MIAMI (AP) — Nearly one-fourth of the students who try to join the U.S. Army fail its entrance exam, painting a grim picture of an education system that produces graduates who can’t answer basic math, science and reading questions, according to a new study released Tuesday.
The report by The Education Trust bolsters a growing worry among military and education leaders that the pool of young people qualified for military service will grow too small.
“Too many of our high school students are not graduating ready to begin college or a career — and many are not eligible to serve in our armed forces,” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told the AP. “I am deeply troubled by the national security burden created by America’s underperforming education system.”
The effect of the low eligibility rate might not be noticeable now — the Department of Defense says it is meeting its recruitment goals — but that could change as the economy improves, said retired Navy Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett.
“If you can’t get the people that you need, there’s a potential for a decline in your readiness,” said Barnett, who is part of the group Mission: Readiness, a coalition of retired military leaders working to bring awareness to the high ineligibility rates.
The report by The Education Trust found that 23 percent of recent high school graduates don’t get the minimum score needed on the enlistment test to join any branch of the military. Questions are often basic, such as: “If 2 plus x equals 4, what is the value of x?”
The military exam results are also worrisome because the test is given to a limited pool of people: Pentagon data shows that 75 percent of those aged 17 to 24 don’t even qualify to take the test because they are physically unfit, have a criminal record or didn’t graduate high school.
Educators expressed dismay that so many high school graduates are unable to pass a test of basic skills.
NEW YORK, Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Exposure to fluoride may lower children’s intelligence says a study pre-published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a publication of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (online December 17, 2010).
Fluoride is added to 70% of U.S. public drinking water supplies.
According to Paul Connett, Ph.D., director of the Fluoride Action Network, “This is the 24th study that has found this association, but this study is stronger than the rest because the authors have controlled for key confounding variables and in addition to correlating lowered IQ with levels of fluoride in the water, the authors found a correlation between lowered IQ and fluoride levels in children’s blood. This brings us closer to a cause and effect relationship between fluoride exposure and brain damage in children.”
“What is also striking is that the levels of the fluoride in the community where the lowered IQs were recorded were lower than the EPA’s so-called ‘safe’ drinking water standard for fluoride of 4 ppm and far too close for comfort to the levels used in artificial fluoridation programs (0.7 – 1.2 ppm),” says Connett.
In this study, 512 children aged 8-13 years in two Chinese villages were studied and tested – Wamaio with an average of 2.47 mg/L water fluoride (range 0.57-4.50 mg/L) and Xinhuai averaging 0.36 mg/L (range 0.18-0.76 mg/L).
Glenn Beck spent the past week denouncing the liberal billionaire and philanthropist George Soros as a “puppet master” who is orchestrating a coup “to bring America to her knees.”
Given Soros’ alleged role plotting to destroy the United States, Beck and his Fox viewership might be surprised to learn that one of Sarah Palin’s top aides has been on Soros’ payroll for years.
That would be Republican lobbyist Randy Scheunemann, Palin’s foreign policy adviser and a member of her small inner circle. He runs a Washington, D.C., consulting firm called Orion Strategies. Scheunemann and a partner have since 2003 been paid over $150,000 by one of Soros’ organizations for lobbying work, according to federal disclosure forms reviewed by Salon. The lobbying, which has continued to the present, centers on legislation involving sanctions and democracy promotion in Burma.
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
– Thomas Jefferson
Americans are now officially doomed, because I am sure that President Obama will sign the Food Safety Modernization Act into law.
Your government has taken away YOUR right to grow YOUR own food on YOUR own land, to save YOUR own seeds and to exchange YOUR produce with YOUR friends and neighbors!
Soon you will be treated like marijuana growers, if you grow tomatoes or salad on your own land.
Dr. Rima Laibow:
“This bill is the triumph of agri-bills”
“It is the industrialization tool for the entire US food supply”
“It brings all of Codex standards and guidelines into implementation”
“This bill means that no farmer can safe seed”
“If it does pass, you and I, our children, our loved ones will suffer and we will die”
Is there a solution?
1. Every American should start RIGHT NOW to plant an organic garden…
2. … and practice civil disobedience the way Gandhi did.
3. If the government raids your property, then you should be prepared for that by forming groups, that will sue the government for violating your constitutional rights.
4. If all legal options fail, then we need to remind the US government of the second amendment.
“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” – Thomas Jefferson
Former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura:
5. If the US government will refuse to give us our constitutional rights back, turning itself into a fascist dictatorship, then we the people have the right to shoot the bastards.
(And you and I know that I’ve never used such strong words.)
“God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion…. And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms…. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
– Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to William S. Smith (1787)
“All those who voted for S.510 — which includes the entire U.S. Senate, Republicans and Democrats alike — are traitors to the freedoms upon which America was founded.”
– Mike Adams
More information at the end of this important article…
(NaturalNews) The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2751 yesterday with a 216 to 144 vote (yes, many members of the House did not even vote). The so-called Food Safety Modernization Act now heads to the President to be signed into law.
When witnessing such a moment in history when the federal government greatly expands its power over an entire industry, it’s important to understand the Law of Unintended Consequences. Virtually everything bad that happens after a bill gets passed is due to this Law of Unintended Consequences.
On the surface, the intention behind the food safety bill seems innocent enough: Let’s all protect the food supply and prevent people from getting sick due to e.coli and salmonella exposure. But the reality of the result that emerges from the law is quite different.
Get ready for more dangerous, pesticide-ridden food from south of the border
Because the S.510 / HR 2751 food safety bill places an enormous new burden on U.S. farmers — yes, even small farms that are supposedly “exempt” — it’s going to drive many farmers out of business.
