St.Marys Welcomes First Songwriter Festival This Saturday


For Program Click to Enlarge

Rick Scott, a former drummer with the country super group Alabama, has signed on to serve as the creative director of the newly created Seanic Group based out of St. Marys, Ga.  This past week I was privileged to play keyboards as well as sing backup for his new solo CD. The producer and engineer for the project is Nick Petta, former producer for SUN Records. Working with these two has been a real honor.

Scott, who has more than 30 million units in sales as a songwriter, has numerous works to his credit including the massive number one song “Why Lady Why” which was included on Alabama’s first album release “My Home’s In Alabama” in 1980. That album is a Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Certified Multi-Platinum project and Alabama went on to be named the RIAA Country Group of the 20th Century.

Besides working with Alabama, Scott has worked with numerous country artist such as, David Allan Coe and Earl Thomas Conley. For a couple of years Scott was also a writer for House of Cash, owned by the legendary Johnny Cash.

“I remember this particular day Johnny called me, “says Scott, “and asked me to come down to the office.  After a short visit Johnny asked to hear a few tunes. That day he cut two of my songs. Funny thing though, it was 25 years later before they were released to the public. One is on the latest CD, “Out Among The Stars.”

Scott, originally from Covington, Ky., said he started playing drums when he was very young. “I started playing drums at around four or five years of age. I knew early on it was strictly music for me. But it was mainly just my listening and learning all the time.”

This weekend Scott is involved in a local Songwriter’s Festival in St. Mary’s, Georgia.  The Songwriter’s Festival will take place from 10am – 6pm on Saturday, September 20th at the St. Mary’s Waterfront Park. This will be a great time to come out and see live music at a superior outdoor venue. Several genres of music will be covered during the event, so that everyone can enjoy the day.

Music festival admission is free with shopping opportunities from vendor booths from 10am – 6pm. With the purchase of a $3 alcohol event wristband, beer and wine will be available to attendees through 5pm for consumption inside the St. Mary’s Waterfront Park.

For festival information contact Jerry’s Lees Music Emporium at 912-576-4401. For area information call the St. Mary’s Welcome Center at 912-882-4000 or

After the festival the music continues with “Back from the Brink” Starry Nights Music in the Park from 6pm – 8pm. Bring lawn chairs and blankets for use throughout the day.

Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19

Talk Like a Pirate Day is September 19Well, Blow me down! Friday, September 19, any buccaneer to enter a participating Krispy Kreme and talk like a pirate gets one FREE Original Glazed® doughnut. To the landlubber who dares to wear full pirate attire goes a bounty of one FREE dozen Original Glazed doughnuts.

Offer good on International Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19th, only.

Here are the closest locations to Fernandina Beach:

    7612 Merrill Rd.
    12973 Atlantic Boulevard
    810 Cassat Ave.
    11117 San Jose Blvd.

To claim yer bounty on September 19, ye must:
• Come in to a participating Krispy Kreme shop and Talk like a pirate for one FREE Original Glazed doughnut.
• Come in to a participating Krispy Kreme location in full pirate costume for one FREE dozen Original Glazed doughnuts.

Qualifying pirate costumes must include three or more of the items below:

    Eye Patch
    Pirate Hat
    Pirate Flag
    Peg Leg
    Parrot on Shoulder
    Pirate Shirt / Loose white shirt
    Leather belt
    Silver and gold necklaces and earrings
    Pirate Hook
    Pointy black boots or ragged brown sandals
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Turning Our Attention Towards the Amelia Island Jazz Festival

Randy Brecker

Randy Brecker

September is Blues and October is Jazz on Amelia Island. With a magnificent Blues Festival behind us, there are several outstanding reasons to turn our eyes towards next month’ Amelia Island Jazz Festival. For me there are FOUR reasons this year! Randy Brecker, Tony Monaco, El Niño and the Latin Jazz Knights and the incomparable Jilla Webb Jr.

Jazz trumpeter and composer Randy Brecker, a multiple Grammy Awards winner, and monster jazz organ player Tony Monaco, are set to headline the 2014 Amelia Island Jazz Festival, it was announced recently by AIJF Artistic Director Les DeMerle. A hugely successful performer who has sold well over a half million albums as a solo artist, Brecker will be performing a tribute to the Brecker Brothers in honor of his late brother Michael, on Saturday, October 18, at the Omni Resorts Amelia Island Plantation. Credited with augmenting the sound of jazz, R&B and rock for more than four decades, Randy Brecker’s trumpet and flugelhorn performances have graced hundreds of albums by a wide range of recording artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Parliament/Funkadelic to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, and monster bass player Jaco Pastorius (RIP).

Tony Monaco

Tony Monaco

Tony Monaco, who will appear on Friday, October 17 at the Omni, is a leader in the revival of the Hammond B3 organ in jazz. As he has been with so many fledgling jazz organists, Jimmy Smith played a significant role in attracting Monaco to jazz and retaining his interest in the music. A critically acclaimed player, Monaco consistently ranks high among organists in DOWNBEAT Magazine’s Annual Critics Poll. He has released several well-reviewed albums including his latest, “Celebration: Life & Love & Music” on the Chicken Coup Label.

The Jazz Festival Moves into its second decade

Now in its 11th year, the AIJF’s past headliners include numerous world-class artists such as David Sanborn who commented, “The Amelia Island Jazz Festival is authentic, exciting and charming. I love the island and I look forward to coming back soon.” Another stalwart performer, Ramsey Lewis, called the AIJF, ” the ‘real deal’ because the focus is on true Jazz music.” Buckwheat Zydeco, Spyro Gyra, and Mindi Abair are among the other notables to have appeared on the festival’s stages. According to DeMerle, this year’s lineup will follow in the best of festival traditions. “We are very excited to have Randy, a longtime friend, and Tony this year—both are highly regarded and among the world’s finest on their respective instruments,” he said. “Fernandina Beach can truly look forward to some spectacular musical fireworks.”

