Make no mistakes…


 

 

sassy

 

In My Opinion

SMKrider

1/24/2014 8:35:49 PM

Make no mistake about it we are at war within our own country.  In fact the whole world is at war with each other.  Furthermore we have been at war in

Make no mistake about it we are at war within our own country. In fact the whole damn world is at war with each other.

Furthermore, we have been at war in our own country since the arrival of the Mayflower. But for this opinion I will only go back as far as September 11, 2001. The day the world changed forever for the citizens of the United States.

When the attack on the World Trade Center’s occurred on that day, we all assumed that it was a foreign entity which had cursed us with that attack. There are doubts about that scenario now. But it really does not matter what “entity” commanded that the attack take place. It only matters that it did and how it changed our perception of reality forever.

We were in shock. We were taken advantage of. We were misguided and conveniently suppressed of information. That information was the truth about what was about to happen us in the following ten years. In those years following we have become increasingly more oppressed and depressed as a general population.

We are becoming desperate as can be seen in the uprisings around the world, a general displeasure of the people can be seen across all countries, races, ethnic groups, civil rights advocates, and last but not least the OCCUPY movement which has went around the world. Violence is ever increasing.

The laws are ever changing and becoming more invasive of our private lives. Censorship and video surveillance have become the norm of our lives and freedom of speech although seemingly rampant and ongoing at the present online will meet its maker with passage of new laws to censor our every move across the World Wide Web.

“As if they haven’t been tracking us for the past ten years anyway”…

Like an owl swooping down on his prey, in the name of security we have lost almost all of our rights as U.S. Citizens. The Constitution is becoming nothing more than a historical document to put in a museum.

What happened to “government of the people, by the people and for the people”? It has become a plutocracy, “of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich”. How do we win this war? We won’t. They are smarter than us. We have proven that already by buying into the surveillance of virtually every moment of our daily lives via face book and other social networks. All of this technology came about for our convenience and we were naïve enough to carry it in through our front doors and even into our bedrooms. We are all walking tracking devices in one form or another or even multiple ways.

Who is running the government? We do not really know. Where did all the money go? We do not really know. Who ordered the attack on the World Trade Center’s? We don’t really know. Who can we trust? We do not know. Can you trust your bank? Can you trust your doctor or the pharmaceutical company that makes the real snake oil of this millennium? Probably not. If you can, you are one of the lucky few.

So now that we have spent the last 40 odd years protesting for one thing or another and all the faith, hope and respect has faded in the grave what do we do now? We have effectively completed their mission for them by creating the very thing that they needed to invoke “security for the country”. Do we have a voice? Yes. Do they hear us? Yes. Do they care what we think? Absolutely not. They are into their own agenda of the NWO and that is all there is to it. There is no stopping the bastards. They have more money, more “security forces” conveniently brainwashed into their agenda, and a lot more bullets than we, the people, could ever come up with. It would be another bloody civil war that would make the last one look like a walk in the park. They have us lock, stock and barrel.

You may argue the point that we still have our voting rights. And that would be a valid point. However, for some unknown reason most of the country still chooses not to exercise that right. The vote hasn’t been legitimate for many years and ignorance is or at least was bliss. It isn’t anymore.

So plant your gardens. Stock up on necessities as much as you can. And make an “escape” plan, (with an alternate plan “B”) just in case chaos breaks out near you. That is providing martial law hasn’t been invoked yet and your neighborhood isn’t staked off.

Say your prayers and ask forgiveness for your sins. Plan for the worst and hope and pray for the best.

Then just sit back, relax and watch what happens.

  “We know you can see us

What Is Fracking and Why Should It Be Banned?


 

http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/FrackingWastePit_BGS_WEB.jpg

 

The case to ban fracking grows stronger every day. Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing. It’s a water-intensive process where millions of gallons of fluid — a mix of water, sand, and chemicals, including ones known to cause cancer — are injected underground at high pressure to fracture the rock surrounding an oil or gas well. This releases extra oil and gas from the rock, so it can flow into the well.

But the process of fracking introduces additional industrial activity into communities beyond the well. Clearing land to build new access roads and new well sites, drilling and encasing the well, fracking the well and generating the waste, trucking in heavy equipment and materials and trucking out the vast amounts of toxic waste — all of these steps contribute to air and water pollution risks and devaluation of land that are turning our communities into sacrifice zones. Fracking threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate on which we all depend. That’s why over 250 communities in the U.S. have passed resolutions to stop fracking, and why Vermont, France and Bulgaria have stopped it.

Why a Ban? Can Regulations Make Fracking Safe?

Ban Fracking in Your Area

No. Fracking is inherently unsafe and we cannot rely on regulation to protect communities’ water, air and public health. The industry enjoys exemptions from key federal legislation protecting our air and water, thanks to aggressive lobbying and cozy relationships with our federal decision makers (the exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act is often referred to as the Cheney or Halliburton Loophole, because it was negotiated by then-Vice President Dick Cheney with Congress in 2005). Plus, the industry is aggressively clamping down on local and state efforts to regulate fracking by buying influence and even bringing lawsuits to stop them from being implemented. That’s why fracking can’t be made safe through government oversight or regulations. An all out ban on fracking is the only way to protect our communities.

Learn More

 

On “Legalization”: When the U.N. comes a marching along, we will all be singing a brand new song…


 

27800_417164937993_5191322_n

 

January 2, 2014

The following synopsis which I have found across the internet and put together here pretty much sums up the value of our “legalization” initiatives, whether they be “anti-prohibition”, tax and regulate, Repeal, ‘…”my God given right!”, or “Damn, we are all a bunch of fools to think that prohibition has ended…”.

With the passage of the new recreational and medical cannabis use laws in Colorado and Washington alongside all of the other “medical cannabis” states, everyone is/was jumping for joy at midnight on the 31st of December 2013.  Prohibition has ended they proclaim, yet still remains illegal at the Federal and U.N. levels.  The U.N. has already jumped on the bandwagon prior to the new year to make sure that Uruguay’s legalization was “in violation of international law”.

The Executive Branch of our U.S. Government seems to be just sitting back and watching, never giving a clear indication of what they will (or won’t) do.   In fact, they just do not seem to be doing much of anything anymore with the exception of disagreements on what should be done. 

Maybe, just maybe it is because they know something we may not.  Maybe, they know that we are truly walking in the age of the NWO and the Global takeover by the U.N.  It has already been written in stone and now we just sit back and watch what is going to happen.  The U.N. is in control.  The U.S. is not.  The U.N. owns the World.  We do not.  No one owns anything, anywhere, anymore.  Including the right to our own bodies and minds.  The U.N. does.  Even the thought that we actually had a chance to control our own lives is not very lucid.  The U.S. and every other country within the U.N. are incorporated businesses with “us” as the “stock certificates”.  Here are a few links to information on that:

UNITED STATES THE CORPORATION:THE TRUTH

King James 1st Chacter of Virgina of 1606 / Act of 1871

CORPORATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

UNITED STATED OF AMERICA is a CORPORATION PR

Moving right along, New Year’s Eve 2013 will be one for the history books.  Though I doubt actual hardcopy books will exist very much longer and the history can now be changed at the tap of a keyboard, so what that is worth I am not sure.  But I know I sure feel sorry for the people who are out there actually believing that they have accomplished anything with their legalization antics.  We have all led ourselves into a hole.  I damn sure hope it is not too late to climb out of it. 

So hear my happy New Year’s Song,

I saw it coming all along,

Yes I did, I know I did,

I sure the Hell saw it coming before YOU did!

So now your free, or so you think,

To smoke your pipe and drink your drink,

The Bell’s were ringing the whole damn time!

Why did you not listen?

Why did you not try?

To educate the masses, by pointing a finger in their eye?

Why did we wait so long,

That the whole damn illusion of freedom,

Flew by, said goodbye, and then was fucking gone?

@SMKRIDER

March 30, 2005

United Nations biosphere reserve land grabs

By Nathan Tabor
What do the Statue of Liberty, Independence Hall, and Monticello have in common? The average American with a smattering of historical knowledge might say that those historic sites are all symbolic of America’s unique heritage of freedom.
Monticello, of course, was the home of Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence. That document (as well as the U.S. Constitution, later) was signed in Independence Hall. The Statue of Liberty memorializes the free nation under God that those founding documents created.
What about the Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone Park, and the Grand Canyon? Well, these priceless natural resources are all managed by the U.S. National Parks Service. They are among the most frequently visited natural recreation areas in America, where millions of American families vacation every year.
Would it surprise you to learn that every one of these unique American landmarks is also controlled by the United Nations?

December 11, 2013

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes has called Uruguay’s reforms ‘unfortunate,’ saying the country acted in violation of international law.

…”VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW”.

 

Friday, 13 December 2013 18:30

UN Claims Uruguay Not Allowed to End Marijuana Prohibition

…”NOT ALLOWED…”

 

…”The 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, of which Uruguay and 183 other nations are parties, “aims to combat drug abuse by coordinated international action.”

Marijuana is listed alongside heroin as a Schedule VI substance according to the Convention, the most severe designation outlined by the U.N.’s International Narcotics Review Board.

The Schedule VI designation empowers member states to, “adopt any special measures of control which in its opinion are necessary having regard to the particularly dangerous properties of a drug so included.”

 

…”In the United States, the administration has so far refused to entirely acknowledge the legitimacy of state nullification efforts on the issue. However, despite strong warnings and opposition from the UN, the Justice Department adopted “guidelines” this year purporting to allow regulated marijuana-market schemes to move forward under close federal scrutiny. Whether national governments will continue to defy the increasingly power hungry UN remains to be seen, but according to analysts, it appears that the planetary outfit will eventually end up on the losing side of the prohibition battle.”

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. He can be reached at anewman@thenewamerican.com.

 

December 13, 2013

Confronting Converging Threats and the Dark Shadows of the Global Economy: Preventing Downward Spirals of Chaos, Insecurity, and Instability

…”The illegal economy includes narcotics trafficking, wildlife trafficking, human trafficking, illegal logging, counterfeit consumer goods and medications, and other illicit enterprises. It is a network of shadowy markets in which illegal arms brokers and narcotics kingpins act as the new CEOs and venture capitalists….”

 

…”The growing illegal economy supports and enables corrupt officials, criminals, terrorists, and insurgents to mingle and conduct business with another. We must build our own networks to fight these illicit networks and break their corruptive influence…”

 

…”corruption and crime exist in every corner of the globe. So do terrorism and climate change. They occur in many of our communities, and on those occasions when they converge, they can bring disorder and instability. In this scenario, shadowy markets, criminal entrepreneurs, and illicit networks could become de facto service providers as governments collapse and chaos and insecurity increase, and in the worst case scenario, prey on the victims of pandemics, storms, and other disasters…”

…”We must build a community of responsible governments, businesses, and civil society organizations, working together to build market resiliency, safeguard government integrity, and preserve our common security.”

…”The United States has recently taken steps to make countering the convergence of illicit threats a national security priority. On July 25, 2011, the White House released the Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime: Addressing Converging Threats to National Security, which aims to protect Americans and citizens of partner nations from violence and exploitation at the hands of transnational criminal networks.”

 

…”Of growing concern are illicit financial hubs and their potentially complicit banks and market-based facilitators and super fixers—such as corrupt lawyers, accountants, black market procurers of commodities and services,…”

 

…”Moving forward, the United States will continue to build collaborative partnerships and knowledge-based platforms with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Bank, the G8/G20, INTERPOL, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Organization of American States (OAS), African Union (AU), and other regional and sub-regional bodies.”

 

…”We also need to better coordinate diplomatic efforts to identify and uproot safe havens and exploitable sanctuaries that enable criminals, terrorists, and other illicit actors and networks to corrupt governments, access illegal markets, and stage operations without fear of reprisal from law enforcement.”

 

…”Some of the thinking and research which helped to inform our dialogues on combating crime-terror pipelines can be found in a book published in May 2013 by the National Defense University, Convergence: Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of Globalization.

Promoting the consistent application of the international drug control treaties

In discharging its mandate under the international drug control treaties, the Board maintains an ongoing dialogue with Governments through various means, such as regular consultations and country missions. That dialogue has been instrumental to the Board’s efforts to assist Governments in complying with the provisions of the treaties. The Convention Evaluation Section of the INCB Secretariat assists the Board in these task. In addition, the Section publishes the quarterly Newsletter of INCB.

The International Narcotics Control Board

From left: A. Samak, W. Sipp, F. Thoumi, M. Moinard, S. Suryawati, R. Yans, G. Korchagina, V. Sumyai, W. Hall,
D. Johnson, R. Ray

 

INTERPOL “CONNECTING POLICE FOR A SAFER WORLD”

 

United States

INTERPOL-Washington-Operations-and-Command-Center

INTERPOL Washington Operations and Command Center

Based on principles embodied in its Constitution, there is no single, national police agency in the United States of America. Instead, a decentralized network of nearly 18,000 different agencies enforces criminal laws according to their respective jurisdiction and mission, which may be local, state, federal or tribal.

Local police and sheriff departments, which make up the majority of national law enforcement agencies, perform traditional functions, including:

  • Crime prevention, detection and investigation;
  • Criminal incident response;
  • Responding to calls for assistance;
  • Patrol;
  • Arrest of criminal suspects;
  • Execution of warrants;
  • Traffic control;
  • Accident investigation;
  • Drug enforcement;
  • Crime prevention education.

At federal level, more than 65 separate agencies enforce Congress laws with a view to:

  • Fighting organized crime and terrorist networks;
  • Conducting foreign intelligence operations;
  • Investigating financial and cyber offences;
  • Tackling child exploitation and trafficking in human beings;
  • Tackling drug trafficking;
  • Preventing the smuggling of illicit goods;
  • Controlling borders and maintaining national security.


INTERPOL Washington

Domestic Focus…International Reach

The National Central Bureau (NCB) for the United States of America is the unique designated INTERPOL point of contact, acting on behalf of the Attorney General, the chief law enforcement officer of the United States.

INTERPOL Washington supports US law enforcement agencies and other INTERPOL member countries who seek assistance in criminal investigations which go beyond national borders. INTERPOL Washington coordinates national law enforcement action and response, ensuring that it is consistent with national interests and law, as well as with INTERPOL policies, procedures, and regulations.

INTERPOL Washington is composed of a multi-sector workforce which includes full-time employees, contractors, and personnel seconded from more than 20 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The staff includes senior criminal investigators, analysts, attorneys, information technology specialists and administrative support personnel.

Organization

At the core of INTERPOL Washington’s criminal investigative support activities is the Operations and Command Center (IOCC). It provides a permanent communications interface between domestic and international law enforcement partners, as well as support to its operational divisions, namely:

  • Alien / Fugitive Division;
  • Counterterrorism Division;
  • Drugs Division;
  • Economic Crimes Division;
  • Human Trafficking and Child Protection Division;
  • State and Local Liaison Division;
  • Violent Crimes Division.


Strategic Goals

INTERPOL Washington has developed four strategic goals to promote cooperation and support to its national law enforcement community and foreign counterparts:

  • Combat transnational crime and terrorism;
  • Strengthen the security of America’s borders;
  • Facilitate international law enforcement cooperation and partnerships;
  • Cultivate and develop America’s workforce, management, and operations.

These goals are in keeping with the strategic priorities of Americas Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and INTERPOL.  They reflect the investigative interests of partner law enforcement agencies, and provide the framework for international investigative assistance that is critical to preventing and solving transnational crime.

Agencies represented at INTERPOL Washington
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives;
  • Capitol Police;
  • Citizenship and Immigration Service;
  • Coast Guard;
  • Customs and Border Protection;
  • Department of Defense, U.S. Marine Corps;
  • Department of Homeland Security;
  • Department of Justice, Office of Enforcement Operations;
  • Department of State;
  • Drug Enforcement Administration;
  • Environmental Protection Agency;
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation;
  • Fish and Wildlife Service;
  • Food and Drug Administration;
  • Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General;
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement;
  • Internal Revenue Service;
  • Marshals Service;
  • New York Police Department;
  • Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office;
  • Postal Inspection Service;
  • Secret Service.

“Tribal police are officers hired by native American tribes which have a constitutional government on Reservations.  They work closely with local, state, and federal police agencies”

15 December 2010

INTERPOL and United States Federal Law Enforcement Training Center hold advanced police technology and research exercise

History

The idea of INTERPOL was born in 1914 at the First International Criminal Police Congress, held in Monaco. This meeting brought together police officers and judicial representatives from 14 countries in order to find ways to cooperate across borders.

Over the past 100 years, the idea of international police cooperation has become firmly grounded in practice, with 190 countries now members of INTERPOL. While its  vision and mission remain in line with the original goals of the first meeting in 1914, the Organization continues to evolve in response to the needs of its member countries, the emergence of new crime trends, and innovations in technology.

Prohibition DOES NOT work–Neither will “Legalization”…


1441435_10201890566138871_826796541_n

DIVERSE SANCTUARY – REV. MARY THOMAS-SPEARS

MAKE IT LAWFUL – AMERICANS FOR CANNABIS

U.S. MARIJUANA PARTY – WE ARE ANTI-PROHIBITIONISTS!

Kentucky Cannabis Hemp Health Initiative 2013-2014

DE-SCHEDULE/REPEAL AND NULLIFY

REPEAL PROHIBITION – END THE WAR ON DRUGS

Make It Lawful

REPEAL THE CONTROLLED DRUGS AND SUBSTANCES ACT !

CANADIANS FOR REPEAL OF CANNABIS PROHIBITION !

Atmospheric Oxygen Levels Are Dropping Faster Than Atmospheric Carbon Levels Are Rising


Posted by Good German on January 27, 2013

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c7/Earth6391.jpg/128px-Earth6391.jpg

 

Forget rising temperatures and bigger storms, this is the big problem that neither side of the mainstream debate over environmental destruction is talking about.  Peter Tatchell reported for the Guardian back in 2008:

The rise in carbon dioxide emissions is big news. It is prompting action to reverse global warming. But little or no attention is being paid to the long-term fall in oxygen concentrations and its knock-on effects.

Compared to prehistoric times, the level of oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere has declined by over a third and in polluted cities the decline may be more than 50%. This change in the makeup of the air we breathe has potentially serious implications for our health. Indeed, it could ultimately threaten the survival of human life on earth, according to Roddy Newman, who is drafting a new book, The Oxygen Crisis.

I am not a scientist, but this seems a reasonable concern. It is a possibility that we should examine and assess. So, what’s the evidence?

Around 10,000 years ago, the planet’s forest cover was at least twice what it is today, which means that forests are now emitting only half the amount of oxygen.

Desertification and deforestation are rapidly accelerating this long-term loss of oxygen sources.

The story at sea is much the same. Nasa reports that in the north Pacific ocean oxygen-producing phytoplankton concentrations are 30% lower today, compared to the 1980s. This is a huge drop in just three decades.

Moreover, the UN environment programme confirmed in 2004 that there were nearly 150 “dead zones” in the world’s oceans where discharged sewage and industrial waste, farm fertiliser run-off and other pollutants have reduced oxygen levels to such an extent that most or all sea creatures can no longer live there. This oxygen starvation is reducing regional fish stocks and diminishing the food supplies of populations that are dependent on fishing. It also causes genetic mutations and hormonal changes that can affect the reproductive capacity of sea life, which could further diminish global fish supplies.

Professor Robert Berner of Yale University has researched oxygen levels in prehistoric times by chemically analysing air bubbles trapped in fossilised tree amber. He suggests that humans breathed a much more oxygen-rich air 10,000 years ago.

Further back, the oxygen levels were even greater. Robert Sloan has listed the percentage of oxygen in samples of dinosaur-era amber as: 28% (130m years ago), 29% (115m years ago), 35% (95m years ago), 33% (88m years ago), 35% (75m years ago), 35% (70m years ago), 35% (68m years ago), 31% (65.2m years ago), and 29% (65m years ago).

Professor Ian Plimer of Adelaide University and Professor Jon Harrison of the University of Arizona concur. Like most other scientists they accept that oxygen levels in the atmosphere in prehistoric times averaged around 30% to 35%, compared to only 21% today – and that the levels are even less in densely populated, polluted city centres and industrial complexes, perhaps only 15 % or lower.

Much of this recent, accelerated change is down to human activity, notably the industrial revolution and the burning of fossil fuels. The Professor of Geological Sciences at Notre Dame University in Indiana, J Keith Rigby, was quoted in 1993-1994 as saying:

In the 20th century, humanity has pumped increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning the carbon stored in coal, petroleum and natural gas. In the process, we’ve also been consuming oxygen and destroying plant life – cutting down forests at an alarming rate and thereby short-circuiting the cycle’s natural rebound. We’re artificially slowing down one process and speeding up another, forcing a change in the atmosphere.

Very interesting. But does this decline in oxygen matter? Are there any practical consequences that we ought to be concerned about? What is the effect of lower oxygen levels on the human body? Does it disrupt and impair our immune systems and therefore make us more prone to cancer and degenerative diseases?

The effects of long term oxygen deprivation on the brain, called cerebral hypoxia, are known and some sound reminiscent of the general rise of stupidity in the industrialized world.

Professor Ervin Laszlo (quoted in Tatchell’s article) writes:

Evidence from prehistoric times indicates that the oxygen content of pristine nature was above the 21% of total volume that it is today. It has decreased in recent times due mainly to the burning of coal in the middle of the last century. Currently the oxygen content of the Earth’s atmosphere dips to 19% over impacted areas, and it is down to 12 to 17% over the major cities. At these levels it is difficult for people to get sufficient oxygen to maintain bodily health: it takes a proper intake of oxygen to keep body cells and organs, and the entire immune system, functioning at full efficiency. At the levels we have reached today cancers and other degenerative diseases are likely to develop. And at 6 to 7% life can no longer be sustained.

