Pulling that trigger is something you need to have thought about BEFORE you ever have to do it. Could you shoot a kid? No? Could you shoot a kid with a gun aimed at your wife? Maybe? Could you shoot a pregnant woman? Never? Could you shoot a pregnant woman with a gun to your kid’s head. Would you shoot a gunman threatening a clerk in a convenience store if you’re safely hiding at the back and in no immediate danger? Could you shoot your wife? Are you going to risk your life for a stranger? Are you willing to endure the court case? The massive hit to your finances? To even, possibly, have to move town because people won’t believe that what you did was necessary. So many ifs, right?
Here are the steps that COULD follow a defensive shooting:
Local law enforcement supervisors
Detectives – In some places the ADA will be dispatched
See what I mean. Being the hero can get you in a whole world of trouble? That’s why I am probably only going to draw and shoot if I’m saving someone with the same last name as me.
Reporting a defensive shooting
So you pulled the trigger. You need to prepare for how you would report a defensive shooting. Rule No. 1. Don’t incriminate yourself. The 911 operator is not your friend but is trained to keep asking questions which are being recorded. Keep it simple.
Report there’s been a shooting.
Give them your name and the address you’re at
Tell them who is in the house/building. (Maybe send the kids next door if they are present.)
Describe any injuries and whether you need EMS
Describe yourself, your clothes. Put your weapon on the floor or in clear sight. (Unless you are using it to subdue a criminal.)
If you are insured with an organization that provides an attorney, call them. If you have an attorney call them.
Tell the police the bare minimum. Be cooperative but spare the details. Say only:
Officer, I was in fear of my life/my family member was threatened and at risk of losing their life. (You would not pull the trigger to save property. The fallout is NOT worth it for something insured or inanimate.)
I will sign the complaint.
Be helpful and show them what the assailant used to attack you.
Introduce any witnesses.
Tell them you are invoking the Fifth Amendment until you have had time to talk to your attorney and calm yourself down. You should say you’ll be back within 24 hours to talk to them. Be prepared to be arrested. And be prepared to spend a long time being questioned.
Remember to say: “If he/she survives I want to press charges.” Remind everyone that you’re not the aggressor here.
Gun shows are great places to meet kindred spirits and at the last one I went to I met David Dietrich who is co-owner of GetReady! Emergency Planning Center, getemergencyready.com. He was selling a fantastic range of Trauma items (although I admit he got my attention with a small pack on his stall labeled “Vasectomy Kit.”) Anyway, I asked him to come up with something that would really be of use to you guys and he produced a doozy. Check this list out. Thanks David, this is really useful.
Most people likely think about equipment for trained specialists in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) when they hear “Trauma Kit.” Other terms used are “Blow-Out Kit,” and “Individual First Aid Kit” (IFAK). However, they would be wrong. Such kits are instead designed to be used by the first responder, whether he is a police officer, infantryman, or just a Good Samaritan.
A Trauma Kit is a far cry from a typical First Aid Kit. While the latter is designed to support minor injuries and medical issues, the former is essential for saving someone’s life in the next ten minutes. That means such kits are focused on major bleeding from gunshots, stabbings, and amputations. In addition, they address breathing obstructions from anaphylaxis or massive tissue damage.
For the purposes of post-disaster preparedness, a Trauma Kit provides coverage where there will likely be no medical services for some time. That means we will be on our own. We ourselves may be not only the first responder, but also the last. So, acquiring and learning to use the components of such a kit is a critical capability. This is one reason why so many military combatants have survived serious wounds in our recent wars.
One axiom is indisputable – all bleeding stops. The question becomes, how it will stop? Do you want to let it stop on its own, after the casualty has bled out, or do you want to play an active role, stopping the bleeding yourself in sufficient time for the casualty to become an asset once again? The Trauma Kit provides a means to that end, through various included devices.
So, what does a Trauma Kit look like? First of all, it is relatively small, easily carried on a belt, armor plate, or in a backpack. Secondly, it does not usually contain the items we expect to see in First Aid Kits. Rather, they include tourniquets, pressure bandages, blood clotting agent, occlusive dressing, tension pneumothorax needle, and nasopharyngeal airway. There may be a few other odds and ends as well, but those are the basics.
Let’s take a look at components of a trauma kit, to better understand why they are used:
Tourniquet. There are many designs and brand available, from simple rubber tubing to complex windlass or ratcheting designs. But, they all have one purpose – to constrict or eliminate blood flow to the bleeding extremity. While these used to be a tool of last resort, military experience has proven their worth in saving lives as the tool of first choice. If properly applied and combined with other devices, they can be safely removed later.
Compression (Pressure) Bandage. There are several commercial brands out there, typically based on the original Israeli Bandage. As the tried and true method for staunching blood flow is pressure and elevation, their purpose is to maintain pressure at the injury site, as well as provide a clotting medium. This is accomplished through an integrated dressing and pressure device. The hands are then left free to perform other functions. Here are some examples of commercially available Pressure Bandages:
Hemostatic (Clotting) Agent. There are mainly two commercial brands out there, found in three forms. These are QuikClot and Celox, using sponges, gauze wraps, or poured granules. The key component is either a clay mineral (kaolin), used in QuikClot, or a crustacean derivative (chitosan), used in Celox. Both types interact with blood plasma to rapidly form clots. They work independently of blood platelets or thinning drugs.
Occlusive Dressing (aka Chest Seal). Several brands are used by the military and other agencies. They are designed to block inhalation through the thoracic cavity, rather than normally, into the lungs. If such a condition, known as a “sucking chest wound,” is allowed to continue, the lung on that side will likely collapse, putting pressure on the aorta and heart, resulting in painful breathing and associated circulatory problems.
Tension Pneumothorax Needle (TPN). Several brands are used by the military and other agencies. They are designed to release air and/or fluid pressure in the external thoracic cavity that may lead to the same conditions described under Occlusive Dressing above. So, this device is for closed, versus open chest wounds. The TPN is probably the most difficult of all the Trauma Kit devices to apply, and should by studied and practiced.
Naso-Pharyngeal Airway (NPA)
Numerous brands are used by the military and other agencies. They are used to maintain breathing in the event of an airway blockage due to anaphylaxis or tissue damage. They are basically comprised of a stiffened rubber tube, beveled on one end and enlarged into a bell shape on the other. Assisted by accompanying water-based lubricant, they are fully inserted into a nostril up to the bell.
Compressed Gauze. Numerous brands are used by the military and other agencies. They are used primarily to absorb and aid in the clotting of blood. Almost always comprised of cotton, they are the most versatile Trauma Kit component. And it cannot be overstated that you can never have enough gauze. Additional uses include absorbing other bodily fluids, covering burns and lacerations, wrapping dressings, and securing splints.
Numerous brands are used by the military and other agencies. They are used primarily to cut away clothing and other accessories (eg bra underwire) to quickly access the point of injury. Their unique design provides a safe and easy method to cut through almost anything, including coins! The major take-away regarding arterial bleeding is that saving clothing comes in a distant second to saving a life.
Medical (Duct) Tape. This ubiquitous resource really comes into its own in a medical kit. Not only can it be used to secure bandages and dressings, but it also has applications for foot care (eg prevention and treatment of blisters), wrapping splints, making snow goggles, and repairing medical gear and other items. Mini rolls, primarily for storage purposes, are the best configuration. Don’t leave home without them!
Medical Gloves. These are included in Trauma Kits primarily to protect the responder, not the patient. Bodily fluids can carry many dangerous diseases, and having additional barriers during treatment may keep the responder from becoming a casualty. In addition, they may preclude the need for further cleansing following treatment. Simple glove removal and disposal may be sufficient action under tactical conditions.
This is important not only for recording information on a Casualty Card, but also for marking other information, such as the date and time of a tourniquet application. Such marking can be on the device itself, or even on the forehead of the patient. There are other uses for such pens, such as taking notes on environmental conditions, and descriptions of agents (eg animals, plants, suspects) involved.
Casualty Response Documentation Tool (CRDT).
This is an event recording card, containing information describing patient and injury, treatment (including drugs) administered, mental state, circulation, respiration, mechanisms of injury (MOIs), medical conditions, and overall patient medical status, from routine to critical. It’s always good to keep track of what’s happening in such cases, for reference prior to future treatment.
Pouch. Typical military kit dimensions are 8 inches long by 6 inches wide by four inches deep when full. It uses the Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) to fasten to Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) configured backpacks. Made of rugged Cordura nylon, this Pouch can be used under adverse environmental and tactical conditions. It should be readily accessible for immediate use.
Other Components. A number of other items may be included in a Trauma Kit for various reasons. For example, if the owner would like to access the kit for minor injuries, and not dip into important trauma components, then adhesive bandages may be included. In addition, medications (eg aspirin) should be considered. Sterile wipes and water for cleaning wounds, flashlight for nighttime, and CPR shield round out the list.
David Dietrich is co-owner of GetReady! Emergency Planning Center, getemergencyready.com. He has been preparing for uncertainty since he was a youth, recognizing that backpacking is about smaller, lighter, and multi-capability. His experiences in the Boy Scouts and military have given him an appreciation for the real meaning of the Scout Motto – “Be Prepared.” Today, David runs a disaster preparedness business that is focused on the creed – helping you help yourself. It is about delivering resources, training, education, and consulting in preparation for a failure of civility. Prepared people are survivors.
This is such a cleverly written reductio ad absurdum from John Zmirak. I hope you enjoy it. ~ Kelly
Imagine the following discussion between two white Millennials in Portland: “Kim” (a fervent progressive) and “Josh” (whose politics are murky for the moment).
* * * * *
JOSH (sidling up to a white-run taco truck): Two pork tinga tacos, please.
KIM: (rushing up to him and shoving a leaflet in his face): Excuse me! Er, Hi! Could I ask you please not to do that?
JOSH: Do what? Eat?
KIM: Not participate in the cultural appropriation of Latina cuisine. You see those people running the truck?
JOSH: Uh, yeah.
KIM: Notice anything about them?
JOSH: They look kind of sweaty.
KIM: (whispering) They’re white.
JOSH: Oh, yeah. Well, so are we.
KIM: What gives them the right to colonize the food traditions of a marginalized and oppressed people, and profit from it?
JOSH: (peering at the truck) It looks like they have a vendor’s license from the city.
KIM: Does that make it right? Who runs this city? Who dominates its government?
JOSH: Mostly granola-munching progressives like you, I think.
KIM: Well this is an issue they’re missing. We’re trying to pass an ordinance.
JOSH: What would it do?
KIM: Well, you do know that dozens of restaurants in Portland serve cuisines from other cultures.
JOSH: One of the better things about it.
KIM: Did you realize that many of those businesses are owned by white people? Not people from the respective countries, cultures, or marginalized groups?
JOSH: Oh, so you’re saying they’re not authentic? I always do prefer places that stick to the original recipes, even when they’re kind of exotic. Did you ever have Mexican-style crickets? Crunchy! But then you have to floss out the legs. …
KIM: (seems to throw up a little in her mouth, continues) Well that is wrong. Those business owners are using their own unequal access to business capital, then appropriating the cultural capital of less-privileged groups. That’s stealing.
