It may seem a rusted and decaying curiosity - but Track 61 (top and bottom right) was once used by Franklin D Roosevelt (seen left on a private train) as a private access route to the Astoria's presidential suite, concealing his disability. Roosevelt, whose administration actively concealed the fact that he couldn't walk or strand unaided (the left photograph shows him gripping the train railings), was able to pull up under the hotel, and be driven into an elevator straight to his rooms. The siding is rumored to be kept active as a viable escape route for any visiting President.
These rusted and decaying railway tracks may seem like any of the thousands of feet of disused track that snake under midtown Manhattan.
But this discreet siding, Grand Central Terminal's 'Track 61' - was once a vital tool in the arsenal of wartime President Franklin D Roosevelt - and could yet spring into action again.
Nearly six years after the Great Recession, a clear majority of American families say they feel unprepared for a financial emergency.
The Pew Charitable Trusts' poll of 7,000 U.S. households finds that 57 percent don't consider themselves ready for a sudden financial setback, 55 percent say they break even or spend more than they make each month, and a third have no savings.
'Despite a steady economic recovery, many Americans continue to feel vulnerable,' says Erin Currier, director of Pew's financial security and mobility project.
A new poll found that that 57 percent of American households don't consider themselves ready for a sudden financial setback
The survey does note signs of improvement: 56 percent rate their own financial situation as positive, up from 55 percent on the eve of the recession in 2007; 27 percent give the economy a positive grade, equal to pre-recession levels.
Logo of the United States Federal Communications Commission, used on their website and some publications since the early 2000s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A new day is dawning in Washington’s battle over the Internet.
The Federal Communications Commission will vote Thursday to issue regulations designed to guarantee equal access to the Internet, despite staunch opposition from Republicans and under the threat of lawsuits from major companies. For supporters, the new net neutrality rules will provide the clearest restrictions to prevent Comcast, Verizon and other Internet service providers from interfering with people’s access to view any website or online service they choose.
“We’re on the eve of a historic event at the FCC,” Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) said during a Wednesday morning hearing on the rules. “Tomorrow, the commission is set to put into place what will be the strongest Internet protections consumers have ever had.” MORE
Caller: There seems to be a currency crisis in the world. Gold is soaring in every currency but the U.S. Is there a conspiracy here to keep gold down?
And Goldcorp, which is one of the best gold stocks, is giving a dividend greater than the 10-year treasury. What is your recommendation going forward on Goldcorp and the miners?
Jim Cramer: There would have been a time when I would have laughed about the conspiracy thing, but I can’t anymore. Doesn’t it seem that everything has been rigged? The currency has been rigged, the bonds have been rigged, Libor was rigged. What didn’t they rig?
Oil they rigged, natural gas they rigged, so did they rig gold? You know what, I’m going to say I don’t know. Hey, maybe they have. Maybe that’s the next big Justice Department investigation. In the meantime, I like Randgold. You know what, maybe you’re right. Maybe it’s rigged.
Listen to audio of Jim Cramer on CNBC’s “Mad Money” here:
This is the moment that Venus and Mars 'danced' alongside the moon in what was the closest pairing of the two planets in seven years. The pairing is known as a ‘conjunction’, which means the planets are positioned in such a form that they appear aligned from Earth. These photographs of the phenomenon were taken on Friday night at Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight and in Monyash, Derbyshire.
The planets appeared close to each other after sunset for about an hour - and will not be this close again until October 2017.
Venus appeared brighter than Mars, with the planets about 134million and 203million miles away from Earth respectively.
Arizona State University astrophysicist Patrick Young said: ‘It doesn't have any physical significance, but it's pretty impressive to look at.
‘This is one of the more impressive things you'll be able to see with the naked eye. It should look pretty neat with binoculars too.’