More specific details regarding the drop in atmospheric oxygen can be found here.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

CoalSwarm: A Clearinghouse for Shared Information on King Coal


by PRW Staff — January 6, 2013 – 11:13am

  • Topics: Energy, Environment

    The article below was written by Ted Nace, who founded CoalSwarm. Since 2008, the Center for Media and Democracy has been hosting the CoalSwarm wiki project on CMD’s SourceWatch.org website. SourceWatch is a sister site of this site, PRWatch.org, and other sites of CMD, which include ALECexposed.org and the FoodRightsNetwork.org.

    NASA climatologist James Hansen is sometimes called “the godfather of climate science” for his pioneering efforts to warn the world about the threat of global warming. Hansen could also be called the godfather of Earth Island Institute-sponsored project CoalSwarm. It was Hansen who, in 2007, called for a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants after U.S. power companies revealed plans to build more than 150 such plants in the country. His proposal became a rallying cry for hundreds of grassroots citizens’ groups across the country. CoalSwarm was created to help that effort, giving environmental activists, local residents, and policymakers the information they need to challenge the muscle of the coal industry and advocate for a renewable energy economy.

    Coal-fired power plant in Utah

    Coal-fired power plant in UtahIn the waning years of the Bush administration, the scattered activists committed to stopping “King Coal” faced long odds. The companies proposing coal plants generally enjoyed the support of local and state officials. Federal officials were greasing the way for more coal mining. Despite the difficult political terrain, environmental and public health advocates went to work, deploying tactics ranging from regulatory interventions to direct-action protests. Power plant opponents joined forces with anti-mining groups in Appalachia, the Southwest, and the Northern Plains, which had already spent decades fighting destructive mining practices such as mountaintop removal.

    For this geographically dispersed movement, social media such as listserves, blogs, online publications, and other communication tools proved invaluable in bringing activists together and allowing a diverse array of groups to coordinate their efforts.

    CoalSwarm added another tool to the mix — an informational website known as a wiki. CoalSwarm’s initial goal was to empower activists with up-to-date information on the status of each known coal plant proposal. CoalSwarm developed its information on the Center for Media and Democracy’s Sourcewatch.org website, a collaborative online reference that provides portals on topics ranging from the tobacco industry to the financial crisis to the PR industry and corporate front groups.

    The anti-coal movement decided to focus on stopping individual coal projects. This proved to be a winning strategy: By October 2012, more than 170 proposed coal plants had been cancelled. For the climate movement, these successes provide a measure of hope at a time when efforts to pass a comprehensive climate change policy at the national level or an overarching climate framework at the global level have failed.

    Over time, the scope of the anti-coal movement steadily broadened beyond the issue of new coal plants. In Appalachia, activists struggled against mountaintop removal with marches, blockades, and tree-sits at mine sites; nationwide, banks financing mining operations faced public pressure to give up their stake in dirty coal. CoalSwarm likewise broadened its contents with hundreds of new wiki pages on mines, mining companies, protests, and on the political underpinnings of Big Coal. A major coal-waste spill in Tennessee added the issue of coal waste to the activist agenda, and again CoalSwarm expanded its coverage.

    By 2011, having succeeded in stopping most new coal plants, activists launched a nationwide campaign to retire the existing fleet of 500 aging coal plants that then provided the U.S. with about half of its power. The effort was boosted by a $50 million grant from the Bloomberg Foundation to the Sierra Club in July 2011. The initial results were encouraging. In Chicago, for instance, local citizens teamed up with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization, and, with assistance from the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, finally won a long struggle to shut down a pair of aging power plants.

    Students at universities and colleges across the country, too, organized campaigns to shut down coal-fired plants. Once many of those campaigns succeeded, campus environmentalists upped their demands with campaigns aimed at convincing college endowment funds to divest from coal-related stocks. CoalSwarm assisted this effort with profiles of campus coal plants and fact sheets on the “Filthy Fifteen” power and mining companies that students selected as divestment targets.

    With the struggle shifting from proposed coal plants to existing coal plants, CoalSwarm’s data on existing coal plants became its most frequently accessed pages. The wiki page “Existing U.S. Coal Plants” had been viewed more than 373,000 times as of October 2012. A rapidly growing table on CoalSwarm’s page “Coal Plant Retirements” showed the success of the plant-retirement campaign: By late 2012, 124 plants were scheduled for retirement. Meanwhile, coal’s share of US power generation was falling rapidly: from 50 percent in 2005 to 38 percent in the 12 months ending in July 2012.

    Overseas, however, the picture is not as pretty. Worldwide coal use grew by 61 percent from 2001 to 2011, with nearly all of the increase happening in Asia, especially China.

    In 2011 and 2012, CoalSwarm began a concerted effort to broaden the scope of the wiki internationally, beginning with Australia, the world’s leading coal exporter. In a joint effort with the Australian group, Environment Victoria, CoalSwarm created the “Coal Watch” project. In 2011, CoalSwarm worked closely with Greenpeace Australia-Pacific to organize the first convergence of anti-coal activists from across Australia. In 2012, CoalSwarm worked with New Zealand’s Coal Action Network Aotearoa, to create a comprehensive reference on that country’s existing and proposed coal projects.

    CoalSwarm turned its attention to India after a 2011 study by Prayas Energy Group reported that hundreds of new coal plants were set to receive environmental permits. In the spring of 2012, CoalSwarm posted an India coal-plant tracker that showed, for the first time, the location and status of 549 proposed coal plants. CoalSwarm also completed the first countrywide survey of grassroots organizing against coal projects in India, describing 32 locations of community opposition, many involving large demonstrations and numerous incidents of anti-coal protesters being killed by police.

    For Southeast Asia, another hot spot for coal mining, CoalSwarm teamed up with the Southeast Asia Renewable Energy People’s Assembly to create a map-based tracker linked to wiki pages on coal plants, mines, and terminals in the region, as well as on proposed clean energy projects.

    Meanwhile, back in the United States, coal exports have become another troubling issue. Declining domestic need for coal-fired power (in large part due to rock-bottom natural gas prices) has led to a new push by coal mining companies to build export facilities, especially in the Pacific Northwest. In 2012, CoalSwarm developed wiki pages on existing and proposed coal terminals, knitting the information together with the first global coal-terminal tracking map.

    The project also began developing information on an issue closely related to coal: fracking for natural gas. While environmentalists debate whether the switch to natural gas is beneficial from a climate perspective, there is no denying that at the local level fracking operations have huge environmental and public health impacts. In addition to providing state-by-state overviews on fracking operations and protests, CoalSwarm provides lists of coal plants being converted to natural gas, information on fracking’s impacts on water and air, and natural-gas-transmission leakage rates.

    By the fall of 2012, the CoalSwarm wiki had attracted more than 19 million page views and had grown to some 6,000 pages of information, including profiles of thousands of plants, mines, terminals, and companies; energy overviews of more than 50 countries, as well as of every U.S., Australian, and Indian state; and numerous articles on the impacts of coal and cleaner energy alternatives.

    To make all this information more easily accessible, CoalSwarm revamped its website, which now has a clickable globe and topical directory. The aim is to improve accessibility and live up to the description of the project by environmental pioneer Lester Brown, who wrote: “CoalSwarm is the central nervous system that this movement needed. It is invaluable.”

    CONTINUE READING….

    HERE IS THE LINK TO THE COALSWARM.ORG WEBSITE…


  • Because of the power vested in the EU Commission in Brussels, Belgium, with command over a space encompassing 27 nations with more than 500 million citizens and the largest nominal world gross domestic product (GDP) of 18 trillion US dollars, it’s perhaps no surprise in this era of moral promiscuity that powerful private lobby groups such as the tobacco industry, the drug lobby, the agribusiness lobby and countless others spend enormous sums of money and other favors—legal and sometimes illegal—to influence policy decisions of the EU Commission.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/stench-of-eu-corruption-in-monsanto-gmo-whitewash/5316294

    ‘In the best interest of our people’


    Barren River No. 2 Dam changed lives, region

     

    'In the best interest of our people'

     

    Posted: Sunday, October 26, 2014 1:00 am

    By CHUCK MASON The Daily News cmason@bgdailynews.com 783-3262 | 1 comment

    LUCAS — When Steve Jackson puts his fishing line into Barren River Lake, his thoughts often gravitate to his grandfather Carl Disman.

    Disman gave up his past so that Jackson and hundreds of thousands of people could have a brighter, safer future in southcentral Kentucky.

    Jackson said when he talks to fellow lake anglers about bass and crappie, he tells them about the great fishing spots in the lake, spots where fish gather in and around the old limestone foundations of the farm buildings once owned by men like his grandfather. It’s all underwater now – tangled tree trunks and stumps and old foundations.

    There’s even an old spring Disman used near his barn. That’s underwater, too.

    Disman was one of nearly 80 property owners who sold their land to the federal government so the property could be flooded by the Barren River No. 2 Dam. Eventually a lake, a state park, lodge and boating facilities would come to Barren and Allen counties, providing a picturesque vacation and camping spot. Jackson recalled Disman’s homestead was one of the last structures condemned to pave the way for the dam project.

    According to news reports at the time, property owners in Barren and Allen counties formed a committee so they could collectively deal with the land sales. A newspaper report of a meeting in February 1960 noted about 150 people attended a meeting at the Allen County Courthouse, 78 of whom would be directly affected by what was being called the Port Oliver Dam.

    That was one of the first significant steps in a lengthy process that led to Barren River No. 2 Dam being dedicated on Sept. 25, 1964. On Saturday, officials celebrated the 50th anniversary of the dam in ceremonies in Barren County.

    To determine why homesteads had to be abandoned and flooded in the first place to create the reservoir, an examination is needed of the rationale for the project. First, there was the unpredictable Barren River, a river that couldn’t be contained within its banks. It had to be tamed for safety and economic reasons. It was dammed to create a reservoir that could launch recreational and economic development opportunities in the region.

    The scrutiny begins

    In 1944, while the United States fought to quell the Germans and the Japanese in World War II in Europe and the Pacific, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers back stateside was studying the Barren River in Kentucky, a study authorized under the federal Flood Control Act of 1941.

    The study showed that 18,340 acres of land in the Barren River flood plain was affected by flooding, taking out 11,005 acres of corn, 3,185 acres of hay, 843 acres of pasture and 3,307 acres of woodlands. Jackson recalls as a boy he saw the Barren River at the Narrows gorged two different times with water that reached the level where the lake rises in elevation today.

    The federal study looked at the flood area below the authorized Barren No. 2 reservoir at river mile marker 79.2 and at the river’s mouth. The 1944 study noted the greater losses to floods occurred during the traditional crop season, April to November. The U.S. Army broke the river watershed into two sections, the first from river mile zero to mile marker 43.7 and the second section from 43.7 to 79.2 to look at flood losses.

    Records compiled by U.S. Rep. William Natcher, D-Bowling Green, which are available in the Natcher Collection at the Kentucky Museum archives, show the congressman several years later was working to shepherd federal legislation about a concept called low-stream flow. The idea was if the water in the river could be slowed down in speed and thus pooled, it would enhance the fish habitat, maintain a healthy temperature for the fish and also control flooding that had affected farm owners in the flood plain.

    The Ohio Valley Improvement Association in Cincinnati, chaired by William Hull, concurred with Natcher’s approach. In a letter to Natcher in 1957, Hull urged Natcher to increase budgeted planning funds for Barren River No. 2 from $50,000 to $150,000 so that construction could be started in fiscal year 1959.

    In a Western Union wire sent to the Daily News publisher in 1958, Natcher was pleased to report that the River and Harbors and Flood Control Omnibus Bill had been approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 11, 1958, on a vote of 321-81.

    “It is in the best interest of our people and national security that the regulation to increase low-stream flows be adopted,” Natcher wrote to J. Ray Gaines.

    Turning the earth

    The Barren River dam project progressed to the point where on April 16, 1960, Natcher – an influential member of the House Appropriations Committee – lifted the first spade full of dirt for the project while an estimated 1,000 people watched, including Kentucky’s two U.S. senators, John Sherman Cooper and Thruston Morton. News accounts at the time said the dam was just one of $533 million in water development projects in Kentucky.

    In a pamphlet produced in 1964 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, it noted the dam impounded a reservoir with a minimum pool length of 19 miles and a maximum pool length of 46 miles. That’s a total water storage capacity of 768,600 acre-feet of water. One acre-foot of water equals 325,850 gallons of water.

    The dam had been a long time coming. An act of Congress in June 1938 provided the potential funding for the dam under the Flood Control Act of 1938. However, it took until 1960 before the first shovel of dirt was turned for the 3,970-foot earthen dam which had a total fill of 5,181,326 cubic yards.

    The flood control effort was vital, according to a column in “Kentucky Happy Hunting Ground” written in January 1965 following the 1964 dam dedication ceremony where Natcher and Kentucky Gov. Edward Breathitt spoke.

    “Just last spring rampaging waters along the Ohio River cost Kentuckians damages estimated at $32 million. A great deal of this financial disaster and untold human suffering will be avoided in the future because of dams like this one which are being constructed all over Kentucky,” the column noted.

    News reports in 1960 stated the highest price paid for land was $275 per acre and that the land-buying process was expected to take a couple of years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had determined that the river valley would be permanently submerged up to the elevation 520 feet above sea level and that the government would purchase land up to the seasonal pool level of 560 feet above sea level. The top flood level elevation would be 590 feet above sea level.

    Jackson, 64, a Barren County resident, said his grandfather resented that he had to give up his farm for the project. “That (farm) was his domain,” Jackson recalled.

    With the eventual development of the lake as a tourism spot, people from Alabama, Illinois, Ohio and other states came to Barren River Lake for fishing tournaments. The dollars they spent boosted the economy in Barren, Allen and Monroe counties.

    Billy Gray, 77, of Barren County, who first came to southcentral Kentucky at age 9, said the dam was a good decision because of the water supply benefits for the region along with the economic development. Gray said when the dam was completed in 1964, he used to take his water storage vehicles down by the lake to obtain free water for his tobacco plants. The edge of the lake was only about a quarter-mile from his house. Health reasons led to Gray quit growing tobacco in 1997.

    Years later, he takes in a Sunday afternoon dinner at the lodge and marvels at the development that has occurred around the lake.

    “I think a lot of people who were opposed to it (initially) think differently now,” he said. He compared the situation to when Interstate 65 was built and those people who had traveled along U.S. 31-W wondered why the new road was needed.

    When Natcher spoke at the 1960 groundbreaking, the Markwell and Hartz construction firm from Memphis, Tenn., had used its bulldozers to knock down a clearing. Then-Kentucky Gov. Bert Combs joined Natcher, Cooper and Morton that April.

    “We’ll keep our children at home and we’ll utilize our natural resources through river development,” Natcher told the crowd, according to news reports. High school bands from Glasgow, Allen County, Butler County and Bowling Green entertained the crowd before the politicians’ speeches, the reports recounted.

    Four years later, when the dam was completed, Natcher shared the speaker duties with Breathitt, and the Bowling Green congressman remained optimistic about the $24.5 million dam’s potential. He said the project was the realization of one of his major dreams as a congressman.

    Natcher said he was reared on a farm in the Barren River basin and that he knew firsthand the “hardship” of floods.

    Col. William Roper of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told people gathered at the Western Hills Restaurant in Bowling Green that the dam was expected to reduce flood damage by $6 million a year, meaning it would pay for itself in just over a decade, news reports show. The Barren River project was one of four major flood control efforts in southcentral Kentucky: Rough River, Nolin, Barren and Green rivers. Roper said the four projects represented a more than $69 million investment.

    “The primary purpose of the Barren River Reservoir project is flood control,” the 1964 pamphlet from the Army Corps of Engineers noted. “As an integral unit of the comprehensive flood control plan for the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, it will reduce flood stages in the Barren and Green River valleys and all other areas downstream from the dam. The reservoir is maintained at or near minimum pool level during winter months and at seasonal pool level during summer months except when waters are stored for flood control,” the pamphlet noted.

    If you build it, they will come

    With the dam operational, Breathitt told the onlookers in 1964 about a proposed $176 million bond issue planned for November 1965 that would pave the way for a resort lodge and swimming pool, boat dock, picnic, camping and swimming facilities. A new state park was about to be born.

    The money would soon be forthcoming. The first inkling that the larger economic plan was bankrolled was when it was announced in The (Louisville) Courier-Journal in December 1966 that $1,734,000 in federal money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund established by Congress in 1965 – where fees paid at federal recreation facilities were being distributed to the states – was approved for the project.

    The state of Kentucky matched the $1.7 million from the federal government with $1,230,000 realized by a sale of revenue bonds and $724,255 earned from the approved 1965 local bond issue.

    By the time the 25th anniversary of Barren River State Resort Park and celebration of the Louis B. Nunn Lodge occurred in 1996 – named for the former Kentucky governor and native of Barren County in 1971 – the complex had become a vibrant part of the community. It had been a long time since the Barren River Valley Development League and public officials had heralded the potential that the dam could bring to the area in their 1964 speeches.

    The $3.7 million Kentucky state park generated millions of tourism dollars, a fact not lost on Jackson, who said he, his children and grandchildren benefit from his grandfather’s decision to give up the farm.

    Under the water lay those building foundations, former Native American hunting spots and the area that settlers in the 1700s claimed was “barren” because of a lack of trees in the topography, the trees razed to provide grazing areas for buffalo.

    Not all the history, though has been overwhelmed by water.

    According to the state park’s website, Port Oliver, near the dam, was formerly called Port Oliver Ford, and was the site of a brine-well field for producing table salt. Baileys Point Recreation Area was the site of an antebellum farmhouse, built by early settlers to the area who went by the name of Foster. The website also noted that a family cemetery remains with gravestones and stone vaults that date back to the early 1800s.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers noted it is the largest federal provider of outdoor and water-based recreation in the nation and hosts more than 350 million visits each year at its lakes, beaches and other areas. Corps lands and waters provide about 4,500 miles of trails, 3,400 boat launch ramps and 33 percent of all U.S. freshwater fishing.

    — Follow reporter Chuck Mason on Twitter at twitter.com/bgdnschools or visit bgdailynews.com.

    CONTINUE READING…

    Top ten climate polluters in Kentucky


    James Bruggers, jbruggers@courier-journal.com 7:14 p.m. EDT September 30, 2014

     

     

    Power plants top Kentucky’s biggest sources of climate pollution, according to just-released data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    There’s no surprise there.

    But a prominent chemical plant in Louisville’s Rubbertown area — Dupont Louisville Works — is in the top ten biggest climate polluters in Kentucky for its emissions of hydrofluorocarbons, which the EPA say are actually more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to heating up the atmosphere.

    The EPA released its fourth year of Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program data, detailing greenhouse gas pollution trends and emissions broken down by industrial sector, geographic region and individual facilities. In 2013, reported emissions from large industrial facilities nationwide were 20 million metric tons higher than the prior year, or 0.6 percent, driven largely by an increase in coal use for power generation, the agency said.

    That figure intrigued me because conventional wisdom is that we’ve been burning more natural gas (which has less impact on the climate) and less coal.

    RELATED: Air pollution district, union agree on job cuts

    There is a lot of data to look at, and this is just my first crack at it. I started by doing a quick search of top emitters in Kentucky and Indiana, then top emitters in Louisville Metro, or Jefferson County.

    Kentucky Utility’s Ghent plant topped all of Kentucky’s largest industrial sources of a several greenhouse gases, with 12.8 million metric tons released in 2013, the most current year for which the data is available. That’s up 12 percent from the year before. LG&E’s Mill Creek plant in Louisville ranked third, with 7.9 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, a 20 percent decrease since 2010, according to the data.

    But Dupont, the long-time Rubbertown chemical plant, ranked 7th, emitting 4,1 million tons, nearly all of that hydrofluorocarbons. That number was down from about 6 million pounds in 2011.

    So what are hydrofluorocarbons and what impact do they have on the climate?

    From the EPA:

    Unlike many other greenhouse gases, fluorinated gases have no natural sources and only come from human-related activities. They are emitted through a variety of industrial processes such as aluminum and semiconductor manufacturing. Many fluorinated gases have very high global warming potentials (GWPs) relative to other greenhouse gases, so small atmospheric concentrations can have large effects on global temperatures.

    HCFCs can have a global warming potential of between 140 to 11,700 times that of carbon dioxide, EPA says. The larger the global warming potential, the more warming the gas causes, according to EPA. The agency explains it this way: “For example, methane’s 100-year GWP is 21, which means that methane will cause 21 times as much warming as an equivalent mass of carbon dioxide over a 100-year time period.”

    Statewide rankings for Kentucky:

    1) Ghent power plant, 12.8 million metric tons.

    2) Paradise power plant, 12.1.

    3) Mill Creek power plant, 7.9.

    4) H.L. Spurlock power plant, 7.8.

    5) Trimble County power plant, 7.3.

    6) Shawnee power plant, 7.2.

    7) Dupont Louisville Works chemical plant, 4.1.

    8) R.D. Green power plant, 3.6.

    9) East Bend power plant, 3.5.

    10) Coleman power plant, 3.3.

    Two southern Indiana power plants ranked among the top ten greenhouse gas emitters in Indiana:

    1) Gibson power plant, 16 million metric tons.

    10) Clifty power plant, 5.8 million metric tons.

     

    CONTINUE READING…

    Parasitic Plants Mysterious Language with RNA as Host: Study


    August 16, 2014

    plantsHEAR

    A mysterious communication language in plants has been discovered by a group of scientists, who say this may the way through which plants transfer energy between themselves.

    Calling it an exchange of RNA, scientists say this new discovery reveals about a medium through which plants communicate with each other. Scientists believe discovery of this novel form of inter-organism communication can have greater role in agricultural applications.

    Study lead author Jim Westwood said, “The discovery shows that this is happening a lot more than any one has previously realized.”