JOSH: So are the white businesses conspiring to prevent the non-white businesses from opening? Are they poisoning their food? Spreading false rumors about them having rats on Yelp?
KIM: No, they are stealing their culture. Isn’t that worse?
JOSH: Not sure I’m getting this. So you’re saying that they’re just competing with the restaurants owned by actual Mexicans or Laotians or Lilliputians?
KIM: (looks puzzled for an instant, continues) Yes!
JOSH: And that’s wrong?
JOSH: Hmmm. You mean like when people download music for free on the Internet?
KIM: (quickly, defensively) No, that’s not the same. Art was meant to be free. This is the fruit of a people’s corporate struggle for survival against colonial oppression and white dominance. It’s totally different.
JOSH: Right, of course. I see what you mean. You know, this problem goes a lot deeper than you might thnk.
KIM: Really? How?
JOSH: Well, if white business owners have more access to money than immigrant cooks, and it’s wrong for them to cook the same food. … Don’t you and I have a lot more money than kids who are illegal aliens?
KIM: What? That is so offensive. No one is illegal. And they aren’t aliens. What are they, from outer space?
JOSH: You’re right. So sorry. You and I have a lot more disposable income than undocumented immigrants. Don’t we?
KIM: Yes, it’s true. There are stubborn injustices….
JOSH: So then you and I are competing unfairly with them by eating at ethnic restaurants. We’re filling seats, running up the prices, appropriating their hard-won cultures, while stuffing our faces with the food their countrymen and women slaved to make. It’s wrong.
KIM: Really? You think so?
JOSH: I do. You’ve seen all those protests about white women doing yoga and wearing hoop earrings. Frat boys wearing sombreros.
KIM: I know. I can’t believe I used to do yoga. I’m so embarrassed now.
JOSH: The structures of oppression are really, really deep-seated… what’s your name? I didn’t catch it.
KIM: I’m Kim. Kim Hohenstaufen. And you’re…?
JOSH: Josh. Josh Merkel. So do you and I really have any business crowding out Latinos and Latinas at their own restaurants, bidding up the food prices?
KIM: No, I guess we don’t.
JOSH: But then how do we explain what’s wrong with you doing yoga?
KIM: Well, what I read at Jezebel is that it’s an unearned consumerist claim that I’m making as a silly white girl to an ancient religious tradition that doesn’t belong to me. So it’s offensive.
JOSH: To Hindus?
If we really want to show respect for other cultures, we’re going to have to start drawing some bright lines between them.
KIM: I guess? Is yoga Hindu? Then yeah.
JOSH: You mean, if they happened to see you doing it at home? Through your window?
KIM: Yeah, if some were passing by.
JOSH: And looking inside…. What if you drew your curtains? Would it still be wrong?
KIM: Ooh, you’re getting philosophical now. (She tilts her head flirtatiously.) But yeah, I think so. I mean, is it okay to say the “n-word” alone at home? No. It’s just intrinsically wrong.
JOSH: Okay, that makes sense. Again, the tendrils of oppression reach much further than we like to admit.
JOSH: Yeah. Do you realize that the very numbers we use are stolen? We call them Arabic, but in fact they’re also of Indian, Hindu origin.
KIM: Wow. Maybe I somehow sensed that—which is a good excuse for why I suck at math. Ha ha….
JOSH: Worth thinking about. We have our own Western number system, Roman numerals. But you don’t see us using it in labs. Do you?
KIM: Come to think of it, no.
JOSH: This whole issue is really worth pursuing as far as it goes. You do know that much of Western Christian culture is simply stolen, outright, from Judaism.
KIM: Yeah, that is wrong, too.
JOSH: I mean, what was Jesus thinking? Why couldn’t he simply respect other cultures, like we’re learning to do?
KIM: Well, don’t get me started on those Christian fundamentalists….
JOSH: You don’t happen to be Jewish…?
JOSH: (momentarily looks relieved, then knits his forehead) So you wouldn’t have a right to appropriate the Ten Commandments, would you? I’m not Jewish either. So nor could I.
KIM: Good point. We really can’t.
JOSH: That’s okay. They’re not much fun anyway.
KIM: No! (laughs)
JOSH: It seems to me that if we really want to show respect for other cultures, and the people whose distant ancestors created them, we’re going to have to start drawing some bright lines between them. And then we’ll need to stay within those lines. We shouldn’t be hijacking the recipes, costumes, books, music, ideas, or other precious cultural artifacts of other races.
KIM: No, definitely not.
JOSH: Let them read their works of literature, and we’ll read ours. Want to see what I’m working on? (He pulls out a copy of the Niebelunglied.) These are the epics of the European peoples. Set to music by Wagner. Ever listen to Wagner?
KIM: No, I don’t think so. I’m kind of… into hip-hop.
JOSH: Now is that really appropriate? For a blue-eyed blonde like you?
KIM: (looking embarrassed) I can totally try Wagner. Have you ever seen him sing live?
JOSH: (smiles very differently) Well, no. Can’t say that I have. (pauses, points covertly to an interracial couple walking down the street—black guy, white girl)
JOSH: See those two? They’re appropriating each other. And she is really disrespecting the struggle of black women.
KIM: You think so?
JOSH: You know how many black women resent the preference some black men have for white girls?
KIM: Yes, I did hear about that. During a cultural studies class.
JOSH: Well you white girls need to cut it out. How is that any better than Thomas Jefferson and Sally Heming? If we respect the integrity and the heritage of other races, we probably shouldn’t be trying to sleep with them—seducing them away from their own people, one by one, and diluting their ethnicity with our pasty-faced white chromosomes.
KIM: Wow, I never really thought these ideas through to…
JOSH: Their logical consequences? Yeah, well, that’s a Western thing too. Greek and Roman logic. It’s our tragic heritage.
KIM: You are just so… interesting. I’ve never met somebody like… you.
JOSH: Oh, I’m not alone. In fact, play your cards right, and I’ll bring you to a meeting. It’s a whole new movement of white people who have learned to keep to themselves. We don’t appropriate anybody’s culture. We stick to our own, leave everybody else in peace. Our group has too much respect for black and brown people, for Jews and Latinos, to mix up our culture with theirs. Or our seed, if you know what I mean. (he winks, gives her arm a little squeeze)
KIM: (rolls her eyes) Yeah, you dirty boy. I know what you mean….
JOSH: Now how would like to come with me to this really cool German restaurant? My family’s German/Swedish. You’re German, right?
KIM: Yeah, mostly.
JOSH: But not Jewish at all?
KIM: I wish, I’d get better grades. Wait, is that offensive?
JOSH: Pretty offensive. But I’ll let you off the hook. Let’s go get some schnitzel. I’ll ask the restaurant to play us some Wagner….
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except for material where copyright is reserved by a party other than FEE. Original article here.
Don’t go blind looking at the sun during the eclipse. I remember as a kid my dad smoked glass with candle soot so we could watch an eclipse. Nowadays that gets a big no-no!
There are two ways to look at the Sun safely: by direct viewing, with a proper filter, or by projecting the Sun’s image onto a piece of paper. They protect the eye against both visible and invisible radiations.
Walmart is selling eclipse glasses at $3.88 according to their website. If you’re not shopping at Walmart for political reasons, other retailers like 7-Eleven, Best Buy, Bi-Mart, Casey’s General Store, Circle K, Hobby Town, Kirklands, Kroger, London Drugs, Love’s Travel Shops, Lowe’s, Pilot/Flying J, and Toys “R” Us may still have them. You could also go to a welding-supply store and buy a piece of #14 arcwelder’s glass, which reduces sunlight enough for safe direct naked-eye viewing.
You don’t necessarily need fancy equipment to watch a solar eclipse. With just a few simple supplies, you can make a pinhole camera that allows you to view the event safely and easily. Here’s how.
A boy wearing protective viewing glasses watches a partial solar eclipse from Arlington, Virginia, in 2014.
Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls
It is never safe to look directly at the sun’s rays – even if the sun is partly obscured. When watching a partial eclipse you must wear eclipse glasses at all times if you want to face the sun, or use an alternate indirect method. This also applies during a total eclipse up until the time when the sun is completely and totally blocked.
During the short time when the moon completely obscures the sun – known as the period of totality – it is safe to look directly at the star, but it’s crucial that you know when to take off and put back on your glasses.
First and foremost: Check for local information on timing of when the total eclipse will begin and end. NASA’s page of eclipse times is a good place to start.
Second: The sun also provides important clues for when totality is about to start and end.
1) As the moon moves in front of the sun, there comes a time when there is a single bright spot left – a bright spot that, in combination with the atmosphere of the sun still visible around the moon, looks like a giant diamond ring.
2) As the moon continues to move, this bright spot may break up into several points of light that shine around the moon’s edges. Known as Baily’s Beads, these are light rays from the sun streaming through the valleys along the moon’s horizon. Baily’s Beads are very short-lived, and may not last long enough to be noticeable to all observers of the total solar eclipse. It is still not safe to look at the sun at this point! Only when these spots completely disappear can you safely look at the sun.
3) Once the Baily’s Beads disappear and there is no longer any direct sunlight coming toward you, you may look at the total eclipse safely. But you must still be vigilant to make sure you protect your eyes again before the end of totality. The entire total eclipse may take only a minute or two in some locations.
4) As the moon continues to move across the face of the sun, you will begin to see brightening on the opposite side from where the diamond ring shone at the beginning. This is the lower atmosphere of the sun, beginning to peek out from behind the moon and it is your signal to stop looking directly at the eclipse. Make sure you have safety glasses back on – or are otherwise watching the eclipse through a safe, indirect method – before the first flash of sunlight appears around the edges of the moon.
5) Once your eyes are protected again, you may continue to watch the final stages of the eclipse as the end process mirrors the beginning: You will once again see Baily’s Beads and then a diamond ring, before the entire sun is once again visible.
Troy Hunt, a web security expert, created Have I been pwned? as a free resource for people to quickly assess if they may have been put at risk due to an online account of theirs having been compromised or “pwned” in a data breach.
It’s really simple, you just type in your email address and it is checked against a massive amount of addresses known to have been breached in an online hack. If you’re in the clear you get this message:
If you’ve been compromised you get this:
This site came about after what at the time, was the largest ever single breach of customer accounts — Adobe. Hunt often did a post-breach analysis of user credentials and kept finding the same accounts exposed over and over again, often with the same passwords which then put the victims at further risk of their other accounts being compromised.
Data breaches are rampant and many people don’t appreciate the scale or frequency with which they occur. By aggregating the data Hunt hopes that it not only helps victims learn of compromises of their accounts, but also highlights the severity of the risks of online attacks on today’s internet.
Click here or on any of the images to check your email address.
Alaska Airlines adjusted Flight #870 from Anchorage to Honolulu on March 8, 2016 just so their passengers could catch the solar eclipse from 35,000 feet. They were “encouraged” to do this by Mike Kentrianakis of the American Astronomical Society who can be heard enthusing in this video.
About a year before it was scheduled to occur, Kentrianakis’s friend Joe Rao, himself a meteorologist and umbraphile, figured out that there was an Alaska Airlines flight leaving Anchorage on its way to Honolulu that would come very close to the eclipse’s path of totality over the Pacific. They just had to convince the airline to change the departure time of the flight…which they did.
