December 17, 2017

Houston Astros sign Scott Moore to minor league deal

The Houston Astros have announced today that they've signed infielder Scott Moore to a minor league deal.  The 27-year-old hit .295/.380/.444 with nine home runs in 425 Triple-A plate appearances this year, playing mostly first base, as well as second base, and third base for the Iowa Cubs.  

Sparky Anderson Dies at 76

sparky-anderson-diesTHOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Hall of Fame baseball manager Sparky Anderson has died. He was 76.

Family spokesman Dan Ewald says Anderson died from complications from dementia.

Anderson guided the Cincinnati Reds to World Series championships in 1975 and 1976 and then led the Detroit Tigers to the 1984 title.

Americans More Inclined to Find Affordable Life Insurance

affordable-life-insuranceAs today's economy tends to drag on the typical American family's budget, there has been a trend emerging where people are getting away from expensive life insurance policies.  These policies include whole life policies, which promise to deliever cash returns similar to other investments, but actually end up costing more in the long run.  For affordable insurance, more persons are turning towards term life insurance policies that deliver on both low premiums and peace of mind.  There are many companies and websites that offer term policies.  This create a competitive environment where the consumer wins.  Make sure you do your homework before signing up for one of these policies.  Look for these factors… Is the company reputable?  Do they offer policues from a variety of different sources?  Do they have clauses that end up increasing the premiums?  Taking the time to do the proper research will save lots of headaches and heartaches.

Tony Romo Suffers Clavicle Fracture – Jon Kitna to start

tony-romo-clavicle-fractureTony Romo, quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, who was injured during a Monday Night Football game, is reportedly suffering from a broken clavicle (collarbone).  The Cowboys’ QB will most likely miss the rest of the season. Romo suffered the injury after being hammered into the ground in the first half by Giants linebacker Michael Boley. He was replaced by backup Jon Kitna.

The injury is a devastating one for the Dallas Cowboys. Already struggling this season, Dallas will now have to attempt to turn its season around without Romo, their star quarterback. Typically, a broken clavicle will keep a QB sidelined for at least four weeks which might make it season ending.  This means the Cowboys are will use Kitna for the foreseeable future.

ASP.NET Web Hosting Provides the Right Solution

asp-net-hostingASP.NET is Microsoft's high-end web platform that is gaining more and more users. It is extermely useful for complex sites that call for a more comprehensive package that provides database support and application development platforms. These facilities allow the clients to write or install scripts for applications like forums and content management. There are a variety of hosting options for applying the use of the platform.

For more information, visit Microsofts's ASP.NET site at

Political Analyst Juan Williams fired from NPR

Political analyst Juan Williams has been fired from National Public Radio for the remarks he made regarding Muslims. Juan Williams made controversial comments about Muslims on the Bill O'Reilly Fox Show.

Williams is quoted as saying on the show "I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous",.

While referring to suspected Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad, Juan Williams said, "He said the war with Muslims, America's war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don't think there's any way to get away from these facts."

Williams has not commented on his impending dismissal.

Aussie Dollar Hits New High

Australian DollarFor the first time since the global financial crisis began the Australian dollar has reached a 2 year high on Wednesday jumping over US95.8c. A wave of commentary has been sparked from economists and entrepreneurs alike. Mining giant Andrew Forrest is telling Fairfax he expects the dollar to hit parity the US dollar shortly.

Earlier in May this year the value of the dollar was at it's low of 81.58c and has now made a substantial increase. There has been a continued weakness in the US where the Federal Reserve is continuing to prop up the American economy. Part of the recent boost has been driven by an indication from the Federal Reserve that interest rates will continue to rise.

Retailer David Jones has meanwhile recorded a full year net profit after tax of $170.8 million representing a 9% increase for the 12 months to 31 July. Full year sales grew by 3.4% to $2.05 billion.

The company's 2011 forecast was for a net profit increase of between 5-10%. Paul Zahra, chief executive, said the company's result was the highest profit and dividend since 2005.