It will also erect new barriers to farmers entering the food production business, and this is especially true for the small local farmers who grow food for local co-ops, farmers’ markets and CSA organizations (Community Supported Agriculture). What we’re going to see from all this, then, is the following:
• A reduction in the available SUPPLY of fresh local produce.
• A loss of local farming know-how and food sustainability.
• The financial failure of CSAs, food co-ops and small local markets.
• The loss of countless jobs that were related to local food production.
• An INCREASE in the price of local food, especially organic food.
Food safety bill does nothing to address food imports
At the same time these huge regulatory burdens are thrust upon U.S. farmers, there are no new regulations required for food grown outside the United States.
This means that food coming into the USA from Mexico, Chile, Peru or anywhere else does not have to meet S.510 food safety regulations at all. The FDA, after all, doesn’t inspect greenhouses in Mexico or grape farms in Chile which export their products to the United States.
Furthermore, many dangerous chemical pesticides that have been banned in the USA are legal to use elsewhere, and foods treated with those pesticides are perfectly legal to import into the United States. So instead of buying food grown in the United States on small, organic farms, more U.S. consumers are going to be buying food grown elsewhere that’s treated with extremely toxic pesticides.
Here are some of the unintended consequences of all this:
• An INCREASE in the importation of fresh produce from other countries.
• A worsening of the agricultural trade imbalance between the U.S. and other nations.
• An INCREASE in the pesticide contamination of fresh produce sold at U.S. grocery stores.
• An INCREASE in agriculture jobs in Mexico, Chile, Peru and elsewhere, even while agriculture jobs are lost in the USA.
• A DECREASE in the overall safety of the food supply because now the proportion of foods imported from foreign countries with little or no regulatory oversight will greatly expand compared to U.S. grown foods.
In effect, then, what Congress has done is impaired the competitiveness of U.S. farms, shifted farming jobs out of the country, increased the pesticide residues in fresh produce sold in U.S. grocery stores and harmed local food security and sustainability by driving small, local farmers out of business.
Such is the nature of the Law of Unintended Consequences. And such is the nature of just about everything that Big Government tries to do when it threatens to “solve problems” by expanding its regulatory control over almost any industry.
We need food security in America
What Congress fails to understand is that we need food security far more than we need more FDA regulations. The knowledge base of local farmers who know how to grow, harvest and distribute food is far more valuable to the security of our nation than preventing a relatively small number of people from getting sick from e.coli each year (even if such a trade-off were a simplistic equation, which it isn’t). Because if we lose food security, then we become slaves to the big corporate food producers who are attempting to centralize food production and place food, seeds and crops under their absolute control.
A cynic might even suggest that was the whole purpose of the food safety bill in the first place: To destroy small farmers and centralize food production power in the hands of a few wealthy corporations. Whether that was the intent or not, it is certainly going to be the effect.
What Congress has done with this food safety bill, in effect, is to cripple America’s food production know-how and poison the population with far more dangerous pesticide-ridden produce that will now be imported from other countries instead. This bill should have been called the “Mexico Farming Jobs Act” because it’s going to shift countless jobs south of the border as farms in the USA realize they simply can’t operate under the immense burden of FDA regulatory tyranny.
What’s the definition of insanity?
It all makes you wonder what the members of Congress are really thinking. Don’t they ever step back and attempt to consider the real-world ramifications of their actions?
Time and time again, the U.S. government seems to do the opposite of what would reasonably be required to solve problems. Think about it: When the U.S. government wanted to stop Wall Street bankers and investment firms from wasting money, it simply handed them a few trillion dollars in new money so they could waste more.
When the government wanted to end debt spending, it spent more debt money out of the foolish belief that you can somehow end your debt by going deeper into it.
When the government claimed it would reduce your health care costs and cover everyone with health insurance, it passed a sick-care law that has only seen health care costs spiraling out of control while insurers cancel policies and end coverage for many children.
And now, the government claims to be making your food safer even though the real impact of the new law will be to make your food far more dangerous while destroying U.S. farming jobs.
This is why those who really know government also know that they who govern best govern the least. Instead of trying to “fix” all the nation’s problems by meddling with the actions of hard-working people trying to make a living (such as organic farmers), the government needs to simply get out of the way and let farmers produce their food without the heavy regulatory burden of the FDA — an agency that we know is frequently engaged in actions that can only be called criminal in nature (http://www.naturalnews.com/030461_S…).
Get ready for skyrocketing food prices in 2011 – 2013
With the passage of this food safety bill, I am now publicly predicting skyrocketing food prices over the next two years. We will see fresh, local produce become increasingly more expensive and more difficult to acquire. Many local farmers will shutter their businesses, and farming know-how will be lost for perhaps a generation. The damage that will be done to America’s food security and agricultural base is incalculable.
Such is the price we shall all pay for allowing our representatives in Washington to once again violate our Natural Right to grow food and exchange it for goods or cash with our neighbors. The reason this Natural Right was never even mentioned in the US Constitution, by the way, is because the right to grow your own food without government interference is such an obvious “Natural Right” (a God-given right, or a right that is self-evident) that our forefathers never imagined such a right would be infringed by the federal government.
Or if a right were ever infringed by the federal government, our forefathers were certain that the citizens of the United States of America would exercise their other Constitutional rights to nullify the attempted overreaching authority of the federal government and thereby restore their freedoms. Sadly, such a solution does not work when the majority of the population is lulled into a false sense of freedom by a government that deliberately lies to them on a daily basis. Freedom does not exist with the vast majority of the population has no interest in defending it.
