Apr 20
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Mothers around the world on Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother’s Day was established on the second Sunday in May by Anna Jarvis after her mother passed away. Former United States President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the inaugural Mother’s Day in 1914.

“Miss Jarvis thought Mother’s Day should be a day you spend with your mother, or a day when you do something special for her like fix her dinner or repair her broken stairs,” said an archivist at Mary Baldwin College. “Mother’s Day has nothing to do with candy,” said Jarvis, “It’s really a shame to waste flowers for Mother’s Day.”

This year again, the American congress approved the observance and requested the president to call upon citizens to partake in the time honoured recognition of this tradition. “I, Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 10, 2009, as Mother’s Day. I urge all Americans to express their love, respect, and gratitude to mothers everywhere, and I call upon all citizens to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.”

Tara McDonald, the mother of abducted Woodstock, Ontario eight year old, Victoria (Tori) Stafford, said “I would really hope to have my child home for Mother’s Day.” McDonald said that dealing with Tori’s absence since April 8 has resulted in “times when I sit in my house and bawl my eyes out and I curl up into a ball and I sob.”

61 year old Lynda McDade graduated Saturday from the University of Detroit along with her two daughters.

A mother under court order forbidding her access to her three children for three years was thrown in jail for approaching her child and telling him she loved him. The mother has been accused of turning the children against the father, a rich City financier who now has custody of the family’s children.

Gloria Steele, Acting Assistant Administrator for Global Health honours the 20th anniversary of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), “Women make extraordinary contributions as caregivers and caretakers, as well as breadwinners and bread-makers. By averting maternal death and disability that cost families and communities so much, we can improve the productive capacity of women in their own nations”

Nadya Suleman, known as Octomom is spending this mother’s day weekend in a California hospital undergoing uterine surgery. This operation will also make Suleman’s family complete with fourteen children as she will no longer be able to physcially conceive a child following the surgery.

Mary Ann Wright, known as “Mother Wright”, died Thursday in Oakland, California, but not before achieving renown as advocate for the poor, and feeding the hungry. She founded the Mother May Ann Wright Foundation from her modest beginnings sparing meals to others while subsisting herself on Social Security checks.

Maree Vaile is a mother of three who was humbled by New Zealand’s Mother of the Year award. Her husband and children recognised the adversity the family has overcome and wanted to show their appreciation by nominating her in the “Mums on Top” online competition.

In Taiwan, students from South Taiwan who attend University in North Taiwan could board a special train provided by the Taiwan Railway Adminsitration so they could visit their mothers on Mother’s Day. “Give your mother a hug, a big and strong hug, because love is not only a noun, it is also a verb,” President Ma Ying-jeou said, “The older mothers grow, the greater is their need to feel needed. So we should show our love for our mother.”

Apr 18
Cape Verde to launch first public university, with Brazil’s support
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Cape Verde to launch first public university, with Brazil’s support

Saturday, September 3, 2005

To help launch Cape Verde‘s first public university, the Brazilian government has made the promise to provide organizational advice and to train professors.

According to Fernando Haddad, Brazilian Minister of Education, Brazil will send its professors to the small nation off the African coast to train them in lecturing, marking, and other important skills involved in the profession.

Filomena Martins, Cape Verdean Minister of Education and Human Resource Enhancement, met with Haddad on August 22 to work out the details of the plan, which was first launched by Brazil’s President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in July 2004.

Cape Verde also hopes to increase the level of education for the university professors themselves. Of the 300 professors at the planned institution, only 3% have doctorates and only 21% have master’s degrees.

Brazil also helps Cape Verde reduce its debt through the Post-Graduate Student Agreement Program. PEC-PG encourages Cape Verdeans to become foreign exchange students in Brazil. In 2005-06, 20 students will participate, with the level increasing to 50 students in the next calendar year.

Apr 17
Fuel leak prompts 17,000-vehicle recall by Toyota
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Fuel leak prompts 17,000-vehicle recall by Toyota

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Toyota announced on Friday that it will recall around 17,000 Lexus vehicles in response to risks of the fuel tank in the cars leaking after a collision.

The Lexus HS 250h model was subjected to the recall following a US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation. Despite previously passing Toyota safety inspections, the conclusions of an NHTSA sub-contracted investigator were that; when the vehicles in question collided with an object at more than fifty-miles-per hour, more than 142 grams of fuel, the maximum allowed by US law, leaked from the crashed car.

