Catch us live on BlogTalkRadio every



Tuesday & Thursday at 6pm P.S.T.




Tuesday, December 31, 2013

happy new year..

“With the holidays upon us I would like to share a personal experience with my family & friends about drinking and driving.

 As you may know some of us have been known to have brushes with the authorities from time to time on the way home after a “social session” out with friends.
Well, three days ago I was out for an evening with friends and had several cocktails, followed by some rather nice red wine. Feeling jolly I still had the sense to know that I may be over the limit. That’s when I did something that I’ve never done before … I took a cab home

.

Sure enough on the way home there was a police road block, but since it was a cab they waved it past. I arrived home safely without incident. This was a real relief and surprise because I had never driven a cab before. I don’t even know where I got it, and now it’s in my garage, I don’t know what to do with it… (Anonymous)

happy new year...

Colorado store makes history as first to offer recreational marijuana in the US

OFF THE WIRE
Reuters / Carlos Jasso
A small store in Central City, Colorado has made history by becoming the first establishment in the US to be granted a license to sell recreational marijuana.
Annie’s Central City Dispensary, located in a city founded during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush, posted on social media earlier this week that its license application had been approved. It will be among the first shops in Colorado to begin selling marijuana on January 1, 2014, more than a year after Colorado residents voted to legalize use of the drug for persons 21 and over. 
The state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division has accepted 136 applications from recreational marijuana stores so far. Another 400 are eligible to apply, though the state has said only establishments in “good standing” will be accepted. 
Cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries,” Steve Berg, former managing director of Wells Fargo Bank and editor of a report titled the state of Legal Marijuana Markets, told the Huffington Post. “Domestically, we weren’t able to find any market that is growing as quickly.”
All of which makes it difficult for many people to understand why the Drug Enforcement Agency continues to launch raids on businesses that have been accepted by the community. Like Colorado, voters in Washington State have also voted to legalize recreational marijuana. 
Yet the drug remains illegal on the national level and, because federal law trumps state law, federal police agencies like the DEA are technically permitted to harass and intimidate retail and medical pot dispensaries. US President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have both said repeatedly that federal police agencies would respect state law, a promise that has been continuously broken since 2009. 
At the same time, authorities in Colorado have conducted the largest raid on dispensaries since medical marijuana became legal Thursday, with officers executing search and seizure warrants at more than 12 stores in the Denver area alone. Masked agents broke windows and confiscated products from medical marijuana dispensaries that customers rely on to cope with cancer and other serious ailments. 
Although we cannot at this time discuss the substance of this pending investigation, the operation under way today comports with the Department’s recent guidance regarding marijuana enforcement matters,” Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the US Department of Justice, told the Denver Post. 
He added that the DEA, Internal Revenue Service criminal investigations unit, Denver Police Department, and local law enforcement agencies were involved in the operation. Dorshner said that while investigators could not comment on the matter, there were indications the targeted dispensaries violated an August Justice Department memo outlining the activities would work to prevent. Those conditions include: 
• the distribution of marijuana to minors;
• revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs and cartels;
• the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law in some form to other states;
• state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover or pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;
• violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana
• drugged driving and the exacerbation of other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;
• growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environmental dangers posed by marijuana production on public lands;
• preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.
Washington is scheduled to begin selling recreational marijuana by mid-2014. Until then, with a number of states considering similar legislation, all eyes will remain on what has become the Colorado experiment. 
Entrepreneurs and private investors are flocking to cannabis markets,” Berg, the former Wells Fargo director, said. “Those who really understand market dynamics will reap large rewards.”

Fact Check: Did the company that built the health website get preferential treatment?

OFF THE WIRE
See below – looks awful fishy.  It’s what they are not saying that is suspicious….