Artist Line Up

The AIJF, which will run from October 16-19, will kick off with its annual pre-Festival free concert in Amelia Park on Sunday, October 12, with U.S. Navy Band Southeast. A Latin Jazz Night showcasing one of the country’s hottest dance groups, El Niño and the Latin Jazz Knights, is scheduled for Thursday, October 16, at Sandy Bottoms. Prior to the headliner shows on October 17 and 18, the festival will present this year’s AIJF Scholarship winner, saxophonist Luke Stribling and the Next Generation Jazz Band on the outdoor stage at the Omni. The Dynamic Les DeMerle Band, with dazzling vocalist Bonnie Eisele and exciting young saxophonist Hunter Diamond, will warm up each headliner show with high-energy sets.

Jilla Webb Jr

Jilla Webb Jr

It’s not entirely clear from the festival’s press release if accomplished and sultry singer Jilla Webb, Jr. will only host the traditionally fun late night Jazz Jams, or if she also lined up for performances. Ever since Eva Cassidy passed, Jilla Webb the younger is one of my go-to performers for sultry, jazzy, spilling your guts evergreens, whether with an orchestra backing her or her collaborations with guitarist Kurt McKinney or Bruce Innes.

The Jazz Jams featuring the AIJF’s 2014 musicians, takes place in the Omni’s Heron Room at the Racquet Park following the headliner sets on October 17 and 18.

The festival is scheduled to end on a swinging note Sunday, October 19, with a Dixie To Swing Jazz Brunch, featuring DeMerle’s Amelia Island Jazz Festival All-Stars, plus Eisele and the highly talented Dr. Bill Prince, at David’s Restaurant. Additionally during the week, the AIJF will present a Jazz In The Schools program, clinics, jam sessions and more to be announced.

A not for profit 501(c)(3) corporation, the Les DeMerle Amelia Island Jazz Festival, distributes proceeds toward a scholarship program to fund college educations for aspiring jazz musicians.

For more information, please contact the Festival Hotline at (904) 504-4772 Or visit the website: Email address:

Self Defense Workshop Supports Library Expansion

Self Defense Workshop Supports Library ExpansionFernandina Beach, FL – Martial arts expert, Dan Kelly, will teach area residents “how to protect themselves, become better prepared, not become a victim, and how to escape from arm grips and choke holds,” at a special self-defense workshop, Saturday, October 4, at the Fernandina Beach Recreation Center, 2500 Atlantic Ave, Fernandina Beach.

Kelly served with the US Marshall Service, was an Air Force Security Specialist, has a black belt in Aikido martial arts and has led self-defense classes for over two decades. He has scheduled this special workshop as a benefit for the Fernandina Beach Library expansion and renovation that will be completed next spring. Tickets are available for a donation of $20 or more to Friends of the Library (FOL). Kelly is donating his expertise and 100% of the proceeds will help purchase library furniture and equipment.

According to Susan Stanley, director of the Bryceville Public Library which sponsored one of Kelly’s workshops last year, “The workshop is great and suitable for everybody, regardless of prior experience or physical condition. I’m sure every attendee took away a valuable lesson or tip that may save a life.”

Fernandina Beach resident, Artie Lynworth, one of Kelly’s students in aikido martial arts, helped organize the program and will assist participants during the workshop. Lynworth and his wife, Margy, are avid library supporters. “We are proud to have such an excellent library and staff in our community, and thrilled to be part of the expansion project. All of the self-defense event donations go directly to the library expansion. It’s a great way to help the library and to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe,” Lynworth says. All residents 14 years and older are encouraged to attend.

The class will take place from 9 am to noon at the Rec. Center. Class size is limited to the first 50 participants who sign up at the Library with their donation of $20 or more. Tickets are going fast so sign up soon. If there is sufficient interest, a second workshop may be added.

For tickets and more information, visit the Fernandina Beach Public Library, 25 N. 4thStreet, or call (904) 277-7365.

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The Era of Competing with Robots Has Arrived

Unstoppable Technology: A 'selfie" in the Amazon

Unstoppable Technology: A ‘selfie” in the Amazon

Okay I admit, I’m coming a bit late to the House of Cards Cable TV series, even though Kevin Spacey is honestly one of my favorite actors of all time. Spacey’s character Frank Underwood is apparently already president in the current season, but in my episodes he is still the political dog from the State of South Carolina with a far-reaching foresight, ready to manipulate everyone for his objectives.
In any case, I bought the first season from “On Demand” last week to make my hour before bedtime more enjoyable since regular network TV stinks badly in the summertime.

Last night I watched the episode in which some well intentioned loser Congressman from Pennsylvania with an addictive personality, was manipulated into pushing the closure of a shipyard with a loss of 12,000 jobs. Watching the chaos, animosity and human desperation unfold, essentially as a result of ignorance, I pondered about unions, income inequality, decent wages and the plight of the fast food workers who staged protests in more than 100 cities across the nation last week, demanding a wage hike to a minimum wage of $15 per hour.

And yes I used the word “IGNORANCE” deliberately.

It is not my intention to belittle people, but I suggest that we collectively grow up and face the future as it is going to be, not the way it used to be in “Forevermore”. Saving menial jobs for unskilled laborers is a deadend street. It’s Zombie land in my opinion and it goes to show that even the president of the United States doesn’t understand why America’s economy is structurally flawed these days, despite the so-called recovery. At a Labor Day rally in Milwaukee, Mr. President said that if he had a service-sector job and “wanted an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, I’d join a union.” That is sad and the man needs to be replaced by President Frank Underwood.

Why? Gas station attendants have died out over the past 35 years, except in some unionized regions or areas catering to the super rich.
While typists in large company type pools, switchboard and telephone operators have already completely vanished, librarians, inventory controllers, train conductors, airport ticket counter workers, cashier-checkouts at department stores, letter carriers, toll collectors, book keepers, accountants, factory workers and bank tellers are just a few of the jobs on the chopping block in years to come. I could probably list another 500 professions that once put food on the table for someone and his or her family, but are now slated to become obsolete in the next ten years. Fact is that it’s not outsourcing that is creating massive unemployment; it’s advancing technology.

