Saturday, July 18, 2015

Old man kills 3 wolves to avenge sheep

A Saudi farmer in his 70s got into his four-wheel car and chased three wolves for hours before shooting them with his machine gun after they killed his sheep. Mohammed Al Sandali chased the wolves into hills and valleys before spotting them resting after a raid on his sheep and nearby farms in the Western town of Raniyah. “He got out of his car, stalked the wolves and shot them…he then brought them dead to his village to show them to the farmers,” ‘Sabq’ daily said.  Source

U.S. sought extradition of 'El Chapo,' Mexican official acknowledges

After consistent denials, the Mexican government acknowledged Friday that it had received a formal request from the United States for the extradition of notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Mexican Atty. Gen. Arely Gomez said her office received the request June 25, 16 days before Guzman made a brazen escape from Mexico's premier maximum-security Altiplano prison through a mile-long tunnel. In the petition, the U.S. asks for Guzman's extradition based on an indictment in Federal District Court for Southern California, in San Diego. Gomez said her office was analyzing the request when Guzman escaped on July 11. She made the revelation Thursday night during a closed-door session of Congress and her office later confirmed the information. Alana Robinson, chief of the criminal division of the San Diego office, has said extradition requests were based on a 1996 indictment of Guzman and 22 others for importation into the U.S. of “huge quantities” of cocaine through tunnels as well as jets, railways and cars. Robinson, in an interview this week with KPBS radio in San Diego, said the U.S. had been going through diplomatic channels since last year. “We were very hopeful that Chapo Guzman would come and [face] the charges here in San Diego so of course [his escape] is disappointing,” she said...more

Escaped convict Guzman taunts authorities on Twitter

Within a few hours of his relaxed escape from Mexico’s highest security prison early last Saturday evening, Joaquin Guzman Loera, better known as “El Chapo” for his stocky build, was back on Twitter, hopping about the ether, crowing and taunting like some sort of manic cartoon character. “Never say never,” the world’s most-wanted drug trafficker cried at @ElChap0Guzman. “There’s no cage for this great Chapo!” He sent greetings to his family, thanked his collaborators, praised his sons, looked forward to working again with his compadre, Ismael “el Mayo” Zambada, who had run the Sinaloa cartel since Chapo’s arrest; and Don Rafa — Rafael Caro Quintero, a patriarch of the drug trade who was scandalously released from prison two years ago by a compliant judge and is now a fugitive...more

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ranchers in New Mexico, California and Washington sue feds over water rule

Ranchers in New Mexico, California and Washington state are challenging a new Obama administration rule giving federal agencies authority to protect some streams and wetlands. The Sacramento, California-based Pacific Legal Foundation announced this week it has filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Minnesota on behalf of the ranchers over a recent expansion of the Clean Water Act. The rule is a response to calls from the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress for the Environmental Protection Agency to clarify which smaller waterways are protected under the law. But the foundation argues the rule is unconstitutional because it sets no limit on the Clean Water Act's reach. EPA spokeswoman Monica Lee declined to comment on the lawsuit. In June, 13 states led by North Dakota filed a lawsuit over the same rule change.  AP

A press release from the PLF has the following:

Specifically, the lawsuit seeks invalidation of the new regulatory rule defining the “waters of the
United States” that are subject to CWA jurisdiction. Issued by the Environmental Protection Agency
and the Army Corps of Engineers, the rule is illegal — and unconstitutional — because it sets no limit on the CWA’s reach, while explicitly expanding it to waters that the Supreme Court has already ruled to be off-limits to federal control.  Judicial precedent and statutory language limit the CWA to “navigable” waters such as rivers, lakes, oceans, and adjacent waters directly connected to them. In violation of this rule, the administration’s new definition of “waters of the United States” is open-ended; for instance, it includes all “tributaries,” no matter how small or remote; “neighboring” water bodies without any connection to a navigable water; and even isolated waters that the Supreme Court has held to be beyond CWA coverage.


Is a mini ICE AGE on the way? Scientists warn the sun will 'go to sleep' in 2030 and could cause temperatures to plummet

Is a mini ICE AGE on the way? Scientists warn the sun will 'go to sleep' in 2030 and could cause temperatures to plummet. The Earth could be headed for a 'mini ice age' researchers have warned. A new study claims to have cracked predicting solar cycles - and says that between 2020 and 2030 solar cycles will cancel each other out. This, they say, will lead to a phenomenon known as the 'Maunder minimum' - which has previously been known as a mini ice age when it hit between 1646 and 1715, even causing London's River Thames to freeze over. The new model of the Sun's solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun's 11-year heartbeat. It draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone. Zharkova and her colleagues derived their model using a technique called 'principal component analysis' of the magnetic field observations from the Wilcox Solar Observatory in California...more

Pentagon to lawmakers: Let Interior keep wildlife refuge (bill also delists lesser prairie chicken))

The Defense Department is asking lawmakers to strike language in the House defense authorization bill that would give the Air Force sole jurisdiction over almost half of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada, according to a Defense Department official. The Fish and Wildlife Service is the current manager of the refuge, while the military has secondary jurisdiction over 850,000 acres in the western half of the preserve that are used by the Air Force. The House version of the defense authorization bill would change that, transferring primary jurisdiction over the 850,000 acres to the Air Force. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell also sent a letter Friday to the House and Senate Armed Services committees currently in conference on the defense authorization bills, requesting that they clarify the language. In her letter, Jewell wrote that the refuge language would have "serious effects" on management, and "would give the Air Force authority to conduct any defense related activity in a majority of the refuge's 1.6 million acres." The letter also criticizes a number of other provisions in the House bill, including one that would prevent Interior from listing the greater sage grouse as endangered and others that would delist the lesser prairie chicken and American burrowing beetle...more

Court considers oil moratorium at Chaco Canyon

Environmentalists and oil industry representatives faced off in federal court on Monday over oil drilling in the Mancos Shale near Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico. A group of environmental organizations filed suit last March to force the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to conduct a new environmental impact study on the effects of oil production in the Mancos Shale near Chaco Canyon. U.S. Judge James Browning began hearing arguments Monday about whether to impose a moratorium on all new oil permitting in the Mancos until the court case is resolved. The Mancos, an oil-rich zone in the San Juan Basin, remained undeveloped until recently because oil companies could not profitably mine for hydrocarbons in the hard-rock shale where it’s encased. But in the last few years, modern techniques of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have, for the first time, allowed industry to economically crack open the Mancos, encouraging Encana Corp. of Canada and WPX Energy of Oklahoma to drill about 150 wells since 2011. BP America and ConocoPhillips are also interested in developing the Mancos, leading all four companies and the American Petroleum Institute to join the lawsuit in support of the BLM. “Encana and WPX have drilled over 100 wells in the past four years, together investing over $1 billion in the Mancos, and now they’re being asked to stop,” John Shepherd, attorney for the operators, told Browning. “It would cause enormous harm to the companies if they had to stop at this point.” But environmentalists say proximity to Chaco Canyon raises concerns about impact on natural resources, Native American communities living in the area and cultural and archaeological sites. They want the BLM to thoroughly study those impacts with public input before approving any new drilling permits...more

