"The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me?" ~ Ayn Rand, "The Fountainhead"



Thursday, October 27, 2011

My current act of civil disobedience

I am now participating in Civil Disobedience. Just letting you all know. Maybe you will want to join in...maybe not. This seems like a small thing in the big scheme of life, but it is the small things that add up. 

Yup...I am a child of the 1960's/70's. I remember seeing things on TV about those "damn hippies" and sit-ins and protests. I was young, of course, and didn't really understand a lot of what was going on. Flash forward to today. We have Occupy Wall Street (or whatever city) going on. I have to tell you honestly, it is a very poor attempt to be like the protests were way back when. Those people don't seem to really have a clue as to what they are demanding and what the consequences of those scattered demands would be. There is no focus on issues. Many of the issues that some are yelling about are counter-productive. I don't disagree with some of what is being said, but they do not represent me and I seriously doubt they truly represent 99% of any group of people.

Anyway, I digress....back to my civil disobedient act.

Yesterday, I received the American Community Survey from the US Dept of Commerce/Census Bureau. WHAT?!?!

In 2000, I received the long form census. I filled out the part that is ACTUALLY mandated by the Constitution of the United States. An enumeration of the population. I happily told them how many live in this house and our names. I may have put down our ages. For race, I put Human. Yeah..a rebel, aren't I? (Husband had me put down white/non-hispanic for him. Whatever) The rest of the questions I refused to answer on the basis that they are just too invasive of my privacy. If my toilet flushes or not, how many miles I drive to work, if I am able to bathe by myself....yeah...they don't need that information.

In 2010, I filled out the regular census form. Again, number of people, ages, the very basics that are constitutionally mandated. No problem. Then along comes this "survey". Simply the rest of the long form census. I spent several minutes looking it over. Ummm...no. I am not going to fill it out. I am not going to answer their questions. They say that I am required by law. They say they could fine me.  I did some research on the internet.  Seems that I can find not one single instance of them ACTUALLY fining or taking anyone to court .  I suppose I could be the first.  We shall see.

So why am I drawing this particular line in the sand?  First of all, we all know that the government can't be trusted to keep our information secure.  There are countless instances of laptop computers being stolen along with the private information of individuals on those said computers. 

Secondly, there is the basic fundamental right of the individual to privacy.  The Constitution does say that the government should count the population every ten years.  I get that.  And there are some questions that I wouldn't mind answering that could be helpful to future genealogists.  I know I have gotten some info from old census records that were interesting...you know...names and ages of people living in a particular place.  I have never seen information regarding mental health, pregnancy, driving habits, detailed info on how much they spend on rent/mortgage/utilities. 

This is how I see it.  I see Big Brother/Sister constantly encroaching into our private daily lives.  This is just one more slope towards corralling all the good little sheeple.



Do you know the analogy of the frog in the pot of water?  Put a frog in a pan of cool water.  He is happy enough.  Turn on the stove and slowly heat the water. The frog just goes along, happily ignorant of what is happening to him.  Finally, the frog dies from being boiled alive, never having noticed. (According to snopes.com, this is not a true story but just a mythological illustration)

Ok....off the soap box....for now. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Decade After 9/11: Time to Choose to be America Again?

Now this is a great article! I wish I had written this.  It is long but well worth reading.

Decade After 9/11: Time to Choose to be America Again?

Decade After 9/11: Time to Choose to be America Again?