    “Now that we have found that they are sharing all this information, the next question is What exactly are they telling each other,” said Westwood, a professor of plant pathology, physiology and weed science at College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

    For the study, the researchers took samples of tomato and strangle weed that attacks the vascular system of the host plants. After sequencing them, the researchers examined these tissue samples.

    Despite knowing the attacking nature of strangle weeds, they were used in the experiment as the researchers believe they can keep a check on those weeds that are harmful.

    “It is surprising for a number of reasons. The first being that if you think of a parasite as truly being a parasite, you wouldn’t expect to see movement of genetic material into the host – just the parasite sucking nutrients from the host,” Westwood said.

    Explaining the findings, the researchers said the new communication language is something similar to specific words or commands that are exchanged between the plants.

    Professor Julie Scholes, who was not associated with the study, said the parasitic plants such as broomrape and witch weed are serious threats for crops including the legumes.

    “In addition to shedding new light on host-parasite communication, Westwood’s findings have exciting implications for the design of novel control strategies based on disrupting the mRNA information that the parasite uses to reprogram the host,” said Scholes, who works at the University of Sheffield, UK

    The study was published in the journal Science.

    CONTINUE READING…

    After a toxin from blue-green algae shut down Toledo’s water system, regulators in Kentucky and Indiana take a look at their states’ drinking water utilities.


    Kentucky steps up response to toxic algae risks

    James Bruggers, jbruggers@courier-journal.com  2:04 p.m. EDT August 15, 2014

    When toxic algae left 500,000 people in the Toledo, Ohio, area without drinking water for two days this month, one of Kentucky’s top environmental regulators took notice.

    “I was sitting there on a Friday evening, hearing various things from various counterparts, and I was thinking this can happen in my state,” recalled R. Bruce Scott, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection. “What are we doing to be prepared?”

    First thing the following Monday, Scott put that question to his staff, and Kentucky officials have been working since to get answers by combing through documents filed by many of the state’s 467 public drinking water systems, and reaching out to some with questions.

    The inquiry steps up Kentucky’s response to its emerging problem of toxic algae blooms, first documented in the state in late 2012 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Taylorsville Lake.

    The review puts drinking water safety front and center, in addition to state and Army Corps concerns about recreational exposure to blue-green algae — a cyanobacteria that can produce toxins causing skin or eye irritation, nausea, flu-like symptoms and liver damage.

    The blooms occur with sunlight, slow-moving water and too many nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They’re made worse by pollution from sewage treatment plants, septic systems and runoff from fertilized farms and lawns.

    COURIER-JOURNAL

    Toxic algae makes a comeback at Kentucky and Indiana lakes

    For the second year in a row, Kentucky and the corps have issued recreational advisories on some lakes because of the blooms. In all, 10 Kentucky lakes carry the warnings, including Barren River, Nolin River, Green River, Rough River and Guist Creek lakes.

    None is closed to swimming, fishing or boating. Instead, authorities advise not swallowing lake water and washing well after swimming.

    Source water concerns

    In response to a Kentucky Open Records request, state officials acknowledged 10 public drinking water systems serving thousands of customers in Kentucky are drawing water from lakes with algae advisories.

    They include the Shelbyville Water and Sewer Commission, Edmonson County Water District and the Grayson County Water District.

    State officials said they know of no immediate drinking water threats from algae anywhere in Kentucky. And officials with the Louisville Water Co. — which provides water to about 850,000 people in Louisville and parts of Bullitt, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby and Spencer counties — said they do not have any issues with toxic algae.

    But state officials said they want all Kentucky drinking water providers to be ready to handle algae problems, and that is why they are taking a closer look at Kentucky’s drinking water systems.

    State officials acknowledged even more systems could be at potential risk, where monitoring for toxic algae has not yet occurred. And Scott said there could be gaps in technology or expertise at some utilities, especially smaller systems with fewer resources.

    “We need to make sure we are properly educating and informing our smaller systems of what they need to do,” Scott said. “We are asking what can and should be done to make sure we are looking at everything that needs to be looked at.”

    If Kentucky water utilities don’t have procedures for analyzing their source water for the different types of toxic algae, state officials recommend developing some.

    Scott said they want to make sure all systems understand what treatment methods work, and have an emergency response plan if their water becomes unsafe for drinking.

    Rural water systems contacted by The Courier-Journal said their customers don’t need to worry.

    “We are staying on top of it,” said Tom Dole, general manager of the Shelbyville Water and Sewer Commission, which draws water from Guist Creek Lake.

    “We are not experiencing … anything like the conditions that we read (about) and saw in Toledo,” said Kevin Shaw, general manager of the Grayson County Water District, which draws from Rough River Lake. “You could look at the water and see the algae. That is not the case in our reservoir.”

    Indiana’s Department of Environmental Management surveyed its 33 public water utilities that rely on lakes in the wake of Toledo’s crisis, said Barry Sneed, IDEM spokesman. Bloomington’s water system was concerned about algae, so new samples were taken but no toxins or algae were detected, he added.

    “We plan to keep in contact with systems that may be susceptible to algal blooms and if problems arise, we will work with the system to ensure treatment is adjusted to any address possible algal toxins,” he said.

    COURIER-JOURNAL

    Map of Kentucky and Inidiana lakes with elevated toxic algae

    Prevention

    Besides ensuring drinking water utilities are prepared, experts say Kentucky needs to do more to prevent the blooms.

    “We need to step up our game,” said Gail Brion, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Kentucky with an expertise in water-borne illnesses and water treatment.

    She said the state needs to better curb the nitrogen and phosphorous that gets into waterways from sewage, animal waste, fertilizers and other sources.

    “Once a bloom has happened, it is too late,” she said. “The toxins persist in the environment months after formation, so even if the algae leave, the toxins can remain.”

    Scott said Kentucky regulators know they need better control of nutrient pollution and his department is working on a nutrient-management plan to do just that.

    But environmentalists worry the state won’t adopt stringent enough pollution limits and that state environmental agency budgets will continue, further putting Kentucky communities at risk of a drinking water crises.

    “We need limits on pollutants and inspectors on the ground,” said Judy Petersen, executive director of the Kentucky Waterways Alliance, which has joined other groups in suing the EPA over nutrient pollution in the Mississippi Basin, including Kentucky and Indiana. Otherwise, she said, Kentucky residents “are rolling the dice” on safe drinking water.

    When it comes to cyanobacteria, it quickly gets complicated.

    The toxin that wreaked havoc in northern Ohio — microcystin — can be produced by a variety of blue-green algae, not just the Microcystic found in Lake Erie. And other types of blue-green algae have different toxins that can cause health problems.

    Toledo draws water from a shallow area of Lake Erie that became inundated by blue-green algae that produced microcystin, said Greg Boyer, chair of the chemistry department at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in New York.

    The city’s water utility had no ability to switch to another intake, where there was less blue-green algae, said Boyer, who is also acting director for the Great Lakes Research Consortium, a research network.

    The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency had warned Toledo about problems with its aging treatment system in June, writing to the city’s mayor of “the precarious condition” of the system and its “imminent vulnerability to failure.”

    Boyer said utilities should monitor for the types of blue-green algae that can produce toxins. He said equipment can be bought for $5,000 to $25,000 that can provide a continuous flow of toxic algae data.

    “Then, at what point do you worry about it? We deal, in most cases, where the blooms have to be fairly thick,” he said. “When you can see it.”

    Further complicating matters, Scott said, is that the EPA has yet to establish a uniform testing method for the algae toxins, or safe drinking water standards. EPA is working on that, but “we believe they need to accelerate their decision making based on what we are seeing in Toledo and other places, including Kentucky,” Scott said.

    COURIER-JOURNAL

    Toxic algae effects and precautions

    Taylorsville Lake in Spencer County, a popular summer destination for water recreation, has fallen victim to an invasive and toxic algae over the past year. (Photo: Marty Pearl/Special to The CJ)

    Louisville preparations

    The Louisville Water Co. has an algae response plan that involves close tracking of algae in the Ohio River when it may be present: April to November.

    The company’s aquatic ecologist, Roger Tucker, checks water samples through a microscope to determine what types of algae may be in the water, and whether they might cause any problems.

    So far, the only algae problems Louisville Water has experienced comes from those that can make water taste or smell bad, Tucker said. This year, he said, there has been hardly any algae in the company’s river water.

    Rivers are also less likely to have algae blooms because their water doesn’t get stagnant, said the water company’s chief scientist, Rengao Song. Sediment that often turns the Ohio brown blocks sunlight, preventing algae from growing, he said.

    The water company’s Crescent Hill Treatment Plant is well-equipped to remove algae and any algae-caused toxins or chemicals that cause taste and odor changes, with processes that include absorptive activated carbon, he said.

    Louisville also gets 30 percent of its water from wells deep under the Ohio River, where sand and gravel naturally filter tiny contaminants, including algae. That water feeds the company’s B.E. Payne treatment plant.

    The water company is now working with engineering consultants on preliminary engineering for riverbank filtration for its Crescent Hill plant. Such a system should have no risk from toxic algae, Song said.

    “The Louisville Water Co. has never detected any algae cells in its riverbank filtration water,” Song said.

    Reach reporter James Bruggers at (502) 582-4645 or on Twitter @jbruggers.

    Kentucky water systems that draw from lakes with toxic algae advisories:

    • Shelbyville Water and Sewer Commission (Guist Creek Lake)

    • Springfield Water Works (Willisburg Lake)

    • Glasgow Water Co. and Scottsville Water Department (Barren River Lake)

    • Edmonson County Water District (Nolin River Lake)

    • Columbia/Adair County Regional Water Commission and Campbellsville Municipal Water (Green River Lake)

    • Grayson County Water District and Litchfield Water Works (Rough River Lake)

    • Mount Sterling Water Works (Greenbriar Creek Reservoir)

    Source: Kentucky Division of Water

    CONTINUE READING….

    Mitch McConnell’s coal-fired claptrap: Dirty fuels and stupid politics in Kentucky


    Monday, Aug 11, 2014 10:22 AM CST

    Mitch McConnell and Allison Lundergan Grimes both love coal — and it’s making them say very silly things

    Simon Maloy

    The Kentucky Senate race is basically an argument over coal. A big, stupid argument over coal.

    Late last week, Yahoo! News’ Chris Moody reported that Elaine Chao, wife to incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell, serves on the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies, “which has plunged $50 million into the Sierra Club’s ‘Beyond Coal’ initiative, an advocacy effort with the expressed goal of killing the coal industry.” Taken in isolation, this is good, charitable work that, to be frank, you wouldn’t expect a former member of George W. Bush’s Cabinet and Heritage Foundation fellow to be involved in.

    And according to Bloomberg Philanthropies, the anti-coal effort is getting results. “The Beyond Coal campaign has retired 161 coal plants,” a February report from the organization states. “The shift away from coal is also helping to save lives. These retired coal plants will save 4,400 lives, prevent 6,800 heart attacks, and prevent close to 70,000 asthma attacks each year.”

    Those are good things! The filthy business of coal mining and burning are causing lots of health problems in Kentucky and other Appalachian states, like higher rates of cancer and birth defects that studies have traced to the release of heavy metals from surface mining. The climate change impact is also significant, as coal-fired plants are the top source of carbon emissions in the United States. Less cancer, fewer heart attacks, decreased risk of climate change-caused catastrophe – great job, Elaine Chao! Wouldn’t have pegged you as one of the good guys.

    Of course, that’s not at all how this is playing in Kentucky, where coal is a big part of the state economy and pandering to coal interests is what needs to happen if you want to get elected to statewide office. Thus we have the spectacle of the McConnell campaign vigorously and adamantly denying that its candidate’s wife had any involvement whatsoever in this philanthropic effort to not cover Kentucky with soot and asthma:

    “The decisions to make those grants by the Bloomberg philanthropies were made before she joined the board and she played no role in the decision to grant them,” McConnell spokesman Don Stewart told Yahoo News. “Sen. McConnell has a longstanding, principled record of defending coal families and jobs. Decisions made by a board before Sec. Chao ever joined do not change that and as the Obama administration will tell you, he hasn’t let up an iota in his defense of Kentucky coal families and jobs.”

    That’s a bit of a cutesy position to take, given that they’re tacitly acknowledging that Chao joined Bloomberg Philanthropies after their anti-coal activism was established. And local Kentucky media reported that Chao was “on the charity’s board when at least half of the grants were made to the Sierra Club.” But this is how coal politics work. You have to reject and denounce the life- and environment-saving charitable work done by the group your wife works for.

    (The Louisville Courier-Journal pointed out that Bloomberg Philanthropies also does anti-tobacco activism, which is at cross-purposes with McConnell’s “staunch” defense of Kentucky tobacco interests.)

    I certainly don’t want to leave the impression that this is a McConnell-only problem, though. Being a Democrat in Kentucky means you have to play this same game, and McConnell’s opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, is positioning herself as a stronger supporter of coal than he is. “Senator, let’s set the record straight. I’m the only pro-coal candidate in this race,” Grimes said last week at an event with members of the United Mine Workers of America. When the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled its new rule capping carbon emissions for existing power plants, Grimes cut radio ads blasting President Obama: “Your EPA is targeting Kentucky coal with pie in the sky regulations that are impossible to achieve.”

    Grimes’ pro-coal campaigning led to one of the dumber campaign fights in recent memory. Her campaign put together a newspaper ad touting her support of coal interests that featured a photo of a miner holding a chunk of anthracite. It turned out that picture was actually a stock photo of a European male model pretending to be a miner, and the Grimes campaign replaced it before it went to print. But Politico got hold of the story and … well, you know what comes next. “The stock photograph could undermine Grimes’s messaging as Republicans raise doubts about the authenticity of her pro-coal position,” Politico reported, with complete earnestness.

    McConnell’s campaign jumped on this ridiculous issue, with the candidate himself getting in on the action. “My opponent has been in Hollywood so much lately that she really can’t tell the difference between a coal miner and a European male model,” McConnell said at a campaign event. The Grimes campaign fought back. “The stock photo war of 2014 escalated in Kentucky on Thursday night, as Alison Lundergan Grimes’ campaign attacked Sen. Mitch McConnell’s team for using European stock photos in three Facebook posts,” reported Politico (obviously).

    This is where pro-coal campaigning takes you, I guess. It would be nice if the debate in Kentucky were on how to best transition the state away from filthy, toxic fuels. But, the politics being what they are, instead they’re fighting over who’s more the enthusiastic supporter of an industry that is destroying the environment and making the people in close proximity to it sick.

    Simon Maloy

    Simon Maloy is Salon’s political writer. Email him at smaloy@salon.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SimonMaloy.

    More Simon Maloy.

    CONTINUE READING…

    More than 200,000 rural Kentuckians have no access to public water systems


    By Greg Kocher

    gkocher1@herald-leader.comAugust 4, 2014

    FRENCHBURG — Debbie and Mike Weiner can see Cave Run Lake from their house, but they depend on rainfall for their water.

    Rainwater runs off the roof to their gutters and through pipes to collect in an underground, 1,000-gallon cistern in the backyard. The water is then pumped into the house for bathing, washing clothes and the toilet. They use only bottled water for drinking and cooking.

    “Yesterday it rained a lot,” Debbie Weiner said in a recent interview. “That’s when I washed my bedclothes and a lot of the things in the house that needed to be washed.”

    The Weiners are among a shrinking number in Kentucky — an estimated 93,600 households, or more than 234,000 people — who are not connected to a public water system. Their house on Leatherwood Road in rural Menifee County is about eight miles from the nearest water line and 20 miles north of Frenchburg, the county seat.

    The Weiners desperately want to be connected to a public water system. At least one test showed harmful E. coli bacteria in their tap water, despite reverse-osmosis filtration, ultraviolet light and other purification measures. The couple haven’t used the cistern water for cooking or drinking since 2012, when Debbie, 60, a former adult-education instructor at Morehead State University, was diagnosed with an incurable bladder disease. She keeps a log of the politicians and others she has contacted in her quest for “city water.”

    The Weiners highlight one of the gaps in water service in the United States.

    The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that 14 percent of the population relies on wells, cisterns or some unsustainable source for water, said Stephen Gasteyer, an associate professor of sociology at Michigan State University. Gasteyer has studied community and natural resources management.

    “It’s an embarrassment for us as a nation to have people in the 21st century who don’t have access to water and sanitation,” Gasteyer said. “But from the perspective of a small water system, they are already strapped. We had major infrastructure investments in this country in the 1930s … through the 1970s. Well, a lot of that infrastructure is now wearing out. You have water systems of all sizes in this country that are struggling to stay in the black. So taking on the extra load of people who are a ways out of town seems like a real burden.”

    In Kentucky, about 5 percent of residents are not connected to a community water system, according to figures provided by Andy Lange, assistant director of the Kentucky Rural Water Association. Only California has a lower percentage of residents who are not served by community water systems.

    (By contrast, almost a quarter of Kentucky’s population — 23 percent — has no access to high-speed Internet. Kentucky ranks 46th in broadband availability.)

    Many water lines were extended into unserved rural areas during the 2000s, when Kentucky had money from the national tobacco settlement. That money is gone, although there is a state revolving fund and other federal programs to extend water lines.

    Trouble is, the cost of running water lines to remote spots often isn’t cost-effective, said John Horne, a Nicholasville engineer whose firm has designed extensions in Jessamine County.

    “To construct a distribution main, depending on the terrain and how much rock there is, it can run as much as $50,000 to $75,000 per mile,” Horne said. The price can easily double in rough terrain common in Eastern Kentucky, including Menifee County.

    Community development block grants and other programs are available, but potential projects must qualify, Horne said.

    “The government looks at feasibility. If it’s not feasible, … they don’t do it,” he said.

    Even if lines were extended to isolated pockets, low usage from a small number of customers poses other problems, Horne said.

    “Especially on long, dead-end lines, if they can’t use up all the water in the pipe in, say, two days, then it gets stale and then you get problems with odor and taste,” Horne said. “Then you have to flush all that out and waste it.”

    Debbie Weiner has an answer ready when asked why taxpayer dollars should be used to pay for water lines to a remote spot where she and her husband choose to live.

    “I think those tax dollars should pay for an American citizen to live anywhere they choose if I can open the paper and see that millions of dollars go to study garbage dumps that are closed,” Weiner said. She was referring to environmental risk assessments performed on closed landfills.

    She also said that millions of dollars in state incentives will help Alltech put a new bourbon distillery and aquaculture and poultry farms in Pikeville. The state will provide as much as $5.73 million for an access road wide enough to accommodate tractor-trailers to a new industrial park, and $8 million for a bridge to connect an access road with U.S. 23. The incentives will bring new jobs.

    Weiner doesn’t begrudge anyone jobs, but she said safe drinking water should be a high priority.

    “Then let’s build a better Rupp Arena,” she said, referring to the now-stalled project that would have leveraged public and private dollars for a new Lexington home for the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team.

    Frenchburg Mayor Edward Bryant said Leatherwood Road is one of only two rural roads in Menifee County that are without water. To extend water to the end of that road deep within Daniel Boone National Forest could cost more than $1 million, Bryant said.

    “They’re in a remote area. There’s only, roughly, 24 or 25 homes, and out of that there are 12 or 15 people that live there full-time,” Bryant said. “We can’t put a burden on the current water customers to extend that. It’s a tough situation.”

    Nevertheless, he said, the Gateway Regional Water Management Council has put the Leatherwood area on a list of projects.

    “For Frenchburg to get over there, we’re going to have to cross that (Cave Run) lake some way,” Bryant said. “That means a pump station and a water tower, then you’ve got a problem of meeting the state regulations, keeping the water fresh for such a few. … It’s just not feasible right now unless somebody comes along with a barrel of money.”

    In the meantime, because rainfall is unpredictable, the Weiners supplement their water supply. When rain is scarce and the cistern runs low, Mike Weiner, 65, a retired car salesman, drives about 12 miles to buy water from a bulk station. For $2, he can put 300 gallons in a tank that sits on the bed of his pickup. Then he hauls the sloshing load home to empty into the cistern.

    The Weiners moved to Menifee County from Nashville so Debbie could be closer to her mother, who lives in Mount Sterling. Her mother previously owned property in the Leatherwood Road neighborhood where the Weiners eventually bought a lot and built their house. The couple knew the area had no public water when they moved there in 1998, but they thought it would be only a matter of time before they could hook onto “city water.”

    Debbie Weiner said she sometimes goes to the Facebook page for Water.org, the organization co-founded by actor Matt Damon to provide safe drinking water and toilets to Ethiopia, Haiti and India and other foreign countries.

    She posted a comment to the page July 16 that read, “Wish I had city water here in the United States, in Frenchburg, Kentucky.”

    She hopes a wealthy celebrity will see her comment and take action to donate money to bring water to the end of Leatherwood Road.

    Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

    Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/08/04/3365284/public-water-systems-still-dont.html#storylink=cpy

    MINT JULEPS AND CANNABIS MARCHES FOR DERBY DAY 2014 IN KENTUCKY!


     

    7-21-13 Indian Creek - Wy eating weeds 2

     

     

    May 1, 2014

    Sheree Krider

    What could be a better day out for adult fun in Kentucky than the Derby? 

    Dare I say, Derby Day, Mint Juleps and a Cannabis March?  In the same day?  In Louisville?

    Yet, “oops there it is”…

    For the first time in history a Global Marijuana March is to be held in Louisville, Kentucky.

    It just so happens that the march will coincide with the “Running for the Roses”.

    The Kentucky Marijuana Party along with Diverse Sanctuary secured the permit which was

    just received yesterday.  NEW FARM CONCEPTS out of Bowling Green is the Sponsor.

    History is being made in Kentucky this year in a lot of ways not the least of which is

    the fact that GMM KY and Derby Day in Louisville will peacefully coexist and bring

    more business to the Highland Neighborhood where the March is set for.  It should

    prove to be a very interesting day for this City and even the weather is cooperating as

    it is forecasted to be warm and sunny.

