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Prototypes of Trump's border wall released

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 7:52 PM

Prototypes of Wall Border Released

Congress is still calculating just how the Trump administration’s proposed Mexican-American border wall will be funded, but until then, we can now see what it might look like.

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Eight life size models are under construction on the outskirts of San Diego. Four of the prototypes are solid concrete and the other half are a combination of concrete and steel. One model is even topped with spikes. Roy Villareal, chief of the San Diego Border Patrol sector, shared the criteria on which the models are being measured on with NPR.

“We want a better barrier. One that is hard to scale, hard to penetrate and hard to tunnel under,” Villareal said.

“We’re hoping innovation from private industry combined with our experience generates the next evolution of border security infrastructure,” he continued.

Guidelines suggested the prototypes stand between 18 to 30 feet high, be capable of withstanding at least an hour of damage from construction tools, and be “aesthetically pleasing” from the U.S. side.

Each of the prototypes reportedly cost $500,000 and the six companies hired to produce them have until Oct. 26 to finalize construction.

President Trump is currently seeking $1.6B from Congress for 74 miles of new border wall to be located in southern Texas.

On Tuesday, he shared his excitement for the project, tweeting out, “BORDER WALL prototypes underway!”

Even with the available footage, Roy Villareal maintains that the prototypes may not be what the wall will ultimately look like.

“Part of the intent of the prototypes is to influence the ultimate design of new border fencing,” he said. “[The final design] may well not be what you witnessed.”

Until then, the Trump administration is currently keeping mum as to how the winners will be decided.

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July 4, 2018: Some quotes on what freedom means

Published: Saturday, July 01, 2017 @ 11:01 AM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:23 AM

The History of July 4th

America will celebrate Independence Day in a couple of weeks, and in honor of July 4th, here’s what some patriots, politicians and just plain people have to say about freedom.

“The winds that blow through the wide sky in these mounts, the winds that sweep from Canada to Mexico, from the Pacific to the Atlantic - have always blown on free men.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

“We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls.” – Robert J. McCracken

"The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor, and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly." – John F. Kennedy

"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom." – Malcolm X

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” – George Bernard Shaw

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” – Erma Bombeck

“My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!” – Thomas Jefferson

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” – Abraham Lincoln

"The essence of America—that which really unites us—is not ethnicity, or nationality, or religion. It is an idea—and what an idea it is: that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn't matter where you came from, but where you are going." – Condoleezza Rice

“Freedom is never free.” – Author Unknown

“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” – William J. Clinton

"Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country." – Calvin Coolidge

“My country, 'tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing, Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrims' pride, From every mountainside, Let freedom ring!” – Samuel Francis Smith

“Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.” – Ronald Reagan

"So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring." – Martin Luther King Jr.

"Courage, then, my countrymen, our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty." – Samuel Adams

 

 

 

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Toys R Us announces day stores will close for good

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 8:36 AM

Toys R Us To Close All U.S. Stores

Toys R Us will be no more after next week.

The toy retailer, which started liquidating in March, has said that all Toys R Us and Babies R Us locations will close on or before next Friday, June 29 via posts on the company’s social media pages.

 

The locations that are still open are currently offering what’s left for up to 70 percent off. Many stores are also selling the fixtures, NJ.com reported.

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There had been hope that some of the 735 stores in the U.S. could remain open after Isaac Larian, MGA Entertainment CEO and the creator of Bratz dolls, offered $675 million to buy some of the U.S. locations, in addition to $215 million for some Canadian stores, but Toys R Us said no, claiming the offer “was well below the liquidation value of the assets he was seeking,” NJ.com reported.

It’s not just North American shoppers who are losing the toy store. It was announced this week that the Toys R Us Australian locations will close. There were 44 stores that some had hoped were going to survive, but now are expected to close over the next few weeks, ABC in Australia reported.

