Archive for April, 2010

Way to go!!!!!

Posted: April 30, 2010 in Arizona

All I have to say is way to go Arizona. The new immigration bill and right to carry bill are awesome. It is about time that the states stand up, and tell the Federal Government to FUCK OFF!!!!

Advertisements

Urban Resources

Posted: April 24, 2010 in urban resources

this is from http://offgridsurvival.com/urban-resources

Having a plan of action is critical in any survival situation. Any good Urban Survival plan should have a way to find food, water and other supplies within walking distance of your home. It should also include multiple routes to get out of Dodge should the need arise.

Plan of Action

Get a detailed map of your area (or download one from Google maps). Plot out all the routes to where you can find various supplies during an emergency situation.

WATER – Ponds, streams, rivers, wells or whatever other sources of water are near your area need to be plotted out in detail.

* How far are they from your location?
* How much water can you obtain from the source?
* Are there water sources where you can bathe and wash clothes?
* What are the risks associated with obtaining water from the source?
* Are there safety issues that you may encounter and how will you overcome them?
* Can you stay hidden along your route?

FOOD –

* Where can you find wild game around your area?
* Are there area where you can easily set traps & snares?
* What are the edible wild plants in your area?
* Are there farms in your area? Local gardens?
* What are the risks associated with transporting food in your area?
* Are there safety issues that you may encounter and how will you overcome them?
* Can you stay hidden along your route?

ESCAPE ROUTES – Having multiple escape routes is extremely important and should not be overlooked. Make sure you study your routes, and know them well!

* Find routes that have multiple other escape routes via the original trail.
* Are there hiking trails in your area?
* Are there train tracks in your area?
* How easy is it to stay hidden while walking along your route?
* Is there a river you can safely follow?
* Make sure you also know where to find food and water along your escape routes.

MILITARY HISTORY

Posted: April 17, 2010 in MILITARY HISTORY

The following “Revelation” on the USS William Porter is a bit of Naval History that you won’t find in the History books. It is rather funny today, but hardly humorous then. I can’t vouch for its word by word authenticity, but it is a good story and many of the major events noted can be verified:

From NOV 43, until her demise in JUN 45, the American destroyer ‘William Porter’ was often hailed – whenever she entered port or joined other Naval ships – with the greetings: ‘Don’t shoot, we’re Republicans!’ For a half a century, the US Navy kept a lid on the details of the incident that prompted this salutation. A Miami news reporter made the first public disclosure in 1958 after he stumbled upon the truth while covering a reunion of the destroyer’s crew. The Pentagon reluctantly and tersely confirmed his story, but only a smattering of newspapers took notice. The USS William D Porter (DD-579) was one of hundreds of assembly line destroyers built during the war. They mounted several heavy and light guns but their main armament consisted of 10 fast-running and accurate torpedoes that carried 500-pound warheads. This destroyer was placed in commission in JUL 43 under the command of Wilfred Walker, a man on the Navy’s fast career track. In the months before she was detailed to accompany the Iowa across the Atlantic in November 1943, the Porter and her crew learned their trade, experiencing the normal problems that always beset a new ship and a novice crew. The mishaps grew more serious when she became an escort for the pride of the fleet, the big new battleship Iowa.

The night before they left Norfolk, bound for North Africa, the Porter accidentally damaged a nearby sister ship when she backed down along the other ship’s side and her anchor tore down her railings, life rafts, ship’s boat and various other formerly valuable pieces of equipment. The Willie D merely had a scraped anchor but her career of mayhem and mishaps had begun. Just 24 hours later, the four-ship convoy consisting of Iowa and her secret passengers and two other destroyers was under strict instructions to maintain complete radio silence. The Iowa was carrying President Franklin D. Roosevelt along with Secretary of State, Cordell Hull and all of the country’s WWII’s military brass. They were headed for the Big Three Conference in Tehran, where Roosevelt was to meet Stalin and Churchill. As they were going through a known U-boat feeding ground, speed and silence were the best defense. Suddenly, a tremendous explosion rocked the convoy. All of the ships commenced anti-submarine maneuvers. This continued until the Porter sheepishly admitted that one of her depth charges had fallen off her stern and exploded. The ‘safety’ had not been set as instructed. Captain Walker was watching his fast track career become side-tracked.
Shortly thereafter, a freak wave inundated the ship, stripping away everything that wasn’t lashed down. A man was washed overboard and never found. Next, the fire room lost power in one of its boilers. The Captain, by this point, was making reports almost hourly to the Iowa on the Willie D’s difficulties. It would have been merciful if the force commander had detached the hard luck ship and sent her back to Norfolk. But, no, she sailed on.