    We will be following up with a Global Marijuana March in Bowling Green on

    Sunday, May 4th as well.

    Below are a few links that include the GMM events. 

    GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH – LOUISVILLE, KY – SATURDAY MAY 3RD

    GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH – BOWLING GREEN, KY – SUNDAY MAY 4TH

    CHURCHILL DOWNS – RACES AND WEBSITE

     

    PRESS RELEASE: GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH of KENTUCKY has added BOWLING GREEN to the VENUE!


    May 1, 2014 –

    As of this morning BOWLING GREEN KENTUCKY will be hosting a “GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH”

    ON SUNDAY MAY 4TH!!!

    PER “BOBBIE SEXTON”  AT PERMITS OFFICE IN BOWLING GREEN, KY A PERMIT IS NOT NEEDED HERE TO HAVE THIS MARCH.

     

    SO EVERYONE WHO IS IN BOWLING GREEN CAN COME TO LOUISVILLE ON SATURDAY AND THEN

    GET TWICE THE FUN WHEN THEY GO TO THEIR OWN BOWLING GREEN MARCH ON SUNDAY!

    COME OUT AND ENJOY YOUR RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH!

    THE ROUTE IS AS FOLLOWS:

    *BEGINNING AT LIBRARY ON STATE STREET

    *CONTINUE TO OLD COURTHOUSE

    *CONTINUE TO THE NEW JUSTICE CENTER

    *CONTINUE TO FEDERAL COURTHOUSE

    *CONTINUE BACK AROUND FOUNTAIN SQUARE TO LIBRARY.

    MEETUP AT 10:00 AM CST IN FRONT OF LIBRARY ON STATE STREET FOR MARCH TO BEGIN PROMPTLY AT 11:00 AM!!!!

    *NO ILLEGAL ACTIVIES ALLOWED

    *EVERYONE MUSH STAY WITHIN SIDEWALKS AND HONOR TRAFFIC SIGNALS.

    THE WEATHER PROMISES A GOOD DAY SO COME ON OUT AND ENJOY!

    HOSTED BY:

    81714601-2c13-4e1d-aa5b-079ad3bcc630     DIVERSE SANCTUARY

    SPONSORED BY:

    ModernFarmConcepts

    **FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS EVENT CONTACT REV. MARY SPEARS OF DIVERSE SANCTUARY AT 270-904-0279

    GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH, ON DERBY DAY, MAY 3RD, IN LOUISVILLE, KY!


    *GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH LOUISVILLE KENTUCKY ON MAY 3

    Presented by Kentucky Marijuana Party and DIVERSE SANCTUARY

    Louisville, Kentucky, April 30, 2014–

    The Global Marijuana March is coming to Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday May 3rd, 2014 which coincides with Kentucky Derby Day!

    This will be the FIRST GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH that LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY has participated in.

    Per Wikipedia:

    Hundreds of thousands of people have participated in over 829 different cities in 72 countries worldwide since 1999

    The following route will be adhered to as submitted to the Louisville Permit Office:

    *Note: We will meet in front of Mid City Mall on Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky at 10:30am sharp for the walk to begin at 11:00.  The permit ends at 12:30pm.  However, there are many restaurants, shops, and other places to visit in the Highlands neighborhood of Louisville!  So spend the day and enjoy!

    Start at Mid City Mall at 1250 Bardstown Rd. Head northwest on Bardstown Rd toward Beechwood Ave
    0.5 mi

    Continue onto Baxter Ave
    0.3 mi
    (Corner of Baxter and Broadway)

    Head northwest on Baxter Ave toward Cherokee Rd
    220 ft.

    Sharp right onto Cherokee Rd
    0.9 mi.

    Turn right onto Longest Ave
    492 ft.

    Turn right onto Bardstown Rd
    To 1250 Bardstown Rd.
    400 ft.

    TOTAL 1.8 MILES

    WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR PARKING.

    ALL LOCAL LAWS MUST BE ADHERED TO WHILE PARTICIPATING!

    PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD!

    THIS EVENT IS INTENDED TO RAISE AWARENESS CONCERNING CANNABIS/HEMP/”MARIJUANA”, IT’S VALUE TO OUR SOCIETY AND REASONS TO “REPEAL” THE EXISTING CANNABIS LAWS VERSUS THE “LEGALIZATION” OF THE PLANT!

    PLEASE COME OUT AND SUPPORT YOUR RIGHT TO GROW NON-GMO, NON-REGULATED CANNABIS!

    # # #

    If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Sheree M Krider at U.S. Marijuana Party of KENTUCKY (ph: 270-612-0524) or email at shereekrider@usmjparty.com.

    *Diverse Sanctuary, Mary Thomas-Spears, Bowling Green, Kentucky, (ph: 270-904-0279)

    Kentucky State Police: Post 4 News Release


    Kentucky State Police: Post 4 News Release.

    (BARDSTOWN, KY.) – Kentucky State Police Post 04 investigators are asking for more assistance from the public in identifying potential suspects in the murders that occurred on April 21, 2014 at approximately 8:00 P.M. EST in Nelson Co. In approximation to this time period, a black Chevrolet Impala (see attached) was seen traveling Northbound on U.S. 150 from the Botland community into the city limits of Bardstown. KSP believes the occupant or occupants of this vehicle are suspect(s) and are requesting help in identifying who they are. Any information anyone has regarding this vehicle or pertaining to this investigation in general, please contact the Kentucky State Police Post 4 in Elizabethtown at 270-766-5078

    Ontario girl, 11, offers warning on effects of untreated Lyme disease that could lead to arthritis | CTV News


    Ontario girl, 11, offers warning on effects of untreated Lyme disease that could lead to arthritis | CTV News.

    Symptons of Lyme disease usually occur in three stages:

    • Stage one: An expanding “bull’s-eye” shaped rash at the site of the tick bite. It generally appears three days to one month after the bite. Other signs include fatigue, chills, fever, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes.
    • Stage two: If left untreated, patients may experience central and peripheral nervous system disorders, multiple skin rashes, heart palpitations, and extreme fatigue and general weakness.
    • Stage three: The final stage of the disease can last from months to years. Symptoms include neurological problems and recurring arthritis.

    10 things to know for the 140th Kentucky Derby


     

     

     

    By BETH HARRIS Associated Press

    LOUISVILLE — The garland of red roses. The solid gold trophy. An estimated payday of $1.24 million.

    All those spoils await the winner of the 140th Kentucky Derby to be run on May 3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville. A full field of 20 3-year-olds is expected for the 1 1/4-mile race, and most of them will be running the distance for the first time.

    Packing the stands and the infield will be upward of 150,000 people, many of whom come for the party atmosphere, the wagering and to possibly see a live horse or two. They’ll dress to the nines in fancy suits and dresses topped off by a mix of elegant, huge and outrageous hats. New this year to the track is a $12 million high-definition video board that measures 171-foot wide by 90-foot tall and will show the day’s races and other entertainment.

    Here are 10 things to know about the Derby:

    1. NUMBERS GAME: Trainer Todd Pletcher has four probable starters in pursuit of his second Derby victory. They are: Arkansas Derby winner Danza; Risen Star winner Intense Holiday; Spiral Stakes winner We Miss Artie; and Vinceremos, who was 14th in the Blue Grass. Mike Maker could saddle three horses: Vicar’s in Trouble, General a Rod and Harry’s Holiday. Bob Baffert, a three-time Derby winner, could start two: Rebel Stakes winner Hoppertunity and Sunland Derby winner Chitu.

    2. DRAW DAY: The field of 20 horses is announced on Wednesday. That’s when the draw is held to determine spots in the starting gate. Some trainers want to avoid the No. 1 post because their horse starts next to the rail and could get pinched going into the first turn. Others don’t like the No. 20 post because their horse is on the far outside and has to quickly make its way over toward the rail to save ground going into the first turn. Last year’s winner, Orb, broke from the No. 15 post. The odds are set on draw day, too.

    3. CALIFORNIA CHROME: California Chrome is expected to be the favorite based on the dominating form he’s shown on the West Coast. The colt has won his last four races by a combined 24 1/4 lengths, including the Santa Anita Derby. He beat Hopportunity and Candy Boy in that race, two rivals he’s likely to face again in Louisville. He’s trained by Art Sherman and ridden by Victor Espinoza, who won the Derby in 2002.

    4. POINTS SYSTEM: For the second straight year, the field of 20 starters is being determined by points. Churchill Downs instituted a tiered system that awards a sliding scale of points to the top four finishers in 34 designated races. The top 20 point earners at the end of the series will earn a spot in the Derby starting gate if more than 20 horses enter. The field has been limited to 20 horses since 1975. At least that many have entered every year since 2004, and 13 of the last 15 years.

    5. BUCKING HISTORY: Hoppertunity didn’t race as a 2-year-old, setting him up for a chance to break one of the Derby’s oldest jinxes: no horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Derby without racing at 2. “I had him entered in a race at 2 and scratched him because I had another one there,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “He was ready to run, so that should count.”

    6. ALSO ELIGIBLES: Besides the 20 horses which make the Derby, four more can also be entered. They would have until the morning of May 2 to get into the race if any horses are scratched by then.

    7. TIEBREAKER: Five horses are tied for the 20th and last spot on the points leaderboard with 20 each. Harry’s Holiday would be the last horse to get in because he has highest earnings in non-restricted stakes races, which is the tiebreaker. The other horses with 20 points are Commanding Curve, Pablo Del Monte, Bayern and Social Inclusion.

    8. OLDEST TRAINER: Art Sherman has the best horse of his career with California Chrome. At 77, he could become the oldest trainer to win, breaking the record of Charlie Whittingham, who was 76 when he won in 1989 with Sunday Silence. Sherman has done it all in the business. He was a jockey for 21 years, a racing official and then became a trainer in 1980. He has won over 2,100 races.

    9. NEW ANNOUNCER: Larry Collmus is the new race caller at Churchill Downs. He has announced the Derby the last three years on the NBC telecast, but this will be the first year that his voice is heard by fans at the track and TV viewers. He also announces races at Gulfstream Park in Florida.

    10. TRIPLE CROWN: A horse has just one shot to win the Triple Crown because the Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes is restricted to 3-year-olds. Only 11 horses have swept the series and none since Affirmed in 1978. The feat begins with a victory in the Derby, followed by wins in the other races over a five-week span. Fifty horses have finished one win shy of the Triple, including I’ll Have Another in 2012.

    - See more at: http://www.glasgowdailytimes.com/sports/x1535579856/10-things-to-know-for-the-140th-Kentucky-Derby#sthash.Qsut9vrc.dpuf

    Kentucky Sheriff’s Deputy Shoots And Kills Teen


    Kentucky Sheriff’s Deputy Shoots And Kills Teen.

    BURLINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Sheriff’s officials say a deputy fatally shot a motorist after she struck him with her car as she left a party in Boone County.

    The Boone County Sheriff’s Office says Deputy Tyler Brockman ordered 19-year-old Samantha Ramsey to stop her car as she was leaving a field party early Saturday.

    The sheriff’s office reports that Ramsey accelerated instead, hitting Brockman and causing him to land on the car’s hood. Brockman fired four shots through the windshield, striking Ramsey.

    Ramsey was taken to Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Florence, where she died. Brockman was treated for a leg injury at another hospital.

    Officials say Ramsey, of Covington, had no prior record with the sheriff’s office.

    Sheriff Michael A. Helmig ordered an investigation into the shooting and placed Brockman on administrative leave.

    MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky.: Disease attacking bats is on the move | Health | The Bellingham Herald


    MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky.: Disease attacking bats is on the move | Health | The Bellingham Herald.

    — A sign posted at Mammoth Cave National Park in south-central Kentucky lets visitors know if they tour the largest known cave system in the world, they will have to walk on bio-security mats immediately afterward. Shoes must be scrubbed to help contain the spread of a disease that has killed more than 6 million cave-dwelling bats in the United States.

    White-nose syndrome is on the move, and wildlife biologists are worried.

    The disease that gets its name from a white fungus found on bats’ muzzles, ears and wings was discovered in New York in 2006 and has spread to 25 states and five Canadian provinces.

    In Tennessee and elsewhere, some caves are closed to the public.

    Wildlife biologists say the threat is real, and no one knows how to stop the spread.

    “Some of the bats, especially this species, (we) find some of them dead. But, we really expect a lot of the deaths to occur next year — next winter,” said Rick Toomey, a scientist with the Resource Management Division at Mammoth Cave.

    In Tennessee, the disease has spread fast.

    “It’s a reality that almost any cave we go into these days will have white-nose syndrome if it has a significant number of bats,” said David Pelren, a biologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “There may be a few caves that don’t have white-nose syndrome yet. But, it’s becoming, Tennessee is becoming rather saturated with white-nose syndrome.”

    Recently, Katrina Morris and a team of biologists from the Georgia Natural Department of Resources searched for signs of the disease in a cave near Atlanta after it was discovered in a cave near the city — its farthest point south.

    “Bats, sometimes, are considered things like the canary in the coal mine,” said Morris, a biologist with the department. “We need to pay attention when they’re having problems with things like this. They’re a vulnerable, small animal that has relatively few young and are relatively long-lived for their size. So, they can show impact from some of these diseases and changes in the environment that can later impact us.”

    Morris and other biologists said the biggest impact of the disease — besides decimating entire colonies of bats in some caves — may be its impact on the agriculture industry.

    Fewer pest-eating bats could cost farmers — and the economy — billions of dollars.

    Scientists estimate a single bat can eat up to its entire body weight in insects in one night.

    The U.S. Geological Survey says bats save the country’s agriculture industry between $4 and $50 billion a year in pest control services.

    “If I were in the agricultural industry or the forestry industry, I would certainly be staying up at night doing everything I can to work around this and deal with white-nose syndrome,” said Cory Holliday, a cave and karst program director at The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee.

    The disease is not believed to pose a health risk to humans, biologists said.

    Online: http://www.whitenosesyndrome.org

    My Hometown: Louisville, KY | Ordinary Times


    My Hometown: Louisville, KY | Ordinary Times.

    My Hometown: Louisville, KY

    It’s Derby Week here in Louisville and while some readers may be tired of my love affair with this city I also thought this might be an opportunity to start a loose-format series about the places we all come from. So if you are a regular writer or a potential guest blogger, I hope you will follow my lead…

    I started to do a big write up about our history and culture and what it means to live in Louisville but I kept realizing I was just saying the same things that everyone else says about our city. The reason for that (I hope) is not because I don’t have an original thing to say but because we all pretty much agree on the reasons why Louisville is awesome. The folks at Brooklyn Derby did the hard work of putting it all together in this quick video.

    Watchdog Earth: Another piece of Pine Mountain saved


    Watchdog Earth: Another piece of Pine Mountain saved.

    The Kentucky Natural Lands Trust has closed on a 46-acre purchase that allows for expansion of a state nature preserve on Pine Mountain in Whitley County near the Tennessee border, setting the stage for several other anticipated conservation purchases.

    The property adjoins one of Kentucky’s most remote and wild areas, the newly dedicated Archer Benge State Nature Preserve, which covers 1,864 acres along the Laurel Fork. The land trust says it provides important habitat for numerous rare native fish and mussels, the federally listed Indiana bat, and several rare plants.

    After several other deals are completed this year, the land trust says it will be able to round out the protected watershed boundaries and protect significant bat caves on the property.

    Dog Show Raises Money for Domestic Violence Shelter


    Dog Show Raises Money for Domestic Violence Shelter.

     

    BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) — All eyes were on the canines Saturday during a dog show that raised money for the Barren River Area Safe Space.

    BRASS is a domestic violence shelter in Bowling Green

    While the dog show was mostly for fun, they were judged based on looks and tricks.

    The primary purpose of Bark Against Domestic Violence was to raise awareness of domestic violence situations and how to get out of them.

    “A lot of times animal cruelty will lead to domestic violence or it’s a precursor to domestic violence. So we’re just trying to get the word out about if you have somebody who might be injuring an animal, it may turn to you next. So, we’re just trying to get the word out and not forget the puppies and cats that may be also victims of domestic violence,” said Marta Woosley, a Certified Domestic Violence Advocate for BRASS.

    Ky jail using fish hooks to solve plumbing problem


    OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) – A western Kentucky jail has hooked on to an idea to stop inmates from clogging up the plumbing by flushing everything from blankets to jeans down the toilets.

    The Daviess County Detention Center in Owensboro has installed fish hooks inside the pipes to catch items that shouldn’t have been dropped into the commode.

    Jailer David Osborne told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer that the hooks allow employees to go in and pull out the larger objects.

    Before the fish hooks, the Regional Water Resource Agency had to send workers to a lift station behind the jail up to three times a week to unstop clogs.

    “Those commodes are capable of flushing anything,” Osborne said. “I guess (the inmates) are just bored.”

    CONTINUE READING…

    Vigil planned for Berea teen who died days after carrying out Easter wish


    MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A young woman who worked to make others happy while fighting for her own life has died.

    The pastor of Victory Life Church in Georgetown tells WKYT that Jordyn Conner passed away at Kentucky Children’s Hospital late Monday night. The 19-year old, who was a member at the church, lost her battle with bone cancer.

    On Saturday, Conner was able to carry out one last wish. She gave out 100 Easter baskets to other children at the hospital through a program she started called ‘Jordyn’s Jems.’

    A candle-light prayer is scheduled for Tuesday night in memory of Jordyn at Lake Reba park in Richmond at 8:30 p.m. Organizers say if you plan on coming, bring a candle and a balloon.

     

     

     

    Vigil planned for Berea teen who died days after carrying out Easter wish.

     

    Kentucky mailman hid mail in dead mom’s house


    mail pics-2.jpg

    Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal; 10:12 a.m. EDT April 23, 2014

    On the popular sitcom “Seinfeld,” fictitious letter carrier Newman hid bags of mail in Jerry’s basement storage locker rather than deliver it.

    Real life mail man William “Brent” Morse of the western Kentucky city of Dawson Springs, stashed his in his dead mother’s house and a rented storage facility — at least 44,900 pieces of it.

    “He wanted to speed up his route,” said city police Capt. Craig Patterson, who arrested him last year. “I think he was lazy.”

    Morse, who had been a letter carrier for five years, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley Jr., to six months in jail, followed by six months on home incarceration, for destroying, hiding and delaying the delivery of U.S. mail.

    Federal sentencing guidelines called for him to get a two-year sentence, but McKinley gave him less because he didn’t steal from the mail and only a few of the 250 mail recipients on his route suffered financial losses.

    McKinley also ordered him to pay $14,808 in restitution to local residents, a bank and two other businesses for their losses. He had pleaded guilty in December and was sentenced last week. The sentence was announced Tuesday.

    U.S. Postal Inspector Adel Valdes, a spokesman for his agency, said it doesn’t rank such crimes by size but “this was a big one.”

     

    The New York Post reported in March that a Long Island letter carrier had been charged with throwing about 1,000 pieces of mail into trash bins. In Australia, The Age in Victoria reported last year that a carrier for Australia Post was charged after about 10,000 undelivered pieces of mail were found in his bedroom. His lawyer later told a court that he was “overawed” with his duties and could no longer cope, The Age reported.

    Morse’s lawyer, federal public defender Patrick Bouldin, said that his client was going through a divorce, was responsible for picking up his children during the day, and would “store” his mail if he hadn’t finished delivering it.

    “It’s not that he was stealing anything from it,” said Bouldin, who added that the missing mail represented only a tiny fraction of the 1.2 million pieces Morse was responsible for delivering.

    Valdes said the scheme was uncovered when the owner of the storage facility found the door ajar, saw U.S. Postal Service crates inside and called police and the postmaster.

    But Patterson said police first found the mail in the mother’s house, and that Morse initially insisted — falsely — that that was the only mail he had stashed.

    Morse also was convicted of theft in state court for cashing about $31,000 in Social Security checks made out to his deceased mother, Patterson said, and placed in diversion for five years, according to the Hopkins County commonwealth’s attorney’s office.

    U.S. Attorney David Hale said in a statement that Morse dumped mail for two years, ending in March 2013, and destroyed at least 1,000 more pieces. Most were advertising circulars, Valdes said.

    Sue Brennan, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service, said, “We take the sanctity of the U.S. mail very seriously and the Postal Inspection Service and the Office of Inspector General prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who violates that trust.”

    Despite Newman’s claims on “Seinfeld” that no letter carrier delivers more than 50 percent of his mail, the Postal Service says that 94 percent of the First Class mail scheduled for two-day delivery last year was delivered on time.

    The National Association of Letter Carriers called Morse’s case “an unfortunate, isolated incident” and said virtually all mail is delivered as intended. It also noted that letter carriers are consistently rated the most trusted federal employees.

    Hale said the Postal Service has since delivered the mail recovered from Morse to its intended recipients in Dawson Springs, which has seven letter carriers and about 2,775 people.

    Mayor Jenny Sewell said she could have done without one of the letters she finally received.

    It was a bill from her dentist, for work she had a year ago.

    Reporter Andrew Wolfson can be reached at (502) 582-7189

    CONTINUE READING…

    Kentucky prison doctor fired after inmate starves to death


    Reuters/Robert Galbraith

     

    The starvation death of a Kentucky prison inmate has cost a doctor and at least two other officials their jobs after it was determined that sufficient medical treatment may have been able to save the man, according to a new report.

    James Kenneth Embry was entering the final three years of a nine-year prison term he earned for drug offenses when, during the spring of last year, he began refusing his anti-anxiety medication. By December, the 57-year-old had started refusing his meals and was engaging in a variety of erratic behaviors, including slamming his head against the door to his cell. Embry, who stood at six feet tall, died in January, weighing just 138 pounds – more than 30 pounds less than he had weighed months before.

    Embry’s downward spiral and documents from the investigation that followed were first obtained by the Associated Press, which published a report Monday.