…The night before the flight, Kentrianakis had dinner with one of the pilots, who he says was just as excited for the experience as he was. Alaska Airlines Flight 870 left Anchorage at 2:15 p.m. on March 9, 2016, just 25 minutes later than it was originally scheduled. It swung out over the Pacific Ocean, and flew right into the shadow of the eclipse, as seen on the video. Kentrianakis can be heard excitedly describing what he was seeing, but even when recounting the experience over a year later, he gets worked up all over again. “I went berserk, because it was just an unbelievable eclipse,” he says. “I’d never seen anything like that. The contrast, the perfection, the symmetry. The clarity of the shadow, the circular form. It really magnified it to see it in a wide-angle view. The shadow was coming straight at us. It was enormous! It looks like doomsday, but yet, there’s no fear.”
Watching the total eclipse next week?
On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature’s most awe inspiring sights – a total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s tenuous atmosphere – the corona – can be seen, will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun’s disk. NASA created this website to provide a guide to this amazing event. Here you will find activities, events, broadcasts, and resources from NASA and our partners across the nation. https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov
I picked quite a time to go on a weekend trip to Charlottesville.
What was supposed to be a nice getaway with my wife turned into a journey through the eye of a national media storm.
On Saturday, clashes between “Unite the Right” protestors and “anti-fascist” counterprotesters at the foot of a Gen. Robert E. Lee statue—which the City Council had voted to remove from a local park—turned violent.
One woman was killed when an Ohio man allegedly associated with the white nationalist marchers rammed his car through a wave of people. He has been charged with second-degree murder.
The clash between Nazis and leftists in the streets was an ugly and surreal scene one would associate with 1930s Germany, not a sleepy American town in the heart of central Virginia.
A City, and Country, in Shock
The attitude of people around Charlottesville—the silent majority—deserves to be noted. They were almost universally upset, blindsided, and resentful that these groups showed up in their community to drag down its reputation and fight their ideological proxy wars.
Albemarle County, which includes Charlottesville and a few other small towns, is deeply blue in its most populated centers around the University of Virginia and dark red on the outskirts. It’s politically purple. Yet everywhere I went, the attitude toward the protests was similar.
As a thunderstorm rolled in on Saturday evening, a waitress at a restaurant I ate at said, “Let’s hope this washes the day away.”
A local gas station attendant told my wife: “These people from out of town, Nazis, [Black Lives Matter], they’re all hate groups to me.”
In the aftermath of the events, most townsfolk walking in the Charlottesville downtown area appeared stunned and shaken. The overall feeling in the area was resentment—certainly not sympathy for any of the groups involved.
It would be a mistake to blow the events in Charlottesville too far out of proportion by linking either side to a mainstream political movement. In the grand scheme of things, it was a small-scale clash between groups who clearly represent an extreme minority in this country.
Even calling the gathering of a couple hundred people a “movement” would be a stretch. The overwhelming media attention given to these fascist, racist groups even before violence took place served as a conduit for the views of this handful of people.
The media’s role in blowing this event out of proportion is lamentable and predictable, but it doesn’t excuse what took place.
What the event does demonstrate is the looming danger of identity politics run amok. This is what is in store if we are consumed by the tribal politics that have destroyed so many other countries.
In June, I wrote about why I think politically incorrect historical monuments—even Confederate ones like the Lee statue in Charlottesville—should stay.
In our iconoclastic efforts to erase the past, we rob ourselves of knowing the men who forged our national identity, and the events that made us who we are. This nation, of almost incomprehensiblewealth, power, and prosperity, was created by the decisions of men like Lincoln—and Lee, too.
The zealous march to obliterate America’s past, even parts we dislike, will leave us a diminished civilization.
Though many have now jumped to conclude that the events in Charlottesville show the need to give in to the desire of people to tear down statues, this will only serve to strengthen and embolden the radicals—on both sides—to step up their efforts to plunge the nation into constant social unrest and civil war.
Identity Over Individuals
In a sense, the “alt-right” and leftist agitators want the same thing. They both seek to redefine the battle over American history in racial and tribal terms in direct opposition to the most basic ideas of our national existence.
Such was the case in the unsightly scene in front of Charlottesville’s Lee statue.
The real individuals whom these statues represent simply ceased to matter.
It was telling that a counterprotest erupted in Washington, D.C., in front of the Albert Pike memorial. Pike had been a Confederate general, but the memorial itself was simply dedicated to his work as a freemason and not his military career.
That fact was irrelevant.
Only the war over identity mattered. Pike must be plucked out and purged.
In a country of 320 million people of stunningly diverse ethnic backgrounds and philosophies, this is a fire bell in the night for complete cultural disintegration. The end result will be uglier than the already sickening events that took place this weekend.
The Federalist’s publisher, Ben Domenech, rightly noted what this means for the direction of the country: “[I]t is the open conflict of a nation at war with itself over its own character. This war will end badly, no matter how it plays out. And the way this story ends is in demolishing [Thomas Jefferson’s] Monticello brick by brick.”
America has never been a perfect nation. It has benefitted from great ideas advanced by imperfect men, and almost miraculously formed a great and good national community out of widely disparate elements.
This history is worth remembering and even celebrating. It shouldn’t be buried because a few evil men have twisted it to serve their causes. Nor should it be used to attack and haunt the living.
As the late 19th-century poet Henry Van Dyke wrote:
I know that Europe’s wonderful, yet something seems to lack: The Past is too much with her, and the people looking back. But the glory of the present is to make our future free — We love our land for what she is and what she is to be.
This is the spirit of our country, and it won’t change because a few thugs wish to turn our most fundamental principles on their head. We have a duty to repudiate them through a stronger dedication to the founding principles that have made this country great.
Five high-ranking House Republicans have asked formally that the Trump administration end Operation Choke Point, an Obama administration program that critics say unfairly targets politically unpopular industries such as firearms sellers and payday lenders.
In a letter sent Thursday to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the four lawmakers request that the Justice Department “repudiate” the program by the end of the month.
“Operation Choke Point was an Obama administration initiative that destroyed legitimate businesses,” their letter says, adding:
We request that your respective departments and agencies issue clear and public formal policy statements repudiating Operation Choke Point and the abuses by financial regulators of the ‘reputation risk’ guidance they developed and promulgated under Operation Choke Point’s auspices.
The letter’s five signers include Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri, Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania, and Rep. Darrell Issa of California.
As reported extensively by The Daily Signal, the Obama Justice Department, under Attorney General Eric Holder, designed Operation Choke Point in 2012 to “attack internet, telemarketing, mail, and other mass market fraud against consumers, by choking fraudsters’ access to the banking system.”
The program works by using federal banking regulators to pressure banks out of doing business with entire industries the government declares to be “high risk,” choking their access to the U.S. banking system.
But instead of simply targeting illegal, fraudulent businesses, the program also affected legal business owners, who complained they were being unfairly denied credit and losing access to third-party payment processors central to running their businesses.
Over the past two years, The Daily Signal documentedmultiple cases of banks’ denying legal business owners access to banking services.
In one case, a large New England bank denied a line of credit to a former police officer who started a gun and tactical business in Monroe, Connecticut, telling him in a voicemail message that the bank “no longer lends to firearms dealers.”
Operation Choke Point had such an adverse impact on the payday lending industry that the Community Financial Services Association of America, which represents some of the nation’s largest short-term lenders, such as Advance America, filed a lawsuit.
The suit named the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), the government agency responsible for creating a “high risk list” of industries to target. That list grouped categories such as “racist materials” and “credit card schemes” with “firearms” and “tobacco” sales.
In July, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that payday lenders may press forward with their lawsuit against the FDIC and begin the discovery phase. That phase allows the plaintiffs to depose government officials under oath and examine documents and emails related to the program.
“We are thrilled by the court’s order to enter the discovery phase, as this illegal federal program has been unduly harming legal entities for years,” Dennis Shaul, CEO of the Community Financial Services Association, said in a July press release. “It is high time that the government’s unlawful and unjust crusade against lawful and licensed businesses be stopped.”
In April 2016, one of President Barack Obama’s top Justice Department officials behind Operation Choke Point admitted the program had “unintended but collateral consequences” on banks and consumers.
The five Republican House members asked Sessions to respond with a “plan for remedial action” by the end of August.
Report by The Daily Signal’s Kelsey Harkness. Originally published at The Daily Signal.
Apple products look great. Whatever else you think of the company, there’s little doubt that Apple uses high-end materials to create gorgeous and durable products. That’s true for just about everything Apple makes, with one glaring exception: the cables.
It’s common knowledge that Apple cables begin to disintegrate after about six months of regular use. This has been a constant across many different devices – MacBook, iPhones, and adapters, and over the course of many generations of product. My first generation iPhone had a cable that fell apart in 2009, and my iPhone 6 cable disintegrated less than a year later too.
This issue has created an entire industry of third party Apple cables, and another industry of hacks (see Sugru, Apple cable protectors) to keep cables from disintegrating. Somehow, third party Apple accessory manufacturers have no problem making cables that are far more durable than Apple’s. There are websites with buying guides for replacement iPhone cables which are both good looking and far, far more durable. As a committed Apple family with multiple MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones, we’ve eventually replaced all our OEM Apple cables and found alternatives which have survived in pristine condition for years now.
Why can’t Apple use its billions to create a cable that won’t fall apart?
There are several explanations offered for Apple’s apparent incompetence in cable design, but one stands out: Greenpeace. In 2009, Greenpeace successfully lobbied Apple to remove PVC from their cables with their “Green My Apple” campaign. PVC is Polyvinyl chloride, or just vinyl, the world’s third most popular plastic polymer. Ever since, Apple has bragged on their Environment page that all their products are PVC free. Third-party cables on the other hand inevitablymentionPVC construction.
I am not a chemical or environmental engineer, so I cannot definitively tell you whether Apple’s decision is scientifically sound. What I do know is that PVC is one of the world’s most common chemical products. In the USA, it is used for 66% of drinking water delivery pipes, most electrical cable insulation, waterproofed clothing, vinyl flooring, and medical gloves. Not deadly-toxic stuff, in other words. Like any other plastic, I would not suggest eating it or breathing fumes from a fire, but it is otherwise safe.
So why did Greenpeace object to Apple’s use of PVC? Their site is not clear on this other than vague references to “poison plastics,” and the difficulty of disposal. We used to think that plastics like PVC would remain in the environment for thousands of years, but we’ve since learned that there are bacteria and fungi that effectively eat PVC for dinner. In the past, lead-based stabilizers have been used in PVC, but suitable replacements are well established.
What has Apple accomplished with their PVC ban? Their reputation for making quality accessories has been ruined. Billions of broken Apple cables have been prematurely sent to the landfill. Billions of replacement cables will be sent to landfills when the gadgets they charge become obsolete. While Apple no longer uses PVC in their cables, many people now rely on cheap third party cables from China, which may use toxic chemicals like lead, arsenic, mercury, and brominated flame retardants.
“I think your organization particularly depends too much on principle and not enough on fact… I think you put way too much weight on these glorified principles and way too little weight on science and engineering. It would be very helpful if your organization hired a few more engineers and actually entered into dialogue with companies to find out what they are really doing and not just listen to all the flowery language when in reality most of them aren’t doing anything.”
