Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday 06-28-11

I know it missed, but the sad thing is that they did not know what it was until a week before it was due to "come close"

Small asteroid swings harmlessly past Earth



Whew, that was close. An asteroid the size of a tour bus streaked harmlessly past Earth on Monday, passing within 7,600 miles.

Discovered only last week, the relatively small space rock made a hairpin turn around the planet at about 10 a.m. PDT, sailing high over the southern Atlantic Ocean
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http://wtop.com/?nid=884&sid=2436262

This one makes me want to do more then cuss

TSA denies having required a 95-year-old woman to remove diaper

The Transportation Security Administration has denied that its agents required a 95-year-old woman to remove her adult diaper last week before allowing her to pass a screening checkpoint at Northwest Florida Regional Airport.

"While every person and item must be screened before entering the secure boarding area, TSA works with passengers to resolve security alarms in a respectful and sensitive manner," the agency said Sunday night in a statement. "We have reviewed the circumstances involving this screening and determined that our officers acted professionally, according to proper procedure and did not require this passenger to remove an adult diaper."

A response released earlier Sunday by the TSA said that the agency had reviewed the circumstances "and determined that our officers acted professionally and according to proper procedure."

The woman's daughter, Jean Weber, told CNN on Monday that the TSA agents acted professionally and never ordered the removal of her mother's diaper. However, Weber said the agents made it clear that her mother could not board the plane unless they were able to inspect the diaper.

According to Weber, it was her idea to remove the diaper so it could be inspected and they could make their flight.

"They were doing their job according to the instructions of the TSA and their policies," Weber said, later adding that the options offered them were to remove the diaper or "she was not going to get on the plane."

On Sunday, Weber told CNN that the June 18 incident occurred when she and her mother were traveling from northwest Florida to Michigan, where her mother was planning to move in with other relatives prior to moving into an assisted-living facility.

"My mother is very ill, she has a form of leukemia," Weber said Sunday. "She had a blood transfusion the week before, just to bolster up her strength for this travel."

At a security checkpoint, a TSA officer ushered the wheelchair-bound woman into a glassed-in area where a pat-down was performed, Weber said. Weber said an agent told her "they felt something suspicious on (her mother's) leg and they couldn't determine what it was" -- leading them to take her into a private, closed room.

Soon after, Weber said, a TSA agent told her that her mother's Depend undergarment was "wet and it was firm, and they couldn't check it thoroughly." But her mother had no clean diapers in her carry-on luggage and the departure time for the plane was approaching, Weber said.

"They said, 'You can get her luggage back to get more out of her luggage,' but the luggage was checked and I didn't know how long it would take to get her luggage," Weber said. "I asked if I could take the wet Depends off and they said yes but said I had to take her back to the lobby of the airport -- to the restroom out of the screening area."

She said she and her mother then went to a bathroom and removed the wet diaper, then went back through the screening checkpoint.

Weber said her mother, a nurse for 65 years, "was very calm" despite being bothered by the fact that she went on to complete her journey without underwear.

By this weekend, the elder woman -- who was not identified by name -- was doing "fine" in Michigan with her relatives, Weber said Sunday.

This is not the first time that the TSA's pat-downs of passengers have come under fire, nor the first time that the agency has rallied behind its officers and policy.

Last year, the administration announced it was ramping up the use of full-body scanning and pat-downs to stop nonmetallic threats, including explosives, from getting on planes. The goal is to head off attacks such as the one allegedly attempted on Christmas of 2009 by Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, who allegedly had a bomb sewn into his underwear on a flight from the Netherlands to Michigan.

The TSA estimates that only 3% of passengers are subjected to pat-downs -- and then only after they have set off a metal detector or declined to step into a full-body scanner. Yet the new policy has triggered an uproar online and in airports, from a small but vocal number of travelers who feel their rights and privacy were being violated.

The federal safety agency has made some adjustments to its policy, but no major changes.

"Every traveler is a critical partner in TSA's efforts to keep our skies safe," Administrator John Pistole, who ordered the new approach, said last fall. "And I know and appreciate that the vast majority of Americans recognize and respect the important work we do."

More recently, outrage erupted over a video-recorded pat-down of a 6-year-old passenger last April at New Orleans' airport. The video, which was posted on YouTube, shows the girl protesting the search by a female security officer at first, though she complies quietly while it is under way.

Pistole addressed this controversy at a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee meeting last week, explaining the pat-down was ordered because the child had moved while passing through a body imaging machine. He told committee members that "we have changed the policy (so) that there'll be repeated efforts made to resolve that without a pat-down."

The next day, TSA spokesman Greg Soule said that the new policy -- which will apply to children age 12 and younger -- was in the process of being rolled out
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http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/06/27/florida.tsa.incident/index.html

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday 06-20-11

There has been a lot of talk about we are still in a depression, the olde adage goes (something like) "it is down turn in the economy if you know a friends friends that is out of work, if you know someone out of work it is a recession, if you are out of work it is depression". Well i'm not out of work, but it diffidently Badtimes are going and it not too far off. People are feeling it

How Miserable? Index Says the Worst in 28 Years

The index, first compiled during the soaring inflation days of the 1970s by economist Arthur Okun, is registering a nausea-inducing 12.7—9.1 percent for unemployment and 3.6 percent for annualized inflation—a number not seen since 1983. The index has been above 10 since November 2009 and had been under double-digits from June 1993 through May 2008.

The good news, of course, is that the Fed-led Paul Volcker embarked on a highly successful inflation-slaying campaign that brought the level of misery down sharply through the rest of the ’80s recovery decade.

The bad news, of course, is all the bad news.

Put another way, by Paul Dales at Capital Economics:

“The good news is that other measures suggest conditions aren't quite that bad and over the next 18 months the gloom should lift a little,” the firm’s chief US economist wrote in a Misery analysis. “The bad news is that households won't be in the mood to boost their spending significantly for several more years.”

Dales says all the misery may not be as bad as it appears. An alternative measure, put forth in 1999 by Robert Barro, encompasses a wider swath of misery, measuring employment against the so-called “natural rate” and compares inflation against the previous 10 years. The Barro measure also looks at whether gross domestic product is below its “potential” and compares yields on the 10-year Treasury note against the yields of the previous 10 years.

With all that rolled in, Dales says the Barro index is indicating that while things aren't expected to get dramatically better, the level of misery is probably at a peak and should roll back over the next 18 months.

Slideshow: What Happens if Greece Defaults?
“The upshot is that Americans might not be quite as miserable as the Okun misery index appears to suggest,” Dales said. “And as inflation falls back, some of the gloom will lift.”

Still, the level of misery, whatever the measure, is high, with many unconvinced that inflation is, as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke suggests, transitory, or that the economy is in a mere soft patch that will fade.

Investor sentiment continues to fall. The latest Investors Intelligence survey, a weekly poll of newsletter authors, points to bulls outnumbering bears by just a 37 percent to 26 percent margin. Yes, it does indicate more people believing the market is heading higher than lower, but the bullishness is around financial crisis levels.

The survey includes a smattering of comments from participants.

One of the more common that represents the bearish perspective looks at how much optimism there had been in the market prior to the May 2 highs.

“Frankly, we have been stunned by the disconnect that we see between these optimistic calls over the past six to nine months and the reality of what is occurring in the global economy,” wrote Boston-based Hans P. Black in the Interinvest Review & Outlook.

Conversely, misery is not universal, with Elliott F. Gue’s Personal Finance Newsletter making the case for the optimists that one should not “fall prey to the panic fanned by the usual fear-mongering doomsayers,” a group that presumably includes those unemployed or bewildered by inflation and, thus, in misery.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/43441924

The judge is ignorant, he should have been better educated, must have gone to public school to get this smart.


Pro 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Pro 23:13 Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.
Pro 23:14 Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.

Judge has harsh words for Mom before sentencing her for spanking her kid

Rosalina Gonzales had pleaded guilty to a felony charge of injury to a child for what prosecutors had described as a "pretty simple, straightforward spanking case." They noted she didn't use a belt or leave any bruises, just some red marks.
Posted: 11:28 AM Jun 17, 2011

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (CBS) -- A judge in Corpus Christi, Texas had some harsh words for a mother charged with spanking her own child before sentencing her to probation.

"You don't spank children today," said Judge Jose Longoria. "In the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel. You don't spank children."

Rosalina Gonzales had pleaded guilty to a felony charge of injury to a child for what prosecutors had described as a "pretty simple, straightforward spanking case." They noted she didn't use a belt or leave any bruises, just some red marks.

As part of the plea deal, Gonzales will serve five years probation, during which time she'll have to take parenting classes, follow CPS guidelines, and make a $50 payment to the Children's Advocacy Center.

She was arrested back in December after the child's paternal grandmother noticed red marks on the child's rear end. The grandmother took the girl, who was two years-old at the time, to the hospital to be checked out.

Gonzales who doesn't have custody of the child or her other two children, is trying to get them back, but until CPS feels she is ready the kids are living with their paternal grandmother.

http://www.volunteertv.com/national/headlines/Mom_pleads_guilty_to_spanking_own_child_124072014.html

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday 06-19-11

Democrat: We Need 'Analysis of How Christian Militants … Might Bring Down The Country’

At a congressional hearing on Muslim radicalization in U.S. prisons, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said that investigators needed to analyze Christian militants in America because they too might try to “bring down the country.”



In an exchange with witness Patrick Dunleavy, the former deputy inspector of the criminal intelligence unit, New York Department of Correctional Services, Rep. Jackson Lee mentioned the case of a man who blew up an abortion clinic and proposed that this perhaps was an attempt to undermine U.S. law that allows a woman to procure an abortion.

Rep. Lee then said, “As we look to be informational, we should include an analysis of how Christian militants or others might bring down the country. We have to look broadly, do we not?”

Dunleavy answered: “I don’t know that Christian militants have foreign country backing or foreign country financing.”

