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Monday, 24 April 2017 23:13

Rain Brings Relief but Fires Still Burn

Even though Heavy downpours early Sunday morning have finally brought some relief to Firefighters battling wild fires across the southern half of Florida, Fires continue to bun in the Gateway area.....Golden Gate Estates Brush Fire covered over 7,000 acres and is now only 65% contained

The sound of early morning raindrops was music to the ears of firefighters and forest officials in the area, but firefighters are asking the public to help in getting the rest of the fires out. If you see a log burning in the middle of a black burned out area, chances are that that is not a problem, but if you see fire running accross green or dried out fields, that needs to be reported.

The rain that did fall allowed the firefighters to go on the offensive and start to push back flames.

Sunday, 23 April 2017 08:04

Rain Brings Relief but Fires Still Burn

Even though Heavy downpours early Sunday morning have finally brought some relief to Firefighters battling wild fires across the southern half of Florida, Fires continue to bun in the Gateway area.....Golden Gate Estates Brush Fire covered over 7,000 acres and is now only 65% contained

The sound of early morning raindrops was music to the ears of firefighters and forest officials in the area, but firefighters are asking the public to help in getting the rest of the fires out. If you see a log burning in the middle of a black burned out area, chances are that that is not a problem, but if you see fire running accross green or dried out fields, that needs to be reported.

The rain that did fall allowed the firefighters to go on the offensive and start to push back flames.

 

Saturday, 22 April 2017 21:45

Life, be in it

Keanu Reeves writes..

"My friend's mom has eaten healthy all her life. Never ever consumed alcohol or any "bad" food, exercised every day, very limber, very active, took all supplements suggested by her doctor, never went in the sun without sunscreen and when she did it was for as short a period as possible- so pretty much she protected her health with the utmost that anyone could. She is now 76 and has skin cancer, bone marrow cancer and extreme osteoporosis.

My friend's father eats bacon on top of bacon, butter on top of butter, fat on top of fat, never and I mean never exercised, was out in the sun burnt to a crisp every summer, he basically took the approach to live life to his fullest and not as others suggest. He is 81 and the doctors says his health is that of a young person.

People you cannot hide from your poison. It's out there and it will find you

so in the words of my friend's still living mother: " if I would have known my life would end this way I would have lived it more to the fullest enjoying everything I was told not to!"

None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought.

Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine.

Jump in the ocean.

Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure.

Be silly. Be kind. Be weird.

There’s no time for anything else."

Saturday, 22 April 2017 07:26

Great Quote

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.

When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I wrote down ‘happy’.

They told me I didn’t understand the assignment,

and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

Wednesday, 19 April 2017 23:44

Which Is Better: Fresh or Frozen?

Frozen fruits and vegetables get a lot of heat because most people assume that if an item is frozen, it must be of a lesser quality and nutritional value than the same item that's fresh in the produce department.

Is it true? Is fresh really better than frozen? And if so, is the difference great enough to spend more money to make sure we're always eating fresh?

According to nutritionist Cynthia Sass, frozen foods get a bad rap for being processed junk, but the truth is, some of the healthiest foods in the market are in the freezer section.

MATURITY.

Ask any nutritionist and you'll learn that the minute a fruit or vegetable is picked, it begins to lose nutrients. The amount of time between harvest and consumption impacts its nutritional value. Because most frozen fruits and vegetables are frozen shortly after they are harvested, those items scheduled for flash freezing are fully ripe. That means they are chock full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Freezing actually locks in many of their nutrients.

On the other hand, the fresh produce in your supermarket could have been harvested as far as 1,500 miles away -- much of it in South America -- and had to travel by truck to get to the store. It may have been picked before it reached its nutritional peak and then artificially ripened during transport.

NUTRITION.

Frozen produce has been proven to be just as nutrient-rich, and even superior in nutrients to fresh items, retaining most of their antioxidants and vitamins.

Scientists from Leatherhead Food Research and the University of Chester carried out 40 tests to measure nutrient levels in produce that had been sitting in a fridge for three days compared to their frozen equivalents. They found more beneficial nutrients overall in the frozen samples, in everything from broccoli to blueberries.

