Advertisements

Tag Archive: the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)


Environmental

Gulf seafood deformities alarm scientists – Features – Al Jazeera English

Published on Apr 17, 2012 by

What the BP propaganda does: With a lot of money, you can fool the U.S. consumers with all their media advertising, but the people in the Gulf Coast know better. Do not take that chance!

California Fights Citrus-Killing Bacteria

by Dan Flynn | Apr 18, 2012
There’s no threat to human health in a growing quarantine in Southern California, but an annual $2 billion worth of citrus fruits are at risk in a war with a tiny insect and the bacteria its spreads.
Earlier this month, the state of California added 93-square miles in the Hacienda Heights area of Los Angeles County to the quarantine after the citrus greening disease known as huanglongbing was discovered in the state for the first time.

asiancitrus320x175.jpg

Until then, California had been combatting the insect that precedes the disease, which does not harm humans or animals, but causes citrus trees to decline and eventually die.
Now covering most of Southern California, the quarantine means no nursery stock can be moved out of the area and only commercially cleaned and cleared citrus fruit may be shipped from there. Residential citrus can’t be removed from the property on which it’s grown, although it can be processed and consumed on the premises.
“The success of any quarantine depends on cooperation from those affected,” says Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), in a news release.  “The stakes could not be higher for California citrus.”

No-till farming revolution grows in Indiana

by Staff Writers
Brownsburg, Indiana (AFP) April 17, 2012

Indiana farmer Mike Starkey does not plow his fields and uses fertilizer only sparingly, but he is on the cutting edge of a growing trend in American agriculture.

Advocates of his “no-till farming” technique say it could provide the low-cost, environmentally-friendly crops the agricultural industry has sought for many years.

Starkey’s cropland looks like a tangle of corn stalks, crimson clover and ryegrass, far different from the impeccably-plowed fields of most farms.

“Over a period of 12 years, we’re now 100 percent no-till,” said the corn and soybean farmer, who also is a supervisor with the Hendricks County Soil and Water Conservation District.

The biggest departure from traditional farming involves the plowing, also known as tilling.

Plowing aerates the soil, eliminates weeds and helps with nutrient recovery.

However, plowing also erodes the soil and kills part of the organic life that grows in it.

No-till farming helps to rebuild the “nutrient capital” of farmland that now is dependent on fertilizers, Starkey said.

The technique, also known as “conservation farming,” started about 20 years ago by following the “three pillars” of the method: cover crops, no-till and crop rotation.

Cover crops refer to plants like clover, ryegrass and alfalfa that form a carpet to protect the soil from erosion while also trapping nitrogen from the air and storing it in nodules on the roots of plants to fertilize the ground.

In April, just before the sowing of seeds, weedkiller is sprayed on the cropland.

“When we actually kill these legume plants, these nodules then become an organic source of nitrogen that breaks down much more slowly than commercial fertilizer,” said Barry Fisher, a no-till farming expert for the US Agriculture Department’s National Resources Conservation Service.

“That’s a time release form of nitrogen… that will spoon feed the nitrogen to the corn crop coming here,” Fisher said.

Cover crops maximize the use of the soil’s natural fertilizers, which can be a better alternative than manufactured fertilizers sinking into groundwater after heavy rain, he said.

Direct seeding for cash crops requires special tractors that dig narrow furrows, inject the seeds and close the hole in one motion, without scarring the land.

No-till crops like corn and soybeans feed off the rich nutrients in decomposing plants from the previous season and from cover crops.

“Conservation tillage systems, with today’s planting equipment, with today’s technologies… have been yielding consistently the same” as traditional farming, said Tony Vyn, professor of agronomy at Purdue University, where the technique has been studied since 1975.

About 35 percent of US crops are grown with no-till farming, according to the US Agriculture Department. For soybeans, about half the crops are raised with no-till techniques.

The federal government is encouraging no-till farming by providing subsidies for cover crop seeds and the special equipment they require, which can run up to 50 percent of the cost.

Related Links
Farming Today – Suppliers and Technology

Determining total fertility in strip-tilled fields

by Staff Writers
Urbana IL (SPX)


Because plant roots extend farther into the soil than just the small area where fertilizers are applied, fertility levels must be determined for the field as a whole to ensure that fertilizer applications are optimized to maximize crop yield and profitability.