Lee then said, “I don’t think that’s the issue. The issue is whether or not their intent is to undermine the laws of this nation. And I think it is clear that that is the case. So it’s not -- your distinction is not answering the question.”

The hearing on Muslim radicalization in U.S. prisons was held on Wednesday by the House Homeland Security Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.).

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/analysis-how-christian-militants-might-b

Genetically modified foods invade U.S. diets

Mr. Norris, I recently read how crop producers are using more and more genetically modified seeds to ward off insects and increase fruit and vegetable shelf life. Tampering with plant genes seems to be a dangerous game for humans. What do you think? – Shirley R., Ames, Iowa

Would you know if you were eating genetically engineered foods?

The Chicago Tribune recently reported that with no labeling on such foods, many people don't realize that they are doing just that. Genetically modified crops constitute 93 percent of soy, 86 percent of corn and 93 percent of canola seeds planted in the U.S. and are used in about 70 percent of American processed food.

The Tribune went on to say that polls from the Pew Center, Consumers Union and Harris Interactive over the past decade have shown that the overwhelming majority of Americans would like to see genetically modified foods better regulated and labeled. Despite that, President Barack Obama's administration has approved an "unprecedented number of genetically modified crops," such as corn grown for ethanol.

The U.S. government is not the only entity boosting and greenlighting genetic engineering of our crops and foods. In 1963, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization adopted the Codex Alimentarius, the food code created by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, whose self-proclaimed mission was to protect health, remove trade obstacles and establish food guidelines. The commission now has 185 members, including the U.S.

Hundreds of guidelines have been adopted by the CAC, in areas ranging from additives to pesticides to, most recently, vitamin and mineral supplements. And this year, it is tackling the issue of whether to label genetically altered and engineered fruits and vegetables.

According to the Alliance for Natural Health, the natural health community has expressed concern about the CAC's guidelines regarding supplements because of parts of the Codex's preamble that "essentially discount the benefits from dietary supplements, and the fact that the scope of the Codex Guidelines includes developing minimum and maximum levels of vitamins and minerals."

Though regulating those maximum levels is prohibited by U.S. policy – because dietary supplements are not categorized as drugs – it is one more sign that global governance of our foods is right around the corner. As if American households relinquishing their health and fitness habits to Washington weren't enough, now the entire U.S. needs to be governed by a global food and drug administration?

U.S. food policy may not acquiesce to worldwide regulations tomorrow, but global control is a slippery slope that often is brought about through small steps, or so-called benign increments. The European Union already has enacted many universal food tenets into law. Could the U.S. be that far behind in this global age? In an era in which caving to international pressure is in vogue, how far behind are our food factories?

But does the U.S. really want foreign entities telling us how to eat, what vitamins to take, and how (not) to label U.S. food, now or in the distant future? I'll say what I said in a previous article: The sooner we quit relinquishing our health and fitness responsibilities to the government and take control of our own lives the better off we'll be.

Americans have a right to be concerned with international influence over labeling, marketing and masking the truths behind foods coming from abroad. Our health and welfare should not be turned over to foreign powers, lobbying groups, the Food and Drug Administration or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If that were to happen, we could kiss goodbye the freedoms we've long enjoyed with dietary supplements and organic foods.

The added difficulty with genetic tampering and labels is that we know big business and lobbying often control the decisions in Washington. Recently, that was made evident again by the actions of the USDA. Despite the fact that tests prove that genetically engineered organisms become a part of the bacteria in our digestive tracts, the Alliance for Natural Health reported how the USDA now wants to eliminate any controls from genetically altered corn and cotton.

The ANH cited the wisdom of the late George Wald, a Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine and one of the first scientists to speak out about the dangers of genetically engineered foods: "Recombinant DNA technology (genetic engineering) faces our society with problems unprecedented, not only in the history of science, but of life on the Earth. ... Now whole new proteins will be transposed overnight into wholly new associations, with consequences no one can foretell, either for the host organism or their neighbors. ... For going ahead in this direction may not only be unwise but dangerous. Potentially, it could breed new animal and plant diseases, new sources of cancer, novel epidemics."

Fourteen states have introduced legislation on genetically modified organism labeling, but most face governmental gridlock. So please, take action and keep foods safe (non-genetically engineered) by contacting your representatives, as well as the FDA and the USDA, and demanding that genetically modified food be labeled as such. In addition, corn and cotton must not be deregulated. Without strict controls, as the ANH concludes, genetically engineered crops will encroach on non-genetically engineered crops, contaminating them and rendering the organic crops non-organic.

The only real solution to prevent global food governance and our bodies from having to consume genetically altered foods is to mandate the proper labeling of all foods and to buy local and organic foods. By diminishing the supply of and demand for imported and genetically engineered foods, we can diminish their tyranny at the borders of our bodies.

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=312309

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday 06-18-11

Kids Lemonade Stand At U.S. Open Fined $500 And Shut Down By Montgomery County

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA) -- You can make a fortune selling parking spots outside the US Open, but don't even dream of setting up a lemonade stand.

A county inspector ordered the Marriott and Augustine kids to shut down the stand they set up on Persimmon Tree Rd., right next to Congressional. And after they allegedly ignored a couple of warnings, the inspector fined their parents $500.

"This gentleman from the county is now telling us because we don't have a vendors license, the kids won't be allowed to sell their lemonade," Carrie Marriott told us, her voice trembling.

The kids can't seem to understand it. "I don't agree, I think the county is wrong." "We're sending the money to charity."

Jennifer Hughes, the director of permitting for the county, says it's technically illegal to run even the smallest lemonade stand in the county, but inspectors usually don't go looking for them. She said this one was unusually large. Hughes also says they've warned all kinds of other vendors they couldn't operate near the US Open because of concerns about traffic and safety.

But that did little to console Carrie Marriott. "Does every kid who sells lemonade now have to register with the county?" she asked the inspector.

"Cute little kids making five or ten dollars is a little bit different than making hundreds. You've got coolers and coolers here," the inspector responded.

"To raise money for pediatric cancer," Marriott replied.

What's funny is that the county has given scores of other neighbors permits to let golf fans park on their front lawns. The permits cost almost $300, but prices per car run as much as $60 a day. And some neighbors are reportedly raking in tens of thousands of dollars.

"I'm a little upset with the rip off that's going on," said Ron Simpson, who was getting ready to pay $50. One cop says a neighbor told him he'd made enough charging for parking at big golf events at Congressional that it had paid one of his kid's college tuition.

Carrie Marriott is having a hard time reconciling the two different perspectives on entrepreneurship at the US Open. "The message to kids is, there's no American dream."

http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/155167/158/County-Shuts-Down-Kids-Lemonade-Stand-500-Fine

Veterans help disaster survivors, themselves

When Kasey Sands and her family returned home last month a few days after a tornado flattened much of Joplin, Mo., a dozen strangers were removing trees toppled in their yard.

By Bernadette Matthews, Team Rubicon

"I asked them who they were, and they said they were veterans," says Sands, 27. "They said they like to help with peace and not just with war."

They were Team Rubicon, a non-profit group of veterans formed after the 2010 Haiti earthquake to help in the immediate aftermaths of disasters. They also raced in after tornadoes struck Alabama in April and following earlier crises in Chile, Burma, Pakistan and Sudan. More than 500 people have volunteered; 25 were in Joplin for a week.

The name refers to the Rubicon, a river separating ancient Gaul and the Roman Empire. Julius Caesar's crossing of it led to its modern meaning: passing a point of no return.

STORY: Human toll of deadly tornado cuts deep in Joplin
MORE: Volunteers eager to help Mo., Alabama
Jake Wood, Team Rubicon's president and co-founder, says responding to tragedies "is the most obvious fit for veterans who have so much to offer." Many members are doctors, paramedics and nurses. Besides aiding survivors and searching for victims, members help one another adjust to life after war, he says.

In long-ago wars, troops left their hometowns together, served together, returned home together and shared their experiences and problems at local VFW and American Legion posts. "Now," Wood says, "they just get jettisoned into civilian society." Participating in Team Rubicon "is mostly about giving them an outlet and a reason to come together," says Wood, 28, a Marine veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who lives in Los Angeles.

Searching for camaraderie

Tyler Tannahill, 24, heard about Team Rubicon soon after it was formed and was intrigued. He watched video of the team working in Haiti on its website, teamrubiconusa.org, and liked what he saw. He had left the Marine Corps in 2009 after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and missed "the camaraderie, the adventure."

He enrolled in college back home in Kansas and felt little connection with fellow students. "You've seen different things, you've experienced different things," Tannahill says.

His first mission with Team Rubicon was in Joplin, and it lived up to his expectations. "It was like we'd known each other for years," he says. "You automatically have this working relationship and trust."

The team helped with search-and-rescue operations and cleared debris.

The fellow veterans he worked with in Joplin "understand what I've been through," Tannahill says. "I've been hesitant to tell friends, classmates, even family everything that happened" in Iraq and Afghanistan. "There's still that fear of being judged or looked at differently after they know. With these guys, they don't care. "

The next time there's a disaster, Tannahill will be ready to go. Donations help Team Rubicon pay members' travel expenses.

Ford Sypher helped Team Rubicon with tornado recovery in Alabama and Joplin. Sypher, 25, is from West Lafayette, Ind., and served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He misses the Army and says working with Team Rubicon is a way to continue to help people. Fellow veterans, Sypher says, "become the kind of friends that you would hang out with. The common ground just happens to be military service."

A college student, Sypher has stayed in touch with fellow team members since returning home, and he'll be ready to go again. "It's very fulfilling," he says.

No complaining

Roby Hopkins, 28, a pharmacy technician and former National Guard member who lives in Strafford, Mo., saw a TV story about Team Rubicon's work in Joplin. He drove 80 miles to help them clear debris and pull trees off houses in Duquesne, Mo.

