Name release – Atiamuri crash   

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Press Release – New Zealand Police Police can now release the name of the person who died in a motorcycle crash at Atiamuri on Sunday 6 October. He was 49-year-old Nigel John Avery of Auckland. Police extend our condolences to his family and friends. Police continue to investigate the circumstances of the crash and are […]
          

Looking to Actually Prevent a UTI? Don't Just Reach For Cranberry Pills, 2 Doctors Say   

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Urinary tract infections are common. In fact, over 50 percent of women and about 12 percent of men will experience at least one UTI in their lifetime, the Urology Care Foundation reports. And about a third of women will seek treatment for one by the age of 24. (For the purpose of this article, the experts we spoke to and the statistics we cited referred to people with female sex organs as "women" and people with male sex organs as "men.") A recurrent UTI, also called "recurrent cystitis," is classified as two or more UTIs within six months, or three in a year. Read up on recurrent UTIs specifically here.

UTIs happen more frequently in women than in men because the female urethra is shorter and it's easier for bacteria to travel from the outside into the bladder, Ricardo Soares, MD, urologist at Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, told POPSUGAR. (The CDC notes that infections can affect several parts of the urinary tract, but they most commonly affect the bladder). Dr. Soares said that if bacteria is found in your urine but you aren't experiencing symptoms, this is referred to as asymptomatic bacteriuria and isn't the same as a UTI. "It only requires treatment in certain situations, such as in pregnant women and in patients who are going to have a urological procedure," he said.

On the other hand, he stressed that if you're having symptoms but urine tests show there's no bacteria, this is also not an infection. "The symptoms might be caused by a different problem such as an overactive bladder, [which is] very common in post-menopausal women," he said. Vannita Simma-Chiang, MD, assistant professor of urology at Mount Sinai, told POPSUGAR that other conditions that might have similar symptoms as UTIs are interstitial cystitis (or painful bladder syndrome), yeast infections, and vaginitis. In terms of yeast infections, though, you'd most likely experience vaginal discharge that isn't typical with a UTI, she said (discharge is also common with vaginitis). Let's get into what UTI symptoms actually are.

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Symptoms of a UTI

According to the CDC, you're more at risk of getting a UTI if, for instance, you are sexually active, you've had a UTI before, or are going through menopause (you lose the hormonal support of estrogen after menopause, Dr. Simma-Chiang noted). Here are the most common symptoms:

  • Frequency or urgency to pee
  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Pain or discomfort in your lower abdomen
  • Blood in your pee

Dr. Simma-Chiang wanted to note that some people have come to her with completely different symptoms such as a stomachache or simply feeling ill. Some can also experience fever, but Dr. Soares said this could be an indication that the infection has spread to your kidneys.

How to Prevent a UTI

You've probably heard companies (or your friends!) touting the positive effects of cranberry. Both Dr. Simma-Chiang and Dr. Soares said that cranberry pills aren't guaranteed to help prevent UTIs because there's no significant evidence. There are small studies that suggest the active ingredient, PACs, may prevent UTIs, though "we're not quite sure whether or not that active ingredient is actually present in cranberry pills or if it gets digested," Dr. Simma-Chiang said. She added that she's perfectly fine with her patients taking these pills if they seem to be working. (Note: cranberry pills aren't regulated by the FDA.) Read more about cranberry juice specifically here.

Dr. Soares said good genital hygiene can help prevent UTIs because "most infections travel from the anal area up into the urethra." Drinking water is good as well since increased urination acts as a cleanser for the bladder, he said. In people who have recurrent UTIs, a regular low dose of antibiotics can prevent infection, he explained. For those with female sex organs who have recurrent UTIs most closely linked to sex, they can try to prevent those infections by using protection or taking one dose of antibiotics after sex. "In post-menopausal women, use of vaginal, not oral, estrogen provides good results," Dr. Soares said (since, like mentioned before, these people have a decline of estrogen, which can negatively impact the immune system).

Dr. Simma-Chiang recommended peeing after sex and also stressed the importance of a strong immune system overall. "I always remind patients that there's organisms everywhere," she said. "We catch colds all the time, and I hope people can think of urinary tract infections as something similar." So, she said, to make sure your immune system is as strong as it can be, get enough sleep, eat a well-balanced diet, exercise, and stay properly hydrated. She said that constipation, too, can affect the way your bladder empties. "Urine is left behind and you can get a UTI," Dr. Simma-Chiang explained. Make sure you're passing regular bowel movements and focusing on your gut health.

How to Treat a UTI

Ultimately, even if you do end up getting a UTI, know that it's treatable. If you want to treat your UTI at home, Dr. Simma-Chiang suggests drinking a lot of water to flush out the infection. A doctor will typically treat a UTI with oral antibiotics (as little as one dose). But, if it's what Dr. Soares described as a "complicated UTI" - meaning it's harder to get rid of because it's occurring in someone with male sex organs or in someone who has diabetes or some sort of functional abnormality of their urinary tract - it may require intravenous antibiotics in the hospital. These, he said, can be changed to oral antibiotics once the person has had no fever for over 48 hours and lab results show there's an improvement; then they'll be able to finish treatment at home. "UTI in a man is, by definition, considered complicated and therefore requires a seven-day course of antibiotics," he explained. So, it's less likely to occur in those with male sex organs, but more difficult to treat.


          

Robot Democratization: A Machine for Every Manufacturer   

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With collaborative robots proliferating, we wanted to know who’s using these robots and what tasks they’re doing. Design News caught up with Walter Vahey, executive vice-president at Teradyne, a company that helps manufacturers gear up their automation. Vahey sees a real change in the companies that are deploying robotics. For years robots were tools only for the largest manufacturers. They required expensive care and feeding in the form of integrators and programming. Now, collaborative robots require configuration rather than programming, and they can be quickly switched from task to task.

Vahey talked about robot companies such as Universal Robots (UR) which produces robot arms, and MiR, a company that produces collaborative mobile robots. He explained how they’re putting robotics in the hands of smaller manufacturers that previously could not afford advanced automation. The difference is that these robots are less expensive, they can be set up for production without programming, and they can be quickly reconfigured to change tasks.

Universal Robots, MiR, Taradyne, robotics, robots, automation, small manufacturers
Robots are now within the investment reach of small manufacturers. That's fueling a surge in the use of collaborative robots. (Image source: Universal Robots)

We asked Vahey what’s different about collaborative robots and what he’s seeing in robot adoption among smaller manufacturers.

Design News: Tell us about the new robots and how they’re getting deployed.

Walter Vahey: Companies such as Universal Robots and MiR are pioneering the robot space. They’re bringing automation to a broad class of users and democratizing automation. For small companies, the task at hand is to figure out how to fulfill their orders. It’s particularly challenging to manufacturers. In a tight labor market, manufacturers are facing more competition, growing demand, and higher expectations in quality.

Manufacturer can plug UR or MiR robots in very quickly. Everything is easy, from the specs up front to ordering to quickly arranging and training the robot. There’s no programming, and the robots have the flexibility to do a variety of applications. Every customer is dealing with labor challenges, so now they’re deploying collaborative robots to fulfill demand with high quality.

The whole paradigm has shifted now that you have a broader range of robot applications. You can easily and quickly bring in automation, plug it in ,and get product moving in hours or days rather than months. That’s what’s driving the growth at UR and MiR.

The Issue of Change Management

Design News: Is change management a hurdle?. Does the robot cause workforce disruption?

Walter Vahey: We really haven’t seen that as an issue. The overwhelming need to improve and fulfill demand at a higher quality level helps the manufacturers deploy. It outweighs other challenges. We help with the deployment, and the manufacturers are making the change easily.

We grew up as a supplier of electronic test equipment. Since 2015, we’ve entered the industrial automation market with a focus on the emerging collaborative robot space. We see that as a way to change the equation for manufacturers, making it faster and easier to deploy automation.

