Tag Archive: Louisiana House. Senate Bill 158




New Herbicide Could Kill Weeds, Crops, Monsanto



By Motley Fool

Monsanto (NYSE: MON  ) and Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical (NYSE: DOW  ) , could be facing a serious challenge to their crop chemical development plans. A remarkably nonrabid, diverse coalition of farmers and major food companies is pursuing legal action aimed at forcing the EPA and USDA to analyze potential risks associated with new weed killers in the pipeline. If they prevail, it could spell trouble for our heroes.

The Save Our Crops Coalition, or SOCC, comprises 2,000 farmers and other food interests, including Ball Corp. (NYSE: BLL  ) — maker of those canning jars and other food packaging — and Seneca Foods (Nasdaq: SENEA  ) , maker of Libby’s brand foods. Its members represent both conventional and organic farming interests, and range from specialty growers to major agronomic crop producers. This isn’t your usual band of fringe groups making noise that no one hears. Someone might actually pay attention to them.


Read Full Article Here


Cyber Space

Mobile Malware Incidents on Rise, Says Smartphone Survey

By John E Dunn, techworld.com    Apr 22, 2012 7:00 am

The cost-saving culture of ‘bring your own device’ smartphones is tempting enterprises into taking risks they would not contemplate for conventional computing devices, a survey by Goode Intelligence has suggested.

The Third mSecurity Survey (summary PDF) confirmed that Apple’s iPhone is currently the dominant device, present in 77 percent of in the surveyed businesses, ahead of BlackBerry on 70 percent and the rapidly rising Android on 65 percent.

When asked whether their organisation allowed BYOD smartphone use, 71 percent said they did with 47 percent agreeing that company data was being stored on these devices.

Many of these smartphones were not being managed as secure devices, with fewer than one in five adding anti-malware and only half employing data encryption

Read Full Article Here

Hidden Dangers of CISPA

Want to stop private companies from sharing your personal information with Uncle Sam? Better hope the U.S. Congress doesn’t OK this ill-conceived legislation.

By Dan Tynan, ITworld    Apr 22, 2012 10:19 am

Have you heard of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act? If not, you’re in for a crash course. Leading privacy and civil rights groups have declared last week Stop Cyber Spying Weekin an effort to get the word out about CISPA – yet another meaningless acronym that threatens to redefine the Internet as we know it.

CISPA could be the most important piece of digital legislation since the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. And like the DMCA, which was written to thwart file sharers and DVD rippers but ended up being used to enforce copyrights on garage door openers and shut down blogs critical of corporations, it has at least as much potential for abuse.

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Survival / Sustainability

Eat The Weeds: Episode 01: Why Learn About Wild Foods

Uploaded by on Jan 15, 2008


Eat Green. You can learn how to eat the weeds. Green Deane’s foraging techniques for wild food are usable anywhere. http://www.EatTheWeeds.com. The introduction is edited to fit the time slot.

Are You Ready Series: Storing Medical Supplies To Be Ready

Tess Pennington
Ready Nutrition

Storing medical supplies in the home for a possible disaster could save some one’s life if they need immediate medical assistance.  In the event of a major disaster, such as a hurricane or earthquake, if someone in the home is injured, emergency responders cannot always get to the injured victims in time.  Experts suggest having a well stocked arsenal of  medical supplies in this instance.

Suggested Home Medical Supplies

The idea of having medical supplies in the home is to be prepared for any given situation that could arise.   In the long run, if supplies are adequately organized and ready to go, the person administering medical assistance will have everything in place and be ready to act.  Making an inventory list of everything that is needed for all family members (include children’s needs as well as family members with special needs) as well as items that have already been purchased can help with organizing the supplies for storage.

