Daily Archives: July 14, 2011

Lincoln, Jefferson artifacts have connection to the Freemasons

A walking stick used by Abraham Lincoln and a Civil War bone pipe carved by a prisoner of war during the Civil War are among the items in the Sterling Masonic Lodge display now at Sterling Public Library. The items all have some kind of connection to the Masons. (Callie Jones/Journal-Advocate)

Lincoln, Jefferson artifacts at library through month’s end

Historic display marks Masons’ milestone

Journal-Advocate | Jul 12, 2011

By Callie Jones

STERLING — A walking stick used by Abraham Lincoln and a Thomas Jefferson’s violin. Those are just a couple of the items that are part of a display from the Sterling Masonic Lodge that is now setup at Sterling Public Library.

According to Chaplain Bob Elsloo, the display is traveling museum of just a small portion of the items that are at the M.W. Grand Lodge of Colorado A.F. & A.M., in Colorado Springs. The Grand Lodge Library and Museum is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“It’s just one way to get out in the community and commemorate 150 years in Colorado,” Elsloo said about the display.

The first Masonic meeting in Colorado Territory was held on Nov. 3, 1858. Shortly

Colorado became an official territory, the Grand Lodge was formed on Aug. 2, 1861. Elsloo said the traveling museum is just one of many things the Masons are doing this year to celebrate 150 years in Colorado.

The display includes a video about the pieces on display and the history of the Masons. There are also poster boards with information about the beginning of Masonry in Colorado and 150 years of Masonry in Colorado.

Items on display include a walking stick made by William and James Dunlap and carried by Abraham Lincoln, who carved his monogram on the silver head during his 1960 campaign against Stephan Douglas, and a violin owned by Jefferson. The violin was manufactured between the late 1700s and early 1800s and is inscribed “TJ 1824.”

There is also information about Masonic United States presidents. Between 14 and 16 presidents were Freemasons, beginning with George Washington and ending with Gerald Ford.

Lincoln was not a Freemason but he maintained the highest level of respect for the institution. He petitioned Tyrian Lodge in Springfield, Ill., for membership shortly before his nomination for presidency in 1860, but withdrew his application for membership because he did not want to win the
election because he was a Mason. He planned on reapplying for membership after his presidency.

A violin owned by Thomas Jefferson is among the items that are part of a display from the Sterling Masonic Lodge that is now at Sterling Public Library. The display will remain at the library through the end of July. (Callie Jones/Journal-Advocate)

Jefferson was believed to be active Mason during his life; however, little record of his Masonic activities exists.

Other items on display include a Civil War bone pipe carved by a prisoner of war during the Civil War, a letter from George Washington to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, a picture of Theodore Roosevelt in Masonic dress and a variety of Past Grand Master and Past Master jewels and Grand Lodge officer pins, among other things.

There is also information about the first cornerstone in Colorado, which was laid by the Grand Lodge of Colorado Territory, for the depot of the Denver Pacific Railway Company.

The Sterling Masonic Lodge is planning a cornerstone ceremony for the library, to be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 20.

“It’s kind of a really neat historical ceremony,” Elsloo said.

He said the Grand Lodge officers will be there and the ceremony will be similar to the cornerstone ceremony held at the capitol of the United States, in Washington D.C.

There will be a luncheon at the Sterling Masonic Lodge following the ceremony.

“Everyone is welcome,” Elsloo said.

Freemasonry is a fraternal association based on philanthropy. There are many groups in Masonry, which include the Shriners, Knights Templar and Scottish Rite.

There are currently 2.5 million Masons in the U.S. and 4 million worldwide. There are about 11,000 members of the Masonic Fraternity in Colorado.

In North America the Masonic Fraternity gives $1.5 million a day to a number of charitable causes, ranging from operating children’s hospitals, funding medical research, treating childhood language disorders and providing community services.

The Sterling Masonic Lodge does a number of things for the community including offering a child identification program, providing scholarships to high school students for college and sponsoring high school students to go to a band camp in Greeley where they march in the Greeley Stampede. Elsloo said the students the Colorado Masons sponsored this year, who just marched in the Greeley Stampede’s Fourth of July parade last week, took first place in state, over Maple Grove Marching Crimson and 101st Military Band. The group included three students from Sterling.

“To place first in those standings is neat,” Elsloo said.

Some of the students have never marched in a marching band before but they spend three days learning how at the camp, which is facilitated by the University of Northern Colorado music department. Teachers at the camp include instrumentalists from all over the U.S.

