Monday, February 28, 2011

The Florida No Cow Zone - Gotta See The Comments :-)

Amplify’d from fltrib.com
The Florida Tribune - Covering The Policy, People and Politics of Florida Government
Photographing cows or other farm scenery could land you in jail under Senate bill
Taking photographs from the roadside of a sunrise over hay bales near the Suwannee River, horses grazing near Ocala or sunset over citrus groves along the Indian River could land you in jail under a Senate bill filed Monday.
SB 1246 by Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, would make it a first-degree felony to photograph a farm without first obtaining written permission from the owner. A farm is defined as any land "cultivated for the purpose of agricultural production, the raising and breeding of domestic animals or the storage of a commodity."
We all need to dig just a little bit deeper to understand what this is really about . Farmers across the country have recently noticed that when their farm animals think no one is watching or listening, the animals stand up on 2 legs and engage in open debate and dialogue in clearly understandable English. They talk about a variety of things including the price of corn, soybeans, politics and the weather (they avoid religion). The animals try hard to conceal their behavior (rumor is that they're trying to unionize and contact PETA) and are afraid if they get caught, they'll be immediately slaughtered.
Farmers are trying desperately to make sure no one photographs any animal who is openly displaying higher thought processes or the ability to think or communicate to humans. It would mean a swift end to the "harvesting" of animals for food.
Hence, the "no photography rule". I also understand they're introducing another bill to create a "no fly zone" for animals that can fly. Rumor is that pigs are watching this bill very closely.
Read more at fltrib.com

White Stork

'Travel Light' Is Getting Harder

What I have learned about gear to never leave behind on my travels - from a magnifying glass and a pair of binoculars, to a length of rope.
I came to the realisation a while ago that to take the example of my camera gear, there a things I want and things I don't want but which you have to have - such as a battery charger and a spare battery.
No one 'wants' them - they just have to come along, just like international plug adaptors. And it all adds weight to that pack.
Could I travel without checking my email or blogging? It's too painful to think about. ;-)
Amplify’d from quillcards.com
by David Bennett on February 26, 2011[edit]
Dancer In Udaipur - A Quillcards Ecard
It Is Getting Harder To Travel Light
There was a time when I would have been happy to leave my camera at home and let my senses do the recording. Now a camera, lenses, and a laptop are all fighting for space in my pack.
For all that, the guiding principle I have always followed – it is probably in my nature – is to travel light.
Llama Carrying Only Straw
Travel Light
I remember being proud of how little my pack weighed as it went on the scale at the airport check-in at the start of my year-long trip to South America.
Read more at quillcards.com

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What would Arianna Huffington do?

Take the money and run? Pay out the people who had given their journalistic skills to make HP what it was? Something else?
Amplify’d from www.truthdig.com
Any business owner who uses largely unpaid labor, with a handful of underpaid, nonunion employees, to build a company that is sold for a few hundred million dollars, no matter how he or she is introduced to you on the television screen, is not a liberal or a progressive. Those who take advantage of workers, whatever their outward ideological veneer, to make profits of that magnitude are charter members of the exploitative class. Dust off your Karl Marx. They are the enemies of working men and women. And they are also, in this case, sucking the lifeblood out of a trade I care deeply about. It was bad enough that Huffington used her site for flagrant self-promotion, although the cult of the self has reached such dizzying proportions in American society that such behavior is almost expected. But there is an even sadder irony that this was carried out in the name of journalism.
“Something is happening here,” Bob Dylan sang in “Ballad of a Thin Man,” “but you don’t know what it is. Do you Mr. Jones?”

Huffington’s Plunder

Read more at www.truthdig.com

The Admin Bar In The Front End Of Wordpress 3.1

Running Wordpress 3.1 and don't like the new Admin bar showing on the front end (I don't) - there is a plugin for that at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/disable-admin-bar/stats/

Saturday, February 26, 2011

iPhone Discovery Launch A First

Amplify’d from www.btlife.bt.com

Commercial flight passenger films Discovery launch on his iPhone

Discovery Shuttle Docks
Ever felt a little bored on a plane and wished there was something more interesting to look at than endless clouds? How about watching a history-making space shuttle launch?
When Discovery set off on its STS-133 mission this Thursday 24th February, one lucky set of passengers got to witness it from 30,000 feet. And one managed to capture the whole thing on his iPhone 4.
The space shuttle is currently zooming towards the International Space Station on it’s 13th and final mission, making this video all the more special. Check it out.
Read more at www.btlife.bt.com

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fact of the day: Moles can dig 15 feet per hour in good soils


