Archive for the ‘California’ Category

Gigantic Salmon In California River (85 Pounds!)

November 6, 2008

Wildlife officials in northern California last week came across one of the biggest Chinook salmon ever found in the state — a monster more than 4 feet long and weighing 85 pounds.

Fox News

“We see lots of big ones,” Doug Killam, a biologist in the California Department of Fish and Game’s Red Bluff office, told the Redding Record Searchlight, “but this one was just bigger than most big ones — it was just spectacular.”

The big fish had recently spawned and died, Killam said, and probably weighed about 90 pounds when it began its 100-mile swim upstream from the Pacific to the spot where it died on Battle Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento River near the town of Anderson.

The California sport-fishing record for a Chinook salmon is 88 pounds. In Alaska, where they’re called king salmon, they get even bigger — the record sport catch is 97 pounds, while the largest commercial catch was a truly phenomenal 126 pounds.

 California Department of Fish and Game

“If someone would have caught this one, it probably would have been a state record,” Killam told the Record Searchlight.

A black bear comes up with a Kokanee salmon while hunting for ... 
A black bear comes up with a Kokanee salmon while hunting for fish along Taylor Creek near South Lake Tahoe, Calif, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008. The bear and two cubs wandered the creek in search of Kokanee salmon. The salmon swim upstream every October by the thousands to spawn in the creek. The big one was nailed by the California Department of Fish and Game.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

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Iran: In Infamous Torture Prison is American Studying Women’s Rights

November 5, 2008

Iranian-U.S. student Esha Momeni, who has been held behind bars in Tehran since mid-October, is accused of a security offense in the Islamic republic, the judiciary spokesman said Tuesday.


“Her accusation is an offense against (national) security. Her file is at the preliminary stage of investigation,” Alireza Jamshidi said at a weekly press briefing.

He said Momeni was being held at Tehran’s Evin prison.

Last month, her lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah told AFP that she was arrested on Oct. 15 for her involvement with a women’s rights equality campaign.

Momeni, a graduate student at the Northridge campus of California State University, had traveled to Iran to carry out research for her thesis on women’s rights, the lawyer said.

He said she holds both Iranian and U.S. nationality.

Over the past year Iran has arrested several women involved with a One- Million-Signature campaign, launched two years ago to call for changes to Iranian laws deemed discriminatory to women.

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Tehran skyline may 2007.jpg
Skyline of Tehran, Iran

Education Key to Fighting Future Threats

March 10, 2008

By James G. Zumwalt
The Washington Times
March 10, 2008

Consciousness of a threat is a factor of education. Unfortunately, some of our school systems, promoting a “peace in our time” mindset, reject educating the most innocent of innocents — our young children — that there is evil in the world that poses a real danger to those oblivious to it. The result is a “dumbing-down” of students about a threat to their future existence.
For example, World Net Daily reported seventh-grade students in a third of California schools are taught in a social studies book published by Teachers’ Curriculum Institute that “jihad” is, at best, an effort by Muslims “to take up worthy causes, such as funding medical research” and, at worst, simply Muslims fighting “to protect themselves from those who would do them harm.”

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Super Tuesday Is Now Rolling

February 5, 2008

Huchabee Wins West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Mike Huckabee won the first contest declared on Super Tuesday, picking up all 18 national delegates awarded at West Virginia‘s state GOP convention.

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Obama vs. Clinton Unlikely to be Decided Today

By Ariel Sabar 
The Christian Science Monitor
February 5, 2008

Washington – A nail-biter of a fight for the Democratic presidential nomination enters its biggest day Tuesday, with voters in 22 states and American Samoa casting ballots in a historymaking race.

 Polls released over the weekend show Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, long the national Democratic front-runner, losing ground. In just the past few days, Sen. Barack Obama has pulled even in key states long seen as Clinton country, among them California, New Jersey, and Missouri.Read the rest:

Super Tuesday: Looking Toward the White House

February 5, 2008

(AP) — Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton fought for a breakout in their eyeball-to-eyeball Democratic duel while Republican John McCain hoped to bury his rival’s presidential hopes in a blur of voting Tuesday from Alaska to the Atlantic.

US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama speaks at ...

Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain (R-AZ) ... An enormous cache of delegates was at stake — not enough to clinch a nomination but plenty enough to mint a runaway favorite, or even two.

