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20 Outrageous Examples That Show How Political Correctness …

Posted: June 17, 2016 at 4:55 am

The thought police are watching you. Back in the 1990s, lots of jokes were made about political correctness, and almost everybody thought they were really funny. Unfortunately, very few people are laughing now because political correctness has become a way of life in America. If you say the wrong thing you could lose your job or you could rapidly end up in court. Every single day, the mainstream media bombards us with subtle messages that make it clear what is appropriate and what is inappropriate, and most Americans quietly fall in line with this unwritten speech code. But just because it is not written down somewhere does not mean that it isnt real. In fact, this speech code becomes more restrictive and more suffocating with each passing year. The goal of the thought Nazis is to control what people say to one another, because eventually that will shape what most people think and what most people believe. If you dont think this is true, just try the following experiment some time. Go to a public place where a lot of people are gathered and yell out something horribly politically incorrect such as I love Jesus and watch people visibly cringe. The name of Jesus has become a curse word in our politically correct society, and we have been trained to have a negative reaction to it in public places. After that, yell out something politically correct such as I support gay marriage and watch what happens. You will probably get a bunch of smiles and quite a few people may even approach you to express their appreciation for what you just said. Of course this is going to vary depending on what area of the country you live in, but hopefully you get the idea. Billions of dollars of media programming has changed the definitions of what people consider to be acceptable and what people consider to be not acceptable. Political correctness shapes the way that we all communicate with each other every single day, and it is only going to get worse in the years ahead. Sadly, most people simply have no idea what is happening to them.

The following are 20 outrageous examples that show how political correctness is taking over America

#1 According to a new Army manual, U.S. soldiers will now be instructed to avoid any criticism of pedophilia and to avoid criticizing anything related to Islam. The following is from a recent Judicial Watch article

The draft leaked to the newspaper offers a list of taboo conversation topics that soldiers should avoid, including making derogatory comments about the Taliban, advocating womens rights, any criticism of pedophilia, directing any criticism towards Afghans, mentioning homosexuality and homosexual conduct or anything related to Islam.

#2 The Obama administration has banned all U.S. government agencies from producing any training materials that link Islam with terrorism. In fact, the FBI has gone back and purged references to Islam and terrorism from hundreds of old documents.

#3 Authorities are cracking down on public expressions of the Christian faith all over the nation, and yet atheists in New York City are allowed to put up an extremely offensive billboard in Time Square this holiday season that shows a picture of Jesus on the cross underneath a picture of Santa with the following tagline: Keep the Merry! Dump the Myth!

#4 According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against criminals because it has a disproportionate impact on minorities.

#5 Down in California, Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that will allow large numbers of illegal immigrants to legally get California drivers licenses.

#6 Should an illegal immigrant be able to get a law license and practice law in the United States? That is exactly what the State Bar of California argued earlier this year

An illegal immigrant applying for a law license in California should be allowed to receive it, the State Bar of California argues in a filing to the state Supreme Court.

Sergio Garcia, 35, of Chico, Calif., has met the rules for admission, including passing the bar exam and the moral character review, and his lack of legal status in the United States should not automatically disqualify him, the Committee of Bar Examiners said Monday.

#7 More than 75 percent of the babies born in Detroit are born to unmarried women, yet it is considered to be politically correct to suggest that there is anything wrong with that.

#8 The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) initiated an aggressive advertising campaign earlier this year that included online videos, billboards, and lectures that sought to raise awareness about white privilege.

#9 At one high school down in California, five students were sent home from school for wearing shirts that displayed the American flag on the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo.

#10 Chris Matthews of MSNBC recently suggested that it is racist for conservatives to use the word Chicago.

#11 A judge down in North Carolina has ruled that it is unconstitutional for North Carolina to offer license plates that say Choose Life on them.

#12 The number of gay characters on television is at an all-time record high. Meanwhile, there are barely any strongly Christian characters to be found anywhere on television or in the movies, and if they do happen to show up they are almost always portrayed in a very negative light.

#13 House Speaker John Boehner recently stripped key committee positions from four rebellious conservatives in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is believed that this purge happened in order to send a message that members of the party better fall in line and support Boehner in his negotiations with Barack Obama.

#14 There is already a huge push to have a woman elected president in 2016. It doesnt appear that it even matters which woman is elected. There just seems to be a feeling that it is time for a woman to be elected even if she doesnt happen to be the best candidate.

#15 Volunteer chaplains for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department have been banned from using the name of Jesus on government property.

#16 Chaplains in the U.S. military are being forced to perform gay marriages, even if it goes against their personal religious beliefs. The few chaplains that have refused to follow orders know that it means the end of their careers.

#17 All over the country, the term manhole is being replaced with the terms utility hole or maintenance hole.

#18 In San Francisco, authorities have installed small plastic privacy screens on library computers so that perverts can continue to exercise their right to watch pornography at the library without children being exposed to it.

#19 You will never guess what is going on at one college up in Washington state

A Washington college said their non-discrimination policy prevents them from stopping a transgender man from exposing himself to young girls inside a womens locker room, according to a group of concerned parents.

#20 All over America, liberal commentators are now suggesting that football has become too violent and too dangerous and that it needs to be substantially toned down. In fact, one liberal columnist for the Boston Globe is even proposing that football should be banned for anyone under the age of 14.

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20 Outrageous Examples That Show How Political Correctness …

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Freedom in the 50 States 2013 | Wisconsin Overall Freedom …

Posted: June 16, 2016 at 5:57 pm

Analysis

Wisconsin has slipped slightly since the last edition of the index and is now just outside the bottom 10. However, this is one state that may already be improving due to legislative changes since the data cutoff for this study. For example, Governor Scott Walker and the state legislature have agreed to budget cuts in education and other areas, while passing Act 10which aims to limit the bargaining power of public employee unions (though it is unclear whether this law will survive legal challenges). A study by the Wisconsin-based MacIver Institute for Public Policy argues that Act 10 has already saved taxpayers $2 billion.1 Therefore, Wisconsins rank is likely to improve in the next edition of Freedom in the 50 States.

Wisconsin ranks near the bottom in economic freedom, due primarily to its poor fiscal policy. Wisconsins overall tax burden is very high, as are individual income and property taxes. State spending and debt are roughly average. However, its benefit payments are quite high, as is its level of transportation spending. Moreover, Wisconsin government employment is quite large relative to the private workforce.

Wisconsin fares a lot better in regulatory policy, ranking 15th. It is slightly worse than average in terms of land-use regulation but has passed some eminent domain reforms. Wisconsins labor market freedom, occupational freedom, health insurance freedom, and liability system are mediocre. It is not (yet) a right-to-work state, but has avoided mandating a minimum wage above the federal average or requiring employers to buy short-term disability insurance. Wisconsin does not have community rating (though there are small-group rate bands) or rate reviews. Wisconsin has also deregulated cable and telecom. It does quite well in terms of insurance rate filing requirements. However, it is almost a standard deviation worse than the mean on occupational licensing.

Wisconsin performs below average in a number of personal freedom categories. The state has high victimless crimes arrest rates, though its drug enforcement rate is below average. It has the worst gaming laws in the country (social gambling is not allowed) and almost the strictest campaign finance laws. The state also performs below average on gun freedom and travel freedom. Home schools are regulated with some onerous notification requirements. Wisconsin has some of the best alcohol laws in the country, with taxes fairly low across the board. However, its cigarette taxes are very high and smoking bans are extensive. Wisconsin recently enacted a domestic partnership law. Its asset forfeiture laws score well (over one standard deviation better than average).

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biological weapon | Britannica.com

Posted: June 12, 2016 at 8:25 pm

Alternative title: germ weapon

Biological weapon, also called germ weapon, any of a number of disease-producing agentssuch as bacteria, viruses, rickettsiae, fungi, toxins, or other biological agentsthat may be utilized as weapons against humans, animals, or plants.

The direct use of infectious agents and poisons against enemy personnel is an ancient practice in warfare. Indeed, in many conflicts, diseases have been responsible for more deaths than all the employed combat arms combined, even when they have not consciously been used as weapons.

Biological weapons, like chemical weapons, radiological weapons, and nuclear weapons, are commonly referred to as weapons of mass destruction, although the term is not truly appropriate in the case of biological armaments. Lethal biological weapons may be capable of causing mass deaths, but they are incapable of mass destruction of infrastructure, buildings, or equipment. Nevertheless, because of the indiscriminate nature of these weaponsas well as the potential for starting widespread pandemics, the difficulty of controlling disease effects, and the simple fear that they inspiremost countries have agreed to ban the entire class.

As of 2013 a total of 180 states and Taiwan had signed the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and 170 of those states and Taiwan had signed and ratified the treaty, which was opened for signature in 1972. Under the terms of the BWC, member states are prohibited from using biological weapons in warfare and from developing, testing, producing, stockpiling, or deploying them. However, a number of states have continued to pursue biological warfare capabilities, seeking a cheaper but still deadly strategic weapon rather than following the more difficult and expensive path to nuclear weapons. In addition, the threat that some deranged individual or terrorist organization will manufacture or steal biological weapons is a growing security concern.

Biological warfare agents differ greatly in the type of organism or toxin used in a weapons system, lethality, length of incubation, infectiousness, stability, and ability to be treated with current vaccines and medicines. There are five different categories of biological agents that could be weaponized and used in warfare or terrorism. These include:

Some of these biological agents have properties that would make them more likely candidates for weaponization, such as their lethality, ability to incapacitate, contagiousness or noncontagiousness, hardiness and stability, and other characteristics. Among the agents deemed likely candidates for biological weapons use are the toxins ricin, staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), botulinum toxin, and T-2 mycotoxin and the infectious agents responsible for anthrax, brucellosis, cholera, pneumonic plague, tularemia, Q fever, smallpox, glanders, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, and viral hemorrhagic fever. Various states at various times have looked into weaponizing dozens of other biological agents in addition.

Most weaponized lethal biological agents are intended to be delivered as aerosols, which would cause infections when breathed by the targeted personnel. For this reason, the most-effective defense against biological weapons is a good protective mask equipped with filters capable of blocking bacteria, viruses, and spores larger than one micron (one micrometre; one-millionth of a metre) in cross section from entry into the wearers nasal passages and lungs. Protective overgarments, including boots and gloves, are useful for preventing biological agents from contacting open wounds or breaks in the skin. Also, decontaminants can neutralize biological agents in infected areas after a biological attack.

Developing and fielding effective biological weapon sensors that can trigger an alarm would allow personnel to don masks before exposure, get into protective overgarments, and go inside, preferably into toxic-free collective protection shelters. Medical teams could then immediately go into action to check and treat those who may have been exposed.

Biological warfare attacks can be made less effective, or ineffective, if the targeted persons have been vaccinated against the specific disease-causing agent used in an attack.

Civil defense against biological weapons has greatly improved since the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, but progress does not necessarily equal success. A successful civil defense against major biological attacks requires that significant progress be made in sensors, warning systems, vaccines, medicines, training of responders, and public education as well as in planning of emergency procedures. These aspects of civil defense are described briefly in this section, using as examples certain practices put into effect in the United States since September 11.

The foundation of any civil defense against a biological weapons attack is the medical system that has already been set up to deal with naturally occurring diseases. Special vaccines have been created, tested, and approved to deal with the two most lethal biological agents that can also be most easily weaponized: anthrax and smallpox. For example, the U.S. government has enough smallpox vaccine to vaccinate the entire American population and enough anthrax vaccine to inoculate at least every member of the U.S. military.

Effective vaccines for plague and cholera now exist and have been approved for use, but only small quantities have been produced, far short of what might be needed if large numbers of people were to be infected. Furthermore, in the United States a number of vaccines are still in the Investigational New Drug (IND) category and await further trials before the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) can validate their effectiveness and safety. Included among these are vaccines for Q fever, tularemia, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, viral hemorrhagic fever, and botulism.

