Some Greeks are on the Ball!

When the first rattlings about the Greek financial melt down began, well over a year ago now, there were some articles about how the new thinking in the nation went to food production and many young people were heading back to familial farming lands to be able to weather the coming storm. Now that the crush has begun, another article about this has come across my desktop.

The concept is simple. CIVILization, with the operative word being civil, requires that people have enough food to live. If we can’t, or won’t, help others, we will lose the ability to treat each other in a civilized and humane fashion.

Greek villagers’ secret weapon: Grow your own food

KARITAINA, Greece (AP) — Ilias Mathes has protection against bank closures, capital controls and the slashing of his pension: 10 goats, some hens and a vegetable patch.

If Greece’s financial crisis deepens, as many believe it must, he can feed his children and grandchildren with the bounty of the land in this proud village high in the mountains of the Arcadia Peloponnese.

“I have my lettuce, my onions, I have my hens, my birds, I will manage,” he said, even though he can no longer access his full pension payment because of government controls imposed six days ago. “We will manage for a period of time, I don’t know, two months, maybe three months, because I also want to give to our relatives. If they are suffering, I cannot leave them like this, isn’t that so?”

(Read the whole thing here)

Skynet is Here: Jade Helm Decoded

As we are all well aware, the surveillance society and control paradigm has done nothing but escalate in all areas of our lives. Recently, I had to get a new phone. One of the options is to have the phone wake up when I look at it…I find that to be ultra super mega creepy. Go ahead and call me a Luddite, it won’t hurt my feelings.

Last week, a friend sent me a link to a YouTube video of an interview of a lady going by the name of “DJ”. It’s a very long interview, and it is terribly important for people to understand the issue that is being brought to light by this woman’s research.

I will nutshell the information for you, but I deeply encourage you to download the video and listen to it as you have time. It is nearly three hours and the terminology may be over a lot of people’s heads, but the gist of the issue is clearly explained and the framework is very well described.

Here’s my Reader’s Digest version:

Jade Helm is a AI software program that is capable of cataloging and determining motives of both military and civilians.

The program is being rolled out in the US during the Jade Helm 15 operation that has received so much notoriety. It has already been tested and rolled out over seas.

The program determines desired objectives based on it’s programming and the metadata collected through all the various datamining activities being conducted by entities such as IBM, NSA, BAE, Facebook, etc.

The program evidently has the capability of generating holographs and thereby effectively creating an artificial reality coming from an artificial intelligence.

Are you happy yet?

Bottom line, Jade Helm, the AI program, puts the program in charge of people. We are seen as “nodes” in the system architecture.

I have tried to debunk the statements made by this “DJ” person, and I have not been able to do so. Consider this post as an open invitation to debunk the statements made in the interview. Also, if anyone has any ideas about how to get this genie back in the bottle, I am very interested in hearing how that might be accomplished.

As I have said repeatedly, I like my Brave New World better as fiction….But here it is:

OIE and Animal Based Bio-Weapons

The OIE is basically the USDA on the animal side for all World Trade Agreements and therefore sets the harmonization and standardization for animal products and animal diseases within all WTO member states….Yes, I used the word states instead of nations, because we truly are now under global government. I could pontificate and illustrate for hours about just how this is now a fact, and the methods by which we have lost our nation, but I don’t have the hours to do so again. SO, if you desire to see how that happened in our food and livestock sector, just look for any article I have written on the Food Safety Modernization Act and GAP (Good Agricultural Practices). Maybe I’ll do it all again as a retrospective, but right now, I’m consumed with taking care of family and prepping for the imminent collapse. :Smiley Face: I hope you are as well!

The OIE is responsible for the foolish stamping out policies for diseases that must be controlled under trade standards. A quick illustration is the annihilation of all the poultry due to avian influenza here. Since it is classified as a “disease of concern” states must either be free of the disease, or have a “controlled” level of this disease. The “free” status is what brings about the stamp out or eradication policy. To maintain a free status, should a disease of concern present itself, all animals potentially exposed and potentially carriers must be killed to stop the disease. Biologic idiocy, but that’s “free trade”. If you kill all the animals exposed, it leaves no genetic pool that demonstrates resistance to draw from. So two birds out of 10,000 die and the whole barn must now be killed.

