For nearly two decades at the Grand Canyon, tourists, employees, and children on tours passed by three paint buckets stored in the National Park’s museum collection building, unaware that they were being exposed to radiation.
Federal officials learned last year that three five-gallon buckets stored in the Grand Canyon’s museum building were literally overflowing with highly-radioactive uranium ore. The buckets were moved to the museum building when it opened in 2000 and were so full of the ore one literally wouldn’t close.
As AZCentral.com reports, in a rogue email sent to all Park Service employees on Feb. 4, Elston “Swede” Stephenson – the safety, health and wellness manager – described the alleged cover-up as “a top management failure” and warned of possible health consequences.
“If you were in the Museum Collections Building (2C) between the year 2000 and June 18, 2018, you were ‘exposed’ to uranium by OSHA’s definition,” Stephenson wrote.
“The radiation readings, at first blush, exceeds (sic) the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s safe limits. … Identifying who was exposed, and your exposure level, gets tricky and is our next important task.”
Stephenson says he tried to convince Parks executives to warn the public that anyone visiting the site after 2000 could have been exposed to radiation he calculated at levels potentially over 4,000 times the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s “safe” level for children and 400 times the level for adults, but was “stonewalled” by management. He believes the Park Service violated the law by not informing the public of the danger.
“Respectfully, it was not only immoral not to let Our People know, but I could not longer risk my (health and safety) certification by letting this go any longer,”
Stephenson released a 45-page report detailing the allegations.
Governor JB Pritzker’s administration has now made clear it will seriously consider the latest idea to address Illinois’ pension crisis – transferring public assets directly to state pensions. It recently announced the formation of a task force on the subject.
At its core, the concept is exceptionally simple. In practice, however, it’s exceptionally subject to smoke and mirrors and would further obscure a pension system that’s already far too opaque. More importantly, asset transfers do nothing to improve the state’s overall fiscal health.
Just convey ownership of some public assets to the pension, for free, in addition to the cash contributions taxpayers make now. That’s all this is about. Maybe the Illinois Lottery or Illinois Tollway for state pensions. Maybe Midway Airport or its water system for Chicago pensions. Those are examples of assets that have been mentioned that might be handed over.
Illinois state pensions are officially reported to have assets about $130 billion less than what they need to have on hand to pay for pension benefits already earned. Turn over ownership of the tollway and some other assets and, voila, the thinking goes, that shortfall would shrink by whatever the transferred asset is worth.
The first problem should be obvious – the state, as a whole, would be no better off. Whatever assets the state owns – which are your assets as taxpayers – would simply be moved over to the pension funds for the sole purpose of covering benefit obligations. But the pensions are really just a unit of government because Illinois courts have made clear that the sponsoring unit of government is liable directly to pensioners if pension assets ever fall short. So, pensions might be made more secure by an asset transfer, but the government’s overall balance sheet remains the same.
Not true, I’ve heard some proponents of asset transfers say. They claim there are certain public assets where the value of the asset can only be fully unlocked through a transfer to a pension. Just selling or leasing the asset to some third party, they say, wouldn’t work. I’ll believe that when I see an example.
If you’re wondering at this point whether accounting shenanigans might be at play, you’re right to be concerned. Some valuation would have to be placed on the asset transferred in order to understand a pension’s true position. But public assets don’t have clear market values. What’s the Illinois Lottery really worth, for example? Experts will have different opinions, but the temptation will be to inflate the value in order to make pension financial statements look better.
And how on earth will actuaries decide what rate of return to assume on those assets? Currently, Illinois pensions assume about 7% per year. That’s already extremely controversial, with Nobel economists being the harshest critics. This will make heads explode in the actuary world.
Over time, the value of the asset will change. The lottery’s value, for example, will drop markedly if Illinois expands other forms of gambling as rapidly as planned. Does anybody really expect pensions to honestly report that changing value, given their sordid history distorting their position with phony numbers on things like discount rates and mortality projections?
And even if honest valuations are used, another temptation will be to transfer assets that are on the books at lower valuations. That would improve a government’s reported balance sheet when it’s valued fairly in the pension after transfer, but the government’s position wouldn’t really improve at all.
In the private sector, where asset transfers to pensions are sometimes done, that accounting trick is the whole point – take an asset that’s been heavily depreciated to less than fair value and give it to the pension at fair value, which magically improves the consolidated balance sheet. That’s a sensible tactic for a private company to improve its reported position, but for governments, from a taxpayer’s viewpoint, it doesn’t change the economic realities.
According to the presidential spokesman General Otavio Rego Barros, Brazil will put humanitarian aid on Venezuelan border on 23th February at request of opposition leader Guaido, adding that he would be responsible for its distribution.