According to Toyota, further tests did not show any additional failure of the fuel tank.

In response to the findings, Toyota issued a recall of all affected vehicles, since the company had no solution immediately available. The recall includes 13,000 cars already sold, as well as another 4,000 still at dealerships.

Toyota says it plans to conduct further tests to determine the cause of the leak. A Toyota spokesman, Brian Lyons, said that the company was “still working to determine what the root cause of the condition is.” It’s still unclear when exactly the recall will take place, or when dealerships will be allowed to sell this model again. Lyons said that Toyota is “working feverishly to get this resolved as soon as possible.”

Toyota isn’t aware of any accidents stemming from the leaking fuel tank in the affected vehicles, first introduced in the summer of 2009.

Apr 16
Wikinews interviews the Wikimania 2010 Poland bid promoter
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Wikinews interviews the Wikimania 2010 Poland bid promoter

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wikimania is an annual conference for users, developers and other people involved in the wiki projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. It is held yearly since 2005. The first conference was held in Frankfurt, Germany, on August 4-8, 2005. The second one was held in Boston, USA (on August 4-6, 2006), the third one was held in Taipei, Taiwan (on August 3-5, 2007), the fourth Wikimania was held in Alexandria, Egypt (on July 17-19, 2008) and Wikimania 2009 will be held in Buenos Aires.

Melbourne, Daytona Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Gda?sk, Montpellier and Oxford are among current unofficial Wikimania 2010 bids. Below is Wikinews‘ conversation with the Gda?sk bid promoter and initiator, Wojciech P?dzich.


Wikipedians from Tricity are involved in the process of making an offer, which will give Poland a chance of organizing a world-wide conference of Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimania 2010. Among the competing cities are Washington, D.C., Rio de Janeiro, and Oxford. This year the conference was held in Alexandria, Egypt, where the famous Library of Alexandria is located. Does Gda?sk stand a chance among such known cities?

Poland is still an interesting, unknown, and a cheap-to-visit country
  • Wojciech P?dzich: Because of Wikimania continental rotation, Australian and European bids have the biggest chances in 2010. Australian, because they have not hosted Wikimania yet, and Europe, because the first Wikimania was held in Frankfurt back in 2005. Do we have a chance among other European cities’ proposals? Poland is still an interesting, unknown, and a cheap-to-visit country with a comprehensive list of countries from which their members can visit Poland without requirement of having a visa. We propose the conference to be held inside two adjacent buildings – Polish Baltic Philharmonic and the Polish Maritime Museum buildings, located just few steps from Long Market at the city’s centre. Yes, I do think that our offer will be attractive and will give us a real chance of organizing the Wikimania 2010 in grad upon Mot?awa.

((WN)) The tagline of your proposal is Gda?sk – the city of freedom. Could you tell us, why do you promote yourself with this line?

  • Gda?sk is associated by many with freedom, with its political impact. On the other hand, we have the Wikimedia Foundation and its values of sharing knowledge created freely by volunteers. A conjunction of a cosmopolitan city with strong revolutionary and liberal inclinations and a world-wide free culture is in this case, kind of, natural.

((WN)) How many are involved into creating a proposal? Poland is relatively small country. Are you sure you will be able to guarantee the efficiency of conference, if your proposal wins?

We can say we have a great community potential here.
  • Poland is not exactly small – of course we cannot be compared to the USA, India, or China, but we are not a small country either. Let’s remember that according to the old way of presenting the Wikipedia language editions’ ranking, we were the fourth edition. Even after committing a change to this ranking system, we are still in the first ten. Therefore, we can say we have a great community potential here. Moreover, other Polish Wikimedia projects also place themselves within first tens of respective projects.
Speaking about people involved – so far we have only few, and sometimes I lament about that. Every next person is a possibility of sending few mails, talking with other people, additional pair of eyes looking at the offer, some ideas, contacts, knowledge. That’s why Patrol110 has spammed Pomeranian Wikipedians, so they could get involved, and so am I giving a weight to this: we need more people. Especially if our offer will win, but then I believe in another famous Polish “national spurt”.

((WN)) Were there, in Gda?sk, already some world-wide conferences? Did the city manage to organize them?

