to modify alcohol intake and improve personal safety as a result. Asking patients about personal drinking behavior is difficult at best. This video demonstrates how to conduct such an interview and how to help patients change behaviors using motivational interviewing techniques and includes an expert interview on the issue of alcohol use and abuse in aging adults.
          Youth Workers, Parents, and This Week's Day of Silence. . . .         
A few years ago I was speaking on youth culture at a church in the Midwest that sits directly across the street from the local high school. I had challenged those in attendance to reach out to the large population of broken and confused kids who walked the halls of that school each and every day. Afterwards, a woman shared a concern and asked a question. She explained that she was part of a group of Christians who were working to get the school to ban the upcoming “Day of Silence.” “What can we do to stop it?” she asked.

If you’re in the dark regarding the “Day of Silence,” here’s an explanation: Founded in 1996 at the University of Virginia, the “Day of Silence” is billed by organizers as the largest student-led event towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. The national event has been growing in recent years, and is intended to bring attention to "anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools." Students in middle schools, high schools, and colleges take a vow of silence for the day in an effort to encourage schools and classmates "to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT." 

Scheduled to be held this year on Friday, April 11, hundreds of thousands of students in middle schools, high schools, and colleges across America will participate. The event is officially sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). According to research from GLSEN, nearly nine out of ten LGBT students report verbal, sexual or physical harassment at school, and more than 30 percent report missing at least a day of school in the past month out of fear for their personal safety.

Students participating in the “Day of Silence” are encouraged to download and hand out “speaking cards” which say: “Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence, a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies in schools. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by name-calling, bullying and harassment. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward fighting these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today.”

After pondering the woman’s question for a few moments, I offered a response that I think surprised her. My response was rooted in a couple of realities. First, but not foremost, there’s my own experience of harassing people during my high school years, something rooted in my own adolescent insecurities. You know – putting others down to feel better about myself. While I’m ashamed to admit it, my behavior included harassment of a small number of peers who were rumored to be homosexuals. Second, and foremost, is my understanding of who God is, who He’s made people to be, and who He’s called His followers to be. . . especially in response to those who - like you and me - are sinners desperately in need of God’s saving grace.

And so I told her this. . . First, I believe that God has established sexuality as a good and wonderful gift that is to be experienced and celebrated with great freedom within the bounds of His order and design. That design is clearly articulated in the Scriptures as being a good and wonderful gift of God to be experienced and indulged within the context of an exclusive, covenantal, monogamous, and committed marriage between one man and one woman. Because our world is fallen and broken, there will be sinful distortions of that plan that we are to avoid (even "flee from") including adultery, fornication, pornography, sexual abuse, sexual lust, and same-sex sexual activity. . . among other things. All are equally sinful distortions of God's good and perfect design for our sexuality. We are to teach these truths to our children without hesitation in a cultural climate that increasingly teaches and celebrates otherwise.

Second, banning the “Day of Silence” only deals with symptoms of deeper issues and really accomplishes nothing. Shouldn’t we be concerned about the hearts where those deeper issues live and from which the symptoms rise to the surface? And while we’re talking about hearts from which the issues come, what about the hearts from which hate and ignorance flow. . . . especially when those hearts belong to those who claim to follow Christ? What about hearts that find it so easy to rank and categorize sexual sin, even to the point of ignoring, diminishing, or justifying one's own sexual sin by focusing on the sexual sin of another?

Third, we can’t force anyone to follow Jesus. Only God’s Spirit is able to draw people to Himself. While we can’t strong-arm people into the Kingdom of God, we can and must choose to follow Jesus ourselves. Following Jesus means facing our Pharisaical tendencies/sins head-on, while loving sinners as Jesus has loved them (and us! . . . because we’re in that group too). Loving, caring for, and ministering to sinners is our calling, just as our calling is to hate and avoid sin. As I remember John White once saying, "As Christ is to me, so must I be to others."

Finally, I asked her this question: “Have you ever thought about acting on your concern by sitting down and spending some time getting to know and listening to the kids who are planning the ‘Day of Silence’ at your school?” She paused. . . as I guess most of us would. . . and said “no.” I then challenged her to find out the names of the kids, invite them out to Starbucks, and then sit with no other agenda than to listen, learn, build a relationship, love, and begin a conversation.

What would happen if we would stop working so hard to “protect” our kids by legislating morality, and start “providing spiritually” for our kids by modeling how to take the Gospel to those who are hungry for Heaven? I’m learning that while it might seem easier to wish and work away differences I might not like, Jesus is calling me to go as His ambassador to people He’s called me to love. Then, He’ll take care of the rest.

I highly recommend this helpful guide from Harvest USA on how to respond to the Day of Silence. You can access the guide here.

          New Laws Protecting Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Victims        

By: Mallory McGee

Last month, Governor Cuomo signed into law two important provisions protecting victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Cuomo believes that the laws will close a “potentially dangerous loophole and will help ensure that victims receive the protections that they deserve.”

The first law,  Chapter 240 of 2015, applies to defendants convicted of felony sexual assault. In these instances, the new law provides a ten year order of protection. This allows for the victims to receive protection through the term of probation, which is maxed at ten years. If the charge was a misdemeanor, then a mandatory six year order of protection is ordered, which is the maximum period of probation allowed. Previously, according to Criminal Procedure Law §530.12, a domestic violence victim’s order of protection would often expire before the end of the probation period. The law also amends Criminal Procedure Law §530.13 which covers crime victims not in family offenses. This amendment provides the same protections under §530.12. This law goes into effect 30 days from the signing by Cuomo.

The second law,  Chapter 241 of 2015, makes it easier for victims of domestic violence and other crimes who wish to change their name to obtain waivers for the requirement to publish any name changes in a newspaper. The amended Civil Rights Law §64-a now gives courts broad discretion to determine whether a person’s safety would be at risk by publishing a victim’s name change. This discretion is not limited to direct threats against the personal safety of the victim.… <Read More>

The post New Laws Protecting Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Victims appeared first on Just Families.

          Bob from Brockley on Ben Gidley and Jackie Walker: Charity for he but not for she        
I had some correspondence with a chap called Ben Gidley on the weekend. It was regarding a post on the Bob from Brockley blog which is run by Ben Gidley under the pseudonym, Bob Gordon.

Ben Gidley is currently a Senior Lecturer at Birkbeck University.  The photo here is on his Birkbeck page:

He tweets in his own name as @BenGidley.  And here's the pic from that account which leaves me wondering if the above pic is actually him:

And here's the @BobfromBrockley twitter account and the pic that pretentiously adorns it:

Well I suppose there is something Orwellian about his output.

Oh and here's a picture of Jackie Walker which has appeared on many a zionist smear site including, of course, Bob from Brockley:

Bob/Ben had posted something about the Brockley Festival of Ideas which was going to be addressed by Jackie Walker.  I noticed the @BobfromBrockley twitter account tweeting and retweeting against Jackie Walker in the run up to the festival.  I won't replicate all that here.  I just want to post a comment here that won't pass moderation at the Bob from Brockley blog together with the correspondence between us.  Well actually I'll just post the correspondence as my first email to Ben Gidley at Birkbeck includes the disallowed comment:
Ben Gidley

I left the following comment on your Bob from Brockley blog a few days ago:
"Jackie Walker, the Labour left activist with local links who has stirred considerable controversy in the past year with a series of comments on social media and in public interpreted by many as antisemitic"?

You're too modest Bob.  You have been part of this racist inspired and often expressly racist smear campaign against Jackie Walker.

You even took the opportunity of that post to smear the Jewish activists who support Jackie because she has been wronged as merely and somehow wrongly providing her with "cover".

True, you haven't used your own name to smear Jackie on Twitter. There is overlap between your eponymous and pseudonymous Twitter accounts but as far as I've seen you haven't used your real name, Ben Gidley, to smear Jackie Walker. As BfB you've run the worst possible interpretations of Jackie Walker's remarks, all of which you know to have been lifted out of context and all of which were perfectly reasonable when taken in context.

I notice in your post you're continuing the smearing of Ken Livingstone.  He didn't say anything about "Hitler being a Zionist", he said that Hitler was supporting Zionism in the 1930s.  You've had it pointed out to you on Twitter by Riz Mokal that Ken was actually right in what he was saying and you seemed to accept that.  I should have known you didn't and don't have the integrity to stick to what you know rather than promote the smear line complete with bogus quote.

Of course that Boffy chap pointed the (deliberate) error in your earlier post on Ken's remarks

But once you're in smear mode there appears to be no stopping you even when you appear to take a pause.

But Ken has a higher profile and a bigger/wider platform than Jackie Walker and of course Ken is white and non-Jewish.

The character assassination of a Black Jewish activist without Ken's profile has been far easier to accomplish. It seems too that it has been far more important to the zionist movement to banish Jackie from mainstream politics than it has to even banish Ken.  But Jackie is being hounded at the grass roots level too.  She has been smeared by the Zionists of the so-called Alliance for Workers Liberty and now she is going to be further smeared by them running a blog post by you on their Clarion website which of course advertises itself, not as an AWL site, but as a Momentum/Labour left site.

And as the post above mentions you too have been actively hounding Jackie within her and your local community in Brockley.

So Bob, without bogus paraphrasing, what has Jackie Walker actually said that warrants the vilification she has attracted and to which you are a party?  And what detailed "free advice to" Jackie would you offer to end this local and national campaign against her?

I had assumed you were simply refusing to approve it but when I saw you inviting comments from Jackie Walker or others I thought the links in the comment might have landed it in your spam filter.  I left another comment without links simply drawing attention to the previous one but still no show. So now you have the comment at your blog and in this email I should be grateful if you would either approve the original, copy and paste the one in this email or reply to this email telling me I can repost the original.
The response I got was from a Bob from Brockley email address under the name Bob Gordon and is a one hit master class in sheer hypocrisy:
I'm very happy to post your criticisms of my position and your claims that I'm part of a campaign  - and maybe try to answer them if I ever find time. What I am not happy to do is give you a platform to attempt to "out" me or whatever the right word is, as I have a number of good reasons for blogging pseudonymously, not least the number of threats I get as BfB from Britain First/EDL types and assorted fascists. I am trying to decide what to do, but haven't had the time to think it through. 

Here's my response:
I've noticed and commented on your sanctimoniousness many times. I had no idea how unselfconscious you were about it until just now.

Now you might want to consider the impact you and your cohorts have had on Jackie Walker's personal safety.