  • Antacids
  • Anti-diarrheal
  • pain reliever
  • Children’s pain reliever
  • First aid book
  • Prescription medications (keep copies for records)
  • Cold/flu medicines
  • Vitamins
  • Blood clotting
  • Sterile gauze
  • Dressing bandages
  • Dressing rolls
  • Medical tape
  • Bandages of all sizes
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Eye flushing solution
  • Anesthetic solution
  • Hypodermic needles (for the antiseptic solution)
  • Electrolyte tablets
  • Benadryl
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Cold Packs
  • Warm Blankets
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Thermometers
  • Skin irritation creams
  • Gloves
  • Mask
  • Suture needles/string
  • List of medical contact phone numbers
  • Medical history file (if needed)

Read Full Article Here


Whistle Blowers

Whistleblower bill addresses reports of sexual abuse of a minor by a co-worker

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2012, 8:30 PM

A bill aimed at preventing a repeat of the Penn State University sex abuse scandal is heading for final passage in the Louisiana House. Senate Bill 158, which has already been approved by the Senate, was easily approved by the House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee on Thursday.

jpmorrell.jpgFile photoSen. J.P. Morrell

Sponsored by Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, the bill would extend whistleblower protections to employees who report the sexual abuse of a minor by a co-worker. The bill was inspired by the case of assistant Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, who has been accused of molesting children for years. Officials at the school are accused of covering up for him.

Another Morrell bill inspired by the Penn State scandal, SB 4, would increase requirements for reporting the sexual abuse of a minor. That bill has already passed the Senate and is headed to the House Criminal Justice Committee.



South African society through lens of youth

Published on Apr 21, 2012 by

Young activists in South Africa are using cameras to document social and economic problems in their communities.

The photo club is designed to create awareness and get young people more involved. Their plan is to also spread the intiative to schools across the country.

Haru Mutasa reports from Johannesburg.

US ‘intelligence war’ triggers ‘Occupy spy base’ in UK

Published on Apr 22, 2012 by

Menwith Hill, the largest intelligence gathering and surveillance center outside the US, in the heart of the UK’s Yorkshire Dales, is surrounded by protesters demonstrating against America’s planned missile defense system. The local residents, often camping outside, have been joined by members of the global Occupy movement, supporting ongoing local efforts. To keep up with new types of warfare, billions of dollars has been invested in Menwith Hill over the last decade. It has enabled the base to remain a vital component of the global US surveillance network.

Greek Town Develops Bartering System

Published on Apr 18, 2012 by

Greek town develops bartering system without euro. As Greece wonders whether its debt crisis will eventually spell its exit from the euro, one town in the centre of the country, Volos, has formed an alternative local currency. It works through a bartering system or exchange of goods.



Articles of Interest

Mass Dolphin Death Mystery In Peru, Authorities Blame It On Viral Infection

By Sreeja VN | Apr 22, 2012 08:14 AM EDT

Investigations are on into the deaths of hundreds of dolphins that washed up on the northern coast of Peru. Around 877 carcasses of dolphins and porpoises were found on Peruvian beaches in two and half months. Peruvian officials and environmentalists are trying to unravel the mystery behind the phenomenon.

No concrete reasons have been figured out yet but the authorities believe that it could possibly be a viral infection that may have killed the dolphins in huge numbers. While environmental groups in the country blame the seismic oil exploration work carried out by BPZ Energy Company for the dolphin deaths.

Read Full Article Here

[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Politics and Legislation

Right Wing Billionaires Push Israel’s Agenda in 2012 Elections

Published on Apr 21, 2012 by

Right-Wing Neoconservatives and former Democrats from Wall Street are teaming up to defeat Obama, but can their attacks on his Israel policy divide his funding base?

Published on Apr 21, 2012 by

speaking in March 2012 David Swanson of “War is a Crime” speaks at the United National Anti-War Coalition conference in Stamford, CT


The French Election and the Eurocrisis

Published on Apr 21, 2012 by

Gérard Duménil: Most voters want to save social programs and reject austerity

Suu Kyi’s party threatens to boycott parliament opening

Published on Apr 21, 2012 by

The party of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader, has threatened to boycott the parliament’s opening session set to take place on Monday.

A senior member of the National League for Democracy’s executive committee said that its 43 newly elected MPs will not take up their seats unless the military-led government withdraws an oath to “safeguard” the constitution, which Suu Kyi wants amended.

Suu Kyi campaigned in the by-elections on a pledge to amend the country’s new constitution which guarantees 25 per cent of all seats to the military.

The NLD has petitioned the constitutional court to change the oath and Suu Kyi has written to Thein Sein, Myanmar’s president, asking him to change the oath by replacing it with a pledge to “respect” the constitution instead.

Larry Jagan, a southeast Asia expert and journalist, has told Al Jazeera that he is optimistic that the boycott would not be a major setback for democratic reforms in the country.