I do have a hope that we will get a world-wide coverage thanks to the Wikimania
  • On December 5 and 6, 2008, the 25th anniversary of awarding president Lech Wa??sa with Nobel Peace Prize was held. Furthermore, it was held inter alia inside the Polish Baltic Philharmonic, which we propose as a place of the Wikimania 2010 conference. It was an event with over one thousand attendants from all over the world, and the city, in my humble opinion, did manage to organize this very well. The mayor of the city, Pawe? Adamowicz, has confirmed it, by saying After successful celebrations of 25th anniversary of awarding Lech Wa??sa with the Nobel Peace Prize we see that we can organize big events. […] O?owianka does its job as a big congressional place perfectly. […] Gda?sk will, once again, get a world-wide coverage in Dziennik Ba?tycki interview. I do have a hope that we will get a world-wide coverage thanks to the Wikimania.
The City organizes a lot of cultural and trade events. There are Gda?sk International Fair, St. Dominik Fair, Shakespeare Festival, Good Humor Festival. We should also not forget other parts of the Tricity: Sopot and Gdynia which are also rich in cultural events.

((WN)) Lately Poland tried to get a bid for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and Euro 2012. Both actions have brought a large government support. How is it this time?

  • We’ve contacted the city’s authorities. After a meeting with representatives of the Mayor’s Promotion and Chancellery Department we have got assurance about supporting our actions, what was confirmed by Mayor’s letter sent to us. The representatives assure us about their support all the time. They even have made an initial reservation of both buildings for July 9-11, 2010. They also offer an organizational support, which will be extremely important in case or city is chosen.

((WN)) Poland is a part of the European Union. What about Wikimedians, who are inhabitants of countries requiring a visa?

  • As I stated before, the list of countries, which citizens are not required to have a visa when entering Poland for 90 days is pretty long[1], and it does not restrict to Schengen Agreement participants. Long list of Polish missions abroad[2] and freely available Visa application form [3] should allow easy access to Poland for other countries citizens.

((WN)) Information about Gda?sk application to host Wikimania started to appear in local media. What is local community reaction to this idea?

  • One can see it in the comments to the articles. Those that do not like Gda?sk in general are slightly against but most is for the idea. There are also people and organisations declaring help – I’ve got already some mails from potential supporters.

((WN)) As you said before some people are objecting, probably not knowing possible benefits. How will Gda?sk and it’s inhabitants benefit?

  • In addition of prestige, as we are talking about international event run by the organisation managing a flagship of Free Culture movement, world’s focus, city presence in world’s media, the conference will cause a money influx, new guests who can decide whether to come back to the city or suggest visiting it to their friends. We try not to make any troubles to city inhabitants, hoping that a conference held in one place will not paralyse the whole city.

((WN)) Many possible visitors are not able to cover the cost of travel to Wikimania. What about organizers sponsorship?

  • It will depend on talks with companies willing to be sponsors. But I do not imagine leaving such requests unanswered.

((WN)) Wikimania is not only lectures, but also a possibility for long night talks with participants from other countries. How does Gda?sk’s night-life looks like?

  • There are plenty of places where you can meet and talk with each other. You can see it in a draft offer where one can see hundreds of places where you can talk while eating and drinking. Proximity of Old Town invites for a walk through streets with a wonderful and unmatched atmosphere, you can only feel by yourself.

((WN)) English is the language of Wikimania. Will the attendants be able to communicate with employees of restaurants, clubs, shops, etc.?

  • Personally, I encountered the shop assistant, who couldn’t sell the product to foreign people only once; also just once I saw a rough translation of “polska kuchnia” as “Polish kitchen” instead of “Polish cuisine”. The Poles are able to communicate in English, I saw their communicativeness by teaching adults English for seven years. Most of menus and other informations in Old City’s venues are translated into English and German, and the waiters know English at a level, which allows the customers to get a trouble-free service.

File:Wpedzich z synkiem.jpg

Wojciech P?dzich (b. 1979) – comes from Szczytno, graduate of English linguistics in 2001, inhabitant of Gda?sk since 2001. Except of husband and father’s roles, an employee of the Purchase Department in a power hydraulics company. Involved in Wikimedia projects since December 2006, in the beginning as a translator of articles and guidelines for Polish Wikipedia, then the administrator of the project, a member of the first Arbitration Committee Board in Polish Wikipedia. Wikimedia projects’ steward since December 2007, member of the Wikimedia Polska Association. One of the initiators of Gda?sk Wikimania 2010 bid proposal.

