Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Would-Be Jurors Stage 'Mutiny' in Marijuana Case

Potential jurors staged a “mutiny” during a felony drug case, a Missoula County prosecutor says, and authorities worry the result will be viewed as a game-changer when it comes to future attempts at prosecuting drug cases in Montana.

Nearly all 27 Missoula County residents during the jury selection process on Thursday told District Court Judge Dusty Deschamps there was no way they would convict anybody of having a couple of buds of marijuana.

“I thought, ‘Geez, I don’t know if we can seat a jury,’” said Deschamps, who called a recess...

...During the recess called by Deschamps on Thursday, Deputy Missoula County Attorney Andrew Paul worked out a plea agreement with the defense.

“A mutiny,” Paul told the Missoulian in describing the actions of the potential jurors...

..."I think it's going to become increasingly difficult to seat a jury in marijuana cases, at least the ones involving a small amount," Deschamps said.

from Law.com

h/t
Fascist Soup

More on jury nullification and juror's rights at the Fully Informed Jury Association

Jury Nullification and the Rule of Law

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The bird was the word all along

The Trashmen’s classic “Surfin’ Bird” made #3 on the British charts — in December 2010, a mere forty-seven years after its original release.

How can this be? Sundazed Records, current home of the Bird, explains.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Pukatawagan Song

Pukatawagan, Manitoba is a town about 210 kilometres north of The Pas; it can be reached by train from Lynn Lake by a branch of the Hudson Bay Railway, a passenger service provided by VIA Rail. A winter road after the lakes have frozen. The Airport, located east of town, is used by Missinippi Airways. The town has population of 2000 and an additional 2000 in the surrounding area.



h/t
admirable ponokee

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Science Sees What Mary Saw From Juan Diego’s Tilma


Digital technology is giving new leads for understanding a phenomenon that continues to puzzle science: the mysterious eyes of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Though the dimensions are microscopic, the iris and the pupils of the image's eyes have imprinted on them a highly detailed picture of at least 13 people, Tonsmann said. The same people are present in both the left and right eyes, in different proportions, as would happen when human eyes reflect the objects before them.

more at the Catholic Education Resource Center

h/t
DMA

Robin plucking a berry



Photographer's description: "Our backyard pyracantha bush took on a flock of marauding robins, who ate all the berries. I took many shots of them as they swarmed the pyracantha. This one showed best the determination and maneuvering necessary to get every last berry. Cedar fence background. Shot with a Canon 50D with 300 mm lens."

Photographer: Alan Estep

h/t
Dusty Enthusiasm

Another random act of culture, this time in the shoe department

Random Act of Culture at Miami's Dadeland Mall from Knight Foundation on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A coded manuscript by Leonardo da Vinci has been discovered in a public library in the French city of Nantes



The document was found after a journalist came across a reference to it in a Leonardo biography, the library said.

It was among 5,000 manuscripts donated by wealthy collector Pierre-Antoine Labouchere in 1872 and then forgotten.

The text is written from right to left in Leonardo's trademark mirror-writing and has yet to be deciphered.

"He was most probably writing in 15th-century Italian, and possibly in other languages," the head of the Nantes library, Agnes Marcetteau said.

The fragment of paper with brown scrawls is the second rare item uncovered in the Labouchere collection, after a score by composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was found among the documents in 2008.

more at the BBC

h/t
Jungle Trader

Some perspicacious analysis from Christopher:

"Probably just a grocery list (I thought I saw the old Italian word for "organic" written backwards and upside-down in there somewhere) but it will somehow be made to prove that Mary Magdalen was not only the wife of Jesus but his numerologist and chiropractor as well..."

Natives getting restless over government stealing their food


If this video is any indication, the struggle for food rights is moving to a new stage.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tolkien's anarcho-monarchism at work

New single seat VW

This is not a toy, not a concept car. It is a newly developed single seat car in highly aerodynamic tear-shape road-proven real car. It is ready to be launched as a single-seater for sale in Shanghai in 2010 for a mere RMB 4,000 (US$600)!

Interested? Wait till you learn that it will cruise at 100-120 Km/Hr with an unbelievable 0.99litre/100Km (258 miles/gallon)!

Impressed? Totally, after you have read all the details below about the hi-tech and space-age material input into this car!

The Most Economic Car in the World will be on sale next year.

from Amazing News
more at Serious Wheels
h/t
Neeka305

Thursday, November 25, 2010

New Sutton Hoo photographs unearthed


It’s like stepping back in time. The Sutton Hoo Visitors Centre has unearthed a host of new, historically important treasures.

Like the original ship burial, this remarkable find has laid unseen and forgotten for a long time. Tucked away in a dusty storeroom were a couple of fairly nondescript cardboard boxes.

Inside these unprepossessing packages were a photographic treasure trove which sheds new light on the discovery and the excavation of the Sutton Hoo ship burial.

Inside the boxes were more than 400 photographs taken during the summer of 1939 by two visiting school teachers Barbara Wagstaff and Mercie Lack.

