‘Little Doubt’ North Korea Is Prepping For First-Strike Nuclear War, Expert Says

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‘Little Doubt’ North Korea Is Prepping For First-Strike Nuclear War, Expert Says

SEOUL — An expert on Asian politics says he has “little doubt” that North Korea is preparing for a first-strike nuclear attack against America and its allies in light of recent activity within the Communist country.

“North Korea’s military exercises leave little doubt that Pyongyang plans to use large numbers of nuclear weapons against U.S. forces throughout Japan and South Korea to blunt an invasion,” Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, wrote in Foreign Policy. “North Korean defectors have claimed that the country’s leaders hope that by inflicting mass casualties and destruction in the early days of a conflict, they can force the United States and South Korea to recoil from their invasion.”

Lewis was referencing a test this month in which North Korea launched four missiles from the northwest corner of the nation. They traveled more than 600 miles before landing in the Sea of Japan.

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North Korean then released a map that “showed all four missiles landing on an arc that stretched down to the [U.S.] Marine Corps Air Station near Iwakuni, Japan,” Lewis wrote.

Just as significant, North Korea previously tested its missiles from a central location but has been changing launch sites recently.

“These aren’t missile tests, they are military exercises,” Lewis wrote. “North Korea knows the missiles work. What the military units are doing now is practicing — practicing for a nuclear war.”

North Korea is conducting the missile tests at the same time that U.S. and South Korean forces are taking part in exercises in the region involving tens of thousands of personnel, as well as an aircraft carrier, bombers and F-35 aircraft out of Iwakuni – the same base North Korea could target.

The U.S.-South Korean drills are a “rehearsal” and part of a war plan known as OPLAN 5015, which “has been described as a pre-emptive strike against North Korea,” Lewis wrote.

All sides have plans to strike first, Lewis added.

“That means, in a crisis, the pressure will be to escalate,” he wrote. “Whatever restraint Kim [Jong un] or [Donald] Trump might show — and let’s be honest, our expectations here are not high — each will face enormous pressure to start the attack lest his opponent beat him to the punch.”

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Victory: Court Says Creamery Can Label Its Skim Milk … ‘Skim Milk’ (Huh?)

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Victory: Court Says Creamery Can Label Its Skim Milk … ‘Skim Milk’ (Huh?)

Image source: Institute for Justice

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In what some are calling a victory for common sense and liberty, a U.S. federal appeals court Monday handed a creamery a major victory by ruling that all-natural skim milk can be labeled “skim milk” even if it is not injected with state-mandated Vitamin A.

The unanimous 3-0 decision overturned a decision from earlier this year by a federal judge.

At the heart of the controversy is Ocheesee Creamery, which has an all-natural philosophy and clams that injecting the vitamin would make its skim milk anything but all-natural. The state had ordered the creamery to label the skim milk “imitation skim milk” if it didn’t have Vitamin A.

The creamery sells cream, skimmed from whole milk, to families and coffee shops; skim milk is the byproduct. The creamery currently dumps about 400 gallons of skim milk each day because it refuses to label its product “imitation.”

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The creamery’s use of “skim milk” to describe its product “is not inherently misleading,” the judges ruled.

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“As the Creamery’s label does not concern unlawful activity and is not inherently misleading, the Creamery’s commercial speech merits First Amendment protection,” read the ruling, which vacated the lower court’s decision.

The judges remanded the case to the lower court.

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“This decision is a total vindication for Ocheesee Creamery and a complete rejection of the Florida Department of Agriculture’s suppression of speech,” said Justin Pearson, a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, which is representing the creamery. “All Mary Lou wants to do is sell skim milk that contains literally one ingredient — pasteurized skim milk — and label it as pasteurized skim milk.”

The Florida Department of Agriculture had ruled the milk could be labeled “skim milk” only if it was injected with artificial Vitamin A.

“I simply want to tell the truth about what is in the products I sell, and I did not like that the government wanted me to lie,” Mary Lou Wesselhoeft said. “Today’s good news is proof that it is important to stand up for your rights when the government wants you to do something that is wrong.”

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‘Home School Check. Please Give Us A Call’

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‘Home School Check. Please Give Us A Call’

PARIS, Ky. – Homeschooling families in one Kentucky school district were surprised to discover recently that school officials were conducting unannounced visits to homes – and if no one was there, leaving door hangers.

The February visits within the Paris Independent School District apparently violate a state-wide agreement, which is designed to protect a family’s constitutional right to privacy, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association, which reported on the incident.

“I got the impression that district staff could become more difficult if I didn’t cooperate in answering their questions or bring out my child to meet them,” one parent, Jenny Griffith, reported. “I tried to handle the situation as civilly as possible, without adding any threat to them.”

Griffith said the two officials who visited her home said the district has plans to visit every homeschool family three times a year.

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“As part of their plan to help families, the school officials asked about attendance records and curriculum,” HSLDA attorney T.J. Schmidt wrote at the organization’s website. “Before leaving, one official asked Jenny about meeting her child.”

Families who were not at home got a doorhanger, reading, “Home school check. Please give us a call.” It was signed by the principal.

But the visits go against Kentucky state law, Schmidt said.

“Under Kentucky law, a homeschool program operates as a private school,” he wrote. “While private schools are required to keep attendance and scholarship records (i.e. report cards) in the same manner as the local public school, homeschooling parents do not need to open their homes and present these documents simply because a school official comes knocking.”

An agreement was reached more than 20 years ago between the homeschool organizations and the state that “unless school officials receive some report or have some evidence that the parents are not educating their children, no further inquiry should be made,’ Schmidt added.

HSLDA has contacted the school district about the law.

What is your reaction? Do you believe school districts should do “checkups” on homeschoolers? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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‘Home School Check. Please Give Us A Call’

‘Home School Check. Please Give Us A Call’

PARIS, Ky. – Homeschooling families in one Kentucky school district were surprised to discover recently that school officials were conducting unannounced visits to homes – and if no one was there, leaving door hangers.

The February visits within the Paris Independent School District apparently violate a state-wide agreement, which is designed to protect a family’s constitutional right to privacy, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association, which reported on the incident.

“I got the impression that district staff could become more difficult if I didn’t cooperate in answering their questions or bring out my child to meet them,” one parent, Jenny Griffith, reported. “I tried to handle the situation as civilly as possible, without adding any threat to them.”

Griffith said the two officials who visited her home said the district has plans to visit every homeschool family three times a year.

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“As part of their plan to help families, the school officials asked about attendance records and curriculum,” HSLDA attorney T.J. Schmidt wrote at the organization’s website. “Before leaving, one official asked Jenny about meeting her child.”

Families who were not at home got a doorhanger, reading, “Home school check. Please give us a call.” It was signed by the principal.

But the visits go against Kentucky state law, Schmidt said.

“Under Kentucky law, a homeschool program operates as a private school,” he wrote. “While private schools are required to keep attendance and scholarship records (i.e. report cards) in the same manner as the local public school, homeschooling parents do not need to open their homes and present these documents simply because a school official comes knocking.”

An agreement was reached more than 20 years ago between the homeschool organizations and the state that “unless school officials receive some report or have some evidence that the parents are not educating their children, no further inquiry should be made,’ Schmidt added.

HSLDA has contacted the school district about the law.

What is your reaction? Do you believe school districts should do “checkups” on homeschoolers? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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VIDEO: Meteor So Bright You ‘Could See Each Other … Like Daytime.’

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WEATHERFORD, Texas — Residents of Texas and three other states Sunday night experienced a rare sonic boom and then a flash from a meteor that was so bright that it appeared, momentarily in some places, like it was daytime.

The meteor could be seen from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado.

“You could see a flash, like if an electrical transformer flashes at night, up to our northwest, but it was cloudy here — kinda rainy — so we didn’t actually see any kind of fireball or anything,” Deputy Fire Marshal Nathan Hines told The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

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One person wrote on the American Meteor Society (AMS) website that it was so bright you “could see each other momentarily like daytime.”

Mike Hankey of the AMS said the boom makes people think something is “hitting the ground,” when the noise is coming from over overhead.

“Actually like 10 miles up into the atmosphere [it] creates that sonic effect that’s like a rumbling sound or an exploding sound,” Hankey said.

Less than one percent of meteors cause a sonic boom.

A police dash cam caught the meteor in the sky, although it didn’t record the noise.

National Weather Service Warns Flooded Californians: Pack A Bug-Out Bag

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National Weather Service Warns Flooded Californians: Pack A Bug-Out BagSACRAMENTO, Calif. – The majority of Northern California remained under a flood warning Tuesday as record rains continued, and the National Weather Service even urged residents to gather essential items in the equivalent of a bug-out bag.

More than 14 million people are under a flood warning until Thursday, including the area around the Oroville Dam which experienced a mass evacuation just before Valentine’s Day.

Sacramento has received 26 inches of rain since Oct. 1, double what the city normally gets during the same time, The Sacramento Bee reported. San Francisco has seen 24.38 inches of rain.

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With mudslides and floods threatening the region and reservoirs at capacity, the National Weather Service in Sacramento issued a dire warning:  “Gather important items, documents and medications in a ‘go bag’ in case you need to evacuate quickly. Don’t forget to plan for your pets, too. Make sure your vehicles have a full tank of gas.”

Thousands of residents in the towns of Prunedale and Salinas have been without power since the storms started Friday, forcing schools in the area to close

“We’re on our 56th hour without power now and it’s getting a little brisk inside the house,” Prunedale’s Gary Bolden told KSBW.

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On Monday, the levee broke in San Joaquin County near Manteca, which is an hour south of Sacramento. More than 500 people were forced to evacuate. The situation was so severe that local farmers took their own excavators and tractors to the level to help fix it.

Elsewhere, another dam, the Anderson Dam just southeast of San Jose, attracted sightseers as its spillway began releasing water from the Anderson Reservoir for the first time in 11 years in a scene local media were comparing to Niagara Falls. Officials are concerned because the dam was not built to withstand an earthquake when the reservoir is at 68 percent capacity. As of now it is at 100 percent; a 7.25 magnitude earthquake could cause the dam to fail, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

What is your reaction? Do you think most Americans are prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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‘Pure Chaos’ — 200,000 Calif. Residents Evacuated; ‘Nowhere To Get Gas’; 30-Foot Wall Of Water Possible

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‘Pure Chaos’ -- 200,000 Calif. Residents Evacuated; ‘Nowhere To Get Gas’; 30-Foot Wall Of Water Possible

OROVILLE, Calif. – An evacuation order that forced nearly 200,000 California residents to flee from a damaged spillway remains in effect, as officials hurriedly try to finish the repairs to the tallest dam in the United States before a storm hits Wednesday night.

Around 188,000 residents fled the area Sunday night, out of fear that water from Lake Oroville would collapse the spillway and flood an area that is comparable to the size of Connecticut. The concrete portion of the spillway is sound, officials say. It is the natural spillway to the side – made of dirt – that is in danger.

The spillway is used to release surplus water from behind the 770-food Oroville Dam during emergencies. Torrential rains and heavy snows from the past few weeks damaged the spillway.

The lake behind the dam has fallen 13 feet since Sunday, but the Weather Channel says there is a 100 percent chance of rain Wednesday night, with totals of over an inch possible.

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The dam was built to capture and store runoff from the mountains in 1968. The body of water it created, Oroville Lake, is the second largest reservoir in the state of California. The water is used to generate electricity, irrigate crops in the central valley and supply cities with drinking water.

Repair crews are using helicopters to drop rocks in the gap to try and stop the erosion.

“It would be a massive blow to the state’s water system if they lose Oroville,” Peter Gleick, a water researcher at the Pacific Institute, told the Desert Sun newspaper. “The question is, will it erode away the emergency spillway? Will there be a big uncontrolled release of water? Or will they be able to draw the lake down enough to prevent that?”

The fear is that a “30-foot wall of water coming out of the lake” will flood homes if the spillway fails, said Cal-Fire incident commander Kevin Lawson.

The Sunday night evacuation led to a scene reminiscent of a disaster movie.

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“Everyone was running around. It was pure chaos,” evacuee Maggie Cabral told KFSN.

Sean Dennis, from nearby Yuba City, told NBC News, “Nothing like this has ever happened. We just grabbed what we could.”

But not everyone could get out.

“There’s nowhere to get gas,” Jennifer Neff, an evacuee, told The Sacramento Bee. “I’ve called roadside assistance – I’m on hold with them now. Do we call the police?”

Neff and others were trapped because gas stations in Marysville, Calif., were closed.

Oroville Dam, located 65 miles northeast of Sacramento, is holding back more than 3.5 million acre-feet of water.

Cracks were found in the dam’s spillway in 2009, but officials claimed that they had been repaired.

What is your reaction? Would you be ready to flee your area in a moment’s notice? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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China’s Agenda 21 Sparks ‘Vertical Forests’ – Skyscrapers With 3,000 Trees & Shrubs

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China’s Agenda 21 Sparks ‘Vertical Forests’ – Skyscrapers With 3,000 Trees & Shrubs

NANJING, China — China’s plan to move 250 million people from the country to the city in the next decade has resulted in some strange developments, including ghost cities and now, “vertical forests.”

The first vertical forest will be built in Nanjing, a city of more than 8 million people, and include 1,100 trees and 2,500 plants and shrubs hanging off a pair of tall skyscrapers. It was designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti and promoted by the government-owned National Investment Group.

According to Stefano Boeri, the vertical forest will absorb 25 tons of carbon dioxide and produce more than 20 tons of oxygen each year. Stefano Boeri even has plans for a yet-to-be-built “Forest City” that will boast dozens of the vertical forests and house about 100,000 residents.

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China’s Agenda 21 Sparks ‘Vertical Forests’ – Skyscrapers With 3,000 Trees & Shrubs

The Nanjing vertical forest is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

The tallest tower will be more than 600 feet high and will host offices, a museum, a green architecture school and a private club on the rooftop, according to Stefano Boeri. The second tower, at 354 feet high, will include a Hyatt hotel. The facilities also will have restaurants and a grocery store.

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In 2014 China officials unveiled their National New-type Urbanization Plan (2014-2020) with the goal of moving 100 million people from the rural and farming areas to the city by 2020 and 250 million by 2026.

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China’s Agenda 21 Sparks ‘Vertical Forests’ – Skyscrapers With 3,000 Trees & Shrubs

“It’s a new world for us in the city,” 43-year-old Tian Wei, a former wheat farmer who now works in a city factory, told The New York Times. “All my life I’ve worked with my hands in the fields; do I have the educational level to keep up with the city people?”

Some have labeled it China’s Agenda 21 – a reference to a United Nations “sustainable development” plan that was adopted by China, the United States and other nations in the 1990s. Critics of Agenda 21 — and the subsequent Agenda 2030 – argue that if the plans are carried out, the U.S. and other countries eventually will force people into cities, even if it doesn’t look as dramatic as it does in China.

(Listen to Off The Grid News’ in-depth report on Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030 here.)

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China’s Agenda 21 Sparks ‘Vertical Forests’ – Skyscrapers With 3,000 Trees & Shrubs

The yet-to-be-built “Forest City.”