The days of retail politicking in rustic diners was a distant memory, although just weeks old. Sens. Clinton and Obama each poured more than $1 million a day into TV ads in the last week alone; Clinton buying an hour on the Hallmark Channel for a town hall meeting on Monday night, Obama seeing some $250,000 disappear in 30 seconds in his Super Bowl ad a day earlier.

Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) ...
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor ...

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Republican presidential hopeful former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee ... 


From USA Today

By Michael Medved

The only safe prediction about campaign 2008 is that no prediction is safe.

Experts once assumed, for instance, that today’s “Tsunami Tuesday” primaries and caucuses would settle the nomination struggles in both parties. It’s now obvious, however, that hand-to-hand combat over delegates could continue for weeks, if not months, at least among the Democrats.

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Note to Berkeley: Marines Are Not The Enemy

February 2, 2008

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 31, 2008

“Osama bin Laden couldn’t have said it better,” American Legion National Commander Marty Conatser said of the Berkeley City Council Resolution, which tells the Marines that they are not welcome there. “Disgraceful, disloyal, ungrateful. These words are too kind in describing the actions of the public officials in Berkeley, who voted for this disgrace.

Nonetheless, our Marines continue to bravely serve and in so doing, allow Americans to spout such foolishness. The American Legion not only strongly condemns this action by the City Council but also believes that a sincere apology is in order to all Marines, past and present.”

U.S. Marines conduct a search for insurgents during a training ...
U.S. Marines conduct a search for insurgents during a training simulation of a search through an Iraqi city built at the U.S. Marine Base in Camp Pendleton, California, June 29, 2006.
REUTERS/Mike Blake 
Conatser, the leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization, was referring to a measure passed by the Council 6-3 Tuesday, that tells the U.S. Marine Corps that one of its recruiting stations is “not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.”The City Council marched in complete lock-step with radical anti-war group Code Pink in attempting to drive out Marine recruiters from its San Francisco suburb. The City Council also voted 8-1 to give Code Pink a free parking space in front of a recruiting station, along with a free sound permit for protesting once a week.Marine recruiters at Berkeley have faced harassment from protestors who regularly block nearby sidewalks, generate excessive noise and disrupt business.”I have been a recruiter in the National Guard and I know that it’s tough duty, with long hours,” Conatser said. “What these recruiters do is essential to our national security.Without recruiters we have no military. And I don’t think we can count on the flower children from Berkeley to protect this nation when it comes under attack. They have to remember that Marines are not the enemy; the terrorists are.”Conatser pointed out that The American Legion strongly supports the war on terrorism, passing a national resolution of its own.”Resolution 169 was passed unanimously by The American Legion in 2005 and it has been re-affirmed every year since. It reminds Americans that you can not separate the war from the warrior and that the American people should stand united in support for our troops who are engaged in protecting our values and our way of life.”

With a current membership of 2.7-million wartime veterans, The American Legion,, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and patriotic youth programs.

Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.

U.S. Marine Corps,
BERKELEY – Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates offered Friday to help the U.S. Marines leave town by negotiating an end to the lease for their recruiting station, even as he backpedaled on a City Council resolution declaring the Corps “uninvited and unwelcome intruders” in the city.In the face of an onslaught of pro-military criticism from around the country, Bates, a retired Army captain, also issued a statement that said the City Council’s resolution Tuesday night “did not adequately differentiate our respect and support for those serving in the armed forces and our opposition to the Iraq war policy.”He said he would ask the council to modify the resolution at its next meeting, scheduled for Feb. 12.

A Marines spokeswoman said Friday that the Corps has no intention of abandoning its space at 64 Shattuck Square that has been the subject of protests for months.

The council voted 6-3 Tuesday to tell the Marines that their recruiting station is not welcome in the city. In a separate vote, the council supported the women’s peace group Code Pink by giving it a designated parking space in front of the recruiting station once a week for six months and a free sound permit for protesting once a week from noon to 4 p.m.

The council also voted to explore enforcing its law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against the Marines.

Letter from A Former POW to Mayor of Berkeley

Dear Mayor Bates and the City Council of Berkeley: It is because of the Marines, Soldiers and Sailors that you are not conducting city business in Japanese or German. Here is an excerpt from the poem “What is a Vet” that follows.

Mike Benge civilian VN-POW 1968-73

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag,Who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.”