It is believed that they had contacts with The British Museum which is why they were given access to the site but very little is known about them.

They took more than 400, highly detailed photographs of the dig – far more than the 29 official shots taken by the British Museum photographer.

More photos and the rest of the story.

h/t
Archaeology in Europe

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

shootout

One person was killed and two injured as bank staff and clients pulled guns on each other in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Dagestan.

“A row that broke out while the director of the bank was seeing clients ended up with a shootout,” a police spokesman told RIA Novosti.

h/t
Jungle Trader

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Councilman Calls Cops on Kids Selling Cupcakes

"The police officer was extremely pleasant. He said he was sorry to have to do this, but that he was following up on a report filed over the phone by a Town Board member," said Suzanne DeMarchis, Andrew's mother, who was called to the scene. "Kevin was so upset, he was crying all the whole way home. He was worried if he was going to get arrested or have a criminal record."

"I am shocked and sad for the boys. It was such a great idea, and they worked hard at it," said Laura Graff, Kevin's mother. "But then some Town Board member decided to get on his high horse and wreck their dreams."

h/t
Brumar89

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cossack art

The Zaporozhian Cossacks Reply to the Sultan of Turkey

enlarged view

Quantitative Easing Explained

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Six-Year-Old's Pumpkin Stand Threatened With Closure by Idaho Tax Authorities

Jacob and Sami-Lou Charais, six and four years old, respectively, have run into a little trouble with the Idaho State Tax Commission.

The two children were attempting to raise money to participate in wrestling, T-ball, and dance programs by selling pumpkins in front of their home in Normal Hill.

That is, until Patrica Gilmore, a state tax compliance officer, got wind of the burgeoning criminal enterprise, and told Jacob and Sami-Lou's mother to get a license, or be shut down by the state.

more
h/t
FUBHO

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New ad accuses Rand Paul of being an alien shaman


from Gawker

And of course there is a Taiwanese cartoon about it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Marie Antoinette murdered this day in 1793


1788 painting by Ludwig Guttenbrunn of Queen Marie-Antoinette as the Muse of Music. The Queen had a great love of music and was a patroness of the opera. She also paid for the music lessons of poor children.

"It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely there never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she had just begun to move in, glittering like a morning star full of life and splendor and joy. Oh, what a revolution....Little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fall upon her, in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honor and of cavaliers! I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards, to avenge even a look which threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded...."

–Edmund Burke, October 1793

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Amedee Two-Step

Yvette Landry on accordion

Monday, October 4, 2010

rough day

A volunteer firefighter in Lower Merion, Pa., rescues Oreo the cat from a house fire

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A German company will bypass the EU ban and sell incandescents as heating devices

"The European Union has banned by law trading of incandescent light bulbs due to their bad efficiency/ecology (most of the energy is transformed into heat). A company is now trying to bypass this restriction by offering their incandescent light bulb products as a heating device instead of a light device. Still, their 'heat balls' give light as well as heating. So — every law can be bypassed if you have some creativity!"

HEATBALL® Was ist das?

h/t
Ron

Monday, September 27, 2010

Global Cooling and the New World Order



Bilderberg. Whether you believe it’s part of a sinister conspiracy which will lead inexorably to one world government or whether you think it’s just an innocent high-level talking shop, there’s one thing that can’t be denied: it knows which way the wind is blowing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Joe Barton's plan to Save the Bulb



Good time to repost Ron Rosenbaum's eloquent essay on Congress' ban of beauty

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Bill Monroe!

Mr. Monroe would have been 100 years old today.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

An idea whose time has come

Nullify Now
Posted by Thomas Woods on September 3, 2010 07:00 AM

You will not be surprised to learn that with a few honorable exceptions, high-profile TV and radio have so far shied away from the recent wave of interest in state nullification of unconstitutional federal laws. (Need I point out that Judge Andrew Napolitano has been his usual fearless self, even as others have run away from the topic?) But the idea has begun to trickle out anyway. Jeff Taylor, who describes himself as being more on the left than the right, managed to bring the topic of nullification to a Huffington Post audience. Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, is speaking at a major nullification rally on October 10. Martha Dean, the GOP candidate for Attorney General in Connecticut, says (see 4:50) she supports legislative efforts to nullify unconstitutional federal laws. There are plenty more examples. State and local political candidates are beginning to discuss the forbidden subject. Everywhere I go around the country I’m hearing that nullification initiatives are going to be pushed seriously in upcoming state legislative sessions. The television hosts who have been AWOL so far can go on pretending this isn’t happening for only so long.

That’s why this weekend is so significant.

continued...

Connecticut's own Martha Dean, candidate for Attorney General, is serious about nullifying unconstitutional federal law.

Martha Dean's website

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Greek archaeologist discovers Odysseus' palace in Ithaca

A Greek archaeologist has claimed to have unearthed the palace of the legendary Odysseus on the island of Ithaca in the Ionian Sea.

Thanasis Papadopulos, who has been carrying out excavations on the Greek hero's home island for 16 years, said he had discovered the remains of a three-storey palace and a well, which date back to the 13th century BC, which is when the Trojan war, described in Homer's Iliad, is believed to have taken place.