“My understanding is that the boycott is going ahead, but I dont think it means the NLD does not want to work with the government on issues that affect people on the ground, like poverty, development and the ceasefire agreements,” he said.

“The issue with the oath is just deferring them being sworn in.”



NAACP grades Congress; Louisiana Republicans fail

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2012, 9:00 PM


The NAACP has issued its Legislative Report Card for the first session of the 112th Congress, giving Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, A’s, and the Republican members of the state’s Congressional delegation straight F’s. According to the ratings, based on 20 House votes and 15 Senate votes, Richmond was right 100 percent of the time and Landrieu 93 percent of the time, while Sen. David Vitter, R-La., didn’t vote with the NAACP view a single time.

Patrick Semansky, The Associated Press archiveRep. Cedric Richmond’s views were in sync with NAACP stands 100 percent of the time, according to the group’s Legislative Report Card.

The Louisiana Republicans had plenty of company with their low grades. The civil rights organization flunked nearly half of all senators, and more than half of House members. Senators were judged on such issues as whether they backed implementation of health care overhaul, opposed a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, supported public employee job creation, supported the nomination of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau and supported the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage law.

The only Landrieu vote the NAACP found fault with was her failure to support EPA efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.


Read Full Article Here




Whistleblower bill addresses reports of sexual abuse of a minor by a co-worker

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2012, 8:30 PM

A bill aimed at preventing a repeat of the Penn State University sex abuse scandal is heading for final passage in the Louisiana House. Senate Bill 158, which has already been approved by the Senate, was easily approved by the House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee on Thursday.

jpmorrell.jpgFile photoSen. J.P. Morrell

Sponsored by Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, the bill would extend whistleblower protections to employees who report the sexual abuse of a minor by a co-worker. The bill was inspired by the case of assistant Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, who has been accused of molesting children for years. Officials at the school are accused of covering up for him.

Another Morrell bill inspired by the Penn State scandal, SB 4, would increase requirements for reporting the sexual abuse of a minor. That bill has already passed the Senate and is headed to the House Criminal Justice Committee.



Falling Energy Prices: Good for Jobs, Not as Good for Gasoline

By Jeff Macke

Americans suspect one of two things about oil and gas prices: crude is either getting propped up by “speculators” or through the actions of Big Business. In either case, prices at the pump are inflated by capitalism run amok, to the detriment of the American consumer.

It’s not exactly wrong, but there’s another side to the relationship between energy and profit-seeking—one that’s bringing jobs back to the U.S.

In the attached video, David Lutz managing director at Stifel Nicolaus lays out the big picture, starting with why the price of crude oil seems to fall while gas prices either stay where they are or move higher. Lutz says the price of oil is declining because of the “glut of oil we have in the United States.”

Yes, we have too much oil and the price is falling. But that’s only in the U.S., where we quote the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude. “Brent is the global benchmark for oil,” explains Lutz. In that case, the price of WTI has less of an impact on gasoline than generally assumed—which isn’t to say corporate America isn’t doing its part.

“Refiners here in the country are taking cheap WTI and refining it into diesel or petrol, then they’re shipping it overseas.” Plainly put: Big Oil doesn’t artificially inflate gas prices at all; it simply maximizes profits. For a variety of reasons, both corporate and political, there are too few refineries in the U.S. to meet the demand for Europe’s gas mix and the type of gas used in American cars.

Read Full Article Here

Earnings, Fed to prove skeptics wrong


By Rodrigo Campos and Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK (Reuters) – After a strong first quarter, Wall Street has gotten a case of the jitters.

A spike in bond yields has brought Europe’s debt crisis back to the forefront. U.S. economic figures point to steady-but-uninspired growth, and stocks have backed off the sharp gains that recently pushed indexes to near four-year highs.

Stocks returned a bit to their winning track this week after strong earnings reports, and investors are waiting to see if more positive surprises from U.S. companies are in store.

Nearly 180 of the S&P 500’s components will report earnings next week, and heading into a seasonally weak period, the market will need strong reports to offset the perception that there’s no more room to rally.

“It is very encouraging that the majority of the news flow is about earnings rather than Europe,” said Leo Grohowski, who oversees about $171 billion in client assets as chief investment officer at BNY Mellon Wealth Management in New York.

Earnings are “alleviating our concerns about economic growth and making us feel more comfortable about our estimates for the year.”