If you’re allowed to have a bonfire in your yard, try this great way to use old wood. You get a hot-burning, water-impervious emergency fuel source that’s light to carry.
Tony Comegys says “many purists suggest lump charcoal should be made out of cherry, apple or some other exotic hard wood. I say baloney! The idea is to get the wood down to nothing but coal or carbon, with ALL impurities removed. How can the flavor of cherry wood possibly survive that? It can’t, so it’s stupid. You can make charcoal our of 2x4s and you wont notice the difference.”
Origami, the ancient art of folding paper into fanciful shapes and figures, may seem like an unlikely way to uncover clean energy alternatives. But for researchers at Binghamton University in New York’s Southern Tier region, that’s exactly how they made a groundbreaking discovery.
The series of small, powerful and inexpensive paper-based “BioBatteries” that developed from a simple origami shape in the lab of Assistant Professor Seokheun “Sean” Choi, PhD—and run on bacteria found in a few drops of dirty water—could transform point-of-care diagnostic testing in remote locations across the globe where medical resources are scarce. Choi’s research is yet another example of the pivotal role higher education plays in developing game-changing ideas for New York state industries. The continuing support Choi and his team of undergraduate and doctoral students receive from the university and from state and national grants to develop this technology has also allowed promising parallel research in bacteria-powered solar cells and spit-fueled paper batteries that cost pennies to produce. All of it could revolutionize how BioBatteries power disposable diagnostic electronics in dangerous or isolated regions of the developing world.
Biobatteries that use common bacteria to conduct electrical current, also known as microbial fuel cells (MFCs), were first developed in the early 20th century. Today, MFCs power electronic devices which require minimal energy and simple biosensors such as those found in disposable pregnancy and HIV tests. Their effectiveness is limited, however, by the low power single cells can generate. Choi and his student team at Binghamton’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have spent the past several years trying to change that. Building on Choi’s initial finding that stringing several biobatteries together made them perform better, the team found that when stacking them on a single sheet of folded paper, power increased exponentially.
In peer-reviewed journals Choi and his research team showed how microbial fuel cells embedded in a paper origami matchbook, and later, pressed into a flat, transforming ninja star, were the most simple, biodegradable and inexpensive ways to generate the kind of electricity needed to power simple and more sophisticated diagnostic biosensors in the field. Compared to traditional batteries, they are not only easy to transport but are also exponentially cheaper to produce.
Choi readily credits his students with solving many developmental roadblocks along the way. Landen Kwan, a former undergraduate student supported through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, “substantially contributed to the ninja battery,” Choi says, and his current students continue to innovate.
“My new PhD students, Yang Gao and Maedeh Mohammadifar, have significantly improved the performance of the paper-based disposable bio-batteries through fundamental device breakthroughs. Their latest paper-based biobattery prototype, created from chromatography paper and freeze-dried bacteria, is activated by human saliva. Another milestone in his parallel research included the first micro-scale, self-sustaining, bio-solar cell to generate power for 13 straight days using two types of bacteria.
The university’s resources have played a fundamental role in the depth, breadth and success of Choi’s research. “Binghamton helped me establish my own lab, the Bioelectronics & Microsystem Lab, which has approximately 1,200 square feet of lab space here in the engineering department,” he says. Divided into three sections, the BML features an area dedicated to the handling of bio/chemical material and chemical synthesis; another specifically designed for prototyping; and a third equipped for a variety of specialized testing.
Because of this support, he says, we’re one step closer to providing challenging areas around the world with “a low-cost, disposable, eco-friendly micro-power source that lasts a long time, can be easily integrated into paper-based point-of-care devices, and is activated by one tiny drop of water, blood, sweat or tears” stated Choi.
I know you all love Diamond and Silk, the sisters (biological) from Fayetteville, N.C. who are super-Trump supporters. Their YouTube videos are both funny and political as well as being unusual because they come from the right of politics.
It looks like YouTube decided to pull their advertising revenue generated from the ads that run at the front of their videos and the Ladies think it’s because they support President Trump.
Diamond and Silk have accused Youtube of censoring their viral videos Thursday, saying the platform is violating their First Amendment rights, according to Twitchy.
Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson tweeted on Thursday that Youtube has “demonetized 95 percent” of the duo’s videos, saying they’re “not suitable for all advertisers.”
The following is the official statement of the North Korean dictatorship in response to new UN sanctions and US demands the regime cease its nuclear aggression.
Pyongyang, August 9 (Korean Central News Agency) — A spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) issued the following statement on Tuesday, August 8th:
Timed to coincide with the fabrication of the heinous “sanctions resolution” against the DPRK at the UN, the U.S. war-thirsty forces are engrossed in war hysteria without discretion.
In the U.S. Trump is talking rhetoric without hesitation that “he will not rule out a war against the north rather than taking a folded-arm approach towards its development of long-range nuclear missile advancing with a rapid speed” and “even if a war breaks out, it will be fought on the Korean peninsula and even though thousands are killed, they will be there, not in the U.S. mainland.”
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Haley is openly saying that the “U.S. has the inexhaustible power” and “it will exercise the right to all the military options”.
An assistant to the President for National Security is saying that “if the North has access to the nuclear weapons capable of threatening the U.S., it is an intolerable thing for the president. Therefore, the U.S. is preparing all the military options including a fresh preventive war for neutralizing the north’s nuclear strike capabilities”.
The military warmongers of the Pentagon such as Secretary of Defence Mattis, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Dunford and commander of the U.S. combined special warfare are chiming in, unhesitatingly talking about the necessity of the “beheading operation”, “preemptive strike at the north”, “secret operation”, “internal harassing operation” and “special operation”.
Timed to coincide with this, the 82nd airborne division, the U.S. imperialist forces’ only air-dropping one, went into a large-scale airdrop and mobile drill, anticipating its involvement in the Korean front and the 25th light infantry division and the 10th mountain division are running high fever in their drills for getting familiar with the terrain of the Korean peninsula.
Navy SEAL which earned an ill-fame across the world and other special warfare units specializing in terrorist operations were urgently dispatched to south Korea. The plan for bringing strategic assets including B-52, B-1B, B-2A and F-22 formations to south Korea is in the pipeline.
At the Edward Air Force Base in California State B-52H formations are busy making preparations for a “secret operation” aimed to create chaos within the depth of the KPA, while staging a drill of dropping PDU-5/B bombs containing propaganda leaflets for psychological warfare.
The U.S. plans to bring huge naval forces including its two nuclear aircraft carrier task forces and a nuclear sub to the waters off the Korean peninsula.
All these military actions being conducted in the ground, sea and air clearly go to prove that the nuclear war hysteria of the U.S. authorities including Trump has reached an extremely reckless and rash phase for an actual war after crossing the red line.
Under the prevailing grave situation, the General Staff of the KPA clarifies at home and abroad its resolute stand as follows to mercilessly smash all sorts of military provocation, being planned by the U.S. imperialist warmongers, with the inexhaustible military might of the powerful revolutionary Paektusan army which has so far been built.
1. The KPA will start the Korean-style preemptive retaliatory operation of justice to wipe out the group of despicable plot-breeders once a slight sign of the U.S. provocation scheming to dare carry out a “beheading operation” against the supreme headquarters of the Korean revolution out of wild calculation is detected.
The “beheading operation” being pursued by the U.S. is just an extremely imprudent and heinous operation for “eliminating” the supreme headquarters of the DPRK, which has long been premeditated by the U.S. to “put under its control” Pyongyang where the supreme headquarters of the Korean revolution are located and neutralize the use of nukes and strategic rockets.
Once the U.S. shows a sign of starting to carry out the foolhardy plot, we will launch the Korean-style pre-emptive retaliatory operation of justice to annihilate the masterminds of the thrice-cursed operation and all the criminals involved in it.
No matter how much specially they have been trained and prepared, the commandos group will be completely eliminated outside the blockade lines of the seas, underwater and air of the DPRK in which its sovereignty is exercised and on the line before the Military Demarcation Line before they reach the supreme headquarters.
We have a world’s best special operation force, not merely a “team” or platoon or company or battalion in its scale.
Once the pent-up indignation of the service personnel of the special operation force of the KPA, which regards it as the greatest mission of the army of the leader and the party and the first maxim of soldiers to devotedly defend the headquarters of the revolution, against the U.S. and other enemies erupts, the U.S. will be forced to suffer an imaginably terrible disaster for the “beheading operation.”
The world will clearly witness how the fate of Trump and war merchants crying out for “not ruling out a war” and daring attempt to hurt the supreme dignity of the DPRK and eliminate its supreme headquarters will end in miseries once the fully prepared heroic special operation force group of the KPA on standby launches its operation.
2. The provocative “preventive war” the U.S. has devised and plans to execute will be countered with a just all-out war of wiping out all the strongholds of the enemies including the U.S. mainland.
The “preventive war” allegedly under the preparations by the security think tank of Trump is an extremely provocative aggression war concept envisaging a sudden strike at the nuclear and rocket bases of the DPRK, which have the U.S. mainland within their striking range, and preventing possible danger of the U.S.
Inventors of the “preventive war” admitted themselves that their act is a brigandish military option that can cause an international uproar.
Yet, they set the northern half of the Republic, in which the sovereignty of the DPRK is exercised, as the theatre of the “preventive war” and claim it can be an “ideal option” unharmful to them as only Koreans will die there.
This is a silly idea bereft of elementary sense, cognition and discretion of those ignorant of how things change, who their rival is and where the trend goes.
War is by no means a game.
The U.S. should remembered, however, that once there observed a sign of action for “preventive war” from the U.S., the army of the DPRK will turn the U.S. mainland into the theatre of a nuclear war before the inviolable land of the DPRK turns into the one.
We do not hide that we already have in full readiness the diversified strategic nuclear strike means which have the U.S. mainland in our striking range.
3. The attempt at “preemptive attack” oft-repeated by the U.S. military warmongers will be mercilessly foiled by the Korean style preemptive attack which will be mounted earlier.
Preemptive strike is no longer the monopoly of the U.S.
The DPRK has its own style peculiar preemptive strike mode capable of holding back any military preemptive attack of the U.S. in advance as it has made preparations for a do-or-die confrontation with the U.S. imperialist aggressors for decades.
It is ridiculous to talk about preemptive strike at the nuclear and rocket bases of the DPRK.
The Korean-style earlier preemptive attack will burn up all the objects in the areas under the control of the first and third field armies of the puppet forces including Seoul the moment the U.S. reckless attempt at preemptive attack is spotted, and will lead to the all-out attack for neutralizing the launch bases of the U.S. imperialist aggression forces in the Pacific operational theatre together with the simultaneous strike at the depth of the whole of the southern half.
All the strike means to be involved in the Korean-style earlier preemptive strike are ready to open fire of justice by order which can be made any moment.
4. The U.S. “secret operation” targeting the creation of disorder inside the DPRK and a regime change in it will be foiled by its all-people resistance.
The “secret operation” touted by the U.S. policy-makers is a foolish scheme aimed at bringing down the social system of the DPRK, in combination with psychological warfare after creating disarrangement with such disorderly conducts as murder, arson, destruction with the use of rogue-like special commandoes to be infiltrated into the DPRK.