We talked about it 50 years ago, but few really believed it was going to happen in our lifetimes. Well here is the news for all those spinning in menial jobs that can be replaced by robots: the humanoids are here.
If a country like mainland China with a population of 1.5 billion people, many of whom earn less than $2 an hour, is starting to utilize robots in service sectors like food, manufacturing and hospitality, because it can be done cheaper, than we have to accept that $15 per hour minimum wage for a burger flipper here in the US has no future.

More robots are replacing humans in the service sector around the globe.

A restaurant in China is using more than a dozen robots to cook and deliver food, while the noodle robot can make twice as many noodles as a human chef and costs less than half the human chef.

In Russia, the pizza drone is completing unmanned pizza deliveries. In Madrid Spain self-service machines operate at a McDonald’s, 

and in the U.S., Momentum Machines announced that it has created a robot that can produce roughly 360 hamburgers in an hour.  That’s a hamburger every 10 seconds!  What’s more, the robot can slice the toppings just before serving it, creating an incredibly fresh sandwich. It will even drop your burger in a bag when it’s done preparing it, so it’s immediately ready for the customer.

Want a “custom meat grind”? Momentum Machines reports that the next generation will offer custom patties.  How about a burger that’s 1/3 beef and 2/3 bison?  The robot will be able to do that, too.

The robot isn’t enormous either. It takes up only 24 square feet — that’s smaller than the majority of assembly-line fast-food operations. Also the robot is more sanitary and consistent; they don’t need to go to the restroom or step outside for a cigarette break. These robots don’t require health insurance or a career plan. They don’t get sick, need to leave early to pick-up kids or take a vacation.

Raising wages significantly will have a ripple effect that will impact everyone and not for the better.  Prices will rise for all the goods we buy as owners cover the costs of those higher wages. And one of the quickest and potentially easiest ways for restaurant owners to save money will be to make a one-time payment (plus maintenance) to bring in a robot.

In the near future, many workers will be squeezed out of a paycheck. Unless those laid off can rely on or learn another set of skills, unemployment will increase across the country, leaving more Americans dependent on a deeply indebted government … which will only become more desperate to snatch up funds from wherever it can find money.

Attempting to artificially raise wages is never a good thing, because there’s always someone waiting to do the same job cheaper.  And this time, that someone just happens to be a robot.

We need leaders that can think and envision beyond the length of their nose and propose programs that have feasibility 20, 30 and 50 years from now. The era of competing with robots for jobs has arrived.

Enjoy Special Offers this Fall on Amelia Island

Enjoy Special Offers this Fall on Amelia IslandAmelia Island, FL – This fall, enjoy Amelia Island’s numerous outdoor excursions, value season rates, upscale spas, dinners out, and more as you explore one of the top-rated U.S. islands along Florida’s Northeast coast.

The following offers are currently available:
-At Amelia Hampton Inn at the Beach, receive a $99 rate (plus tax) per night for Sunday through Thursday stays from Aug. to Nov. 2014.

-Make your reservations at Summer Beach Resort with special stay two nights, get one free offers.

-The Williams House, The Blue Heron, and The Hoyt House are offering a special Sleep-Around-Amelia package, where guests enjoy three different luxurious bed & breakfast establishments for one night each. The package is available Sunday-Thursday through Nov. 1st. The three-night stay, priced at $567, includes early check-in at each location, a cheese and fruit platter at the Williams House, chocolate-covered strawberries from The Hoyt House and champagne from The Blue Heron. To confirm the accommodations, guests simply contact one inn and the rest is taken care of.

-Stay in a two-bedroom unit at Ketch Courtyard at a rate of $165 a night or in a three-bedroom/three-bath condo for just $180 per from Sept. 15 to April 1, 2015.

-The Omni Amelia Island Plantation is offering an Amelia Afterglow package through October 31. The package offers a $400 resort credit for stays of four or more nights, allowing guests to experience s’mores by beach bonfire, sunset kayak excursions, family scavenger hunts, Camp Amelia, Dive-In Movies, Heron’s Cove Adventure Golf and more. Rates start at $359 per night.

-With the September Step into Fall package at the Amelia Island Williams House, guests receive admission for two on a Sunset River Cruise or a private carriage tour of the historic district. Room rates start at $205 per night and also include a two-course breakfast each morning and complimentary social hour with wine and appetizers each evening. When booking online, use SR for the River Cruise or CT for the Carriage Tour options. In addition, the B&B is also tempting travelers to enjoy the special festivals, which take place on island each Fall with the October Fall Getaway package (online booking code: OFG), starting at $205 per night. Each two-night stay includes a dinner certificate ($60 value) to either España, Le Clos or David’s Restaurant, breakfast each morning and social hour each evening. Guests have the option to extend their stay an extra night for a $100 rate.

-Beginning Nov. 1, couples can enjoy the Romance and Honeymoon packages at the Fairbanks House, featuring accommodations in king-bedded large rooms and suites and cottages with Jacuzzi tubs. Packages range from two to seven night stays with rates starting at $435 per couple through January 2015 and may include a variety of amenities, such as daily gourmet breakfast, evening social hour, chocolate-covered strawberries and dinners at area fine-dining restaurants.

-Valid through Dec. 31, visitors can escape to the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island with the Rejuvenate You spa package. Guests can enjoy coastal lunch for two before entering the luxurious spa for an indulgent 60-minute signature treatment. After the treatment, visitors are invited to enjoy the private, adult-only, saltwater pool and spa facilities. This two-night package begins at $479 per night.

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Power of 1 Helps Veterans in Crisis

Power of 1 Helps Veterans in CrisisWashington – Nationwide Efforts Show how “The Power of 1” can help Veterans, Servicemembers in Crisis.

