Ridge steps down as Homeland Security chief

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Tom Ridge, former Secretary of Homeland Security.

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CNN.com – Ridge steps down as Homeland Security chief – Nov 30, 2004

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge resigned Tuesday, but he will remain in the post until February 1 unless a successor is confirmed sooner.

“There will always be more to do, but today, America is significantly stronger and safer than ever before,” he said in his resignation letter.

And…another one bites the dust…

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Today’s hiking adventure

Travel and Other Adventures
garrapata state park

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Wow…I had a weird experience today… Raffa and I just got back from hiking down in Big Sur, at Garrapata State Park. Beautiful place. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures, mainly because of what happened.

We were hiking along this really rocky and sketchy trail. We were up above, on a little cliff (about 50 feet up) and walking down the trail toward the creek bed, when we heard someone crying for help. Raffa ran down the hill and I came following behind. When I got down there I saw and older woman, around 70 years old, sitting up in the creek. She had fallen about 50 feet down the cliff into the creek! Raf and I helped out of the water and sat her down on the side of the creek. She was all scraped up – her hands and face were all bloody. She was soaking wet. And the the thing that really concerned me the most is that she seemed really confused. I asked her what happened and if she fell down the cliff and at first she said, “no”, but then she said that she didn’t remember. It was obvious that she had fallen down the cliff because Raffa had to climb up it a little bit to get her walking stick.

Raffa decided that he needed to hurry up and get some help so we decided that I would stay with her and he would try to find someone. Just as he was turning to go there were some hikers that came down the hill. I asked them if they could help us and it turns out that thy actually knew the lady really well. I was thanking God at that point! They knew exactly what to do right away and one of the guys left right away to find help. Raffa and I hiked back to the trailhead. The accident happened quite a ways in – it took us about 40 mins to get back to the trail-head, algthough we did kind of walk slow (I was feeling kind of oogily). When we got there the other guys were driving up and parking thier car. They had to drive somewhere to call 911. As we were leaving the sheriff pulled up and then the ambulence pulled up. I felt a better knowing that help was on the way.

It was a miracle that she wasn’t more hurt then she was! I thought for sure when I saw her sitting there in the creek that she had broken a leg or arm, but she only had a few bruises and scratches. She is so lucky.

On the way home we really got to thinking and talking about how fricken important it is to bring supplies when you go hiking – even if it is only a little day hike like what we did. We should have had a space blanket to keep the woman warm, an first aid kit, etc. And from now on we are going to pack a backpack with stuff like that. You never know what you will find…It might not be for you, it might be for someone else in trouble.

Happy Thanksgiving

Life
The Weasley family as shown in Harry Potter an...

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I wanted to take this time to wish all of you reading this a Happy Thanksgiving. Raffa and I are going to have a quiet Thanksgiving by ourselves today. I bought a pre-cooked Turkey breast from Trader Joes (easy!) . I am going to attempt my first apple pie from scratch..We’ll see how THAT goes. Maybe we’ll go for a little walk on the beach after dinner 🙂 . We also bought Harry Potter: The Prisoner of Azkaban and will watch that. And of cours, I will use this time off to knit. I have tons of Christmas presents to get through.

Hope you Thanksgiving is happy and joyful. I am doing my best to stay positive. Alcohol helps 😉

UC Berkeley Research Team Sounds ‘Smoke Alarm’ for Florida E-Vote Count

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Electronic voting machine used in Brazilian el...

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UC Berkeley Research Team Sounds ‘Smoke Alarm’ for Florida E-Vote Count

Today the University of California’s Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team released a statistical study – the sole method available to monitor the accuracy of e- voting – reporting irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000-260,000 or more excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election. The study shows an unexplained discrepancy between votes for President Bush in counties where electronic voting machines were used versus counties using traditional voting methods – what the team says can be deemed a “smoke alarm.” Discrepancies this large or larger rarely arise by chance – the probability is less than 0.1 percent. The research team formally disclosed results of the study at a press conference today at the UC Berkeley Survey Research Center, where they called on Florida voting officials to investigate.

This is interesting….I hope something comes of it. The news does not look good. Condi Rice is now Secretary of State…Health insurance is going to go down the tubes. We’re fucked.

Iraq charity worker feared killed – Nov 16, 2004

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CNN.com – Iraq charity worker feared killed – Nov 16, 2004

The director of CARE International in Iraq, who was kidnapped last month, has apparently been killed, the humanitarian organization says.

I am saddened to read about the death of Margaret Hassan. This is really awful. It’s all awful, really. But this story, for some reason, touched a nerve in me. I feel just awful.