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Nevada Cattlemen’s Association: Matter is Between Bundy and the Federal Courts

Via Nevada Cattlemen's Association:

(Elko, NV) April 16, 2014 – The Nevada Cattlemen’s Association believes that private
property rights are at the foundation of our country and our liberty, and we know that the rule of
law protects those property rights. Our policy supports private property interests that exist on
public lands, including water rights and grazing rights. We also support the continued multiple use
of public lands, as authorized by law and confirmed by the courts. It is under this framework of
the rule of law that our property rights and multiple uses are protected.
The multiple-use statutes allow timber, grazing, wildlife, recreation and other uses to carry
on side-by-side in a way that, as the statute reads “will best meet the needs of the American
people.” Increasingly, we see the federal government placing higher priority on uses other than
grazing. This not only violates the multiple-­use statutes, it violates the grazing and water rights
that are also protected by laws such as the Taylor Grazing Act (TGA). Under the TGA, ranchers
have a right to graze livestock on federal lands based on historical utilization. While this property
interest is complex by nature – given that it exists on surfaces owned by the federal government –
it is nonetheless a real property interest that is taxed and saleable. It must be protected. On the
same token, ranchers who exercise their grazing rights are obligated to pay a grazing fee as
established by law.
Ranchers such as Mr. Bundy have found themselves with their backs against the wall as,
increasingly, federal regulations have infringed on their public land grazing rights and the
multiple use management principle. This is not only devastating to individual ranching families; it
is also causing rural communities in the west to whither on the vine. In the west, one in every two
acres is owned by the federal government. Therefore, the integrity of the laws protecting
productive multiple use is paramount to the communities that exist there.
The situation in Nevada stands as an example the federal agencies’ steady trend toward
elevating environmental and wildlife issues over livestock grazing – in violation of the
above mentioned laws and principles. Well-intentioned laws such as the Endangered Species
Act—which are factors in Mr. Bundy’s case-­‐-­‐are being implemented in a way that are damaging
to our rights and to our western families and communities. In Bundy’s case the designation of his
grazing area as a critical habitat for the endangered desert tortoise gave the BLM the rationale
they needed to order a 500% decrease in his cattle numbers. There never was any scientific proof
that cattle had historically harmed the desert tortoise.
However, in accordance with the rule of law, we must use the system set forth in our
Constitution to change those laws and regulations. Nevada Cattlemen’s Association does not
condone actions that are outside the law in which citizens take the law into their own hands.
Nevada Cattlemen’s Association (NCA) works hard to change regulations detrimental to
the sound management of public lands in a lawful manner and supports the concept of multiple
uses on federally managed lands and encourages members of the livestock industry to abide by
regulations governing federal lands.
Furthermore, Nevada Cattlemen’s Association supports effective range management
through collaboration with resource management agencies and interested parties to achieve
rangeland management goals for economically viable ranch operations and the conservation of
wildlife species.
With the above stated this case was reviewed by a federal judge and a decision was
rendered to remove the cattle. Nevada Cattlemen’s Association does not feel it is our place to
interfere in the process of adjudication in this matter. Additionally, NCA believes the matter is
between Mr. Bundy and the Federal Courts.
We regret that this entire situation was not avoided through more local government
involvement and better implementation of federal regulations, laws, and court decisions. While we
cannot advocate operating outside the law to solve problems, we also sympathize with Mr.
Bundy’s dilemma. With good faith negotiations from both sides, we believe a result can be
achieved which recognizes the balance that must be struck between private property rights and
resource sustainability.

- Greg Pollowitz

Huckabee Leads in Iowa

Via McClatchy DC:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is the top choice at the moment for potential Iowa Republican caucus voters, according to a new Loras College poll.

The Dubuque, Iowa-based college’s inaugural survey showed Huckabee with 14.7 percent. Trailing were former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 10.7 percent; Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, 8.5 percent; House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, 8.3 percent; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, 8 percent; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, 6.2 percent and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 4.7 percent each. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has 3 percent.

“As of right now, the Republican presidential caucus field is wide open,” said Christopher Budzisz, associate professor of politics and director of the Loras College Poll, in a press release. “It is not too surprising to see potential candidates who have performed well in Iowa before, such as Governor Huckabee, at the top of the poll.”. . .

 

Uh-oh. - Greg Pollowitz
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Ukrainian Soldiers Switching Sides to Russia

Via New York Post:

A column of armored personnel carriers flying Russian flags drove into a Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Russia demonstrators on Wednesday. Some of the troops aboard said they were Ukrainian soldiers who had switched allegiance.