One small act could save the life of a Veteran or Servicemember in crisis – that’s the inspiration behind “The Power of 1” campaign. The campaign will launch this September during Suicide Prevention Month and is a joint project coordinated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

“The campaign emphasizes the effect that just one person, one conversation, or one act can have on the life of a Veteran or Servicemember by offering hope and opening the door to support,” said Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy, Interim Under Secretary for Health. “It also is designed to spread the word about VA and DoD mental health resources and suicide prevention efforts.”

A new public service announcement, “The Power of 1,” will reinforce this message by focusing on the small, everyday actions that can play a pivotal role in improving a Veteran’s life. It will be broadcast on television and radio stations Nationwide during September. In addition, a Suicide Prevention Month Web page,, offers interactive tools to learn more about the Veterans Crisis Line and how small acts make a difference.

“Sometimes, when we suspect a Veteran or Servicemember in our lives may be going through a crisis, we are unsure how to help — but we all have the power to take the first step to reach out, to find time in our day to talk with the Veterans close to us and see how they’re doing,” said Dr. Caitlin Thompson, Deputy Director of VA’s Suicide Prevention Program. “It takes only a moment, and just one small act can start them down the path to getting the support they need.”

VA will also collaborate with community organizations throughout the month, with specially trained suicide prevention coordinators in 151 VA Medical Centers across the Nation spreading the word at local events, sponsoring health fairs, and working with DoD to help

Veterans and Servicemembers get the support they deserve. In addition, VA will coordinate with local and regional groups — including community partners, Veterans Service Organizations, health care providers and prominent Veteran supporters — to spread the word about VA’s mental health resources. Together, this network will encourage Veterans and the people in their lives to educate themselves about suicide risk, identify warning signs and learn the steps to take in a time of crisis.

Those steps include contacting the Veterans Crisis Line or using its online chat and text-messaging services for free, confidential support from specially trained and experienced responders. Veterans, Servicemembers and anyone concerned about them can call the Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255 and Press 1), chat online at, or send a text to 838255 — even if they are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care. All Veterans Crisis Line resources are optimized for mobile devices.

“Taking that first step to connect with someone in crisis can feel daunting, but the Veterans Crisis Line offers support for those concerned about a loved one,” Thompson said. “One call, one chat, or one text can open the door to hope.”

To learn more about the Veterans Crisis Line or to find a local VA suicide prevention coordinator, visit For more information about VA mental health resources, visit

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School has Started – Bullying Does Not Have To

School has Started Bullying Does Not Have ToThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stated that just because school has started doesn’t mean bullying has to start, too. Kids, parents and school officials can help to prevent or stop bullying. At HHS’ Administration for Children and Families, Dr. George Askew has some suggestions about how parents can help when their children say they are being bullied, “Listen to them. Try to know who their friends are. I know that’s much easier said than done. But really be actively engaged in who they are hanging out with and whether they are hanging out with anyone or are they alone – and if they are alone is that by choice or because they are being excluded.”

All children should know bullying is unacceptable – and how to get help.

Askew also says it’s important for adults to model how to treat others with kindness and respect.

I have often written about this subject and if you need some tips, check out my article, Discuss Bullying with Your Kids from May 2013.

Bullying is NOT just a school issue! The media’s attention has been focusing on the ex-NFL player Ray Rice and him knocking out his fiance’ on an elevator, but when you look at the statistics from Micah’s Place, “Children and teens who are victims of bullying or are bullies themselves have a much higher chance of being invlolved in situations of domestic violence as adults.”

They said in March 2014:

“If the headlines in newspapers around the country are any indication, bullying is one of the major problems facing Americas youth and schools today. There have been numerous studies conducted on the issue of bullying, and the numbers all tell the same story:

• Nearly 1 out of 6 students in grades 6-10 are bullied every year
• 6 out of 10 teens witness bullying every day
• 160,000 students miss school every day out of fear of bullying
• 1 in 10 students who drop out of school do so because of repeated bullying
• Bullying has been linked to 75% of all school shootings”

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so lets STOP the cycle now!!!
…but to break the cycle of domestic violence, we must also address the issue of bullying.

For this reason, Micah’s Place developed a curriculum for middle and high school students that focuses on bullying and dating violence. Led by a Micah’s Place staff member, students cover topics such as the effects of bullying, healthy and unhealthy traits of relationships, what to do when you encounter bullying, and the importance of talking to a trusted adult. Students also learn the warning signs of dating violence, and some safety strategies to use if they or a friend are involved in an abusive relationship.

For more information about their bullying and dating violence programs, please contact them at (904) 491-6364 or visit

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Obama’s Upcoming ISIS Speech Should Take This in Consideration


The Political Angle of a Global Threat

President Obama is slated to give a speech, outlining the White House’s call to action in the Islamic State threat. It has been widely in the news lately, especially since horrific images have filled social media calling the threat of ISIS more dangerous than Al Qaeda ever was. This morning at 3:43 our time I received an email from a friend in Dubai, who is uniquely qualified to shed a more informed light on the situation.

I would like to share the New York Times opinion article from Sept. 7 with our readers, just in case you missed it.


Hi There.