Because of his own military background, Hopkins says, "I just knew it would be an organized group that wouldn't complain." After spending a day with Team Rubicon, he filled out an application to join. "They're amazing," he says.

In April, one of Team Rubicon's original members, Wood's best friend, committed suicide.

"Veterans are having a tremendously difficult time transitioning back into society," Wood says. "Reutilizing veterans' skills for continued humanitarian service can stem the tide."

Sands says Team Rubicon did more than remove debris from her yard. They helped her husband, Robert, 28, cope with the tornado's aftermath. The couple and their children, Steven, 9, and Madison, 5, rode out the storm in their bathroom.

"After talking with them, my husband was able to get a decent night's sleep," she says. "They took a lot of stress off him."

http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/2011-06-24-vets-aid-disasters-rubicon_n.htm

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday 06-17-11

They won't have anyone challenge their practices and won't allow competition.

TSA blocks private airport screeners

Earlier this year, the Transportation Security Administration halted a program that allowed airports to privatize their screeners, citing safety concerns, but airport administrators say TSA stopped the program with little warning and without adequate justification.

The Daily Caller spoke with three Montana airports — Glacier Park International Airport, Missoula International Airport and Bert Mooney Airport — which all said they were encouraged by TSA to apply for the privatization program — known as the Screening Partnership Program (SPP). All three airports’ applications were denied in January.

One airport director even said TSA agents actively protested the airport’s attempt to privatize, going so far as to stand at gates in uniform and tell passengers they would be less safe if the airport joined the SPP.

For its part, TSA said it stopped the program because of security concerns.

“It is critical that TSA retains its ability to operate as a flexible nationwide security network,” a TSA spokesperson wrote. “TSA’s capacity to push out intelligence information to our frontline workforce and quickly change procedures based on threat and intelligence is paramount to effective security. Further expansion of privatized screening will increase the complexity of this process.”

After 9/11, TSA was created and given authority over passenger and bag screening, but airports were allowed by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act to opt out after two years and join the SPP. Sixteen airports in the US currently use privately-contracted screeners.

(TheDC Morning: TSA agent groped the wrong hot chick)

Cindi Martin, the director of Glacier Park International Airport, said her airport struggled with adequate staffing under TSA.

“From the beginning the airport experienced staffing cuts, such that it became difficult to process passengers and bags during our summers swells,” she said.

Glacier Park is a seasonal airport, with the majority of its traffic coming in the summer, and Martin said TSA’s models to determine the number of full-time equivalent employees left the airport short-staffed during the busy summer months. The reason, Martin said, was because the models were based on the airport’s October passenger levels — the airport’s slowest month.

In 2007, TSA further cut the number of FTE employees at Glacier Park from around 32 down to 17.

When asked to confirm this, TSA responded: “TSA uses a sophisticated model to determine staffing at individual airports each year, including passenger volume, peak travel seasons, baggage processed, arrival distribution of passengers and bags, flight schedules, new technology, and flight activity. Glacier Park has largely seasonal traffic and its staffing allocation was adjusted accordingly, similar to other seasonal airports.”

http://dailycaller.com/2011/06/14/tsa-blocks-private-airport-screeners/


More on the federal outlaw on rat poison

Maybe we can do for bubonic plague what we did for malaria!

While you're piling cases of 100-watt incandescent bulbs into your shopping cart at Home Despot this weekend, don't forget to pick up as much rodent poison as you think you're ever gonna need, too.

Don't worry: Effective rat poisons will still be available to rodent control professionals, and as any Washington D.C. bureaucrat knows, if you have any signs of icky pests around your house, you just call a professional extermination service.

(And if you live in hantavirus territory, miles from the nearest exterminator, and couldn't afford one anyway? Well, sucks to be you, I guess. Buy more cats.)

I swear, they are trying to repeal the Industrial Revolution.

http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/2011/06/maybe-we-can-do-for-bubonic-plague-what.html

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday 06-16-11

I know it is New Zeland, but when someone starts something somewhere else it usually ends up here also.

Fish farms spark green debate in New Zealand

As a flock of seagulls swoops on a salmon farm in New Zealand's Marlborough Sounds, attracted by the thrashing fish within, tour boat operator Peter Beech sighs and says: "I'm not sure this is a fight we can win."
Beech has plied the pristine waters at the top of the South Island all his life but fears plans to increase aquaculture in the Sounds will create an ecological time bomb in the area his family has lived in for six generations.

The New Zealand government has announced the end of a 10-year moratorium on aquaculture in the region, a magnet for tourists who come to marvel at dolphins, seals and whales on eco-tours such as those operated by Beech.

"It has the potential to turn our beautiful Sounds into one great big fish farming area," he said.

The New Zealand King Salmon Company has applied to create more fish farms in the area to double its output to 15,000 tonnes by 2015 as part of a long-term plan to become an NZ$500 million ($410 million) company.

The debate puts the Marlborough Sounds at the centre of debate over whether fish farms can be sustainably developed in environmentally sensitive areas to meet booming world demand for seafood.

Aquaculture accounts for about 46 percent of the seafood consumed annually and the proportion is increasing as wild fish stocks decline, according to a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation report released this year.

The World Wildlife Fund says that, if properly managed, aquaculture has the potential to reduce pressure on wild fish stocks amid rising demand for seafood, particularly from increasingly affluent Asian consumers.

King Salmon says it is acutely aware of its environmental responsibility and there have been no problems at its existing Marlborough Sounds fish farms, which were established before the moratorium.

Chief executive Grant Rosewarne said expanding the industry would also bring much-needed jobs to the area and, with premium smoked salmon fetching up to NZ$250 a kilogram, provide export earnings for New Zealand's flagging economy.

"I don't think there's any other agricultural industry that in such a small amount of space can create such a huge amount of value," he told AFP at the company's processing factory in Nelson.

He points out that even if the expansion plan goes ahead, King Salmon's fish farms will cover only 15 hectares (37 acres) of Marlborough Sounds's waters, about 0.1 percent of its total area.

In addition he says that King Salmon's farms do not have pests such as sea lice that infect similar operations overseas and it is in the company's interests to keep it that way.

But Beech, who has established an environmental group called Guardians of the Sounds, points to the environmental problems created by salmon farms in countries like Scotland and Chile when the industry rapidly expanded.

"The only reason it hasn't happened here is because there are so few of them. But as soon as they start to farm intensively, they'll get diseased, you mark my words, just like they have in every other country in the world."

Beech said the "visual pollution" of fish farms -- which are enclosed by large fences around the fish pools -- and the threat of disease could undermine New Zealand's "100 percent pure" tourism marketing slogan.

Local farmer Eric Jorgensen, chair of another green group called SoundFish, said his main concern was that the government, with its eye on lucrative export dollars, had declared aquaculture an industry of national significance.

He said this meant responsibility for planning and approvals has been stripped from the regional council and given to the national government in Wellington, stoking fears it was intent on allowing a massive expansion.

The danger, Jorgensen, said, was that in its eagerness to increase aquaculture production, the government would allow in overseas players who did not have a commitment to preserving the Sounds' unique environment.

"There is a place for aquaculture. No problem with that. I don't think anyone today would say that there should be no aquaculture," he said.

"But (we need to determine) what is the optimum amount of aquaculture that can and should occur, without undermining all those other activities that are very important to the community and local businesses."

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.8406db1e093117b0092f90d4877b9c88.2f1&show_article=1


FBI expands agents’ investigative power

Washington • The Federal Bureau of Investigation is giving significant new powers to its roughly 14,000 agents — allowing them more leeway to search databases, go through household trash or use surveillance teams to scrutinize the lives of people who have attracted their attention.

The FBI soon plans to issue a new edition of its manual, called the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, according to an official who has worked on the draft document and several others who have been briefed on its contents. The new rules add to several measures taken over the past decade to give agents more latitude as they search for signs of criminal or terrorist activity.

The FBI recently briefed several privacy advocates about the coming changes. Among them, Michael German, a former FBI agent who is now a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, argued it was unwise to further ease restrictions on agents’ power to use potentially intrusive techniques, especially if they lacked a firm reason to suspect someone of wrongdoing.

"Claiming additional authorities to investigate people only further raises the potential for abuse," German said, pointing to complaints about the bureau’s surveillance of domestic political advocacy groups and mosques and to an inspector general’s findings in 2007 that the FBI had improperly used "national security letters" to obtain information like people’s phone bills.

Valerie E. Caproni, the FBI general counsel, said the bureau had fixed the problems with the national security letters and had taken steps to make sure they would not recur. She also said the bureau — which does not need permission to alter its manual so long as the rules fit within broad guidelines issued by the attorney general — had carefully weighed the risks and the benefits of each change.

Some of the most notable changes apply to the lowest category of investigations, called an "assessment." The category, created in December 2008, allows agents to look into people and organizations "proactively" and without firm evidence for suspecting criminal or terrorist activity.

Under current rules, agents must open such an inquiry before they can search for information about a person in a commercial or law enforcement database. Under the new rules, agents will be allowed to search such databases without making a record about their decision.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/51992858-68/agents-fbi-search-bureau.html.csp

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday 06-15-11

Do we really need to use swat to search/arrest/serve warrants on the Ammish?

Obama Food Safety Czar Defends Armed Raids on Amish Farmers, Raw Milk Producers

Nick Gillespie June 10, 2011

San Francisco Chronicle reporter (and Reason contributing editor) Carolyn Lochhead reports on a disturbing press conference with Michael R. Taylor, the Food and Drug Administration's guy in charge of food safety. That the conference was held at "the Ogilvy Washington public affairs group" doesn't help. What, the FDA's cafeteria wasn't available?

From Lochhead's account:

"We believe we're doing our job," Taylor said at a presentation at the Ogilvy Washington public affairs group. He promised to "keep doing our public health job," and described his agency's campaign against raw milk producers as based on a "public health duty" and "statutory directive."