Vegetable gardeners can learn something from marijuana growers
Better buy yourself some heirloom seeds while you have the chance. Plant your stealth garden and cover it with camouflage so the government can’t see it and order you to destroy it. Soon, backyard vegetable gardeners will need to operate like marijuana growers and start hiding their food from government’s prying eyes.
No doubt the U.S. federal government will start using spy satellites to identify “unregistered gardens” that will be targeted for termination. Soon, small farmers may even be raided by armed FDA agents who terrorize their operations and seize cabbages. Seriously.
It sounds crazy today, I know. But a decade ago, no one thought the government would ever outlaw raw cow’s milk and arrest ranchers for selling milk to their neighbors, and that’s now happening on a regular basis.
In five years, FDA farm raids may be routine. That is, if there’s anything left of the federal government (as we know it) in five years.(Actually the only good news is that the US will collapse as planned by the elite before those traitors can take away your own food. – Infinite) I’m not sure how long they can keep up the financial house of cards, frankly. Always remember this enlightening fact: The entire federal government is just one paycheck away from collapse. I wonder how long FDA inspectors will keep harassing farmers if their paychecks stop? Remember, FDA employees have no loyalty to anything other than their paychecks. Once the money from Washington stops, the army of FDA mercenaries collapses virtually overnight.
And the resilient farmers of America will win in the end, I have no doubt. If I had to choose to live on a deserted island with either ten North Carolina farmers or ten FDA bureaucrats, the choice would be a no-brainer. Farmers can keep you alive. FDA bureaucrats will only stab you in the back, steal your coconuts, and refuse to do any actual work on their own.
They are, after all, parasites who feed on taxpayer dollars and lend nothing of value to society. If the FDA actually did anything useful at all, it would have banned mercury fillings to protect the public from mercury toxicity (http://www.naturalnews.com/030741_m…).
All those who voted for S.510 — which includes the entire U.S. Senate, Republicans and Democrats alike — are traitors to the freedoms upon which America was founded.
(NaturalNews) In arguing for S.501, the “Food Safety Modernization Act,” there are all sorts of attorneys, legislators and internet commentators who keep claiming, “The government won’t try to control the food production of small farms.” They say, “Your backyard garden is safe” and that the feds won’t come knocking on your door to control your seeds or foods.
As usual, these pushers of Big Government are utterly ignorant of the history in their own country. Because as you’ll learn right here, not only CAN the U.S. government control and dictate to single-family farms what they can grow in their own backyards; the government has already blatantly done so!
In this article, I’ll share with you the full and true story of how Big Government has already run rampant over the rights of individuals to grow their own food — I’ll even cite the US Supreme Court decision that “legalized” this tyranny.
How the tyrants came after a farmer named Roscoe Filburn
It all starts with a farmer named Roscoe Filburn, a modest farmer who grew wheat in his own back yard in order to feed his chickens.
One day, a U.S. government official showed up at his farm. Noting that Filburn was growing a lot of wheat, this government official determined that Filburn was growing too much wheat and ordered Filburn to destroy his wheat crops and pay a large fine to the federal government.
The year was 1940, you see. And through a highly protectionist policy, the federal government had decided to artificially drive up the prices of wheat by limiting the amount of wheat that could be grown on any given acre. This is all part of Big Government’s “infinite wisdom” of trying to somehow improve prosperity by destroying food and impairing economic productivity. (Be wary any time the government says it’s going to “solve problems” for you.)
The federal government, of course, claims authority over all commerce (even when such claims are blatantly in violation of the limitations placed upon government by the Constitution). But Roscoe Filburn wasn’t selling his wheat to anyone. Thus, he was not engaged in interstate commerce. He wasn’t growing wheat as something to use for commerce at all, in fact. He was simply growing wheat in his back yard and feeding it to his chickens. That’s not commerce. That’s just growing your own food.
But get this: The government insisted he pay a fine and destroy his wheat, so Filburn took the government to court, arguing that the federal government had no right to tell a man to destroy his food crops just because they wanted to protect some sort of artificially high prices in the wheat market.
This case eventually went to the US Supreme Court. It’s now known as Wickard v. Filburn, and it is one of the most famous US Supreme Court decisions ever rendered because it represents a gross expansion of the tyranny of the federal government.
The US Supreme Court sided with government tyranny
The US Supreme Court, you see, ruled that Roscoe Filburn’s wheat could be regulated and destroyed by the federal government simply because Roscoe’s wheat production might reduce the amount of wheat he bought from other wheat producers and therefore could impact interstate trade.
Now stay with me on this, because this is a really, really important point to understand.
The federal government claimed authority under the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution (Article 1, Section 8), even though the Commerce Clause was originally written primarily to prevent states from erecting tariffs, not to allow the federal government to control interstate trade. But thanks to the twisted interpretation of the government — and believe me, the government will twist every interpretation it can in an effort to assert more power over the population — the feds claimed that Filburn’s growing of his own wheat effectively reduced interstate commerce in wheat. Therefore, they reasoned, they could regulate his backyard wheat production (and order him to destroy his wheat).
Because of this US Supreme Court decision in 1942, it now means the federal government can order you to halt food production in your own back yard by arguing that when you grow your own food, the amount of food you purchase from other food providers is reduced, meaning that your food production impacts interstate trade and therefore can be fully controlled by the federal government.
In other words, the federal government claims the authority right now — even without the Food Safety Modernization Act — to knock on your door and order you at gunpoint to destroy all the food in your garden, your greenhouse or your farm. They can order you to destroy all seeds in your possession and all food harvested from your own garden. And they can do all this with the full protection of U.S. law by simply citing the precedent set in Wickard v. Filburn in 1942 as ruled by the US Supreme Court.
