Sunday, December 27, 2009

Proud-Flesh on My Spotted Ass

I noticed a small area on my spotted ass Pacos face that was injured when playing with his pony pal Lightning. They sometimes enjoy playing kissie face and part of that game involves nipping. Pony like to nip Pacos face and this area was nipped and never given a chaance to heal as keeps getting "re-nipped" or rubbed off on a tree or a fence raiil., I gguess I should be happy to learn that this wound that wont heal is not a melanoma as I had feared, but only a simple case of proud-flesh. May have to seperate the two for awhile.

Proud Flesh and How to Prevent It

Your horse has a wound that just won't heal. It's filled with a wad of pink, fleshy tissue that seems to grow bigger every day. Uh-oh! Proud flesh - and it needs to be treated now.

What Proud Flesh Is: As your horse's wound begins to heal, pinkish granulation tissue fills in the gaps between soft tissues. Granulation tissue normally stops forming as the skin edges grow together to close the wound. But when healing doesn't go according to plan, the granulation tissue becomes exuberant-it keeps growing until it bulges above skin level, so newly formed skin can't grow over the wound. That's proud flesh.

When Proud Flesh happens: Proud flesh tends to form in wounds below your horse's knees and hocks, where there's little soft tissue between skin and bone, and where movement constantly tugs the wound's edges. It's most likely to occur in places with lots of movement, such as over joints, or when a complication, such as infection, slows healing.

How to prevent Proud Flesh: Minimize movement and prevent infection by taking the following steps.

Have your veterinarian suture the wound (if it can be sutured), as soon as possible. Call him or her for suture advice.

Bandage with a pressure wrap to help hold the wound's edges together.

Keep your horse as quiet as you can while the wound heals. When possible, stall rest may be best.

Follow your vet's advice for keeping the wound clean and covered, and administer antibiotics per his or her recommendations.

How to treat it: If proud flesh appears, this strategy will humble it.

Trim. Ask your vet to trim the tissue back to skin level, so your horse's skin can begin to grow across the wound. (Note: Proud flesh bleeds heavily when trimmed, but it has no nerves-so your horse won't feel pain.)

Wrap. Keep a pressure wrap on the wound to prevent the proud flesh from bulging above the skin again. This also helps to immobilize the wound, furthering the healing process.

Medicate. Ask your vet to recommend a topical cortisone preparation (often combined with an antibiotic). Cortisone slows the growth of granulation tissue and can even help shrink proud flesh.

Ask! Check with your vet before applying over-the-counter proud-flesh "remedies." Some are designed to cauterize, or burn the tissues. While this may make proud flesh appear smaller, it discourages the wound from healing properly.

Don't give up! If the proud flesh bulges again, it may need another trimming-and another, and another. Persist, and you'll win.

Barb Crabbe is an Oregon-based equine practitioner.

This article first appeared in the December, 2000 issue of Horse & Rider magazine.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Memories of Dads Last Christmas on Earth

Well eversince I learned THE TRUE story of the history or ORIGINS of Christmas and of the history of ALL RELIGIONS, I stopped celebrating individual holidays altogether and have determined in my new SECTARIANISM, to Celebrate Everyday AS IF it were our last....for it just very well MAY BE our last.

There was one exception and that was Christmas 07, when I spent the day at my parents house alone with them as mother and I helped father to Celebrate his last Christmas with us on earth. It was the most pitiful time of my life, sitting there in his tiny trailer-park bedroom, on the edge of his "hospice at home" deathbed where he lay for nearly 11 mo waiting to die from his heart disease (it was malnutrition that eventually got him) . It was only just the three of us, me, my mother and dying drugged up disoriented dad who (we) had chained to his hospital bed in hopes that he would die there peacefully in his sleep and not have a "traumatic event." This was my sisters idea, and she was the chief caregiver as she actually is/was a supervising geriatic nurse in a local nursing home. Perhaps that is why she was planning this course of immobility for my dad, as she works with death and dying everyday. Guess she knows the best way for a person to go is in their sleep and that is what she wanted for poor old dad. He just didnt go as quick as everyone thought. It is a different "ball-game" alltogether with heart patients on hospice. They are supposed to have a higher standard of care and the idea is to MAINTAIN functionality. Alas, due to sis's over-protectiveness of my father, whom I have NO DOUBT that she dearly loved and was trying to do her best for him, my father never got that higher standard of care but was instead treated as if an "end-day" cancer patient with "comfort care" given only. Despite having SEVEN brothers and sister in the neighborhood, I guess they all had other, more important things they had to be doing, other than spending my fathers last Christmas with him. The three of us celebrated alone together that day, but it wasent a joyous occasion. I sat on the edge of my fathers bed as he lay, propped up enough to be able to look out of the bedroom window at the snow that was gently falling. The three of us actually broke into song, as mother and I tried to FORCE SOME GAIETY into the room.

This is the ghost of my Christmas Past that shall haunt me for the rest of my days, but hey, at least I was there for him on his last day of Christmas on earth. RIP dad. You too mom. I hope the after-life was all that you had imagined it was, and that you (and dad) are now safe in your gods loving arms.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

BrainStorm after BrainFart Attack

...Remind me to tell you about it later. It has to do with right direction but wrong track...
and it aint about rr's

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday, June 22, 2009

How MuleKist Got Her Name and Her Mule Lovin' Momma

Click on title above to see
(best viewed with speakers on)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Getting Old and Feel Like I'm Fixin to Die or Getting Ready to Get My House in Order

My main concern about leaving this world soon is this: What will become of my animals? As some of you may know, we have been rescuing animals for a number of years now and consider them closer to us than our own human family members. Before I leave this world, arrangements will have to be made for their after-care.

There are the equines. One adorable, docile 3 yr old spotted Donkey named Paco, and his buddy, a pinto minihorse named Lightning , approx 10-12 yrs old. Although they are both intact stallions, they are the best of buds and we would like them to stay together. Both ride and drive.

The Felines; We have two smoke gray exferals, Poppa and Bubbles, his daughter. Now completely tame and trusting of humans and real lovebugs. They are spayed and nuetered and UTD on shots.

BigEyes: Another ex-feral that has come around "to loving people" wonderfully. He is nuetered and UTD on shots but he is a special need as has stomitis and bartonella. You will have to mush his food for him, and he has to stay on Predisone for life. 1/2 cap every three days works for him now.

Fritzie, an 8-10 yr old neutered black & white DSH who is a diabetic and needs shots of incilin 2x daily. He is still being regulated so this may go down eventualy to one shot a day.

Three Little Un-named Kittens about 6 weeks old who were found abandoned by the riverside near a popular fishing hole. Two are identical twins,...pure white with orange tips on their tails and ears, and one pitch black. Dont know their sexes yet but it shouldnt matter as all will have to be spayed and neutered.

We also have a young chain-dog we have freed at last and she is a wonderful smart dog who is sooo happy to be off her chain. Her name is "Babykins" and she is just under a year old. She is a gorgous rottie / chow cross. Loves everybody and eveything, she loves children, and to play with dogs, cats, people, and she doesnt bother our equines or even the chickens. She would make a wonderful family farm dog.

Two Buddy special needs dogs; Emma is a white older Lasha ASpso and Georgie is a black and white 4 yr old Shitzu / Apso mix. Both these dogs have agression issues when it comes to their play things or chew toys (but not their food). They also have a low tolerence for abuse so are not suitable for little children. We hope these two can stay togther as they are best friends also.

Last, but not least, we have 5 laying hens and one mean ole BIG Old New England Fighting Cock that we saved from a fighting ring. His name is Duke after John Waynes character in "True Grit." Remember, "Rooster Cogburn?" Both of the Dukes are Big and bad and bold, so the name suits him.

Can you help us to find permanent, forever loving homes for any of there animals so I can get my house in order cause I really am gettin old and sick and I do feel like I am fixin to die.

Pics will be posted soon.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wild Wild West in the East; Man in Horse & Buggy Outruns NY Lawmen

Before you start thinking "what happened here" "How come New Yorks finest couldnt catch him?," it should be noted that the suspect allegedly took his buggy through fields and woods where the cruisers couldn't go. And they eventually arrested him at his house.

I am wondering what about the porr horse? Will it be impounded / confiscated as evidence?

Posted by James Hart on Thursday, June 04, 2009 at 09:05 AM in Links to crime stories | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Click on title above to see article;

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dawning Daunting Questions or "Thinkin about a Ma'skeeter"

As i sit here at my ancient computer, staring into my equally ancient 15" screen 3' thick 75# dinosaur of a monitor, ("upgraded" in 07' with a brand new top-o-the-line glare guard to help keep me from going blind,)....this big old ma'skeeter came flyin cross the screen and I smacked him, just like that! Squished him in a heartbeat on the first try, with a swift and sure clap of the hands struck together "in a flash," I caught him dead-smack right in mid-air. It was a perfect execution. No sooner was the deed done when it dawned on me,...."Wow," I thought to myself, "I just kilt a living thing." And I wondered, "What kind of hypocrite am i?" Here i am always mouthing off about no-kill this and no-kill that and a respect for all living things (even the tiniest of creatures) then there i go right ahead murdering this ma'skeeter without even a thought or care, like his life didnt count fer nothin.