Of course, eating produce within minutes of harvest is the healthiest option. However, frozen can be almost as good and is often better than items sold as fresh because unless you pick it yourself, you have no idea how long it has been since that produce was harvested.

ADDITIVE-FREE.

Frozen goodies like spinach and strawberries have no additives because additives are not necessary to preserve quality. Naked produce (e.g. no added salt or sugar) is the norm. That's why frozen fruits and vegetables carry a single-word ingredient lists -- the fruit or veggie itself. Always check the ingredients, but I bet you'll find at least a dozen varieties in the freezer aisle with absolutely nothing added.

CONVENIENCE.

Even the freshest produce comes with a prep requirement. Sometimes that extra time is just too much at the end of a stressful day. Know the feeling? Frozen produce magically preps itself. It comes washed, peeled and chopped. Frozen produce can save you a ton of time, making it more likely that you'll cook and eat at home rather than opting for takeout.

Mary Hunt

The U.S.-Japan alliance is the cornerstone of peace, prosperity and freedom in the Asia-Pacific region, Vice President Mike Pence told U.S. service members aboard the USS Ronald Reagan at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, home of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet today.

As he stood aboard the aircraft carrier, Pence said President Donald J. Trump sent him to thank U.S. and Japanese service members who have “stood up and stepped forward to protect our countries, our values and our very way of life.”

Pence is in the Asia-Pacific region to visit top officials in Seoul, South Korea; Tokyo; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Sydney for discussions on economic engagement and evolving security challenges.

“You are the sons and daughters of freedom willing to defend it with your life so that your families, fellow countrymen and future generations may continue to call themselves free. All of America is proud of you,” the vice president said.

‘Heroes All’

Pence told the service members they are, “the best of us, heroes all. The Americans among you are so far away from home because the United States of America and Japan are bound by history, a time-honored treaty and the abiding oath of friendship.”

The U.S. bond with Japan is strong and growing stronger every day, he said.

“It’s fitting today I deliver this message aboard this great ship, a majestic ship, the USS Ronald Reagan here at Yokosuka Naval Base,” Pence said. “Her steel deck literally signifies the ironclad alliance our country enjoys with Japan, and our enduring commitment to the Asia-Pacific.”

Today, more than 50,000 U.S. troops, and another 50,000 civilians and family members are stationed in Japan, Pence told the audience. And the United States will continue to deploy more of its advanced military assets to the region in the years ahead, he added.

“Beyond the noble ship and the carrier strike group that it leads, by the year 2020, this ocean will boast 60 percent of our Navy’s fleet. And the skies above already have F-35 [Lighting II] joint strike fighters flying for freedom,” Pence said.
Stronger Fighting Force

“The president and I will honor your commitment and secure America’s safety through historic investments in our national defense. Just as President Ronald Reagan restored the armed forces in his day, so too, President Donald Trump will make the strongest fighting force in the world even stronger still,” Pence said.

In Trump’s first 100 days in office, Pence noted, the new president has taken steps to strengthen America’s military.

“President Trump has submitted a budget, which will rebuild our military and restore the arsenal of democracy with the largest increase in defense spending since the days of the namesake of this ship sat in the Oval Office,” he said.

In the past two weeks, Pence said, the world saw strength and resolve when Trump took decisive actions in Syria and Afghanistan.

“The enemies of our freedom and this alliance would do well not to test the resolve of this president or the capabilities of the armed forces of the United States of America and our allies,” he said.

North Korea Threat

Pence referred to his visit to South Korea earlier in the week.

“North Korea is the most dangerous and urgent threat to the peace and security of the Asian Pacific,” he said. “For more than a generation, North Korea’s leaders have sought to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic weapons on which to deliver them. They have impoverished their people and embittered the region in their pursuit of this dangerous goal.”

And the United States and its allies have worked tirelessly to peacefully dismantle North Korea’s nuclear program and alleviate the suffering of its people, he added.

“But at every step of the way, North Korea answered with overtures of willful deception, with broken promises and nuclear and missile tests,” Pence said.

