Democrats Say Gun Control Will Be Instituted After Trump Impeachment

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Will Democrats win the house, impeach Trump and institute broad gun control laws?

 Gun Comtrol After Trump Impeachment?

Democrats might be in a position to impeach President Trump, raise taxes, and impose gun control nationwide as early as January 2019. The party is in a good position to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November’s election.

The party needs only to flip 24 Republican-controlled seats to get a majority in the House. There will be 48 competitive House races in November.

To make matters, worse Republicans will be defending seats in 25 districts that Hillary Clinton (D-New York) carried in the 2016 Presidential election, The New York Times pointed out. Republicans might have a tough race because just 12 Democrats will be defending seats in districts that President Donald J. Trump (R-New York) won.

Republicans will have a harder time in the fall because they will have fewer incumbent representatives; who have an easier time winning elections. Around 40 Republican Representatives; including Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), are not seeking re-election, The Atlantic noted. Only 20 Democrats are leaving the House.

Only one prominent Dem, Rep. Keith Ellison (Minnesota), is not seeking reelection. Several top Republicans including US Representative Darrell Issa (California) are retiring.

California Might Give Democrats the House

The Democrats’ chances of controlling the House improved after their establishment candidates did well in California’s “jungle primary” on June 5. In the “jungle primary,” all the candidates from all the parties appear on the same ballot, – the ones with the most votes face each other in the general election.

There were so many Democrats on the ballot that some observers thought only Republicans would win. Instead, Democrats secured slots on the ballot in all 53 California districts, including seven contested districts they are likely to win in November, The Washington Post reported.

Democrats Want Trump Impeached

An impeachment attempt is likely if Democrats control the house because around 71% of Democratic voters favor impeachment, a Quinnipiac Poll found in April.

House Democrats have already tried to impeach Trump, 58 of them voted for articles of impeachment filed by U.S. Representative Al Green (D-Texas) in December 2017, The Hill reported. Those Democrats favored impeachment even though their leader Nancy Pelosi (California) opposed it.

A vote of impeachment in the house would not remove Trump because impeachment would have to be approved by the Senate. Impeachment would probably fail in the Senate because most observers think Republicans will retain control of that body.

Republicans will have an easier time in the Senate because they only need to win two races to retain control – unlike the House. Five Democrats are facing reelection in states Trump won in 2016, Bloomberg noted.

Democrats Probably Can’t Impeach Trump But They Can Cause Political Chaos

Impeachment would probably fail if Democrats controlled the Senate because it would require a vote of 67 Senators or two-thirds of that body. Democrats would have to prove Trump did something very bad to get that level of support.

Even if impeachment efforts failed they would lead to political chaos. There would be a brutal legislative battle that would make political divisions far worse. Tempers would fare on both sides of the aisle which can lead to violence. Trump’s election and inauguration triggered rioting, so impeachment would spark more riots.

Unfortunately, Democrats might risk such violence because they might figure impeachment would help them win more races in 2020 including the presidency. They would hope to inflame enough of their voters to win a majority in the Electoral College – which is how Trump won in 2016.

Other Reasons Gun Owners Should Be Scared Of a Democratic House

Beyond impeachment, there is a lot of other havoc that a Democratic House of Representatives can wreak.

The Constitution gives the House the power to write the budget, so it can raise taxes and increase spending. A Democratic House would have the power to defund President Trump’s projects like the Border Wall and to end his increases to the military budget.

The house can force the president to sign the budget by passing massive funding bills that include the entire government. Such bills can contain spending the president opposes, and essential items like pay for the armed forces. The president would have to sign the bill to keep the military operating.

Beyond the budget Democrats have plans for additional gun control; including a ban on semiautomatic weapons (assault weapons) and a national background check requirement, The Hill reported. Disturbingly, some Republicans such as U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (Florida) also favor more gun control. That means Second Amendment rights might be under threat if Democrats took the House.

Watch the House races carefully because Democratic success might lead to chaos in Washington and violence across America. The political divisions and popular anger in America might get far worse after November 6, 2018.

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Amoxicillin As “A Just In Case” Off-The-Grid Backup Med

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Amoxicillin is still a dependable antibiotic for many conditions.

Amoxicillin is one of the many different antibiotics that the market has a generous supply of. It’s part of the penicillin family along with nafcillin and ampicillin. The drugs work similarly in treating infections, but they differ in terms of the kind of bacteria each of them fights.

Amoxicillin Benefits

As mentioned earlier, amoxicillin is used in treating infections that are caused by bacteria. It works by stopping bacteria from multiplying. Most people refer to the drug as Moxatag or Amoxil. If you’re currently suffering from a bacterial infection, you would be very glad to know that there’s a generic version for sale in all local pharmacies, so you won’t have to trouble yourself with seeking a prescription from a general practitioner.

Also, amoxicillin comes in different forms, namely oral capsules, oral extended-release tablets, oral suspension, oral tablets, and chewable tablets. As for the typical duration of treatments, it varies based on the condition being treated.

What Amoxicillin Treats

The conditions that the drug is used in treating can vary. A physician may conduct a susceptibility test, which will find out the specific type of antibiotic that is better in treating the specific kind of infection you have. For the test, the doctor will collect a sample of bodily fluids like urine and saliva. The samples will then be sent to a laboratory to check the strain of bacteria that’s growing inside your body. After which, the doctor will decide on whether you will be given amoxicillin or not.

Below is a list of the types of infections that are often treated:

  • Tooth infections
  • Mild skin infections
  • Mild-moderate respiratory tract infections
  • Ulcers
  • Urinary tract infections

Some Simple Reasons Behind the Popularity of Amoxicillin

Have you ever questioned why amoxicillin is so popular among Americans? It isn’t just what we first think of when we have ear infections, but we also seek the drug to treat a strep throat and sinus infections. Well, here are the reasons why it’s a great antibiotic (but not perfect) that even children don’t find it revolting:

  1. The drug, as if magically, covers most common bacteria which cause sinus infections, strep throat, and ear infections. It’s even thought of a drug that’s capable of curing pneumonia.
  2. It’s fairly narrow-spectrum. This means it doesn’t kill off other bacteria that are essential in your body. These bacteria that amoxicillin spares keep your body healthy. By leaving out the good and helpful bacteria, you are less likely to suffer from yeast infections, diarrhea, and stomachaches. The drug, unlike other types of antibiotics, is less likely to cause the side effects mentioned.
  3. The pink kind tastes good! This is a fact as children frequently request for their “pink bubblegum medicine.” The reason why amoxicillin is preferred instead of penicillin is simply because penicillin is nauseating with its terrible taste!
  4. Lastly, the drug is surprisingly cheap. A 10-day amoxicillin course will only cost you $4 to $8 at Walmart.

Having a “just in case” supply of this antibiotic would be a great a idea. Anyone who’s had a long weekend with an earache will attest. Lots of natural herbal medicine to check out, but you shouldn’t discount amoxicillin as it has quite a few advantages.

Also, remember that liquid-based amoxicillin breaks down pretty fast, even in cold to freezing conditions which makes it fairly unstable and hard to store long-term. Potency degrades from 100% to 90% in 1 hour at thirty-two degrees. Pills can be frozen and have a much longer life. You might ask your doctor about storage. More and more doctors are understanding self-reliance and living off the grid and are open to at least the conversation.

 

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Double Your Survival Garden Production By Adding Key Nutrients

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Adding the right nutrients to your survival garden can make a big difference in your harvest.

If you’re planting a survival garden this year, this could be one of the most helpful things you do.

It’s a well-known fact that America’s soil no longer delivers the nutrients most vegetables need. You can blame modern farming, backyard overplanting, or even your local soil conditions. The fact of the matter is that each crop season offers your plants and your family less nutrition than before. On one level, you already know your soil needs a boost. You add water and then you mulch.

You put down strong doses of mass-market chemical fertilizers to bolster weak plants and skimpy blossoms. And you watch, wait, and hope your garden turns out as you planned. And, as you might expect, inherent problems with the soil mean lots of disappointment at harvest time.

Undernourished gardens spit out nutrient-poor produce. You may be counting on your backyard survival garden to give you the vegetables and greens you need to stay healthy. Nonetheless, modern plants don’t deliver. They’re low on potassium, iron, and critical phytonutrients – making us all in need of a significant vitamin boost.

A Healthy Survival Garden Might Be An Illusion

A basket full of fresh garden produce ought to be the picture of healthful living. However, that healthy garden is just an illusion for many modern green thumbs.

Over the last several decades, critical soil nutrients have been used up faster than they’ve been replenished all across the country. The soil that’s left can’t deliver the vitamin power your plants need to grow genuinely healthy vegetables and greens. You see it easily in puny plants and stunted vegetables. Nevertheless, the hard science is even worse than what you can see with your naked eye:

• Trace minerals in soil diminished by up to 76% between 1940 and 1991. Government studies compiled this data, which was published by the Journal of Complementary Medicine.
• 43 crops lost massive amounts of protein, calcium, phosphorous, iron, riboflavin and ascorbic acid between 1950 and 1999. This information is according to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
• Changing climates across the country have altered planting cycles, so much so that in 2012 the USDA had to update its spring planting guidelines. Notwithstanding, the longer growing season means your garden has to give more each year, increasing depletion rates.

As a result, over the last 100 years, the nutritional value of garden produce has plummeted by as much as 85% in some areas. Due to soil depletion, even a balanced diet full of garden foods doesn’t give you all the vitamins and nutrients you need to be healthy. You can stack your plants high with vegetables… stuff salad down your kids’ throats like crazy… but it won’t do any good. Despite what you think you are eating, you are munching away at foods that contain no real nutritional value. They may fill you up temporarily, but these poor plants no longer have the power to nourish your body. It doesn’t matter how pretty they look on your plate.

There is a clear disconnect between the nutrition you think your vegetables and greens deliver and what your body actually receives. This discrepancy contributes to a whole host of health problems. Vitamin deficiencies are serious business, causing everything from chronic fatigue and inflammation to memory loss. Mainstream doctors push “better nutrition” as a way to fix these kinds of problems. Still, how can you eat better when the food on your plate isn’t what you think? No wonder the nutraceutical market has grown to $87 billion in annual sales. Americans are trying to make up for what their food lacks by purchasing more and more!

You can live that life – choking down expensive pills day after day in an attempt to stay healthy – or you can fight back against poor soil and nutritionally worthless plants. For less than $30, you can give your whole survival garden a “vitamin shot” as it grows. This catalyst will replenish your garden soil and put nutrition back into your diet.

A Superfood For Plants

The name of this superfood “vitamin shot” is ProtoGrow, an all-natural multivitamin for plants. It works as the ultimate supplement for anyone who wants better growth, bigger produce, and plants that have the nutritional value they should.

• ProtoGrow is 100% natural and safe, made from North Atlantic fish emulsion and sea kelp – absolutely no harsh artificial chemicals included!
• Mixed with water and applied directly, ProtoGrow adds iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, boron, quercetin, lycopene, and other critical minerals and micro-nutrients back into the soil
• Plants perk up after the first application, growing noticeably more robust and colorful as they drink in a full range of essential nutrients
• A healthier diet allows each plant to reach its full potential, giving you larger sizes and higher yields

Just like you, your plants are what they eat. In nutrient-poor soil, they will struggle to thrive and grow. What does come out of your survival garden is the puny product of a long struggle to find enough to eat. When your plants do get the nutrition they need, the results will be a night-and-day difference in size and quality.

Nutrient-Rich Results That Produce Delicious Tasing Vegetables

The real beneficiary of all this nutrition isn’t your garden, of course – it’s you! When your plants are well fed, they grow up into delicious, nutrient-dense greens. These veggies will taste just as good as they look. ProtoGrow will give you a magazine spread garden regarding plant size and color. Nevertheless, the envy of your neighbors is nothing compared to the reality of having something good on your dinner table night after night.

There’s a deep satisfaction to eating food you’ve grown yourself – especially when it’s healthy food that’s packed with flavor and nutrition. ProtoGrow will have you going back to your garden for seconds and maybe even thirds. It’ll also have you looking forward to eating your quality canned goods this winter. Don’t let your garden starve – and don’t deprive yourself of wholesome, all-natural nutrition. Feed your plants the superfood they need so you and your family can get the nutrients you need from your backyard.  ProtoGrow is currently on sale at the Grow Like Crazy website.

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Summertime “Muscle Pain” Solutions For Off-The-Grid Living

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Summertime muscle pain doesn’t have to slow you down.

With summer back in full force, lots of folks are working and playing outside, using joints and muscles that “lay dormant” all winter. As a result, a lot of muscle injuries and subsequent muscle pain occur. The downside, of course, is one little muscle strain can take you out of action for the entire summer. If that happens, you can get the rocking chair ready and spend the warm weather on the sidelines, or you can look for a few off-the grid-ways to get back in the game.