The Masonic display will remain at the library through the end of July.

First study into GM Atlantic salmon mating reveals danger of escape to wild gene pool

eurekalert.org | Jul 13, 2011

If genetically modified Atlantic salmon were to escape from captivity they could succeed in breeding and passing their genes into the wild, Canadian researchers have found. Their research, published in Evolutionary Applications, explores the potential reproductive implications of GM salmon as they are considered for commercial farming.

“The use of growth-enhancing transgenic technologies has long been of interest to the aquaculture industry and now genetically modified Atlantic salmon is one of the first species to be considered for commercial farming. Yet, little is known about the potential impact on wild salmon populations if the GM species were to escape captivity,” said lead author Darek Moreau from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.

One of the key concerns about a transgene escape is the “Trojan gene effect”, caused when a GM fish outcompetes or reproduces equally against wild rivals, however if the resulting offspring are genetically inferior this could lead a species towards eventual extinction. Until now there is no empirical research to demonstrate the ability of transgenic Atlantic salmon to breed naturally and infiltrate the wild gene pool.

In the wild, reproducing males present two main forms of rivals which any escaping transgenic male would have to compete with; large males which have migrated and returned from the sea and smaller male parr which have matured in freshwater. The large males are aggressive and develop attributes to fight off their rivals, while the smaller male parr use cryptic colouring and ‘sneak fertilisation’ to compete.

To measure the ability of transgenic males to complete with wild males during the reproductive season the team monitored breeding behaviour in a naturalised laboratory setting and used genetic analysis to determine the success of competing individuals at producing offspring.

Large, migratory wild males outperformed their captivity-reared transgenic counterparts in terms of a variety of spawning behaviours. Moreover, despite being less aggressive, non-transgenic male parr were also able to outperform their GM rivals in terms of spawning behaviour, and as a result, achieved higher overall fertilisation success.

“While the transgenic males displayed reduced breeding performance relative to their non-transgenic rivals they still demonstrated the ability to successfully participate in natural spawning events and thus have the potential to contribute modified genes to wild populations,” said Moreau. While the study provides an estimate of breeding performance under only a single set of physical and demographic environmental conditions, it does mimic a likely invasion scenario where the genetic background of the transgenic population differs from that of the wild population.

“Our study provides the first empirical observations on the natural reproductive capacities of growth hormone transgenic Atlantic salmon,” concluded Moreau. “While the resulting ecological and genetic effects of a transgene escape remain uncertain, these data highlight the importance of preventing reproductively-viable GM salmon from entering natural systems.”

NOAA: June was third coldest in John Day, OR

Blue Mountain Eagle | Jul 12, 2011

JOHN DAY – June’s weather was the third coldest on record in John Day, according to NOAA’s National Weather Service in Pendleton. The coldest was 57.3 degrees in 1991.

The average temperature was 57.7 degrees, or 3.7 degrees below normal.

High temperatures averaged 71.4 degrees, 6.3 degrees below normal. The highest was 89 degrees on June 28. Low temperatures averaged 44.0 degrees, or 1.0 degree below normal. The lowest was 33 degrees, on June 3.

Precipitation totaled 1.38 inches during June – 0.08 inches above normal. Measurable precipitation – at least .01 inch – was received on 10 days with the heaviest, 0.36 inches reported on June 2.

The outlook for July from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center calls for near normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.

Normal highs for John Day during July are 87.5 degrees and normal lows are 48.8 degrees. The 30 year normal precipitation is 0.66 inches.

Mother ‘with attitude’ arrested for refusing to allow TSA to grope daughter’s crotch

A mother has been arrested after refusing to let her child be searched by a TSA agent.

Daily Mail |Jul 13, 2011

Andrea Fornella Abbott, 41, was arrested at Nashville International Airport on Saturday after telling agents she did not want her daughter to be ‘touched inappropriately’ or have her ‘crotch grabbed,’ according to a police report.

Mrs Abbott acted ‘belligerent and verbally abusive to staff’, yelling and swearing at them, according to the report.

Police said after the woman refused to calm down she was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

Speaking to police, airport officer Sabrina Birge said:'[Abbott] told me in a very stern voice with quite a bit of attitude that they were not going through that X-ray.’

The officer then told Mrs Abbott: ‘No, it’s not an X-ray,’ before adding, ‘It is 10,000 times safer than your cell phone and uses the same type of radio waves as a sonogram.’