“As President Trump has made clear, the era of strategic patience is over,” the vice president said.

Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News

United Airlines brought itself a world of hurt with its disastrous handling of a seat-shortage problem Sunday that led to an Asian-American passenger being beaten bloody and dragged, apparently unconscious, off a plane by security personnel at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. A potentially costly lawsuit by the passenger is probably the least of United's worries. The self-inflicted public relations wounds could be catastrophic.

The airline's stock price took a nosedive Tuesday. In China, one of the airline's major markets, reaction has been volcanic, largely because the abused passenger was reported to be ethnically Chinese. Within 36 hours of Sunday night's incident, a video of the man being dragged off the Flight 3411 to Louisville, Ky., had been viewed more than 210 million times. Outraged viewers in China called for an international boycott.

United claims to offer more nonstop flights to China than any other airline. The airline cannot afford to put that lucrative market in jeopardy. Deft handling of this incident was an absolute requirement. United blew it badly.

In a statement, chief executive Oscar Munoz offered an Orwellian apology: "This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers." He revised it Tuesday into a full-throated apology.

What's worse is the reason why the battered passenger and three others were forced off the flight. The airline said it had overbooked -- common in air travel -- and had offered up to $800 and a free night's hotel accommodation for passengers willing to give up their seats. None volunteered.

In desperation, the airline said four passengers were selected at random by computer and then ordered off -- but not to make room for other paying passengers. It was to clear seats so that four United employees could travel to Louisville as relief crew members for another flight. The airline later acknowledged there was never any overbooking.

The airline made a conscious decision to put its own operational priorities ahead of the needs and rights of its paying passengers. No matter how urgent it was for ticketed passengers to get to Louisville, United decided seats for its four employees were more important.

Equally incomprehensible was the airline's decision to board passengers before the overbooking problem had been resolved. It's far easier to deny entry when passengers are in the waiting area than when they're already buckled into their seats.

Various news reports identified the battered passenger as David Dao, a Louisville physician. Witnesses quoted him as saying that he needed to return to Louisville Sunday night because he had appointments with patients on Monday morning.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Dao had been in legal trouble from drug-related offenses more than a decade ago. His past should have no bearing on the appalling way he was treated Sunday night.

This is one case where the airline deserves all the rough re-accommodation customers can bestow upon it.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017 23:20

HOW TO AVOID BUYING A LEMON CAR

Finding a trouble-free used car has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with applying good research and investigative skills.

To help you determine whether a used vehicle is a good value or potential trouble, here's some advice from Consumer Reports:

-- Check the reliability record. A good way to reduce the risk of purchasing a trouble-prone vehicle is to select models with a good reliability record before you begin shopping. Consumer Reports' annual subscriber survey provides exclusive real-world reliability information that can help you narrow your selections.

-- Read the window sticker. Usually attached to a window, the buyer's guide must contain certain information, including whether the vehicle is being sold "as is" or with a warranty, and what percentage of repair costs (if any) the dealer is obligated to pay. The buyer's guide information overrides any contrary provisions in your sales contract.

-- Check the exterior. Begin by doing a walk-around of the car, looking for dents, chipped paint, mismatched body panels or parts, broken lamp housings and chipped windows. Paint overspray on chrome or rubber trim or in the vehicle's wheel wells is a telltale sign of body-panel repair.

-- Check the interior. A long look into the cabin can reveal such obvious problems as a sagging headliner, cracked dashboard and missing knobs, handles and buttons. Frayed seat belts or ones with melted fibers (because of friction) may be evidence of a previous frontal impact above 15 mph -- damaged safety belts should always be replaced.
Prematurely worn pedals or a sagging driver's seat are signs that the vehicle has very high mileage.

-- Check under the hood. At first glance, the engine, radiator and battery should be relatively grease-free and have very little or no corrosion. Belts and hoses should be pliable and unworn. Look for wet spots, which can indicate leaking oil or fluids. Melted wires, tubes or lines, or a blackened firewall may be signs of overheating or even an engine fire.