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Apr 16
The Economics Of Van Rentals In Queens

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If you are moving or you need to be able to carry a large amount of equipment from one location to another, you need to find a vehicle that will allow you to put it all in one place. A van is your best option, because it will allow you to save a lot of money rather than hiring a truck or trying to transport your things in multiple trips. The biggest savings you’ll have with a van over some other kind of transportation are actually fuel savings. You’ll save a lot of gas money by using a van. Here are some reasons why van rentals are the economical choice.

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Fuel Efficiency

A truck is going to be geared like a vehicle designed for work; that means it will have very large lower gears that require a lot of engine energy to turn. Those large gears are used to pull and carry heavy items and drive through rough terrain. Those are great features for someone who is using it on a construction site, but if you need to move across town that will be a waste. You’ll be spending a lot of money to fuel a vehicle that is doing more work than you need. Van rentals in Queens give you just the right amount of power for your needs.

You can visit CC Rental LIC to view the kinds of vans you are able to rent. A van is geared more like a car, so it will not use up nearly as much gas. Furthermore, vans are larger than cars, so you can take fewer trips.

Take Fewer Trips

A van will save you a lot of money when you are driving across town because you will only have to make one trip. Thus, van rentals are easily the most economical choice. They are more efficient than making several trips in a smaller vehicle, and they use less fuel than a large moving truck.

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Apr 14
With US mid-term elections fast approaching, three prominent Democrats announce retirement
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With US mid-term elections fast approaching, three prominent Democrats announce retirement

Thursday, January 7, 2010

With this year’s November midterm elections fast approaching, three prominent United States Democrats announced their plans for retirement from public service on Wednesday.

Powerful and influential—yet controversial for his alleged close ties to the financial sector and his handling of last year’s bailout—Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut announced that he would not be seeking a sixth term this year.

In a speech to his supporters in East Haddam, Connecticut, the sixty-five-year-old senior senator—with his family at his side—said, “I have been a Connecticut senator for thirty years. I’m very proud of the job I’ve done and the results delivered. But none of us is irreplaceable. None of us is indispensable.”

He then went on to say, “Over the past twelve months, I’ve managed four major pieces of legislation through the United States Congress, served as chair and acting chair of two major Senate committees, placing me at the center of the two most important issues of our time—health care and reform of financial services.”

In addition to highlighting some personal travails, Dodd alluded to his precarious political situation, “I lost a beloved sister in July, and in August, Ted Kennedy. I battled cancer over the summer, and in the midst of all of this, found myself in the toughest political shape of my career.”

Despite this, Dodd adamantly maintained that none of the above reasons were the causes for his retirement. He said that his reasons were more “personal,” and that his retirement would hopefully give him a much-wanted opportunity to spend more time with his family.

Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota announced that he would not run for re-election this year either.

“Although I still have a passion for public service and enjoy my work in the Senate, I have other interests and I have other things I would like to pursue outside of public life,” said the sixty-seven-year-old, three-term senator who said he came to this decision after discussing his future with his immediate family over Christmas.

Governor of Colorado, Bill Ritter announced that he too would not seek a second term. The fifty-three-year-old freshman governor said that although he felt his race was “absolutely winnable,” after some deep “soul searching,” he realized that he truly wanted to retire from politics nonetheless. This due to the fact that he felt his main priority should be to be a better husband to his wife as well as a better father to their four children.

When asked to comment on Senator Dodd’s retirement on behalf of the Administration, Vice President Joseph Biden said Dodd would “be long recognized as one of the most significant senators of my generation.”

He furthermore stated, “I believe the nation will miss his wisdom, wit and compassion. I count myself lucky because I know he’s not going too far and will always be a source of advice and counsel.”

Biden gave similar comments and expressed like sentiments about the retirement of his other two Democratic colleagues as well.

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Apr 14
Plane crashes into office block in Austin, Texas/suicide note
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Plane crashes into office block in Austin, Texas/suicide note

This is the online suicide letter authored by Andrew Stack, the man believed to be responsible for flying a light aircraft into a building in Austin, Texas. It was originally posted at Stack’s site, http://embeddedart.com/. The hosting company, T35, took the site offline per an FBI request. The note is reproduced here in its entirety.