China’s goal is to transform the country into one that is more competitive on the world stage. Currently, around 55 percent of Chinese residents live in cities, compared to 80 percent of Americans who live in urban areas.

The concept has resulted in hundreds of “ghost cities” across China – that is, cities with streets and skyscrapers, but no people. Eventually, they will be occupied.

What is your reaction to China’s vertical forests and population plan? Do you think it could happen here? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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VIDEO: Meteor Shakes Homes, Streaks Across U.S. Skies

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — A meteor shook homes and streaked across Midwest skies Sunday night — and thankfully, several people captured it on video. The American Meteor Society reported that the “fireball was seen primarily from Illinois and Wisconsin, but witnesses from Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, New York, Kentucky, Minnesota and Ontario (Canada) ” also saw it. Watch the video, below:

 

 

 

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A Caseworker For Every Single Homeschool Family?

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A Caseworker For Every Single Homeschool Family?

Image source: Flickr / jimmiehomeschoolmom / Creative Commons

 

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa is well-known as being friendly to homeschoolers, but that could change if a bill requiring four government-approved home visits each year becomes law.

The bill by Democratic state Sen. Matt McCoy was introduced in response to the death of 16-year-old Natalie Finn, who died of cardiac arrest in October after starving to death. Her parents were charged in her death and remain in jail.

Neighbors had reported their concerns about the girl to police five months prior to her death. She was not enrolled in school.

McCoy’s bill, S.F. 138, would require the board of directors of each school district to “conduct quarterly home visits to check on the health and safety of children located within the district who are receiving competent private instruction or private instruction.”

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“Home visits shall take place in the child’s residence with the consent of the parent, guardian, or legal custodian and an interview or observation of the child may be conducted,” the bill states.

If parents refuse permission, then the school district can get a court order to enter the home.

Attorney Scott Woodruff of the Home School Legal Defense Association called the bill “a well-intended but misguided response.” Woodruff sent a letter to Iowa state senators urging them to reject the bill and instead to focus on the findings of the federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF).

“The report listed numerous risk factors,” Woodruff wrote. “Homeschooling was never listed as a risk factor – or even mentioned.”

The report found that a prior report to social services is the “single strongest predictor of a child’s potential risk for injury death … before age 5.”

The problem, Woodruff asserted, is that local officials did not notice “the numerous abuse-neglect reports related to Natalie’s family.”

“Senator McCoy’s bill completely misses the risk factors identified in the CECANF report and instead focuses on an issue – homeschooling – that does not warrant even one mention in the report,” Woodruff wrote.

What do you think? Should homeschoolers be subject to government visits? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Moose Falls Into Family’s Basement … And Refuses To Get Out

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Moose Falls Into Family's Basement ... And Refuses To Get Out

HAILEY, Idaho – People who live in moose country know what to do when a Bullwinkle-sized creature crosses their paths. But what happens when one falls into your basement?

That’s exactly what happened to one Idaho family Saturday when a cow moose fell through a window well and ended up trapped in their basement – unwilling to walk out the door.

Moose Falls Into Family's Basement ... And Refuses To Get OutThe you’ve-got-to-see-it-to-believe-it problem was solved only when law enforcement from the Blaine County Sheriff’s Department and officers from Idaho Fish and Game teamed up. They first “attempted to herd the moose up the stairs and out the front door to freedom” but “the moose was having none of it, charging the officers several times,” according to the Idaho Fish and Game Facebook page.

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Finally, around 3 in the morning, they sedated the moose.

“With all hands on deck, the sleeping giant was carried up the stairs and out the front door,” the Idaho Fish and Game Facebook page added. “It woke up in the snow covered street, groggy and confused, but free.”

The Blaine County Sheriff’s Department said on its Facebook page that deep snows “have brought wildlife into town and close to homes looking for food.”

What would you do if there were a moose in your basement? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Trump Just Overturned 8 Years Of Obama On 2 Oil Pipelines

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Trump Just Overturned Obama On 2 Oil Pipelines

WASHINGTON – President Trump signed executive orders Tuesday breathing new life into the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, saying the “regulatory process in this country has become a tangled-up mess.”

Signing the executive order related to the Dakota Access Pipeline, Trump said the pipeline completion would be “subject to terms and conditions to be negotiated by us.”

Plans for the Dakota pipeline have it running from North Dakota to Illinois while spanning also South Dakota and Iowa. It has been embroiled in controversy and protests due to its crossing of the Missouri River. President Obama blocked construction of part of it last year.

The Keystone pipeline is set to run from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico but has not been completed. Obama rejected it in 2015.

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Trump’s actions put the projects back on track. Trump said his orders also will “put a lot of steel workers back to work” because the pipes themselves must be built in the U.S.

“We are and I am very insistent that if we’re going to build pipelines in the United States, the pipes should be made in the United States,” Trump said Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, Trump said his administration is going to ease environmental rules.

“Our friends that want to build in the United States, they go many, many years and then they can’t get the environmental permit over something that nobody ever heard of before,” he said. “And it’s absolutely crazy. I am, to a large extent, an environmentalist. I believe in it. But it’s out of control.”

Jamie Henn, of the environmental group 350.org, said his organization is “going to fight Keystone XL and Dakota Access along the route” but also is “going to jiu jitsu this attack into energy to take on fossil fuel infrastructure all across the country,” he told Politico.

Do you believe the pipelines should be completed? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Trump Signs 3 Major Executive Orders, Doing Exactly What He Said He Would

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Trump Signs 3 Executive Orders, Doing Exactly What He Said He Would

WASHINGTON – President Trump signed three executive orders Monday to begin his first full week in the White House, fulling campaign promises and sending signals to his base that he isn’t backing down on major pledges.

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The executive orders:

  • Freeze most hiring within the federal government. Exceptions will be made for the military.
  • Defund organizations like International Planned Parenthood that promote or perform abortion in other countries. By restoring the so-called Mexico City Policy, Trump is following in the footsteps of Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Presidents Clinton and Obama rescinded the policy.
  • Withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the free-trade deal that had drawn the ire of both liberals and conservatives. (Listen to Off The Grid Radio’s in-depth show about TPP here.)

“We’ve been talking about this for a long time,” he said of the TPP order. “[It’s a] great thing for the American worker.”

Conservatives applauded his signing of the Mexico City Policy order.

“American taxpayer dollars have many good uses, but paying for elective abortions overseas is not and never has been one of them,” said Steven H. Aden, senior counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom. “The president has done the right and logical thing in reinstating a policy that never should have been rescinded.”

Do you agree with Trump’s signing of the orders? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Gov’t Report Warns: Power Grid In ‘Imminent Danger’ Of Cyberattack Impacting ‘Millions’

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Gov’t Report Warns: Power Grid In ‘Imminent Danger’ Of Cyberattack Impacting ‘Millions’

Jan. 11, 2017

The U.S. power grid is in constant danger of a cyberattack that could cause widespread blackouts and impact millions of citizens, according to a new 492-page report from the Department of Energy that warns if nothing is done to protect the system, the nation likely will suffer.

“The U.S. grid faces imminent danger from cyberattacks,” the report, released Jan. 6, states. “Widespread disruption of electric service because of a transmission failure initiated by a cyberattack at various points of entry could undermine U.S. lifeline networks, critical defense infrastructure, and much of the economy; it could also endanger the health and safety of millions of citizens.”

The report, titled “Transforming the Nation’s Energy System,” notes that the electric grid in the 48 contiguous states is comprised of 21,500 substations and about 700,000 miles of power lines.

It points to the 2015 cyberattack on the Ukrainian electric grid as an example of what is possible in the U.S. That attack — the “most sophisticated cyber incident on a power system to date” – took out electricity for 225,000 customers “after malicious actors remotely manipulated circuit breakers across multiple facilities.”

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One problem America faces, the report says, is that while cyberattacks are rapidly evolving, power grid officials are slow to deploy defensive measures.

“This gap is exacerbated by difficulties in addressing vulnerabilities in operational technologies that cannot easily be taken offline for upgrades, and the presence of significant legacy systems, as well as components that lack computing resources to incorporate new security fixes,” the report says.

For a fix to be successful, the report notes, it “must be implemented by the thousands of private companies that own and operate electricity infrastructure.”

“While cyberattacks on the U.S. grid and affiliated systems have had limited consequences to date, attacks elsewhere in the world on energy systems should be seen as an indicator of what is possible,” the report says. “Threats can emerge from a range of highly capable actors with sufficient resources, including individuals, groups, or nation-states under the cloak of anonymity.”

“There’s the weak-link issue for the whole system,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in an interview, according to The Washington Post. “The reality is, for a lot of rural, smaller utilities, it’s a very difficult job to have the kind of expertise that will be needed in terms of cyber, so we suggest for example, grant programs to help with training, to help with analytical capacity in these situations.”

The economy would “just take an enormous hit” from a successful cyberattack, Moniz added.

Do you believe the power grid is vulnerable to a cyberattack? Do you think President Trump can or will fix it? Share your thoughts in the section below:  

The Entire Internet Will Shut Down For 24 Hours In 2017, Major Company Predicts

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The Entire Internet Will Shut Down For 24 Hours In 2017, Major Company Predicts

Image source: Pixabay.com

BOULDER, Colo. – A prominent American company that helps companies guard against cyber threats is predicting that the entire Internet will be shut down by hackers in 2017 – and that portions of the power grid will go down, too.

LogRhythm, headquartered in Boulder, Colo., released its seven predictions for 2017 just before the New Year and said it believes the “internet will be shut down for up to 24 hours.”

“We’ll see a rise in attacks on fundamental protocols of internet communications. We already started seeing it with DNS,” the company said, referencing a Domain Name System attack that brought down Amazon, Netflix and Twitter in 2016. “In 2017, we’re going to see it hit big sometime, somewhere. If the internet goes down, financial markets will tank.”

James Carder, LogRhythm’s chief information security officer and vice president, said the attacks that brought down Amazon “were really just tests.”

“If you can prove that you can take down massive sites and a large chunk of the US internet for a few hours, a 24-hour outage seems pretty easy to do,” Carder told Business Insider.

LogRhythm also predicted that “portions of the U.S. power grid will be shut down.”

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“If portions of the power grid go down, there will be lack-of-confidence and trust issues with the government, which will have long-lasting ripple effects,” LogRhythm said.

The Entire Internet Will Shut Down For 24 Hours In 2017, Major Company Predicts

Image source: Pixabay.com

The company has offices in the United Kingdom, Singapore, Mexico, France, Germany, Brazil, Australia, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.

Following are LogRhythm’s seven predictions:

1. A decidedly overt attack from a nation-state will likely occur, in an effort to force an equally public retaliation.

– The public nature of this action will force the hand of NATO or the U.S. government to retaliate, whether they choose to do so publicly is not clear.

– This will lead to an increased focus on offensive cyber capabilities and bolster the demand for cyber weapons on the black market. Countries will covertly arm their allies with cyber weapons, and encourage disguised attacks on their enemy.

2. The internet will be shut down for up to 24 hours.

We’ll see a rise in attacks on fundamental protocols of internet communications. We already started seeing it with DNS. In 2017, we’re going to see it hit big sometime, somewhere. If the internet goes down, financial markets will tank.

3. Portions of the U.S. power grid will be shut down.

– We already saw hackers mobilise vulnerable IoT devices in the recent DDoS attack. Similarly, they could target and impact aspects of critical infrastructure.

–  If portions of the power grid go down, there will be lack-of-confidence and trust issues with the government, which will have long-lasting ripple effects.

4. Hackers will target and silence major media sites — such as CNN, FOX News, etc. — to influence what is reported and attempt to keep people in the dark.

– There will be more focused IoT botnet attacks, like the largest DDoS attack ever committed (Oct. 2016), which was all done using embedded systems/IoT devices. We’ll see a larger botnet attack, powered by the hundreds of thousands of IoT devices that still have malware running on them.

5. Ransomware will get more personal, as 2017 will mark the rise of mobile ransomware.

Simon Howe, Director of Sales for ANZ at LogRhythm said, “Attackers will use pre-authenticated tokens to disseminate malware. Because so many Apple devices are interconnected, the malware could very quickly spread.  Attackers will target consumers and hold their personal data hostage. For example, attackers will threaten to send out or delete a user’s photos unless a ransom is paid. Just think, how much would you pay to recover your photos?”

6. There will be an uptick in Psychological Operations (PSYOPs), where hackers will use social media platforms to manipulate messages and influence people.

–  A study released by Stanford in late Nov. 2016 found that US students from 6th grade through college – presumably the savviest social media users – are unable to accurately evaluate the credibility of information presented in tweets, comments and articles.

– Malicious actors will use algorithms to gauge the effectiveness of their social media efforts, and refine their PSYOPs to further manipulate people of all ages.

7. Every country and region in modern nations will come up with their own cybersecurity governance, and start enforcing compliance with those mandates.

We initially saw this with GPG-13 (Cyber Security Framework) and GDPR (Data Security Framework) in the US.  We’ll likely see an uptick in other countries establishing their own brand of cybersecurity and data security frameworks.

What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below: 

You’re Being Watched: 7 Sneaky Ways The Government Is Tracking Your Every Move. Read More Here.

The 10 Most-Read OTGN Stories Of 2016

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The 10 Most-Read OTGN Stories Of 2016

Image source: Pixabay.com

Natural health and self-defense stories dominated the list of most-read Off The Grid News stories in 2016. Following is the Top 10, in order of readership:

  1. The 9 Very Best Essential Oils For Treating Colds And Flu
  2. The 5 Absolute Best Concealed Carry Guns
  3. The 4 Very Best Calibers For Hunting Big Game
  4. The 5 Best Home Defense Shotguns
  5. The 5 Most Reliable Handguns For Survival
  6. How To Make Pemmican: A Survival Superfood That Can Last 50 Years
  7. The 10 Best Hunting Rifles: The Browning BAR .30-06
  8. The 5 Absolute Best ‘Pocket Rocket’ Pistols You Can Buy
  9. The 5 Very Best Survival Guns
  10. 3 Emergency Heat Sources When The Power’s Out

Atheist Group Demands Town Remove Nativity … But Town Refuses (‘It’s Here To Stay’)

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Atheist Group Demands Town Remove Nativity – But Town Refuses (‘It’s Here To Stay’)

File photo. Image source: Pixabay.com

BELEN, N.M. – Following years of surrendering to left-leaning organizations demanding that they take down religious-themed Christmas decorations, a number of towns across America are fighting back – or simply ignoring the requests.

Belen, N.M., is one such community. In 2015 the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to city officials, warning it that a year-round nativity located in a city park allegedly violated the U.S. Constitution. The atheist/agnostic organization wanted the nativity moved to private property, but a year later, it remains where it’s always been.

“Belen” is Spanish for Bethlehem – the city where Jesus was born.