-- Check the tires. Wear should be even across the width of the tread and the same on the left and right sides of the car. Tires that are frequently used while over-inflated tend to have more wear in the middle; tires driven while under-inflated tend to wear more on the sides. Heavy wear on the outside shoulder near the sidewall of the tire indicates a car that has been driven hard. This can be a sign that other parts of the car may suffer from excessive wear due to aggressive driving.

-- Check the vehicle's history. A vehicle-history report from CarFax or Experian Automotive can alert you to possible odometer fraud; reveal past fire, flood and accident damage; or tell you if a rebuilt or salvage title has ever been issued for the vehicle.

-- Visit a mechanic. Before you buy a used vehicle, Consumer Reports recommends having it inspected by a qualified mechanic who routinely does automotive diagnostic work. A thorough diagnosis should cost around $120.

ConsumerReports.org

Wednesday, 19 April 2017 23:18

War Cries Drown Out 'America First'

"Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem?" tweeted President Donald Trump on Easter Sunday.

Earlier, after discovering "great chemistry" with Chinese President Xi Jinping over "the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake" at Mar-a-Lago, Trump had confided, "I explained ... that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!"

"America First" thus takes a back seat to big-power diplomacy with Beijing. One wonders: How much will Xi end up bilking us for his squeezing of Kim Jong Un?

Trump once seemed to understand how America had been taken to the cleaners during and after the Cold War. While allies supported us diplomatically, they piled up huge trade surpluses at our expense and became virtual free-riders off the U.S. defense effort.

No nations were more successful at this than South Korea and Japan. Now Xi is playing the game -- and perhaps playing Trump.

What is the "North Korean problem" Beijing will help solve in return for more indulgent consideration on future U.S.-China trade deals?

North Korea's nuclear arsenal. As 80 percent of Pyongyang's trade comes through China, Trump believes that Beijing can force Kim to stop testing missiles and atomic bombs before he produces an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit the U.S.

But what is to prevent Xi from pocketing Trump's concessions and continuing on the strategic course China has long pursued?

For in many ways, Pyongyang's goals parallel China's.

Neither could want an all-out war on the Korean Peninsula. For Kim, this would devastate his country, bring down his regime, and cost him his life. For China, war could mean millions of Koreans crossing the Yalu into Manchuria and a disruption of Beijing's march to Asian hegemony.

A continuing crisis on the peninsula, however, with Trump and the U.S. relying on Beijing's help, could leave Xi in the catbird seat.

And now that North Korea has declared its goal to be building missiles with nuclear warheads that could hit all U.S. bases in Asia -- and even California -- the clock is running for the White House.

"It won't happen," Trump has said of North Korea's developing an ICBM that could hit the United States. "If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will."

"The threat is upon us," says outgoing deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland. "This is something President Trump is going to deal with in the first year."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Vice President Mike Pence have declared that our policy of "strategic patience" with Pyonyang is at an end.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster said Sunday the U.S. has "to take action, short of armed conflict, so we can avoid the worst" in dealing with "this unpredictable regime."
With a stunning parade of missiles in Pyongyang on Saturday, the North's failed firing of a solid-fueled missile that same day, and the promise of new missile tests weekly, Kim is forcing our hand.

Either he backs away from building atomic bombs and long-range missiles or Trump and his generals must make good on their warnings.

How did we get to this point?

Why, 64 years after the Korean War, a quarter-century after the Cold War, are we still obliged to go to war to defend South Korea from a North with one-half the South's population and 3 percent of its gross domestic product?

Why are we, on the far side of the Pacific, still responsible for containing North Korea when two of its neighbors -- Russia and China -- are nuclear powers and South Korea and Japan could field nuclear and conventional forces far superior to Kim's?

How long into the future will containing militarist dictators in Pyongyang with nuclear missiles be America's primary responsibility?

Another issue arises. Before the U.S. launches any pre-emptive strike on North Korea, Congress should be called back into session to authorize any act of war against the North.

Perhaps this time, Congress would follow the Constitution.

Though Korea is the crisis of the moment, it is not the only one.