Submitted by Lois Rain on September 15, 2011 – 10:05 pmNo Comment

Since 9-11, it seems that the American Left and the American Right have agreed on something of profound importance: we’re scared.
The politics of the last decade have been the politics of fear.
Because of fear that one of us is a terrorist, we’ve allowed our intelligence services to listen into our private conversations; because of fear of terrorists from abroad, we have killed innocent people in foreign nations (supposedly to protect ourselves here); because of fear that our planes will get blown up, we let government agents put their hands on our children’s crotches and look at our naked bodies, and because of fear that the economy will implode, we’ve given trillions of dollars to organizations that have brought us to that point.
None of it feels very brave or free. None of it feels very American.
Nations confident of their strength don’t seek fights. The most powerful nations win without firing a shot. Nations confident of their security and the ability of their agents to maintain it don’t compromise the dignity or legal rights of its citizens. Nations confident that the innovativeness and entrepreneurialism of its people can provide prosperity don’t reward bad custodians of financial resources to “save the system.”
America has surely been a great nation. But with true greatness — true power — comes self-confidence. What has happened to the America that the world used to love, even if in some quarters, grudgingly? It was always American self-confidence, justified largely by the examples we set regarding the treatment of our people and, during our grander historical moments, other people, on which our leadership depended. We were respected and powerful to the extent that other nations wanted to be like us — to have our prosperity, our freedom and our openness.
Ten years after 9/11, who have we become and who do we appear to be?
Minimizing risk at reasonable cost is the action of a sensible man or nation. Trying to eliminate all risk at any cost — not only financial, but also of principle — is the action of a man or nation that has become obsessive, compulsive, scared, or all three.
A few years ago, a friend of mine returned from a tour in Iraq as a proud American soldier to be required at Seattle airport to remove his shoes and equipment and be screened in the full fashion. The treatment shocked him as it was his first encounter with it and gave the lie to what he believed was his purpose a day earlier on the streets of Baghdad. Simply, how could he have been fighting over there to protect American liberties and values if they were being compromised away with so little fight at home?
The rest of us might ask how we so easily take away the fourth amendment right of that soldier, who a day earlier had put his life on the line for our fourth amendment (and other) right(s). We could ask a similar question about the first amendment right of a Vietnam vet. who is now a member of the tea party and is on a government agency list as a potential troublemaker for that reason, or, to push the point further, the inalienable right of the small businessman to pursue happiness and be treated equally with all others if his taxes are being used to bail out the bank that holds his mortgage but made poorer business decisions than he did.
The use of force — whether legal or military — always reveals a failure of some other, preferable means. If our sons and daughters in uniform are truly fighting for American freedoms, then those freedoms must all still exist at home uncompromised: inasmuch as we give them up at home, those men and women cannot be fighting to protect them, just as a matter of simple logic. Those of us who are fortunate enough to stay at home while our soldiers fight abroad, demean their service if we are too lazy not to speak out in opposition when our leaders compromise our Constitutional rights (always for our own good). And if, worse, we support those compromises out of our own fear, then we meet our soldiers’ bravery with our own cowardice.
In the last century, America led the free world by being the indispensable nation that others sought to emulate. But obsessive, scared nations, like obsessive scared people, are not models for anyone. America had led the free world by persuasion, based on a moral authority that came with the rights and prosperity that its legal and economic systems provided for its people. As our nation has ceased to trust in those rights and the system that has provided its prosperity, we have given up moral authority and persuasive power. That is why so many of our attempts to make ourselves safer will fail in their stated purpose.