“Our town was named Belen for a reason, because our founders wanted it to be named after Bethlehem and of course, what happened in Bethlehem was the birth of Christ, which is something we’ve expressed since our founding,” Belen Mayor Jerah Cordova told KOAT last year. “Where does it stop? If we don’t stand up for the nativity scene in the heart of Belen, next will they be asking us to change our name?”

Belen's nativity. Image source: New Mexico Center for Family Policy/Facebook

Belen’s nativity. Image source: New Mexico Center for Family Policy/Facebook

Interviewed this month by the Associated Press, Cordova gave an update on the nativity: “It’s here to stay.”

Cordova’s attitude is similar to that of city officials elsewhere.

Christian Heroes For Christian Kids: These Amazing Stories Are Putting God Back Into History!

In Franklin, Pa., the city council voted earlier this month to keep a nativity on public property despite a threat from FFRF. To help guard against lawsuits, the council decided to add some secular symbols near the nativity.

“Publically sponsored nativity scenes on public property are constitutional, especially when the display includes other secular symbols of the holiday,” said Mat Staver, founder of the legal organization Liberty Counsel, which has offered to provide free assistance to the city if it is sued. “… We stand by the city and will offer legal counsel to any city facing threats from the FFRF or other individuals.”

Staver told AP he is “seeing more municipalities digging in after learning about their rights.”

FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said she doesn’t think “religion or irreligion should be on public property.”

But some communities still are surrendering. Gig Harbor, Wash., received a letter from FFRF and chose not to allow a local resident to put up a nativity on private property, as had been done in past years. That resident, John Skansi, told The News Tribune he was disappointed.

“Putting a Nativity in a public park is a healthy thing,” Skansi said. “It’s a great thing to do. It is part of what Christmas is. This is the message we wanted out there.”

Do you believe nativities should be allowed on public property? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Update: Judge Orders School To Allow Charlie Brown Christmas Poster

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Judge Orders Charlie Brown Christmas Poster Put Back Up

KILLEEN, Texas – A Texas state judge has ordered a school district to allow a Charlie Brown Christmas poster be put back up, days after the district affirmed the principal who ordered it taken down.

School Bans Charlie Brown Christmas Poster Because It’s Too Religious

The staff member’s original poster.

Charles E. Patterson Middle School clinic aide Dedra Shannon had placed a large poster of Linus on her door with the words from the classic cartoon, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord … That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown – Linus.”

On Thursday, a Bell County judge issued a temporary order, ruling the poster could be placed back on the door as long as it also had the words “Ms. Shannon’s Christmas Message.”

Christian Heroes For Christian Kids: These Amazing Stories Are Putting God Back Into History!

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also appeared in court, supporting Shannon.

“Religious discrimination towards Christians has become a holiday tradition of sorts among certain groups,” Paxton said following the decision. “I am glad to see that the court broke through the left’s rhetorical fog and recognized that a commitment to diversity means protecting everyone’s individual religious expression.”

Said Shannon, “I am so thankful that the court ruled in my favor and that Killeen ISD’s efforts to ban my Charlie Brown Christmas poster have failed.”

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The Killeen Independent School District board on Tuesday voted 6-1 to develop new guidelines for the school system related to Christmas decorations, essentially affirming the principal, who had ordered it taken down.

The suit, filed by Texas Values, had argued, in part, “The inclusion of Bible verses or religious messages on student or teacher-sponsored holiday decorations does not violate Texas law.”

The poster is based upon the 1965 animated special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, which has aired on broadcast TV every year since then.

Do you agree with the judge’s decision? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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School Bans Charlie Brown Christmas Poster Because It’s Too Religious

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School Bans Charlie Brown Christmas Poster Because It’s Too Religious

KILLEEN, Texas – First, an Oregon school urged staff not to put up Santa decorations. Now, a Texas principal has ordered a staff member to remove a Charlie Brown Christmas display.

School Bans Charlie Brown Christmas Poster Because It’s Too Religious

The aide’s poster.

The latest crazy holiday controversy involves Charles E. Patterson Middle School clinic aide Dedra Shannon, who placed a large poster of Linus on her door with the words from the classic cartoon, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord … That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown – Linus.”

Earlier this month the principal told her to take it down because of its religious nature, and on Tuesday the Killeen Independent School District board voted 6-1 to develop new guidelines for the school system – although the staff member still won’t be allowed to put her display back up. School board President Terry Delano was the lone “no” vote and told a local TV station he had no problems with the display.

Christian Heroes For Christian Kids: These Amazing Stories Are Putting God Back Into History!

“I didn’t feel like the poster violated the Constitution or based on what I read from the attorney general or publications that it did not violate the Constitution and in fact may have violated the Merry Christmas Law,” Delano told Fox 7 in Austin. “I believe that we have come to a place in our nation where we are taking Christ out of everything and in this case the very word ‘Christmas.’ And it concerns me that someday we won’t even be able to say that.”

The Merry Christmas Law was signed by former Gov. Rick Perry as a way to protect religious expression.

Jonathan Saenz, an attorney and president of the group Texas Values, has urged the school to permit the poster. He is representing Shannon.

“Just about everyone that you hear from cannot believe that we’ve reached a place in America and in Texas, where a Charlie Brown Christmas poster is being torn down in our public schools,” Saenz told KCEN.

Said Shannon, “I believe it is discrimination not to allow Christians like myself to put up a display that is simply an expression of the story of Christmas.”

What is your opinion? Should the poster be banned? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Tired Of Losing Freedoms — And Looking For Another Country? Read More Here.

How To Make A Simple, Solar Water Filter Out Of 2 Water Bottles

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Food is essential for survival, but water is even more important. But how do you survive if your only source of water is, say, filthy river water? One option is a pocket water filter – such as a Paratrooper filter. Another option: a solar water filter made out of two water bottles and a small PCV pipe. It could come in handy if you forget your pocket water filter or left it at home.

Paratrooper: The Survival Water Filter That Fits In Your POCKET!

VIDEO: A Major City Just Got Its First Snowfall, And People Forget How To Drive In It

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The first major snowfall of the year in Montreal last week led to an ultra-slow-motion pileup involving buses, cars and a police cruiser. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. Let this be your warning: Stay inside when it gets bad out there.

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VIDEO: Man Punches A Kangaroo In The Face To Rescue His Dog

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We’ve all heard that dogs are man’s best friend – and we know that owners will go to extreme lengths to protect their furry mates. That’s especially true in Australia, where an owner recently was horrified to discover a kangaroo had his dog in a headlock. Here is what happened …

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Elector Abandons Trump, Says Trump’s Election ‘Is Not A Done Deal’

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Elector Abandons Trump, Says Trump’s Election ‘Is Not A Done Deal’

Photographer: Gage Skidmore. License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

WASHINGTON – A Republican elector from Texas said Monday he will not vote for Donald Trump Dec. 19, becoming the first member of the electoral college to abandon the president-elect.

The elector, Christopher Suprun, penned an op-ed in The New York Times explaining his decision. He is one of 306 electors won by Trump, with 270 needed to secure the nomination. All total, 37 would have to abandon Trump for him to fall short; if no candidate received 270 votes the election then would be tossed into the House of Representatives.

“I am asked to cast a vote on Dec. 19 for someone who shows daily he is not qualified for the office,” he wrote. “Fifteen years ago, as a firefighter, I was part of the response to the Sept. 11 attacks against our nation. That attack and this year’s election may seem unrelated, but for me the relationship becomes clearer every day. George W. Bush is an imperfect man, but he led us through the tragic days following the attacks. His leadership showed that America was a great nation. That was also the last time I remember the nation united.

Want To Know About The REAL Constitution And What The Founders Truly Intended?

“I watch Mr. Trump fail to unite America and drive a wedge between us. Mr. Trump goes out of his way to attack the cast of ‘Saturday Night Live’ for bias. He tweets day and night, but waited two days to offer sympathy to the Ohio State community after an attack there. He does not encourage civil discourse, but chooses to stoke fear and create outrage. This is unacceptable.”

Suprun further said that Trump “lacks the foreign policy experience and demeanor needed to be commander in chief” and that the world would be a more dangerous place with him in office. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, Suprun said, encouraged the nation not to elect a “demagogue.”

Suprun added, “The election of the next president is not yet a done deal. Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience. I believe electors should unify behind a Republican alternative, an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.”

Suprun received support and pushback in he comments section, which by Tuesday morning had more than 1,100 entries.

“Whatever Mr. Trump’s shortcomings may be, he won the election,” one person named Fred wrote. “Any other candidate chosen by a rogue electoral college would have no legitimacy. The election of the next President (or any subsequent President) should not turn on the judgment of 538 people who are unknown to most of us.”

Another commenter, Rick Harris, wrote, “I do not believe that your vote is endowed with a superior value to that of the 60 million American’s who voted. It invites anarchy rather than enhances Democracy. If the American people, voting in their respective states, cannot act to maintain the individual freedoms granted in the Bill of Right, the 14th and 15th Amendments, as well as the need for honest in political discourse, it is sorrowful. But your electoral vote, however cast, will not change the fact that voters were prepared to reject the conventions that usually abide during American elections. Now we, as well as they, will have to live and react to that decision.”

What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Awaken Your Child’s Imagination And Put God Back Into History! Read More Here.

School Bans Santa Because He’s Too ‘Religious’

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School Bans Santa Because He’s Too ‘Religious’

Image source: Pixabay.com

HILLSBORO, Ore. – An Oregon school district is asking staff not to use Santa Claus or other Christmas-themed images in their decorations out of fear they might offend students and visitors who don’t celebrate the holiday.

The letter from the human resources office of Hillsboro School District to staff announced that there would be no door decorating contest this year.

“You may still decorate your door or office if you like, but we ask that you be respectful and sensitive to the diverse perspectives and beliefs of our community and refrain from using religious-themed decorations or images like Santa Claus,” the letter from the Hillsboro School District to staff read.

The controversy first was reported by TV station KATU, which noted that some parents were confused why Santa was being labeled a religious symbol.

“I think Santa Claus is more folklore and American history than a religious symbol at this point,” parent Jason Ramirez said.

Awaken Your Child’s Love Of History And Put God Back Into History! Read More Here.

An unidentified parent told the TV station, “I’m from that generation where we believe in Santa, and my kids believe in Santa, and they should be able to celebrate it.”

Beth Graser, communications director for the school district, said the notification was directed not at parents but at staff “just to make sure they are being sensitive and thoughtful as they enter the holiday season.”

Facing a backlash, the school district posted an explanation on its Facebook page, saying that “we had some staff members and visitors to our building indicate that they were uncomfortable and didn’t feel welcome due to the overwhelming Christmas atmosphere that had been created.”

Despite the memo, the school district insists that Santa is not being banned and that decorations would not be policed.

“We have no policies or directives around this issue, we merely want to remind staff that we need to create inclusive and welcoming spaces for all of our students and realize that many of our students—because of their religion, culture, or other beliefs—do not feel comfortable (and in many cases may not be allowed by their parents) participating in activities that are holiday-based or religious in nature, or being surrounded by imagery that is a direct affront to them,” the school district’s Facebook page reads.

What is your reaction? Should schools ban Santa and religious symbols out of sensitivity concerns? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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5 Uses For An Old, Warn-Out Garden Hose (You Gotta Try No. 2!)

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5 Uses For An Old, Warn-Out Garden Hose (You Gotta Try No. 2!)

Image source: Pixabay.com

The wise homesteader knows that everything – even used garden hoses – can be re-used and re-purposed.

More than likely, you will discover that your old hose is more useful than you originally thought.

Here are five uses:

1. Protect trees and crops.

Wires are sufficient for holding up trunks or branches, but they can cut into the wood of the plant and shorten its overall lifespan. However, if you thread that support wire through a piece of garden hose – or just use the garden hose by itself – then your plant will be protected.

2. Bucket handles.

A garden hose can be used as a grip for bucket handles or anything similar – making it easier to carry. Simply take a section from an old garden hose and then slip the wire of the bucket handle through it.

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This will provide a cushion for your hand when carrying a bucket filled with water over long distances. Another option: Slice the garden hose open and wrap it around the handle.

3. Car door/bumper protector.

Simply screw a length of an old garden hose to the bumper of any of your old vehicles. Or, wrap a section around the edge of a car door to prevent dings and scratches.

4. Soaker hose.

An old garden hose can be repurposed to keep your crops watered. Take a relatively long section of garden use and crimp or close off one end of it. Then, puncture small holes all along the hose. Bury the hose underground and next to your crops. You can hook the open end up to the faucet, or you can go more off-grid and pour water from a bucket into the hose. This is a very efficient way to water all or a large portion of your crops at the same time.

5. Protect tools.

Do you have any knives, machetes, axes, hatchets or other tools with sharp blades? If so, then take a long piece of garden hose and slice one end of it open. Fit the garden hose over the blade to keep it fully protected while it is being stored.

Do you know of other uses for old garden hoses? Share your tips in the section below:

hydrogen peroxide report

Kill A Skunk? Go To Jail (That’s What Happened To This Man)

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Kill A Skunk? Go To Jail (That’s What Happened To This Man)

Image source: Wikimedia

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – In the country, a skunk problem can be taken care of with a gun, but in the city, killing a skunk – even without a gun – can get your arrested.

Indiana University student Andrew Baldini discovered this the hard way when he beat a skunk to death with a shovel in late October. He told police that his fraternity house had been having problems with skunks, but police were not amused, and subsequently arrested him, put him in jail and charged with animal cruelty — a felony, according to Fox-59 in Indianapolis.

Discover More Than 1,100 Homesteading Tips And Tricks!

The news station reported that Baldini and his friends were playing basketball when the skunk walked across the court. He got a shovel and hit the skunk, which limped away injured. He then “followed the skunk and hit it several more times with the shovel, killing it on a public sidewalk near the 1200 block of East 3rd Street,” Fox-59 reported.

The moral of the story: If you want to kill skunks, stay out of the city.

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

hydrogen peroxide report

Google’s New Policy Allows It To Track You Like Never Before (But Here’s How To Fix It)

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Google's New Policy Allows It To Track You Like Never Before (But Here’s How To Fix It)

Image source: Pixabay.com

For years, Google’s privacy policy essentially prohibited the company from running ads targeting users based off of activity in its popular Gmail platform – meaning that if you sent someone an email about, say, groceries, you would not then necessarily encounter an advertisement about groceries on another platform or website.

But all of that changed this summer, when Google deleted a line in its privacy policy, thus allowing it to target users with ads across its platforms and on websites based on Gmail email activity.

ProPublica reported on the change Oct. 21, noting that Google could now, if it wanted to, “build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct.”

“The move is a sea change for Google and a further blow to the online ad industry’s longstanding contention that web tracking is mostly anonymous,” ProPublica reported. “In recent years, Facebook, offline data brokers and others have increasingly sought to combine their troves of web tracking data with people’s real names. But until this summer, Google held the line.”

Discover How To Become Invisible In Today’s Surveillance State!

New Gmail users automatically agree to the policy when they sign up, while old Gmail users must opt-in.

The controversy surrounds Google’s advertising service, DoubleClick, which allows companies to target customers with ads on websites (through the use of cookies).