State Land Office imposes right-of-entry fee on SunZia project

The New Mexico State Land Office plans to tack on $125,000 right-of-entry fees for the SunZia transmission-line project when it enters state trust lands, Commissioner of Public Lands Aubrey Dunn announced Friday. The move by the New Mexico State Land Office is the latest twist in the SunZia saga. The 515-mile transmission-line project has been in the planning stages since 2009. It would carry electricity from New Mexico to Arizona and, eventually, California. On Jan. 2, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, working with Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), visited New Mexico and announced with fanfare that the project would go forward. "Not so fast" was the message that appeared to come from the office of Dunn, who promptly suspended the project's right-of-entry pending a 60-day review. The project's status has been somewhat in limbo since. In addition to the fees, which are only for entry to state lands, the State Land Office said its initial internal assessment of the value of the right-of-way over state trust lands is between $750,000 to $1 million per mile. The project would cross 89 miles of state trust lands. In a news release announcing the right-of-entry fees, Dunn said he was working in the interest of the state...more

New Mexico fruit and vegetable farmers get boost from FINI program

New Mexicans enrolled in SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as Food Stamps), are taking advantage of the program called "Double Up Food Bucks" to encourage participants to spend their benefits on fresh fruits and vegetables at 34 farmers markets across the state. New Mexico Department of Agriculture officials say many families want to eat healthier, but paying for organic and fresh produce can be pricey, especially for those on low or fixed incomes. The program is simple. A family that spends $10 in SNAP benefits at participating farmers’ markets across New Mexico receives an additional $10 in Double Up Food Bucks to purchase fresh farm-grown fruits and vegetables. In other words, a dollar spent on fresh food buys two dollars in fresh food products at participating markets...more

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The FBI Wants the Key to Your Data

by Jacob Sullum

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, FBI Director James Comey argued that data should never be transmitted or stored in a way that frustrates government snooping. Comey warned that encryption is a boon to criminals and therefore must be designed so that law enforcement agencies can decode it when the need arises.

As a panel of computer security experts pointed out in a report issued two days before that hearing, Comey's argument founders on the practical difficulties of facilitating access by government officials without facilitating access by "bad actors." Another problem: Sometimes the bad actors are government officials.

Comey's insistence that the world be arranged to make his job easier should sound familiar to anyone who recalls the debate over encryption controls during the Clinton administration, which wanted telecommunications companies to incorporate a wiretap-enabling "Clipper chip" into their devices. The initiative was abandoned after experts pointed out that the key escrow arrangement required by the Clipper chip was technically impractical and risky, making communications vulnerable to malicious hackers.

Many of the same experts—including Harold Abelson, Matt Blaze, John Gilmore, Peter Neumann, and Ronald Rivest—collaborated on last week's report, which comes to similar conclusions while emphasizing that the stakes are much higher today because "the scale and scope of systems dependent on strong encryption are far greater, and our society is far more reliant on far-flung digital networks that are under daily attack." Abelson et al. conclude that proposals for "exceptional access" to encrypted data by law enforcement agencies "are unworkable in practice, raise enormous legal and ethical questions, and would undo progress on security at a time when Internet vulnerabilities are causing extreme economic harm."

In addition to the threat posed by identity thieves, blackmailers, commercial spies, and saboteurs who might take advantage of the weaknesses introduced by exceptional access, Abelson and his co-authors worry about demands for encryption controls from governments that treat dissidents as criminals. Comey concedes the danger in his written testimony, saying "any steps that we take here in the United States may impact the decisions that other nations take—both our closest democratic allies and more repressive regimes."

As the National Security Agency's illegal mass collection of our telephone records illustrates, it is not just foreign governments we need to worry about.

Does Congress write our laws or not?

by Michael Cannon 

Last month's Supreme Court's ruling in King v. Burwell has made it official: There is not a single person in the United States who actually believes Obamacare can work as written. The only question that remains is, who gets to rewrite it?

President Obama thinks he can rewrite it all by himself. With good reason: he has successfully done so ever since has the law was first passed, tweaking a deadline here or increasing spending there. Six Supreme Court justices decreed last month that they can rewrite the law too—you know, to make it work. It seems the only folks in Washington who don't get to rewrite ObamaCare are the majorities in Congress that were elected to repeal it.

In King v. Burwell, four Virginia taxpayers alleged the Obama administration is unlawfully taxing them and 70 million other Americans, as well as unlawfully spending tens of billions of dollars to hide the cost of ObamaCare coverage, contrary to the plain language of the Affordable Care Act.

That statute repeatedly says those taxes and subsidies may be imposed only "through an Exchange established by the State." Nowhere does it authorize them in the dozens of states that failed to establish an exchange, and the federal government established exchanges instead. As has always been the case with Medicaid, Congress offered health care subsidies to a state's residents, but only if state officials agreed to implement the program.

Enter Chief Justice John Roberts. Writing for the majority, Roberts reasoned that, if "established by the State" really meant "established by the State," the ACA would collapse. Roberts found it "implausible" to think Congress would intend to pass a law that might fail.

One wonders whether the Chief Justice has ever seen Congress in action.

Bill funding Interior, EPA stalls over Confederate flag issue

The appropriations bill funds the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US Forest Service and most of the US Department of Interior. Sub-agencies within Interior funded by the bill include the Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey and the National Park Service (NPS). Earlier in the week, Democrats successfully attached several amendments to the bill banning display and sale of the confederate flag on NPS grounds for all purposes except historical usage. Spurred by concerns from southern Republicans over the added language related to the confederate flag, Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert (R-CA) offered an amendment that would undo the aforementioned amendments, allowing the display of the confederate flag at NPS cemeteries and codifying existing law regarding sale of the confederate flag at NPS gift shops. Rather than have his Republican conference go on record with a vote on a contentious issue, Speaker Boehner elected to pull the entire bill. With most Democrats expected to oppose the bill and a significant number of Republicans opposed to the adopted confederate flag amendments, the bill likely no longer had the majority votes necessary to pass the House...more

How historically ironic it would be if the Confederacy struck a blow for freedom by stopping all moneys going to Interior. 

Senate rejects climate change education measure

Republican senators rejected an amendment to a No Child Left Behind reform bill Wednesday that looked to establish a federal climate change education program. The measure, from Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), would have created a grant program for school districts to “develop or improve climate science curriculum and supplementary education materials,” according to the amendment text. It failed on a 44-53 vote. Before the vote, Markey said the amendment aimed to “ensure that we provide the best science training available for this next generation, the green generation.” “The children of our country deserve the best scientific education they can get on this topic,” he said. “They are the future leaders of our country and our world. They must be equipped for this generational science.” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the author of the Senate’s education bill, equated the measure to Common Core, the federal learning standards that many conservatives have slammed as a government takeover of education. Alexander called himself a “a Republican who believes climate change is a problem and that human activity is a major contributor to that problem.” But he warned that attaching the amendment to his bill could lead to curriculum whiplash depending on which party holds the White House and sets education standards. “Just imagine what the curriculum on climate change would be if we shifted from President Obama to President Cruz and then back to President Sanders and then to President Trump,” he said. “There would be a lot of wasted paper, writing and rewriting textbooks.”...more

If Senator Alexander really cared about changing curricula and wasted paper he'd get the feds totally out of education.  Do that and there would be no Markey amendments.

