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Western Greenbrier County residents are outraged over the potential closure of the magistrates’ office in Rupert.

Posted by kinchendavid on February 7, 2007

Stephanie Ferrell Stover, APRP
Stover P.R. & Publishing
TEL 304-646-3065



 

Rupert resident Drema Shires and other local residents are circulating a petition that will be presented to the Greenbrier County Commission (GCC) at its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, February 8, at 7 PM in the upstairs courtroom at the Greenbrier County Courthouse in Lewisburg. Those wishing to speak out against the move are encouraged to sign up to speak at the meeting.

 

“We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens of Greenbrier County who oppose the removal of the Greenbrier County Magistrates’ Office in Rupert,” the petition states. “We are opposed to the removal of an office of the court, not only because it has been in Rupert since the Magistrate System began in 1976, but because Greenbrier County citizens who elected our commissioners and magistrates were given no consideration regarding the closing of the Rupert office or relocation of this office to a Lewisburg location which would house all three Greenbrier County magistrates.”

 

There are three magistrates, Doug Beard, Brenda Smith and Brenda Campbell in Greenbrier County. Only Beard is housed in the Rupert facility. Speculation is that the hush-hush relocation is due to Beard residing on the eastern end of the county and complaining about the travel back and forth to the western end of the county.

 

Local advocates for the economic development of Western Greenbrier County feel that this is just another ploy to take away much needed agencies and facilities from the western end of the county, cheating citizens of things and means necessary to maintain a positive way of life.

 

Anyone interested in signing the petition to stop the removal can do so at several locations in the western end of the county.  In Rainelle, petitions can be found at Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home, Peking Buffet Chinese Restaurant, Subway, the gas station at Rt 20 & Rt 60, McDonald’s, Hardees, Pizza Hut, J&S Restaurant and K&G Tire. In Rupert, petitions can be found at Lance’s Video Rental, City National Bank, Summit Bank, Dairy Delite, Anita’s Hair Circuit, Value Max, Handy Place, A&A Service Center and Western Greenbrier Senior Housing Senior Center. In Charmco, a petition is located at the Hillbilly Market. In Quinwood, petitions can be found at the B&M Grocery Store and the gas station across the street.

 

The prospective move to a building across the street from the county courthouse is expected to cost more than $3,000 per month in rent. The county magistrates currently rent space from the Rupert Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) for about $300-$650 per month. Residents are worried that removal of the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department, also housed in the Rupert VFD building, is next on the hit list.

 

Shires spoke to each commissioner of the GCC, President Lowell Rose, Betty Crookshanks and Brad Tuckwiller. Tuckwiller told Shires that the magistrates did not feel safe at the location in Rupert and that the move was their way of “making the department more efficient.” Rose reiterated Tuckwiller’s position, Shires said “but was much nicer about it.” Crookshanks, who is also a Rupert area resident, is totally against the move but with the other two commissioners voting against her, she doesn’t have much of a stand.

 

 

Western Greenbrier County residents are outraged over the potential closure of the magistrates’ office in Rupert (cont’d).

 

“The magistrates’ office has been operating efficiently at the Rupert location since 1976,” Shires said, “and I see no reason to move it. It’s not right that they are sneaking around doing this kind of thing without caring about what the people who elected them have to say about it.”

 

It has not been confirmed yet, but Judge James J. Rowe, who is the facilitator of the county courthouse, is expected to have to write to the U.S. Supreme Court to get the move approved.

 

Businesses wishing to allow the petitions to be displayed can do so by calling Shires at 392-6341.

 

Those concerned citizens not able to attend the county commission meeting Thursday can call or e-mail the county commissioners at the following telephone numbers and e-mail addresses:

 

Brad Tuckwiller, 646-8095, brad@jacobsandcompany.com

Lowell Rose, 646-8899, lynnbrook@hughes.net

Betty Crookshanks, 661-5232, bdcrookshanks@frontiernet.net

Greenbrier County Commission Hqs, 647-6699, jajacks@assessor.state.wv.us

 

For those wishing to express their concerns about economic development and other opportunities in Western Greenbrier County contact Stover Enterprises LLC at 304-646-3065 or via e-mail at SFerrellStover@aol.com.