Our story thus far: In April, Amish farmer Dan Allgyer's Rainbow Acres farm in Pennsylvania was the object of an armed raid by FDA agents and other law enforcement people in search of raw milk products. Allgyer's operation, which sold raw milk products to ultra-willing and ultra-informed customers in the Washington, D.C. area, broke a "technical violation" against selling unpasteurized dairy products. As Lochhead notes, "The agency's actions are likely to put him out of business."

Good job! Lochhead explains how a law change last year makes all the difference - and how the FDA's Taylor is planning to get tough on raw milk sellers without the need for pesky court orders:

Before the new law, the FDA could only impound food when it had credible evidence the food was contaminated or posed a public health hazard. The detention powers are part of what Taylor described as a new agency focus on preventing food poisoning outbreaks rather than responding to them after the fact. Taylor described the new law as giving the agency "farm to table" control over food safety.

Taylor outlined an aggressive approach, saying he would seek a "high rate of compliance" with new food safety rules, touted the agency's "whole new inspection and compliance tool kit," including access to farm records, mandatory recall authority, and enforcement actions that can be accomplished administratively, "without having to go to court."

Lochhead notes that the FDA's Ahab-like obsession with controlling the food supply ("big new regulations are coming down the pike on produce") are running headling into the rise of small farm operations that focus on more expensive methods of production and conservation efforts at legacy farms. So when the organic arugula farmers march on the White House, don't say we didn't see it coming.

Submitted for your approval: The FDA's focus on raw milk and related issues is a massive waste of time and resources. And it exemplifies one of the reasons why people are sick of government.

Read more here.

Reason on raw milk here.

And watch Keep Food Legal founder (and Reason contributor) Baylen Linnekin talk about raw milk and the outrageous Allgyer raid with Judge Napolitano on Freedom Watch.


http://reason.com/blog/2011/06/10/obama-food-safety-czar-defends?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reason%2FHitandRun+%28Reason+Online+-+Hit+%26+Run+Blog%29


What happens when the rats and mice take over? It is so stupid, sorry, thanks for the link to Survival Blog.

EPA Bans Many Household Rat and Mouse Poisons

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Tuesday that it plans to ban the sale of “the most toxic rat and mouse poisons, as well as most loose bait and pellet products” to residential customers.

The goal is to better protect children, pets and wildlife.

“These changes are essential to reduce the thousands of accidental exposures of children that occur every year from rat and mouse control products and also to protect household pets,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

The EPA also will require that all rat and mouse poisons marketed to residential customers be enclosed in bait stations that don’t allow children and pets to reach the poison.

The EPA says children are particularly at risk for exposure to rat and mouse poisons because the products are typically placed on floors, where children can find them and sometimes eat them.

Each year, poison control centers receive between 12,000 and 15,000 reports of children under the age of six being exposed to these types of products, the EPA said.

In 2008, EPA gave producers of rat and mouse poisons until June 4, 2011 to research, develop and register new products that are safer for children, pets and wildlife. Those new products have enclosed bait delivery systems and less toxic baits but still provide effective rodent control, the EPA said.

While many companies have agreed to adopt the new safety measures, “a handful of companies” are refusing to comply. The EPA said it will "initiate cancellation proceedings” against non-compliant products to remove them from the market.

In addition to requiring protective bait stations and barring pellet formulations, EPA intends to ban the sale and distribution of products containing brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone and difenacoum directly to residential consumers because of their toxicity and the secondary poisoning hazards to wildlife.

Those poisons will be available for use in residential settings, but only by professional pest control applicators.

The compounds mentioned above also will be allowed for use in agricultural settings, but protective bait stations will be required for all outdoor, above-ground uses.

The EPA news release offers tips on avoiding rat and mouse infestations, including sealing holes in the home and cleaning up rodent food sources

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/epa-bans-many-household-rat-and-mouse-po

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday 06-14-11

I dislike stupid people, in general, but why does it seem that so many of them work for the TSA? Maybe is required to be hired there?

Special Needs Son Harassed by TSA at Detroit Metropolitan Airport

ROMULUS, Mich. (WJBK) - The Mandy family says they were on their way to the happiest place on earth (Disney), but had to go through hell to get there.

"I realize they're trying to keep people safe, but come on, does he look like a terrorist?" said Dr. David Mandy.

The family was going through security when two TSA agents singled Drew Mandy out for a special pat down. Drew is severely mentally disabled. He's 29, but his parents said he has the mental capacity of a two-year-old, which made the experience that followed at metro Detroit's McNamera Terminal that much harder to deal with.

"You have got to be kidding me. I honestly felt that those two agents did not know what they were doing," Mandy told us.

Dr. Mandy claimed they asked Drew to place his feet on the yellow shoe line, something he didn't understand. They proceeded to pat his pants down, questioning the padding which was his adult diapers. When the agents asked Drew to take his hand and rub the front and back of his pants so they could swab it for explosives, his dad stepped in and tried to explain that Drew was mentally challenged.

"They said, 'Please, sir, we know what we're doing,'" Mandy said.

The TSA agents saw Drew holding a six-inch plastic hammer.

"My son carries his ball and his hammer for security. He goes everywhere with (them)," said Mandy.

The TSA it seems saw the toy as a weapon.

"He took the hammer and he tapped the wall. 'See, it's hard. It could be used as a weapon,'" Mandy explained. "So, Drew's also holding the ball, and I said, 'Well, how about the ball?' He (said), 'Oh, he can keep that."

Dr. Mandy was told he would need to have the toy shipped if he wanted to keep it, a process which caused them to almost miss their plane, so he pitched it.

"It just killed me to have to throw it away because he's been carrying this like for 20 years," Mandy said.

Disgusted, he wrote TSA a letter. A response wasn't far behind.

"Very polite. Very apologetic. He was embarrassed. He (said) we have to review how we deal with special needs individuals. Obviously, he (said), we're doing a terrible job," Mandy told us. "It made me feel that there is still hope, that there is still justice and that there's still somebody who listens to people's problems (in) the federal government.

That's because federal security told him there are 800 TSA agents at Metro Airport and they are all going to be retrained based on Drew's case.

We also spoke to a federal security director who said this incident is still under investigation, but as far as they can tell right now, better judgment was needed.

The TSA took away one toy hammer, but they were still able to take another toy hammer on board the airplane. How did that happen?

Drew's mother, always prepared, had another one in her backpack and that already passed through security with no problem.

http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/taryn_asher/dad-special-needs-son-harassed-by-tsa-at-detroit-metropolitan-airport-20110608-wpms

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday 06-13-11

Bandera County Sheriff's Office Issues Domestic Terrorism Warning

BANDERA, Texas -- The Bandera County Sheriff's Office issued a warning Thursday to citizens about an anti-government movement known for acts of domestic terrorism.

The law enforcement agency said followers of The Sovereign Citizens Movement have been known to carry out violent acts, including killing law enforcement officers and other public servants.

The sheriff's office told KSAT-12 News the warning was prompted by the recent shooting death of Bexar County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Kenneth Vann.

"We have domestic terrorism right at our doorstep," said Capt. Charlie Hicks of the Bandera County Sheriff's Office.

Hicks said while there's no evidence Vann's death had any links to the Sovereign Citizens, it's the same type of crime followers are known for.

For example, in last May, a father and his teenage son opened fire on two police officers with an assault rifle during a routine traffic stop in West Memphis, Ark. News reports said the incident was sparked by the suspects' refusal to present a valid driver's license. The officers were killed in the shootout and the father and son died in a second shootout with officers a short time later.

"That's our main concern. Citizen safety and police officer safety in this area," Hicks said.

According to Hicks, followers of the anti-government, anarchist movement, share the belief that the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution has tricked Americans into becoming citizens of the United States and has offered them privileges, such as driver's licenses and other government benefits, which act as so-called hidden contracts through which Americans effectively have given up their sovereignty.

Hicks said followers are often very vocal about their beliefs.

"They've very serious in their beliefs, and very serious when they do go to violence," Hicks said. "They'll kill you in a New York minute."

Hicks said while a training camp for similar anti-government groups was discovered in Kerr County in the past, there is no evidence any members are currently operating in Bandera County. But Hicks said residents should still be cautious.

"Don't be getting into heated arguments with these people, because the potential for violence is there," Hicks said.

The FBI considers the Sovereign Citizens Movement one of the nation's top domestic terror threats. Oklahoma City bombing co-conspirator Terry Nichols was a follower.

Hicks said citizens are urged to report any suspicious activity to the Bandera County Sheriff's Office or your nearest local law enforcement agency.

http://www.ksat.com/news/28189270/detail.html

Senators Want To Put People In Jail For Embedding YouTube Videos

Okay, this is just getting ridiculous. A few weeks back, we noted that Senators Amy Klobuchar, John Cornyn and Christopher Coons had proposed a new bill that was designed to make "streaming" infringing material a felony. At the time, the actual text of the bill wasn't available, but we assumed, naturally, that it would just extend "public performance" rights to section 506a of the Copyright Act.

Supporters of this bill claim that all it's really doing is harmonizing US copyright law's civil and criminal sections. After all, the rights afforded under copyright law in civil cases cover a list of rights: reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works or perform the work. The rules for criminal infringement only cover reproducing and distributing -- but not performing. So, supporters claim, all this does is "harmonize" copyright law and bring the criminal side into line with the civil side by adding "performance rights" to the list of things.

If only it were that simple. But, of course, it's not. First of all, despite claims to the contrary, there's a damn good reason why Congress did not include performance rights as a criminal/felony issue: because who would have thought that it would be a criminal act to perform a work without permission? It could be infringing, but that can be covered by a fine. When we suddenly criminalize a performance, that raises all sorts of questionable issues.