Drawback? Most programmes for smartphones, such as this iPhone, send data back to companies that sold them
Dozens of popular iPhone apps are secretly monitoring users and sending information back to companies – who then use it to target them with adverts.
More than half of the programmes and games for smartphones sent data back to the private companies once they had been downloaded, a study found.
The apps include the wildly popular Angry Birds game and music identifying software Shazam, which comes pre-installed on every iPhone.
Armed with this information firms including Google track the individuals’ movements and sell personalised adverts for which they can make more money than regular ones.
The study found that of 101 apps tested, 56 transmitted the phone’s individual number to a private company in some way, known as the Unique Device Identifier or UDID.
Some 47 sent the phone’s location and five sent age, gender and other personal information.
More data was sent back about a user’s location on the Apple’s iPhone than Google’s Android smartphone, the research discovered, even though both companies have promised not to let such practices take place.
The research was carried out in the U.S. but it would apply to users downloading apps from anywhere in the world.
Iran has hanged 11 men it says were members of a terrorist group responsible for a suicide bombing which claimed the lives of 39 people.
An image grab taken from footage broadcast by Al-Alam TV on December 15, 2010, shows the site where a suicide bomber blew himself up during a Shiite religious procession in the Iranian city of Chabahar Photo: AFP/GETTY
The executions were seen as retribution against Jundullah, a feared terrorist group which had claimed responsibility last week’s attack in the south-eastern port city of Chabahar. Jundullah said the bombing, which targeted worshippers observing a solemn day of mourning, was carried to avenge the hanging of its leader, Abdulmalik Rigi, earlier this year.
“Eleven members of the terrorist group and mercenaries who had a role in terrorist activities, fighting police and killing innocent people were hanged,” said Ebrahim Hamidi, head of the Justice Department of the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan. The executions took place at dawn in Zahedan, the provincial capital of Sistan-Baluchistan.
IRNA, an official news agency, identified all 11 men, which indicated that they were members of the Sunni ethnic Baluchi minority.
Jundullah says it is fighting for the rights of the Baluchi minority in the remote Sistan-Baluchistan, which it says suffers discrimination at the hands of Iran’s leadership.
Iran has accused the group of links to al-Qaida, and claims its members are being trained in Pakistan.
The United States designated Jundullah a terrorist organisation earlier this year.
Just exchange the Fed with the BoE and ‘THE BEN BERNANK’ with ‘THEMERVY KING’.
Quantitative easing = printing money = creating money out of thin air = increasing the money supply = inflation = hidden tax on monetary assets = theft!
Interest rates will have to rise almost sixfold over the next two years to cope with rising inflation, business leaders have warned.
Interest rates will rise six fold in two years
It will bring financial pain to seven million home owners with floating interest rates who will see a jump of almost £200 on a typical monthly mortgage payment.
Charities have already warned that repossessions are likely to rise next year and the threat of a succession of quick interest rate rises will exacerbate their fears.
The Confederation of British Industry predicts that higher than anticipated rises in the cost of living will push the Bank of England (BoE) to begin increasing interest rates in the spring.
It predicted that the Bank base rate – the interest rate at which the BoE lends to other banks – will rise more than two percentage points by the end of 2012. Mortgage rates are expected to follow closely behind.
“Many households have been benefiting (from the low interest rates) in terms of mortgage payments, but that will start to turn over the next couple of years,” said Lai Wah Co, the CBI’s head of economic analysis.
The organisation predicts that the Consumer Prices Index, the Government’s preferred measure of inflation, will reach 3.8 per cent within the first three months of next year and that it will still be well above the Bank’s 2 per cent target two years from now. It currently stands at 3.3 per cent.
France’s AAA Grade at Risk as Rating Cuts Spread: Euro Credit
Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) — France risks losing its top AAA grade as Europe’s debt crisis prompts a wave of downgrades that threatens to engulf the region’s highest-rated borrowers, with Belgium also facing a possible cut.
Moody’s Investors Service said Dec. 15 it may lower Spain’s rating, citing “substantial funding requirements,” and slashed Ireland’s rating by five levels on Dec. 17. Standard & Poor’s is reviewing its assessments of Ireland, Portugal and Greece. Costs to insure French government debt rose to a record today with the country’s credit default swaps more expensive than lower-rated securities from the Czech Republic and Chile.
“Every sovereign may get penalized in the year ahead,” said Toby Nangle, who helps oversee $46 billion as director of asset allocation at Baring Asset Management in London. “It would be a big deal if France was to have its AAA rating stripped. I don’t think the likelihood of a downgrade is reflected in the market.”
European Union leaders agreed last week to amend the bloc’s treaties to create a permanent debt-crisis mechanism in 2013 in an effort to stem contagion that started more than a year ago in Greece. Government bond yields climbed across the region even after Greece and Ireland were rescued and a backstop facility worth about $1 trillion was created.
“If problems in the euro zone aren’t solved quickly, then the conditions of refinancing will be expensive for these countries and the ratings agencies will do more downgrades,” said Ralf Ahrens, who helps manage about $20 billion as head of fixed income at Frankfurt Trust. “We already see these dynamics in the market. I see France as a risk.”
Overdrawn American cities could face financial collapse in 2011, defaulting on hundreds of billions of dollars of borrowings and derailing the US economic recovery. Nor are European cities safe – Florence, Barcelona, Madrid, Venice: all are in trouble
Shuttered homes and businesses in downtown Detroit, Michigan. American cities and states have debts that could be as high as $2tn. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesMore than 100 American cities could go bust next year as the debt crisis that has taken down banks and countries threatens next to spark a municipal meltdown, a leading analyst has warned.
Meredith Whitney, the US research analyst who correctly predicted the global credit crunch, described local and state debt as the biggest problem facing the US economy, and one that could derail its recovery.
