FEMA Coffins

With the advent of Hurricane Irene sweeping up the east coast (not sure I can recall a region of the country getting this much coverage over a Cat I hurricane before), I did a little research of FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Administration. They are the agency in charge of all natural disasters of the USA, from tornadoes to floods to hurricanes. Their purpose is to bring much needed aid to these hard hit areas. That is their stated purpose. Before Hurricane Katrina, I doubt most people had ever heard of FEMA. But, they gained fame during this time and it wasn't the good kind of fame. Incompetence, mismanagement, waste became words associated with FEMA. They are back in the news with Hurricane Irene. But, something I had never noticed before, in the Google search bar, was the appearance of "FEMA Coffins."

Now, my first thought was this had to do with providing coffins for a mass death of people as we saw in New Orleans. But, that wasn't the case. What I discovered is that there is an entire cottage industry now about FEMA Coffins. Apparently, the thinking is that FEMA will round up those dastardly government critics, tea partiers, conservatives and anyone right of center and place them in a sort of concentration camp. There they will undergo government brainwashing. Those that don't get with the program are then given a "free FEMA Coffin" which they will use for eternity. First, I am one of those "Vast Right-wing Conspirators" that Hillary Clinton loves to hate so much. But, this FEMA Coffins conspiracy is a bit too much. First, even the most liberal of Americans will be screaming bloody murder if someone is placed into any sort of camp because of their political philosophy. Even the much hated ACLU will be at the U.S. Supreme Court's door if anyone, I do mean ANYONE is placed into a camp because of their politics. Secondly, there is that little thing called the Bill of Rights. The federal government would have to basically trash the entire U.S. Constitution itself. No one would stand for that.

That's about all the bandwidth I'm going to spend on the subject of "FEMA Coffins." People are actually selling books on this and making a ton of money. I guess PT Barnum was right.

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Deportation Laws in the United States

Once again, King Obama has ruled by decree. Forcing Obamacare down the throats of Americans wasn't enough for this wannabe king of the world. Now, he has ruled in favor of allowing illegal aliens (yeah, I know that isn't politically correct, but ask me if I gave a damn) to remain in this country on a "case by case" basis. Right. If you believe that, I have some prime waterfront property in the Gulf of Mexico to sell to you...cheap. King Obama ruled that all illegal aliens (see above) who are scheduled to be deported are now given sanctuary status due to their illegal immigration status. He is now ruling by executive fiat (after stating immigration has to go through Congressional legislative process).

The liberals couldn't get the Dream/Nightmare Act by Congressional legislation. They had to ignore the immigration laws on the books right now. The U.S. Code, TITLE 8 CHAPTER 12 SUBCHAPTER II Part IV § 1227 is quite clear on classes of illegal aliens. Entering this country without a visa is a crime. There are approximately 30 million criminals in the United States taking advantage of social services and taking jobs away from American citizens. Apparently, King Obama does not care for the taxpaying Americans and legal residents of this country. King Obama is concerned with only one thing; getting reelected and enjoying the perks of office. The job of President is a nuisance to him. He just wants to have people fawn over him. It will be interesting if state governments now sue the federal government for not enforcing immigration laws (Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986).

The open borders crowd does not care about Americans. It is time for Americans to wake up to this fact of life. King Obama does not care about Americans. It is also time for Americans to wake up to this fact. King Obama really only cares about is being President of the United States. Hispanics will eventually catch on to this little nugget of information. Or maybe not. Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona is right, President (King) Obama has finally come up with a jobs plan....for illegals!

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Post Office Closings List 2011

It's a sign of the times. The United States Postal Service (or post office to most of us) is about to change the way it does business. First, they must deal with a crushing debt. USPS posted a $3.1 billion loss in Q3. They have not been able to pay funds for future retirees as a result. Mail volume continues to drop. The post office has suffered a 2.5 percent drop in mail volume over this time last year. Email and other forms of communication have hit this 18th century government agency extremely hard. Basically, you have an 18th century business trying to compete in the 21st century. That is the basic problem of the post office as it stands today. Postal management has threatened to break the union contracts and lay off over 120,000 career employees. Even if they were to do this, what savings they would incur would be eaten up in lawsuits. I really think this is a ridiculous idea. Saturday closings of the postal service is now a foregone conclusion. They will save billions in labor and fuel. But, would that be enough? I think not.