At present no effective vaccines exist for preventing infections from glanders, brucellosis, staphylococcal enterotoxin B, ricin, or T-2 mycotoxinsall biological agents that some countries have researched for military use or have weaponized in the past. However, in some cases where vaccines are not yet available, medicines have been developed that help the sick to recover.

Long-term medical research is being conducted to investigate the possibility of developing vaccines and supplements that, when administered, might raise the effectiveness of the recipients immune system to protect against the whole spectrum of probable biological warfare agents.

One U.S. civil defense program that might make a difference in a biological emergency is the Strategic National Stockpile program, which has created 50-ton push packages of vaccines, medicines, decontamination agents, and emergency medical equipment, which are stored in a dozen locations across the country in preparation for emergencies. Furthermore, every U.S. state has bioterrorism response plans in place, including plans or guidelines for mass vaccinations, triage, and quarantines. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also drafted model legislation on emergency health powers for states to adopt in order to deal with such crises.

A new emergency response system was created in the United States following the September 11 attacks. The National Guard increased the number of its Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams, which respond to chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons attacksaugmenting the police, fire, and medical first responders in the local area of any attacks. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security, working with the Department of Health and Human Services, invested heavily in passive defenses against biological attacks, focusing on such programs as Project BioShield and the Laboratory Response Network. The CDC also embarked on a training program on bioterrorism for thousands of medical lab technicians, and the National Institutes of Health funded new biocontainment research laboratories to further research in vaccines, medicines, and bioforensics.

Sensors to detect the presence of biological agents in the air, in water, or on surfaces are still relatively ineffective, but the aim of research is to create a detect-to-warn system that would provide enough time for potential victims to don masks, cover up, and take shelter before they are infected. The current detect-to-treat capability is unsatisfactory because responders would be treating many persons already infected. Most current biological detectors are point detectors, which are not capable of giving advance warning after scanning an airborne cloud of particles to discern if those particles contain biological agents of a specific type.

One of the first recorded uses of biological warfare occurred in 1347, when Mongol forces are reported to have catapulted plague-infested bodies over the walls into the Black Sea port of Caffa (now Feodosiya, Ukraine), at that time a Genoese trade centre in the Crimean Peninsula. Some historians believe that ships from the besieged city returned to Italy with the plague, starting the Black Death pandemic that swept through Europe over the next four years and killed some 25 million people (about one-third of the population).

In 1710 a Russian army fighting Swedish forces barricaded in Reval (now Tallinn, Estonia) also hurled plague-infested corpses over the citys walls. In 1763 British troops besieged at Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh) during Pontiacs Rebellion passed blankets infected with smallpox virus to the Indians, causing a devastating epidemic among their ranks.

During World War I (191418) Germany initiated a clandestine program to infect horses and cattle owned by Allied armies on both the Western and Eastern fronts. The infectious agent for glanders was reported to have been used. For example, German agents infiltrated the United States and surreptitiously infected animals prior to their shipment across the Atlantic in support of Allied forces. In addition, there reportedly was a German attempt in 1915 to spread plague in St. Petersburg in order to weaken Russian resistance.

The horrors of World War I caused most countries to sign the 1925 Geneva Protocol banning the use of biological and chemical weapons in war. Nevertheless, Japan, one of the signatory parties to the protocol, engaged in a massive and clandestine research, development, production, and testing program in biological warfare, and it violated the treatys ban when it used biological weapons against Allied forces in China between 1937 and 1945. The Japanese not only used biological weapons in China, but they also experimented on and killed more than 3,000 human subjects (including Allied prisoners of war) in tests of biological warfare agents and various biological weapons delivery mechanisms. The Japanese experimented with the infectious agents for bubonic plague, anthrax, typhus, smallpox, yellow fever, tularemia, hepatitis, cholera, gas gangrene, and glanders, among others.

Although there is no documented evidence of any other use of biological weapons in World War II, both sides had active research and development (R&D) programs. The Japanese use of biological warfare agents against the Chinese led to an American decision to undertake biological warfare research in order to understand better how to defend against the threat and provide, if necessary, a retaliatory capability. The United Kingdom, Germany, and the Soviet Union had similar R&D programs during World War II, but only Japan has been proved to have used such weapons in the war.

In the Cold War era, which followed World War II, both the Soviet Union and the United States, as well as their respective allies, embarked on large-scale biological warfare R&D and weapons production programs. Those programs were required by law to be halted and dismantled upon the signing of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in 1972 and the entry into force of that treaty in 1975. In the case of the United States and its allies, compliance with the terms of the treaty appears to have been complete. Such was not the case with the Soviet Union, which conducted an aggressive clandestine biological warfare program even though it had signed and ratified the treaty. The lack of a verification regime to check members compliance with the BWC made it easier for the Soviets to flout the treaty without being detected.

After the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991 and its subsequent division into 15 independent states, Russian Pres. Boris Yeltsin confirmed that the Soviet Union had violated the BWC, and he pledged to terminate what remained of the old Soviet biological weapons program. (See also yellow rain.) However, another problem remainedthat of the potential transfer of information, technical assistance, production equipment, materials, and even finished biological weapons to states and groups outside the borders of the former Soviet Union. The United States and the former Soviet republics pledged to work together to contain the spread of biological warfare capabilities. With financing from the U.S. Cooperative Threat Reduction Program and other sources, help in obtaining civilian jobs in other fields was also made available for some of the estimated 60,000 scientists and technicians who had worked in the Soviet biological warfare programs.

Of the more than 190 members of the United Nations, only a dozen or so are strongly suspected of having ongoing biological weapons programs. However, such programs can be easily hidden and disguised as vaccine plants and benign pharmaceutical-production centres. Biological weapons are not as expensive to manufacture as nuclear weapons, yet a lethal biological weapon might nonetheless be the strategic weapon that would win a war. This prospect of military advantage might tempt some regimes to acquire the weapons, though perhaps clandestinely.

Since the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) has no existing verification or inspection procedures to verify compliance by its signatories, cheating on the treaty might be done with no outside proof to the contrary. It is entirely possible that even a small and relatively poor state might successfully embark on a biological warfare program with a small capital investment and a few dozen biologists, all of which could be secretly housed within a few buildings. In fact, a biological weapons program might also be within the technical and financial reach of a terrorist organization. In summary, the degree of biological weapons proliferation is highly uncertain, difficult to detect, and difficult to quantify.

Biological weapons have been used in a few instances in the past by terrorist organizations. In the 1980s followers of the exiled Indian self-proclaimed guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh settled on a ranch in Wasco county, Oregon, U.S. The Rajneeshies took political control of the nearby town of Antelope, changing its name to Rajneesh, and in 1984 they attempted to extend their political control throughout the county by suppressing voter turnout in the more populous town of The Dalles. Leading up to the countywide elections, cult members experimented with contaminating groceries, restaurants, and the water supply in The Dalles with Salmonella bacteria. Their efforts made at least 751 people ill. The plot was not discovered until the year after the attack, when one of the participants confessed.

In the period from April 1990 to July 1995, the AUM Shinrikyo sect used both biological and chemical weapons on targets in Japan. The members biological attacks were largely unsuccessful because they never mastered the science and technology of biological warfare. Nevertheless, they attempted four attacks using anthrax and six using botulinum toxin on various targets, including a U.S. naval base at Yokosuka.

Al-Qaeda operatives have shown an interest in developing and using biological weapons, and they operated an anthrax laboratory in Afghanistan prior to its being overrun by U.S. and Afghan Northern Alliance forces in 200102. In 2001 anthrax-laden letters were sent to many politicians and other prominent individuals in the United States. The letters killed 5 people and sent 22 to the hospital while forcing the evacuation of congressional office buildings, the offices of the governor of New York, several television network headquarters, and a tabloid newspaper office. This event caused many billions of dollars in cleanup, decontamination, and investigation costs. In early 2010, more than eight years after the mailings, the Federal Bureau of Investigation finally closed its investigation, having concluded that the letters were mailed by a microbiologist who had worked in the U.S. Armys biological defense effort for years and who committed suicide in 2008 after being named a suspect in the investigation.

Information on the manufacture of biological and chemical weapons has been disseminated widely on the Internet, and basic scientific information is also within the reach of many researchers at biological laboratories around the world. Unfortunately, it thus seems likely that poisons and disease agents will be used as terrorist weapons in the future.

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biological weapon | Britannica.com

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Lynchburg, Virginia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: April 19, 2016 at 7:44 am

Lynchburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 75,568. The 2014 census estimates an increase to 79,047.[2] Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the banks of the James River, Lynchburg is known as the “City of Seven Hills” or the “Hill City”.[3] Lynchburg was the only major city in Virginia that was not captured by the Union before the end of the American Civil War.[4]

Lynchburg is the principal city of the Metropolitan Statistical Area of Lynchburg, near the geographic center of Virginia. It is the fifth largest MSA in Virginia with a population of 254,171[5] and hosts several institutions of higher education. Other nearby cities include Roanoke, Charlottesville, and Danville. Lynchburg’s sister cities are Rueil-Malmaison, France and Glauchau, Germany.

A part of Monacan country upon the arrival of English settlers in Virginia, the region had traditionally been occupied by them and other Siouan Tutelo-speaking tribes since ca. 1270, driving Virginia Algonquians eastward. Explorer John Lederer visited one of the Siouan villages (Saponi) in 1670, on the Staunton River at Otter Creek, southwest of the present-day city, as did Batts and Fallam in 1671. The Siouans occupied the area until c. 1702, when it was taken in conquest by the Seneca Iroquois. The Iroquois ceded control to the Colony of Virginia beginning in 1718, and formally at the Treaty of Albany in 1721.

First settled in 1757, Lynchburg was named for its founder, John Lynch, who at the age of 17 started a ferry service at a ford across the James River to carry traffic to and from New London. He was also responsible for Lynchburg’s first bridge across the river, which replaced the ferry in 1812. He and his mother are buried in the graveyard at the South River Friends Meetinghouse. The “City of Seven Hills” quickly developed along the hills surrounding Lynch’s Ferry. Thomas Jefferson maintained a home near Lynchburg, called Poplar Forest. Jefferson frequented Lynchburg and remarked “Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to be useful to the town of Lynchburg. I consider it as the most interesting spot in the state.”

Lynchburg was established by charter in 1786 at the site of Lynch’s Ferry on the James River. These new easy means of transportation routed traffic through Lynchburg, and allowed it to become the new center of commerce for tobacco trading. In 1810, Jefferson wrote, “Lynchburg is perhaps the most rising place in the U.S…. It ranks now next to Richmond in importance…” Lynchburg became a center of commerce and manufacture in the 19th century, and by the 1850s, Lynchburg (along with New Bedford, Mass.) was one of the richest towns per capita in the U.S.[6] Chief industries were tobacco, iron and steel. Transportation facilities included the James River Bateau on the James River, and later, the James River and Kanawha Canal and, still later, four railroads, including the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad and the Norfolk and Petersburg Railroad.

Early on, Lynchburg was not known for its religiosity. In 1804, evangelist Lorenzo Dow wrote of Lynchburg “… where I spoke in the open air in what I conceived to be the seat of Satan’s Kingdom. Lynchburg was a deadly place for the worship of God.” This was in reference to the lack of churches in Lynchburg. As the wealth of Lynchburg grew, prostitution and other “rowdy” activities became quite common and, in many cases, ignored, if not accepted, by the “powers that be” of the time. Much of this activity took place in an area of downtown referred to as the “Buzzard’s Roost[citation needed].”

During the American Civil War, Lynchburg, which served as a Confederate supply base, was approached within 1-mile (1.6km) by the Union forces of General David Hunter as he drove south from the Shenandoah Valley. Under the false impression that the Confederate forces stationed in Lynchburg were much larger than anticipated, Hunter was repelled by the forces of Confederate General Jubal Early on June 18, 1864, in the Battle of Lynchburg. To create the false impression, a train was continuously run up and down the tracks while the citizens of Lynchburg cheered as if reinforcements were unloading. Local prostitutes took part in the deception, misinforming their Union clients of the large number of Confederate reinforcements.