The old policy stated that “We will not combine DoubleClick cookie information with personally identifiable information unless we have your opt-in consent.” That line is no longer in the privacy policy. A new sentence has been added that reads: “Depending on your account settings, your activity on other sites and apps may be associated with your personal information in order to improve Google’s services and the ads delivered by Google.”

The change means you might see an add on ESPN.com for something you wrote about in Gmail.

The good news: It is easy to opt out. Here is how to do it:

1. Go to Google’s My Account page.

2. Click on Mange Your Google Activity.

3. Click on Go to Activity Controls.

4. Uncheck the box next to “Include Chrome browsing history and activity from websites and apps that use Google services.”

6. At the same link, you also can prevent Google from tracking your Location, your YouTube viewing history and your browsing history.

What is your reaction to Google’s new policy? Share your thoughts in the section below: 

You’re Being Watched: 7 Sneaky Ways The Government Is Tracking Your Every Move. Read More Here.

Goji Berries: The Cancer-Fighting Chinese Superfood You Can Grow At Home

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goji-berry-wikimedia

Goji berries, native to China, are a booming food fad that can benefit homesteaders looking for an easy-to-grow berry that packs a huge health punch.

Growing goji berries is fairly simple. You will need to purchase a bare root plant or seeds from sources like online nurseries. To speed up your harvest, get a bare root goji beery plant so that you can get its fruits sooner rather than later. Use a mix of soil with a tinge of sand. Choose a pot that will fit your plant; the crown of the plant should be just at the top of the hole when placed in soil. Pat down the soil around the plant, and then water. Apply some mulch around the plant to keep in the moisture. To care for the plant, simply keep it moist by watering and applying more soil, as needed.

Not only are goji berries a simple plant to care for, but they also spread like weeds, once established.

 

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From one plant you can expect a return of many other plants. This will allow you to have more plants to sell, transplant or keep for extra goji berries.

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Pruning is essential after the plant is one-year-old. Trim off all of the lower branches, up to 15 inches from the soil. Also, fertilizer is not needed because the nitrogen will kill the goji berry plant.

Health Benefits of Goji Berries

Goji berries have been used in China for centuries for energy and long life. China, in fact, produces most of the world’s commercially sold goji berries. Other health benefits include:

  • Fighting cancer — They have huge levels of carotenoids, which battle cancer.
  • Eye care – Goji berries can help stop macular degeneration thanks to high levels of antioxidants.
  • Healthy skin – The beta-carotene in the berries boosts skin health.
  • Regulating blood sugar. These berries can control the amount of sugar released into the blood, making them very beneficial for persons with diabetes.

Goji berries are an amazing food that can boost your health and add money to your wallet. What’s not to like?

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first.

What advice would you add on rowing goji berries? Share it in the section below:

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

BREAKING: G2-Level Solar Storm Slamming Earth; ‘Transformer Damage’ Possible, NOAA Says

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BREAKING: G2-Level Solar Storm Slamming Earth; ‘Transformer Damage’ Possible, NOAA Says

Image source: NASA

BOULDER, Colorado – A moderate to strong geomagnetic solar storm began slamming Earth Tuesday and could last another couple of days, with transformer damage and power grid fluctuations possible, according to NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

The storm is a G2 “moderate” storm on NOAA’s 5-level space weather scale, although NOAA warned that periods of G3 “strong” activity could occur.

According to the scale, a G2 storm can cause “weak power grid fluctuations” and if it lasts long enough, “transformer damage.” Additionally, “high-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms.” A G3 storm can mean that “voltage corrections may be required,” with “false alarms triggered on some protection devices.”

In 1859, a geomagnetic storm that would now be categorized as a G5 hit earth, taking out telegraph systems, which were the most advanced technology of the time. NOAA’s space weather scale says a G5 – if it hit Earth – could lead to the “complete collapse” of the power grid.

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Under the current storm, auroras may be seen as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state.

In July 2012, an 1859-type solar storm known as a coronal mass ejection nearly hit Earth.

“Analysts believe that a direct hit by an extreme CME such as the one that missed Earth in July 2012 could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket,” a NASA news report read. “Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.”

Additionally, “the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina. Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair.”

Said Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado, “In my view the July 2012 storm was in all respects at least as strong as the 1859 Carrington event. The only difference is, it missed.”

Do you think America’s power grid is ready for an 1859-type event? Share your thoughts in the section below: 

Are You Prepared For Extended Blackouts? Read More Here.

BREAKING: Fire Causes TOTAL Blackout In Puerto Rico; 3.5 Million Without Power

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: Fire Causes TOTAL Blackout In Puerto Rico; 3.5 Million Without Power

Firefighters at the power plant in Puerto Rico.

SAN JUAN – The entire island of Puerto Rico fell into a blackout Wednesday following a major fire at a power plant that left officials wondering what had happened.

It is unclear when power will be restored, local media reported, but the fact that a single fire could leave all 3.5 million residents without electricity demonstrates once again the fragility of aging power grids. Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States.

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The fault occurred along a pair of 230,000-volt transmission lines, officials with the electric company said.

“We are investigating the causes,” said Geraldo Quinones, a press officer for the electric company.

The company had been seeking funds to replace outdated equipment, local media reported.

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

Are You Prepared For Extended Blackouts? Read More Here.

Gas Shortage Not Over: Driver Went To 11 Stations Without Gas; Supply Slashed By Two-Thirds; Hour-Long Waits; ‘Several Days’ Before It Ends

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Gas Shortage Not Over: Driver Went To 11 Stations Without Gas; Supply Slashed By Two-Thirds; Hour-Long Waits; ‘Several Days’ Before It Ends

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Drivers in North Carolina, South Carolina and several other Southern states continued hunting for gasoline Wednesday morning following a major pipeline leak, as the company in charge of fixing the problem said it would take “several days” for the supply to return to normal.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said the state was getting only about a third of the gas supply it normally receives.

“We’ve successfully weathered fuel shortages before, and we will do it again,” McCrory said. “Now is the time to pull together as a state and to conserve fuel when it’s possible.”

A leak in the Colonial Pipeline was discovered Sept. 9, causing a shutdown to fix it and sparking havoc among the 50 million people who depend on it for gasoline. More than 250,000 gallons of gas leaked at the site in Alabama. The pipeline, constructed in 1963, spans from Texas to New Jersey.

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Colonial Pipeline built a 500-foot bypass around the leak and is testing it to make sure it is properly working.

“It is expected to take several days for the fuel delivery supply chain to return to normal,” Colonial Pipeline said in a statement Tuesday. “Some markets served by Colonial Pipeline may experience, or continue to experience, intermittent service interruptions.”

Many gas stations in North Carolina are completely out of gas.

“My brother went to 11 places the other day [before finding gas],” driver Yolanda Hinton told the Raleigh New and Observer. “It was an hour-long wait last night.”

The newspaper reported that the rush to gas pumps that did have gasoline was “akin to the panics before a big hurricane.”

In South Carolina, drivers also are having a tough time finding gas.

“Today I’ve been three places,” driver Ellen Hayes, in Lancaster, South Carolina, told WBTV. “I’ve been off [Highway] 200, I’ve been over there, and now here.”

Other stations have gasoline, but it’s only expensive premium.

What is your reaction to the shortage? Share your thoughts in the section below: 

Are You Truly Prepared For A Downed Grid? Read More Here.

Poll: ‘House-To-House’ Gun ‘Confiscation’ Proposal Leads By Wide Margin In California

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Poll: ‘House-To-House' Gun 'Confiscation’ Proposal Leads By Wide Margin In California

Image source: Flickr

 

LOS ANGELES – A California ballot initiative that opponents claim would lead to house-to-house gun confiscation leads in a statewide survey among registered voters.

Proposition 63, as it is called, is winning 64-28 percent, according to the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll of 1,879 registered voters conducted by SurveyMonkey.

The proposition would ban magazines larger than 10 rounds. It also would:

  • Require ammunition sales be made through licensed vendors.
  • Require lost or stolen guns or ammo be reported to police.
  • Require buyers pass a background check prior to purchasing ammunition.

“Millions of legal magazines will need to be sold out-of-state, taken out-of-state, or seized by law enforcement,” according to the Coalition for Civil Liberties, which opposes Proposition 63.

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Many legal firearms will only operate with “magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds, making them effectively illegal,” the coalition noted.

“This backdoor gun ban is not just on future sales, but forces you to surrender your existing private property to law enforcement,” it added.

The coalition asserted that Proposition 63, if passed, will lead to “house-to-house confiscation” of guns and magazines.

According to the text of the proposed law, anyone who is caught possessing an illegal magazine can be jailed for up to one year. Current owners of such magazines have three choices, according to the text: 1) remove it from the state, 2) sell it to a licensed dealer, or 3) surrender it to police “for destruction.”

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‘House-To-House Confiscation’ Of Guns Will Be On California Ballot

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‘House-To-House Confiscation’ Of Guns Will Be On California Ballot

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California is poised to vote in some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation when voters go to the polls in November.

The ballot initiative, Proposition 63, would ban magazines larger than 10 rounds, which critics say would lead to house-to-house confiscation by police statewide.

It also would:

  • Require ammunition sales be made through licensed vendors.
  • Require lost or stolen guns or ammo be reported to police.
  • Require buyers pass a background check prior to purchasing ammunition.

The magazine ban is drawing the most opposition.

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

“Millions of legal magazines will need to be sold out-of-state, taken out-of-state, or seized by law enforcement,” according to the Coalition for Civil Liberties, which opposes Proposition 63.

‘House-To-House Confiscation’ Of Guns Will Be On California Ballot

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Many legal firearms will only operate with “magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds, making them effectively illegal,” the coalition noted.

“This backdoor gun ban is not just on future sales, but forces you to surrender your existing private property to law enforcement,” it added.

The coalition asserted that Proposition 63, if passed, will lead to “house-to-house confiscation” of guns and magazines.

According to the text of the proposed law, anyone who is caught possessing an illegal magazine can be jailed for up to one year. Current owners of such magazines have three choices, according to the text: 1) remove it from the state, 2) sell it to a licensed dealer, or 3) surrender it to police “for destruction.”

Sheriffs from Butte, Shasta and Modoc counties told KHSL-TV that the proposal would turn law-abiding citizens into criminals.

“Proposition 63 is bad for gun owners and bad for California,” Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko told the outlet.

The California State Sheriffs’ Association opposes Proposition 63.

“This measure would do little to prevent the criminal element from acquiring guns and ammunition via the black market or through theft,” a letter from the association reads. “Instead, it would place additional restrictions on law-abiding citizens who wish to purchase ammunition for sporting or hunting use, retain guns and magazines that are currently legal for them to possess, and pass historical or family heirloom guns down to their next generation.

The measure, the letter reads, “will create a new class of criminals out of those that already comply with common sense practices that now exist.”

What is your reaction to the proposed law? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Judge Rules Town Can Ban Vegetable Gardens Because They’re Ugly

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BREAKING: Judge Rules Town Can Ban Vegetable Gardens Because They’re Ugly

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MIAMI – In a blow to freedom and property rights, a Florida judge has ruled that residents of Miami Shores do not have a fundamental right to grow vegetables in their front yard, even if they don’t have a backyard or their backyard is deficient for growing plants.

Miami Shores officials say the ordinance benefits neighborhood aesthetics.

The ruling by Circuit Court Judge Monica Gordo is a blow to the well-publicized case of Hermine Ricketts and Tom Carroll, a married couple who say their backyard is too shady to grow a garden.

The couple grew vegetables in the front yard for 17 years for health and financial reasons until the Miami Shores village government passed an ordinance banning front yard vegetable growing. Ricketts and Carroll were facing a $50-a-day fine.

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“This Court is not convinced that the prohibition of front-yard vegetable gardens impairs any fundamental right” Gordo wrote in her Aug. 25 opinion. “… The Court finds that the prohibition of vegetable gardens except in back yards is rationally related to Miami Shores’ legitimate interest in promoting and maintaining aesthetics.”

She added that “protecting aesthetics is a legitimate government purpose.”

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The couple was represented by the Institute for Justice, which offered experts who argued that vegetables “do not have an intrinsically good or bad visual quality” and “are not aesthetically degrading,” but Gordo wrote that the city’s law was a “value judgement” that she would not second guess.

The Institute for Justice said it will appeal the ruling.

“Today’s ruling affects every homeowner in Miami Shores who wants to grow a garden in their front yard,” said Institute for Justice attorney Ari Bargil. “The court agreed that Miami Shores never explained how banning front-yard vegetable gardens promotes its claimed interest in ‘aesthetics,’ but the court nevertheless ruled that the village has the power to ban these gardens anyway.”

Their garden was known as one of the more attractive ones in the area.

“I am disappointed by today’s ruling,” Ricketts said. “My garden not only provided us with food, but it was also beautiful and added character to the community. I look forward to continuing this fight and ultimately winning so I can once again use my property productively instead of being forced to have a useless lawn.”

Bargil noted that if Ricketts and Carroll wanted to “grow fruit or flowers or display pink flamingos,” the town would have been fine with it.

“They should be equally free to grow food for their own consumption, which they did for 17 years before the village forced them to uproot the very source of their sustenance,” he added.

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

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The ‘Bubble Is Going To Burst’ — Health Care CEO Warns

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The ‘Bubble Is Going To Burst’ -- Health Care CEO Warns

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WASHINGTON – The CEO of a major pharmaceutical company is warning that America’s health care system is a financial “bubble” that is heading toward collapse.

Heather Bresch, the CEO of Mylan (NYSE: MYL), the manufacturer of EpiPens, made the comments to CNBC as her company faced allegations of price gouging.

“Our health care is in a crisis,” she said. “It’s no different than the mortgage-financial crisis back in 2007. This bubble is going to burst.”

Bresch noted that with any other product – say, something bought at the grocery store — the consumer knows the price before walking up to the counter.

“Only in health care” does the consumer not know, said Bresch, who added that everything in health care, including deductibles, has skyrocketed.

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Bresch blamed insurance companies, pharmacies and retailers for jacking up the price. She said the price for the EpiPen would be a lot lower if her company were allowed to sell the product directly to the public, but it is banned from doing that under current law. The EpiPen is also more expensive because it touches several hands before it reaches the pharmacy, she said.

The government and health insurance companies, and not manufacturers, are responsible for the high cost of some life-saving drugs, Bresch said.

‘System Wasn’t Built for That’

The ‘Bubble Is Going To Burst’ -- Health Care CEO Warns

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“The patient is paying twice,” Bresch said during the Thursday interview. “They’re paying full retail price at the counter, and they’re paying higher premiums on their insurance. It was never intended that a consumer, that the patients would be paying list price, never. The system wasn’t built for that.”

The price of an EpiPen in the United States rose from $100 in 2009 to $600 this year for a two pack. CNBC charged it only cost Mylan a few dollars to make an EpiPen.

“My frustration is there’s a list price of $608,” Bresch added. “What Mylan takes from that, our net sales is $274, so $137 per pen.”