Your role was worse than others because you brought the smear campaign down to her and your local level.

I copied Jackie Walker into my email to Ben Gidley and she was broadly happy with it but, after he claimed security concerns, knowing how unpleasant it is to have your safety compromised, in her case, by such public vilification, especially when the campaign has been brought down to a local level, she wasn't thrilled about outing Bob from Brockley as Ben Gidley. Personally I have no such qualms because I simply don't believe anyone is threatening him and given his penchant for pseudonymous smears he deserves to be outed.

Ben Gidley used to be based at Goldsmiths where he was happy to boast about his blog. I know this because friends of mine have been on the staff there.  I already mentioned that on Bob from Brockley he uses the name Bob Gordon.  I remember years ago when I already knew that Bob was Ben someone emailed me to say that Bob from Brockley was actually a Robert Gordon of Goldsmiths. There is a Robert Gordon still at Goldsmiths.  My correspondent was wrong but if people are trying to harm or harass the Bob from Brockley blogger in any way then surely Robert Gordon would have drawn some heat by now.  I'm not aware that he has.

There's a lot more that could be written about Bob from Brockley and Ben Gidley and the former's smears and the latters' vulgarisations. I suppose I should note again that the zionist self-styled trotskyist group Alliance for Workers Liberty is planning on running one of Bob's smear jobs of Jackie Walker on their Clarion mag site which its editor Sacha Ismail claims is a Momentum/Labour left site.

But really I just want Ben Gidley to live and be well and stop being a dick.
          Warrior Elite Krav Maga Opening New Facility in Downtown San Diego October 23        

New instructors join the team offering classes in Krav Maga, the acclaimed Israeli self-defense system that uses practical techniques to ensure personal safety.

(PRWeb October 16, 2014)

Read the full story at

          Offer - Personal Tracking System - INDIA        
In today’s world, personal safety is a major issue to consider. This includes the safety and well-being of our loved ones – be it our children, the elders in the family, teenagers or women. To ensure their personal safety, you can go for a marvellous personal tracking system such as Letstrack Personal Mega Tracking Device. This wonderful device can be kept discreetly in the pocket or in an individual’s bag. Its best feature is the SOS or panic button. If your loved one is in danger, he or she can press this button and you will be notified immediately and come to their rescue. Other features include 24-hour history, real-time tracking, extended battery backup, speed alerts and other specialities.Take care of your loved ones with Letstrack Personal Mega Tracking Device! Contact Us:502, 5th Floor, Satyam CineplexRanjeet Nagar,New Delhi-110008, India Telephone: +91 78278 22000 Email:

The Concentric Circles of Personal Safety is a visual system that illustrates the multiple layers of a comprehensive plan for personal safety. The circles represent the different categories of defenses used to counter a wide variety of threats. As the circles decrease in size, the defenses become more critical, and are more specific to an immediate threat.

C1 - YOU: Or what matters to you most;

C2 - PHYSICAL DEFENSE: Use of Body, Weapons, Environment
Striking, Biting, Kicking, Yelling, Gouging, Clawing, Ripping, Kneeing, Clawing, etc.
Firearms, sharp objects, blunt objects, electrical, chemical, weapons of opportunity, etc.
Cover of darkness, position of the sun, building layout, room furnishings, other people, etc.

C3 - VERBAL DEFENSE: De-escalation, Diffusion, Assertiveness;
Conciously reducing the stress level of the confrontation to create a non-violent conclusion.
Dissapating and redirecting the hostile forces of a confrontation into a manageable situation.
Communicating your will in a forceful, yet non-aggressive manner.

C4 -PERIMETER DEFENSE: Body language, Entry/Exit, Positioning
Communicating your intentions with non-verbal cues and body positioning.
Manuevering yourself to create entry points for safety, and exit strategies for evasion.
Placing yourself into most advantageous position relative to the immediate environment.

C5 - AREA DEFENSE: Environmental awareness, Avoidance;
Knowing what is happening around you , and within your own body and mind.
Staying away from potentially dangerous locations, individuals, and behaviors.

C6 - LIFESTYLE DEFENSE: Activity, Relationship, Habit risk levels
Accounting for chosen lifestyles and their associated risk levels; Ex. clubbing, drinking, etc.
Acknowledging personal relationships and their associated risk levels; Ex. Jealous lovers, etc.
Examining and modifying repeating actions; Ex. walking the dog late at night.

C7 – HABITUAL DEFENSE: Daily, Periodic, Conditional life long habits;
Actions done on a daily basis that enhance personal safety. Ex. locking doors after entry, etc. Actions done periodically. Ex. examining your home for areas and situations. Actions done regularly in response to existing conditions. Ex. always exercising with a friend when outside.

C8 - PERMANENT DEFENSE: One time measures for home, Auto, Work, ID;
Safety precautions that require initial time and resources, but can be maintained with little ongoing effort. Ex. Installing an alarm system, photocopying important documents.

C9 - EDUCATIONAL DEFENSE: Reliable, Up-to-date, Accessible knowledge;
Gathering education on all aspects of personal safety from sources that provide accurate, timely, and actionable information.
          #8 - The 5D Decision for Life        

From this day on, I decide:

- to plan and prepare to keep myself,
and the people I care about safe, and healthy

- to do my best to deter, and prevent unsafe,
and unhealthy situations from happening to
me, or those I love

- to do my best to disrupt, and interrupt
any unsafe, or unhealthy situation in progress

- to do my best to disengage, and get away
from an unsafe, or unhealthy situation
as soon as I am able

- to debrief, and discuss with a trusted
person about any unsafe or unhealthy situations
that have occurred in the past, or may occur
in the future.

___________________ __________
Signed Date

Reading, considering, and signing the 5D Decision for Life means that you have created a contract with yourself. Only you have the power to enforce it. You have now joined with many
others who have also decided to take control of their personal safety and well being.

          Pokemon Go Tips For Intelligence Professionals        
Damn things are all over the office now!
There is no way any reader of this blog has not heard of Pokemon Go at this point.  This smart phone based augmented reality game gained more users than Twitter in less than a week. 

There has been a lot of concern in the press and elsewhere about both privacy and security. Obviously, the best way to stay secure is to simply not to play.  This may be a mistake.  As the first mainstream augmented reality application, Pokemon Go provides a real insight into what the technology does and doesn't do.  

Just as the auction house in World of Warcraft influenced online currencies such as bitcoin, the world of Pokemon Go will inevitably shape augmented reality applications in the future.  Not playing is similar to refusing to travel to another country simply out of security concerns - it might be warranted but don't expect your analysis of a country to be very good if you have never been there.

Even if you have no interest in playing, others you know will want to.  Under these circumstances, it seems logical to think about what are the best practices for maintaining both personal safety and cyber security.

One of my contacts (Thanks!) within the intel community put together a tip sheet for friends and family and, having read it, it sounds like good advice for anyone who wants to play Pokemon Go with a reasonable level of safety and privacy.  Remember, it is a tip sheet and is designed to be helpful, not comprehensive.  If it is not covered here, just remember D2S2– Don’t Do Stupid Stuff. 

  • Only download the official version of the Pokemon GO application from the developer (Niantic), from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store. 
  • GPS and a data connection (either WiFI or cellular (30/4G) data) arc required in order to play. Avoid playing in any areas where you don't want to be geo-tagged. 
  • Don't use your personal Gmail account to log in, as this not only links your personal information with your Pokemon GO activity (which includes GPS data), it could also expose your Google credentials to the app owner. Although security holes have been patched, previous versions of the app required extensive permissions to your Google account: make sure your app is up to date. Either create a Pokemon Trainers Club account or create a "throw-away" Gmail account to use specifically for this purpose. 
  • Use a trainer name (screen name) that is not already associated with you through other sources (other online games, online communities, etc.) and does not contain any personal information (part of your real name, birthday, etc.). Currently you cannot view other players or information about other players through the interface, except the trainer name and Pokemon name at gyms or the trainer name who places lures at Pokestops. However, this feature may be added in the future. 
  • Be mindful of your surroundings when using this augmented reality (AR) mobile game, especially when taking pictures of Pokemon during the capture process. Note what's in the foreground and background, including reflective surfaces and information revealing identity and or location (street signs, vehicle license plates, Government buildings, etc.). Disabling AR makes Pokemon easier to catch! The location where you take a picture of a Pokemon is also likely embedded in the picture's metadata. 
  • When physically visiting Pokestops and gyms, maintain awareness of your surroundings. Travel with a buddy or remain in your vehicle with the doors locked.  It is not necessary to physically enter the real-world establishment where a Pokestop or gym is located, you may be able to interact with the Pokestop/gym from the curb or even across the street. 
  • For the safety of yourself and others, do not attempt to catch Pokemon or interact with Pokestops or gyms while driving. Pull off the road if it is safe to do so, or revisit the area while someone else is driving.