From April 610, 1865, Lynchburg served as the Capital of Virginia. Under Governor William Smith, the executive and legislative branches of the commonwealth escaped to Lynchburg with the fall of Richmond. Then Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, roughly 20 miles east of Lynchburg, ending the Civil War.

In the latter 19th century, Lynchburg’s economy evolved into manufacturing (sometimes referred to as the “Pittsburgh of the South”) and, per capita, made the city one of the wealthiest in the United States. In 1880, Lynchburg resident James Albert Bonsack invented the first cigarette rolling machine. Shortly thereafter Dr. Charles Browne Fleet, a physician and pharmacological tinkerer, introduced the first mass marketed over-the-counter enema. About this time, Lynchburg was also the preferred site for the Norfolk & Western junction with the Shenandoah Valley Railroad. However, the citizens of Lynchburg did not want the junction due to the noise and pollution it would create. Therefore, it was located in what would become the City of Roanoke.

In the late 1950s, a number of interested citizens, including Virginia Senator Mosby G. Perrow, Jr., requested the federal government to change its long-planned route for the interstate highway now known as I-64 between Clifton Forge and Richmond.[7] Since the 1940s, maps of the federal interstate highway system depicted that highway taking a northern route, with no interstate highway running through Lynchburg, but the federal government assured Virginia that the highway’s route would be decided by the state.[8] A proposed southern route called for the Interstate to follow from Richmond via US-360 and US-460, via Lynchburg to Roanoke and US-220 from Roanoke to Clifton Forge, then west following US-60 into West Virginia. Although the State Highway Commission’s minutes reflected its initial approval of the northern route, the issue remained in play,[9] proponents of the southern route ultimately succeeded in persuading a majority of Virginia Highway Commissioners to support the change after a study championed by Perrow demonstrated that it would serve a greater percentage of the state’s manufacturing and textile centers. But in July 1961 Governor Lindsay Almond and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges announced that the route would not be changed.[10] This left Lynchburg as the only city with a population in excess of 50,000 (at the time) not served by an interstate.[11]

For several decades throughout the mid-20th century, the state of Virginia authorized compulsory sterilization of the mentally retarded for the purpose of eugenics. The operations were carried out at the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded, now known as the Central Virginia Training School, located just outside Lynchburg in Madison Heights. An estimated 8,300 Virginians were sterilized and relocated to Lynchburg, known as a “dumping groun
d” of sorts for the feeble-minded, poor, blind, epileptic, and those otherwise seen as genetically “unfit”.[12]

Sterilizations were carried out for 35 years until 1972, when operations were finally halted. Later in the late 1970s, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit against the state of Virginia on behalf of the sterilization victims. As a result of this suit, the victims received formal apologies and counseling if they chose. Requests to grant the victims reverse sterilization operations were denied.

Carrie Buck, the plaintiff in the United States Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell, was sterilized after being classified as “feeble-minded”, as part of the state’s eugenics program while she was a patient at the Lynchburg Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded.

The story of Carrie Buck’s sterilization and the court case was made into a television drama in 1994, Against Her Will: The Carrie Buck Story.

“Virginia State Epileptic Colony,” a song by the Manic Street Preachers on their 2009 album ‘Journal For Plague Lovers,’ addresses the state’s program of eugenics.

Downtown Lynchburg has seen a significant amount of revitalization since 2002 with hundreds of new loft apartments created through adaptive reuse of historic warehouses and mills. Since 2000, there has been more than $110 million in private investment in downtown and business activity increased by 205% from 2004 – 2014.[13] In 2014, 75 new apartments were added to downtown with 155 further units under construction increasing the number of housing units downtown by 48% from 2010 – 2014.[14] In 2015, the $5.8 million Lower Bluffwalk pedestrian street zone opened to the public in downtown which has seen a significant amount of residential and commercial development around the zone in recent years.[15] Notable projects underway in downtown by the end of 2015 include the $25 million Hilton Curio branded Virginian Hotel restoration project, $16.6 million restoration of the Academy Center of the Arts, and $4.6 million expansion of Amazement Square Children’s Museum. [16][17][18][19]

Over 40 sites in Lynchburg are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[20]

Lynchburg is located at 372413N 791012W / 37.40361N 79.17000W / 37.40361; -79.17000 (37.403672, 79.170205).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 49.6 square miles (128.5km2), of which 49.2 square miles (127.4km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3km2) (1.0%) is water.[21]

Lynchburg has a four-season humid subtropical climate (Kppen Cfa), with cool winters and hot, humid summers. The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 35.1F (1.7C) in January to 75.3F (24.1C) in July. Nights tend to be significantly cooler than days throughout much of the year due in part to the moderate elevation. In a typical year, there are 26 days with a high temperature 90F (32C) or above, and 7.5 days with a high of 32F (0C) or below.[22] Snowfall averages 12.9 inches (33cm) per season but this amount varies highly with each winter; the snowiest winter is 199596 with 56.8in (144cm) of snow, but the following winter recorded only trace amounts, the least on record.[23]

Temperature extremes range from 106F (41C), recorded on July 10, 1936, down to 11F (24C), recorded on February 20, 2015.[22] However, several decades may pass between 100F (38C) and 0F (18C) readings, with the last such occurrences being July 8, 2012 and February 20, 2015, respectively.[22]

As of the 2010 census,[31] there were 75,568 people, 25,477 households, and 31,992 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,321.5 people per square mile (510.2/km). There were 27,640 housing units at an average density of 559.6 per square mile (216.1/km). The racial makeup of the city was 63.0% White, 29.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 2.5% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.0% of the population.

There were 25,477 households out of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.8% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.92.

The age distribution of the city had: 22.1% under the age of 18, 15.5% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 84.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,234, and the median income for a family was $40,844. Males had a median income of $31,390 versus $22,431 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,263. About 12.3% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.4% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.

Lynchburg ranks below the 2006 median annual household income for the U.S. as a whole, which was $48,200, according to the US Census Bureau.[32]

The city’s population was stable for 25+ years: in 2006, it was 67,720; in 2000, it was 65,269; in 1990, it was 66,049; in 1980, it was 66,743.[33]

In 2009 almost 27% of Lynchburg children lived in poverty. The state average that year was 14 percent.[34]

Lynchburg features a skilled labor force, low unemployment rate,[35] and below average cost of living. Of Virginia’s larger metro areas, Forbes Magazine ranked Lynchburg the 5th best place in Virginia for business in 2006, with Virginia being the best state in the country for business.[36] Only 6 places in Virginia were surveyed and most of Virginia’s cities were grouped together by Forbes as “Northern Virginia”. Lynchburg achieved the rank 109 in the whole nation in the same survey.

Industries within the Lynchburg MSA include nuclear technology, pharmaceuticals and material handling. A diversity of small businesses with the region has helped maintain a stable economy and minimized the downturns of the national economy.[37][38] Reaching as high as 1st place (tied) in 2007, Lynchburg has been within the Top 10 Digital Cities survey for its population since the survey’s inception in 2004.

The Lynchburg News & Advance reports that while more people are working than ever in greater Lynchburg, wages since 1990 have not kept up with inflation. Central Virginia Labor Council President Walter Fore believes this is due to lack of white-collar jobs. According to the Census Bureau, adjusted for inflation, 1990 median household income was about $39,000 compared to 2009 median household income of $42,740. As of 2009 Forbes has named Lynchburg as the 70th best metro area for business and careers, ahead of Chicago and behind Baton Rouge. The reason for the decent ranking was due to the low cost of living and low wages in Lynchburg. In other areas, the region didn’t come in as strong. It ranked at 189 for cultural and leisure and at 164 for educational attainment.[39]

Virginia Busin
ess Magazine reports that Young Professionals in Lynchburg recently conducted a study that clearly showed how much of its young workforce has been lost.[40]

According to Lynchburg’s 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[41] the top private employers in the city are:

The city is served by the Lynchburg City Public Schools. The school board is appointed by the Lynchburg City Council.

The city is also home to a number of mostly religious private schools, including Holy Cross Regional Catholic School, James River Day School, Liberty Christian Academy, New Covenant Classical Christian School, Appomattox Christian Academy, Temple Christian School, and Virginia Episcopal School.

Lynchburg is also home to the Central Virginia Governor’s School for Science and Technology located in Heritage High School. This magnet school consists of juniors and seniors selected from each of the Lynchburg area high schools. As one of eighteen Governor’s Schools in Virginia, the Central Virginia Governor’s School focuses on infusing technology into both the math and science curriculum.

Further education options include a number of surrounding county public school systems.

Colleges and universities in Lynchburg include Central Virginia Community College, Liberty University, Lynchburg College, Randolph College, Sweet Briar College, and Virginia University of Lynchburg.

The Greater Lynchburg Transit Company (GLTC) operates the local public transport bus service within the city. The GLTC additionally provides the shuttle bus service on the Liberty University campus.

The GLTC has selected a property directly across from Lynchburg-Kemper Street Station as its top choice of sites upon which to build the new transfer center for their network of public buses. They are interested in facilitating intermodal connections between GLTC buses and the intercity bus and rail services which operate from that location. The project is awaiting final government approval and funding, and is expected to be completed around 2013.[42]

Intercity passenger rail and bus services are based out of Kemper Street Station, a historic, three-story train station recently restored and converted by the city of Lynchburg to serve as an intermodal hub for the community. The station is located at 825 Kemper Street.[43]

Greyhound Lines located their bus terminal in the main floor of Kemper Street Station following its 2002 restoration.[43] Greyhound offers transport to other cities throughout Virginia, the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Amtrak’s long distance Crescent and a Northeast Regional connect Lynchburg with Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham, New Orleans and intermediate points.

In October 2009, Lynchburg became the southern terminus for a Northeast Regional that previously had overnighted in Washington. The forecast ridership was 51,000 for the 180-mile extension’s first year, but the actual count was triple that estimate, and the train paid for itself without any subsidy.[44] By FY 2015, the Regional had 190,000 riders. The Lynchburg station alone served a total of 85,000 riders in 2015. It is located in the track level ground floor of Kemper Street Station.[45]

Lynchburg has two major freight railroads. It is the crossroads of two Norfolk Southern lines. One is the former mainline of the Southern Railway, upon which Kemper Street Station is situated. NS has a classification yard located next to the shopping mall. Various yard jobs can be seen. Railfans who wish to visit the NS Lynchburg yard are advised to inquire with an NS official. CSX Transportation also has a line through the city and a small yard.

Lynchburg Regional Airport is solely served by American Eagle to Charlotte. American Eagle, a subsidiary of American Airlines, is the only current scheduled airline service provider, with seven daily arrivals and departures. In recent years air travel has increased with 157,517 passengers flying in and out of the airport in 2012, representing 78% of the total aircraft load factor for that time period.

Primary roadways include U.S. Route 29, U.S. Route 501, U.S. Route 221, running north-south, and U.S. Highway 460, running east-west. While not served by an interstate, much of Route 29 has been upgraded to interstate standards and significant improvements have been made to Highway 460.

In a Forbes magazine survey, Lynchburg ranked 189 for cultural and leisure out of 200 cities surveyed.[39]

The following attractions are located within the Lynchburg MSA:

Lynchburg is home to sporting events and organizations including:

The first neighborhoods of Lynchburg developed upon seven hills adjacent to the original ferry landing. These neighborhoods include:

Other major neighborhoods include Boonsboro, Rivermont, Fairview Heights, Fort Hill, Forest Hill (Old Forest Rd. Area), Timberlake, Windsor Hills, Sandusky, Linkhorne, and Wyndhurst.