Band fertilizer placement may cause non-uniform distribution in the soil. Why does this matter? Because when fertilizer is unevenly distributed, it may not be possible to use traditional sampling strategies to measure whole-field fertility, said assistant professor of crop sciences Fabian Fernandez. No recent published studies have looked at this problem.

Fernandez has conducted research to determine potassium and phosphorous distribution in no-till and strip-till soils and to develop improved sampling procedures for measuring field fertility.

The problem, according to Fernandez, is that fertility decreases between the rows but increases in the rows where the fertilizers are being banded. This would not be a problem if the location of the fertilizer band changed from year to year.

“Since the introduction of real-time kinematic (RTK) satellite navigation and the use of strip-till, farmers are always planting, and applying their band fertilizer, on exactly the same location,” he explained. “What happens is that all the fertilizer that was applied uniformly on the surface is now concentrated in a small fraction of the soil.”

Because plant roots extend farther into the soil than just the small area where fertilizers are applied, fertility levels must be determined for the field as a whole to ensure that fertilizer applications are optimized to maximize crop yield and profitability.

Environmental issues are also involved. “If we are unable to determine the fertility of our field accurately because of the sampling method we are using, we may be applying more fertilizer than we need,” said Fernandez.

“A lot of the environmental issues have to do with phosphorus moving out of the fields as runoff from the soil surface.”

The study, conducted in Pesotum, Ill., involved applying different rates of phosphorous/potassium blends in fall 2007 and 2009 before corn planting. Applications were broadcast-applied in no-till and strip-till and deep-banded at six inches below the surface in the crop row in strip-till.

Fertilizer levels were measured every year at four-inch increments from the surface to a 12-inch depth, with samples collected at the row and at a distance of 7.5, 15, and 22.5 inches away from the row.

Results indicated that there was no need to adjust fertilizer rate based on tillage or fertilizer placement. Fernandez explained that the plants send roots all over the soil profile, mostly in the surface layer, regardless of the fertilizer band. Thus, it does not really matter if fertility levels vary across the rows as long as the fertility level is sufficient for the crop.

What is important, however, is finding a way to estimate total field fertility when these differences occur. “The main message,” said Fernandez, “is that for every time you take a sample where the fertilizer band is located, you need to take two or three samples outside of that band to make a composite sample to send off for analysis.”

This research, “Assessment of Soil Phosphorus and Potassium Following RTK-Guided Broadcast and Deep-Band Placement in Strip-Till and No-Till,” by Fabian Fernandez and Daniel Schaefer, will be published in the May-June 2012 Soil Science Society of America Journal.

Related Links
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Farming Today – Suppliers and Technology

Will Obama’s New Rules Make Fracking Better for the Planet?

—By Tim McDonnell

| Wed Apr. 18, 2012 3:15 PM PDT
“Green completion” equipment in the field. Courtesy: Colorado Oil & Gas

The Obama administration took a heavy swing in the ongoing battle over fracking today by imposing new rules that would, for the first time, restrict the release of smog-causing pollutants from natural gas wells. But the law turns a blind eye to greenhouse gases released by fracking; the EPA admits fracking accounts for 40 percent of the nation’s overall methane (an even stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide) emissions.

By 2015, all fracked wells will be required to implement “green completion” equipment, which catches toxic gases like benzene on its way out of the earth and into the atmosphere. But the rule does not directly limit emissions of greenhouse gases.

Read Full Article Here

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

Cyber Space

ALEC Wants You To Pay 750 Percent More For High-Speed Internet

The corporate front group may change its social policy stance, but it still plans on robbing you blind.

April 18, 2012  |  The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

…..The organization has come under fire recently for backing “Stand Your Ground” laws and voter suppression efforts, leading to an exodus of some of its strongest corporate funders. But the group’s policy agenda stretches far beyond these areas, and impacts just about every area of American life.

Take public high-speed broadband Internet. A few years ago, the city of Wilson, North Carolina, decided that it would create its own broadband system, which it called Greenlight. The service offered speeds twice as fast as private competitors in the area for a similar price. Soon, the success of the service spread, and a number of other cities began offering municipal broadband systems that were cheaper and/or faster than private competitors’.