The morning of 14 NOV 43 the Iowa and her escorts were just east of Bermuda and the president and his guests wanted to see how the big ship could defend herself against an air attack. So, Iowa launched a number of weather balloons to use as anti-aircraft targets. It was exciting to see more than 100 guns shooting at the balloons, and the President was proud of his Navy. Just as proud was Admiral Ernest J King, the Chief of Naval Operations; large in size and by demeanor, a true monarch of the sea. Up to this time, no one knew what firing a torpedo at him would mean. Over on the Willie D, Captain Walker sent his impatient crew to battle stations. They began to shoot down the balloons the Iowa had missed as they drifted into the Porter’s vicinity. Down on the torpedo mounts, the crew watched, waiting to take some practice shots of their own on the big battleship. On this particular morning, they unfortunately had forgotten to remove the primer from torpedo tube #3. Up on the bridge, a new torpedo officer, unaware of the danger, ordered a simulated firing. “Fire 1, Fire 2,” and finally, “Fire 3.” There was no fire 4 as the sequence was interrupted by an unmistakable whooooooshhhhing sound made by a successfully launched and armed torpedo. Just after he saw the torpedo hit water on its way to the Iowa and some of the most prominent figures in world history, Lewis innocently asked the Captain, ‘Did you give permission to fire a torpedo?’ Captain Walker’s reply will not ring down through naval history… although words to the effect of Farragut’s immortal ‘Damn the torpedoes’ figured centrally within.

Initially, there was some reluctance to admit what had happened or even to warn the Iowa. As the awful reality sunk in, people began racing around, shouting conflicting instructions and attempting to warn the flagship of imminent danger. First, there was a flashing light warning about the torpedo which unfortunately indicated it was headed in another direction. Next, the Porter signaled that it was going reverse at full speed! Finally, they decided to break the strictly enforced radio silence. The radio operator on the destroyer transmitted “‘Lion (code for the Iowa), Lion, come right.” The Iowa operator, more concerned about radio procedure, requested that the offending station identify itself first. Finally, the message was received and the Iowa began turning to avoid the speeding torpedo. Meanwhile, on the Iowa’s bridge, word of the torpedo firing had reached FDR, who asked that his wheelchair be moved to the railing so he could see better what was coming his way. His loyal Secret Service guard immediately drew his pistol as if he was going to shoot the torpedo. As the Iowa began evasive maneuvers, all of her guns were trained on the William D Porter. There was now some thought that the Porter was part of an assassination plot. Within moments of the warning, there was a tremendous explosion just behind the battleship. The torpedo had been detonated by the wash kicked up by the battleship’s increased speed.
The crisis was over and so was Captain Walker’s career. His final utterance to the Iowa, in response to a question about the origin of the torpedo, was a weak, “We did it.” Shortly thereafter, the brand new destroyer, her Captain and the entire crew were placed under arrest and sent to Bermuda for trial. It was the first time that a complete ship’s company had been arrested in the history of the US Navy. The ship was surrounded by Marines when it docked in Bermuda and held there several days as the closed session inquiry attempted to determine what had happened. Torpedoman Dawson eventually confessed to having inadvertently left the primer in the torpedo tube, which caused the launching. Dawson had thrown the used primer over the side to conceal his mistake. The whole incident was chalked up to an unfortunate set of circumstances and placed under a cloak of secrecy. Someone had to be punished. Captain Walker and several other Porter officers and sailors eventually found themselves in obscure shore assignments. Dawson was sentenced to 14 years hard labor. President Roosevelt intervened; however, asking that no punishment be meted out for what was clearly an accident. The destroyer was banished to the upper Aleutians. It was probably thought this was as safe a place as any for the ship and anyone who came near her. She remained in the frozen north for almost a year, until late 1944, when she was re-assigned to the Western Pacific.