Next week will see earnings releases from several bellwethers. The most important will likely be Apple Inc (NSQ:AAPLNews), which reports after the market close on Tuesday.

While the largest U.S. company by market capitalization has a history of blowout quarters, many say the company’s meteoric rise so far this year has created unrealistic expectations. For the first time since December 2008, the stock fell more than 4 percent in back-to-back weeks.

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Fears Rise That Recovery May Falter in the Spring

By: Annie Lowrey

Some of the same spoilers that interrupted the recovery in 2010 and 2011 have emerged again, raising fears that the winter’s economic strength might dissipate in the spring.

Job Classifieds
Photo: Peter Dazeley | Photographer’s Choice | Getty Images

In recent weeks, European bond yields have started climbing. In the United States and elsewhere, high oil prices have sapped spending power. American employers remain skittish about hiring new workers, and new claims for unemployment insurancehave risen. And stocks have declined.

There is a “light recovery blowing in a spring wind” with “dark clouds on the horizon,” Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund [cnbc explains] , said Thursday, at the start of meetings here that will focus on Europe’s troubles and global growth. Ms. Lagarde implored world leaders not to become complacent.

Forecasters have said that the trends point to a moderation of economic growth in the United States, but they still expect the recovery to continue this year. The slowdown in part reflects an unusually warm winter, which pulled forward economic activity, making January and February seem artificially good and perhaps making recent weeks look worse than they truly were.

Still, the breadth of the recent weakening of activity shows that the economy remains fragile, as is typical in the years following a financial crisis.

The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index had been generally rising from last summer through March, but has fallen more than 3 percent since early April. Initial jobless claims had been on a long, slow fall since 2011, but have jumped about 6 percent in the last three weeks, according to a Labor Department report released Thursday.

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MF Global: The Untold Story of the Biggest Wall Street Collapse Since Lehman

There are plenty of lessons to be learned from MF Global, all of which we can count on Congress to ignore at the behest of Wall Street money until the next financial crisis.
April 20, 2012  |

Only on Wall Street can you bankrupt a company; misplace $1.6 billion of customers’ money; lose 75 percent of shareholders’ money in two weeks; speed dial a high priced criminal attorney and get a court to authorize the payment of your multi-million dollar legal tab from the failed company’s insurance policies; have regulators waive your requirements to take licensing exams required to work in the securities and commodities industry; have your Board of Directors waive your loyalty to the firm; run a bucket shop out of the UK; and still have the word “Honorable” affixed to your name in a Congressional investigations hearing.

This is not a flashback to the rotting financial carcasses of 2008. This putrid saga has been playing out in five Congressional hearings since December with the next episode scheduled for Tuesday, April 24, before the Senate Banking Committee under the auspicious title: “The Collapse of MF Global: Lessons Learned and Policy Implications.” (The title might more appropriately be, “MF Global: Lessons  Never Learned and Policy Implications of a Wild West Financial System Just One Trade Away from the Next Taxpayer Bailout.”)


Read Full Article Here



Dutch prime minister says austerity talks collapse

April 21, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CDT

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The ruling Dutch minority government was on the brink of collapse Saturday after anti-EU lawmaker Geert Wilders torpedoed seven weeks of austerity talks, saying he would not cave in to budget demands from “dictators in Brussels.”

New national elections that will be a referendum on the Netherlands’ relationship with Europe and its ailing single currency are now all-but-certain.

But before Prime Minister can tender his resignation — possibly as early as Monday — he must consult with allies and opposition parties on how to run a caretaker government that will have to make important economic decisions in the coming weeks and months.

“Elections are the logical next step,” Rutte said.

Opposition leader Diederik Sansom of the Labor Party joined others across the political spectrum in calling for new elections as soon as possible.

“In the meanwhile, we in parliament will take responsibility for a careful budget in 2013,” he said.


Read Full Article Here


Wars and Rumors of War

UN approves Syria monitor mission

Published on Apr 21, 2012 by

The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution that authorizes an initial deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers to Syria for three months to monitor a fragile week-old ceasefire in the country’s 13-month old conflict.

The Russian and European drafted resolution said that deployment of the UN observer mission, which will be called UNSMIS, will be “subject to assessment by the Secretary-General [Ban Ki-moon] of relevant developments on the ground, including the cessation of violence”.

Saturday’s resolution also noted that the cessation of violence by the government and opposition is “clearly incomplete”.