The EpiPen is used to treat potentially life-threatening allergic reactions. Many patients would die without it, and so they have to carry one all the time.

Bresch also charged that the high price of EpiPens in the USA is subsidizing lower prices in Europe. Europeans pay between $100 and $150 a piece for an EpiPen because of rigid price controls set by their national insurance systems.

“We do subsidize the rest of the world … and as a country we’ve made a conscious decision to do that,” Bresch said. “And I think the world’s a better place for it.”

On Monday, Mylan announced it would begin selling a generic two-pack version for $300.

But Is it the Government’s Fault?

The real culprit for the high prices is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Reason.com writer Scott Shackford claimed, noting that there currently are few competitors.

“It would be more accurate to say that the company is taking advantage of the fact that the federal government’s own regulatory scheme has given them a medical monopoly,” Shackford wrote.

What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Facebook Is Categorizing Your Political Views – Here’s How To Find Your Label!

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Facebook Is Categorizing Your Political Views – Here’s How To Find Your Label!

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SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook users likely know that the social media company is trying each day to make money off of them, but they may not realize that it also is categorizing their political views – and that it may have them classified all wrong.

It is all part of Facebook’s effort to target specific ads to specific customers. The company keeps track of which websites and posts you click, like and share, and then puts you in one of three broad categories: conservative, moderate or liberal – with descriptors (such as “very”) added.

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If you’re curious how Facebook has you categorized, then follow these steps:

From there, you can tweak your preferences, which will impact the ads you see. The main “preferences” page also lists your other interests – at least what Facebook thinks are your interests.

As The New York Times reported, political candidates and companies can target audiences based on their political views. Donald Trump is running Facebook ads aimed at moderates, the newspaper said.

What is your reaction to Facebook classifying its audience? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Massachusetts AG Discovers New Way To Ban Guns — ‘Effective Immediately’

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Massachusetts AG Invents New Way To Ban Guns -- 'Effective Immediately'

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BOSTON — Nearly a month after Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued an enforcement notice that added dozens if not hundreds of gun types to a list of banned firearms, the backlash continues.

Healey’s statement at the end of July noted that she was “stepping up enforcement of the state’s assault weapons ban, including a crackdown on the sale of copycat weapons.”

With her action, Healey, a Democrat, automatically banned guns that were legal merely hours earlier – and she did so without notice.

“Our action today is effective immediately,” she said.

Healey said a 1998 law – which at the time banned so-called “assault rifles,” including the AR-15 – gave her the power to take action against guns that were manufactured with slight differences. Such guns are sold as being legal in Massachusetts. Around 10,000 of what she calls “copycat guns” were sold last year.

One pro-Second Amendment group, the Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL), held a rally in Boxborough, Massachusetts, in mid-August, attended by hundreds of people.

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“This is a brand NEW interpretation of the law that has potentially made hundreds of thousands of lawful citizens ‘felons in waiting,’” GOAL wrote on its website. “… She unilaterally changed the rules and interpretations of long standing law overnight without seeking legislative support or consultation, without consulting the state agencies that have statutory authority over the laws. She did it in secret with no public input.”

Healey has the backing of the past five attorneys general, all Democrats, according to MassLive.com.

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“She is not exceeding her authority — she is exercising it. And she has our thanks,” a letter co-signed by the five former AGs reads.

But not everyone in her party agrees. Rep. Harold Naughton, a Democrat and the chairman of the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, opposed Healey’s action.

“While I understand your intentions in this matter, I feel this is a misuse and overstepping of authority,” Naughton wrote, according to MassLive.com.

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action also said Healey had gone too far. It explained in detail the legislative intent of the 1998 law.

“By 1998,” the NRA wrote on its website, “the federal ban on ‘assault weapons’ had been in effect for nearly four years, and almost from day one of the federal ban, manufacturers were producing the ‘compliant’ rifles that AG Healey is now targeting. Massachusetts legislators in 1998 were well aware of these compliant rifles, yet they chose not to alter their legislation to prohibit those rifles when they simply enacted a copy of the federal ban. It’s hard to imagine a more clear-cut example of legislative intent.”

There’s another problem, the NRA said: It is not clear which firearms Healey has banned.

“NRA is still assessing all legal and legislative options to protect the rights of Massachusetts gun owners,” NRA wrote. “Stay tuned.”

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The ‘Natural’ Label On Your Food Is Baloney

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Big Food is prone to slap a “natural” label on everything — from potato chips to beef jerky to gummy worms. But what does “natural” really mean?

Good question – and a new short video from a Vox reporter seeks to get to the bottom of the controversy.

Discover The Secret To Saving Thousands At The Grocery Store. Read More Here.

Mom Arrested For Leaving Kids, 8 & 9, Alone TO GET THEM FOOD

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Mom Arrested For Leaving Kids, 8 & 9, Alone TO GET THEM FOOD

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REHOBOTH BEACH, Delaware – A mother who was enjoying a vacation with her 8- and 9-year-old children was arrested last week after she left them at a vacation rental in order to go buy food.

The story of Susan L. Terrillion, 55, of Olney, Maryland, has sparked a debate over whether the arrest was necessary – and a quick glance on social media and in the local newspaper’s section shows that most people believe it was outrageous.

“That poor woman. When I was seven I rode public transportation to school and walked home,” one person wrote.

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A witness reported the mom to local police, who said she was gone for about 45 minutes while getting food at a restaurant, according to The News Journal newspaper.

“Shame on this neighbor for calling the police absolutely ridiculous!” another person wrote in the newspaper’s comment section. “They are 8 & 9 and she wasn’t even gone that long and they were not hurt. … I feel so sorry for this mother! That man should be ashamed of himself.”

She was arrested and released on $500 bond, charged with endangering the welfare of children.

Police, the newspaper reported, had responded to a “report of two young children left alone at a residence.”

“A witness told police that he made contact with the children when their dogs ran into Country Club Drive in front of his vehicle,” the newspaper reported. “… The witness stopped to help the children get control of the dogs and learned they were alone.”

Lenore Skenazy, author of the book Free-Range Kids, wrote sarcastically at Reason.com: “So really, you have to blame the dogs. Or a guys who calls the cops simply because he came into contact with unsupervised kids and felt the knee-jerk compulsion to get the authorities involved. Or the authorities, who feel compelled to arrest moms for trusting their kids to take care of themselves for a little while. … What a lovely vacation.”

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

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German Government To Order Citizens: Begin Stockpiling Food And Water

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German Government To Order Citizens: Begin Stockpiling Food And Water

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BERLIN – The German government, facing major terrorism threats, is set to order its citizens to stockpile enough food and water to last for several days, a German newspaper reported Sunday.

“The population will be obliged to hold an individual supply of food for ten days,” the newspaper reported, quoting the government’s “Concept for Civil Defence.”

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The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper story – translated by Reuters — quoted a government source and said the requirement also will obligate citizens to keep enough water to last five days.

The country has experienced two radical Islamic attacks in recent weeks.

An Interior Ministry spokesperson said the plan will be discussed this week. The plan also urges citizens to stockpile blankets, medicine, coal, candles, wood, torches, batteries, matches and cash.

The 69-page plan said the goal is to “prepare appropriately for a development that could threaten our existence and cannot be categorically ruled out in the future.”

Should the U.S. require stockpiling? What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

Secession Fever Strong If Clinton Beats Trump – Survey

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Secession Fever Strong If Clinton Beats Trump – Survey

AUSTIN, Texas – If Hillary Clinton wins in November, a lot of residents in one American state say they will want their state to secede.

Currently, 26 percent of Texas voters say they support “Texas seceding from the United States,” while 59 percent oppose it and 15 percent aren’t sure, according to a Public Policy Polling survey.

But when asked if they’d support secession if Clinton defeats Donald Trump, support for it shoots up to 40 percent, with 48 percent opposed and 12 percent not sure. Among Trump supporters, 61 percent would want the state to secede if Clinton wins.

The PPP survey also found that Trump leads Clinton in Texas, 44-38 percent.

The poll surveyed 944 likely voters, Aug. 12-14.

Would you favor secession if Clinton wins? Share your thoughts in the section below: 

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Superintendent Orders HOMESCHOOL Child Back To 1st Grade

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Superintendent Orders HOMESCHOOL Child Back To 1st Grade

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PHILADELPHIA – Homeschoolers are given quite a bit of freedom in many states, but one family was recently shocked when the local superintendent ordered their young child to repeat a grade.

The unnamed family, which lives in Pennsylvania, had filed the required paperwork notifying the superintendent that they would be homeschooling their 8-year-old son, who was ready to enter third grade, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association.

But officials with the school system refused to give them an approval letter and ordered that the child go back to first grade unless the family could “document evidence of readiness for 3rd grade in the form of work samples or progress reports, the HSLDA said on its blog.

The superintendent’s office was not following the law.

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“Pennsylvania law charges parents—not public schools—with picking the most appropriate grade level for each child,” HSLDA said. “Even though Pennsylvania’s homeschool law is among the most restrictive in the nation, it still protects the unique flexibility homeschooling offers.”

Thankfully, the superintendent’s office backed down when the law was explained.

“The director was quick to acknowledge that homeschool families should not be held to the same rigid requirements established for public school students,” HSLDA reported. “… Every child is different and has a unique set of strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Just ask a group of kids, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ and listen to the varied responses. Dads and moms know their children better than anyone else. Homeschooling equips parents to customize an education plan that meets each child’s needs and goals.

“Homeschooling empowers parents to encourage their children to pursue their dreams and shine in their favorite subjects while taking the time necessary to become proficient in all areas.”

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

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Start Prepping For ‘Downright Frigid Weather’ This Winter, Says The Farmers’ Almanac (Which Is About 80 Percent Accurate)

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Start Prepping For ‘Downright Frigid Weather’ This Winter, Says The Farmers’ Almanac (Which Is About 80 Percent Accurate)

WASHINGTON – If you hate winter, then you might want to avoid the newest Farmers’ Almanac long-range forecast.

The 2017 Farmers’ Almanac, released Monday, predicts that the upcoming winter will be far worse than last year’s winter for much of the country. Although such long-range forecasts are sometimes ridiculed by modern-day scientists, many Farmers’ Almanac readers say the forecasts are 80-85 percent accurate, according to officials with the publication.

The long-range forecast uses a nearly 200-year-old formula that is based on math and astronomy.

“While last winter was a reprieve from shoveling and high fuel bills, the party is over,” the Farmers’ Almanac website says. “According to the 2017 Farmers’ Almanac, ‘winter is back!’’”

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A strong El Niño that made last year’s winter rather mild is now gone, says Farmers’ Almanac editor Peter Geiger.

The newest forecast predicts that “exceptionally cold, if not downright frigid weather will predominate over parts of the Northern Plains, Great Lakes, Midwest, Ohio Valley, the Middle Atlantic, Northeast, and New England this winter,” according to the website. Also, “shots of very cold weather will periodically reach as far south as Florida and the Gulf Coast.”

It also predicts “some snow and cold conditions in mid-November in the Northeast, Great Lakes, and Midwest” – although the “frigidly cold temperatures really won’t take hold until much later in the season.”

December and January will bring a “mixed bag of wintry weather.”

“It’s really February when the frigid temperatures take hold (northern tier states could see ambient air temperatures as low as 40 degrees below zero!),” the almanac website says. “This is the month you want to make sure your heat works, your long johns are washed, and your slippers are nearby.”

The Farmers’ Almanac says its weather forecast is based on a “specific and reliable set of rules that were developed back in 1818 by David Young, the Almanac’s first editor.”

“These rules have been altered slightly and turned into a formula that is both mathematical and astronomical,” the website says. ‘The formula takes things like sunspot activity, tidal action of the Moon, position of the planets, and a variety of other factors into consideration.”

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How Screen Time Is Ruining Today’s Kids

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The average child spends 6.5 hours each day looking at screens – cell phones, tablets, computers and televisions. Meanwhile, boys play an average of 11.3 hours of video games a week.

If you think all of this screen time is detrimental to kids, you’re right, and a new documentary – Screenagers – takes an in-depth look at how screen time impacts children and teenagers.

On this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio, we talk to Delaney Ruston, who edited, directed and co-produced Screenagers, which is receiving wide praise for tackling an issue that so often is ignored.

The film tells the stories of children and families who have experienced the negative effect of screen time – and who are doing something about it.

Delaney tells us:

  • How screen time impacts the brain in a similar way that drugs do.
  • Why children and teens are more likely to become addicted to technology than are adults.
  • How video games actually change the appearance of the brain, as seen on brain scans.
  • Why social media is having a damaging effect on girls’ body image.
  • How screen-time addiction can ruin a child’s creativity.

Finally, Delaney shares with us a path forward – a solution that she and the teens in her family tried. Don’t miss this timely show if you’re concerned about how technology is affecting today’s generation … and society’s future!

BREAKING: Solar Storm To Hit Earth Tuesday – ‘Power Grid Fluctuations’ Possible

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Solar Storm To Hit Earth Tuesday – ‘Power Grid Fluctuations’ Possible

WASHINGTON – A solar geomagnetic storm capable of producing “power grid fluctuations” is expected to hit earth Tuesday, Aug. 2 in what the government’s NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center is calling a moderate storm.

The storm was sparked by a coronal mass ejection that can be visually seen in a NASA space video.

“Power grid fluctuations can occur. High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms,” the NOAA alert read.

The primary impact is expected to be north of 55 degrees latitude, NOAA reported.

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Northern lights may be seen as low as New York, Wisconsin and Washington state, according to NOAA.

On NOAA’s 5-number scale, this one is a G2, which if it is a “long-duration storm” could “cause transformer damage.” A G5 storm, the most severe type, can cause “complete collapse or blackouts,” NOAA says.

The 1859 Carrington Event, which occurred prior to the modern-day electrical grid, was a G5. It rendered telegraph machines – the most advance electronics of the day – unworkable.

Do you believe our power grid is ready for a major solar storm? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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BREAKING: Zika Spreads To 14 In Florida; CDC Issues Travel Warning

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BREAKING: Zika Spreads To 14 In Florida; CDC Issues Travel Warning

MIAMI, Florida – The Zika virus is spreading so rapidly in one Miami neighborhood that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning pregnant women not to travel to the area.

Zika, spread by mosquitoes, can cause serious birth defects in babies and also lead, in adults, to Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), which can cause paralysis and even death.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said Monday that an additional 10 people in the area had caught it, bringing the total number to 14. Twelve of them are men. It was just last week that the CDC confirmed the first case in America that was caught in the U.S. – that is, not transmitted in another country.

The Florida Department of Health is conducting door-to-door interviews in the community – called Wynwood – and “gathering samples for testing to determine the number of people affected.”

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The CDC released a statement Monday urging pregnant women not to travel to the area. The CDC also said:

  • “Pregnant women and their partners living in or traveling to this area should follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.”
  • “Women and men who live in or traveled to this area and who have a pregnant sex partner should use condoms or other barriers to prevent infection every time they have sex or not have sex during the pregnancy.”
  • “All pregnant women in the United States should be assessed for possible Zika virus exposure during each prenatal care visit.”
  • “Pregnant women who live in or frequently travel to this area should be tested in the first and second trimester of pregnancy.”
  • “Pregnant women with possible Zika exposure and signs or symptoms of Zika should be tested for Zika.”
  • “Pregnant women who traveled to or had unprotected sex with a partner that traveled to or lives in this area should talk to their healthcare provider and should be tested for Zika.”