Similar wells have been unearthed in Mycenae, 90 kilometers southwest of Athens, and in Tiryns on the Peloponnese Peninsula, the two centers of the Mycenaean civilization, which flourished between 1600 BC and 1100 BC.

The remains matched the description of Odysseus's palace in Homer's Odyssey, reputedly written around the 8th century BC, Papadopulos said.
more

Factory farms kick out tainted food while government goes after small farms

Dairy Herdshare Told to Cease Operations by Massachusetts Dept. of Agriculture

from Kimberly Hartke:
It seems the ag officials in Massachusetts don’t like her sharing her cow with others. On August 8, a cease and desist came order through the mail, a second one was waiting for her at the post office, plus, a third copy was hand delivered to her door. The regulators apparently don’t approve of private contracts, and sent their disapproval in triplicate.

In their order, the government cited her farm’s listing on the realmilk.com site. This website helps consumers learn about the dietary benefits of grass-fed cow and goat milk, and lists farms in each state where these dairy products are available. This Campaign for Real Milk is a project of the nutrition education non-profit, the Weston A. Price Foundation.

The day I interviewed Brigitte, someone had just called her asking about raw milk. “I am not at liberty to say. It makes me so angry that I am not free to say what I do."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

One third of Brits take a teddy bear to bed

More than half of Britons still have a teddy bear from childhood and the average teddy bear is 27 years old, the poll found.

Travelodge, the hotel chain, surveyed 6,000 British adults and found that respondents said sleeping with a teddy a “comforting and calming” way to end the day.

The survey also found that 25 per cent of men said they even took their teddy away with them on business because it reminded them of home.

[...]

Corrine Sweet, a psychologist, said cuddling a teddy bear was an ‘important part of our national psyche’.
London Telegraph
h/t
Althouse

Friday, August 13, 2010

Monks battle funeral cartel for right to sell caskets

The monks of Saint Joseph Abbey have been making caskets for over a hundred years. People who ask for them want to share in that noble simplicity that our coffins express. We’re not a wealthy monastery and we need the income that Saint Joseph Woodworks could generate for the health care and the education of our own monks.

On November 1, 2007, the monks opened their Saint Joseph Woodworks. But before they could sell even one casket, they were threatened with crippling fines, jail time and even a lawsuit.

Why?

Because the Louisiana funeral industry cartel had no interest in the competition. Even from a small group of monks.

To sell caskets legally, the monks would have to convert their monastery into a “funeral establishment” which means adding all sorts of needless equipment for things like embalming human remains. Further, the monks would have to apprentice with a cartel member for a full year and then take a government-approved casket test.

Keep in mind, a casket is just a box.

Curiously, in Louisiana it is perfectly legal to bury a human body straight into the ground. You can also wrap a bed sheet around a human body and bury it. And you can make your own casket. Or you can use a casket made by a friend or stranger – so long as you don’t pay for it.

But it’s illegal to pay for a casket…unless that casket is made by a member of the cartel.

This March, the State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors subpoenaed two members of the Saint Joseph Abbey – Abbot Justin Brown and Deacon Mark Coudrain. If found guilty, the Abbot and Deacon will be subject to 180 days in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.

To clarify: The funeral cartel in Louisiana is attacking monks that make simple caskets for people that want them, which helps cover the cost of the monks’ monastic lifestyle. And for the “sin” of selling these caskets, the monks face crippling fines and even jail.



More at the New Orleans Times-Picayune
h/t
Lindy Bill

Friday, August 6, 2010

Portland lemonade stand runs into health inspectors, needs $120 license to operate



Julie had become enamored of the idea of having a stand after watching an episode of cartoon pig Olivia running one, said her mother, Maria Fife. The two live in Oregon City, but Fife knew her daughter would get few customers if she set up her stand at home.

Plus, Fife had just attended Last Thursday along Portland's Northeast Alberta Street for the first time and loved the friendly feel and the diversity of the grass-roots event. She put the two things together and promised to take her daughter in July.

The girl worked on a sign, coloring in the letters and decorating it with a drawing of a person saying "Yummy." She made a list of supplies.

Then, with gallons of bottled water and packets of Kool-Aid, they drove up last Thursday with a friend and her daughter. They loaded a wheelbarrow that Julie steered to the corner of Northeast 26th and Alberta and settled into a space between a painter and a couple who sold handmade bags and kids' clothing.

Even before her daughter had finished making the first batch of lemonade, a man walked up to buy a 50-cent cup.

"They wanted to support a little 7-year-old to earn a little extra summer loot," she said. "People know what's going on."

Even so, Julie was careful about making the lemonade, cleaning her hands with hand sanitizer, using a scoop for the bagged ice and keeping everything covered when it wasn't in use, Fife said.

After 20 minutes, a "lady with a clipboard" came over and asked for their license. When Fife explained they didn't have one, the woman told them they would need to leave or possibly face a $500 fine.
full article

An interesting follow-up event:

The Lemonade Revolt!