Notable residents of Lynchburg include:

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Defending the Second Amendment – Kasich for America

Posted: April 9, 2016 at 12:40 am

Experience and Results Like No Other

Gov. John R. Kasich continues to be a strong supporter of the right to bear arms and, as governor, has signed every pro-2nd amendment bill that has crossed his desk to defend this basic, constitutional right. John Kasich is a gun-owner himself, and in his 2014 reelection was endorsed by the National Rifle Association for his support of the Second Amendment as an inviolate part of our Constitution.

Removing Burdensome Restrictions for Law-Abiding Concealed Carry Licensees: John Kasich enacted legislation protecting Ohios concealed carry laws, including protecting the privacy of permit holdersandallowing for reciprocity licenses with other stateswhere permit holders can carry their firearms.

Opposing Barack Obamas Gun Control Efforts: John Kasich opposes President Obamas gun control executive orders. The Second Amendment is too important and Obamas hostility to it is too well known for him to be allowed to go around Congress and undermine the Second Amendment. His efforts to expand the federal governments interference with Americans Right to Keep and Bear Arms are wrong and the governor opposes them.

Upholding Ohios Outdoors Traditions: In addition to having a $3.6 billion annual economic impact in Ohio, hunting and fishing are parts of Ohios long tradition of enjoying our natural places. John Kasich upheld this heritage by enacting legislation that removes restrictions on licensing requirements for hunters and by creating new policies to expand hunting rights in Ohio.

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Automation – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: March 25, 2016 at 12:45 pm

Automation or automatic control, is the use of various control systems for operating equipment such as machinery, processes in factories, boilers and heat treating ovens, switching on telephone networks, steering and stabilization of ships, aircraft and other applications with minimal or reduced human intervention. Some processes have been completely automated.

The biggest benefit of automation is that it saves labor; however, it is also used to save energy and materials and to improve quality, accuracy and precision.

The term automation, inspired by the earlier word automatic (coming from automaton), was not widely used before 1947, when General Motors established an automation department.[1] It was during this time that industry was rapidly adopting feedback controllers, which were introduced in the 1930s.[2]

Automation has been achieved by various means including mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical, electronic devices and computers, usually in combination. Complicated systems, such as modern factories, airplanes and ships typically use all these combined techniques.

One of the simplest types of control is on-off control. An example is the thermostats used on household appliances. Electromechanical thermostats used in HVAC may only have provision for on/off control of heating or cooling systems. Electronic controllers may add multiple stages of heating and variable fan speed control.

Sequence control, in which a programmed sequence of discrete operations is performed, often based on system logic that involves system states. An elevator control system is an example of sequence control.

The advanced type of automation that revolutionized manufacturing, aircraft, communications and other industries, is feedback control, which is usually continuous and involves taking measurements using a sensor and making calculated adjustments to keep the measured variable within a set range. Moreover, it can be understood as the relation of two variables, one for the “x” axis and a second for the “y” axis. If the value of “y” increases, then the value on the “x” axis will also increase, and vice versa.[3]

All the elements constituting the measurement and control of a single variable are called a control loop. Control that uses a measured signal, feeds the signal back and compares it to a set point, calculates and sends a return signal to make a correction, is called closed loop control. If the controller does not incorporate feedback to make a correction then it is open loop.

Loop control is normally accomplished with a controller. The theoretical basis of open and closed loop automation is control theory.

Sequential control may be either to a fixed sequence or to a logical one that will perform different actions depending on various system states. An example of an adjustable but otherwise fixed sequence is a timer on a lawn sprinkler.

States refer to the various conditions that can occur in a use or sequence scenario of the system. An example is an elevator, which uses logic based on the system state to perform certain actions in response to its state and operator input. For example, if the operator presses the floor n button, the system will respond depending on whether the elevator is stopped or moving, going up or down, or if the door is open or closed, and other conditions.[4]

An early development of sequential control was relay logic, by which electrical relays engage electrical contacts which either start or interrupt power to a device. Relays were first used in telegraph networks before being developed for controlling other devices, such as when starting and stopping industrial-sized electric motors or opening and closing solenoid valves. Using relays for control purposes allowed event-driven control, where actions could be triggered out of sequence, in response to external events. These were more flexible in their response than the rigid single-sequence cam timers. More complicated examples involved maintaining safe sequences for devices such as swing bridge controls, where a lock bolt needed to be disengaged before the bridge could be moved, and the lock bolt could not be released until the safety gates had already been closed.

The total number of relays, cam timers and drum sequencers can number into the hundreds or even thousands in some factories. Early programming techniques and languages were needed to make such systems manageable, one of the first being ladder logic, where diagrams of the interconnected relays resembled the rungs of a ladder. Special computers called programmable logic controllers were later designed to replace these collections of hardware with a single, more easily re-programmed unit.

In a typical hard wired motor start and stop circuit (called a control circuit) a motor is started by pushing a “Start” or “Run” button that activates a pair of electrical relays. The “lock-in” relay locks in contacts that keep the control circuit energized when the push button is released. (The start button is a normally open contact and the stop button is normally closed contact.) Another relay energizes a switch that powers the device that throws the motor starter switch (three sets of contacts for three phase industrial power) in the main power circuit. Large motors use high voltage and experience high in-rush current, making speed important in making and breaking contact. This can be dangerous for personnel and property with manual switches. The “lock in” contacts in the start circuit and the main power contacts for the motor are held engaged by their respective electromagnets until a “stop” or “off” button is pressed, which de-energizes the lock in relay.[5]

Commonly interlocks are added to a control circuit. Suppose that the motor in the example is powering machinery that has a critical need for lubrication. In this case an interlock could be added to insure that the oil pump is running before the motor starts. Timers, limit switches and electric eyes are other common elements in control circuits.

Solenoid valves are widely used on compressed air or hydraulic fluid for powering actuators on mechanical components. While motors are used to supply continuous rotary motion, actuators are typically a better choice for intermittently creating a limited range of movement for a mechanical component, such as moving various mechanical arms, opening or closing valves, raising heavy press rolls, applying pressure to presses.

Computers can perform both sequential control and feedback control, and typically a single computer will do both in an industrial application. Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are a type of special purpose microprocessor that replaced many hardware components such as timers and drum sequencers used in relay logic type systems. General purpose process control computers have increasingly replaced stand alone controllers, with a single computer able to perform the operations of hundreds of controllers. Process control computers can process data from a network of PLCs, instruments and controllers in order to implement typical (such as PID) control of many individual variables or, in some cases, to implement complex control algorithms using multiple inputs and mathematical manipulations. They can also analyze data and create real time graphical displays for operators and run reports for operators, engineers and management.

Control of an automated teller machine (ATM) is an example of an interactive process in which a computer will perform a logic derived response to a user selection based on information retrieved from a networked database. The ATM process has similarities with other online transaction processes. The different logical responses are called scenarios. Such processes are typically designed with the aid of use cases and flowcharts, which guide the writing of the software code.

The earliest feedback control mechanism was used to tent the sails of windmills. It was patented by Edmund Lee in 1745.[6]

The centrifugal governor, which dates to the last quarter of the 18th century, was used to adjust the gap between millstones.[7] The centrifugal governor was also used in the automatic flour mill developed by Oliver Evans in 1785, making it the first completely automated industrial process. The governor was adopted by James Watt for use on a steam engine in 1788 after Watts partner Boulton saw one at a flour mill Boulton & Watt were building.[6]

The governor could not actually hold a set speed; the engine would assume a new constant speed in response to load changes. The governor was able to handle smaller variations such as those caused by fluctuating heat load to the boiler. Also, there was a tendency for oscillation whenever there was a speed change. As a consequence, engines equipped with this governor were not suitable for operations requiring constant speed, such as cotton spinning.[6]

Several improvements to the governor, plus improvements to valve cut-off timing on the steam engine, made the engine suitable for most industrial uses before the end of the 19th century. Advances in the steam engine stayed well ahead of science, both thermodynamics and control theory.[6]

The governor received relatively little scientific attention until James Clerk Maxwell published a paper that established the beginning of a theoretical basis for understanding control theory. Development of the electronic amplifier during the 1920s, which was important for long distance telephony, required a higher signal to noise ratio, which was solved by negative feedback noise cancellation. This and other telephony applications contributed to control theory. Military applications during the Second World War that contributed to and benefited from control theory were fire-control systems and aircraft controls. The word “automation” itself was coined in the 1940s by General Electric.[8] The so-called classical theoretical treatment of control theory dates to the 1940s and 1950s.[3]

Relay logic was introduced with factory electrification, which underwent rapid adaption from 1900 though the 1920s. Central electric power stations were also undergoing rapid growth and operation of new high pressure boilers, steam turbines and electrical substations created a large demand for instruments and controls.

Central control rooms became common in the 1920s, but as late as the early 1930s, most process control was on-off. Operators typically monitored charts drawn by recorders that plotted data from instruments. To make corrections, operators manually opened or closed valves or turned switches on or off. Control rooms also used color coded lights to send signals to workers in the plant to manually make certain changes.[9]

Controllers, which were able to make calculated changes in response to deviations from a set point rather than on-off control, began being introduced the 1930s. Controllers allowed manufacturing to continue showing productivity gains to offset the declining influence of factory electrification.[10]

Factory productivity was greatly increased by electrification in the 1920s. Manufacturing productivity growth fell from 5.2%/yr 1919-29 to 2.76%/yr 1929-41. Field notes that spending on non-medical instruments increased significantly from 192933 and remained strong thereafter.

In 1959 Texacos Port Arthur refinery became the first chemical plant to use digital control.[11] Conversion of factories to digital control began to spread rapidly in the 1970s as the price of computer hardware fell.

The automatic telephone switchboard was introduced in 1892 along with dial telephones.[12] By 1929, 31.9% of the Bell system was automatic. Automatic telephone switching originally used vacuum tube amplifiers and electro-mechanical switches, which consumed a large amount of electricity. Call volume eventually grew so fast that it was feared the telephone system would consume all electricity production, prompting Bell Labs to begin research on the transistor.[13]

The logic performed by telephone switching relays was the inspiration for the digital computer.

The first commercially successful glass bottle blowing machine was an automatic model introduced in 1905.[14] The machine, operated by a two-man crew working 12-hour shifts, could produce 17,280 bottles in 24 hours, compared to 2,880 bottles made by a crew of six men and boys working in a shop for a day. The cost of making bottles by machine was 10 to 12 cents per gross compared to $1.80 per gross by the manual glassblowers and helpers.

Sectional electric drives were developed using control theory. Sectional electric drives are used on different sections of a machine where a precise differential must be maintained between the sections. In steel rolling, the metal elongates as it passes through pairs of rollers, which must run at successively faster speeds. In paper making the paper sheet shrinks as it passes around steam heated drying arranged in groups, which must run at successively slower speeds. The first application of a sectional electric drive was on a paper machine in 1919.[15] One of the most important developments in the steel industry during the 20th century was continuous wide strip rolling, developed by Armco in 1928.[16]

Before automation many chemicals were made in batches. In 1930, with the widespread use of instruments and the emerging use of controllers, the founder of Dow Chemical Co. was advocating continuous production.[17]

Self-acting machine tools that displaced hand dexterity so they could be operated by boys and unskilled laborers were developed by James Nasmyth in the 1840s.[18]Machine tools were automated with Numerical control (NC) using punched paper tape in the 1950s. This soon evolved into computerized numerical control (CNC).

Today extensive automation is practiced in practically every type of manufacturing and assembly process. Some of the larger processes include electrical power generation, oil refining, chemicals, steel mills, plastics, cement plants, fertilizer plants, pulp and paper mills, automobile and truck assembly, aircraft production, glass manufacturing, natural gas separation plants, food and beverage processing, canning and bottling and manufacture of various kinds of parts. Robots are especially useful in hazardous applications like automobile spray painting. Robots are also used to assemble electronic circuit boards. Automotive welding is done with robots and automatic welders are used in applications like pipelines.