    An internal investigation at Kentucky State Penitentiary determined that medical professionals inside the facility could have done more to provide Embry with medication to deter his thoughts of suicide and to check on him as he physically and mentally wasted away.

    Over six months after Embry stopped taking his medication, he told a prison psychologist that he felt anxious and paranoid. Those calls for help went unheeded, with psychologist Jean Hinkebein deciding on December 3 that Embry’s comments about hurting himself were not conclusive enough to be proof that he had any mental issues. His request to start taking medication again was denied.

    A week later, Embry told staff that he didn’t “have any hope,” and was taken to an observation cell where he stopped accepting most food. At least one nurse who met with Embry during this time advised the inmate to begin eating again. Even though he ignored that advice, Embry was soon taken off hunger strike watch because he had been drinking tea.

    Embry passed away on January 13. Dehydration was deemed the primary cause of death, with starvation and a number of other maladies listed as contributing factors.

    An investigation began just days later, with authorities focusing much of their gaze on lead physician Steve Hiland. Hiland stood by his decision to take Embry off hunger strike watch, because he thought a protest consisted only of “six or eight meals” being missed and that it ended when the inmate consumed liquid. When asked how inmates should be helped off hunger strike, Hiland admitted that staff members “usually don’t have to worry about it because they (the inmates) eventually give up.”

    Greg Belzley, a Louisville, Kentucky-based lawyer who is familiar with the case, told journalist Brett Barrouquere that Embry’s death is a shocking example of negligence.

    It’s just very, very, very disturbing,” he said. “How do you just watch a man starve to death?”

    An inmate on hunger strike is required by the Kentucky Department of Corrections to have his vital signs checked no less than three times a week and required to undergo frequent consultations with doctors and psychologists. Exactly why that did not happen is unclear, with sources telling AP that they were either not aware of the proper protocol or that psychologist Hinkebein prevented such checks.

    Hiland has been fired, Hinkebein is on administrative leave with her dismissal pending, and a third member of the medical team is also soon to be officially dismissed. The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office has said that a criminal review of Embry’s demise is in motion.

    The prison investigation obtained by Barrouquere found a number of issues inside the facility, with poor communication being one of the most damaging factors behind large mistakes made inside the prison. Hiland, for his part, denies any wrongdoing regarding Embry’s death, accusing the state of using this incident as a way to rid itself of his $164,554 annual salary in favor of someone cheaper.

    I never saw this guy, never met him,” Hiland said. “I was convinced it was a way to get rid of me. I was told I should have known about it.”

    CONTINUE READING…

    Hunger in Kentucky still a reality


    hunger

    If you are reading this over breakfast and have enough to eat, consider yourself fortunate.

    Because in Kentucky, many residents do not always know where they will get their next meal, The Courier-Journal’s Chris Kenning reported Sunday.

    Percentages vary from affluent urban areas to impoverished counties of Eastern Kentucky, but on the whole, about 15.6 percent of Kentuckians are “food insecure,” meaning they can’t always afford the food they need. That translates into more than 670,000 of Kentucky’s 4.3 million people.

    And while the numbers and percentages may seem abstract, the fear of going hungry is very real for many in the state who depend on food banks, run by charitable organizations, and the government Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps).

    Among them is Lorraine Maggard, 75, of Mount Vernon, who regularly visits a food pantry run by the Christian Appalachian Project called Grateful Bread.

    Living on about $800 a month in Social Security, Ms. Maggard notes that after her house payment, utility bills and car insurance, she has about $48 to live on each month. And the $74 she used to get in food stamps was cut to $47 a month after Congress declined to extend a temporary increase enacted in 2009 to help people through the recession.

    “If I didn’t have the pantry, I don’t know what I’d do,” Ms. Maggard told The Courier-Journal.

    Despite the stigma—the mistaken view food stamps are handouts for able-bodied adults unwilling to work—the majority of people who receive food stamps are in families where adults are working low-wage jobs, making so little they qualify for assistance. They earn 130 percent or less of the federal poverty level, about $25,400 a year for a family of three.

    More than half of those who benefit from food stamps are children. One-fifth are elderly, such as Ms. Maggard from Rockcastle County, whose meager allotment isn’t enough to get her through the month without a trip to the local food pantry.

    It remains a terrible truth that in this land of wealth and abundance that many people do not have enough to eat.

    Kentucky is fortunate to have the Christian Appalachian food pantry and many other food banks that serve their communities.

    But Kentucky must do more to expand possibilities for people to earn a fair wage, find decent jobs and provide for themselves and their families.

    Easy political talk about “job creators” and “job killers” isn’t working.

    The harder job is to keep working on conditions that cause hunger and poverty.

    CONTINUE READING…

    PLEASE READ THIS…IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU!


    My name is Karen Ross-Glaser. I am a disabled 43 year-old single mother, who is trying to provide a better life for my family, away from the abuse we suffered in Michigan. We recently relocated to Arizona 3 years ago, due to a domestic violence situation. The children and I all suffer from PTSD, while the younger children have additional health issues. I am working with many agencies including counseling services to help the family heal.

                    Recently, I was arrested and mistaken for someone else due to an Identity Theft issue. (http://www.kvoa.com/news/identity-theft-plagues-southern-arizona-residents/). Fifteen of my Civil rights were violated, including my disability act rights. Upon returning home a CPS investigator told myself and witnesses (CarrieAnn Mick and Charlie Warren) that they had taken my children into custody and I needed to sign a form giving CPS temporary three day custody of Elizabeth (16) and David (15). In shock and breaking down, my friend CarrieAnn holding me from collapsing.  I could barely see through my tears and I signed the paper without reading it.

                    Later I realized that the form I previously signed was giving custody to CPS and that they are charging me with neglect and failure to protect; due to being incarcerated overnight, and the children being left unattended. Once CPS learned they were in the wrong and that the children did have supervision, even though they are old enough to be on their own. CPS then charged me with Substance abuse of marijuana (I am a legal Medical Marijuana card holder). CPS then ordered my oldest son and wife to not allow me contact with my newborn grandson.

                    The children have been in custody since January 28th. Our counseling has been stopped and they haven’t arranged any visits for us. The courts ordered our counseling to continue and weekly visits to be given, yet CPS hasn’t complied. Since the children were placed in foster care they have been missing twice, skipped school a few times, been in a fight which resulted in a suspension from school and CPS has even allowed my son David who has a closed head injury to join a boxing group. Since the children have been gone, my disability has been cut and assessed child support. I am now at risk of losing our home. I am doing everything I can to raise the funds to hire the attorneys needed to handle this case. I have had to take in renters to help cover expenses and stay afloat. Yet, I am still struggling and haven’t been able to retain an attorney. While time is running out!

                    I am being wrongfully accused and have the documentation to prove my innocents. I am fighting for my family, to clear my name, get my children back and save our home. I am desperate and pleading for any and all help that the public can give us!

    *PLEASE HELP ME SAVE MY FAMILY*

    The problem with this situation trying to find legal help is that it is so widespread and complicated. I’ve been told I need a team of different types of lawyers to handle everything involved;

    -Family Law Attorney/Dependency Attorney

    -Criminal Lawyer/Identity Theft/MMJ Attorney

    -Bankruptcy/Tax

    -Personal Injury Attorney

    -Civil Rights Attorney

    -Civil Attorney

    -ADA Attorney

    - See more at: http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/please-help-to-save-my-family/161606#sthash.L1tvj4hc.dpuf

     

     

     

    Holler out to FRIENDS and FAMILY~ EVERYONE;
    For ALL of you that didn’t know… I am going on trial in less than 2 weeks. On May 1st, I face the judge on the charges against me. I pray that justice will prevail. I have done everything I could think of within my power, to bring the truth to light. I still don’t have the means to afford the attorneys needed to clear my name and bring my kids home.
    I am letting you all know because I refuse to let this be. I am INNOCENT!
    I may be gone soon and these post, over the next week may be my only voice left. PLEASE let my story be known.
    *Take a moment to check this out; if you can… Everything helps
    ATTORNEY’s ARE NEEDED!
    Click on the Help and donation sites for case information and updates that includes photo evidence.
    http://fnd.us/c/ejlN4/sh/5eoIf
    NBC kvoa link to story of my Identity theft and the Severity of it.
    http://www.kvoa.com/news/identity-theft-plagues-southern-arizona-residents/
    This is NOT A SCAM! I am desperate…
    PLEASE Help save my children & clear name.
    http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/please-help-to-save-my-family/161606
    Thanks and Love, Karen Ross-Glaser Photography
    http://www.gofundme.com/7zvo4o

    PLEASE Help Karen save her children & clear name!

    Kids taken CPS custody, Identity stolen & accused of being a substance abuser of Medical marijuana while being a legal card holder in AZ. Anything you can do is greatly appreciated. PLEASE share to everyone you know.Thanks in advance. My name is Karen …

    fundrazr.com

    We live in the only country in the world where a child can be sentenced to be in prison until they die


    Juwan being interrogated

    We live in the only country in the world where a child can be sentenced to be in prison until they die.

    What’s worse is that it’s not even rare — more than 2,500 people who were sentenced as kids will spend the rest of their lives in prison.

    Juwan is one of them. He was a skinny 16-year-old kid when he was arrested after he saw a companion kill a pizza deliveryman. The shooter was never convicted, but because Juwan was present and had a gun, he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

    Without the possibility of parole, Juwan will never have a second chance for rehabilitation.

    Just one year before Juwan was sentenced, the Supreme Court decided that mandatory juvenile life without parole was unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.

    The problem is — the decision left gaping loopholes and didn’t ban the sentence outright, meaning that Juwan and other children became victims of poor timing and inadequate policy implementation. While six states have moved to ban the practice, this barbaric punishment is still perfectly legal in 44 states.

    But the Department of Justice has the power to close some of these loopholes and set the standard on the federal level. By providing policy guidelines for U.S. attorneys, the DOJ can ensure that judges are empowered to use discretion and give appropriate sentences based on unique circumstances.

    Attorney General Eric Holder has already endorsed proposals that limit life without parole sentences for non-violent drug offenders. If he hears from thousands of us who support criminal justice reform, he can provide the tools needed to limit juvenile life without parole sentences.

    It’s time that we give kids like Juwan a second chance at life.

    PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK AND SIGN PETITION!

    GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH 2014


    GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH 2014

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    LINKS TO GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH SITES:

    Global Marijuana March and 4/20 signup

    Portal:Global Marijuana March

    FREE DANA BEAL FREE OURSELVES

    Global Marijuana March App

    PLEASE HELP RONNIE SMITH’S FAMILY!


    Brian McCullough via Renee Gibson

    Ronnie’s sister here. He sent me a message today and I spoke with him a bit ago. It seems that the Dr’s. are giving him 2 weeks to live. He said he will be going home with hospice in a couple days. He is still hoping that the oil will help but is sad also. I have created a gofundme page to help me and his son get from KY to CO to be with him. If anyone can help us out it would be much appreciated.

    HERE IS THE LINK TO DONATE!
    http://www.gofundme.com/7orqn4

    HIS FACEBOOK PAGE IS HERE.  PLEASE SEND LOVE AND PRAYERS!

    Brian McCullough For the love of God…, please share this far and wide.On group pages and such…

    I have to get off line and wont be back till Monday. I want his friends and ours to send healing energy to my buddy.

    I can only hope you all will get this message before it’s too late.

    Peace out, Brian

    Game of Stones … J. D. Longstreet


    Originally posted on The Conservative Citizen:

    Game of Stones
    Czar Putin Resurrecting Old Soviet Empire
    A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

    ******************

    Once upon a time in the land of Russka, Czar Vladimir of Putin, perceived himself of a notion, and was, thereby, convinced (easily and quickly) that somewhere it was written that he, and ONLY he, would be the savior of the glorious  Empire of the Council of Soviets.

    An invasion of the ancestral home of the feared and ferocious Cossacks was necessary to begin the sacred campaign to restore the empire of the comrades.

    The army of Vladimir of Putin, stripped all insignia of the tribe of Russka from their battle dress, disguised themselves as local bands of freedom fighters dedicated to saving the Cossack’s homeland from the influence of the western devils led by the Black King of a much diminished mongrel people from many tribes and many lands who were forever fighting…

    View original 1,076 more words

    Illuminati’s Walt Disney – Disturbing Toys


    Originally posted on Spiritual Magazine:

    illuminati

    Mickey Mouse Brain Washed

    Sex Sells. All “good” marketing and advertising companies know this. We live in a world where we are bombarded with images of scantily clad men and women in very provocative poses. The aim of the game is to persuade us that if we buy the product, we too, will look and feel just like models. Later creating self esteem issues and depression because we simply cannot live up to this.

    View original 223 more words

    Historical Anecdote Of The Day – Cyrus The Great


    Originally posted on The Conservative Citizen:

    The Tale of the Tomb of Cyrus the Great

    “..I am Cyrus, king of all, the great king, the mighty king, king of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of the four corners of the earth…”  – from a clay cylinder known as ‘the cylinder of Cyrus’ narrating the story of the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus the king of Persia.

    “Thus sayeth Cyrus, king of Persia. All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me…” (II Chron. 36:23 The Holy Bible)

    King Cyrus appears several times in the Bible. Fifty years before his conquest of Babylon the kingdom of Judah (from whence we get the name ‘Jew’) had been conquered by the Babylonians and nearly all the inhabitants of the land were forcibly removed to Babylon. (Not to be confused with the kingdom of Israel that was annihalated by the Assyrians and…

    View original 423 more words

    Breaking Free..


    Originally posted on Cryinforthedyin's Blog:

    WE DO NOT DENY YOU FOR APPEARANCE.. RELIGIOUS PREFERENCES. . OR YOUR MISERABLE EVIL PAST.. WE JUST DON'T LIKE YOU..

    WE DO NOT DENY YOU FOR APPEARANCE.. RELIGIOUS PREFERENCES. . OR YOUR MISERABLE EVIL PAST.. WE JUST DON’T LIKE YOU..

    Surprise! bright morning sun.. smiled fun.. misty.. clear and sweet..  

    Easy trust.. my laughing eyes.. bird sings song elite..

    ‘Breaking Free’.. the best of me.. the rest don’t suit my style.. left to burn.. bad memories.. a dismal smoking pile..  

    Sun a little higher now.. friend and I find shade.. spoke of growing.. girlfriends.. knowing..  courage.. bargains made..  

    Even then.. no rules to bend.. infamy of spies.. social looks.. adventure books..  Ostrich ways.. and lies..

    Harp song pure.. lovers lure you down paths deep inside.. dreams in fantasy of family when none had died..

    Every year intent.. actions timely.. fair.. every fear.. protection sent.. by those who have a care..

    Dreams beyond count sparkle.. flying sail ships dock.. light beams shatter darkness.. stars twinkle on the rocks..

    Forever love…

    View original 63 more words

    Study: Smartphone Obsession Leading To More Examples Of ‘Distracted Parenting’


    Originally posted on CBS New York:

    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Children trying to get their parents’ attention have some serious competition.

    You could call it “distracted parenting,” when mom and dad pay more attention to their smartphone than their kids, CBS 2’s Jericka Duncan reported Monday.

    Minde Christensen is a stay-at-home mom and admits her smartphone can be distracting.

    “As my kids are wandering around that I’ll often be checking Facebook or my email and there have been times that I haven’t known where my children are,” Christensen said.

    A new study in the journal Pediatrics took a look at the role smartphones play with parents and kids. Researchers observed 55 caregivers with young children at fast food restaurants and found that 40 of the caregivers used mobile devices during their meal – and 16 seemed completely absorbed.

    “They seemed to be more engaged with the device than with the children they were with,” said Dr…

    View original 140 more words

    CBS 2 Exclusive: Students From District Plagued By Anti-Semitism Meet Holocaust Survivors


    Originally posted on CBS New York:

    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Students from an Orange County school plagued by accusations of anti-Semitism were given a lesson in tolerance Monday.

    As CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reported, several student leaders took a unique trip to hear personally from Holocaust survivors, hoping to spread the message of acceptance back on campus.

    They met the survivors on a visit to the “March of the Living” exhibit at the United Nations – a graphic and emotional Holocaust display that would be a reality check for anyone.

    And for the students from Pine Bush High School – which is part of a district plagued by widespread allegations of anti-Semitism — the message hit home particularly hard.

    “I couldn’t fathom, like, the fact that they did lose everything, but they still had the hope to go on,” said Pine Bush sophomore Savanna Paxton.

    The Pine Bush Central School District is embroiled in a federal…

    View original 279 more words

    Clemency to Jeff Mizanskey: Life without parole for marijuana


    Clemency to Jeff Mizanskey: Life without parole for marijuana

    This petition will be delivered to:  Missouri, Gov. Jeremiah Nixon

    Petition by  Chris Mizanskey  Sedalia, MO

    My father Jeff Mizanskey has been in prison for 20 years and has no possibility of parole. For non-violent, marijuana-only offenses, my father has been sentenced to die in prison because of a “three strikes” mandatory sentencing policy in the State of Missouri.

    Dad’s first offense was in 1984 when he sold an ounce to an undercover informant, and then was found to possess a half pound of marijuana when police raided his house the next day.  His next offense occurred in 1991, when he was caught in possession of a couple of ounces. But for my father’s final strike in 1993, he became an easy fall guy in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana. My dad was driving a friend to a deal that turned out to be a sting operation. All of the other convicted men involved were set free years ago, but my dad was given a virtual death sentence.

    My dad is, and always has been, a good man. He taught my brother and I all about construction and a good work ethic. He has never been violent and he is a model prisoner. And over the 20 years he has been in that little cell, he has watched as violent criminals, rapists, and murderers have “paid their debts” and left – sometimes just to return a few months later.

    My father is 61 years old, and has been in prison since he was 41. His parents – my grandparents – have since passed. While my dad has been trapped behind bars, generations of kids and grandkids have been born into our family who have never even met the man. The State of Missouri spends roughly $22,000/year to keep him locked up. Meanwhile all my dad wants to do is be a productive part of society, work and pay taxes, be with his family. And I want my dad back.

    Governor Jay Nixon is the only person who has the power to bring my dad home by granting clemency to Jeff and calling 20 years punishment enough. Please help us reach a just and reasonable end to his prison sentence by signing and sharing this petition.

    To:
    Gov. Jeremiah Nixon, Missouri

    Jeff Mizanskey is a non-violent, marijuana-only offender who has spent the last 20 years in a Missouri prison. He has been sentenced to be there for the rest of his life, and he has no opportunity for parole. The only hope he has to ever to become a working member of society or to hold his grandchildren in his hands is for you to grant him clemency.

    His sentence was imposed because of the Prior and Persistent Drug Offender sentencing structure which requires life in prison without parole for his three felony marijuana-only offenses.
    Jeff Mizanskey has never committed violence and is most certainly a model prisoner. For 20 years he has sat behind bars, only to watch as rapists and murders come and go and sometimes come back again. Meanwhile the State of Missouri spends roughly $22,000 annually to house him – over $400,000 has been spent so far.

     
    On February 3, 2011, Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice William Ray Price, Jr., delivered his final State of the Judiciary address to the Missouri General Assembly. In that speech, Chief Justice Price lambasted Missouri’s “three strikes” drug-sentencing laws as enormously costly and ineffective. “Punishment,” Price said, “is a necessary part of our criminal justice system. But our real goal for nonviolent offenders is to teach them their lesson so they can become productive law-abiding members of our society. The goal is not to lock them into a life of crime, to make them permanent wards of the state.”
    Jeff Mizanskey has been punished for 20 years. He has learned his lesson and wants to become a productive, law-abiding member of our society. The goal Price mentions has been more than reached, and it is time to give Jeff back his life.

    On July 6, 2012, you signed the Justice Reinvestment Act, which was intended to reduce our prison population, save the state money, and ensure that punishments are proportional to violations for non-violent offenders. While this has done a great deal of good for so many Missourians, Jeff’s status has remained unchanged.
    In October 2013, Gallup released a poll showing 58% of Americans support marijuana legalization. 58% of Americans recognize the principle that imprisoning Jeff Mizanskey for the rest of his life has no net positive social benefit.

    In the spirit of the Justice Reinvestment Act and in the spirit of justice itself, please grant clemency to Jeff Mizanskey today. Please pardon Jeff Mizanskey so that he does not die in prison just for marijuana.

    PLEASE CONTINUE TO LINK TO SIGN PETITION!

    UK government found ‘cheerleading’ for fracking industry


    British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) is taken on a guided tour of the IGas shale drilling plant oil depot by Operations Manager Andrew Austin (L) and Chief Operating Officer John Chief Blaymyers (c) near Gainsborough, Lincolnshire on January 13, 2014. (Reuters / Lindsey Parnaby)

    British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) is taken on a guided tour of the IGas shale

    drilling plant oil depot by Operations Manager Andrew Austin (L) and Chief Operating

    Officer John Chief Blaymyers (c) near Gainsborough, Lincolnshire on January 13, 2014.

    (Reuters / Lindsey Parnaby)

    British government officials have been collaborating in private with shale gas companies to manage the public’s hostility to fracking, it was revealed in emails released under freedom of information act.

    The UK government has been found sharing pre-prepared statements with shale gas bosses as well as meeting for elaborate dinners, as well as tet-a-tet for “further discussion over post dinner drinks”. The fracking industry also shared lists with the government of ‘stakeholders’ to be targeted.

    The emails were sent throughout 2013. In one email discussing contentious policy plans the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) apologizes to the UK Onshore Operatives Group (UKOOG): “Sorry to raise your blood pressure on this subject again, no expletives please!”

    Another email from Centrica to Decc officials warned that officials in Lancashire County Council (a country which has seen earth tremors from exploratory fracking) were not convinced there was enough government regulation for shale gas.

    “The most common theme [of a county council meeting] was that separate onshore regulation is needed of shale, they clearly don’t feel totally comfortable with the current situation/or understand how it will work,” the email read.

    But Decc emailed UKOOG before a review by Public Health England of the health and environmental impact of fracking that the regulation was already sufficient.

