Wikinews Shorts: May 7, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, May 7, 2007.

A 30 meter section of a gas pipeline in Luka (near Kiev) in Ukraine has been destroyed by an explosion. Although supplies to Europe via this pipeline have stopped, Ukrainian Energy Minister Georgi E. Boyko said that supplies to Europe would not be affected.

“There are no changes in volumes of gas being transported,” Yuri Korolchuk said. “Volumes due to pass through the damaged section are being redirected through the Soyuz pipeline.”

Normal flows are reported in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania.

Sources

  • “Blast damages pipeline in Ukraine” — Russia Today, May 8, 2007
  • Natalya Zinets, Reuters. “Blast hits Ukraine gas pipeline” — The Scotsman, May 7, 2007

Copper prices are rising. Between record copper imports from China, and a mining strike in Peru, the prices have climbed to over $8100 (United States dollars) a tonne, for a gain of $575 dollars over the last week. However the upward trend is not new, it has been climbing for quite some time. In April 2003, the price of copper was under $2000 a tonne.

The metal market has been tending up due to growth in the Chinese industrial production. This trickles down to the local level, where the buying price at scrap yards is ever climbing, making scrap metal collection a more profitable endeavour for individual people using pick up trucks or other such vehicles to collect and cash in the scrap metal at metal buying yards. It can be collected via agreements with businesses, from the garbage, or, sometimes, by theft.

Copper prices fell today on the NYMEX commodity exchange from US$3.7545 per pound to US$3.7125 based on the July futures contract.

Sources

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
  • “Copper up but crude oil down” — Financial Express, May 6, 2007
  • Millie Munshi. “Metals Bubble Poised to Burst on Increasing Supplies” — Bloomberg L.P., May 7, 2007
  • “Commodity Futures” — Bloomberg L.P., accessed May 7, 2007

One man was killed and another injured by an exploding backpack in the parking lot of the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The explosion happened at 4 a.m. PDT when the victim tried to remove a the object left on top of his car.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are on the scene. Aerial images did not show any apparent damage.

“We believe the victim was the intended target of this,” Bill Cassell said, spokesperson for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. “This is being treated as a homicide in which the weapon used to cause death is a non-traditional weapon.”

Both of the victims worked at the Luxor.

Sources

  • Associated Press. “1 dead, 1 hurt in Las Vegas parking lot blast” — MSNBC, May 7, 2007
  • “Explosion kills man in Vegas outside Luxor hotel” — Reuters, May 7, 2007

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5 December

Why Designer Glasses Frames In Manhattan From Boutique Shops Remain Popular

byadmin

Even though people who need their vision corrected have more options than ever, many continue to buy stylish Glasses Frames in Manhattan from boutique shops. In fact, this particular option is becoming more preferable with so many attractive designs available today.

Shying Away From Laser Surgery

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Laser surgery for correcting vision has increased in popularity but has not taken off the way eye doctors expected it would. People, in general, seem a bit skittish about having elective surgery on this part of their anatomy. In surveys, less than half the respondents who wear glasses say they would even consider laser eye surgery.

Giving up Contact Lenses

About six times as many nearsighted people wear glasses all the time compared with contact lenses. Contacts tend to be more popular among people in their 30s and younger. Eyes that become drier with age is a common problem, making contact lenses less comfortable. Some individuals simply get tired of the hassle of dealing with contacts for many years. With a wide variety of impressive Glasses Frames in Manhattan available, they know they’ll continue to look attractive while wearing spectacles.

Avoiding Cheap Discount Frames

Cheap discount frames are available from retailers, but many consumers would rather wear better products from well-known designers. They like the way they look in those frames that are provided at a store such as Charlotte Jones Opticians. They appreciate knowing that they are sporting a fashion accessory created by a talented and respected celebrity designer or endorsed by a celebrity.

Choosing Prescription Lenses for Age-Related Presbyopia

By middle age, most individuals start experiencing a certain level of trouble focusing up close. Even if they don’t need corrective lenses for nearsightedness, they must buy glasses to help them read and do other tasks requiring close-up vision.

Cheap non-prescription reading glasses are available in many stores, but lenses that precisely address the person’s degree of difficulty are better. In addition, a vision exam often finds a slight amount of nearsightedness that can be corrected with the same prescription lenses. That small amount of magnification for both problems makes a big difference in how well these people see.

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5 December

Singer and songwriter Michael Jackson dies at age 50

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson, a singer and songwriter who was dubbed as the ‘King of Pop’, has died today at the age of 50. Initial reports had stated that Jackson is in a coma after being rushed to UCLA Medical Center.