Before leaving the Aleutians, she accidentally left her calling card in the form of a five-inch shell fired into the front yard of the American base commandant, thus rearranging his flower garden. In DEC 44, she joined the Philippine invasion forces and acquitted herself quite well. She distinguished herself by shooting down a number of attacking Japanese aircraft. Regrettably, after the war, it was reported that she also shot down three American planes. This was a common event on ships, as many gunners, fearful of kamikazes, had nervous trigger fingers. In APR 45 the destroyer was assigned to support the invasion of Okinawa. By this time, the greeting “Don’t Shoot, We’re Republicans” was commonplace and the crew of the Willie D had become used to the ribbing. But the crew of her sister ship, the USS Luce, was not so polite in its salutations after the Porter accidentally riddled her side and superstructure with gunfire.

On 10 JUN 45, the Porter’s hard luck finally ran out. She was sunk by a plane which had (unintentionally) attacked underwater. A Japanese bomber made almost entirely of wood and canvas slipped through the Navy’s defense. Having little in the way of metal surfaces, the plane didn’t register on radar. A fully loaded kamikaze, it was headed for a ship near the Porter but just at the last moment veered away and crashed along side the unlucky destroyer. There was a sigh of relief as the plane sunk out of sight but then it blew up underneath the Porter, opening her hull in the worst possible location. Three hours later, after the last man was off board, the Captain jumped to the safety of a rescue vessel and the ship that almost changed world history slipped astern into 2,400 feet of water. Not a single soul was lost in the sinking. After everything else that happened, it was almost as if the ship decided to let her crew off at the end. [Source: http://www.usshancockcv19.com/histories/willie-d.htm Naval Historian Kit Bonner Mar 08 ++]

TRICARE HELP

Posted: April 17, 2010 in TRICARE HELP

Have a question on how Tricare applies to your personal situation? Write to Tricare Help, Times News Service, 6883 Commercial Drive, Springfield, VA 22159; or tricarehelp@militarytimes.com. In e-mail, include the word “Tricare” in the subject line and do not attach files. You can also get Tricare advice online anytime at http://www.militarytimes.com/tricarehelp. For basic information refer to the latest Tricare Handbook at http://www.tricare.mil/mybenefit/Download/Forms/Standard_Handbook_LoRes.pdf or call your regional contractor. Following are some of the issues addressed in recent weeks by these sources:

(Q) What constituents a ‘Full time Student’? My son, who will be 21 in July, lives at home and is a student. He takes two or three classes per quarter. What is considered a “full-time student” to keep medical coverage? He has a chronic eye condition that needs regular doctor appointments and needs to be covered.

(A) To be eligible for Tricare beyond his 21st birthday, your son must be certified by his university – not Tricare – as being a “full-time” student. Contact the university’s Registrar for that information. Contact the DEERS Support Office at 1(800) 538-9552, for help and information regarding Tricare eligibility beyond age 21 for full-time students. DEERS will help with the administrative things that must be done. Tricare eligibility is determinded by federal law. Tricare has no authority to determine Tricare eligibility. Only the services have that authority. To help with eligibility issues is DEERS’ only function. Contact DEERS anytime you have a Tricare eligibility question or need help with such matters.

++++++++++++++++++++

(Q) How does VA and Tricare health care interact? If a military retiree of over 20 years’ service is enrolled/treated at a VA hospital, does that make him/her and spouse ineligible for Tricare for Life? Also, has there been a change in the new medical bill signed by President Obama?

(A) Tricare and VA benefits are unrelated programs governed by totally different federal laws. If a person is otherwise eligible for Tricare, using VA benefits will not negate his Tricare eligibility except that he may not file Tricare claims for any costs incurred by getting care with the VA. The only exception to that rule is in the case of the very few VA Medical Centers that have special status as Tricare-authorized providers. Your VA center administration can advise you if your center is one of them. Until DoD legal experts have properly evaluated the new health care law, it is not possible to say what, if any, effects there will be for Tricare. Any changes to Tricare will be widely publicized far in advance of their effective date. None are expected except the possibility of extending the upper age limits of Tricare eligibility of certain children in certain circumstances.