Furthermore, as we suspected, in the full text of the bill, "performance" is not clearly defined. This is the really troubling part. Everyone keeps insisting that this is targeted towards "streaming" websites, but is streaming a "performance"? If so, how does embedding play into this? Is the site that hosts the content guilty of performing? What about the site that merely linked to and/or embedded the video (linking and embedding are technically effectively the same thing). Without clear definitions, we run into problems pretty quickly.

And it gets worse. Because rather than just (pointlessly) adding "performance" to the list, the bill tries to also define what constitutes a potential felony crime in these circumstances:


the offense consists of 10 or more public performances by electronic means, during any 180-day period, of 1 or more copyrighted works

So yeah. If you embed a YouTube video that turns out to be infringing, and more than 10 people view it because of your link... you could be facing five years in jail. This is, of course, ridiculous, and suggests (yet again) politicians who are regulating a technology they simply do not understand. Should it really be a criminal act to embed a YouTube video, even if you don't know it was infringing...? This could create a massive chilling effect to the very useful service YouTube provides in letting people embed videos.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110601/01515014500/senators-want-to-put-people-jail-embedding-youtube-videos.shtml

Friday, June 10, 2011

Saturday 06-12-11

How Healthy is Rabbit Meat?

We are all concerned about our health (or at least we should be!) and one great thing about raising your own rabbit meat is not only that you’ll know exactly what has gone into your rabbit, but you’ll also be eating a leaner protein-rich diet. Pound-for-pound, rabbit meat has FAR MORE protein and LESS fat than other meats. This means you’ll not only be spending less for food, but you’ll have the extra health benefit too!

Take a look at this chart on the nutritional values of rabbit meat and other popular meats:

Calories, Protein & Fat Values for Meat per 100 grams (3.5 oz)

Calories Protein Fat (g)
RABBIT 187 27 8
Beef (lean) 275 25 20
Pork chops (grilled) 340 28 24
Pork leg (roast) 290 27 20
Lamb breast (roast) 398 22 30
Lamb chops (grilled) 368 21 28
Lamb cutlets (grilled) 375 23 31
Venison 200 34 6.5
Chicken 140 26 12
Turkey (roast) 165 28 6
Duck (roast) 330 20 30
Goose (roast) 350 30 25
Pheasant (roast) 250 30 9

Rabbit meat is so healthy and lean that some doctors actually prescribe a rabbit meat diet to people who are overweight and obese. Because the fat and calorie levels are so low, but protein so high, one can radically change their life by eating a rabbit meat diet and exercising.

Does that mean that it would be healthy to eat only rabbit meat all the time with no additional other foods? Actually no. Because rabbit meat is so lean, your body can actually suffer if you eat nothing but rabbit meat all the time because it does not contain enough fat. So the good news is, you’re encouraged to eat other foods that you might not otherwise get to eat because of their fat content — thanks to rabbit meat!

http://www.green-trust.org/wordpress/2011/06/05/how-healthy-is-rabbit-meat/

Friday 06-10-11

Weeds increasingly immune to herbicides


Agriculture’s most effective pesticides are rapidly losing their punch as weeds evolve resistance to the chemicals. With no game-changing alternatives in the pipeline, researchers warn that farmers could soon see crop yields drop and production prices climb.

“It’s what Chuck Darwin talked about back in 1850. Organisms evolve in response to selection pressures in their environment,” says Micheal Owen, an extension weed scientist at Iowa State University in Ames. “In essence, the better we get at controlling weeds, the more likely those efforts will select for survivors that do not respond to controls.”

In the June 8 Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Owen and other researchers describe a rapid rise of herbicide-resistant weeds and a particularly threatening trend: an increasing number of weeds that are simultaneously immune to multiple herbicides.

Weeds are thieves. They rob crops of moisture, nutrients, sunlight — and eventually yield. Since the dawn of agriculture, farmers and weeds have waged a nonstop battle. But their arms race changed overnight with a rollout of crops, beginning in 1996, possessing a genetically engineered immunity to glyphosate, the active ingredient in a broad-spectrum weed killer known as Roundup. Growers could now use glyphosate repeatedly, all season long, without fear of killing their crops.

“No herbicide has ever been used to the extent glyphosate has,” says Stephen Duke of the U.S. Agricultural Research Service in University, Miss. One price has been a rapid evolution of weeds resistant to it. And their proliferation “has been fairly dramatic in the last two to three years,” he says.

“Today, 98 percent of U.S. soybeans, 88 percent or so of U.S. cotton and more than 70 percent of U.S. corn come from cultivars resistant to glyphosate,” Owen reports. Reliance on these crops — and an accompanying weed-control strategy that employs glyphosate to the exclusion of other herbicides — “created the ‘perfect storm’ for weeds to evolve resistance,” Owen and Jerry Green of Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Newark, Del., argue in their new analysis.

But the only thing unique to glyphosate — in terms of breeding weed resistance — is the extent of its use.

In an article in the same issue of the journal, Carol Mallory-Smith of Oregon State University in Corvallis chronicles the emergence of a noxious weed, jointed goatgrass. Its resistance to the herbicide imazamox is evolving in fields planted with wheat conventionally bred to be immune to imazamox. Here, the weed scientist explains, resistance traces not to herbicide overuse, but to the spread of resistant genes in the pollen of wheat, the weed’s distant cousin, through interbreeding.

The irony, Mallory-Smith says, is that farmers have found the imazamox-resistant wheat such a high performer that many actually apply little or none of the herbicide to which it’s immune.

If growers had, the weed killer would have knocked out much of the goatgrass invading their fields. But because it’s left untreated, the goatgrass survives to accept pollen from the wheat — and in so doing, incorporates its cousin’s resistance to the weed killer. Although farmers can target the goatgrass with other herbicides, doing so would also risk killing the wheat.

Weeds immune to one herbicide will generally also prove insensitive to others employing the same mode of action — usually the chemical’s disruption of an essential enzyme function in the plant. For some major crops, weeds have already countered most common modes of poisoning, notes Patrick Tranel of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Common waterhemp has risen to become one of the most serious weeds in Midwest corn and soy. In a study also appearing in the June 8 Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Tranel’s team reports finding waterhemp simultaneously immune to as many as four functional classes of herbicides — including glyphosate. In March in Pest Management Science, the team reported waterhemp’s resistance to yet a fifth herbicide family.

Waterhemp already exhibits immunity to three of the four functional classes of herbicides federally permitted for use on emerging weeds in soy, Tranel notes. The remaining one doesn’t work well on weeds six or more inches high — and is toxic to glyphosate-resistant soy. “So,” he says, “I’m not exaggerating when I say, at least for soybeans, we’re on the verge of running out of options.”

And Stephen Powles of the University of Western Australia, in Perth, notes that in his country, some weedy ryegrass species “can be resistant to seven different herbicide types, meaning there are almost no herbicides which still work.”

Herbicide makers have encouraged farmers to embrace the mantra KISS — for keep it simple, stupid, says Jonathan Gressel of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. He and other weed scientists now argue that only the opposite approach will stall the growing evolution of herbicide resistance in weeds. Scientists advocate rotating crops on a given field, applying several different herbicides and considering use of additional physical treatments (such as burning or minimum tillage). Gressel would also go so far as to recommend quarantining fields where resistant weeds initially turn up.

Unfortunately, Owen says, farmers think they can continue using simpler herbicide-centered strategies “as they wait for industry’s next silver bullet.” But novel herbicides are not on the horizon, he says, so diversity of weed management must be.

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/330904/title/Weeds_increasingly_immune_to_herbicides_


USDA fines family $90,000 for selling rabbits as hobby - if not paid by today May 23, fine balloons to $4M.

FTA:"When the Dollarhite family of Nixa, Mo., first started raising and selling bunnies as part of a lesson to teach their teenage son about responsibility and hard work, they had no idea they would eventually meet the heavy hand of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). According to a recent article covered in Breitbart's Big Government, the USDA recently ordered the Dollarhite family to pay more than $90,000 in fines because they sold more than $500 worth of rabbits in a year -- and if they fail to pay the fine by Monday, May 23, the fine will multiply to nearly $4 million.

It all started back in 2006 when John Dollarhite and his wife Judy rescued two rabbits that ended up breeding. The family cared for and raised the new rabbits, and eventually began to sell them to neighbors, friends, and others for $10 or $15 each. Having started by first selling the animals for meat, and later for show, the Dollarhites carefully and humanely raised the small creatures on their three-acre homestead, all while teaching their son honest values in a business environment similar to running a small lemonade stand.

Eventually, the Dollarhites developed such a highly-respected reputation across Missouri that the popular Branson, Mo., theme park Silver Dollar City, and even a local pet store, Petland, began purchasing bunnies from the family in 2009. And according to John, individuals from both Silver Dollar City and Petland, as well as a rabbit competition judge, told him that the family's bunnies were among the best they had ever seen -- healthy, beautiful, and very well-cared for.


All seemed well until a USDA inspector showed up at the family's home in the fall of 2009, and asked to do a "spot inspection" of the rabbitry. The inspector made no indication that anything was amiss, but only that she wished to see the facility. After meandering the premises, the inspector claimed that a few very insignificant aspects of the raising facility were in violation of USDA standards, even though the Dollarhites were not USDA certified, nor were they required to be. She then asked if the Dollarhites wished to be part of the voluntary USDA certification system, upon which they told her they would look into it.

After the inspector left, the Dollarhites heard nothing more from the USDA until January 2010 when a Kansas City-based USDA inspector called the family and said he needed to have a meeting with them because they sold more than $500 worth of rabbits in a single year. When the Dollarhites asked why this was a problem and what law this violated, the man refused to offer an explanation over the phone.

Upon meeting in person, the inspector said he was only there to investigate the rabbitry and take notes for a report, upon which he instructed the family to contact another USDA office if they failed to hear anything further from the USDA after six weeks. As the eighth week arrived without any communication, John called the office and was redirected to the Washington, DC, office where a lady shockingly and bluntly explained to him that she had his report, and that the USDA planned to prosecute him and his family "to the maximum that we can" in order to "make an example" out of him.