According to TMZ, rescue crews from the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to his home in Holmby Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles, California where they found Jackson not breathing. According to Fire Captain Steven Ruda, a 911 call was received from Jackson’s home at 12:21 p.m. PDT (19:21 UTC), and paramedics responded just before 12:30 p.m. PDT (19:30 UTC). Paramedics unsuccessfully attempted CPR, for a suspected cardiac arrest. According to Lieutenant Fred Corral, the L.A. County Coroner, Jackson was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. PDT (21:26 UTC).

The Los Angeles Times and Associated Press have said they have confirmed his death with anonymous sources familiar with the situation. According to CNN, the road on which Jackson lived has been blocked off in an attempt to reduce traffic.

Jackson began his career with The Jackson 5 which debuted in 1966. Despite numerous hits and best sellers, Jackson is probably most known for his 1982 hit Thriller. It’s estimated that the album sold as many at 109 million worldwide.

The news failed to reach some quarters quickly. As of 01:00 UTC the web site of the O2 arena, where Jackson had been scheduled to perform his This Is It concerts in July, was still advertising tickets for sale. Several companies, including Ticketmaster, Seatwave, and AEG Live, now face having to reimburse all ticket sales. AEG Live had already faced problems obtaining insurance for the concerts.

Many celebrities were quick to publish comments and tributes:

Britney Spears
“He was a wonderful man and will be greatly missed.”
Ludacris
“If it were not for Michael Jackson I would not be where or who I am today. His music and legacy will live on forever. Prayers to the family.”
John Mayer
“I hope he is memoralised as the ’83 moonwalking, MTV owning, mesmerizing, unstoppable, invincible Michael Jackson.”
Miley Cyrus
“Michael Jackson was my inspiration. love and blessings.”
MC Hammer
“I will be mourning my friend, brother, mentor and inspiration… He gave me and my family hope. I would never have been without him.”

Several, including Celine Dion, Randy Jackson, and Donald Tarlton, compared the news of Jackson’s death to the news of the deaths of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy, and John Lennon. Talking to Larry King, Dion said “It feels like when Kennedy died, when Elvis died. It’s an amazing loss.”

A Yorkshire businessman who was working with Jackson on a proposed future project said “I didn’t think he would go out in these circumstances. It’s not the way I would have expected him to go at all. He’s going to become a Marilyn Monroe or an Elvis Presley.”

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5 December

Filesharing software distributor LimeWire ordered to close by court

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One of the world’s largest distributors of Filesharing software, LimeWire, has been placed under permanent injunction by the US District Court in the Southern District of New York, to cease distributing and supporting its software. The injunction, requested by multiple parties including Bertelsmann Music Group, Motown, Capitol Records, and Sony Entertainment, was filed and approved 26th October and was issued under Title 17 U.S.C §502, covering infringement of copyright.

The injunction states that LimeWire “intentionally encouraged direct infringement” and “…failed to implement any meaningful technological barriers or design choices aimed at diminishing infringement.” Since the order was approved, LimeWire has closed its website, posting a notice on the front page explaining the situation, with a link to a copy of the injunction.

As ordered, the software is no longer downloadable from its website. LimeWire is now only responding to inquiries from the press and paid customers of LimeWire Pro. LimeWire could not be reached for comment.

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4 December

Refinance &Amp; Mortgage Tips: Down Payment With Gift Letter

By Tristan Hunt

If you are a first time home buyer who has been out shopping for that dream house, you’ve probably already heard your real estate agent or property developer’s first question: ‘How much will you be putting down?’ If you have excellent credit, several years of consistent income on record and a relatively long history of using credit wisely, you may qualify for 100% financing, often referred to as a ‘No Money Down Mortgage’ or ‘Zero Down Home Loan’. But for the majority of new borrowers, a down payment is a prerequisite to buying a house, and finding 20% to 30% or more of the purchase price of a house can very often entail getting the money from family or friends. Getting that much money together can be tricky enough, however lenders will also require that every dollar used for a down payment be documented back to a specific funding source, and this can be particularly difficult when the money comes from a third party, which is why we have ‘Gift Letters’.

