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Franklin bifocals Monday, October 19, 2009

General Cornwallis' Surrender at Yorktown
[1781 - British General Charles Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown]

Mountaineer Annie Peck
[1850 - Annie Smith Peck, mountaineer, born in Providence, Rhode Island]

Merrill-Lynch founder Goodtime Charlie Merrill
[1885 - Charles Merrill, philanthropist, stockbroker, born in Green Cove Springs, Florida]

Admiral Arleigh Burke

USS Burke (DDG-51)
[1901 - Arleigh A. Burke, USN Admiral, born in Boulder, Colorado]

Actor Robert Beatty
[1909 - Robert Beatty, actor, born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada]

Mariner 5 Venus fly-by
[1967 - Mariner 5 spacecraft makes fly-by of Planet Venus]

California Dreaming

California is sending several hundred inmates a month from the population of 172,000 in its severely overcrowded state prisons to private facilities in the States of Tennessee, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Indiana due to a declaration of emergency by the governor. One would have hoped that Arnold might use those wonderful skills he showed us in the Terminator movies to at least decrease the number of violent offenders, but alas, art imitates nature, not the other way round.

If California were a nation instead of one of the United States of America, its GNP would place it in the top ten of the world economies. Even so, our public schools are failing us, the levees are crumbling, and too many of our children go without health care. When my State can number among its exports convicted felons and poisoned spinach, what does that say about our priorities and prospects?

William's Whimsical Words:

Once we have filled all the prisons in the good old USA, perhaps we can outsource our prisoner population to Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, or one of the former USSR states, as the CIA has been doing for years. Think of the money we could save by not waiting for trials, and convictions, and appeals, and all those other silly formalities.

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