Design News: What about return on investment? Robotics can be a considerable investment for a small company/

Walter Vahey: The customers today are looking for relatively short ROI, and we’re seeing it from 6 months to a year. That’s a no brainer for manufacturers. They’re ready to jump in.

We work hard to make deployment less of an issue. We have an application builder, and we use it to prepare for deployment. The new user may have a pick-and-place operation. They choose the gripper, and we guide them to partners who make it easy to deploy.

The application builder helps the customer pick the gripper. The whole object is to get the customer deployed rapidly so the automation doesn’t sit. With MiR, the robot comes in, and we find an easy application for the mobile device. We take the robot around the plant and map it. We’ve work to guide customers through an application quickly and make the robot productive as soon as possible.

There are hundreds of partners that work with UR and MiR, providing grippers and end effectors. We have a system that customers can plug into. Customer can look at grippers from a wide range of companies. We’re not working just on the robot deployment. We work to get the whole system deployed so they can quickly get the ROI.

What Tasks Are the Robots Taking On?

Design News: Who in the plant is using the robots, and what tasks are involved?

Walter Vahey: There is a range of users. To be effective at training a robot and configuring it, the people best suited for it are the ones most aware of the task. To get the robot to be effective you have to know the task. By and large, the person who has been doing that task is best suited to train the robot. That person can then train other robots. Nobody’s better suited to do it than the people who know what needs to be done.

The tasks are broad set of applications. We automate virtually any task and any material movement. It’s not quite that simple, but it’s close. With UR, we’re doing machine learning, grinding, packing, pick-and-place, repetitive tasks, welding. It’s a very broad set of applications. In materials it’s also very broad. Parts going from a warehouse to a work cell, and then from the work cell to another work cell, up to a 1000-kilo payload. We’re moving robots into warehousing and logistics space, even large pieces of metal. The robots are well suited for long runs of pallets of materials.

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

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Boost for Johnson as Court Rules in His Favor: Brexit Update   

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Boost for Johnson as Court Rules in His Favor: Brexit Update(Bloomberg) -- Follow @Brexit, sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, and tell us your Brexit story. As Brexit negotiations resumed in Brussels, Boris Johnson got a boost from the courts. A Scottish judge ruled in the prime minister’s favor in a case that could have forced him to obey a law requiring him to delay Brexit if he can’t reach a deal.But the lift may only be short-lived. The judge ignored the prime minister’s frequent assertions he won’t seek an extension and instead relied on assurances from government lawyers that he would obey the law. That may make it harder for Johnson to leave without a deal on Oct. 31.Key Developments:Johnson’s lead negotiator, David Frost, is in Brussels for talks with European CommissionScottish judge rules in Johnson’s favor after pledges over Brexit delayWhen This $2 Trillion Market Turns, Start Worrying About BrexitBrexit Deal Prospects Fade as Talks Stall, EU Signals PessimismJohnson Calls EU Counterparts to Urge Shift (4 p.m.)Boris Johnson spoke to his counterparts in Denmark, Sweden and Poland this afternoon, his office said. Brexit minister James Duddridge told Parliament the prime minister was trying to “whip up enthusiasm for the deal and avoid no-deal."Questioned over how the government would meet its apparently contradictory commitments to leave the EU by Oct. 31 and to abide by a law requiring it to seek a delay to Brexit if there isn’t a deal, Johnson’s spokesman James Slack told reporters: "The manner in which this is achieved is a matter for the government." he gave no further details.Government Won’t Publish Brexit Legal Text (3:45 p.m.)Brexit Minister James Duddridge said the government won’t make public the full legal 44-page text of its latest proposals to the EU.The full text “will only be published when doing so will assist with the negotiations,” Duddridge told MPs after being questioned about the issue in the House of Commons. “We’re not going to provide that legal text if it’s going to get in the way of negotiations and get in the way of a deal.”Keir Starmer, Brexit spokesman for the opposition Labour Party, said both Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker had asked for the document to be published. “The only party insisting on secrecy is the U.K. Government,” he told lawmakers. “The question is obvious: What is the Government hiding?”No Deal Trade Burden at 8 Billion Pounds (1:30 p.m.)Businesses trading between the U.K. and European Union will face almost 8 billion pounds ($9.9 billion) of additional costs in a no-deal Brexit, according to new estimates by the U.K’s tax and customs authority HMRC.Importers will pay a total of 3.8 billion pounds submitting the necessary customs declarations forms if the U.K. leaves the EU without a deal at the end of this month. Exporters’ costs will rise to 3.9 billion pounds, HMRC said.The calculation shows the cost for one year and is based on 2017 trade flows. HMRC said it calculated that year’s EU-U.K. trade flows as if they were carried out with the U.K. outside the bloc.Johnson Wins Scottish Challenge on Extension (12:55 p.m.)A Scottish judge refused to put further obligations on Boris Johnson, saying his “unequivocal assurances’’ to seek an extension to the Brexit deadline were sufficient.At a hearing in Edinburgh on Friday, Johnson’s lawyers promised he will obey a law that forces him to postpone Brexit. The claimants had argued that Johnson couldn’t be trusted and should be forced to comply with the legislation under threat of a fine or imprisonment.“I am not persuaded that it is necessary for the court to grant the orders sought or any variant of them,” Judge Peter Cullen said while giving his ruling.Jo Maugham, one of the challengers, said he will appeal the decision.Johnson May Meet Varadkar As EU Seeks Progress (12:15 p.m.)Boris Johnson may try to meet with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in the coming days as he seeks to show progress in Brexit talks, according to a U.K. official speaking on condition of anonymity.The U.K. accepts both sides need to know where the proposals put forward by Johnson are heading by Friday, the person said. Both Varadkar and French President Emmanuel Macron signaled they want progress by the end of the week.If insufficient progress is made, then Johnson’s plan may not even appear on the agenda for the Oct. 17-18 EU Council meeting, the person said.Brexit TimelineTime for EU to Compromise, U.K. Says (11:45 a.m.)Boris Johnson wants the EU to engage fully with his proposals for the Irish border and it’s the bloc’s turn to compromise, the prime minister’s spokesman James Slack told reporters in London.Reiterating that he won’t accept Northern Ireland being in a separate customs territory from the rest of the U.K., Slack said London has made compromises and expects Brussels to follow suit. He doubled-down on the premier’s pledge to leave with or without a deal on Oct. 31.“We are ready to talk with the EU at a pace to secure a deal so that we can move on and build a new partnership between the U.K. and the EU, but if this is to be possible, the EU must match the compromises that the U.K. has made,” Slack told reporters. “The prime minister believes that we have set out a fair and sensible compromise.”Johnson will call the leaders of Poland, Sweden and Denmark on Monday, Slack said.EU Demands ‘Workable Solution’ (11:35 a.m.)David Frost, the U.K.’s chief negotiator, is at the European Commission for Brexit talks today, commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said.The negotiations this week are “to give the U.K. the opportunity to present their proposals in more detail and then we’ll take stock,” she said.She added that the U.K. has to come up with “a workable solution now and not something based on untried and revocable arrangements.”Scottish Ruling Expected at Noon (Earlier)The latest Scottish court ruling related to Brexit is expected at noon Monday. Politicians are seeking a ruling that forces Prime Minister Boris Johnson to obey a law that requires him to seek an extension if he can’t reach a deal with the European Union.Jolyon Maugham, a lawyer backing the case, said there are two elements to the ruling. First, will the court order Johnson to act as the law dictates, which would create the possibility of fines or even a jail term if he fails?Second, is sending a letter requesting the extension -- which Johnson’s lawyers have promised to do -- enough to comply with the law. Or could the court look at other actions by Johnson that might be seen as undermining the law?Earlier:Brexit Deal Prospects Fade as Talks Stall, EU Signals PessimismWhen This $2 Trillion Market Turns, Start Worrying About Brexit\--With assistance from Edward Evans, Anthony Aarons, Ian Wishart, Alex Morales and Jessica Shankleman.To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan Browning in London at jbrowning9@bloomberg.net;Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Edward Evans, Thomas PennyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



          

Re: 2010 Prius totaled.... Now what?   