In order to realize this scheme, a large-size bomb-dropping drill for psychological warfare is being conducted in the U.S. mainland.
The “secret operation” is a type of special operation which the U.S. applied to countries in Mid-east like Iraq and Libya and several other countries in Africa and Europe.
The anti-U.S. resistance of all the people including three million Children’s Union members and five million youths will smash to pieces the “secret operation” which the U.S. dreams to conduct in the DPRK.
A saying goes that a war with full knowledge of oneself and one’s rival will emerge ever-victorious but a war without knowledge of oneself and one’s rival would always end in loss.
The U.S. has gone hysteric, being quite unaware of the army and people of the DPRK.
The DPRK is an invincible ideological power in which all the service personnel and people are united around their leader in single mind and a country of an impregnable fortress in which all the people are armed and the whole country has been fortified.
The U.S. policy-makers have no idea that the country on a declining slope is none other than the American empire where they reside. Herein lies their tragedy.
This means that the U.S. is bound to meet a miserable end as it goes helter-skelter without knowledge of itself and its rival.
Those who make their way to this land for their dirty dream can never be scot-free as the entire army and people tightly hold arms with strong hatred and hostility toward the U.S.
The officers and men of the Korean People’s Army and the members of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards and the Young Red Guards replete with the transparent spirit of devotedly safeguarding the leader and defending the country are waiting for the time of do-or-die battle while closely following the every move of the U.S. imperialist aggressors.
The U.S. should not forget even a moment that its mean and crafty attempt at an aggression war against the DPRK will further strengthen the intensity of the military counteraction of the Korean People’s Army.
Should the U.S. finally opt for a reckless military adventure, defying the stern warning of our revolutionary armed forces, the tragic end of the American empire will be hastened. -0-
An estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, and around 500,000 seniors die each year because of it. University of Florida Health researchers have found a quick and inexpensive way to diagnose this disease at an early stage using the Peanut Butter test.
A dollop of peanut butter and a ruler can be used to confirm a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimer’s disease, University of Florida Health researchers have found. Jennifer Stamps, a graduate student in the UF McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste, and her colleagues reported the findings of a small pilot study in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences. Stamps came up with the idea of using peanut butter to test for smell sensitivity while she was working with Dr. Kenneth Heilman, the James E. Rooks distinguished professor of neurology and health psychology in the UF College of Medicine’s department of neurology.She noticed while shadowing in Heilman’s clinic that patients were not tested for their sense of smell. The ability to smell is associated with the first cranial nerve and is often one of the first things to be affected in cognitive decline. Stamps also had been working in the laboratory of Linda Bartoshuk, the William P. Bushnell presidentially endowed professor in the College of Dentistry’s department of community dentistry and behavioral sciences and director of human research in the Center for Smell and Taste.
Use one of the following to wash painted surfaces: 1/4 cup ammonia and 1 gal warm water, OR 1 tbsp trisodium phosphate and 1 gal warm water, OR 1/4 cup liquid dish detergent and 1 gal water. To prevent streaking, begin washing at the bottom of the wall and work toward the top; wash ceiling last. Rinse thoroughly and change rinse water frequently.
Windows and Glass
Use one of the following mixtures to clean glass and windows: to remove soil and grease, use 1/4 cup ammonia diluted in 2 qts warm water; to remove hard water deposits and soil, use 1/4 cup vinegar diluted in 2 qts warm water; to remove extra heavy soil and grease build- up, combine 1/2 cup ammonia, 2 cups rubbing alcohol and 1 gal water.
Tips- When washing windows, wash sills and cross- pieces first wipe windows with lintless cloth, paper towels or crumpled newspapers to prevent streaking, wash windows out of direct sunlight for touch-ups, keep any one of the above preparations in a spray bottle, spray on dirty area and wipe.
(Note: Commercial upholstery shampoos do a good job and are easy to use. However, if you wish you can use the following homemade preparation.) Combine 1/4 cup liquid dish detergent or laundry detergent and 1 cup warm water. With a hand mixer, whip until dry suds form (the suds will look like whipped cream). Test upholstery in an unnoticeable area by applying dry suds with a cloth or soft brush and lightly scrubbing. Allow to dry. If the area looks the same but cleaner, the entire piece of upholstery may be cleaned in this manner. Shampoo only a small area at a time and use a spatula or rubber scraper to lift off dirty suds. Repeat if necessary, then wipe area with a clean cloth dipped in clear water and wrung nearly dry. Dry completely.
Tips-Keep upholstery as dry as possible while shampooing to prevent damage. For quick drying, open windows or turn on an electric fan, a dehumidifier, or an air conditioner in the same room
To freshen room air, dampen cotton balls with oil of wintergreen or other cleansing oils and place out of sight but where air will touch them.
Sponge with a piece of cotton dipped in rubbing alcohol.
Combine 3/4 cup baking soda, 2 tbsp corn starch, and 1/4 cup perfumed talcum powder. Sprinkle on dry carpet, let stand 5 to 15 minutes, then vacuum.
For hard to reach spots, slip a sock over the end of a yardstick or small kitchen broom and secure with a rubber band, then sweep the area. This method works well for cleaning under radiators and refrigerators also.
Dab area with toweling, wash with suds of liquid dish detergent, and rinse with 1/2 cup vinegar diluted in 1 qt warm water. Lay towels or paper towels over the spot and weight down to absorb excess moisture. Let stand 4 to 6 hours, then remove toweling, brush up nap and allow to dry completely. To speed drying, use an electric fan.
Fill a small glass bowl with 1/2 cup full-strength ammonia, place in oven and close. Let stand overnight, then wipe loosened dirt with paper towels or newspapers. If necessary, rub surfaces with a suitable abrasive, such as fine steel wool, then wash with warm soapy water and rinse. Repeat process if necessary.
For a less toxic option: Add 1 1/2 cups of baking soda to 1/4 cup of Dawn Dish soap and enough water to make a paste. Cover surfaces with paste. Let it sit for several hours. Spray with water from a spray bottle occasionally to prevent mixture from caking. Wipe off cleaning solution with a dry towel.
Pots and Pans
Burned, and Crusted on Foods — Soak or boil a solution of 2 tbsp baking soda per qt of water in each pan. Let stand until particles are loosened, then wash as usual. Use a mild or moderate abrasive if necessary.
Discolored Aluminum — Heat a solution of 1 tbsp vinegar per qt of water or 2 tsp cream of tartar per qt of water in each pan until discoloration disappears.
Grease — Rub greasy spots with a mild or moderate abrasive, such as fine steel wool, and a dish detergent until they disappear.
Stained No-Stick Cookware — To remove stains from no-stick surfaces, pour a solution of 1 cup water, 2 tbsp baking soda and 1/2 cup chlorine bleach into the pan and simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Do not allow mixture to boil or to boil over the side of the pan. Wash in hot soapy water, rinse and dry. Apply a light coating of cooking oil. (Note: This formula may fade dark-colored surfaces.)
Copper Pots — To remove tarnish from copper pots, rub with lemon halves dipped in salt. Refrigerators To clean exterior and interior walls, dissolve 2 tbsp baking soda in 1 qt warm water and wipe all surfaces. For stubborn spots, rub with baking soda paste. Be sure to rinse with a clean, wet cloth. (This works well on other enamel-finished appliances as well.)
To clean interior fixtures, such as vegetable bins and shelves, wash in hot soapy water, rinse well and dry.
Enamel, Ceramic or Glass Baking Dishes — Soak in hot soapy water, then scour with salt or baking soda and rinse thoroughly.
Coffee and Tea Stains
To remove coffee or tea stains from cups or counters, rub with baking soda paste. For stubborn stains, rub a drop of chlorine bleach into the affected area until the stain disappears, then wash immediately with hot soapy water to prevent fading, and rinse well.
Cover label with a cloth or sponge saturated with warm vinegar and let stand. When the label is saturated, it should peel off without scraping or causing damage. Rinse. (Note: Use this method only on washable surfaces and washable paint.)
To remove labels from plastic, dab with dry-cleaning fluid, then rub. Wipe away any excess fluid and wash plastic immediately in hot soapy water (dry-cleaning fluid may dull the finish of plastic). If labels on plastic have been wet or the article has been stored in a hot, damp area, the label will be more difficult to remove.
1/4 cup bleach 3/4 cup baking soda Let sit for ten minutes and wipe clean with warm water. Reseal to avoid it getting stained again.
To keep drains clear, flush daily with scalding water. For grease buildup, dissolve 1 lb washing soda in 3 gal boiling water and pour down drain. To avoid burns from boiling water, hold water container close to drain and pour slowly and directly into drain.
For heavy grease buildup, use a commercial drain opener. Exercise extreme caution when using and follow label instructions exactly. (Commercial drain openers can be used to clear hair buildup from bathroom drains, also.)
Dilute 3/4 cup chlorine bleach in 1 gal of water. Apply to tile and grout and scrub; wipe shower stall and curtain; rinse thoroughly.
Fixtures — To clean stainless steel, chrome, fiberglass, ceramic, porcelain or enamel fixtures, dissolve 2 tbsp baking soda in 1 qt of water.
Rust Stain and Hard Water Deposit Remover — Apply full-strength vinegar or lemon juice and let stand until spot disappears, then rinse. Repeat if necessary.
Soap Scum — Apply baking soda dry or as a thick paste, rub vigorously with a wet sponge, then rinse.
Pour 1/4 cup full strength chlorine bleach OR 1/2 cup full strength ammonia into bowl. DO NOT USE BOTH. Swish with a bowl brush and flush.
Combs and Brushes
Fill a basin with hot water, and add either 2 tbsp ammonia OR 1 tsp liquid dish detergent. Drop in combs and brushes and soak 10 minutes, then use combs to clean brushes. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.
James Moskito and other brave volunteer divers work to free a drowning humpback whale entangled in crab nets and a 3000lbs anchor near the Farallon Islands, off the coast of San Francisco, California. Facing a massive, frightened animal, shark infested water, and freezing temperatures, the team of heroes work for 5 hours to free the animal. Upon the final cut, the whale returns over and over again to gently nudge each diver.
The gas gauge broke. There was no smartphone app to tell me how much was left, so I ran out. I had to call the local gas station to give me enough to get on my way. The gruff but lovable attendant arrived in his truck and started to pour gas in my car’s tank. And pour. And pour.
“Hmmm, I just hate how slow these gas cans are these days,” he grumbled. “There’s no vent on them.”
Who would make a can without a vent unless it was done under duress?
That sound of frustration in this guy’s voice was strangely familiar, the grumble that comes when something that used to work but doesn’t work anymore, for some odd reason we can’t identify.
I’m pretty alert to such problems these days. Soap doesn’t work. Toilets don’t flush. Clothes washers don’t clean. Light bulbs don’t illuminate. Refrigerators break too soon. Paint discolors. Lawnmowers have to be hacked. It’s all caused by idiotic government regulations that are wrecking our lives one consumer product at a time, all in ways we hardly notice.
It’s like the barbarian invasions that wrecked Rome, taking away the gains we’ve made in bettering our lives. It’s the bureaucrats’ way of reminding market producers and consumers who is in charge.