“Next to housing this is the single most important issue in the US and certainly the biggest threat to the US economy,” Whitney told the CBS 60 Minutes programme on Sunday night.
“There’s not a doubt on my mind that you will see a spate of municipal bond defaults. You can see fifty to a hundred sizeable defaults – more. This will amount to hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of defaults.”
New Jersey governor Chris Christie summarised the problem succinctly: “We spent too much on everything. We spent money we didn’t have. We borrowed money just crazily. The credit card’s maxed out, and it’s over. We now have to get to the business of climbing out of the hole. We’ve been digging it for a decade or more. We’ve got to climb now, and a climb is harder.”
American cities and states have debts in total of as much as $2tn. In Europe, local and regional government borrowing is expected to reach a historical peak of nearly €1.3tn (£1.1tn) this year.
Cities from Detroit to Madrid are struggling to pay creditors, including providers of basic services such as street cleaning. Last week, Moody’s ratings agency warned about a possible downgrade for the cities of Florence and Barcelona and cut the rating of the Basque country in northern Spain. Lisbon was downgraded by rival agency Standard & Poor’s earlier this year, while the borrowings of Naples and Budapest are on the brink of junk status. Istanbul’s debt has already been downgraded to junk.
And everybody seems to find snow in midsummer wonderful???
Australia normally experiences temperatures of 86F (30C) at this time of year, but the chances of a rare white Christmas have increased after plunging temperatures and snow swept across the east of the country.
Snow and ice covering building at Mount Hotham as snow fell in Australia Photo: AFP/GETTY
Freezing winds from Antarctica, blown up to Australia by a low-pressure system in the Southern Ocean, gave the country a taste of the conditions that are causing havoc across Europe.
Some 11 inches of snow fell at the ski fields in New South Wales, raising the prospect that parts of the country could experience a white Christmas.
“It’s white, everything is white,” Michelle Lovius, the general manager of the Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel at Charlotte Pass, said.
“First thing this morning everything was just very still, very peaceful and every single thing was just blanketed in a thick cover of white.”
At the ski fields, children in Father Christmas hats, who would usually be sunning themselves on the grassy slopes, made snowballs and rode on sleds.
Miss Lovius said such a large amount of snow was unusual for early December, normally the peak of the wild flower season in the mountainous region.
“We’re hoping that it (the cold) stays in for five days and we get a white Christmas,” she said.
In one part of the state temperatures dropped as low 39.2F (4C), the coldest December morning in 54 years, according to the Weather Channel.
Further south in the state of Victoria, Mt Hotham had four inches of snow and Mt Buller up to two inches.
“It is a blanket of white, which is beautiful at this time of year.
Tehran predicts unrest as ILNA news agency reports price of petrol rising fourfold and electricity almost threefold
An Iranian woman and a boy shop at a grocery store in Tehran. Photograph: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images
Iranians are facing huge increases in fuel and food prices after Tehran began implementing a long-delayed plan to slash subsidies amid political controversy and fears of a fresh wave of popular unrest.
Riot police were deployed on main squares and at petrol stations in the capital and in other big cities as the new price regime came into force today.
Opposition websites reported drivers rushing to fill petrol tanks and long queues at cash machines as Iranians withdrew money paid to poor families to compensate for the subsidy cuts. Ferries at Bandar-Abbas on the Persian Gulf were not operating in protest against the steep rise in petrol prices.
The ILNA news agency said the price of petrol had risen fourfold; gas more than fivefold; and electricity almost threefold. Flour and bread prices are also to go up.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the reform the “biggest surgery” Iran’s economy had experienced in half a century.
Last month he warned protesters not to exploit the situation, saying they would “regret it for ever”, as the Green opposition movement sought to capitalise on discontent with an economy worsened by the impact of UN sanctions.
The economic plan was due for a September launch but repeated delays were seen as evidence of profound anxiety among the government about the effect.
Subsidies kept the price of flatbread to 1,000 rials (6p) before it rose sharply in recent months. Inflation is officially around 10%, though economists suggest far higher for food and other staples.
By Marian R. Williams, Ph.D.
Jefferson E. Holcomb, Ph.D.
Tomislav V. Kovandzic, Ph.D.
Civil forfeiture laws represent one of the most serious assaults on private property rights in the nation today. With civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize your property and use it to fund their budgets—all without charging you with a crime. Americans are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but with civil forfeiture, your property is guilty until you prove it innocent—and law enforcement has a huge incentive to police for profit, not justice.
If police suspect that you committed a crime, they can arrest you and put you on trial. At that trial, prosecutors must prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
But if police suspect your car was involved in a crime, they can take it, sell it and, in most places, pocket the proceeds to pad their budgets. They need not prove you committed any crime—or even arrest you—to take your property away.
Welcome to the upside-down world of civil asset forfeiture.
With civil forfeiture, your property is guilty until you prove it innocent to get it back.
Americans for Legal Immigration PAC is releasing a statement today rebutting Senator Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) attacks on the group’s statements that helped defeat the Dream Act Amnesty cloture vote this past Saturday December 18, 2010, which marks the legislation’s seventh defeat in Washington.
Senator Durbin scrambled to save the bill from ALIPAC’s accusation that the waiver provision found on page 5, line 21, would allow the Obama administration to bypass most of the requirements in the bill and give amnesty to most illegal aliens in America including terrorists and criminals.
In a desperate effort to save the bill from ALIPAC’s revelations about the waiver, Senator Durbin claimed on the Senate floor that, “During the course of preparing for this, one Senator received a notice that said that the DREAM Act allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive all grounds of inadmissibility for illegal aliens including criminals, terrorists, and certain gang members. We had my staff call the Senator’s office who put this out and ask: Where did you get that? That is not what it says. They couldn’t point to any source.”