 

 

 

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Posted in News, West Virginia | 3 Comments »

New Terrorism Awareness Project Aimed at College Campuses

Posted by kinchendavid on February 1, 2007

            (New website: http://terrorismawareness.org/islamic-mein-kampf )

The David Horowitz Freedom Center announced Feb. 1, 2007, that it has launched a Terrorism Awareness Project to combat the complacency and disinformation in American universities about the intentions of the radical Islamists who escalated the holy war on the United States and the West on September 11, 2001.

 

“If one thing was clear in the aftermath of the attack, it was this: the terrorists would be back,” said Stephen Miller, a senior at Duke University who was just named the Project’s national coordinator. “But because of the campaign by the “anti-war” movement, our populace as a whole is ignorant of the threat, doesn’t know the enemy, and is unaware of its true intent, capabilities and resolve.  This is especially true of college students who face a daily barrage of anti-war and anti-American propaganda.  The Terrorism Awareness Project is designed to make them aware of the threat of jihad and the struggle that lies ahead if this nation is to survive.” 

 

The first action of TAP will be the distribution of a flash movie called The Islamic Mein Kampf which documents the Nazi roots and genocidal agendas of Islamic radicals like Iranian president Mahmoud Achmadinejdad and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. An ad “What Every American Needs to Know About Jihad” is being distributed to college newspapers across the country.

 

             The Terrorism Awareness Project will put informative materials about the war on terror into the hands of millions of college students, including videos and pamphlets.          The focal point for the campus campaign will be Terrorism Awareness Month, when the Project’s campus coordinators will distribute a guide providing a brief history of the jihad against America and a bibliography of crucial books on the objectives of radical Islam.  There will be documentary films on jihad and panel discussions of experts on radical Islam.  TAP chapter members will evaluate the Islamic or Mideast Studies departments of their campuses, analyze the bias of the reading materials and classroom discussions, and ask to present competing ideas in class. They will conduct an organized public relations campaign with their campus newspapers, including opeds and letters to the editor.

 

           “That there is such ignorance and denial about terrorism on our campuses is mind boggling,” says Project Coordinator Miller. “The terrorists will attack us again. The only questions are Where? and When?”

 

The Terrorism Awareness Project

www.terrorismawareness.org

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Hinton Resident Al Stone Taking Part in Civil War Seminar in VA

Posted by kinchendavid on January 30, 2007

By Staff

Lynchburg, VA  — Hinton, WV resident Al Stone, who portrays Gen. Robert E. Lee, will take part in the 11th annual Civil War Seminar sponsored on March 23-24, 2007 by Liberty University here.

This year’s program is entitled Robert E. Lee in Life and Legend. Featured speakers include the following nationally renowned authors whose texts are familiar to all Civil War enthusiasts.

— Dr. Steven Woodworth of Texas Christian University (whose works include Davis and Lee at War and While God Is Marching On: The Religious World of Civil War Soldiers) will speak on Davis and Lee at War.

— Lawyer/Historian Gordon Rhea (whose works include Cold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26-June 3, 1864 the Wilderness May 5-6, 1864) will speak on Lee vs. Grant: A Grand Strategy and The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.

— Author/historian Richard G. Williams, Jr. (whose works include The Maxims of Robert E. Lee for Young Gentlemen and Stonewall Jackson—The Black Man’s Friend) will speak on The Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University.

— Author/historian Robert K. (Bob) Krick, Sr. (Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain and The Smoothbore Volley That Doomed the Confederacy: The Death of Stonewall Jackson and Other Chapters on the Army of Northern Virginia) will speak on R. E. Lee in View of Today’s History.

— Author William Marvell (Lee’s Retreat and A Place Called Appomattox) will speak on Lee’s Last Retreat.

–Author/Historian Jeffrey Wert (Gettysburg: Day Three and The Sword of Lincoln: The Army of the Potomac) will speak on Lee the Strategist and Tactician.

Other speakers include:

–Dr. Holt Merchant of Washington and Lee University will speak on Lee the Educator.

–Reverend Alan Farley of Reenactor’s Mission for Jesus Christ will speak on Lee the Christian Soldier.

–Al Stone stars as Robert E. Lee in The Last Interview.

–Nora Brooks stars as Mildred Childe Lee in Lee Behind Closed Doors: Lee the Family Man

In addition to the speakers’ presentations, there will be numerous exhibits of Civil War artifacts and memorabilia for the public.

A special feature of this year’s seminar will be the Friday night banquet and the Saturday luncheon which will feature Ante-Bellum menus and entertainment within the context of a military camp setting.

Special door prizes for the Seminar will include a print of Brad Schmehl’s “The Gray Fox” and a print of Janet McGrath’s “Lee and His Sons.”