Ten years on from 9/11, we can afford to take a deep breath. If anyone attacks us, we’ll still be able to respond with the greatest military force in the history of the world. If anyone should infiltrate us, we have some of the most honorable men and women and the best technological means to find them, and a justice system, older than the country itself, to deal with them. If we have a recession, we can take our losses and come back with the ingenuity and effort of an entrepreneurial and serious population. If another nation should grow its economy in leaps and bounds, we can say “good luck” to them, because we know we can do that too.
We call our country the land of the free and the home of the brave. But who, honestly, is feeling brave and free today?
I want America to get its swagger back — for the good of the world, let alone ourselves.
Becoming America again is a choice. We can swagger without shouting. We can carry the big stick and not be the first to use it. And we can instinctively say “Hell, no” each time anyone would take it upon themselves to take even one of our liberties away to make us “safer” or for any other purpose.
I wonder how many Americans would voluntarily fly in a commercial jet in which passengers did not go through today’s imaging scanners or the full pat-down at the airport, but went only through the security procedures that were in place on 10 Sept 2001? All passengers would know, along with any potential terrorist, that our flight is marginally less secure.
The risk of attack would, I suppose, be marginally higher than it would be on those planes whose passengers had gone through today’s procedures. But since it is nine times less than the risk of dying by suffocation in my own bed, I would take the odds to make the statement that as an American, following Franklin, I will not give up my liberty for my safety; that I want America back; that I would rather have the Bill of Rights than the extra 0.0001% reduction in the probability of being blown out of the sky. I bet there would be millions like me.
There is no such thing as certainty. If you don’t want uncertainty, then you don’t want life. Americans have always embraced uncertainty and taken life by the scruff of the beck. The real question is, “if I am to take a risk, for what is the risk worth taking?”
If the government is going to protect my life, it must first leave my life full of the liberties that make it worth protecting. And in the USA, when those two things are in tension (and they rarely are, despite what we are told), it should be up to the individual to decide on the balance.
If we so choose, we have the power to make the last ten years of fear, wars, invasions of privacy, bailouts etc. the exception to the rule of American history, rather than the new normal. It would be the choice to be changed by not what comes at the us but what comes from us.
9/11 was a historically unprecedented shock and we acted accordingly. We were shaken. No shame in that. But a decade or so later, we can take stock at what we have collectively done to our great nation and determine whether it has served us and will serve our children. We may disagree on what we find but I’d wager that many will say that we have compromised away more of our own identity than any terrorist attack ever did take or ever could take.
The terrorists took over 3000 lives. The loss was severe; we should learn its lessons of sensible precaution and humility. Each one of those lost souls was — is — an infinity, and we should never forget them. It goes without saying that the relevant agencies should be fully resourced to protect us, and their work supported – right up to the point that America is in danger of no longer being American.
Yet, fewer lives were taken on 9/11 than are lost in one month on American roads. Everything else that we may have lost since then, we have consented to lose.
In fear and shock, we may have given the terrorists more of what they really wanted, by making ourselves poorer in both treasure and liberty.
Bin Laden said,
“All we have to do is send two mujaheddin . . . to raise a small piece of cloth on which is written ‘al-Qaeda’ in order to make the generals race there, to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses.”