Surely, the gas can is protected. It’s just a can, for goodness sake. Yet he was right. This one doesn’t have a vent. Who would make a can without a vent unless it was done under duress? After all, everyone knows to vent anything that pours. Otherwise, it doesn’t pour right and is likely to spill.
It took one quick search. The whole trend began in (wait for it) California. Regulations began in 2000, with the idea of preventing spillage. The notion spread and was picked up by the EPA, which is always looking for new and innovative ways to spread as much human misery as possible.
An ominous regulatory announcement from the EPA came in 2007: “Starting with containers manufactured in 2009… it is expected that the new cans will be built with a simple and inexpensive permeation barrier and new spouts that close automatically.”
The government never said “no vents.” It abolished them de facto with new standards that every state had to adopt by 2009. So for the last three years, you have not been able to buy gas cans that work properly. They are not permitted to have a separate vent. The top has to close automatically. There are other silly things now, too, but the biggest problem is that they do not do well what cans are supposed to do.
There’s also the problem of the exploding can.
And don’t tell me about spillage. It is far more likely to spill when the gas is gurgling out in various uneven ways, when one spout has to both pour and suck in air. That’s when the lawn mower tank becomes suddenly full without warning, when you are shifting the can this way and that just to get the stuff out.
There’s also the problem of the exploding can. On hot days, the plastic models to which this regulation applies can blow up like balloons. When you release the top, gas flies everywhere, including possibly on a hot engine. Then the trouble really begins.
Never heard of this rule? You will know about it if you go to the local store. Most people buy one or two of these items in the course of a lifetime, so you might otherwise have not encountered this outrage.
Yet let enough time go by. A whole generation will come to expect these things to work badly. Then some wise young entrepreneur will have the bright idea, “Hey, let’s put a hole on the other side so this can work properly.” But he will never be able to bring it into production. The government won’t allow it because it is protecting us!
It’s striking to me that the websites and institutions that complain about government involvement in our lives never mentioned this, at least not so far as I can tell. The only sites that seem to have discussed this are the boating forums and the lawn forums. These are the people who use these cans more than most. The level of anger and vitriol is amazing to read, and every bit of it is justified.
There is no possible rationale for these kinds of regulations. It can’t be about emissions really, since the new cans are more likely to result in spills. It’s as if some bureaucrat were sitting around thinking of ways to make life worse for everyone, and hit upon this new, cockamamie rule.
These days, government is always open to a misery-making suggestion. The notion that public policy would somehow make life better is a relic of days gone by. It’s as if government has decided to specialize in what it is best at and adopt a new principle: “Let’s leave social progress to the private sector; we in the government will concentrate on causing suffering and regress.”
You are already thinking of hacks. Why not just stab the thing with a knife and be done with it? If you have to transport the can in the car, that’s a problem. You need a way to plug the vent with something.
Some boating forums have suggested drilling a hole and putting a tire stem in there and using the screw top as the way to close the hole. Great idea. Just what I wanted to do with my Saturday afternoon, hacking the gas can to make it work exactly as well as it did three years ago, before government wrecked it.
You can also buy an old-time metal can. It turns out that special regulations pertain here, too, and it’s all about the spout, which is not easy to fill. They are also unusually expensive. I’m not sure that either of these options is ideal.
It fascinates me to see how these regulations give rise to market-based workarounds. I’ve elsewhere called this the speak-easy economy. The government bans something. No one likes the ban. People are determined to get on with their lives, regardless. They step outside the narrow bounds of the law.
How many other things in our daily lives have been distorted, deformed and destroyed by government regulations?
It wouldn’t surprise me to find, for example, a sudden proliferation of heavy-duty “water cans” in 1- and 5-gallon sizes, complete with nice spouts and vents, looking almost exactly like the gas cans you could get anywhere just a few years ago. How very interesting to discover this.
Of course, this law-abiding writer would never advocate buying one of these and using it for some purpose other than what is written on the package. Doing something like that would show profound disrespect for our betters in the bureaucracies. And if I did suggest something like that, there’s no telling the trouble that it would bring down on my head.
Ask yourself this: If they can wreck such a normal and traditional item like this, and do it largely under the radar screen, what else have they mandatorily malfunctioned? How many other things in our daily lives have been distorted, deformed and destroyed by government regulations?
If some product annoys you in surprising ways, there’s a good chance that it is not the invisible hand at work, but rather the regulatory grip that is squeezing the life out of civilization itself.
Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Content for the Foundation for Economic Education. He is also Chief Liberty Officer and founder of Liberty.me, Distinguished Honorary Member of Mises Brazil, research fellow at the Acton Institute, policy adviser of the Heartland Institute, founder of the CryptoCurrency Conference, member of the editorial board of the Molinari Review, an advisor to the blockchain application builder Factom, and author of five books. He has written 150 introductions to books and many thousands of articles appearing in the scholarly and popular press.
States that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act are quickly realizing they cannot afford the cost they chose to bare, and are eagerly attempting the reverse their decision.
States are not completely to blame for accepting the economically crippling Medicaid expansion. Like many other false promises of Obamacare, states like Illinois did not expect their costs to skyrocket as much as they have.
Democratic Governor Pat Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly promised taxpayers the expansion would cost no more than $4.6 billion, under the guise the federal government would pick up most of the tab. Now, the Illinois Policy Center finds, between 2014 and 2016, Illinois taxpayers shelled out $9.2 billion for Illinois Obamacare expansion.
In a state teetering on default, high costs have made it impossible for individuals to get even basic case.
The Policy centers report continues to find that, “Nearly 20,000 children and adults with autism, epilepsy, developmental disabilities and other critical conditions are currently languishing on a Medicaid waiting list for needed home and community-based services. Nearly 70 percent of those individuals have reported an emergency or critical need for services. Many will die before ever getting the services they so desperately need.”
Even states that choose not to expand the program are experiencing rising uncontrollable costs, a further signal that Medicaid reform is needed.
In Maine, state spending on Medicaid has exceeded funding for K-12 education, and the federal government’s inability to match funds has left the state projecting approximately $54 million in expenses over what has been initially budgeted for.
While some states wait for Congress to swoop in and save them from the budgeting woes, the apparent reality is that congressional gridlock is preventing any reform from moving forward. So, the Governor of Maine is taking matters into his own hands.
Indiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Arizona all seem to be having buyer’s remorse over choosing expansion as well, as these states are following Maine’s lead in requesting changes to their Medicaid system in a dire attempt to cut costs.
Although Wisconsin did not expand Medicaid, the state is joining Maine in attempting to get ahead of rising health care costs, since the cost of Medicaid jumped 9.1 percent between fiscal year 2012 and 2016. Wisconsin’s proposal to President Trump is by far the most extensive, calling for work requirements, drug testing, lockout for failure to pay monthly premiums, and time limits on coverage; according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The dramatic changes would save the cash strapped state nearly $50 million over five years.
States inability to fund Medicaid is not only a fiscal crisis, it also endangers the lives of Americans in need of health care rather than the false sense of security that arises from inadequate health insurance. If Congress is unwilling to reform the system, states like Illinois must follow the trend of Maine and enact reforms on the state level. Buyer’s remorse is understandable when Obamacare was pushed to states with so many lies, but now they must act swiftly to undo the damage.
Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government
North Korea can now deliver a first-strike nuclear attack against the United States, intelligence sources report.
Pyongyang already has a nuclear stockpile of between 20 and 30 nuclear warheads, but both missiles capable of reaching the interior of the United States or warheads small enough to fit atop them.
Last week the regime successfully tested a Hwasong-14 missile capable of striking the interior of the United States. Now a Defense Intelligence Agency report completed last month concludes North Korea has also successfully miniaturized a warhead.
A nuclear-strike-capable North Korea poses a serious threat to the United States, with few good ways to counter it.
The United States are now looking at options, such as ramping up anti-missile defense systems. While a military strike on North Korea would likely end with the collapse of the dictatorship, with over 4,000 pieces of artillery, spread over thousands of square miles, aimed at the nine million residents Seoul, tens of thousands of innocent South Koreans could be killed as a result.
President Donald Trump warned North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program, warning any threat would “be met with fire and fury unlike the world has ever seen.”
“A conflict in North Korea would be probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes,” Defense Secretary Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” earlier this year. “(I)t would be a catastrophic war if this turns into a combat if we’re not able to resolve this situation through diplomatic means.”
Any effort to take military action against North Korea would require “boots on the ground.” North Koreans have been taught every day for 70 years that a U.S. invasion and occupation could occur at any moment, and have been training to prepare for it. With 1.2 million soldiers, North Korea boasts the world’s fourth-largest army. They also have another 5.8 million reserves.
If only five percent of North Korea’s military goes into “resistance” mode, as they have been training to do for 70 years, that’s 350,000 insurgent fighters, larger than ISIS’ force of 200,000 militants. Those fighters would be packed into a smaller area than ISIS commands, much of it rugged mountains that would pose a serious challenge to U.S. forces.
Will he stop?
In December 2003, Libya announced that it would surrender its biological and chemical weapons stockpiles, as well as its nuclear weapons program. (The Intercept)
In celebrating Libya’s decision, President George W. Bush declared that the rest of the world should take away the message that “leaders who abandon the pursuit of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and the means to deliver them, will find an open path to better relations with the United States and other free nations.” Paula DeSutter, Bush’s Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance, explained that “we want Libya to be a model for other countries.”
In 2011, the U.S. and NATO conducted a bombing campaign to assist Libyan rebels in overthrowing the Gaddafi government. Gaddafi himself was captured by one rebel faction, who apparently sodomized him with a bayonet and then killed him.
So why would Kim Jong-un trust us if we say there will be no consequences for disarming?
Where have all the superyachts gone? That is the question that locals and business owners in the south of France are asking this summer. And the answer appears to be: Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Spain. …While the ongoing presence of €10 cups of coffee and €1000 bottles of Champagne might serve to reassure the casual observer that the region is still as attractive to the sun-loving super-rich as it ever was, appearances can be deceptive. Talk to locals involved in the multibillion-euro yachting sector—and in the south of France that’s nearly everyone, in some trickle-down shape or form, as yachting is by some measures the biggest earner in the region after hotels and wine—and you detect a sinking feeling. …More and more yachting money is draining away…washing up in other European countries such as Spain, Italy, Greece, and Turkey.
Having once paid the equivalent of $11 for a diet coke in Monaco, I can confirm that it is a painfully expensive region. But let’s focus on the more important issue: Why are the big yachts staying away from the French Riviera?Apparently they’re avoiding France for the same reason that entrepreneurs are avoiding France. The tax burden is excessive.
The core reason for the superyacht exodus is financial; France has tightened…tax regulations for the captains and crew members of yachts who officially reside in France, and often have families on the mainland, but traditionally have evaded all tax by claiming they were earning their salary offshore. The country has also taken a hard line on imposing 20 percent VAT on yacht fuel sales, which often used to be dodged. Given that a typical fill can be around €100,000, it is understandable that many captains are simply sailing around the corner.