Here’s one muscle pain idea: DMSO

The DMSO story isn’t well known by most Americans, including most doctors and medical professionals. Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) is a by-product of the papermaking industry. Discovered in Germany back in 1800s century, the sulfur substance became the subject of intense scientific interest because it’s ability to penetrate membranes, including skin.

Scientists found DMSO to be a remarkable “transportation device” that carries small molecules rapidly through membranes.  Since then, experts have discovered many benefits as well as risks associated with using DMSO to treat all kinds of conditions. Researchers continue to study this remarkable substance for that very reason.

The Basics:

DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) is a clear, colorless, slightly oily liquid that carries a bit of sulfur smell. As stated, it possesses the unique property of quickly moving small molecules into the skin’s fatty membranes and then into the bloodstream. Research has also proven it to be efficacious in many different health applications. DMSO by itself can reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain. It can quicken the healing process, preserve tissue, and it can be a godsend to individuals suffering from acute pain. DMSO can relieve severe pain, typically from sports injuries, in as little as 5 minutes to half an hour.

In Addition to muscle pain, here are a few other potential applications.

amyloidosis
arthritis
athletic injuries
back pain and disc problems
burns
bursitis
cancer pain
cardiovascular diseases
cerebral edema
cuts
fractures (pain)
frostbite
frozen shoulder
gouty arthritis
hemorrhoids
herpes
injuries
interstitial cystitis
joint pain
multiple sclerosis
muscle spasms, including nighttime muscle cramps
neuritis
osteoarthritis
osteomyelitis
Peyronie’s disease
phantom limb pain
phlebitis
post-operative pain
prostatitis
pruritis ani
respiratory disorders
rheumatoid arthritis
sciatica
scleroderma
sprains, strains
tendonitis
trauma injuries
urinary tract disorders
varicose veins
whiplash
It’s important to understand that DMSO is not considered a cure by our government for any of the conditions mentioned above.

Off-The-Grid Muscle Pain: Just In Case

Because we live in a fragile and vulnerable society, every forward-thinking and preparation-minded household should have a bottle of 99.9% pure DMSO on hand, just in case you can’t get medical help in a crisis. Health food retailers sell DMSO in both liquid and gel form. Some liquid DMSO preparations come pre-diluted with distilled water. It seems to work best, in most conditions, when you can find it in 70 to 90% concentrations – either 70% DMSO and 30% distilled water, or 90% DMSO and 10% distilled water. (Some healthcare experts classify burns as the only injuries which appear to respond well to a 100% solution.) Also remember, once you dilute DMSO with water, a chemical reaction takes place and the mixture gets warm. Don’t worry though, this is normal.

Spread DMSO straight onto the skin’s surface. Use your fingers or even a cotton ball or swab. Many users suggest dabbing DMSO onto a zone, but rubbing it on has been proven to enhance the absorption time by up to fifty percent. A typical application is 1-3 teaspoons. For acute injuries, apply DMSO every couple of hours for six to eight hours following the injury. For the upcoming five days or along the lines of that, use the product once every 4 to 6 hours.

Important warning. DMSO will carry almost anything into your bloodstream. This is both good and bad. It’s okay if you’re trying to get rid of muscle pain. It’s bad if you expose the DMSO treated area to poisons. Here a sad “real life” example. A farmer had hurt his back earlier in the day. He came back to the house for lunch and while he was there, he treated his injured back area with DMSO. He then took off his shirt and went back to work spraying pesticides on his farm. Long story short, he died tragically because the DMSO carried the farm pesticides into his bloodstream. So be warned… this is powerful stuff.

Many health stores now carry DMSO labeled as “laboratory grade” 99.9% pure. Distributors and manufacturers generally mark DMSO for use as a solvent to avoid FDA issues.

As we look at alternative pain solutions, especially in case of a crisis, it’s important to consider many off-the-grid solutions and using all possible tools at our disposale.

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New Gun Control Scheme Proposed By Rubio, Graham And Feinstein

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Ron Paul sees danger in new gun control scheme.

A source inside the US Senate has reported that Republicans and Democrats are teaming up and using the recent tragedy in Texas as the impetus to push through a massive federal gun control bill.

In an email Tuesday night, former Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul released an ominous statement claiming that a source they have in the Senate revealed Democrats are teaming up with Republicans to push through a massive gun control bill.

According to their source, as Paul explained, “Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are teaming up with Diann (D-CA) to ram through one of the worst nationwide gun confiscation schemes ever devised.”

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Federal Government Lost Track of 1,475 Immigrant Children

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Immigrant Children

Immigrant children continue to be caught in the middle of the crisis.

The federal government may well be “in over its head” when it comes to actually keeping track of immigrants. A United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) official recently admitted his agency lost track of 1,475 immigrant children. Many of the immigrant children had been taken from their parents at the border.

Immigrant Children Placed With Sponsors 
Even though HHS itself placed the children with sponsors, the department did not know where they were, Steven Wagner admitted at a U.S. Senate hearing in April. Children from Central America were among 7,635 kids that illegally crossed the U.S. Mexico border, The Washington Post reported. Wagner is just one HHS official who was supposed to be keeping track of the kids.
The HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement was unable to find around one out of seven of the children it had placed with sponsors. The sponsors are all foster families chosen by the HHS.

The Worst Foster Parents in the World
“You are the worst foster parents in the world,” U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota) said of HHS. “You don’t even know where they are. We are failing. I don’t think there is any doubt about it. And when we fail kids that makes me angry.”But sadly, the kids the government does keep track of might be in worse trouble than those it cannot find.

The Associated Press (AP) has reported that at least two dozen immigrant children had either been sexually assaulted by their HHS chosen sponsors or forced into what amounts to be heavy child labor,  The AP also found that the HHS was not performing background checks on many of the sponsors and not visiting their homes to check on the kids once the Feds placed the kids.

Gang Violence Creating Some Of The Chaos 
Large numbers of children and teenagers from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras have been crossing into the US because of gang violence in those countries. Many of the children are traveling alone, trying to reach their parents who are working illegally in the United States.

The Federal Government Cannot Keep Track of Immigrants
Skeptics wonder how the federal government is supposed to keep track of adult immigrants.  If the Feds cannot even locate the “processed” immigrant children it has already placed in foster homes. The current findings suggest that keeping our borders genuinely secure may be a much bigger task than previously thought.

A government that cannot keep track of immigrant children already processed and “in the books’ is quite obviously going to struggle with keeping track of adult illegal immigrants, terrorists, or even visitors infected with dangerous and contagious diseases.

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Geothermal Power Plant In Hawaii Nearing Dangerous Meltdown?

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Lava continues to flow towards Hawaii’s PGV geothermal power plant.

If lava reaches Hawaii’s PGV geothermal power plant, it could release of deadly hydrogen sulfide gas. That’s the latest potential danger from the Kilauea volcanic eruption in Hawaii. Residents now fear that lava flow will trigger a meltdown at the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) power plant that would release even more toxic gases into the air.

Nobody knows what will happen if lava engulfs the PGV because magma has never engulfed a geothermal power plant, Reuters reported. A geothermal power plant uses steam and gas heated by lava deep in the earth to run turbines that make electricity.
The PGV power plant produces 25% of the power used on Hawaii’s “Big Island.” The plant, considered a source of clean energy because geothermal plants burn no fossil fuels, and produce little pollution under normal circumstances.

The Potential Danger from Geothermal Energy

The fear is that the lava would release chemicals used to make electricity at the plant. The PGV has been shut down and authorities moved an estimated 60,000 gallons of flammable liquids away from the facility. They also shut down wells that extract steam and gas used to run the turbines.
Another potential danger is that lava would open the wells and release clouds of toxic gases from them. The wells are typically sealed to prevent the gas from entering the atmosphere.
The most significant threat is hydrogen sulfide, a highly toxic and flammable gas that is colorless. Hydrogen sulfide normally has a rotten egg smell which people might not detect when the air is full of smoke. That means people can breathe hydrogen sulfide in without realizing they have been exposed.

The greatest danger from hydrogen sulfide is pulmonary edema; the accumulation of fluid in the lungs, which causes a person to stop breathing. People have died of pulmonary edema after just a few minutes of exposure to hydrogen sulfide gas. Many victims become unconscious before the gas kills them. Long-term dangers that survivors of pulmonary edema face include brain damage.
Hydrogen sulfide can also cause burns to the skin that are similar to frostbite. Persons exposed to hydrogen sulfide can also suffer from nausea, headaches, severe eye burns, and delirium. Children are more vulnerable to hydrogen sulfide because it is a heavy gas that stays close to the ground.

Geothermal Danger Extends Far Beyond Hawaii

The danger from geothermal energy extends far beyond Hawaii. The world’s largest collection of Geothermal power plants located at the Geysers in California’s Wine Country.
The Geysers field contains 350 steam production wells and 22 power plants in Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino counties. Disturbingly, the Geysers which located just north of the heavily-populated San Francisco Bay Area and just west of Sacramento. Problems at the Geysers might lead to significant blackouts because the field supplies around 20% of the green energy used in California.

Another danger from geothermal power is earthquakes because many geothermal power plants inject wastewater into hot rock deep below to produce steam to run turbines. A geothermal project in Switzerland created Earthquakes by injecting water into the Earth, Zero Hedge reported. A theoretical threat is that quakes caused by injection would cause the release of deadly gases at a geothermal power plant.
The dangers from geothermal power might be much greater than its advocates admit.

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Celebrate Memorial Day By Planting An Heirloom Seed “Victory Garden”

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The American Victory Garden provided food for many people during hard times.

Planting heirloom seeds in your vegetable or “victory garden” could be one of the single best ways to celebrate Memorial Day.

Heirloom Seeds are natural seeds harvested from plants descended from those grown by our Colonial and Pioneer ancestors. The difference between Heirloom Seeds and most commercial seeds is genetic engineering.

Most of the seeds sold in big box stores are genetically modified not to pollinate. That means plants grown from the seeds will not produce new generations of seeds. Such seeds are a poor choice for subsistence or survival agriculture.

Heirloom Seeds are natural and capable of pollination. That means they will produce new seeds and ensure future generations of crops.
It also means that you can garden like the pioneers, who did not buy new seeds each year from stores. The pioneers harvested the seeds they used from the crops they grew the previous year. They created sustainable, environmentally-friendly agriculture, and a food source they controlled.

Plant a Victory Garden!

An excellent way to celebrate Memorial Day is to plant a Victory Garden. During World War Two the U.S. government encouraged all Americans to grow their own vegetables to free up resources for military production.

An estimated 20 million Americans planted Victory Gardens in their backyards, on vacant lots in the city, and on rooftops. Cooperatives and neighborhood groups operated many of those gardens.

The program worked too as it produced between nine and 10 million tons of food. That food helped America field up to 12 million fighting men and women in the armed forces.

Planting a Victory Garden is a great way to honor the memory of both the GIs of the Greatest Generation and the people who supported them on the home front. Gardening also passes on the values of those men and women; including their patriotism, sense of duty, strength of character, and spirit of self-sufficiency. A Victory Garden is a great way to teach some of those values to your kids and grandkids.

The History of The Victory Garden

Victory Gardens began in Canada during World War as “War Gardens.” In 1917 the Ministry of Agriculture launched a campaign called “A Vegetable Garden for Every Home.”

Such a campaign was necessary because food production fell because large numbers of men; who did the farm labor, were off fighting in the trenches. To increase food production, the Ministry of Agriculture encouraged every Canadian family to grow a good, can food, and keep chickens to produce eggs.

When the United States entered World War I, a National War Garden Commission was established to encourage Americans to emulate the Canadian effort. The commission organized a “United States School Garden Army” to encourage children to garden.

By the end of the war, American families had produced $1.2 billion worth of food in five million War Gardens. The phrase Victory Garden probably originated with a World War I propaganda poster that encouraged Americans to “Sow the Seeds of Victory.”

Digging for Victory

During World War II the British and Australian governments encouraged citizens to start “Digging for Victory” or “Dig On for Victory.”

In the United Kingdom, sports fields and golf courses were requisitioned and turned into Victory Gardens. Sections of the lawn in London’s famous Hyde Park were transformed into Victory Gardens. Even the Royal Family planted Victory Gardens at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. The British government also established County Herb Committees to gather medicinal herbs for use in the war effort.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt planted the most famous Victory Garden in the United States on the White House Lawn. By 1944 Victory Gardens produced between 8.2 million and 9.1 million tons of food, an amount equal to that produced by commercial agriculture.

Contrary to popular belief most American Victory Gardeners in World War II were not motivated by patriotism. A 1942 poll found that 54% of the people said they planted Victory Gardens for economic reasons to get cheaper food. Only 20% pointed to patriotism as their motivation for gardening.

