Pentagon budget increase will lead to a ‘major economic disaster,’ says retired US Army officer

The spike in defense spending won't solve the military's readiness problems or make us safer, says Daniel Davis.


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‘You could say I’m reluctantly retired from writing books’: travel writer Dervla Murphy

In a rare interview, the much-loved author of Full Tilt and Through Siberia by Accident, now 86, looks back on more than 50 years of pioneering, intrepid travel

‘Sláinte,” says Dervla Murphy, settling back into her armchair, her pint raised aloft. We are in the bohemian study of her home in the centre of Lismore, County Waterford. Home is actually a collection of unconnected buildings adjoining a cobbled courtyard that once formed the historic town’s marketplace. We are enjoying the great Irish travel writer’s favourite tipple: beer. “Lovely. Lovely,” she says, taking a sip. “Now, off you go.”

She is referring to the start of our interview, I assume, and not peremptorily instructing me to leave – though with Dervla, it seems, you cannot always be sure. She has a reputation for plain speaking, for her no-nonsense approach to life. She dislikes being quizzed by journalists and audiences with her are infrequent.

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian


Retired MLB Pitcher Roy Halladay Killed in Plane Crash

(HOLIDAY, Fla.) — Roy Halladay, a two-time Cy Young Award winner who pitched a perfect game and a playoff no-hitter for the Philadelphia Phillies, died Tuesday when his private plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico. He was 40.

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said during a news conference that Halladay’s ICON A5 went down around noon off the coast of Florida. The sheriff’s office marine unit responded and found Halladay’s body in shallow water near some mangroves. No survivors were found.

Police said they couldn’t confirm if there were additional passengers on the plane or say where it was headed. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Halladay, who retired after the 2013 season, was an amateur pilot who often posted on social media about small planes.

“I have dreamed about owning a A5 since I retired! Real life is better then my dreams!!” Halladay tweeted on Oct. 13.

Icon aircraft had posted a video with Halladay trying out a new plane. The video showed Halladay taking delivery of a new Icon A5, a two-seat “light-sport aircraft” that can land on water.

In the video, Halladay said the terms of his baseball contract prevented him from having a pilot’s license while playing, and that his wife was originally against the idea of him getting the aircraft.

“She’s fought me the whole way,” Halladay said.

“Hard. I fought hard. I was very against it,” Brandy Halladay said in the same video, before explaining why she eventually understood and approved of her husband’s desire to have the plane.

The A5 was a newer model from Icon, based in Vacaville, California. On May 8, two Icon employees, the company’s lead test pilot and the director of engineering, were killed in a crash in an A5 in Napa County, California. The NTSB report said the probable cause was “the pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from terrain while maneuvering at a low altitude.”

Halladay spent 12 seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays followed by four seasons with the Phillies. He was 203-105 with a 3.38 ERA.

“We are numb over the very tragic news about Roy Halladay’s untimely death,” the Phillies said in a statement. “There are no words to describe the sadness that the entire Phillies family is feeling over the loss of one of the most respected human beings to ever play the game.”

Other baseball players to die in plane crashes included Pittsburgh Pirates star Roberto Clemente in a relief mission from Puerto Rico traveling to earthquake victims in Nicaragua on New Year’s Eve in 1972; New York Yankees catcher Thurman Munson piloting his own plane near his home in Canton, Ohio, in 1979; and Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle piloting his own plane in New York City in 2006.

Halladay was nominated several times for the Roberto Clemente Award, given by Major League Baseball to players for sportsmanship and community involvement. The Halladay Family Foundation has aided children’s charities, hunger relief and animal rescue.

“Many of you know Roy as a Cy Young winner, future Hall of Famer, one of the best pitchers ever to pitch the game of baseball,” said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, who personally knew Halladay.

“We know Roy as a person, as a caring husband who loved his wife, Brandy. He loved his two boys tremendously … and we are so sad for your loss.”

Nocco said Halladay knew many members in the sheriff’s office, and that Halladay was even a part of a charity fishing tournament last Friday.

“He was probably one of the most humble human beings you’ll ever meet,” Nocco said. “For somebody who won two Cy Youngs, one of the greatest pitchers in baseball, he would walk in the room as if he was anybody. Didn’t matter who he met, he was kind, generous. His family purchased a dog for us — K-9 Doc. K-9 Doc is out there working, saving lives, making our community safer.”

The dog was named as a nod to Halladay’s nickname — Doc.

“He was one in a million,” Nocco said. “It is a true loss for us.”

Halladay was an old-style workhorse who pitched 67 complete games and 20 shutouts. A three-time 20-game winner, he was an eight-time All-Star with Toronto (1998-2009) and Philadelphia (2010-13).

Halladay pitched a perfect game for the Phillies at the Florida Marlins on May 29, 2010. That Oct. 6, against Cincinnati in the NL Division Series, he became only the second pitcher to throw a postseason no-hitter, joining Don Larsen, who accomplished the feat for the New York Yankees in the 1956 World Series.

The right-hander retired after the 2013 season, saying he wanted to avoid back surgery.

“As a baseball player, you realize that’s something you can’t do the rest of your life,” Halladay said. “I really don’t have any regrets. You realize there’s other things for you to accomplish in life.”

He was eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2019.

“Heart is broken to hear about Roy Halladay,” former teammate Roy Oswalt tweeted. “great friend, teammate, father and husband. One of the best teammates ever! You will be missed !”