Mrs Abbott then reportedly replied: ‘I still don’t want someone to see our bodies naked.’

Mrs Abbott was also prevented from taking a video of the incident on her mobile phone.

The news comes as the TSA finally changed its policy on patting down young children at airports this month.

Airport security workers will now make repeated attempts to screen young children without resorting to invasive pat-downs.

The agency is working to put that change in place around the country, and it should reduce, but not eliminate, pat-downs for children.

The move comes after public outrage in April over a video of six-year-old Anna Drexel, who was patted down at New Orleans airport.

Hitler ordered ‘gynoid’ sex dolls for Nazi soldiers

Author Graeme Donald discovered the sex dolls project while researching the history of the Barbie doll that was based on the Lilli sex doll of 1956 (pictured)

Hitler ordered Nazis to make sex dolls so soldiers wouldn’t catch syphilis from prostitutes

Daily Mail | Jul 11, 2011

Adolf Hitler ordered the Nazis to develop sex dolls to send to his troops being ravaged by disease after sleeping with French women, it’s been revealed.

The synthetic ‘comforters’ were made from silicone and designed to stop soldiers being laid low with syphilis.

Smaller than life-size, the so-called ‘gynoids’ were to be targeted at the men most at temptation from a ‘quick adventure’ with a French prostitute.

Initially, the Hungarian actress Kathe von Nagy was asked if the doll could be modelled on her, but she refused.

Instead the look of the Aryan doll with blonde bob hair and blue eyes was left bland so soldiers could apply their own fantasy.

Author Graeme Donald has uncovered the secretive ‘Borghild Project’ while researching the history of the Barbie doll – which was based on a post-war German sex doll toy.

He included the tale in his book, Mussolini’s Barber, a compilation of bizarre stories connected with the biggest events of history.

The World War Two project began in 1940 after SS chief Henrich Himmler wrote: ‘The greatest danger in Paris is the widespread and uncontrolled presence of whores, picking up clients in bars, dance halls, and other places.

‘It is our duty to prevent soldiers from risking their health just for the sake of a quick adventure.’

The dolls were apparently trialled in Nazi-occupied Jersey at the German barracks in St Hellier.

After being refined, Himmler was so impressed he immediately ordered 50 of them.

However, at the beginning of 1942 he changed his mind and the whole project was axed and any evidence was destroyed in the Allied bombing of Dresden.

The story came from German sculptor Arthur Rink, one of the men on the team which designed the doll at the Racial Hygiene and Demographic Biology Research Unit.

Mr Donald said: ‘I was looking at the weird things on the periphery of major events when I came across this story.

‘I was actually researching the history of the Barbie doll that was based on a German sex doll of the 1950s.

‘Ruth and Elliot Handler from America visited Germany in 1956 and saw the Lilli dolls that were sold in barbers’ shops and nightclubs – and were not for children.

‘Ruth didn’t realise this and bought one and realised later they were not toys. But Ruth and her husband used the doll as a foundation for what became Barbie.

‘While I was researching this I came across references to Nazi sex dolls and found out that Hitler had ordered them to be made.

‘As ever, more troops were laid low by disease than by bullets. Syphilis was a problem Hitler was aware of and he was rumoured to have suffered from it himself.

‘In an attempt to try and stop the troops getting sexually transmitted diseases the Nazis started to develop sex dolls.

‘There was debate about whether the dolls should have the hair-style with side-plaits spiralled into circles, but in the end a boyish bob won the day.

‘They were made from highly tensile and elastic polymers and the first ones were trialled in Jersey.

‘In the end the idea fizzled out and the place where they were made and all the other dolls are thought to have been destroyed in the bombing of Dresden.’

Bizarre torture cult blamed in 2001 killing, mutilation of Michigan man

Detroit Free Press | Jul 12, 2011


Robert Nowak

Troy Moross of Madison Heights was already dead of a blow to the head when someone removed his genitalia in a “precise surgical fashion,” a medical examiner testified Monday in the first-degree murder trial of Robert Nowak.

Nowak, 51, is accused of killing 26-year-old Moross in February 2001 and leaving his body in a parking lot in Madison Heights.

Investigators linked Nowak to Moross in 2010, after Nowak was arrested in California on a theft charge and his DNA matched that taken from Moross’ body.

But Nowak’s defense attorney, Lawrence Kaluzny, said Moross likely was a victim of a bizarre sexual cult operating in a home in Rochester, where men were mutilated and tortured in the basement of the home.