Fact Check: Did the company that built the health website get preferential treatment?
Posted: November 8, 2013 - 4:57pm
J
Times-Union readers want to know:
An email says that CGI Federal, the company that build the website for the Affordable Care Act enrollment, is Canadian, that a top official with the company was a classmate of future first lady Michelle Obama, the company was the only one considered by the government to design the website and that CGI has donated millions of dollars to the Obama re-election campaign. Is this true?
Here’s what our research about this viral email revealed:
It’s Canadian: CGI Federal is a subsidiary of the Canadian firm CGI Group, which was founded in Quebec City in 1976 by two 26-year-olds, Serge Godin and Andre Imbeau, according to the company’s website. CGI stands for “Conseillers en Gestion et Informatique,” which roughly translates to “Information Systems and Management Consultants.” CGI Group has offices in 40 countries, including 66 branches in the U.S., the website states.
Princeton influence? Toni Townes-Whitley, senior vice president of CGI Federal, is a 1985 graduate of Princeton, according to a Princeton alumni magazine. Obama is also a 1985 graduate. There are numerous references to the “pals” in such conservative websites as the Daily Caller, which states that “while at Princeton, Michelle Obama and Townes-Whitley were both active in the Organization of Black Unity and the Third World Center. They both now belong to the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.” Not one of those websites say that the two were close friends, or that their “friendship” impacted the selection of CGI.
Townes-Whitley met with administration officials four times in 2013, according to White House visitor logs, which show she was alone but which do not specify a reason for the meetings. Her and her husband also attended a White House Christmas party in 2010 and had a photo taken with the Obamas. OpenSecrets.org, which tracks political contributions, shows that Townes-Whitley donated a total of $1,500 to Barack Obama in 2011 and 2012.
Michelle Obama and Townes-Whitley obviously have met, but there’s no evidence that they had an extremely close friendship.
The lone company? An Oct. 17 Reuters piece quoted by TruthOrFiction.com states that the contract originally had 31 bidders. The article said, “The work on Healthcare.gov grew out of a contract for open-ended technology services first issued in 2007 with a place-holder value of $1,000. There were 31 bidders. An extension, awarded in September 2011 specifically to build Healthcare.gov, drew four bidders, the documents show, including CGI Federal.”
A recent story by Bloomberg News said the race to get the exchange website up by Oct. 1 spurred the Obama administration to use an expedited bidding system that limited its choice of a builder to just four companies, including CGI. The other bidders haven’t been publicly identified. No red flags were raised by any of those bidders, the story stated.
CGI had two years to create the website, which cut as much as nine months from the time usually required to build such a site, said Rod Benson, a former procurement director for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which oversees the website.
“I am sure there are companies that looked at this specific opportunity and said, ‘you know, I’ve got other things in the pipeline,’ ” said Larry Allen, president of Allen Federal Business Partners, a McLean, Va., consulting firm.
How CGI was selected has not been divulged, but there are congressional committees looking into it. A total of 13.5 percent of CGI’s work is for the government, so there is history there. CGI had earlier worked for CMS on the medicare.gov website among other projects, the Bloomberg News article pointed out.
Obama donor: The viral email claims that CGI Federal donated $47 million to Barack Obama’s campaign. A check of OpenSecrets.org, which tracks political contributions, shows that CGI donated $128,000 to federal candidates; 52 percent of those recipients were Republicans. OpenSecrets.org also shows that CGI President George Schindler donated $1,000 to the Obama re-election campaign on Aug. 13, 2012, as well as $1,000 to Virginia Democratic Rep. Jim Moran on March 29, 2011, and $1,000 to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on July 5, 2011. Schindler also gave $2,300 to Republican John McCain’s presidential campaign on Dec. 18, 2007. You can check this yourself at OpenSecrets.org at Donor Lookup under Politicians & Elections.
As various government officials testify about healthcare.gov before House and Senate panels, more information about how CGI was chosen might be revealed.

FINALLY: NEW ORLEANS REVENGE, Book Two in the Regents MC Series, is here!



OFF THE WIRE
Do Old Friends Make the Deadliest Enemies?
It’s the end of summer, 1971, and Regents MC probate Joe Wilson can’t seem to avoid trouble, particularly with his own sponsor, Jess Whitley, a former Vietnam combat medic dogged by the ghosts of the men he couldn’t save. Jess’s green-eyed girlfriend Kitty doesn’t make things easier for them, either, as she connives desperately to keep Joe from quitting and returning to his redneck roots.
As the conflict heats up in Atlanta, a different kind of disaster is brewing in south Louisiana. Once combat buddies of the Regents, the treacherous Bayou Runners are driven by their ambitious boss to commit the ultimate sacrilege against a respected Regent. Enraged, the Regents descend on New Orleans, hell-bent on revenge.
Hot-tempered Joe accidentally places his own Fate in the hands of a beautiful double-dealing redhead with a magician’s talent for vanishing into thin air. As an expendable probate, he quickly discovers his survival depends on not trusting anyone, including the Regents.
When the biker war escalates through the ancient city streets and down dusty swamp roads, the local underworld of gamblers, whorehouse madams, and tattoo artists are forced to choose sides, knowing there’s no going back for anyone.

http://www.wtroadblockharrell.com/

MIKE P THE BIG HOMIE. AND RICHIE VALLEY. LIVE IN OAKLAND JAN 25TH.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Be prepared: Wall Street advisor recommends guns, ammo for protection in collapse


Photo - Image from Marotta's website warning investors to prepare a "bug-out" bag in case of a fiscal collapse.