WHAT IS A VET? Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a aged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together,a piece of shrapnel in the leg, or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul’s ally forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can’t tell a vet just by looking.

What is a vet? He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweatingtwo gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t runout of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She – or he – is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another – or didn’t come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor that has never seen combat – but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs.

He is the parade – riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand. He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of  The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket – palsied now andaggravatingly slow – who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when thenightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being a person who offered some of his life’s most vital years in the service of hiscountry, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not haveto sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known. So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That’s all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded. Two little words that mean a lot, “THANK YOU”.

Remember November 11th is Veterans Day.

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of thepress. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,

Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag,Whoserves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.”

Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, Lt. Col., USMC
Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy ... 

Is McCain a Real Conservative?

January 31, 2008

 By Robert D. Novak
Thursday, January 31, 2008; Page A21

As John McCain neared his momentous primary election victory in Florida after a ferocious campaign questioning his conservative credentials, right-wingers buzzed over word that he had privately suggested that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was too conservative. In response, McCain said he recalled saying no such thing and added that Alito was a “magnificent” choice. In fact, multiple sources confirm that the senator made negative comments about Alito nine months ago.

McCain, as the “straight talk” candidate, says things off the cuff that he sometimes cannot remember exactly later. Elements of the Republican Party’s right wing, uncomfortable with McCain as their prospective presidential nominee, brought the Alito comments to the surface long after the fact for two contrasting reasons. One was a desperate effort to keep McCain from winning in Florida. The other was to get the party’s potential nominee on record about key issues before he is nominated.

Those key issues do not include McCain’s….

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Addicted doctors still practice while in rehab

December 18, 2007

Botched surgeries highlight troubled area of the medical profession….

December 18, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Troubling cases in which doctors were accused of botching operations while undergoing treatment for drugs or alcohol have led to criticism of rehab programs that allow thousands of U.S. physicians to keep their addictions hidden from their patients.

Dr. Jason Giles

Dr. Jason Giles, a Malibu, Calif., physician, completed the state’s confidential program in 2004 after five years in treatment for alcoholism and addiction to prescription drugs. His experience in rehab was so transformative, he said, that he quit practicing anesthesiology and opened the drug treatment center he now runs.

Nearly all states have confidential rehab programs that let doctors continue practicing as long as they stick with the treatment regimen. Nationwide, as many as 8,000 doctors may be in such programs, by one estimate.

These arrangements largely escaped public scrutiny until last summer, when California’s medical board outraged physicians across the country by abolishing its 27-year-old program. A review concluded that the system failed to protect patients or help addicted doctors get better.

Opponents of such programs say the medical establishment uses confidential treatment to protect dangerous physicians.

“Patients have no way to protect themselves from these doctors,” said Julie Fellmeth, who heads the University of San Diego’s Center for Public Interest Law and led the opposition to California’s so-called diversion program.

Most addiction specialists favor allowing doctors to continue practicing while in confidential treatment, as does the American Medical Association.

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Vietnam: New Gold Rush

August 5, 2007

In a first-of-its-kind conference at Palo Alto, California last week, hundreds of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and technologists came together to discuss the rapidly growing technology market in Vietnam, a country labeled by some as Asia’s new “Roaring Tiger.” Participants ranged from Google representatives to Ho Chi Minh City start-up executives to even officials from Vietnam’s Communist government, who flew in to pitch their country – and throw a few elbows at their big next-door rival, China.

Vietnam, with a population of 84 million, is currently the second-fastest growing economy in Asia (China being the first, naturally) and expects economic growth of 9% this year.”People need to understand there is an investment alternative in Asia, and it’s Vietnam,” said Huy Do, chairman and president of the relatively new Vietnamese Strategic Ventures Network, which organized the conference.

The conference, expected to become an annual event, highlights the growing reconnection between Silicon Valley’s Vietnamese community and the Communist country: many of the Bay Area’s Vietnamese inhabitants fled their native land after Saigon fell to Communist forces in 1975.However, younger Vietnamese-Americans are now hoping to cash in on the new Vietnam the way Indians, Chinese and Taiwanese have done in their respective homelands.Now there are so many Vietnamese-Americans and others heading to Vietnam, “it almost feels like a gold rush,” said Ross Meador, a Berkeley-based attorney who specializes in international law and Vietnam.


News From Vietnam