Closest conjunction since 2008: This photograph was taken from Magpie Mine, an old lead mine near Monyash, in the Derbyshire Peak District
Stunning scene: The red dot of Mars just above the brighter Venus, with the moon to the right on the Isle of Wight
According to popular atheist writers, religion is a Very Bad Thing. It causes divisions, cruelty, and wars. Richard Dawkins writes in his best-seller, The God Delusion: 'Imagine, with John Lennon, a world with no religion. Imagine no suicide bombers, no 9/11, no 7/7, no Crusades'.
Note how the Crusades are lumped with terrorist slaughter.
Later Dawkins writes: 'In this book, I have deliberately refrained from detailing the horrors of the Crusades'. Christopher Hitchens in his God is not Great links 'the jihadist assault' with 'the blood-stained spectre of the Crusaders.'
My guess is that these authors reflect popular opinion.
Were the Crusades that bad? First we need to clarify which military operations were Crusades. Today the word 'crusade' is often used to refer to any program undertaken vigorously. Originally it referred to military operations undertaken by Catholic Christians at the command of a pope or with his approval. Men who were signed with the cross (Latin crux), thecrucesignatos, were called 'crusaders'.
There were many Crusades - against pagan tribes in Northern Europe, against Jews, Mongols, and heretical Christians, to speak of a few. It is quite difficult to define a Crusade because these wars had varied objectives, occurred in different centuries, and under widely varied circumstances.
However, the most famous are those undertaken to conquer the Holy Land (Palestine) in the period 1095 to 1244, so I shall restrict consideration to these.
The dirty little secret of debt collecting is that most of them are not working directly for the original company you ran up the debt with. They're an outside third party and they bought your debt for pennies on the dollar. The debt collector's goal is to get the most money out of you for the least amount of effort. This means all you have to do to make this calculus work to your advantage is settle with the debt collector for around the same price he paid to buy your debt. So start low.
Make an offer like 30% of what you owe. Or somewhere between 10 to 25 cents on the dollar. If you owe $1,000, offer to pay $250. If you owe $5,000, see if they will take $500. At this point it's all in the art of the deal and how good a haggler you are.
A few things to remember. First, you'll want to make sure that you really do owe the money and these guys really have the right to collect it. Second, a settled debt will still show up on your credit report as a negative item, whether it's reported as being settled or as being charged off.
But after you get over those humps, play let's make a deal and see how low you can get them to go. LINK
Ancient rock art in Tadrart Acacus in Libya. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
New imaging techniques have revealed extensive ancient human settlements in two very different remote environments.
Sahara civilization: By scanning satellite images, David Mattingly from the University of Leicester found that habitation of the Sahara from 1000 BC to 700 AD was much more widespread than realized. Lizzie Wade at Science Magazine reports on a presentation given to the AAAS. In “Drones and satellites spot lost civilizations in unlikely places,” she says that Mattingly–
…studies a culture known as the Garamantes, which began building a network of cities, forts, and farmland around oases in the Sahara of southern Libya around 1000 B.C.E.…
Many Garamantian structures are still standing in some form or another today, but very few have been visited by archaeologists. It’s hard to do fieldwork in the hot, dry, remote Sahara, Mattingly explains. “And that relative absence of feet on the ground leads to an absence of evidence” about the Garamantes and other cultures that may have thrived before the Islamic conquest of the region. But because many Garamantin sites haven’t been buried or otherwise destroyed, they show up in stunning detail in satellite photos. By analyzing such images, “in an area of about 2500 square kilometers, we’ve located 158 major settlements, 184 cemeteries, 30 square kilometers of fields, plus a variety of irrigation systems,” Mattingly says.
That phrase “the Islamic conquest of the region” sounds hauntingly familiar, as ISIS makes inroads into modern Libya.
