(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)
Border wall construction last month up a mountain in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona.Carolyn Van Houten / The Washington Post via Getty Images file
Border wall construction last month up a mountain in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona.Carolyn Van Houten / The Washington Post via Getty Images file
Government And Greed – The Slow Death Of America
Friends, as we all know we have a lot of problems that we the people must address here in our country, that is if we wish to continue to have a country. Most of the problems we are not addressing at all, this tends to make these problems worse not better. I am going to try to address some of these problems here tonight and I would like your feedback on these issues if you have the time to do so. Poverty is the first thing on my agenda tonight. I know that almost no issue has only one side to it or one cause of it and certainly poverty is a worldwide curse which afflicts at least a couple billion people worldwide, but I am only going to try to address the U.S. problem here tonight.
A lot of our countries problems are generated because of poverty, what I am saying is that if we had no poverty here in our country a lot of other issues would for the most part disappear. The federal government says that the official unemployment rate is hanging out at about 4.2%, but most everyone I would think knows that this is simply a government generated farce. If you dig into the real numbers you find that the long-term unemployed (the people who have been unemployed longer than their unemployment checks) are not counted. Another outlier in the government’s figures is that if a person is able to find a part-time job the government counts them as being employed. These people are the folks usually referred to as the real unemployed and the underemployed. By what I hear from many of the “talking heads” on the radio I believe that the real unemployed/underemployed figure should be at least 10%. Of course some markets are better than others, some places may be 4% while others are 20%. Some people say that if you are in one of the bad areas just move to a better market. There is a problem with that line of thought though, what are these people suppose to use to move on, their good looks? Gas, rent, cars, deposits, these are things that most people in these situations simply do not have. As most everyone knows poverty causes many other problems besides major depression. People are going to need a roof over their head if they have any possibility to obtain employment, somehow people need to be able to pay their rent and utilities. Food, now that is an issue for humans even if they live under a bridge. People need jobs that will at least pay the minimum bills such as rent, utilities, and food. For most good jobs, (those that haven’t already left the country), people need real job skill training.
For about 30 years I was a commercial cross-country truck driver, in this job you get to see the reality people around our country are having to live in that you would never get to see if you were working in an office or a factory. Out here you see 60+ year old women with obvious physical ailments working at fast food joints, jobs that the politicians seem to think only high school kids are doing. You see one-armed men working at guard gates checking in trucks and cleaning toilets in truck stops. Adults are doing these type jobs because it is all they can get and a lot of these jobs are just part-time so that the companies (just like at your local Wal-Mart) won’t have to pay any benefits. You know, people aren’t doing jobs like these because it is their life long ambition to work and live like this. Also, these type jobs are almost always paying at or very near the minimum wage. I know some folks will say that I am lying about seeing adults with these physical problems working like this because they could just file for social security and live on that. Have you ever tried to collect social security? If you are very lucky you will get your turn down notice within 12 months, then you can go get an attorney (they will work pro-bono) and refile, hopefully within 6-9 months you will get your next turn down. You and your attorney can then go before a judge (who is paid by social security), hopefully it will only take you about three months to see the judge then usually another couple of months before you get his decision. You see the problem most everyone has is that they don’t have anyway to survive while all this is going on, no food, no housing, nothing. If you are in that spot, what are you suppose to do? What would you do if it was you? Hopefully you have a wealthy family that will be willing to keep you and your family alive while you are trying to get your disability checks, very few are that fortunate. Some folks will say, well, they could get government housing. Even if you are lucky enough to live in a low crime area like where we live there is this thing called, a waiting list, I checked here, the waiting list is 42 months.
People all over our country are hurting badly even though the media doesn’t say much about it when one of their beloved far left democrats is setting in the White House, and no, I am not a republican. It is very common to see a three bedroom apartment being rented by three adults, or maybe three couples, this is not because people wish to live communal, it is so they have three paychecks to help split the rent (remember the comedy program Three’s Company)? So often I see adults in different fast food uniforms walking to their jobs. It’s not for the exercise for most folks, it’s because they can’t afford a car. With minimum wage jobs you have no extra money to spend on anything, cars, gas, insurance, or food and rent. If you are lucky enough to be in a position where you think I am blowing smoke up your behind, look in your local news paper for the cost of rent, now take a minimum wage paycheck after taxes and see how well you are going to be able to live, folks, it isn’t pretty.