Catching up on my reading here in Dubai and this article does decent job of framing structure of what world is facing.
Opinion: The Saudis Can Crush ISIS
7 September 2014
The New York Times
As ISIS continues to grow, many commentators have been pointing to Saudi Arabia as the source of the group, and most assume that the United States is the only force that can stop it. Both of these assertions are incorrect.
Saudi Arabia is not the source of ISIS, it’s the group’s primary target.
ISIS’ core objective is to restore the caliphate (an Islamic empire led by a supreme leader), and because Saudi Arabia is the epicenter of Islam and the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina, ISIS’ road to the caliphate lies through the kingdom and its monarchy. Indeed, ISIS has even launched a campaign against Saudi Arabia, called qadimun, or “we are coming” to take over the country. Saudi Arabia has put the group on its list of terrorist sponsors, declared that funding ISIS is a crime with severe penalties, and arrested ISIS supporters and operatives over the past several months.
ISIS emerged not from Saudi Arabia but from postwar Iraq and the remnants of Saddam Hussein’s senior officer corps and their local support networks in Iraq and Syria. This has enabled ISIS to capture large swathes of land in these two countries and seize valuable economic, financial and energy assets, thus becoming financially self-sufficient. Now they are after Saudi Arabia’s riches.
The kingdom’s enormous oil fields and monetary wealth have always been coveted by Al Qaeda, as they are now by ISIS. Of course, with typical hypocrisy, while Al Qaeda and ISIS covet the kingdom’s riches, they also despise the way it has modernized in order to capitalize on that wealth – seeing it as having strayed from proper Islamic practices.
Why, then, do so many people believe Saudi Arabia is behind ISIS?
At the root of the claim that Saudi Arabia created ISIS is the belief that both entities practice a version of Islam called Salafism (erroneously known in the West as Wahhabism). While it is true that the kingdom espouses Salafism, ISIS’ claim that it is Salafi has no basis. Salafism is based on the word salaf, or “the ancestors,” referring to the way Islam was practiced by Prophet Muhammad’s early followers in the religion’s first three generations.
The Salafists believe that Islam should be practiced according to the dictates of these ancestors. Different interpretations of these dictates have occurred over time, leading to four schools of jurisprudence in Sunni Islam. The founders of these schools were Abu Hanifah, Malik, Al Shafi’i, and Ibn Hanbal.
ISIS follows an ideology that is a continuation of a crude sect known as the Kharijites, or the ones that “deviated” from the Muslim community during the reign of the fourth Caliph Ali (whom they assassinated). The Kharijites believed that whoever disagreed with them should be murdered as infidels (takfir), rationalized mass killings against civilians, including women and children (isti’rad), and practiced an extreme form of inquisition to test their opponent’s faith (imtihan).
These concepts make ISIS’ ideology the absolute opposite of Saudi Salafism. The version of Salafism applied in the kingdom’s courts and religious institutions was formulated by one of the four leading Muslim jurists, the ninth-century scholar Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Hanbali law stands firmly against sedition, shedding of blood, and forcible conversion.
One of Ibn Hanbal’s best known sayings typifies current Saudi theology: “Glory to God; shedding blood! Shedding blood! I do not consent nor do I command it; to observe patience in our situation is better than sedition that causes the shedding of blood.”
ISIS poses a unique threat: It is a bloodthirsty movement that can find disaffected young men and women and recruit them from among the world’s 1.3 billion Sunnis. It does not face the numerical constraints of groups like Hezbollah or countries like Iran, whose ideologies only appeal to the smaller Shiite community. With such enormous growth potential, ISIS must be defeated now.
Saudi Arabia is the only authority in the region with the power and legitimacy to bring ISIS down. Having effectively eradicated Al Qaeda in the kingdom, the Saudi government, with its experience fighting terrorism, is uniquely positioned to deal with ISIS, which is, after all, an Al Qaeda-aligned organization. The kingdom has built up an impressive counter terrorism program and its counterterrorism strategies are considered some of the most sophisticated and effective in the world.
More importantly, the Saudi leadership has a unique form of religious credibility and legitimacy, which will make it far more effective than other governments at delegitimizing ISIS’ monstrous terrorist ideology. The message sent to the Muslim and Arab worlds as Saudi Arabia takes on ISIS is radically different from – and much preferable to – the message sent if the United States does so, especially given America’s recent disastrous record in the Middle East.
When ISIS first appeared in Syria in 2011, Saudi Arabia tried to galvanize support for the moderate Syrian opposition against the murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad. But the world failed to listen.
Now, as King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia recently pointed out, ISIS is not only a threat to the Middle East, but to Europe and America. We call on the international community to form a solid coalition with Saudi Arabia to roll back ISIS’ military advances while at the same time supporting the kingdom’s ever increasing campaign to delegitimize ISIS in the eyes of the wider Sunni world, in order to ultimately destroy it.


CVS Stops Selling Cigarettes and Tobacco

CVS Stops Selling Cigarettes and TobaccoCVS Caremark announced some corporate changes beginning with their new name, CVS Health, and the decision to stop selling cigarettes and tobacco effective September 3, 2014.

CVS Health aims to reflect its broader health care commitment and its expertise in driving the innovations needed to shape the future of health.

“For our patients and customers, health is everything and CVS Health is changing the way health care is delivered to increase access, lower costs and improve quality,” announced Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health. “As a pharmacy innovation company at the forefront of a changing health care landscape, we are delivering breakthrough products and services, from advising on prescriptions to helping manage chronic and specialty conditions.”

CVS Health includes the company’s retail business, which continues to be called CVS/pharmacy; its pharmacy benefit management business, which is known as CVS/caremark; its walk-in medical clinics, CVS/minuteclinic; and its growing specialty pharmacy services, CVS/specialty. With 7,700 retail pharmacies, 900 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 65 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, CVS Health enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways.

“Each year, CVS Health touches more than 100 million people by playing an active, supportive role in each person’s unique health experience and in the greater health care environment,” said Merlo. “Consumers are increasingly taking control of their own health and, through our 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners, we are helping people on their path to better health.”

As a further demonstration of its commitment to health, CVS Health also announced the end of tobacco sales at CVS/pharmacy as of September 3, nearly a month ahead of the previously targeted date of October 1. In February, the company announced that it would end the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at its CVS/pharmacy stores, making CVS/pharmacy the first and only national pharmacy chain to take this step in support of the health and well-being of its patients and customers.

“Along with the start of CVS Health, the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy ends today. By eliminating cigarettes and tobacco products from sale in our stores, we can make a difference in the health of all Americans,” Merlo declared.

“The sale of tobacco in a retail pharmacy conflicts with the purpose of the health care services delivered there,” added Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. “Even more important, there is evidence developing that indicates that removing tobacco products from retailers with pharmacies will lead to substantially lower rates of smoking with implications for reducing tobacco-related deaths.”