Shortly thereafter, the Dollarhites received a letter from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) ordering them to pay a fine of $90,643 for supposedly violating a mystery law that prohibits the selling of more then $500 in rabbits within a year, even though the Dollarhites were in full accordance with Missouri state law, did not sell their rabbits across state lines, and raised their rabbits humanely and in excess of minimum requirements. The letter outlined that the Dollarhites had until May 23 to pay the exorbitant fine, or else face additional fines totaling nearly $4 million -- all for selling about $4,600 worth of rabbits that netted the family a mere $200 in profits.

The whole scenario proves, once again, that the USDA is nothing more than a tag-team terrorist duo with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both agencies' insatiable lust for power and control over private affairs is never satisfied, as they continue to prowl around like bloodthirsty predators seeking whoever and whatever they can devour. When will Americans finally stand up to their tyranny and say enough is enough?

http://www.gridirondigest.net/index.php?/topic/40409-usda-fines-family-90000-for-selling-rabbits-as-hobby-if-not-paid-by-today-may-23-fine-balloons-to-4m/

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday 06-09-11

Solar flare threatens to disrupt Earth's communications and power

An unusual solar flare observed by a Nasa space observatory on Tuesday could cause some disruptions to satellite communications and power on Earth over the next day or so, officials said.
The potent blast from the Sun unleashed a firestorm of radiation on a level not witnessed since 2006, and will likely lead to moderate geomagnetic storm activity by Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

"This one was rather dramatic," said Bill Murtagh, program coordinator at the NWS's Space Weather Prediction Center, describing the M-2 (medium-sized) solar flare that peaked 0541 GMT.

"We saw the initial flare occurring and it wasn't that big but then the eruption associated with it – we got energy particle radiation flowing in and we got a big coronal mass injection," he said.

"You can see all the materials blasting up from the Sun so it is quite fantastic to look at."

Nasa's solar dynamics observatory, which launched last year and provided the high-definition pictures and video of the event, described it as "visually spectacular," but noted that since the eruption was not pointed directly at Earth, the effects were expected to remain "fairly small."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/space/8563072/Solar-flare-threatens-to-disrupt-Earths-communications-and-power.html

A while ago i posted on one of the blogs about the Deparment of Education buying a bunch of short barreled shotguns, well i guess we know the reason now.

Now We Know Why Dept Of Education Bought Those Shotguns
Last spring there was a story going around the blogs concerning a solicitation to buy from the U.S. Department of Education for 27 short barrel shotguns.

Now we know what they planned to do with them. They went to their SWAT Teams for use in collecting student loans. Unfortunately, this isn't a joke as this story from Stockton, California illustrates. (The Department of Education is now saying it wasn't about student loans but may have involved fraud or bribery in connection with student loans.)

According to the story from Sacremento's KXTV News10 ABC, the Department of Education did issue the search warrant and authorized the SWAT team due to defaulted student loans held by Mr. Wright's estranged wife who no longer lived with him or their children.

According to the Department of Education's Office of the Inspector General, the case can't be discussed publicly until it is closed, but a spokesperson did confirm that the department did issue the search warrant at Wright's home.

The Office of the Inspector General has a law enforcement branch of federal agents that carry out search warrants and investigations.

Stockton Police Department said it was asked by federal agents to provide one officer and one patrol car just for a police presence when carrying out the search warrant.

Stockton police did not participate in breaking Wright's door, handcuffing him, or searching his home.

http://onlygunsandmoney.blogspot.com/2011/06/now-we-know-why-dept-of-education.html


Baltimore Police Issue 2nd Amendment Decal Warning

Maryland --(Ammoland.com)- On May 29, 2011, the Baltimore Police Criminal Intelligence Section issued an “Intelligence Bulletin” warning officers about persons displaying the 2nd Amendment decal pictured here. The bulletin contains the following caption in bold red letters:



“….while the individual who is displaying the symbol may not be armed, the presence of the symbol provides an early warning indicator that you MAY be about to encounter an armed individual.”

It apparently never occurred to the Intelligence Section that perhaps we the people could use a warning that the presence of a badge provides an early warning that we are about to encounter an armed individual. While this may seem a bit sarcastic, it is certainly not unfair for Maryland citizens to have reason for concern when they are approached by an officer.

This is especially true when the officers are overly tense because they have been warned that a citizen with a decal or patch MAY be armed.

This Association asked James H. Green, of the Baltimore City Police Department to explain why the Baltimore City Police Department feels the need to profile persons who choose to support the U.S. Constitution.

Mr. Green responded with the following statement:

“I have spoken with our Criminal Intelligence Section and the bulletin was created in response to a number of recent inquires asking about the decal and its meaning and information generally provided to law enforcement about officer safety. All law enforcement agencies attempt to inform our officers or citizens as appropriate when inquiries such as this arise.

I certainly disagree with your characterization of “profiling.” Clearly the bulletin is informational and does not remotely suggest a suppression of Constitutional rights. In fact, as you are aware, many law enforcement personnel are members of the NRA or affiliated organizations.

As you are also aware, traffic stops are the single most dangerous encounter for law enforcement. It certainly is practice for law enforcement to ask operators about weapons for safety reasons only. The presence of a decal is NOT justification in itself for a traffic stop.

I hope that this addresses your inquiry and clears up any confusion about the bulletin.”

Note: “ WRTAC” stands for “Washington Regional Threat Analysis Center”

This Association has already submitted a Public Information Act request for information regarding similar bulletins involving NRA decals, patches and license plates.

It is quite interesting that the Washington Regional Threat Analysis Center and the Baltimore Police believe that showing support for the U.S. Constitution is considered a threat to police officers.

http://www.ammoland.com/2011/06/06/baltimore-police-issue-2nd-amendment-decal-warning/

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday 06-08-11

U.N. Agreement Should Have All Gun Owners Up In Arms

It may not come as surprising news to many of you that the United Nations doesn’t approve of our Second Amendment. Not one bit. And they very much hope to do something about it with help from some powerful American friends. Under the guise of a proposed global “Small Arms Treaty” premised to fight “terrorism”, “insurgency” and “international crime syndicates” you can be quite certain that an even more insidious threat is being targeted – our Constitutional right for law-abiding citizens to own and bear arms.

What, exactly, does the intended agreement entail?

While the terms have yet to be made public, if passed by the U.N. and ratified by our Senate, it will almost certainly force the U.S. to:

1.Enact tougher licensing requirements, creating additional bureaucratic red tape for legal firearms ownership.
2.Confiscate and destroy all “unauthorized” civilian firearms (exempting those owned by our government of course).
3.Ban the trade, sale and private ownership of all semi-automatic weapons (any that have magazines even though they still operate in the same one trigger pull – one single “bang” manner as revolvers, a simple fact the ant-gun media never seem to grasp).
4.Create an international gun registry, clearly setting the stage for full-scale gun confiscation.
5.In short, overriding our national sovereignty, and in the process, providing license for the federal government to assert preemptive powers over state regulatory powers guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment in addition to our Second Amendment rights.
Have no doubt that this plan is very real, with strong Obama administration support. In January 2010 the U.S. joined 152 other countries in endorsing a U.N. Arms Treaty Resolution that will establish a 2012 conference to draft a blueprint for enactment. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has pledged to push for Senate ratification.

Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton has cautioned gun owners to take this initiative seriously, stating that the U.N. “is trying to act as though this is really just a treaty about international arms trade between nation states, but there is no doubt that the real agenda here is domestic firearms control.”

Although professing to support the Second Amendment during her presidential election bid, Hillary Clinton is not generally known as a gun rights enthusiast. She has been a long-time activist for federal firearms licensing and registration, and a vigorous opponent of state Right-to-Carry laws. As a New York senator she ranked among the National Rifle Association’s worst “F”-rated gun banners who voted to support the sort of gunpoint disarmament that marked New Orleans’ rogue police actions against law-abiding gun owners in the anarchistic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

President Obama’s record on citizen gun rights doesn’t reflect much advocacy either. Consider for example his appointment of anti-gun rights former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels as an alternate U.S. representative to the U.N., and his choice of Andrew Traver who has worked to terminate civilian ownership of so-called “assault rifles” (another prejudicially meaningless gun term) to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Then, in a move unprecedented in American history, the Obama administration quietly banned the re-importation and sale of 850,000 collectable antique U.S.-manufactured M1 Garand and Carbine rifles that were left in South Korea following the Korean War. Developed in the 1930s, the venerable M1 Garand carried the U.S. through World War II, seeing action in every major battle.

As an Illinois state senator, Barack Obama was an aggressive advocate for expanding gun control laws, and even voted against legislation giving gun owners an affirmative defense when they use firearms to defend themselves and their families against home invaders and burglars. He also served on a 10-member board of directors of the radically activist anti-gun Joyce Foundation in Chicago during a period between 1998-2001when it contributed $18,326,183 in grants to anti-Second Amendment organizations.

If someone breaks into your home when you are there, which would you prefer to have close at hand: 1) a telephone to call 911, or 2) a loaded gun of respectable caliber? That’s a pretty easy question for me to answer. I am a long-time NRA member, concealed firearms license holder and a regular weekly recreational pistol shooter. And while I don’t ordinarily care to target anything that has a mother, will reluctantly make an exception should an urgent provocation arise. I also happen to enjoy the company of friends who hunt, as well as those, like myself, who share an abiding interest in American history and the firearms that influenced it.

There are many like me, and fewer of them would be alive today were it not for exercise of their gun rights. In fact law-abiding citizens in America used guns in self-defense 2.5 million times during 1993 (about 6,850 times per day), and actually shot and killed 2 1/2 times as many criminals as police did (1,527 to 606). Those civilian self-defense shootings resulted in less than 1/5th as many incidents as police where an innocent person was mistakenly identified as a criminal (2% versus 11%).