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I was also rear ended at a stop light. The collision was so strong that the car that I hit in front of me also hit the car in front of it. That meant the person behind me was at fault for 3 vehicles at least. A check was cut for my totaled 1995 Acura Integra with 140k miles which I thought was fair as it would've bought me a similar used 1995 Acura Integra with 140k miles. Not at a dealer but private party. I received the check fairly quickly and had no issues. Medical payments and pain and suffering, though, took nearly a year to pay out with a lawyer and out of court settlement.



I used the settlement to pay for a bachelor's degree so the accident was a blessing in disguise. If something like this happened to me today I would use the amount as a downpayment on a newer used vehicle. A vehicle with 150k miles is on its way out so it only makes sense to buy something a little newer.
          

Re: Document Storage: what format? (paper, fiche, scan,..?)   

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BuddyJet wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:20 pm

ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:45 pm

BuddyJet wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:20 pm

Our corporate lawyer and accountant broke me of my tendency to save everything forever. Beyond what is required by the IRS or other authorities, you can’t be forced to search or produce in discovery what you don’t have. She really cringed when she heard how many tapes we archived of our email and general server.


That seems like strange advice. If you don't have it the person on the other side of the document or email probably does. Wouldn't you want to know what the other side has on you? Of course I Am Not A Lawyer, so what do I know, but still....


It was in the context of the cost to search through the multiple archives of servers in response to document requests.


That’s important context because while that may be important for a business it’s not valid for individuals.
          

Exiles and Homecomings   

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It's been a while. The problem with having a Tbilisi blog is that I'm only in Tbilisi some of the time the time - right now, I'm spread out mentally (and physically) over three continents, living what feels like three parallel lives.

Technically speaking, Oxford is home. I'm there now, co-habiting with the Very English Gentleman, working on a doctorate in fin de siecle French literature, learning to cook Sunday roasts and taking walks through muddy fields and musty libraries. But I'm also very much, mentally, in Tbilisi. Most of the work I've found as a travel writer is Georgia-centric; Tbilisi was the first place, in a whole lifetime of growing up and moving from place to place, that ever felt like mine. Growing up, so much of my experience of place was predicated on my mother's experiences, on family history, on my mother's memories of this or that piazza, or this or that street. I took the "homeliness" of those places for granted. England, I suppose, was "mine" in a sense - but in moving to Oxford I never quite felt that I was moving to England. Jokes about Oxford not being part of the real world aside, England felt less like an active decision in its own right and more of a by-product of other considerations: university, field, degree - and later on, romantic entanglements. I'd never choose to live in England by itself; it's all the "other stuff" - Oxford, my partner, that tidy graduate stipend that pays my rent.

But Tbilisi - where I rented my first apartment on my own, where I ghostwrote romance novels to pay off my undergrad tuition, where I decided to be long after my family had left it (although - full disclosure - my mother eventually came back) - still remains a different kind of home for me. It'll be the first place where I stopped thinking of myself as my mother's daughter, as a "student-at", constantly in relation to the safety of structures. It was the first place that I ever challenged myself to exist in as myself, with all that dizzying vertiginous freedom that comes with it. It was where I got up the nerve to send out those pitches, to send out my novel, to take serious steps towards being the person I wanted to be. It was where I grew up, in the truest sense of the word.

A few months ago I was back in New York renewing my student visa, and I did what I always do - I nested. New York is where I was born - it's where things are easiest for me. It's where my grandmother lives; it's where I remember being five or six, and coddled. It's where I revert to childhood so easily. I love New York - I feel alive there in a way I don't feel alive anywhere else (except perhaps the McKittrick Hotel). It's that adrenaline rush of a place that's mine. But that's what scares me. How complacent I become. How "home" holds me.

Of course, anywhere I go, I'm foreign. I've figured out long ago that "Home," for me, is a terribly elusive place - I don't belong anywhere. The frustration - invigorating but also frightening - that I wrote about in my Spectator piece was never a frustration with Georgia. My landlady is wonderful; "Nino", about whom I wrote plenty, was one of the kindest, most intelligent, most awe-inspiring women I've ever met. But that divide - between me and what felt like "real life" - that subtle boundary between one of us and stranger - that's the divide that makes Georgia so maddening and so challenging and so wonderful.

I continue to not belong anywhere. I continue to make cultural faux pas - in Georgia, but also (perhaps even more so) in England, where I still do everything wrong. In New York, too, because I don't fully belong there, either. So I keep writing.

(Speaking of which, for those of you who wish to follow me on twitter, you can do so here. This is all part of my Grand Career Development plan of having one of those "social media" presences, in part because when you google my professional name you get not only my website and my recent publications, but also, somewhat awkwardly, the adorable/terrible "novel" I wrote when I was eleven (think Ann Radcliffe meets bizarre mysticism meets finger paintings), and which my family thought it would be so sweet to self-publish with a vanity press. Now, its terrible-ness is mitigated by the fact that I was eleven, and so there's something ALMOST cute about the sheer ambitious pretension of it - characters are oh-so-subtly named "Raoul" and "Christine" because I was a huge Phantom fan, and the word "azure" is probably on every page...). But it's still the internet equivalent of having embarrassing naked baby photographs online.)

Don't worry - next post will be a Useful Review of an excellent cafe or two in Tbilisi.

          

Who’s the Mole – The Leader Game   

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Originally posted on: http://staffofgeeks.net/afeng/archive/2006/07/02/83893.aspx

Like many teams, we always fine tune our process, so we can consistently be better. Steve Eichert has a great post that describes our process in detail. In addition to what Steve described, we also play a game that I feel has become part of our process. We call it “the leader game”. A person is chosen to be the “leader” for the iteration. The “leader” is in charge of tasks (not story tasks) that would normally fall through the cracks. It can be as simple as making sure time is tracked on each story task, or something more like leading a discussion on a particular part of the system in our software. Basically, the leader makes sure things get done in general. The game seems pretty straight forward, right? There is one catch; no one knows who the leader is until end of the iteration. At the end of the iteration, everyone votes the person they think was the leader. The goal of the game is to be voted as the leader even though you are not the real “leader”. The leader game is a spin off The Mole.
          

Federal Government Takes Nearly Three Years to Turn Over Public Records   

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The "wheels of justice turn slowly," as the old maxim goes. Less well known is how long the federal government can take to fulfill a public records request. Almost three years ago, in December 2016, Seven Days asked the federal Air National Guard for emails from Vermont Air National Guard officials about Lt. Col. John Rahill, a fighter jet pilot who crashed a small plane on a Lake Champlain island that September. Neither he nor his lone passenger was seriously hurt, and Rahill later said in an email to the Federal Aviation Administration that he'd been practicing emergency landings at the time of the wreck. He was later ordered to retake his civilian pilot's exam to keep his license. By November of that year, the National Transportation Safety Board had released its preliminary report on the crash. And by January 2017, the FAA gave Seven Days various emails and other documents as part of a different public records request. But it wasn't until July 23 — of this year — that the National Guard Bureau's Office of Information and Privacy turned over 12 emails printed on six pages. "This concludes our office's processing of your request," Jennifer Nikolaisen, chief of the office, wrote in a letter accompanying the emails. She did not explain why it took so long to comply with the request. In one email dated September 20, 2016 — one day after the crash — a lieutenant colonel in the 158th Fighter Wing of the state Air National Guard wrote a summary of what had happened. The government redacted the sender's name. "They are lucky to be alive," the person wrote of Rahill and his passenger. "...Another great wake-up call about how close we all are to being 6' under!" Among the emails is one from this reporter and another from someone who warned an unidentified recipient on the day of the incident that the crash "has picked up some media interest." Three years later, we're still interested.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Not Exactly Air Mail"


          

10/8/2019: NEWS | WORLD: Charges for street killer   

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A HOMELESS man who used a metal rod to bludgeon four other homeless men to death in New York City was arrested holding the murder weapon covered with blood and hair, and admitted he was the person in a video of one of the attacks, prosecutors...
          