We are proposing a lemonade bloc next thursday. Get together with your friends and family and come up with a creative lemonade. Rosemary, lavender, mint, honey, agave, mate, carob, whatever you can come up with, show up early on alberta and 25th to 26th streets around 11 or 12 in the daytime, set up a table and offer lemonade for donation, or free. We should fill the entire bloc with lemonade stands! The state will come, but we will NOT leave. We will fill the streets with dance and revelry in the spirit of last thursday's origins, an autonomous, anarchistic freak show that reclaims the streets, the neighborhoods and our lives.

Added:
Some thoughts on this from Karen DeCoster
Analyzing Anarcho-Lemonadism

Reporters take on black conservatives at press conference

Friday, July 30, 2010

Getting paid to be a pot critic

Ansel Adams photos found at garage sale worth $200 million

Man paid $45 at a California garage sale for 65 glass plates
Experts concluded negatives were lost Ansel Adams photos
Negatives were stored under a pool table for years
Photos are a "missing link" in Adams' career

more at CNN
h/t
Jungle Trader

Update:
Tale of Ansel Adams Negatives Grows Hazy

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Velikovsky was right!



One of the best preserved craters yet found on Earth, the Kamil crater was initially discovered in February during a survey of satellite images on Google Earth. Researchers think the crater formed within the past couple thousand years.
National Geographic

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Fairness" used as rationale for raid on buying club

Some people balk at restrictions on selling unprocessed milk and other foods. 'How can we not have the freedom to choose what we eat?' one says. Regulators say the rules exist for safety and fairness.

With no warning one weekday morning, investigators entered an organic grocery with a search warrant and ordered the hemp-clad workers to put down their buckets of mashed coconut cream and to step away from the nuts.

Then, guns drawn, four officers fanned out across Rawesome Foods in Venice. Skirting past the arugula and peering under crates of zucchini, they found the raid's target inside a walk-in refrigerator: unmarked jugs of raw milk.

"I still can't believe they took our yogurt," said Rawesome volunteer Sea J. Jones, a few days after the raid. "There's a medical marijuana shop a couple miles away, and they're raiding us because we're selling raw dairy products?"

Cartons of raw goat and cow milk and blocks of unpasteurized goat cheese were among the groceries seized in the June 30 raid by federal, state and local authorities — the latest salvo in the heated food fight over what people can put in their mouths.
full article at the LA Times

Officials have always used "public health" and "safety" as excuses for cracking down on raw food consumers. I think they've let the cat out of the bag on this one. It's all about protecting Big Ag. There is a chilling video at the link (embed is disabled) of cops with guns drawn searching for raw milk and other contraband. Gotta watch those hemp-clad people!

Added: The food fight continues to be in the news

Elizabeth Cook

Elizabeth Cook is touring England right now, someone over there did a nice job with snapshots and a GREAT video.

Elizabeth Cook gallery
Elizabeth Cook's website

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Joe the Plumber solves the problem

An anonymous plumber provided sketches of a flange and seal design six weeks ago that is almost identical to the containment cap lowered onto the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. It's the latest effort to stop the BP oil spill.

"Joe the Plumber" became a household name in 2008, but will anyone ever know the identity of the plumber who may have brought BP to the brink of stopping the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Six weeks ago, Robert Bea, an engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley, received a late-night call from an apologetic "mystery plumber." The caller said he had a sketch for how to solve the problem at the bottom of the Gulf. It was a design for a containment cap that would fit snugly over the top of the failed blowout preventer at the heart of the Gulf oil spill.

Professor Bea, a former Shell executive and well-regarded researcher, thought the idea looked good and sent the sketches directly to the US Coast Guard and to a clearinghouse set up to glean ideas from outside sources for how to cap the stubborn Macondo well.

When Bea saw the design of the containment cap lowered onto the well last week, he marveled at its similarity to the sketches from the late-night caller, whose humble refusal to give his name at the time nearly brought Bea to tears.

"The idea was using the top flange on the blowout preventer as an attachment point and then employing an internal seal against that flange surface," says Bea. "You can kind of see how a plumber thinks this way. That's how they have to plumb homes for sewage."

full article at the Christian Science Monitor

Added:
Is this the guy?

Hank Cochran, RIP

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bee Population Restored With Neonicotinoids Ban

Following France and Germany, last year the Italian Agriculture Ministry suspended the use of a class of pesticides, nicotine-based neonicotinoids, as a "precautionary measure." The compelling results - restored bee populations - prompted the government to uphold the ban. Yesterday, copies of the film 'Nicotine Bees' were delivered to the US Congress explaining the pesticide's connection to Colony Collapse Disorder. Despite the evidence, why does CCD remain a 'mystery' in the US?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Blessing of the crabs


About seventy Buddhists from as far as Canada will gather on a Delaware beach this weekend for the second annual blessing of the horseshoe crabs.

Pass The Biscuits Please

Friday, July 2, 2010

What's the FBI doing in my milk?