An Associated Press reporter saw the six vehicles, with troops in camouflage sitting on top, enter the city of Slovyansk, a hotbed of unrest against Ukraine’s acting government. Insurgents in Slovyansk have seized the local police headquarters and administration building, demanding broader autonomy for their eastern Ukraine region and closer ties with Russia.

Eastern Ukraine was the support base for Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in February after months of protests in the capital, Kiev, that were ignited by his decision to back away from closer relations with the European Union and turn toward Russia. Opponents of the government that replaced him alleged the new authorities will repress eastern Ukraine’s large Russian-speaking population. . .

Maybe at this point the best outcome is to split Ukraine into two separate countries. - Greg Pollowitz

Paging Brandeis: Anti-Western-Education Islamists Behind Abduction of Girls in Nigeria

Via CNN:

Nigeria’s military combed the woods in search of more than 100 school girls who were abducted earlier this week by Boko Haram Islamists, authorities said Wednesday.

Vigilantes and volunteers aided in the search near the northeastern town of Chibok, where heavily armed men descended on the Government Secondary School Monday night as the girls slept in their dormitories. After a long gun battle with soldiers guarding the school, the militants herded the girls onto buses, vans and trucks and drove off, flanked by motorcycles.

“They took away my daughter and my niece… and we fear for their safety in the hands of these merciless people that take delight in killing and destruction,” said the mother of one of the abducted girls. “I don’t know what to do. The whole family is confused and we have turned to prayers which is all we have.”

[. . .]

Boko Haram, which translates as “western education is sin,” is known to have carried out deadly attacks on other schools in the northeast. In a clip released by the group March 23, leader Abubakar Shekau threatened to launch raids and abduct girls from schools.

Horrific. - Greg Pollowitz

Report: Islamic Extremists Kidnap 100 Schoolgirls in Nigeria

Via AP:

Suspected Islamic extremists abducted about 100 female students from a school in northeast Nigeria before dawn Tuesday, but some of the teens managed to escape from the back of an open truck, officials said.

The girls were abducted after midnight from a school in Chibok, on the edge of the Sambisa Forest that is an insurgent hideout, said Borno state police commissioner Tanko Lawan.

Gunmen killed a soldier and police officer guarding the school, then took off with at least 100 students, a State Security Service official said.

A local government official said he did not know how many of the girls have escaped but that “many” have walked through the bushes and back to Chibok. The girls were piled into the back of an open truck and, as it was traveling, some grabbed at low-hanging branches to swing off while others jumped off the slow-moving vehicle, he said. The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to give information to reporters. . .

- Greg Pollowitz
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Man with ‘Inhuman Strength’ Arrested in Florida

Via WPTV:

A Lake Worth man is in the hospital after investigators said he went on a violent rampage through a grocery store, damaged property and assaulted a young woman.

Greenacres Police said they were called out to the Monterray Supermarket on Thursday at the 5100 block of Lake Worth Road about a “combative man.”

When the officer arrived, he found Noel Torres, 35, on the ground screaming, “FOOD! I want FOOD!”

Officers said his veins were bulging from his neck when he began fighting with police with strength that appeared to be “inhuman.”

Investigators said police tried taxing him, but it did not stop Torres. He kept fighting and terrorizing the supermarket.

It took a team of officers to finally bring him down. . . 

Captain Florida: The Winter Snowbird? - Greg Pollowitz

Google Buys Drone Manufacturer

Via www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2456537,00.asp:

It looks like Google is the latest tech giant entering the game of drones.

The Web giant on Monday confirmed it has agreed to purchase drone maker Titan Aerospace for an undisclosed sum. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Titan Aerospace and Google share a profound optimism about the potential for technology to improve the world,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to PCMag.com. “It’s still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve their problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation. It’s why we’re so excited to welcome Titan Aerospace to the Google family.”

The move comes about a month and a half after reports that Facebook was in talks to purchase Titan Aerospace, which makes solar-powered, near-orbital drones that can fly for about five years nonstop. But Facebook instead picked up U.K.-based Ascenta, which has also been working on solar-powered drones, as part of Facebook’s Internet.org effort to bring Web access to all corners of the globe. . .