"FY09-FY12 Strategic Plan is ahead of our stated targets " Zahra was pleased to comment. For two years since FY08 profit after tax had a compound annual growth rate of 12% per annum compared to their normal target rate of 5-10%.

"We are well positioned to fully leverage the next upturn in the economic cycle."

Opinion: Mandela’s Kitchen

Nelson MandelaA long way from when the famous Nelson Mandela walked out of jail to lead his people to democracy, South Africa today faces a new challenge in the form of anti-press legislation. One bill named the Protection of Information Bill gives the government power to classify information in the national interest, and a media appeals tribunal to regulate both printed and electronic press and is reminiscent of the censorship used by apartheid regime in the 70's.

This was not Mr. Mandela's vision of a South Africa synonymous with freedom and openness on all levels.

To remember a story about a reporter for the South Africa's Sunday Times, who went to Mandela's presidential residence late on afternoon for an interview only to find all doors and windows open and without being stopped, wandering into the kitchen. There he found Mr. Mandela preparing himself a cup of tea and a sandwich. Pleased to find company, the president invited the journalist to share a meal. The mood in the country at the time was this new sense of openness, self-reflection and honesty.

Leaders since Mr. Mandela, such as Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, have been resistant to criticism and truth-telling and whose government, The African National Congress has proposed the new censorship measures. The press has become inhabited by lies, distortions, pretenses, subterfuges and inadequacies of all kinds.

Censorship has involved much more than removal of books from the shelves (mine being the first book in Afrikaans to be banned under apartheid). Once a book is prohibited, it then entered the Government Gazette and the notorious Jacobesen's Index- a record of banned literature of more than 20,000 titles. Once in the index, a book draws the attention to the brutal Security Police for endangering the "security of the state".

Attention from the Special Branch means the author could be interrogated, have his books, manuscripts and typewriters confiscated, (and if black) risk immediate arrest, detainment and disappearance.

Once, I was removed from a plane bound to London for the book's publication, and was ordered to open my suitcase for inspection. A government that owes it's existence to the invisible freedom of it's people can betray that faith through such arrogance.

Andre Brink author of "A Dry White Season" and "A Fork in the Road"

Lessons from Pakistan to U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

ClassroomGreg Mortenson's been building schools for girls in Pakistan for over 17 years and founded the Central Asia Institute CAI in 1996 after living in Pakistan for three years and seeing the difficulties facing girls who had no chance at good education.

145 schools have been built and 64,000 students have improved their education standards from haphazard lessons in outdoor classrooms with dirt and stick chalkboards into real schools with qualified teachers.

For CAI students, snow and sleet won't deter them but heat, night, rugged mountains, roadside bombs, occupying troops and insurgents might.

The unparalleled success is attributed to the locals in each of the 145 communities that support a school. Projects anywhere can only be successful this way says Mortenson.

The only way to discover locals' ideas and help them manage a project is to sit down and have a cup of tea (or three) and listen which is the title of Mortenson's first book "Three cups of Tea".

Three cups of Tea as well as Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs in Afghanistan and Pakistan has become a field guide for troops' counterinsurgency efforts.  Throughout war torn areas and rugged terrain from Afghanistan and Pakistan girls are still denied educations.

Mortenson and CAI will keep climbing towards the elusive peak this is education and empowerment for all.

Hitting the Beach

SurfingSurfing isn't just a sport or hobby for Caleb Remington who hits the beach every opportunity he gets. It's a new treatment for patients suffering from debilitating illness. Nearly 30,000 Americans suffer from cystic fibrosis which causes thick mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive track making it difficult to breathe and break down food. The ocean helps him with breathing.

Patients undergo a rigorous routine including breathing treatments twice a day in a vest that fills with air to help break up the mucus in the chest. Research has shown that the salty mist can help break up thick mucus in the lungs. Cystic fibrosis patients living near the beach should take advantage of the natural health benefits found in saltwater air.

Surf camps are held for kids suffering from the disease by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Orange County. Parents say it is a god-send.

Caleb Remington moved from Illinois to California to discover the ocean air and says surfing is a way to overcome the disease while waiting for a cure.