OFF THE WIRE
BY PAUL BEDARD
A top financial advisor, worried that Obamacare, the NSA spying scandal and spiraling national debt is increasing the chances for a fiscal and social disaster, is recommending that Americans prepare a “bug-out bag” that includes food, a gun and ammo to help them stay alive.
David John Marotta, a Wall Street expert and financial advisor andForbes contributor, said in a note to investors, “Firearms are the last item on the list, but they are on the list. There are some terrible people in this world. And you are safer when your trusted neighbors have firearms.”
His memo is part of a series addressing the potential for a “financial apocalypse.” His view, however, is that the problems plaguing the country won't result in armageddon. “There is the possibility of a precipitous decline, although a long and drawn out malaise is much more likely,” said the Charlottesville, Va.-based president of Marotta Wealth Management.
Marotta said that many clients fear an end-of-the-world scenario. He doesn’t agree with that outcome, but does with much of what has people worried.
“I, along with many other economists, agree with many of the concerns expressed in these dire warnings. The growing debt and deficit spending is a tax on those holding dollars. The devaluation in the U.S. dollar risks the dollar's status as the reserve currency of the world. Obamacare was the worst legislation in the past 75 years. Socialism is on the rise and the NSA really is abrogating vast portions of the Constitution. I don't disagree with their concerns,” he wrote.
In his latest note, he said that Americans should have a survival kit to take in case of a financial or natural disaster. It should be filled with items that will help them stay alive for the first 72-hours of a crisis, including firearms.
“A bug-out bag is a good idea depending on where you live even if the emergency is just power outages, earthquakes and hurricanes. And with your preparedness you will be equipped to help others who might be in need,” he wrote. “Be prepared. Especially because it keeps you from being scared.”
He provided a list of items and even a link to bug-out bags on Amazon.
Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted atpbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.

HAWAII - Loud motorcycles just aren’t ‘cool’

OFF THE WIRE

Loud motorcycles just aren’t ‘cool’

Regarding Gary Hattenburg’s letter of Dec. 12 concerning straight-pipe motorcycles: Right on!
I’m a biker and love to ride. I wrote a motorcycle travel article that was published in four mainland newspapers and won an AMA award. To the point, I believe there is little else, excepting vog, that degrades the quality of life in Kona like noise pollution, and no noise offender is worse than straight-pipe bikes.
Straight-pipe riders will say, “It’s a safety issue.” There’s some truth to that, but ask yourself if you need to be heard from over a quarter-mile away? Others say they modify their bikes for the horsepower bump. If your bike requires that you spend a lot of money for fractional boosts in horsepower, I would point you to the many models that will give you more power than you could ever use, with mufflers that won’t rattle windows. Think of the conversations interrupted, the babies woken, TV shows drowned out and the annoyance scattered with your offensive (and illegal) exhaust systems.
Remember the “noise check” stops the Kona police conducted in 2000, 2001? It kept the noise pollution down. As Mr. Hattenburg says, it’s not necessary to have decibel meters or argue in court about how loud a bike is, Hawaii law says no exhaust system modification. That’s a law I, too, would like to see enforced.
There are a lot of people who look at you when you rumble by. But we’re not, as you might imagine, thinking “how cool.”
David Wagner
Kailua-Kona
Obamacare benefit
I just returned from California where I had a surgery not available in Hawaii. The time from initial exam to surgery is usually a lengthy wait. But thanks to Obamacare I got to the head of the line.
The poor soul who had the date that I got was unable to make his appointment because his insurance had been canceled. So, thanks to Obama, I am cured while the other guy is not, poor fellow.