Robert "Red" Robinson, senior vice president of Shannon & Wilson Inc., of Seattle. He was asked to compare the capabilities of moles and "moles," as tunnel-boring machines are affectionately known in the underground construction industry.
He sized up a typical 4-ounce mole versus the 642-ton Emerald Mole, the tunneling machine that recently completed the Beacon Hill light-rail tunnels for Sound Transit.
It turns out that, pound-for-pound, the tiny mole is an astounding 336 times mightier than the behometh Emerald Mole.
"It's all in the weight ratio of the two critters," Robinson wrote. "Anyone for nuclear-enhanced 600-ton, 20-foot-diameter, flesh-and-blood moles?"
Annie Kolb-Nelson at King County's Wastewater Treatment Division — several machines have been digging a tunnel for the Brightwater sewage-system at the rate of about 5 feet per hour on a good day — was similarly awed at the mighty mole, which can dig 15 feet per hour in good soils.
Read more at seattletimes.nwsource.com

Radiation emitted after just 50 minutes on a mobile phone increases the activity in brain cells

I feel like such a party pooper -

Cell phone exposure increases brain cell activity

(CNN) -- The radiation emitted after just 50 minutes on a mobile phone increases the activity in brain cells, according to a new government-funded study.
The small study, published in the Journal of American Medical Association, is the first to look specifically at how electromagnetic radiation from cell phones affects glucose metabolism, a normal function, in the brain.
Researchers measured brain activity of 47 healthy adults -- a small but scientifically valid size group for this type of study -- while using a mobile device. The levels were tested when the phone was in use (transmitting radiation) against the head and when against the head but in the off position. Compared with subjects whose phones were turned off, the group whose phones were on had "significantly higher" brain activity in the area closest to the telephone antenna.
Volkow says that since she began working with the National Institutes of Health researching the impact of cell phone radiation, she always uses a wired earpiece when talking on her cell phone.
Read more at edition.cnn.com

Sunday, February 20, 2011

One Day Sale Ends In Six Months

Snowdrops Signal The First Signs Of Spring

The Biggest Holders Of U.S. Debt

This is a fascinating list. It is a list that starts with the smallest debt holder and works its way to the biggest.
The list begins with number 15 - Taiwan - with a US debt holding of $126.9 billion and works its way to a surprising conclusion. I guarantee that you will be amazed at who is at number 1 and the amount involved.
 from www.cnbc.com
The Biggest Holders of US Government Debt
As the US government spends an unprecedented amount of money to fix the nation's economy, there is an equally great need to raise the cash to pay for it. This is accomplished through borrowing, whereby Uncle Sam sells Treasury securities of varying maturity.
For investors, the government bills, notes and bonds are considered a safe financial product because they have a guaranteed rate of return, based on faith in future US tax revenues. The government has been partially funding operations via Treasury securities for decades.
This borrowing adds to the national debt, which has recently surpassed the $14 trillion mark and is rising every day. The amount of debt is quickly approaching the federal debt ceiling, a legal limit to borrowing which currently stands at $14.294 trillion. 
Much of that debt is held by private sector, but about 40 percent is held by public entities, including parts of the government. Here's who owns the most.
By Paul Toscano
Updated 18 Jan 2011
As the US government spends an unprecedented amount of money to fix the nation's economy, there is an equally great need to raise the cash to pay for it. This is accomplished through borrowing, whereby Uncle Sam sells Treasury securities of varying maturity.
For investors, the government bills, notes and bonds are considered a safe financial product because they have a guaranteed rate of return, based on faith in future US tax revenues. The government has been partially funding operations via Treasury securities for decades.
This borrowing adds to the national debt, which has recently surpassed the $14 trillion mark and is rising every day. The amount of debt is quickly approaching the federal debt ceiling, a legal limit to borrowing which currently stands at $14.294 trillion. 
Much of that debt is held by private sector, but about 40 percent is held by public entities, including parts of the government. Here's who owns the most.
By Paul Toscano
Updated 18 Jan 2011
Source: US Treasury, US Federal Reserve & US Office of Debt Management // Photo: Getty Images
Read more at www.cnbc.com

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Posting from Mac Dashboard

I installed this widget from http://www.google.com/macwidgets/ and I am posting from it.... 1,2,3, testing

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

See-Through Dress Elevates Royalty, Not


TODAY - 15 February, 2011

Kate Middleton

Kate's see-through dress to be sold

The see-through dress which helped Kate Middleton catch the eye of Prince William is up for auction. See image

Related links

The see-through dress which helped Kate Middleton catch the eye of Prince William is up for auction. See image
Read more at uk.yahoo.com