“The aid includes food products and medicines that will be available in the Brazilian cities of Boa Vista and Pacaraima [in the state of Roraima] so that it will be taken by the government of [self-proclaimed] President Juan Guaido, Venezuelan trucks driven by the Venezuelans,” Brazilian government said in a statement.
According to the Brazilian government the humanitarian operation would be organized in cooperation with the US authorities. However, a government’s spokesperson stressed that Brazil would take responsibility for the aid deliveries.
President Nicolas Maduro’s government had earlier refused to take in the aid, stressing it could justify foreign interference in the country’s domestic affairs.
On Monday, Trump called on Venezuelan military officers to not follow orders of President Nicolas Maduro to block the humanitarian aid deliveries to the country, adding that Washington is seeking a peaceful transition of power in Venezuela but “all options” remain open.
US “humanitarian aid”, now stockpiled in Columbia is expected to reach Venezuela on 23 February. President Nicolas Maduro blasted delivery as a ploy to topple the government, instead demanding that Washington lift the economic sanctions imposed on Caracas.
A political crisis escalated recently in Venezuela after opposition parliament speaker Juan Guaido declared himself interim president, disputing last year’s re-election of Maduro. The United States, quick to recognize Guaido, were followed by a number of other countries. Russia, China, Mexico, Turkey and Uruguay, on the other hand, were among those that voiced their support for Maduro as the country’s legitimately elected president.
Who is the rightful owner of the most contested piece of real estate in the world? Everyone seems to have an answer to this question that has captured the world’s attention. The Bible prophesies a time when the nation of Israel and Jerusalem in particular, will be a burdensome stone to the nations of the earth. In light of recent political events, I believe we are seeing the beginnings of what Zechariah wrote about almost 2,600 years ago. The media, politicians, and pop culture have made the Jews out to be the ‘problem’……again. This is because many choose to believe a popular lie and ignore the facts about Palestine.
Zechariah 12:3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
When you reduce the Israeli-Palestinian issue down to the ridiculous, you will find it’s root cause. The cause is the lie about ownership and what I will call “the Palestinian lie” in particular.
The premise of the Palestinian lie is quite simple: Tell a lie often enough and people will believe it. That strategy has worked……and worked so well that it is hard to find a person who will ask three fundamental questions:
Who are the Palestinian people, where did they originate from, and do they have a legitimate claim to the holy land?
Before we dive deeper into this article I want to make an important point. This article is not meant to vilify the so called Palestinian people. The point of this article is to focus on the lie that has made the situation in the Middle East go from bad to worse and how it will ultimately be used as fuel to turn the all nations against Israel. As you read on please understand this: God sent His Son to die for the sins of all people, Jew and gentile alike. God loves the Arab people at the center of this land dispute as well.
It is the prayer and hope of this ministry that many Arab people will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus and to that end, we provide evangelistic resources in many languages including Arabic.
The Palestinian lie is quite simple: Society is continually repeating the lie that there is in fact…a Palestinian people. How do you refute a lie? You confront it with truth. Not just one individual’s version of the truth, but truth rooted in historical, documented, and verifiable facts. In consideration of our reader’s time, my intent isn’t to write a doctoral dissertation about who the holy land belongs to, because that subject could fill volumes. I encourage you to do some self study and examine the facts for yourself and come to a logical conclusion. I do want to briefly mention a few historical and biblical facts that will answer the three fundamental questions.
Who are the “Palestinian” people?
The terms Palestine and Palestinian have origins dating back to the second century AD. It is a well documented historical record and matter of fact that the Roman Empire and it’s ruler Hadrian wanted to get rid of all Jewish identity in the region. He used the name of Israel’s ancient foes…the Philistines and renamed the land Palaestina. The Philistines were located to the north of Israel in modern coastal Lebanon and parts of Syria. The term Palestine was rarely used until Israel declared her Independence in 1948. The term “Palestinian” wasn’t widely used until the 1960s and 1970s. Yasser Arafat, a well known terrorist….was the chairman of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) and his goal was to legitimize a people and cause that have no historic precedent. The PLO seeks to liberate “Palestine” through armed struggle. Since 1994, the PA (Palestinian Authority) has been the governing body of the so called “Palestinian” people.
Where did the “Palestinians” originate from?
Throughout history, there has never been a “Palestinian” people as a distinct group. This is a fabrication of terms used by Arabs to identify the people who occupy the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and other parts of Israel. These people are Arabs from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and surrounding countries. The Arabs in the disputed areas can trace their recent history to Israel’s neighboring countries. While it’s true that Arab children are born in these disputed territories, they are Arabs who live in Israel, not “Palestinians” who live in occupied territory.