As you travel around the country and you go through the cities you see things that will make you sick at heart. You see all the poverty and the slums, the graffiti, the trash. You also see all the bars on business windows and on the homes, you see homeless people wandering the streets along with the working girls and guys with so many strung out on one habit or another. You see people congregating under bridges as well as boarded up burnt out homes where the lucky homeless can find shelter as long as they are not one of the many crack houses. You know, many in politics want to get away from having any blame for any of our people s problems, but I believe that out government is the biggest problem that all of us Americans have. I am setting here in our living room watching the Presidents State of the Union Address, so much BS on both sides of the aisle. We here in America are a ship without a rudder, I wish we as a country had actual leaders who cared about the Constitution and our freedom more than their bank accounts. I guess I’m just dreaming.
Two people have been killed after a high-speed train derailed near the northern Italian city of Lodi, emergency services say.
Both of the dead are drivers. Two others, one of them a cleaner on the train, had significant but not life-threatening injuries.
The train was travelling from Milan to the southern city of Salerno.
All services on the Milan-Bologna high-speed route have been suspended and diverted via conventional lines.
The BBC’s Mark Lowen in Rome says that while there have been occasional crashes on Italy’s regional trains, this is the first such incident on its high-speed Frecciarossa – or Red Arrow – network, the country’s transport pride.
The trains run at 300 km/h (186 mph) and are generally efficient, punctual and safe.
The engine left the tracks some 40 km (25 miles) from Milan at around 05:30 local time (04:30 GMT), the railway company said.
It apparently hit a freight wagon on a parallel track before running into a building and was separated from the rest of the train. Both it and the first carriage turned on their sides.
“I thought I was dead,” a survivor told local newspaper Liberta. “I closed my eyes and prayed.
“The train was going very fast… suddenly, I felt a violent blow. A really loud roar.”
The survivor added that he and a friend were stuck on the train for 15 minutes before escaping through a hole.
The causes of the accident are being investigated.
Ansa news agency said maintenance work was being carried out on the track where the accident happened.
There were 28 passengers on the train, Ansa said, a number of whom received minor injuries.
Lodi Prefect Marcello Cardona said the accident “could have been carnage” but there were relatively few passengers at the time, and no more fatalities were expected.
Fire services are at the scene.
Istanbul, Turkey (CNN)Three people have died after a passenger plane skidded off the runway and broke apart while landing at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport, Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said Wednesday.
JACKSON, Miss. – Two inmates were killed at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman on Monday night, the Mississippi Department of Corrections announced Tuesday, bringing the death toll at Mississippi prisons up to nine in less than a month.
The most recent deaths appear to be “an isolated incident – not a continuation of the recent retaliatory killings,” the department said in a tweet that provided scant information.
On Dec. 29, corrections department officials announced a statewide prison lockdown following a fight at South Mississippi Correctional Institution that left one inmate dead and two others injured. In the following days, riots and fights continued despite the lockdown, leading to four more killings across the state. Some of the violence, officials have said, is gang-related.
The lockdown has since been lifted on all prisons except Parchman, where much of the violence has taken place. Seven men incarcerated at Parchman have died this month, including three who were killed by other inmates, one who died at a hospital of natural causes and one who was found hanging in his cell over the weekend, according to Sunflower County Coroner Heather Burton.
The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) did not release the names of the men who died Monday and said Parchman’s chaplain has reached out to next of kin.
No additional details were provided. MDOC said the agency is investigating and will share more information later.
Burton did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Activists say gangs alone are not to blame for the recent surge of violence. Systemic issues related to repeated budget cuts and chronic understaffing have created an environment for violence to thrive, they say.
U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson and nearly a dozen civil rights and social justice organizations had requested the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Mississippi prisons, charging that state leaders have known about the understaffing and “horrific conditions,” yet have repeatedly failed to take action.