Al Jazeera’s Kristen Saloomey reports from the UN in New York.

‘Gasoline kills West’s concern over abuses in Bahrain’

Published on Apr 22, 2012 by

Patrick Henningsen, a journalist and editor of the 21st Century Wire, believes that the West will not care about human rights issue in Bahrain as long as it acts and votes in accordance with US foreign policy. “Generally they don’t care in Washington or London what the Bahrainis do to their own people.” He points out that Bahrain is a satellite state of Saudi Arabia and a satellite state in the region of the US and Britain. “They have incredible vested interests there in terms of petroleum contracts etc.” The journalist also stresses the island’s proximity to Iran makes it a strategic defense location in the Persian Gulf.




Gen. Dempsey: US in for ‘wild ride’ in the Middle East over the next decade

By Carlo Munoz

America is heading into an increasingly tumultuous decade in the Middle East, punctuated by repeated popular uprisings that will continue to dismantle long-standing power structures in the region, according to the Pentagon’s top uniformed officer.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he believes the fallout from the ongoing Arab Spring movement will eventually lead to a more democratic Middle East.

“I think getting from here to there is going to be a wild ride. And so I think we’re in for 10 or 15 years of instability in a region that has already been characterized by instability,” Dempsey told members of the House Armed Services Committee during Thursday’s hearing.

That approaching period of increased instability comes as the Pentagon is beginning to shift its focus from the Middle East to the Pacific. The move was a key tenet in the White House’s new national security strategy issued in February.

But as the U.S. military sets its sights on greater Asia, defense lawmakers wanted to know if the Pentagon is prepared for the looming chaos Dempsey predicted in the Middle East.
  Read Full Article Here


Articles of Interest

ACLU says more debtors are sent directly to jail


Should you go to jail for being unable to pay a small bill? Debtors’ jail has been abolished in the United States since the 1830s, but a study by the American Civil Liberties Union has pointed out a de facto debtors’ prison has emerged, with debtors put in handcuffs for showing “contempt of court” when creditors harass them with summons at what the ACLU calls increasingly alarming rates. One teacher’s aide and breast cancer survivor was thrown in prison for not paying a $280 medical bill that she had been told she received in error. Using public courts and services funded by tax dollars to pressure collection of private debts is even encouraged by some states, such as Alabama and Florida, which add hefty collection fees to debtors’ payment plans.



Jailed for $280: The return of debtors’ prisons

Alain Sherter

(MoneyWatch) How did breast cancer survivor Lisa Lindsay end up behind bars? She didn’t pay a medical bill — one the Herrin, Ill., teaching assistant was told she didn’t owe. “She got a $280 medical bill in error and was told she didn’t have to pay it,” The Associated Press reports. “But the bill was turned over to a collection agency, and eventually state troopers showed up at her home and took her to jail in handcuffs.”

Although the U.S. abolished debtors’ prisons in the 1830s, more than a third of U.S. states allow the police to haul people in who don’t pay all manner of debts, from bills for health care services to credit card and auto loans. In parts of Illinois, debt collectors commonly use publicly funded courts, sheriff’s deputies, and country jails to pressure people who owe even small amounts to pay up, according to the AP.


Read Full Article  Here



‘Presidential’ vs. ‘Political’ Trips: A Blurry Line, and Tricky Math

Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

President Obama heading to fund-raising events last month in Chicago and Atlanta.

Published: April 21, 2012
Doug Mills/The New York Times

Presidential travel in election years has long been an issue.

And that was the nonpolitical stop on Mr. Obama’s swing-state itinerary for that day early this month. The president sandwiched the 34-minute speech, billed as an official address on his so-called Buffett Rule for a minimum tax rate for the wealthiest Americans, amid three overtly partisan fund-raisers that accounted for the bulk of his time along the south Florida coast.

Mixing policy and politics, Mr. Obama is picking up the pace of his travel with that ultimate incumbent’s perk — unlimited use of Air Force One. The trips are mostly to about a dozen swing states that will decide the election and to two reliably Democratic states, New York and California, for campaign money.

And Mr. Obama is not the only frequent flier with a re-election agenda. Both Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the first lady, Michelle Obama, are increasingly stumping around the country as the campaign seeks to repeat its fund-raising success of 2008 and counter a building wave of G.O.P. cash.


Read Full Article Here


[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]