Baker In Winter

OFF THE WIRE
agingrebel.com
Baker In WinterFri, Dec 27, 2013


December is not my favorite month. This has not been my favorite December. It wasn’t always like this. It is tempting to reminisce. But, nostalgia always nags me to sum up – which is the last thing I need.
The rocker covers are freezing. The fat, black bitch makes a harsh and feeble sound like a drunk girl puking before she stumbles then roars. I turn the little wheel under the bars that locks the throttle open. I look at my watch, add four minutes to the time and climb off. The bitch still shines from the last time I washed her. I have lost another brake pedal pad. Damn you Kuryakyn. All the obvious nuts are at least finger tight. I am convinced nothing will fall apart until the worst possible moment. When I climb back on I catch sight of myself in one of the mirrors. For the briefest moment I wonder, “Who’s that old guy?” I haven’t shaved for a few days. My beard has reached the point where I feel like I have bugs nesting on my face. My muse hates beards.
I ride through the golden past. It is the same route I have ridden to the freeway for thirty years. I take a street called Aviation that is named for a business that dried up just after Reagan. The street is impossible during the commuting hours unless you split lanes. When I do an old man in a car with tail fins glares at me. I bet he bought that car new. I roll past the glass building where a Falcon named Christopher Boyce stole state secrets and gave them to a Snowman named Daulton Lee who sold them to the Russians for money to buy cocaine. All of that is now a forgotten story in an old book.
I speed past the undersold condo development that used to be an Air Force base, brake hard, shift down two gears, and power through a tight turn onto a long street named for one of the worst Generals in history. His name was Rosecrans. He lost the Battle of Chickamauga. He has been dead since 1898. He doesn’t have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame but he has a 28-mile-long street in El Lay named after him.
Traffic is gridlocked for blocks. I weave back and forth across lanes. I may look like hell but I can still ride. A priapic toilet seat blocks my way. I kick at it but I miss. That should be the title of my biography. After an endless minute, I push onto the Four-Oh-Five – a freeway that got its name because it typically allows drivers to travel either four or five miles an hour. This stretch, the South Bay Curve, was new in 1961. That year, all the leading authorities predicted we would have flying cars by now. Our future was exciting and bright once upon a time.
A car in the far right lane sees me rounding the ramp and speeds up to cut me off. I don’t know why. The two cars behind him think he is accelerating because he has found a shortcut so they punch it before all the other cars see what they hope and it is too late for everybody.
I out accelerate them all, up shifting in the breakdown lane and snapping the throttle open two-thirds of the way. I’m in third going sixty-five when the traffic on my left staggers to a stop. By then I am already on the long exit for the One-Oh-Five. Properly, it is the Century Freeway because it took a century to build. It was completed in 1993 and as soon as it was drivable it was closed for a few days so some Hollywood millionaires could use it to get richer making a movie called Speed.
By general agreement, the speed limit on the One-Oh-Five is eighty. Like always, I have carefully arranged my itinerary so I am blinded by the morning sun. It is almost Christmas and the roads are stuffed with people who only drive their cars during the month of December. They drive like they are afraid. And it is the season when the college kids all come home from school. They don’t have cars at their universities so they have been waiting forever to play Fast & Furious 6 on a freeway. Two cars in front of me and a lane over a kid in a black Camaro makes a series of the fastest lane changes I have ever seen someone survive. All the timid drivers panic brake.
Fifteen miles later the One-Oh-Five T-Bones into the Six-Oh-Five. That’s the freeway dedicated to hauling gravel, sand and garbage between Irwindale and Seal Beach. It also has a bullshit name – something like the San Gabriel River Freeway. Only freeway bureaucrats and new in town news anchors call it that. It should be called the debris freeway. One of the trucks has lost its load of styrofoam popcorn, or maybe it is individual toilet paper sheets, or fast food receipts, or my shredded, top-secret, NSA surveillance records. Bits of something white and airy and chock full of grease and bacteria float up from the concrete, dance in front of me and then at the last second flit out of my way like nervous butterflies. A flatbed truck with a load of hay shoots pale, green darts at my face.
I gave my muse an ultimatum. “Him or me.” He is an ex-cop named Larry. He has the face he deserves. He looks stupid. She made her choice.
She knows me so she demanded to know, “I’m not going to wind up in one of your stories am I?”
This was in a bar in Redondo Beach that’s named for a kind of whale. The bar has a view. Tourists love it. Travelling salesmen love it. The waitresses all knew us. We were staring at a marina with a thousand boats I could never afford unless I got serious about my career, grew a pair and started moving some major product. My muse was rubbing my leg. I lied to her. “Oh no, Baby. I would never write about you.” If it was your leg you would have lied, too.