          Dry Fire Your Pistol For Safe Handgun Practice        
One of the common trends in today's everyday life is that there are more and more people out there who own their own hand guns for their own personal safety. And what we need to realise is that within this range are people who actually own these guns and they would need to be able to practise using it safely so that no accidents will happen and everyone can use the guns properly.  One of the ways that this can be done is that these people [...]
          Comment on How To Maximize Online Security For Your Business by safety staffing for entertainment Texas        
Risk assessments must be recorded with actions agreed to control and minimize identified risks (and in a timely manner). Employees must be made aware of risks and any procedures implemented to ensure personal safety, including the use of personal protective equipment.
          An Evaluation of Medication Adherence and Self-Managment Techniques in Patients with Epilepsy        
An Evaluation of Medication Adherence and Self-Managment Techniques in Patients with Epilepsy McFadden, Linsey RATIONALE: Comprehensive treatment of epilepsy involves many facets including self-management behaviors. The most common self-management strategy is adherence to an Antiepileptic Drug (AED) regimen. Controlling other non-drug related factors, such as management of information, concern for personal safety, management of the seizures themselves, and lifestyle issues may play an equal or greater role in the overall success of epilepsy therapy than does adherence to patients’ medication regimen. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the self-management behaviors and clinical outcomes. METHODS: Adult epilepsy patients whom were able complete the surveys by themselves and had been taking AED therapy for at least 6 months were recruited from The Ohio State University Medical Center’s outpatient epilepsy clinic for this cross-sectional, descriptive study. We used two previously-validated surveys to assess various self-management behaviors. Morisky’s four-item self-reported adherence measure (not epilepsy-specific) and DiIorio’s 38-item scale that assesses frequency of use of epilepsy self-management practices were administered to a convenience sample of patients. We also collected clinical (seizure activity, number of AEDs and presence of toxicity) and demographic information. The response to the Morisky questions provides a score ranging from 1 to 4. A score of 0 or 1 categorizes the patient in the low medication-taking behavior group, a score of 2 or 3 is medium and 4 is high medication-taking behavior. On the Epilepsy Self-Management scale (ESMS), each item is rated on a 5-point scale ranging from 1=Never to 5=Always. Higher sores indicate more frequent use of self-management strategies. In addition, this scale can be divided into 5 subscales that address patient management of medication, information, safety, seizure and lifestyle. Patients were grouped into three categories based on their seizure frequency (seizure-free, <1 seizure per week and >1 seizure per week). RESULTS: A sample of fifty patients (23 women) was recruited from the Medical Center’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Program. Their average age is 40.2 yrs (range 20-70). Their monthly seizure burden ranged from seizure-free (n=23) to “daily” seizures. Patients were taking an average of 1.64 AEDs (range 1-4) as well as other prescription medications (mean=4.05 ± 3.39). Most of the patients (n=34) reported no toxicity at their clinic visit. Based on their Morisky Score, patients fell into either the Low (n=2), Medium (n=27) or High (n=21) medication-taking behavior categories. The mean overall ESMS score was 3.72 ± 0.41. The ESMS subscale scores for patient management of medication, information, safety, seizure and lifestyle were 4.42, 2.65, 3.93, 4.00 and 2.62, respectively. The Morisky and ESMS medication management subscale scores correlated with each other. Medication taking behavior did not solely predict positive therapeutic outcomes. Patients scored the lowest on the information and lifestyle management subscale scores. CONCLUSION: In our convenience sample of patients with epilepsy, we have found that self-management skills, beyond medication-taking behaviors, should be an area of emphasis during patient interactions. Denman Undergraduate Forum 2007 participant, OPA Research Forum presenter, OSU College of Pharmacy Research Day presenter
          Keeping Safe Out and About        

Staying Safe Out and about is a free download from Foundation for people with Learning Disabilities.

Suzy Lamlugh Trust: Personal Safety Video

Staying Safe Out and About a guide to traveling around London- but useful information for all.

          Practicing Digital Citizenship        
Like many states, here in Illinois students are required to receive a certain number of hours each year dedicated to Internet Safety. While the idea is noble, the parameters are quite sketchy. I have heard about schools having “Internet Safety Day” or some such “special” occasion. It reminded me of the Andy Hardy movies and the obligatory “Let’s put on a show, kids!” As many of you probably believe, shouldn’t every day be internet safety day? Too often these “occasions” serve no purpose other than compliance; very little learning occurs.

One of my duties is to develop our Internet safety curriculum here at my school. We have designated sophomore health class to focus on preventing and protection from Cyberbullying. It would be part of their “personal safety” unit. Since this topic is so important, I didn’t dare trivialize this with a mere dissemination of information. Instead I would like to explain what we are doing:

First, I replaced “Cyberbullying” with “Digital Citizenship.” I mean, do we call a reading class illiteracy? Next, we had to devise a lesson that would be meaningful to students and help make a difference. For the past couple of years I have been advocating that teachers develop writing situations that have an authentic audience and purpose. Let’s face it, most “audiences” are teachers (who have to read it any way) and the purpose is to get the grade, right? What we decided to do was have our students look at an essential question and research some foundation questions. Here’s what we came up with:

  • What does it mean to be a Digital Citizen?
  • What is Cyberbullying?
  • How can I protect myself from Cyberbullies?
  • How can I become a model Digital Citizen? 
Using a variety of resources students would research these questions and create…something. But what? Before we decided on what, we had to decide on an essential element: audience. Wouldn’t it be great if our sophomore students could help younger kids understand how to safely navigate cyberspace? Imagine how a fifth grader would respond to tuteledge from someone a few years older…as compared to a teacher.

Through Twitter, I have fond nearly 20 elementary and middle school teachers who will participate in this endeavor. By using Edmodo, our students will write, Glog, and video messages to these grade school students. Then, the younger kids can respond or ask questions of their “cyber mentor.” The final step will be for the older kids to respond back to the younger ones dispaying Good Digital Citizenship.

Sure beats having an internet safety fair.

If you teach grades 5-7 and would like to participate, please fill out this form.

As the project continues, I will post how we are progressing. Needless to say, I am really looking forward to this.

          blingsting Announces All New Car Safety Tool The Glammer        

The personal safety company has released a glamorous hammer that can break a windshield and cut a seatbelt in the event of an auto emergency.

(PRWeb June 03, 2015)

Read the full story at

          (USA-MI-Milford) CorsoCare - Home Health Aide        
Home Health Aide CorsoCare Position Summary: Home Health Aide provides personal care services under the direction of the Registered Nurse or Therapist. The Home Health Aide is assigned to specific clients by the Registered Nurse or other appropriate professional and performs services for clients as necessary to maintain their personal comfort. Required Experience for Home Health Aide: + Education and/or Experience: Successful completion of a formal certification training program and/or a written skills test and competency evaluation. Be at least eighteen (18) years of age. Minimum of six (6) months’ work experience in a supervised setting, preferably health care facility. + Language Skills: Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. Ability to write routine reports and correspondence. Ability to speak effectively before groups of customers or employees of organization. + Mathematical Skills: Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. + Reasoning Ability: Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form. Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations. + Other: Licensed driver with automobile insured in accordance with state and/or Agency requirements. Primary Responsibilities for Home Health Aide: + Home Health Aide Performs simple procedures as an extension of therapy services under the direction and supervision of the therapist. + Range of motion exercises + Assistance in ambulation or exercises + Home Health Aide performs personal care activities, including but not limited to:Bathing, Shampooing, Skin care/nail care, Oral Hygiene, Shaving, Dressing + Performs household services essential to health care at home, including but not limited to: Meal preparation/feeding, Laundry, Light Houskeeping + Assists in the administration of medications that are ordinarily self-administered under the direction and supervision of the Registered Nurse (per state nurse practice laws and Agency policy). + Reports any observed or reported changes in the client's condition and/or needs to the Registered Nurse or Therapist. Follows reporting guidelines in the Care Plan. + Documents care provided and completes the forms required for the client's records. Completes the appropriate records to document care given and pertinent observations. Submits documentation per Agency requirements—at least weekly. + Home Health Aide Promotes personal safety and a safe environment for clients by observing infection control practices, following Agency guidelines, and reporting unsafe situations to the Supervisor/Case Manager. + Demonstrates safe practice in the use of equipment. Does not use equipment until orientation about its operation has been provided. Notifies supervisor of educational needs. + Communicates effectively with all members of the interdisciplinary team through verbal reports, participation in staff meetings, and team conferences, as requested. + Maintains confidentiality in all aspects of the job. + Attends in-service programs to meet compliance requirements. Identifies learning needs to Agency supervisor. + Home Health Aide works toward continual improvement of the overall organization. + Perform other duties as assigned. General Working Conditions: This position could entail sitting or standing for long periods of time. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to communicate effectively with others, sit, stand, walk and use hands to handle keyboard, telephone, paper, files, and other equipment and objects. The employee is occasionally required to reach with hands and arms. This position requires the ability to review detailed documents and read computer screens. The employee will occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. The work environment requires appropriate interaction with others. The noise level in the work environment is moderate. Occasional travel to different locations may be required. Navigating the Path of HealthCare CorsoCare provides patient-based home health care services while protecting patient rights and giving them the dignity and respect they deserve. Our experienced certified home health care professionals are highly skilled and completely focused on our patients. Our services are comprised of three core divisions: Certified Home Health Care Services, Private Duty/Private Pay Services and Transitional Care Navigation Services. We have comprehensive benefit packages that include health, dental, vision, 401(k), income protection, and extraordinary work-life benefits. This classification description is intended to indicate the general kinds of tasks and levels of work difficulty that are required of positions given this title and should not be construed as declaring what the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position shall be. It is not intended to limit or in any way modify the right of any supervisor to assign, direct and control the work of the employees under her/his supervision. The use of a particular expression or illustration describing duties shall not exclude other duties not mentioned that are of a similar kind or level of difficulty. Equal Opportunity Employer Click on glassdoor to see our employee testimonials External Company Name: CSIG Holding Company External Company URL:
          (USA-MI-Southgate) Health Information Assistant- Home Health Care (full-time)- Southgate        
General Summary:Under close supervision and according to established procedures, retrieves information from Home Health Care software system and is responsible for the maintenance and protection of Home Health Care's medical records and their contents. Assists with answering telephones and directs phone parties accordingly. May perform routine clerical services, such as basic computer data entry, photocopying, filing, and maintaining records and files. Performs other related duties and projects as assigned.PRINCIPAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:1. Maintains patient medical records to ensure the safe storage and convenient access of patient information.2. Conducts record and document searches as necessary.3. Sorts, assembles and distributes materials.4. Assists with the record closure process and storage of inactive client medical records.5. Assists with answering telephones and directs phone parties accordingly.6. Adheres to all divisional, corporate, regulatory, and HIPAA requirements related to the privacy and security of confidential patient information.7. Follows established priorities to meet deadlines.8. May perform routine clerical services, such as basic computer data entry, photocopying, filing, and maintaining records and files.9. Promotes and ensures Home Health Care's commitment to the Henry Ford Experience.10. Supports and complies with the HFHS Team Member Standards of Excellence.11. Maintains a safe work environment and practices personal safety techniques to prevent injury to self and others.12. Complies with corporate and divisional policies and procedures.13. Assists with orientation and training of new staff members.14. Performs other related duties and projects as assigned. EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE REQUIRED:High school diploma or G.E.D.Basic proficiency with computers and standard office equipment. Strong communication and organizational skills.Ability to file alphabetically and numerically.Ability to read, write and speak sufficiently to accomplish duties.May be required to possess a current State of Michigan driver's license and a satisfactory driving record to travel to and from various Home Health Care locations.May need to lift, carry, bend, stoop or be otherwise physically active in the normal course of job duties. Overview Henry Ford Health System, one of the largest and most comprehensive integrated U.S. health care systems, is a national leader in clinical care, research and education. The system includes the 1,200-member Henry Ford Medical Group, five hospitals, Health Alliance Plan (a health insurance and wellness company), Henry Ford Physician Network, a 150-site ambulatory network and many other health-related entities throughout southeast Michigan, providing a full continuum of care. In 2015, Henry Ford provided $299 million in uncompensated care. The health system also is a major economic driver in Michigan and employs more than 24,600 employees. Henry Ford is a 2011Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient. The health system is led by President and CEO Wright Lassiter III. To learn more, Benefits Whether it's offering a new medical option, helping you make healthier lifestyle choices or making the employee enrollment selection experience easier, it's all about choice. Henry Ford Health System has a new approach for its employee benefits program - My Choice Rewards. My Choice Rewards is a program as diverse as the people it serves. There are dozens of options for all of our employees including compensation, benefits, work/life balance and learning - options that enhance your career and add value to your personal life. As an employee you are provided access to Retirement Programs, an Employee Assistance Program (Henry Ford Enhanced), Tuition Reimbursement, Paid Time Off, Employee Health and Wellness and access to day care services at Bright Horizons Midtown Detroit, and a whole host of other benefits and services. Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Equal Employment Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer Henry Ford Health System is committed to the hiring, advancement and fair treatment of all individuals without regard to race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, size, height, weight, marital status, family status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and genetic information, or any other protected status in accordance with applicable federal and state laws.
          (USA-NY-Canandaigua) Personal Care Aide / Home Health Aide, Certified, NY        
Under the general direction of the Supervisor-In-Charge, provides direct personal care and assistance to residents as needed. Horizons Provide personal care for each resident assigned by the Supervisor-In-Charge (SIC) Observe resident for any change in condition and report to the SIC. Assist with maintaining a safe environment Assist with meal service and provide eating assistance as necessary. Assist with all activities of daily living as needed (shaving, bathing, fingernail care, dressing, toileting, grooming, hair care, oral hygiene, etc.). Daily bed making and scheduled bed linen changes. Must document all services provided to ALP Residents as indicated on the Aide Activity Sheet before leaving shift. Helps to maintain each resident’s independence, self-respect, personal dignity and personal safety. Assists the Activities Director with planned activities and encourages residents to participate. Performs other related duties as assigned. Must be able to provide appropriate PCA / HHA certification as required by New York State. Must have the required references and criminal record check. Must have annual TB screening and Health Assessment completed. Must be at least 18 years of age. Well lighted, air-conditioned/heated environment; may be exposed to residents with communicable diseases or confused residents who become combative. May be required to work outside on occasion when required by resident care needs (i.e., resident walks or other outdoor activities). Latex gloves, goggles, for standard precautions. Office equipment (copier, computer, fax machine, telephone), fire extinguisher, wheel chairs. FLSA Status: Non-Exempt Shift: Overnights Department: Personal Care Corporation Names: DePaul Adult Care Communities (DACC) NY External Company URL:
          3M Launches Center for Hearing Conservation        
3M©#8217;s Personal Safety Division, St. Paul, MN, has launched the 3M Center for Hearing Conservation (, an online resource offering guidance to health and safety professionals as they seek to prevent hearing damage within the workplace. The site offers articles, videos and toolkits to educate companies about the seven elements of hearing-loss prevention, and details ways companies can meet legal requirements. For more on 3M©#8217;s work-safety products, visit