The idea now is to start closing non-profitable post offices around the country. Yes, that includes the rural post office that is the lifeline to so many that live far out into the countryside. Right now, almost 4,000 post offices around the country are on the chopping block. It is a necessary evil. The post office must find a way to save money. Cutting hours, going to a five day delivery week will all help. But, the ultimate way is to cut to the bone. In fact, I fear the rural carrier is on the way out. People will probably have to go to a centralized location to pick up their mail out in rural areas eventually. I see that on the horizon very soon. The post office is probably going to emphasize parcel and flats delivery in the future. First-class mail is practically dead.

To see if your local post office is on the post office closings list of 2011, click HERE.

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National Left Handers Day

I guess I have been living in a cave. I was not aware until this past Saturday, August 13, 2011, was a day set aside for people who are left-handed. National Left Handers Day falls on August 13 of every year! I was initially taken aback and then started finding it humorous. What are they going to set a day aside for next? National Day for People with Blue Eyes? Ok, I'm going overboard again. But, I was shocked when I saw this trending on Yahoo last Saturday. Intrigued, I had to get to the bottom of it all. This actually started on August 13, 1992! How in the world did I miss that? I guess it started because Lefties live in a Righties world (so to speak). For example, if Junior is a Leftie and wants to play baseball, his left-handed glove is going to cost more than one for a right-handed kid. Sad, but true. The computer mouse is intended for right-handed folks. Here is another remarkable fact; Lefties only make up about ten-percent of the population. I certainly thought it was more than that. There is no truth to the rumor that an octopus has only one right hand. Strictly a rumor, of course.

Having said all this, I am Rightie. I can't imagine being a right-handed person living in a left-handed world. The world was designed, I suppose, for Righties. I can't imagine learning to drive a stick-shift with my left hand. But, southpaws have to learn to shift with their right hand. Imagine if your teacher said you would have to learn how to write with your left hand. 90% of the population would have fainted in grief! So, to all you lefties out there, I hope you had a nice National Left Handers Day this past Saturday. I wonder if President "Lefty" Obama celebrated this sacred day?

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Symptoms of Sleep Apnea in Women

There was a report earlier this week in the New York Times about women with sleep apnea having a higher risk of dementia as they get older. The report goes on to state that there were 298 women that took place in a study which proved that women with sleep apnea had a nearly 50% risk of dementia over those who did not have the sleep disorder. All women were healthy, with an average age of 80. Of the 298, 115 had the sleep disorder. This study took place over a period of five years.

Those that have followed this blog for any length of time know that I have sleep apnea. I use a CPAP so as to stop the interrupted breathing during the course of my sleep. There are times (such as right now) where I go through periods of waking up and not being able to go back to sleep. This can last up to two weeks. I am now entering my second week. Regardless of sleeping or not, I keep the CPAP mask on for as long as I am in bed. But, the focus of this blog entry is on symptoms of sleep apnea in women. Let's go to that point now.

Basically, the same symptoms of sleep apnea in men also appear in women. However, sleep apnea symptoms can be less noticeable in women. Women are more apt to get sleep apnea after menopause. Of course, snoring can be a good indication of sleep apnea in both women and men. That was what led me to getting tested for sleep apnea. My wife (now ex-wife) told me I was snoring horribly at night. I had no idea about that. Of course, there is sleepiness during the day, frequent urination at night for both women and men. There is also the accompanying fatigue factor during the day and, worst of all, the mother of all headaches. I have never been one who had headaches. But, that was something else that caught my attention. I was tested for sleep apnea and found that I had medium to severe sleep apnea. I urge all women and men to get testing if you have any of the symptoms described here.

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Zodiac Killer

The late 1960s in the United States of America. It was a time of civil unrest, assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy. The Vietnam War was raging on unabated. Man left the safe confines of Mother Earth and landed on the Moon. A very tumultuous time in our nation's history. There was also one more significant item during the late 60s (and early 70s) that is not reported very much. The Zodiac Killer. The very name, even now, fills me with dread. He sent letters to the newspapers, taunting the police. He encrypted notes to police and newspapers in the San Francisco area. The Zodiac Killer threatened to blow up a school bus. He made Americans blood run cold. I suspect this was America's first brush with a pathological serial killer. To this date, the Zodiac Killer has not been caught. Many think he died of old age. There are many suspected people, including Arthur Leigh Allen who died in 1992. He is still considered the prime suspect by many historians and police. But, Arthur Leigh Allen died an innocent man.