The event will be held in DeMoss Hall on the campus of Liberty University. Everyone is encouraged to secure reservations for this seminar by Wednesday, March 21. Admission to the seminar is $55 (which includes all of the seminar sessions, the Friday night banquet, and Saturday’s luncheon). After March 21, 2006, the price for both days is $65. Admission for Friday only is $25; admission for Saturday only is $30. Special lodging rates at the Days Inn of Lynchburg are available for those who will be attending the seminar. For pricing and location of lodging, call 434-847-8655. For special group pricing for the seminar or more information, call 434-592-4031 or email cehall@liberty.edu or kgrowlet@liberty.edu. Also, go to the website at http://www.liberty.edu/civilwar http://www.liberty.edu/civilwar . All credit cards accepted.

Schedule of Events

Friday, March 23

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Banquet in DeMoss Grand Lobby

7:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Welcome and Presentations

8:00 pm– 9:00 pm

Dr. Steven Woodworth: Davis and Lee at War

Saturday, March 24

8:00 am – 8:30 am

Continental Breakfast in DeMoss Hall

8:30 am – 9:20 am

Gordon C. Rhea— Lee vs. Grant: A Grand Strategy and The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House

DeMoss Hall 1114

9:30 am – 10:20 am

Mr. Jeffrey C. Wert— Lee the Strategist and Tactician

DeMoss Hall 1113

10:30 am—11:20 am

William Marvel–Lee’s Last Retreat

DeMoss Hall 1113

11:30 – 12:00 pm

Rev. Alan Farley–Lee the Christian Soldier

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Lunch in the DeMoss Hall Grand Lobby

1:00 pm – 1:50 pm

Holt Merchant— Lee the Educator

DeMoss Hall 113

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Nora Brooks —Lee Behind Closed Doors: Lee the Family Man

DeMoss Hall 1113

2:40 pm – 3:20 pm

Al Stone—R. E. Lee, The Last Interview

DeMoss Hall 1114

3:30 pm – 4:20 pm

Richard G. Williams, Jr.—Lee Chapel

DeMoss Hall 1114

4:30 – 5:20 pm

Robert Krick, Sr.— R. E. Lee in View of Today’s History

DeMoss Hall 1114

Posted in News | 4 Comments »

ADL Welcomes Passage of U.N. Resolution Condemning Holocaust Denial

Posted by kinchendavid on January 27, 2007

By Staff, from ADL press release and U.N. Web Site

New York, NY  — The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Friday, Jan. 26, 2007 welcomed the adoption of a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly which “rejects efforts to deny the Holocaust.” The resolution, introduced by the United States and co-sponsored by more than 100 countries, was adopted by consensus.

Glen S. Lewy, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor, issued the following statement :

As the U.N.’s International Day of Commemoration of the Victims of the Holocaust approaches, we are pleased that the UN is taking steps to live up to its commitment to Holocaust remembrance with its adoption of a resolution condemning Holocaust denial. Denial of the Holocaust has become a cause celebre for too many in the world today, led by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who recently hosted a gathering of Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites from around the world.

Therefore, it was no surprise that Iran expressed its defiant opposition to the consensus of the entire General Assembly by objecting to the resolution, calling it hypocritical and an abuse of General Assembly procedure.

We hope that UN member states will follow the recommendations of the resolution and confront all forms of Holocaust denial, in order to protect the memory of those who have perished and stand up against all current and future acts of genocide.

We applaud the U.S. for introducing the resolution and its many co-sponsors for ensuring its adoption.

The League collected more than 17,000 signatures on a petition addressed to General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, urging the U.N. to “speak with one voice and stand up to Holocaust denial.”

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

From the U.N. Web Site: The International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust is thus a day on which we must reassert our commitment to human rights. […]

We must also go beyond remembrance, and make sure that new generations know this history. We must apply the lessons of the Holocaust to today’s world. And we must do our utmost so that all peoples must enjoy the protections and rights for which the United Nations stands.”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The Day of Remembrance will be observed on Monday, Jan. 29, 2007 at the U.N.

Posted in News | 1 Comment »

PARALLEL UNIVERSE: Del. Thompson, Where Are You? Having Lunch with Judge Crater?