Just how effectively have gun bans worked to make citizens safer in other countries? Take the number of home break-ins while residents are present as an indication. In Canada and Britain, both with tough gun-control laws, nearly half of all burglaries occur when residents are present. But in the U.S. where many households are armed, only about 13% happen when someone is home.

Recognizing clear statistical benefit evidence, 41 states now allow competent, law-abiding adults to carry permitted or permit-exempt concealed handguns. As a result, crime rates in those states have typically fallen at least 10% in the year following enactment.

So the majority in our Senate is smart enough to realize that the U.N.’s gun-grab agenda is unconstitutional, politically suicidal for those who support it, and down-right idiotic—right? Let’s hope so, but not entirely count on it. While a few loyal Obama Democrats are truly “pro-gun”, many are loathe to vote against treaties that carry the president’s international prestige, causing him embarrassment.

Also, don’t forget that Senate confirmation of anti-gun Obama nominee Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Many within the few who voted against her did so only because of massive grassroots pressure from constituents who take their Constitutional protections very seriously.

Now, more than ever, it’s imperative to stick by our guns in demanding that all Constitutional rights be preserved. If not, we will surely lose both.

http://blogs.forbes.com/larrybell/2011/06/07/u-n-agreement-should-have-all-gun-owners-up-in-arms/


RADIO WAVES CURE FOR THE MISERY OF ASTHMA

MILLIONS of asthma sufferers are being offered new hope after a breakthrough operation was ­performed in Britain for the first time.

Doctors said the procedure – the first non-drug treatment for the condition – can cut attacks by 75 per cent and allow patients to breathe much more easily.

NHS patients in Manchester and Glasgow became the first in Europe to undergo the 45-minute procedure using radio waves, known as bronchial thermoplasty, last week.

It involves burning away ­thickened lung tissue that blocks the airways and leaves many patients wheezing and gasping for breath.

Chest consultant Dr Rob Niven said: “It is the most exciting development in the treatment of asthma in this country in a quarter of a century. It can significantly improve the lives and condition of chronic sufferers.

“The potential impact of this is very big. It can improve patients’ lives by improving their breathing, reducing the number of attacks and reducing their dependency on drugs.”

In the technique, a tube is inserted in the sedated patient’s mouth and threaded through into the bronchial canals in the lungs.

Once it reaches a specific point in the airway, an electrode device at the end of the scope expands to make contact with the interior walls. It then delivers radio-­frequency waves for 10 seconds at a time, with the 140F heat effectively melting thick tissue causing the blockage.

This procedure is carried out three times to complete each operation.

A trial found that the technique can cut asthma attacks by 75 per cent and also typically give a patient an extra 86 days each year when they have no symptoms at all.

n the trials at Manchester’s Wythenshawe Hospital, 19 out of 20 chronic patients reported a “significant improvement”.

Dr Niven said one of his team’s patients, a middle-aged mother-of-two who lives in the city, was now back at work following her successful procedure on Friday.

The technique was also carried out at Glasgow’s Gartnavel General Hospital on Thursday.

Other hospitals in Leicester, Newcastle, Birmingham and ­London are also involved in the UK pilot scheme. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) will eventually rule on whether to make the operation widely available on the NHS.

The £10,000 treatment is already available in America for those who can afford it or have medical insurance.

But due to the high cost, trials here are aimed at chronic sufferers – estimated at 250,000 out of a total of five million people in the UK with the condition. It kills 1,200 every year.

Asthma is said to affect one in five households and two children in every classroom. Inhalers are commonly used.

Last night, Asthma UK welcomed the treatment. Professor Ian Pavord, the charity’s chief medical adviser, said: “This is a well researched procedure that has been through clinical trials which show it can be helpful.

“In some people with severe asthma, symptoms have been improved and the risk of them having an attack has been reduced, so it is encouraging.”

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/251423/Radio-waves-cure-for-the-misery-of-asthma

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesday 06-07-11

NJ court: No shield law for message boards posters
TRENTON, N.J. – The New Jersey Supreme Court says people posting in online message boards don't have the same protections for sources as mainstream journalists.

The court ruled Tuesday that New Jersey's shield law for journalists does not apply to such message boards.

The case involved a New Jersey-based software company named Too Much Media. It sued a Washington state blogger for defamation and wanted her to reveal sources she cited on message board posts.

Shellee Hale claimed customer information was compromised and that she should be protected from revealing her sources.

New Jersey's highest court says online message boards are little more than forums for discussion and don't fit the definition of news media as described by the law.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110607/ap_on_hi_te/us_blogger_protections


Cruise passengers tell of seven-hour security 'revenge' nightmare

Elderly passengers on board a luxury cruise have criticised US immigration officials after they endured a seven-hour security check.

It was billed as a chance to taste the “glitz and glamour” of Hollywood or enjoy VIP treatment in some of the most exclusive shopping areas in the world.

But when a group of 2,000 elderly British cruise ship passengers docked at Los Angeles for a short stop-off during a five-star cruise around America it was, in the words of one of them, more like arriving at Guantanamo Bay.

During their £10,000, two-and-a-half month “Alaska Adventure” tour from the Arctic to the Caribbean, the passengers on the luxury P&O liner Arcadia had become more than accustomed to passing US immigration with little formality.

By the time they docked at Los Angeles on May 26, for a one-day visit it was their 10th stop on US soil.

But when a handful of them questioned whether the lengthy security checks at the port were strictly necessary for a group of largely elderly travellers officials were not amused.

Although they had already been given advance clearance for multiple entries to the country during their trip, all 2,000 passengers were made to go through full security checks in a process which took seven hours to complete.

The fingerprints of both hands were taken as well as retina scans and a detailed check of the passport as well as questioning as to their background.

Passengers claim that the extra checks were carried out in “revenge” for what had been a minor spat over allegedly overzealous security.

They complain that they were “herded like animals” and made to stand for hours in temperatures up to 80F with no food or water or access to lavatories.

Some are said to have passed out in the heat while others were left confused and bewildered.

When one lady asked in desperation whether she could use a bathroom, one immigration official is said to have replied: “Do it over the side, we won’t mind.”

To compound the situation, the officials' computer broke down and further delays resulted.

The immigration delays forced P&O to extend the stay in LA by a day forcing it to cancel a later stop-off at Roatan, Honduras, scheduled for this week.

Setting off from Southampton on April 12, the cruise has taken in stops in Europe, the Caribbean, Central America, crossing the Panama Canal to travel up the west coast of the United States to Alaska.

They were en route back to the canal before stops in Florida and New York when the ship stopped at LA last week and the immigration problems ensued

With a total of 15 stops scheduled at US ports during the 72-night cruise, the passengers had all completed standard US immigration (ESTA) forms designed for multiple-entry trips.

"A couple of passengers got a bit stroppy about having to go through all the rigmarole again and these petulant officials decided to take revenge,” said John Randall, 60, a retired dentist from Wigan, who bought the cruise as a retirement gift to his wife.

"There were about 2,000 people on the quayside with only eight immigration people.

“They were just doing basic checks to begin with but after the argument we had to do full finger prints on left and right hands and all the biometric stuff.

"Then their computer system broke down but no one was bothered about helping us.

“A couple of people struggled to control their bladders and someone said they'd suffered a prolapsed disc.”

He emphasized that he did not blame the liner for difficulties, but in a letter to the captain he vented his feelings about the immigration procedures adding: “We are holiday makers, here to try and enjoy ourselves - we are not potential inmates of Guantalamo Bay, and should not be treated as such.”

A spokeswoman for the company insisted that passengers were kept on the vessel to prevent them queuing for more than about an hour.

She added: “The delay in immigration procedures was largely to blame on issues with the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) computer systems, not aided by the verbal approach that a minority of our passengers, clearly frustrated by this delay, took with the local immigration officers.

“The US has a record for the most stringent and thorough security and entry requirements in the world, and they felt the need to enhance their security checks further, which they have the power to do.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/8559732/Cruise-passengers-tell-of-seven-hour-security-revenge-nightmare.html

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday 06-06-11

I know it is Canada, but i could see the same thing happening here.

Flooded-out farmer needs permit to remove fish

SABREVOIS, Que. - Bureaucrats have added insult to injury for a corn farmer south of Montreal whose fields have been damaged by near-record flooding.

Martin Reid says he's been forced to buy a fishing licence to remove carp that are swimming in a metre of water on his flooded-out fields.

He says he bought the permit to avoid the problems he faced the last time he was forced to remove fish from his flooded farmland. In 1993, Reid was fined $1,000 for illegal fishing.

"My father and I ... were charged by Fisheries and Oceans Canada," Reid recalled. "We were jointly responsible for having caused the death of fish for reasons other than sport fishing."

Reid says the fine will jump to $100,000 if he's cited a second time.

He's under strict orders to safeguard the lives of the carp once he begins to expel them.

"We have to collect all of them, and we have to fish both sexes, that's what (the permit) says," Reid explained.

"I have to transport them so as not to damage them, by containers with water inside. If some of them die, I have to bury them."

What's more, his permit expires in two weeks even though floodwaters have yet to recede.

A spokesman for the provincial natural resources department defended Ottawa's decision.

"The idea is to help farmers," said Jean-Philippe Detolle. "The licence was issued to reassure them they won't be fined."

Quebec's wildlife minister, Serge Simard, also defended the decision to fine Reid and his father during the 1993 flood.

"He was pumping water," said the minister. "The fish passed through the pumps and came out in pieces. The neighbours complained because it was contaminating the environment."

Reid, a third-generation farmer, says the government's demands are unacceptable, especially given the severe crop damage that he has yet to fully assess.

"If we wanted to challenge it we would have to sue the federal government and pay lawyers," he said.