Today’s Americans should follow the Greatest Generation’s lead and plant their own Victory Gardens with high germination heirloom seeds. That way you can save money, help the environment, eat healthier, get some exercise, and pass on American Values at the same time.

Using Heirloom Seeds will also make your Victory Garden more economical and sustainable because you will not need to buy new seeds in the future. Planting a Victory Garden with Heirloom Seeds is the perfect way to celebrate Memorial Day.

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The First Memorial Day And Some Other Facts You May Have Missed

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The first Memorial Day was celebrated celebrated by former slaves and Union troops.

The first Memorial Day isn’t something Americans talk about much. If we knew our history, we’d all know that Memorial Day is far more than an opportunity to fire up the barbecue or get to the lake for the first time.
The holiday is an extraordinary celebration of America’s values, history, and traditions.

First Memorial Day Fun Facts

Heres a few surprising things you probably didn’t know about Memorial Day:

1. It commemorates the end of the Civil War. Freed slaves and Union troops held the earliest Memorial Day celebrations in May 1865 – just a few weeks after the fighting ended.

2. Memorial Day was first celebrated on May 1 or May Day. The first recorded Memorial Day observance occurred on May 1, 1865, when U.S. Troops and freed slaves celebrated in Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston was the city where the Civil War started with the bombardment of Fort Sumter in 1861.

3. Memorial Day is also about prisoners of war (POWs). The first Memorial Day celebration in Charleston on May 1, 1865, was held to consecrate the graves of 250 Union prisoners who died while in prison. The prisoners were called the “Martyrs of the Race Course” because the camp where the prisoners were kept was constructed at the site of a former horserace track.

4. Memorial Day is a Christian holiday. The original Memorial Day in 1865 was marked by the singing of hymns, and readings from the Bible.

5. Memorial Day has been celebrated historically May 30, not the last Monday in May.

6. Memorial Day became an official holiday in 1868. Union war hero General John A. Logan organized the first Memorial Day and designated May 30, 1868, as the first official celebration.

7. Logan chose the date because no Civil War battles were fought on the day. He was hoping to promote peace by not reviving wartime hatreds.

8. General Logan was the head of the first modern veterans’ organization; the Grand Army of the Republic, which represented Union veterans. Logan Street in Denver and Logan Circle in Washington D.C. have been named after the General.

9. Memorial Day was first celebrated by African Americans. Most of the participants in the first Memorial Day celebration in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1865 were freed slaves. They wanted to thank the Union soldiers who had liberated them as well as celebrate their freedom.

10. Memorial Day is a celebration of freedom. The first Memorial Day was organized by former slaves who also wanted to give thanks to God and to the fallen Union soldiers for their freedom.

11. Memorial Day was originally called “Declaration Day” by General Logan. The term Memorial Day was adopted by ex-Confederates in the South who did not want to celebrate a holiday they felt was confined to the Union.

12. Memorial Day did not become a federal holiday until 1971. An act of Congress in that year created the modern Memorial Day by designating the last Monday in May as a national holiday.

13. Southerners did not start celebrating Memorial Day until 1886 when the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Georgia, held a service to commemorate the Confederate War Dead.

14. Some states hold separate “Memorial Days,” nine Southern States still recognize Confederate Memorial Day; which falls either on the birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, or the day General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died.

15. Ironically enough, Stonewall Jackson was shot by his own Confederate troops. On May 2, 1863, Confederate infantry mistook Jackson and his staff for Union Calvary and opened fire on them after the battle of Chancellorsville. Jackson was hit and died eight days later from the wounds and other complications.

16. Even though the first celebration was held in 1865 in Charleston, South Carolina. Waterloo, New York, was recognized as the official birthplace of Memorial Day by federal legislation in 1966. Waterloo was one of the first towns to close businesses to honor the war dead in 1866.

17. Over 20 towns around the United States claim to be the “birthplace of Memorial Day.” Communities that claim to have held the first Memorial Day festivities include; Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, Columbus, Georgia, Columbus, Mississippi, and Carbondale Illinois.

18. Americans are supposed to pause for a “National Moment of Remembrance” at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day. Congress passed a resolution encouraging such a moment in 2000.

19. The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day (May 30) 1922.

If you want to celebrate the real Memorial Day, it will take place on Wednesday, May 30, 2018. Not Monday as most people believe.

The post The First Memorial Day And Some Other Facts You May Have Missed appeared first on Off The Grid News.

Summer Colds Can Be Relentless – 14 Ways To Feel Better

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Summer colds are often harder to get over.

Sneezes, coughs, and handshakes send germs jumping from person to person. While a cold may not be life-threatening, it’s one of the leading reasons people call in sick for work. Unlike bacterial infections that go away when you take antibiotics, colds are more challenging to treat since viruses cause them. There are no drugs to cure colds, though they usually go away on their own in about a week to ten days. Nevertheless, summer colds possess some characteristics that significantly differ from their more famous winter cousins.

Typically speaking, summer colds often have a longer duration than their winter counterparts. Additionally, summer colds are more capable of flaring up again instead of being finished in one miserable cycle. Furthermore, enterovirus is a notable virus that exists only in the summertime version of the cold. This unpleasant bug brings with it a unique set of ailments not found in the winter cold. These maladies include diarrhea, sore throats, and rashes, as well as other afflictions.

There are a bunch of steps that you can take to help prevent summer colds or to help your body recover faster if you catch one.

Be aware of increased interaction with others. It’s not hard to realize that the change in season brings about a change in the number of people that are “out and about.” People are far more likely to be socializing, working outdoors, and going on trips with one another during the summer months. Because of this, there’s obviously a much greater risk of spreading germs from person to person due to constant physical contact. With this fact in mind, always take great care to avoid coming into close contact with people that are sick. Along with this, make sure that you show an equal courtesy to others when you get the same bug yourself so that you don’t spread the virus around.

Chill out. People under stress tend to be more vulnerable to catching a cold. Try to relax!

Ventilate your house. The cold virus prefers stagnant, cool air. Keep your air conditioning going to circulate air around in your house or consider a humidifier. This step is vital since germs don’t like moist air.

Keep it clean. Scrub all surfaces in your house, especially doorknobs, staircase railings, and counters. Use hot water and soap to get rid of germs. You might even consider using a solution of water with a little bleach on counters.

Breathe hot, moist air. A vaporizer or similar device for inhaling hot, humid air may help you to breathe more comfortably if your chest is tight. Hot showers can also help your airways open.

Don’t smoke. Smoking can lower your body’s resistance to infection. It can also irritate your airways and make your cold more likely to turn into something serious, like bronchitis.

Use disposable tissues instead of handkerchiefs. Cold germs can live for hours in your handkerchief.

Wash your hands. You touch hundreds of surfaces each day, and each one harbors germs. If you are an ordinary individual, you feel your mouth or nose many times each day, creating an interstate highway for germs right into your body. Washing your hands puts a roadblock in the way of those germs. Washing with regular soap and water is just as productive as antibacterial soaps.

Get plenty of rest. Stay at home and rest. Your body will appreciate it, and your family and friends will thank you for not spreading your cold.

Take advantage of medicine.  You won’t find a cure, but you will find a variety of medications that can help ease the symptoms of a cold. Many over-the-counter drugs have side effects such as drowsiness. Always read the label before taking any medicine.

Wash out your nostrils. Utilize nasal irrigation, a therapy using water and salt, to flush out your nasal passages. This process helps prevent sinuses from becoming infected. The Neti pot is gaining popularity, and you can find it at your local pharmacy.

Gargle with warm, salty water. Soothe your sore throat with this time-tested remedy.

Drink lots of fluids. A good guideline involves drinking eight to ten glasses of liquid each day. Hot drinks are better than cold. Use the color of your urine as an indicator. If your urine is dark yellow, you need to drink more. If you have clear urine, then you are drinking in sufficient quantities. It’s crucial to drink so your body has the strength to fight the illness

Be careful with outdoor exercise. When the weather gets nicer, it’s only a natural tendency to feel the urge to get outside and engage in more physical activity. Nonetheless, it’s important to realize that enterovirus is most likely to be a strong presence during times of intense exercise. Also, it’s worth noting that the likelihood of being vulnerable to this bug increases if you’ve stayed put all winter and are just warming back up into your summer workout routine.

 

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Miracle Drugs No Match For New Super-Gonorrhea

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super gonorrhea

Medical science is struggling to stay ahead of a dangerously adaptive viruses and bacteria.

With super-gonorrhea set to arrive on American soil, it might be a little early to say “so long” to any of the age-old sexually transmitted diseases. The fact is, air travel and the new strains of super gonorrhea are a great reminder of the problem we face.

It’s convenient to think that we can live recklessly and science will always pick up the tab. Take a pill or get a shot, and they go away, right? Maybe. The miracle drugs used to treat such diseases are starting to fail. What’s worse is that we’ve now created “super strains” of many dangerous viruses and bacteria which are getting harder and harder to deal with.

Super-Gonorrhea Increasingly Resistant To Miracle Drugs 

The fact is, gonorrhea is already very common in America, with over 700,000 new infections annually. If untreated in women, it may result in pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Men can be left sterile. Gonorrhea can also spread to the bloodstream and if that happens, it can be deadly.

Why super-gonorrhea?  Bacteria are constantly adapting to new conditions they face. Bacteria are usually killed outright by antibiotics, but many times they create new defence mechanisms and actually gain strength if a dose that is too small is used.

There was a time when penicillin, the first wonder drug, would treat gonorrhea effectively. Sometimes however, an insufficient dose was used. Brothels in Vietnam during the war illustrate the dilemma.  Men treated with insufficient penicillin to kill the bacteria, became hosts for the new more powerful stains. Super strains then grew and spread literally across the planet.

Wrong Use Of Drugs Just Part Of The Problem

In many regions of the world, antibiotics are available without a prescription. Often they’re misused, providing these bugs more chances changes to mutate.

Sadly, gonorrhea isn’t the only biological enemy gaining ground on our culture. Even simple E. coli is becoming more resistant to treatment. Tuberculosis is also growing tougher and tougher for doctors to deal with.

Air travel has also made many of the new and dangerous strains of gonorrhea a problem for American doctors.

Of all of the obstacles we face in the battle against antibiotic resistance, the biggest is our lack of moral integrity. For too long we’ve believed that miracle drugs can replace morality. All part of the “no consequences” to my behavior mind-set.

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Summer Solution For Stings and Bites

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solutions for stings and bites

Wasp stings are acidic which means an alkaline pain solution.

Insect bites can be painful. So can stings from many poisonous plants. Now that its summer, its important to have some alternative solutions for stings and bites.

Some of this is because their venom or juice is either highly acidic or highly alkaline. For example, the sting from stinging nettle, ants, and bees is extremely acidic.

So, it makes good sense that you can relieve the pain by quickly applying something alkaline to the sting site. Some commonly available alkaline compounds are bicarbonate of soda (more widely known as baking soda) and soap.

Wasp stings are alkaline, so you’ll need something acidic to counteract their pain. Vinegar is an excellent and safe acid to use as an off-the-grid solutions for stings and bites. If the sting happens when you’re outside enjoying a picnic, head for the pickle juice.

Scorpion stings vary greatly in their seriousness, even within the United States. Some small scorpions in the Southeast U.S. have stings that are only about as serious and painful as a wasp sting, while some of the larger scorpions in Arizona and down into Mexico can be lethal if they sting you. If you are stung by one of the dangerous variety, the only cure I’m aware of is the anti-venom available from hospitals – so that’s where you should head as fast as possible, especially if the person stung is a child or senior citizen. If the scorpion is one of the nuisance variety, you can experiment a bit if you don’t show any signs of being allergic to the venom. If you do show symptoms of allergy, again, head to the hospital. Since scorpion venom is acidic, you’ll need the alkaline solutions in your”just in case” bag.

One curious thing about scorpion venom.  It has a very high acid content which means lots of protons which connect to neurons which then dramtically amp up the intensity of the messages sent to the brain.  So the acid content gives the venom a kind of “push” by forcing ion channels to open wide and “communicate” in a very special way.  Basically, the acid kick makes it hurt like hell.

When I’m uncertain, I mix an acid (vinegar) with something alkaline (baking soda) and hope for the best. Alternatively, you could experiment with small amounts of alkaline and acidic substances in isolation to see which makes the pain worse and which makes it better. Then apply a considerable amount of the one that works.

For simple bites, you can use several things. Fresh lime or lemon juice can be rubbed on the bite. So can raw garlic or even a salt type paste.

What seems to work very well, if done immediately after the bite or sting, is to soak a small cotton pack with apple cider vinegar and on top of that, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda. The mixture of this acid and base will cause a bubbling reaction immediately on the cotton pad. Take the pad and place it directly over the bite with the baking soda and vinegar against the skin for several minutes.