Results of a new study from CVS Health, included in a Health Affairs blog, show that the enactment of policies to eliminate the sale of tobacco products at retailers with pharmacies in San Francisco and Boston was associated with up to a 13.3 percent reduction in purchasers of tobacco products.

“Today should mark a call to action by all retailers involved in health care,” said Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “We urge other retailers with pharmacies to follow the powerful example set by CVS/pharmacy and end tobacco sales.”

In addition to removing cigarettes and tobacco products for sale, CVS Health kicked off a comprehensive and uniquely personalized smoking cessation campaign to help millions of Americans to quit smoking.

“Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health and protect the health of your family, but quitting isn’t easy,” said Helena Foulkes, President, CVS/pharmacy.

The CVS Health smoking cessation program, designed with input from national experts, combines the efforts of CVS/pharmacy, CVS/minuteclinic and CVS/caremark to help smokers quit and includes four critical components: an assessment of the smoker’s readiness to quit, education to give smokers the information and tools they need to quit, medication support to help curb the desire to use tobacco and coaching to help individuals stay motivated and prevent relapses.

“We learned following our announcement in February that nearly everyone has a tobacco story and was eager to tell it,” Foulkes continued. “So, today we are launching a social campaign – #OneGoodReason – in which we are inviting everyone to share their personal stories of how smoking and tobacco use has affected their lives. Our hope is that through the sharing of these stories we can spark a movement that will make lasting improvements in health across our country.”

“Today, as CVS Health, we are tobacco-free, reinventing pharmacy and taking our place among leaders in the health care community,” Merlo concluded.

About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through our 7,700 retail pharmacies, 900 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 65 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, we enable people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at

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Book Yourself and Start Earning Money Today

Book Yourself and Start Earning Money TodayI have a very resourceful relative who has been out of steady work for a bit of time. Well, she decided to make money by booking herself and Boy, did it pay off! Here is her simple plan if you want to try and make some dependable cash income for yourself.

She took out an advertisement in a local pet friendly magazine that went something like this:

Personal Assistant, she listed her name, two contact numbers and an email address.

Next, she listed all of the things she is good at by category.
Household: Laundry, packing, unpacking, drop off or pick-up services, party preparations, plant watering, light cleaning, light food preparation and so on.
Pet Related: Dog walking, feeding, brushing, visiting, administering medications and the like.
Do It Yourself: Curtain rod and picture hanging, organizing closets, cleaning the garage, light gardening, and rearranging furniture.
Seamstress: Hemming, mending, alterations if you have lost weight and can no longer wear your favorite clothing.
Computers: Introduction to, email, surfing the web, data entry, basic filing.

Near the end of the ad she put in big bold letters, WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU?

She closed with the basic detailed information regarding her fees and expectations, “12.00 per hour, not a health care provider nor strictly a cleaning service.”

She is booked six days a week for the next ten weeks and is thrilled with the variety of work she is doing. She is working for herself, setting her own hours, and extremely happy.

If someone calls for something she cannot do, she will admit that right up front, also she does not take risks. Anything dangerous or hazardous she wants no part of, but she has turned out to be quite the entrepreneur.

So, the next time you find yourself whining because you cannot find a job, simply make one for yourself based on your own set of skills. As you can see in this example, when you think about it, you have plenty of talent that others will pay you for. Start today and make money by booking yourself.

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Megabite Set to Interview Remote Data Backup’s Daniel Dugal

Megabite Set to Interview Remote Data Backup's Daniel DugalLocal Entreprenuer Deryck Burnett, owner of Megabite in Fernandina Beach, has an interview scheduled with Daniel Dugal, the CEO and founder of Remote Data Backups, on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 4:00 PM.

The show can be found by using this link: and you can click now to set a “reminder”.

Remote Data Backups, Inc. has been a leader in business-class cloud backup since 1999. The company is a HP partner and provides data backup solutions to small to mid-sized businesses. Remote Data Backups offers a cost-effective, convenient and secure way to automatically back up your critical data using HP cloud technology.

Megabite is a computer repair company on Amelia Island. They service both PC and Macs, and Deryck has quickly earned a reputation for his expertise in managed IT servies and tech support for business owners. Your data, whether personal photos, business tax documents or original art, is the most important thing on your computer. Deryck understands the serious side effects associated with lost data and can help your small to medium business prepare a disaster recovery plan.

“There have been a number of bargain basement services entering the market with a barrage of advertising.” Deryck said. “We understand that some people simply make business decisions based on price alone, but when it comes to vital needs like secure data, cheaper is NOT better! That’s like buying the cheapest parachute, life insurance or eye surgery!”

When you lose your data, you can lose your business. Remote Data Backups protects data for banks, hospitals, financial institutions, government offices, commercial businesses, mobile salespeople, home users and anyone else with important data.

What sets Remote Data Backups (RDB) apart from cheaper backup solutions?

RDB is for Business, bargain-basement backups are for home users. “Bargain” backup services are targeted toward the average home user and never claim to be suitable or adequate for protecting valuable business data.

Remote Data Backups has had a stellar history of protecting data for business clients, including over 200 recognizable franchise brands, in dozens of countries globally over the last decade.

A History of Reliable Data Protection
Most cut-rate backup services popping up recently are owned by speculative venture capital funding companies ill-equipped to handle the volume of customers brought in by expensive national marketing campaigns. And while the introductory pricing structure may seem too low to resist, once the initial round of funding expires the providers are forced to make a price hike (for example, one major provider raised their rates by 5x this spring).

24/7 Support
When clients are in a panic and need to restore data, it is essential they can call an experienced, technically-knowlegeable support person to help them through it. With a non-business backup service, support is extremely limited. It can be a major challenge not only to speak with a live person by phone — in a reasonable time frame, who is helpful and technically competent — or even access useful documentation online. It’s like booking a convention center with bargain rates for cramming 10,000 business tycoons into a room made for 100 — you may save a few bucks, but the results are bound to be disastrous.

The support staff at Remote Data Backups is readily available by phone, toll-free 24/7, with little or no hold time. Each of their technicians has been with the company for at least 3 years and came to them with over a decade of prior hands-on IT experience.