But state legislators — who received $600,000 in contributions from the telecom industry in the previous election cycle — reacted to the spread of these successful services by undercutting them with a bill that made it very difficult for cities to operate their own broadband systems. One provision in the bill made it illegal for cities to offer broadband services that are priced below their costs. “This bill will make it practically impossible for cities to provide a fundamental service. Where’s the bill to govern [cable provider] Time Warner? Let’s be clear about whose bill this is. This is Time Warner’s bill. You need to know who you’re doing this for!” thundered Rep. Bill Faison (D) at the time. The bill was unfortunately passed into law……

Read Full Article Here

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

Survival / Sustainability

Urban Survival – Long Term Food Storage

Uploaded by on Sep 18, 2010

Here is a way to hedge against inflation by storing food at today’s prices. Purchase Hard Wheat, White Rice, Rolled Oats and Pinto Beans from Costco or Sam’s Club. Buy Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers and 5 gallon food grade plastic buckets. Using a household iron and a straight edge as a backer, seal up your food with a 2000cc oxygen absorber in a Mylar bag. This should keep basic food staples like the ones described for 15 or 20 years.

long term food storage part 1

long term food storage part 2

sealing mylar bags with a hair straightener

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

Activism

This Is The USA?
Jackboots Meet Protest Against Drone Wars

Protestors with www.peaceworkskc.org meet resistance at a protest against drone war during Midwest Trifecta in Kansas City Missouri.

Posted April 17, 2012

Col. Ann Wright targets predator drones

By Jim Hannah

Col. Ann Wright defies pigeonholing.

She doesn’t carry the military bearing you might expect of someone who served 29 years in the U.S. Army and received a heroism award.

She doesn’t convey the worldly manner you might expect of someone who served 16 years in the State Department, including assignment in Mongolia and Afghanistan.

And she doesn’t come across in the strident manner you might expect of a strongly opinionated whistleblower.

But when this rather quiet-mannered woman of middle age speaks in her soft voice, words of steel emerge. And those truth-telling words found their mark for the 80 or so persons gathered Feb. 20 at Kansas City’s All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church. The audience gave her a standing ovation even before she began to speak. Her reputation preceded her: she resigned from the State Department to protest the Iraq War, she has been arrested for protesting predator drones, and she wrote a primer on speaking out, Dissent: Voices of Conflict.

Wright opened by thanking Kansas City-area peacemakers for their activism in opposition to the new nuclear weapons parts plant being built in south Kansas City. She termed “heart-breaking” the way nuclear weapons and the military-industrial complex have become “the biggest industry in America.”

In her quiet manner, Wright then proceeded to pillory U.S. foreign policies that have led to military misadventures such as Iraq, noting that violence there has decreased since the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops (even though some 30,000 private contractors still remain).

Read Full Article Here

 When Occupy Wall Street protesters decided to take up sleeping on the sidewalks of Wall Street, they did so with the protection–they thought–of the law. Specifically, a 2000 court decision, Metropolitan Council Inc. v. City of New York, that ruled that sleeping on City sidewalks was a Constitutionally-protected form of protest.

But it appears that the NYPD has had enough of the Constitution–and so once again, Occupiers face eviction. According to an email sent earlier today, the police woke the sleeping Occupiers at 6am and told them they were no longer welcome. The protesters took refuge on the steps of Federal Hall, but that closes at 5 and so they found themselves facing off with the police.

Read Full Article Here

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

Articles of Interest

OBAMA LAWYER ADMITS FORGERY BUT DISREGARDS “IMAGE” AS INDICATION OF OBAMA’S INELIGIBILITY

DAMAGE CONTROL: A recent ballot challenge hearing in New Jersey exposes a desperate strategy by Obama to distance himself from his forged certificate and induce the contrived value of his transient political popularity as the only “legitimate qualification” needed to hold the office of the presidency.

Commentary by Dan Crosby
of THE DAILY PEN

Updated 04/17/12


Obama’s lawyer, Alexandra Hill, agreed with arguments that the image of Obama’s birth certificate was a forgery and made the absurd claim that, therefore, it cannot be used as evidence to confirm his lack of natural born citizenship status. Therefore, she argued, it is “irrelevant to his placement on the ballot”.

Hill went on to contort reasoning by implying that Obama needs only invoke his political popularity, not legal qualifications, in order to be a candidate.

During the hearing, Hill’s concession was showcased by the following exchange:

Judge Masin asked Hill, “I understand you have a general objection before we get to the question of what is his (Obama’s) qualifications?”