How can i do this? How can i be this way? How can i live with myself, me who hates contradiction, conflict, and hypocrisy?

And then theres the fact that i still eat meat (and eggs and milk and cheese and other dairy products) though of course, I no longer enjoy it like i used too, before i learned of all the cruelty involved in its production. I am trying to quit, really. Raised from an infant in a long line of "meat-and-potato" eaters, I have found that there is no doubt about it, old habits are hard to break. We are after all, creatures of habit. And I do hate myself for being a slave to them, honestly i do. Though i am eating less and less of meat and dairy, i do struggle with the issue everyday when my hunger light starts flashing. The guilt and self-loathing i feel when i catch myself realizing that i am craving meat has had the effect of helping me to eat less and less of anything, and, not wanting to sound too much like Martha Stewart, I say that is a very good thing!

So, how do I cope with these contradictions? How do i justify myself? Truth is,...i dont. i know its wrong and im wrong so i dont have to defend or justify myself, to myself or to anybody else. It is what it is and I just dont think about it. I shut down my brain and just stuff it, like i have just about everything else bad in my life.

Through this method (and years and years of off and on voluntary and involuntary counseling) i have learned that this very thing, this phenomena of "stuffing things," of "turning your mind off" from unpleasantries you dont want to think about or have to deal with, a self-preservation thing, or so my counselors have told me, a natural, human type of "defense mechanism," or "survival instinct," they explained. Theory is, you HAVE to dummy your true thoughts and feelings down about such negative things or feelings in order TO LIVE with yourself. You HAVE to turn off your mind,...SHUT DOWN your thinkin process in order to engage in activities you know are wrong or not good for you. And that so-called human "dummying down" mechanisim, in my humble opinion, is a primary contributor to a great deal of the problems we are experiencing in society and the world today, and yes, I know. I too am part of the problem, with my still eating meat & dairy. Yes, I too am guilty of not effecting enough change in myself according to my beliefs. Most of us "common-folk" have shut our minds off to the "grander" long range issues in life in order to cope with and get through our everyday lives. As lone individuals living in our own singular work-a-day worlds, we feel powerless to change "worldly" things in any significant way. The majority of us cant spend too much time even thinking about such "esoteric" things like "perfect" or "more perfect" worlds, or waste too much time thinkin or workin towards solving important global issues like world peace, ending poverty, over-population, consumption or long-term ecological could we? Most Americans, that is, those lucky enough to still have jobs, are too busy making a living trying to keep a roof over their heads and food in their pantries and clothes on their backs to even think about such "lofty" idealism. We cant even realistically dream about good paying steady jobs, or of being stay-at-home moms, or of being a two-car family, or vacations, or of really good educations or health care for our kids, or savings accounts or good credit ratings, or how to invest our money. Ha. What money? How can we be expected to "have confidence" in the system and the economy and "spend, baby spend," as they encourage us to do, ..let alone save or "be frugal," or "thrifty" when their isnt enough to go around to make ends meet in the first place? Things are such today that we dare not even dream of "the good life." We are too busy trying to preserve the meager ones we have. For most Americans, "the Dream" has become a nightmare, and there seems to be no real help for us from no one and no place left to turn or run.

Everyday we hear it in the news, stories about some poor jerk "going off," bizerko, whacking the whole family or shootin up people and places. The lousy stinkin sinkin economy plays a role in all of this. Think it dont? Think again. Americans are stressed, and justifiably so, and its showing. Crimes, particularly robberies, are on the rise, as are our suicide rates, especially among our youth and returning veterans of "the war on terror." Americans better wake up to the very real fact that we can not go on "stuffing" these critical issues plaguing our county and our communities forever. We must "unstupify" and confront ourselves on ourselves. At least, that is what the many counselors I have had over the years have consistently told me. I am just now starting to realize they were right. We cant go on stuffing things or "fooling ourselves" forever, acting like everything is "A-OK" when it is not. REAL changes must be made before we self-destruct, ourselves as well as the planet.

There is an old saying from the group-home that I think is perhaps applicable here;

"If you keep on doin what you always did you will always get what you always got," ...which in my life experiences, was a whole lot of nothin for a long long time. Ive still got some real changes to make in myself to be true to myself and my beliefs.

Its never too late for change in ourselves, but the planet wont wait for us to make the call. It will go right on deteriorating until some drastic preventative measures are taken.

There is another self-help saying from the group-home, used to motivate us into change;

"Drastic times call for drastic measures"

Is there any doubt about it? Are we not now living now in drastic times?

In this view, the dawning questions are do we define "drastic" times? By which standards do we measure? Or should I say, by whoms? Certainly not the 1%ers' who rule the world now, I would hope. By their standards we would be considered a heck of a long way off from "drastic times." Despite claims of lost profits, they are all still doing "really well." It is times like these when they profit the most. Recession is good for their economies. Every red blooded American knows that, rich or porr..

This "business" of planned recession and/or depression is nothing new. They do it every now and agin to remind us all of how much we need them and how beholdin we should be to them for making it possible for us to have all the good things in life, right? Wrong.

Can you imagine what we would do without them running I mean ruining the world for us? Arent we lucky to have them around, ya think? Not. I for one would be happy to be free of the current powers-that-be (PTB) that bind us to servitude, debt & and poverty.

Another Black Mark upon the Capital District, NY

Local Man Robs Indian School

Schenectady Co.;
SCCC Grad Robs Mid-Western Indian School of $1.38M!
Click on title above to read article;

This, in addition to the previously posted black-marks upon the Capital District, listed below, all of which have made National and International News; Sorry, you will have to cut and paste these links below into your web-browser to get them to work.

Politics, Campaigns, Elections;

Rensselaer Co.;
"Ballot Boo Boo"
08' Presidential Election ballots go out naming "Osama" Oboma as Dem choice

War / Military;

Rensselaer Co.;
First Fraggin Case;

Albany Co,;
First Bat Die-Offs;

White-nose syndrome was first observed near Albany, New York in 2006.
communicated by:
Tabitha Viner, DVM DACVP
Associate Pathologist
Smithsonian Institution
National Zoological Park
Department of Pathology
PO Box 37012 MRC 5501
Washington, DC 20560


The Animals;

Rensselaer Co.;
Animal Control Officer Accused of Stealing Pet Dogs;
later found to be buring dead animals in his backyard

Rens. Co.;
Horse Murdered (Stabbed to Death) During Hoosic Falls Robbery;


Albany Co.;
Man Finds Snake Head in Restaurant Food;

Sexual Perverts; Nursing Home Abuse
Albany Co.;
Nursing Home Abuse at Two Facilities by Same Offender;\

Pacos Mask Ruined & No Good Deed

Above is a picture of Pacos brand new new custom made donkey-fly mask after our new rescue dog got ahold of it last night. The dog DID NOT get repremanded as it was my fault my fault my fault (Mea culpa) for leaving it out where she could get at it.

Nevertheless I am thinking, about that particular rescue,....maybe this is what mother meant when she said, "No good deed goes unpunished."

Nice dog she is though, and looking for a home. To learn more about her and see a pic, click on the title above

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Last Survivor of Titanic Dies on Anniversary of Sinking

Last Survivor of Titanic Dies on 98th Anniversary of Ships Sinking
Millvina Dean, last survivor of the 1912 sinking of the "unsinkable" Titanic, has died at 97

By MEERA SELVA and JILL LAWLESS Associated Press Writers
LONDON May 31, 2009 (AP)

Titanic Survivor Millvina Dean, shown in this May 19, 2003, the last living survivor of the Titanic disaster, has died at age 97, according to sources. Miss Dean was just nine weeks old when the historic liner sank in 1912.

Millvina Dean, who as a baby was wrapped in a sack and lowered into a lifeboat in the frigid North Atlantic, died Sunday, having been the last survivor of 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic.

She was 97 years old, and she died where she had lived — in Southampton, England, the city her family had tried to leave behind when it took the ship's ill-fated maiden voyage, bound for America.

She died in her sleep early Sunday, her friend Gunter Babler told the Associated Press. It was the 98th anniversary of the launch of the ship that was billed as "practically unsinkable."

Babler said Dean's longtime companion, Bruno Nordmanis, called him in Switzerland to say staff at Woodlands Ridge Nursing Home in Southampton discovered Dean in her room Sunday morning. He said she had been hospitalized with pneumonia last week but she had recovered and returned to the home.

A staff nurse at the nursing home said late Sunday that no one would comment until administrators came on duty Monday morning.

