I joined the military back in 1990. I scored a 99 on my ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery exam), which meant I had my pick of any job I wanted except for one hiccup, I was a LAPR (this is going to be filled with anagrams, no, that’s not right, acronyms, Lawful Alien Permanent Resident). After telling me that I was assigned as an AFSC 5R0X1 (AFSC refers to the Air Force Specialty Code, in the Army it’s called an MOS) I said, what’s an 5R0X1 to which they said “congratulations, you’re a Chaplain’s Assistant”. I immediately worked out in my head that this would definitely be a damper on my social life, especially having to work on Sunday mornings, so I requested a change in specialty. They send me to the AFSC office and they immediately looked at my scores and said, you scored really well, what do you want to be… I said “I want to be a Fire Protection Specialist”. They said because I was a LAPR, look above, that I didn’t qualify. They told me that I could be a file clerk with the medical group or a cop, Security Forces. My first year at my permanent duty station, I was tasked with protecting and standing guard over Air Force One while the President was visiting Ohio. They told me that, because I wasn’t a citizen, I couldn’t put out fires but I could protect the most important Air Plane in this country. Maybe they figured I had experience on how people breach barriers and/or borders.
This is not a criticism of the Air Force, they have the best specialty training of all the armed forces. This is just how funny bureaucracy can be. The reason I wanted to be a Fire Specialist isn’t all that admirable, I heard that they had the most time off and got to work out a lot. I would have gotten to go and finish my college degree and gotten paid to stay fit. What can I say, I was young and the product of inner city schools. Didn’t really have any direction at the time.
I understand how that statement above reads and you’re going to get a lot of people with opinions. LAPR’s, please refer to above mentioned explanation, probably been quicker just to write it again, are mostly people too, I heard some are part donkey, but you are going to have people think that I shouldn’t have been able to guard the President’s plane, even though I was guarding numerous F-15’s, guarding entry to the base and trained to protect the airbase from attack. LAPR’s go do multiple tour’s of duty and die in combat. My point was LAPR’s should be allowed to stamp out fires or guard the base but I understand not sharing classified information, but those AFSC’s don’t require a TS clearance, even though, if you check, the biggest espionage cases have all been by natural born citizens and not by naturalized citizens.
I’m a NY Mets fan, which makes sense because I love to almost win before fading into oblivion. This time around, I find the team I root for in a very strange position, where the owner of the team isn’t being fleeced by a pyramid scheme and actually spending money on the team instead a bunch of lawyers (or maybe both) but Cohen has the money to do that, my advice, stay away from anyone named Madoff. The Mets, with a win now mentality, are making moves that has the whole MLB talking, mostly them saying rich m@ther effer, which is fine by me because I used to say it about the Yankees and then I would root for them anyway when the Mets were sent home. The Met’s problems today aren’t real problems, they’re more like what should I drive to the park, the Ferrari or the Lamborghini. Those are the problems to have. A lot of other teams complain because they’re giving out Metro cards for the players to get to the park and I get it but money doesn’t guarantee you a victory. The Astros, 9th biggest payroll last year, won it all, before that it was the Atlanta Braves, 12th biggest payroll that year at 147 million, and before that it was the, we don’t have talk about 2020. The point being is that money helps but the intangibles are important, like… hmmm, the intangible stuff, if I knew I would be working for them instead of blogging to nine people.
The predicament the Mets find themselves in is they have too many players and they have to release some and lets be honest, no one wants to leave the NY market. Where else can you get a NY pizza or a New York hot dog while dodging pigeon shit, no where. NY is an electric place with very rabid fans that will ride or die for their teams, there may be no bigger fan base in all of sports. Now they face this dilemma of who to keep and who to give away. For me, and every know nothing like me, its pretty simple, give away the guys that are less better…. not as good?…. maybe, the ones more worse… They’re all good but when looking at the roster, Verlander has to go… just kidding… hahaha, no… in my unprofessional and most likely completely wrong opinion, Baty and Escobar should be your DH hitters, while rotating into the field. Baty into left field and third base to give the starters time off and Escobar at first, third and shortstop when needed. The guys that are at DH now are good but they wouldn’t be able to play the positions these two guys would. Batty (I spelled that wrong didn’t I) is going to eventually be a perennial All Star and Escobar is a good player that drives in runs especially in clutch situations. Escobar doesn’t get frazzled by big league moments, he seems to thrive in them. Eventually, Baty is going to be a full time position player with other players backing him up. The Mets probably know this already but what kind of fan would I be if I didn’t criticize and give them all the wrong answers before I buy all their merch.
W.Va. journalist let go after reporting on abuse allegations
Story by By LEAH WILLINGHAM, Associated Press • 5h ago
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia journalist lost her job last month after she reported about alleged abuse of people with disabilities within the state agency that runs West Virginia’s foster care and psychiatric facilities.
Amelia Ferrell Knisely, a reporter at West Virginia Public Broadcasting, said she was told to stop reporting on the Department of Health and Human Resources after leaders of the embattled agency “threatened to discredit” the publicly funded television and radio network. She later learned her part-time position was being eliminated.
In a statement, Knisely said her news director told her the order came from WVPB Executive Director Butch Antolini, former communications director for Republican Gov. Jim Justice. Antolini has served as executive director since 2021, when his predecessor was ousted after Justice overhauled the agency’s governing board.
Antolini declined to comment, but other officials denied any effort to influence coverage. West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority chairman William H. File III said Antolini told the board “he was not coerced or pressured by anyone.”
File said in a statement that Knisely was never fired and remains on the WVPB payroll, though she said her door key and email were deactivated.