Bandwidth and Performance
Bandwidth is one major commodity backup companies need to account for. When you give unlimited space for a few bucks a month, you are forced to govern bandwidth.

Remote Data Backups provides redundant bandwidth using multiple telecom providers via world-class connections. That way they can provide nearly limitless up-and-downstream for unparalleled transfer speed and performance.

Successful, Timely Data Restores
When clients need to restore a lost file, they don’t have time to wait. A backup service is only as valuable as the reliability and timeliness of a restore.

While to the novice observer backups may seem like simple, straightforward file transfers, the complexity of restoring incremental file changes can cause problems with less-tested software. RDB can say definitively they have never lost a client’s backup data.

World-Class Data Centers and Security
Another area where low-rate backup services cut corners is the equipment and infrastructure used to store and manage your data. Outdated technologies, overloaded servers, lack of security, monitoring and redundancy can be major signs of concern.

Remote Data Backups uses the world’s most secure data centers, located in ultra-secure private limestone mines located 100-200 feet below ground and separate by 1,100 miles. All data received by either hardened Data Center is immediately replicated to its mirror – connected by point-to-point, high-speed WAN links. Data received by either Data Center is immediately replicated to the other, so an unlikely outage or disaster at one location will not affect your data availability or service performance.

Each facility uses high-performance HP Servers with fail over and redundancy, continuous server monitoring and performance tuning, assuring that storage capacity is never exceeded. We maintain best practices networking and best-of-breed routers, switches, firewalls, servers, facilities infrastructure, power grids and telecommunications circuits are all deployed with backup components to maximize fail over and redundancy.

Other physical security features include:
-Redundant power supply using backup generators with full power for up to 7 days
-Redundant completely independent electrical systems, power train, commercial power feeds, cooling system, UPS systems, dedicated A/C units, generator systems and fuel system
-Environment and climate controlled facilities, resistant to seismic activity and other natural disasters, with Class A vaults with OSHA certified fire suppression and EPA certified water treatment plants and clean air fire extinguishing systems (CAFES)
-Level 4 (highest) security rating, 24/7 armed security, maintenance & service operation
-Finger scanners for physical access, motion detectors, CCTV monitoring & camera tracking
-Failed account access attempts are logged and reviewed to prevent unauthorized access
-Privacy and Security of your Data

With such low rates, a lot companies provide cheap data storage for alterior motives – data mining. That’s right, it says right in their User Agreement that they are free to use your own “private” data for their own marketing purposes. If that doesn’t bother you, be sure to check the regulatory compliance laws that affect your industry. If you use a data backup company that mines your data, you won’t pass an audit and can face serious fines and penalties for compromising the privacy and security of your clients’ private data.

With Remote Data Backups, you set your own private encryption key, which they never have access to. Your data is encrypted before leaving your computer, in transit and stored at their data centers, using bank-level 128-bit AES encryption, so without the key it cannot be accessed.

Bottom Line:
How valuable is your clients’ data, and your reputation? Can you risk your clients’ data, and your reputation, on an unproven, cut-rate backup service just to save a few bucks?

Dugal is excited to announce, “All HP StoreEasy storage devices sold will have Remote Data Backup’s LiveVault hands-free-trial displayed as an option during setup. Links on the StoreEasy desktop and start-up menu will also point to”

There are a variety of external hard drives and flash drives available to backup your data, but they all have disadvantages, which I shared in an article earlier this summer: Disadvatages of External Hard Drive and Flash Drive Backups.

Listening in on Daniel and Deryck’s conversation promises to be much more than an education in backing up your important data.

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2014 Georgia vs Florida Rates on Amelia Island

Georgia vs Florida Rates on Amelia IslandGet Your Game On with Special Rates and Offers on Amelia Island During the Georgia vs. Florida Football Weekend

Amelia Island, FL – On Saturday, November 1, the University of Georgia Bulldogs and University of Florida Gators will hold their annual rivalry game at Everbank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. Football fans from both teams will enjoy Amelia Island’s all-star line-up of special offers, discounts and a chance to win a three-day vacation. Located 45 minutes from downtown Jacksonville, Amelia Island is home to several award-winning hotels, resorts, and inns offering discounted packages. Gator and Bulldog fans can turn a game day trip into a weekend getaway or enjoy watching the game from the comfort of their hotel room or favorite sports bar.

Amelia is also running the “Gridiron Getaway” contest in which one lucky fan will win a three-day, two-night stay at Omni Amelia Island Plantation and two tickets to the Florida vs. Georgia football game on November 1 as well as round-trip transportation to the game. To enter the contest, visit

The following packages and specials are available:
-Stay at the Amelia Hotel at the Beach with a special starting rate of $149 and enjoy a Manager’s Reception on Friday evening (Oct. 31). Sunday’s breakfast for guests will also include $4 mimosas and Bloody Marys.

-Amelia Rental and Management Services is offering a 10 percent discount on stays of three or more nights at their popular rental properties located on Amelia Island Plantation, Summer Beach Resort and Surf & Racquet Club, during the Georgia vs. Florida Football Weekend.

-The 11-room Amelia Island Williams House is providing Gator and Bulldog fans with a 15 percent discount. Guests can enjoy the inn’s daily breakfast and evening social.

-ERA Fernandina Beach Realty Vacation Rentals, along with Amelia by the Sea, Oceans of Amelia and Amelia South, is featuring a 15 percent discount for the Georgia vs. Florida Weekend. The discount will apply to stays between October 29 and November 1 on select properties for reservations made on or after August 18.

-The Hampton Inn at the Beach is offering a special $1 rate for Sunday, November 2 for guests who stay Friday and Saturday night. Rates start at $159 plus tax, for Friday and Saturday nights and include complimentary breakfast each day. Offer is only available by calling the hotel directly at 904-321-1111.