If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, “Why did this have to happen?” The simple truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time. The writing process, started many months ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that there isn’t enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken. Needless to say, this rant could fill volumes with example after example if I would let it. I find the process of writing it frustrating, tedious, and probably pointless… especially given my gross inability to gracefully articulate my thoughts in light of the storm raging in my head. Exactly what is therapeutic about that I’m not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

We are all taught as children that without laws there would be no society, only anarchy. Sadly, starting at early ages we in this country have been brainwashed to believe that, in return for our dedication and service, our government stands for justice for all. We are further brainwashed to believe that there is freedom in this place, and that we should be ready to lay our lives down for the noble principals represented by its founding fathers. Remember? One of these was “no taxation without representation”. I have spent the total years of my adulthood unlearning that crap from only a few years of my childhood. These days anyone who really stands up for that principal is promptly labeled a “crackpot”, traitor and worse.

While very few working people would say they haven’t had their fair share of taxes (as can I), in my lifetime I can say with a great degree of certainty that there has never been a politician cast a vote on any matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind. Nor, for that matter, are they the least bit interested in me or anything I have to say.

Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours? Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. Yet, the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”. It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.

And justice? You’ve got to be kidding!

How can any rational individual explain that white elephant conundrum in the middle of our tax system and, indeed, our entire legal system? Here we have a system that is, by far, too complicated for the brightest of the master scholars to understand. Yet, it mercilessly “holds accountable” its victims, claiming that they’re responsible for fully complying with laws not even the experts understand. The law “requires” a signature on the bottom of a tax filing; yet no one can say truthfully that they understand what they are signing; if that’s not “duress” than [sic] what is. If this is not the measure of a totalitarian regime, nothing is.

How did I get here?

My introduction to the real American nightmare starts back in the early ‘80s. Unfortunately after more than 16 years of school, somewhere along the line I picked up the absurd, pompous notion that I could read and understand plain English. Some friends introduced me to a group of people who were having ‘tax code’ readings and discussions. In particular, zeroed in on a section relating to the wonderful “exemptions” that make institutions like the vulgar, corrupt Catholic Church so incredibly wealthy. We carefully studied the law (with the help of some of the “best”, high-paid, experienced tax lawyers in the business), and then began to do exactly what the “big boys” were doing (except that we weren’t steeling [sic] from our congregation or lying to the government about our massive profits in the name of God). We took a great deal of care to make it all visible, following all of the rules, exactly the way the law said it was to be done.

The intent of this exercise and our efforts was to bring about a much-needed re-evaluation of the laws that allow the monsters of organized religion to make such a mockery of people who earn an honest living. However, this is where I learned that there are two “interpretations” for every law; one for the very rich, and one for the rest of us… Oh, and the monsters are the very ones making and enforcing the laws; the inquisition is still alive and well today in this country.

That little lesson in patriotism cost me $40,000+, 10 years of my life, and set my retirement plans back to 0. It made me realize for the first time that I live in a country with an ideology that is based on a total and complete lie. It also made me realize, not only how naive I had been, but also the incredible stupidity of the American public; that they buy, hook, line, and sinker, the crap about their “freedom”… and that they continue to do so with eyes closed in the face of overwhelming evidence and all that keeps happening in front of them.

Before even having to make a shaky recovery from the sting of the first lesson on what justice really means in this country (around 1984 after making my way through engineering school and still another five years of “paying my dues”), I felt I finally had to take a chance of launching my dream of becoming an independent engineer.

On the subjects of engineers and dreams of independence, I should digress somewhat to say that I’m sure that I inherited the fascination for creative problem solving from my father. I realized this at a very young age.

The significance of independence, however, came much later during my early years of college; at the age of 18 or 19 when I was living on my own as student in an apartment in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. My neighbor was an elderly retired woman (80+ seemed ancient to me at that age) who was the widowed wife of a retired steel worker. Her husband had worked all his life in the steel mills of central Pennsylvania with promises from big business and the union that, for his 30 years of service, he would have a pension and medical care to look forward to in his retirement. Instead he was one of the thousands who got nothing because the incompetent mill management and corrupt union (not to mention the government) raided their pension funds and stole their retirement. All she had was social security to live on.

In retrospect, the situation was laughable because here I was living on peanut butter and bread (or Ritz crackers when I could afford to splurge) for months at a time. When I got to know this poor figure and heard her story I felt worse for her plight than for my own (I, after all, I thought I had everything to in front of me). I was genuinely appalled at one point, as we exchanged stories and commiserated with each other over our situations, when she in her grandmotherly fashion tried to convince me that I would be “healthier” eating cat food (like her) rather than trying to get all my substance from peanut butter and bread. I couldn’t quite go there, but the impression was made. I decided that I didn’t trust big business to take care of me, and that I would take responsibility for my own future and myself.