As I mentioned, this will usually work well for minor stings and bites. However, if you are prone to allergic reactions from insect stings or bites and experience abnormal swelling or difficulty in breathing, it’s best to get medical help as soon as possible.

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New Zealand Pig Farmer In Deep

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New Zealand farmer Robert Dawson claims independent water samples show he’s innocent.

New Zealand pig farmer Robert Dawson has been not only fined, but cut off from a supply of grocery store scraps he was feeding his beloved but muddy friends.

The Taranaki Regional Council of New Zealand recently sent investigators to Dawson’s farm. Regional council officers “revealed a significant amount of decayed vegetable waste” discharging from three low lying areas draining to the river. This, despite previous abatement notices issued to the farmer to comply with new regulations which require reduced runoff, reports said.

In a report to the regional committee, resource management manager Fred McLay said the latest complaint against the farmer was that his pig slop seeped from a poorly fenced paddock, where the pigs were kept.

Dawson, who has a proud history of hog farming, has been accused of animal neglect and non-compliance. He was fined $ 6000 for animal neglect in 2016 when his herd was up to twelve pigs. (He now has six pigs) He had been fined for complaints of a strong odor coming from his farm.

His wife, Liz Dawson, said the allegations were false and highly sensationalized. The couple refused to discuss the incident.

Pigs Allowed To Wallow In Mud

Dawson stated that he was ‘slowing down” on his piggery after neighbors continued to complain about odor and runoff. Neighbour Murray Sandford said pigs were neglected and “wallowed” in the mud at the property. “The place is tidier than it was, it is improving but there is still a powerful smell and it’s still an eyesore,” other neighbors said.

The family pig farm sits next to the Waiwhakaiho River and in February the Dawsons were fined $750 by the council after heavy rains forced water from his piggery into the Waiwhakaiho River.

Dawson was also fined $300 in March for burning rubbish as he attempted to clean up his farm. Some neighbors complained about smoke drifting across their properties.

New Charges

According to the regional council, Dawson has also been retrieving out-dated food and scraps from local grocery stores to feed his six pigs. Three area supermarkets were ordered to stop supplying food scraps to Dawson or face fines and possible imprisonment. The message is clear: help this New Zealand Pig Farmer and we’ll drax you up.

Unidentified sources claim Dawson was illegally collecting scraps like bread, vegetables and fruit from the stores and then feeding them to his pigs, often at night so he wouldn’t get caught.

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The Ultimate Shotgun

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Well folks, here it is. The absolute peak of shotgun technology. However, this technology has barely changed since its inception in 1950. For those who have never had the opportunity to use one, the ultimate shotgun has been sitting right in front of our eyes for six decades, and over ten million have been sold. I firmly believe that the Remington Model 870 is the perfect shotgun. It’s the kind of weapon that you can be confident you will be passing on to your children one day, assuming you treat your gun correctly.

The Remington Model 870 is the best shotgun due to the quality, strength, and ideal shooting ability. There’s a reason that this firearm has been so incredibly popular thanks to these features, among many others.

As a whole, the Remington Model 870 is one of the highest quality shotguns on the market. This quality comes mostly from the receiver and the slide. The receiver starts as a solid billet of steel and is eventually machined into a receiver. This process of machining the receiver is tried and true and is proven to be a powerful receiver. The slide has two action bars that assure that the spent shell is engaged and the next shell is chambered every time. The pump action is exceptionally smooth, over and over again. Regarding quality and reliability, it will not get better than the Remington Model 870.

The strength of the shotgun comes mainly from the billet receiver, as was previously talked about. It’s also worth noting that the stocks of the guns are equally tough and are resistant to the elements. There are thousands of Model 870s that are still around from past decades.

The Model 870 is available in quite a few different variants. We will touch on each of them briefly, and talk about what each one might be good for.

  • Wingmaster. The classic. The Model 870 Wingmaster is the nicest looking of the 870s. It has a satin-finished pump and stock, and a polished receiver and barrel. It is truly a sight to behold. Available in .410 bore, 12 gauge, 20 gauge, and 28 gauge. It is the most expensive of the group, and it would look as good above your fireplace as it would bird hunting. However, if you are only looking for a hunting weapon, there are better options available.
  • Express. The same strength and quality of the classic Wingmaster, at a much more affordable cost. The hardwood stock and pump don’t have a shiny finish, and the metals are also matte black. It is offered in 12 gauge or 20 gauge. The Model 870 Express is broken down into even more variants. There are multiple tactical versions with a black synthetic stock and pump replacing the wood. One tactical version has a seven shell capacity, and one synthetic tactical version has a rifled barrel to shoot slugs. There are a few different ones that are treated with a camo finish. The Model 870 Express Super Magnum can handle all sizes of 12 gauge shells.
  • Marine Magnum. The Marine Magnum variant has nickel plating covering all metal surfaces, which makes it resistant to corrosion. It is only available in 12 gauge.

All in all, the Remington Model 870 is an extremely high-strength, durable, and reliable shotgun. This same technology has been around since its creating in 1950 and has allowed the shotgun to retain its popularity since then, as over ten million Model 870s have been sold. While there are fancier shotguns available, you would be hard-pressed to find a better mix of affordability and durability than the Model 870.

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“Backing Up” Your Off-The-Grid Finances

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History shows financial meltdowns surprise most people. Do you have an off-the-grid backup plan in place, just in case?

Our Financial System is Wobbling 

One of the most critical systems that almost all of us rely upon is among the most complex and unreliable – the financial system.

News reports indicate that the financial networks are far more prone to breakdowns and malfunctions that most of us believe. To make matters worse some of the big banks seem to be preparing for the total failure or the current financial system.

Some examples of the unreliability of financial technology include:

  • The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) had to halt trading in two of the most significantstocks around; Alphabet AKA Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), because of an unspecified malfunction on April 25, 2018. The cause of the failure was called a “price-scale code issue,” that was not defined. The Financial Post speculated it might have occurred because merely because Amazon and Google’s stock prices were over $1,000.The truth is, our banking system is far more vulnerable than the average American thinks.

The world’s largest banks know financial technology is unreliable, sotheir backupsto the present financialnetwork use the blockchain technology. The blockchain is a highly encrypted network that is more far more secure than traditional internet connections.

  • A consortium of giant banks that includes BNY Mellon, Credit Suisse, UBS, HSBC, the Deutsche Bank, and Banco Santander are developing Utility Settlement Coin(USC), a cryptocurrency. The USC would enable banks to keep moving money around through the blockchain; an alternative network, if the regular banking system goes down.
  • America’s largest bank JPMorgan Chase is testing its blockchain solution for moving money called Quorum. American Banker reported that Chase and Goldman Sachs tested a $150 million transaction through Quorum on April 21. The Royal Bank of Canada and the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group are also participating in Quorum. Like USC, Quorum can is seen as an alternative financial network.
  • However, it is not only commercial banks. Britain’s central bank; the Bank of England, is researching the potential of sending large amounts of money through the blockchain, Digital Trends reported. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC), China’s central bank has its blockchain research institute.

Everyone and anyone that relies on the current financial system needs to ask what do the bankers know that we do not? Why are big banks spending so much money researching alternatives to present day monetary technology?

It sounds as if bankers and financiers are quietly building an off-the-grid backup system of their own… just in case. Don’t miss this.

“Backing Up” Your Own Financial Situation

Having several back-ups for your finances and technology is always a good idea. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Put part of your money in precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum. They are not perfect, butprecious metals can hold value better than some traditional investments.
  • Have some hard money in the form of paper cash or gold or silver coins stashed away where you can easily access it. Keep the stash well-hidden and never talk about it. The bad guys have ears.
  • Learn how to barter. It is a vital skill during cash shortages, hyperinflation, and other financial crises.
  • Have items you can swap; such as canned foods, fuel, ammunition, eggs, cigarettes, tobacco, liquor, wine, beer, candy, condoms, sugar, first-aid supplies, building supplies, tires, car parts, firewood, etc., available in case of financial crisis.
  • Have skills that you can barter such as carpentry, auto repair, plumbing, bicycle repair, cooking, hairstyling, gun repair, blacksmithing, computer repair, baking, hunting, gardening, first aid, etc. Remember having skills in areas that people need will give you endless opportunities.
  • Research alternative financial technologies such as cryptocurrencies, blockchain, etc. These solutions are getting easier to use all the time, and news reports indicate that ordinary people are using cryptocurrencyto survive the hyperinflation in Venezuela. Unlike gold or paper cash, cryptocurrency can be used to buy stuff online. (liquidity is extremely important)
  • Backup all financial data offline on paper or flash drives and in a secure cloud storage solution. Having two or three or more backups is the best way to preserve data.
  • Have a backup power system and a satellite internet connection so you can stay online and connected to the financial system – if the electric grid goes down.

The most important rule of financial survival is the most basic. Do not keep all your eggs in one basket. Having several backup systems for your finances might be the key to your family’s survival.

 

Preparing Your Home For The 2018 Wildfires

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A dry 2018 could put many homes in the path of dangreous wildfires.

Everybody needs to prepare for wildfires because the danger from such destructive blazes is growing dramatically. The wildfire danger has increased by 49% in the last ten years, Wildfire Today reported.

2017 was the second worst year for wildfires in US history, Wildfire Today said. Fires destroyed 9.781 million acres in the United States last year – nearly twice the area burned in 2016.

2018 might be equally as bad or worse than 2017, news stories indicate. One state, Colorado, experienced two big fires during the week of April 16.

The 117 Fire south of Colorado Springs destroyed 23 homes and consumed 40,800 acres on April 17, The Denver Post reported. Another blaze closed a major transportation artery, Interstate 70, near Fruita in Western Colorado on April 19, Fox 31 News disclosed.

How To Protect Your Property From Wild Fires

The bad news is that there is no way to protect property from wildfires completely. Despite this reality, there are many steps you can take to make your home, farm, cabin, or business more fire-resistant.

Steps to make your property fire-resistant include:

  • Create a firebreak around buildings, vehicles, propane tanks, woodpiles, and anything else you want to protect.

The firebreak should cover what U.S. Forest Service fire scientist Jack Cohen called the ignition zone, which is the distance that flames can jump. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has recommended this course of action.

  • The NFPA recommends the following firebreaks:
  • Keep all trees, bushes, and shrubs at least five feet away from buildings and vehicles. There should be no branches or bushes touching any structure on your property.
  • Make sure that the forest or brush is at least ten feet or farther from buildings.
  • Keep grass and weeds on your property cut as short as possible.
  • Clear out any debris or any other unused item that can burn. This list would include deadwood, weeds, trash, litter, building supplies, unused firewood, lumber, junk vehicles (they contain flammable parts including batteries, tires, rubber hoses, and seats), and any container that might hold flammable liquids.
  • Keep trash in covered metal containers such as cans or a dumpster. Plastic dumpsters can burn, so consider paying extra for a big metal one.
  • If possible, get rid of your propane tank and switch to natural gas. Propane tanks can explode and make fires worse.
  • If there is no natural gas in your area, consider burying your propane tank or moving it 20 to 30 feet from buildings. Do the same with tanks for gasoline and diesel fuel.
  • Make sure that you store propane tanks for grills away from the house. A good suggestion is to keep the propane tank in the garage or the barn when you are not grilling.
  • Replace wooden shake shingles with a metal or tile roof. Shake shingles will burn, especially if they are dried out by the sun. If you want more electricity, consider installing a Tesla Solar Roof with tiles that double as solar cells.
  • If your house has wooden walls, consider covering them with aluminum siding or tiles.
  • The next time you re-roof, replace the asphalt shingles with tile or metal, as these are more fire-resistant.
  • If you have a swimming pool, stock tank, or pond on your property, keep it filled with water. Firefighters will be more likely to protect your property if they have an easy-to-reach source of water.
  • Consider building a swimming pool, stock tank, or pond to supply firefighting water.
  • Be careful with backup power systems and electric or hybrid vehicles. Many of them contain lithium-ion batteries that can explode if they overheat.
  • Conduct target practice as far from your buildings as possible, or better yet, go to a shooting range. Target shooting is a significant cause of wildfires, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reported. Therefore, it would be a good idea to postpone target practice when fire danger is high.
  • Join your local volunteer fire department. You can learn valuable skills, get access to firefighting and life-saving equipment, and increase the manpower available for fighting wildfires in your area. Something to consider is that firefighters receive advanced warning of emergencies like fires in your area.

Making your property as fire-resistant as possible is the best way to prepare for fire season.

More information about firebreaks is available here: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Wildfire/Firewise-USA/The-ember-threat-and-the-home-ignition-zone

Who’s Really Behind The Hogg Anti-Gun Book?

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Anti gun propaganda book due out soon

Who really paid to publish new Hitler style anti-gun propaganda?