[Read more]
          Staying Safe in the Cyber World        
digital image of a red padlock in cyberspace
This year marks the 10th anniversary of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Each October, in response to constantly evolving technology and the personal safety and security threats the adoption of new tools may pose, the Department of Homeland Security sponsors a campaign to engage the   ...Continue Reading Staying Safe in the Cyber World
          Detailed In Hiking History        

Do you love nature? Have you considered going for nature walks? If your answer is positive, I am sure you will love to go hiking! What is hiking? It is an outdoor activity, which involves walking in the natural environment. It is regarded as a part of mountaineering, which consists of walking, trekking and climbing up mountains as also hiking. Hiking is a popular sport in many parts of the world and a hobby for many sport enthusiasts. Apart from offering many health benefits, hiking also serves as an excellent means of recreation. Where did this outdoor activity originate? Since when has hiking been practiced as a popular sport? Let us find out.
There is no conclusive evidence about the exact year, which witnessed the beginning of hiking. Otzi, the Iceman is believed to have climbed up the Alps about 5000 years ago. However the first recorded trek was that of the Roman Emperor Hadrian to Etna, which is today, an active stratovolcano near Sicily.

The thirteenth century witnessed a few expeditions to various mountains around the world. Between 1400s and 1500s, many people of the Inca Empire trod to the Andes for religious reasons. They are believed to have climbed the Llullaillaco peak, which is at a height of 6,379 meters. Perhaps they also accomplished the feat of climbing Aconcagua, the highest peak of the Andes. Leonardo da Vinci is said to have ascended a snowfield in the vicinity of Mount Rosa.

One of the major events in the history of hiking was the ascent of Darby Field to Mount Washington located in New Hampshire. No major expeditions took place in the seventeenth century. An ascent to the snow mountain Titus was recorded in 1744. The later years saw a number of important mountain expeditions, which found a place in the timeline of hiking. A team of mountaineers reached Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe in 1874. W.S. Green climbed the Southern Alps of New Zealand in 1882. The highest peak of the Andes is recorded to have been climbed in 1897 and 1898 was the year when the Grand Teton of the Rocky Mountains of North America was ascended. Mount McKinley was climbed in 1913.

The nineteenth century was a witness to a couple of expeditions to the Himalayas. Gurkha sepoys trained in mountaineering activities were of great help in the exploration of the Asiatic mountains. The year 1953 marks one of the most important events in the history of mountaineering. It was on May 29 of this year that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest.

These were some of the important events in the glorious history of hiking. Let us look at some interesting facts about this sport.

Facts about Hiking
Hiking, a part of mountaineering is about walking in the company of nature. It is known by different names in different parts of the world. In the United Kingdom it is known as 'hill walking'. In Australia it is called 'bush walking' while it is known as 'tramping' in New Zealand. In the Indian and African continents, this sport is known by the name, 'trekking'.

Hiking offers many health benefits like controlled obesity and reduced risk of heart diseases. Hiking helps the trekkers maintain good health. Threats to personal safety, property, attack by animals and physical injuries are some of the risks involved in hiking. They can be overcome by taking proper safety measures.

Hiking can be enjoyable only if proper safety precautions are taken. It is important for the hikers to wear comfortable and sturdy shoes. Wearing layered clothing can help the trekkers fight the changing weathers. Carrying a sufficient amount of water is advisable. Remember to start slowly and gradually pick up speed. Hiking can prove an endurance test! Watch out for dangerous animals and insects. Carry sleeping bags for a safe sleep. You might like to go through some more tips on hiking and camping.

The hikers should make sure their enjoyment does not destroy nature. Large numbers of hikers gathering on popular hiking destinations cause severe destruction of nature. It is the responsibility of the hikers to safeguard the nature that makes a good company. Hiking to less-visited places can give the trekkers an opportunity to observe some rare species of animals and plants. It is the prime duty of the hikers to safeguard these species by not disturbing their lives or their natural environment. For no reason can we afford to put nature at stake.
          Comment on Have your say by Notes from VC Forum 8 April        
Vice-Chancellor’s responses to comments/questions made in Vice-Chancellor’s Forum on 8 April 2015 – I am currently going through a process to apply for a grant in Austria which needs to be done very quickly, but there is substantial paperwork involved and the process of collecting signatures (one form needs five signatures) and going through the ethics committee is very time consuming for a grant for $40K. I totally agree that the processes are too bureaucratic, why does any form need five signatures? We seem to have these burdens because we don’t trust ourselves and are risk averse, but we need to chip away at this and make processes simpler. – There has been some commentary in media around staff and student behaviour and concerns for personal safety on campus. The Gender Institute has put forward the suggestion to install an ombudsman to deal with these issues. When it comes to personal safety, sexual harassment and gender issues, international campuses are very focused on these issues especially in the US. I don’t support the idea of an ombudsman and the reason is that I think we should address flaws in the processes and systems we have, rather than put an additional system on top of them. Supplementary audience comment: there is evidence that the introduction of an ombudsman both improved existing systems and reduced the number of appeals over time. – On using the National Institutes Grant more strategically, I’m concerned that foundation disciplines grounded in the ANU Act are a protected species. ANU is getting an updated Act this year and has recently had a review of governance by Professor Sally Walker. There were a number of disciplines established through the Act, that are unique and defining traits of the University, for example Asia and the Pacific, languages, humanities and the social sciences, and we look different because of our strengths in these areas. NIG has preserved these disciplines so we shouldn’t just discard them. However I don’t necessarily support the argument of protecting foundation disciplines legislated in 1946. We need to have a discussion on our strategic priorities for this funding and this will be an emotive conversation. – Rather than focusing on many things at once, maybe we should pick one or two things and attempt to do them really well. For example in the HR division, perhaps just pick staff performance or commercialisation and really focus on attracting more staff with backgrounds in industry who could be more collaborative with industry. It’s true that we can only juggle so many balls at one time. – Should we be competing with larger institutions with different structures? Given the Chief Scientist’s new research priorities in STEM should we flip our priorities and make our weaknesses our strengths? To preserve the National Institutes Grant we need to keep our uniqueness. That funding needs to be invested in things that are different from other universities. So in that regard we can’t ignore the rest of the world, or the reason for this investment declines. For example if we wanted to maximise our rankings we wouldn’t invest in languages, but then we lose our uniqueness and our strategic importance to the nation. However if we lose our high rankings this may also endanger the NIG, so it’s about finding the right balance.
          Economist magazine: Slovakia is the 35th best country to live in        

BRATISLAVA - The country that provides the best opportunity for a healthy, safe and prosperous life, is now Switzerland. According to a ranking Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a sister company of The Economist.

Australia and Norway take second and third place. The top ten also includes Sweden, Denmark, Singapore, New Zealand, Netherlands, Canada and Hong Kong. Slovakia is ranked 35th. From neighboring countries are better off Austria (13th), Czech Republic (28) and Poland (33). The surprise was Hungary with a pretty poor showing at (46th). The worst are Kenya (79th) and Nigeria (80).

USA in this year's ranking was placed at 16th place along with Germany and Italy at 21. Japan is at 25th place France at 26th and the United Kingdom to 27 th place. Even 25 years ago, in 1988, was the U.S. in the first place. Followed by France. West Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands. Things are changing...

Ranking is calculated on the basis of criteria such as gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, life expectancy, quality of life in terms of divorce, the state of political freedom and the unemployment rate. Additional criteria include climate, personal safety, and quality of community life, managing the company in terms of corruption and gender equality.