Posted by kinchendavid on January 19, 2007

By David M. Kinchen
Editor, Huntington News Network

Ron Thompson

Hinton, WV  – The Ron Thompson watch continues in Charleston, as well as in the 27th House of Delegates District of Raleigh and Summers Counties. As a person who voted for the Phantom of the Capitol (cue to overture of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera”), I want to know where the Beckley resident is.

Along with virtually every journalist in the state, I’ve tried contacting Thompson and got no response. Fellow delegates Linda Sumner, Mel Kessler and Virginia Mahan say they haven’t seen the missing delegate. He didn’t show up to take his oath of office. His personal belongings are packed up and reside in the office he shares with Kessler.

For those who haven’t been following this story, Thompson, a member of the House of Delegates since 1994, hasn’t been seen in the Capitol since last March. He missed the interims and special sessions and didn’t show up during the campaign that culminated in his placing third in the voting and being re-elected. He wasn’t at last fall’s candidate forum in Hinton, which I covered.

House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne – no relation to the missing delegate – has promised a “course of action” to deal with his AWOL fellow Democrat, according to Mannix Porterfield, writing in the Thursday, Jan. 18, 2007 Register-Herald. Porterfield’s stories about Thompson would – if collected – make a fair sized book.

Joseph F. Crater

I suggested to several people that he’s the West Virginia equivalent of Judge Crater – and got blank looks from non-trivia fans. For more about New York Supreme Court Judge Joseph F. Crater, who disappeared on Aug. 6, 1930, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judge_Crater

Judge Crater’s disappearance, when he was last seen leaving a restaurant and entering a taxi on his way to a Broadway show, became part of Americana. Comedians for years used the line “Judge Crater, call your office” and got plenty of laughs. Not so much anymore, because later disappearances took precedence.

Born in 1889 and appointed to the bench by Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Crater was presumed dead in 1939, allowing his widow to collect on his insurance policy. His disappearance, similar to that of Jimmy Hoffa later in the 20th Century, may have been a mob hit. There was, as readers of the Wikipedia entry will quickly discover, a mysterious trip to Atlantic City, N.J. with a showgirl about a month before the judge vanished. Maybe his wife found out about the showgirl and called for a hit on her wayward hubby.

Thompson’s absent status has prompted a threat of a lawsuit from the Affliliated Construction Trades Foundation in an effort to keep Thompson from collecting his annual $15,000 salary for not taking the oath.

Foundation Director Steve White is concerned about the lack of representation in the five-member 27th District, where the candidate who placed sixth — Kevin Maynus — is interested in Thompson’s seat should the missing delegate not claim it. Maynus, a Democratic candidate, says he has contacted party officials in both Raleigh and Summers counties to let them know he wants the seat if Thompson vacates it, according to Porterfield.

There have been sightings of Thompson, brief though they may be. One source, who requested total anonymity, told me Thompson’s appearance has changed radically. I’m guessing that he looks like the Jack Bauer character when he was first seen on the 6th season premiere of the TV show “24,” with a long scraggly beard. Maybe we could add a rodeo clown red fright wig.

I hesitate to make light of Thompson’s lack of visibility, but he did run for re-election and – as I said above — I did vote for him, so I have a stake in his re-appearance.

Ron Thompson, call your office! Or, better yet, call me: I’m in the book.

Posted in News, Parallel Universe, West Virginia | Leave a Comment »

U.S. Witnesses Dramatic Decline in Domestic Violence

Posted by kinchendavid on January 1, 2007

By Jim Kouri

The domestic violence rate has declined since 1993, according to a report by the US Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics.

In 1993, nonfatal intimate partner violence was 5.8 victimizations per 1,000 US residents. By 2004, the last year studied by BJS, the violence rate fell to 2.6 victimizations per 1,000 individuals.

The Justice Department defines an intimate partner as a current or former spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or same-sex partner. Violence between intimates includes homicides, rapes, robberies and assaults committed by either male or female partners.

2004 witnessed approximately 627,400 nonfatal intimate partner victimizations — 475,900 against females and 151,500 against males. Approximately one-third of these offenses were serious violent crimes — rapes, sexual assaults, robberies and aggravated assaults — and involved either serious injuries, weapons or sexual offenses.

Long-term trends in nonfatal intimate partner violence differ by gender. Non-fatal intimate partner victimization for females was about four victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 and older in 2004, down from about 10 in 1993. Non-fatal intimate partner violence for males remained relatively stable — 1.6 victimizations per 1,000 males 12 years old and older in 1993, compared to 1.3 per 1,000 in 2004.