Move over George Soros, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg might have found a sneaky way to spread anti-gun propaganda and raise funds for his own gun-control crusade. The media billionaire might be responsible for a book deal given to two survivors of the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Survivor and gun-control proponent David Hogg and his sister, Lauren, have received a book contract from a major New York publisher, The Associated Press reported. NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws The Line is envisioned as a manifesto for a mass gun-control movement.

The new anti gun propaganda book is scheduled to be published by Penguin Random House, the world’s largest book publisher according to Publisher’s Weekly, on June 5, Fortune reported.

“This book is a manifesto for the movement begun that day, one that has already changed America–with voices of a new generation that are speaking truth to power, and are determined to succeed where their elders have failed,” a Penguin Random House press release reads.

Sales Of Hogg Anti-Gun Propaganda Will Benefit Bloomberg Gun Control Group

It is not clear if Bloomberg is paying for the publication of Never Again, but Penguin Random House will donate to Everytown for Gun Safety, a group that the ex-mayor co-founded, for each copy sold.

Bloomberg pledged to match each donation to Everytown and another group called Moms Demand Action. The Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University announced this after the Las Vegas massacre in October 2017.

Everytown is notorious for spreading anti-gun propaganda that is so inaccurate even liberal media outlets are critical of it. The Washington Post called a list of school shootings put out by Everytown “flat wrong.”

Hogg Book Will Fund Group That Spread Fake News About Guns

In February, Everytown claimed that the Parkland massacre was the 18th school shooting in the United States in 2018. That was not true; Everytown grossly inflated its figures with incidents that were not school shootings, a Post analysis indicates.

Everytown’s “school shootings” included a suicidal man who shot himself in a car in a school parking lot, a shooting in a sorority at Wake Forest University, and a report of shots fired in a parking lot at a Michigan High School at 8 p.m., several hours after classes ended.

Despite the glaring inflation, Everytown Research Director Sarah Tofte called the research “crystal clear” in a statement to The Washington Post.

“Every time a gun is discharged on school grounds it shatters the sense of safety,” Tofte said. Under Tofte’s definition, target practice at a school shooting range or the firing of blanks from a gun in a school play would “shatter the sense of safety.”

News reports about the Hoggs’ book contract did not mention Everytown’s history of spreading fake news.

David and Lauren Hogg have attracted national attention for participating in anti gun propaganda demonstrations. Both are students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a gunman killed 17 people on St. Valentine’s Day, 2018.

Anther interesting fact is that Penguin Random House also published Michael Bloombergs’ book:The Self-Made Billionaire Effect:How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value

 

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Helpful Anti-Inflammatory Herbs When You Can’t Use NSAIDs

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gardening back pain

Opt for alternative treatments that are safer than NSAIDs when you’re in pain

When people are in pain, they automatically reach out for pain relievers. The most common pain relievers used are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). While NSAIDs are useful in providing comfort to many people, recent studies suggest that intake of NSAIDs increases the risk of developing heart problems. It also has severe effects on the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract.

While there may be other types of pain meds that you can try as an alternative for NSAIDs, you can opt for alternative treatments that are safer and have minimal side effects on the body. One such alternative treatment is anti-inflammatory herbs.  Below are some potent anti-inflammatory herbs that give you other options for your treatment.

White Willow Bark

White willow bark contains salicin that is converted into salicylic acid by the liver. Unlike the salicylic acid in regular aspirin, its effects are minimal.  The mechanism behind how the white willow bark works is similar to that of aspirin in that it blocks the inflammatory prostaglandins, which are hormones that cause pain. While it is useful in reducing pain, it is more expensive than aspirin, but you only need 240mg/day to feel better.

White willow bark exists in many forms such as tablets, tinctures, powder, and capsules. For most ailments, take two tablets or capsules of white willow bark three times a day, totaling from 60mg to 120mg of salicin. If you opt for tinctures and powder, take at least one tablespoon twice a day to get the same effect.

Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory herbs related to the ginger family. It contains the compound curcumin, a pigment that gives turmeric a deep yellow look. It has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat various maladies aside from inflammation, such as to treat wounds and digestion problems.

Curcumin is not only a potent anti-inflammatory agent, but it also has antioxidant and antineoplastic effects.  Several studies suggest that curcumin in turmeric is an effective treatment for cystic fibrosis. It has also been suggested that it can help treat chronic degenerative diseases, cancer, and arthritis.

To get the most benefit from turmeric, a dosage of between 400 and 600 milligrams taken three times a day is enough. Since turmeric is a culinary spice, you can add it to soups and stews to enjoy its health benefits.

If you are using fresh turmeric root, a one-inch root slice infused in warm water is excellent for relieving pain. A tablespoon of powdered turmeric can also be mixed in a cup of water or taking two capsules daily will give the same therapeutic effects. Research also cites that adding a dash of ground black pepper can improve the efficacy of curcumin. Making a topical paste by mixing one-part turmeric powder and one-part water applied on the affected area can also give relief. If you opt for turmeric supplements, choose those that contain black pepper. Moreover, make sure that it contains 95% curcuminoids for better efficacy.

Green Tea

Green tea is touted to have protective effects for the body against cancer due to its high antioxidant properties. Green tea contains compounds called catechins and epigallocatechin-3 gallate that inhibit the degradation of cartilage. Thus, it possesses protective qualities against arthritis. Because of its efficacy, it is called the “the Asian paradox” as people who consume green tea on a regular basis have fewer risks for developing heart diseases.

Taking three green tea capsules every day can help improve your symptoms. While there are green tea capsules that you can consume, consuming it as tea will also give you the same results. Create a green tea infusion by mixing a tablespoon of loose green tea leaves in a pot of warm water. You can also use a tea bag if you don’t have loose tea leaves to achieve the same effects.

Frankincense

Frankincense (Boswellia serrata) resin possesses high anti-inflammatory compounds. It can inhibit the leukotriene biosynthesis that affects and perpetuates inflammatory diseases. The gum resin from frankincense is used to treat arthritis. It also contains boswellic acid, an active anti-inflammatory agent. Studies suggest that a combination of frankincense and turmeric extracts can increase the efficacy of the two herbs.

While it is difficult to obtain frankincense resin in the market, it is mostly available in the form of essential oil. If you can get a tincture of frankincense oil that is already pre-mixed, then it will make your life a lot easier. If what you have is an essential oil, mix 25 drops of frankincense oil in a 100mL carrier oil (coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil). Give a good stir and apply directly onto the affected area.

Red Wine Grapes

Red grapes contain a tremendous amount of resveratrol, which is a plant-based polyphenol that has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Fruits that are red and blue in color contain high amounts of this compound. This compound is generally found in the skin of the fruit as it serves as a phytoalexin that protects the plants from infection. Aside from its anti-inflammatory effects, resveratrol also has anti-mutagenic effects that can help protect DNA against unwanted and harmful mutations.

Resveratrol is used to treat arthritic joint pain and osteoarthritis, plus it helps protect the brain and heart functions. While it is available in capsule form supplements, you can benefit from including more grapes and colorful fruits in your diet. There is no standard dosing according to available literature, but you can gain the benefits by taking two tablets daily.

Chili Pepper

All types of chili peppers (Capsicum annum) contain adequate amounts of the compound capsaicin. This compound is responsible for the heat of the chili pepper. In fact, the compound makes up 12% of the small chili pepper. Capsaicin produces a selective, natural and regional anesthesia that causes the degeneration of capsaicin-sensitive nociceptive nerve endings.

Many topical medications used to treat arthritic pain contain adequate amounts of capsaicin. You don’t have to force yourself to eat chili peppers to get capsaicin, especially if you dislike eating spicy foods. Capsaicin is now available in tablet or capsule form. There is no exact dosage of how much capsaicin you need to take, but you can take two capsules daily for best results. You can also try capsaicin topical lotion. Put a small dollop of the lotion onto the affected area and gently massage until the pain subsides.

Many anti-inflammatory herbs such as these help with pain relief, especially if you are trying to stay away from NSAIDs.  With these herbs, you will be able to experience comfort without worrying about the side effects.

State Ordered To Rehire Employees Accused Of Abusing Disabled Patients

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Colorado’s State Personnel Board demands “union driven” dangerous re-hiring precedent.

The state of Colorado was forced to rehire employees fired for abusing a disabled man and an imprisoned teenager. One of the employees was rehired twice even though she had reportedly kicked a mentally disabled patient.

The Pueblo Regional Center, a state home for the disabled, fired Melissa Lorenzo after she was accused of putting a blanket over a patient’s head and kicking him. The State Personnel Board ordered the Center to rehire Lorenzo, The Denver Post reported. Officials tried to fire Lorenzo twice, but the board directed them to rehire her both times.

Fulton Rushing was fired after he allegedly shoved a teenaged prisoner into the floor during a fight at a youth detention center. Rushing reportedly pushed the prisoner so hard that the teenaged boy ended up going to the hospital with a concussion.

The Personnel Board ordered the state to rehire Rushing. Instead of firing, the Board recommended that the state of Colorado dock Rushing’s pay by 5%. Rushing did not return to his job, and instead, he sued the state and settled for $117,000.

State Constitution Guarantees Employees’ Jobs For Life In Colorado

The state rehired the two because the Colorado Constitution guarantees state employees’ jobs until they reach retirement age, The Post reported. Case law requires that the state subject its employees to multiple layers of “progressive discipline” instead of being fired.

That means the State Department of Human Services cannot fire employees even if they abuse the mentally ill, the disabled, or teenaged prisoners. Under current law, the only way they may fire such employees is if they are convicted of a felony or commit several offenses against vulnerable people.

Any state employee who is fired can appeal his or her termination to the State Personnel Board. The board is composed of lawyers elected by state employees, union officials (who are elected by state employees), lawyers and “human resources experts” appointed by the governor. The board can overrule state officials’ decisions and force them to rehire any terminated employee.

A proposed state law, House Bill 1065, would make it easier for Human Services to fire any employee responsible for an egregious incident of mistreatment. The law is awaiting Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper’s signature.

Lorenzo is still working at the Pueblo Regional Center, but she is not allowed near the residents for their safety, The Post reported.

 

10 Great Cold-Hardy Vegetables

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The coldest winter in 150 years for many gardeners has keep the focus on cold-hardy vegetable varieties until warmer weather arrives.

There are many ways to extend the growing season through the winter in cold temperate climates, including using cold frames, greenhouses, row covers, and raised beds, as well as mulching heavily and starting plants indoors. Perhaps one of the easiest ways to extend the season, however, is to grow a diversity of cold-hardy plants. Cold-hardy plants can allow you to begin harvests earlier in the spring while continuing to yield later into the fall and even through winter.  Below is a sampling of some favorites, as well as some lesser-known cold-hardy vegetables.

Kale And Collards (Brassica Oleracea Acephala)

Certain varieties of kale, such as Red Russian, and Sea Kale may produce well into the winter, especially if protected by cold frames or other covers.  Some may even survive the winter in areas as cold as zone 5, such as the perennial Sea Kale (Crambe maritima). This type of Kale is actually outside of the Brassica oleracea species of plants which includes other vegetables like kale, collards, cabbage, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. Mulch heavily and kale will stick around longer into the cold season, as with most plants.

Swiss Chard (Beta Vulgaris Cicla)

Although a heavy frost will kill chard, they will still produce well into the late fall in colder climates, and if covered, they may even last into the winter.  On very rare occasions, swiss chard can make it all the way through, even in zone 5 or warmer.

Beets (Beta Vulgaris Conditiva)

Even after the beet greens die off above ground, you will still be able to harvest the beet itself, often well into the winter. Beets are related to chard and their greens are equally as delicious.

Cabbage (Brassica Oleracea Capitata)

Cabbage comes in many different varieties and is another excellent green that will last into the depths of the fall at least. There are even perennial varieties such as Walking Stick Cabbage, although they don’t have the large cabbage head that is characteristic of more popular types of annual cabbage.

Good King Henry (Chenopodium Bonus-Henricus)

This spinach relative is another perennial green that lasts into the fall in even the coldest climates, and it will also emerge early in the spring. Mulch heavily and it should survive in as cold as zone 4 climates. The cooked young leaves are best and must be eaten soon after harvest since they wilt. The seeds can also be eaten once soaked in water overnight and rinsed, though they are a little small and time-consuming to harvest.

Perennial Onions (Allium Species)

There are a few varieties of perennial onions that last well into the fall in the coldest of climates, including Egyptian Walking Onion and Perennial Bunching Onion. These plants are commonly grown for their onion greens, but the bulbs can also be eaten, of course, although they are smaller than their annual cousins. The bulbs may be harvested throughout the year, even when the aboveground greens die back.