Newlyweds and young people generally have neither sufficient credit history nor income consistency to qualify for 100% financing, and are also the least likely to have sufficient savings and acceptable documentable assets to actually come up with the cash to make the down payment. Members of the family are in some ways the best and very often the only available source of down payment assistance available to ‘green’ borrowers. Your lender generally will only allow you to use money given to you by a true family member, i.e. your mother, father, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, grandfather, grandmother, first cousin, etc. This means that you cannot use funds given to you by people who are really not family members, for example your friends or colleagues, however you may be able to use funds from a non-family third party if you can provide documentation of a very close and long lasting relationship. This is done primarily to prevent people from taking out personal loans which will have to be repaid to come up with their down payment, which have the potential to throw off the person’s debt to income ratio, or DTI. Basically, they don’t want you to take on more debt than they believe you can safely repay, otherwise they would have qualified you for 100% financing.

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If you find yourself in a situation where you need to get money from your folks or other family to make a down payment on your new house, you will be required to prove that you did not borrow the money from them with an expectation on their part that it be repaid or with an intention on your part to repay it. In fact, both you and your family will need to prove to your lender that the money was given to you, in the form of a Gift. To verify that the funds are in fact given freely, your lender will require special documentation.

If you are applying for a new mortgage, you should receive as part of your loan application package a special form called a ‘Gift Letter’. The goal of this letter is to identify the source of the funds and assure the lender that they are in fact a gift. Typically, a gift letter will include the name of donor, the name of the recipient, the relationship between the two parties, the amount of the gift, the address of the property for which the gift is to be used to pay for, the fact that no repayment is required or expected, and an assurance that the person making the gift or the source of funds is not in nay way party or beneficiary to the transaction, e.g. not the broker, seller, agent, loan officer, builder and so on. In most cases the person giving the gift will be required to document where the money came from, such as a bank account or a brokerage account. If you are depositing the funds directly into escrow, or even if they are going into your bank account, take some precautions to document the transfer by keeping copies of the checks or deposit tickets/receipts from the bank/escrow agent.

About the Author: Tristan Hunt is a seasoned financial professional with a wealth of experience in the mortgage industry, advising clients on debt consolidation, refinancing & investor loans. Website: http://www.RefinanceOne.net

Source: isnare.com

Permanent Link: isnare.com/?aid=35589&ca=Finances

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1 December

Cleveland, Ohio clinic performs US’s first face transplant

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A team of eight transplant surgeons in Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA, led by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow, age 58, have successfully performed the first almost total face transplant in the US, and the fourth globally, on a woman so horribly disfigured due to trauma, that cost her an eye. Two weeks ago Dr. Siemionow, in a 23-hour marathon surgery, replaced 80 percent of her face, by transplanting or grafting bone, nerve, blood vessels, muscles and skin harvested from a female donor’s cadaver.

The Clinic surgeons, in Wednesday’s news conference, described the details of the transplant but upon request, the team did not publish her name, age and cause of injury nor the donor’s identity. The patient’s family desired the reason for her transplant to remain confidential. The Los Angeles Times reported that the patient “had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids and was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own.” The clinic’s dermatology and plastic surgery chair, Francis Papay, described the nine hours phase of the procedure: “We transferred the skin, all the facial muscles in the upper face and mid-face, the upper lip, all of the nose, most of the sinuses around the nose, the upper jaw including the teeth, the facial nerve.” Thereafter, another team spent three hours sewing the woman’s blood vessels to that of the donor’s face to restore blood circulation, making the graft a success.

The New York Times reported that “three partial face transplants have been performed since 2005, two in France and one in China, all using facial tissue from a dead donor with permission from their families.” “Only the forehead, upper eyelids, lower lip, lower teeth and jaw are hers, the rest of her face comes from a cadaver; she could not eat on her own or breathe without a hole in her windpipe. About 77 square inches of tissue were transplanted from the donor,” it further described the details of the medical marvel. The patient, however, must take lifetime immunosuppressive drugs, also called antirejection drugs, which do not guarantee success. The transplant team said that in case of failure, it would replace the part with a skin graft taken from her own body.

Dr. Bohdan Pomahac, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon praised the recent medical development. “There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Leading bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania withheld judgment on the Cleveland transplant amid grave concerns on the post-operation results. “The biggest ethical problem is dealing with failure — if your face rejects. It would be a living hell. If your face is falling off and you can’t eat and you can’t breathe and you’re suffering in a terrible manner that can’t be reversed, you need to put on the table assistance in dying. There are patients who can benefit tremendously from this. It’s great that it happened,” he said.