The number of intimate partner homicide victims has declined since 1993, with greater declines seen for male victims. During 1993, the number of females murdered by intimates was 1,571, compared to 1,159 during 2004 — a 26 percent decline. The number of males murdered by partners during 1993 was 698, compared to 385 in 2004 — a 45 percent decline.

Overall intimate partner violence during 2004 remained unchanged from 2003, although some demographic groups experienced an increase. During that period the rate of non-fatal intimate partner violence among black females increased from 3.8 to 6.6 victimizations per 1,000 females aged 12 and older. Non-fatal intimate partner violence for white males increased from 0.5 to 1.1 victimizations per 1,000 males age 12 and older.

Between 1993 and 2004, nonfatal intimate partner victimizations represented 22 percent of violent victimizations against females and 3 percent of those against males. Females and males who were separated or divorced reported the highest rates of nonfatal partner violence, whereas those who were married or widowed reported the lowest rates of such violence.

The average annual rate of non-fatal intimate partner violence from 1993 to 2004 was highest for American Indian and Alaskan Native females at 18.2 victimizations per 1,000 females aged 12 and older. The risks also varied by age group. Females 20 to 24 years old were at the highest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence. Asian males, white males and the elderly reported the lowest rates of partner violence.

For non-fatal intimate partner violence, as for violent crime in general, simple assault is the most common type of violent crime. Simple assault is an attack without a weapon that results either in no injury or a minor injury. One-third of female victims of non-fatal intimate partner violence between 1993 and 2004 reported that the offender was under the influence of alcohol during the victimization.

One-fifth of male victims reported that the offender was under the influence of alcohol. Both male and female victims reported that their attacker was under the influence of drugs in about 6 percent of all victimizations.

Overall, 21 percent of female victims and 10 percent of male victims contacted an outside agency (police) for assistance. Female victims were more likely to contact a government agency than a private agency. Male victims were equally likely to contact a government or private agency for assistance.

The entire report — Intimate Partner Violence in the United States — was written by BJS statistician Shannan Catalano. It can be found on the Internet at: <http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/intimate/ipv.htm>

Jim Kouri is fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). He’s a former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. Kouri has appeared as on-air commentator for more than 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book “Assume The Position” is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.U.S.

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Mexican Mafia Kingpin, Underlings Headed for Prison

Posted by kinchendavid on December 25, 2006

By Jim Kouri

A top Mexican Mafia member, who controlled Hispanic street gangs that operated across Orange County, CA, was sentenced on Dec. 18, 2006, to 14 years in federal prison after pleading guilty earlier this year to violating federal racketeering and narcotics laws.

Peter Ojeda, 64, was sentenced by United States District Judge David Carter in a packed Santa Ana courtroom.

Ojeda pleaded guilty on September 12 to conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and conspiring to distribute narcotics. A total of 28 people linked to the Ojeda Organization have now been convicted, either by guilty plea or following a trial.

One of Ojeda’s top lieutenants was also sentenced on Dec. 18, 2006 by Judge Carter to 37 months in prison. Jose Becerra, 39, pleaded guilty on August 14 to the RICO conspiracy count.

The members and associates of the Ojeda Organization were indicted by a federal grand jury in June 2005. The Ojeda Organization engaged in extortion and assault, as well as assisting in the distribution of narcotics throughout Orange County.

The Ojeda Organization included high-ranking members of several Hispanic street gangs, which helped the organization exert its influence across Orange County and into the Orange County jail system and California prisons.

The indictment alleged dozens of overt acts committed by members of the organization to expand the power and control of the enterprise. Detailing conduct in 2004 and early 2005, the RICO count outlined how Ojeda and his assistants demanded taxes from numerous street gangs and others who wanted to distribute drugs in Orange County.

The Ojeda Organization coordinated the collection of taxes from jail inmates who were selling drugs, and it ordered assaults on those who failed to pay taxes or showed disrespect to the organization.

The Ojeda Organization required Hispanic criminal street gangs in Orange County to pay money as a “tax” or “tribute” on a regular basis. They permitted the tax-paying gangs and gang members to exert influence over their neighborhoods and territories. The group often disciplined Orange County criminal street gangs and their members who engaged in unsanctioned violence, such as a drive-by shooting, which could cause increased law enforcement attention and thereby threaten the income of the Ojeda gang.