After that lovely little introduction to the OIE and the reason for such lack of reason, here is an article that people should know about. Please read between the lines and act accordingly:

Beware of animal diseases as biological weapons, health experts say

PARIS (Reuters) – The World Health Organization, animal health and national defense officers called on Tuesday for wider international cooperation to avoid the spread of animal diseases that could be used as biological weapons.

Sixty percent of human diseases come from animal agents and 80 percent of the agents that could be used for bio terrorism are of animal origin, said Bernard Vallat, director general of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

“History has shown that animal diseases have often been used as weapons before. Advances in genetics can now make them even more harmful. So we are calling for further investment to be made at national level on bio security,” Vallat told reporters at a conference on biological threat reduction.

Diseases have spread from animals to humans for millennia, with latest examples including the bird flu virus that has killed hundreds of people around the globe.

The OIE and the WHO warned that animal disease agents could escape naturally, accidentally but also intentionally from laboratories, to be used as bio weapons.Earlier during the conference Kenneth Myers, Director of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), part of the Department of Defense, stressed the need for international collaboration to avoid the loss of biological material.

“Terrorists have clearly shown they will use any weapons at their disposal,” Myers said, noting that disease agents are easy to transport and difficult to detect.

Security breaches involving animal diseases are not rare.

The Pentagon said in May and earlier this month the U.S. military had sent live samples of anthrax, which can be used as biological weapon, to five countries outside the United States and to dozens of U.S. labs.

The conference on ‪‎biothreat reduction in Paris is the first to gather experts from the ‪‎OIE, ‪‎WHO, international police agency I‪nterpol, the ‪United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization FAO and representatives from the health, security or defense sectors from over 120 countries.

“The aim is to have the same voice on this subject,” Vallat said. “International solidarity is key because any country that does not implement standards can be a threat to the entire planet.”

(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

Technocracy and Gestapo Like Behavior

Lately it is becoming increasingly clear that the Powers that Shouldn’t Be are pressing down on the First Amendment in ways we haven’t really seen before. We’ll be criminals for thinking unregulated thoughts. Below is an article (linked to the source in the title) that should make you question what the Independence Day celebration is really celebrating any more:

How the Feds Asked Me to Rat Out Commenters
Reason.com, the website I edit, was recently commanded by the feds to provide information on a few commenters and not discuss it. Here’s why we’re speaking out.

Is there anything more likely to make you shit your pants out of a mix of fear and anger than getting a federal subpoena out of the blue?

Well, yes, there is: getting a gag order that prohibits you from speaking publicly about that subpoena and even the gag order itself. Talk about feeling isolated and cast adrift in the home of the free. You can’t even respond honestly when someone asks, “Are you under a court order not to speak?”

Far more important: talk about realizing that open expression and press freedom are far more tenuous than even the most cynical of us can imagine! Even when you have done nothing wrong and aren’t the target of an investigation, you can be commanded, at serious financial cost and disruption of your business, to dance to a tune called by the long arm of the law.

This all just happened to my colleagues and me at Reason.com, the libertarian website I edit. On May 31, I blogged about the life sentence given to Ross Ulbricht, the creator of the “dark web” site Silk Road, by Judge Katherine Forrest. In the comments section, a half-dozen commenters unloaded on Forrest, suggesting that, among other things, she should burn in hell, “be taken out back and shot,” and, in a well-worn Internet homage to the Coen Brothers movie Fargo, be fed “feet first” into a woodchipper.

The comments betrayed a naive belief in an afterlife and karma, were grammatically and spelling-challenged, hyperbolic, and… completely within the realm of acceptable Internet discourse, especially for an unmoderated comments section. (Like other websites, Reason is not legally responsible for what goes on in our comments section; we read the comments sometimes but don’t actively curate them.)

But the U.S. attorney for U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York thought differently and on June 2 issued a grand jury subpoena to Reason for all identifying information we had on the offending commenters—things such as IP addresses, names, emails, and other information. At first, the feds requested that we “voluntarily” refrain from disclosing the subpoena to anybody. Out of sense of fairness and principle, we notified the targeted commenters, who could have moved to quash the subpoena. Then came the gag order on June 4, barring us from talking about the whole business with anyone outside our organization besides our lawyers.

You can read a detailed account of how events, including the lifting of the gag order, played out here. As the legal blogger Ken White of Popehat has argued, the episode is plainly a huge abuse of power.

To the extent that the feds actually thought these were serious plans to do real harm, why the hell would they respond with a slow-moving subpoena whose deadline was days away?