Dean just over 2 months old when the Titanic hit an iceberg on the night of April 14, 1912. The ship sank in less than three hours.

Dean was one of 706 people — mostly women and children — who survived. Her father was among the 1,517 who died.

Babler, who is head of the Switzerland Titanic Society, said Dean was a "very good friend of very many years."

"I met her through the Titanic society but she became a friend and I went to see very every month or so," he said.

The pride of the White Star line, the Titanic had a mahogany-paneled smoking room, a swimming pool and a squash court. But it did not have enough lifeboats for all of its 2,200 passengers and crew.

Dean's family were steerage passengers setting out from the English port of Southampton for a new life in the United States. Her father had sold his pub and hoped to open a tobacconists' shop in Kansas City, Missouri, where his wife had relatives.

Initially scheduled to travel on another ship, the family was transferred to the Titanic because of a coal strike. Four days out of port and about 600 kilometers (380 miles) southeast of Newfoundland, the ship hit an iceberg. The impact buckled the Titanic's hull and sent sea water pouring into six of its supposedly watertight compartments.

The Titanic International Society says Millvina Dean, the last survivor of the sinking of the Titanic has died in her sleep. The society's president Charles Haas told the Associated Press Millvina Dean died Sunday. He said she had suffered from slight pneumonia last week. Dean was just over two months old when the Titanic hit an iceberg on the night of April 14, 1912, sinking less than three hours later.

Dean said her father's quick actions saved his family. He felt the ship scrape the iceberg and hustled the family out of its third-class quarters and toward the lifeboat that would take them to safety. "That's partly what saved us — because he was so quick. Some people thought the ship was unsinkable," Dean told the British Broadcasting Corp. in 1998.

Wrapped in a sack against the Atlantic chill, Dean was lowered into a lifeboat. Her 2-year-old brother Bertram and her mother Georgette also survived.

"She said goodbye to my father and he said he'd be along later," Dean said in 2002. "I was put into lifeboat 13. It was a bitterly cold night and eventually we were picked up by the Carpathia."

The family was taken to New York, then returned to England with other survivors aboard the rescue ship Adriatic. Dean did not know she had been aboard the Titanic until she was 8 years old, when her mother, about to remarry, told her about her father's death. Her mother, always reticent about the tragedy, died in 1975 at age 95.

Born in London on Feb. 2, 1912, Elizabeth Gladys "Millvina" Dean spent most of her life in the English seaside town of Southampton, Titanic's home port. She never married, and worked as a secretary, retiring in 1972 from an engineering firm.

She moved into a nursing home after breaking her hip about three years ago. She had to sell several Titanic mementoes to raise funds, prompting her friends to set up a fund to subsidize her nursing home fees. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, the stars of the film "Titanic," pledged their support to the fund last month.

For most of her life Dean had no contact with Titanic enthusiasts and rarely spoke about the disaster. Dean said she had seen the 1958 film "A Night to Remember" with other survivors, but found it so upsetting that she declined to watch any other attempts to put the disaster on celluloid, including the 1997 blockbuster "Titanic."

She began to take part in Titanic-related activities in the 1980s, after the discovery of the ship's wreck in 1985 sparked renewed interest in the disaster. At a memorial service in England, Dean met a group of American Titanic enthusiasts who invited her to a meeting in the U.S.

She visited Belfast to see where the ship was built, attended Titanic conventions around the world — where she was mobbed by autograph seekers — and participated in radio and television documentaries about the sinking.

Charles Haas, president of the New-Jersey based Titanic International Society, said Dean was happy to talk to children about the Titanic. "She had a soft spot for children," he said. "I remember watching was little tiny children came over clutching pieces of paper for her to sign. She was very good with them, very warm."

In 1997, Dean crossed the Atlantic by boat for the first time, on the QEII luxury liner, and finally visited Kansas City, declaring it "so lovely I could stay here five years." She was active well into her 90s, but missed the commemoration of the 95th anniversary of the disaster in 2007 after breaking her hip.

Dean had no memories of the sinking and said she preferred it that way. "I wouldn't want to remember, really," she told The Associated Press in 1997. She opposed attempts to raise the wreck 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) from the sea bed.

"I don't want them to raise it, I think the other survivors would say exactly the same," she said in 1997. "That would be horrible."

The last survivor with memories of the sinking — and the last American survivor — was Lillian Asplund, who was 5 at the time. She died in May 2006 at the age of 99. The second-last survivor, Barbara Joyce West Dainton of Truro, England, died in October 2007 aged 96.

Related; Survivors Memorbelia on Sale

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Their Fathers Ashes

A Poem, by ShadowPrisonPerson

Ash to Ash to Dust to Stone

Within the pages of a recent magazine interview,
Keith Richards finally admitted to snorting
a line of his dead father’s ashes. Upon hearing
this news, Robert Downey Jr.
Lindsay Lohan, Pete Doherty and Kate Moss
immediately begged to have their fathers cremated.

Founding Stones guitarist Brian Jones
used to take his father’s ashes swimming. Charlie Watts
uses two pencils to tap on the urn
that holds his father’s ashes and he’s been tapping
the same damn beat for forty years.

Keith Richards had the audacity to charge $175
for a back-row balcony-seat glimpse
of his father’s ashes during the first
of many farewell tours. Critics claim
that the ashes of Keith Richards’ father are merely evaporated
leftovers of muddy waters and are kept
in the same old urn that was stolen
from the ashes of Howling Wolf’s father.

The ashes of Keith Richards father can’t get no satisfaction.
They once sat on an Altamont stage, dumbfounded in the urn
while Keith launched into a guitar solo, as the Hell’s Angels
stabbed a man to death.

The ashes of Bill Wyman’s father spend each night
inside a barely-legal urn, an urn so young
that it’s often mistaken for his daughter’s ashes.

Tina Turner knows that the ashes of Mick Jagger’s father
have been laced with brown sugar and are kept
in an urn that’s painted, painted, painted,
painted black. The ashes of Mick Jagger’s father have allegedly
been mixed in the same urn as the ashes of David Bowie’s father
but no one will confirm or deny this rumour.

To this day, Mel Gibson’s dad denies
that Keith Richards’ father
was ever cremated, in the first place.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Humane Society Cover Up?

The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom has been working to expose the hypocrisy and fundraising deceptions of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). This is the group that many donors THINK is their local animal shelter. It’s really a $100-million-dollar animal rights lobbying group. Think PETA with a fancier pair of plastic shoes.

You may have recently seen WSB-TV’s exposé on this radical animal rights organization. (WSB is Atlanta’s ABC affiliate.) The Center for Consumer Freedom was featured in the piece, which aired last Thursday. It was hugely popular, attracting more than 50,000 viewers on YouTube in addition to WSB’s regular TV audience and resulting print coverage.

Since the report first aired, HSUS has been working feverishly to silence it. The group bullied the TV station into removing the video and the text of the story from its website. HSUS even convinced the station to contact YouTube with copyright claims to have the news segment removed from public view. The video is no longer available anywhere on the Internet. All because HSUS is afraid of the truth.

WSB-TV called HSUS “an organization actively misleading donors to get money.” We added that most of the proceeds from HSUS’s massive fundraising operations don’t benefit homeless cats and dogs: “It’s very deceptive … [the money] goes to lobbying, it goes to political contributions, it goes to pay huge staff salaries and benefits.” This was a great piece of journalism on a subject most news outlets are too intimidated or biased to cover.

Click on title above to read “The Seven Things You Didn’t Know About HSUS”

To say we struck a nerve would be an understatement. HSUS’s aggressive response is a testament to our strategy and effective messaging. HSUS’s biggest vulnerability is the public discovering that it is not a pet shelter. If we can bring that message to the public, we can seriously undercut HSUS’s credibility and expose them as the radical animal rights group that they really are.

In addition, the Louisiana Attorney General's office has been receiving a deluge of questions about one of the WSB-TV report's claims: That HSUS misused money it promised to spend helping reunite Hurricane Katrina victims with their pets. Louisiana A.G. Buddy Caldwell is considering whether to re-open a full-scale investigation into this. if you feel as strongly about it as we do, PLEASE CALL his office’s Consumer Protection Section at 800-351-4889 and let them know.

Go here to read an in-depth “” report about the Humane Society of the United States at:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Berserk Boy Scouts Of America Fight Terrorists, Gays, and Agnostics

Fri May 15, 2009 11:30 am (PDT)

Berserk Boy Scouts Of America Fight Terrorists, Gays, and Agnostics *
*Go Here and Fight Back:*
*Have The Boy Scouts Of America Gone Completely Berserk?*

First: Please read Jennifer Steinhauer's important
article. Click on title above to go there;

in today's *New York Times*, headlined "For Explorer Scouts, Good Deeds Have Whole New Meaning." New meaning, indeed.

Second: Read it again just to make sure you didn't miss any of the truly
gruesome details.