Greta! The Power of Image! And the SUPER-Power..of Autism on Film..   

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Greta Thunberg is Changing the World. But not the One you Were Expecting..     Greta: a good kid, who works hard and is driven by a refreshingly un-precocious, innocent yet determined worldview. Yes, there has been some stage management, verging on the hysterical. Yes, a LOT of Friday strikers are lacking any purpose or objective outcome in their abandonment of the classroom. And yes, that viral video/ meme about ‘HOW DARE YOU‘ is funny. What is NOT funny? Personal attacks on Greta, especially by a creepy breed of older man that seem somewhat fixated on her appearance. Dudes: she is SIXTEEN. Go get help. And I also suspect some jealousy at work: WHY IS THIS GIRL GETTING NOBEL PRIZE chatter? Well, it’s NOT because of her enviro-vision, which may well just burn out. It is because the girl has reinvented the perception of Asperger syndrome and autism. What was an affliction in some quarters is now universally a ‘super-power’. Great! Hollywood has much to answer for here. They tended to define a fictional character as autistic and then jump to the ‘therefore a genius’ syllogism. Rain Man was the start of that trend (everyone raves about Hoffman in that film: TOM CRUISE is just as good, if not better, and deserved an Oscar nod, too?). Mercury Rising followed: ‘how does a nine year old boy crack a top secret government code? He’s AUTISTIC!’. IE: You had to be both super-powered in mathematical skill AND somehow completely off the charts in your social behaviours relative to age. One could not simply be very clever/charming/competent AND be ‘on the spectrum’. It has taken almost 30 years to undo that muddled perception; which placed both unrealistic expectation and unhelpful, stereotyped generalist behaviour templates onto the incredibly wide scale of ‘autism’. Greta is leading that charge. Thank God for her. And shame on you, anybody, sitting online and calling her nasty names. I was very surprised to see Jeremy Clarkson joining her critics rather than supporters. Actually, scrap that: I am more surprised that he has a column at all. Even in The Sun. Amazing driver: yep. Tireless supporter of the Armed services: yes, he is. But columnist on anything beyond cars and his lazily inserted picture of whichever hottie he fancies that week..to said column..nah..I’d rather re-watch the HOW DARE YOU speech, because it is more entertaining. So, we do still have some way to go in this area. People need to understand that a ‘spectrum’ by its nature is both sword and shield. Someone suffering acute dyspraxia is, by extension, impaired in motor skill fulfilment, which, in turn, depletes social speed of progress. But that need not prevent the person steadily, surely and yes, painfully, yet successfully, managing a transition to independence and happiness from the chrysalis of disability. Do not assume you have either autism or an ‘aspie’, simply because someone says you are ‘on the spectrum’. It’s sword as well as shield and if you are allowed to be defined by that, the burden can outweigh the benefits. Equally, if a diagnosis is genuinely helpful and unavoidable, the help IS out there; but clarifying, securing, developing it and holding onto every moment of whatever kind of progress and joy can be found? It’s still tough. Did Hollywood aid the prejudice? Sure. It always does, because a simple and visual medium has to simplify even complex conditions. Ergo: clever = autistic = does not function by rules = stereotype = unhelpful. Same way no biopic or prequel or reboot etc ever truly captures time or ageing accurately because that process simply cannot, relatively, be honoured on film. And so it is with ‘the spectrum’. Only the most extreme / fascinating / tangible cases can be contained in a screen story and so, in turn, that becomes a kind of well meaning and initially helpful awareness tool yet ultimately erroneous and counter-productive education for the casual viewer. Yet Greta’s joy in her mission, and then, in the world becoming aware, not so much of her vision of an environmental Armageddon, as her informed and determined passion, is in itself a MASSIVE step forward. Educating and preparing observers in the awareness of..well, the awareness of how wide  ‘the spectrum’ can be. And to be absolutely fair to movie magic, I believe there are indeed a few top flight characters that are indeed on the autistic spectrum. Matter of opinion /debate. But now that we view the condition as key to ‘super-power’ without it’s being solely viewed AS a power..then I think it’s perfectly cool to review some old favourites and diagnose them, afresh! Here we go.. BATMAN: Lives in a strict routine that still finds its definition in one event from his childhood. He is in effect trapped in that world, still and is lashing out at criminals because he cannot communicate his loss, rage and pain. Genius Detective. Top rate athlete. Loner. Defo high functioning Aspie. INDIANA JONES: Talks in lectures, even when not lecturing. Has no concept of time, responsibility or property unless it serves his particular mission to acquire and defend rare artefacts. Occasionally emotional, inappropriate behaviour because he has no boundaries. Will even kill baddies without any thought of his own basic safety. Refer for review. MELVIN UDALL: They SAY he has OCD. Nah, this guy is full on autistic. Jack even wanted Dustin’s part in Rain Man. He over-compensated here..and won an Oscar! A MUST SEE: As Good As It Gets, for all its feelgood fun, is also a touching and bittersweet visit to the mind of a man who is so trapped in his own world that it requires the shock of true love and brushes with real crime and mortality to inspire his getting help. JAMES BOND: Cannot sustain a relationship, except with an outdated notion of patriotic pride. Dalton’s 007 keeps laughing, nervously, to himself. Craig’s take has a trance like ability to shut himself off to pain, as though he has forgotten it’s ok to do so […]
          

Department Lead - Pets - Shipton's Big R - Sheridan, WY   

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The person in this position is responsible for the overall presentation of the department by achieving company standards in the following areas of…
From Indeed - Thu, 03 Oct 2019 18:00:09 GMT - View all Sheridan, WY jobs
          

Profit, not politics: Trump allies sought Ukraine gas deal   

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KYIV, Ukraine – As Rudy Giuliani was pushing Ukrainian officials last spring to investigate one of Donald Trump’s main political rivals, a group of individuals with ties to the president and his personal lawyer were also active in the former Soviet republic.

Their aims were profit, not politics. This circle of businessmen and Republican donors touted connections to Giuliani and Trump while trying to install new management at the top of Ukraine’s massive state gas company. Their plan was to then steer lucrative contracts to companies controlled by Trump allies, according to two people with knowledge of their plans.

Their plan hit a snag after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko lost his reelection bid to Volodymyr Zelenskiy, whose conversation with Trump about former Vice President Joe Biden is now at the center of the House impeachment inquiry of Trump.

But the effort to install a friendlier management team at the helm of the gas company, Naftogaz, would soon be taken up with Ukraine’s new president by U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, whose slate of candidates included a fellow Texan who is one of Perry’s past political donors.

It’s unclear if Perry’s attempts to replace board members at Naftogaz were coordinated with the Giuliani allies pushing for a similar outcome, and no one has alleged that there is criminal activity in any of these efforts. And it’s unclear what role, if any, Giuliani had in helping his clients push to get gas sales agreements with the state-owned company.

But the affair shows how those with ties to Trump and his administration were pursuing business deals in Ukraine that went far beyond advancing the president’s personal political interests. It also raises questions about whether Trump allies were mixing business and politics just as Republicans were calling for a probe of Biden and his son Hunter, who served five years on the board of another Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.

On Friday, according to the news site Axios, Trump told a group of Republican lawmakers that it had been Perry who had prompted the phone call in which Trump asked Zelenskiy for a “favor” regarding Biden. Axios cited a source saying Trump said Perry had asked Trump to make the call to discuss “something about an LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant.”

While it’s unclear whether Trump’s remark Friday referred specifically to the behind-the-scenes maneuvers this spring involving the multibillion-dollar state gas company, The Associated Press has interviewed four people with direct knowledge of the attempts to influence Naftogaz, and their accounts show Perry playing a key role in the effort. Three of the four spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. The fourth is an American businessman with close ties to the Ukrainian energy sector.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Energy Department said Perry, a former Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate, was not advancing anyone’s personal interests. She said his conversations with Ukrainian officials about Naftogaz were part of his efforts to reform the country’s energy sector and create an environment in which Western companies can do business.

