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2008 May 26 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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We Made The Big Time

Well, for Okaloosa County, the Miami Herald is big time.

Gary Fineout of the Miami Herald write about a local voting effort: Web vote offered to military abroad

TALLAHASSEE — A small Panhandle county that is home to one of the world’s largest air bases is embarking on a sweeping experiment in Internet voting that could transform elections in the 21st century.

But the push by Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections Pat Hollarn to use the Internet to make it easier for U.S. soldiers overseas to vote is drawing fire from voting activists who call her project “unsafe” and contrary to a new law that requires the state to use paper ballots.

Frustrated by the pace of overseas voting efforts undertaken by the Department of Defense in recent years, Hollarn has championed a plan that will let those living on, or near, three military bases in the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan cast ballots in the November election.

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May 26, 2008   8 Comments

Shields Up!

I assume he is prepared for the incoming fire that is about to erupt, as the BBC reports on Jimmy Carter’s latest comments on the Middle East: Israel ‘has 150 nuclear weapons’

Ex-US President Jimmy Carter has said Israel has at least 150 atomic weapons in its arsenal.

The Israelis have never confirmed they have nuclear weapons, but this has been widely assumed since a scientist leaked details in the 1980s.

Mr Carter made his comments on Israel’s weapons at a press conference at the annual literary Hay Festival in Wales.

He also described Israeli treatment of Palestinians as “one of the greatest human rights crimes on earth”.

Mr Carter gave the figure for the Israeli nuclear arsenal in response to a question on US policy on a possible nuclear-armed Iran, arguing that any country newly armed with atomic weapons faced overwhelming odds.

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May 26, 2008   Comments Off on Shields Up!

Goodbye “Mr. Chips”

The Associated Press reports that J.R. Simplot, “Mr. Spud” Dies At 99

(AP) J.R. Simplot left home in 1923 at age 14 with four gold coins given to him by his mother. He ended his life as the spud king of America and one of the nation’s richest men.

The Idaho farmer, who dominated the state’s business and political landscape for 70 years, died Sunday at his Boise home at age 99. Ada County Coroner Erwin Sonnenberg said Simplot apparently died of natural causes.

His businesses, still family owned, manufacture agriculture, horticulture and turf fertilizers; animal feed and seeds; food products such as fruits, potatoes and other vegetables; and industrial chemicals and irrigation products. He all but invented the first commercially viable frozen french fries in the world.

In an article on Micron, a name only a few older computer people will recognize, when asked how a potato farmer got involved with computers, Mr. Simplot noted that his business was based on chips – potato chips, cow chips, and computer chips.

He went from potato farming, to the manufacture of the fertilizer he needed, and finally into financing a computer chip foundry to diversify business in Idaho. I don’t know about today, but for years, all of the french fries at McDonald’s came from Simplot.

May 26, 2008   Comments Off on Goodbye “Mr. Chips”

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

Memorial DayThis is a picture from one of the columbariums at the Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place of many of those who served the United States since the middle of the 19th century.

That is my Father’s marker. He didn’t know those located around his marker, but they all shared service to their country as part of their life.

Edward Emhof, my maternal grandfather, went to France as a rifleman in the 87th Infantry Division, but spent most of his time building the all-purpose wooden ladders-litters that were used in the trenches.

George T. Dumka, my paternal grandfather, was looking for a little adventure when he joined the 11th Infantry Regiment, but a year of occupation duty in Cuba, in an olive drab wool uniform wasn’t much of an adventure.

Alfred Mullen went a long way from driving teams pulling barges on the Erie Canal to being a soldier in the 9th Infantry Regiment in the Philippines and China. He is buried in the Chalmette National Cemetery on the site of the Battle of New Orleans. He and his wife both died of the tuberculosis he acquired in Asia. [One of his orphaned daughters married Edward Emhof.]

The country continues to ask for service and people still respond to that call. As you think about the sacrifices represented by Arlington and other cemeteries, ask yourself if you have done what you could to prevent misuse of the willingness of some to serve.

It is rather for us the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

May 26, 2008   5 Comments