This is vigilantism passed on to youngsters who've grown up in a violent
culture so that they can barely tell the difference between crime and

The Explorers, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts, have long
prepared teenage members to become police officers and firefighters. Since
the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, many Explorer posts, working with local and
federal law enforcement agencies, have added programs to train members in
confronting terrorism, illegal immigration and border violence. Here,
Explorers in a drill with the Imperial County, Calif., sheriff's office
prepared to enter a building taken over by terrorists who had begun shooting


IMPERIAL, Calif. — Ten minutes into arrant mayhem in this town near the
Mexican border, and the gunman, a disgruntled Iraq war veteran, has already
taken out two people, one slumped in his desk, the other covered in blood on
the floor.
Skip to next paragraph
Multimedia [image: Explorers Train to Fight Terrorists, and More]Slide Show

Train to Fight Terrorists, and
Enlarge This Image'14explorers_CA0_ready',
'width=670,height=530,scrollbars=yes,toolbars=no,resizable=yes')> Todd
Krainin for The New York Times

In a training exercise run by Border Patrol agents, Explorer scouts from
Visalia, Calif., prepare to storm a “hijacked” bus. More Photos
The New York Times

Imperial County relies on the local criminal justice system. More
Photos >
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The responding officers — eight teenage boys and girls, the youngest 14 —
face tripwire, a thin cloud of poisonous gas and loud shots — BAM! BAM! —
fired from behind a flimsy wall. They move quickly, pellet guns drawn and
masks affixed.

“United States Border
Put your hands up!” screams one in a voice cracking with adolescent
determination as the suspect is subdued.

It is all quite a step up from the square knot.

The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of
began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills
used to confront terrorism, illegal
escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the
group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as
police officers and firefighters.

“This is about being a true-blooded American guy and girl,” said A. J.
Lowenthal, a sheriff’s deputy here in Imperial County, whose life clock, he
says, is set around the Explorers events he helps run. “It fits right in
with the honor and bravery of the Boy Scouts.”

The training, which leaders say is not intended to be applied outside the
simulated Explorer setting, can involve chasing down illegal border crossers
as well as more dangerous situations that include facing down terrorists and
taking out “active shooters,” like those who bring gunfire and death to
college campuses. In a simulation here of a raid on a
several Explorers were instructed on how to quiet an obstreperous

“Put him on his face and put a knee in his back,” a Border Patrol agent
explained. “I guarantee that he’ll shut up.”

One participant, Felix Arce, 16, said he liked “the discipline of the
program,” which was something he said his life was lacking. “I want to be a
lawyer, and this teaches you about how crimes are committed,” he said.

Cathy Noriego, also 16, said she was attracted by the guns. The group uses
compressed-air guns — known as airsoft guns, which fire tiny plastic pellets
— in the training exercises, and sometimes they shoot real guns on a closed

“I like shooting them,” Cathy said. “I like the sound they make. It gets me

If there are critics of the content or purpose of the law enforcement
training, they have not made themselves known to the Explorers’ national
organization in Irving, Tex., or to the volunteers here on the ground,
national officials and local leaders said. That said, the Explorers have
faced problems over the years. There have been numerous cases over the last
three decades in which police officers supervising Explorers have been
charged, in civil and criminal cases, with sexually abusing them.

Several years ago, two University of
justice professors published a study that found at least a dozen
cases of sexual abuse involving police officers over the last decade. Adult
Explorer leaders are now required to take an online training program on
sexual misconduct.

Many law enforcement officials, particularly those who work for the rapidly
growing Border Patrol , part of the Homeland Security
have helped shape the program’s focus and see it as preparing the Explorers
as potential employees. The Explorer posts are attached to various agencies,
including the Federal Bureau of
local police and fire departments, that sponsor them much the way
churches sponsor Boy Scout troops.

“Our end goal is to create more agents,” said April McKee, a senior Border
Patrol agent and mentor at the session here.

Membership in the Explorers has been overseen since 1998 by an affiliate of
the Boy Scouts called Learning for
which offers 12 career-related programs, including those focused on
aviation, medicine and the sciences.

But the more than 2,000 law enforcement posts across the country are the
Explorers’ most popular, accounting for 35,000 of the group’s 145,000
members, said John Anthony, national director of Learning for Life. Since
the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many
posts have taken on an emphasis of fighting terrorism and other less
conventional threats.

“Before it was more about the basics,” said Johnny Longoria, a Border Patrol
agent here. “But now our emphasis is on terrorism, illegal entry, drugs and
human smuggling.”

The law enforcement posts are restricted to those ages 14 to 21 who have a C
average, but there seems to be some wiggle room. “I will take them at 13 and
a half,” Deputy Lowenthal said. “I would rather take a kid than possibly
lose a kid.”

The law enforcement programs are highly decentralized, and each post is run
in a way that reflects the culture of its sponsoring agency and region. Most
have weekly meetings in which the children work on their law-enforcement
techniques in preparing for competitions. Weekends are often spent on
service projects.

Just as there are soccer moms, there are Explorers dads, who attend the
competitions, man the hamburger grill and donate their land for the
simulated marijuana field raids. In their training, the would-be
law-enforcement officers do not mess around, as revealed at a recent
competition on the state fairgrounds here, where a Ferris wheel sat next to
the police cars set up for a felony investigation.

Their hearts pounding, Explorers moved down alleys where there were hidden
paper targets of people pointing guns, and made split-second decisions about
when to shoot. In rescuing hostages from a bus taken over by terrorists, a
baby-faced young girl screamed, “Separate your feet!” as she moved to
handcuff her suspect.

In a competition in Arizona that he did not oversee, Deputy Lowenthal said,
one role-player wore traditional Arab dress. “If we’re looking at 9/11 and
what a Middle Eastern terrorist would be like,” he said, “then maybe your
role-player would look like that. I don’t know, would you call that
politically incorrect?”

Authenticity seems to be the goal. Imperial County, in Southern California,
is the poorest in the state, and the local economy revolves largely around
the criminal justice system. In addition to the sheriff and local police
departments, there are two state prisons and a large Border Patrol and
immigration enforcement presence.

“My uncle was a sheriff’s deputy,” said Alexandra Sanchez, 17, who joined
the Explorers when she was 13. Alexandra’s police uniform was baggy on her
lithe frame, her airsoft gun slung carefully to the side. She wants to be a

“I like the idea of having law enforcement work with medicine,” she said.
“This is a great program for me.”

And then she was off to another bus hijacking.

*Boy Scouts of America:
Religious & homosexual discrimination*
* Quotations: [image: bullet] "No man is much good unless he believes in
God and obeys His laws. So every Scout should have religion." From the book
"Scouting for Boys" by Robert Lord Baden Powell (founder of the Scouting
movement). [image: bullet] "The Boy Scouts of America maintain that no
member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing his
obligation to God." Boy Scouts of America, Bylaws. [image: bullet] "Any
organization could profit from a 10-year-old member with enough strength of
character to refuse to swear falsely." Editorial, New York Times,
1993-DEC-12, commenting on the Boy Scouts' exclusion of a young
Atheist. [image:
bullet] "If a youth comes to a Scoutmaster and admits to doing wrong, like
stealing, lying, cheating or vandalizing, the normal procedure is to counsel
the youth privately and sympathetically...If the youth admits to being a
homosexual, the Boy Scouts' policy is to instantly terminate his association
with Scouting." Findings of fact, in a DC court case 1 [image: bullet]
the Boy Scouts can accept and reject whomever they wish. But officials
should bear in mind that they, like the Christian Right and the Anglican
bishops, are disserving the nation's boys -- mere children -- when teaching
them to hate fellow humans." Bill Maxwell, St. Petersburg Times,
1998-AUG-9 [image:
bullet] "...access for updated information on
the campaign to destroy the Boy Scouts." Traditional Values Coalition
Newsletter, 2001-JUN-29 (The web site has since gone offline. [image:
bullet] "The available evidence points inexorably to the conclusion that
Baden-Powell was a repressed homosexual." Tim Jeal 2 [image: bullet] "...the
Boy Scouts of America have been brutally assailed as malicious monsters
because they believe that only adults who adhere to a moral code should lead
young boys." Jerry Falwell 3 [image: bullet] "When religion sanctifies
hatred, it lends to that hatred a special ferocity. Normal moral inhibitors
are erased." Johannes Cardinal Wildebrands.*


Sunday, May 10, 2009

MuleKist, an animal hoarder! Pics Dont Lie!

Proof MuleKist is an animal hoarder!

...and, eventually, like any animal hoarding situation, the animals took over the house.


Friday, May 8, 2009

More Civil Disobedience : 30 Arrested at Minnesosta Immigration Facility

I cant help but wonder if these protestors who blocked an Immigration Facility will be prosecuted as "domestic terrorists" like any animal-rights or environmentalists would have had they done the same thing: obstructed governmental functions. We will be keeping a close eye on this case, you can bet your bibby on that.