Amazon civilization: Just as startling was the presentation by José Iriarte, an archaeologist at the University of Exeter. He is using drones outfitted with radar and infrared cameras to peel away the story of ancient Amazonian dwellings. His findings are changing the paradigm about rain forest inhabitants:
Kyle Busch will miss Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 after breaking his leg during a support event accident. Kyle's Toyota slammed into an inside retaining wall at high speed late in Saturday's race and he was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The 29-year-old is the younger brother of 2004 champion Kurt, who has lost his final appeal against his indefinite suspension after a judge said the former champion almost surely choked and beat his former girlfriend - who has previously referred to as an assassin.
It means both drivers will miss the 57th edition of 'The Great American Race'.
Ruled out: Kyle Busch's Toyota slammed into an inside retaining wall at high speed on the Daytona track late in Saturday's pre-event race and he was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment
He sustained a right lower leg compound fracture and left mid-foot fracture in the crash with eight laps remaining. His team Joe Gibbs Racing said he was undergoing surgery on his right leg.
On Saturday, Kurt lost his last-ditch appeal, ending his already-slim hopes of racing in the season-opener. On Friday Family Court Commissioner David Jones concluded that Busch lilkeyabused Patricia Driscoll by 'manually strangling' her and smashing her head into a wall inside his motorhome at Dover International Speedway last September. He however has claimed she is an 'assassin' and a bad-ass, and once came home covered in blood.
'Kurt Busch and his Stewart-Haas Racing team are fully aware of our position and why this decision was made,' NASCAR said in a statement.
Busch attorney Rusty Hardin said the driver will appeal, and NASCAR said it will be expedited. Still, SHR said Regan Smith will drive Busch's car in the Daytona 500 regardless of the appeal outcome.
'We assure everyone, including NASCAR, that this action against Mr. Busch will turn out to be a travesty of justice, apparent to all, as this story continues to unfold,' Hardin said in a statement.
Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus, more popularly known as Constantine I, or Constantine the Great, was the King of the Roman Empire (seeAncient Empires - Rome) from 306 to 337. As a king (see The Politics Of Rome), Constantine was obviously political - but his legacy is, by far in place and time, religious. Constantine was the primary creator of the Roman Catholic and Protestant "churches" of today - and their antichrist doctrines (see Is Your Religion Your Religion?, Antichristians and Friends Of Jesus).
Constantine's religion was that of Babylonian and Roman paganism - much of which was based on idolatrous sun worship. The gold medallion in the illustration shows Constantine with the mythical Sol Invictus, or "invincible sun god" of the Romans. In March 321, Constantine decreed everyone to observe "the venerable day of the sun," or Sun Day, as the official day of rest and ceasing of business activity for the Roman Empire - the basis of Roman Catholic and Protestant Sunday worship to this day (see the Fact Finder question below).
In 325, Constantine presided over the First Council of Nicaea that established all of the fundamental doctrines of the Church of Rome today - and of the "Protestant" churches that centuries later rejected the Church of Rome's leadership, but kept all of the Church of Rome's core doctrines (e.g. Constantine's "Nicene Creed," named after Constantine's Council of Nicaea, is accepted as much by Protestants as Roman Catholics). There was no "pope" in Constantine's time - the Emperor was the head of the "church" that he created (the Emperor Constantine, not any mere city bishop, claimed the title of Pontifex Maximus, which means the highest priest); Constantine's local bishop, in Rome, was only one of nearly 2,000 such bishops throughout the Roman Empire. It was only after Constantine empowered his local bishop, to be a mere spokesman for the Emperor, that the "Papacy" was born. When the political empire of Rome fell, the Papacy continued on, merely by means of the power that it had been given by Constantine - a reality that has been lost to most people ever since (listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).
Why did a sun-worshiping Roman Emperor want to create a "Christian" church for himself? On October 27/28 312, Constantine won the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (a bridge over the Tiber River in Rome) in which Constantine claimed to have seen a Latin "cross" in the sky, along with a message of "in this sign conquer." The reality problem with the claim (assuming that Constantine saw anything at all) is that Jesus Christ was not crucified on a Latin cross - the Messiah was crucified on a "T" (like an uppercase T) shaped cross (see Crossing The T). The alleged incident nevertheless was accepted and formed the supposed justification for the later wars known as the "Crusades" - "crusade" is from a Latin word meaning a Latin cross - a Roman cross that Christ was not crucified on.