A yoga instructor blogs at HuffPo about a raid on a private buying club.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kagan’s Abortion Distortion. How the Supreme Court nominee manipulated the statement of a medical organization to protect partial-birth abortion.

When President Obama promised in his inaugural address to “restore science to its rightful place,” he never explained what that rightful place would be. Documents recently released in connection with the Supreme Court nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan suggest an answer: wherever it can best be used to skew political debate and judicial outcomes.

The documents involved date from the Clinton White House. They show Miss Kagan’s willingness to manipulate medical science to fit the Democratic party’s political agenda on the hot-button issue of abortion. As such, they reflect poorly on both the author and the president who nominated her to the Supreme Court.

There is no better example of this distortion of science than the language the United States Supreme Court cited in striking down Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion in 2000. This language purported to come from a “select panel” of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a supposedly nonpartisan physicians’ group. ACOG declared that the partial-birth-abortion procedure “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.” The Court relied on the ACOG statement as a key example of medical opinion supporting the abortion method.

[...]

Like the Supreme Court majority in the prior dispute over the Nebraska ban, Judge Kopf asserted that the ACOG policy statement was entitled to judicial deference because it was the result of an inscrutable collaborative process among expert medical professionals. “Before and during the task force meeting,” he concluded, “neither ACOG nor the task force members conversed with other individuals or organizations, including congressmen and doctors who provided congressional testimony, concerning the topics addressed” in the ACOG statement.

In other words, what medical science has pronounced, let no court dare question. The problem is that the critical language of the ACOG statement was not drafted by scientists and doctors. Rather, it was inserted into ACOG’s policy statement at the suggestion of then–Clinton White House policy adviser Elena Kagan.

[...]

Shannen W. Coffin at NRO

"Sounds like Salazar's recent misuse of the engineering panel to justify a moratorium they opposed. If the experts don't say what you want them to, just rewrite it the way you want."
h/t
Brumar89

Powerline's take on Kagan's partial birth abortion deception
A smoking gun?

Kagan's instinct is to lapse into doubletalk when asked a tough question.

“Did you write that memo?” Hatch asked.

“Senator, with respect,” Kagan began, “I don’t think that that’s what happened — ”

“Did you write that memo?”

“I’m sorry — the memo which is?”

“The memo that caused them to go back to the language of ‘medically necessary,’ which was the big issue to begin with — ”

“Yes, well, I’ve seen the document — ”

“But did you write it?”

“The document is certainly in my handwriting.”

She is without candor -- a key prerequisite for a lifetime judicial appointment.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Poor Old Dirt Farmer

"The stupidity has reached hitherto-unguessed levels"

From the Financial Post

Three days after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico began on April 20, the Netherlands offered the U.S. government ships equipped to handle a major spill, one much larger than the BP spill that then appeared to be underway. "Our system can handle 400 cubic metres per hour," Weird Koops, the chairman of Spill Response Group Holland, told Radio Netherlands Worldwide, giving each Dutch ship more cleanup capacity than all the ships that the U.S. was then employing in the Gulf to combat the spill. . . .the Dutch government offered the use of its equipment at no charge.

[...]

Why does neither the U.S. government nor U.S. energy companies have on hand the cleanup technology available in Europe? Ironically, the superior European technology runs afoul of U.S. environmental rules. The voracious Dutch vessels, for example, continuously suck up vast quantities of oily water, extract most of the oil and then spit overboard vast quantities of nearly oil-free water. Nearly oil-free isn't good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per million -- if water isn't at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico.

[...]

The Americans, overwhelmed by the catastrophic consequences of the BP spill, finally relented and took the Dutch up on their offer — but only partly. Because the U.S. didn't want Dutch ships working the Gulf, the U.S. airlifted the Dutch equipment to the Gulf and then retrofitted it to U.S. vessels. And rather than have experienced Dutch crews immediately operate the oil-skimming equipment, to appease labour unions the U.S. postponed the clean-up operation to allow U.S. crews to be trained.

A catastrophe that could have been averted is now playing out. With oil increasingly reaching the Gulf coast, the emergency construction of sand berns to minimize the damage is imperative. Again, the U.S. government priority is on U.S. jobs, with the Dutch asked to train American workers rather than to build the berns. According to Floris Van Hovell, a spokesman for the Dutch embassy in Washington, Dutch dredging ships could complete the berms in Louisiana twice as fast as the U.S. companies awarded the work. "Given the fact that there is so much oil on a daily basis coming in, you do not have that much time to protect the marshlands," he says, perplexed that the U.S. government could be so focussed on side issues with the entire Gulf Coast hanging in the balance.

Then again, perhaps he should not be all that perplexed at the American tolerance for turning an accident into a catastrophe. When the Exxon Valdez oil tanker accident occurred off the coast of Alaska in 1989, a Dutch team with clean-up equipment flew in to Anchorage airport to offer their help. To their amazement, they were rebuffed and told to go home with their equipment. The Exxon Valdez became the biggest oil spill disaster in U.S. history — until the BP Gulf spill.
-snip-

It turns out that American skimmers have to suck up the dirty water and transport it back to port for later disposal, which severely limits their daily capacity.