Sunday, February 13, 2011

RSPB Cannot Swallow New Forest

Mark Avery of the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) says his organisation is too smart to think of taking the New Forest off the Government's hands...
If the RSPB thought that we could step in and make the New Forest a better place for wildlife and people then we'd say so - but we don't, and have no intention of pushing ourselves forward in that way.  We work in the New Forest now, in partnership with others, as we do in the Forest of Dean too, and we'd like to carry on working there with local people.  We might do more in future - but we aren't daft - we know when something is too big to swallow. 
Read more at www.rspb.org.uk

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

George Monbiot in the Guardian on this Goverment: You assuage, reassure, conciliate, emote. Then you shaft us"

A fine statement:
"And this government? It has learned the lesson that Thatcher never grasped. If you want to turn this country into another Mexico, where the ruling elite wallows in unimaginable, state-facilitated wealth while the rest can go to hell, you don't declare war on society, you don't lambast single mothers or refuse to apologise for Bloody Sunday. You assuage, reassure, conciliate, emote. Then you shaft us."

To us, it's an obscure shift of tax law. To the City, it's the heist of the century

In David Cameron we have a leader whose job is to quietly legitimise a semi-criminal, money-laundering economy
'I would love to see tax reductions," David Cameron told the Sunday Telegraph at the weekend, "but when you're borrowing 11% of your GDP, it's not possible to make significant net tax cuts. It just isn't." Oh no? Then how come he's planning the biggest and crudest corporate tax cut in living memory?
If you've heard nothing of it, you're in good company. The obscure adjustments the government is planning to the tax acts of 1988 and 2009 have been missed by almost everyone – and are, anyway, almost impossible to understand without expert help. But as soon as you grasp the implications, you realise that a kind of corporate coup d'etat is taking place.
Like the dismantling of the NHS and the sale of public forests, no one voted for this measure, as it wasn't in the manifestos. While Cameron insists that he occupies the centre ground of British politics, that he shares our burdens and feels our pain, he has quietly been plotting with banks and businesses to engineer the greatest transfer of wealth from the poor and middle to the ultra-rich that this country has seen in a century. The latest heist has been explained to me by the former tax inspector, now a Private Eye journalist, Richard Brooks and current senior tax staff who can't be named. Here's how it works.
At the moment tax law ensures that companies based here, with branches in other countries, don't get taxed twice on the same money. They have to pay only the difference between our rate and that of the other country. If, for example, Dirty Oil plc pays 10% corporation tax on its profits in Oblivia, then shifts the money over here, it should pay a further 18% in the UK, to match our rate of 28%. But under the new proposals, companies will pay nothing at all in this country on money made by their foreign branches.
And this government? It has learned the lesson that Thatcher never grasped. If you want to turn this country into another Mexico, where the ruling elite wallows in unimaginable, state-facilitated wealth while the rest can go to hell, you don't declare war on society, you don't lambast single mothers or refuse to apologise for Bloody Sunday. You assuage, reassure, conciliate, emote. Then you shaft us.
Read more at www.guardian.co.uk

Saturday, February 5, 2011

To David Cameron - Treating groups as having one negative point of view is to demonise them

It's not what the truth is - because there is no single truth about what motivates 'parts of society' - it's that the 70 million people who make up the UK population are just that - 70 million people - and treating groups as having one point of view is to demonise them just as surely as any fascist government has ever done.

Cameron: My war on multiculturalism

Saturday, 5 February 2011
David Cameron launched a devastating attack today on 30 years of multiculturalism in Britain, warning it is fostering extremist ideology and directly contributing to home-grown Islamic terrorism.
Signalling a radical departure from the strategies of previous governments, Mr Cameron said that Britain must adopt a policy of "muscular liberalism" to enforce the values of equality, law and freedom of speech across all parts of society.
He warned Muslim groups that if they fail to endorse women's rights or promote integration, they will lose all government funding. All immigrants to Britain must speak English and schools will be expected to teach the country's common culture.
But his remarks have already infuriated Muslim groups, as they come on the day of what is expected to be the largest demonstration so far of anti-Muslim sentiment being planned by the English Defence League. They accused Mr Cameron of placing an unfair onus on minority communities to integrate, while failing to emphasise how the wider community can help immigrants feel more welcome in Britain. They suggested his speech was part of a concerted attack on multiculturalism from centre-right European governments and pointed out he was making it in Germany – where Chancellor Angela Merkel recently made a similar attack.
But Muslim groups said Mr Cameron's approach was simplistic and would not succeed in tackling extremism. "Communities are not static entities and there are those who see being British as their identity and there are those who do not feel that it is an overriding part of their identity," said Fiyaz Mughal, founder of interfaith group Faith Matters. "Finger-pointing at communities and then cutting social investment into projects is a sure-fire way of causing greater resentment. It blames some communities while his Government slashes social investment."
Inayat Bunglawala, chairman of Muslims4UK, described the speech as "deeply patronising". He said: "The overwhelming majority of UK Muslims are proud to be British and are appalled by the antics of a tiny group of extremists."
Read more at www.independent.co.uk