++++++++++++++++++++

(Q) Will my college dependent lost Tricare upon turning 23? I have read that the new heath care reform legislation will not affect Tricare coverage because it is under the sole authority of the Defense Department, and as such, is governed by an independent set of statutes. Eligibility, covered benefits, copayments and other features of the Tricare program remain in place. That is a good thing to know. However, if I understand correctly, since Tricare’s benefits are set by statute, separate legislation is required to change them to fall in line to cover children up to age 27 under their parent’s health care coverage. If changes are made to the statutes governing Tricare, then time will be required to implement the changes. Until that time, the Tricare benefit remains unaffected by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Therefore, my 22-year-old daughter, who currently is a full-time student, will still lose her health care benefits on her birthday this December while other children, not privileged to have military parents, will retain their insurance until they turn 27.
Are you aware of any moves to to change this statute so our children can enjoy the same benefits while completing their education? Or, am I hopefully all wrong here and our children will be covered until they turn 27 ?

(A) Congratulations on not believing and being frightened by every cockamamie e-mail floating around the Internet. Unlike that of many others who have written concerning the new law, the information you cite is correct as far as I know at this time. The age limits for the Tricare eligibility of children were established by Public Law 89-614 (codified at Chapter 55 of Title 10, United States Code, as amended) which, in 1966, created the program, formerly CHAMPUS, now called Tricare. It is possible that Congress will have to amend that law before any changes to Tricare’s age limits for children may be implemented permanently. In the meantime, Military Times Congressional Editor Rick Maze reports that Rep. Martin Heinrich, D- N.M., introduced a bill, H.R.4923, on 24 MAR to apply the new law’s age extension to Tricare. It is being considered by the House Armed Services Committee for inclusion in the 2011 Defense Authorization Act, which normally takes effect on 1 OCT or later of each year. As of now, the bill is still in committee.

++++++++++++++++++++

(Q) Can my parent use Tricare? I am a retired Marine. How can I enroll my mother as my dependent? I have been supporting her.

(A) To register your mother as your dependent, talk with your Personnel Section. But note that, even if your mother becomes your dependent, she will not become eligible for Tricare. Federal law forbids it. You may be able to arrange for her to get free medical care at your military hospital. Talk with the hospital’s Executive Officer or the Officer-in-Charge of Patient Administration about that. For official confirmation that your mother cannot become eligible for Tricare as your dependent, call the DEERS Support Office, toll-free, at 1(800) 538-9552.
[Source: NavyTimes James E. Hamby Jr. column 12 Apr 2010 ++]