          Figuring Out Where I Belong (Part 1)        
I want to be as transparent as I can be with my sparkfriends. Obviously, I choose to keep some things to myself, because it's still the internet, and I'm still old school enough that I don't care to air out every single thing about my life to people I have never met face to face. I'm old enough to remember when the internet craze started, and when people were still so trusting they freely shared information with no concern for privacy or even personal safety. I still think most people shar...
          Four Key 'Points to Ponder' for Your Safety        
Safety Zone
Rick Patrick
2008 Oct 19

Point I
Safety is personal. Regardless of the tools and training provided by your organization and/or employer, only you can make the choice of being safe. Where do you place safety in the scope of your daily duties? Nothing super cedes your safety -- NOTHING!

Point II
Seatbelts work. Do you wear your seat belt? Do you wear it when responding to emergency incidents in the fire truck, ambulance or other vehicle? Do you wear it in the back of the ambulance? If you answered no to any of these; ask yourself why? Could I have done and should I do anything different? Every time you don't wear a seat belt equates to a near-miss situation -- every time.

Point III
Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be provided by emergency service organizations for all applicable tasks warranting a risk of injury.

EMS providers performing tasks indicative of the risk of injury (extrication, patient removal from a vehicle, rescue activities in general, risk of fire, etc.) and functioning in any capacity in the danger zone of an incident, such as motor vehicle collisions, should be protected by wearing PPE. This includes coats, pants, helmets, gloves, eye protection and protective foot wear. Nothing super cedes personal safety -- NOTHING!

Point IV
Responding safely, functioning safely at the scene and returning safely are essential for everyone's safety on every incident … period.

Read more articles by Rick Patrick

Richard W. Patrick
Richard W. Patrick, MS, CFO, EMT-P, CHS III, FF, is the retired Deputy Fire Chief of Estero Fire Rescue District in Estero, Fla. He has more than 29 years' experience in emergency services. He's the former Director of EMS Programs and Emergency Service Initiatives for VFIS, a division of Glatfelter Insurance Group, York, Pa., where he remains as a consultant. Rick is a nationally known leader, educator, lecturer, author, speaker and consultant in EMS

          UAlbany student assaulted on Hudson Ave.        
According to an email sent by Director of Personal Safety and Off-Campus Affairs for the University Police Department Thomas Gebhardt, a female UAlbany student was the victim of an assault in the student ghetto last week. Albany Police are currently investigating the assault, which occurred on March 20 at approximately 7 p.m.  on the 400
          Peter Kilian edited FrontPage        
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We have to face the fact that we can really never trust anyone. As an employer
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          Alphason Sona 32" Black Stand        
Alphason Sona 32

Alphason Sona 32" Black Stand

Stunning finish offers a sleek and stylish look, complementing the designs of the latest AV equipment. Rigid construction with tension rod design. Black, curved edges polished and shaped for additional personal safety. Cable management facility to manage unsightly cables. Safety glass shelves toughened to British and European standard.

          Take care while Travelling!        
I'm sure lots of sites have done up travel tips regarding personal safety but I would still like to remind you with the following tips:

  • Watch out for your camera. Keep it close to you always.

  • In a crowded area, keep your wallet or purse in your front pocket. Your bag do get open unnoticed on a crowded street. So it's not a safe option. Get a jacket with a front pocket if possible.

  • If you are travelling to a country for the first time, read travel forums or blogs online that give you tips that you should look out for in a specific country.

That's it for now! Happy travelling and be safe!

          Self defence        
A characteristic snark from Blood and Treasure:
Incidentally, I believe this is in line with current Tory policy on reasonable self defence.
"This" being a BBC report:
A Russian farmer has been convicted of planting landmines around his field to ward off trespassers.
Bovine partisanship aside, for of course Tories are no more likely to approve of this than Labour voters (which is to say some of each might but not many), what would be a reasonable legal position when it comes to the situation a householder might face when waking at night, alone, in an isolated farmhouse, and hearing sounds from downstairs?

I don't see why the householder, as a result of someone else deciding to break into their house, should be expected to accept any form of risk to their personal safety. There's no reason why they should have to get into a fight that is in any way fair. That is, a fight the burglar has an even chance of winning. The only sort of force that is reasonable in these circumstances is overwhelming force, force that keeps the householder as safe as they were asleep in bed before anyone broke in.

The only test that should apply is whether or not they were still at risk when applying the force. So if a burglar is running at them, screaming, the householder should be able to shoot them without suffering any repercussions. If a burglar is running away from the householder, screaming, then to shoot and kill would be murder, to shoot and wound would be assault.

This approach would have been of little help to Tony Martin, who shot and killed a burglar who was running away.
          Along with Everybody Else, The CDC Thinks Rihanna Could Do A Lot Better        
Rihanna and her, um, sometime friend, musician Chris Brown made news last month when, for Rihanna's 24th birthday, she tweeted not one, but two remixes that paired the duo's vocals -- one on a new version of "Birthday Cake," and the other for Chris Brown's "Turn Up The Music."

Gossip columnist Perez Hilton summed up the exchange best, but unfortunately used a vocabulary that we should probably not repeat.  Needless to say, fans who knew of Chris Brown's February 2009's assault of the then 20-year-old Rihanna (and the subsequent restraining order) were shocked by the musical collaboration, and psychologists everywhere will have something to say about it for years.

Probably not-at-all-coincidentally, February was proclaimed Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month was in January of 2011 by President Barack Obama.  In his statement last year, the President seemed particularly aware of how social networking and portable communications can contribute to incidents of dating violence -- issues that were rumored to be catalysts in the attack upon Rihanna.    

Click for larger text.
Indeed, the CDC found that there was a 50% increase between 2000 and 2005 in electronic aggression, and that 67% of electronic victimization occurred through instant messaging, and 16% through text messages.

the Centers for Disease Control had published, three days before the collaboration, a reminder that February is the first anniversary of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

"Did you know that in the past 12 months, one in 10 teens report being hit or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend at least once? And nearly half of all teens in relationships say they know friends who have been verbally abused."  
"Before violence starts, a teen may experience controlling behavior and demands. One partner may tell another what to wear and who to hang out with. Over time, the unhealthy behavior may become violent."  
"That's why adults need to talk to teens now about the importance of developing healthy, respectful relationships."

The CDC's Teen Dating Violence Web site has extensive information available on how to recognize dating violence, understanding healthy versus unhealthy dating relationships, and warning signs for trouble ahead.  There is also a broader site for Intimate Partner Violence.

For a localized treatment of the topic, the University of Colorado is home to the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, and of course for concerns about personal safety, services are offered on campus under several category types.

Clearly this is an issue that affects more than only popular musicians, but it is still enjoyable to see that the government can subtly find ways to perhaps call a few people out.

The Foundation sees its role in the community as assisting educators and parents in the education of children about their personal safety, by funding the development of child safety educational resources; assisting young victims of crime through financial support.........
          Boston Marathon Bombing        
On September 11th, 2001 I was visiting my Aunt and Uncle in Sacramento, Ca. Every time I visited them my uncle would wake me in the morning by either pounding on the door or pretending to play a military style horn salute. On this particular morning he woke me up by pounding on the door and shouting, "Wake up, America is under attack!" I remember thinking to myself, "Good Lord, just let me sleep." I dragged myself out of bed and walked into his office just in time to see the second plane fly into the towers live. Every single one of us that was alive that day remembers where we were and what we were doing when we got the news. We all have our own story about that day and we will never forget how we felt.

I want to make it very clear that at the moment that I am writing this there has been no concrete evidence of who is involved with carrying out the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon on April 15th, 2013. No one has taken responsibility or is in custody to our knowledge, but that hasn't stopped people from trying to indirectly pass blame on people. At this point we don't know who could have committed such an evil act of terror. One thing we do know for certain is that whoever did this is evil with serious hatred in their hearts.

I'd like to point out a serious difference between our current president and our previous one. I have pointed out numerous times that President Obama has a very real "Wait & See" policy when it comes to almost anything, both foreign and domestic. We saw it in Egypt and Libya for example. Yesterday's attack is no different. I want to provide you with a couple timelines here:

September 11th, 2001

8:46 am – Mohammed Atta and the other hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 crash the plane into floors 93-99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building.

8:50 am – White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card alerts President George W. Bush that a plane has hit the World Trade Center

9:03 am – Hijackers crash United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 75-85 of the WTC's South Tower, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building

9:31 am – Speaking from Florida, President Bush calls the events in New York City an "apparent terrorist attack on our country."

9:37 am – Hijackers aboard Flight 77 crash the plane into the western façade of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., killing 59 aboard the plane and 125 military and civilian personnel inside the building. 

9:59 am – The South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses.

10:07 am – After passengers and crew members aboard the hijacked Flight 93 contact friends and family and learn about the attacks in New York and Washington, they mount an attempt to retake the plane. In response, hijackers deliberately crash the plane into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all 40 passengers and crew aboard. 

10:28 am – The World Trade Center's North Tower collapses

8:30 pm – President Bush addresses the nation, calling the attacks "evil, despicable acts of terror" and declaring that America, its friends and allies would "stand together to win the war against terrorism."

Love or hate George W. Bush, I don't care, but notice that 45 minutes after the first plane hit the towers he went on television and addressed the nation stating that it was an "apparent terrorist attack on our country."

Then 11 hours later he again came on television to tell the world that America would "stand together to win the war against terrorism."

Now we don't yet know if this was the act of foreign or domestic terrorism, both are just as likely at this point. One thing remains clear though, our current president has done very little in addressing the nation to show us that we need to stand together in this current crisis.

Now here's a brief timeline of yesterday's events:

April 15th, 2013

2:50 p.m. Two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon resulted in injuries.

4:04 p.m. Boston Marathon organizers stated the explosions were caused by bombs.

6:13 p.m. President Obama: “The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight, and Michelle and I send out deepest thoughts and prayers to the victims. We will find out who did this and why they did this and we will hold them accountable."

April 16th, 2013

11:30 a.m. -President Obama calls the bombings "act of terror"

Do you see the distinct difference between our the two presidents in these timelines? It took President Bush 45 minutes to label what happened on September 11th, 2001 a "terrorist attack" and less than 12 hours to tell the nation that we will "stand together." It took President Obama 3 hours and 23 minutes to even address the nation and almost 19 hours to use the famous "Act of Terror" line he used after the Libya attack. In the meantime we've had reporters and politicians making statements that only continue the cultural/social division that this administration has carried out for the past four years.