Phil Lyman finds irony in being face of ATV activism

SALT LAKE CITY — San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman hired a new attorney to represent him in his Recapture Canyon ATV ride case and received a 60-day delay for sentencing in the federal matter. In the interim, the Utah Attorney General's Office is reviewing the Recapture Canyon pipeline road to determine why it is not part of the state's pending lawsuit against the federal government involving right-of-way claims on 12,000 roads and if it should be. Public Lands Section Chief Tony Rampton said based on the information compiled, it may be that the state could add that road to the San Juan County list of roads claimed in a pending lawsuit, or initiate a separate action to assert ownership. The decision could have ramifications for the long-term outcome of Lyman's criminal trespass and conspiracy case before U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby and an anticipated appeal to the 10th Circuit in Denver. Sentencing before Shelby is set for Sept. 15, but Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, is hopeful the state will initiate legal intervention before then. "We hope to file a lawsuit and bring in new evidence," Noel said during a caucus early Wednesday...more

Jewell adds meeting on Colowyo coal mine to her Colorado visit

Those gripes about Interior Secretary Sally Jewell making time for whitewater rafting and hobnobbing in Aspen — but not the Colowyo coal mine — appear to have paid off. Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid said Wednesday that Jewell has added a meeting with northwest Colorado county commissioners to her itinerary Friday following her speech at the Aspen Institute. “We look forward to meeting Secretary Jewell this Friday evening,” Kinkaid said. “I hope that she will be able to give us some assurances that our miners can keep working.” He said he expected the meeting to include commissioners from Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, whose communities would bear the brunt of a mine closure. The meeting will take place in Glenwood Springs. Jewell had come under pressure to visit the area after it was announced that she would deliver remarks Friday at the Aspen Institute, about a three-hour drive from Craig, where residents are alarmed about the future of the mine. The criticism intensified Wednesday when a public-relations firm sent out a press release saying that Jewell would participate in a rafting trip in Browns Canyon during her Colorado trip. The Franklin Center’s website ran a story Wednesday under a photo of whitewater rafters with the headline, “Interior Sec. Jewell all play and no work during Colorado visit.” Interior spokeswoman Jessica Kershaw said Wednesday that Jewell’s schedule had not yet been finalized. “Secretary Jewell made the right choice to meet with commissioners, even better would be for her to meet with members of the community who have everything to lose if the mine gets shut down,” said conservative pressure group Advancing Colorado’s Jonathan Lockwood in a statement. The Interior Department declined last week to appeal a federal judge’s decision ordering a redo of an eight-year-old expansion permit at the mine in response to a lawsuit from WildEarth Guardians. The mine could be closed if the Office of Surface Mining is unable to finish the permit by Sept. 6...more

Firm objects to delay in drilling on land sacred to Indians

A Louisiana company seeking to drill for natural gas on Montana land held sacred by some American Indians objected to a 75-day review period sought by a federal panel considering the proposal. After decades of bureaucratic delays, Solenex LLC of Baton Rouge hoped to begin drilling this summer on its more than 9-square-mile federal energy lease in the Badger-Two Medicine area next to Glacier National Park. That timetable appears increasingly unlikely. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has said it needs until Sept. 21 to issue its recommendations on whether drilling would degrade the area’s significance to the Blackfoot tribes of Canada and Montana. Also pending is a decision in a 2013 lawsuit from Solenex that seeks to lift the suspension. “For goodness’ sakes, the facts are well-known,” said William Perry Pendley with Mountain States Legal Foundation, a Lakewood, Colorado law firm representing Solenex. “We know where everybody is on this and what the facts are. I think they could come up with a conclusion over a long weekend.” Solenex obtained the lease in 1982. It was suspended in 1993 and remains undeveloped. Leaders from northwest Montana’s Blackfeet Tribe recently terminated formal negotiations over the lease, saying the only acceptable outcome was for Solenex not to drill in the area. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon lambasted the government’s handling of the issue during a hearing in Washington, D.C., last month and asked federal officials to come up with other examples of cases that have taken so long. In response, U.S. Justice Department attorney Ruth Ann Storey submitted a letter to the court saying she was unable to find any cases with a comparable timeline...more

Court Challenge Filed to Recover Oregon Coast Coho Salmon

The Center for Biological Diversity and Oregon Wild today filed a court challenge against the National Marine Fisheries Service over its failure to develop a recovery plan for Oregon coast coho salmon. Despite the fact that the fish has been protected under the Endangered Species Act for nearly seven years, the agency has failed to develop a recovery plan to guide much-needed improvements in logging and other land-management practices identified as a major factor in the coho's imperilment. The groups are represented by Chris Winter with the Crag Law Center and Paul Kampmeier of Kampmeier & Knutsen. “Oregon coast coho need a recovery roadmap if they are to have any chance at surviving," said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “A recovery plan is needed to address Oregon's logging rules, which are badly out of date and allow practices that do real harm to coho salmon and the precious rivers and streams they depend on.”...more

Four Corners ranchers and farmers troubled by influx of prairie dogs

Animal rights activists love prairie dogs. But typically, farmers and ranchers hate them. There's always a battle over what to do when there are too many. Trap and relocate or exterminate? In the Four Corners, there's a prairie dog invasion. “We need our wildlife around, but we do need to manage that.” And Hodiak Ewing spends a lot of time managing the wildlife. This season, it is prairie dogs he is focused on. “I would say five times as many,” he said, “There’s a lot a lot of prairie dogs.” He says the surge could be because most control methods have been banned, and that few people consider just moving the prairie dogs because of how much it costs. “The problem with relocation, unless you have private property that people want prairie dogs, we can’t relocate them to federal or state land or anything like that,” said Ewing. The prairie dogs are causing serious trouble for farmers and ranchers. Their mounds damage equipment, and horses and cows can step in holes and break their legs. “The biggest problem is the plague and human safety. They carry fleas that carry the plague that bite people it is fatal,” Ewing said...more

70th anniversary of atomic bomb test a source of pride, anger

This July 16, 1945 photo, shows the mushroom cloud of the first atomic explosion at Trinity Test Site, New Mexico (AP)
The unknown blast came during rainy season in the desolate New Mexico desert. Most residents of the historic Hispanic village of Tularosa had no phones or radios. So when word spread that Army officials said it was just an ammunition explosion, anxious residents relaxed despite the raining ash. It wasn't until after the U.S. announced it had dropped an atomic bomb on Japan that Tularosa residents learned scientists from the then-secret city of Los Alamos successfully exploded the first atomic bomb at the nearby Trinity Site on July 16, 1945. "It was a source of pride," Tina Cordova, a former Tularosa resident whose father was 3 years old when the Trinity test was conducted. It later became a source of anger after residents suffered various cancers and they soon began to blame the test for the fallout. Thursday marks the 70th anniversary of the Trinity Test in southern New Mexico. It comes New Mexico is holding various commemorative events on the test and as Tularosa residents say press for acknowledgement and compensation from the U.S. government. Cordova, co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders, said the aftermath caused rare forms of cancer for many of the 30,000 residents in the area surrounding Trinity. She said residents weren't told about the site's dangers and often picnicked there and took artifacts, including the radioactive green glass known as "trinitite." Researchers from the National Cancer Institute are studying past and present cancer cases in New Mexico that might be related to the Trinity Test. "It's not about anti-nuclear protests," said Cordova, a former Tularosa resident and cancer survivor. "We want recognition from the U.S. government that they did this to us, that they came here and did this test. And that they walked away and left us for 70 years to deal with it on our own."...more

New Mexico Downwinder justice denied

© 2015 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. 