Ojeda’s other top lieutenant, Marco Diaz, 33, of Santa Ana, pleaded guilty to a RICO charge in September. Diaz, who admitted that he helped Ojeda’s organization extort “taxes” from street gangs and ordered punishment to those who did not pay, is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Carter on January 8, 2007.

Of the 23 defendants already sentenced, Judge Carter has imposed penalties ranging from 24 to 292 months in federal prison.

* * * *

Jim Kouri is fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). He’s a former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. Kouri has appeared as on-air commentator for more than 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book “Assume The Position” is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.U.S.

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Editorial: Prayer Vigil Service Tonight for Dr. F. Joseph Whelan, 1938-2006

Posted by kinchendavid on December 16, 2006

By Staff
In the HNN obituary of Dr. F. Joseph Whelan, we said he was an Iowa native. Actually, he was born Feb. 21, 1938 in Ft. Warren, Wyoming, the son of the late Joseph Francis Xavier Whelan and Helen Sankot Whelan.

Iowa was where Joe Whelan grew up and attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids as an undergraduate and the University of Iowa medical school for his M.D. He also earned an M.S. degree from the University of Iowa for his internship and he was board certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Boston, MA.

A Roman Catholic and a resident of Corrine, WV, Doc in later years worshiped at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Oak Hill, WV; a vigil prayer service will be conducted tonight, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. at Melton Mortuary, 1200 Harper Rd., Beckley, by Father Paul Younger of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

Doc, as we at HNN fondly remember him, was named a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002; a Distinguished Life Fellowship was bestowed on him on Jan. 1, 2003 by the APA. He founded the Whelan Medical Clinic in Beckley, which he closed this year; his last position was as a psychiatrist with Mari Sullivan Walker Inc. in Pineville, WV. He was licensed to practice medicine in Iowa, West Virginia, Hawaii, Alaska and Virginia.

Doc Whelan was active in the Disabled American Veterans of America and the Civil Air Patrol and was a founding member of the Wyoming County Vietnam Veterans of America.

He is survived by Joseph Floyd Whelan of Corrine, WV; Benjamin Neal Whelan and his wife Melanie, of Oak Hill, WV; and David Alexander Whelan of Beckley. Also, many other relatives, patients and friends.

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PARALLEL UNIVERSE: R.I.P. Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick 1926-2006: One of My Heroines

Posted by kinchendavid on December 12, 2006

By David M. Kinchen
Editor, Huntington News Network

Hinton, WV   – Let’s pause for a minute to remember a woman the Wall Street Journal says makes outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton look like Little Bo-Peep by comparison, Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick, who died at the age of 80 of congestive heart disease on Dec. 7, 2006.

Jeane Kirkpatrick was still a Democrat – a Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy Democrat – when President Reagan nominated her as the U.S. ambassador to the UN, the first woman to serve in this position. She served from 1981 to 1985 and definitely was no Little Bo-Peep! Jeane Kirkpatrick is one of the people responsible for me rejecting Jimmy Carter in 1980 – I voted for Carter in 1976, to my eternal regret – in favor of Reagan. I never told my mother, who died in 1984, about my Reagan vote. It would have led to an earlier demise! I returned to the fold in 1988, but strayed to third party candidates like Ross Perot and various Libertarians until voting for Kerry-Edwards in 2004.

Why the explanation of one guy’s voting pattern? Because I didn’t leave the Democratic Party – it left me. For the record, I’m still a registered Democrat, with libertarian leanings, rather than neocon ones. I don’t have the faith in the human spirit that true neocons possess. A birthright Democrat from Duncan, OK, Jeane Kirkpatrick finally left the party in 1985, becoming a Republican.

Kirkpatrick was a brainy – she earned a doctorate in political science from Columbia University in 1968 – outspoken, strong figure who inspired many disillusioned Democrats who were dismayed at the hard left turn of their big tent party – including the present writer.

Like many neoconservatives, Kirkpatrick started out as a lefty: As a freshman at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri in 1945 she joined the Young People’s Socialist League of the Socialist Party of America. She was influenced, she wrote, by one of her grandfathers, who was a founder of the populist and socialist parties in Oklahoma. It must have taken guts of steel on the part of the young Oklahoman to join the YPSL in deepest conservative Missouri.

At Columbia University, her principal adviser was Franz Neumann, a revisionist Marxist. In 1967, before earning her Ph.D, she joined the faculty of Georgetown University. She became a full professor of political science in 1973.