Federal agents with Immigration and Custom Enforcement have been investigating the cult, and have seized thousands of photos of mutilations and torture. On Monday, agent David Dominique, who is expected to be called as a defense witness, declined to answer questions from reporters.


Dr. Kanubhai Virani, deputy chief medical examiner for Oakland County, testified Monday that in 2005, federal agents who were investigating the cult asked him to review Moross’ autopsy report to see whether his injuries were consistent with injuries found in the mutilation photos. And they asked him to look at photos of surgical tools and sex toys found in the home’s basement.

Virani, pointing out marks on Moross’ ankles and wrists, said it was “very likely Mr. Moross was restrained by his wrists and ankles.”

He also pointed out that there was very little bloodletting at the site of the sexual mutilation, meaning Moross was dead before it happened. The cause of death was blunt-force trauma to the head.

Assistant Prosecutor Brett Chudler asked Virani whether the surgical tools and sex toys found in the home could have been for sexual gratification, rather than torture.

“Part of it is torture, part of it is pleasure, or a combination of that,” Virani said.

But Kaluzny asked whether the mutilation could have been done “because other people are watching and they’re getting some sexual pleasure?”

Virani said that was possible.

The trial, before Oakland County Circuit Judge Colleen O’Brien, is expected to continue today. If convicted, Nowak faces life in prison without parole.

UK to investigate if 9/11 victims targeted in Murdoch phone-hacking scandal

News Corp. drops $14 billion bid to buy major UK TV channel outright amid growing scandal

msnbc.com | Jul 13, 2011


Prime Minister David Cameron speaking during Prime Minister's questions in the House of Commons, London, Britain, on Wednesday. Image: PA TV via EPA

LONDON — British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday pledged that his government would look into whether American 9/11 victims were targeted by News Corp. journalists in the phone-hacking scandal.

“I am confident the Metropolitan Police will get to the bottom of this,” Cameron told fellow lawmakers.

Reacting to public anger over the crisis, Cameron has ordered a police investigation and a public inquiry.

Under scrutiny are British press practices, and some observers say this could shed light on dubious procedures at other media outlets.

Police have been criticized for failing to follow up inquiries into phone hacking by the News of the World after the paper’s royal correspondent was jailed in 2007 for conspiring to listen in to the voicemails of court officials.

Cameron’s comments followed calls for an investigation of media baron Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. by a U.S. senator, signaling the crisis could spread to the United States.

Senator John Rockefeller, chairman of the committee on commerce, science and transportation, said phone hacking at the News of the World raised “serious questions” about whether the newspaper’s parent company had broken any U.S. laws.

“I am concerned that the admitted phone hacking in London by the News Corp. may have extended to 9/11 victims or other Americans,” he said in a statement Tuesday. “If they did, the consequences will be severe.”

Money offered to NYPD officer?

Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper, citing an unidentified source, claimed Monday that News of the World journalists had offered to pay a New York police officer to retrieve the private phone records of victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The newspaper said journalists had wanted the phone numbers of the dead as well as details of the calls they had made and received in the days leading to the attacks.

The police officer, who now works as a private investigator, said at the time that he would turn down the request because of “how bad it would look,” the source was quoted as saying.

Prime minister Cameron also said on Wednesday that his former communications chief Andy Coulson should be prosecuted if he lied in the newspaper phone hacking scandal.

He told lawmakers that a “firestorm” was engulfing parts of the media and British police, and those who had committed offenses must be prosecuted. He said the media also needs to be more transparent.

On Wednesday, News International, News Corp.’s British arm, said its legal manager, Tom Crone, had left the company amid the growing scandal.

Spokeswoman Daisy Dunlop declined to say Wednesday if Crone had resigned or had been asked to leave.

So far, the scandal has largely been contained to the British business of Murdoch’s News Corp.

But the company is based in New York, and owns a clutch of prominent media properties in the United States, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and Fox Broadcasting.

In London, Murdoch and two top lieutenants have been summoned to parliament to answer questions next week as popular anger has spread over allegations that reporters spied on thousands of people, from the rich and powerful to vulnerable victims of crime. As a U.S. citizen, Murdoch need not attend.

News Corp. drops bid for TV channel

On Wednesday, News Corp. announced that it has withdrawn its bid for British Sky Broadcasting PLC.

The British parliament was due to pass a non-binding vote on Wednesday afternoon to tell Murdoch to drop his plan to make the $12 billion bid after UK arm News International was enveloped in the scandal.