She accused me of the same charge federal prosecutors are always trying to pin on me. She called me a “romantic.” Everybody’s a tough guy.
I said, “Goodbye.” It is my least favorite word. Goodbye says it all.
I loved my motorcycle for a few days. I gave her a set of Screamin’ Eagle gold plugs and a little us time for Christmas.
Sometimes I find myself in two places at once.
I pushed the Dyna onto the Two-Ten and wedeled between sparse lines of cars at ninety miles an hour. The bike growled. A shark’s mouth of brown hills flanked my sinister side. The sun climbed out of my eyes and I concentrated on the cold, the roar, the wind, the still and the stark and the thin winter light.
Swirling north winds startled me back to reality. It is impossible to ride a motorcycle in Los Angeles and think at the same time. Anybody who gets stubborn about it dies.
Head winds and cross winds made a flag of me. The winds at the bottom of the Cajon Pass hit eighty all the time. They weren’t that bad but they were bad enough to concentrate my mind. A truck transited the entire width of the freeway and then stopped. It was such a stupid stunt that I refused to believe my eyes. It is the second time in the last few years that the same thing has happened to me in the exact same place. I never learn. I grabbed and stood on the brakes. The fat, black bitch began to fishtail. I thought I was going down. My body, the part of me that never thinks, kept me upright. The moment passed. All these sounds you can see are just moments passing.
The Cajon is where the doom seekers say Southern California must inevitably break. The naked San Andreas Fault cuts through it like a bowie knife. I stuck to the far left lane and climbed as quickly I could. Two thirds of the way to the summit I caught four cars driving side by side. I shifted down two gears and then again into third before I rushed through the gap between the third and fourth lanes.
The winds lessened at the summit. I didn’t look back. It was one of those winter days when you can see a hundred miles, all the way to the faint, blue mirror of the sea, all the way to Redondo Beach. I bought gas where I always buy it, at a station on Mojave Drive. I used to stop at a place on Roy Rogers Drive. That is how I have changed.
I seem to be in a hurry. I don’t know why. I am in the station three minutes. I don’t know where I’m going. It is either Barstow or home. I point the front wheel at Barstow, the far outlier of metastasizing Los Angeles, and the emptiness beyond.
This emptiness in history was cheap and useless land. Now there is no longer cheap land. Just yesterday, the riches of the Mojave were the minerals it was believed to contain. A legion of dreamers and their parasites moved here hoping, hoping, hoping for easy money laying right on the ground. Mostly they found worthless rocks. The parasites offered tough credit terms. Some of the dreamers found themselves marooned out here. There are still nests of them between Barstow and Vegas.
In less than an hour I’m smiling at the sign for Zzyxx. A radio evangelist made up the name in 1944. For the rest of his life he insisted that Zzyxx was the last word in the English language.
People have been coming to the spring near Zzyxx for ten thousand years. The evangelist – his name was Curtis Howe Springer – filed a mining claim for twelve thousand acres around an ancient quarry and a timeless spring. Probably he ran off all the water sprites and muses. He called his scheme the Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Spa. He tried to convince people it was a resort. He stole the spring water, bottled it and sold it to thirsty travelers. He was ahead of the curve on the bottled water thing. The resort lasted thirty years until federal agents showed up one day and wanted to see the mine. All Springer could offer them was a cool, refreshing drink so the government voided his mining claim and stole back the land.
Baker, is seven miles away. You can see it from the “Zzyxx Road Exit” sign. Baker started as a whistle stop on the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad. The railroad moved borax out of the mines in Death Valley. The town is named for Richard Baker who happened to be president of the railroad. But the town that memorializes his blessed memory was actually the dream of Ralph “Dad” Fairbanks. Fairbanks had tried to make a living around the spring that would later be Zzyxx but he was clueless about the whole bottled water thing.
Instead, Dad Fairbanks dreamed the dream of the automobile. Before founding Baker, he sold gasoline in another town he started. He named that one Shoshone out of respect to his neighbors. Shoshone was fifty-five miles closer to the mines. Fairbanks hauled in the gas in five gallon cans and sold it for a profit. Then he founded Baker and opened a gas station there. He almost went out of business when the banks started failing in 1929. Then the town almost disappeared in a flash flood. The Standard Oil Company, which is usually a villain in stories, kept Dad Fairbanks in business until the Second World War. That was when the railroad disappeared. The tracks were ripped up and melted down to make tanks.