Someone might almost think they want this to go badly.
h/t
Texan99

Iceland: A joke turns into a revolution

A polar bear display for the zoo. Free towels at public swimming pools. A “drug-free Parliament by 2020.” Iceland’s Best Party, founded in December by a comedian, Jon Gnarr, to satirize his country’s political system, ran a campaign that was one big joke. Or was it?

Last month, in the depressed aftermath of the country’s financial collapse, the Best Party emerged as the biggest winner in Reykjavik’s elections, with 34.7 percent of the vote, and Mr. Gnarr — who also promised a classroom of kindergartners he would build a Disneyland at the airport — is now the fourth mayor in four years of a city that is home to more than a third of the island’s 320,000 people.

In his acceptance speech he tried to calm the fears of the other 65.3 percent. “No one has to be afraid of the Best Party,” he said, “because it is the best party. If it wasn’t, it would be called the Worst Party or the Bad Party. We would never work with a party like that.”

With his party having won 6 of the City Council’s 15 seats, Mr. Gnarr needed a coalition partner, but ruled out any party whose members had not seen all five seasons of “The Wire.”

A sandy-haired 43-year-old, Mr. Gnarr is best known here for playing a television and film character named Georg Bjarnfredarson, a nasty, bald, middle-aged, Swedish-educated Marxist whose childhood was ruined by a militant feminist mother.

While his career may have given him visibility, few here doubt what actually propelled him into office. “It’s a protest vote,” said Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson, a political science professor at the University of Iceland.

more at the NY Times

An interview with the candidate


The Best Party's campaign song

h/t
Sea Otter

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Obama to lift Reagan's ban on hunting whales

The Obama administration is leading an effort within the International Whaling Commission to lift a 24-year international ban on commercial whaling for Japan, Norway and Iceland, the remaining three countries in the 88-member commission that still hunt whales.

Reagan helped put the ban in place, and since then the US has been firmly against whaling.

Barking Moonbat
has the skinny
h/t
Brumar89

Friday, June 18, 2010

Florida’s Okaloosa county goes rogue on oil spill

Florida’s Okaloosa county is telling the federal government it will no longer take orders in responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a decision made in response to the county’s deep frustration with the Obama administration’s response to the spill.

The county appears to be the first local government to openly flaunt the official response to the spill. Others, such as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, have complained bitterly of inaction and red tape regarding their response to the spill, but have thus far refrained from taking measures not approved by the federal or state authorities. Even Jindal, though, has become more assertive in the last day, ordering the National Guard to start building barrier islands off Lousiana’s coast.

Okaloosa’s decision and Jindal’s order could mark a new break between frustrated local authorities and the coordinated spill response.

County commissioner Wayne Harris said leaders of Okaloosa County are prepared to face any consequences for their renegade response. It’s that important, he said, to protect the county’s Choctawhatchee Bay, which is “too wonderful to destroy ecologically.”

rest of the article at the Daily Caller

meanwhile....Crude-Sucking Barges Stopped by Coast Guard

"The Coast Guard came and shut them down," Jindal said. "You got men on the barges in the oil, and they have been told by the Coast Guard, 'Cease and desist. Stop sucking up that oil.'"....the Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because of reasons that Jindal found frustrating. The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.

One commenter's solution: Loan someone a pickup, a credit card and have 'em run to Walmart

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bloody Sunday Report Finally Released

David Cameron today issued a formal, state apology for the "unjustified and unjustifiable" killing of 14 civil rights marchers by British soldiers on Bloody Sunday in Derry 38 years ago.

The prime minister said Lord Saville inquiry's long-awaited report showed soldiers lied about their involvement in the killings, and that all of those who died were innocent.

He said the inquiry was "absolutely clear" and there were "no ambiguities" about the conclusions.

Cameron told the Commons: "What happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong."

[...]

Denis Bradley, who played a key part in secret talks that brought about the IRA ceasefire of 1994 and who was on the Bloody Sunday march 38 years ago, welcomed the report's findings.

The former Derry priest, who narrowly escaped being shot on the day, said he was "amazed" at how damning the findings were against the soldiers. He said: "This city has been vindicated, this city has been telling the truth all along."

full article

Bloody Sunday in pictures and video


Colonel Richard Kemp describes the British Parachute Regiment as Nazis. Colonel Kemp served in the British Army from 1977 to 2006. He was Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, an infantry battalion Commanding Officer, worked for the Joint Intelligence Committee and COBR and completed 14 operational tours of duty around the globe.



Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Private Co-op Raided for Raw Milk

Another family dairy farm and their private store has been raided in Wisconsin by state/county health and agriculture agencies.

The State and its agents may have bitten the wrong farmer, Vernon Hershberger at Grazin’ Acres Farm in Loganville WI. He is defying the orders to cease his dairy operations; he understands he does not need permission from the government to farm and share his produce with friends and family. He understands what the right to private property is and he has the right to contract with an individual without needing a permit to do so.

The DATCP brought in the armed deputies for 6 hours to lock it up and take evidence. That does not stop Vernon.