Former Republican presidential candidate and congressman Ron Paul says secession is happening and it’s “good news.” Paul later predicted the states would stop listening to federal laws.
“I would like to start off by talking about the subject and the subject is secession and, uh, nullification, the breaking up of government, and the good news is it’s gonna happen. It’s happening,” Paul, the father of potential Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul, told a gathering at the libertarian Mises Institute in late January. The event Paul was speaking at was titled “Breaking Away: The Case for Secession.”
Paul said secession would not be legislated by Congress, but would be de facto, predicting “when conditions break down…there’s gonna be an alternative.” MORE
The Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization act–or RICO–is a federal law most famously used to prosecute members of the Mafia and other organized crime groups. But a judge in the Southern District of New York recently allowed a consumer-class action lawsuit, based in part on RICO claims, to proceed against a debt collection law firm, its debt buyer client, and a process serving company.
According to this Daily Finance story, the lawsuit alleges that the defendants’ business model is as follows: (1) buy debt with little documentation that the debt is accurate; (2) file lawsuits claiming personal knowledge of the debt but using robo-signed affidavits instead; (3) deliberately fail to tell the “debtor” that the lawsuit is pending (a practice called “sewer service”); (4) get a “default” judgment against the debtor when she fails to show up in court to defend herself; and (5) enforce the judgment, including by freezing the debtor’s bank account. Read the rest of the story HERE
Rush Limbaugh booking photo from his arrest in 2006. These charges were eventually dropped by the local prosecutor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
On his Tuesday program, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh slammed State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf for her comments on the ongoing battle against ISIS in the Middle East.
Reacting to her comment that “we cannot kill our way” out of the current war against ISIS, Limbaugh went off, calling her remarks “outrageous” and “embarrassing.” The radio host adding that her comment made him feel like he was “still watching the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary show.”
In a Monday night interview, Harf told MSNBC host Chris Matthews that longer term problems are the bigger issues at hand with ISIS, telling him they need “to go after the root causes.”
“We’re killing a lot of them and we’re going to keep killing more of them, so are the Egyptians, so are the Jordanians they’re in this fight with us,” Harf told Matthews. “But we cannot win this war by killing them, we cannot kill our way out of this war. We need, in the longer term, medium and longer term, to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs.”
Limbaugh just wasn’t having any of that Tuesday. MORE
Map showing the Kingdoms of Israel (The USA and Britian Today in blue) and Judah (MODERN JEWS in orange). The map shows the region in the 9th century BC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
No nation outside of ancient Israel has experienced more cases of divine intervention than Great Britain. Just try to find one. And not just “little” everyday miracles either—although there have been plenty of those too—but history-altering events. Events that have no explanation but that of divine intervention. Miracles without which the nation would have ceased to exist.
Britain is turning its back on those miracles. Its people have forgotten, and its politicians are signing away the sovereignty of a nation that is only independent and free today because of those many miracles. MORE>>>>>>>>>>>
Veteran journalist Bob Simon, 73, was killed in a car crash on Wednesday evening in Manhattan
60 Minutes' veteran reporter Bob Simon was killed in a car crash in New York City on Wednesday evening.
Simon, 73, was travelling in the back seat of a Lincoln town car that rear-ended a Mercedes-Benz stopped at a red light on 12th Avenue near West 30th Street around 6.45pm, and then slammed into the metal barriers separating the lanes.
The CBS reporter was unconscious with head and torso injuries when he was rushed to Mount Sinai-Roosevelt Hospital in the city. He was later pronounced dead.
From the catastrophic damage to the livery cab at the scene, investigators were planning to interview the driver because they believe speed may have been a factor in the crash.