The main advantages of automation are:

The following methods are often employed to improve productivity, quality, or robustness.

The main disadvantages of automation are:

In manufacturing, the purpose of automation has shifted to issues broader than productivity, cost, and time.

Lights out manufacturing is when a production system is 100% or near to 100% automated (not hiring any workers). In order to eliminate the need for labor costs all together.

Another major shift in automation is the increased demand for flexibility and convertibility in manufacturing processes. Manufacturers are increasingly demanding the ability to easily switch from manufacturing Product A to manufacturing Product B without having to completely rebuild the production lines. Flexibility and distributed processes have led to the introduction of Automated Guided Vehicles with Natural Features Navigation.

Digital electronics helped too. Former analogue-based instrumentation was replaced by digital equivalents which can be more accurate and flexible, and offer greater scope for more sophisticated configuration, parametrization and operation. This was accompanied by the fieldbus revolution which provided a networked (i.e. a single cable) means of communicating between control systems and field level instrumentation, eliminating hard-wiring.

Discrete manufacturing plants adopted these technologies fast. The more conservative process industries with their longer plant life cycles have been slower to adopt and analogue-based measurement and control still dominates. The growing use of Industrial Ethernet on the factory floor is pushing these trends still further, enabling manufacturing plants to be integrated more tightly within the enterprise, via the internet if necessary. Global competition has also increased demand for Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems.

Engineers can now have numerical control over automated devices. The result has been a rapidly expanding range of applications and human activities. Computer-aided technologies (or CAx) now serve as the basis for mathematical and organizational tools used to create complex systems. Notable examples of CAx include Computer-aided design (CAD software) and Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM software). The improved design, analysis, and manufacture of products enabled by CAx has been beneficial for industry.[20]

Information technology, together with industrial machinery and processes, can assist in the design, implementation, and monitoring of control systems. One example of an industrial control system is a programmable logic controller (PLC). PLCs are specialized hardened computers which are frequently used to synchronize the flow of inputs from (physical) sensors and events with the flow of outputs to actuators and events.[21]

Human-machine interfaces (HMI) or computer human interfaces (CHI), formerly known as man-machine interfaces, are usually employed to communicate with PLCs and other computers. Service personnel who monitor and control through HMIs can be called by different names. In industrial process and manufacturing environments, they are called operators or something similar. In boiler houses and central utilities departments they are called stationary engineers.[22]

Different types of automation tools exist:

When it comes to Factory Automation, Host Simulation Software (HSS) is a commonly used testing tool that is used to test the equipment software. HSS is used to test equipment performance with respect to Factory Automation standards (timeouts, response time, processing time).[23]

Many roles for humans in industrial processes presently lie beyond the scope of automation. Human-level pattern recognition, language comprehension, and language production ability are well beyond the capabilities of modern mechanical and computer systems (but see Watson (computer)). Tasks requiring subjective assessment or synthesis of complex sensory data, such as scents and sounds, as well as high-level tasks such as strategic planning, currently require human expertise. In many cases, the use of humans is more cost-effective than mechanical approaches even where automation of industrial tasks is possible. Overcoming these obstacles is a theorized path to post-scarcity economics.

The Paradox of Automation says that the more efficient the automated system, the more crucial the human contribution of the operators. Humans are less involved, but their involvement becomes more critical.

If an automated system has an error, it will multiply that error until its fixed or shut down. This is where human operators come in.[24]

A fatal example of this was Air France Flight 447, where a failure of automation put the pilots into a manual situation they were not prepared for.[25]

Food and drink

The food retail industry has started to apply automation to the ordering process; McDonald’s has introduced touch screen ordering and payment systems in many of its restaurants, reducing the need for as many cashier employees.[26]The University of Texas at Austin has introduced fully automated cafe retail locations.[27] Some Cafes and restaurants have utilized mobile and tablet “apps” to make the ordering process more efficient by customers ordering and paying on their device.[28][spamlink?][29] Some restaurants have automated food delivery to customers tables using a Conveyor belt system. The use of robots is sometimes employed to replace waiting staff.[30]

Stores

Many Supermarkets and even smaller stores are rapidly introducing Self checkout systems reducing the need for employing checkout workers.

Online shopping could be considered a form of automated retail as the payment and checkout are through an automated Online transaction processing system. Other forms of automation can also be an integral part of online shopping, for example the deployment of automated warehouse robotics such as that applied by Amazon using Kiva Systems.

Involves the removal of human labor from the mining process.[31] The mining industry is currently in the transition towards Automation. Currently it can still require a large amount of human capital, particularly in the third world where labor costs are low so there is less incentive for increasing efficiency through automation.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) started the research and development of automated visual surveillance and monitoring (VSAM) program, between 1997 and 1999, and airborne video surveillance (AVS) programs, from 1998 to 2002. Currently, there is a major effort underway in the vision community to develop a fully automated tracking surveillance system. Automated video surveillance monitors people and vehicles in real time within a busy environment. Existing automated surveillance systems are based on the environment they are primarily designed to observe, i.e., indoor, outdoor or airborne, the amount of sensors that the automated system can handle and the mobility of sensor, i.e., stationary camera vs. mobile camera. The purpose of a surveillance system is to record properties and trajectories of objects in a given area, generate warnings or notify designated authority in case of occurrence of particular events.[32]

As demands for safety and mobility have grown and technological possibilities have multiplied, interest in automation has grown. Seeking to accelerate the development and introduction of fully automated vehicles and highways, the United States Congress authorized more than $650 million over six years for intelligent transport systems (ITS) and demonstration projects in the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA). Congress legislated in ISTEA that “the Secretary of Transportation shall develop an automated highway and vehicle prototype from which future fully automated intelligent vehicle-highway systems can be developed. Such development shall include research in human factors to ensure the success of the man-machine relationship. The goal of this program is to have the first fully automated highway roadway or an automated test track in operation by 1997. This system shall accommodate installation of equipment in new and existing motor vehicles.” [ISTEA 1991, part B, Section 6054(b)].

Full automation commonly defined as requiring no control or very limited control by the driver; such automation would be accomplished through a combination of sensor, computer, and communications systems in vehicles and along the roadway. Fully automated driving would, in theory, allow closer vehicle spacing and higher speeds, which could enhance traffic capacity in places where additional road building is physically impossible, politically unacceptable, or prohibitively expensive. Automated controls also might enhance road safety by reducing the opportunity for driver error, which causes a large share of motor vehicle crashes. Other potential benefits include improved air quality (as a result of more-efficient traffic flows), increased fuel economy, and spin-off technologies generated during research and development related to automated highway systems.[33]

Automated waste collection trucks prevent the need for as many workers as well as easing the level of labor required to provide the service.[34]

Home automation (also called domotics) designates an emerging practice of increased automation of household appliances and features in residential dwellings, particularly through electronic means that allow for things impracticable, overly expensive or simply not possible in recent past decades.

Industrial automation deals primarily with the automation of manufacturing, quality control and material handling processes. General purpose controllers for industrial processes include Programmable logic controllers, stand-alone I/O modules, and computers. Industrial automation is to replace the decision making of humans and manual command-response activities with the use of mechanized equipment and logical programming commands. One trend is increased use of Machine vision to provide automatic inspection and robot guidance functions, another is a continuing increase in the use of robots. Industrial automation is simply done at the industrial level.

Energy efficiency in industrial processes has become a higher priority. Semiconductor companies like Infineon Technologies are offering 8-bit micro-controller applications for example found in motor controls, general purpose pumps, fans, and ebikes to reduce energy consumption and thus increase efficiency.

Industrial robotics is a sub-branch in the industrial automation that aids in various manufacturing processes. Such manufacturing processes include; machining, welding, painting, assembling and material handling to name a few.[37] Industrial robots utilizes various mechanical, electrical as well as software systems to allow for high precision, accuracy and speed that far exceeds any human performance. The birth of industrial robot came shortly after World War II as United States saw the need for a quicker way to produce industrial and consumer goods.[38] Servos, digital logic and solid state electronics allowed engineers to build better and faster systems and overtime these systems were improved and revised to the point where a single robot is capable of running 24 hours a day with little or no maintenance.

Industrial automation incorporates programmable logic controllers in the manufacturing process. Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) use a processing system which allows for variation of controls of inputs and outputs using simple programming. PLCs make use of programmable memory, storing instructions and functions like logic, sequencing, timing, counting, etc. Using a logic based language, a PLC can receive a variety of inputs and return a variety of logical outputs, the input devices being sensors and output devices being motors, valves, etc. PLCs are similar to computers, however, while computers are optimized for calculations, PLCs are optimized for control task and use in industrial environments. They are built so that only basic logic-based programming knowledge is needed and to handle vibrations, high temperatures, humidity and noise. The greatest advantage PLCs offer is their flexibility. With the same basic controllers, a PLC can operate a range of different control systems. PLCs make it unnecessary to rewire a system to change the control system. This flexibility leads to a cost-effective system for complex and varied control systems.[39]

Agent-assisted automation refers to automation used by call center agents to handle customer inquiries. There are two basic types: desktop automation and automated voice solutions. Desktop automation refers to software programming that makes it easier for the call center agent to work across multiple desktop tools. The automation would take the information entered into one tool and populate it across the others so it did not have to be entered more than once, for example. Automated voice solutions allow the agents to remain on the line while disclosures and other important information is provided to customers in the form of pre-recorded audio files. Specialized applications of these automated voice solutions enable the agents to process credit cards without ever seeing or hearing the credit card numbers or CVV codes[40]

The key benefit of agent-assisted automation is compliance and error-proofing. Agents are sometimes not fully trained or they forget or ignore key steps in the process. The use of automation ensures that what is supposed to happen on the call actually does, every time.

Research by the Oxford Martin School showed that employees engaged in “tasks following well-defined procedures that can easily be performed by sophisticated algorithms” are at risk of displacement. The study, published in 2013, shows that automation can affect both skilled and unskilled work and both high and low-paying occupations; however, low-paid physical occupations are most at risk.[41] However, according to a study published in McKinsey Quarterly[42] in 2015 the impact of computerization in most cases is not replacement of employees but automation of portions of the tasks they perform.[43]

Based on a formula by Gilles Saint-Paul, an economist at Toulouse 1 University, the demand for unskilled human capital declines at a slower rate than the demand for skilled human capital increases.[44] In the long run and for society as a whole it has led to cheaper products, lower average work hours, and new industries forming (I.e, robotics industries, computer industries, design industries). These new industries provide many high salary skill based jobs to the economy.

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NSA Utah Data Center – Serving Our Nation’s Intelligence …

Posted: October 4, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Utah Data Center Background

The Utah Data Center, code-named Bumblehive, is the first Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative (IC CNCI) data center designed to support the Intelligence Community’s efforts to monitor, strengthen and protect the nation. Our Utah “mission data repository” is designed to cope with the vast increases in digital data that have accompanied the rise of the global network.

NSA is the executive agent for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and is the lead agency at the center.

The 1.5 billion-dollar one million square-foot Bluffdale / Camp Williams LEED Silver facility houses a 100,000 sq-ft mission critical Tier III data center. The remaining 900,000 SF is used for technical support and administrative space. Our massive twenty building complex also includes water treatment facilities, chiller plants, electric substation, fire pump house, warehouse, vehicle inspection facility, visitor control center, and sixty diesel-fueled emergency standby generators and fuel facility for a 3-day 100% power backup capability.

As proof of our genuine concern for privacy protection, we recently gave permission for several privacy groups to fly their little blimp over our massive data center. We would like to thank these airborne privacy pioneers for the stunning photo below of our impressive facility. By allowing harmless publicity stunts like these, we can have our data and store it too.

In recent months, numerous Top Secret documents have been leaked to the media relating to surveillance activities carried out by our Intelligence Community. In an effort to increase transparency, a new website called “IC OFF THE RECORD” was created to provide the American People immediate, ongoing and direct access to these unauthorized leaks.