Return to the early ‘80s, and here I was off to a terrifying start as a ‘wet-behind-the-ears’ contract software engineer… and two years later, thanks to the fine backroom, midnight effort by the sleazy executives of Arthur Andersen (the very same folks who later brought us Enron and other such calamities) and an equally sleazy New York Senator (Patrick Moynihan), we saw the passage of 1986 tax reform act with its section 1706.

For you who are unfamiliar, here is the core text of the IRS Section 1706, defining the treatment of workers (such as contract engineers) for tax purposes. Visit this link for a conference committee report (http://www.synergistech.com/1706.shtml#ConferenceCommitteeReport) regarding the intended interpretation of Section 1706 and the relevant parts of Section 530, as amended. For information on how these laws affect technical services workers and their clients, read our discussion here (http://www.synergistech.com/ic-taxlaw.shtml).

SEC. 1706. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN TECHNICAL PERSONNEL.

(a) IN GENERAL – Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:

(d) EXCEPTION. – This section shall not apply in the case of an individual who pursuant to an arrangement between the taxpayer and another person, provides services for such other person as an engineer, designer, drafter, computer programmer, systems analyst, or other similarly skilled worker engaged in a similar line of work.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE. – The amendment made by this section shall apply to remuneration paid and services rendered after December 31, 1986.

Note:

· “another person” is the client in the traditional job-shop relationship.

· “taxpayer” is the recruiter, broker, agency, or job shop.

· “individual”, “employee”, or “worker” is you.

Admittedly, you need to read the treatment to understand what it is saying but it’s not very complicated. The bottom line is that they may as well have put my name right in the text of section (d). Moreover, they could only have been more blunt if they would have came out and directly declared me a criminal and non-citizen slave. Twenty years later, I still can’t believe my eyes.

During 1987, I spent close to $5000 of my ‘pocket change’, and at least 1000 hours of my time writing, printing, and mailing to any senator, congressman, governor, or slug that might listen; none did, and they universally treated me as if I was wasting their time. I spent countless hours on the L.A. freeways driving to meetings and any and all of the disorganized professional groups who were attempting to mount a campaign against this atrocity. This, only to discover that our efforts were being easily derailed by a few moles from the brokers who were just beginning to enjoy the windfall from the new declaration of their “freedom”. Oh, and don’t forget, for all of the time I was spending on this, I was loosing income that I couldn’t bill clients.

After months of struggling it had clearly gotten to be a futile exercise. The best we could get for all of our trouble is a pronouncement from an IRS mouthpiece that they weren’t going to enforce that provision (read harass engineers and scientists). This immediately proved to be a lie, and the mere existence of the regulation began to have its impact on my bottom line; this, of course, was the intended effect.

Again, rewind my retirement plans back to 0 and shift them into idle. If I had any sense, I clearly should have left abandoned engineering and never looked back.

Instead I got busy working 100-hour workweeks. Then came the L.A. depression of the early 1990s. Our leaders decided that they didn’t need the all of those extra Air Force bases they had in Southern California, so they were closed; just like that. The result was economic devastation in the region that rivaled the widely publicized Texas S&L fiasco. However, because the government caused it, no one gave a shit about all of the young families who lost their homes or street after street of boarded up houses abandoned to the wealthy loan companies who received government funds to “shore up” their windfall. Again, I lost my retirement.

Years later, after weathering a divorce and the constant struggle trying to build some momentum with my business, I find myself once again beginning to finally pick up some speed. Then came the .COM bust and the 911 nightmare. Our leaders decided that all aircraft were grounded for what seemed like an eternity; and long after that, ‘special’ facilities like San Francisco were on security alert for months. This made access to my customers prohibitively expensive. Ironically, after what they had done the Government came to the aid of the airlines with billions of our tax dollars … as usual they left me to rot and die while they bailed out their rich, incompetent cronies WITH MY MONEY! After these events, there went my business but not quite yet all of my retirement and savings.

By this time, I’m thinking that it might be good for a change. Bye to California, I’ll try Austin for a while. So I moved, only to find out that this is a place with a highly inflated sense of self-importance and where damn little real engineering work is done. I’ve never experienced such a hard time finding work. The rates are 1/3 of what I was earning before the crash, because pay rates here are fixed by the three or four large companies in the area who are in collusion to drive down prices and wages… and this happens because the justice department is all on the take and doesn’t give a fuck about serving anyone or anything but themselves and their rich buddies.