"The legal process could drag on for five years."

http://www.lfpress.com/news/canada/2011/05/27/18203461.html

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday 06-04-11

Not sure if this is staged or not, but i'm sure people are being violated everyday by these "government servants".


video



Documents show FCC coordinated 'Net Neutrality' effort with outside group (Outside left wing groups, no real surprise)

Documents made public yesterday by Judicial Watch describe extensive collusion by Federal Communications Commission officials with a left-wing advocacy group in a campaign to expand government regulation of the Internet.

The documents, obtained by Judicial Watch in a December 2010 Freedom of Information Act request, were created after Democrat appointees solidified their 3-2 control of the agency in March 2009. Judicial Watch is a conservative nonprofit that specializes in using the FOIA and other avenues to expose corruption in government.
The coordination between FCC officials and Free Press, the advocacy group, was on behalf of a proposal that the agency assert authority to regulate access to the Internet as if it were a public utility in the interest of insuring "Net Neutrality."
Proponents said doing so would assure equal access for all Internet users by barring companies from offering preferred rates for higher delivery speeds. Other users, especially in communities with limited Internet access, would be forced to accept poorer service. But critics said the proposal would actually give the FCC the first tool it needed to ultimately regulate content, and they argued that the FCC has no authority over the medium in the first place.
It would be akin to forcing FedEx and UPS to treat all packages the same way the U.S. Postal Service does. Free Press is the most vocal of a number of far-left and liberal advocacy groups that for nearly a decade have pushed numerous proposals for vastly increasing government regulation of the Internet. The evidence of coordination between FCC Democrats and Free Press uncovered by Judicial Watch includes:
Emails between former Free Press president John Silver and Democratic FCC Commissioner Michael Copps from October 2010, coordinating "how we'd like to proceed during these next three months on NN [net neutrality]."
• Documents summarizing a phone call between Silver and Copps in which, before an FCC vote on the proposal in November 2010, Silver "emphasized that a strong net neutrality rule is critical to preserving the Internet as a vibrant forum for speech, commerce, innovation and cultural expression."
• Correspondence between FCC Special Counsel David Tannenbaum and Free Press Policy Director Ben Scott coordinating speakers for a taxpayer-funded series of FCC "internet workshops" that were intended to generate public support for the proposal.
Free Press was co-founded by Monthly Review editor Robert McChesney and the Nation contributor John Nichols. The Monthly Review is "an independent Marxist journal," while the Nation has long described itself as "the flagship of the left."
Free Press is partially funded by George Soros' Open Society Institute. In April 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC did not have the legal authority to regulate the Internet. Despite this ruling, in December the FCC voted 3-2, along party lines, to begin the Net Neutrality regulation process anyway.
As an independent agency, the FCC is required to regulate impartially. Internal FCC rules require all employees to disclose all communication made by interested parties and "directed to the merits or outcome of a proceeding" unless they fit a narrow set of exceptions (e.g., the communication "directly relates to an emergency in which the safety of life is endangered or substantial loss of property is threatened").
An FCC spokesman failed to return multiple calls seeking comment. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the documents released by his organization suggest "nothing less than the Obama administration's attempt to stage a government takeover of the Internet under the guise of Net Neutrality.
So it should come as no surprise that Free Press, the hard-left organization with socialist ties, is improperly driving the so-called Net Neutrality agenda from inside the Obama administration." Fitton added that "the FCC is supposed to be an independent agency that follows the law. The American people should be deeply troubled by the fact that the Obama administration, on issue after issue, seems to be run by shadowy leftist organizations."

http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2011/06/conn-carroll-documents-show-fcc-coordinated-net-neutrality-effort-outside#ixzz1ODF3ZK3u

An interseting list and State rankings, they have Maryland ranked about right, imo

Overall Freedom Ranking by State and Other Interesting Numbers
by M.D. Creekmore Interesting numbers to help you choose a survival retreat location. Overall Freedom Ranking by State according this report - the report factors in a number of elements, such as gun laws, homeschooling, seatbelt laws, economic freedom, smoking bans, marijuana legislation etc.
1. New Hampshire
2. Colorado
3. South Dakota
4. Idaho
5. Texas
6. Missouri
7. Tennessee
8. Arizona
9. Virginia
10. North Dakota
11. Utah
12. Kansas
13. Indiana
14. Michigan
15. Wyoming
16. Iowa 0
17. Georgia
18. Oklahoma
19. Montana
20. Pennsylvania
21. Alabama
22. Florida
23. North Carolina
24. Nevada
25. Mississippi
26. Delaware
27. Oregon
28. Nebraska
29. Arkansas
30. South Carolina
31. Alaska
32. Kentucky
33. West Virginia
34. Louisiana
35. Minnesota
36. New Mexico
37. Wisconsin
38. Ohio
39. Maine
40. Vermont
41. Connecticut
42. Illinois
43. Massachusetts
44. Washington
45. Hawaii
46. Maryland
47. California
48. Rhode Island
49. New Jersey
50. New York

Personal Freedom Ranking by State according to this report – Freedom to do what you want with your life, liberties and property as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others.
1. Alaska
2. Maine
3. New Mexico
4. Arkansas
5. Texas
6. Missouri
7. Oregon
8. Idaho
9. Virginia
10. Wyoming
11. Vermont
12. Arizona
13. New Hampshire
14. Utah
15. Kansas
16. Colorado
17. West Virginia
18. Tennessee
19. Indiana
20. Michigan
21. Montana
22. Mississippi
23. Florida
24. South Dakota
25. Iowa
26. Kentucky
27. Oklahoma
28. Hawaii
29. Pennsylvania
30. North Carolina
31. Minnesota
32. Nevada
33. North Dakota
34. Nebraska
35. Washington
36. Delaware
37. California
38. Connecticut
39. Wisconsin
40. Louisiana
41. South Carolina
42. Georgia
43. Alabama
44. Massachusetts
45. New Jersey
46. Ohio
47. Rhode Island
48. New York
49. Illinois
50. Maryland


Rank State Population Density starting with the most populated (2010) from wikipedia.
District of Columbia 9,857 inhabitants per square mile
1. New Jersey 1,196 inhabitants per square mile
2. Rhode Island 1,018 inhabitants per square mile
3. Massachusetts 839.4 inhabitants per square mile
4. Connecticut 738.1 inhabitants per square mile
5. Maryland 594.8 inhabitants per square mile
6. Delaware 460.8 inhabitants per square mile
7. New York 411.2 inhabitants per square mile
8. Florida 350.6 inhabitants per square mile
9. Pennsylvania 283.9 inhabitants per square mile
10. Ohio 282.3 inhabitants per square mile
11. California 239.1 inhabitants per square mile
12. Illinois 231.1 inhabitants per square mile
13. Hawaii 211.8 inhabitants per square mile
14. Virginia 202.6 inhabitants per square mile
15. North Carolina 196.1 inhabitants per square mile
16. Indiana 181.0 inhabitants per square mile
17. Michigan 174.8 inhabitants per square mile
18. Georgia 168.4 inhabitants per square mile
19. South Carolina 153.9 inhabitants per square mile
20. Tennessee 153.9 inhabitants per square mile
21. New Hampshire 147.0 inhabitants per square mile
22. Kentucky 109.9 inhabitants per square mile
23. Wisconsin 105.0 inhabitants per square mile
24. Louisiana 104.9 inhabitants per square mile
25. Washington 101.2 inhabitants per square mile
26. Texas 96.3 inhabitants per square mile
27. Alabama 94.4 inhabitants per square mile
28. Missouri 87.1 inhabitants per square mile
29. West Virginia 77.1 inhabitants per square mile
30. Vermont 67.9 inhabitants per square mile
31. Minnesota 66.6 inhabitants per square mile
32. Mississippi 63.2 inhabitants per square mile
33. Arizona 56.3 inhabitants per square mile
34. Arkansas 56.0 inhabitants per square mile
35. Oklahoma 54.7 inhabitants per square mile
36. Iowa 54.5 inhabitants per square mile
37. Colorado 48.5 inhabitants per square mile
38. Maine 43.1 inhabitants per square mile
39. Oregon 39.9 inhabitants per square mile
40. Kansas 34.9 inhabitants per square mile
41. Utah 33.6 inhabitants per square mile
42. Nevada 24.6 inhabitants per square mile
43. Nebraska 23.8 inhabitants per square mile
44. Idaho 19.0 inhabitants per square mile
45. New Mexico 17.0 inhabitants per square mile
46. South Dakota 10.7 inhabitants per square mile
47. North Dakota 9.7 inhabitants per square mile
48. Montana 6.8 inhabitants per square mile
49. Wyoming 5.8 inhabitants per square mile
50. Alaska 1.2 inhabitants per square mile

States Declared Disasters starting with the state with the greatest number and decending to the lowest from FEMA data.
1 .Texas
2 . California
3 . Oklahoma
4 . Florida
5 . New York
6. Louisiana
7 . Alabama
8 . Kentucky
9 . Missouri
10 . Arkansas
11 . Illinois
12 .Mississippi
13 .West Virginia
14 . Tennessee
15 . Nebraska
16 . Minnesota
17 . Kansas
18 . Washington
19 . Pennsylvania
20 . Ohio
21 . Iowa
22 . Virginia
23 . North Dakota
24 . North Carolina
25 . South Dakota
26 . Maine
27 . Indiana
28 . Wisconsin
29 . Georgia
30 . Alaska
31 . Vermont
32 . New Jersey
33 . Oregon
34 . New Hampshire
35 . Michigan
36 . Hawaii
37 . Massachusetts
38 . Federated States of Micronesia
39 . Arizona
40 . Puerto Rico
41 . New Mexico
42 . Idaho
43 . Maryland
44 . Montana
45 . US Virgin Islands
46 . Nevada
47 . Colorado
48 . South Carolina
49 . Connecticut
50 . Northern Mariana Islands
51 . Delaware
52 . Guam
53 . American Samoa
54 . District of Columbia
55 . Wyoming
56 . Utah
57 . Rhode Island
58 . Marshall Islands
59 . Palau
http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/overall-freedom-ranking/