Musk Mallow (Malva Moschata)

Musk Mallow is another perennial green that produces late into the year and comes up relatively early in the spring. The young leaves have a mild flavor and are best as one component of a multi-green salad. There are other varieties of mallow that are perennial as well, but this one is known to be one of the best flavored. The flowers and seeds are also edible, and the plant is hardy to at least zone 3.

Sunroot (Helianthus Tuberosus).

A vigorous perennial root crop growing to 10 feet tall, the flavor of the tuber improves after frost. Some say they are best eaten in their first year, though they will continue to produce and spread as a perennial for many years. Care should be taken to cook them well, and they shouldn’t be eaten in large quantity at first since they may cause gas. They are similar to beans in this way until your body grows accustomed to them.

Radicchio / Italian Chicory (Cichorium Intybus)

These perennials have edible leaves and roots. The leaves are a little bitter and are often blanched by excluding light while they are growing, making a sweeter, milder flavored green. Cook the roots like you would parsnips.  The roots also make an excellent (caffeine-free) coffee substitute when roasted and powdered.

Perennial Yam (Dioscorea Batatas)

Grown commonly in Japan and other parts of Asia as food, this vine root crop cultivates well in cold, temperate regions and can be harvested well into the winter, or early in the spring (until the ground freezes or when it thaws). It is hardy to at least zone 5 if mulched heavily and can grow up to 8 feet long or more. It is best grown in deep, sandy soil, where it will produce a much larger root than in more dense soils (up to 3 feet long!). Cook the yam before eating, either by baking or boiling, similar to a regular yam. It is not very flavorful but is an excellent addition to soups and will readily absorb added flavors. The vine also produces small “aerial tubers” which are little yam berries. These tubers can also be cooked and eaten or used to propagate more plants.

These are but a small sampling of the many cold-hardy vegetables that you can grow in colder climates. Many perennials are great crops to try for cold-hardiness since cold-hardy perennials, by their very nature, will often produce longer into the year and come up earlier in the spring. Consider constructing cold frames or a passive solar greenhouse to extend your season even further, potentially making it last through the entire winter. If you have any of your favorite cold-hardy vegetables that you like to grow or have anything you’d like to comment on, please feel free to share in the comments below!

This Survival “Super Plant” Belongs In Every 2018 Self-Reliance Garden

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Crested, plume, or spike varieties of celosia flowers can be a stunning addition to your garden.

Whether they’re of the crested, plume, or spike types, celosia flowers are quite striking. All are vividly colored, but crested celosia, with its unique shape, has given the flowers their common name: cockscomb. Crested celosia flowers are wavy and fan-like and, when they form into a globe shape, they resemble a brain. When they develop flatter and narrower, the flowers look like a rooster’s (or cock’s) comb.

Although no one is sure where celosia originated, it’s a tropical plant that grows widely throughout Africa, Indonesia, and Asia. It was introduced into England in 1570 and by the early 1700s, it was noted growing in Carolina.

Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew cockscomb at their estates. By the middle of the 19th century, it was “almost universally grown” in America’s flower gardens. In the 1920s and ‘30s, cockscomb was often included in agricultural exhibitions at county and state fairs, with gardeners competing to see who could grow the biggest crest on the smallest plant.

As a member of the amaranth family, common cockscomb is edible. While most American gardeners grow cockscomb as an ornamental plant only, it is collected from the wild as a food source in Asia, South America, Africa, and the West Indies. Like other leafy greens, cockscomb is a good source of protein and also provides vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and phosphorus.

All parts of the plant are edible, including the stem, leaves, and flower. That said, the stem and leaves are more tender before the plant starts to bloom. Young leaves are similar to basil in texture, comparable to spinach in flavor and can be used in place of spinach in cooked recipes. In cultures where cockscomb is eaten, its leaves are usually added to soups and stews. However, in Mexico, the leaves are served as a side dish after being cooked with hot peppers, red palm, garlic, and lime. Cockscomb stems can be chopped up and added to stir-fries, and the flowers work beautifully as a garnish.

Cockscomb is also highly regarded for its medicinal properties. Anecdotally, it’s used to treat a wide variety of issues including diarrhea, gastroenteritis, and dysentery. It’s used in Asia, in particular, as a parasiticide for tapeworms and other parasites. Additionally, the leaves are pounded and applied as a poultice for various types of skin sores and wounds. Notwithstanding, please consult a medical professional if you’re considering using cockscomb to treat a medical issue.

Celosia is a worthwhile addition to any garden, and it’s readily available as a bedding plant at most garden centers in the spring. It can also be grown from seed, though it’s best started indoors about 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Since it doesn’t like its roots disturbed, it’s best to start seeds in peat pots or other compostable pots that can be directly planted into the garden after the last risk of frost. Celosia is incredibly easy to grow, as long it’s planted in full sun with well-drained soil. It’s prone to root rot if its roots stay wet too long but otherwise requires little care, being drought-tolerant and immune to most pests and diseases. Best of all, celosia does well as an annual almost everywhere, beginning in hardiness Zone 2. In Zones 10 and above, it should overwinter nicely.

Well, what are you waiting for? With so many stunning varieties and colors, not to mention “off-the-grid” uses, why not start planting your own celosia varieties for 2018?

 

Ongoing Draught Affecting World Food Prices

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If spring rains don’t come, many farmers can expect another dry year.

The prices for cereals, which contain the world’s most important food crops, rose by 12.1% over the past year.

The cost of cereals, which include grains, corn, rice, and soybeans, has been increasing because of dryness in the United States, the United Food Agriculture Organization reported. The United Nations tracks cereal prices with an index that rose by 165.3 points or 2.3%, in March 2018.

Dry conditions in the United States, wet weather in Europe, and deteriorating crop prospects in Argentina all lowered crop yields and drove prices up. The UN Index indicates that the ongoing drought in the USA is affecting food prices.

Severe Drought In America’s Breadbasket

A significant cause of the rise in cereal prices is apparent; parts of America’s breadbasket are experiencing severe and extreme drought.

Most of Kansas is suffering from extreme and severe drought, as The University of Nebraska’s Drought Monitor Map for April 12, 2018, indicates. A small portion of Kansas is suffering from the worst kind of dryness on the map, which is listed under the category of “exceptional drought.”

Almost all of Kansas is suffering from some drought. The dryness also extends into neighboring states. An area of moderate drought spreads into Missouri, Nebraska, and even parts of Iowa. Northwestern Missouri and Southern Nebraska are also abnormally dry for this time of year.

Other parts of the breadbasket suffering from severe and extreme drought include the plains of Eastern Colorado, Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and West Texas. About a third of Oklahoma is suffering from severe or extreme drought, making it the driest state. According to the monitor, the drought in Oklahoma is worse than in Arizona.

The drought is also afflicting some of the northern grain-growing areas. Most of North and South Dakota are experiencing either moderate drought or abnormal dryness. A significant portion of South Dakota is also experiencing severe drought. That drought extends into the plains of Eastern Montana.

Another state feeling the heat is America’s Dairyland: Wisconsin. A broad swath of Wisconsin is suffering from abnormal dryness.

The Drought Will Affect Food Prices

America’s breadbasket is facing a drought that is affecting food prices. Long-term effects are hard to determine, but the results of the drought are likely to be felt at supermarkets within the next year.

It will take some time for increased cereal prices to affect retail costs because of the time it takes grains to reach shelves in the form of processed foods. A likely scenario will be slowly increasing food prices over the next year.

Meat prices are directly affected by cereal costs because corn and grain are used to feed livestock. Meat prices might fall in the short run as farmers slaughter animals in an attempt to control costs. While this action will initially increase the meat supply, it will assuredly fall later on. That will lead to higher prices eventually because there will be less meat on the market.

At this time, stocking up on cereals and flour, as well as on products made from them such as pasta, might be a good strategy for those trying to control food costs. Another smart approach might be to change your diet and eat more vegetables, meats, and other foods that are easier to grow yourself.

Expanding our vegetable gardens and raising more livestock will be a wise move for all of us.

 

Keeping Survival Strategies Simple

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Keeping your emergency plans simple could be the single most important thing you do.

I’ve been a survivalist for a long time. Things were different when I started, back in the 1970s. More than anything, there wasn’t the survival industry that we have today. Those of us who thought in those terms had to figure out how to do things ourselves or how to adapt existing tools and equipment (mostly camping equipment) for survival.

There have been many changes since then. Much of that has been due to people coming up with new equipment and new ideas. It is much easier to find the gear to build a survival kit or bug out bag today than it was 40 years ago. There’s also a much more comprehensive range of equipment to choose from, much of it excellent and some of it noticeably superficial.

But one thing has happened in all this which works against our survival. In the desire to keep coming up with new gear and techniques, not everyone has thought through the practicality of their ideas in an actual survival setting. More than anything, this has been manifested in the complexity of some of these survival gadgets. While I have nothing against a sophisticated piece of equipment, I have a lot against it being complicated to use.

As a former engineer, I am fully aware that the more complex a piece of equipment is, the more chance there is of something going wrong with it, especially when you really need it.. Take a look at cars for example.. There are thousands of parts that have to work correctly for a vehicle to run. Then there are several hundred more that have to run for all the accessories and conveniences to run as well.This fact makes the chances of that car running flawlessly for 100 miles considerably slim.

Keeping Fire Starting Simple

For that matter, I have some major issues in using techniques that are difficult to employ. These concerns are especially valid when there are easier things that will do the job. Take fire starting as a case in point. Survival instructors seem to collect fire starting techniques, each trying to outdo the next in the variety and complexity of the methods they know. I suppose that some of the more esoteric and difficult practices of fire starting might be useful in a real emergency where one doesn’t have a survival kit. Nevertheless, I think it makes much more sense to ensure that you have a survival kit with a simple, reliable fire starter in it.

Today, the fire starter that seems to be the most widely promoted is the Ferro Rod. You can find many giveaways where someone is trying to send you one of these. You’ll also see them included as an “extra” with survival knives, survival shovels and just about any other piece of survival gear you can think of.

As far as I’m concerned,the only thing worse than a Ferro Rod for starting a fire is using friction (bow drills, fire plow, pump fire drill, etc.). The Ferro Rod is nothing more than a commercialized version of a flint and steel. While you can start a fire with it, you’d better have some extremely dry, really flammable tinder and you’d better not be suffering from hypothermia, or in a real crisis you could lose your life.

If you need a fire in a survival situation, you usually need one instantly and not in half an hour. That’s why I believe in fire starters that are fast, easy and reliable. Forget about “secondary fire starters” unless they truly fit that description. Make sure you have enough adequate primary fire starters to take care of your needs.

What do I mean by that? I mean fire starters that will work no matter what. Storm proof matches are one of the best fire starters on the market, for that very reason. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the midst of a hurricane and the storm has soaked the matches in water. They work.

Another fire starter as good as Storm proof matches is a Storm proof lighter. This product combines a butane lighter with a piezoelectric igniter. As long as the gas valve is depressed, the piezoelectric igniter is operating. So, even if the wind blows it out, it will reignite immediately. If you’ve ever tried starting a fire in the wind with a disposable butane lighter, you’ll quickly see the value of this lighter.
Keeping Emergency Shelter Simple

Setting up camp consists typically of building a shelter and starting a fire. However, I hear more people talking about building a debris shelter than I hear talking about how to make sure you have a shelter that you can set up in ten minutes or less. The last time I built a debris shelter, it took me a whole lot longer than 10 minutes.

On the other hand, if you have alight weight tarp and some paracord, you can set up roughly the same size and shape shelter in less than 10 minutes, especially if you have some tent stakes to use with it. But even if you don’t, cutting tent stakes from sticks is easy. If you need insulation, you can still pile leaves on the sides of the tarp, just like you would on the framework you make for the debris hut.

If you want to go even more accessible than this, then make a backpacking tent part of your bug out bag. Good backpacking tents weigh less than a lot of other things that we include in our kits, but for some reason,we don’t carry them along. If we want to keep things simple, this only makes sense.
Bottom Line:

Keeping your emergency plans simple could very well be the single most important thing you do.

I could keep going on with example after example. The point is that we should take a look at everything we’re doing for survival with the idea of ensuring that it is the most effortless possible way of doing things. When an actual survival situation presents itself, you’re going to have enough to do without making things harder. The time you save on these routine tasks could be the time you need to accomplish some other critical survival task.

Even more important than the time you save is the ease of accomplishing the task. I wasn’t being facetious before when I was talking about someone with hypothermia dying while trying to start a fire. If you ever get to that point, you won’t be able to accomplish complex tasks; you’ll have to keep things as simple as you possibly can. Your mind won’t be clear, and your agility could very well be out the window.

That’s why I believe in making the “KISS” principle a central part of my own survival strategy. If you’ve never heard that acronym before, it stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid.” No, I’m not insulting you. When you’re cold, and you need to survive, I can guarantee that you’ll feel stupid. So, you’ll need to keep things as simple as possible.