To survive, I was forced to cannibalize my savings and retirement, the last of which was a small IRA. This came in a year with mammoth expenses and not a single dollar of income. I filed no return that year thinking that because I didn’t have any income there was no need. The sleazy government decided that they disagreed. But they didn’t notify me in time for me to launch a legal objection so when I attempted to get a protest filed with the court I was told I was no longer entitled to due process because the time to file ran out. Bend over for another $10,000 helping of justice.

So now we come to the present. After my experience with the CPA world, following the business crash I swore that I’d never enter another accountant’s office again. But here I am with a new marriage and a boatload of undocumented income, not to mention an expensive new business asset, a piano, which I had no idea how to handle. After considerable thought I decided that it would be irresponsible NOT to get professional help; a very big mistake.

When we received the forms back I was very optimistic that they were in order. I had taken all of the years information to Bill Ross, and he came back with results very similar to what I was expecting. Except that he had neglected to include the contents of Sheryl’s unreported income; $12,700 worth of it. To make matters worse, Ross knew all along this was missing and I didn’t have a clue until he pointed it out in the middle of the audit. By that time it had become brutally evident that he was representing himself and not me.

This left me stuck in the middle of this disaster trying to defend transactions that have no relationship to anything tax-related (at least the tax-related transactions were poorly documented). Things I never knew anything about and things my wife had no clue would ever matter to anyone. The end result is… well, just look around.

I remember reading about the stock market crash before the “great” depression and how there were wealthy bankers and businessmen jumping out of windows when they realized they screwed up and lost everything. Isn’t it ironic how far we’ve come in 60 years in this country that they now know how to fix that little economic problem; they just steal from the middle class (who doesn’t have any say in it, elections are a joke) to cover their asses and it’s “business-as-usual”. Now when the wealthy fuck up, the poor get to die for the mistakes… isn’t that a clever, tidy solution.

As government agencies go, the FAA is often justifiably referred to as a tombstone agency, though they are hardly alone. The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this criticism rings equally true for all of the government. Nothing changes unless there is a body count (unless it is in the interest of the wealthy sows at the government trough). In a government full of hypocrites from top to bottom, life is as cheap as their lies and their self-serving laws.

I know I’m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand. It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isn’t limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants. I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after. But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change. I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at “big brother” while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual won’t continue; I have just had enough.

I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be white washed and ignored that the American zombies wake up and revolt; it will take nothing less. I would only hope that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard, knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and their mindless minions for what they are. Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasn’t so, but violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer. The cruel joke is that the really big chunks of shit at the top have known this all along and have been laughing, at and using this awareness against, fools like me all along.

I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.

Joe Stack (1956-2010)

02/18/2010

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Apr 11
On the campaign trail, July 2012
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On the campaign trail, July 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The following is the ninth in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the rules of third party candidate polling are examined, a third party activist causes four other parties to lose their place on the Illinois presidential ballot, and the new vice presidential nominee of the Justice Party speaks with Wikinews.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Polling rules restrict and fuel third party campaigns
  • 3 Ballot access denied in Illinois
  • 4 Wikinews interviews newly-selected Justice Party VP nominee
  • 5 Related news
  • 6 Sources
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Apr 5
New fossils from 10 million year old ape found in Ethiopia
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New fossils from 10 million year old ape found in Ethiopia

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Researchers say that new, ten million-year-old fossils found in Ethiopia, prove that the theory that humans may have evolved from a species of great apes eight million years ago, may not be true, but that humans may have split from apes as long as 10.5 million years ago.

At least nine fossilized teeth, one canine tooth and eight molars, of a previously unknown species of apes found in Africa were discovered by a team of researchers from Ethiopia and Japan who then compared the 3-D make up of the teeth to other fossils that date back as far as 8 million years and found that the fossils are likely a “direct ancestor” of apes currently living in Africa and that the new ape fossils were that of a species of gorilla who ate mostly plants high in fiber.

Current fossils and research say that the evolutionary split from apes to humans occurred at least eight million years ago. The new fossils say that the split may have happened as long as 10.5 million years ago.

“Based on this fossil, that means the split is much earlier than has been anticipated by the molecular evidence. That means everything has to be put back,” said researcher at the Rift Valley Research Service in Ethiopia and a co-author of the study, Berhane Asfaw.

