Monthly Archives: June 2008

Legal Defense Fund Moves To Stop Animal ID Program


ftcldf.org

Falls Church, Virginia, (May 15, 2008) — Attorneys for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund today sent a Notice of Intent to Sue letter to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) over implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), a plan to electronically track every livestock animal in the country.

The Notice asks the USDA and MDA to “immediately suspend the funding and implementation of NAIS,” and “fully and fairly examine” whether there is even a need for such a program.

Taaron Meikle, Fund president, said that contrary to USDA’s claim, NAIS will do nothing to protect the health of livestock and poultry. “At a time when food safety and costs are a concern, the USDA has spent over $118 million to promote a program that will burden everyone from pleasure horse owners to ranchers and small farmers to individuals who raise a few chickens or steers on their own land for their own use.”

Once fully implemented, the NAIS program would require every person who owns even one livestock or poultry animal (a single chicken or a pet pony) to register their property with the state and federal government, to tag each animal, and to report “events” to a database within 24 hours. Reportable events would include such things as a private sale, a state fair, or a horse show.

The Notice charges that USDA has never published rules regarding NAIS, in violation of the Federal Administrative Procedures Act; has never performed an Environmental Impact Statement or an Environmental Assessment as required by the National Environmental Policy Act; is in violation of the Regulatory Flexibility Act that requires them to analyze proposed rules for their impact on small entities and local governments; and violates religious freedoms guaranteed by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“We also think there are constitutional issues at stake here,” Meikle noted. “The requirement to use electronic ear tags or RFID chips violates the religious beliefs of some farmers, such as the Amish, and provisions in a memorandum of understanding between the USDA and the MDA could violate the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution by requiring the state to stop and inspect vehicles carrying livestock without a warrant or probable cause.”

The MDA has implemented the first two stages of NAIS –property registration and animal identification – for all cattle and farmers across the state as part of its mandatory bovine tuberculosis disease control program, which is mandated by a grant from the USDA.

“While touted as a disease control program, the NAIS will drive many small farmers out of business” Meikle noted, “and burden every person who owns even one horse, chicken, cow, goat, sheep, pig, llama, alpaca, or other livestock animal with expensive and intrusive government regulations.”

Joe Golimbieski, a farmer from Standish, Michigan and Fund member, explains: “The cost of the tags is just the start. We’re at the mercy of whatever price the stockyards charge to do the tagging. And our farm doesn’t have extra employees to deal with paperwork. NAIS is likely to put us out of business.”

Gary Cox, General Counsel for the Fund, states that “USDA and MDA have exceeded their authority and they have completely failed to follow the proper procedures. We are calling on the agencies to immediately halt implementation of the program or face appropriate action.”

About The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund: The Fund’s mission is to defend the freedoms and to broaden the rights of sustainable farmers and their consumers to produce and consume local, nutrient-dense foods. Concerned citizens can support the Fund by joining at http://www.farmtoconsumer.org or by contacting the Fund at 703-208-FARM. The Fund’s sister organization, the Farm-to-Consumer Foundation (www.farmtoconsumerfoundation.org), works to support farmers engaged in sustainable farm stewardship and promote consumer access to local, nutrient-dense food.

Editor’s Note: The Notice of Intent to Sue the (USDA) and (MDA) is available at http://www.farmtoconsumer.org

Fox News Guest Openly Calls For Obama Assassination


Paul Joseph Watson / Prison Planet | May 26, 2008


Neo-Con obsession with killing Democratic candidate takes sick new turn as Hillary Clinton makes veiled threat

The Neo-Cons’ sick obsession with assassinating Barack Obama took another bizarre turn yesterday when Fox News guest Liz Trotta openly expressed a desire to see someone “knock off” the Democratic candidate.

Trotta, former New York bureau chief of the Washington Times, referred to the Democratic frontrunner as “Osama” before quipping that it would be nice to see both Bin Laden and Barack Obama killed.

TROTTA: And now we have what some are reading as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama — Obama. Well, both, if we could.

HOST: Talk about how you really feel.