ENLISTMENT Update 13

Posted: April 17, 2010 in ENLISTMENT Update 13

: In general, the following conditions will render one ineligible for enlistment, and waivers will not normally be granted:
• Intoxicated or under influence of alcohol or drugs at time of application, or at any stage of processing for enlistment.
• Having history of psychotic disorders or state of insanity.
• Questionable moral character.
• Alcoholism.
• Drug dependence.
• Sexual perversion.
• History of antisocial behavior.
• History of frequent or chronic venereal disease.
• Previously separated for unfitness, unsuitability, unsatisfactory performance, misconduct or bar to reenlistment, with 18 or more years of active Federal service completed.
• Military retirees (can be waived in some cases).
• Persons unable to present written evidence (official documents) of prior service claimed, until such service has been verified.
• Persons whose enlistment are not clearly consistent with interests of national security.
• Last discharged or separated from a component of a U.S. Armed Force, with an other than honorable or general administrative discharge.
• Criminal or juvenile court charges filed or pending against them by civil authorities.
• Persons under civil restraint, such as confinement, parole, or probation.
• Subject of initial civil court conviction or adverse disposition for more than one felony offense.
• Civil conviction of a felony with three or more offenses (convictions or other adverse dispositions) other than traffic. Applicants with juvenile felony offenses who have had no offenses within 5 years of application for enlistment may be considered for a waiver in meritorious cases.
• Subject of initial civil court conviction or other adverse dispositions for sale, distribution, or trafficking (including “Intent To:) of cannabis (marijuana), or any other controlled substance.
• Prior Service with an RE-Code of “4.” (Note: The Army will sometimes waive a re-enlistment eligibility code of “4,” when that code was issued by another service, and the individual’s discharge characterization is “uncharacterized,” or “honorable.”
• Persons with a Bad Conduct or Dishonorable punitive (court-martial) discharge.
• Persons with prior service last discharged from any component of the Armed Forces for drug or alcohol abuse, or as rehab failure during their last period of service.
• Three or more convictions or other adverse dispositions for driving while intoxicated, drugged, or impaired in the 5 years preceding application for enlistment.
• Confirmed positive drug test at MEPS. (Note: The Navy, Marine Corps, and Army may waive this, after a waiting period. The Coast Guard and Air Force never waive this).
• Persons with convictions or other adverse dispositions for 5 or more misdemeanors preceding application for enlistment.
• Alien without lawful admittance or legal residence in the United States.
• Permanently retired by reason of physical disability.
• Individuals receiving disability compensation from the VA (may be waived in some cases, as long as the member agrees to give up the disability compensation).
• Officers removed from active or inactive service by reason of having attained maximum age or service.
• Discharged by reason of conscientious objection.
[Source: About.com: U.S. Military Rod Powers article 19 Sep 09 ++]

Outraged that the father of a dead Marine was ordered to pay some court costs incurred by a group he had sued for picketing his son’s funeral, people from across the country have launched a grass-roots fundraising effort to help the grieving family. “I was appalled,” said Sally Giannini, a 72-year-old retired bookkeeper from Spokane, Wash., who had called The Baltimore Sun after seeing an article about the court decision against Albert Snyder. “I believe in free speech, but this goes too far.” Living on a fixed income, Giannini said she could send only $10 toward the $16,510.80 that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Snyder to pay to Fred Phelps, leader of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., an anti-gay group that travels the country picketing military funerals. The group says military deaths are God’s punishment for America’s tolerance of homosexuality. Snyder sued Westboro because its members waved signs saying “God hates fags” and “God hates the USA” at the 2006 funeral in Westminster of his son, Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, who had been killed in Iraq. A federal jury in Baltimore awarded Snyder $11 million in damages in 2007, saying Phelps’ group intentionally inflicted emotional distress on the family. The award was later reduced to $5 million, and eventually overturned on appeal.

As news of the order to pay some of the court costs spread through the news media and online, strangers were moved to send money and set up funds to support Snyder’s court battle. On 30 MAY, commentator Bill O’Reilly of Fox News Channel offered to pay the court costs owed by Snyder, according to WBAL Radio. Mark C. Seavey, new-media director for the American Legion, also posted a message 30 MAY on his Legion-affiliated blog, The Burn Pit, urging readers to donate to the Albert Snyder Fund. The American Legion’s message was picked up by conservative political blogger Michelle Malkin, who called the Westboro protesters “evil miscreants” and urged readers to donate.”Regardless of how you feel about the merits of the Snyders’ suit, the Snyders deserve to know that Americans are forever grateful for their son’s heroism and for the family’s sacrifice. We shouldn’t stand by and watch them bankrupted,” Malkin wrote.

Money from donations will go toward covering the money owed to Phelps, and beyond that, toward preparing further appeals, Seavey said. In a phone interview 30 MAR, Snyder said he was “exhausted” by the long legal ordeal but heartened by the outpouring of support. He said he has received about 3,000 e-mail messages from people across the country who planned to contribute. “It kind of restores your faith in mankind after dealing with this wacko church,” Snyder said. “Win or lose, I’ll know that I did everything I could for Matt, and for all the soldiers and Marines who are still coming home dying.” From Web sites to Twitter pages, people were galled that the grieving father of a fallen Marine would have to pay a group that uses such inflammatory tactics. A Facebook group called “I support Al Snyder in His fight against Westboro Baptist Church” had drawn nearly 12,000 members by the end of the day 30 MAR.