Perry was asked about the AP’s reporting on Monday while in Lithuania, where he was meeting with officials from Ukraine and other eastern European countries to discuss energy security and cooperation. He said any suggestion that he tried to force a management change at Naftogaz was a “totally dreamed up story.”

“We get asked for our recommendations about people who are experts in areas, various areas,” Perry said. “Folks who have expertise in particular areas. Obviously having been the governor of the state of Texas, I know a lot of people in the energy industry.”

The Trump and Giuliani allies driving the attempt to change the senior management at Naftogaz, however, appear to have had inside knowledge of the U.S. government’s plans in Ukraine. For example, they told people that Trump would replace the U.S. ambassador there months before she was actually recalled to Washington, according to three of the individuals interviewed by the AP. One of the individuals said he was so concerned by the whole affair that he reported it to a U.S. Embassy official in Ukraine months ago.

THE BUSINESSMEN

Ukraine, a resource-rich nation that sits on the geographic and symbolic border between Russia and the West, has long been plagued by corruption and government dysfunction, making it a magnet for foreign profiteers.

At the center of the Naftogaz plan, according to three individuals familiar with the details, were three such businessmen: two Soviet-born Florida real estate entrepreneurs, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, and an oil magnate from Boca Raton, Florida, named Harry Sargeant III.

Parnas and Fruman have made hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations to Republicans, including $325,000 to a Trump-allied political action committee in 2018. This helped the relatively unknown entrepreneurs gain access to top levels of the Republican Party – including meetings with Trump at the White House and Mar-a-Lago.

The two have also faced lawsuits from disgruntled investors over unpaid debts. During the same period they were pursuing the Naftogaz deal, the two were coordinating with Giuliani to set up meetings with Ukrainian government officials and push for an investigation of the Bidens.

Sargeant, his wife and corporate entities tied to the family have donated at least $1.2 million to Republican campaigns and PACs over the last 20 years, including $100,000 in June to the Trump Victory Fund, according to federal and state campaign finance records. He has also served as finance chair of the Florida state GOP, and gave nearly $14,000 to Giuliani’s failed 2008 presidential campaign.

In early March, Fruman, Parnas and Sargeant were touting a plan to replace Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev with another senior executive at the company, Andrew Favorov, according to two individuals who spoke to the AP as well as a memorandum about the meeting that was later submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, formerly known as Kiev.

Going back to the Obama administration, the U.S. Energy Department and the State Department have long supported efforts to import American natural gas into Ukraine to reduce the country’s dependence on Russia.

The three approached Favorov with the idea while the Ukrainian executive was attending an energy industry conference in Texas. Parnas and Fruman told him they had flown in from Florida on a private jet to recruit him to be their partner in a new venture to export up to 100 tanker shipments a year of U.S. liquefied gas into Ukraine, where Naftogaz is the largest distributor, according to two people briefed on the details.

Sargeant told Favorov that he regularly meets with Trump at Mar-a-Lago and that the gas-sales plan had the president’s full support, according to the two people who said Favorov recounted the discussion to them.

These conversations were recounted to AP by Dale W. Perry, an American who is a former business partner of Favorov. He told AP in an interview that Favorov described the meeting to him soon after it happened and that Favorov perceived it to be a shakedown. Perry, who is no relation to the energy secretary, is the managing partner of Energy Resources of Ukraine, which currently has business agreements to import natural gas and electricity to Ukraine.

A second person who spoke on condition of anonymity also confirmed to the AP that Favorov had recounted details of the Houston meeting to him.

According to Dale Perry and the other person, Favorov said Parnas told him Trump planned to remove U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and replace her with someone more open to aiding their business interests.

Dale Perry told the AP he was so concerned about the efforts to change the management at Naftogaz and to get rid of Yovanovitch that he reported what he had heard to Suriya Jayanti, a State Department foreign service officer stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv who focuses on the energy industry.

He also wrote a detailed memo about Favorov’s account, dated April 12, which was shared with another current State Department official. Perry recently provided a copy of the April memo to AP.

Jayanti declined to provide comment. Favorov also declined to comment.

On March 24, Giuliani and Parnas gathered at the Trump International Hotel in Washington with Healy E. Baumgardner, a former Trump campaign adviser who once served as deputy communications director for Giuliani’s presidential campaign and as a communications official during the George W. Bush administration.

She is now listed as the CEO of 45 Energy Group, a Houston-based energy company whose website describes it as a “government relations, public affairs and business development practice group.” The company’s name is an apparent nod to Trump, the 45th president.

This was a couple of weeks after the Houston meeting with Favorov, the Naftogaz executive. Giuliani, Parnas and Baumgardner were there to make a business pitch involving gas deals in the former Soviet bloc to a potential investor.

This time, according to Giuliani, the deals that were discussed involved Uzbekistan, not Ukraine.

“I have not pursued a deal in the Ukraine. I don’t know about a deal in the Ukraine. I would not do a deal in the Ukraine now, obviously,” said Giuliani, reached while attending a playoff baseball game between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins. “There is absolutely no proof that I did it, because I didn’t do it.”

During this meeting, Parnas again repeated that Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador in Kyiv, would soon be replaced, according to a person with direct knowledge of the gathering. She was removed two months later.

Giuliani, who serves as Trump’s personal lawyer and has no official role in government, acknowledged Friday that he was among those pushing the president to replace the ambassador, a career diplomat with a history of fighting corruption.

“The ambassador to Ukraine was replaced,” he said. “I did play a role in that.”

But Giuliani refused to discuss the details of his business dealings, or whether he helped his associates in their push to forge gas sales contracts with the Ukrainian company. He did describe Sergeant as a friend and referred to Parnas and Fruman as his clients in a tweet in May.

As part of their impeachment inquiry, House Democrats have subpoenaed Giuliani for documents and communications related to dozens of people, including Favorov, Parnas, Fruman and Baumgardner’s 45 Energy Group.

Baumgardner issued a written statement, saying: “While I won’t comment on business discussions, I will say this: this political assault on private business by the Democrats in Congress is complete harassment and an invasion of privacy that should scare the hell out of every American business owner.”

Baumgardner later denied that she had any business dealings in Ukraine but refused to say whether the replacement of Ambassador Yovanovitch was discussed.

Sargeant did not respond to a voice message left at a number listed for him at an address in Boca Raton.

John Dowd, a former Trump attorney who now represents Parnas and Fruman, said it was actually the Naftogaz executives who approached his clients about making a deal. Dowd says the group then approached Rick Perry to get the Energy Department on board.

“The people from the company solicited my clients because Igor is in the gas business, and they asked them, and they flew to Washington and they solicited,” Dowd said. “They sat down and talked about it. And then it was presented to Secretary Perry to see if they could get it together.

“It wasn’t a shakedown; it was an attempt to do legitimate business that didn’t work out.”

THE ENERGY SECRETARY

In May, Rick Perry traveled to Kyiv to serve as the senior U.S. government representative at the inauguration of the county’s new president.

In a private meeting with Zelenskiy, Perry pressed the Ukrainian president to fire members of the Naftogaz advisory board. Attendees left the meeting with the impression that Perry wanted to replace the American representative, Amos Hochstein, a former diplomat and energy representative who served in the Obama administration, with someone “reputable in Republican circles,” according to someone who was in the room.

Perry’s push for Ukraine’s state-owned natural gas company Naftogaz to change its supervisory board was first reported by Politico.

A second meeting during the trip, at a Kyiv hotel, included Ukrainian officials and energy sector people. There, Perry made clear that the Trump administration wanted to see the entire Naftogaz supervisory board replaced, according to a person who attended both meetings. Perry again referenced the list of advisers that he had given Zelenskiy, and it was widely interpreted that he wanted Michael Bleyzer, a Ukrainian-American businessman from Texas, to join the newly formed board, the person said. Also on the list was Robert Bensh, another Texan who frequently works in Ukraine, the Energy Department confirmed.