 

Sure, why not. The NSA can just tap into the Google drone feeds and save a fortune. - Greg Pollowitz

Meet the U.S. Navy’s New Stealth Destroyer

Via the Navy Times:

The Navy on Saturday christened the first ship of its newest class of destroyers, a more than $3 billion, 610-foot-long warship sporting advanced technology and a stealthy shape designed to minimize its visibility on enemy radar and reduce the size of its crew.

Named after the late Adm. Elmo “Bud” Zumwalt, the newest destroyer’s massive size and angular profile make it stand apart from other U.S. warships. And like its namesake, a reformer who spearheaded changes that helped shape the Navy by offering new opportunities to women and minorities, the Zumwalt will shepherd the fleet into a new era, officials said. . .

Nice. - Greg Pollowitz

Teen Who Threatened American Airlines on Twitter Arrested

Via New York Post:

Police in the Netherlands have arrested a 14-year-old girl on suspicion of threatening American Airlines in a tweet.

Police spokesman Roland Ekkers said the girl, who has not been identified for privacy reasons, turned herself in to Rotterdam police in the company of a parent Monday and is now being interrogated.

The tweet posted Sunday said it came from an al-Qaida member in Afghanistan named Ibrahim and threatened to “do something really big on June 1.” But the account’s handle came with the nickname “Sarah” and a profile image of a young woman.

Apologetic tweets were posted to the account after the airline replied it was taking the threat seriously and calling in law enforcement.

Ekkers said the motive for the tweet is not yet known. . .

Good. - Greg Pollowitz

Staged Obama Selfies? Out. Spontaneous Pope Selfies? In.

Via USA Today:

Pope Francis, marking Palm Sunday in a packed St. Peter’s Square, ignored his prepared homily and spoke entirely off-the-cuff in a remarkable departure from practice. Later, he hopped off his popemobile to pose for “selfies” with young people in the crowd.

In his homily, Francis called on people, himself included, to look into their own hearts to see how they are living their lives.

“Has my life fallen asleep?” Francis asked after listening to a Gospel account of how Jesus’ disciples fell asleep shortly before he was betrayed by Judas before his crucifixion.

“Am I like Pontius Pilate, who, when he sees the situation is difficult, washes my hands?”

He sounded tired, frequently pausing to catch his breath, as he spoke for about 15 minutes in his homily during Palm Sunday Mass, which solemnly opens Holy Week for the Roman Catholic Church.

“Where is my heart?” the pope asked, pinpointing that as the “question which accompanies us” throughout Holy Week.

Francis seemed to regain his wind after the 2 ½ hour ceremony. He shed his red vestments atop his plain white cassock, chatted amiably with cardinals dressed more formally than he at that point. Then he posed for “selfies” with young people from Rio de Janeiro who had carried a large cross in the square . .

How can you not like him? - Greg Pollowitz

Washingtonian MOM Profiles Jay Carney’s Family -- And You Won’t Believe How Much Food They Eat!

Via Washingtonian MOM:

. . .The cover of the spring issue of Washingtonian MOM features journalist and author Claire Shipman, whose new book, The Confidence Code, cowritten with Katty Kay, goes on sale later this month. The Washingtonian MOM cover story takes a peek at the life of Shipman, her husband, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, and their two children. Shot on location at the family’s DC home, the story explores Shipman’s active role as a journalist, wife, and modern working mom. . . .

Look at all that food! Do check out all the photos. Notice anything funny about the one with the books in the background? (Hint: you're looking for a photo-shopped finger that's out of place and kinda just floating). And note the $275 sneakers Careny sports in the Jenga pic. - Greg Pollowitz

Calorie-Count Mandated on Vending Machines, Thanks to Obamacare

Via WatchDog.org:

Candy, chips and a helping of Obamacare.

It’s already disrupted the health-care marketplace. Now, the Affordable Care Act is infiltrating vending machines.

Yep, a provision in the Affordable Care Act requires vending machines to display the calorie content of all food items. The FDA finalized the regulations April 3.

If you know the calorie content of an item, you might make a more healthy choice. Or so the thinking goes.

The agency admits 95 percent of the companies affected by the new rules are small businesses, such as Ohio’s Enterprise Refreshment Solutions.

Chris Heaton, director of sales for Enterprise Vending Inc., said his company can now begin to calculate costs. It won’t be cheap. . .