Here's a few examples:

"Our hearts go out to those that are hurt or killed #Boston marathon - but this thing stinks to high heaven #falseflag"

- Alex Jones via Twitter

During Monday's Hardball, Chris Matthews briefly alluded to the possibility that Tax Day played a role. In the same hour, he speculated that if the perpetrator was homegrown, they were likely of the "far right" persuasion, and then suggested that maybe the eventually-debunked JFK library fire was the result of anti-Kennedy, anti-Democratic Party sentiment.

I was at Fenway Park w my dad and @mikebarnicle during Waco which was on Patriots Day in 1993. Speculating on possible link.

- Luke Russert (NBC Correspondent) via Twitter

"2+2=" and "Tax Day. Patriots Day."

- Michael Moore via Twitter

Bryan Fischer spent the entire 9 p.m. ET hour live-tweeting Hannity's Fox News show, accusing the guests of pussyfooting around what everyone knows must be the truth (despite no one knowing enough facts at this point). His basic message: Bash Islam NOW, you guys!

I'm not sorry for saying this, but this is what happens when your leader does not immediately step in and tell the nation this:

"This is a time when we need to come together. We must put aside our differences because tragic days like today remind us that in the face of evil we are no longer seen as Left or Right, Conservative or Liberal, Man or Woman, Christian or Muslim. Today we are all American and there has been a terrorist attack against Americans. Whether this was a Foreign or Domestic attack is unclear and to speculate either is ignorant and ill advised. Today is not a day to cast blame. We will find out who did this. We will find out why they did it. And we will bring those responsible to justice, together as Americans..."

I know that I might seem bias here, but can I really be blamed for that? We have seen this president stay on the sidelines so many times in the case of this kind of violence. We have heard people from this administration make comments such as "We should not let a good crisis go to waste..." How can I not come to this conclusion? How can I not expect the same old rhetoric from this president and his administration? 

There are extremists in every single group or organization. If this latest attack was carried out by a Tea Party member, or a Muslim, or Christian, or a Left/Right Wing nut job remains unclear and irrelevant. This attack was carried out by an individual or individuals that have hate and evil in their hearts. Yet again though, our leaders and our media is striking hard without any solid facts in order to push their narrative. Do you think for one second that MSNBC isn't hoping that this is some Right Wing, Tea Party, Gun Loving Nut job that carried out this attack? Or that Fox News isn't hoping that this is some Left Wing, God hating, Abortion loving lunatic? Enough is enough! 

I ask you all now to pray for the victims of yesterdays attack, and if you are not a person of faith, I ask that you send them your love. This is not the time to be politically correct or bias. This is a time to remember that we are all in this together, we are all Americans, and we stand or fall together.

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

- John Stuart Mill

If we are forced into war, we must give up differences of opinion and unite as one nation to defend our country

- Thomas Jefferson

We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile.

- Hilaire Belloc

          Resident Safety and Travel        
As winter weather has arrived, residents are reminded that their personal safety and travel is covered in the Resident Health and Safety policy.  Section 5 of the policy covers safety and travel and includes the following points:

5.7 - A resident may elect not to attend their academic half-day, clinic, etc. if in his/her estimation, it would not be safe to travel because of weather.

5.7.1- The resident must inform the appropriate person as soon as possible of absences due to inclement weather.

The entire policy can be viewed online.

          Ep. 87 - Tim Larkin: Necessary Violence        
Tim Larkin talks with James today about pro-victim rights and personal safety. As a former military intelligence instructor who helped America's elite Navy Seals develop their hand-to-hand combat techniques, Tim has spent two decades learning about violence. He tells James the story of how he got accepted to the Navy Seals program. He exposed their problem and offered them a solution... This is an episode like no other we've brought you.   Listen today. You'll be amazed by Tim's stories. I was.
          All Merit to Dubjax         

This is too obvious to need stating, but all these reviews are written out of deep gratitude to that anonymous philanthropist, Dubjax, who mines our (UK) shared cinematic heritage – British, black-and-white films and ‘B’– to consistently excavate gems we didn’t know were there, and frequently faces the wrath of the copyright enforcers for his troubles. Dubjax 9 is presently flourishing, I’m happy to report.

Stop press: All the films written about below, bar four, have been removed by youtube's copyright enforcers in the past 24 hours (22.2.17). That is, there has been a blanket sweep on every film posted on Dubjax 9. Of the exceptions Castle in the Air and So Long at the Fair are non-Dubjax films, and The Common Touch and Made in Heaven come from an earlier channel, Dubjax 4. Several of the impounded films are freely available on other channels. Namely: –

The Card –
Contraband – (poor quality)
Daybreak –
The Ghost Camera –
High Treason –
Midnight Episode –
The Passing of the Third Floor Back –
The Rocking Horse Winner – (Spanish subtitles)
Turn the Key Softly –

This begs the question, who has got it in for Dubjax and why? Clue: some of the other films are available to stream into the home at a price. In other words, musty old black and whites are not exempt from the laws of free enterprise, competition and supply-and-demand. Some of us happen to think that the repression of rare old films amounts to a cultural crime, that the copyright laws are labyrinthine and stupid, and that the commercial exploitation of old films (some of which recouped their costs over half a century ago) is unacceptable. Sometimes "sorry about that" – as in, The YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement. Sorry about that – is not good enough. 

Boys in Brown 

It’s interesting to compare this treatment of Borstal with the account given in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. The latter exposes this tale of the inherently good boy fallen in with a bad crowd for the simplistic, moralising claptrap it is. It also seems that baggy shorts were abandoned at some point between 1949 and 1962. This is a good thing because baggy shorts are the cause of all the trouble. Retrieving civvies is the reason Jackie risks his immortal soul by smashing a custodian's head with a lamp. Jackie is the rough diamond central character, a complete fuck-up, played with one-dimensional petulance by Richard Attenborough, and unaccountably loved by everybody, from the girl who waits (Barbara Murray), to his mother (Thora Hird specialised in long-suffering mums at the time), and even the governor. The governor! To compare the all-wise, compassionate Jack Warner with the flawed, neurotic Michael Redgrave in Loneliness says everything about the collapse of deference to authority in the intervening fifties (an under-rated decade). And how does this paragon of a governor behave? He seeks out the impeccably middle-class natural mother of wayward Bill (Jimmy Hanley), and prevails upon her to take back the lad and oust the feckless working-class type who only brought him up. Such conservatism riddles the entire film. The token Scot is an emblem of unreasonable truculence. Only dark hints about homosexuality could be allowed, but note how Alfie Rawlings, an early essay in malevolence by Dirk Bogarde, anticipates Hugo Barrett in The Servant, and how queerness is associated with twisted pathology. Actually the film has got everything it takes to be a camp classic. The title... the baggy shorts... I see audiences in brown baggy shorts cheering Alfie Rawlings on. 

The Card 

Based on the Arnold Bennett novel, The Card is about the rise of the irrepressible Edward Henry (‘Denny’) Machin, who works his way to the top from lowly beginnings. And though Machin is an opportunist proto-capitalist, who can fail to warm his nonchalant charm, winningly conveyed by Alec Guinness at the top of his game? There are lots of incidental pleasures, not least from the women in Machin’s life – Glynis Johns as Ruth Earp, a scheming minx and gold-digger whose rise parallels Machin’s own, Petula Clark, adorable as the girl-next-door, and Valerie Robson, the epitome of the high-born English Rose as the Countess (she played much the same role in Kind Hearts and Coronets). The Card treats of labour, class, capitalism, sex as social advancement and demagoguery, and does it with such a light touch that the final triumph of the parvenu over the paternal is guaranteed to stir nothing more radical than a sigh of contentment. 

Carrington VC 

Major Charles ‘Cropper’ Carrington VC (David Niven) is a paragon, a model of charm, ability and reason, beloved by all his men and worshipped from afar by the loyal Captain Alison Graham (Noelle Middleton), whom he properly rebuffs for the sake of his wife, Valerie (Margaret Leighton). There are signs that Valerie is not altogether a worthy vessel for Cropper’s affections, but he piles on the uxorious selflessness with the stiff-upper-lip that is his single greatest attribute. That is, until Valerie gives testimony at Carrington’s court martial, in which his reputation and career hang in the balance. Carrington sees what has been obvious to the viewing public from the start: Valerie is a shrivelled soul and a bitter husk of womanhood, whereas Captain Alison is really quite adorable. There’s not much subtlety about Carrington VC and the response it engenders, but, in its own way, the film is as perfect as its titular hero. Anthony Asquith directed in 1954.  

Castle in the Air 

Castle in the Air has some of the pleasingness, silliness and cast of Made in Heaven (see below) and was made in the same year, 1952. It only looks about 50 years older. The plot concerns an impoverished lord in Scotland whose stately home is in danger of being requisitioned and turned into a hostel for National Coal Board employees. Barbed comment on a Labour government and austerity Britain are among the incidental pleasures of Castle in the Air. Another is the presence of that charming fellow, David Tomlinson. No Pet Clark this time, alas, but Margaret Rutherford more than compensates. 

Chance of a Lifetime

One of Sir Bernard’s (as he then wasn’t) essays on industrial relations. Chance of a Lifetime gives Basil Radford the role of his life as Dickinson, the owner of a small engineering company, who, from words spoken in exasperation and then honoured out of pride, hands over management of his tractor-making plant to the workers. A great social experiment begins. The capital and labour issue which so exercised Marx is handled in a gritty and clear-sighted and exciting way: the deferred delivery of the steel (deferred because bankers and businessmen want to sabotage the venture) serves the same function in this film as the arrival of the cavalry in a western. Its left-wing credentials are impeccable: co-written by Walter Greenwood, author of Love on the Dole, and written and directed by (Sir) Bernard Miles, who also plays Stevens, an unassuming man who accepts his elevation with diligence and a furrowed-brow. Miles, uniquely among British actors of his generation, spoke in his native accent, an attractive West Country one in his case. Who couldn’t side with the workers when the factory is stuffed full of well-loved British character actors? These include future Dr Who Patrick Troughton as trouble-maker Kettle, Niall McGinnis (the sinister Satanist from Night of the Demon) as Baxter, a horny-handed rabble-rouser, and Hattie Jacques as Alice, a  blowsy type who puts him in his place. Bolger, the factory-hand cum poacher, is played by Geoffrey Keen (last seen as an urban terrorist in High Treason, the political polar opposite of Chance of a Lifetime), and more or less ubiquitous in British films of the period (1950, by the way). Best of all, Peter Jones enjoys himself hugely as an East European trade commissar. The film is so good, and so neglected, it invites conspiracy theories of its own. Was it purposely overlooked by TV programmers in favour of-union-bashing films like I’m Alright Jack and The Silence (that is, before every b&w film was purposely overlooked by TV programmers)? You might be inclined to dismiss this as luvvie radicalism or soft left wishful thinking, but seriously, Chance of a Lifetime encapsulates the values we’re all going to have to fight for. If we haven’t already lost them. 