11:09 am By Maegan la Mamita Mala · Activism| Immigration| Politics

7 May 2009
A third act of civil disobedience took place this week with 30 people blocking the entrances to the Bloomington, Minnesota Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility.

Immigrant rights activists and allies took action today at ICE headquarters, holding a conference just after 7am to demand that Obama sign an executive order to end all raids and deportations pending the passage of a just immigration reform act. Veronica Mendez described the climate of fear created by immigration raids: undocumented workers afraid to go to the police when robbed or assaulted, employees unable to fight back against employers who cheat them of wages or create unsafe working conditions, families whose children are citizens but whose parents are deported. “We in Minnesota have our own dark secrets of raids,…the times that in the middle of the night or in a parking lot you are simply rounded up and taken away,” said the Reverend Loren McGrail.

After the press conference the legal demonstration continued while those who planned to commit civil disobedience moved into place.

About 30 activists were arrested as they blocked the entrances to the Bloomington Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility as a support rally took place nearby. After activists had blocked all four driveways, Bloomington police clad in helmets and carrying extended batons, marking rounds and chemical canisters congregated around the activists at the east side of the facility. As activists from the initial blockade were arrested one by one and loaded onto a city-owned bus, others came from the other blockades to take their place. On the bus activists chanted and rocked vigorously. After the approximately twenty activists were arrested, the full bus was driven to the police station, returning thirty minutes later when the remaining activists were arrested.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Update on Orphaned Donkey Foal, Offender Turns Himself In

Orphaned donkey foal improves, youth talks to police

May 7, 2009

JB is doing well but is not out of the woods yet.

The donkey foal whose mother was shot minutes after his birth is continuing to do well, and police say the alleged shooter has approached authorities.
Police had issued a warrant for the arrest of a 17-year-old youth for the Florida shooting. The warrant was for weapons offences and causing cruel death, pain and suffering to an animal.

Local website named the alleged offender and published his photograph as police efforts continued to track him down. The website later reported that the youth had approached police, accompanied by his mother and an attorney.

The orphan foal, named JB, is doing well, according to his caregivers, although it will be several days before it is known whether the belated colostrum he was given was in time.

Lindley Barden, his adoptive mother at Panhandle Equine Rescue, says JB is becoming adept at letting her know when he wants to eat - "never mind the alarm clock".

"He was totally exhausted from his first day in the limelight, having held court to three different TV crews during his second full day on Earth. Speaking for us both, it was certainly a harrowing experience!"

JB is getting gentle lessons in leading and is experiencing a little of the great outdoors.

"He wants to kick up his heels a bit, and he will get the opportunity when weather permits," she says.

"He's still not out of the woods health-wise, as his immune system has not yet been tested. Hopefully by day 7, we will know with more certainty if he will be OK."

Barden said the rescue centre has appreciated all the calls and emails about JB. "We will keep you posted on his days ahead!"

JB was taken in by the rescue centre because his distraught owners were not able to give him the many feedings required daily.

Escambia County Sheriff's Office said it was continuing to investigate the fatal shooting of JB's mother, which occurred off Jacks Branch Road in Cantonment.

Sergeant Rick Vinson said shots were heard around 11pm in the area of 901 River Annex Road on Tuesday night.

"Arriving Deputies located a deceased donkey along with a newborn foal. Upon investigation, it was determined that the donkey had been shot.

"Further investigation revealed that two suspects were seen in the area after the shots were heard. Deputies were then able to develop additional information that has led to a warrant affidavit being prepared for a white male juvenile for weapons offences and causing cruel death, pain and suffering to an animal."

Earlier story: Newborn baby donkey in care after mother shot dead

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Newborn baby donkey in care after mother shot dead

May 5, 2009

Tiny donkey foal JB is fighting for his life after his mum was killed.

A baby donkey was believed to be only minutes old when its mother was shot in Florida.

The tiny white donkey, named JB, has been taken in by Panhandle Equine Rescue because his distraught owners were unable to give him the numerous feedings he requires daily.

The group reports that a man has been arrested after allegedly confessing to the shooting, which occurred in Escambia County, off Jacks Branch Road in Cantonment.

The shooting is believed to have occurred early on Sunday morning, when gunfire was heard.

The rescue group's president, Diane Lowery, told Horsetalk that JB was doing much better today.

"We hope that he will survive. It will be a week before we know," she says.

"He did not get enough colostrum through his mother."

She says JB was given some more as soon as possible and his supporters can now only hope that they caught it in time.

"He is such a sweet little boy," she says.

JB is showing a good appetite and appears to enjoy the milk replacement product, Foal Lac.

He is being fed every one to two hours.

Diane told Horsetalk that JB's mother had been light-coloured, like him. His colouring is natural and is not characterised by any disorders such as albinism.

Local news website,, reports the arrest of a 17-year-old youth. It says the youth will be charged with cruelty to animals causing death, using a weapon during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a person under 18.

Panhandle Equine Rescue says it would welcome any donations or sponsorship to help in the ongoing care of JB. More information:

Click title above for original article and more pics;

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Tax Exemption for Your Pet?

Click on title above for article;

Friday, May 1, 2009

ND takes Initative to Give Across the Board Tax Breaks

Apr 30 2009 7:08PM
KXMBTV Bismarck

With this... everyone in North Dakota gets lower taxes...

Governor John Hoeven signs what's being called "historic" tax relief into law...

Lawmakers passed the $400 million dollar property and income tax relief package Wednesday.

Hoeven says this is the first time the state has reduced ALL tax rates.

$295 million will reduce your property taxes.

$90 million will reduce your income taxes and $10 million will lower corporate income taxes.

The tax cuts will benefit all taxpayers homeowners, renters, businesses, farmers and ranchers...

(Cook) "We're going to send a message to the hardworking people of ND who do their job and keep the economy running on all 8 cylinders. But we're also sending a message to friends and neighbors in other states that if you're getting tired of government that continues to burden you with higher taxes, then maybe North Dakota is a great place to come work, live and raise a family."

The tax relief package makes North Dakota's income tax rates one of the lowest in the nation.

The Corporate tax cuts make North Dakota more business friendly. watch the video | save this article / add to your favorites list

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

White-Nosed Bat Die Off Hits Virgina

A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 25 Apr 2009
Source: Daily News Record [edited]

Samples of bats found in the Endless Caverns show cave suspected of
having the deadly white-nose syndrome (WNS) have been sent to a
federal testing facility, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland
Fisheries (VDGIF) confirmed Friday [24 Apr 2009].

If the tests come back positive, it will be the 1st confirmed case in
Rockingham County of the mysterious disease that has wiped out
hundreds of thousands of bats in the northeast. The disease showed up
in Virginia for the 1st time earlier this year [2009], but until now,
no bats in the central valley had been suspected of having the illness.

White-nose syndrome is named for the ring of white fungus that
typically appears on infected bats' snouts and sometimes on other body
parts such as wings.

Besides the fungus, infected bats typically have low body fat, are
dehydrated and demonstrate abnormal behavior, such as searching for
food during the winter.

Rick Reynolds, a wildlife biologist with the VDGIF, said Virginia Cave
Board members discovered bats showing signs of the disease during a
tour of Endless Caverns on Saturday [25 Apr 2009]. Endless Caverns is
a commercial show cave located near New Market. The caverns, along
with several similar caves in the central valley, are a popular
tourist attraction.

Reynolds visited the caverns on Tuesday [21 Apr 2009] to take samples
of the bats, which he sent to the U.S. Geological Survey's National
Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin to be tested. The results
should come back in 2 to 3 weeks, he said.

The bats in Endless Caverns "were probably in the very early stages of
showing the fungus," Reynolds said. "It was not as prominent as some
of the pictures that you see. It was just kind of spotty on the wings."

No one was available at Endless Caverns on Friday [24 Apr 2009] to
talk about the suspected case, but Reynolds said officials there have
been cooperative and are taking steps to prevent spreading the
disease. Biologists suspect that white-nose syndrome may be caused in
part by human activity in the caves and mines where bats live and

Endless Caverns officials are adding an educational component to their
tour, alerting people to the fact that bats in the cave may have
white-nose syndrome, he said.

They also are setting up a station where guests can sanitize their
footwear after touring the caverns, and they are encouraging visitors
to shower and wash their clothes before entering another cave,
Reynolds said.

"Most of those people probably go into one cave, and that's it. That
type of caver is not really going to spread it," he said. "We have not
asked [Endless Caverns' officials] to change their operations."

In addition to Endless Caverns, state biologists recently found
suspected cases of white-nose syndrome in bats in Bland and Cumberland
counties, Reynolds said.

Biologists discovered bats in a cave in Bland County this past weekend
that showed signs of the disease, and they returned to the cave on
Friday [24 Apr 2009] to take samples of the bats.