Visit the IC OFF THE RECORD website

In February 2012, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert revealed that the Utah Data Center would be the “first facility in the world expected to gather and house a yottabyte”. Since then, conflicting media reports have also estimated our storage capacity in terms of zettabytes and exabytes. While the actual capacity is classified for NATIONAL SECURITY REASONS, we can say this: The Utah Data Center was built with future expansion in mind and the ultimate capacity will definitely be “alottabytes”!

The steady rise in available computer power and the development of novel computer platforms will enable us to easily turn the huge volume of incoming data into an asset to be exploited, for the good of the nation.

Learn more about the domestic surveillance data we process and store in the Utah Data Center. Also, view our strategy for using the PRISM data collection program, nationwide intercept stations, and the “Boundless Informant” mapping tool to gather and track this data.

The Utah Data Center is powered by the massively parallel Cray XC30 supercomputer which is capable of scaling high performance computing (HPC) workloads of more than 100 petaflops or 100,000 trillion calculations each second.

Code-named “Cascade”, this behemoth was developed in conjunction with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to meet the demanding needs of the Intelligence Community.

The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm is used worldwide to encrypt electronic data on hard drives, email systems, and web browsers. Computer experts have estimated it would take longer than the age of the universe to break the code using a trial-and-error brute force attack with today’s computing technology.

In 2004, the NSA launched a plan to use the Multiprogram Research Facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee to build a classified supercomputer designed specifically for cryptanalysis targeting the AES algorithm. Our classified NSA Oak Ridge facility made a stunning breakthrough that is leading us on a path towards building the first exaflop machine (1 quintillion instructions per second) by 2018. Since the capability to break the AES-256 encryption key within an actionable time period may still be decades away, our Utah facility is sized to store all encrypted (and thereby suspicious) data for safekeeping.

We are pleased to announce that as of 8/31/2014, the Utah Data Center is 100% complete. Here is a nice collection of wintry photos taken in early 2014:

Aerial view of the Utah Data Center – 2014

Chiller plant and generator plant

Administration building and our four data halls

Utah Data Center Administration building

Visitor Control Center

Our massive cooling systems at work

Water tanks for our chiller plant

Are you interested in a career in Domestic Surveillance? Check out our Utah Data Center jobs page for exciting employment opportunities.

It takes a large dedicated team to keep a data center up and running. Here are just some of the positions staffed by contractors at the UDC:

We are Americans first, last, and always. We treasure the U.S. Constitution and understand that a spirited debate is often a necessary precursor to acceptance.

The site plan below shows the location of the administration building, chiller plant, data halls, generators, fuel storage tanks, storage warehouse, power substations, visitor control center, and vehicle inspection facility. View the full-size Utah Data Center Site Plan

Aerial front view of the Utah Data Center under construction – March 2012

Close-up view of a data hall and the Administration building – March 2012

Aerial view of the UDC construction site – July 2012

Last two data halls still under construction – July 2012

Chiller plant, generator plant, and tank storage under construction – July 2012

Close-up view of completed data hall and Administration building – June 2013

Four completed data halls and the Administration building – June 2013

Completed chiller/generator plants and fuel tanks – June 2013

Close-up view of the cooling units – June 2013

Storage warehouse, canine kennel, and sprinkler system water tank – June 2013

Vehicle cargo inspection facility

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Italian Futurism, 19091944: Reconstructing the Universe

Posted: September 10, 2015 at 12:40 pm

Due to the redesign of Guggenheim.org, past exhibitions prior to 2008 are archived externally; visiting these pages will open a new window.

February 21September 1, 2014

The first comprehensive overview of Italian Futurism to be presented in the United States, this multidisciplinary exhibition examines the historical sweep of the movement from its inception with F. T. Marinettis Futurist manifesto in 1909 through its demise at the end of World War II. Presenting over 300 works executed between 1909 and 1944, the chronological exhibition encompasses not only painting and sculpture, but also architecture, design, ceramics, fashion, film, photography, advertising, free-form poetry, publications, music, theater, and performance. To convey the myriad artistic languages employed by the Futurists as they evolved over a 35-year period, the exhibition integrates multiple disciplines in each section. Italian Futurism, 19091944 is organized by Vivien Greene, Senior Curator, 19th- and Early 20th-Century Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. In addition, a distinguished international advisory committee has been assembled to provide expertise and guidance.

This exhibition is made possible by

Support is provided in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the David Berg Foundation, with additional funding from the Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation, The Robert Lehman Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

The Leadership Committee for Italian Futurism, 19091944: Reconstructing the Universe is also gratefully acknowledged for its generosity, including the Hansjrg Wyss Charitable Endowment; Stefano and Carole Acunto; Giancarla and Luciano Berti; Ginevra Caltagirone; Massimo and Sonia Cirulli Archive; Daniela Memmo dAmelio; Achim Moeller, Moeller Fine Art; Pellegrini Legacy Trust; and Alberto and Gioietta Vitale.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

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Hampton Roads – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: August 31, 2015 at 11:44 am

2013 Fortune 500 Corporations[53]

Hampton Roads has become known as the “world’s greatest natural harbor”. The port is located only 18 miles (29km) from open ocean on one of the world’s deepest, natural ice-free harbors. Since 1989, Hampton Roads has been the mid-Atlantic leader in U.S. waterborne foreign commerce and is ranked second nationally behind the Port of South Louisiana based on export tonnage. When import and export tonnage are combined, the Port of Hampton Roads ranks as the third largest port in the country (following the ports of New Orleans/South Louisiana and Houston). In 1996, Hampton Roads was ranked ninth among major U.S. ports in vessel port calls with approximately 2,700. In addition, this port is the U.S. leader in coal exports. The coal loading facilities in the Port of Hampton Roads are able to load in excess of 65 million tons annually, giving the port the largest, most efficient and modern coal loading facilities in the world.

It is little surprise therefore that the Hampton Roads region’s economic base is largely port-related, including shipbuilding, ship repair, naval installations, cargo transfer and storage, and manufacturing related to the processing of imports and exports. Associated with the ports’ military role are almost 50,000 federal civilian employees.

The harbor of Hampton Roads is an important highway of commerce, especially for the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Newport News.

Huntington Ingalls Industries (formerly Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company), was created in 2008 as a spinoff of Northrop Grumman Newport News and is the world’s largest shipyard. It is located a short distance up the James River. In Portsmouth, a few miles up the Elizabeth River, the historic Norfolk Naval Shipyard is located. BAE Systems, formerly known as NORSHIPCO, operates from sites in the City of Norfolk. There are also several smaller shipyards, numerous docks and terminals.

Massive coal piers and loading facilities were established in the late 19th and early 20th century by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O), Norfolk and Western Railway (N&W), and Virginian Railway (VGN). The latter two were predecessors of the Norfolk Southern Railway, a Class I railroad which has its headquarters in Norfolk, and continues to export coal from a large facility at Lambert’s Point on the Elizabeth River. CSX Transportation now serves the former C&O facility at Newport News. (The VGN’s former coal facility at Sewell’s Point has been gone since the 1960s, and the property is now part of the expansive Norfolk Navy Base).

Almost 80% of the region’s economy is derived from federal sources. This includes the large military presence, but also NASA and facilities of the Departments of Energy, Transportation, Commerce and Veterans Affairs. The region also receives a substantial impact in government student loans and grants, university research grants, and federal aid to cities.

The Hampton Roads area has the largest concentration of military bases and facilities of any metropolitan area in the world. Nearly one-fourth of the nations active-duty military personnel are stationed in Hampton Roads, and 45% of the region’s $81B gross regional output is Defense-related.[54][55] All five military services operating forces are there, as well as several major command headquarters: Hampton Roads is a chief rendezvous of the United States Navy, and the area is home to the Allied Command Transformation, which is the only major military command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on U.S. soil. Langley Air Force Base is home to Air Combat Command (ACC). The Norfolk Navy Base is located at Sewell’s Point near the mouth, on the site used for the tercentennial Jamestown Exposition in 1907. For a width of 500 feet (150m) the Federal government during 1902 through 1905 increased its minimum depth at low water from 25.5 to 30 feet (8 to 9m), and the channel has now been dredged to a depth of 55 feet (17m) in some places.

NASA’s Langley Research Center, located on the Peninsula adjacent to Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, is home to scientific and aerospace technology research. The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (commonly known as Jefferson Labs) is located nearby in Newport News.

The area’s experiences with commercial and retail centers began early in 1918. Afton Square, located in the Cradock naval community of Portsmouth, was the first planned shopping center in the USA and has served as template for future developments throughout the nation.[56]

Hampton Roads experienced tremendous growth during and after World War II. In the 1950s, a trend in retail was the shopping center, a group of stores along a common sidewalk adjacent to off-street parking, usually in a suburban location.

In 1959, one of the largest on the east coast of the USA was opened at the northeast corner of Military Highway and Virginia Beach Boulevard on property which had formally been used as an airfield. The new JANAF Shopping Center, located in Norfolk, featured acres of free parking and dozens of stores. Backed by retired military personnel, the name JANAF was an acronym for Joint Army Navy Air Force.[57]

During the 1950s and early 1960s, other shopping centers in Hampton Roads were developed, such as Wards Corner Shopping Center, Downtown Plaza Shopping Center and Southern Shopping Center in Norfolk; Mid-City Shopping Center in Portsmouth; Hilltop Shopping Center (now known as The Shops at Hilltop) in Virginia Beach; Riverdale Shopping Center in Hampton and the Warwick-Denbigh Shopping Center in Newport News.

In the late-1960s, a new type of shopping center came to Hampton Roads: the Indoor Shopping Mall. In 1965, South Hampton Roads broke ground on its first shopping mall in Virginia Beach, known as Pembroke Mall. The mall opened in 1966, and became Hampton Road’s newest indoor shopping destination. The Virginia Peninsula had its first indoor shopping mall in 1973, with Coliseum Mall. Coliseum Mall drew so much traffic from Interstate 64, that a towering flyover was built at the Mercury Boulevard and Coliseum Drive intersection, to accommodate eastbound mall traffic, from the Mercury Boulevard interchange. Coliseum Mall was demolished to make way for the open air mixed-use development Peninsula Town Center. Also in the 1970s, Tower Mall was built in Portsmouth, but was torn down and turned into the Victory Crossing shopping development. In Norfolk, Military Circle Mall on Military Highway was built across Virginia Beach Boulevard from the large JANAF Shopping Center with its own high-rise hotel right in the center. In 1981, Greenbrier Mall gave Chesapeake a shopping mall of its own as well, and Virginia Beach got the massive Lynnhaven Mall the same year.

MacArthur Center opened in March 1999, which made downtown Norfolk a prime shoppers destination, with the region’s first Nordstrom department store anchor. MacArthur Center is compared to other downtown malls, such as Baltimore’s Harborplace, Indianapolis’ Circle Centre Mall, Atlanta’s Lenox Square Mall and most comparably to The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Virginia.

Currently, Virginia Beach’s Lynnhaven Mall is the region’s largest shopping center with nearly 180 stores, and is one of the region’s biggest tourist draws, with the Virginia Beach oceanfront, Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens Williamsburg: The Old Country and MacArthur Center.

For a long time, the indoor shopping malls were seen as largely competitive with small shopping centers and traditional downtown type areas. However, in the 1990s and since, the “big-box stores” on the Peninsula and Southside, such as Wal-mart, Home Depot, and Target have been creating a new competitive atmosphere for the shopping malls of Hampton Roads.

Several older malls such as Pembroke and Military Circle have since their grand openings been renovated, and others have been closed and torn down. Newmarket North Mall is now NetCenter, a business center (the Sears store remains). Coliseum Mall, in Hampton, has been redeveloped as Peninsula Town Center in a new style, in step with the latest commercial real estate trend: the nationwide establishment of “lifestyle centers”. Additional malls which have closed include Mercury Mall in Hampton (converted to Mercury Plaza Shopping Center in the mid-1980s, then completely torn down in 2001), and Tower Mall in Portsmouth (Built in the early 1970s, then torn down in 2001).