I’ll leave the detailed legal arguments to White, who confesses that once upon a time he was “an entitled, arrogant little douchesquirt when [he] was a federal prosecutor.” I’ve got my own reasons for seeing this episode as outrageous and something that all of us who read and write online—whether as bylined authors or anonymous commenters—should be worried about.

For starters, the subpoena was unnecessary because the comments obviously weren’t real threats. One of the commenters scooped up in this had written, “I hope there is a special place in hell reserved for that horrible woman” while another opined, “I’d prefer a hellish place on Earth be reserved for her as well.” What kind of country are we living in where you get in hot water for such tepid blaspheming? Even the more outrageous comments—“Its (sic) judges like these that should be taken out back and shot” —wouldn’t exactly stir fear in the heart of anyone who has accessed the Web since AOL stopped charging by the hour.

As White writes, “True threat analysis always examines context. Here, the context strongly weighs in favor of hyperbole. The comments are on the Internet, a wretched hive of scum, villainy, and gaseous smack talk. They are on a political blog, about a judicial-political story; such stories are widely known to draw such bluster. They are specifically at Reason.com, a site with excellent content but cursed with a group of commenters who think such trash talk is amusing.”

But here’s the thing we non-lawyers might think of first: To the extent that the feds actually thought these were serious plans to do real harm, why the hell would they respond with a slow-moving subpoena whose deadline was days away? By spending five minutes doing the laziest, George Jetson-style online “research” (read: Google and site searches), they would have found publicly available info on some of the commenters. I’m talking things like websites and Google+ pages. One of the commenters had literally posted thousands of comments at Reason.com, from which it is clear that he (assuming it is a he) is not exactly a threat to anyone other than common decency.

But that’s your tax dollars at work, costing a reputable, award-winning website—albeit one that is sharply critical of government when it comes to snooping in the boardroom and the bedroom—time and money to comply with a subpoena for non-threatening readers. Even worse, the feds are doing the same to readers who may or may not have any resources to help them comply with legal proceedings that can go very wrong very quickly.

“Subpoenaing Reason’s website records, wasting its staff’s time and forcing it to pay legal fees in hopes of imposing even larger legal costs (or even a plea bargain or two) on the average Joes who dared to voice their dissident views in angry tones sends an intimidating message: It’s dangerous not just to create something like Silk Road,” writes former Reason editor Virginia Postrel at Bloomberg View, concisely defining the chilling effect such actions have. “It’s dangerous to defend it, and even more dangerous to attack those who would punish its creator. You may think you have free speech, but we’ll find a way to make you pay.”

Getting a subpoena is like “only” getting arrested. It’s a massive disruption to anyone’s routine and should be reserved for moments when, you know, there’s actually something worthy of serious investigation. And chew on this: You’re only reading about this case because the subpoena became public after we disseminated it against the government’s wishes (and before it could get a gag order against us), and because we later got the gag order lifted. There’s every reason to believe that various publications, social media sites, and other platforms are getting tens of thousands of similar requests a year. How many of those requests are simply fulfilled without anyone knowing anything about them?

Disqus, the commenting service that many websites use to manage user feedback, claims “whenever legally permitted, and barring exceptional circumstances where safety or other factors are deemed a reasonable counteracting concern, Users should receive notice that their specific information is being requested with opportunity to inquire further or contest such requests.” So you’ll get notified, unless you don’t. Feel better now?

“Confidence in U.S. Institutions Still Below Historical Norms,” announces the headline for Gallup’s annual survey on how Americans feel about authorities and services ranging from banks to the military to business to various aspects of the government and law enforcement. Confidence in the police, the presidency, the Supreme Court, and Congress are all well below annual averages calculated since 1973 or 1993 (depending on the area). Broadly speaking, there’s no question that the country is becoming more libertarian—more skeptical of centralized power, especially when it’s wielded by the state. Until the next gag order, I’m happy to share with you one of the reasons why that might be happening.

Documentaries To Watch

This is a guest post from Maria Ramos about some films that are important for fully understanding some pretty unpleasant issues with the food supply.

The opinions expressed are not necessarily in line with my thinking on all things, but I do think that it is important for people to understand that a lot of heinous things go into cheap food production. I do not support animal rights groups, but I also do not support inhumane treatment of animals. Generally, those who own and raise their own meat, eggs and dairy products, and then sell the excess to others, treat their stock with decency and dignity as the well being of the livestock is paramount to their own well being.