Best Secondary Carry Weapons

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Carrying a backup gun isn’t exactly common practice. I don’t do it as much as I probably should, but I do takea backup weapon occasionally. My threat analysis usually drives my decision making. When I’m going to a place, I’ll think about the layout of the building, the surrounding area, crime trends in the area, and so on. From there, I’ll decide what I’m carrying.

Some people will disagree with me and say that you should always be prepared for the absolute worst-case scenario no matter what, and I can see where they’re coming from. However, for me, I decide based on my threat analysis.

More often than not, I don’t carry a backup weapon. However, I’ve realized more recentlythat I should do this more. If nothing else, it gives you some additional ammunition and a second weapon in case your primary malfunctions.

I’ve come to realize that my backup weapon is so easy to conceal, there’s no reason not just to grab it. Plus, some will argue it’s easier to draw your backup weapon than to reload your primary.

While the discussion about whether or not you should carry a backup weapon could go on for days, we will focus this article on potential choices for you to bringas your backup.

My general idea of a backup weapon is a subcompact weapon. For me, I carry my backup firearm in a pants pocket. If you want to pack two bigger guns, you’re going to have to think about some different approaches. This article’s primaryfocus centers on subcompacts.

Here’s a couple of my favorites, in no particular order.

Ruger LCP II

Starting this list off is the Ruger LCP II. This tiny .380 is available in a few different colors, and you can get it with a built-inCrimson Trace laser sight. I like the version that has included Hogue grips, but any of them will do.

It measures 5.17 inches long and 3.71 inches tall. It’s less than an inch wideand weighs barely over 10 ounces. As you can see, this is an ideal candidate for pocket carry. In fact, it comes with a pocket holster.

The pistol is decent quality overall, especially when considering how small it is. It is durableand offers a solid grip. It has an attachable finger grip extension, which can improve the ergonomics of the weapon.

The sights are easy to use, and the weapon offers some decent safety features. The trigger is decent overall, and the gunshoots reliably.

Regarding cons, there isn’t much to mention that you wouldn’t expect. All of these weapons are very small, so shooting them is less than enjoyable. However, other than that, the Ruger is a great option.

I also like the Ruger LCR, if you’re interested in revolvers.

Taurus TCP

The Taurus TCP is another pocket .380. The weapon is nearly identical in size to the Ruger LCP II. They are close enough in size that you won’t be able to notice it. The firearmis tinyand lightweight.

Many people will see a Taurus on a list and immediately question it. In most circumstances, I would entirely agree with them. However, do a little research, and you’ll see how durable and reliable this weapon is. Between the incrediblyinexpensive price and the excellent durability, this is the secondary weapon that I currently carry the most.

The price of this weapon is extremely affordable. I picked mine up for about half of the MSRP. Look around, and you can find these at a very reasonable cost. However, this one doesn’t come with a holster asthe Ruger does, so you will have to buy yourself a pocket holster.

One of the cons of this weapon is that it doesn’t have any safeties. It mainly has a hex key to act asa child safety precaution, but you won’t be able to turn this on and off comfortably. Make sure you’re storing this weapon properly if you’ve got any kids.

Unrelated to the TCP, I also recommend checking out the Taurus Curve. It’s a unique gun that you can realistically carry without a holster, due to the shape of the weapon. However, I don’t know much about the durability of this weapon, so I’m not sure how I would like it compared to the TCP.

Walther PPK

Now this one is an absolute classic. You can’t help but feel like James Bond when you pick this weapon up. However, the firearm is more than just a cool looking classic gun. It assuredly is an excellent weapon.

The gun measures 6.1 inches long and 3.8 inches tall. As you can see, it’s slightly larger than the previous two weapons, so it’s a little more enjoyable to shoot. It’s as easy to conceal and carryand may bea better choice for some people.

The weapon shoots .380, just like the last two. Concerning ergonomics, the grip is pretty decent, and the optional extended magazine can also help to improve your grip. The built-insights are easy to use, and I found that I can shoot decently with this one.

Compared to the other two weapons, the Walther is very different. The previous two guns are both striker-fired semiautomatic pistols. The Walther is hammer-fired, which is not very common in smaller weapons. I prefer hammer-fired though, because it’s more reliable and safer.

Speaking of safety, this one also has an external thumb safety. Some people will love this, especially considering that the weapon will be sitting in your pocket.

There are a few things I don’t love about the Walther. It has a lot more steel than the Ruger or the Taurus, so it’s nearly twice as heavy. It’s also quite a bit more expensive.

Glock 42

No weapon list is complete without a Glock. Glocks have become some of the most common weapons out there, and for a good reason.

The Glock 42 measures 5.94 inches long and 4.13 inches tall. Similar to the Ruger and the Taurus, it is incredibly light, because it’s made of mostly polymer.

Because it’s a Glock, this weapon is very durable and reliable. That goes without saying. The sights are easy to use, and the trigger is decent, especially compared to some of the other triggers on other pocket weapons.

The Glock 42 is also extremely easy to use, maintain, and modify. There are few internal parts, so there’s next to nothing that can go wrong with it. If you’re not a Glock fan, you should really check one out. They are excellent quality weapons.

Compared to some of the other weapons mentioned, the Glock is a little expensive. However, it is not nearly as expensive as the Walther. Other Glock cons include the fact that they aren’t exactly the nicest looking weapons. But I’m not sure that matters in a serious

Having the right backup weapon could be a lifesaver.

confrontation.

 

Why Do Hillary Clinton and Sonia Sotomayor Keep Falling Down?

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Hillary Clinton shown here looking at Hindu temples and not watching where she’s walking.

Two of America’s most powerful liberal women, Hillary Clinton and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, were both recently injured in new and mysterious falls.

How did Sotomayor really fall and break her Shoulder?

Some mystery surrounding Sotomayor’s broken shoulder for which she is undergoing physical therapy.

Reuters stated that Sotomayor broke her shoulder in a fall at her home but gave no details of the fall. Supreme Court Spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said the Justice will be able to conduct her normal duties despite the accident.

News stories did not say how Sotomayor broke her shoulder and why a Supreme Court spokeswoman did not know which shoulder the justice had broken. The spokeswoman originally said Sotomayor broke her left shoulder, but it was her right shoulder that was actually broken, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Another minor mystery that has not been cleared up is why Sotomayor’s injury was not revealed until an April 17 hearing at the Supreme Court. Reporters only learned about the injury when Sotomayor appeared on the bench with a sling, as the Above the Law blog reported.

This was the second health scare for Sotomayor; who is considered one of the court’s four liberal justices, this year. The Justice; who is diabetic, was treated for low blood sugar by paramedics at her Washington D.C. home in January.

Sotomayor, 63 is one of the youngest Supreme Court Justices, while two of her colleagues are over 80, Bloomberg Politics reported. The oldest Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 85 and rarely falls publically according to reports.

Walk This Way

Ex-first lady and former presidential candidate Hillary R. Clinton fractured her wrist during a book tour in India, on March 13. Clinton was injured in a nasty fall at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Newsweekreported.

Clinton had fallen in London five months earlier on her book tour, showing up on Graham Norton’s Show with a surgical boot. “It hurts, it hurts,” she said to the popular talk show host.

To add to the mystery, different news sources gave different accounts of Clinton’s injuries. Newsweek reported Hillary had been taken to a private hospital at 5 a.m. in the morning. The Times of Indiareported that doctors were sent to the palace to examine Clinton there.

What Really Happened to Hillary in India?

Clinton had to abandon plans to visit the Mehrangarh Fort, an historic site and instead stay in the Bhawan Palace the former residence of Rajasthan’s royal family. Oddly enough, the doctor that treated Clinton, requested anonymity when making a statement to the press about the injuries, Newsweek reported.

A later version of the Newsweek story claimed Clinton slipped and fell in the bathtub. Stranger still, Newsweekclaimed Clinton was in the bathtub at 5 a.m. in the morning. News reports did not say why Clinton was in the tub that early or explain why there are two versions of the same story one dated March 13 and one dated March 16 online.

This was Clinton’s second fall that reporters are aware of during the Indian book tour. The former Secretary of State slipped twice while climbing the stairs at the Jahaz Mahal, a historic fortress in Mandu, Madhya Pradesh, Times Now Newsreported.

Some have speculated that Indian god “Kali” was responsible for the falls, seeing Clinton as a rival for the love and attention of Lord Shiva. Clinton could not be reached for comment. Others were angry that Kali had been brought into the unusual story.

What do you think? Give us your opinion:

Bad footwear for terrain? In a hurry? Gained additional weight? Thinking about other things? Just getting older? Kali? Other?

7 Spring Gardening Tricks That Will Stop Summer Weeds

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A little extra work in the spring can prevent a lot of weeding later in the year.

 

It’s a story most gardeners know all too well. We start off the growing season with a blank palette of natural soil in an atmosphere of spring optimism, always confident that this will be the best garden season ever. But if the arrival of summer brings with it an onslaught of weeds, even the most positive of spirits can get crushed under the weight of battling them.

The good news is that there are ways to combat weeds in spring, without using synthetic or even organic herbicides, which can make life a little more comfortable later on. Here are seven tricks to try.

Kill weeds first with clear plastic. Laying reusable clear plastic over the garden before planting any seeds is often an effective way to kill a lot of weeds at once. Sometimes, the greenhouse effect that is created by this method can generate so much heat that it destroys not only sprouted weeds but their seeds, as well, and possibly even other soil pathogens. As a nice side bonus, using clear plastic can preheat the soil in preparation for seeds or seedlings that will appreciate the residual warmth when the plastic is removed. One downside to this method is that it can be less effective in colder climates or during a cold, wet spring, and can end up creating favorable conditions for weed growth if the sun’s rays lack the intensity for searing heat. Make sure this one is right for your situation before using it.

Use fabric mulch before or during planting. I buy high-quality landscape fabric by the roll—the heavy-duty kind sold by greenhouse supply outfits—as often as I can afford it. It costs me a lot more money up front than the cheap stuff, but it works out to be cost-effective because I use it over and over. I use it between the rows in my in-ground garden every year, laying it out before or during planting in a way that defines walk spaces and prevents weeds in all but the smallest slivers of soil. I also use fabric in long-term applications as a weed barrier between and around raised beds, and around berries and fruit trees.

Less expensive fabric or recycled materials can also make a real difference in weeds. Some of my favorite repurposed items for mulching are bags from livestock grain and other animal feed. Used carpet—especially around the other edges of a garden where any possible chemical seepage is less of an issue—works well, too.

Use grass clippings, cardboard and newspaper. These are an excellent mulching option for smaller garden spaces and tight budgets. As with synthetic materials, it is essential to use this method before the weeds take hold—better still before they even sprout. I’ve used this mulching process with good results, and have found that the most important secrets to success are to do it on a day with little to no wind. Don’t skimp on materials, use heavy, wet grass clippings, and pack it down well.

Use weed-free compost. Whether purchased from a commercial compost facility or retailer, obtained directly from a farm, or made right on the homestead, the key is to ensure it’s been heated sufficiently to kill weed seeds. We get all the weeds we need from nature, and do not need to import more!

Maintain the highest possible soil quality. Weeds flourish in poor soil, but most vegetables are not as adaptable as weeds. The more favorable conditions we can give our plants, the better armed they are to grow bigger and stronger and be better equipped to hold their own in the constant fight with weeds for space. Minimal rocks, the right ratio of sand and loam, ample organic material, and proper drainage all contribute to soil health—and in turn, make a big difference in plant health.

Provide plenty of water to newly planted seeds and seedlings. As with soil quality, water helps provide intentional plants with what they need to compete against weeds.

Provide the specific nutrients for the plants that you are growing. This point goes along with general soil quality and water but adds soil composition into the mix. It’s crucial to test garden soil—most cooperative extension services or state universities can help with this—and to amend the soil as recommended. Depending upon geography and the variety of crops being grown, soil test reports might advise raising or lowering soil pH, adjusting the ratio of organic matter, or adding specific nutrients like phosphorus, magnesium or sulfur.

The fundamental way to stop summer weeds in spring is twofold: First, make life as difficult as possible for weeds by overheating them in the sun under clear plastic or suffocating them under mulch. Second, make life as easy as possible for the plants you do want to grow by giving them the best possible soil and water conditions.

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Former U.S. Senator Warns: ‘We’re Going To Crash’; ‘No Country’ Has ‘Ever Survived’ This

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Former U.S. Senator Warns: ‘We’re Going To Crash’; 'No Country' Has 'Ever Survived' This

WASHINGTON — A former U.S. senator is warning that America is headed toward a financial “crash” unless D.C. politicians begin making hard choices about its debt.