Darjeeling Tea Pickers - From our trip to India early last year

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Class Action Suit Against Ex President Carter

I suspect the judge will throw the case out as being a misuse of the court process. Time will tell.

Lawsuit: Carter Guilty of Consumer Fraud, Foists Lies on Readers


by David Lev
While former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has a perfect right to his anti-Israel opinions – and certainly has the right to publish a book full of those opinions – he does not have the right to fob off a work of fiction as fact. That, says Israeli activist attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, is what has earned him the opprobrium of dozens of people who bought his book, “Palestine: Peace or Apartheid.” And now, says Darshan-Leitner, she is representing those unhappy customers in a class-action lawsuit against Carter, in order to get them a refund.
Of course, Darshan-Leitner tells Israel National News, the issue is not simply one of consumer fraud. “During the trial, we will of course have to examine the facts in question, and we will of course unveil the falsity of much of what he writes. Carter makes numerous claims in the book that he knows to be false, and we know that he knows them to be false.”
According to the complaint, filed in a New York court, Carter, “as a former American president and self-proclaimed Middle East expert ... knew that substantial and material portions of the book were untrue, and has failed to advise the public,” putting him in violation of New York State's Consumer Protection Laws, “specifically New York General Business Law section 349, which makes it unlawful to engage in deceptive acts in the course of conducting business.” The lawsuit also includes Carter's publisher, Simon and Schuster, as a defendant, since it allegedly refused to correct the facts, despite receiving numerous complaints from irate customers.
Among the errors in the book, says Darshan-Leitner, is Carter's misrepresentation of UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 336, which he cites as proof that Israel must withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines. “Even a child reading the documents will note that the resolutions say 'withdraw from land,' not 'all the land' captured in 1967,”� Darshan-Leitner says.�
Carter wrote this�despite the fact that Lord Caradon (British diplomat Hugh M. Foot), who authored the resolution, specifically stated that this was not the intent of the resolution. In a discussion in the House of Commons in 1969, Caradon said that “it would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial.” The suit cites this and numerous other quotes by Caradon and others affirming this fact.
In addition, the suit says, Carter falsely depicted the 1949 armistice lines as an international border (they have never been recognized as such), that Israel has never “granted appreciable autonomy to the Palestinians” (thus ignoring the establishment and continued existence of the Palestinian Authority), and that Syria was prepared to accept a demilitarized Golan Heights (Syrian diplomats specifically denied that).
In all, the suit cites over 50 specific facts that Carter got wrong, either out of ignorance or deliberately. Evidence contradicting Carter's assertion is brought from publicly available sources, including newspapers and books, as well as in affidavits from former members of Carter's own inner circle and negotiating teams.
Darshan-Leitner said that neither she nor her partner in the lawsuit, David Schoen of Montgomery, Alabama, contacted Carter, since he has asserted many times, in print and in the media,� that his statements are�accurate. “Besides, many readers have contacted him and his publisher, only to be completely ignored. After their pleas for accuracy were not answered, they turned to us, and hence the lawsuit.”
As the readers of the book, which sold about 200,000 copies, can be assumed to be reasonably well informed on Middle East affairs, the insult to their intelligence was all the greater, the attorney says. “Carter continuously portrayed his book as being accurate, and it was on that basis that readers bought the book. Imagine their disappointment, frustration and anger at being presented with a work of fiction.”
Readers spent on average $27 for the book, so Darshan-Leitner is seeking about $5 million in compensatory damages in order to enable all customers to get their money back – plus, of course, punitive damages and court costs.
And she has no fears that a judge will refuse to hear the case because of politics – because, although the context is political, the case is really about misrepresentation, slander, and consumer rights. “The lawsuit will expose all the falsehoods and misrepresentations in Carter's book and prove that his hatred of Israel has led him to commit this fraud on the public,”� Darshan-Leitner added. “He is entitled to his opinions, but deceptions and lies have no place in works of history.”

(IsraelNationalNews.com)
Read more at www.israelnationalnews.com