I don’t share this story because I feel sorry for wealthy people. Instead, the real lesson to be learned is that when politicians aim at the rich, it’s the rest of us that get victimized. Ordinary workers, whether at marinas or on board the yachts, are the ones who are losing out.
Revenue at the iconic marina in Saint-Tropez has…fallen by 30 percent since the beginning of the year, while Toulon, a less glamorous destination, has suffered a 40 percent decline. …They stated that refueling a 42-meter yacht in Italy (instead of France) “gives a saving of nearly €21,000 a week because of the difference in tax.” Sales by the four largest marine fuel vendors has fallen by 50 percent this summer, the letter said, adding that French “yachties”—an inexperienced 19-year-old deckhand makes around €2,000 per month and a good Captain can command €300,000—were being laid off in droves, as, due to the new tax rules, national insurance, health and other compulsory contributions which boat owners pay for crew members have increased from 15 to 55 percent of their wages. The letter stated that “the additional cost of maintaining a seven-person crew in France is €300,000 (£268,000) a year.”
All of this is – or should have been – totally predictable. French tax authorities should have learned from what happened a few years ago in Italy. Or from what happened in France a few decades ago.
…the French have been down this avenue before. “It happened in France about 30 years ago, so people moved their boats to Italy… Yachting is huge revenue earner for the region. …we contribute huge sums in social security alone. “But the bigger issue is that people holidaying on yachts here go ashore and spend money—and a lot of it.” Says Heslin: “The possibility of this happening if taxes and fees were increased has actually been talked about for the last two years, and everyone warned what would happen. “But this where the French government so often goes wrong, this attitude of, ‘Well, we are France, people will always come here.’” This time, it appears, they have called it wrong. Edmiston says, “Yachting is very important to local economy, but if people are not made to feel welcome here, there are plenty of other places where they will be.”
Incidentally, we have similar examples of counterproductive class warfare in the United States. Florida politicians shot themselves in the foot a number of years ago with high taxes on yachts.And the luxury tax on yachts, which was part of President George H.W. Bush’s disastrous tax-hike deal in 1990, hurt middle-class boat builders much more than upper-income boat buyers. But let’s zoom out and make a broader point about public finance and tax policy. Harsh taxes on yachts backfire because the people being targeted have considerable ability to escape the tax by simply choosing to buy yachts, staff yachts, and sail yachts where taxes aren’t so onerous. Let’s now apply this insight to something far more important than yachts.Investment is a key for long-run growth and higher living standards. All economic theories – even Marxism ans socialism – agree that capital formation is necessary to increase productivity and thus boost wages.Yet people don’t have to save and invest. They can choose to immediately enjoy their earnings, especially if there are harsh taxes on income that is saved and invested. Or they can choose to (mis)allocate capital in ways that make sense from a tax perspective, but might not be very beneficial for the economy. And upper-income taxpayers have a lot of latitudeover how much of their money is saved and invested, as well as how it is saved and invested. So when politicians impose high taxes on income that is saved and invested, they can expect big supply-side responses, just as there are big responses when they impose punitive taxes on yachts. But here’s the bottom line. When they over-tax yachts, the damage isn’t that great. Yes, some local workers are out of jobs, but that tends to be offset by more job creation in other jurisdictions that now have more business from big boats. Over-taxing saving and investment, by contrast, can permanently lower a nation’s prosperity by reducing capital formation. And to the extent that this policy is imposed on the entire world (which is basically what the OECD is seeking), then there’s no additional growth in other jurisdictions to offset the suffering caused by bad tax policy in one jurisdiction.
This amazing Canadian lays the foundations for his own log cabin using salvaged materials. Watch as he starts building his log cabin on his property near Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada. In this video, he cuts some trees down, digs a foundation and builds a rock cart/log dolly for bringing building materials to the site of the log cabin.
It’s interesting that the Trump administration has withdrawn or delayed 860 proposed regulations in its first five months, the beginnings of a regulatory overhaul meant to bolster economic growth.
According to a recent report, Federal agencies have withdrawn 469 proposed regulations compared to a fall 2016 report when Barack Obama was president, according to figures from the White House budget office. This includes 19 regulations with an economic impact of $100 million or more. Another 391 regulations have been delayed for further evaluation and consideration. “It’s really the beginning of a kind of fundamental regulatory reform,” Neomi Rao, head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, said Wednesday.
Federal agencies expect to complete 1,732 regulations this year, roughly a 20 percent reduction compared to the fall of 2016.
Which is great news as it looks like federal agencies need a boot up the behind. Look at this report from the Office of the Inspector General.
Amazing as it sounds, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) does not centrally track information about grants awarded for the purpose of acquiring land. In fact, DOI is unable to identify how much grant money has been used to purchase land, how much land has been purchased, and whether that land is being used for its intended purpose!
Because the DOI could not provide a dataset for analysis, the Office of the Inspector General set out to examine 108 DOI programs that award grants for the purchase of land to determine how much land was purchased and how the programs operated.
They found that in fiscal years 2014 and 2015 alone, these programs awarded 701 grants to purchase land valued at a total of about $815 million. There is no standardized method of tracking data on grants awarded for land purchases, such as number of grants or value of land. No one has the first clue how much has been spent, or on what!
They also found that the methods of tracking these purchases varied across programs, from bureau- maintained databases to reliance on “institutional knowledge.”
Finally, according to respondents, the majority of grantees were not reporting their land inventories to the awarding agencies, as required by regulations
Without an adequate process in place to monitor funds used to purchase land, the Office realized that the DOI is potentially exposed to significant risk of wasted funds.
They made two recommendations to help improve monitoring of DOI programs that award grants for the purchase of land.
1. Standardize the tracking of grants awarded for land purchases to ensure consistency and uniformity across bureaus.
2. Develop guidance to inform awarding agencies and grantees of their responsibilities under 2 C.F.R. § 200.329 (The government regulation regarding reporting.)
QUOTE:The reported failure of grantees to provide real property data to their awarding agencies, coupled with the fact that DOI is not tracking the awards centrally, could hamper monitoring efforts to ensure that land is being used properly. As we found in several audits of wildlife and sport fish programs in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, these factors can also lead to use of land contrary to its stated purpose (for example, development of land originally slated for conservation). In some of the most egregious cases that we identified, conservation lands were found to have structures on them, such as swimming pools or a bar. In another case, a reservoir designated for breeding fish stock had been completely drained.
As Trump decides on what to do in Afghanistan, he should make clear that America’s goal is to get Afghanistan to the point where it can manage its own domestic security. Nothing more, nothing less.
To achieve this goal, the U.S. mission in Afghanistan does not have to be—and should not be—a full-blown, American-led counterinsurgency campaign involving 150,000 U.S. and NATO troops.
Instead, the U.S. focus should remain on training, advising, and assisting the Afghan forces. This is why the reported troop increase of 3,000-4,000 to help with these goals seems reasonable and responsible.
Ultimately, it is the Afghans’ country and their war. We are not there to fight for them, but to help them fight and win.
We must not let the Taliban return to complete power in Afghanistan. We went to Afghanistan in the first place because it’s the place where Osama bin Laden hatched the 9/11 attacks.
If America walks away, the Taliban will likely return—if not to complete power, then surely over much of the country.
Complicating matters is the arrival of groups like ISIS-Khorasan onto the scene. As ISIS gets squeezed in Syria and Iraq, its franchises will be looking to increase its presence elsewhere.
Leaving the Afghans high and dry would be a disastrous repeat of the 1990s and would mean all the U.S. sacrifice in blood and treasure would have been for nothing.
We would have returned to the same situation that required the intervention in the first place—failing to learn the lesson of the 1990s.
During those years, The Heritage Foundation lamented the Clinton administration’s neglect of Afghanistan that led to the rise of the Taliban.
Washington’s neglect of Afghanistan’s festering problems has allowed the Taliban to dominate Afghanistan and export terrorism, revolution, and opium. Through disengagement, America squandered its influence in the region and left itself with few options besides hurling cruise missiles at Osama bin Laden’s easily replaceable training camps and bracing for further terrorist attacks. This “chuck and duck” approach is doomed to failure.
Phillips warned that someday we would pay for the neglect. And we did big time on Sept. 11, 2001. If we forget that lesson, then once again, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.
Our mission in Afghanistan is not “nation building.” It is self-defense. Now is not the time to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Holy Moly, not only does she get “equitable” wrong, she has zero sense of economics. Can someone tell me why miners, seniors, blue collar workers, plumbers and serving military should pay for college for these people? Get over it, snowflake! Tertiary education is a privilege, not a right. And any economic grants awarded by the government should be in the Nation’s interest, to fund the brightest and best, regardless of their means. It’s not so you get four years of keg parties and campus activism.
Soap – it keeps you clean. It prevents disease. It fights infection. Best of all, it is relatively simple to make yourself, both at home and in a survival situation.
Soap making was a staple of American life right up to the early 1900s. Women would boil up lye and fats and prepare their own batches of laundry and hand soap. Nowadays it is easier to purchase than prepare. But the skill is a useful one. During normal times you can use it to prepare attractive homemade gifts. In an emergency situation you could use natural resources to make your own, highly tradable, germ-killing commodity. In this article we’ll take you through both alternatives.
You will need
There are three essential ingredients in soap: water, fat and lye.
Water should be distilled or de-mineralized for best results.
Fat – beef fat (tallow) will yield a harder soap; pork fat (lard) is softer, and chicken fat soap very soft. You can also use vegetable oils to make soaps of differing firmnesses, but note that oil soaps take longer to set. Start with lard as it is easy to purchase and tends to produce soap that resembles commercial brands.
Lye can be purchased at most grocery stores on the shelf near drain cleaners. It is also available from soap making or chemical suppliers. (See warning)
Utensils: bowls, pans, thermometer, whatever. And isn’t soap making exact? Don’t we need very exact measurements?
Lye is an extremely caustic substance that should be handled with great care. Wear protective clothing such as gloves, boots and safety goggles when working with lye. Do not inhale the fumes. Store lye in a safe place far out of reach of children and animals. If your skin comes in contact with lye, wash the area immediately with cold water. If you get lye in your eyes, flush them out and have someone take you to the emergency room.
Making soap at home
Using a ceramic or glass container, (metal will corrode) and an expendable wooden spoon mix the lye into very cold water. Pour slowly and stir constantly. The amount of lye you use will vary depending on how much fat you use and the desired strength of your finished soap but 1 oz of lye per 6 ozs of fat is a good working average. The exceptions are lanolin, which works best with a 1:10 ratio, and coconut oil, which requires an amount of lye just under 1:5. This doesn’t maker sense to me. As you stir in the lye, the chemical reaction will cause the water to warm up and become cloudy. Continue stirring until all of the lye is dissolved and the water looks clear. Avoid breathing the fumes. Wait for the water to cool to around 85°F (Chris, please put in symbol for degrees) before adding it to your fats.
Next, heat the fat to just above its melting point. In what? This will be 85°F for most fats and oils. But if you’re using tallow, you’ll need to heat it to 130 degrees F. It takes longer for the lye and water mixture to cool than it does to heat the fat, so it’s generally a good idea to cool the lye and water to within 5 or 10 degrees of the intended temperature, i.e. 90 to 95 degrees F, before heating fats.