Further, the CDC said that women who have travelled to the area should wait at least eight weeks before trying to get pregnant.

What do you think? Is Zika’s wider spread inevitable? Share your thoughts below:

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Obama Signs Anti-GMO Labeling Bill Backed By Monsanto

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Obama Signs Anti-GMO Labeling Law Backed By Monsanto

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WASHINGTON – President Obama signed a bill into law over the weekend that supporters are calling a GMO labeling bill but that opponents charge is exactly the opposite.

In fact, the new law was supported by Monsanto. It passed the House, 306-17, and the Senate, 63-30.

The new law overturns a landmark Vermont law that would have required the text on GMO foods to say “produced with genetic engineering. While the Vermont law made it easy for consumers to understand what is in their foods, the new federal law only adds confusion, opponents say.

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The new law gives America’s largest food companies three options to label their products that contain GMO ingredients: a label on the package, a symbol on the package, or an electronic QR code that must be scanned with a smartphone to find out what is in the food. Smaller food companies would have the option of listing a website or telephone number.

“This law is a sham and a shame, a rushed backroom deal that discriminates against low-income, rural, minority and elderly populations,” said Andy Kimbrell, executive director at the Center for Food Safety. “The law also represents a major assault on the democratic decision making of several states and erases their laws with a vague multi-year bureaucratic process specifically designed to provide less transparency to consumers.”

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

The New Government Crackdown On Raw Milk

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Imagine living in a state where it’s legal to purchase raw milk – and then being prohibited by police from doing so.

It may sound crazy, but “raw milk busts” — not much different from drug busts — are becoming commonplace in Texas, as health department officials crack down on the sale of what many off-gridders and homesteaders consider the healthiest drink on the planet.

That is our topic on this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio, as Judith McGeary, an attorney and the executive director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, tells us everything we need to know about the Texas crackdown.

McGeary shares with us:

  • What, specifically, is getting people in trouble with the law.
  • How state officials are learning who is buying and selling raw milk.
  • Why she believes raw milk sales should be legal.
  • What everyone gets wrong about the safety of raw milk.

Finally, McGeary tells us the unbelievable details of how police prevented the sale of raw milk in the driveway of a private residence! If you drink raw milk, or you simply care about freedom, then this is one show you need to hear!

A Cyber Expert With 95% Accuracy Just Made An Alarming Prediction About The Power Grid

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A Cyber Expert With 95% Accuracy Just Made An Alarming Prediction About The Power Grid

Image source: NASA

The US power grid will be hacked and ISIS will breach a major corporation this year, according to a noted cybersecurity expert who claims a 95 percent accuracy level.

Each year, Pkware CEO and President V. Miller Newton makes predictions for what he sees as the most likely breaches in cybersecurity, and this year’s list included five predictions.

Already, one of his predictions has come true – a US presidential campaign being hacked.

“Political campaigns have mountains of unsecured data that is ripe for hacking,” his prediction from earlier this year read. “As a result, we believe a U.S. Presidential Campaign will experience a major cyber-attack before the general election in November.”

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That happened in June when Russian hackers broke into the network of the Democratic National Convention and stole the opposition research on Donald Trump. Now, the rest of the cyber community is looking more closely at Newton’s other predictions:

  • “ISIS Will Breach a Major Corporation: We believe that ISIS will dramatically increase their cyber capabilities to target corporate America and other vulnerable Western entities and organizations.
  • “The U.S. Electric Grid will be attacked: Attacks on the electric grid would have devastating consequences, harming businesses and consumers alike.
  • “U.S. Law Enforcement will be breached: From body cameras to police databases, cyberattacks against law enforcement could become widespread in 2016.
  • “Healthcare Devices will be compromised: With the rise of connected devices in the healthcare industry, it is inevitable that we will see a rise in cyber-attacks against the medical community.”

Forbes.com’s Ian Morris interviewed Newton and said he came away impressed.

“Newton doesn’t even come across as especially paranoid when you meet him, but his predictions and warnings left me thinking quite differently about security,” Morris wrote. “His children, he told me, don’t use cloud backups on their phones – at least not without additional security measures.”

Newton is a big fan of encryption, which was at the heart of a spat between the FBI and Apple earlier this year, when Apple refused to open a phone for the government out of privacy concerns.

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“Newton does advocate, very strongly … that everyone use encryption. From the man and woman on the street, to multi-national companies,” Morris wrote. “With everyone using their own, secure, encryption he says it would make the job of terrorists much harder. For that reason any claim by governments that people be banned from strong encryption was dismissed.”

Newton, in January, said the future was bleak for those wanting to stop all forms of cyberattack.

“With over 30,000 businesses and 200 government entities as our customers, we have a unique view into future staging grounds for attacks,” Newton said. “Based on what we’re seeing right now, 2016 will see significant and dynamic cyberattacks on American interests. The new generation of attacks aspire to cause widespread disruption and fear, across entire industries, populations and geographies, by exploiting significant gaps in data protection.”

Governments, Newton told Morris, “don’t have strong pockets of brilliant system programmers.” Those programmers, he said, prefer to work for private companies.

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

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Cleveland Top Cop: Suspend Open Carry — ‘I Don’t Care If It’s Constitutional Or Not’

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Cleveland Top Cop: Suspend Open Carry -- 'I Don’t Care If It’s Constitutional Or Not'

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CLEVELAND – The head of Cleveland’s police union is asking Ohio Governor John Kasich to suspend the state’s open carry law in light of a series of police shootings, including one Sunday that killed three officers in Louisiana.

The Republican National Convention began Monday in Cleveland with an unprecedented amount of security.

“We are sending a letter to Gov. Kasich requesting assistance from him. He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something — I don’t care if it’s constitutional or not at this point,” Stephen Loomis, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, told CNN. “They can fight about it after the RNC or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over.”

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Kasich, a Republican, responded by saying he did not have the power “to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested.”

“The bonds between our communities and police must be reset and rebuilt — as we’re doing in Ohio — so our communities and officers can both be safe. Everyone has an important role to play in that renewal,” Kasich said.

Loomis, concerned about protests outside the convention and about police becoming targets, said officers would view open carry guns with suspicion.

“We are going to be looking very, very hard at anyone who has an open carry,” he said. “An AR-15, a shotgun, multiple handguns. It’s irresponsible of those folks — especially right now — to be coming downtown with open carry ARs or anything else. I couldn’t care less if it’s legal or not. We are constitutional law enforcement, we love the Constitution, support it and defend it, but you can’t go into a crowded theater and scream fire. And that’s exactly what they’re doing by bringing those guns down there.”

What do you think should be done? Share your thoughts in the section below: 

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BREAKING: Anti-GMO Labeling Bill, Backed By Monsanto, Goes To Obama

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BREAKING: Anti-GMO Labeling Bill, Backed By Monsanto, Goes To Obama

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives sent a bill to President Obama Thursday that would overturn a landmark Vermont law requiring the labeling of GMO foods.

The bill, which was backed by Monsanto and passed the House by a vote of 306-117, would give America’s largest food companies three options to label their products that contain GMO ingredients: a label on the package, a symbol on the package, or an electronic QR code that must be scanned with a smartphone to find out what is in the food.

Opponents of the bill blasted Congress for not only overturning the Vermont law but also for passing a bill that doesn’t give consumers clear information. Smaller food companies would have the option of listing a website or telephone number.

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Vermont’s law was simple and would have required foods to say: “produced with genetic engineering.”

(Listen to Off The Grid Radio’s special episode on GMO foods here.)

“If there is an acknowledgement about the right of a consumer to have access to information, why not give them the information in plain and simple English?” Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat from Vermont, said on the House floor, according to the Burlington Free Press. “This is a win for Monsanto and big food producers.

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“It guts Vermont’s labeling law and makes a mockery out of consumers’ right to know. Absurdly, rather than requiring a simple, plain English GMO label, it allows a producer to require shoppers to call a toll free number or look up a website on their smartphones to figure out what’s in the food they’re buying. Let’s get real. This is not a compromise. It’s a thinly disguised effort to block the right of consumers to know what’s in the food they eat.”

Obama is expected to sign the bill, although the Center for Food Safety is urging consumers to call the White House (202-456-1111) and urge him to veto it. The Bill is S. 564.

“When President Obama was running for office in 2008, he promised he’d label GMOs as President,” the Center said in an email. “This is President Obama’s last chance to get GMO labeling right – by vetoing this sham labeling bill and supporting mandatory words on the package.”

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

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VIDEO: It’s Been 44 Years Since He Watered This ‘Garden In A Bottle’ — And It’s STILL Growing

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Many gardeners enjoy trying to grow plants in a bottle, but it’s likely that no one has had the success that David Latimer of the United Kingdom has.

Latimer planted spiderworts in his 10-gallon glass bottle in 1960, and he last watered it in … 1972. In the 44 years since then, the plant, sealed in the bottle, has created its own ecosystem. Latimer does place it by a window, allowing it to get light.

“It grows towards the light so it gets turned round every so often so it grows evenly,” he told the Daily Mail. “Otherwise, it’s the definition of low-maintenance. I’ve never pruned it, it just seems to have grown to the limits of the bottle.”

To learn more, watched the videos below:

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VIDEO: An Armed Robber Entered A Store. Then A Guard Dog Showed Him Who’s Boss …

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Dogs are a staple of self-defense for many homeowners in America, but rarely do we get to see them in action, chasing away the bad guys. This July 1 video, out of France, shows a 4-year-old canine named Hobby helping his owner disarm a bold criminal who suddenly became fearful when the dog appeared. The robber got away, but the owner and the dog were safe.

 

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The Police Shooting Data The Media Is Hiding From You

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The Police Shooting Data The Media Doesn’t Want You To Know

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

The picture of police shootings presented by the mainstream media, the Left and the Right is grossly inaccurate, according to an analysis of data by Off The Grid News.

In fact, few media outlets or analysts give all the numbers.

Here is the data, unfiltered. Some of it supports the conclusions of the Left, and some of it backs those on the Right.

1. All total, 990 people were shot and killed by police in 2015. Of those, 494 were white, 258 were black, 172 Hispanic, 38 were “other” and 28 unknown. (Source: Washington Post.)

2. Proportionally, blacks are 2.5 percent more likely than whites to be shot and killed by police. This is because whites make up 62 percent of the population but 49 percent of those killed by cops, while blacks comprise 13 percent of the population and 24 percent of those shot. (Source: Washington Post.)

3. In some of America’s largest cities (Houston; Austin, Texas; Dallas; Los Angeles; Orlando, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.) blacks are less likely to be shot at by cops than are whites by cops in encounters that did not result in death, although in physical encounters that did not involve a shooting, blacks are more likely to be involved. (Source: study by Harvard professor Ronald G. Fryer.)

4. In America’s 75 largest counties in 2009, blacks constituted 62 percent of all robbery defendants, 57 percent of all murder defendants and 45 percent of all assault defendants. (Source: Heather MacDonald, author of The War On Cops.) “Officer use of force will occur where the police interact most often with violent criminals, armed suspects, and those resisting arrest, and that is in black neighborhoods,” MacDonald wrote in a Hillsdale College.

5. A full 40 percent all cop-killers the past decade have been black, meaning that a police officer is 18 ½ “times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is likely to be killed by a police officer.” (Source: MacDonald.)

6. Black and Hispanic police are more likely to shoot a black person due to a “threat perception” than are white police. (That is, a belief that the suspect is armed.) (Source: Justice Department, 2015.)

7. Black officers in the New York Police Department are 3.3 times more likely to use their guns at shooting scenes than white officers. (Source: University of Pennsylvania criminologist Greg Ridgeway.)

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‘Our Nation Has Become Too Divided,’ Trump Says After Racially Motivated Shooting Leaves 5 Officers Dead

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'Our Nation Has Become Too Divided,' Trump Says After Racially Motivated Shooting Leaves 5 Officers Dead

DALLAS — Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton cancelled their Friday campaign events following a racially motivated Dallas shooting that left five officers dead and another seven injured.

The coordinated shooting Thursday night shocked the nation, and it occurred less than 48 hours after a pair of videos surfaced showing officers in Louisiana and then Minnesota shooting black men.

Three suspects in Dallas are in custody and a fourth one died in a standoff early Friday morning. Before he died, that suspect told police that he wanted to kill white people and white officers. He also said he was upset with the Black Lives Matter movement. The four suspects shot the officers sniper-style, aiming their rifles from elevated positions.

Trump called the killings “an attack on our country.”

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“It is a coordinated, premeditated assault on the men and women who keep us safe,” he said. “We must restore law and order. We must restore the confidence of our people to be safe and secure in their homes and on the street.

“The senseless, tragic deaths of two motorists in Louisiana and Minnesota reminds us how much more needs to be done. This morning I offer my thoughts and prayers for all of the victims’ families, and we pray for our brave police officers and first responders who risk their lives to protect us every single day.”

Trump added that “our nation has become too divided.”

“Too many Americans feel like they’ve lost hope. Crime is harming too many citizens. Racial tensions have gotten worse, not better. This isn’t the American Dream we all want for our children. This is a time, perhaps more than ever, for strong leadership, love and compassion. We will pull through these tragedies.”

Clinton said on Twitter “I mourn for the officers shot while doing their sacred duty to protect peaceful protesters, for their families & all who serve with them.” (A full statement by Clinton was not available.)

Said Dallas Police Chief David Brown, “All I know is that this must stop — this divisiveness between our police and our citizens. We don’t feel much support most days. Let’s not make today most days. Please, we need your support to be able to protect you from men like these, who carried out this tragic, tragic event.”

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6 Things Our Great-Grandparents Did Better Than Us

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Off-Grid Life In a $4,500 Converted School Bus

Homesteaders and off-gridders often look to the past for wisdom, studying how those who came before us – that is, our ancestors — survived tough times without modern conveniences.

Many of them had no cars, computers, electricity or even running water, and yet they seemed to thrive when life got hard.

On this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio we look to the past as we discuss six things our great-grandparents simply did better than us – six things that could make our modern-day lives better. Our guest is homesteading expert and writer Melissa K. Norris, the author of The Made From Scratch Life (Harvest House).

Melissa tells us:

  • Where people during the Great Depression shopped – and why we need to rediscover this lost art.
  • How our ancestors obtained material for clothes when they ran out of cloth.
  • What our great-grandparents ate when times got tough – a lesson that our society desperately needs to learn.
  • How the idea of “neighbor helping neighbor” kept people alive at the very moment they wanted to give up and quit.

Melissa also shares with us a few stories from her book, including the one about an heirloom seed strand that has lasted more than 100 years in her family! Don’t miss this week’s episode if you want to learn from our ancestors how to survive hard times!