In late 2006, the Hampton Roads Partnership, a non-profit organization representing 17 localities (ten cities, six counties, and one town), all local universities and major military commands as well as leading businesses in southeastern Virginia, commenced a campaign aimed at branding the land area of Hampton Roads as “America’s First Region”.

The new title is based on events in 1607 when English Captain Christopher Newport’s three ships the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery landed at Cape Henry along the Atlantic Coast in what is today Virginia Beach. After 18 days of exploring the area, the ships and their crews arrived at Jamestown Island where they established the first English speaking settlement to survive in the New World on May 14, 1607.

Because the region’s east-west boundaries (now the City of Virginia Beach and James City County) have not changed since 1607, the Partnership felt justified in labeling Hampton Roads “America’s First Region”. It unveiled the new brand before 800 people at the annual meeting of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce on December 13, 2006. A video shown that afternoon included endorsements from mayors and county board of supervisors chairs representing Hampton, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and James City County as well as the Governor of Virginia, Timothy Kaine.[58][citation needed]

The mission of Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance (HREDA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to business attractionmarketing the Hampton Roads region as the preferred location for business investment and expansion. HREDA represents the cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and Franklin, as well as the counties of Gloucester, James City, Isle of Wight, York, and Southampton.[59]

In 1998, a flag representing the Hampton Roads region was adopted. The design of the flag was created by a contest. The winner, sixteen-year-old Andrew J. Wall of Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia Beach, raised the new regional flag for the first time on the mast of a ship moored in the harbor.

As conceived by student Andrew Wall and embellished by the selection committee, his flag is highly symbolic:

The area is most often associated with the larger American South. People who have grown up in the Hampton Roads area have a unique Tidewater accent which sounds different from a stereotypical Southern accent. Vowels have a longer pronunciation than in a regular southern accent.[61]

There’s also a wealth of other points of history to explore in the Hampton Roads area. Led by the Historic Triangle area, Hampton Roads consistently rates among the top tourism destinations in the world.

Cultural attractions include museums, historical sites, and venues from tiny to massively large for such things as art and musical shows. The region hosts two week-long visits by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus each year with multiple performances at Norfolk Scope and the Hampton Coliseum, and even attracts a group of Circus Train Enthusiasts, railfans who watch, photograph and report on the blue or red unit trains as they make their move between the two sites, requiring a long inland trip through Petersburg and Richmond in order to avoid crossing the 10-mile (16km) geographical distance across the harbor (a trip impassable directly by modern trains; the two bridge-tunnel facilities operated by VDOT accommodate only highway traffic).

The Historic Triangle is located on the Virginia Peninsula and includes the colonial communities of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, with many restored attractions linked by the Colonial Parkway.

The National Park Service’s Colonial Parkway joins the three popular attractions of Colonial Virginia with a scenic and bucolic roadway carefully shielded from views of commercial development. This helps visitors mentally return to the past, and there are often views of wildlife and waterfowl. This two lane roadway is the best (but not quickest) way to move between the three points. Near the James River and York River ends of the parkway, there are several pull-offs, where some families allow their children to feed bread to the seagulls. Commercial vehicles, except for tour buses, are prohibited.

For an even better experience, approach the area from the south by water from Surry County with a ride aboard one of the Jamestown Ferrys, which include the Pocahontas and Williamsburg. As passengers cross, they can walk about the boat or go up to an enclosed viewing level with restrooms. Weather and daylight permitting, passengers usually see Jamestown Island much as the first colonists may have approached it. In fact, the replicas of Christopher Newport’s the three tiny ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery are docked near the northern ferry landing at Glass House Point. Both the Jamestown Ferry and Colonial Parkway are toll-free.

The first permanent English settlement in the New World which was established at Jamestown in 1607. The 350th anniversary celebration at Jamestown Festival Park in 1957 was so popular, tourism has been continuously increasing ever since. The 400th anniversary was celebrated with an 18-month-long celebration called Jamestown 2007.

Today, at Jamestown, you can visit recreations of an American Indian village and colonial fort, and archaeological sites where current work is underway by archaeologistss from the Jamestown Rediscovery project, with recently recovered archaeological artifacts in a new display building. Replicas of the three ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery are docked nearby.

The two major attractions, which are complementary to each other, are the state-sponsored Jamestown Settlement near the entrance to Jamestown Island, and the National Park Service’s Historic Jamestowne, on Jamestown Island itself.

In 1699, the first capital of Virginia was moved to Middle Plantation at the suggestion of students from the College of William & Mary (established 1693). It was soon renamed to Williamsburg, but became a largely forgotten little town after the capital was moved to Richmond in 1780. Largely due to the 20th-century preservation efforts of the Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, rector of Bruton Parish Church and the generosity of Standard Oil heir John D. Rockefeller Jr., today Colonial Williamsburg is a large living museum of early American life. It has dozens of restored and recreated buildings and reenactors. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The Visitor’s Center (right off the Colonial Parkway) features a short movie and is an excellent place to start (and leave automobiles, which are restricted from the restored area, where wheelchair-accessible shuttle bus service is provided).

Bassett Hall, an 18th-century farmhouse, is located in Williamsburg just southeast of the Historic Area, was the Williamsburg home for over 25 years of the family of John D. Rockefeller Jr and his family from the mid-1930s until 1960, following over 7 years of restoration and expansions. The Rockefeller family bequeathed Bassett Hall to Colonial Williamsburg in 1979.[62] The home is now open to the public and appears much as it did in the 1930s and 1940s when the Rockefellers made it their home.[63]

The third point of the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia is Yorktown where General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington in 1781, ending the American Revolution. There are two large visitor centers, battlefield drives, and a waterfront area.

Notwithstanding the amazingly successful efforts to provide a non-commercial atmosphere at the three Historic Triangle areas (and on the Colonial Parkway between them), there are many hotels, motels, campgrounds, restaurants, shops and stores, gasoline stations, and amusements close by.

The Mariners’ Museum, founded in 1930 by Archer and Anna Huntington, is an institution dedicated to bringing maritime history to the world. It is currently home to the USS Monitor Center where 210 tons of artifacts recovered from the USS Monitor are held, including the gun turret. The museum also consists of a 550-acre park and Lake Maury, through which is the five-mile Noland Trail. The permanent collection at the museum totals about 32,000 objects, equally divided between works of art and three-dimensional objects. The Mariners’ Museum Library and Archive, now located in the Trible Library at Christopher Newport University, consists of over 78,000 books, 800,000 photographs, films and negatives, and over one million archival pieces, making it the largest maritime library in the Western hemisphere.[64]

The Virginia War Museum covers American military history. The Museum’s collection includes, weapons, vehicles, artifacts, uniforms and posters from various periods of American history. Highlights of the Museum’s collection include a section of the Berlin Wall and the outer wall from Dachau Concentration Camp.[65]

The Virginia Living Museum, first established in 1966, combines the elements of a native wildlife park, science museum, aquarium, botanical preserve, and planetarium. The exhibits are themed on the geographic regions of Virginia, from the Appalachian Mountains to the offshore waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and includes more than 245 different animal species.[66]

The Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News contains a rotating gallery of art exhibits. The Center also contains a Studio Art School of private and group instruction for all ages. It maintains a permanent “Hands On For Kids” gallery designed for children and families to interact in what the Center describes as “a fun, educational environment that encourages participation with art materials and concepts.”[67]

The Hampton University museum was established in 1868 in the heart of the historic Hampton University campus. The Museum is the oldest African American museum in the United States and one of the oldest museums in the State of Virginia. It contains over 9,000 objects, including African American fine arts, traditional African, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Island, and Asian art.[68]

The Charles H. Taylor Arts Center is Hampton’s public access arts center. It offers a series of changing visual art exhibitions as well as a quarterly schedule of classes, workshops and educational programs.[69]

The Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center in SE Newport News contains a community-based art gallery, as well as arts classrooms and the Ella Fitzgerald Theater.[70]

The Casemate Museum (where former Confederate President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned) is at Fort Monroe in the historic Phoebus area at Old Point Comfort in Hampton.[71]

NASA Langley Research Center is in Hampton, the original training ground for the Mercury Seven, Gemini, and Apollo Astronauts. Visitors are able to learn about the region’s aviation history at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton.[72]

Air Power Park is an outdoor on-site display of various aircraft and a space capsule. It is located on Mercury Boulevard at the intersection of LaSalle Blvd, near the AF Base.

The Biblical Art Gallery at Ivy Farms Baptist Church is Virginia’s largest collection of pre-1900s religious art.

The Chrysler Museum of Art, located in the Ghent district of Norfolk, is the region’s foremost art museum and is considered by the New York Times to be the finest in the state.[74] Of particular note is the extensive glass collection and American neoclassical marble sculptures.

Nauticus, the National Maritime Center, opened on the downtown waterfront in 1994. It features hands-on exhibits, interactive theaters, aquaria, digital high-definition films and an extensive variety of educational programs. Since 2000, Nauticus has been home to the battleship USS Wisconsin, one of the last battleships to be built in the United States. It served briefly in World War II and later in the Korean and Gulf Wars.[75] The General Douglas MacArthur Memorial, located in the 19th-century Norfolk court house and city hall in downtown, contains the tombs of the late General and his wife, a museum and a vast research library, personal belongings (including his famous corncob pipe) and a short film that chronicles the life of the famous General of the Army.[76]

Also in downtown Norfolk and inside Nauticus is the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, an official U.S. Navy museum that focuses on the 220 plus year history of the Navy within the region.

The Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth has one of the largest collection of model electric trains and other toys.

The Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth is one of the oldest shipyards and has the first dry dock on display.

The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (in Suffolk and Chesapeake) is accessed from U.S. Route 17 in Chesapeake.

The Suffolk-Nansemond Museum is in the restored Seaboard and Virginian Railway passenger train station in Suffolk.

The Isle of Wight Museum is in Smithfield.

The Contemporary Art Center of Virginia located in Virginia Beach features the significant art of our time.

The Hampton Roads region has a thriving music scene, with a heavy concentration thereof in the Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk areas. Many clubs, venues, and festivals exist within the region, all playing host to a wide variety of musical styles. There are a few hundred bands that play routinely in the region, spanning multiple genres. There are also twenty to thirty musical acts based in the region that perform throughout Hampton Roads and its surrounding areas on a “full-time” basis.

In addition, plenty of well known acts have come from the area. Some of the major rock/pop artists include Bruce Hornsby, Gary “U.S.” Bonds, Juice Newton, Mae, Seven Mary Three, Gene Vincent, Keller Williams, and Steve Earle. Ella Fitzgerald is the most recognizable jazz musician from the area. Robert Cray and Ruth Brown are both prominent blues and R&B artists. Tommy Newsom is another famous jazz musician. Many prominent rap and hip hop artists come from the area including Chad Hugo, Clipse, Magoo, Missy Elliott, Nicole Wray, Pharrell Williams, Quan, Teddy Riley, and Timbaland.

The region has a number of venues hosting live music and performances. Several of the larger (in order of maximum seating capacity) are:

Dozens of much smaller commercial establishments offer live music and other entertainment such as comedy shows and mystery dinner-theater throughout the region.