“This is how I make a living,” Vernon Hershberger, a Loganville dairy farmer, said Thursday morning. “We are going to go right ahead and do business.”

Hershberger said roughly 100 families, including some Madison customers, purchase raw milk, yogurt, cheese, butter and ice cream from a store on his farm that is open for business Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

According to Rosanne Lindsay, of Wisconsin ARMi:

“Two of us went to the farm today, early, and collected our orders. From what I’ve been told, its business as usual, so go and continue to support the Hershbergers and other local farmers before rogue state agencies usurp our rights to contract under the Bill of Rights.”

The woman responsible for the raid on Vernon Hershberger’s farm can be reached at

this work number (608) 224-4734 ,

this email address: jacqueline.owens@datcp.state.wi.us. ,

or this address: 2811 Agriculture Drive. Madison, WI 53718

Her full name and title is Jacqueline Owens, R.S. Field Services Director Bureau of Food Safety & Inspection.

All readers are urged to join the ARMi (Alliance for Raw Milk Internationale) with units in every state. There are close to 1000 members of the Wisconsin ARMi– their Facebook page is buzzing over the news.

from The Journal of Natural Food and Healing

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Unplugged Christians living off the grid

"We are not living off the grid as much as we are creating a new grid, a more wholesome grid," he said.

"We are following a different path that we think is healthier, promotes better families, and better communities."

He doesn't believe a church needs four walls and a roof. Rather, a church is people who believe in taking care of each other -- living under the biblical principles of faith, hope and charity.

[...]

"Personal secession are things like homeschooling, house churches, home gardening, home-based economics, just regaining privacy and a sense of community rather than worrying about what's going on in Washington, D.C... What's the latest thing from the Supreme Court?

"You know, who cares? I don't care about what they're saying in D.C. because they don't represent me hardly more than Pyongyang."

full article at CNN

Feast Day of St. Joan of Arc

From the preface of Mark Twain's Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc:

To arrive at a just estimate of a renowned man’s character one must judge it by the standards of his time, not ours. Judged by the standards of one century, the noblest characters of an earlier one lose much of their lustre; judged by the standards of today, there is probably no illustrious man of four or five centuries ago whose character could meet the test at all points. But the character of Joan of Arc is unique. It can be measured by the standards of all times without misgiving or apprehension as to the result. Judged by any of them, judged by all of them, it is still flawless, it is still ideally perfect; it still occupies the loftiest place possible to human attainment, a loftier one than has been reached by any other mere mortal.

[...]

She was perhaps the only entirely unselfish person whose name has a place in profane history. No vestige or suggestion of self-seeking can be found in any word or deed of hers. When she had rescued her King from his vagabondage, and set his crown upon his head, she was offered rewards and honours, but she refused them all, and would take nothing. All she would take for herself - if the King would grant it - was leave to go back to her village home, and tend her sheep again, and feel her mother’s arms about her, and be her housemaid and helper. The selfishness of this unspoiled general of victorious armies, companion of princes, and idol of an applauding and grateful nation, reached but that far and no farther.



Thanks to Elena Maria Vidal for the heads up

So long Billy

Saturday, May 29, 2010

FTC Proposes Federalizing Newspapers, and Killing off Blogs

By "journalism", the FTC means "newspapers" and by "encourage innovations" the FTC means stifle competition. Among the FTC's suggestions:

• Tightly limit what search engines and news aggregators (like Drudge Report) are allowed to report;

• Potentially define certain kinds of news reports as "proprietary facts" rather than events in the public domain;

• Rather than protect consumers against price-fixing (one of its missions), the FTC rallies around antitrust exemptions for newspapers that could help them monopolize news distribution;

• Redistributing wealth from individual taxpayers to old media, which would serve to bolster the coffers of newspapers while simultaneously reducing journalistic independence and truly creating a "state-run media".

Doug Ross
has more
h/t
Scribal Terror

Added: from Coyote Blog

Here are just some quick highlights:

* Substantial narrowing of fair use, with particular focus on how search engines and other online sites (e.g. blogs) use and/or have to pay for access to news sites

* Expansion of news copyrights on breaking news – ie certain papers will own the copyrights to certain news events if they are the first mover on it

* Increased government funding of news organizations along multiple vectors, from subsidies to guaranteed loans to income tax checkoffs to lower postal rates to Americorps programs for for journalists.

* Simultaneously reduce private funding of journalism through taxes, including a tax on advertisers

* Shift the organizational model of journalism from profit corporations (which rely on satisfying individuals to get their revenue) to non-profit organizations dependent on the government for funding

* New taxes on and licensing of the Internet. New taxes on broadcast spectrum to subsidize print media (shifting money from media that are more hostile to the administration to print media and non-profits that are more sympathetic to the administration).