Sad to say, the hard left wing of my beloved party is still focused on the “Blame America First” position Kirkpatrick described in the mid-1980s. Her comments about “San Francisco Democrats” at the 1984 GOP Convention ring loud and clear with the upcoming coronation of U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-CA as Speaker of the House. Baltimore native Pelosi is from San Francisco.

For an appreciation of Kirkpatrick, see this link:

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=25945

For the Wall Street Journal Editorial, see:

http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110009365

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NEWS ANALYSIS/COMMENTARY: UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: A Sad Day at Turtle Bay

Posted by kinchendavid on November 29, 2006

By Rebecca Sommer

New York, NY — It took two decades of discussions between indigenous peoples and governments to develop — in a truly slow pace — a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was supposed to be finally adopted Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2006, at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City.

Not a treaty with binding legal obligations, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples nevertheless holds “situation-specific” guidelines on the rights of peoples (tribal, indigenous, ethnic minorities) explaining how the rights of the UN universal declaration of Human Rights apply to the very particular case of Indigenous peoples around the world.

Many Indigenous peoples feel that the Declaration constitutes only minimum standards for their survival, well-being and dignity. The United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada have been during the years the most vocal in opposing suggested language in the declaration’s negotiation process, a process advanced by Indigenous representatives from around the world.

The Declaration which was finally to be adopted at the UNGA is often described by indigenous delegates as being of second range standards and below expectations and needs. But the Indigenous delegates participating at the Declaration’s process for over 20 years considered that it would be better to have this urgently needed Declaration — than none at all.

But on Nov. 28 at the current session of the UN General Assembly in New York, the adoption of this important human rights instrument — one of the most discussed and studied declarations in U.N. history — came to a halt, even though the newly formed United Nations Human Rights Council urged the General Assembly to formally adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Canada, a country which brags about its high human rights standards, and a member of the Human Rights Council, actively opposed the adoption of the Declaration.

“Canada no longer enjoys a ‘blue beret’ reputation at the United Nations. Canada’s disgraceful and disgusting conduct against Indigenous People at both the national and international levels is being noted,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.

A resolution put forward by the Namibian delegation — in effect, a non-action motion on the Declaration — was supported by a majority of Nation States with 82 voting in favor, 67 Nation States voting not in favor and 25 Nation States abstaining.

Indigenous representatives who traveled to NYC to lobby governments to support the adoption of the Declaration reacted in frustration and disbelief. Many Indigenous representatives worked long and hard to get the Declaration to this point.

“They decided to put another year of work into it –- but how will that be deliberated?” asked Petuuche Gilbert, a member of Acoma tribe in New Mexico. ”We as Indigenous peoples are highly concerned that we will be left out of the process, and that only the states will decide, and will change and demolish the Declaration, especially in regards to our rights to self-determination and land rights. They will subject us again and again to the [nation] states’ discriminating rules.”

The Declaration does not create any new human rights, but articulates guidelines for the very diverse needs of a collective peoples — not individuals, but Indigenous Peoples. As nations without a country, Indigenous people have struggled for decades to be respected as a collective, to maintain their unique cultural traditions, to have their rights for self-determination, their distinct aspirations and their unique ways of life as a peoples.

Indigenous Peoples, (ethnic minorities, tribal peoples, aboriginal people) have their own languages, political, social, cultural and religious structures and systems. Being the first people, or the original people to the land they reside on — indigenous peoples are often separated by artificial borders of countries, which they have never created.

One can find Native American Indians such as the Mohawk living at both sides of the border created by Canada and the US. The O’odham living at the Mexican side or the U.S. side. The Ashaninka in Peru or Brazil. The examples are endless. So are the never ending stories of Indigenous peoples being forced of their traditional lands, most often for development purposes.

Indigenous peoples are the poorest of the poor, the most discriminated and the most disadvantages of all.

The Declaration which was made inactive today by the majority vote of member states at the UN GA holds well articulated, clear articulations of obligations for member states, which most often colonized the land and it’s indigenous people. But it is obvious, that they do not want to loosen the tight and merciless grip of unfair and abusive power over Indigenous Peoples.

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Rebecca Sommer is the United Nations representative for the Society for Threatened Peoples International, in consultative status to the UN (ECOSOC). The German-born, New York City-based human rights activist is also a filmmaker who has just released “Hunted Like Animals,” a documentary on the plight of Hmong refugees in Southeast Asia. The film had its world premiere last week in St. Paul, MN.

Photo of U.N. Headquarters by Dave Kinchen 

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