Once the lye and water solution and the fats are the proper temperatures, slowly pour the lye and water into the fat. Stir continuously. You must continue stirring for at least fifteen minutes until the mixture begins to form soap or “traces.” You will be able to tell when your soap traces because a little soap dribbled over the top of the mixture will leaves marks or mounds behind. It may take quite a while for your soap to trace, but it will happen eventually. Try using a blender to speed up the process or to encourage stubborn oil-based soaps. Don’t worry; tracing is hard to miss.
After the soap traces, include your add-ins. Try essential oils for fragrance, avocado oil to soften skin, oatmeal for texture or even crayons for color. It is a good idea to use a fragrance of some kind as homemade soap tends to retain the scent of lye.
Pour the soap into a square tray, let it sit for 1-3 days and then cut it into bars. At this stage, the soap should still be soft enough to cut easily. Allow your soap to age for at least 1-3 weeks. The soap will mellow during this time and the pH will lower. Test your soap with litmus paper. When, the pH is between 10 and 7 (purple with a hint of blue on the litmus paper), your soap is ready to use. As soap ages, it becomes covered with a whitish powder called soda ash. Don’t let this bother you; it’s caused by lye reacting with carbon dioxide in the air and it will rinse right off. Or, you can prevent soda ash formation by covering the soap with plastic wrap as it ages.
Now, you’re ready to enjoy your own homemade soap! Be aware, homemade soap has a short break-in period. It will lather better after a few washes. Enjoy!
As we mentioned above, soap disinfects and prevents disease, and there is no effective substitute for it. If the unthinkable happens, soap will be of dire importance. Here’s how to make your own soap in a survival situation.
Obtain fat from dead animals or from your lard store. Make sure that any fats you use are clean. If they look rotten or have impurities in them, render them. To do this, boil 1 part fat to 4 parts water. Allow everything to cool and then take the lumps of fat from the pot and scrape or cut away non-fat impurities. Repeat until clean.
Create your own lye. You will need wood ashes, hay, a bottomless barrel or other large container, a hard surface larger than the bottom of the barrel with a groove cut in it and two smallish containers (jugs or large flowerpots). Balance the hard, grooved surface on rocks so that it is elevated off the ground. Remove the bottom of the barrel and place the barrel on the grooved surface. Put the hay into the barrel and the wood ashes on top of the hay. Use at least enough ash to cover the hay. Place the smaller containers at the lips of the grooves and then pour water into the barrel. Brown, wood ash lye will ooze into the containers. Be very careful with wood ash lye. Like commercial lye, it is highly caustic and can blind, burn and even kill. Keep lye off your skin and out of your eyes, and don’t swallow it. Clear the lye-making area of children and pets.
Slowly mix lye and water. Use 1 part lye for every 6 parts of fat you intend to use. Lye and water will react together and heat, just like they do when commercial lye is used. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and then mix it with melted fat and stir. Allow the soap to boil until it becomes frothy. As it “cooks”, the alkali will decrease. If you don’t have litmus paper, you can tell if it’s finished by putting a tiny amount on your tongue. Do not swallow. If the soap has a strong, sour bite to it, it isn’t ready. When it tastes milder, leave it to cool. If you have salt, add it to the cold solution to form hard soap. If no salt is added, you will have a brown gelatinous substance that foams and cleanses. This emergency soap might not look pretty but it will kill germs and cleanse.
The wiki page on soap making is pretty handy, too.
A new wearable technology developed by a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology aims to help save people from sexual assault.
The invention is the brainchild of Manisha Mohan who created a sticker that integrates with clothing to respond to signs of assault such as forced disrobing.
The sticker connects via bluetooth to the wearer’s phone and which hosts an accompanying app. The user enters five emergency contacts for the app to contact in case of distress. The app also alerts emergency services for help. (USA Today) As every 98 seconds, a person in the United States is sexually abused and every 16 hours a woman in the United States is murdered by her romantic partner or ex-partner, anything that can staunch this epidemic of violence should be saluted.
In recent weeks, we’ve seen 5-year-olds fined for selling lemonade, pet sitters ticketed for watching cats without a permit, teens handcuffed for selling bottles of water to thirsty people, and efforts to criminalize screen time for kids.
It got us thinking: how many silly, outrageous, and/or superfluous laws are there out there? Here are 50 laws that will make you laugh or scratch your head.
Women can retain all property they owned prior to marriage in the case of divorce, according to Section 30-4-1 of the Alabama Code. However, this provision does not apply to men.
It is legal to turn a picnic table or bench into a boat, but only if it contains all safety precautions like life vests and is registered as a boat, according to the Alaska DMV.
It is illegal for a donkey to sleep in a bathtub, according to an Arizona-based law firm.
It is prohibited to pronounce “Arkansas” incorrectly, according to Arkansas Code Title 1-4-105.
It is forbidden to eat a frog that passed away during a “frog-jumping contest”, according to Article 2-6883 of California’s fishing and game code.
In Aspen, it is illegal to launch a catapult at any building or person, according to Section 15.04.210.
In Meriden, it is illegal for a non-police officer or member of the police department to have a whistle or make the ‘bean police call’ on a whistle, according to Statute 153-7.
In Rehoboth Beach, children can only trick-or-treat on Halloween from 6-8 pm, according to Chapter 193-33. If Halloween falls on a Sunday, children must trick-or-treat on Saturday, October 30 between 6-8 pm.
Pregnant pigs must be unconfined and be able to roam freely when they are pregnant, according to the Florida Constitution 10.21. Only pigs are designated in the constitution as having these rights.
In Athens-Clarke County, a goldfish or any other animal may not be given to someone to entice them to enter a business agreement or game, according to Section 4-1-9.
Hawaii has a law called “Aloha Spirit” that is the coordination of mind and heart within everyone. This allows everyone to emanate happy feelings to one another, according to Statute 5-7.5.
In Pocatello, it is illegal not to smile in public, according to a 1948 “smile” ordinance, which was passed to heighten morale after a hard winter, therefore transforming Pocatello into the United States Smile Capital.
Those under 21 can drink legally, but only if they’re enrolled in a culinary program, according to Section 3-3.
It is illegal to see a hypnotist without a doctor’s note unless you are trying to lose weight or quit smoking, according to Article 20.5-1.
The standard size of all boxes used for picking hops has to be precisely 36 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 24 ¼ inches deep, according to Statute 210-14.
In Topeka, it is against the law to scream in a haunted house, according to Shawnee County’s Haunted House conduct.
One may not dye a duckling blue and put it up for sale unless more than six are for sale at one time, according to state Statute 436.600.
There is a $500 fine if you instruct a pizza delivery man to deliver a pizza to your friend without them knowing, according to Section 14.68.6.
In Biddeford, it is illegal to gamble at the airport, according to Section 14-2.
In Rockville, swearing is prohibited on sidewalks, streets, and highways, and one can be charged with a misdemeanor for violating the ordinance, according to Section 13-53.
In Massachusetts, shooting ranges are not allowed to have targets that are shaped like humans, according to Part 1, Title XX, Chapter 140, Section 131.
Every year in Michigan, the last Sunday in June will be known as “Log Cabin Day”, according to Act 60, Section 435.241.
It is illegal to grease up a pig to create a game if the aim of the game is to capture it again, according to Statute 343.36.
If a woman gives birth to two illegitimate children, at the same time or separately, she could go to jail for 30-90 days, according to Mississippi Code Title 97-29-11.
Removing mattress tags or bringing an unlabeled mattress into the state is illegal in Missouri, according to Statute 421.007.1.
In Billings, Montana, residents are legally forbidden from raising pet rats, according to Section 4-301. However, if the rats are used as reptile or bird food, the practice is legal.
In Nebraska, persons with STDs cannot marry legally, according to Chapter 42, Section 102.
In Reno, it is illegal to lie down on a public sidewalk, according to Section 8.12.015.
In New Hampshire, it is illegal to pick up and collect seaweed off the beach during night hours, according to Title XVIII, Chapter 207:1.
Wearing a bullet-proof vest while murdering, kidnapping, robbing, or raping is illegal in New Jersey, according to S170.
In New Mexico, it is criminal – a petty misdemeanor, specifically – to misuse the national anthem or the state anthem, according to Section 30-21-5.
If you’re a mayor of a New York village, you are not allowed to move the remains of a deceased person from an unused cemetery unless you are moving them to another resting place in the same county, according to Statute 15-1508.
It is prohibited to use a secret handshake to agree to or do illegal things, according to Statute 14-12.4.
It is illegal to attempt or perform human cloning, according to Statute 12.1-39-02.
If a person coughs on another person while riding public transportation, the cougher can be arrested for a minor misdemeanor, according to Statute 2917.41.
In Oklahoma, it is illegal to participate in horse tripping in any way, shape, or form. The offense comes with a punishment of a $2,000 fine or one year in jail, according to Statute 21-1700.
In Oregon, farmers can be unknowingly committing a crime if they are driving on the highway with too much hay, according to Statute 164.815.
If you’ve ever been convicted of a felony and you happen to be in Pennsylvania, you’re not allowed to run a bingo game, according to Act 92.
It is illegal to use a shopping cart at any other place except for the business labeled on the cart, according to Statute 11-41.1-2. This law also applies to dairy cases, egg baskets, bakery boxes, etc.
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to play pinball, according to Statute 63-19-20.
It is unlawful to cause static electricity in the city of Huron, according to Chapter 9.32.010.
It is illegal to share your passwords to any entertainment subscription service (i.e. Netflix, Hulu, HBO), according to Tennessee House Bill 1783.
An atheist in the Lone Star State cannot hold any public office, according to the Texas Constitution, Article 1, Sec. 4.
In Ogden, it is legal for animal control or law enforcement officers to have sex with animals, according to Ordinance 13-3-2.Whether the practice is open to the average citizen is unclear.
It is illegal to dress one’s horse up in a disguise and to disguise it as something other than a horse, according to Statute 13-047.
In Virginia, cussing at another person is prohibited by law, according to Code of Virginia 18.2-416.
In Washington, it is illegal to go out in public if you have a cold, according to RCW 70.54.050.
In West Virginia, it is illegal to hunt any kind of wild animal by using a ferret, according to WV Code 20-2-5.
It is illegal to serve margarine in restaurants in Wisconsin (unless customers specifically ask for it) and in state prisons (with the only exception being medical necessity), according to Chapter 97.18.
In the city of Newcastle, going out in public while cross-dressing is unlawful, according to Sec. 17-14.
So if it is interrupted or garnished by creditors, it can quickly lead to complete bankruptcy.
Fortunately, Social Security payments are not subject to many forms of garnishment:
Specifically, Section 207 of the Social Security Act says that payments aren’t “subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process, or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency law.
For many years, creditors got around this by attacking seniors bank accounts. However, a legal change in 2011 protects the last two months of Social Security payments if they were directly deposited in your bank account.
However, there are still four ways your checks can be garnished by the government:
Your payments can be garnished, levied, or offset in these cases:
Unpaid federal taxes
Unpaid court-ordered child or spousal support
Court-ordered crime victims restitution
Other debts to federal agencies, such as student loans owed the Department of Education
The bottom line is that your Social Security is safe from most creditors — but don’t mess with family court or Uncle Sam.