Dr Alex Clarke, of the Royal Free Hospital had praised the Clinic for its contribution to medicine. “It is a real step forward for people who have severe disfigurement and this operation has been done by a team who have really prepared and worked towards this for a number of years. These transplants have proven that the technical difficulties can be overcome and psychologically the patients are doing well. They have all have reacted positively and have begun to do things they were not able to before. All the things people thought were barriers to this kind of operations have been overcome,” she said.

The first partial face transplant surgery on a living human was performed on Isabelle Dinoire on November 27 2005, when she was 38, by Professor Bernard Devauchelle, assisted by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard in Amiens, France. Her Labrador dog mauled her in May 2005. A triangle of face tissue including the nose and mouth was taken from a brain-dead female donor and grafted onto the patient. Scientists elsewhere have performed scalp and ear transplants. However, the claim is the first for a mouth and nose transplant. Experts say the mouth and nose are the most difficult parts of the face to transplant.

In 2004, the same Cleveland Clinic, became the first institution to approve this surgery and test it on cadavers. In October 2006, surgeon Peter Butler at London‘s Royal Free Hospital in the UK was given permission by the NHS ethics board to carry out a full face transplant. His team will select four adult patients (children cannot be selected due to concerns over consent), with operations being carried out at six month intervals. In March 2008, the treatment of 30-year-old neurofibromatosis victim Pascal Coler of France ended after having received what his doctors call the worlds first successful full face transplant.

Ethical concerns, psychological impact, problems relating to immunosuppression and consequences of technical failure have prevented teams from performing face transplant operations in the past, even though it has been technically possible to carry out such procedures for years.

Mr Iain Hutchison, of Barts and the London Hospital, warned of several problems with face transplants, such as blood vessels in the donated tissue clotting and immunosuppressants failing or increasing the patient’s risk of cancer. He also pointed out ethical issues with the fact that the procedure requires a “beating heart donor”. The transplant is carried out while the donor is brain dead, but still alive by use of a ventilator.

According to Stephen Wigmore, chair of British Transplantation Society’s ethics committee, it is unknown to what extent facial expressions will function in the long term. He said that it is not certain whether a patient could be left worse off in the case of a face transplant failing.

Mr Michael Earley, a member of the Royal College of Surgeon‘s facial transplantation working party, commented that if successful, the transplant would be “a major breakthrough in facial reconstruction” and “a major step forward for the facially disfigured.”

In Wednesday’s conference, Siemionow said “we know that there are so many patients there in their homes where they are hiding from society because they are afraid to walk to the grocery stores, they are afraid to go the the street.” “Our patient was called names and was humiliated. We very much hope that for this very special group of patients there is a hope that someday they will be able to go comfortably from their houses and enjoy the things we take for granted,” she added.

In response to the medical breakthrough, a British medical group led by Royal Free Hospital’s lead surgeon Dr Peter Butler, said they will finish the world’s first full face transplant within a year. “We hope to make an announcement about a full-face operation in the next 12 months. This latest operation shows how facial transplantation can help a particular group of the most severely facially injured people. These are people who would otherwise live a terrible twilight life, shut away from public gaze,” he said.

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1 December

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

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

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

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

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

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

And justice? You’ve got to be kidding!

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

How did I get here?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEC. 1706. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN TECHNICAL PERSONNEL.

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

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

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

Note:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joe Stack (1956-2010)

02/18/2010

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30 November

Being Responsible For Your Actions

Being responsible for your actions

by

Maria (reviewmom)

Next time somebody makes you angry, sad or just tics you off. Stop, and ask yourself why you are feeling that way. How has this person got the power to make you feel that way? Its simple, you have given them that power. Theres no point being angry at them, theres no point getting pissed off with how they are acting, theres no need to take their emotional baggage and make it your own, what you should be doing is taking a good hard look at yourself and asking why you are acting that way, why you are angry.