    “We are confident that there is robust appropriate regulation in the UK to ensure safe operations that minimize impacts to human health.”

    In yet another email Ken Cronin, UKOOG’s chief executive, tells Duarte Figueira, head of unconventional gas and oil at Decc: “Thanks for a productive meeting (it’s like being set homework).”

    A demonstrator holds a placard at the protest camp, near the entrance to a site run by Cuadrilla Resources, near Balcombe in southern England August 16, 2013. (Reuters / Stefan Wermuth)

    A demonstrator holds a placard at the protest camp, near the entrance to a site run by Cuadrilla Resources, near Balcombe in southern England August 16, 2013. (Reuters / Stefan Wermuth)

    Lawrence Carter, an energy campaigner at Greenpeace, who made the Freedom of Information request from Decc, said that the government has been acting as an arm of the industry.

    “The government is supposed to represent the interests of the public when they deal with these companies, but the evidence is piling up that they’re all in it together.”

    British Gas, which owns Centrica – a major player in the shale gas industry – has an executive working within Decc on secondment.

    Officials have defended the revelations saying that such discussions were “right and proper”, reports The Guardian.

    David Cameron, one of the government’s biggest supporters of fracking, has rejected EU proposals for binding rules for shale gas exploration. Earlier this week he also announced financial incentives for councils and local communities, slammed as bribes by opponents. The PM said the UK was going “all out for shale”.

    Caroline Lucas, a Green Party MP, said the revelations were an example of the “creepily cozy” relationship between government and big energy companies.

    “Apparently it’s not enough to give fracking companies generous tax breaks, the government also has to help them with their PR. Instead of cheerleading for fracking, the government should be working with community and renewable energy to move us towards a low carbon future,” she said.

    Extraction by fracking involves pumping millions of gallons of water and chemicals into the ground, which creates excess hydro waste, which over time local residents worry will result in contamination of the water table.

    Environmental protests have stalled exploration efforts across the UK.

    The most recent protests were targeted against IGas, when demonstrators blocked access to a shale gas drilling site outside Manchester with a 1.5 ton wind turbine blade tied up with Christmas bow. A local activist group says the act is “symbolic” and the Britain should be pursuing more environmentally-friendly energy sources

    CONTINUE READING…

    Fighting the good fight in the North American Continent


     

     

     

    #HUNGERSTRIKE #PROTEST #ACTIVIST #ACTIONS #DIVERSE_SANCTUARY #NEWYORK
    UPDATE FROM CANADA James Kevin Moore , C4C LEADER, FOUNDING MINISTER OF OUR DIVERSE SANCTUARY CANADIAN LODGE WHO HAS JOINED Lisa Mamakind Kirkman IN HER CONTINUED, THEIR CONTINUED HUNGERSTRIKE AND PROTEST FOR PATIENTS RIGHTS AND GARDEN RIGHTS FOR THIS LIFE SAVING PLANT WHICH ARE BEING TAKEN. IT APPEARS THAT THERE IS GROWING COMPASSION AND SUPPORT FOR OUR MEMBERS WHO HAVE TAKEN THIS ACTION OUT OF LACK OF MORE SUITABLE OPTIONS. LIKE LIVING HOLISTICALLY AND BEING SELF SUSTAINABLE. NOT WANTING TO BE OR TIRED OF BEING MADE DEPENDENT UPON SOME FORM OF GOVERNMENT PROGRAM OR APPROVAL TO ALLOW THEM THEIR BASIC SOVEREIGN HUMAN RIGHTS.
    IT APPEARS THAT HERE IN THE STATES THE RUSH TO CONTINUE THE SAME LEGALIZE = LEGAL LIES. THAT HAS LEAD TO THIS CONTINUED PROHIBITION OF A PLANT, GARDENS AND LIVES TO FURTHER THE PROFITS OF ALL THOSE WHO CAN CLEAN UP FROM ANY ABUSE, DISTORTION, EXTORTION, MUTATION, AND PATENT OVER THIS PLANT AND THE NEEDS OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS WHO ARE ILL AND DYING. SO THEY CAN GET HIGH ON PROFITS!
    AS ONE OF OUR SISTERS AND MEMBERS Kimberleigh Krepp OUR LEADER OF #NEW_YORK4CANNABIS CONTINUES TO STAND ALONE AND PROTEST FOR ALL OUT REPEAL IN NEW YORK, AS THEY ARE PREPARING TO HAND DOWN THEIR NEW PATIENT LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS. THAT COULD PUT PATIENTS IN JAIL AND TAKE THEIR MEDICINE TO PLACE ON THE MARKET FOR NEW CARD CARRYING REGISTERED PATIENTS TO BUY. THAT’S RIGHT! THEY WILL TAKE YOUR WEED AND PUT YOU IN JAIL WHILE THEY SELL YOUR WEED TO SOMEONE ELSE. ISN’T IT BEAUTIFUL. REALLY! A NEVER ENDING WAR ON YOU AND THIS PLANT. EVEN IF YOU REGISTER. YOU WILL ABIDE BY ANY OTHER REGULATIONS OR BE JAILED. WHILE THEY DECIDE HOW YOU TAKE IT AND WHAT YOUR GIVEN AND WE ALL KNOW THEY COULD GIVE IT TO YOU UP YOUR ASS AND IF THEY CAN THEY WILL. DON’T MEDICATE AND DRIVE… JUST ASK PATIENTS IN ANY OF THE OTHER LEGAL STATES. IT ALL CAN BE COSTLY TO YOUR HEALTH AND BANK ACCOUNT. STRESS KILLS. WHILE THEY TAX YOU DOUBLE FOR IT AND CALL IT FREEDOM. GOT TO LOVE HOW THEY MARKET IT. #FREEDOM THAT IS. WHICH IS ALL THEY WERE GIVEN THE AUTHORITY TO DO. CONTROL CURRENCY AND THE MARKET PLACE.
    WHILE HERE IN KENTUCKY AS THE RUSH FOR LEGAL LIES = LEGALIZE STILL CONTINUES. THE MARKET PLACE IS BEGINNING TO BE PREPARED BEFORE THE LAWS ARE EVEN PASSED. I, MARY THOMAS-SPEARS aka #REV_MARY , FOUNDING MINISTER OF KENTUCKY’S OLDEST ESTABLISHED AND ONLY EXISTING 420 MINISTRY HERE IN KENTUCKY, {THAT WE KNOW OF} DIVERSE SANCTUARY, BOARD MEMBER OF A4C, HEAD OF KENTUCKY FOR CANNABIS, BOARD MEMBER U.S. MARIJUANA PARTY AND ADMIN OF THE KENTUCKY MARIJUANA PARTY WILL BE THE FEATURED SPEAKER THIS WEEKEND IN LOUISVILLE AT A WORK SHOP THAT IS BEING HOSTED BY #HELLOCOMFYTREE FOR A $149 A SEAT. THAT WILL EXPLAIN THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA INDUSTRY TO ALL THOSE HERE IN KY WHO ARE WANTING TO SET UP SHOP HERE AND/OR PROFIT IN KENTUCKY. INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO “HOW TO OPEN A DISPENSARY”. I WILL BE SPEAKING ON REPEAL, NULLIFICATION, AND RESCHEDULING TO END PROHIBITION AND KEEPING THIS PLANT GMO FREE IN OUR PERSONAL GARDENS. I WOULD NOT EXCEPT PAY TO SPEAK AT THIS EVENT. OTHER THAN MY GAS MONEY TO GET THERE AND BACK. DESPITE THEIR OFFER OR MY NEED. I FELT IT WAS JUST TOO IMPORTANT A MESSAGE AND I COULDN’T FEEL RIGHT GETTING PAID OR TAKING YOUR MONEY FOR TRYING TO FREE THIS PLANT OR THE PEOPLE HERE. HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE, SOON, I MUST PREPARE. WILL BE TRAVELING WITH Sheree Krider OWNER AND ADMIN OF THE U.S. MARIJUANA PARTY, KENTUCKY MARIJUANA PARTY AND ANOTHER MINISTER DIVERSE SANCTUARY.
    WE STAND UNITED IN SOLIDARITY AND PROTEST FOR FULL REPEAL OF PROHIBITION INTERNATIONALLY AS WE GROW!!!
    DON’T LET THEM PIMP YOU!!! #REPEAL AND HEAL!!!
    LEARN WHAT WE KNOW
    OPERATING ON TRUTH AND FAITH THAT IS SCIENCE BASED!!!

    Photo

    COMFYTREE PRESENTS A SYMPOSIUM IN LOUISVILLE AND LEXINGTON KENTUCKY ON JANUARY 11TH AND 12TH


     

    THE U.S. MARIJUANA PARTY OF KENTUCKY HAS BEEN INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS IMPORTANT EVENT IN OUR STATE…

    CTC Cannabis Academy KY Palm,

    SPEAKERS INCLUDE BUT NOT LIMITED TO REV. MARY THOMAS-SPEARS SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF REPEAL OF PROHIBITION OF THIS PLANT AND HOW REPEAL WILL END THE WAR ON CANNABIS FOR EVERYONE.

    PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND ….

    Pot Block! Trapped in the Marijuana Rescheduling Maze


    One citizen-journalist’s journey into the drug war bureaucracy shows why previous efforts to reschedule pot have been DEA’d on arrival.

    Harmon Leon

    October 30, 2013

     

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    Under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug in America. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Cannabis sativa is as dangerous as heroin. (You know… as in heroin!) To justify this ranking, the DEA has declared that the plant has absolutely no medical value. Zero. Nada. Zip. The federal government has determined that this position is backed by science.

    Marijuana’s current status as one of the most dangerous drugs in America became official in 1970, during the Nixon administration. (Putting matters in ludicrous perspective, cocaine and even Breaking Bad meth are Schedule II.) Every administration since then has treated marijuana as mad, bad and dangerous to know, with virtually no attempt made to reclassify it. And that list includes the current one.

    About the Author
    Harmon Leon

    Harmon Leon is the author of six books, including The American Dream, The Harmon Chronicles and Republican Like Me. His…

    “It’s a bit of an Alice in Wonderland scenario with the Obama administration,” explains Kris Hermes of American for Safe Access (ASA). “He made statements prior to being elected about changing the policy on marijuana, but in reality the opposite has happened.”

    Not only have there been more medical marijuana arrests during Obama’s administration than the entire Bush regime, but even in states like California and Washington, there’s been a steady rise in the number of people being raided even though they’re in full compliance with state law. The federal government has threatened landlords and financial institutions working with medical marijuana businesses; the IRS has been involved with audits; pro-pot lawmakers have been bullied; and veterans using marijuana for conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder have been denied medical benefits by the Veterans Administration—all because of marijuana’s Schedule I status.

    On the other hand, dropping pot down a notch to Schedule II (let alone III, IV or V, or removing it from the Controlled Substances Act completely) would be a big step in resolving the clash between state and federal law, since such a move would at least acknowledge marijuana’s medical utility and allow doctors to legally prescribe it.

    So what can be done to reschedule marijuana in a country where the “drug czar” is required by law to oppose any attempt to legalize the use of a Schedule I substance—in any form?

    Time to put on our citizen-journalist’s hat and go through the looking glass into the bizarre legal labyrinth of the rescheduling process. Kris Hermes warned that it wouldn’t be easy: “Bureaucrats shut down and refuse to talk when it’s convenient for them not to talk… when it suits their purpose!”

    I Contact the DEA

    Phoning the DEA is an unnerving experience—a sensation similar to being in high school and calling your dad at 2 am to inform him that you’ve crashed the family car (though now safe in the knowledge that the NSA will keep tabs on me).

    I get a DEA representative on the phone. He goes by the name Rusty. (Perhaps because of his employer’s corroded views on ending the drug war?)

    “Could I get any information regarding the rescheduling of medical marijuana?”

    “I don’t want to spark a debate,” Rusty from the DEA replies. “I don’t know if that’s something we’d weigh in on. I don’t know what the point would be—our stance is pretty much on our website.”

    Rusty from the DEA informs me that the agency’s position on medical marijuana can be found under the tab astutely labeled “The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse.” (The thirty-page PDF reads like some bureaucrat’s idea for a remake of Reefer Madness.)

    The key words in this manifesto: dangers, consequences, abuse. That doesn’t seem to indicate much willingness to consider pot’s medical value. Apparently, the DEA is still convinced that cancer victims are merely “abusing” marijuana to alleviate their chemotherapy-induced vomiting and nausea.

    Rusty from the DEA adds: “You know, Congress can change this at any point—which people seem to forget.”

    Perfect. That would be the same body that recently shut down the federal government and threatened the United States with default. But while the DEA might say that rescheduling is up to Congress, according to the ASA, that’s not exactly the case. The DEA actually delays the process—with no time limit imposed for answering rescheduling petitions, the agency takes the longest possible time before reaching a decision. (And then it says no.) To get around to denying the ASA’s rescheduling petition, it took the federal government a whopping nine years.

    I Contact the FDA

    According to a memorandum of understanding between the DEA and the Food and Drug Administration, a rescheduling petition has to go through the FDA. (Despite the fact that the DEA is under no obligation to recognize the conclusions of that agency.) Meanwhile, roughly every nineteen minutes, an American dies of accidental prescription-drug overdose—and these are pills approved by the FDA. (“Approved!”) Since the big pharmaceutical companies can’t make money off homegrown medical marijuana, might that be swaying the FDA’s recommendation?

    “Can I ask a few questions about the rescheduling of medical marijuana?” I ask an unnamed FDA representative.

    “I’m looking into this for you,” she replies.

    Moments later…

    “We cannot comment on this topic due to pending citizen petitions, other than to say our analyses and decision-making processes are ongoing.”

    Not much to work with there, though I’m intrigued by the mention of “pending citizen petitions.” I press on: “What would be the process needed for medical marijuana to be approved by the FDA?”

    “As you are aware, Schedule 1 drugs have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and as I indicated before, we cannot comment on this topic of rescheduling due to pending citizen petitions.”

    My information parade has been rained out. Why so cagey? After all, the FDA approved Marinol, whose active ingredient is 100 percent synthetic THC (i.e., the stuff that makes pot so dangerous and addictive that it has to be classified as Schedule I). And Marinol, strangely enough, is Schedule III—even though no pot plant in the history of marijuana has tested at 100 percent THC. (Even the strongest pot these days clocks in at under 40 percent.)

    So my basic question goes unanswered, though the FDA representative does grant me an open invitation to check out the agency’s website—anytime I please!

    My inquiry at the Justice Department yields similar results: “Hi Harmon—DOJ’s enforcement policy on marijuana is in the attached. Thanks.”

    My attempt at securing a comment from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals—which threw out the ASA’s appeal on its rescheduling petition—doesn’t go much better: “I’m sorry. I don’t know the answer to your question. I am sure there must be subject matter experts out there who would know.… Good luck!”

    Down and Down the Rabbit Hole…

    At the heart of the approval process is the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Ironically—or maybe not—the organization is funded by the federal government. Catch-22: for the DEA to reschedule marijuana, scientific studies authorized by NIDA have to prove its medical benefits. This is basically like putting the mice in charge of the mousey snacks. In his now-famous about-face on medical marijuana, Dr. Sanjay Gupta pointed out how many of NIDA’s studies are actually designed to find detrimental effects—with only about 6 percent, he estimates, looking into medical benefits. The end result of NIDA’s efforts: the almost-complete suppression of research into the therapeutic value of marijuana.

    “Will Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s statement have any impact on rescheduling medical marijuana?” I ask the NIDA rep.

    NIDA’s response: “The best resource for questions about rescheduling is the Drug Enforcement Administration.” (A phone number is provided.)

    Reaching deep into my citizen-journalist’s bag of tricks, I try a more straightforward approach: “What would it take to have medical marijuana rescheduled? Clearly we’re at a crossroads where public opinion is changing, yet the federal government doesn’t want to change its stance. Is it left to further scientific studies or any other factors?”

    The Nation is facing a crippling postal rate hike—donate by October 31 to help us foot this $120,272 bill.

    “You’ll need to contact the DEA for questions about rescheduling.”

    And so I’m back at square one. It turns out that getting an answer from the federal government on rescheduling marijuana is a lot like contacting the local Scientology center and asking them to go on record about the planet Xenu. In the meantime, the Supreme Court recently declined to hear ASA’s appeal on its rescheduling petition—the one that the DEA waited nine years to reject, and that the DC Circuit Court turned down on appeal, declaring that only Congress has the power to amend the Controlled Substances Act.

    If the federal government is determined to maintain marijuana as a highly illegal Schedule 1 substance—despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary and an ongoing sea change in public opinion—then perhaps its best ploy at this point would be to sit on its hands and do absolutely nothing.

    Mission accomplished.

    Also In This Issue

    Katrina vanden Heuvel: “Why Its Always Been Time to Legalize Marijuana

    Mike Riggs: “Obama’s War on Pot

    Carl L. Hart: “Pot Reform’s Race Problem

    Harry Levine: “The Scandal of Racist Marijuana Possession Arrests—and Why We Must Stop Them

    Martin A. Lee: “Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom: The Populist Politics of Cannabis Reform

    Martin A. Lee: “The Marijuana Miracle: Why a Single Compound in Cannabis May Revolutionize Modern Medicine

    Kristen Gwynne: “Can Medical Marijuana Survive in Washington State?

    Atossa Araxia Abrahamian: “Baking Bad: A Potted History of High Times

    Various Contributors: “The Drug War Touched My Life: Why I’m Fighting Back

    And only online…

    J. Hoberman: “The Cineaste’s Guide to Watching Movies While Stoned

    Seth Zuckerman: “Is Pot-Growing Bad for the Environment?

    Harmon Leon

    October 30, 2013

    CONTINUE READING…

    Expendable People: Economics, a “Murderous Science”


    By John Kozy

    Global Research, October 29, 2013

    The English who settled America brought English culture with them. The colonies were nothing but little Englands. When the colonists revolted, they were merely trying to get free of the tyrannical English monarchy, not trying to change the culture. They were perfectly happy with the English way of life. They carried on its practices and adopted the English system of common law.

    That sixteenth century culture is alive and well in America today and is why America is in many respects a backward nation. Americans are living 500 years behind the times.

    One would like to believe that human institutions exist to enhance the lives of people, but there is very little evidence to support that view. If enhancing the lives of people is not the purpose of human institutions, what is? The American Constitution lists six goals the founders expected the nation to accomplish:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to (1) form a more perfect Union, (2) establish Justice, (3) insure domestic Tranquility, (4) provide for the common defence, (5) promote the general Welfare, and (6) secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Unfortunately, no American government has ever tried to govern in a way that seeks to attain these goals. So the American government is either an unconstitutional, failed state or else the framers of the Constitution must be thought of as having engaged in unrealistic political propaganda. At any rate, the American government is not what the Constitution makes it out to be. The question is why? The answer is the stupid political economy!

    The English who settled America brought English culture with them. The colonies were nothing but little Englands. When the colonists revolted, they were merely trying to get free of the tyrannical English monarchy, not trying to change the culture. They were perfectly happy with the English way of strife. They carried on its practices and adopted the English system of common law.

    That sixteenth century culture is alive and well in America today and is why America is in many respects a backward nation. Americans are living 500 years behind the times.

    The English were engaged in economic activities for hundreds of years before Adam Smith published his An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nation; all he did was provide English merchants with a rationalization for what they had always done and wanted to do more of. Laissez-faire (let [them] do), to them, meant the ability to engage in economic practices without being subjected to governmental restrictions and tariffs. Then, like today, merchants wanted the freedom to profiteer by buying cheap and selling dear. Merchants, then or now, have had little interest in abstruse economic theory unless its models promise greater profit.

    But buying cheap and selling dear applies to labor as well as materials, and the classical economists provide a rationalization for that maxim too. The subsistence theory of wages, advanced by classical economists, holds that the market price of labour always tends toward the minimum required for subsistence (that is, for basic needs such as food and shelter). Even Alfred Marshall, America’s first modern economist, was of the opinion that wages in the long run would tend to equal maintenance and reproduction costs. So when the Republican party seeks to eliminate regulations and keep the minimum wage low, they are acting just like sixteenth century English merchants and their boot-licking economists. Merchants become sheep dogs that herd human sheep, and our economists think nothing of it. They have adopted the British way of strife totally.

    Although this impoverishment of labor is bad enough, in a globalized economy it is devastating. The classical economists held that a subsistence wage had to be high enough to enable the workforce to reproduce itself in order to maintain a labor supply; in a globalized economy, the workforce needed exists in underdeveloped countries. A domestic workforce is entirely unnecessary, so there is no need to even grant it subsistence wages or any other humane benefit. From a merchants’/economists’ point of view, domestic labor becomes expendable. Why pay it anything at all?

    What a lovely world our economists advocate! Economics is not merely a dismal science, it is a murderous one.

    Merchants and economists constitute a class of totally inhumane human beings. (Isn’t inhumane human a contradiction?) It seems as though two entirely different races have intermingled—the human race and an inhumane one. In the words of Pope Francis,

    “A savage capitalism has taught the logic of profit at any cost . . . of exploitation without thinking of people.”

    What kind of person would support this economy? Although they may revel in their fortunes and often act and speak like the rest of us, they are not like us. They are evil to the marrow of their bones. Logically, the inhumane are either not human or deranged.

    One such person is Arnaud Costinot, an MIT economist, who uses the doctrine of comparative advantage to justify globalization. He is said to hold this:

    “Ricardo thought that instead of trying to produce a wide range of goods, countries could grow by specializing in the goods they could produce most cheaply, and then trading those goods with other countries. This made sense, Ricardo claimed, even when a country could make multiple products more cheaply, in absolute terms, than other countries.