Gordon D. Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, and Kurt D. Volker, then the State Department’s special envoy to Ukraine, were also in the room, according to photographs reviewed by AP. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of retaliation, said he was floored by the American requests because the person had always viewed the U.S. government “as having a higher ethical standard.”

The Naftogaz supervisory board is supposed to be selected by the Ukrainian president’s Cabinet in consultation with international institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, the United States and the European Union. It must be approved by the Ukrainian Cabinet. Ukrainian officials perceived Perry’s push to swap out the board as circumventing that established process, according to the person in the room.

U.S. Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said Perry had consistently called for the modernization of Ukraine’s business and energy sector in an effort to create an environment that will incentivize Western companies to do business there. She said Perry delivered that same message in the May meeting with Zelenskiy.

“What he did not do is advocate for the business interests of any one individual or company,” Hynes said Saturday. “That is fiction being pushed by those who are disingenuously seeking to advance a nefarious narrative that does not exist.”

Hynes said the Ukrainian government had requested U.S. recommendations to advise the country on energy matters, and Perry provided those recommendations. She confirmed Bleyzer was on the list.

Bleyzer, whose company is based in Houston, did not respond on Saturday to a voicemail seeking comment. Bensh also did not respond to a phone message.

Perry has close ties to the Texas oil and gas industry. He appointed Bleyzer to a two-year term on a state technologies fund board in 2009. The following year, records show Bleyzer donated $20,000 to Perry’s reelection campaign.

Zelenskiy’s office declined to comment on Saturday.

In an interview Friday with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Perry said that “as God as my witness” he never discussed Biden or his son in meetings with Ukrainian or U.S. officials, including Trump or Giuliani. He did confirm he had had a conversation with Giuliani by phone, but a spokeswoman for the energy secretary declined to say when that call was or whether the two had discussed Naftogaz.

In Lithuania on Monday, Perry said he could not recall whether Bleyzer’s name was on the list provided to Zelenskiy. But Perry confirmed he had known Bleyzer for years and called him “a really brilliant, capable businessman.”

“I would recommend him for a host of different things in Kyiv because he knows the country,” Perry said of Bleyzer. “He’s from there. So, why not? I mean I would be stunned if someone said that would you eliminate Michael Bleyzer from a recommendation of people you ought to talk to about how to do business in the country, whether they’re knowledgeable. It’d be remarkable if I didn’t say, `Talk to Michael.“’


          

Whistleblower’s attorney says team now representing ‘multiple’ officials   

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WASHINGTON – An attorney for the whistleblower who sounded the alarm about President Donald Trump’s pressure on Ukraine said Sunday that “multiple” whistleblowers have come forward, deepening a political quagmire that has engulfed the president as well as several of his Cabinet members.

The news comes as House Democrats are accelerating their impeachment inquiry and subpoenaing documents related to Trump’s efforts to push foreign countries to investigate one of his political opponents, former vice president Joe Biden.

“I can confirm that my firm and my team represent multiple whistleblowers in connection to the underlying August 12, 2019, disclosure to the Intelligence Community Inspector General,” the whistleblower’s attorney, Andrew Bakaj, said in a tweet. “No further comment at this time.”

Mark Zaid, who also is a member of the original whistleblower’s legal team, confirmed to the Washington Post that the team is now representing a second whistleblower, someone who works in the intelligence community. The second individual has spoken to the inspector general of the intelligence community and has not filed a complaint.

“Doesn’t need to,” Zaid said in a text message, adding that the person has “first hand knowledge that supported the first whistleblower.”

News that the original whistleblower’s team is representing a second person was first reported Sunday by ABC News.

Trump seized on the latest development in a Sunday night tweet.

“Democrat lawyer is same for both Whistleblowers? All support Obama and Crooked Hillary. Witch Hunt!” he said.

The crisis, which began last month with media reports revealing the original whistleblower’s complaint, has quickly metastasized across the Trump administration, ensnaring senior officials such as Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who came under further scrutiny over the weekend.

Trump largely stayed out of public view, spending Saturday at his golf club in Sterling, Virginia, and Sunday at the White House. In tweets, he attacked Democrats and some Republican detractors, including Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, whose ouster he demanded Saturday after Romney criticized him.

He also appeared to directly link the 2020 presidential race to his efforts to push Ukraine to investigate Biden, contrary to a tweet on Friday declaring that “this has NOTHING to do with politics or a political campaign against the Bidens.”

“And by the way, I would LOVE running against 1% Joe Biden – I just don’t think it’s going to happen,” Trump tweeted Sunday, arguing that Biden and his family were “PAID OFF, pure and simple!”

“Sleepy Joe won’t get to the starting gate, & based on all of the money he & his family probably ‘extorted,’ Joe should hang it up,” Trump added. “I wouldn’t want him dealing with China & [Ukraine]!”

Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates responded by calling it “puzzling” that Trump would claim to love the prospect of a matchup against Biden, “seeing as how he just sent his administration into a tailspin by trying to bully a foreign country into spreading a comprehensively debunked conspiracy theory about the vice president.”

Biden’s son Hunter served for nearly five years on the board of Burisma, Ukraine’s largest private gas company, whose owner came under scrutiny by Ukrainian prosecutors for possible abuse of power and unlawful enrichment. Hunter Biden was not accused of any wrongdoing in the investigation.

As vice president, Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire the top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, whom Biden and other Western officials, including Republicans, accused of not sufficiently pursuing corruption cases. At the time, the investigation into Burisma was dormant, according to former Ukrainian and U.S. officials.

On Saturday, Perry’s discussions with Ukrainian officials came to attention amid reports that Trump told Republicans on Friday that he made the July 25 call with the Ukrainian president at the request of Perry.

Asked about Trump’s comments, which were first reported by Axios, Energy Department spokeswoman Shylyn Hynes said in an email that Perry encouraged Trump to speak with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky to discuss energy security.

Pompeo, who was scheduled to return to Washington on Sunday, is facing growing pressure from Democrats seeking Ukraine-related documents.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Pompeo, who had spent much of the past week in Europe, missed a Friday deadline to comply with a subpoena for information about the State Department’s dealings with Ukraine. Pompeo asserts that a letter sent to the committee constitutes the department’s initial response.

The whistleblower complaint accused Trump of asking the Ukrainian government to help him with his reelection bid by launching an investigation into Biden. Democrats are also probing whether Trump’s decision to withhold nearly $400 million in military assistance from Ukraine was linked to his push for the government there to pursue political investigations that could bolster the president’s reelection bid.

Text messages between State Department officials, revealed by House Democrats last week, show that there was at least some concern that Trump was pursuing an improper quid pro quo.

“As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” diplomat William Taylor wrote on Sept. 9 to Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

Sondland, who has denied that Trump sought a quid pro quo, has agreed to meet privately on Tuesday with the three House panels – Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight – spearheading the probe, according to a committee aide.

On Friday, those three committees subpoenaed the White House for documents and wrote a letter to Vice President Mike Pence demanding that he turn over documents related to his talks with Zelensky.

Speaking at a Republican event in Louisiana on Saturday, Pence criticized Democrats but gave no indication about whether he would comply with their document request.

“Do-Nothing Democrats launched a partisan impeachment inquiry in a blatant attempt to overturn the will of the American people in the last election,” he said.

On Sunday, Trump’s campaign announced that the president would be traveling to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to hold a rally on Friday. The president will also have a rally on Wednesday in Minneapolis.

No White House officials made appearances on the Sunday morning news shows, leaving it up to congressional Republicans and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to defend the president in heated interviews during which they offered at-times-contradictory explanations for the president’s actions.

In a combative exchange on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd urged Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., to explain why he told the Wall Street Journal about his concern in the summer that Trump had sought to link Ukrainian military aid to an investigation of the Bidens.

Johnson repeatedly declined to answer, instead raising a conspiracy theory and criticizing the media before finally stating that Trump had “adamantly denied” any quid pro quo.