"Justice delayed is justice denied." William Gladstone
             A group of New Mexicans have a legitimate suspicion that they were injured by the actions of our government years ago but no one today cares. I am one of them. We are called Downwinders since the suspicion is that our injury is from the downwind residue from the first nuclear explosion.
            That twenty kiloton nuclear explosion was in a remote area of New Mexico seventy years ago this July 16th. The scientists wanted to be sure the device would explode correctly when dropped over a Japanese city.
            The implosion-design plutonium device at Trinity Site was similar to the bomb detonated over Nagasaki, Japan August 9, 1945. In the seventy years since that nuclear test our world has changed dramatically and yet some of that 1945 world perhaps stays with us Downwinders.
            We suspect we are survivors of invisible pollutants from that nuclear explosion leading to our health problems. For me it was an aggressive form of thyroid cancer. Around Chernobyl it is called Radiation Induced Thyroid Cancer.
            The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident injured many people downwind of the area, however, there are robust efforts underway to identify and help those injured by the radiation. In our country our government has no interest in the radiation injury to New Mexico Downwinders. Does anyone doubt that the atomic explosion polluted New Mexico?
            Years ago one politician stated, "We beat the Japanese, what do you want?" He seemed mad that I was bringing up stuff from years ago. Politicians and journalists alike are not interested. I have written these issues in columns several times to the yawns of our leaders.
            Worse, we Downwinders are dying out. Our movement is like the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) founded in 1868 with their membership limited to Union military in the Civil War. Five US Presidents were GAR members. Then Albert Woolson, age 109, died in 1956 and then there were no longer any GAR members.
            The same will happen to the New Mexico Downwinders. One of us will be the last one alive and then the movement will end. Will we Downwinders find justice in our lifetime?
            The problem is we do not know for sure. Suspicion is not proof, but we have a right to be suspicious. Our government has not done what was done in Europe after Chernobyl where they studied carefully the people who thought they might have been sickened by the release of radiation.
            I appreciate that U. S. Senator Tom Udall held a meeting a couple weeks ago in Tularosa and New Mexico Representative Steve Pearce and I have spoken several times. But another day goes by, another week, another month, another year, and some more of us Downwinders have died.
            Why do I think it was the radiation release from the Trinity explosion that caused my cancer? Research is compelling around Chernobyl that a very aggressive form of thyroid cancer is tied to the radiation. I had that very aggressive form and was lucky that I noticed the tumor early and it was removed within ten days of diagnosis or perhaps I would not be here today.
            Again, suspicion is not proof but my government has not done anything to help Downwinders find out if our health maladies are tied to Trinity Site. These maladies are not cheap. We are out lots of money and there are quality of life issues.
            Our government is quick to throw money at other countries and other maladies in our country, why not this? Or even come up with the cost of looking at this issue. Because there is no political advantage and our people in government must always gain a political advantage.
            This issue will go away if politicians and government leaders can ignore us long enough. There is only one group who can bring justice to us if they will work at getting to the truth of the radiation.
            Journalists can continue to ignore us or they can put it on the front page until our government comes to its senses and acts responsibly. That is the role of the media in a perfect world. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Horses for Heroes NM - National Day Of The Cowboy

National Day Of The Cowboy - Mortenson Silver & Saddles - Santa Fe, NM

Mexican drug lord’s escape may mean more violence on border

Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman’s latest escape from a maximum-security prison in Mexico may eventually lead to renewed violence along the border, as U.S. officials and experts brace for the world’s billionaire drug trafficker to make another try to dominate one of the few regions he doesn’t control: Texas. “Texas is a huge gateway for illegal trafficking of drugs, weapons, people and money,” said Javier Garza, a veteran journalist in the state of Coahuila, which like four other Mexican states, borders Texas, and is long a haven for criminals, both from the underworld and public office. “The Mexican border states have a great economic, social and cultural integration, but not only for legal activities. … For years, we have learned about Mexican drug lords, politicians and businessmen laundering money, seeking shelter in Texas.” For years, Guzman has tried to control the Texas border between Ciudad Juarez-El Paso and Laredo-Nuevo Laredo, in some regions making more gains than others, but leaving a trail of bodies along the way. In Nuevo Laredo, he took on the paramilitary group known as the Zetas. In Ciudad Juarez he took the fight to his former associates, the Juarez cartel. The results: thousands killed...more

Mexican cops arrest 2 allegedly building cartel radio system

CUIDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO (AP) -- Two electrical engineers have been arrested in Mexico for allegedly erecting and maintaining a radio network for a drug cartel on the country's northern border. In a statement Wednesday, the Tamaulipas state government says the two men were arrested in Reynosa, a city across from McAllen, Texas. Authorities seized 20 radio frequency kits, seven repeaters, 12 antennas among other equipment. Police say the two men were arrested as they unloaded items from a pickup truck, including marijuana and an improvised grenade launcher. The statement says the men were responsible for installing antennas for the cartel's radio network along the border. So far this year, authorities in Tamaulipas have taken down 65 antennas that the cartel used for radio communication...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1456

Today's selection is Sweet Thing by the Callahan Brothers (Homer & Walter).  The tune was recorded in Chicago on April 27, 1941 for the Decca label.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Lincoln County Residents Outraged Over National Monument Proclamation

Residents and elected officials in Lincoln County were outraged last week as news came in that President Barack Obama had signed a proclamation designating a new 704,000-acre national monument right in their backyard. The new Basin and Range National Monument comprises 1,100 square miles of desert land straddling Lincoln County and Nye County in Nevada. It covers Garden Valley, Coal Valley, White River Valley as well as the Golden Gate Range, Mount Irish Range, Seaman Range and Worthington Mountains. The area has been targeted for a long time by environmental groups, and championed by Reid, because of its unspoiled landscape, habitat for sensitive plant and animal species and ancient petroglyphs. The President’s action infuriated Lincoln County residents who said that their input was never sought and their wishes never heeded in the proposal. In an interview on Friday, Lincoln County Commission Chairman Kevin Phillips said that no public comment sessions had ever been held in the communities of Lincoln County on the subject; and no presentations had ever been made to the Commission. Rather, consideration of the new monument seemed to have taken place largely in secret until a copy of a draft proclamation was leaked in May and was made public by Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-Nev.) who represents Lincoln County in the U.S. House of Representatives. “We asked Reid and his people whether they had talked to anybody local about this,” Phillips said. “We got word from one of their stool pigeon consultants in the project that they had consulted ‘the jerky lady.’ We asked, ‘Who is the jerky lady?’ It’s that lady who sells jerky at the junction of 318 and 93 above Hiko, they said. Great! They consulted the Alien Jerky lady. They may as well have consulted the aliens because they are all space cases in my mind! But apparently that was the extent of the consulting that was done in Lincoln County.” Phillips said that, in reality, they didn’t need to especially consult Lincoln County to find out what was wanted by the locals. He said that the Board of Commissioners had sent at least a dozen letters in recent months expressing opposition to federal designation of the area. “Our position against this matter has always been clear!” he said. “We are adamantly, completely and totally opposed to this. It is loathsome. We hate it! And we hate the dictator mentality of emperor Obama and his prime minister Reid. This is not right in America. We don’t have these kinds of positions where they can just mandate over the wishes of the people. We thought this country was about The People. But we don’t have a republic anymore. We have a bureaucratic administrative state.” Phillips said that the Commission had worked hard in opposition to an earlier Reid-Titus bill which was proposed in Congress. The bill would have designated the area through a Congressional action. “We were able to block that bill,” Phillips said. “So, of course, he (Reid) turns to the emperor (Obama) and the Antiquities Act to get it done. Talk about loathsome!” Phillips said that the new monument would have significant economic impacts on Lincoln County, a small rural jurisdiction that has traditionally struggled to make ends meet. The preserved area will be withdrawn from most economic activity including mining and energy leasing...more

 This will sound very familiar to the folks in New Mexico.  First, legislation is introduced which doesn't garner enough Congressional support to pass, and then the President swoops in at the urging of Democrat senators and uses his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate the area as a National Monument.  Democracy didn't give them what they wanted, so they circumvent Congress and accomplish their goal by executive fiat.