After the war an entrepreneur named Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel gave Baker another shot in the arm. Siegel opened a giant hotel and casino in Vegas just in time for New Year’s Eve in 1946. He named the place after his girlfriend. He called it the Flamingo because she had long and slender legs. For years after that Baker was the main gas stop between Los Angeles and Sin City. That boom lasted until hotels, casinos and gas stations began to crowd the Nevada side of a town called State Line. Now they call that town Primm.
At first, there was plenty of business for everybody. You already know where this story is going. Baker became “The Gateway To Death Valley” and then “The Gateway To The Mojave Preserve.” Tourists, particularly Europeans, particularly Germans love to have medical emergencies in the Mojave in the summertime.
The big restaurant in Baker was a classic fifties place called the Bun Boy founded by the ironically named E.B. Failing. When E.B. died he left the Bun Boy to his son, J.O. Failing and J.O., in need of a cash transfusion, took a partner named Willis Herron.
Herron was a dreamer. Herron looked at the Wigwam Motel in Holbrooke, Arizona and the dinosaurs of the Wheel Inn in Cabazon, California and he believed with all his heart that Baker would boom if only it had a tourist attraction like that.
The Bun Boy burned down in a grease fire in 1990. While it was being rebuilt bigger and better than ever, Herron sank three quarters of a million dollars into his dream: A giant thermometer visible to incoming tourists from as far away as the Zzyxx Exit sign. He hired the Young Electric Sign Company to built it right next to the Bun Boy. Long ago the Young Sign company had erected about half the signs on the Vegas strip. Herron imagined millions of tourists stopping to take a picture of his thermometer and then lingering to gas up and enjoy a nice burger or a piece of pie. The Bun Boy was famous throughout the Mojave for the excellent quality of its pies.
The Baker thermometer was 134 feet tall, in honor of the highest temperature ever recorded in Death Valley. It was made of thirty-three tons of steel and five thousand light bulbs. It marked the temperature in ten degree increments. And, it blew down in the fierce Mojave winds. When it blew down it fell right on top of the brand new Bun Boy gift shop. But, Will Herron was not deterred. He was the kind of man who refused to believe that any cause might be lost so he rebuilt his thermometer and filled the thing with concrete. It is frequently said that the Baker Thermometer could survive a nuclear blast. At least it outlived the new and improved Bun Boy.
The thermometer became an object of civic pride – as Cawker City, Kansas loves its giant ball of twine and Mitchell, South Dakota loves it palace made of corn.
Then the recession set in – or as it is officially called, the economic recovery. Baker’s five motels began to close one by one. But plucky Baker didn’t give up. First the town bid to become the United States of America’s official repository of atomic waste and when that beautiful dream died Baker did what dozens of dying towns have done. Baker attracted a prison.
It was a minimum security prison designed to house 262 minimum security inmates and it provided jobs for almost 100 locals. The problem was that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation came to believe that the scoundrels in its care are better rehabilitated in maximum security prisons. The Baker Community Correctional Facility was down to 175 inmates when it shut down.
Herron sold the world’s tallest thermometer and the gift shop to another dreamer in 2005. He soon unloaded it on another visionary with dollar signs in his eyes. The thermometer broke in 2009. It went eccentric for awhile, reporting temperatures of 63 and 74 simultaneously when it was actually 106. Then it began to fade as the bulbs burned out and were not replaced. Finally it went dark.
Sales in Baker – sales of everything – dropped by twenty percent. There isn’t much to Baker except it is a place to pull off the freeway and gas up and maybe grab something bad to eat. There are no banks or drugstores or markets in Baker. The thermometer has become an embarrassing reminder of the lost time when the Mojave was full of men with dreams. Some locals want to tear it down.
A local entrepreneur named Luis Ramallo, the owner of a store called Alien Fresh Jerky, thinks Baker needs a new tourist attraction. Ramallo, who came up with the name for his shop after about the third time he had to prove to a Deputy that he was a resident alien, wants to borrow $12 million so he can build a new motel in the shape of an alien space ship. Ramallo envisions a very large space ship with many lights that would be visible at night from miles away. As Ramallo explained to a public radio station about a year ago, “The potential here is great!”
Potential or not, this is still the heartless Mojave. There is no room here anymore for dreamers and romantics. Last July a 24-year-old named Ryan Singleton moved from Atlanta to Los Angeles dreaming he might become a movie star. He was last seen in Baker. In October they found his body about a mile out of town. His eyes and all his major organs were missing.
I rolled in off the interstate about ten-thirty in the morning. The cold wind was getting to me. History was getting to me. I was a little more alone than I had been for awhile and as soon as I stopped moving that started to get to me, too. I paid eighteen bucks for four gallons of gas, washed the bugs off my sunglasses, climbed back into the saddle and turned the key. I had to keep moving. I had no choice. And, there was nothing left in Baker to see.