He continues, “We then called the Department of Homeland Security and said: “All right, give us an answer. Under the DREAM Act, could you waive all these things, would terrorists and criminals have a right? Of course not. The Department of Homeland Security came back and said: No, that isn’t what the law says at all. So we are battling not only passing a bill but a lot of misinformation. That is troublesome.”
The source of this bill stopping information is no mystery. The source is the text of the legislation itself and the national press release put out by Americans for Legal Immigration PAC at 9:00 am on the same day of Durbin’s comments titled ‘Dream Amnesty Allows Obama To Grant Amnesty To All Illegals’
Senator Durbin is likely aware of the source of his concerns about the waiver provision because some of his staff members subscribe to ALIPAC’s email alerts and updates!
All US Senate offices were flooded with copies of this press release including calls from thousands of activists.
“Senator Durbin’s attempt to use Homeland Security, which under Napolitano is one of the most aggressive promoters of Amnesty for illegal immigrants, is absurd,” said William Gheen President of ALIPAC. “All we did is draw lawmakers attention to page 5 line 21 of HR 5281 where it clearly states that Homeland Security can waive all of the other requirements in the bill and apply this legislation as mass amnesty for most of the illegal aliens in America!”
ALIPAC, which has played a key role in defeating the Dream Act Amnesty seven times following this recent vote, stands by the decision to release the waiver information as a method to stop HR 5281. If more elected officials actually read the bills they were voting on, such efforts would not be needed.
Close inspection of HR 5281, which was defeated in the Senate by a narrow margin, finds a blanket waiver provision on page 5 line 21 Sec. 6 (a)(2). Immediately following all of the promises in the bill that only illegal aliens who claim they are under 30, claim they have been in the US 5 years, and claim they were brought here by others when they were under 16, and claim they are going to college or into the military, the waiver allows all of these considerations to be dropped.
“(2) WAIVER.—With respect to any benefit under this section and sections…the Secretary of Homeland Security may waive the… ground of inadmissibility …and the ground of deportability… for humanitarian purposes or family unity or when it is otherwise in the public interest.”
“We are glad that our organization’s decision to focus on this dirty trick waiver buried in the bill upset Senator Durbin so much,” said William Gheen. “Next time we want him to cite the obvious source of his problem. We are Americans of every race, party, and walk of life who oppose illegal immigration and Amnesty. We are Americans for Legal Immigration PAC!”
For more information about ALIPAC, the tricky waiver buried in the Dream Amnesty bill, interviews, or how citizens can get involved in stopping and reversing illegal immigration in America, please visit www.alipac.us
We have won another round against Reid, Pelosi, and Obama’s Dream Act Amnesty!
The Cloture Vote on HR 5281, which passed the House by a narrow margin, has failed with 55 votes for Cloture and 41 against leaving the bill supporters 5 votes short of what they needed.
We want thank each and every one of you that has supported ALIPAC, or NumbersUSA, or the many other great organization leading the charge against this nationally destructive Amnesty.
Your calls, donations, and emails have made the difference and you did it without significant mass media support from the major networks including Drudge Report which took a dive and kept silent on this issue again.
We appreciate all of the sacrifices people have made and those working today instead of spending much deserved time with their friends and family members.
While Dream Amnesty Cloture has failed we are not out of the woods just yet until the final bell rings and Congress adjourns for the session. In fact, we will not be truly safe until January 6, when the new historic Congress you helped to elect is sworn in.
We must remain diligent and ready to respond at a moments notice through Christmas and New Years as evil Harry Reid and his traitors could try anything at any moment.
But today, for this brief moment, our hard work has paid off.
Three cheers for our victory over Dream Amnesty!
Praise be to God for allowing us to still have a country today.
William Gheen and The ALIPAC Team
Saturday, December 18 @ 12:30:10 EST
ALIPAC is rallying talk radio show listeners and American citizens to call the US Senate to oppose the Dream Act Amnesty today. The bill contains a waiver that would allow the Secretary of Homeland Security and President Obama to grant Amnesty to most illegal immigrants in America.
“The Dream Act Amnesty is a Nightmare already and would displace several million innocent American students, workers, and voters,” said William Gheen, President of ALIPAC. “But now we find a waiver on page 5, line 21 of HR 5281 that allows Obama to grant Amnesty for most of the 12-20 million illegal aliens in America!”
Close inspection of HR 5281, which passed the house last week by a narrow margin, finds a blanket waiver provision on page 5 line 21 Sec. 6 (a)(2). Immediately following all of the promises in the bill that only illegal aliens that claim they are under 30, claim they have been in the US 5 years, and claim they were brought here by others when they were under 16, and claim they are going to college or into the military, the waiver allows all of these considerations to be dropped.
“(2) WAIVER.—With respect to any benefit under this section and sections…the Secretary of Homeland Security may waive the… ground of inadmissibility …and the ground of deportability… for humanitarian purposes or family unity or when it is otherwise in the public interest.”
This provision will grant the Obama administration the power to declare full amnesty for the 12 to 20 million adult illegal immigrants in America!
“Most of America has been suckered into thinking this Dream Act Amnesty cloture vote will just be about a subsection of illegal aliens brought here as kids and that’s a lie,” said William Gheen. “Americans need to call the Senate today to oppose this bill because it gives the Obama administration the power to grant Amnesty to tens of millions of illegals who will in turn destroy the borders of the United States.”