Livestock grazing in National Monuments is an issue covered extensively here, and its of primary concern to those affected in Nevada.  The article continues:

 Perhaps the biggest concern of Lincoln County officials is the effect that the designation will have on grazing. While some have described the designated area as just wide, empty space, there is actually a lot that has been going on there for generations, said Simkins who also serves as Secretary to the N4 State Grazing Board which covers 137 ranching families in Lincoln and White Pine Counties. “There are 24 valleys throughout that area with 20 different families who have been ranching there for generations,” Simkins said. “They have been taking care of that land and managing it for all that time. They have been paying their grazing fees as well as doing water improvements, piping springs to allow water access to cattle and wildlife, range improvements, corrals and more. It is true, that land is special. But it is only special today because of the work and efforts of those ranching families.  They are what have kept it special, not any federal designation.” The language in the proclamation states that current ranch uses on the land, as well as current water rights ownership and access, shall be allowed and preserved. But Simkins said that the ranchers have heard promises like that before. “I believe that Senator Reid might believe that those uses will be able to continue,” she said. “But I don’t believe it, myself. And that’s because of our past experience with federal land managers.” Simkins said that similar promises were made by Reid in the mid 1980s when proposals were being made to establish the Great Basin National Park. At that time, Simkins recalled that Reid had sat across the table from Dean Baker who was the last rancher running cattle in the area of Great Basin National Park. “He (Reid) promised Dean that he would be able to keep his cows there, and I think that he meant that promise,” Simkins said. “But within two years the Park Manager had made the regulations so strict that he was no longer able to do it. Yes, he was technically allowed to run his cows there. But he couldn’t keep up with the amount of time and money that it took to follow the interpretations of the federal land manager of the regulations over that park. They wanted him to move his cows from one canyon to another every few days. He couldn’t keep up with it. It was just one thing after another and he finally gave it up. That is where things always fall apart and it will happen again here.”

That pretty well covers it and we've been told the same thing by our two Senators. The ranchers in this Nevada national monument are lucky in one respect:  the language in their proclamation is much friendlier to livestock grazing than the language inserted by Senators Udall & Heinrich in our New Mexico monuments.  I'll have more on that later.

We have heard nothing but praises on how this designation will be great for tourism and will bring many economic benefits to the local area.  So I'll close with one more excerpt from the article:

In a statement to the Review Journal last week, Reid said that the benefits in eco-tourism that would come to the areas from the designation would far outweigh the losses being perceived by the counties and their residents. “What I say to the people in Nye and Lincoln counties is, don’t worry about this,” he said. “This is going to be great for you. This is going to be an attraction. It is going to be world famous. World famous!” That statement came as small comfort for Phillips. “World famous — in whose world?” Phillips said. “Maybe in Reid’s world, in his mind, it might be world famous. But it isn’t going to be anything of the kind. Heaven’s sakes, he has already given us seven or eight wilderness areas in Lincoln county where his eco-tourism should be thriving. That’s 800,000 acres and here comes another 700,000 acres. I honestly can’t think of one positive thing that this does.”

Wildlife managers report on efforts to deter wolf attacks, on same day wolves kill two cows

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has collared wolves, hired range riders and signed agreements with ranchers to prevent wolf depredations, according to a department report, whose release was upstaged by the killing of two cows in northeast Washington. WDFW’s update on its deterrence activities was made public Friday, the same day WDFW investigators concluded wolves from the Dirty Shirt pack had killed two adult cows on a U.S. Forest Service grazing allotment in Stevens County. The cows, in a herd of 83 cow-calf pairs, are the first livestock confirmed killed by wolves in Washington this year and the first since at least 26 sheep were killed last year by the Huckleberry pack, also in Stevens County. WDFW carnivore section manager Donny Martorello said the department is using “time-tested” methods to prevent such depredations, but can’t quantify how successful they are...more

Judicial Deference to Agencies Expands Executive Power and Increases Regulatory Burdens

James LankfordJames Lankford 

“It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is” declared Chief Justice John Marshall in the landmark case of Marbury v. Madison. For centuries this statement has stood as one of the most famous in American jurisprudence. It was a declaration of the role and duty of the judicial branch within our constitutional structure.

The Constitution provides for three separate and distinct branches of government, each having a “check” on the other, thus allowing, as James Madison wrote, for ambition to “counteract ambition.”

As our government has grown and the issues we face have become more complex, the lines separating the branches have blurred. While it used to be that Americans were subject to federal laws passed by Congress, today the majority of rules that govern their daily lives have been promulgated, interpreted, and administered by federal agencies in the executive branch. So much for “all legislative power shall reside in Congress.”

...The courts should adhere to the natural reading of the law and require government agencies to do the same. In 2013, in City of Arlington v. FCC, the Supreme Court cautioned that “judges ought to refrain from substituting their own interstitial lawmaking” for that of an agency. Yet this is exactly what was done by the Court in the recent King v. Burwell case regarding Obamacare.

...Prior to Burwell, precedent for the Court substituting another opinion for that of Congress was set by the Supreme Court in Chevron USA, Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (1984), and Auer v. Robbins (1997). Because of these decisions, federal courts have increasingly deferred to agency interpretation, both of their governing statutes and their own regulations.

On its face, this may seem like an understandable position for a court to take. Agencies, after all, are experts in a particular field and have technical expertise that courts often find difficult to scrutinize. In practice, however, excessive deference has fundamentally changed how federal agencies regulate and how Congress writes law — this is a tragic deviance from the constitutional structure of our three branches of government. Instead of simply carrying out the directives of Congress, agencies now look for ambiguities in the law knowing full well that courts will defer to their interpretation.

...When agencies choose to expand laws written by Congress to pursue their own agenda, knowing that the courts will likely not check their power, judicial deference becomes little more than a blank check for agencies to exercise legislative and judicial authority. Such deference diminishes “We the People” to “They the Regulators.” It also makes the Constitution irrelevant and the voice of the people affected by the regulations ignored.

Relieving the extraordinary regulatory burden on the American people begins by fixing this constitutional imbalance by reconsidering the proper degree of deference that courts should afford agency decisions. It also requires Congress to clearly state in each statute that it is their intent that agencies and the courts not expand the text beyond its natural reading. Finally, the courts have an obligation to restrain — in a manner prescribed by Congress — the agencies from writing new law from their desk. Lawmaking may be slow, but we have checks and balances for a reason.