NEVEDA - New Breathalyzer Can Detect Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin

OFF THE WIRE
Boulder City Police claim to have these (I don't know if they are telling the truth).

Breathalyzer can detect 12 different controlled substances

WARNING: If you use public WiFi, you're exposing your personal information to theft.

OFF THE WIRE

READERS SHARE:



WARNING: If you use public WiFi, you're exposing your personal information to theft.
Dear belister,

If you're like most people, you use public WiFi spots – in hotels, airports, coffee shops, and other public spaces.

The problem? They may not be secure.

WiFi hot spots use simple radio waves to send and receive data. So anyone within range may simply be able to "listen in" to what you're saying – as easily as tuning to the right station.

4 tips for safety on public WiFi:

1. Download PRIVATE WiFi™ provided by AOL
Included in your AOL plan at no additional cost, this benefit protects your identity and sensitive information by encrypting everything you send and receive while using a public WiFi hotspot – making you invisible to intruders. Click here to download it now.

2. Choose a password-protected hotspot 
Spots that require a password – or even paid access – are more secure than those without a password.

3. Be careful with sensitive information
If things like personal financial transactions can wait until you're on your secure home network, save it for later.

4. Turn off WiFi if you're not using it
Disable your wireless connection if you don't need it. Better safe than sorry. 

Download PRIVATE WiFi™ and stay safe!

NASHVILLE, Tenn - TN Highway Patrol plans 'no refusal' enforcement



OFF THE WIRE
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee Highway Patrol plans a "no refusal" enforcement campaign in several counties across the state during the New Year's Eve holiday period.
Tennessee's "no refusal" law allows officers to seek search warrants for blood samples when they suspect a driver to be impaired.
The special enforcement includes saturation patrols; bar and tavern checks; and checkpoints for seat belts, sobriety and driver's licenses. It begins at 6 p.m. Monday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.
The aim is to deter impaired driving and fatal crashes.
According to the Highway Patrol, nine people were killed in fatal crashes on Tennessee roadways during last year's 78-hour New Year's Eve holiday period. That's an increase from the six vehicular fatalities during the 2011-12 New Year's holiday.

Friday, December 27, 2013

MASSACHUSETTS - Marine’s deep devotion recalled..

OFF THE WIRE




Marine’s deep devotion recalled

By Peter Schworm | Globe Staff December 23, 2013
FAIRHAVEN — People lined the street in a hush, standing tall and speaking in whispers. They carried American flags, old veterans who walked with canes, young children who held their parents’ hand.
A steeple bell tolled, and the funeral procession for Matthew R. Rodriguez, a 19-year-old Marine who grew up in this coastal town, arrived at his childhood church. As veterans held a salute, four Marines lifted his flag-draped casket and carried it inside. Looking on, some wiped away tears.
Rodriguez, 25, a combat engineer who was killed in action in Afghanistan Dec. 11, was recalled at his funeral Monday as a man deeply devoted to his family and country, driven from a young age by an abiding sense of duty.
“He was born to be a Marine,” his sister, Lauren Webber, said in an emotional remembrance before several hundred mourners at First Congregational Church of Fairhaven. “I am honored to be his sister. He is my superhero.”
Continue reading below ▼
Related Photos
Fallen Fairhaven Marine remembered Following in his father’s footsteps, Rodriguez enlisted in the Marines in August 2012. He graduated from Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School and was engaged to be married.
He was assigned to the First Combat Engineer Battalion, First Marine Division, First Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Rodriguez, a lance corporal, has been awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the NATO Medal- International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan.
Governor Deval Patrick and other officials attended the funeral. Last week, thousands lined the roads from New Bedford to Mattapoisett as his body was returned home.
Webber fought back tears as she recalled her brother’s “skater-boy” haircut as a young teenager, how he loved taking his nieces to the playground, and how he danced all night at her wedding.
“He could do a mean worm,” she said to laughter.
Rodriguez had a talent for fixing things around the house and was always happy to help, she said. When he was just 13, he painted a bedroom by himself without “spilling a drop” of paint. “He did it with a smile on his face,” she said.
Webber urged mourners to remember the sacrifice of veterans and support the troops any way they can. Through tears, she asked those who knew Rodriguez to raise a glass in his memory.
Rodriguez went through life smiling, mourners recalled. He even smiled in boot camp, a habit that sometimes got him into trouble.
His baseball teammates called him Smiley, but even that nickname was an understatement, his brother said.
“He loved everyone he met,” he said.
His voice strained with emotion, Adam Rodriguez said his brother “was my hero, and he still is.” He said he would try to honor his brother’s legacy by “doing my best in everything that I do.”
“My Marine,” he said. “My hero.”
After his eulogy, he and his sister embraced.
James Dewey, a military chaplain, said Rodriguez served with “honor and valor.”
“He carried his faith with him,” he said. “And he fought the good fight.”
The Rev. Bette McClure, the church pastor, said it was natural for those who knew Rodriguez to be angry over “the unfairness of it all” and have questions “for which there are no good answers.”
“It might seem impossible to have any sense of hope,” she said, but in time, light would overcome the darkness.
“Believe me that the light will once again shine.”
Two close friends of Rodriguez read from Scripture, and many teenage friends came to pay their respects.
After a final hymn, four Marines walked to the front of the church to carry his casket from the church. Outside, in the driving rain, a veteran watched as the procession drove away. He didn’t know Rodriguez or his family, but felt bound to be there.
“Strength in numbers,” he said. 

Vets give wounded warrior freedom with ATV wheels Marine Lance Corporal Crosby's new wheelchair
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/u8ssFAztnj8?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Monday, December 23, 2013 By:Colneth Smiley Jr.