Former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R.-Okla.), who served two terms in the Senate and three in the House, made the comments Monday on radio on the “Laura Ingraham Show.”

“There’s no urgency” to fix America’s debt problems, Coburn said, “because very few people have a correct understanding of what’s happening to us”

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“If you take total debt, right now, we’re over 240 percent of our GDP,” he said, referencing the gross domestic product, a phrase that represents the total dollar value of goods and services in a nation. “If you take real government debt – debt that has to be paid back by the millennials – we’re at about 180 percent.

“There’s no country that’s ever survived that.”

Coburn believes Trump would “make the hard choices,” but Congress won’t.

“We’re going to crash unless we start making the hard choices, and Congress refuses to make the hard choices,” he said. “… But you have career politicians on both sides who refuse to make the hard choices because it might affect their political career. Well, what about our kids?”

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Farmer Plowed His Own Field. The Government Fined Him $2.8 Million.

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Farmer Plowed His Own Field. The Government Fined Him $2.8 Million.

Image source: Pixabay.com

The Clean Water Act has claimed yet another victim.

A Red Bluff, Calif, wheat farmer is facing a $2.8 million fine after he bought 450 acres of land and began plowing it. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the farmer – John Duarte – violated the Clean Water Act by not getting a permit to discharge dredged or fill material into adjacent wetlands.

Duarte said he was following the law. His attorney, Anthony Francois of the Pacific Legal Foundation, agrees.

“The case is the first time that we’re aware of that says you need to get a [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] permit to plow to grow crops,” Francois told the Record Searchlight newspaper. “We’re not going to produce much food under those kinds of regulations.”

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Even before he plowed, Duarte hired a consulting firm to help him determine which parts of the land he could and could not plow. Water from the field drains into the Coyote and Oat creeks, which then flows into the Sacramento River.

U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller sided with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in a 2016 ruling. The penalty phase of the trial is scheduled for August, the newspaper reported. The government is asking for $2.8 million.

Francois contends that farmers are exempt from the Clean Water Act rules when they plow. The government disagrees.

“Even under the farming exemption, a discharge of dredged or fill material incidental to the farming activities that impairs the flow of the waters of the United States still requires a permit, because it changes the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters,” the U.S. attorney wrote in court documents.

The government wants Duarte to repair the wetlands and replant certain plants.

“A plain reading of the rules says you don’t need a permit to do what he did,” Francois told the Record Spotlight. “How do you impose a multimillion penalty on someone for thinking the law says what it says.”

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He Was Selling Vegetables. In Public. So They Arrested Him.

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He Was Selling Vegetables. In Public. So They Arrested Him.

Source: Facebook

The sheriff’s department in one California county is being criticized for handcuffing and arresting a street vendor who was selling vegetables.

The incident was captured by a passerby in a picture, which shows a member of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office looking through the man’s belongings, which included more than a dozen boxes and bags of colorful vegetables. Meanwhile, the man sits in handcuffs.

The photo quickly went viral, and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office took to Facebook to try and explain the situation. The vendor did not have a license to sell vegetables, the sheriff’s office said.

“Selling food on street corners violates county ordinances and public health codes,” the post read. “Persistent street vending harms local businesses, especially small, start-up food vendors and poses certain health risks such as E. coli and other food borne illnesses. … In addition, illegal vending causes traffic safety issues and vendors are sometimes the target of street robberies.”

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When the deputy approached the man and asked for his identification, he fled.

“The man is on federal probation and is expected to follow all laws. This is likely the reason he tried to flee,” the Facebook post read.

Contrary to what some people suspected, the man’s immigration status was not an issue, because the department doesn’t turn people over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the department said.

Still, the explanation didn’t appease everyone on Facebook. More than 3,200 people commented.

“It’s a victimless crime,” one person wrote under the department’s post. “So much for the land of the free. Can’t even sell the fruits of your labor. Shame.”

Matt Powers, communications coordinator with the Institute for Justice, wrote that the sheriff’s department’s justifications “have no merit.”

“All produce poses a risk of E. coli due to how they are irrigated at the farm,” Powers wrote. “Therefore, selling such produce at a stand vs. a store is irrelevant. Furthermore, the Sheriff’s office should not be cracking down on these struggling vendors in order to protect the bottom lines of well-established local businesses.”

The law needs to change, Powers added.

“Alameda County should follow the examples set by Chicago and Los Angeles , which both recently legalized and regulated street vending,” Powers wrote. “In February, Chicago modified licensing requirements for food carts to make them less restrictive, by lowering fees for two year food cart licenses and eliminating charging fees for a license to use a shared kitchen. In the same month, in Los Angeles, the city council voted unanimously to decriminalize street vending for sidewalk vendors.

“… Everyone has the right to work hard and improve themselves and their community. By choosing to embrace the street vending industry, Alameda can embrace this sort of entrepreneurial, self-starting behavior and avoid this kind of controversy from happening ever again.”

What do you think? Should the vender have been arrested? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Tensions Rise: China On ‘High Alert’; North Korea Warns Of Preemptive Strike On U.S.

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Tensions Rise: China On ‘High Alert’; North Korea Warns Of Preemptive Strike On U.S.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula continued to escalates this week, as North Korea warned it was considering striking the United States even if the U.S. doesn’t attack first.

“In the case of our super-mighty preemptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only U.S. imperialists’ invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the U.S. mainland and reduce them to ashes,” The Rodong Sinmun, an official state paper, warned.

The statement came merely hours after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said that an “era of strategic patience” with North Korea was over and the same week that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States would not continue the same strategy from the past.

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“We’re reviewing all the status of North Korea, both in terms of state sponsorship of terrorism as well as the other ways in which we can bring pressure on the regime in Pyongyang to re-engage with us, but re-engage with us on a different footing than past talks have been held,” Tillerson said.

Meanwhile, China’s military has placed its bombers “on high alert” and is prepared to respond to any military activity in North Korea, a U.S. defense official told CNN. The goal likely is to “reduce the time to react to a North Korea contingency,” the official said

China has two concerns: 1) refugees from North Korea fleeing across the border to China, and, 2) North Korea collapsing and reunifying with South Korea.

In 2015, 83 percent of North Korea’s exports and 85 percent of its imports involved China.

It isn’t known how many nuclear weapons North Korea, a very reclusive nation, has. The U.S.-Korea Institute said in a 2016 report that North Korea possesses “enough fissile material to build anywhere from six to about 30 nuclear weapons.” China in 2015 said North Korea has 20 nuclear weapons, and a U.S. Congressional report said between six and 10.

What do you believe the Trump administration’s strategy toward North Korea should be? Share your thoughts in the section below:

North Korea Official Warns: ‘Thermonuclear War May Break Out At Any Moment’

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North Korea Official Warns: ‘Thermonuclear War May Break Out At Any Moment’

PYONGYANG – A pair of high-ranking North Korean officials are warning that the world is on the brink of nuclear war due to U.S. involvement.

“The United States are disturbing the peace and global stability, insisting in a gangster logic,” North Koran foreign minister Han Song-Ryol said over the weekend.

Han added that “nuclear war could break out at any moment” and that the country will continue missile tests “on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis” no matter what the rest of the world thinks.

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Meanwhile, Kim In Ryong, North Korea’s deputy United Nations ambassador, warned of “a dangerous situation in which a thermonuclear war may break out at any minute.”

Kim called the Korean peninsula “the world’s biggest hot spot.”

“[North Korea] is ready to react to any mode of war desired by the U.S.,”

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, during a visit to South Korea, said the “people of North Korea” and “the military of North Korea” should not “mistake the resolve of the United States of America to stand with our allies.”

“But all options are on the table as we continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of South Korea for denuclearization of this peninsula and for the long-term prosperity and freedom of the people of South Korea,” Pence said.

What do you think the U.S. should do? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Trump Orders Strike On Syria; Russia Responds By Pledging To Defend Country

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Trump Orders Strike On Syria; Russia Responds By Pledging To Defend Country

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration began the year with high hopes for a restart in relationship with Russia, but those apparently were dashed Thursday when U.S. destroyer ships fired 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria in retaliation for that country’s use of a deadly chemical weapon that killed more than 70 of its own citizens.

“On Tuesday, Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians using a deadly nerve agent,” Trump said Thursday night. “Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.”

Trump said he had ordered a “targeted military strike” on the Syrian airfield “from where the chemical attack was launched.”

“It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” Trump said. “There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the U.N. Security Council.”

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Just a few months ago, the political establishment was joking about Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin being best friends. Now, they seem like long-time enemies – and just a few steps away from world war.

Russia’s Sputnik News labeled the chemical attack “alleged” attack, implying it never happened.

“President Putin regards the US attacks on Syria as an aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law, and under a trumped-up pretext at that,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “… Putin also sees the attacks on Syria by the US as an attempt to divert the international community’s attention from the numerous casualties among civilians in Iraq.”

The Russian defense ministry even said it would strengthen an air defense system within Syria to protect that country. Russia is Syria’s most powerful ally.

“In order to protect the most sensitive objects of the Syrian infrastructure, a system of measures to bolster and increase the effectiveness of the Syrian armed forces’ air defense systems will be implemented,” said ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov

Peskov said the chances for a collision or war between the two countries in Syria had “significantly increased.” He even charged that the airstrike was “carried out for the benefit of ISIS and other terrorist organizations.”

Russian also announced it was suspending a September 2015 agreement that was intended to avoid incidents between U.S. and American aircraft.

Did you support the airstrikes on Syria? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Former CIA Director Warns Of Attack That ‘Would Blackout North America And Kill Millions’

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Former CIA Director Warns Of Attack That ‘Would Blackout North America And Kill Millions’

WASHINGTON — A former CIA director is warning that it would be “profoundly dangerous” to underestimate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who he calls a “sociopath” who doesn’t follow the standard protocol on nuclear weapons.

James Woolsey, CIA director under President Clinton, and Peter Vincent Pry, chief of staff of the congressional EMP Commission, co-wrote a column for The Washington Times asserting that the U.S. isn’t prepared for North Korea’s threat.

“Kim Jong-un is a sociopath who inherited absolute power from his father and grandfather,” Woolsey and Pry wrote. “Like them, Kim is mentally and spiritually absolutely corrupted. Kim is so suspicious of his own followers that he is purging his political and military elites, inventing sadistically ingenious ways of killing even close relatives.”

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They called him “Caligula in the third generation, armed with nuclear weapons.”

“His paranoid personality is exactly the type to start a nuclear war,” they wrote in the March 26 column.

Western analysists, they wrote, “wrongly assume” that North Korea will follow a testing regime “similar to that for U.S. missiles,” with multiple flight tests. Instead, North Korea is rushing untested weapons into deployment.

“North Korea sees itself in a long nuclear crisis with the United States, always on the verge of nuclear war, necessitating that missiles get rushed out the door based on component testing and maybe some minimal flight testing,” they wrote. “Pyongyang is in a panic, like Moscow during World War II rushing not properly tested tanks to the front from the factory floor — except Pyongyang’s panic is over nuclear war.”

That explains why North Korea deployed 30 intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) for nine years without flight testing them until recently, they wrote. The country also has deployed mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) without flight testing.

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“Pyongyang’s panic explains why we should be a lot more worried about their KMS-3 and KMS-4 satellites orbiting over the U.S. If nuclear-armed, these satellites could make an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack that would blackout North America and kill millions,” Woolsey and Pry wrote. “Surprise EMP attack by satellite is such an unconventional gambit it is still not on the mental radar screens of most analysts — exactly as Pyongyang hopes.”

The two men asserted that the U.S. must do four things to protect itself:

  • “Harden the national electric grid against EMP and cyberattack, starting by appointing new commissioners to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission who care more about national security than essentially representing the electric utilities.
  • “Redeploy Aegis guided missile cruisers to plug holes in the National Missile Defense, especially in the southern Gulf coastal states — Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas.
  • “Modernize the U.S. nuclear deterrent, including development of EMP and cyber weapons capable of neutralizing nuclear missile threats preemptively.
  • “Launch a new Manhattan Project to resurrect President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative and deploy space-based missile defenses to make preemptive warfare unnecessary.”

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‘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:

Be Prepared For A Downed Grid. Read More Here.

‘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.

Story continues below picture

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.

Story continues below picture

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.)

Story continues below picture

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:

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

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:

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

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.

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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.”

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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.”

Story continues below video

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.

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“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.

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“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:

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School Bans Santa Because He’s Too ‘Religious’

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School Bans Santa Because He’s Too ‘Religious’

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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:

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

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!)

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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.

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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)

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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.”

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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 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:

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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:

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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

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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.”

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

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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

Image source: Flickr

 

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

Image source: Pixabay.com

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:

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns. Read More Here.

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

Image source: Pixabay.com

“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!

Image source: Pixabay.com

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.”

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

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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.

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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!