While some of the expenditures of treasure may have been wise, were all of those of liberty, too?
To remain the land of the free and the home of the brave, let us actively choose to be America again. Indeed, to honor the memories of our countrymen lost on 9/11, we must choose to become more truly American than we have ever been.
How will we know when we’ve done that? At the very least, we will have more civil liberties than we did on 10 Sept 2001 — not fewer; and we will be less frightened — not more.
God bless America, and all who lost kin or kith on Sept. 11, 2001.
Source:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robin-koerner/a-decade-after-911-time-t_b_957236.html

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thanks for nothing Monsanto

Yeah, yet another article about our friends at Monsanto and the havoc they are causing on us.  Truly, is there another corporation that is worse than them?  You tell me.


Article from Rodale.com

What Biotech Pesticides Are Doing To Our Bodies

Roundup weed killer is now turning up in rain and the air. And that has potentially devastating impacts on our health.


RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—The scientific evidence piling up against Roundup, the best-selling weed killer for home and farm use, is starting to sound a bit sci-fi. The latest damaging evidence against this potent herbicide, once widely believed to be safe, comes from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which is now detecting glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, in streams, the air, and even rain.
While the concentrations detected in rain and air are thousands of times less than what farmers dump onto field crops, emerging scientific evidence about what these chronic low-level exposures do to our bodies is cause for major concern, particularly among unborn babies and young children. These tiny amounts we're breathing in daily could be altering our hormones and wreaking all sorts of havoc on our bodies, but the human health effects may not show up for years or decades. "We don't fully know what our results mean," says study author Paul Capel, PhD, environmental chemist at USGS. "If we go out to the streams or air, we see it. There's a broader off-field exposure. The significance of that, I don't think we really know."
Pesticide-exposure expert Warren Porter, PhD, professor of environmental toxicity and zoology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, did the math. He took the air exposure numbers from the USGS study and found some reason for concern. His calculations showed that the levels found in the USGS survey could lead to accumulated levels that could alter endocrine mediated biochemical pathways, leading to obesity, heart problems, circulation problems, and diabetes. Low-level exposure to hormone disruptors like glyphosate (Roundup's main ingredient) has also been linked to weakened immune function and learning disabilities. "This study is just looking at a single day of exposure," he says. "If you consider that our body hormones work in the parts per trillion and you disrupt normal endocrine function, which tends to alter biochemical pathways, you may be flipping biological switches that have long-term impacts. No one has explored whether Roundup has epigenetic impacts which alter gene expression, possibly for a lifetime."
So why the influx of Roundup in the air? Easy. The majority of corn, cotton, canola, and soy crops grown in the United States are genetically engineered to tolerate heavy dousings of Roundup. Interestingly, the same company, Monsanto, developed both the pesticide and the genetically engineered seed created to handle that pesticide—they're sold together as a package. When we eat those crops (or when they're turned into ingredients used in processed foods), we wind up eating the Roundup, too. Roundup is actually taken up inside of food that we eat, so not only are we breathing it in and getting soaked in it when it rains, but we're also eating it at dinnertime.
The Roundup Hall of Shame
In addition to all the things Roundup is doing to our hormones, scientists have linked it to these other problems:
Nutritional Deficiencies
To kill weeds, glyphosate inhibits a plant's ability to take up trace minerals like manganese and magnesium. Those are things humans need to be healthy, and plant pathologists are noting a decline in nutrients in food since heavy pesticide use ensued. “[Glyphosate] is the most abused chemical we’ve ever had in agriculture,” veteran plant pathologist Don Huber, PhD, professor emeritus of Purdue University, told Rodale.com earlier this year. “We’re using chemical quantities we never would have imagined in the past.”
Birth Defects and Infertility
Scientists released a report earlier this summer citing evidence that Monsanto has known about Roundup's link to birth defects since the 1980s, when internal research found mutations in animals exposed to high doses. In animal studies, monkeys exposed to glyphosate in utero develop irregular hormone levels, including abnormally high male hormones. Similarly high levels are the main symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, one of the leading causes of human female infertility in the U.S.
Superweed Spawn
Farmers were sold on Roundup Ready crops as chemical dealers promised less work and less chemical use. Unfortunately, as more weeds are exposed to Roundup, they are developing a resistance to it. These hard-to-kill superweeds are emerging, and farmers aren't able to destroy them, even when they dump even higher doses of pesticides on the crops.
Lower Crop Yields
In years of drought (and let's face it, we're experiencing more severe weather extremes these days), chemically treated fields perform worse than organically managed ones, despite promises from chemical companies that Roundup Ready crops perform better in extreme weather conditions. When conditions are more stable, organic farming and Roundup Ready farming methods yield the same amount of a given crop.

What you can do

So how can you tell the chemical companies to keep Roundup out of our rain and our food?
• Eat organic. Eat healthy, organic food on a budget by purchasing organic fare directly from farmers when it's in season. Choose organic dried beans for a super-cheap and healthy protein source.
• Practice nontoxic weed control at home. Instead of reaching for Roundup or other lawn chemicals to kill weeds, try organic-approved BurnOut—its main ingredients are clove oil and food-grade vinegar. And start setting your mower deck to at least 3 inches. The longer grass length discourages weed growth.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

We're from the government and we're here to help...

BWAHAHAHAHAHAH...what a joke that has become over the past couple/few decades. Here is an article that further illustrates just what our government has become.