Despite the finds, other researchers are not convinced that the findings are correct.

“It is stretching the evidence to base a time scale for the evolution of the great apes on this new fossil. These structures appear on at least three independent lineages of apes, including gorillas, and they could relate to a dietary shift rather than indicating a new genetic trait,” said a Professor at the London Natural History Museum in the United Kingdom, Peter Andrews who also added, “but the fossil evidence for the evolution of our closest living relatives, the great apes, is almost non-existent.

Researchers have named the newly discovered species Cororapithecus abyssinicus whose remains were found in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, the same place where the remains of Lucy were discovered in 1974.

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Apr 2
‘Bloody Sunday Inquiry’ publishes report into British Army killing of activists in Northern Ireland
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‘Bloody Sunday Inquiry’ publishes report into British Army killing of activists in Northern Ireland

Thursday, June 17, 2010

File:Civil Rights Mural SMC May 2007.jpg

On Tuesday, the “Bloody Sunday Inquiry” published its report into 1972 British Army killing of fourteen civil rights activists in Northern Ireland.

The Saville Inquiry, a twelve-year-long public inquiry into the fatal shooting, published their 5,000-page report; stating, the deaths were “unjustified”.

The events of “Bloody Sunday” in 1972 saw soldiers open fire on civilians during a civil rights march. Family members and supporters of the victims reacted positively to the report, as they gathering outside the Guildhall in Derry.

“What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong”, British Prime Minister David Cameron told the House of Commons. He also said, “[t]he Government is ultimately responsible for the conduct of the armed forces, and for that, on behalf of the Government, indeed on behalf of our country, I am deeply sorry”, and that “[t]here is no doubt. There’s nothing equivocal, there are no ambiguities”.

Cameron said the Saville report states that those killed did not pose a threat and some of those killed and injured were clearly fleeing or going to help those injured or dying. Some of the key findings were;

  • “The firing by soldiers of 1 Para caused the deaths of 13 people and injury to a similar number, none of whom was posing a threat of causing death or serious injury”;
  • “Despite the contrary evidence given by soldiers, we have concluded that none of them fired in response to attacks or threatened attacks by nail or petrol bombers”;
  • Accounts by soldiers were rejected and some had “knowingly put forward false accounts”;
  • The paratroopers shot first and later members of the official IRA fired a number of shots but this “did not provide an explanation for why soldiers targeted and hit people”;
  • Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein, was “probably armed with a sub-machine gun” on the day, but did not engage in “any activity that provided any of the soldiers with any justification for opening fire”.

Twenty-seven civil rights activists were shot by the British Army’s Parachute Regiment (of which “1 Para” was identified as the regiment mainly responsible) during an illegal Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) march in the Bogside area of Derry in 1972. The NICRA was an organisation, formed in early 1967, which campaigned against discrimination of the Roman Catholic minority in Northern Ireland and had five key demands: “one man, one vote”; an end to gerrymandering, housing discrimination, public authority discrimination and the abolition of the B Specials police reserve.

In the aftermath of Bloody Sunday, an inquiry by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Widgery, justified British army actions on the day and claimed that many of the activists were armed with guns and nail bombs. Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader MP Mark Durkan said, “[t]he families have waited a long time for justice and for a long time the reputations and innocence of their loved ones have been smeared by the findings of Widgery”.

The shootings lead to the strengthening of Irish republicans’ anti-British army arguments in the Nationalist community and provided the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) with queues of new recruits for its “long war”, which resulted in 30 years of The Troubles.

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The 12-year inquiry is the longest-running and most expensive public inquiry in British judicial history, costing around £200 million. Around 2,500 people gave testimony, including 505 civilians, nine experts and forensic scientists, 49 journalists, 245 military personnel, 35 paramilitaries or former paramilitaries, 39 politicians and civil servants, seven priests and 33 Royal Ulster Constabulary officers. Evidence included 160 volumes of data with an estimated 30 million words, 13 volumes of photographs, 121 audio tapes and 10 video tapes.

The victims included Patrick Doherty (32), Hugh Gilmour (17), Jackie Duddy (17), John Young (17), Kevin McElhinney (17), Michael Kelly (17), Gerald Donaghey (17), William Nash (19), Michael McDaid (20), Jim Wray (22), William McKinney (27) and Bernard “Barney” McGuigan (41). John Johnston (59) died four months later.

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