    How? Suppose, Ricardo posited, that England produces cloth more cheaply than wine, while Portugal produces wine more cheaply than cloth. And suppose Portugal produces both products more cheaply than England does. Both countries could still benefit from trading in equal terms: England could specialize in making cloth, and trade that for wine. But Portugal could specialize in making wine, and trade that for England’s cloth — which would be the cheapest way to acquire cloth, even if Portugal’s own cloth was cheaper to make than England’s.”

    Only thing is, Ricardo never wrote any such thing, and to describe what he wrote in this way is intellectual dishonesty at its worst. Ricardo never uses the word “cheaply.” He uses “the number of man hours needed to produce one unit of cloth or wine,” ‘Man hours worked’ is not a wage or a value of currency. The production may not be cheap. By deliberately misstating what Ricardo writes, economists advocate the exploitation and impoverishment of workers and ultimately their destruction—a truly evil and inhumane goal.

    This is the only explanation for the right wing’s war on the poor. Beasts of burden are disposed of when they have lost their usefulness, so destroying the middle class is not to be lamented. When the labor of underdeveloped countries became available to manufacturers, the American middle class became expendable. That is the American Republican party’s goal. It seeks to shrink the size of government by eliminating the people who need to be taken care of.

    Economists want us to believe that free trade makes everyone richer, but experience teaches us otherwise.

    The Internet is replete with articles both pro and con, but the attitudes of people to offshoring is quite consistent. The peoples in underdeveloped nations involved in making products for the West chafe at the extent of the exploitation. Whether in Latin America, Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Czech Republic, or Poland exploited labor is never described as prosperous. Neither has prosperity blessed America’s laborers. Exploitation and prosperity are alien concepts. The exploited are never prosperous and the prosperous are never exploited. No nation can boast of its prosperity gotten by offshoring. The empirical evidence gotten anecdotally is better than the dubious statistical evidence cited by economists (see The Real Cost of Offshoring.) India’s laborers are not getting rich working for American companies. NAFTA has not brought prosperity to Mexican or American workers. A low-wage job is not a gainful (prosperous) one. Marx asked workers of the world to unite; Western corporate leaders tell them to be damned. Any economist who does not see what is happening is intellectually blind. Or perhaps, just plain evil.

    In The Story so Far, the Economist put it this way:

    ONCE UPON A time the rich world’s manufacturing firms largely produced in the rich world for the rich world, and most services were produced close to where they were consumed. Then Western firms started sending manufacturing work abroad on a large scale. By the 1980s this was well established. The movement was overwhelmingly in one direction: away from rich countries to places where workers with adequate skills were much cheaper.

    Whether openly stated or not, lower labour costs were almost always the chief rationale.

    To corporations, workers are likened to beasts of burden and the economic elite who advocate this economic practice are then likened to vicious dogs. What a wonderful world! It will not change until the welfare of mankind, rather than profit, becomes the goal of political-economy. If the human race is to survive, the welfare of human beings must be the goal of human institutions.

    John Kozy is a retired professor of philosophy and logic who writes on social, political, and economic issues. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he spent 20 years as a university professor and another 20 years working as a writer. He has published a textbook in formal logic commercially, in academic journals and a small number of commercial magazines, and has written a number of guest editorials for newspapers. His on-line pieces can be found on http://www.jkozy.com/ and he can be emailed from that site’s homepage.

    Ferry shuttles commuters, and a few Asian carp, from Illinois to Kentucky


    captain

     

    October 19, 2013 8:00 pm  •  By JOE GISONDI – For the Herald & Review

    (0) Comments

    EDITOR’S NOTE: Joe Gisondi and Brian Poulter, journalism professors at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, traveled Illinois 1 this summer and recorded their journey. For our purposes, their journey started in Danville, but the six-part series will cover the length of the road from its origin near Cave in Rock and its end at the south side of Chicago. On the Illinois 1 project, under a grant from Verizon, Poulter used an iPhone 5 and a Nokia Lumia 928 cellphone.

    CAVE-IN-ROCK — Chris Berton was more concerned about the blood stains than anything.

    Blood, Berton said, is difficult to clean off a deck on this ferry, now churning the three-quarter mile expanse across the Ohio River back toward Illinois.

    So Berton tossed the body into the green, sediment-rich waters, where the carcass would either decompose, or, more likely, float along the river until it wedged against an embankment or among some weeds, a possible dinner for a raccoon or turtle.

    Fortunately, Berton did not get hurt this morning by the 15-pound Asian silver carp that leaped more than 10 feet over the Loni Jo, the 350-horsepower diesel tug that powers this ferry across the river between Cave-In-Rock, where Illinois 1 ends (or begins, depending on your perspective) and Kentucky State Road 91. Like most silver carp, the fish bounced and tap danced across the deck in rapid-fire gyrations before leaving several red splotches on the crimson deck.

    Berton, the boat’s deckhand, has been hit several times by these fish, which can grow to 70 pounds, although state biologists say they encounter very few heavier than 30. But even at that weight, Berton says, they pack a lot of power, making him feel as though he’d been smacked with a Louisville Slugger.

    Berton looks like he can take a hit, though. He has wide shoulders and strong forearms, probably strengthened from hooking ropes around the metal cleats to connect the ferry to the tug each time it docks on either side as well as from scrubbing elements such as fish blood and scales from the deck. He walks among the cars he navigated onto the ferry’s three lanes in white New Balance sneakers, saying that arranging cars on board is sort of like playing Tetris, the tile-matching puzzle video game. Chris wears an untucked tan shirt that falls over a slightly growing waist and brown pants, a camouflage-green ball cap, and reflective sunglasses, certainly a necessity when riding over the river for at least eight hours a day.

    Several silver carp jump aboard each day, usually when the tug turns around before heading across the river with a new load of cars, trucks and semitrucks. On departure, the tug floats away from shore for a few seconds before Captain Jim Littrell turns on the engine and redirects the boat, pivoting in sort of a three-point turn. The rumbling engine often startles the carp, which begin their wild, airborne dance.

    Berton has seen several impressive acrobatics from these fish. He grabs a yellow bucket of water and a brush broom to scrub away the blood before it bakes into the paint. These silver carp, he says, have leaped high enough to fly through open car windows, landing on drivers’ laps. They’ve also jumped out of the water so explosively that they have dented car doors and hoods, and one carp even reached a car on top of a semi’s flat bed. It’s the ones that clandestinely flop inside the engine room that worry Berton the most. “If they sit there long enough,” he said, “they can really stink up the place.”

    It’s not clear why silver carp react in this manner, unlike their cousin, the bighead carp, although state biologists like Kevin Irons believe this is a survival instinct. “By doing this, they confuse predators,” says Irons, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ aquatic nuisance species program manager, “and, hopefully, they won’t get eaten.”

    Conversely, the larger bighead carp, which frequently grow to 70-plus pounds, say fisheries ex-perts, dive down when threatened.

    “It’s just a flight mechanism,” says Paul Rister, a biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.

    These carp were originally brought over to the United States from China to help control algae in catfish ponds, primarily in Arkansas. Over the years, the fish escaped, spawned and moved out across the region’s main waterways. Now, they far outnumber native species in the Illinois, Mis-souri and parts of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers — as much as 70 percent in some areas, says Irons.

    These carp can eat 20 percent of the body weight each day, produce 700,000 eggs a year, and within a few months are too large for predator fish. As a result, they are eating so much plankton that other species, like shad and cuttlefish, are getting starved out, Irons said.

    “We haven’t lost a species yet,” Irons says, “but the native species are not doing as well. The in-vasive process is not over. I’m sure they’re (bighead and silver carp) still reaching out to other watersheds.”

    Rister recently watched 100 to 150 silver carp leap in the air almost instantaneously while he drove his boat through a large school on Lake Barkley, a 58,000-mile reservoir located about 60 miles south of Cave-In-Rock in the Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. Like Berton, Rister has been hit a few times, which he says is something that “definitely gets your attention.” He says he’s also heard of leaping silver carp breaking one woman’s jaw and bruising the ribs of oth-ers.

    Clearly, Brian Poulter and I should carefully scan the water for emerging, flying objects each time we depart these docks on this early August morning, although at six-feet-five, Brian remains both a larger target and a shield. So, I have little to fear, unlike the thousands of people who regu-larly drive boats, fish, and water ski among these large, skittish missiles.

    JOSH FANN digs through the rubble of a demolished bank building on a ridge that overlooks the ferry crossing, his blue-and-white Ford Motor Co. ballcap pulled down far over a face that belies his youth. He’s no more than 18, wearing a cut-off gray T-shirt, jeans with a large, torn hole in his right knee, and brown boots. At noon, Josh is worn from bending, picking and stacking unbroken bricks worth reusing by his employer, a local construction company. The back-breaking work and sun are clearly sapping his youthful energy. He’s one of four people on this crew, whose mission is to collect and recycle 6,000 bricks. So far today, they’ve stacked several palettes four to five layers high. But piles of bricks still cover this lot.

    Little else is going on at Cave-In-Rock on a Friday afternoon, besides folks filtering into Rose’s Kountry Kitchen around the corner, walking into the newly constructed Area Bank next door, or driving another 200 yards down a declining Illinois 1 to the ferry ramp. The city hall building across the street is empty, as are most of the structures in a town that is tiny both in size at 0.43 square miles and in population with about 318 residents.

    CONTINUE READING….

    "I don’t want to fucking give this United States government one fucking dollar of taxes…" — Jack Herer, "The Emperor of Hemp", September 12th, 2009


    Rev. Mary Spears explains the legalization vs. repeal initiatives and why REPEAL is the only way to proceed.

     

    “I don’t want to fucking give this United States
    government one fucking dollar of taxes…”
    Jack Herer, “The Emperor of Hemp”, September 12th, 2009
    (Portland Hempstalk Festival–his final speech.)
    http://overgrow.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-fallacy-of-the-legalize-and-tax-cannabis-initiatives

     

    By ElectroPig Von Fökkengrüüven in Overgrow The World v2.0

    The Fallacy of the “Legalize and Tax Cannabis” initiatives.

    Overgrow The World

    April 21, 2010

    I have listened and understood the words of the late Jack Herer, and I am amazed how few people who say they believe in what Jack was saying truly understand the real reasons why he so horrified at the idea of creating new cannabis taxes. Let me explain quickly: THEY ARE NOT NEEDED AT ALL! As a matter of fact, nothing could be further from the truth!

    Now I’m sure that many of you don’t believe me. If that is the case, then you also didn’t understand what Jack meant, or perhaps you simply weren’t paying attention, choosing to hear what you agreed with and ignoring what you didn’t understand, or simply weren’t interested in.

    The first “ignored fact” is that the vast majority of the “illicit market” for cannabis is underground, hence, completely untaxed. There is a small fallacy to this statement, however, as even those “underground economies” still purchase their supplies, tools and equipment from “legitimate businesses” and those businesses all pay taxes of one form or another. Cannabis growers order pizza, buy gas, hire electricians and plumbers, et cetera. In this admittedly roundabout way, cannabis already is taxed, albeit to a very small degreee in comparison to the total size of the market as it stands, and to the potential which is known to exist.

    Let’s say that cannabis/hemp were re-legalized prohibition was repealed today, and it was done so without the creation of any new tax codes specifically for cannabis. Most think that this would be a bad thing, as it wouldn’t be “exploiting the market” without creating new tax codes, new agencies, new enforcement regimes. Unfortunately, the people who believe that have been lied to, and it’s time that they learned the truth.

    In actual fact, if cannabis were re-legalized prohibition was repealed today and taxes weren’t considered in the equation in any way, it would still be beneficial to society in terms of savings alone. We’d save money on policing, of which estimates range that between 40-60% of all police costs are directly due to “drug prohibition.” Logic follows that with police not bogged down with grandmothers taking a puff to slow their glaucoma, they would then be able to concentrate their resources on combating real crimes. Things like rape, murder, fraud, home invasion and theft, assault and battery, arson, financial crimes, environmental crimes (of which cannabis/hemp prohibition is one of the leading causes, in fact), and many more REAL crimes with REAL victims.

    Taken a step further, lawyers would then be freed up to work on real crimes as well. So would prosecutors. So would judges, court stenographers, prison staff and more. WIthout locking away non-violent “criminals” who have harmed noone else–and this is the scary part for corporations–the “warehousing of otherwise productive humans for profit” would suddenly become far less profitable for the prison-industrial complex to continue, and prohibitionary statute development might begin to fade. With less “legal reasons” to imprison people for essentially minding their own business, more people would not have the lives and futures destroyed.

    So let’s say that there were no new taxes created upon re-legalization of cannabis/hemp, and we ONLY consider the tens or hundreds of billions SAVED by no longer wasting time attacking people in their homes for posession or for growing a few plants for their own consumption. Are not those billions of dollars saved a tremendous enough benefit to justify the immediate repeal of cannabis/hemp prohibition? Could saving those billions of dollars not be immediately transferred into lower taxes, or public debt reduction? Would those savings alone not be of tremendous, immediate and long-term social value?

    Now let’s consider the tax idea on it’s own merit.

    With re-legalization repeal of cannabis/hemp prohibition, there would immediately follow the creation of new businesses to exploit what is widely known to be a global market for cannaibs and hemp products. Each of those businesses would be subject to business income taxes that currently do not exist. WIthout a single character added to business tax statutes, the net result would be the establishment of “new revenue” from those “new businesses.”

    Of course, those businesses would need people to man storefronts, deliver products, develop products, design packaging, grow the raw materials, process the raw materials, et cetera. These jobs would all be legitimate jobs in the real job market. Each of those jobs would be subject to existing income tax statutes. It’s not hard to see how those “new jobs” would in turn be utilized as “new tax revenue sources” which previously did not exist. Again, without a single line of new codes written, a brand new revenue stream has been obtained.

    Each of those new employees and businesses would need supplies, equipment, computers, energy sources, and services. All of those businesses and individuals would then use their incomes to purchase those items or services they needed, either to operate or enhance their businesses, or simply to make their lives at home a little better. All of those products would be purchased at existing retailers and/or wholesalers that exist in the current “legitimate marketplace.” All (or the vast majority) of those purchases would be subject to sales taxes at state/provincial and federal levels. Again, not a single comma added to the existing statutes required, but “new revenue” has effectively been attained.

    Now let’s take the cannabis market ITSELF.

    All of those newly created and legitimate businesses would provide products that people either wanted or needed, be they for medical purposes or for recreational uses. All of those products would then be subject to state/provincial and federal sales taxes. With each sale would then come “new revenues” which do not exist today. Again–are you starting to notice a pattern yet?–without the addition of a single line of code to any existing tax codes.

    The Fallacy of “New Government Regulatory Jobs”

    People keep being told that “new jobs” will be created in the “new regulatory framework” that “will be needed”, but they haven’t thought this through. Some have partly thought it through, thinking that since a percentage of those worker’s incomes will be clawed back by income taxes–say 25%–that means that those jobs are “cheaper” than “real jobs”. That’s actually not quite right.

    When you look the “real economy”, or in other words, the economy from which all government income is derived via the millions of tax codes which exist to take our incomes from us all, any position in this “real economy” is one which is subject to taxation, and therefore, is generally to be considered a contributing position.

    On the other hand, when you look at “government jobs” which are wholly funded by “real people” with “real jobs” in the “real economy”, every government position which exists–no matter what country or what level of government–is a drain on society, and must be so, as “we hired them to work for us.”

    Now let’s take a simple example that we’ve all heard a million times: “Joe The Plumber.”

    If Joe was working in his own shop, or for someone else in their business, he would be a contributing factor in the “real economy” in the amount of taxation on his income, we’ll use 25% for illustration purposes. This means that 25% of his income is diverted to “public employees and projects” needed for society to function as it currently exists.

    Now let’s take Joe’s situation if he were a government employee…let’s say he’s employed by the local Public Utilities Comission. Now Joe’s income is wholly funded by tax dollars, and thus, is a drain on society. We’ve established an income tax rate of 25%, so we can now say that Joe is “cheaper” because now his services now only costs us 75% of what they would, had he remained in his private sector job.

    Here is the “minor error” in that logic: Joe has moved from the “real economy” to the “government economy”. In making that move, the “real economy” has lost 100% of a “real job”, while the government has gained an employee “at a discount of only 75% of their private sector wages.” When you add that up, you see quite clearly that Joe’s “new job” is effectively now a 175% loss to society as a whole.

    Joe’s still making the same amount of money. We’re still paying him the same amount of money when he does his work…but now he is NOT contributing to the “real economy” at all, while he is draining 75% of his wages from unnaportioned taxation of the people who are forced to pay his salary, whether they partake of his services or not.

    Unfortunately, this also applies to every “equivalent government position” that exists in the world. Accountants cost 175% of what they would cost in the “real economy.” So do welders, secretaries, cafeteria cooks, lawyers…ALL of them! If they work for the government, they are at a much higher cost than their equivalent “real world” positions in the real economy.

    We need to keep this in mind whenever we hear talk of ” new regulations” because that almost always means “new regulatory bodies”, and that DEFINITELY always means “new government employees” which are going to cost us dearly if we allow such things to occur.

    If we are forced to accept some form of taxation in order to move closer to the full repeal of cannabis/hemp prohibition, so be it…let’s move a little closer…but the second we have a positive change under our belts, we must NOT become complacent! We must continue to fight for the full repeal of cannabis/hemp prohibition until the batttle is decisively won.

    Once we have some “half-assed reasonable legislation” in place, we can guage what are the worst parts of those enacted bills and target them one by one until they’re all gone, and then, we will have our ofn freedom, and freedom for what is arguably the most important plant known on this planet.

    At the Hempstalk Festival, during Jack Herer’s final public speech, he said (among other things):

    “I don’t want to fucking give this United States government one fucking dollar of taxes…”

    Obviously, he understood my thinking…or perhaps, I simply learned enough to come to an understanding of his.

    What about you?

    EDIT:  I have since come up with the complete solution to the perils of prohibition in THREE WORDS:

    1) DESCHEDULE.
    2) REPEAL.
    3) DONE!!!

    If you remember only three words in your lifetime, THOSE are the ones that WILL end cannabis/hemp prohibition.

    If we continue to be led by propagandists and prohibitionists into accepting ever-longer-names for prohibition, while believing we are “moving closer to freedom”, we’ll never get there…it’ll just keep getting more complex, more costly, and more damaging to society as a whole…as it has for decades already.

    If we allow our politicians to “reschedule” cannabis, this COULD mean an outright statutory BAN on ALL cannabis use, medicinal or otherwise, for the length of time it would take “to conduct safety studies.”  We already know that if they keep finding proof cannabis is non-toxic, anti-oxidant, neuroprotectant, et cetera, we also already know that these “safety studies” will be completed in an absolute minimum of 4-6 years, to an absolute maximum of…NEVER!

    “Decriminalization” is NOT repeal.  It’s still illegal.

    “Legalization” simply tells the politicians and courts that we believe the fix to bad legislation conveived of in fraud can only be fixed not by deleting it from the recored entirely, but by making it more complex…but keeping it all on the books for future “quick-n-easy” readoption when prison investors want higher revenues to do their profit-taking from.

    “Re-legalization” is just two letters prepended to the above.

    “Tax and regulate” tells OUR EMPLOYEES that “we owe them new taxes for not wasting our money attacking us.”  If we keep buying into the scam, they’ll get it, too!

    “Regulate like [insert commodity of the hour here]” is just another way to justify the creation of a new regulatory body, hire new “government employees”, raise taxes, lower rights and freedoms, all while telling the wilfully ignorant population that “they are free.”  They ain’t.  They won’t be.

    “REPEAL” means:  The statutes are GONE.  Deleted.  History.  Erased.  Terminated.  Removed from the “law” journals.  NEVER TO RETURN.

    The ridiculous proposition that “if we want it legal again, we have to create new taxes” is also a prime example of idiotic propaganda foisted upon a wilfully ignorant population.  Only two seconds of thought tells you the truth of the situation…we do NOT need to “appease our employees” when we finally force them to stop wasting our money.  Not wasting all those billions of dollars every year should be, and IS, reward enough to everyone all on it’s own!

    When we find out we’ve got a crooked mechanic who’s bee charging us for spark plug changes on every visit that we didn’t really need, and were nothing more than a waste of OUR money…we don’t praise them and give them permanent bonuses, do we?  So where did the idea come from, that in order for our employees to simply do their job with a litle more brainpower behind their actions, that we need to give them more money and hire more people?  Reality has to sink in eventually, folks!  Even through the infinitely thick skulls of “politicians.”  They might be as dense as the core of a neutron star, but they still have ear holes!  SO START SPEAKING UP!!!

    Either we DEMAND the full repeal of prohibition, or we will continue on with it forever, just with a different name, and higher taxes…and let’s face it, folks:  OUR EMPLOYEES will be completely happy to rename what they’re doing to us and call it whatever we want to call it, if we’re dumb enough to allow it to continue.  Are we really so blind as to STILL not see the truth for what it is?

    Want it over?  MAKE it over!

    1) DESCHEDULE.
    2) REPEAL.
    3) DONE!!!

    It really is just as simple as that.

    * That solves prohibition on a national level…we still need to remove cannabis/hemp from the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in order to end prohibition GLOBALLY.

    Views: 3521

    Tags: Herer, Jack, PROHIBITION, REPEAL, Rick, Simpson, cannabis, freedom, health, human, More…

     

    By ElectroPig Von Fökkengrüüven in Overgrow The World v2.0

    The Fallacy of the “Legalize and Tax Cannabis” initiatives.

    Overgrow The World

    April 21, 2010

     

    Jack Herer’s last speech at Portland Hempstalk Festival 2009–HIS FINAL SPEECH BEFORE HE DIED…MAY HE NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!

     

    MY PERSONAL COMMENT:  SOMETIMES (MOST OFTEN) OLD NEWS IS THE BEST NEWS – SMK.