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People are asses at the best of times, but its not your job to identify with their bad behavior. When you get angry with another person for what they say to you for example, this anger you feel will tell you more about yourself than the person you are angry with. Never let another persons negative behavior become your own, let them be an ass, and be aware of your own reactions. Take responsibility for your own reactions and not another persons actions. If someone cuts us off in traffic or skips the queue at our local cinema, we may feel the our blood pressure begin to rise, followed by the thoughts of giving that person the finger, or even worse, giving them a good dry slap across the face. We get uptight from other peoples actions and in the end we punish ourselves for their bad behavior. This is crazy, we lose control over our own actions because of the way they are acting. Never let another person ruin your day and never react to outside influences unless it has a direct or personal affect on you at the time. Unless its super serious, dont bring yourself down to their level. As I have said before, people are asses at the best of times and its not your job to get involved either through pointing out their assness (real word) or poisoning your own system by losing control of yourself and getting angry. A lot of the time we are so caught up in our own story (world) that we dont notice when others may be struggling with theirs. People hide their suffering a lot better than you think. We may scorn or criticize another person for their behavior and pass it off as them being rude, impolite or just discourteous. In cases like this we may react in a negative way without taking a step back and realizing that this person might be acting out to hide their own insecurities or pain. They may need compassion at the time when we feel they deserve it less. Either way, I think it is more appropriate way of looking at the situation because it is us that benefits from this mindset. So next time you come across someone who cuts you off in traffic or jumps in front of you in the post office, let it go and realize that your reaction is more important than telling an idiot that they are being just thatan idiot. If it is a person who is just plain rude or loud (you know the type) the same rule applies, either they are a moron or they are a lost little adult-child who deserves your pity more than your chastising. Remember, you are the one who loses in the end if you lose this lesson.

I write about a lot of things from personal development to natural health remedies. At the moment I\’m writing reviews on baby products such as

The First Years true fit convertible car seat

. If you are looking quality reviews, why not pop on over to the

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for more information.

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

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28 November

Iranian International Master Dorsa Derakhshani discusses her chess career with Wikinews

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

In February 2017, the Iranian Chess Federation announced two teenage chess players, Dorsa Derakhshani and her younger brother Borna Derakhshani, were banned from representing the national team. The federation announced their decision although Dorsa Derakhshani had previously decided and informed the chess federation she did not wish to play for Iran.

Dorsa Derakhshani is currently 21 years old and holds the International Master (IM) as well as Woman Grand Master (WGM) titles. Her brother, Borna, plays for the English Federation and holds the FIDE Master title.

Dorsa Derakhshani was banned since she did not wear a hijab, an Islamic headscarf, while competing at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival in January 2017. Under the laws of Islamic Republic of Iran, hijab is a mandatory dress code. Her brother Borna Deraskhsani was banned for playing against Israeli Grand Master (GM) Alexander Huzman at the same tournament. Iran does not recognise the existence of Israel, and previously, Irani athletes have avoided playing against Israeli athletes.

Mehrdad Pahlavanzadeh, the president of the country’s chess federation, explained the decision to ban the players saying, “As a first step, these two will be denied entry to all tournaments taking place in Iran and in the name of Iran, they will no longer be allowed the opportunity to be present on the national team.” ((fa))Farsi language: ?????? ????? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??? ????? ?? ?? ???? ???????? ?? ?? ????? ? ?? ??? ????? ?????? ??????? ????? ??????? ? ???? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??????? ????. He further stated, “Unfortunately, something that should not have happened has happened and our national interest is paramount and we have reported this position to the Ministry of Sports.” ((fa))Farsi language: ????????? ?????? ?? ????? ????????? ?????? ??? ? ????? ??? ?? ?? ?? ???? ?????? ???? ? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?? ????? ???? ?? ????? ?????.

IM Dorsa Derakhshani, who currently studies at Saint Louis University in the United States and plays for the United States Chess Federation, discussed her chess career, time in Iran and the 2017 controversy, and her life in Saint Louis with a Wikinews correspondent.

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26 November

U.S. superbug expected to emerge in Canada

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

An infectious superbug spreading in the United States is to “emerge in force” in Canada, doctors fear. The bacteria have been reported popping up in day care centers and locker rooms across the U.S. Usually elderly or very ill hospital patients get the disease.

More than 2 million U.S. residents are infected every year, the Centers for Disease Control estimates.

An article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) on Tuesday said that Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are “spreading with alarming rapidity.” The bacteria can cause boils, pimples, or in extreme cases, flesh-eating disease, and more.

“The resistant bacteria is an old foe with new fangs: a pathogen combining virulence, resistance and an ability to disseminate at large,” wrote Dr. John Conly, medical professor and an infectious disease specialist at the University of Calgary.

British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario are the provinces which already have had MRSA in hospitals.

A 30-year-old Calgary, Alberta man died last year of lung abscesses associated with the infection, as well as a three-month old toddler in Toronto, Ontario.

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios, last summer, suffered from an infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus in his leg. Pitcher Ty Taubenheim had a similar infection on his foot.

Doctors are currently investigating some Calgary residents, who could be one of the first Canadian reports of MRSA outside of a hospital setting.

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26 November