Johnson also at one point said he does not trust U.S. intelligence agencies. “Something pretty fishy happened during the 2016 campaign and in the transition, the early part of the Trump presidency, and we still don’t know,” he said.

“We do know the answer,” an exasperated Todd responded, adding: “You’re making a choice not to believe the investigations that have taken place.”

Giuliani issued a defiant defense of Trump in an interview on Fox News Channel’s “MediaBuzz” in which he argued that the president “has every right to ask countries to help us in a criminal investigation that should be undertaken.”

Giuliani was named in the whistleblower’s complaint and in a rough transcript of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky as being a key intermediary in back-channel efforts to pursue the allegations against Biden.

But other Republicans sought to play down Trump’s comments, including his exchange with reporters outside the White House on Thursday in which he urged China to investigate Biden.

In an interview on ABC News’s “This Week,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, echoed a suggestion on Friday by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., that Trump’s China statement was not “a real request.”

“George, you really think he was serious about thinking that China’s going to investigate the Biden family? … I think he’s getting the press all spun up about this,” Jordan told host George Stephanopoulos.

During the interview, Stephanopoulos repeatedly sought an answer from Jordan on whether he thinks it is appropriate for Trump to ask China and Ukraine to investigate Biden. Jordan dodged the question more than a dozen times.

Democrats on Sunday defended their party’s efforts to pursue an impeachment inquiry.

In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., a member of the Intelligence Committee, supported Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s view that no vote by the full House is necessary for an impeachment inquiry to move forward.

She added that she thinks the House “will have to take a serious look at articles of impeachment” based on the evidence that has emerged.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, N.Y., a key member of House Democratic leadership, said on “This Week” that “the evidence of wrongdoing by Donald Trump is hiding in plain sight.”

“The administration, without justification, withheld $391 million in military aid from a vulnerable Ukraine,” he said. “The president then pressured a foreign leader to interfere in the 2020 elections and target an American citizen for political gain. That is textbook abuse of power.”


          

UAW says negotiations with GM have ‘taken a turn for the worse’   

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DETROIT – The UAW’s lead negotiator said Sunday that talks with General Motors have “taken a turn for the worse.”

The surprise negative development followed reports of progress in recent days and adds more uncertainty to when the UAW’s 3-week-old strike against GM might come to an end.

In fact, a person close to the talks told the Free Press that the bargaining had turned somewhat sour as GM walked back what had been a proposed solution for temporary workers.

Health care, as of Saturday, was resolved, meaning it would not change or cost members more. But the person said the union considers GM’s last two proposals to be like ultimatums.

In a letter to union members around 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Terry Dittes, vice president for the UAW GM Department, said that the UAW on Saturday afternoon had prepared an extensive proposal and presented it to GM.

“Our proposal addressed issues of wages, signing bonus, job security, pensions, skilled trades, profit sharing, transfer rights; to name just a few,” Dittes said.

GM responded at 9:05 a.m. Sunday, Dittes said.

“The company’s response did not address our extensive package provided last evening,” Dittes wrote. “They reverted back to their last rejected proposal and made little change. The company’s response did nothing to advance a whole host of issues that are important to you and your families! It did nothing to provide job security during the term of this agreement.”

He wrote that the union, “could not be more disappointed with General Motors who refuse to recognize the experience and talent of our membership who make their world class products and billions of dollars in profits.”

Dittes said that after making progress on key issues “a couple days ago, the company has shown an unwillingness to fairly compensate the great workforce of the UAW. These negotiations have taken a turn for the worse. Your issues are our issues, and our strength is with you, our great membership. We will continue to negotiate on behalf of you, your families and all workers in our country.”

GM provided a statement in response to Dittes’ letter that defended the company’s proposals:

“We continue to negotiate in good faith with very good proposals that benefit employees today and builds a stronger future for all of us. We are committed to continuing discussions around the clock to reach a resolution.”

Roughly 46,000 UAW workers went on strike against GM sites nationwide on Sept. 16 after the 2015 contract expired two days before. The union continued contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, following the customary plan to negotiate a deal with one company to use as a template for the other two.

A news release from the UAW Sunday afternoon included an email exchange between Dittes and Scott Sandefur, who is heading up negotiations for GM. The exchange highlighted the separation between the two sides as well as providing more details about the UAW proposal and response from GM.

“This package addressed a minimum of (35) hourly proposals and three (3) salaried proposals. Our extensive proposal package was an effort to move this set of negotiations to the next step to reach a tentative agreement,” according to the Dittes email to Sandefur. “During your response to our proposal delivered at 9:05 a.m. today, Sunday, October 6, 2019, you didn’t even have a professional courtesy to explain why you could not accept or why you rejected our package proposal for each item we addressed.”

Dittes continued by saying, “we expect the company to respond and discuss the package proposal we presented yesterday. The law and basic decency require no less.”

The change in tone about the state of talks followed word on Saturday from a person familiar with negotiations that the remaining outstanding issues centered on pensions and 401(k)s and the narrowing of the pay gap for in-progression workers.

The negotiations have continued as more than 46,000 GM UAW workers have remained on strike. The spillover impact from the strike has led to plant shutdowns outside of the United States, supplier layoffs and substantially reduced pay for striking workers, who now get $250 per week from the union’s strike fund.

Also this weekend, the Free Press reported that Vance Pearson, the director of the UAW region covering 17 states from Missouri to California, has been placed on leave. Pearson, who succeeded Gary Jones in the post when Jones became UAW president, is among those charged in an ongoing corruption probe. Jones has also faced scrutiny as his house was among those raided in August, and a source identified him as an unnamed union official who had $30,000 seized from his home.


          

My feels   

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This is a book about my dreams and I wish would come true. I also wish the person I write about doesn't text me asking about this story.
          

Comment on The Best Brand for Cashmere Scarf in 2019 by psychic reading    

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The reason why they can't offer that you proper psychic reading is basically have some spell, black magic, demon, or various other mystical evildoers following you around, and that the psychic must first do battle while using nasty force to rid you today. Until then the connection along with you will be foggy, and then for any of your problems in life will only get far worse. Sounds crazy, and it is, but a talented con-man can pull in a number of money by it. By talking with you, and figuring out how desperate you are, he will endeavour to gauge how long he can drag the scam, while billing customers. Any psychic reading advisor that charges exorbitant rates in exchange for outlandish promises does not have a client's best interest at heart, only special. Many psychics charge hundreds not really thousands of dollars an hour, something I personally find not necessarily absurd however disrespectful to spiritual work with general. While all in service deserve fair compensation recommended to their offerings, psychics who charge more compared average person can afford are most likely doing in order to fill their wallets and drain you. Whether is usually love the looking for or marriage or even revenge, can be a solution for the person. And when it comes to spells and reading of clairvoyance, online help or even the offices of these experts, down the road . have help come for. The regarding making utilization of this undeniable fact that the next person must come not come involved when this is done. Put on pounds . no need getting hurt over a heartbreak, prefer love spell or psychic readings with life to its fullest. Few things are impossible again when it comes to getting the person you like most altering you. Whether it love the looking for or marriage or even revenge, will be a solution for your organization. And when it appears to spells and reading of clairvoyance, online help or along with the offices of these experts, undertake it !
          

Throwback Thursday: Everybody gets an F   

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As the IT communications manager at this university, pilot fish is the person who sends out memos about IT policy to users. And he does just that when a phishing email starts circulating on campus.

Never send your user name and password to anyone via email, he warns them, and to give them an example of what to look out for, he pastes in the text of the phishing attempt.

Within minutes, his inbox is flooded with responses from students sending him their campus passwords, their Gmail passwords, their Yahoo passwords and more.