This latest example follows the trend of a bizarre and disturbing corporate media obsession with Obama being killed before he is able to take office.

Neo-Cons, who will whine and bitch all day long about how protesters should be scrutinized and often brutalized for using their right to free speech “in a time of war,” apparently consider themselves above the law when it comes to making death threats against public figures.

Imagine if CNN pundits had joked about Bush being assassinated during the 2004 presidential campaign – they would have been booted off the air and interrogated by the secret service.

Keith Olbermann took Hillary Clinton to task on Friday for implying that she would stay in the Democratic race, despite the fact that she has virtually no chance of succeeding, because extraneous circumstances, such as an assassination, could change the picture.

Clinton made specific reference to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Only the most naive and deluded observer could take this as anything other than a veiled threat.

Olbermann’s fury is justified but, as Kurt Nimmo points out, this goes deeper than a mere faux pas on the part of Hillary. In reality, political crime families kill the opposition and the Clintons are notorious for having their adversaries “taken care of”.

Several high profile public figures have warned that Obama may be the target of an assassination attempt before he is able to occupy the White House.

Appearing on The Alex Jones Show last month, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura warned that Obama could be in the crosshairs.

“I believe very strongly that if an independent candidate like myself – a rogue – were to get into the President’s race legitimately, if the polls looked like he had a chance to win, I believe that candidate would either be physically assassinated or would be assassinated credibility-wise or in some manner by our government because I do not believe they would ever allow a true independent or a citizen to become President of the United States,” said Ventura.

“I say this in all seriousness – watch out Barack Obama,” he added.

British Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing said Obama would be taken out if he became President in February.

“He would probably not last long, a black man in the position of president. They would kill him,” Lessing told a Swedish newspaper.

Princeton University political science professor-Melissa Harris-Lacewell echoed the same sentiment a month before, saying: “For many black supporters, there is a lot of anxiety that he will be killed. It is on people’s minds.”

“You can’t make a prediction like this – like he has a 50 per cent chance of getting shot.”

“But the greater his visibility and the greater his access to people, there is a danger.”

Some speculated that Obama had been set up for an assassination attempt during a February 20 rally in Dallas, after it emerged that Secret Service gave the order to stop screening for weapons a full hour before the event began.

Corporations Outsource Farms To Mexico

JESSICA BERNSTEIN-WAX
Associated Press
May 27, 2008

IRAPUATO, Mexico (AP) — Antonio Martinez used to pay smugglers thousands of dollars each year to sneak him into the United States to manage farm crews. Now, the work comes to him.

Supervising lettuce pickers in central Mexico, Martinez earns just half of the $1,100 a week he made in the U.S. But the job has its advantages, including working without fear of immigration raids.

Martinez, now a legal employee of U.S.-owned VegPacker de Mexico, is exactly the kind of worker more American farm companies are seeking. Many have moved their fields to Mexico, where they can find qualified people, often with U.S. experience, who can’t be deported.

“Because I never moved my family to the U.S., I was always alone there,” said Martinez, 45, who could never get a work permit, even after 16 years in agriculture in California and Arizona. “When I got the opportunity to be close to my family, doing similar work, I didn’t even have to think about it.”

American companies now farm more than 45,000 acres of land in three Mexican states, employing about 11,000 people, a 2007 survey by the U.S. farm group Western Growers shows.

Read article

Missouri Activates Variable Speed Trap Program


The Newspaper
May 28, 2008

Motorists on Missouri’s Interstate 270 yesterday experienced for the first time an enforced speed limit that was lowered by remote control. Under a new variable speed limit program, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) installed electronic signs that allow officials to reduce the maximum speed limit on particular sections of road by as much as 20 MPH from the basic 60 MPH speed limit. Motorists who may have missed the sign, perhaps obscured by a passing semi truck, risk being ticketed if they continue driving at 60 MPH.