In SEP 09, the 4th Circuit Court threw out the Baltimore jury’s award to Snyder on free-speech grounds. A month later, Westboro filed a motion to recoup court costs from both the original suit and the appeal, for a total of $96,740.21. Friday’s judgment covers only some costs from the appeal. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed this month to hear a new appeal of the case, which experts say is being closely watched by 1st Amendment advocates. If the Supreme Court sides with Snyder, he won’t have to pay Westboro. “The most alarming part is that [the 4th Circuit] sat on it for months, and only ruled on it after the Supreme Court agreed to hear it,” said Sean E. Summers, Snyder’s York, Pa.-based lawyer. “The other troubling fact was that we were trying to raise about $20,000 to file a Supreme Court brief. Now we have [to raise] another $16,500. … There are definitely extenuating circumstances, given that Mr. Snyder doesn’t have the resources to pay.” Snyder, who lives in York, does in-house sales for a small electronics firm and, according to court filings, earns $43,000 a year.

Gene Policinski, executive director of the First Amendment Center in Nashville, Tenn., predicted that the Supreme Court will not address issues of where protesters are permitted to demonstrate, as it has in the past in the case of abortion protesters. Instead, he said, the case is important because “it has the potential to define whether we’re going to create a new exemption to freedom of speech that is emotionally distressing.” “You can imagine that Martin Luther King and others inflicted emotional distress on people, if they were committed to segregation,” he said. “I shudder to think if those people were armed with the weapon of suing him because the issue itself was repugnant to them.” For some supporters, the issue is not so much the right to free speech as the right to a peaceful burial of fallen troops. [Source: Baltimore Sun Robbie Whelan article 31 Mar 2010 ++]

JC PENNY DATA BREACH

Posted: April 17, 2010 in JC PENNY DATA BREACH

Retailer JC Penney fought to keep its name secret during court proceedings related to the largest breach of credit card data on record, according to documents unsealed on 29 MAR. JC Penney was among the retailers targeted by Albert Gonzalez’s ring of hackers, which managed to steal more than 130 million credit card numbers from payment processor Heartland Payment Systems and others. Gonzalez was sentenced to 20 years in prison on 26 MAR in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. In DEC 09, JC Penney — referred to as “Company A” in court documents — argued in a filing that the attacks occurred more than two years ago, and that disclosure would cause “confusion and alarm.” However, it was already suspected JC Penney was one of the retailers after the Web site StorefrontBacktalk was the first outlet to accurately report in AUG 09 that JC Penney was among the retailers targeted by Gonzalez’s group.

New Jersey, where the Gonzalez case started, agreed to keep JC Penney’s identity secret but the case was moved to Massachusetts where authorities decided otherwise, prompting JC Penney’s motion. Disclosing Company A’s identity “may discourage other victims of cybercrimes to report the criminal activity or cooperate with enforcement officials for fear of the retribution and reputational damage that may arise from a policy of disclosure as espoused by the government in this case,” wrote JC Penney attorney Michael D. Ricciuti. In a 12 JAN filing, U.S. prosecutors argued for disclosure. “Most people want to know when their credit or debit card numbers have been put at risk, not simply if, and after, they have clearly been stolen,” the government wrote. “The presumption of disclosure has an additional significant benefit, though, besides the right of the card holder to know when he has been exposed to risk.”

The U.S. Secret Service had told JC Penney that its computer system had been broken into. The retailer’s system had “unquestionably failed,” but the government said the Secret Service did not have evidence that payment card numbers were stolen, U.S. prosecutors wrote. Another retailer, The Wet Seal, said in a statement issued29 MAR that it had also been targeted by Gonzalez’s gang around MAY 08. The Wet Seal has been referred to as “Company B” in court documents. “We found no evidence to indicate that any customer credit or debit card data or other personally identifiable information was taken,” the company said. Other retailers affected by the breach included TJX, 7-Eleven, Hannaford Brothers, Dave & Busters, BJ’s Wholesale Club, OfficeMax, Boston Market, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority, Forever 21 and DSW. [Source: IDG News Service ComputerWorld Jeremy Kirk article 30 Mar 2010 ++]