Why I bring up the Zodiac Killer, in this blog post, there is a possibility the encrypted code of the Zodiac Killer has been broken by a Mr. Corey Starliper, a Californian amateur codebreaker and devout Zodiac historian. Mr. Starliper claims he used an old method known as the "Caesar" to decrypt the killer's code. Most police are not buying into it as yet. There is no one that really knows for sure if Mr. Starliper has broken the code of quite possibly the most notorious serial killer in the history of the United States. It would solve the murders of seven people, although the Zodiac Killer maintained he killed 37 people.

It is very possible that we'll never know who the Zodiac Killer is/was. It's possible the police have been looking in the wrong direction for over forty years. Everyone assumes it is a man that did the killing. I have no reason to think it could be a woman. But, I think the single-minded approach by the FBI and California police might have contributed to the failure to find this serial killer. The hot summers of the late 60s and early 70s were filled with dread. People kept waiting on the police to make an arrest of the Zodiac Killer. Even now, we still wait.

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Spyware and Smartphones

Well, this is something I did not expect. Malware on my Android smartphone (Samsung Galaxy). I got a text message from what I thought was Sprint, my carrier. In that message was a link for me to click on. Now, I should have known better. I do maintenance on computers to supplement my retirement income. I always tell people to not click on links in email or IMs from people you don't know. If you do, chances are you will be downloading a virus or spyware. Well, like an idiot, I didn't take my own advice by clicking on a link in a text message. The link took me to some worthless product I had no interest in whatsoever. So, I clicked it off. Little did I know that installed the spyware on my phone.

The next day I noticed my phone was warm to the touch. I thought that was unusual. I had never noticed it before. My phone also died after a short two hours of being off the charger at night. I have had this phone for only three months. It is not really possible for the battery to go bad on me already. I also got a phone call from Sprint. They told me it is possible that I have spyware on my phone. I was astounded. I didn't think that was possible. But, they noticed I had sent over 50 text messages to numbers overseas, one right after another. They wanted to see if I had lost my phone. I gave some identifying information for them, including a private ID number I got when I bought the phone. They told me if it is spyware, it is very expensive to get rid of and the average person can't do it. What they did advise me to do is take the battery out completely and leave it out overnight.

Apparently, taking the battery out overnight did the trick. No more warm phone, no more texts to number overseas. Sprint advised they would not charge me this time. But, they insisted I use a pass code to lock my phone so as to prevent anyone from using it but me. Hopefully, this will take care of the problem. If not, I would probably be better off just turning the phone in and buying another due to the expense of getting rid of the spyware on my smartphone. If you have a smartphone, be smart. Don't click on a link from someone with whom you are not familiar. I was dumb. Lesson learned.

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Starvation and Famine in Africa

I know we have all seen this picture before...a malnourished child in Africa with the swollen bellies, flies all around and the story there is, once again, a famine in Africa. I've seen that same picture one time too many. The one that sticks out in my mind is a dying child in Africa with a vulture waiting nearby for the inevitable. That one shook me to the core. There are some heartless people who say this always happens in Africa because of lack of birth control, lack of support infrastructure and just abject poverty. All those things may be true. But, ask the children that are starving if they care or even understand these reasons. Chances are they don't care. The only thing these children can relate to is the rumbling sound in their stomachs.

I bring this subject up for two reasons. One, once again Somalia (yes, Somalia) is at the forefront of famine and starvation in Africa today. This is due in part to a devastating drought taking place in Somalia. People have no water, no food to survive. As you may remember, President Bill Clinton sent in U.S. troops to help Somalia back in the early 90's. We wound up with a "Blackhawk Down" episode for our troubles. Somalia cannot expect help from the USA this time. Secondly, this reminds me of a similar rescue mission to the Ivory Coast back in the early 70s when I was in the U.S. Navy. These people were so starved they attacked our hellicopters that were bringing food. They had no concern for the whirling blades that could swoop them up. That haunts me to this day. I've never seen people that famished. I hope I never do again.

If you would like to contribute to aid to Africa, hit this link. This is the Samaritan's Purse International Relief Organization. They are my favorite charity.

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