Not since 9/11 have the Afghan Taliban been stronger or controlled more territory. The United States' commanding general there is calling for thousands more U.S. troops. Russia and Iran are reportedly negotiating with the Taliban. Pakistan is said to be aiding them.

To counter Vladimir Putin's Russia, we have moved U.S. and NATO troops into Poland, the Baltic States, Romania and Bulgaria. We have fired missiles into Syria. We are reportedly preparing to back the Saudis in the latest escalation of their war on the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Twenty-four years after "Black Hawk Down," the weekend brought reports of U.S. troops returning to Somalia.

The promise of a Trump presidency -- that we would start looking out for our own country and own national interests first and let the rest of the world solve, or fail to solve, its own problems -- appears, not 100 days in, to have been a mirage.

Will more wars make America great again?

Patrick J. Buchanan

Wednesday, 19 April 2017 23:12

Two Very Different Tax Days

Leftist protesters around the country used the tax deadline on April 18 as an occasion to hold rallies demanding the release of President Trump's tax returns. They could use large inflatable chickens and signs with hammers and sickles saying "Show us your rubles" and no journalist would be offended.

Knowing the president, this will have all the effectiveness of national rallies that demand we get transcripts of Hillary Clinton's six-figure speeches. It's unlikely.

But the Saturday network newscasts promoted the anti-Trump "resistance" without really noting that it's a bit strange for left-wingers to be protesting on taxes, unless they think rates are dangerously low. CBS correspondent Errol Barnett announced, "As nationwide Tax Day protests reached the sunny streets of West Palm Beach, Florida, today, President Trump spent time at his International Golf Club and Mar-a-Lago resort nearby."

On ABC, they acknowledged "violent clashes" among protesters in California, and anchor Tom Llamas promoted the wave, saying, "There were about 150 Tax Day protests demanding to see the president's tax returns, even at the president's Mar-a-Lago resort." NBC led the whole newscast on the protests, including the violence that erupted in Berkeley.

Something was missing in all of this protest publicity: the notion that the protesters weren't a real grass-roots movement. Liberal journalists are always happy to see liberal protesters boosting any mob that matches their ideals. Because they are liberal, they are always presented as authentic, diverse and representative of the public, regardless of the last election's results. It can be rigidly organized by MoveOn and other leftist groups, but it will be painted as spontaneous.

But rewind to eight years ago: While the networks covered conservative Tax Day protests against then-President Obama, the emphasis was on how phony they were.

ABC reporter Dan Harris suggested the protesters were AstroTurf "cheered on by Fox News and talk radio." As opposed to "authentic" organizers cheered by ABC, CBS and NBC? Harris added: "Critics on the left say this is not a real grassroots phenomenon at all, that it's actually largely orchestrated by people fronting for corporate interests. ... While the Boston Tea Party in 1773 was about taxation without representation, critics point out that today's protesters did get to vote -- they just lost."

CBS reporter Dean Reynolds announced that while "a fistful of rightward-leaning websites and commentators embraced the cause. ... fresh polling indicates there is not all that much passion about high taxes in the country at large right now. Gallup this week found 61 percent of Americans see their federal income taxes as fair."

On NBC, Lee Cowan reported that "organizers insist today's tea parties were organic uprisings of like-minded taxpayers from both parties," but "some observers suggest not all of it was as home-grown as it may seem." His "observer" was colleague Chuck Todd, who didn't exactly have his finger on the 2010 pulse. Earlier that day, Todd insisted that the idea of these "so-called tea parties ... hasn't really caught on."

Oops. Wishful thinking trumped reporting.

The networks also spent the Obama years ignoring how the tea party was motivated by historically enormous trillion-dollar deficits. Facts like those were stubborn things. Journalists felt it was best to navigate around them as the "news" consisted of congratulating Obama for his ability to sing Al Green songs and his rib-tickling Obamacare-promoting interviews with supportive comedians.

It's ironic that the liberal media now accuse President Trump of lacking any principles and being indifferent to public policy matters. Perhaps after their performance in the last eight years, the anchormen should be looking in the mirror.
­

L. Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham

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