In Cumberland County, a single bat on the side of a building showed
signs of the disease, and biologists sent the animal to be tested
about a week ago, Reynolds said.

He added that it's not clear where that bat came from because
Cumberland County doesn't have caves. VDGIF is working with the
Department of Mines and Minerals to determine whether the bat came
from one of the county's mines, he said.

The 1st cases of white-nose syndrome in Virginia were confirmed
earlier this month [April 2009] in Breathing Cave in Bath County and
Clover Hollow Cave in Giles County.

At that time, VDGIF officials began asking caving enthusiasts to stay
out of caves, and it closed caves in its management areas in hopes of
slowing the spread of the disease that has scientists baffled.

Biologists say they don't know what's causing the syndrome, exactly
how it's spread, or how to stop it from infecting more bats, which, in
most cases, are naturally disease resilient.

Biologists say they are not surprised by these new suspected cases.
"It probably means what we expected all along, that it's going to grow
and develop over time," Reynolds said. "As time moves on, we're just
going to find more counties with the disease showing up unless we get
a handle on it."

The country's 1st cases of white-nose syndrome were identified about 3
years ago in bats in several caves near Albany, N.Y. Since then, the
disease has been confirmed in other parts of New York as well as the
neighboring states of Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and
Pennsylvania. It also has been confirmed in New Hampshire, New Jersey,
and just recently, West Virginia and Virginia.

The disease has wiped out 75 to 90 percent of the bat population in
New York and more than 400,000 bats in the region, records show.

Reduced bat populations could be detrimental for many reasons,
including the fact that bats eat many insects, such as cucumber
beetles and corn borer moths, which can ruin crops.

[Byline: Jenny Jones]


Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring has Sprung, bats are gone, BUGS are Out - Oh My, its going to be a long hot summer

Without the bug-eating bats around, and living near the water, its going to be a very buggy summer. Already they are out in force. I got the feeling these two equines (Paco, the donkey & Lightning, the pony) will be spending the summer in the nice cool barn parked in-front of the fans; Dont they look cute with their new fly-masks on? They love wearing them so much, they practically walk into them for me.

They are both on diets. Lightning I call the Snuffleupagus cause man that little horse (or pony) can eat, he was fat when I got him and that huge belly you see has actually gone down since I have had him. Paco, well, he was starved so he has a tendency to overdo a little yet when allowed to "eat at will,"...and, they tell me, the last thing you want to do is let your donkey get fat. I have noticed that the first place they start to store their fat is in the crest of their neck, and if it gets too fatty, it will actually fall over. They call it a "broken crest" and once it breaks over its never coming back up again and it aint pretty! Also I am told because of their tiny little feet it is not good to let them get to heavy. Soooo, Paco goes on a diet too. They are doing "the buddy system." I give them hay three times a day spread out so they have to walk around.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This is Why We Cannot Condone Torture

ABC News Exclusive: Torture Tape Implicates UAE Royal Sheikh
Police in Uniform Join In as Victim Is Whipped, Beaten, Electrocuted, Run Over by SUV

April 22, 2009

A video tape smuggled out of the United Arab Emirates shows a member of the country's royal family mercilessly torturing a man with whips, electric cattle prods and wooden planks with protruding nails.

Brian Ross Investigates
A man in a UAE police uniform is seen on the tape tying the victim's arms and legs, and later holding him down as the Sheikh pours salt on the man's wounds and then drives over him with his Mercedes SUV.

In a statement to ABC News, the UAE Ministry of the Interior said it had reviewed the tape and acknowledged the involvement of Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan, brother of the country's crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed.

"The incidents depicted in the video tapes were not part of a pattern of behavior," the Interior Ministry's statement declared.

The Minister of the Interior is also one of Sheikh Issa's brother.

The government statement said its review found "all rules, policies and procedures were followed correctly by the Police Department."


Taliban Video: Girl Beaten for 'Adultery'

WATCH: Dubai's Dirty Little Secret

More from Brian Ross and the Investigative Team
"If this is their complete reply, then sadly it's a scam and it's a sham," said Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch.

"It is the state that is torturing them," she said, "if the government does not investigate and prosecute these officers, and those commanding those officers."

The 45-minute long tape was smuggled out of the country by Bassam Nabulsi, of Houston, Texas, a former business associate of Sheikh Issa.

Nabulsi is now suing the Sheikh in federal court in Houston, alleging he also was tortured by UAE police when he refused to turn over the videos to the Sheikh following their falling out.

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"They were my security, really, to make my case that this man is capable of doing what I say he can do," said Nabulsi in an interview to be broadcast Wednesday on the ABC News program Nightline.

Nabulsi says the video tapes were recorded by his brother, on orders from the Sheikh who liked to watch the torture sessions later in his royal palace.

The Sheikh begins by stuffing sand down the man's mouth, as the police officers restrains the victim.

Then he fires bullets from an automatic rifle around him as the man howls incomprehensibly.

Click on title above for full article and to see vid;

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Are We Ready for a Solar Katrina?

Severe Solar Storms Could Harm Power Grid, Navigational Systems and Spacecraft, Scientists Say

April 21, 2009

More than a million people without power. The distribution of drinkable water disrupted. Transportation, communication and banking upset. Trillions of dollars in damage.

Solar storms could have devastating consequences on Earth, scientists warn.
(ABC News Photo Illustration)
Hurricanes, blizzards and other earthly tempests aren't the only natural forces with the potential to sow catastrophe.

Severe weather in the sun's outer atmosphere could knock out much of the country's power grid, incapacitate navigational systems and jeopardize spacecraft, scientists say.

While the odds of a solar disaster are relatively small, scientists warn that we need to ramp up our defenses against solar storms, especially given our increasing dependence on technology that is so susceptible to radiation from the sun.

"It's one of those events that is of low probability but high consequence," Dr. Roberta Balstad, a research scientist with Columbia University's Center for Research on Environmental Decisions. "The consequences could be extreme."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Exposing Greed Series: Goldman-Sucks

Liddy Should Sell Goldman Sachs Stake, Lawmakers Say

By Mark Pittman and Hugh Son

April 17 (Bloomberg) -- American International Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Edward Liddy should sell his $3.3 million stake in Goldman Sachs Group Inc. because it represents a conflict of interest, members of Congress said.

The AIG chief owns 27,129 Goldman Sachs shares, the bank said in a regulatory filing last year. Liddy got most of the shares over five years as a board member of New York-based Goldman Sachs. AIG, also based in New York, said in a Nov. 25 statement that Liddy would be paid a salary of $1 a year plus an unspecified stock grant.

AIG received a government bailout now valued at $182.5 billion, the largest in the nation’s history, and paid Goldman Sachs $12.9 billion after receiving U.S. funds. The payments helped settle transactions including credit-default swaps backed by AIG. Goldman Sachs was the biggest recipient of AIG payments after the bailout, and lawmakers including Representative Elijah Cummings have questioned why the insurer didn’t get better terms in the settlement.

“It turns out that he has a personal multimillion-dollar stake in what turns out to be the biggest counterparty of AIG and the company that has received the largest amount of the bailout money given to AIG, namely Goldman Sachs,” U.S. Representative Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat and a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said yesterday in a phone interview.

Liddy, 63, stepped down from the Goldman Sachs board last September to become AIG’s chief executive. Henry Paulson, then- Treasury Secretary and a former Goldman Sachs CEO, had asked Liddy to run AIG during the government rescue. Liddy was paid mostly in Goldman Sachs shares during his time at the bank, AIG has said. He declined to comment yesterday.

‘Public Service’

“While we are sorry he can no longer serve on our board, we are proud that Ed is taking on such an important responsibility during this critical time,” said Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, in a Sept. 26 statement. “His judgment, financial acumen and deep interest in the culture of our firm have benefited our people and our shareholders.”

Liddy “views his role as CEO in essence as a public service,” according to an e-mailed statement from AIG spokeswoman Christina Pretto. “In September, he was asked by the government to step in and restructure the company, and the company has made substantial progress in doing so.”

‘Good Corporate Citizen’

Liddy’s “initial compensation will consist entirely of equity grants, showing his confidence in AIG and its team,” AIG said in the November 25 statement. He won’t receive an annual bonus for 2008 and 2009, and may be eligible for a special bonus for extraordinary performance payable in 2010, the company said.

The executive hasn’t received any equity grants, Mark Herr, an AIG spokesman, said today in an interview.

“He’s not doing this for the money,” said Robert Haines, an analyst at CreditSights Inc. “He’s been rewarded handsomely by working in the insurance industry and he wanted to be a good corporate citizen.”

Liddy led Allstate Corp., the largest publicly traded U.S. home and auto insurer, for eight years through 2006. He joined Allstate in 1994 to oversee the spinoff from retailer Sears Roebuck & Co., where he had been chief financial officer.