 

Video: James Comey Vs. Hillary Clinton In Viral Must-Watch Montage (It’s 90 Seconds You Won’t Regret)

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FBI Director James Comey may not have recommended any charges for Hillary Clinton, but he undercut just about everything she had said about her use of a private email server. This video (below) of Comey vs. Clinton is going viral:

 

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BREAKING: FBI Recommends No Charges Against Hillary Clinton In Email Scandal

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FBI Recommends No Charges Against Hillary Clinton In Email Scandal

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FBI Director James Comey said this morning that his agency is not recommending criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for using a personal email server to store classified information, although he acknowledged Clinton was “extremely careless” in handing top-secret information.

Out of about 30,000 emails, 110 contained classified data, Comey said.

The Department of Justice will make the final decision.

“Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before deciding whether to bring charges,” Comey said.

Comey added that Clinton and her colleagues “were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

“For example, seven e-mail chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received,” he said. “These chains involved Secretary Clinton both sending e-mails about those matters and receiving e-mails from others about the same matters.”

“None of these e-mails should have been on any kind of unclassified system, but their presence is especially concerning because all of these e-mails were housed on unclassified personal servers not even supported by full-time security staff, like those found at Departments and Agencies of the U.S. Government—or even with a commercial service like Gmail,” Comey said.

This story will be updated

VIDEO: 7-Year-Old Shooting An AR-15 For The 1st Time Blows Away Liberal Media Myths

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VIDEO: 7-Year-Old Shooting An AR-15 For The 1st Time Blows Away Liberal Media Myths

YouTube screen capture.

The popular AR-15 rifle has been the subject of several recent media reports, and one reporter – Gersh Kuntzman of the New York Daily News – even reported it gave him a “temporary form of PTSD” after he fired it at a gun range.

“Squeeze lightly on the trigger and the resulting explosion of firepower is humbling and deafening (even with ear protection),” he wrote. “The recoil bruised my shoulder, which can happen if you don’t know what you’re doing. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.”

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But even though people have different reaction to different guns, Kuntzman’s description of an AR-15 rifle received pushback from gun owners. One YouTube video that went viral showed a 7-year-old girl enjoying time on the firing range with her father while shooting an AR-15 for the first time. The father does a great job teaching her about gun safety, and both of them enjoy the experience. Watch it below:

 

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CPS Seizes Newborn From Rape Victim At Hospital — ‘Treated Worse Than The Criminal’

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CPS Steals Newborn From Rape Victim At Hospital -- 'Treated Worse Than The Criminal'

Witnesses claim that police and social workers took a newborn baby away from his young mother while she was still in the hospital and breastfeeding, without giving a sufficient reason. The case is controversial because the mother was a 14-year-old rape victim who had rejected an abortion.

Even worse, the child’s purported father — the alleged rapist — was allowed to see the baby, Health Impact News and MedicalKidnap.com reported. As is standard protocol, DHR – Alabama’s version of CPS — has refused to comment on the allegations.

The case is unique because reporter Terri LaPoint of Health Impact News and Juda Myers of the pro-life group Choices4Life were at the hospital and watched the removal.

“Juda Myers and I were there to witness the trampling of every Constitutional and moral right of this young mother, and we are shocked and devastated at what we saw,” LaPoint wrote of the June 15 incident.

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The case is still under investigation. The suspected rapist, Samuel Woods II, was charged with second-degree rape on June 17, according to records from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. Woods is currently free on $30,000 bail. Woods is 19 and considered an adult; the mother is 14, and considered a juvenile under state law.

No History of Drugs or Alcohol

LaPoint claims the baby was taken away without a court order, a warrant and no sign of danger or neglect. Three Alabaster police officers were allegedly accompanying the DHR employees who took the baby, Braelon, away.

“By all accounts of the nursing and medical staff, the young mother was doing an amazing job of mothering her baby son Braelon,” LaPoint wrote. “She loves and adores her baby. Even though he was conceived in rape, it is clear that this is HER baby.”

The mother had become a hero to pro-lifers because she had refused to abort Braelon. She lives with her custodial grandparents, and she had a place set up at the home, complete with a bassinet, for the baby.

The mother has no history of drug or alcohol abuse, Health Impact News reported.

“There was no reason given” for the removal, LaPoint wrote.

Earlier during the hospital stay, everything seemed to be going well.

CPS Steals Newborn From Rape Victim At Hospital -- 'Treated Worse Than The Criminal'

The young mom, after CPS took her baby.

“We were told by nurses, the nurse-practitioner, and the hospital social worker that mom and baby could go home as soon as the visit from the social worker happened,” LaPoint wrote. “They thought they would go home by lunchtime. Juda got her flight booked to return to her home in Texas for that evening. We all thought we were just waiting for the formality, because that is what we were repeatedly told. Mom and baby were completely healthy, with no medical issues.”

But soon it became obvious that the mother and baby could not leave, and when a DHR representative arrived at the hospital, the situation became worse.

“Despite numerous attempts by the family to learn what DHR’s concerns were, all they were told was ‘policy’ and ‘protocol’ and that things needed to be ‘assessed,’” LaPoint wrote. “We asked for a copy of the protocols to which they referred, but none was given or cited.”

At one point, a nurse came into the room and asked to take the baby to the nursery to remove the alarm band and “to check vital signs.” When the family replied that all of that could be done in the room, the nurse threw up her hands in frustration and left, LaPoint reported.

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Soon thereafter, three police officers accompanied DHR representatives to take the baby.

Later, the family was told there were “safety concerns.”

“There was clearly no evidence of abuse or neglect, which is required by Alabama state law for seizure of a child,” LaPoint wrote. “For a law enforcement officer to seize a child from their parents without a warrant, a child must be in ‘imminent danger,’ meaning the child’s life is in danger and there is no time to get a warrant from a judge and conduct a proper investigation. The child was just born, and was in the hospital where he could not leave, so how could that condition possibly be met for a warrant-less seizure?”

Said Myers, “I see this over and over, where the victim is treated worse than the criminal for loving her rape-conceived baby, because society believes that these children are a reminder of the rape. But one mother said, ‘A man stole my body, and society is trying to steal my baby.’”

LaPoint said she understands why people will reply, “There must be more to this story.”

“Yes, in all of these medical kidnapping stories, there is always ‘more.’ But what we strive to do at Health Impact News is stick to the facts. The facts in this particular story are based on eyewitness accounts who were present at the hospital on the day this event occurred,” she wrote.

What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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An Asteroid The Size Of A Football Field Has Been Orbiting Earth For 50 Years — And We Just Discovered It

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An asteroid estimated to be upwards of 300 feet wide — the size of a football field — has been circling Earth for about 50 years but was only discovered this year by the Pan-STARRS 1 asteroid survey telescope, NASA announced this week. The asteroid has been dubbed 2016 HO3, and scientists say similar objects may be circling the planet without us knowing. Although such an asteroid could do major damage to Earth if it hit, NASA says it keeps a safe distance.

This NASA video gives more details

 

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WATCH: Nutty Californians Sign Petition To Add Urinals In WOMEN’S Restrooms For Transgenders

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Prankster Mark Dice is at it again, and this time he tackled the transgender issue. Dice asked people in California to sign a petition requiring that urinals be added to women’s restrooms – any most people on the street signed. Dice, in fact, said that no one argued with him. The petition, of course, is fake. Watch the incredible video below. (Warning: You may not want to watch this one around children.)

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Survival Mistakes Nearly Everyone Makes

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Off-Grid Life In a $4,500 Converted School Bus

Each week during throughout the year, you can turn on the television and watch reporters interview families who were unprepared for a natural disaster – and who lost everything.

Summer, in fact, is prime season for a host of natural disasters, whether it’s hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or simply major storms. And then there’s earthquakes … and the threat of terrorism.

Would you and your family be able to leave the house, on a moment’s notice, and survive? That’s the topic of this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio as we talk to Lisa Bedford, a survival expert who is the author of two books on the subject: Emergency Evacuations and Survival Mom.

Getting your family ready for a potential natural or man-made disaster isn’t complicated, although plenty of mistakes can be made along the way, Bedford says.

She also tells us:

  • Which survival supplies are the most important — and where families should store them.
  • Why it might be wrong, during a disaster, to first grab “what matters most.”
  • How long families should be prepared to survive following a crisis.
  • What survivalists often get wrong about “bug-out locations.”
  • Where you can live, for free or at least cheap, after a disaster.

If you want to be better prepared for a disaster, or you simply want to make sure you haven’t made any big mistakes, then this week’s show is for you!

 

 

 

 

Jaw-Dropping Video: Heroic Mom Fights Kidnapper Trying To Steal Daughter In A DOLLAR GENERAL

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Jaw-Dropping Video: Heroic Mom Fights Kidnapper Trying To Steal Daughter In A DOLLAR GENERAL

A new dramatic surveillance video out of Florida shows the necessity of always being prepared to defend yourself and your family.

On Tuesday a mother was shopping at a Dollar General in Hernando, Florida, when a man grabbed her 13-year-old daughter and began dragging her through the store, attempting to kidnap her. The mom, though, wouldn’t give up, and fought back, even laying on her daughter to make it more difficult to kidnap her. Eventually he gave up and fled to the parking lot, where an off-duty policeman, Deputy Jonathan Behnen, blocked the man’s car and arrested him.

The attempted kidnapper was 30-year-old Craig Bonello.

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The names of the mom and daughter have not been released.

“This was a chaotic scene with a lot at stake,” Commander Buddy Grant said, according to local TV station WFAA. “Thank goodness the girl’s mother jumped into action to prevent this man from kidnapping her daughter. And, thank goodness Dep. Behnen used his training and experience to stop this man from escaping. This is obviously someone who needs to be behind bars. He won’t be getting out anytime soon to do this again.”

Watch the dramatic video below:

WATCH: A Huge Meteor Exploded Over Arizona Skies Last Night, Scaring Everyone Who Saw It

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Demonstrating once again the overlooked power of space, a 10-foot meteor exploded over Arizona skies early Thursday morning, frightening everyone who saw it.

Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office told SpaceWeather.com that it was the brightest fireball detected in the 8-year history of the All Sky Fireball Network, an array of NASA cameras that monitors fireball activity. It had the kinetic energy of approximately 10 kilotons, NASA reported.

Watch the meteor explode in the videos below:

 

 

Off-Grid Life In A $4,500 Converted School Bus

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Off-Grid Life In a $4,500 Converted School Bus

The off-the-grid life can take many forms – a traditional home, an earthbag house and even an underground abode.

But what about a converted school bus? That’s the route that off-gridder Patrick Schmidt took when he bought a used school bus and then converted it into his own home on wheels – complete with a bed, a kitchen area, a restroom and solar panels.

Schmidt is this week’s guest on Off The Grid Radio, as he shares with us how he converted the bus into a home and also provides details of his journey across the country.

It’s an off-grid life like no other. Schmidt tells us:

  • Where he found his used bus, which cost $4,500.
  • Why he chose a bus instead of other forms of off-grid homes.
  • How he makes money off-grid while living on the road.
  • Which parts of America he enjoyed most on a recent 15,000-mile voyage.
  • How he repaired the bus when it died, simply by posting a picture of the engine on social media.
  • Why he chose not to put a television in the bus.

Schmidt left his job to buy the bus, and he shares with us all of the priceless benefits of escaping the rat race. If you’ve ever wanted to travel the country or live in a portable home, then you don’t want to miss this week’s show!

Troops From A Dozen Countries Practiced Military Drills In A U.S. City — And You Didn’t Even Notice

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Screen capture

Screen capture

 

Special Operations forces from the United States and more than a dozen other countries took part in a mock mission in downtown Tampa last week in an operation that drew applause from some but concern from others.

The troops from the U.S. and countries such as Ireland and Jordan “jumped out of helicopters, rappelled from buildings and expended hundreds of rounds of ammunition” as they pretended to rescue the mayor of Tampa, The Washington Post reported.

The operation involving Navy SEALs, Marine Raiders and Green Berets was part of the Special Forces Industry Conference, a trade show for the world’s commandos that drew 12,000 people.

“This type of mission would be undertaken during the cover of darkness,” an announcer told a crowd. “The sniper over watch team is equipped with high-powered rifles that can hit a target from more than a mile away.”

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The “mission” was to rescue Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn from mock pirates armed with AK-47 semiautomatic rifles.

Thousands of spectators watched the event and cheered, The Post reported, and afterward some even had their pictures taken with the few troops who were allowed to talk to the media. Some of the troops who didn’t pose for the cameras covered their faces so they would not be seen, The Post reported.

The rescuers were supported by helicopter gunships, a rubber boat equipped with a .50 caliber machine gun and a Blackhawk helicopter.

“A lot of what we do is a bit secretive, we don’t really advertise much of what we do and there is a reason for it,” US Special Forces Lt. Col. Chris Robeshaw told reporters following the Tampa event. “I think … this is maybe a stark reminder that there are young men and women out there putting themselves at risk.”

But the operation touched off an interesting debate on social media and in the comments section on The Post website.

“Why are soldiers from other countries doing this here? Answer: They’re practicing tactics to put the American population under control (martial law),” one person wrote. “Why don’t they do this in, say, Russia? Or Venezuela? Or even Germany, with its horrendous illegal invasion? It’s bad enough having U.S. soldiers practicing their martial law tactics here. But GET THOSE FOREIGN TROOPS OUT!”

Wrote another person, “No big deal; just a little martial law training plus perhaps testing the efficacy of Posse Comitatus.”

Others, though, supported the drill.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to join in the applause,” the person wrote. “These men and women keep us safe in a very dangerous world. Without a strong U.S. military force, many outside of the U.S. would not enjoy the freedoms they have today.”

What do you think – was this an innocent drill or one that never should have taken place? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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‘He’s Not A King’ – Texas Governor Will Fight Obama Transgender/School Bathroom Edict

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‘He’s Not King’ – Texas Governor Will Fight Obama Transgender Bathroom Edict

Image source: White House

 

The Obama administration issued a landmark directive Friday that will force the nation’s public schools and colleges to allow transgender students to use whichever restroom and locker room they wish – a move that critics say is an unprecedented infringement upon privacy and local control.

The move impacts all schools that receive federal funding — including kindergarten grades — and threatens them with loss of funds if they fail to act accordingly.

The letter does not have the force of law, but because of its ties to public funding, most schools likely will fall in line.

The letter from officials within the Departments of Justice and Education will thrust an issue that had been mostly confined to a few cities and states into all 50 states, and potentially could become an election issue.

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The departments say that Title IX, which was passed in 1972 and prohibits sexual discrimination, also allows boys and girls to use whichever restroom they wish.

“A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so,” the letter reads.

Additionally, a school’s obligation “to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of sex requires schools to provide transgender students equal access to educational programs and activities even in circumstances in which other students, parents, or community members raise objections or concerns,” the letter states. “As is consistently recognized in civil rights cases, the desire to accommodate others’ discomfort cannot justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of students.”

But critics in more conservative parts of the country said the Obama administration is wrong.