Anyone who's dealt with the federal land management agencies and their reg's should be familiar with this judicial deference to agency interpretation. Lankford does a wonderful in summarizing the harm this has caused. Industry and individuals should request that all existing and future legislation contain the language suggested in his column.

AFBF President Stallman Announces Departure in January

American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman announced that he will not seek reelection in January 2016 following 16 years at the helm of the nation’s largest, most influential general farm organization. Stallman, a cattle and rice producer from Columbus, Texas, is the 11th president during AFBF’s almost 97-year history. “It has been a tremendous honor to serve the nation’s Farm Bureau members and represent agriculture and rural America,” Stallman said. “After 16 years as AFBF president, six as Texas Farm Bureau president and several more in other Farm Bureau roles, it is time to hand over the reins of leadership—a decision that is made easier by knowing the great leadership and foundation that exist to continue moving Farm Bureau forward. I am as optimistic as ever about the future of American agriculture and Farm Bureau. “On the wall of the AFBF office is a quote by President Thomas Jefferson: ‘Agriculture is our wisest pursuit because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness.’ I couldn’t agree more, and I would add that a most rewarding pursuit is working for the men and women who make up American agriculture. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to do so.” AFBF has thrived under Stallman’s presidency. Farm Bureau membership nationwide has grown by more than 1 million member families...more

‘No Water Here': Drought Drives California Ranchers to Thin Herds

Rancher Gary Tarbell stands in the sale barn at the Tulare County Stockyard watching as cattle pass through a gate, into a ring and, one by one, are sold to the highest bidder. “They’re going out of state, all these cattle,” Tarbell says. “There’s no water here.” Just as farmers in the Central Valley are fallowing thousands of acres because of the drought, cattle ranchers are also cutting production. In fact, herd numbers nationwide are at their lowest since the 1950s, due in part to the Texas and California droughts. “We had to cut way back,” Tarbell says. “I sold over half of my herd already because there’s no water on the ranch.” That’s not atypical, says Jon Dolieslager, owner of the Tulare County Stockyard. “Everybody here is selling, you know, probably double of what they would normally do just because they’re out of feed.” Dolieslager is also the auctioneer. He takes a quick break from doing his auction cry — or, as some say, “cattle rattle” — and points to the pen behind him. “We’ve probably got close to a thousand head of feeder cattle out there today that we have to sell,” he says. Those are drought numbers. On a sale day in a wet year, he would be selling anywhere from 300 to 500 feeder cattle — steers and heifers destined to go to feedlots...more

Chief Joseph Days celebrates 70 years of Western heritage

It’s been 70 years since Harley Tucker started the Chief Joseph Days Rodeo on the east moraine above Wallowa Lake. A local stock contractor, Tucker started the local event that attracted area ranchers who came to show their skills in riding, roping, and other contests that reflected the life of a working cowboy. Today, Chief Joseph Days draws top cowboys from around the country, competing in hopes of winning their way to the National Finals Rodeo. In a fitting tribute to Tucker, who died at the age of 57 of a heart attack, the queen for the 70th annual Chief Joseph Days is Addie Kilgore, the last of the Tucker great-granddaughters to serve on the court. Kilgore follows cousins Paige Bailey (queen 2008) and Kylie Willis (queen 2012) — also, their mothers all served on the rodeo court, as did their grandmother, Darlene Tucker Turner...more

Cowboy gathering celebrates Wyoming statehood, ranch traditions

Recognition of lifelong ranchers, a celebration of 125 years of Wyoming Statehood, and the local induction of individuals in the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame are highlight events for the 13th Annual Grand Encampment Cowboy Gathering slated for July 17-19 in Encampment, Wyoming. An Open Mic performance of cowboy music and poetry kicks off the gathering on Friday, July 17 at the Grand View Park at 7 p.m. Afterward, people will move to the Grand Encampment Opera House for a family dance to the music of Sam Platts and The Kootenai Three. Dutch oven cooks begin making the main dish, dessert and bread at the cook-off July 18 with the free afternoon concert that will also include recognition of Ray Weber, Tim Barkhurst, Ron Garretson and the late Frank Carroll as members of the Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame. Life-long ranchers in the Little Snake River Valley, Ray and Kathleen Weber, will be recognized with the Gathering’s Pioneer Award...more

Western artist finds niche in all things horse

Standing still in the middle of a herd of running horses may not seem fun for most people, but for one woman, it's all in a day's work. Jody L. Miller captures the essence of the American horse with her camera and long lens, specializing in equine lifestyle photography. Horses became an obsession in high school, she said. After meeting her best friend's horse, Miller immediately felt a connection with the animal. "There was something about that horse that grounded me," she said. Miller fell under the spell of the equine's grace and power. "I like when they can be who they are," she said as she talked about her technique in tapping into the essence of her equine subjects from behind a camera lens. Miller spent time at a California ranch, where she became very involved with ranch work and horses. There, she began snapping photographs while gaining experience and technique. Much of Miller's work embodies the spirit of the West. Her coffee table book titled, "Strength" features breathtaking horse portraits. Miller's lens reveals not only the obvious beauty of the horse, but the personality as well...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1455

Some Country Roots Music with Uncle Dave Macon & His Fruit Jar Drinkers performing Walk, Tom Wilson, Walk.  The tune was recorded in New York City on May 9, 1927 for the Vocalion label  In the studio with Macon were Sam & Kirk McGee and Jasper Todd.

Former DEA agent: 'El Chapo' wants to push Juarez Cartel out, funnel drugs through NM

He was part of the team that helped put one of Mexico's most violent drug lords behind bars – the same one who escaped from a Mexican maximum-security prison over the weekend. Tuesday, KOB talked to Michael Vigil, a former DEA agent from New Mexico who investigated Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman for years. Vigil says Guzman's escape is not good for the U.S., especially our state. He says Guzman wants to push out the Juarez Cartel and push more heroin through New Mexico. "Chapo Guzman has taken over that area and he controls most of the routes into the United States along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border, so he is literally funneling drugs into New Mexico," Vigil said. He says he also believes if and when "El Chapo" is caught, the U.S. will fight to have him extradited to our country – not only to face trafficking charges here, but to make sure he doesn't escape again. KOB-TV

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Report: Wind Turbines Trigger Danger Response In The Brain

A new report shows living near a wind turbine may harm emotional wellbeing after scientists discovered that low frequency sounds generated by rotor blades trigger a part of the brain which senses danger. According to the Daily Telegraph, brain scans show that even infrasound as low as 8hz – a whole octave below the traditional cut off point for human hearing – is still being picked up by the primary auditory cortex. This is the part of the brain which translates sounds into meaning.  People living in the vicinity of wind farms have long reported experiencing sleep disturbances, a decline in performance and other negative effects. They make the causal link to the “infrasound” generated by the turbines But the wind energy sector has always maintained that the sounds created by rotor blades are too low a frequency to be picked up by humans...more

The feds are spending billion of dollars a year to make rural residents miserable.  Unfortunately, there is nothing new in that...except this time its really making them sick. 