Parchman inmates are suing former MDOC commissioner Pelicia Hall and the prison’s superintendent Marshal Turner, alleging they have violated prisoners’ constitutional rights by subjecting them to cruel and unusual punishment. The incarcerated men are being represented by attorneys working with hip-hop stars Jay-Z and Yo Gotti.
The lawsuit describes unsanitary conditions inside Parchman, including flooding, black mold and a rat infestation. Units go without running water and electricity for days at a time, it alleges.
Follow reporter Alissa Zhu on Twitter @AlissaZhu.
Kansas City shooting:Security guard ‘definitely saved lives’ by killing shooter at bar, police say
Do you think that God ‘directed’ an Iranian missile into the Ukrainian passenger jet at the Baghdad Iraqi airport a couple of days ago? Even though I was hoping that the missiles the Iranian leadership had fired at military bases in Iraq would be the end of the tit for tat with the U.S. (President Trump) over his killing of their mass murdering General it appears that this was only wishful thinking. I read in this mornings news feeds that Iran fired 8 more missiles at another Iraqi Air Base where some American soldiers are based at. This attack was said to have been telegraphed to the Americans and they were able to get all of their soldiers underground before the missiles struck. It has been written that 4 Iraqi soldiers were injured though, how badly was not part of the news information though.
I had been hoping that with the Iranian government’s announcement that they were at fault for blowing that Boeing Jet out of the sky that just maybe that would be enough damage (176 dead) that Iran and Mr. Trump would grow up and decide to act like adults, but it appears that this was asking for to much of both. I have seen one live feed of the jet being shot down and it appears to me that Iran fired a bunch of missiles at 3 different Iraqi military fields and about 50 miles short of their target one of the missiles struck the jet very shortly after it took off from the Baghdad Airport. That was poor execution by Iran’s Military, not realizing that for their missiles to reach their target that the missiles would be whizzing right by a major airport, or they simply didn’t give a damn if a jet liner of two or three got hit in the process. Personally via their governments past actions I would go with option number two of those two lines of thought. I was honestly thinking that the unintentional death of 176 civilians just might be enough of an event that both sides would decide to become ‘gun shy’ and maybe the loss of their lives would stop a hot war between Iran and the U.S. from happening. It appears that this was just a flaw of decency hoping for there to be no war.
Did God Cause That Jet To Crash?
Personally to this question I say, no. There is Biblical precedent where God has taken (killed) a person or persons because He knew that they were young and innocent now but that as time passed He also knew that they would become lost so He took them before age corrupted their Soul getting them condemned later on in their life. But, God has only done this when talking about ‘A’ person, not a whole group of people. One of the reasons that we humans do not have any God given right to kill another person is because if we do kill we are in essence condemning others to Hell by not giving them their full time here on this rock and if they were not in a “saved’ condition and we killed them, we condemned them and our own selves. Even if there were a person or two or even a hundred on that plane that God had decided to ‘bring home’ early He would not have done so at the expense of 176 lives. No, evil, ignorance and ego killed those 176 people, God didn’t do this.
(CNN)All 176 people on board a Ukraine International Airlines flight were killed when it crashed shortly after takeoff from Imam Khomeini Airport in Tehran, the country’s state-run Press TV reported.
Nearly half a billion animals in Australia’s New South Wales state have been killed by raging wildfires in the last couple months, and the devastating death toll is expected to rise.
Roughly 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have been affected since bushfires started in September, according to ecologists from the University of Sydney, who add that the actual number is likely much higher.
Wildfires have turned southeast Australia into a charred, apocalyptic nightmare as the country copes with a devastating fire season that is expected to grow worse as the summer months continue. Record high temperatures and drought exacerbated by climate change have ignited blazes that have destroyed more than 1,000 homes and nine million acres and killed 18 people.
The blazes, expected to be the worst yet this weekend, threaten to erase entire species in Australia, which already has the highest rate of extinction in the world.
Pictures and images on social media show charred koalas receiving medical attention, bodies of dead animals lying on the ground and kangaroos desperately running from blazes. Experts say the fires have likely killed millions of animals including koalas, wallabies, wombats and kangaroos.