The decision by the two ruling coalition parties to support the vote — a level of unity generally only shown at times of conflict — broke what had been strong ties between Murdoch and successive British governments and shows the dramatic fall from grace endured by one of the world’s most powerful men.

Earlier this week, News Corp. withdrew a promise to spin off Sky News, which had been a condition for buying the 61 percent of the satellite broadcaster that it doesn’t already own.

Shares slump

Murdoch, his son James and Rebekah Brooks, the former News of the World editor who is now chief executive at News International — News Corp’s British newspaper arm — have been summoned to answer questions by a legislative parliamentary committee next week.

News International has said it is cooperating with inquiries relaunched by police in January. It did not comment on Cameron’s decision to vote for the Labour motion on Wednesday.

Full Story

Scandal-plagued Rupert Murdoch to appear before British Parliament for grilling on the “dark arts” of hacking

Rupert Murdoch is at the center of a scandal surrounding his reporters’ illegal methods. Elisa Miller for News

Rupert Murdoch asked to appear at Parliament to be grilled on hacking scandal

DAILY NEWS | Jul 13, 2011

BY Lukas I. Alpert AND Helen Kennedy

Rupert Murdoch was asked to appear in front of the British Parliament next week to be grilled about the illegal “dark arts” employed by some of his journalists.

House of Commons’ Culture Committee chairman John Whittingdale initially said Murdoch, his son James and top executive Rebekah Brooks had agreed to appear next Tuesday, calling it “the first sensible thing they’ve done.”

Later, however, he said it was “not clear” after all if the Murdochs would actually show up.

He said they cannot be compelled, as both are naturalized American citizens. Brooks, a Brit, can be ordered to appear.

Murdoch’s bad week got worse Tuesday as the Conservative government decided to back the Labour Party’s push to kill NewsCorp’s $14 billion takeover bid for British Sky Broadcasting, which would have vastly increased his ownership of the European airwaves.

The House of Commons is expected to pass a motion Wednesday opposing the deal, with all political parties in agreement.

The scandal engulfing Murdoch’s British newspaper empire – the kind of maelstrom that his papers routinely whip up around other public figures – has put the media mogul on the defensive and emboldened his critics.

After reeling for nearly a week as daily revelations of wrongdoing mounted, Murdoch began to fight back Tuesday.

He announced he would use funds earmarked for the BSkyB deal to buy back $5 billion worth of shares of News Corp – a strong show of confidence for jittery investors. The share price, which had slid 14% in a week, stabilized.
NewsCorp also began to issue denials of the accusations against it.

On Monday, former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown added to the widespread outrage by accusing Murdoch’s Sun newspaper of illegally obtaining and publishing his infant son’s 2006 medical diagnosis of cystic fibrosis, a private issue Brown and his wife were still coming to grips with.

On Tuesday, the company denied breaking any laws to get the information.

“We are able to assure the Brown family that we did not access the medical records of their son, nor did we commission anyone to do so,” a News International statement said.

The Sun said the story came from “a member of the public whose family has also experienced cystic fibrosis” who “wanted to highlight the cause of those afflicted by the disease.”

“The individual has provided a written affidavit this afternoon to a lawyer confirming this,” the statement said.

The paper said the article “was written sensitively and appropriately” and noted that Brown made no complaint at the time.

Brown was certainly complaining Tuesday.

“Sarah and I were incredibly upset about it,” Brown told the BBC, saying he was “in tears” when Sun editor Rebekah Brooks told him the paper was going to publish information he said was known only to the family and the boy’s doctor.

“Your son is now going to be broadcast across the media,” Brown said. “But there’s nothing that you can do about it. You’re in public life.”

Brown said Murdoch journalists used “disgusting” and “criminal” methods to dig up dirt on him for years, including illegally gaining access to his personal banking records and legal files.

Earlier disclosures had revealed that reporters working for Murdoch’s News of the World had hacked into the voicemails of celebrities and politicians.

The floodgates of outrage opened when it was revealed that reporters listened to the voicemails of missing 13-year-old murder victim Milly Dowler, dead soldiers and terrorism victims.

Of the 4,000 likely victims of the longterm hacking campaign, only 170 have been notified, police said.

Murdoch shuttered the News of the World last week, but the sacrifice failed to cool the scandal.

Newer allegations of wrongdoing involve the Sun and Sunday Times of London, also Murdoch publications.

The former editor of the News of the World who was later hired as press secretary by Prime Minister David Cameron was arrested last week.