-The Hampton Inn & Suites in downtown Fernandina Beach is featuring guests a festive Bulldog and Gator welcome reception on Friday, Oct. 31. The reception, held from 4 to 7 p.m., will feature complimentary beer and wine, as well as an assortment of food and game day paraphernalia.

-The Omni Amelia Island Plantation is offering fans of both teams a special overnight package, including luxurious accommodations, transportation to and from the Georgia vs. Florida game, tickets to the property’s Georgia vs. Florida Bash, and arrival amenity with tasty treats representing each state. The property will also be offering a number of special events during the weekend, including a pumped up bash on Friday night, spa services tailored to devoted fans, and a special sale at The Shops.

-The Residence Inn Amelia Island is gearing up for the return of one of the biggest college football rivalries with rates starting at $159 per night. Guests will receive all the Florida and Georgia fan party favors they can handle, an invitation to a Kickoff Cookout on Friday night, as well as the hotel’s full, hot complimentary breakfast, free island shuttle, evening socials, and more. Must visit or call 866-245-6099 to book.

In addition to the packages, guests can celebrate before the big game by participating in the Omni Amelia Island Plantation’s Florida-Georgia Bash. Taking place on Friday, Oct. 31 from 7 to 11 p.m., the event will feature live music from the Swingin’ Medallions, costume contests, food, drinks and more. Please visit for more information.

About Amelia Island:
Northeast Florida’s coastal treasure, Amelia Island is a barrier island rich in colorful history and breath-taking natural beauty. Consistently ranked in the top 10 North American Islands by the readers on Conde Nast Traveler, Amelia Island offers long, beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, and pristine waters. Upscale resorts with world-class spas, championship golf and exclusive dining blend effortlessly with a captivating collection of bed and breakfast inns and historic districts.

The island is home to Fernandina Beach, once a vibrant Victorian seaport village, and now a charming downtown district of eclectic shops, attractions and eateries. Forget the everyday getaway; Come make memories on Amelia Island. For visitor information and online planning, visit

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Surviving Sepsis and Taming a Deadly Immune Response

Surviving Sepsis and Taming a Deadly Immune ResponseMany people have never heard of sepsis, or they don’t know what it is. But sepsis is one of the top 10 causes of disease-related death in the United States. The condition can arise suddenly and progress quickly, and it’s often hard to recognize.

Sepsis was once commonly known as “blood poisoning.” It was almost always deadly. Today, even with early treatment, sepsis kills about 1 in 5 affected people. It causes symptoms such as fever, chills, rapid breathing, and confusion.

Anyone can get sepsis, but the elderly, children, and infants are most vulnerable. People with weakened immune systems, severe burns, physical trauma, or long-term illnesses (such as diabetes, cancer, or liver disease) are also at increased risk.

At one time, sepsis was thought to arise from an overgrowth of bacteria or other germs in the bloodstream. We now know that sepsis actually springs from 2 factors: first an infection (such as pneumonia or a urinary tract infection) and then a powerful and harmful response by your body’s own immune system.

“With sepsis, the fight between the infection and the body’s immune response makes the body like a battleground,” says Dr. Derek Angus, a critical care physician at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “In the case of severe sepsis, that fight results in vital organ dysfunction, which puts one’s life in peril.”

Severe sepsis can damage essential organs like the liver and kidneys. An even more extreme disorder occurs when blood pressure plummets—a condition known as septic shock. “With septic shock, the immune response that’s trying to fight infection can actually lead to a dangerous drop in blood pressure,” Angus says. As blood pressure falls, tissues become starved for oxygen-rich blood. Organs can fail, which could lead to death.

By some estimates, severe sepsis or septic shock strikes nearly 1 million Americans each year. At least 200,000 of them die in the hospital shortly afterward. Many who survive recover completely. But others have lasting problems, including permanent organ damage and thinking difficulties (such as problems with planning, organizing, and multitasking).

Sepsis can be triggered by many types of infections. “But the most common cause of sepsis is community–acquired pneumonia,” Angus says. Scientists are still working to understand why some people with infections develop severe sepsis or septic shock while others don’t.

Researchers are exploring new ways to diagnose, reverse, or prevent this serious and costly condition. Treatment for sepsis is most successful if the condition is spotted early and then treated quickly with antibiotics to fight the infection and fluids to maintain blood pressure.

In a large NIH-funded clinical trial of sepsis care, Angus and his colleagues found that a relatively simple strategy worked as well at preventing deaths as did more complex and costly approaches. “The study helped to clarify that a lot of the treatment steps we’d been using are essential, but the extra steps with sophisticated and invasive procedures aren’t always necessary to improve survival,” Angus says.

Sepsis is a health emergency that requires swift medical care.

This article was written and distributed by News in Health (NIH)
Managing Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Editor: Vicki Contie
Contributors: Vicki Contie, Alan Defibaugh (illustrations), and Dana Steinberg.

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Second Annual Senior Expo and Health Fair

Second Annual Senior Expo and Health Fair

Fernandina Beach, FL – The Council on Aging of Nassau County and Baptist Health Hospital have joined forces to present the 2nd annual Senior Expo and Health Fair on Friday, August 15th. This event will bring together more than forty state and local organizations who will present a wide variety of health and wellness information to Nassau County senior citizens.

This expo is free of charge and will be held at the Atlantic Avenue Recreation Center’s main auditorium. The goal of this event is to educate and enlighten seniors resulting in a longer, healthier life.

The Senior Expo and Health Fair will begin at 9 a.m. and run until 2 p.m. While the information offered is geared for individuals 60 + years of age, the public is invited to attend this free event. Health tests and screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, bone density and glucose levels will also be offered at the expo free of charge. Influenza vaccinations will also be available through Walgreens Pharmacy.

In its 40th year serving the needs of Nassau County seniors, The Council on Aging of Nassau County is a 501(3)(c) not for profit agency. There are five outreach programs currently offered by the COA: Two Senior Centers, In-home Services, Transportation Services, Meals on Wheels, and Adult Day Healthcare. The COA is partially funded by local and federal grants and donations from local individuals and businesses.

For more information, please visit their website:

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