    Anger swells after NSA phone records collection revelations


    outrage

     

    Senior politicians reveal that US counter-terrorism efforts have swept up personal data from American citizens for years


    NSA taps in to internet giants’ systems to mine user data, secret files reveal

     

    The scale of America’s surveillance state was laid bare on Thursday as senior politicians revealed that the US counter-terrorism effort had swept up swaths of personal data from the phone calls of millions of citizens for years.

    After the revelation by the Guardian of a sweeping secret court order that authorised the FBI to seize all call records from a subsidiary of Verizon, the Obama administration sought to defuse mounting anger over what critics described as the broadest surveillance ruling ever issued.

    A White House spokesman said that laws governing such orders “are something that have been in place for a number of years now” and were vital for protecting national security. Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, said the Verizon court order had been in place for seven years. “People want the homeland kept safe,” Feinstein said.

    But as the implications of the blanket approval for obtaining phone data reverberated around Washington and beyond, anger grew among other politicians.

    Intelligence committee member Mark Udall, who has previously warned in broad terms about the scale of government snooping, said: “This sort of widescale surveillance should concern all of us and is the kind of government overreach I’ve said Americans would find shocking.” Former vice-president Al Gore described the “secret blanket surveillance” as “obscenely outrageous”.

    The Verizon order was made under the provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa) as amended by the Patriot Act of 2001, passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. But one of the authors of the Patriot Act, Republican congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, said he was troubled by the Guardian revelations. He said that he had written to the attorney general, Eric Holder, questioning whether “US constitutional rights were secure”.

    He said: “I do not believe the broadly drafted Fisa order is consistent with the requirements of the Patriot Act. Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American.”

    The White House sought to defend what it called “a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats”. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Fisa orders were used to “support important and highly sensitive intelligence collection operations” on which members of Congress were fully briefed.

    “The intelligence community is conducting court-authorized intelligence activities pursuant to a public statute with the knowledge and oversight of Congress and the intelligence community in both houses of Congress,” Earnest said.

    He pointed out that the order only relates to the so-called metadata surrounding phone calls rather than the content of the calls themselves. “The order reprinted overnight does not allow the government to listen in on anyone’s telephone calls,” Earnest said.

    “The information acquired does not include the content of any communications or the name of any subscriber. It relates exclusively to call details, such as a telephone number or the length of a telephone call.”

    But such metadata can provide authorities with vast knowledge about a caller’s identity. Particularly when cross-checked against other public records, the metadata can reveal someone’s name, address, driver’s licence, credit history, social security number and more. Government analysts would be able to work out whether the relationship between two people was ongoing, occasional or a one-off.

    The disclosure has reignited longstanding debates in the US over the proper extent of the government’s domestic spying powers.

    Ron Wyden of Oregon, a member of the Senate intelligence committee who, along with Udell, has expressed concern about the extent of US government surveillance, warned of “sweeping, dragnet surveillance”. He said: “I am barred by Senate rules from commenting on some of the details at this time, However, I believe that when law-abiding Americans call their friends, who they call, when they call, and where they call from is private information.

    “Collecting this data about every single phone call that every American makes every day would be a massive invasion of Americans’ privacy.”

    ‘Beyond Orwellian’

    Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union, said: “From a civil liberties perspective, the program could hardly be any more alarming. It’s a program in which some untold number of innocent people have been put under the constant surveillance of government agents.

    “It is beyond Orwellian, and it provides further evidence of the extent to which basic democratic rights are being surrendered in secret to the demands of unaccountable intelligence agencies.”

    Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice under President Obama.

    The order names Verizon Business Services, a division of Verizon Communications. In its first-quarter earnings report, published in April, Verizon Communications listed about 10 million commercial lines out of a total of 121 million customers. The court order, which lasts for three months from 25 April, does not specify what type of lines are being tracked. It is not clear whether any additional orders exist to cover Verizon’s wireless and residential customers, or those of other phone carriers.

    Fisa court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific, named target suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets. The unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is extremely unusual.

    Senators Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, and Saxby Chambliss, the vice chairman, speak to reporters about the NSA cull of phone records.

    Senators Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, and Saxby Chambliss, the vice chairman, speak to reporters about the NSA cull of phone records. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

    Feinstein said she believed the order had been in place for some time. She said: “As far as I know this is the exact three-month renewal of what has been the case for the past seven years. This renewal is carried out by the [foreign intelligence surveillance] court under the business records section of the Patriot Act. Therefore it is lawful. It has been briefed to Congress.”

    The Center for Constitutional Rights said in a statement that the secret court order was unprecedented. “As far as we know this order from the Fisa court is the broadest surveillance order to ever have been issued: it requires no level of suspicion and applies to all Verizon [business services] subscribers anywhere in the US.

    “The Patriot Act’s incredibly broad surveillance provision purportedly authorizes an order of this sort, though its constitutionality is in question and several senators have complained about it.”

    Russell Tice, a retired National Security Agency intelligence analyst and whistleblower, said: “What is going on is much larger and more systemic than anything anyone has ever suspected or imagined.”

    Although an anonymous senior Obama administration official said that “on its face” the court order revealed by the Guardian did not authorise the government to listen in on people’s phone calls, Tice now believes the NSA has constructed such a capability.

    “I figured it would probably be about 2015″ before the NSA had “the computer capacity … to collect all digital communications word for word,” Tice said. “But I think I’m wrong. I think they have it right now.”

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    Official White House Response to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol


     

     

    Official White House Response to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol. and 7 other petitions

    What We Have to Say About Legalizing Marijuana

    By Gil Kerlikowske

    When the President took office, he directed all of his policymakers to develop policies based on science and research, not ideology or politics. So our concern about marijuana is based on what the science tells us about the drug’s effects.

    According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health- the world’s largest source of drug abuse research – marijuana use is associated with addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment. We know from an array of treatment admission information and Federal data that marijuana use is a significant source for voluntary drug treatment admissions and visits to emergency rooms. Studies also reveal that marijuana potency has almost tripled over the past 20 years, raising serious concerns about what this means for public health – especially among young people who use the drug because research shows their brains continue to develop well into their 20’s. Simply put, it is not a benign drug.

    Like many, we are interested in the potential marijuana may have in providing relief to individuals diagnosed with certain serious illnesses. That is why we ardently support ongoing research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine. To date, however, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.

    As a former police chief, I recognize we are not going to arrest our way out of the problem. We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use.

    That is why the President’s National Drug Control Strategy is balanced and comprehensive, emphasizing prevention and treatment while at the same time supporting innovative law enforcement efforts that protect public safety and disrupt the supply of drugs entering our communities. Preventing drug use is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences in America. And, as we’ve seen in our work through community coalitions across the country, this approach works in making communities healthier and safer. We’re also focused on expanding access to drug treatment for addicts. Treatment works. In fact, millions of Americans are in successful recovery for drug and alcoholism today. And through our work with innovative drug courts across the Nation, we are improving our criminal justice system to divert non-violent offenders into treatment.

    Our commitment to a balanced approach to drug control is real. This last fiscal year alone, the Federal Government spent over $10 billion on drug education and treatment programs compared to just over $9 billion on drug related law enforcement in the U.S.

    Thank you for making your voice heard. I encourage you to take a moment to read about the President’s approach to drug control to learn more.

    Resources:

    Gil Kerlikowske is Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

    Law Enforcement, Narcotics, Anti-corruption: Combating Impunity and Exposing Illicit Wealth: Towards an APEC Network on Prosecuting Bribery and Corruption and Tracking Illicit Financial Flows (Dirty Money)‏


    Law Enforcement, Narcotics, Anti-corruption: Combating Impunity and Exposing Illicit Wealth: Towards an APEC Network on Prosecuting Bribery and Corruption and Tracking Illicit Financial Flows (Dirty Money)

    01/29/2013 06:07 AM EST

    Remarks

    David M. Luna
    Director for Anticrime Programs, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

    Jakarta, Indonesia

    January 26, 2013


    Good morning.

    It is a pleasure to be here with you as we begin the new APEC year.

    The United States applauds the leadership of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia as the APEC Host Economy in 2013 and the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) as Chair of this year’s APEC Anticorruption and Transparency (ACT) Working Group.

    Your Excellency, Bambang Widjowanto, KPK Deputy Chairman, as a previous Chair of this very important and influential sub-forum in APEC, let me congratulate you on your appointment as our new ACT Chair and commend your life-long commitment to promoting human rights, advancing the rule of law, and safeguarding integrity in Indonesia.

    The KPK remains a model within APEC on prosecuting high-level corruption cases, including within the police and security agencies, and demonstrating to us all that no official is above the law. The ACT must continue to support the KPK and all of our economies’ anticorruption authorities to eradicate corruption, safeguard integrity and public trust, and restore people’s faith in government as a steward of equality and justice.

    I would also like to thank the Government of the Russian Federation for its leadership last year, and applaud all of the economies here for our collective achievements in 2012. I am confident that we will make great gains this year on developing an APEC regional network of anticorruption authorities that further protects our economies against abuses of power and the plunder of our national assets, human capital, and natural resources.

    In 2013, we must work together to achieve the three core objectives outlined in our ACT five-year strategy: 1) to minimize impunity and kleptocracy by preventing and prosecuting public corruption; 2) to level the playing field for all businesses by fighting foreign bribery; and 3) to shut down the illegal economy and criminalized markets by combating corruption and illicit trade.

    Combating Impunity and Kleptocracy: Enough is Enough!

    No economy is immune from corruption, nor can any economy combat it alone. In addition to effective governance within our own jurisdictions, we must take collective action to improve governance across borders and reconfigure the way we fight corruption with smarter, more holistic strategies and approaches. We must work to prevent the flow of illicit funds, including proceeds of corruption.

    APEC Leaders recognized the ACT work program in the 2012 Vladivostok Declaration on Fighting Corruption. They emphasized their commitment to investigate and prosecute corruption; to enforce our domestic bribery laws and laws criminalizing the bribery of foreign public officials; to fight money laundering and deny safe haven to assets illicitly acquired by individuals engaged in corruption. They also vowed to combat illicit trade by attacking the financial underpinnings of transnational criminal organizations and illicit networks; stripping criminal entrepreneurs and corrupt officials of their illicit wealth; and severing their access to the global financial system.

    The Vladivostok Declaration also renewed and elevated APEC Leaders’ commitment to “enhance public trust by committing to transparent, fair, and accountable governance” to empower communities to monitor government policies and voice their perspectives on the use of resources.

    Voice and accountability can not only help check corruption, but also allow our citizens and communities to take hold of their destinies, enjoy higher standards of living, and trust that their governments exist to do good. Transparent and open governments tend to pursue cost-effective policies; minimize misallocation of resources; and attract investment from companies looking for solid investment environments and opportunities. This is why eight APEC member countries (Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Russia, and the United States) have joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a multi-stakeholder initiative launched in 2011 to promote transparency, enhance accountability, and fight corruption. Indonesia is also a co-chair of the OGP’s Steering Committee this year, and its leadership of both the OGP and the ACT presents an opportunity for us all to further our efforts to enhance public trust and raise standards of living.

    Our Leaders have spoken. They have repeatedly affirmed their will to combat corruption across the Asia Pacific region. We must answer them with a transformative good governance agenda that will anchor economic growth and development from Moscow to Jakarta, from Beijing to Lima, from San Francisco to Sydney, and transform people’s lives across all markets in APEC.

    ACT colleagues, we must act decisively and collectively to implement the five-year strategy. I am confident that we can fulfill our Leaders’ mandate and achieve APEC’s broader agenda to secure open markets, economic prosperity, and the rule of law.

    Fighting All Forms of Bribery

    Continued cooperation with the private sector is a critical component of our efforts to level the playing field for businesses across APEC economies.

    Our recent work with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and other partners has ushered in a new era of cooperation between the public and private sectors. This partnership is enhancing market integrity and forging a more connected, innovative, and dynamic Asia Pacific region that thrives on openness and a rules-based approach to trade and investment.

    We can do more. Building on the APEC Santiago Commitment, the APEC Code of Conduct for Business (Business Integrity and Transparency Principles for the Private Sector), and the Complementary Anti-Corruption Principles for the Public and Private Sectors, we can vigorously enforce domestic bribery laws, including laws criminalizing the bribery of foreign public officials, and fulfill our international obligations. I also hope that we can continue to share experiences and best practices in combating foreign bribery, enlist the private sector as a partner in combating bribery, and provide specialized training to make greater inroads on this important front.

    We can minimize corruption as a significant market and trade barrier and improve the investment climate in our economies by ensuring that we effectively investigate and prosecute corrupt public officials and those who bribe them, in compliance with our respective domestic laws and international obligations, where appropriate, under the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and similar instruments.

    The United States looks forward to working with Indonesia, China, and all economies to support stronger bribery enforcement, prosecutions, and other actions in APEC in 2013-2014.

    Combating Illicit Trade and Shutting Down the Illegal Economy

    Sustainable economic growth also depends on our progress to combat illicit trade and its pernicious impact on the environment and markets.

    Illicit trade and the illegal economy undermine social stability and the welfare of our communities. Illicit enterprises not only distort the legal economy, but they also divert revenue from legitimate market drivers such as businesses and governments. Illicit trade further hampers development by preventing the equitable distribution of public goods. But this goes beyond just economic harm. The illegal economy also incurs a significant negative social cost, and in some cases, devastates vital ecosystems and habitats.

    The dumping of toxic waste contaminates our food and water supplies. Illegal logging and deforestation or poaching exacerbate climate change and undermine our ability in APEC to advance inclusive, green, sustainable development. Poaching and trafficking of endangered wildlife robs economies of their natural assets and their future.

    The corruption that allows counterfeit or ineffective pharmaceuticals to enter our communities endangers public health, denying the sick effective treatment and permitting deadly diseases to mutate and become untreatable.

    The corruption that allows traffickers to move people across borders and exploit them with impunity not only violates individuals’ basic rights and freedoms but also stunts both their and their communities’ economic potential and political development.

    Kleptocracy and the embezzlement of national revenue and assets that are intended to finance the future for our citizens impair the ability of communities to make the investments necessary to stimulate growth. Revenue that could be used to build roads to facilitate commerce, hospitals to save lives, homes to raise and protect families, or schools to educate future leaders and entrepreneurs is instead siphoned away for private gain.

    APEC has a number of tools in its toolkit to combat corruption and illicit trade, and we have an ongoing opportunity to work together to comprehensively and holistically combat corruption, as well as illicit finance more broadly; to foster integrity in global markets and supply chains; and to protect and promote economic growth and shared prosperity.

    Among them is the ACT Multi-Year Project that Thailand and Chile are co-leading on ways to combat money laundering, recover the fruits of corrupt and criminal activity, and track illicit financial flows. As kleptocrats and criminal entrepreneurs continue to hide the proceeds of their crimes in legal structures such as offshore shell companies and foundations and then launder most of that through casinos, financial institutions, or real estate into the global financial system, we must bring them to justice and, where possible, return their illicit wealth back to impacted communities.

    To do this effectively, we must also target more aggressively the financial facilitators and service providers who commit crimes in helping corrupt officials, criminals, and illicit networks inject their dirty money into our financial system.

    The APEC-ASEAN Pathfinder Workshop on Combating Corruption and Illicit Trade that will be held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in June 2013, will advance a dialogue among partners across the Asia Pacific region and strengthen cooperation by creating a network of anticorruption authorities, promoting information and intelligence exchanges, and facilitating cooperation and information sharing in investigations related to corruption and illicit trade and efforts to shut down the illegal economy.

    More broadly, we can and should support the effective implementation of global anti-money laundering standards promulgated by the Financial Action Task Force. Among these are preventive measures that facilitate financial transparency and help prevent the flow of proceeds of corruption.

    Converting Political Will into Action: Regional Networks and Partnerships

    We can build on our APEC anti-corruption and transparency commitments and the collaborative relationships around this table to create a regional network of anti-corruption bodies that would facilitate the sharing of intelligence and information, as well as the sharing of best practices and challenges in effectively tracking cross-border corruption, other crime, and illicit financial flows.

    The United States is more committed than ever to combating corruption and illicit trade, and we look forward to the discussion here in Jakarta.

    Together, we will create a better, more prosperous future by uniting our efforts to combat corruption and support accountability and good governance. We must turn our shared interests into collective action by developing more comprehensive approaches to combating corruption so that we can prosecute corrupt public officials and those who bribe them.

    Again, I wish Indonesia a great and successful year in APEC 2013 and applaud my ACT colleagues for developing and pressing forward on a vibrant course of action to fight corruption and promote integrity—a course that I know will lead us towards economic growth and a stronger foundation to build the new markets and investment frontiers of tomorrow.

    Thank you.

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    Progress Kentucky, Democratic Super PAC, Targets Mitch McConnell For Defeat In 2014


    Posted: 01/29/2013 12:37 pm EST

     

    PROGRESS KENTUCKY IS ON FACEBOOK AT THIS LINK

     

    WASHINGTON – It’s just January 2013, but in the race to oust Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) after nearly three decades in the Senate, one small super PAC is already exploring all options.

    Progress Kentucky, launched in December, was born out of discussions among Democratic activist Shawn Reilly, who now heads the super PAC, and his friends as they debated how to defeat McConnell in 2014.

    “Nobody else is doing it. So let’s start a super PAC and make it a grassroots effort,” Reilly said, recalling the reasoning process. “Make it of the people of Kentucky and for the people of Kentucky.”

    Reilly has a progressive background, having worked for Americans Against Escalation in Iraq in its 2007 summer campaign as well as on a number of statewide and local races in Kentucky. Before starting Progress Kentucky, he was a member of the executive committee of the state Democratic Party.

    His group’s first order of business is to find candidates to take on McConnell from both the Democratic Party in the general election and the Republican Party in a primary challenge. As Politico reported on Monday, Progress Kentucky is in contact with Tea Party groups across the Bluegrass State to try to convince a credible conservative to run against McConnell in the primary. The group has already sent out a petition to 22 candidates — Democrats, Republicans and independents — to see if anyone is willing to challenge the state’s senior senator.

    By actively seeking out candidates, Reilly said, his super PAC is letting them know that they’ll have support if they run. “Hey, if you want to run, you’re going to have some support on the ground here to help you,” he said.

    It may seem strange that a liberal Democratic organization would be working with Tea Party supporters, but Reilly said there are important areas in which the two groups agree.

    “They are just as concerned with [McConnell's] corruption and crony capitalism — some of the things that he’s done over the years in terms of earmarks,” Reilly said. “They are just as much concerned about those things as people on the left are. They’re looking for candidates that can deliver that type of message, and we’re looking at potentially supporting those kind of candidates who can deliver that good-government, anti-corruption type of message.”

    In fact, this would not be the first time that a Democratic group involved itself in a Republican primary campaign with the intent of knocking off the candidate with the better chance of winning the general election.

    Last year, Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, ran ads attacking Missouri businessman John Brunner in the GOP Senate primary because they thought he could have seriously challenged the vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in the general election. At the same time, McCaskill’s campaign ran ads promoting then-Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), the seemingly weakest candidate in the Republican field. Akin went on to win the three-way Republican primary and then fulfill Democratic hopes and dreams by laying waste to his own campaign with bizarre comments about rape.

    In the 2012 Indiana GOP Senate primary, the super PAC American Bridge 21st Century released numerous memos and online videos attacking then-Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) for not paying taxes in the Hoosier State and for residing primarily in Washington, D.C. These efforts, while not central to Lugar’s primary loss to Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock, helped drive negative news against Lugar during the early stages of the race. Mourdock went on to mimic Akin and lose the general election after spouting inappropriate comments about rape.

    But McConnell is not Akin or Mourdock. To pull off something like this, Progress Kentucky is going to need money. So far, it is relying largely on grassroots donations and not on the kind of large contributors that most major super PACs use to fill their coffers. The group has a fundraising target of $100,000 by the end of February and hopes to raise up to $2 million to fund television, field and other voter targeting activities.

    The group has also been in contact with labor unions in Kentucky and helped to roll out a report by the Public Campaign Action Fund, a campaign finance reform group, tying McConnell’s use of the filibuster to particular campaign donors. Those connections could help Progress Kentucky as it takes on the incumbent Republican senator.

    Paul Blumenthal Become a fan

    paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com

    CONTINUE READING…

    Ode to the Hemp


    A PRAYER TO OUR CREATOR

    Richard and his plant

    WE COME TOGETHER TODAY TO PRAISE YOUR ALMIGHTY
    GIFTS TO US…

    YOU HAVE GIVEN US LIGHT FOR WARMTH,
    MEADOWS OF FRESH FLOWERS,
    AND HERBS,TO KEEP UP HEALTHY,
    YOU GAVE US DARK TO SLEEP AND TO REST OUR
    WEARY HEARTS AND MINDS FOR ANOTHER DAY,
    YOU GAVE US BROTHERS AND SISTERS TO LOVE US,
    AND CHILDREN TO CARRY ON OUR NEVER-ENDING
    ENDEAVORS – TO CARRY OUT YOUR WILL ,
    AS WE KNOW WE WILL NEVER ACCOMPLISH
    THIS ALONE.

    YOU GIVE US INTELLIGENCE TO BE ABLE TO
    SEPARATE THE GOOD FROM THE EVIL,
    DEAR FATHER IN HEAVEN,
    GIVE US THIS DAY, OUR DAILY BREAD,
    AND FORGIVE US OUR SINS,
    AS WE FORGIVE ALL OTHERS,

    AND

    GIVE US THE STRENGTH, TO CARRY ON,
    TO RECTIFY THE EVIL THAT TO WHICH WE HAVE
    SUCCUMB,
    TO BRING BACK THE MEADOWS,
    THE FLOWERS AND TREE’S,
    TO CONTINUE TO HEAR THE BIRD’S AND BEE’S!
    BLESS THE HEMP LORD, AND KEEP IT STRONG,
    AND ENABLE US, TO CARRY ON…

    AMEN

    @ShereeKrider

    *Dedicated with Love to Richard J. Rawlings…USMJParty

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