People walk by a Toys R Us store in Brooklyn on June 8, 2018 in New York City. All 735 Toys R Us stores in America are set to close by the end of June leaving 33,000 workers without a job or severance pay. Many of the employees losing their jobs have worked for the company for decades. Toys R Us has been owned by the private-equity giant Bain Capital. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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July 4th: The Declaration of Independence is what we celebrate

Published: Monday, July 04, 2016 @ 7:21 AM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:20 AM

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 04: Fireworks explode over the National Mall to mark the United States' Independence Day July 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. The pyrotechnic display celebrated the 239th anniversary of the United States' declaration of independence from England. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 04: Fireworks explode over the National Mall to mark the United States' Independence Day July 4, 2015 in Washington, DC. The pyrotechnic display celebrated the 239th anniversary of the United States' declaration of independence from England. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)(Chip Somodevilla)

History tells us that it was a hot, steamy day in Philadelphia, on July 4, 1776.

The Continental Congress, sweating from the humidity, and surely uncomfortable at the fact they were committing treason, had two days earlier voted to approve a motion from the colony of Virginia to separate from the mother country England – a sort of Colexit (Colony exit), as it were.

It had been the work of the Congress to decide the future of the colonies -- stay with England, or strike out on their own. In the previous month, the Congress had formed a committee to create a document that would list grievances against King George III, in advance of the likely separation. 

That committee included one of the representatives from Virginia – Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson, who was 33 at the time, took 17 days to craft the document – a document that served as a blueprint for the new nation.

The colonies that would become the United States of America had been at war with King George’s England for more than 440 days when the Declaration was formally adopted on July 4 by 12 of the 13 colonies – New York would approve it on July 19.

Most of us think of it as being signed on July 4, but it wasn’t. It was adopted on that day. It was signed on Aug. 2, 1776.

Here are some facts about the Declaration

  • Two of the Declaration's signers died 50 years to the day (July 4, 1826) after the document was adopted. Both were presidents --Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. They died within hours of each other. It is reported that John Adam's last words were, "Jefferson lives."
  • The first public reading of the Declaration took place on July 8, 1776, in Philadelphia.
  • The printer, John Dunlap, was asked to make about 200 copies. It's believed only 26 Dunlap copies still exist. 
  • Not one of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence was born in America. All but eight of the signers were born in one of the 13 colonies.
  • The youngest to sign wereThomas Lynch, Jr. and Edward Rutledge. Both were only 26.
  • The oldest to sign was Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was 70.
  • The original sheet of parchment that was signed is 24¼ by 29¾ inches.
  • The Declaration is housed in the National Archives in Washington D.C. in a special vault. That copy is not the draft that was approved by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. Instead, it is a formal copy that the Continental Congress had commissioned.

Most quoted part

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

The Declaration

Below is a copy of the document that defined the greatest revolution in modern history.

The Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: 

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. 

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

 

 

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2018 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest: Contestants, how to vote and past winners

Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 10:22 AM

The 2018 World's Ugliest Dog Contest is happening Saturday, June 21st at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.
Dale Godfrey
The 2018 World's Ugliest Dog Contest is happening Saturday, June 21st at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.(Dale Godfrey)

The World’s Ugliest Dog Competition is getting underway at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California, and this year, fans around the world can vote for their favorite to win the People’s Choice Award.

>>PHOTOS: 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog contestants 

The World’s Ugliest Dog Competition takes place Saturday, June 23, after each contestant struts their stuff down the red carpet.

 

The California fair tradition dates back 30 years. Most of the World’s Ugliest Dog contestants are up for adoption and the event helps raise awareness of pet rescue and adoption.

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Past winners have been rescued from animal shelters and puppy mills.

Last year’s winner was Martha, a Neapolitan Mastiff who was being fostered by the Dogwood Animal Rescue Group.

Martha, a Neapolitan Mastiff, was crowned 2017's World's Ugliest Dog.(World’s Ugliest Dog Competition)

Martha has since been adopted.

The first place winner of the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog Competition wins $1,500 and the grand trophy. The second place winner will receive $1,000 and third place will be granted $500. 

One dog will also be awarded the Spirit Award, which highlights one special dog and owner who have overcome obstacles or provided service in the community -- such as visiting nursing homes, reading at local libraries with children or spending time with patients in hospitals.

Cast your vote for People’s Choice Award in the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog competition here

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