Marine veteran James Crosby, partially paralyzed by shrapnel in a 2004 rocket attack in Iraq, was given the gift of freedom by fellow veterans at the Joseph Mottolo VFW Post in Revere yesterday — a special all-terrain wheelchair that will dramatically improve his mobility and even let him stand to move and meet people at eye level.
Crosby, 29, of Winthrop told the Herald he was “humbled” by the gift of a $17,000 Trac-Chair from the group Veterans Assisting Veterans.
The Trac-Chair can handle snow and sand, putting fishing, hiking and strolling on the beach with his girlfriend back on Crosby’s to-do list.
“It’s amazing to be a 
recipient of an amazing machine. This will allow me the freedom to move to places I thought I couldn’t go again. It’s like having my legs back,” he said. “I can look people in the eye again, and see people face-to-face.”
“Friends would have to drag me everywhere and once I was in a spot, I had to be planted,” said Crosby, a former state veterans services coordinator who is now studying for a career in construction management — a field where his new mobility will be vital.
VAV president Dennis 
Moschella, 66, a Vietnam veteran, said, “For the rest of his life he has to be in a wheelchair. And we asked ourselves, ‘How do you pay a guy like that back?’ ...
We need these guys and girls in their 20s and 30s to know we’re there for them. There will be other wars and we need them to carry over what we are doing so future veterans will continue to be taken care of.”


====

CABIN FEVER PARTY Public · By Boston's Wounded Vet Run Going (153)

When
Saturday, January 25, 2014 Time7:00pm Description Every year we have a cabin fever party to help promote the annual Boston's Wounded Vet Run. The purpose of this party is help fund a base for us to establish our April goal of helping the selected wounded war fighters.
$10 cover
Please join us for live music, food, and other excitement
hoodies, pins, patches, and other gear available.
Thank you for your continued support friend

BABE OF THE DAY..


Thursday, December 26, 2013

California Riders.. We are just a few weeks away from our Unification Rally

OFF THE WIRE
California Riders.. We are just a few weeks away from our Unification Rally (and... Easy Rider Show) at the California State Capitol on Saturday, January 11th at 12 Noon. Please join thousands of "awakened" riders/citizens, standing side-by-side, beginning our journey together towards defending, preserving and advancing our culture and way of life.

If your lifestyle and your rights are important to you, you will find a way to be there. If you are unable to attend, please share and get your club, family, friends and their friends out there. The cycle of apathy and long-term conditioning must be broken. We need everybody to get on the same page and move forward together before it is too late.

Sorry for the strong words here, but there is very little time left and absolutely no more excuses.

Texas VA hospital that banned elementary school students from sending Christmas cards to wounded veterans.

OFF THE WIRE
Unreal...

Another day, another VA hospital bans religious liberties under a new Obama policy.
Yesterday, we reported on a Texas VA hospital that banned elementary school students from sending Christmas cards to wounded veterans.

Today we present a new disgrace as a Georgia VA hospital told a group of high school students they could not sing most Christmas carols to patients. Songs such as “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” were not "deemed appropriate" for the new, anti-religion VA.

*CLICK THE LINK FOR FULL DETAILS...AND SHARE*

carols
Another day, another VA hospital bans religious liberties under a new Obama Administration policy.
Yesterday, we reported on a North Texas VA hospital that banned elementary school students from sending Christmas cards to wounded veterans.
Today we present a new disgrace courtesy of  the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Ga.,  which told a group of high school students they could not sing most Christmas carols to patients.
Students from the Alleluia Community School were banned from singing any religious-themed Christmas carols to patients including “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”
Instead, when they arrived to perform, the students were given a list of 12 Christmas songs provided by the hospital’s pastoral service that had been “deemed appropriate for celebration within the hearing range of all veterans.”
In other words, all secular, nothing sacred, as CBS Atlanta reported.
“Military service veterans, male and female, represent people of all faiths,” hospital spokesman Brian Rothwell said in a statement to the newspaper. “It is out of respect for every faith that The Veterans Administration gives clear guidance on what ‘spiritual care’ is to be given and who is to give it.”
Dan Funsch, the school’s principal, said this is the first year they’ve been told not to perform religious carols.
“This is not a religious proselytizing, evangelistic issue,” he told the newspaper. “The song Joy to the World is as much a part of the holiday spirit as the Christmas tree.”
The VA said their policy is meant to welcome and respect all faiths while at the same time protecting them from “unwelcomed religious material.”
Principal Funsch said his students, on principle, decided not to comply with the government-approved list of Christmas carols and they cancelled their concert.
“From our point of view, the purpose of Christmas and its carols is to celebrate and honor the birth of Jesus, and if that goal is taken from us, it is an issue we do not want to be a part of,” he told the newspaper. “We do not think it is a good idea to systemically weed out religious Christmas songs from being sung in certain places.”

This is the Constitution on Obama: freedom from religion, unless of course that religion is Islam.