Former pitcher Dan Haren tweeted that “I wanted to be Roy Halladay. I’m heartbroken, rest easy Doc,” then posted a photo of a signed Halladay jersey.

Sports – TIME


Look At God! Retired Man Claims $24 Million Winning Lottery Ticket Two Days Before It Was Set to Expire

A retired security guard won a $ 24.1 million New York lottery jackpot that he was lucky enough to claim just TWO DAYS before his ticket expired.

via NYDN:

Jimmie Smith, 68, told the gaming commission he’s been buying lottery tickets in New York and his native New Jersey since the 1960s — but the one time he actually won, he didn’t even realize.

Smith’s identity was released by New York LOTTO this week.

His $ 24.1 million jackpot from May 2016 sat idle for nearly a year before the East Orange, N.J., resident picked it up.

But he almost didn’t get it at all after sticking it in an old shirt pocket with “a stack” of unchecked, losing tickets, New York’s gaming commission said in a press release.

“I always told myself, ‘I’ll check them when I have the time,’” Smith told the commission.

He figured it was time to check after seeing a news report about the jackpot’s pending expiration as the one-year .

That’s when he dug out the May 2016 ticket featuring the winning numbers: 5 – 12 – 13 – 22 – 25 – 35.

“I stood there for a minute thinking, ‘Do I see what I think I see?’ I had to stick my head out the window and breathe in some fresh air,” the father of two and grandfather of 12 told the gaming commission. “I was in serious doubt. I really had to convince myself this was real.”

Nearly a year earlier, he bought the winning ticket in Tribeca at Renu Corp Grocery & Tobacco at 158 Church St. between Chambers and Reade Streets.

“I don’t remember who it was,” said owner Bobby Patel told the Daily News in May when the winner was announced. “I didn’t see the face or anything.”

Smith’s identity wasn’t released at the time — nor why it took him a year.

He elected to be paid out over a 26-year period, according to the gaming commission.

Smith plans to have an “all-family” meeting to discuss how the money will be split up, according to the gaming commission.

The universe was definitely on his side with this one!

The post Look At God! Retired Man Claims $ 24 Million Winning Lottery Ticket Two Days Before It Was Set to Expire appeared first on B. Scott |

B. Scott |


Even in North Korea crisis, retired general John Kelly is an apolitical force in a White House divided by ideology

Kelly, a 45-year Marine Corps veteran, is leading Trump’s West Wing without an ideological agenda, officials say. Kelly has also become one of several key generals whose advice Trump has come to rely on.

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Notes of a Retired Wedding Videographer: From Proposal to Reception; Lessons Learned from Brides and Grooms

Notes of a Retired Wedding Videographer: From Proposal to Reception; Lessons Learned from Brides and Grooms

Initially this book originated by way of a response to a reprehensible and professionally insulting article I stumbled across in a popular wedding magazine. I telephoned the editor and reviewed the article sentence by sentence with him regarding the inconsistencies and inaccuracies of a real-life wedding focusing specifically on the videography facet. By the end of our conversation, he asked me to commit these thoughts to paper for consideration and I did. The article with my amendments was first published in the Summer 2005 issue of Premier Bride Magazine. Inspired by this, I continued to expand and record my experiences and observations with the sole intent of offering an experienced, unique insight for all would-be newlyweds to consider. "Notes of a Retired Wedding Videographer" is intended to provide an entertaining and informative guide to help brides and grooms understand all that the camera captures throughout the wedding day as well as some frequently overlooked tips on how to ensure that the festivities recorded on video best capture the festivities occurring in live action at the time. Enjoy the most memorable insights based on actual first-hand experiences through the course of nearly 1000 completed wedding assignments during the last 11 years. Topics include observations and opinions regarding bridal logistics, wedding themes and color schemes, music/photographer/videographer selection, wedding within budget,7 tips for men in kilts, how to avoid becoming a victim of Murphy’s Law, and much more- all illustrated by real-life personal experiences from behind the camera.
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Youre Retired Now What: Money Skills for a Comfortable Retirement

Youre Retired Now What: Money Skills for a Comfortable Retirement

Plenty of books tell you how to plan for retirement. This book tells you how to manage it once you are there.Retirement: A time in your life when you should be kicking back and relaxing on a sandy beach or a golf course, without a care in the world. Right? Well, these days it''s a bit more complicated than that. With Social Security and Medicare hanging in the balance, questions and uncertainties abound: Will you have enough money? Will you need a part-time job? Do you have adequate health insurance? Here is the road map you need for a comfortable, stress-free retirement—complete with sandy beaches, if that''s your preference. Ron and Murray Yolles, a father-and-son team who have advised retirees on money matters for fifty years, provide a solid, down-to-earth plan for a successful retirement, covering everything from the best investment strategies to maximizing retirement plans and IRAs.Will your money last? This book helps make sure it does for the millions of Americans entering retirement, answering this key question and many more in an easy-to-read, friendly way. —Jean-Marie Eveillard, President, SoGen Funds.You''re Retired, Now What? is a great read to help clear one''s mind of all the conflicting financial advice that exists today. —David Herro, CFA, Partner, Director of International Equities The Oakmark International Funds.
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Retired Greyhounds: A Guide To Care And Understanding

Retired Greyhounds: A Guide To Care And Understanding

Every year many thousands of racing greyhounds retire from the racetrack and are successfully re-homed through dedicated greyhound charities. Written in association with Greyhound Rescue West of England, this guide is essential reading for anyone who owns or is thinking of owning a retired greyhound.
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