“Yes, I have an objection as to relevance,” replied Hill, as to the plaintiffs’ witness testimony regarding the authenticity of the image of Obama’s alleged 1961 ‘Certificate of Live Birth’.

Hill then attempted to have the judge declare that Obama was preeminently eligible without any legal responsibility to prove with documentation that he was, in fact, qualified to hold the office of the presidency.

“The objectors carry the burden of proof to show that a candidate is not eligible under New Jersey statutes,” Hill said.

Hill’s misunderstanding of administrative law reveals a strategy to defend Obama’s fraudulent election in which our legal system has reversed the legal assignment of burden of proof in order to equate eligibility with a legal definition of innocence of a crime for Obama.

Unfortunately for Obama, eligibility for political office does not fall under the precepts of criminalogical reasoning of “innocent until proven guilty“, unless a charge is made that a crime has been committed, such as forgery or fraud, in order to deceive people about your identity or citizenship status. Obama’s ineligibility, by itself, is not a crime…being fraudulently elected by deceiving voters is.

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.]

Advertisements

 

Environmental

Monsanto’s Roundup Altering the Physical Shape of Amphibians

 

Mike Barrett, News Analysis:

 

While it wasn’t surprising to see morphological changes take part due to the naturally emitted chemicals from predators, it was rather shocking to find out that Roundup had the same effects — causing the tails of the tadpoles to grow in size. What’s more, the combination of the naturally emitted chemicals and Roundup caused the tadpoles’ tails to grow twice as large. Seeing as tadpoles alter body shape in order to properly survive in its environment, the forced changes from herbicides like Roundup can put the animals at a disadvantage.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

Environmental Groups Sue EPA Over Lack of Coal Ash Regulation

 

Emma Schwartz, News Report:

 

A 2009 investigation by the Center for Public Integrity revealed the havoc that coal ash has wreaked near ponds, landfills, and pits where it is dumped. Even the EPA has identified 63 “proven or potential damage cases” in 23 states where coal ash has tainted groundwater or otherwise harmed the environment. But critics say no meaningful federal regulations have been put in place.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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

 

Survival / Sustainability

 

Using Community Gardens to Grow Low-Income Communities Out of Food Deserts

 

Emily Apple, New Deal 2.0:

 

“More than 23 million Americans live in ‘food deserts’: areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, particularly ones composed of predominantly lower income neighborhoods and communities. Recognizing these problems, Daniel Bowman Simon … has now has moved on to helping low-income individuals and families access healthy foods through his organization SNAP Gardens. Simon encourages SNAP beneficiaries to ‘grow’ their benefits by utilizing a 1973 amendment to the Food Stamp Act that allows food stamp recipients to use their benefits to buy seeds.”

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

The Hidden Food in Your Yard – You May Walk by It Every Day…

 

By Dr. Mercola

 

A major part of achieving optimal health is living in partnership with nature.

Growing your own food is a great way to rekindle this connection with nature.

But have you thought about eating plants that grow wild—perhaps in your own backyard?

Some “weeds” can be delicious if prepared properly, and they are absolutely free.

In an article published earlier this summer, Live Science collected some easy-to-identify healthful weeds, including:

Dandelion: The entire plant is edible, and the leaves contain vitamins A, C and K, along with calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium.
Purslane: Purslane tops the list of plants with omega-3 fats.
Lamb’s-quarters: Lamb’s-quarters are like spinach, except healthier, tastier and easier to grow.
Plantain: Not the better-known banana-like plant with the same name. It has a nutritional profile similar to dandelion.
Stinging Nettles: If you handle them so that you don’t get a painful rash from the tiny, acid-filled needles, these are delicious and nutritious cooked or prepared as a tea.

This is of course how our ancestors ate. They hunted and gathered, and ALL of it was wild. And by all accounts, they were far healthier than we are.

Of course, like anything else, identification and use of wild plants requires spending some time educating yourself, lest you eat something inedible or even poisonous. But with some attention to learning what to look for, you can avail yourself of some of the most highly nutritious, health-promoting plants for FREE—and have a lot of fun doing it. With the availability of the Internet, in addition to a number of excellent printed books and even wild-food foraging classes, this information is now easy to access.

So, grab your favorite weeding tool and a basket, and step outside to see what little gems you can find in your own backyard!