“I announced today that Texas is fighting this,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, wrote on Twitter. “Obama can’t rewrite the Civil Rights Act. He’s not a King.”

Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, tweeted, “Is there any issue the Obama Administration believes can be left to state and local government?”

Do you agree or disagree with the Obama administration? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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A Solar Flare Blasted Earth Sunday And Took Out Radio Signals — And It Wasn’t Even A Big One

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The April 17 solar flare, as seen in the bright light. Image source: NASA

The April 17 solar flare, as seen in the bright light. Image source: NASA

The sun provided another reminder of its intense power and great threat to the modern world this week when a massive solar flare launched from the sun and briefly caused a disruption in shortwave radio signals that are used by airplanes and government weather stations.

Incredibly, the flare came from an area of the sun where a sunspot five times the size of the Earth resides.

The April 17 solar flare was classified by NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center as an M6.7 flare, meaning it was a medium-sized flare and not as large as a larger X-class flare, which often occur during major solar storms that could cause long-term blackouts and potentially take out the power grid.

“M-class flares are a tenth the size of the most intense flares, the X-class flares,” a NASA press release stated. “The number provides more information about its strength. An M2 is twice as intense as an M1, an M3 is three times as intense, etc.”

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The sunspot was visible from Earth without magnification at the time but has since rotated away from our planet.

X-class flares almost always take place at the same time as what’s called coronal mass ejections (CME), which can do major damage to technology on Earth. In July 2012, a CME large enough to take out the power grid crossed Earth’s orbit but missed the plant by about a week. X-class flares also were emitted during that time.

“Analysts believe that a direct hit by an extreme CME such as the one that missed Earth in July 2012 could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket,” a NASA news report in July 2012 read. “Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.”

In 1859, an extreme CME did hit earth, leading to Northern Lights in Hawaii and the Caribbean, and causing major damage to the most sophisticated technology of the day, the telegraph. Some telegraph offices even caught fire. The storm was dubbed the “Carrington Event,” so named for the scientist who observed it.

“A similar storm today could have a catastrophic effect,” the NASA report said. “According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina. Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair.”

Said Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado, “In my view the July 2012 storm was in all respects at least as strong as the 1859 Carrington event. The only difference is, it missed.”

Read more about the Carrington event here

Do you think America is prepared for a major solar storm and power outage? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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7 Not-So-Obvious Gardening Mistakes

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garden mistakesGardening is one of those fun hobbies that is never perfected – and that always includes a few annual mistakes.

So before you get too involved in your garden this year, why not ensure you’re not making the most obvious blunders?

On this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio, we take a look at seven of the biggest gardening gaffes that people make every year – mistakes that are easy to overlook. Our guest is garden expert Brad Halm, co-founder of The Seattle Urban Farm Company and the co-author of High-Yield Vegetable Gardening and Food Grown Right, In Your Backyard.

Brad tells us:

  • What people often get wrong about mulch and soil.
  • Why watering is one of the most misunderstood garden chores.
  • How a vegetable’s location in the garden can impact whether it grows strong – or dies.
  • Which two mistakes gardeners often make before the season even starts.

If you have a garden and want to see it thrive this year, then this show is for you!

Apple Tells FBI: No, We Won’t Make ‘Master Key’ To Unlock iPhones

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Apple Tells FBI: No, We Won't Make 'Master Key' To Unlock iPhones

Image source: Pixabay.com

For weeks, the FBI has wanted Apple to build a backdoor into the encryption on an iPhone for use in a criminal case, and on Wednesday Apple CEO Tim Cook released the company’s official answer: no.

The controversy involves a phone owned by one of the San Bernardino shooters who was killed during that December mass shooting. The FBI wants to search the phone for information on his background and had asked Apple to help it, and on Tuesday a judge sided with the FBI.

Cook penned an open letter that was posted online Wednesday, explaining the company’s position.

“We have great respect for the professionals at the FBI, and we believe their intentions are good,” Cook wrote. “Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them. But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone.

Learn How To Become Invisible In Today’s Surveillance State!;

“Specifically,” Cook continued, “the FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. In the wrong hands, this software — which does not exist today — would have the potential to unlock any iPhone in someone’s physical possession.”

The FBI “may argue that its use” would be limited to “this case,” but “there is no way to guarantee such control,” Cook wrote.

iphone-651349_640

Image source: Pixabay.com

Smartphones, Cook pointed out, contain everything about a person’s life: photos, music, notes, emails, financial information and even health data.

“In today’s digital world, the ‘key’ to an encrypted system is a piece of information that unlocks the data, and it is only as secure as the protections around it,” Cook wrote. “Once the information is known, or a way to bypass the code is revealed, the encryption can be defeated by anyone with that knowledge.

“The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.”

The government is claiming that an old law, the All Writs Act of 1789, gives it the authority to make such demands of Apple.

“The implications of the government’s demands are chilling,” Cook wrote. “If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data,” Cook wrote. “The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.

“Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government,” Cook concluded.

Which side do you support: Apple or the FBI? Share your thoughts in the section below:

You’re Being Watched: 7 Sneaky Ways The Government Is Tracking Your Every Move. Read More Here.

Scientists Discover Solar ‘Superflare’ That Could Completely Wipe Out Power Grid

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superflare -- university of Warwick - Ronald Warmington

Image source: Univeristy of Warwick/RonaldWarmington

Americans concerned about solar flares and the domino effect a power grid-down scenario would spark have been — once again — vindicated. A new study from the University of Warwick in England revealed that not only are solar flares dangerous but that “superflares” – 1,000 times greater than traditional solar flares — are a distinct and globally destructive possibility.

The new study “supports the hypothesis that the sun is able to produce a potentially devastating superflare,” that would destroy the world’s power grid, said study co-author Anne-Marie Broomhall of the University of Warwick.

The team used data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope to study binary star KIC9655129, which is 1,500 light years from Earth. That star and its flares have similarities to our sun and its own flares. They discovered that the binary star emits superflares previously undetected – and ones that scientists say our own sun could produce.

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“If the Sun were to produce a superflare it would be disastrous for life on Earth; our GPS and radio communication systems could be severely disrupted and there could be large scale power blackouts as a result of strong electrical currents being induced in power grids,” researcher Chloë Pugh said.

A superflare would produce energy equivalent to 100 billion megaton bombs, the research showed.

It would be far more powerful than the flare that caused the 1859 Carrington Event, in which a solar storm took out the most advanced technology of the day – telegraphs – and spawned Northern Lights as far south as Cuba and Hawaii. The lights were so bright that some people woke up, thinking it was morning. If such a storm hit Earth today, it would be devastating.

Pugh explained the study by noting the “solar system is filled with plasma, or ionised gas, originating from the Sun as a result of the solar wind and other more violent solar eruptions, such as solar flares.”

“Stars very similar to the Sun have been observed to produce enormous flares, called superflares. To give us a better indication of whether the Sun could produce a catastrophic superflare, we need to determine whether the same physical processes are responsible for both stellar superflares and solar flares,” she said.

Pugh continued: “Solar flares are commonly observed to consist of a series of regularly occurring pulses. Often these pulsations resemble waves, with a wavelength that relates to various properties of the region of the Sun that is producing the flare. The study of waves such as these is referred to as coronal seismology. Occasionally solar flares contain multiple waves superimposed on top of one another, which can easily be explained by coronal seismology. We have found evidence for multiple waves, or multiple periodicities, in a stellar superflare, and the properties of these waves are consistent with those that occur in solar flares.”

The research was published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Related:

How A Simple Solar Flare Could Doom America – And The World

Do you believe America is prepared for a grid-crippling solar storm? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Does Bible Allow Concealed Carry? John Piper Says ‘No,’ Gets Pushback

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Does Bible Allow Concealed Carry? John Piper Says 'No,' Gets Pushback

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Popular author and pastor John Piper has sparked an online and social media firestorm by arguing the Bible does not permit the concealed carry of guns by Christians – and he’s receiving plenty of pushback from friends and those who normally agree with him on other issues.

The chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary and former pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Piper said he was led to address the issue after Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., during a convocation, encouraged students to arm themselves in light of terrorist threats against the United States.

“Falwell and I exchanged several emails, and he was gracious enough to talk to me on the phone so I could get as much clarity as possible,” Piper wrote on his website, DesiringGod.org. “I want it to be clear that our disagreement is between Christian brothers who are able to express appreciation for each other’s ministries person to person.”

Piper then added, “Does it accord with the New Testament to encourage the attitude that says, ‘I have the power to kill you in my pocket, so don’t mess with me’? My answer is, No.”

Piper’s essay has nine major points and is more than 3,700 words long, and begins by asserting that it is the government’s responsibility alone to avenge evil.

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“The apostle Paul called Christians not to avenge ourselves, but to leave it to the wrath of God, and instead to return good for evil,” Piper wrote. “And then he said that God gave the sword (the gun) into the hand of governmental rulers to express that wrath in the pursuit of justice in this world.”

He added:

For example, any claim that in a democracy the citizens are the government, and therefore may assume the role of the sword-bearing ruler in Romans 13, is elevating political extrapolation over biblical revelation. When Paul says, “[The ruler] does not bear the sword in vain” (Romans 13:4), he does not mean that Christians citizens should all carry swords so the enemy doesn’t get any bright ideas.

Piper also argued that the Bible promises suffering for Christians, and that concealed carry conflicts with this notion.

“The apostle Peter teaches us that Christians will often find themselves in societies where we should expect and accept unjust mistreatment without retaliation,” he wrote. “…Few messages are more needed among American Christians today than 1 Peter 4:12: ‘Do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.’”

Further, Piper wrote, Jesus “promised that violent hostility will come; and the whole tenor of his counsel was how to handle it with suffering and testimony, not with armed defense.”

Does Bible Allow Concealed Carry? John Piper Says 'No,' Gets PushbackDuring a convocation in early December, Falwell said he believed Jesus would allow concealed carry. He added that the mass shooting in California had spurred his comments.

“I just can’t help but think if … some of those 14 killed and 17 injured, if just one or two or three or four of those victims had carried permits and guns, maybe there only would have been three or four deaths,” Falwell said, according to Liberty University News Service. “I don’t know who in this country could say that it was not a good thing if 10 lives were spared. It just boggles my mind that anybody would be against what Jesus told His disciples in Luke 22:36: He told them if they had to sell their coat to buy a sword to do it because He knew danger was coming, and He wanted them to defend themselves.

“So with those comments made, I just want to say as a Christian university community, we must trust God and pray for His protection on this campus, but we must also look out for each other and report suspicious activity and be alert. We just need to be supportive of those who choose to carry concealed permits and be supportive of those who don’t.”

One popular Christian blogger, Wade Burleson, wrote in a reply on his blog that he carries a concealed weapon. Burleson is pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma.

Want To Know About The REAL Constitution And What The Founders Truly Intended?

Burleson also quoted Romans 13:4, which references government bearing “the sword.” The Bible may not require the carrying of guns but it does allow it, Burleson wrote.

He then quoted the U.S. Constitution:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

“The United States is not an aristocracy, nor a monarchy — We the People form the government,” Burleson wrote. “Our Founding Fathers made it very clear that the People of the United States were the highest authority in the newly established country. God makes nations, but the people of this nation (the United States) are the authority behind the government.”

The language of the U.S. Constitution, coupled with the biblical text, Burleson wrote, makes the concealed carry debate in America unique.

“Contrary to almost every other nation in the world, the People of the United States of America are the highest authority and have the right and duty to abolish their government and form a new government to provide ‘new Guards for the nation’s future security and to provide for the common defense.’ I arm myself as a citizen of the United States of America. I am the government,” Burleson added. “I have often worked through my mind whether or not I would give my life for the good news and gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a question that I take seriously.”

Burleson wrote: “I’m ready to die, and will never be ashamed to die for Christ. I will not deny Him in order to live.”

“However, I live in America. And as long as our founding documents remain, and the citizens of the United States are called the highest authority in the land, then I will hold a concealed weapons permit and carry a concealed weapon,” he wrote. “I will not hesitate to use it if I’m in a mall and someone opens fire on innocent bystanders, or I’m in a movie theater and someone opens up on American moms and dads and children, or I’m in any other public forum and evil doers seek to do harm on citizens of the United States.”

Related:

What The Bible Says About Gun Rights

Is Killing In Self-Defense Biblically Justified?

What do you think? Share your views in the section below: 

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Former CIA Director Unloads Chilling Warning About Obama, Power Grid

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Senate Intelligence Committee Debates Intelligence ReformA former CIA director and former executive director of the EMP Task Force are charging that the Obama administration is failing to protect America from a potential power grid-crippling solar storm, choosing instead to conduct more studies on a potential disaster that could kill 90 percent of the population.

The article by former CIA director R. James Woolsey and former EMP Task Force executive director Peter Pry begins by applauding President Obama for being the first administration “to recognize that our high-tech electronic civilization” is vulnerable to solar storms and for warning the public that a rare “once-in-a-century geomagnetic superstorm” could destroy the power grid. Similar storms hit Earth in 1859 and 1921 but haven’t hit since.

But Woolsey and Pry said that the National Space Weather Action Plan – unveiled by an Obama-approved commission in October – does nothing. Woolsey served under President Clinton.

“It is only 38 pages long, and is not really a plan,” Woolsey and Pry wrote at NationalReview.com. “It is a plan to develop a plan to protect the nation from space weather.”

“The ‘action’ in the ‘Action Plan’ is to do numerous studies before taking any real action that would protect the national power grid,” they wrote. “Federal scientific and research bureaucracies, such as NASA and NOAA, make their living by doing studies.”

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There have been, the men wrote, “enough studies”

Failing to protect the grid isn’t insignificant. The Congressional EMP Commission, on which Pry served, estimated that if the power grid was down for a full year, 90 percent of the population would die from starvation and lack of medical care, Woolsey and Pry wrote. The grid could be down for an extended period of time because many parts of the grid are custom made, taking months to manufacturer and replace.

“Seven years ago, in 2008, the Congressional EMP Commission spent nearly a decade developing a plan to protect the national electric grid and other critical infrastructure from ‘all hazards’ — including nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, solar storms, and other threats. The National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have also done excellent studies on the threat to the nation from solar storms,” Woolsey and Pry wrote.

They continued, “The White House owes the American people not more studies, but concrete actions to protect the grid — now.”

The National Space Weather Action plan, the men charged, relies “too heavily on public-private partnerships with the electric utilities.”

“Big government trusting big business to protect us against space weather is where ‘crony capitalism’ could get millions of Americans killed,” they wrote.

The two men added that they wish Obama would give the “kind of priority to space weather and grid protection that he has lavished on climate change.”

The power grid nearly was taken down in 2012, when the sun experienced an extreme solar storm and emitted a coronal mass ejection (CME) that narrowly missed Earth, NASA and other scientists reported.

“I have come away from our recent studies more convinced than ever that Earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did,” the University of Colorado’s Daniel Baker said 2013.  “If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire.”

What is your reaction to Obama’s non-action? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Are You Ready For Blackouts This Winter? Read More Here.