Sharky is looking for fish, not phish. Send me your true tales of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

To read this article in full, please click here


          

Simon and Jackie Go Crazy   

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So, I visited Montreal Simon to read his latest post, which was a condemnation of the Scheer Conservatives and their fans who are bringing USA-Repugnican style hatred and violent rhetoric up here. It started off well with a picture of some sub-literate right-wing moron holding up this ridiculous (and frightening) hand-made sign:


I've said on numerous occasions that stupid people must have the same right to vote as non-stupid people. But there needs to be gatekeepers to prevent the rise of stupid ideas and rage-fueled political movements from having any prominence greater than the level of three city blocks. Alas, for reasons of selfish cynicism our media and corporate elites see fit to pander to these cretins and stir them up. As well (whose kidding who?) from their own behaviour and the words that flow from their mouths, pens, pencils, keyboards, many among our elites aren't all that intelligent either.

Montreal Simon goes from trashing right-wing assholes calling for Trudeau to be "hung" (or run over by a truck) for taxing them, for verbally acknowledging global warming, for admitting Syrian refugees, for marching in PRIDE parades, and etc., ... where was I? .... Oh yeah, ... Simon goes from condemning those assholes to conflating them with progressives who yell at him for buying the TMX pipeline (so as to bail-out the Bay Street parasites who invested in that bitumen project) and praises Trudeau for asking his supporters (booing the guy) for tolerance as he lets his security drag the man away.

Immediately afterwards Simon mentions a guy who threw an egg at Trudeau during a climate march in Montreal, but it's unclear from the Global News video what that guy's agenda was. Personally, I've never gotten too incensed about ordinary people throwing pies (or, now, eggs) in the faces of politicians.

"What if that pie/egg had been a gun or a bomb or a knife?!?"

Yeah. But you're missing the important point that it wasn't a gun or a bomb or a knife. It was a cream-pie/egg. You could just as well shriek that the hand of someone extended for a handshake could have been a gun. But it wasn't. The person sticking their hand out to a passing politician just wants a handshake. Just as the person with the pie wants to make a statement and not kill anybody.


Simon then starts his spiel about how Justin Trudeau is the most activist politician fighting climate change EVAH!!!! because of his carbon tax and his investments in renewable energy industries. But, if Simon were honest (or not honestly ignorant) he would know that this is mere tinkering and that it is all cancelled-out by his continuing to develop the Tar Sands. Which is par for the course for a liberal politician. They're the masters n' mistresses of using empty words to gull their deluded followers. They "feel your pain." They "want to see all people rise to their full potential." They "don't want to see anyone left behind." They say the things we want to hear in order to get elected and continue to say those things as they enact policies that contradict their flowery words.

The end result of political cowardice and deliberate deceit by politicians like Justin Trudeau is going to be the extinction of most of the earth's life-forms. It will AT LEAST mean the deaths of tens of millions of people. Given this, it was justified for that protester to yell at Trudeau for his sickening devotion to the TMX pipeline. And it is the height of stupidity to conflate environmentalists with legitimate grievances with Islamophobic, racist, right-wing homophobic shit-heads threatening all their adversaries with murder. (Notice how that protester at the Liberal rally stayed right where he was and didn't make a step towards Trudeau.)

And, of course, the first "commentor" was Simon's in-all-but-name co-blogger "Jackie Blue." I haven't (and won't) read her entire densely-packed, extended comment. But she basically says that leftist "shit-disturbers" are as big a threat (to "rational centrists") as right-wingers. Now, given the evidence from Simon's own post, anyone not an idiot can see that isn't true. She then goes on to whine about the progressives who didn't vote for mass-murderess, corrupt scumbag Hillary Clinton. Because "Jackie Blue" continues with the bullshit story that she's a US-American and she continues with the bullshit belief that Hillary Clinton wasn't a murdering scumbag.

Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq War you stupid fuck! She voted for a war based on obvious stupid lies. The war she voted for has KILLED ONE MILLION IRAQIS and maimed and traumatized millions more. And that's only one of her colossal "mistakes" that she made while servicing the oligarchy and becoming a multi-millionaire herself. And it was Hillary's own sense of entitlement that led her to rig the Democratic primary to defeat Bernie Sanders and thereby bring on the presidency of Donald Trump. Hillary gave us Trump you imbecile!

As a species, we have to do the hard work of overthrowing his rotten, inhuman, ecocidal system. And the longer that (mostly decent-minded) people like Montreal Simon pledge hysterical allegiance to hucksters like Liberals, the longer (and perhaps TOO LATE) will it take to start that job in earnest.


(I'll end by saying that I probably won't be voting. My riding is a contest between the Libs and the Cons. And, from reading this article, I'm pretty much deflated about my choices anyway.)

          

Re: John Mcguiness   

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Purchase of Ellen's birth certificate (on your plastic) should show:
Date and place of birth;
name of child and whether present or not;
name of parents (including mother's maiden name);
occupation of parents;
ages and birthplace of parents;
date and place of marriage of parents;
previous children of their marriage noting living or deceased;
signature, description and address of the person who gave the information;
names of witnesses;
date and place of registration.
          

Opposite Standards   

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It is always a shame that gossiping goes beyond words. Thanks ladies. We are happy to entertain you. I worked for a couple of months to pay for that fence. Sleep well. All my Love – Number 19. The person that always watched out for you and never did you wrong. A friend was right, […]
          

The Stigma & Discrimination of "JOKER" - A Review   

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Click now to read about The Stigma & Discrimination of "JOKER" - A Review

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Hello everybody, this is Mad Dashiell here joining you once again. Today we are going to talk about the tragic origins of the Clown Prince of Crime himself in Todd Phillips' JOKER movie. To talk about this film, I feel like we have to set the stage of Gotham City by taking a critical look at our world today. Not only that, we have to begin looking deeper within ourselves. We all have our shadow we are dealing with, our traumas, our wounds. 
"People with mental health problems say that the social stigma attached to mental ill-health and the discrimination they experience can make their difficulties worse and make it harder to recover."
 Studies show people that could benefit from mental health services don't pursue them or fail to fully participate due to the ongoing stigma and discrimination received for having mental disabilities. This is something people face in society, through their employers, families, friends, and even strangers. There is also a stigma involved with taking medication, internalizing a "get over it" mentality that contributes to staggering suicide rates. It can take time to find the right medication, and even so, after the troubles of the process, the person involved might lose access to the prescription through budget cuts to social welfare and changes or loss of insurance. Aside from that scenario, the services are lacking, to begin with, and are inaccessible to some of those who need them most.  
"Mental health services in the U.S. are insufficient despite more than half of Americans (56%) seeking help."
 Now that we have taken

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Forgiving Your Brother’s Murderer   

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Hating the person who killed a sibling and carrying that hate forever doesn’t make anyone better or lessen the grief.  Closure is important.
          

5 Minute Ksra Bread for the Babes   

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March’s Kitchen of the Month is Kelly, of A Messy Kitchen.  For our challenge, she chose Ksra, a Moroccan flatbread, from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes.   I was very excited about this challenge for several reasons.  


First, I love the technique.  I don’t mind baking bread in the traditional way, but the 5-minute technique is one of my favorites.  




Second, I have this book on my computer as an electronic file.  The reason?  I’m the person who created the index in the back of the book.  That’s what I do for a living, and I’ve worked on all the Zoe’s and Jeff’s books except for their very first one.  I’m always excited when they are preparing for a new book, since I get an early peek at all the yummy recipes.


For the Ksra, I substituted rye flour for the barley flour, since that is what I had on hand.  I prepared half the recipe, which gave me two opportunities to bake.  Both times, the bread turned out fine.  It was easy to make and delicious as well.







I highly recommend any of the books in the series.  There is even one for gluten-free bread baking, if that is important to you.



Meanwhile, I hope you will bake along with us this month.  You can find the recipe on Kelly’s website.  Send your story and photos to Kelly by the 31st  of March to be included in the roundup.

Be sure and visit the other Babe's website to read about their adventures with Ksra and 5-minute bread.






          

Use of Proctoring Services in Organizations   

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Most of the companies have started looking for options that are more effective, simple and efficient. One such option is for tests. There are many types of tests and exams take place in a company. Whether at the time of recruitment or otherwise; there are instances when the person taking the test is not available […]

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