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

 

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

 

Whistle Blowers

 

‘Reluctant Spy’ indicted for leaking US secrets

 

A former CIA officer was indicted Thursday on charges of leaking secrets to journalists, including the name of a covert agent and the role of another CIA employee in classified operations.

John Kiriakou, who had previously revealed the CIA’s use of waterboarding of Al-Qaeda suspects, was charged in January with leaking secrets. The indictment allows the case to proceed to trial without an evidentiary hearing.

The indictment returned by a grand jury in Virginia charged Kiriakou with one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and three counts of violating the Espionage Act.

The indictment also charged him with making false statements to the CIA in an unsuccessful attempt to trick the agency into allowing him to include classified information in his 2010 book, “The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror.”

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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

 

Activism

 

How to Succeed in Reoccupation Without Really Trying

 

Nathan Schneider, Op-Ed:

 

This is a new time; the movement and people’s perspectives on it are in a totally different place than they were last fall. Potential allies expect more from the movement, I’d say, and so they should. People I know who were wholeheartedly behind it a few months ago seem to think it’s over, or it should be. The encampments, which Occupiers know as well as anyone sometimes turned into rather unsafe spaces, lost much public support.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

Corrupt Canadian Banking System.mp4

 

Uploaded by facing42 on Apr 6, 2012

 

This is my daughter. She gave this speech at a business meeting in front of 600 people. Her eyes have been opened to a scam that is being perpetrated upon Canadians and the rest of the world.
I am the owner of this video. Feel free to use it freely without altering the content in a manner that would draw conclusions unintended by the speech but please redirect people back to the original post.

Please also see these great resources for more information and people who are trying their best to enact the necessary change in our country and the world:

http://www.ohcanadamovie.com/

 

 

 

 

More proof activism works: Kraft, Coca-Cola and Pepsi all say they will leave ALEC

 

By Madison Ruppert

 

For those who are unaware, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is a corporate front group which enables corporate members to help craft “model” legislation which they then give to their allies in state legislatures to put forth as their own.

Essentially, it allows America’s largest corporations to ghostwrite legislation which is later proposed by legislators without the public ever knowing that ALEC had a hand in crafting the bill. They have been linked to many corporations with less-than-admirable intentions, one of the more troubling being Corrections Corporation of America.

A great resource to learn more about the corrupt and deplorable actions of ALEC is ALEC Exposed, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy. They expose ALEC corporations, politicians, state chairmen, who funds ALEC as well as a breakdown of all of the so-called “model bills” they create.

A coalition of citizen groups led by the group Color of Change have begun a campaign to pressure the corporations behind ALEC to quit the group and thus cease providing them with massive funding.

They are arguing that popular consumer corporations should not be backing legislation which, ultimately, is incredibly harmful to the communities which profit off of.

Furthermore, they are directly harming their shareholders and employees as well by damaging their communities as well.

The coalition, made up of Color of Change, Rebuild the Dream, Center for Media and Democracy and the Republic Report, along with private individuals, recently wrote to all 20 corporations sitting on ALEC’s board.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

Generation Waking Up: The Story of Our Generation

 

 

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

Articles of Interest

 

These Are The Prices AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Charge For Cellphone Wiretaps

 

Andy Greenberg, Forbes Staff

 

If Americans aren’t disturbed by phone carriers’ practices of handing over cell phone users’ personal data to law enforcement en masse–in many cases without a warrant–we might at least be interested to learn just how much that service is costing us in tax dollars: often hundreds or thousands per individual snooped.

Earlier this week the American Civil Liberties Union revealed a trove of documents it had obtained through Freedom of Information Requests to more than 200 police departments around the country. They show a pattern of police tracking cell phone locations and gathering other data like call logs without warrants, using devices that impersonate cell towers to intercept cellular signals, and encouraging officers to refrain from speaking about cell-tracking technology to the public, all detailed in a New York Times story.

But at least one document also details the day-to-day business of telecoms’ handing over of data to law enforcement, including a breakdown of every major carrier’s fees for every sort of data request from targeted wiretaps to so-called “tower dumps” that provide information on every user of certain cell tower. The guide, as provided by the Tucson, Arizona police department to the ACLU, is dated July 2009, and the fees it lists may be somewhat outdated. But representatives I reached by email at Verizon and AT&T both declined to detail any changes to the numbers…..

 

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.]