The Church Mouse

It begins by kidding about the march of progress, from the vantage of a thoroughly modern 1934, blessed by the advances of the dictaphone and women in the workplace. There’s an awful lot of kidding going on in the film – which charts the progress of Betty (Laura La Plante) from forgotten woman, super-efficient secretary and blossoming sexual being. Even unemployment is kidded about, although the light tone and comic exaggeration can’t conceal real feeling. This was 1934 and the very depth of the Depression. Mostly the film kids about sex. This is the earliest Dubjax I’ve yet seen, and also the raciest, with characters tenderly swapping Mae West catch-phrases. There might be something to this pre-Code business. Anything more graphic than a kiss, of course, would break the enchantment.  

The Common Touch


Made in 1941, the only direct reference made to the war is when a harmlessly deranged resident of Charlie’s, a homeless shelter (or dosshouse, in the argot of the time), starts ranting in heavy German. “He’s had a sticky time,” explains Tich, the odd jobs man and knocker-upper. “‘E didn’t quite see eye to eye with Master Hitler.” Nevertheless, the unspoken question that haunts the film is What are we fighting for? Closely followed by What do we want from the new world a-dawning? These are weighty questions, wrapped here as an entertaining parable, with lots of delirious musical interludes. Things under imminent threat include cricket, the playing fields of Eton, which is where we first encounter our hero, young Peter Henderson (Geoffrey Hibbert), hitting a six. Peter is an orphan, and about to leave school to take charge of a large City firm. His father was the founder, and it was his dying wish for Peter to take charge when he came of age. But the City firm propose to demolish some property which includes Charlie’s, the homeless shelter. The shady board conspire to hide this from Peter, relying on his callow inexperience. This privileged kid, however, is made of sterner stuff. He and a pal masquerade as homeless youths to go on a fact-finding mission to Charlie’s. A second education follows, and his eyes are opened to the lovable vagabonds, out-of-work musicians and general good eggs who reside at Charlie’s. Some other things under threat include the geegaw toys cherished by a tramp at Charlie’s. “Someday people will turn again to simple, beautiful things,” he says, wringing every ounce of pathos from the words. What started as a ripping yarn about a posh kid has now turned into an arresting polemic. The Common Touch advocates nothing less than the eradication of class distinction and the adoption of a new set of values. This is expressed most overtly in the final scene, where the residents are discussing their new life, now that the threat of eviction has been lifted. “All this talk about better things, homes and all that, do you suppose they really mean it?” “You know I think they really mean it, this time, Tich.” “Blimey, it would be like heaven on earth.” Close-up on the tramp (the one with the toys), radiantly beaming and directly looking at the audience. “And why not?” he says. The music surges. There’s a lot of music in The Common Touch because music is the practical means by which this social transformation is to be achieved. To simplify, the toffs like bossa nova with plenty of razzamatazz, while the down-and-outs go for syncopated jazz. The reconciliation between high and low is achieved when a concert pianist on his uppers (Mark Hambourg) performs Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto in the street on a piano on wheels. An orchestra in coat tails join in during a flashback to his glory days in international concert halls. His destitute listeners are enraptured. “The boys like a bit of music,” explains Tich. 


An early Archers, this Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger collaboration followed A Spy in Black. Contraband has a nice freewheeling structure. Strangers are thrown into each other’s company – he (Conrad Veidt) is the captain of a neutral merchant vessel ship and she (Valerie Hobson) is a passenger who steals his shore ticket. The film follows them as they make their rounds. It’s nicely inconsequential to begin with: London in blackout and fog, a meal in a restaurant with an eccentric, ebullient owner. But then, this being wartime and a propaganda vehicle, she needs must turn into a Mata Hari figure and be kidnapped by a cell of German spies, and he must enlist the staff of the restaurant to rescue her. Hokum after Emil and the Detectives: Emeric's influence, I guess. Fans of the Archers might note the emergence of the charming foreigner figure, quite risky in this context, which reached its apotheosis in the Anton Walbrook character in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, who was - shock! horror! – a good German. Churchill wanted to have it banned. Valerie Hobson is a fine actress, and very good in parts where fragrancy is put under pressure (as in real life: she was married to John Profumo). And, if I’m not mistaken, Esmond Knight is actually sighted in this film, it’s so early. An invaluable member of the Archers repertory company, Knight was blinded during the war, and subsequently regularly appeared in character parts in Archers films, indifferent as to whether the role required sight or not. Michael Powell was a loyal employer. In short, Contraband is lightweight but essential Powell/Pressubrger, and is warmly recommended, whereas a later Archers with a wartime theme, Ill Met by Moonlight – – is OK to skip, and isn’t on the Dubjax lists. 


The plot twist comes early on, before the central flashback (so this is no spoiler): one of the benefits of having a secret life as a judicial hangman, surely, is the opportunity it gives you to hang the man who led your wife to suicide. But this is thrown away, just as the ultimate act of vengeance is thrown away. All that’s left is an inexorable sleepwalk into tragedy. The emotional inarticulacy of every player in the drama is laid bare. Speech is terse and evasive; everyday banalities conceal the scars of untold psychological damage. Frankie (Ann Todd) has been a prostitute, but the censors excised all reference to this, making the motivating impulses of Eddie and Frankie all the more opaque and unfathomable. Just like real life. The irredeemable bleakness of a Fassbinder or Bergman has a forerunner here. Eddie – a notable addition to Eric Portman’s portfolio of dark and ambiguous characters – is not a bad fellow, he just embodies the British characteristics of repression, reserve and stunted emotion. Daybreak resembles an Anglo L’Atalante set in hell: Gravesend being the closest the location scout could find to hell. 

Flame in the Streets

Set against the backdrop of black immigration and simmering racial tension, this social drama concerns Jocko Palmer (John Mills), a shop steward committed to the working class cause who is forced to go beyond platitudes when his daughter, Kathie (Sylvia Syms) announces her intention to marry Peter (Johnny Sekka), a black man. It’s a creditable attempt to tackle difficult subject-matter, but the presence of Wilfred Bramble as Jocko’s father-in-law recalls the well-intentioned Harold Steptoe announcing “I keep saying to ‘em you’re just as good as I am”, and then festering with discontent (his default position) when he isn’t applauded for the humane sentiment. Flame in the Streets is a very humane film, and perhaps too even-handed: it attempts to invest dignity in Nell (Brenda De Banzie), Jocko’s wife and, we come to realise, a bitter racist. Gabriel Gomez (Earl Cameron, best remembered as the absent father in A Taste of Honey), is the central black character, and likeable but maddeningly passive, whilst Peter is so peripheral and bland we can only take the passion of the transgressive couple on trust. This revealing period-piece was directed by Roy Ward Baker in 1961. That is, I sincerely hope it’s a period-piece.

The Ghost Camera 

A picture which seemingly shows evidence of a murder? That’s right, The Ghost Camera shares a plot with Antonioni’s Blow-Up. A few minor details diverge. John, a geeky kind of guy (Henry Kendall), finds a camera and develops the photographs within to find the owner. The incriminating shot is daringly stolen from under his nose. Another shows a pretty young thing posing by an identifiable doorway. Hooking up with May (Ida Lupino), the aforesaid pyt, they attempt to get to the bottom of the mystery, which somehow involves May’s brother, Ernest (John Mills), who, significantly, works at a jeweller’s and has disappeared. No-one in Antonioni’s film actually says, “Oh I say, that will be splendid. This is becoming a genuine adventure!” Or has the hero say, “I can’t stay here. That would be too unconventional.” This when May is frightened by an intruder in the night and too scared to sleep alone. “It must be terribly tiring for you,” says May, snuggling up to John. “Oh no, on the contrary, I find it excessively stimulating.” This in 1933! If Antonioni had dialogue like that, Blow-Up might be a more entertaining film. As it is, The Ghost Camera exhibits a bit more commitment to straight-forward narrative than Blow-Up. John Mills – just the right age for Pip in Great Expectations, incidentally– is so young he seems somehow unformed. The same goes for David Lean, credited with editing. Ida Lupino is an interesting figure. She went on to be a 'B' movie star in the USA and became Hollywood’s token female director in the fifties, and (a piece of trivia courtesy of wikipedia here) was the only person to direct and star in an episode of The Twilight Zone

High Treason

Ordinary people – a mild, cat-loving clerk who works in the docklands, an ex-RAF officer with a small electrics shop – meet under the auspices of the Elgin Modern Music Society and whisper significant things to each other like “March 16th”. The music itself is not bad: minor key meanderings and all, but not as awful as the film-makers intend. An undercover policeman has infiltrated the Society and can’t quite conceal his distaste, much to the irritation of his neighbour, who is valiantly trying to give his all to the music. This is an uncredited part by Michael Ward, a character actor used as an instant signifier of otherness, effeminacy and pseudery. The Society, it turns out, is the front for a faction whose dark intentions do not brook sabotage and indiscriminate killing. A slick, refined MP (more Tom Driberg than Oswald Mosley) is waiting in the wings to seize power when the country has been brought to its knees. Praise be, that terrible day is averted,  thanks to the efficiency of MI5’s intelligence gathering, and specifically its well-maintained card index system. Our boys foil an all-or-nothing assault on Battersea Power Station at the finale. Together with I’m Alright Jack, this film destroyed Roy Boulting’s left-wing credibility. 

I See a Dark Stranger  

The flaw here is a characterisation of the Irish that can best be described as quaint. Centuries of oppression are reduced to an unreasoning downer on Oliver Cromwell. How can you tell that the film was made by a pair of Englishmen, confirming Bridie Quilty’s worst suspicions of Englishmen?Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat clearly have The 39 Steps in their minds. Taken in the right spirit – which is to say, very, very lightly – Dark Stranger is enjoyable as comedy and moderately exciting as hokum. Worth watching for Trevor Howard (my favourite leading man after They Made Me a Fugitive), and the young Deborah Kerr (as Bridie) is every bit as radiant as the young Ingrid Bergman.