Do the so called “Palestinian” people have a legitimate claim to the holy land?
The short answer is no. To have a legitimate claim you must have historical precedent and there was never a Palestinian people in the land of Israel. Here is the problem: Let’s go back to our original point about legitimacy……if you tell a lie often enough, people will believe it.
People and organizations such as the late Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas, Tony Blair, the European Union, and the UN are promoting a distorted view of history and holding negotiations based on a false supposition that Arabs (with no historical claim), deserve land that rightly belongs to the Jews. To make matters worse, people such as Rick Warren, Gary Burge of Wheaton College, and Lynne Hybels of Willow Creek church are seeking to legitimize the “Palestinian” cause under the banner of evangelical Christianity.
Just this week, Pope Francis made a very unfortunate move by officially signing a treaty recognizing Palestinian statehood that should be approved by the Vatican in short order. There are also reports that the Pope referred to Mahmoud Abbas as an “Angel of peace.” The statement is still being questioned and verified by media outlets, so we will not offer commentary based on that. The fact is, when the Pope, who is a global figure makes a treaty with an illegitimate group like the so called “Palestinians”, they gain instant credibility in millions of minds….regardless of the facts. Add to this the social media frenzy and down right antisemitic actions of many on America’s university campuses…..you have a cause based on nothing but lies. Click here to see just one of many reports about Pope Francis and his recognition of a Palestinian state.
The governing bodies of Hamas and the PA take western aid money meant to help improve the lives of the so called “Palestinian” people. Much of the money ends up lining the pockets of the governing officials and used to procure weapons that are used to wage jihad on the citizens and population centers of Israel. The Hamas thugs routinely place their weapons of war near playgrounds, mosques, and homes of civilians. These actions are indicative of the mindset of the entities Israel is forced to go to the bargaining table with…..groups calling for the destruction of Israel.
Regarding a two state solution: Israel has put numerous offers on the table and they have been soundly rejected by the PLA. Land for peace simply will not work because ultimately Abbas and Hamas don’t want a two state solution. Their goal is complete control and domination with Jerusalem as their capital.
In the latest indicator of heightened and ratcheting tensions between Moscow and the West, the Russian navy is reportedly shadowing an American warship, the USS Donald Cook, as it transits the Dardanelles Strait on Tuesday.
The US ship is en route to its second Black Sea deployment in only under a month, and fourth since the dangerous Kerch Strait incident.
A US Navy statement confirmed that the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer began transiting the strait on Tuesday on a mission to conduct what it called “maritime security operations” and to “enhance regional maritime stability” with NATO allies and partners in the region.
According to Russia’s TASS news agency “the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s guard ship Pytlivy tracked the US vessel’s movements at the time.”
The US military newspaper Stars and Stripesadditionally noted the Russians boasted of “continuously tracking” the Donald Cook’s movements since entering the region.
The Russian National Defense Control Center said Tuesday: “On February 19, 2019, at 05.00 pm Moscow time [14:00 GMT], US Navy Donald Cook guided-missile destroyer entered the Black Sea. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet assigned forces and means to continuously monitor the actions of the American destroyer.”
The United States’ Black Sea operations, which have routinely been dubbed “freedom of navigation” related deployments, come months after Washington and its allies condemned Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian vessels and the arrest of 24 sailors in late November at the Kerch Strait. The Kremlin for its part condemned Ukrainian aggression and attempt to interfere in Russian naval operations.
The USS Donald Cook’s prior Black Sea operation involved naval drills with the Georgian Coast guard on Jan. 25 of this year. At that time US defense officials told CNN that its heightened Black Sea presence would be specifically in response to Russia’s actions against Ukraine during the Nov. 25 Kerch Strait incident.
Prior to the late January operations the US Navy’s 6th Fleet said “We routinely conduct operations to advance security and stability throughout the US 6th Fleet area of operations to include the international waters and airspace of the Black Sea,” and further, “We reserve the right to operate freely in accordance with international laws and norms.”
Pentagon officials also previously addressed what the US sees as “expansive” maritime claims of Russia in the region, framing the comments in relation to the Kerch Strait incident. The US officials claimed that “Moscow lays claim to areas that far exceed the 12 miles from the Russian coastline that is guaranteed by international law,” according to CNN.
by Suzanne Short May God’s blessings be upon President Trump and his family and his Administration every passing moment of each Day.
Oh yes, This photo touches my heart, soul, Mind and of course all my emotions. She’s praying for President Trump while he speaks and he just lets her hold his hands.