“A defensive driver, who is paying attention to the road, should be able to pay attention to the speed limit signs, important messages on the overhead message board, his or her speed, as well as paying attention to the other drivers on the road,” the MoDOT website explains. “The Missouri Highway Patrol has the primary responsibility of enforcing those speed limits. They have indicated that they will support the reduced limits and will be using various methods to track speeders and issue tickets.”

The transportation department spent $900,000 in gas tax funds to purchase the complex equipment required to administer the system, insisting its sole motive was to help reduce congestion, not increase traffic citations. A computer program monitors average road speeds from and makes “suggestions” on when to reduce the limit and when to allow it to return. A live MoDOT employee at a Transportation Management Center can accept the reductions in 5 MPH increments down to 40 MPH — the minimum speed limit allowed under state law. The system must also wait five minutes in between each change. Officials insist the speed difference between any two of the seventy speed limit signs will never be more than 15 MPH.

Marines Combat Train In Indianapolis


Vic Ryckaert
IndyStar
May 29, 2008

“If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.” President-Elect George W. Bush

U.S. Marine helicopters will land at the old Eastgate Consumer Mall, Brookside Park and other Indianapolis locations when the city becomes a mock battlefield next week.

About 2,300 Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., will conduct urban warfare training from Wednesday through June 19 in and around Indianapolis.

Most of the troops will be deployed at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and the Raytheon facility on Holt Road, said Debbi Fletcher of the Indianapolis/Marion County Emergency Management Agency.

“We don’t want anyone thinking that there’s an invasion happening or that we declared martial law or something like that,” Fletcher said.

The Marines have been cleared by state, federal and local authorities, Fletcher said. The unit’s commander promised to try to keep noise to a minimum and give neighbors plenty of warning.

“Our aim in Indianapolis is to expose our Marines to realistic scenarios and stresses posed by operating in an actual urban community, thereby increasing their proficiency in built-up areas,” Col. Mark J. Desens, commander of the 26th MEU, said in a statement. “While some of the activity will take place around Camp Atterbury, residents in many areas can expect to see helicopters flying overhead, military vehicles on the roads and Marines patrolling on foot,” Desens said.

The Marines will practice firing weapons, conducting patrols, running vehicle checkpoints, reacting to ambushes and employing nonlethal weapons, according to a statement.

In addition to Eastgate and Brookside Park, Indianapolis offered the Marines 24 other training sites, including Raymond Park Middle School, Ellenberger Park, Christian Park, Southeastway Park, the old Bush Stadium and Douglass Park.

However, not all cities are so open to the training. In February, after first canceling scheduled training, Toledo (Ohio) Mayor Carty Finkbeiner invited the Marines to train in the city, but outside the downtown area.

Corr Brother Says 9/11 ‘An Inside Job’

Richie Taylor
Independent.ie
May 30, 2008

CORRS guitarist Jim Corr has claimed that there was overwhelming evidence that the 9/11 attacks in America were carried out by “rogue elements” of US President George Bush‘s “neo-con administration”.

In a rare intervention into the political arena, the male singer with The Corrs band came out against the Lisbon Treaty claiming that it is “tip-toe totalitarianism in the West”.

In an interview with Matt Cooper on Today FM‘s ‘Last Word’, Corr made the case for voting ‘No’ to Lisbon, claiming it could introduce the death penalty to Ireland and contribute to a “new world order”.

Corr’s opposition is based on his three years “studying the New World Order which the European Union is a part of”.

He said “the EU is a stepping stone towards a world government, they will merge it with the Asia Pacific Union, the African Union and the North American Union“. The Lisbon Treaty itself will introduce “a scientific technocracy” to Europe which will erode national sovereignty.

Corr claimed that The Charter of Fundamental Rights allows for the introduction of the death penalty.

“It makes provision for the introduction to law for the death penalty in times of war or imminent threat of war.

“What we are seeing is tip-toe totalitarianism in the West with 9/11 the key to understanding this.

“When you study 9/11 it becomes very apparent… it was a staged terrorist attack, what they call a false flag operation.”

Corr said overwhelming evidence suggests 9/11 “was carried out by rogue elements in the Bush neo-con administration”.

– Richie Taylor

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