I must extend my sincere apologies to Maria as after a rewrite or two this fell through the cracks in my life and I failed to post it. While it is no excuse, I have been largely consumed with a spiraling vortex of equipment failures and my seriously ailing father.

Without further adieu:

Factory Farming Documentaries You Should Watch

To the average consumer, factory farms are not really even on the radar. To some, they are merely places in where food is made. Too often, not much thought is given to the processes used to produce our food. However, in recent years, a number of documentaries have shined a light on the appalling state of these factory farms, from the impact they have on the environment and consumers to the cruelty often inflicted on these food animals. The following five films are a must-watch for those who are concerned about factory farming and the methods often used to provide us with food.

Vegucated (2011)

Although this documentary has its comedic moments, Vegucated takes a serious look at the factory farming industry. In this film, three meat-eating New Yorkers agree to eat a vegan diet for six weeks. While the allure of better health and a smaller waistline is enticing to the trio, they soon discover the horrifying conditions under which food animals are raised, and learn it’s possible to make change in the world through the foods we choose.

Indigestible: The Film (2014)

This documentary showcases the cruel conditions under which animals are too often being raised. As is explained in this short film, many people don’t even realize what happens to animals at factory farms — if they did, it would be difficult to continue eating meat. Thanks to hard-hitting footage and informative interviews with a variety of animal rights, environmental and agricultural experts, Indigestible exposes the truth. In order to have cheap meat, we all pay a much higher price in health, the environment and the devaluation of life.

Cock Fight (2015)

Cock Fight from the Fusion Network (check here for listings) is the story of small-time farmer Craig Watts, a man who decided to blow the whistle on the poultry industry. In this documentary, Watts takes a reporter inside the secret world of today’s corporate chicken farms and exposes horrifying conditions. In recent months, Watts filed a complaint against Perdue Farms — accusing them of intimidation. Apparently, the film hit a nerve with “Big Chicken,” perhaps due to its shocking expose of inhumane confinement techniques and rampant animal abuse, despite Perdue’s claims that their chickens are humanely raised (something that’s been challenged in the past).

Dirty Birds: A Story of Chickens in America (2015)

Following along the same lines of Cock Fight (and also featuring farmer Craig Watts), Dirty Birds is a PBS documentary about the poultry farming industry in the United States. This film exposes the suffering chickens undergo when raised in factories for the poultry industry. Chickens are shown limping, nearly devoid of all their feathers, packed into crowded confinement — far from the image most people have of most chicken farms.

From Farm to Fridge (2011)

Although this Mercy for Animals short film is only twelve minutes long, that’s all it takes to expose the horrifying conditions of industrial livestock production. The chickens, pigs, and cows used for food are subjected to a multitude of atrocities at the hands of workers, which is what this documentary aims to stop.

 

All of the documentaries on this list should be viewed by those who care how food is created. While the images you’ll see are not pleasant or easy to watch, they are often the reality under which factory farms are producing food.

If you are interested in getting quality meat, milk, and quality eggs, you must support your local farmers. If you aren’t already in touch with local farmers, go to http://www.eatwild.org or http://www.farmmatch.com and take control of your food, and therefore your health and the ability for more people to get and produce real food, with real integrity.

 

Maybe Bees Will Get a Break?

U.S. EPA proposing temporary pesticide-free zones for honeybees

By Carey Gillam

(Reuters) – U.S. environmental regulators on Thursday proposed a rule that would create temporary pesticide-free zones to protect commercial honeybees, which are critical to food production and have been dying off at alarming rates.

The restrictions would cover times when specific plants are in bloom and when commercial honeybees are being moved through certain areas, EPA officials said.

Honeybees are needed to pollinate plants that produce a quarter of the food consumed by Americans, and beekeepers travel around the country with managed hives to help the process.

The rule, due to be published in the Federal Register on Friday, includes a class of insecticides knowns as neonicotinoids, which some have blamed for the demise of honeybee colonies.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that honeybees had disappeared at a staggering rate over the last year. Losses of managed honeybee colonies hit 42.1 percent from April 2014 through April 2015, up from 34.2 percent for 2013-2014, and the second-highest annual loss to date, according to the USDA.

Beekeepers, environmental groups and some scientists say neonicotinoids, or neonics – used on crops such as corn as well as on plants used in lawns and gardens – are harming the beess.

But Bayer, Syngenta and other agrichemical companies that sell neonic products say mite infestations and other factors are the cause.