Here is the intro that was missing from the report: “The New York Times and Newsweek can’t figure out a profitable business model in the Internet age. We propose the government step in with all means at its disposal to limit competition to these print media companies and create new government subsidies for their business. Once their companies’ profitability is absolutely dependent on these government mandates and subsidies, the Federal government will have a powerful source of leverage to protect itself from criticism in these outlets. Once we have this situation in place, we will have a strong inventive to quash more independent outlets and maximize the market share of media companies beholden to the government. In a large sense, our recommendations build off the success of the tobacco settlement experiment, where a few large companies agreed to pay the government large percentages of their future profits, and then the government worked diligently to quash new tobacco competitors to maximize the market share of those companies paying it settlement money.”

Homegrown revolution - radical change taking root


The Dervaes family's website
h/t
Colin McEnroe

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy birthday T-Bone Walker!



It's also Sonny Burgess' birthday. This is the first record he did for Sun.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

huh?



Thanks for sharing Christopher!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Maryland keeps orphans' Social Security benefits

Maryland is just one of many states that apply for -- and keep -- Social Security benefits that legally belong to children in foster care.

This is happening to tens of thousands of foster kids nationwide, says Dr. Daniel Hatcher, associate professor of law at the University of Baltimore. Child welfare agencies regularly file for Social Security benefits that should go to orphaned or disabled foster kids, then pocket the money in their budgets, leaving their young charges with no financial resources when they leave the system at age 18.

Since Social Security benefits legally belong to the minor child, whoever receives the money has a fiduciary responsibility to spend it in the child's best interest. This is a broad standard, but padding bureaucratic budgets doesn't even come close.

[...]

Not only do foster children get no benefit from their own benefits, they often have no idea that child welfare agencies are keeping their money. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld this despicable practice in Washington State Department of Social and Health Services v. Guardianship Estate of Keffeler, Hatcher says.

But, he notes, the Court did not address the breach of fiduciary duty or the violation of foster children's property and equal protection rights without due process.

So in 2008, he filed a lawsuit on behalf of then-21-year-old Alex Myers of Dundalk, Maryland, who was 11 when his mother died in 1999. While in foster care, Myers was moved to at least 20 homes, none permanent.

In 2001 when his father died, he became eligible for Social Security survivor benefits. Unbeknownst to him, the Baltimore County Department of Social Services applied for -- and kept --$16,000 that should have gone to him. He only found out when he aged out of foster care at age 18, penniless and on his own.

The motion to dismiss submitted by Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler's office sums up the state's attitude. Assistant attorney general Julia Bernhardt argued in court that Myers' complaint should be thrown out because of his "failure to file ... within the applicable period."

In other words, the State of Maryland thinks that a teenaged orphan should have figured it out all by himself that the adults in charge of taking care of him were secretly stealing his Social Security checks, and then found a lawyer to assert his rights in court before the statute of limitations ran out. He didn't, so too bad for him.

Bernhardt did not return a call from The Examiner asking whether she thought it was right or appropriate for bureaucrats to divert Social Security benefits away from orphans to government.

Washington Examiner

h/t
Tim Fowler

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Federal Redesign of Hot Dogs?

At the instigation of the American Academy of Pediatrics, federal bureaucrats at the FDA, the Department of Agriculture, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are studying whether to require the nation’s hot-dog makers to redesign hot dogs to reduce the likelihood of choking.

Cato has the skinny

Allen West answers a Marine's question


h/t
Nickie Goomba

The FDA vs Raw Milk and the Constitution

In a dismissal notice issued to the Iowa District Court where the suit was filed, the FDA officially made public its views on health and food freedom. These views will shock you, but they reveal the true evil intent of the FDA and why it is truly a rogue federal agency.

The FDA essentially believes that nobody has the right to choose what to eat or drink. You are only “allowed” to eat or drink what the FDA gives you permission to. There is no inherent right or God-given right to consume any foods from nature without the FDA’s consent.

This is no exaggeration. It’s exactly what the FDA said in its own words.

You have no natural right to food

The FTCLDF highlighted a few of the key phrases from the FDA’s response document in a recent email to its supporters. They include the following two statements from the FDA:

“There is no ‘deeply rooted’ historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds.” [p. 26]

“Plaintiffs’ assertion of a ‘fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health, which includes what foods they do and do not choose to consume for themselves and their families’ is similarly unavailing because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish.” [p.26]

There’s a lot more in the document, which primarily addresses the raw milk issue, but these statements alone clearly reveal how the FDA views the concept of health freedom. Essentially, the FDA does not believe in health freedom at all. It believes that it is the only entity granted the authority to decide for you what you are able to eat and drink.

more at the Tenth Amendment Center

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Boston Milk Party

A Boston Milk Party is being staged on Monday, after a failed attempt by ag officials to ban farm buying clubs. Activists are convinced the battle is not over.

The Organic Consumers Association ... plans to stage a colorful, Raw Milk “Drink In” outside Monday’s hearing. A cow will be brought downtown to Boston Common, and a group of concerned citizens will stage fresh milk Boston Tea Party. California dairyman, Mark McAfee, and Wisconsin filmmaker, Max Kane, are making the cross country trek to be there and remind Massachusetts that they are the cradle of liberty and that this is a national issue.

The revolution will not be pasteurized!