For more information about ALIPAC’s talk radio interviews, targeted calls to the Senate, and the groups past successful efforts defeating the Dream Act Amnesty legislation please visit www.alipac.us
S.510 is the Patriot Act of farming, it will effectively destroy many small, local organic farms
(NaturalNews) The infamous S.510 “food food safety bill” was passed by the US Senate last night in a sneaky, last minute voice vote. All Senators voted for it, Republicans and Democrats alike. Not a single U.S. Senator — not even Coburn — objected to its passage.
With this vote, the US Senate now sends the bill back to the House of Representatives where it is due for a final vote as HR 2751 that would then send the bill to the White House for a presidential signature. This House vote could take place as early as tomorrow (Tuesday).
A betrayal of food freedom
This last-minute sneak vote of unanimous consent is widely considered a betrayal of food freedom by the few Republicans who had opposed this bill. TheHill.com posted their report on this unexpected turn of events late last night (http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatc…) and has since been overrun by comments from steaming mad members of the public who feel utterly betrayed by their Senators.
The Natural Solutions Foundation posted a blog entitled, “Betrayed by the GOP” which blasts Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike for approving this bureaucratic monster that will grow the size and power of the FDA (http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/?p=7824).
The Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund also posted an urgent action alert (http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/aa/aa…) urging people to call their representatives in Washington and oppose HR 2751.
Take action now to block this bill in the House
The U.S. House of Representatives meets Tuesday, which means we have 24 hours (or less) to fight back with an avalanche of phone calls to stop this bad, freedom-destroying bill from becoming law. The new bill name is HR 2751 (notice how they keep changing this around to confuse us?).
Join the millions of people who actively oppose this bill by calling your representatives in Washington and urging them to oppose passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act. If you don’t already know the phone number of your representatives in the House, the capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. Call that and they will connect you to your members of Congress.
It’s important to understand the depth of betrayal that has just been committed by the GOP members of the US Senate. Democratic members of the Senate, of course, have always voted for S.510 because it’s a bill that expands the power of government and will unleash an army of FDA inspectors who roam the countryside harassing farmers and small growers. The expansion of government power over the People has almost always been unanimously supported by Democratic Senators.
But Republicans have been reluctant to see such a sudden expansion of FDA power and personnel. Some GOP members have opposed this bill because they see it as too overreaching, too powerful and too threatening to the food freedoms upon which this country was founded. So they tried to oppose the bill in order to keep the FDA out of our farms, gardens and greenhouses. And for a long time, Sen. Tom Coburn effectively blocked this bill from becoming law.
But Senator Harry Reid — the King of Corruption in the Senate, in my opinion — kept pushing this bill, backed by Big Agribiz corporate supporters who can’t wait to see small farms buried under the burden of compliance that would be unleashed under the bill. And no, all small farms are NOT exempt from this bill. In the world of agriculture, a small family farm growing food on as little as twenty acres can easily exceed $1 million a year in revenues (without much profit, because there isn’t much profit in most crops) and thereby be subjected to FDA tyranny under S.510.
S.510 is the Patriot Act of farming. And the reason it got so much support from the large corporations is becauseit will effectively destroy many small, local organic farmsby suffocating them under a new regulatory burden — even when they’re not the problem to begin with! Food safety is only a problem because of the factory animal operations that comingle with large, corporate food operations, thereby contaminating fresh produce with animal-grown bacteria. E.coli, for example, cannot multiply in plants! It can only grow in the intestines of animals.
This is FASCISM! (See more info on Codex Alimentarius below.)
NATURAL SOLUTIONS FOUNDATION
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty…”
“No one’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”
Sunday, December 19, 2010
The betrayal Sunday night of the Health and Food Freedom movement [and the Tea Party, Liberty, Farm/Ranch/Garden groups working with us] by the GOP in passing S.510 back to the House with an unrecorded Unanimous Consent vote is unacceptable. We condemn the GOP for this betrayal.
Our so-called friends in the Senate had assured us they would object to any effort to tack S.510, the fake “food safety” (really, “food control”) bill onto any other legislation in the last couple days of the congressional session. We feel betrayed. We pledge not to forget!
ONE LAST CHANCE TO STOP FASCIST FOOD CONTROL IN THE HOUSE!
THE HOUSE NEXT MEETS TUESDAY…
48 HOURS TO SAVE FOOD FREEDOM!
The critical moment is now, during the last couple days before the Holiday recess.
KEEP ON PUSHING BACK!
PLEASE USE THE NEW ACTION ITEM EVERY DAY…
OFTEN! And Forward It to Your Contacts!
The government has urged UK Internet service providers to block pornographic websites in order to help protect children.
UK communications minister Ed Vaizey is expected to meet representatives from UK ISPs BT, TalkTalk and Virgin Media to discuss the possibility of blocking pornographic websites at homes with children by default.
Under the plans, access to such websites will be blocked unless a person of appropriate age opts-in to regain access to pornographic content on the web.
Vaizey said in a statement: “This is a very serious matter. I think it is very important that it’s the ISPs (Internet service providers) that come up with solutions to protect children. I’m hoping they will get their acts together so we don’t have to legislate, but we are keeping an eye on the situation and we will have a new communications bill in the next couple of years.”
However, the Open Rights group has voiced its concerns over a blacklist being controlled by the government as they fear that it would turn into a front for blocking websites like WikiLeaks.
The British government is planning to ask internet service providers (ISP’s) in the U.K. to restrict access to pornographic web sites and protect children from gaining access–but it’ll probably have a hard time getting them to toe the line.
The Internet Service Provider Association said today that controls on children’s access to the Internet “should be managed by parents and carers with the tools ISP’s provide, rather than being imposed top-down.”
It comes after U.K. communications minister Ed Vaizey said he would meet with Internet providers like BT, Virgin Media and Talk Talk “in the near future” to discuss the way households access pornography online.