Liddy owned 1.9 million shares of the insurer as of January 2008, according to an Allstate filing from April 2008.

‘Disastrous Public Relations’

AIG’s payments didn’t affect Goldman Sachs’s profit, Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said April 14. Goldman has said that it had cash and liquid securities as collateral against its exposure to AIG and had bought credit- default swaps as protection in some cases. Michael Duvally, a spokesman for the bank, declined to comment.

“I don’t think there was any double-dealing to help Goldman Sachs, but AIG has suffered such disastrous public relations over the past several months,” said Haines. “Anything that could be construed as negative or sinister is going to be brought up.”

Liddy faced criticism from Congress, the public and President Barack Obama earlier this year amid revelations of bonuses being paid to AIG employees. Liddy defended his record in a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in March.

‘Thriving Businesses’

“My only goals are to have AIG repay, with interest, to the maximum extent possible, the assistance the American taxpayers have given it, and to continue AIG’s main insurance companies as strong, thriving businesses and contributors to the economy,” Liddy wrote. “My only stake is my reputation.”

AIG said it owed about $46 billion of a $60 billion federal credit line as of April 2. The bailout package includes a commitment for $70 billion in capital, plus loans and asset guarantees.

About two-thirds of Liddy’s Goldman Sachs shares are restricted from being sold until May 31, according to an April 2009 filing. The stock’s value shrank to as little as $1.4 million on Nov. 20 when Goldman Sachs shares plummeted to $52, the lowest price since the company went public in May 1999. Since then the shares have rebounded to more that $120, and the stake has risen by about $180,000 since he took the AIG job.

The amount of his stock grant was reported this week in the online Washington Examiner.

“If I knew about it when Liddy came to testify, I would have definitely had a lot of questions,” Grayson said, referring to congressional hearings held in March. “Nobody is that rich that they don’t care about $3 million.”

Inspector General

Goldman Sachs, based in New York, paid Liddy a retainer of $62,500, a committee chair fee of $20,833 and $190,385 in lieu of stock for his final partial year of service, the April filing showed. Liddy received a total of $273,718 when he resigned as a director in September 2008.

Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, is probing whether AIG paid more than necessary to banks including Goldman Sachs. Barofsky is trying to determine whether AIG or the government sought to reduce the payments, according to an April 3 letter to Cummings. The Maryland Democrat requested the probe along with 26 other members of Congress.

“Even the appearance of conflict of interest is a reason for alarm,” Cummings said yesterday in a statement about Liddy’s Goldman Sachs stock.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Pittman in New York at; Hugh Son in New York at

Last Updated: April 17, 2009 16:08 EDT


A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Fri 17 Apr 2009
From: Kevin Hynes

In late March and early April 2009, cultures from 3 pine siskins from
Warren County and one house sparrow from Putnam County, New York,
have yielded _Salmonella typhimurium_. In years past we have found
common redpolls and pine siskins to be the most frequent victims of
salmonellosis at bird feeders in the late winter and early spring.

Kevin Hynes
Biologist 1
Wildlife Pathology Unit
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
108 Game Farm Road
Delmar, New York 12054

[Thanks to Kevin for this useful information but it raises a
question: Do we discover the salmonella because the birds
die/defecate in full view next to feeders or is it because the feed
is contaminated ab initio? - Mod.MHJ]

[See also:
Salmonellosis, wild birds - USA: (ID) 20090417.1456]

Friday, April 17, 2009

SOS for Wolves: Action Needed by May 4, 2009

When you see this short video of wolf pups playing in the Northern Rockies, I know you will agree that we must do everything in our power to protect them. (Click on title above to see the vid.)

Otherwise, in just 2 weeks -- on May 4 -- their federal protections will be lifted and government agents will be free to open fire on them in Idaho and Montana.

If the Obama Administration persists in its decision to resume the Bush-era "war on wolves," then not even newborn wolf pups or their nursing mothers will be spared.

Please support NRDC's campaign to call off the guns by making a contribution today.

Right now, we are going all out to protect these wolves on two separate fronts: First, our wildlife defense team is filing suit in federal court to restore their endangered species protection. Second, we're ramping up our Big Howl campaign to generate a national outcry against the mass killing of wolves.

Our goal is to raise at least $100,000 to mount the strongest possible defense for the wolves -- and to alert Americans everywhere that these treasured icons of western wilderness are in mortal danger.

The clock is ticking. We're counting on you to help fund this 11th-hour wolf-saving effort by giving an emergency contribution now.

The next generation of wolves is in peril. Over the past year, the wolf population in Yellowstone National Park declined by 27 percent, with more than 70 percent of the park's wolf pups succumbing to disease.

One pack alone lost all 24 of its pups.

Outside the national parks, defenseless wolf pups could either be gunned down ... or left orphaned in their dens with no chance of survival if their mothers and the rest of the pack are killed.

Today, we are their last line of defense ... and we must rush to their aid.

That's why I'm asking you to dig a little deeper now while we can still give these wolf pups a chance at a future.


Frances Beinecke
Natural Resources Defense Council

P.S. Sadly, some of the wolf pups born this spring may not even live until summer unless we act now to call off the guns before May 4. So please give now to help NRDC ramp up our wolf-saving campaign during the critical 2 weeks ahead.

Click on title above to see video;

Salmonella outbreak killing wild birds, feeder hygene issue?

A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 17 Apr 2009
Source: Idaho Mountain Express and Guide [edited]

Salmonella outbreak kills birds
Reports have surfaced of a small outbreak of salmonella among birds
in the Wood River Valley [Idaho]. The affected birds are pine
siskins, small creatures that are considered susceptible to salmonella.

Information on the birds' deaths 1st came from Jeramie Dreyfuss, a
Hailey resident and bird enthusiast who said she found some 30 dead
birds in her backyard. Dreyfuss sent the birds to Mark Drew, wildlife
veterinarian for Idaho Fish and Game's Bureau of Wildlife, who
performed an autopsy. Drew said that the autopsy showed traces of
salmonella in the birds. He did not yet know what strain of
salmonella killed the birds or what caused the outbreak. "We don't
know the source," he said. "But my thoughts right now are that it's a
feeder hygiene situation where there are a lot of feeders out and a
lot of contaminated seed that's old and wet." Drew recommended people
clean their bird feeders and maybe go as far as to stop feeding the
birds for the next week or 2.

Krysten Schuler, wildlife disease specialist for the U.S. Geological
Survey National Wildlife Health Center, agreed. "We are having
national reports of salmonellosis that is specific to birds," Schuler
said. "The message to get out about this disease is that it is common
to backyard birdfeeders, as they can easily become contaminated. So
it's important for people to clean their feeders using a 10 percent
bleach solution, and while outbreaks are going on like this, it is
better to take down their feeders for about 2 weeks so the birds
don't congregate."

Despite the die-off in Hailey, Schuler and Drew are not particularly
concerned. "This is not a problem that is unanticipated," Drew said.
"We've seen the problem before, and it is happening in other places
in the country." In addition, Drew said the death of 30 birds is a
very small and localized mortality event. "Thirty birds out of a said
population of 3000 is very small, even if there may well be other
incidents of death," he said. Drew noted that people should pay
attention to hygiene habits in their homes, especially for dogs, cats
and young children, who can pick up contaminated seeds or bird feces.

[Byline: Della Sentilles, Express Staff Writer]

Communicated by:
HealthMap Alerts via ProMED-mail

[It would be interesting to know the serotype(s) recovered from these
backyard wild birds. I would remind our members that the USA has had
recalls in relation to salmonella contaminated peanuts and pistachio
nuts. If it can get into those I am sure it can find its way into
sunflower seeds and other products used in bird feeders. Damp and wet
feed will enable multiplication when it is warm enough. We look
forward to hearing which serotype(s) are recovered. While it could be
a totally separate event, it would be interesting if this event is an
epidemiological canary. (Canaries were kept in coal mines as
sentinels for various poisonous gases and when they died, the miners
headed out quickly.) - Mod.MHJ]

[The state of Idaho can be located in the HealthMap/ProMED-mail
interactive map at: - CopyEd.EJP]

[see also:
Salmonella, avian - USA: (WI), bird feeders 20090329.1213
Salmonella, bird food - USA: (NC) recall 20090313.1044
Salmonellosis, avian - Sweden: RFI 20070206.0474
Salmonellosis, pine siskins - USA (CA) 20050213.0492
Salmonella, birds, humans - New Zealand 20011225.3113
Salmonella, birds - New Zealand (02) 20001003.1703
Salmonella, birds - New Zealand 20000927.1675
Salmonellosis, songbirds - USA & Canada (02) 20000525.0829
Salmonellosis, songbirds - USA & Canada 20000519.0785
Salmonella, common redpolls - Canada 20000512.0726]

Horse Murder in my Backyard

A 25-year-old man from Hoosick Falls, NY and his 17-year-old girlfriend from Watervliet have been arrested for allegedly slaughtering a horse at a Hoosick farm back in December, State Police announced Tuesday.