The White House has formed a task force to study the issue, and the EPA has been studying the effects of neonics on bees.

Lori Ann Burd, environmental health director for the

Center for Biological Diversity, applauded the proposed rule, but said neonics, which are commonly used as seed treatments on crops like corn, need to be banned. In seed treatments, the pesticide is applied to the seed before it is planted.

“EPA needs to take the next step and ban these poisoned seeds,” Burd said in a statement.

(Reporting By Carey Gillam; Editing by Peter Galloway and Jonathan Oatis)

Be an “I’m Pro Goat” Supporter

There’s a big battle over pygmy goats going on in Visalia, California. Due to the lovely Agenda 21 code enforcers for the International Property Maintenance Code, a family is facing $1000 per goat per day fines for two pygmy goats. Absolutely insane. Here is a quick overview of where things are in this right now:

Current Status – What’s Going On RIGHT NOW To Legalize Goats in Visalia

DSC_4779The Current Status of Legalizing Goats in Visalia, California

PAST ACTIONS –

April 25, 2015 – We started the change.org petition to present to the City Council.

April 26, 2015 – We began reaching out to media outlets and getting the story circulating in the community.

May 4, 2015 – We rallied for the miniature goats and presented the petition to the City Council.

May 6, 2015 – We started http://www.improgoat.com to share news and information all in one place.

May 6, 2015 – We opened a GoFundMe to raise funds to offset the costs of outreach and legal fees. (Click here to donate!)

May 11, 2015 – Pro Goat supporters gathered at the City Planner meeting at Visalia City Hall to speak out in favor of food freedom during public comments on the legalization of city chickens.

May 14, 2015 – City Officials met at the Freeman house to view the living conditions of the goats, and to dispel the “goats stink” myth. The next steps were then outlined in moving forward after the inspection.

May 14, 2015 – We submitted the Site Plan Review Application to the City to be discussed at the next City Planner meeting.

UPCOMING ACTIONS –

May 20, 2015 – Meeting with the City Planners to discuss details of the proposed ordinance change.

May 21, 2015 – Signature gathering at the downtown Visalia Farmers Market.

May 23, 2015 – Pro Goat supporters will join the March Against Monsanto in Fresno to stand in solidarity for food freedom!

June 1, 2015 – Pro Goat supporters will join with the Pro Chicken supporters at the Visalia City Council meeting to stand up for food freedom!

ONGOING – We need to raise $3598 in funds to cover the legal fees for the official zoning text amendment to be drawn up. (CLICK HERE to donate!)

TBD – Once funds are raised, we will submit the zoning text amendment to the City Council to be discussed at the next possible meeting.

TBD – The Visalia City Council must hold a public hearing and then vote on the issue. THIS IS THE MAIN EVENT!

What YOU Can Do Now!

SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA – Share links and news stories on your newsfeed, with the hashtag #progoat. The City of Visalia is active on social media so your voice WILL be heard, and you’ll help us raise awareness.

WRITE LETTERS TO CITY OFFICIALS – Let our city officials know that you are Pro Goat! You can contact our council members (the decision makers) at:

– Mayor Steven Nelsen; snelsen@ci.visalia.ca.us

– Vice Mayor E. Warren Gubler; wgubler@ci.visalia.ca.us

– Council Member Greg Collins; greg.collins@ci.visalia.ca.us

– Council Member Bob Link; blink@ci.visalia.ca.us

– Council Member Amy Shuklian; ashuklian@ci.visalia.ca.us

CALL THE CITY COUNCIL – You can also call the City Council and voice your concerns at 559-713-4512

SHARE WITH THE MEDIA – Never underestimate letters to the editor! Share the story with news outlets, even if they’ve already covered the story. Let them know that it’s a hot topic in Visalia!

DONATE TO HELP COVER LEGAL FEES – When we get to the next stage of legalizing miniature goats in Visalia, we WILL be facing some hefty legal fees (upwards of $2000). We cannot do this without the financial support of the community! CLICK HERE to donate and to help us make this ordinance change a reality!

VOLUNTEER – We are going to be gathering physical signatures in the community, holding street side rallies, manning information booths on campus, attending city council meetings to make our voices heard, and holding MASSIVE rallies at the decision making meetings in Visalia. Stay in touch by following us on Twitter or e-mail Gingi at gingifreeman@gmail.com for more information on getting involved!

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