Study: Wind Farms Even More Expensive And Pointless Than You Thought

by James Delingpole
The cost of wind energy is significantly more expensive than its advocates pretend, a new US study has found. But when you take into account the true costs of wind, it’s around 48 per cent more expensive than the industry’s official estimates – according to new research conducted by Utah State University.
“In this study, we refer to the ‘true cost’ of wind as the price tag consumers and society as a whole pay both to purchase wind-generated electricity and to subsidize the wind energy industry through taxes and government debt,” said Ryan Yonk Ph.D., one of the report’s authors and a founder of Strata Policy. “After examining all of these cost factors and carefully reviewing existing cost estimates, we were able to better understand how much higher the cost is for Americans.”
The peer-reviewed report accounted for the following factors:
  • The federal Production Tax Credit (PTC), a crucial subsidy for wind producers, has distorted the energy market by artificially lowering the cost of expensive technologies and directing taxpayer money to the wind industry.
  • States have enacted Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that require utilities to purchase electricity produced from renewable sources, which drives up the cost of electricity for consumers.
  • Because wind resources are often located far from existing transmission lines, expanding the grid is expensive, and the costs are passed on to taxpayers and consumers.
  • Conventional generators must be kept on call as backup to meet demand when wind is unable to do so, driving up the cost of electricity for consumers.
“Innovation is a wonderful thing and renewable energy is no exception. Wind power has experienced tremendous growth since the 1990’s, but it has largely been a response to generous federal subsidies,” Yonk stated.
Among the factors wind advocates fail to acknowledge, the report shows, is the “opportunity cost” of the massive subsidies which taxpayers are forced to provide in order to persuade producers to indulge in this otherwise grotesquely inefficient and largely pointless form of power generation.

In the US this amounts to an annual $5 billion per year in Production Tax Credits (PTC). Here is money that could have been spent on education, healthcare, defence or, indeed, which could have been left in the pockets of taxpayers to spend as they prefer.

Instead it has been squandered on bribing rent-seeking crony-capitalists to carpet the landscape with bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes to produce energy so intermittent that it is often unavailable when needed most (on very hot or very cold days when demand for air-conditioning or heating is high) and only too available on other occasions when a glut means that wind producers actually have to pay utilities to accept their unwanted energy. This phenomenon, known as “negative pricing”, is worthwhile to wind producers because they only get their subsidy credits when they are producing power (whether it is needed or not). But clearly not worthwhile to the people who end up footing the bill: ie taxpayers.

""  My compliments to Mr. Delingpole. 

OPEC, Get Ready For The Second U.S. Oil Boom

What OPEC countries fear most is a follow-up technological revolution that will lead to a second oil boom in the U.S., and that fear is now being realized.  A technological revolution spurred the U.S. oil boom that resulted in the greatest increase in domestic oil production in a century, and while that has stuttered in the face of a major oil price slump and an OPEC campaign to maintain a grip on market share, the American response could be another technological revolution that demonstrates that the first one was merely an impressive embryonic experiment. It’s not only about shale now—it’s about reviving mature oil fields through advancements in enhanced oil recovery, potentially opening up not only new shale fields, but older fields that have been forgotten.  What we’re looking at here are advancements in EOR for greater production and cost efficiency that can weather oil price slumps and awaken America’s sleeping giant oil fields. Soon we are likely to see some new players in the field buying up oil assets and putting more advanced EOR technologies to work to re-ignite the revolution...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1454

Here's a pretty tune that may bring back some fond memories:  Hank Penny - Walking Home From An Old Country School.  The tune was recorded in Memphis on July 3, 1939 and that's Noel Boggs on steel and Boudleaux Bryant on fiddle (sounds like twin fiddles but he's the only one listed).

Arby’s responds to low-level vegetarian outrage with cheeky help line instead of caving

by Mary Katharine Ham

This month, Arby’s introduced a tempting new bacon product to the already generously bacon-infused fast-food market—brown sugar bacon. Arby’s was true to its slogan— “We Have the Meats.” But not everyone is excited that Arby’s a) Has the Meats and b) is so vociferous about it. Vegetarians have voiced their discontent via e-mails and tweets, naturally.

It’s not hard to imagine some nascent campaign to get Arby’s to drop its “offensive” slogan for “othering” those who don’t enjoy bacon. It’s not terribly hard to imagine the national media treating such a campaign semi-seriously, and some cowardly corporation caving to faux pressure. After all, it only took one social media activist on Twitter to start a week-long news story based on one Colbert Report tweet, which was clearly satirical, calling to #CancelColbert. Colbert ended up deleting the show’s Twitter account and apologizing.

Arby’s took a different tack, nipping any complaint from the perpetually aggrieved in the bud by responding with a bit of good-natured mockery also tailored to ingratiate it even further with the meat lovers of the world. Arby’s response? A help line for tempted vegetarians who might feel pangs of regret in the wake of the brown sugar bacon announcement. The tone is respectful of vegetarians’ lifestyle choice, but notes that living a meat-lover’s lifestyle is also a valid choice, and one Arby’s will continue to flaunt.

ATLANTA, July 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — 

Dear Vegetarians; 

We respect you. We respect your life decisions. With that in mind, we want it to be abundantly clear that this letter is not meant to sway or convert you. We’re sharing this to offer our support. 

Nearly a year ago, we embarked on a journey to tell America about our meats. By now, you’ve likely heard the Arby’s tagline: We Have The Meats®. It’s tough to hear, but it is what it is. We have many meats. And we have quality meats.

It is understandable that you disapprove of our meat-bravado. Your voices have been heard. Letters, emails, voicemails, Tweets and Facebook comments – we hear you. We love our meats, but realize they’re not for everyone.

Then on Sunday, June 28, we launched a meat innovation that has likely tempted you: Brown Sugar Bacon. It’s our pepper bacon, glazed in-restaurant with brown sugar and then cooked to perfection. It may be hard to resist…even for you. Hardcore vegetarians likely won’t budge, but for those of you who are on the fringe or new to the game, avoidance can’t be easy.

We, at Arby’s, have created this temptation. So, we’d like to help.

We’re giving you a number to call: 1-855-MEAT-HLP FREE. This is a Vegetarian Support Hotline. When your nose betrays you and alerts the rest of your senses to find and devour this sweet meat, please call 1-855-MEAT-HLP FREE. You will receive the support you need to resist this gateway meat and get tips on how to avoid temptation. Delicious. Sizzling. Temptation.
Be strong. We’re here for you.



From Hot Air

LOL. Alright Arby's!!  "We have the meats".   Yes you do, and testicles too!

Seven Federally Protected Mexican Spotted Owl Chicks Hatch On Los Alamos National Laboratory Property

Biologists located a record seven federally threatened Mexican spotted owl chicks on Los Alamos National Laboratory property during nest surveys last month. “We’ve never found this many chicks,” said Chuck Hathcock, wildlife biologist with the Environmental Stewardship Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. “It’s encouraging to see successful nests because it’s an indication that our efforts to protect these species are making an impact.” Under its Habitat Management Plan, the Laboratory protects and manages species that are federally listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, including the Mexican spotted owl and Jemez Mountain salamander. The Laboratory’s plan was originally approved in 2000 and requires surveillance and protection of endangered species and their habitats. Much of the owls’ primary habitat in the Jemez Mountains was destroyed during the Las Conchas Fire in 2011, making the protection of the remaining habitat on Laboratory property even more crucial...more

The endangered Mexican Spotted Owl was one of the primary reasons for the demise of the timber industry in significant parts of NM.