I am reprinting the article in its entirety but please know, I did not write it. The source for this article is Natural News - family fined for selling bunnies

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


USDA fines family four million dollars for selling bunny rabbits
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) When the Dollarhite family of Nixa, Mo., first started raising and selling bunnies as part of a lesson to teach their teenage son about responsibility and hard work, they had no idea they would eventually meet the heavy hand of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). According to a recent article covered in Breitbart's Big Government, the USDA recently ordered the Dollarhite family to pay more than $90,000 in fines because they sold more than $500 worth of rabbits in a year -- and if they fail to pay the fine by Monday, May 23, the fine will multiply to nearly $4 million.

It all started back in 2006 when John Dollarhite and his wife Judy rescued two rabbits that ended up breeding. The family cared for and raised the new rabbits, and eventually began to sell them to neighbors, friends, and others for $10 or $15 each. Having started by first selling the animals for meat, and later for show, the Dollarhites carefully and humanely raised the small creatures on their three-acre homestead, all while teaching their son honest values in a business environment similar to running a small lemonade stand.

Eventually, the Dollarhites developed such a highly-respected reputation across Missouri that the popular Branson, Mo., theme park Silver Dollar City, and even a local pet store, Petland, began purchasing bunnies from the family in 2009. And according to John, individuals from both Silver Dollar City and Petland, as well as a rabbit competition judge, told him that the family's bunnies were among the best they had ever seen -- healthy, beautiful, and very well-cared for.

All seemed well until a USDA inspector showed up at the family's home in the fall of 2009, and asked to do a "spot inspection" of the rabbitry. The inspector made no indication that anything was amiss, but only that she wished to see the facility. After meandering the premises, the inspector claimed that a few very insignificant aspects of the raising facility were in violation of USDA standards, even though the Dollarhites were not USDA certified, nor were they required to be. She then asked if the Dollarhites wished to be part of the voluntary USDA certification system, upon which they told her they would look into it.

After the inspector left, the Dollarhites heard nothing more from the USDA until January 2010 when a Kansas City-based USDA inspector called the family and said he needed to have a meeting with them because they sold more than $500 worth of rabbits in a single year. When the Dollarhites asked why this was a problem and what law this violated, the man refused to offer an explanation over the phone.

Upon meeting in person, the inspector said he was only there to investigate the rabbitry and take notes for a report, upon which he instructed the family to contact another USDA office if they failed to hear anything further from the USDA after six weeks. As the eighth week arrived without any communication, John called the office and was redirected to the Washington, DC, office where a lady shockingly and bluntly explained to him that she had his report, and that the USDA planned to prosecute him and his family "to the maximum that we can" in order to "make an example" out of him.

Shortly thereafter, the Dollarhites received a letter from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) ordering them to pay a fine of $90,643 for supposedly violating a mystery law that prohibits the selling of more then $500 in rabbits within a year, even though the Dollarhites were in full accordance with Missouri state law, did not sell their rabbits across state lines, and raised their rabbits humanely and in excess of minimum requirements. The letter outlined that the Dollarhites had until May 23 to pay the exorbitant fine, or else face additional fines totaling nearly $4 million -- all for selling about $4,600 worth of rabbits that netted the family a mere $200 in profits.

The whole scenario proves, once again, that the USDA is nothing more than a tag-team terrorist duo with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both agencies' insatiable lust for power and control over private affairs is never satisfied, as they continue to prowl around like bloodthirsty predators seeking whoever and whatever they can devour. When will Americans finally stand up to their tyranny and say enough is enough?

To read the full account of the Dollarhite saga, visit:
http://biggovernment.com/bmccarty/2...

To contact the APHIS division of the USDA responsible for this mess and express your thoughts on the matter, write, call, or email:
USDA/APHIS/AC
4700 River Road, Unit 84
Riverdale, MD 20737-1234
ace@aphis.usda.gov
(301) 734-4978

You can also read a follow-up to the original story that includes a response from the USDA here:
http://biggovernment.com/bmccarty/2011/05/20/family-facing-4-million-in-fines-for-selling-bunnies/