“Many of the affected animals are likely to have been killed directly by the fires, with others succumbing later due to the depletion of food and shelter resources and predation from introduced feral cats and red foxes,” the University of Sydney ecologists said in a statement on Friday.
Roughly 34 species and subspecies of native mammals have become extinct in Australia over the last 200 years.
Australia’s koala population, which is already declining and vulnerable, has been especially devastated by the fires. Government officials estimating that 30% of the region’s species may have died.
Ecologists estimate that about 8,000 koalas have died since the fires started, as the slow-moving animals are unable to escape the flames. The marsupials are one of the country’s most iconic animals, and have contributed between $1.1 billion and $2.5 billion per year to tourism in Australia, according to government data.
“Up to 30% of the koalas in the region may have been killed, because up to 30 percent of their habitat has been destroyed,” Australia’s Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation last week. “We’ll know more when the fires are calmed down and a proper assessment can be made.”
Images of burned koalas prompted people to support a Gofundme page for Australia’s Port Macquarie Koala Hospital. The hospital has received more than $2 million in donations since September, but is still struggling to treat injured koalas.
University of Sydney Professor Dieter Hochuli said that while wildfires are traditionally a normal part of Australia’s ecosystem, the increased frequency and intensity has enormous consequences for the future of plants and animals.
“It’s not just the charismatic well known species that are at risk either. The insects that so many of our ecosystems are reliant on for services like pollination and nutrient cycling are very sensitive to fire,” he said.
“One of the great unknowns is just how, if it all, their populations and subsequently the services they provide will recover.”
Agunman opened fire during the Lord’s Supper at a Church of Christ in Texas this morning, killing one worshiper and critically wounding a second.
Armed members immediately returned fire and killed the shooter at the West Freeway Church of Christ in the Fort Worth suburb of White Settlement.
“Today, evil walked boldly among us,” Tarrant County Sheriff Bill E. Waybourn said at an afternoon news briefing. “But let me remind you: Good people raised up and stopped it before it got worse.”
Jeoff Williams, regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said: “We have a couple of heroic parishioners who … saved countless lives. Our hearts are going out to them and their families.”
A video of the church’s worship assembly, viewed by The Christian Chronicle, showed a man saying something to a member holding a communion tray. Then the man backed up, pulled out a weapon and fired at that member and another man near the back of the nearly full auditorium. In just a few seconds, at least one armed member returned fire, and the shooter fell to the ground.
At least two additional people with handguns approached the gunman as the gunfire ended — the louds blasts replaced with screams and tears from the shocked congregation.
This is a breaking news report. Please check back for updates.
HOUSTON (AP) — Two men were killed and seven others were wounded by gunfire when a group filming a rap music video was “ambushed” near Houston, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.
The Harris County sheriff’s office said Saturday morning that 20-year-old Gonzalo Gonzalez and 22-year-old Jonathan Jimenez died at the scene Friday night. The sheriff’s office said the seven injured were taken to hospitals and ranged in age from 17 to 23.
The sheriff’s office said Saturday that they did not know a motive or have any suspects.
“We don’t know if there was a beef going on or what exactly happened,” Gonzalez said at a news conference just after the shooting.
“We know it was a rap video that w as being filmed out here but beyond that we don’t know who the performers or who was involved in it, just that there was a large group out there,” he said.
The sheriff said authorities received a call about a drive-by shooting around 9:30 p.m. Officers responded to what Gonzalez characterized as a residential neighborhood just north of Houston, where a group of males had been making the video in an office parking lot. The shooting scene stretched several blocks, the sheriff said.
“There were other vehicles that were staged there and they were filming some type of music video when, all of a sudden, basically they were ambushed, we believe by individuals in cars and/or foot that fired shots into the parking lot area,” Gonzalez said at the news conference.
He said the shooting “unfolded very quickly” and it was unclear how many people opened fire. “A lot of shots were fired,” he said.
The sheriff said Friday night that figuring out who was at the scene will be part of the investigation, and asked for witnesses to come forward.
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