“I’m hoping they will get their acts together so that we don’t have to legislate,” he told The Sunday Times, “but we are keeping an eye on the situation and we will have a new communications bill in the next couple of years.”
In is scientifically proven that chromium VI causes cancer in animals.
An environmental group that analyzed the drinking water in 35 cities across the United States, including Bethesda and Washington, found that most contained hexavalent chromium, a probable carcinogen that was made famous by the film “Erin Brockovich.”
The study, which will be released Monday by the Environmental Working Group, is the first nationwide analysis of hexavalent chromium in drinking water to be made public.
It comes as the Environmental Protection Agency is considering whether to set a limit for hexavalent chromium in tap water. The agency is reviewing the chemical after the National Toxicology Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, deemed it a “probable carcinogen” in 2008.
The federal government restricts the amount of “total chromium” in drinking water and requires water utilities to test for it, but that includes both trivalent chromium, a mineral that humans need to metabolize glucose, and hexavalent chromium, the metal that has caused cancer in laboratory animals.
Last year, California took the first step in limiting the amount of hexavalent chromium in drinking water by proposing a “public health goal” for safe levels of 0.06 parts per billion. If California does set a limit, it would be the first in the nation.
Hexavalent chromium was a commonly used industrial chemical until the early 1990s. It is still used in some industries, such as in chrome plating and the manufacturing of plastics and dyes. The chemical can also leach into groundwater from natural ores.
The new study found hexavalent chromium in the tap water of 31 out of 35 cities sampled. Of those, 25 had levels that exceeded the goal proposed in California.
The highest levels were found in Norman, Okla., where the water contained more than 200 times the California goal. Locally, Bethesda and Washington each had levels of 0.19 parts per billion, more than three times the California goal.
SEOUL/BEIJING (Reuters) – North Korea said on Friday it would strike again at the South if a live-fire drill by Seoul on a disputed island went ahead, with an even stronger response than last month’s shelling that killed four people.
South Korean troops geared up today for artillery drills on a border island shelled by North Korea last month despite Pyongyang’s threat to retaliate again, as Russia and China expressed concerns over rising tensions on the divided peninsula.
The North warned yesterday that it would strike even harder than before if the South went ahead with its planned drills. Four people died last month in the North’s attack on Yeonpyeong Island near the tense sea border.
The US supports South Korea, saying the country has a right to conduct such a military exercise. However, Russia’s Foreign Ministry expressed its “extreme concern” yesterday over the drills and urged South Korea to cancel them to prevent a further escalation of tensions.
China, the North’s key ally, also said it is firmly opposed to any acts that could worsen already-high tensions on the Korean peninsula. “In regard to what could lead to worsening the situation or any escalation of acts of sabotage of regional peace and stability, China is firmly and unambiguously opposed,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement today.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said today that marines would go ahead with the drills as scheduled and that the military was ready to respond to any possible provocation.
“We have a right to conduct our own military drills,” a Joint Chiefs of Staff officer said.
Unfortunately, the majority of Urbanites have been fooled into believing environmental propaganda.
Urbanites comprise a large voting block
Most Americans don’t understand the Constitution
Most Americans are unaware of the limited powers of the federal government, so a monumental power grab has resulted
We all want a healthy planet with plenty of vegetation and animals. When these organisms become threatened or endangered, and it is a result of human interaction, then it is caused by society, not one landowner. Therefore, it is society’s responsibility to make amends, the liability does not fall on the shoulders of independent landowners. If an area is needed to rehabilitate a species, the landowner should be justly compensated. This solution also benefits society, in that the protection of the species is more secure.
Property ownership is important, not only for landowners, but because property ownership extends to all of your possessions, your intellectual property and all the way to your very body. If private property ownership is abolished, imagine the eventual impact on property rights.
Watch Dr. Michael Coffman’s ‘Taking Libberty’ in its entirety here. This is an excellent explanation of how the the government plans to tke over private property; Dr. Coffman also discusses how it is happening in your region.
Seen from Central Park in New York at 4:30 a.m., the eclipse is nearly over, but the moon stands high, flanked by Orion on the left and Auriga and Taurus on the right. Credit: Starry Night Software. Full story.
For a few hours on the night of Dec. 20 to Dec. 21, the attention of tens of millions of people will be drawn skyward, where the mottled, coppery globe of our moon will hang completely immersed in the long, tapering cone of shadow cast out into space by our Earth. If the weather is clear, favorably placed skywatchers will have a view of one of nature’s most beautiful spectacles: a total eclipse of the moon.
Unlike a total eclipse of the sun, which is only visible to those in the path of totality, eclipses of the moon can usually be observed from one’s own backyard. The passage of the moon through the Earth’s shadow is equally visible from all places within the hemisphere where the moon is above the horizon.
The total phase of the upcoming event will be visible across all of North and South America, as well as the northern and western part of Europe, and a small part of northeast Asia, including Korea and much of Japan. Totality will also be visible in its entirety from the North Island of New Zealand and Hawaii — a potential viewing audience of about 1.5 billion people. This will be the first opportunity from any place on earth to see the moon undergo a total eclipse in 34 months. [Amazing photos of a total lunar eclipse]
This star chart shows where in the sky the upcoming lunar eclipse will appear. And check this NASA lunar eclipse chart to see how visible the eclipse will be from different regions around the world.
Stages of the eclipse
There is nothing complicated about viewing this celestial spectacle. Unlike an eclipse of the sun, which necessitates special viewing precautions in order to avoid eye damage, an eclipse of the moon is perfectly safe to watch. All you’ll need to watch are your eyes, but binoculars or a telescope will give a much nicer view.
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