But a federally-funded lab?  Now that's a different story.

Ag wary of park designation for Craters of the Moon

Advocates for creating a Craters of the Moon National Park insist their proposal would boost tourism to the scenic Eastern Idaho basalt flows simply by changing the names on signs. Some local ranchers and Idaho Farm Bureau Federation officials, however, aren’t sold on upgrading the national monument’s status, concerned about new restrictions on grazing and shipping forage, or the possibility that its borders could expand. A grassroots group supporting the name change, led by Butte County Commissioner Rose Bernal, has been meeting with surrounding county commissions, organizations, agricultural interests and politicians to garner support. The group hopes Congress will act by 2016, in time to benefit from publicity surrounding the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, has told the group he’d consider backing their cause if they can produce broad local support. Bernal said the group is about ready to approach the congressional delegation. Idaho Farm Bureau leaders joined Craters Superintendent Dan Buckley on a tour of the monument in late June. Farm Bureau spokesman John Thompson said the organization remains concerned the change could open the door for the federal government to later restrict grazing, or charge a fee for highway access, despite Buckley’s assurances that the highway is state-owned and both scenarios are unlikely. “They have very good intentions, but good intentions don’t get you that far when you’re dealing with a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.,” Thompson said. He said Farm Bureau will wait for county chapters to vote on the issue before taking a formal position. “Every year we see recreation interests putting pressure on grazing, and then the Forest Service or BLM will reduce grazing,” Thompson said. Sheep rancher Henry Etcheverry opposes the change, worried he’d lose half his herd if his grazing access to the monument were restricted. Etcheverry said he was barred from grazing in the monument’s Bear Park area shortly after the 2000 expansion. “I don’t trust (the federal government) at all,” Etcheverry said. “I think they would take away our grazing rights.”...more

'One of the largest human experiments in history' was conducted on unsuspecting residents of San Francisco

San Francisco's fog is famous, especially in the summer, when weather conditions combine to create the characteristic cooling blanket that sits over the Bay Area. But one fact many may not know about San Francisco's fog is that in 1950, the US military conducted a test to see whether it could be used to help spread a biological weapon in a "simulated germ-warfare attack." This was just the start of many such tests around the country that would go on in secret for years. The test was a success, as Rebecca Kreston explains over at Discover Magazine, and "one of the largest human experiments in history." But, as she writes, it was also "one of the largest offenses of the Nuremberg Code since its inception."  The code stipulates that "voluntary, informed consent" is required for research participants, and that experiments that might lead to death or disabling injury are unacceptable...
It all began in late September 1950, when over a few days, a Navy vessel used giant hoses to spray a fog of two kinds of bacteria, Serratia marcescens and Bacillus globigii — both believed at the time to be harmless — out into the fog, where they disappeared and spread over the city. "It was noted that a successful BW [biological warfare] attack on this area can be launched from the sea, and that effective dosages can be produced over relatively large areas," concluded a later-declassified military report, cited by the Wall Street Journal. Successful indeed, according to Leonard Cole, the director of the Terror Medicine and Security Program at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. His book, "Clouds of Secrecy," documents the military's secret bioweapon tests over populated areas. Cole wrote:
Nearly all of San Francisco received 500 particle minutes per liter. In other words, nearly every one of the 800,000 people in San Francisco exposed to the cloud at normal breathing rate (10 liters per minute) inhaled 5,000 or more particles per minute during the several hours that they remained airborne.
This was among the first but far from the last of these sorts of tests. Over the next 20 years, the military would conduct 239 "germ-warfare" tests over populated areas, according to news reports from the 1970s (after the secret tests had been revealed)...and also detailed in congressional testimony from the 1970s...more

Documents: US agents knew of ’El Chapo’ escape plots in 2014

The weekend disappearance of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman from a maximum security prison should have come as little surprise to Mexican authorities: The Drug Enforcement Administration had alerted them 16 months ago about several plans to escape. Mexico’s most notorious drug trafficker began plotting to break out almost immediately after his recapture at a seaside resort in February 2014. Internal DEA documents obtained by The Associated Press revealed that drug agents first got information in March 2014 that various Guzman family members and drug-world associates were considering “potential operations to free Guzman.” Since the 1990s his violent and powerful cartel has been known for digging sophisticated smuggling tunnels under the U.S. border with Mexico. Guzman was first arrested in 1993 but escaped in Jalisco from one of Mexico’s top-security prisons in January 2001, allegedly by hiding in a laundry basket. He evaded capture in early February 2014 through an elaborate network of tunnels that connected multiple safe houses in Culiacan, in his home state of Sinaloa, and was arrested again a month later. Jim Dinkins, the former head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit said that Guzman’s history of tunneling makes Saturday’s escape “really ingenious.” The sophisticated tunnel described by Mexican authorities would usually take about a year and half to two years to complete, Dinkins said, suggesting it was started almost immediately after Guzman’s arrest in 2014...more

Mexico drug lord escape tunnel was too elaborate to miss

The digging would have caused noise. The planners would have needed blueprints and maps. The escape was made from the one place beyond the view of security cameras at Mexico’s toughest prison. As authorities hunted Monday for any sign of Mexico’s most powerful drug lord, security experts said it’s clear that Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s escape through an elaborately designed tunnel must have involved help on a grand scale. “How did Chapo escape? In one word: corruption,” wrote Alejandro Hope, a former member of Mexico’s domestic intelligence service, in his blog El Daily Post. “He escaped through a mile-long tunnel, wide enough to hold a motorcycle, and ending in one of the few blind spots in Mexico’s most-secure prison. How do you do that without some high-level corruption?” A tunnel of such sophistication — with lights, air venting, and a customized motorcycle rigged up on a rail line — would have taken 18 months to two years to complete, said Jim Dinkins, former head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations...more

More on Guzman (ranching) and his escape

On Saturday, Guzmán was captured on surveillance footage at El Altiplano for the last time, approximately just before 9 o’clock at night as he walked toward the showers after taking his medication. After disappearing from the view of the cameras as he walked into the shower area, one of the very few sections of the prison not under surveillance, he disappeared from the prison altogether. From what investigators have pieced together, Guzmán had spent some time digging a large, rectangular hole that he had covered up with a trap door. The bottom of that hole connected to a large pipe that had a stepladder inside. Once Guzmán reached the bottom of the pipe, he walked through a tunnel, one 170 centimeters (5’6″) in height and 70 centimeters (2’3″) in width and built with lighting and ventilation. Some 1,500 meters later, Guzmán emerged through the floor of an unfinished home in Santa Juanita, a tiny settlement south of the prison. Where he went from there is unknown. What is known, however, is that less than 500 meters (0.3 miles) from the home is the Libramiento Nor-Oriente de Toluca 70, a major and modern highway that surely aided in whisking a hidden Guzmán to a safe zone in a getaway car...Guzmán was born in 1957 into a poor, rural family in Badiraguato, Sinaloa, and dropped out of school at an early age to work with his cattle-rancher father. Guzmán soon found out that his father, like many other ranchers in the poor and isolated areas of Sinaloa, also grew opium and marijuana, and after several years, ‘El Chapo’ (‘Shorty’) began growing and selling his own drugs without the influence of his father...more