Knisely’s departure comes during a tumultuous time for West Virginia media. Days before she left WVPB, three reporters for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Charleston Gazette-Mail said they were fired after publicly criticizing an editorial decision by their company president Doug Skaff, who is minority leader in the state House of Delegates. Skaff approved and led a video interview with Don Blankenship, a coal company executive convicted of safety violations connected to one of the worst coal mining disasters in recent U.S. history.
The departures leave a diminished capitol press corps to cover the upcoming legislative session, which begins Jan. 11.
Knisely’s stories detailed alleged mistreatment of people with disabilities under state care. The department cares for some of the most vulnerable residents in one of the poorest U.S. states.
After Knisely’s departure from WVPB was first reported by The Parkersburg News and Sentinel last week, both Republican Senate President Craig Blair and Democratic Party Chair Mike Pushkin called the circumstances around her departure “disturbing.”
Pushkin said Knisely’s coverage of “the glaring issues at DHHR” was “detailed, in depth, and most importantly true.”
“There’s a very clear difference between not liking what the media reports and actively working to silence them,” Blair wrote on Twitter Dec. 29.
Knisely was hired as a part-time reporter at WVPB in September. In November, she was copied on an email from then-DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch alleging inaccuracies in a story and asking for a “complete retraction.”
That never happened, but in early December, Knisely said she was told by WVPB news director Eric Douglas that she could no longer cover DHHR because of threats by state officials to discredit WVPB.
A week later, amid mounting criticism, Crouch announced he was resigning.
Douglas confirmed to The Associated Press that he was instructed to tell Knisely she would no longer be reporting on DHHR, and that Antolini directed him to do so.
As for threats from DHHR officials about discrediting WVPB, he said: “I’d rather not comment on that.”
On Dec. 15, Knisely filed a human resources complaint about interference with her reporting.
Things came to a head later that same day over Knisely’s press credentials for the 2023 legislative session, according to emails obtained by the AP and first reported by The Parkersburg News and Sentinel.
Douglas initially informed legislative staffers that Knisely would “serve a vital role” in WVPB’s 2023 legislative coverage. But then the station’s chief operating officer left him off an email saying she wouldn’t need credentials after all.
That troubled Senate spokesperson Jacque Bland, who emailed Douglas to ask about it.
“It feels kind of gross and shady to me that someone else would dip in and say that one of your reporters won’t have any assignments related to the session,” she wrote.
She added: “I definitely wanted you to be aware that Butch and Pals were trying to stick their fingers in the pie.”
Responding the next day, Douglas said he had been pulled into Antolini’s office and told “things had changed with Amelia.” He said he didn’t appreciate WVPB leadership going behind his back, “but for now it is out of my hands.”
“And you’re right, it does feel gross and shady,” he wrote.
Knisely said she was informed Dec. 20 that part-time positions were being eliminated. Her email and key card were deactivated around that time.
This week, Knisely announced on Twitter she was hired by the Beckley-based newspaper The Register-Herald to report on West Virginia’s upcoming legislative session. Her coverage will include developments with the state Department of Health and Human Resources, she said.
I have been reading about how experts warn that some of these EV automakers are destined to fail, for one reason or another. Bad timing into the market, inflation, cash flow, competition and so on. I was thinking, which creates this painful sensation above my neck, why don’t these companies do what all these other companies did, merge into a group. Lucid, Fisker and Rivian could become the first EV automotive group since the merger of Disney and Marvel, and look how that worked out. It worked out good, right? (stock price tanked from above $190 to about $90) I mean, they’re not an automotive group, but they are a merger. Now, I understand that there are financial backers of these companies and it might be more difficult than just signing a piece of paper that would save their companies from annihilation, I also understand that there’s also ego. Who is going to lead this group and what would you name it? If Rivian had a name that began with an E, they could have called it the ELF group, that would have been awesome, especially during Christmas, imagine the advertising that would go during that time. Let an ELF deliver your gift, pretty damn good. (I’m not in advertising) Their products, individually are pretty impressive, collectively a major force, but do you think they will do it, nope (good movie). Anyway, I’m pretty sure all that money I put into their stock, that I invested into these companies will be lost and instead of these companies merging into the biggest EV automakers in the world, they’re going to just die off, because not one wants to relinquish a bit of control. That’s why I won’t buy their cars. I don’t think they’ll be around long enough to fix any problems that may pop up. It’s funny. They’re not going to be able survive or compete against the big automakers unless they can consolidate their resources, there is no way. They’re going to be undersold with an equivalent product by these other guys or they’re going to start feeling the pain of warranty fixes and eventually go under. But they won’t find a solution that seems attainable. Maybe I’m wrong, I’m not very smart (a Daimler product). Maybe it’s not even possible in the first place, who knows. Or maybe Tesla will blow them up in all out EV war, that would be fun to watch on the Bravo channel. I hope I’m wrong, I hope those experts are wrong. I hope they succeed.
When I was a kid, while driving with my mom and dad, to go visit relatives or friends, I would imagine that I was controlling a remote control car behind us to pass the time. I would imagine that the the deflectors on the highway had microchips and that they would help guide my RC car from other traffic. I would imagine it taking turns and passing other cars and making it go at high speeds. Those microchips in the highway, that were powered by solar panels that were attached to the median, or maybe the medians were made of solar panels on the top, with wires that led to a battery pack underneath the concrete highway would make that technology self sufficient. It’s funny because we now have those autonomous cars with brain chips that could read microchips that if they were on the highway, could probably prevent accidents and guide those autonomous cars safely. I think it would be a great idea, if feasible, to probably do something like that. You could probably even team up with some high tech companies that are willing to come up with the tech to offset the costs and they would in turn lease there tech to the big car companies for a certain amount of time until the tech became public domain. This would save the government, more to the point, the tax payers money and boost the economy. I guess I’m saying that it’s time for infrastructure to catch up with the modern world.