The NYPD refused to comment further to Daily Mail Online on Thursday, citing an ongoing investigation.
No arrests have been made.
Police on the scene cut off the roof off the Lincoln to free Simon and the driver.
The driver of the Lincoln, a 44-year-old man, suffered two broken legs and a broken arm and was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was in stable condition.
The 23-year-old driver of the Mercedes, who was not injured, claimed the accident was the fault of the livery cab driver.
GROSSETO, Italy – The captain of the shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship was convicted Wednesday of multiple charges of manslaughter and sentenced to 16 years in jail, Italian court officials said.
Francesco Schettino was convicted of manslaughter in the deaths of 32 passengers and crew in the Jan. 13, 2012 capsizing as well as of causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship while many of the 4,200 passengers and crew were still on the ship.
The verdict and sentencing brought an end to a trial that has been running since July 2013. Prosecutors had insisted Schettino was a "reckless idiot" and asked the court to sentence him to 26 years and three months in prison. MORE
The whereabouts of the Ark remain shrouded in mystery. Image Credit: PD - BRBurton
Filmmaker and researcher Harry Moskoff believes he is close to locating the fabled Ark of the Covenant.
The golden chest believed to have held the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed, the Ark remains one of the most sought-after and mystifying religious artifacts in history.
For years researchers have attempted to determine where it might be or if it even still exists at all. It's last known location was King Solomon's Temple but when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem the temple was destroyed and the Ark disappeared along with it.
Enter Harry Moskoff, a researcher who has spent over 25 years attempting to solve the mystery. Sometimes referred to as a "Jewish Indiana Jones," Moskoff believes that the Ark, which was thought to have been placed within a room of the temple referred to as the Holy of Holies, may still be there inside a hidden chamber that was built underneath by King Solomon specifically for this purpose.
No direct archaeological evidence of the temple has ever been found and its currently accepted location, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, has been hotly debated for centuries.
"Is the Dome of the Rock the real place of the Temple? Some Jewish sages argue that God would never put any building on top of the Holy of Holies," said Moskoff. "The Dome of the Rock is not on the Foundation Stone, but rather the highest point on Mount Moriah."
Moskoff's quest to locate the Ark is the subject of his book - The A.R.K Report.
"I’ve spoken with other archaeologists and researchers. None of them have the scriptural sources or references where the holiest and most valuable item ever in history is located," he said.
Until the remains of King Solomon's Temple have been conclusively discovered however we may never know for sure whether the Ark of the Covenant is actually located there.
A title card still from the April 4, 1968 edition of the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, the evening of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Long before Brian Williams, America had another newscaster who everyone trusted, in spite of the fact the man was as much a liar and snake-in-the grass as Brian Williams! This is the story of America's Communist news anchor: Walter!
It is wrong to speak ill of the dead. On the other hand, it is an insult to the intelligence of the American people to pretend that Walter Cronkite was the “voice of God” and “universally credible,” as Mara Liasson put it on Fox News Sunday. The terrible truth is that Walter Cronkite symbolized liberal media bias and used that bias with disastrous consequences for our nation and the world. His latest cause was world government and the destruction of American sovereignty.
We found out after his retirement that he was not only a liberal, which was evident from his broadcasts, but a one-worlder. In appearances before the World Federalist Association, which favors world government financed by global taxes, he called for the U.S. to renounce “some of its sovereignty” and pass a series of United Nations treaties-many of which are now being pushed in the Senate by President Barack Obama. Cronkite called for an “international Liberty Bell.”
He called for Senate ratification of the Treaty to Ban Land Mines, the Law of the Sea Treaty, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Most important, he said, we should sign and ratify the Treaty for a Permanent International Criminal Court, which would violate U.S. constitutional rights by enabling foreign judges to prosecute American citizens and imprison them in foreign jails. Cronkite was determined to use the U.N. and its treaties to inhibit the ability of the U.S. to act in its own national security interests.