State Police arrested Michael Lohnes and Alyna O'Donovan after an investigation into the Dec. 22nd incident. The owner of a farm located on Hill Road had contacted police to report a burglary and a horse boarded on the property stabbed to death.

Investigators determined Lohnes a suspect based on physical evidence left at the scene, police said. Lohnes was the subject of several active arrest warrants at the time.

Police executed a search warrant at Lohnes's Third St. home on Dec. 23rd, and seized several personal items believed to link Lohnes to the crimes.

Nearly a week later, on Dec. 29th, O'Donovan, who was on probation with the Rensselaer County Probation Department, contacted probation officials to tell them she had cut off her monitoring bracelet because she was traveling with her boyfriend, who was wanted by police.

Investigators conducted interviews from Vermont to Virginia and searched several homes to locate Lohnes, police said.

Lohnes has been charged with burglary, criminal mischief and cruelty to animals. O'Donovan has been charged with criminal mischief, criminal impersonation and hindering prosecution.

Lohnes and O'Donovan were arraigned in Hoosick Town Court. Both were sent to Rensselaer County Jail without bail
Friends of Equines FOES of Equine Slaughter plans on being there in person for any and all court appearances, and invite other animal advocates to join us if you are able. We will be listing the court date here soon, along with the judges name and case index number.

The prosecutor in charge of the case is Laura C. Kruegler, and she can be reached at (518) 270-4040. Please DO call and let her know your feelings about the seriousness of this case, and ask for full prosecution for the offenders..

Burgularizing a home is bad enough in itself, but compounding the injury by the murder of a innocent living animal calls for increased punishment, particularly since both offenders were already on probation or parole when this crime was committed. We are asking that no lieniency be showed by the court for heartless criminals such as this. Studies have shown a distinctive link between people who abuse animals and violent crime against humans. These studies show that a vast majority of violent offenders started out by torturing and/or killing helpless animals.

The message is clear: crimes against animals are to be taken seriously not only for the sake of the animals but for the overall well-being of society in general.

If we get enough signatures on this petition we will print it up and present it to the court, asking them Please dont give these offenders any more breaks, no more probation or extended parole,....throw the book at them! Sentence accordingly persuant to our repeat / habitual / violent offender statutes.

Thank you in advance for any consideration you may give this matter.

Friends of Equines FOES of Equine Slaughter
"Because We Care"

Click on title above to see and sign petition;

Obama Disappoints Animals, Props Up Breeders

by Stephanie Ernst

Published April 13, 2009 @ 05:30AM PST

No one in the AR community expected President Barack Obama to make animal rights one of his priorities. His positions and personal choices didn't give us a reason to expect that. But there was great hope in two areas: (1) the Endangered Species Act protections that the Bush administration worked to weaken and (2) the promotion of adoption of animals from shelters rather than the purchase of animals from breeders. But despite restoring some endangered species protections, he also chose hunting-happy Salazar as his Secretary of Interior and isn't challenging his pick's decision to delist the gray wolves--the same decision that was widely criticized by conservation and animal advocacy groups when Bush tried it, multiple times--and now he has done a great disservice to the millions of animals languishing and dying in shelters, by knowingly passing on the chance to set the most high-profile of examples.

There was great hope that Barack Obama was going to listen to the throngs of people--individuals and organizations--who begged him and his family, for months, to make their family dog a rescue dog, to make that responsible personal choice and set that very important example, to do what he could for the millions of dogs and cats killed in shelters each year. There were even several statements from Obama and family indicating they would indeed adopt a rescue dog.

This weekend, we learned otherwise.

This weekend, we learned that Obama has thrown support to the irresponsible, profit-driven animal-breeding industry by accepting a dog from a "prominent" Texas breeder. The story is that the breeder sold now-6-month-old Charlie to someone else earlier, and that person then returned him to the breeder. Now the breeder has "re-homed" the dog with the Obamas, with the help of the Kennedys, who themselves have purchased dogs from the breeder in the past. And that makes this a rescue? No. It doesn't. Charlie (who is being renamed "Bo" by the family) wasn't one of the millions of dogs one step away from unnecessary death in this country. He's a dog who would have been sold to another less prominent buyer. I'm glad this dog gets a great home. But he would have ended up with a home regardless. The real winners in this situation are breeders. And the losers are shelter dogs.

Yes, there are allergies in the Obama household. But there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog, regardless of what breeders might tell you. There are certain factors to consider, and some dog breeds and some characteristics are more likely to trigger allergies than others, but there are plenty of dogs in shelters who would fit the "hypoallergenic" bill as much as a purebred Portuguese water dog from a breeder.

I'm terribly disappointed, as are countless other animal advocates across the country, that Obama made this choice, especially after all the constant discussion about how much good he could do by adopting a rescue dog and after the outrage that followed VP Biden's purchase of a dog from a breeder.

The Obamas' needs may have been more specific than Biden's because of the allergy issue, but they were just as capable of getting a dog from a shelter as he was. It was not that they could not adopt a true rescue dog. It was not that they could not find a dog with hypoallergenic-leaning qualities like those of a Portuguese water dog in one of the countless U.S. shelters. They chose not to. They made the choice to limit themselves to a specific, hard-to-find pure breed and to, as I understand it, a fairly young puppy. And they chose to take a dog from a breeder.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Tax Breaks for the Filthy Rich?

The Beat Goes On.

Robert L. Borosage, HuffPost: Tax Day.

Fox News is flogging Astroturf "tea parties" underwritten by corporate lobbyists, while its pundits warn that raising the top income tax rate to the level it was under Bill Clinton constitutes "socialism." The Wall Street Journal editorializes about the evils of the estate tax. Ari Fleischer, Daddy Bush's old flack, is trotted out to complain that "redistribution of income" through the tax code "is getting out of hand." Really? Here's the grim reality. Since 1980, when the conservative era began, inequality has reached Gilded Age extremes - while top end tax rates have been cut. The wealthiest few captured ever more of the nation's income while successfully lowering their tax rates.
And worse - this is still going on. This month, every Republican Senator - joined bizarrely by 10 Democrats - pushed for yet another tax break for the super-rich - those with fortunes over $7 million. Apparently worried that the heirs of the Paris Hilton class might not be able to keep the yacht clubs humming, Republican Senators voted in lockstep to direct the Congress to raise the full exemption of estates from $7 to $10 million per couple, and drop the top rate from 45% to 35%. Over a decade when fully in effect, this represents a bauble worth about $90 billion to the 1 in 400 estates (one-fourth of one percent) that reach that level.

Fleischer would suggest this is a small, but inadequate step to curb the confiscatory redistribution of the tax code. But he's peddling bull.

In 1980, as "Gilded Age Taxation," a study by the Institute for America's Future shows, the richest 1% of Americans captured fully 7.7% of the nation's after-tax income. The middle sixty percent captured about 50.9%. By 2006, the latest CBO figures show the opulent 1% -- making an average $1.3 million -- captured a staggering 16.3% of the nation's income after all that tax code redistribution. While the middle sixty percent garnered only 44.1%. If class war is being waged, the rich are on the march.

The Institute for Policy Studies details the staggering contrast to the Eisenhower years. In 1955, the top 400 taxpayers averaged about $12.3 million in income (2006 dollars) and paid, after exploiting every loophole imaginable, 51.2% of that in federal income tax. A half century later, the richest 400 average a breath-taking $263.3 million in income each, and pay a mere 17.2% of that in federal income taxes. (A lower tax rate than paid by most of their secretaries).

If those 400 taxpayers had paid at the same rate in 2006 as a half century earlier, the federal treasury would have collected $35.9 billion more in revenue, or enough to double the energy and transportation budget combined. No wonder Ike, clearly a stealth "socialist", could afford to build the interstate transport system.

So why do Republican Senators en mass and 10 wayward Democrats - Max Baucus, Evan Bayh, Maria Cantwell, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, Patty Murray, Bill Nelson, Ben Nelson and Jon Testor - think the wealthiest one-fourth of one percent of Americans need another tax break? They wax eloquent about saving family farms and small businesses. But upon sober review, the New York Times editorial board provided a tempered evaluation of the argument: "That is swill." Opponents of the estate tax haven't been able to dig up a family that was forced to liquidate its farm or business due to the tax because these folks simply do not exist.

The sad reality is that conservative dominance over the last decades has had profound effects. One of these is that income inequality grew to Gilded Age extremes, while top end tax rates were slashed. Fleischer is right. We did witness a lot of redistribution. But it went from the middle class to the very top, not the other way around.

(Incidentally the new tax break isn't a done deal. A conference committee will decide its fate in the next week or two. You might want to call or write Republican Senators or the wayward Democratic 10 and tell them enough already.)