The Norfolk Botanical Garden, opened in 1939, is a 155-acre (0.6km2) botanical garden and arboretum located near the Norfolk International Airport. It is open year round.[77]

The Virginia Zoological Park, opened in 1900, is a 65-acre (260,000m2) zoo with hundreds of animals on display, including the critically endangered Siberian Tiger and threatened White Rhino.[78]

First Landing State Park and False Cape State Park are both located in coastal areas in Virginia Beach. Both offer camping facilities, cabins, and outdoor recreation activities in addition to nature and history tours. First Landing is the site of Cape Henry while False Cape is located at the southeastern end of Virginia Beach.[79][80]

Newport News Park is located in the northern part of the city of Newport News. The city’s golf course also lies within the Park along with camping and outdoor activities. There are over 30 miles (48km) of trails in the Newport News Park complex. The park has a 5.3-mile (8.5-km) multi-use bike path. The park offers bicycle and helmet rental, and requires helmet use by children under 14. Newport News Park also offers an archery range, disc golf course, and an “aeromodel flying field” for remote-controlled aircraft, complete with a 400ft (120m) runway.[81]

The region also has amusement parks which attract tourists and locals alike. Ocean Breeze Waterpark, Shipwreck Golf, and Motor World are Virginia Beach’s amusement parks, which were formerly called Ocean Breeze Fun Park. As separate parks, they provide miniature golf, go-karts, water slides, pools, climbing wall, paintball area, and kiddie rides.[82][83]Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA are the major theme parks in Williamsburg.

normal seating capacity in parentheses

Hampton Roads has a number of public and private golf courses.[85]

Three daily newspapers serve Hampton Roads: The Virginian-Pilot in the Southside, the The Daily Press on the Peninsula, and the six days a week Suffolk News-Herald that serves Suffolk and Franklin.[90] Smaller publications include the Williamsburg-James City County area’s twice-weekly Virginia Gazette (the state’s oldest newspaper[91]), the New Journal and Guide, and Inside Business, the area’s only business newspaper.

Newspapers serving the Hampton Roads area include:

Coastal Virginia Magazine is one of the region’s city and lifestyle magazine. The publication is published eight times a year and covers all of Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore of Virginia.[92]Coastal Virginia Magazine was formerly known as Hampton Roads Magazine.

Hampton Roads Times (web site) serves as an online magazine for the region.

Suffolk Living Magazine is another of the region’s city and lifestyle magazines. The publication is published four times a year and covers the City of Suffolk. Suffolk Publications also produces Virginia-Carolina Boomers, a regional guide for Boomers in the area, which comes out twice a year.[93]

The Hampton Roads designated market area (DMA) is the 42nd largest in the U.S. with 712,790 homes (0.64% of the total U.S.).[94] The major network television affiliates are WTKR-TV 3 (CBS), WAVY 10 (NBC), WVEC-TV 13 (ABC), WGNT 27 (CW), WTVZ 33 (MyNetworkTV), WVBT 43 (Fox), and WPXV 49 (ION Television). The Public Broadcasting Service station is WHRO-TV 15. WUND 2(UNC-TV/PBS member station), broadcasting out of Edenton, NC, serves as another PBS affiliate for the area. Area residents also can receive independent stations, such as WSKY broadcasting on channel 4 from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, WGBS-LD broadcasting on channel 11 from Hampton, and WTPC 21, a TBN affiliate out of Virginia Beach. Most Hampton Roads localities are served by Cox Cable which provides LNC 5, a local 24-hour cable news television network. Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight, and Southampton are served by Charter Communications.[95]Verizon FiOS service is currently available in parts of the region and continues to expand, offering a non-satellite alternative to Cox. DirecTV and Dish Network are also popular as an alternative to cable television.

Norfolk is served by a variety of radio stations on the FM and AM dials, with towers located around the Hampton Roads area. These cater to many different interests, including news, talk radio, and sports, as well as an eclectic mix of musical interests.[96]

Norfolk serves as home to two professional franchises, the Norfolk Tides of the International League and the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League.[97][98] The Tides play at Harbor Park, seating 12,067 and opened in 1993. The Admirals play at Norfolk Scope Arena, seating 8,725 or 13,800 festival seating, which opened in 1971.

The Peninsula Pilots play in the Coastal Plain League, a summer baseball league. The Pilots play in Hampton at War Memorial Stadium seating 5,125 and opened in 1948.[99]

On the collegiate level, four Division I programstwo on the Southside and two on the Peninsulafield teams in many sports, including football, basketball, and baseball; three currently play football in the second-tier FCS, while ODU recently moved up to the FBS football. The Southside boasts the Old Dominion Monarchs and the Norfolk State Spartans, both in Norfolk, while the Peninsula features the William & Mary Tribe in Williamsburg and Hampton Pirates in Hampton. W&M is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association. Norfolk State and Hampton, both historically black institutions, compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.[100][101][102][103] ODU joined Conference USA, an FBS football conference, as a full FBS member in 2015. The area also has two Division III programs, one in each subregionthe Virginia Wesleyan Marlins on the border of Virginia Beach and Norfolk,[104] and the Christopher Newport University Captains in Newport News. The Captains sponsor fourteen sports and currently compete in the USA South Athletic Conference,[105] but will move to the Capital Athletic Conference in July 2013.

The Hampton Coliseum, seating 10,761 to 13,800 festival seating, hosts the annual Virginia Duals wrestling events, and the annual Hampton Jazz Festival. The arena opened in 1970 and has previously hosted Hampton University basketball along with NBA and NHL preseason exhibition games.

Virginia Beach serves as home to two soccer teams, the Hampton Roads Piranhas, a men’s team in the USL Premier Development League, and a women’s team by the same name in the W-League. The Piranhas play at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. The Virginia Beach Sportsplex, seating 11,541 and opened in 1999, contains the central training site for the U.S. women’s national field hockey team.[106] The Sportsplex will be expanded to accommodate the Virginia Destroyers, an expansion franchise in the United Football League for the 2011 UFL season. The North American Sand Soccer Championships, a beach soccer tournament, is held annually on the beach in Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach is also home to the East Coast Surfing Championships, an annual contest of more than 100 of the world’s top professional surfers and an estimated 400 amateur surfers. This is North America’s oldest surfing contest, and features combined cash prizes of $40,000.[107]

Langley Speedway in Hampton, seating 6,500, hosts stock car races every weekend during Spring, Summer, and early Fall.[108]

The Kingsmill Championship, an event on the LPGA Tour, is contested annually on Mother’s Day weekend at Kingsmill Resort near Williamsburg.

The Norfolk Nighthawks were a charter member of the Arena Football League’s minor league, af2. They ceased operations in 2003 after their fourth season. Also, the Virginia Beach Mariners of soccer’s USL First Division were active from 1994 until 2006.

Hampton Roads has hosted many professional wrestling events throughout the years. The Norfolk Scope has served as the site of these events, including Total Nonstop Action Wrestling’s Destination X, World Championship Wrestling’s Starrcade and World War 3, and WWF/WWE’s The Great American Bash and the 2011 Slammy Awards.[109] Norfolk Scope was also the site of an infamous episode of WCW Monday Nitro, where several members of the World Wrestling Federation stable D-Generation X literally drove a tank to the entryway of the Scope, thus “invading” the competition. The Hampton Coliseum has also hosted many events, including RAW, in April 1998, August 2005, May 2007, January 2008, and July 2011, as well as SmackDown! and for ECW on Sci Fi on December 2006. In January 2008, WWE broadcast its first television show taped in high definition from Hampton, VA.

The Hampton Roads area is also home to at least one professional wrestling promotion, Vanguard Championship Wrestling, which holds events throughout the region, and has a weekly television show on the local Fox affiliate.

In 1997, Norfolk presented a proposal to bring an expansion hockey team to Hampton Roads. But that initiative failed. The team was going to be called the Hampton Roads Rhinos.

In 2002, Norfolk presented a proposal to bring the Charlotte Hornets basketball team to southeastern Virginia, but New Orleans won the bid for the team, renaming it the New Orleans Hornets.

In 2004, Norfolk presented a proposal to bring the Montreal Expos baseball team to the metro area, but Washington, D.C. won the bid for the team, renaming it the Washington Nationals.

In 1998, 2001, 2006, and 2010 Hampton Roads was hosting the AAU Junior Olympics.[110]

In 2012, there were talks of the Sacramento Kings of the NBA moving to a proposed new arena in Virginia Beach near the Oceanfront.[111]

Hampton Roads is 130 miles (210km) from the nearest major sports teams in Washington, D.C. and Raleigh, North Carolina. Another significant issue with the area as a sports market is internal transportation. The metropolitan area is split into two distinct parts by its eponymous harbor; as of 2012, the harbor has only three widely separated road crossings (the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel, and James River Bridge), each with two lanes of traffic in each direction. In addition, the area has two other major tunnels, plus several drawbridges on key highway corridors.

Hampton Roads previously hosted a successful franchise in the American Basketball Association, although it was never a full-time home for that team. Its highest-ranking teams as of 2012 are the Virginia Destroyers of the UFL, the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL, and the Norfolk Tides of the IL. Virginia is also the most populous state without a major team playing within its borders, though its northern reaches are served by the Washington clubstwo of which, the NHL’s Capitals and NFL’s Redskins, have their operational headquarters and practice facilities in Virginia. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, through a separate company, owns two radio stations, WXTG and WXTG-FM, in the Norfolk market. The Hampton Roads television market is ranked 42nd in the U.S.

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Posted: August 17, 2015 at 5:44 pm

TEXANS, ITS TIME SOMEONE SPEAKS THE TRUTH

I know that this article will catch lots of grief and criticism, but I and millions of Texans are fed up with the rhetoric, misleading reporting, and just plain naivete or stupidity of the press in the handling of Obama and the present Islamist situation we have in this world.

Every day we actually watch the truth of the Muslim world on TV. My God, when you see it, how can you not believe it? Radical Islam has declared war worldwide! Now, from Bill OReilly to our local news reporters, everyone – including the retired generals interviewed about the subject – all say the same thing: We cannot understand why Obama does not do more about the violence from Islamist radicals. We dont understand why Obama will not engage. Why does Obama want to raise taxes and continue to write mandates through executive orders that harm America? All I hear is that he is a good family man, and nice guy, and maybe he just doesnt understand.

Fellow Texans, he not only understands, but he knows exactly what he is doing! Did you read his book Dreams From My Father? He hates America! He hates a red Texas. He is a supporter of the Muslim religion. He orchestrated the Arab Spring and covered it up with a move for democracy. Those countries wouldnt know democracy if they stepped in it! It was a takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood, and was supported by Obama. The political correctness and nice guy reporting must stop, and people better wake the hell up because we are sliding into a cesspool that we will never get out of.

Obama is a socialist, Islamist apologist, America-hating radical who is pulling off what he told all of us when he got elected the first time: We will fundamentally change America. Can everyone wake up and see that he is doing exactly that?

To the Governor of Texas, the legislature in Texas, the spineless Congress in Washington DC: I know the majority of you only care about power, money, and your next elected office, but you damn well better start telling the truth about Obama, his administration, and his ultimate goal of destroying America, or as they say in the not listened too part of America, the you-know-what will hit the fan! We common everyday folks can see through this like a glass door and will not stay quiet any longer!

When the SHTF scenario begins – and it will – all of you from the press to the sitting elected plutcocrats will have no one to blame but yourselves. We all know that you will label patriots as home-grown terrorists, right wing radicals, Bible toting gun lovers, but, in reality, they are good people who saw through the BS of this government a long time ago; people who will not give up their freedom and liberty at any cost. It will be the People who understand that Obama and his minions are evil!

We in Texas demand of those who can make a difference: stand up! Take care of Texas by getting us out of this situation. The next two years of this administration will cause the fall of all the states and the US government, or worse yet, a civil war that will make the Civil War of 1861 look like a skirmish!

Can we return to a small government led by and founded on the God-given rights as laid out by our Founding Fathers? Will you say the truth of the real evil that runs DC now? Will you stop lying to the people who know that what you say are lies? If not, people of Texas, it is time to get off the couch, take firm action with our elected leaders, and do not surrender our beloved home, our Texas, to those that lie and refuse to act!

Deny this if you will, but most know it to be true. Those that know will be enough to change things. I believe that, because there is nothing else left to believe in anymore!

God Bless Texas, Cary Wise Freedom Texas

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