It's Not Cricket

Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne were as loved in their day as another immortal double act, Morecambe and Wise, and turned up in comedies (naturally), thrillers (The Lady Vanishes) and even, improbably, ghost stories (Dead of Night). They carry It’s Not Cricket all on their own, and a very light vehicle it is too. The Morecambe and Wise comparison suggests itself because one routine here, in which the bumbling duo inadvertently wreck a high-toned theatrical performance, anticipates a scene in Eric and Ernie’s The Riviera Touch. To see the distinguished thespian Maurice Denham ham it to the hilt as a comic Nazi is to appreciate that everyone starts at the bottom. The Producers comes to mind, but then it’s quite easy to start thinking of other movies when watching It’s Not Cricket. Anything for a bit of distraction. 

Law and Disorder 

From the same team – Charles Crichton, director, and T.E.B. Clarke, scriptwriter – that made The Lavender Hill Mob, and what a come-down it is. Michael Balcon, the Ealing Studios producer, and missing because Ealing was winding down in 1958, clearly was more than just an administrator. Law and Disorder strains to turn the old winning formula – about amiable professional criminals, witless law enforcers, maverick English characters – into a coherent storyline. Michael Redgrave was never a natural at comedy. There was always too much going on behind that urbane front. On the other hand, anything in black and white with walk-on parts by Irene Handl, John Le Measurer and Lionel Jeffries will pass the time very nicely, thank-you. Just as long as no-one is expecting The Lavender Hill Mob. Scrolling down to the comments, an informed person (Ted Glen) relates that Jeremy Turnham, who plays Colin, went on to write the cult children's TV series, Children of the Stones, which is a quietly mind-blowing fact. NB This film has been removed by the copyright enforcers. The Lavender Hill Mob I could believe... 

Made in Heaven

An attractive bit of fluff about an attractive bit of fluff, from 1952. The plot revolves around the Dunmow Flitch. It hadn't  registered with me what a Dunmow Flitch is, despite possessing the Dick Miles album of the same name, which shows that enjoyably lightweight old films can be more educational even than folk music. The Dunmow Flitch is a custom from the town in deep Essex: a side (or ‘flitch’) of bacon is awarded to the married couple who can convince a judge and jury that in a 'twelvemonth and a day' they have 'not wisht themselves unmarried again’.  Young marrieds Basil (David Tomlinson) and Julie Topham (Petula Clark) enter the contest just at the moment when a strain is put on the relationship by the arrival of a Hungarian housemaid (Sonja Ziemann). Basil and Julie live in a household with all his family in a grand mansion, which makes sense only when you learn that the Hon. William Douglas-Home wrote the original story, and Sir Alec was his brother. The housemaid is a vacuous seductress who turns the head of every man who sees her. The charm of the film is reflected by the charm of the players. David Tomlinson is the original charming man, and deserves to be remembered for more than Mary Poppins. Petula Clark was never more than a pretty wee thing in a corner of the British film industry, and went on to find her true metiér as a homegrown chansonnier – and then there was ‘Down Town’! – but she lit up every film she appeared in. And with a supporting cast of notables such as Dora Bryan, Alfie Bass and Richard Wattis, how can Made in Heaven fail? How can Basil and Julie fail? The film pits marriage against romance and concludes that there is no distinction. It loads the argument just a little by casting a teenage Petula Clark as the wife. For all its glamorous Hungarians, Made in Heaven is very conventional, chaste and sweet. But why not Maid in Heaven? It's a minor point, admittedly, but the missing pun would put an even greater shine on all the bliss.   

Midnight Episode 

Stanley Holloway plays the Professor, a down-and-out who lives by his wits, and is possibly too shrewd for his own good, as he manoeuvres for advantage from a murder he accidentally stumbles upon. The story is a cut above your average musty British mystery hokum. The clue is in the credits, easy to miss in small print: based on the novel Monsieur La Souris by George Simenon. Musty, by the way, is a compliment in my vocabulary. It is the right word though, as the low-budget film looks and feels like something made around the time of the novel, 1938. It portrays a demimonde of lovable rogues, rascals and quasi-stellar vagabonds – epitomised by Stanley Holloway, who exudes charm even in the gutter – that would be extinct a decade from its actual date, 1950. 

Operation Diplomat 

The viewer’s response to Operation Diplomat depends on whether they’re one of those tolerant types willing to admit the film to the pantheon of so-bad-it’s-good. It certainly evokes a parallel universe unburdened by any link to reality, if that can be counted as a good thing. As it is, Operation Diplomat stands as a textbook example of an early phase in the development of the thriller genre. I realise that Dr Fenton and loyal Lisa Durand are supposed to be a doctor and nurse team, but even so, their nonchalance to dead bodies is breathtaking, and there’s something disconcerting too about their cheerful indifference to their own personal safety. The breakthrough came when thriller directors realised that pathological lack of emotion was scarier in bad guys than good guys. 

          Personal Safety and Crime Prevention        
Personal Safety is something we think about every day. Whether that is a safety issue when we are out in public or at home. I know that when we were choosing where to live, our safety and security was one of the things we considered in looking for our future home. There are some tools
          Dog collars go with danger, says safety advice group        

Clergy who usually wear dog collars in public are being advised by a safety group to take them off when they are on their own, to reduce the risk of being attacked. But others believe security consciousness should not undermine the character of Christian service.

Clergy who usually wear dog collars in public are being advised by a safety group to take them off when they are on their own, in order to reduce the risk of being attacked. But others believe security consciousness should not undermine the character of Christian service.

The group concerned, National Churchwatch, which provides personal safety and security advice for UK churches and churchworkers, claims that clergy identifiable as such are attacked more often than professions such as GPs and probation officers.

The organisation's spokesperson Nick Tolson told BBC Radio 4's Sunday programme this morning (7 October 2007) that all clergy should consider the advice, including well-known figures such as the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Mr Tolson declared: "When they are on their own, and when they are off duty - for example when they are doing their shopping in Tesco on their own - there is no need for them to wear their dog collars.

He continued: "All that does is to attract people who see the dog collars, and if they are motivated towards violence, it puts them [clergy] in a very difficult situation."

National Churchwatch also says that most police forces do not specifically record crime against places of worship, and that they ought to do so. Attacks on synagogues, mosques and churches have increased in recent years.

Churchwatch says that crime against churches continues to be a problem, and there is "plenty we can do to help reduce it" through security arrangements.

However, other Christians are concerned that a pre-occuppation with safety should not undermine the self-giving and risk-taking nature of ministry itself.

"Taking sensible precautions is one thing", a priest who wished to remain anonymous told Ekklesia. "But hiding your identity, permanently locking your church, and abandoning your calling to face vulnerability for the sake of other people and the Gospel is not what being a clergyperson is about, in my view."

She added: "Churchwatch no doubt has some sensible things to say, but those of us involved in pastoral ministry are not stupid. Common sense not anxiety is what is needed."

Anglicans,Catholics, Methodist and others have clergy who wear dog collars. Bit many Free Churches, including most Baptists, do not.

          Keeping Your Horse Healthy In Wet Weather        


With all this rain and flooding it is important that us horse owners acknowledge the importance of caring for our horses during these wintery conditions. At this time of the year the bad weather can really cause havoc on our horses skin. The dark nights, continual water logging and inappropriate rugging for changing weather conditions make it extremely difficult to get anything dry, this puts your horse at risk from weather related conditions such as Mud Fever and Rain Scald. In this guide I will go through some ways in which you can prevent these conditions as well as explaining some of the symptoms and causes.


Horses and livestock require extra time and care in the colder winter months, so please ensure they have adequate shelter to escape extreme weather conditions. Also be prepared to provide extra feed along with good quality long fibre especially when grass is so sparse. It is crucial to check the water troughs and buckets are clear of ice.


Adequate shelter is vital when it comes to protecting your horse from these nasty conditions however if shelter is not sufficient then owners should use waterproof rugs in order to give their horses added protection from the cold wet weather. In particular it is wet mud you have to watch out for, regular checks of your horses hooves should be carried out in order to look out for problems such as abscesses and loose shoes, also check their legs or for any signs of mud fever. It is important to make sure owners have a dry resting area for their horse, away from the mud.


Another factor to consider when riding in winter is being aware of your horse getting sweated up because they can easily catch a chill. For your own personal safety its important that you always wear reflective clothing in the dark when riding on the roads in particular.  

Mud Fever


Mud fever is an extremely frustrating problem amongst horse owners and treatment is not simple. The scientific name for mud fever is Pastern Dermatitis and it refers to a whole range of skin reactions to a number of different irritants frequently called ‘greasy heels’ or ‘cracked heels’ and is caused by an infectious agent called dermatophilus congolensis which develops in muddy wet conditions.




There are a variety of contributing factors to mud fever. The infection is normally provoked when the skin surface becomes damaged. Typically wet conditions cause irritation to the skin. Horses with feathered legs are typically at risk as the hair will trap moisture against the skin. Abrasions and scratches also allow infections to take hold. The use of oils, grease or ointments, once an infection has started, will generally worsen the condition.

Other factors include:


  • Prolonged damp, mild conditions
  • Standing in deep mud or soiled bedding
  • Constantly washing limbs before and/or after work without fully drying them afterwards
  • Excessive sweating under rugs or tack
  • Heavy limb feathering is frequently blamed but this is probably only because the legs tend to be washed and scrubbed more than unfeathered ones; clipping them out may not be the answer as this exposes the skin further
  • Skin trauma, such as rubbing from overreach boots or incorrectly fitted bandages, chaffing from artificial surfaces such as sand, or over-enthusiastic grooming
  • Generally unhealthy skin or the presence of a poor immune system, usually secondary to some other primary health problem
  • White limbs or patches on the body possibly due to an associated photosensitisation issue




There are quite a few symptoms of mud fever which are fairly easy to recognise the most obvious sign is soreness and inflammation of the skin.  The skin becomes sore, crusty and scabby, hair falls off and the legs can swell – in the most  severe cases mud fever can cause lameness. Although the long feathers around a horse’s fetlocks are protective, they can get completely waterlogged or infested with mites, which is one of the most common reasons for mud fever in heavy horses.

  • Matted areas of hair containing crusty scabs

  • Small, circular, ulcerated, moist lesions beneath scabs