This is what government run amok looks like. The calories are already listed on each item, but now the company that owns the vending machine has to post the calorie-count where it's visible to the customer prior to purchase. And whenever the owner of the machine decides to change what's in the machine, he has to post new information. - Greg Pollowitz

Chewbacca Will Be In Star Wars VII

Via ScienceFiction.com:

Oh that’s right ladies and gentlemen! Everyone’s favorite Wookie is come back to the ‘Star Wars’ universe!

We just learned that Disney and Lucas Arts are bringing back Peter Mayhew (‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith ‘,’Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope ‘) in order to reprise his role as the most famous giant furry creature to ever grace the big screen in science fiction history! With a cast full of original members such as Harrison Ford,Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill (among others) it will be great to see if Han and Chewbacca’s friendship survived throughout the years. (It was previously hinted that the two might be working out some differences.) I’m interested to see if they show Chewy as an older version of himself with the grey hair that many of his fellow co-stars from the original films will also be sporting these days. . .

Good news. - Greg Pollowitz

Bill Clinton: Put Photos on Social Security Cards and use for Voter ID

Via Washington Post:

With 34 states now requiring some form of identification at the polls, former president Bill Clinton and civil rights leader Andrew Young on Wednesday endorsed the idea of adding photos to Social Security cards as a way to prevent voter suppression.

The two made the recommendation in separate appearances at a conference at the Lyndon B. Johnson presidential library, which is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

The three-day event, at which President Obama and former president George W. Bush will speak on Thursday, has brought new attention to Johnson’s domestic policy legacy, which has been overshadowed in public opinion by his role in escalating the Vietnam War. . .

Sounds good to me. - Greg Pollowitz

Not-A-Shock: Early Claims Data Shows Obamacare Enrollees ‘Sicker-Than-Average’

Via Kaiser Health News:

Offering a first glimpse of the health care needs of Americans who bought coverage through federal and state marketplaces, an analysis of the first two months of claims data shows the new enrollees are more likely to use expensive specialty drugs to treat conditions like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C than those with job-based insurance.

The sample of claims data – considered a preliminary look at whether new enrollees are sicker-than-average  - also found that prescriptions for treating pain, seizures and depression are also proportionally higher in exchange plans, according to Express Scripts, one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit management companies. . .

Later in the piece, insurers admit "it will be a year before we know what we've got." Well, if Team Obama would release the real enrollment numbers now, we might be able to make an educated guess. - Greg Pollowitz

Video: Watch a Test of the U.S. Navy’s Railgun

Via Mashable:

The U.S. Navy’s latest innovation comes in the form of a 23-pound projectile that can fly at seven times the speed of sound, and it will be ready for testing at sea by 2016.

That’s fast enough to travel from New York City’s Empire State Building to Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell in 180 seconds. The projectile can punch through three walls of reinforced concrete and annihilate just about anything it smashes into. It moves so quickly, in fact, that it doesn’t require a triggered explosion on impact; its sheer force is enough to destroy its targets.

Chris Johnson, a spokesperson for Naval Sea Systems Command, told Mashable these recently revealed projectiles will hopefully be able to hit incoming missiles, overhead planes, other sea vessels and targets on land. The small projectiles come equipped with a navigation system that will let them hone in on incoming rockets and vanquish them before any damage is done.

I want them to test it with 100,000 BBs just to see what happens. - Greg Pollowitz

Cherry Trees Grown from Pits Sent to Outer Space Grow Faster

Via The Asahi Shimbun:

A tree grown from a cherry pit that traveled in space five years ago with astronaut Koichi Wakata, now commander of the International Space Station, has bloomed far ahead of what is normal–to the astonishment of botanists.

Cherry trees typically take about a decade from the time they sprout from seeds to bloom.

The cherry pit was one of around 265 produced from the fruit of the famous 1,250-year-old “Chujohimeseigan-zakura” cherry tree grown in the compound of the Ganjoji temple here, which traces its roots to the seventh century.

In the “space cherry” project organized by Tokyo-based Japan Manned Space Systems Corp., the space-going pits were rocketed to the International Space Station in 2008, and returned to Earth in July 2009 with Wakata, now 50. . .

I bet if we left the pits in space long enough, they'd grow sentient trees. - Greg Pollowitz

Jesuit Priest Executed in Syria

Via McClatchy:

An activist Jesuit priest who spent three years living alongside besieged civilians and rebels in the Syrian city of Homs was assassinated Monday, according to the Vatican, which said he was abducted by unidentified gunmen who beat him before executing him in front of his monastery.

Father Francis Van Der Lugt, 75, a Dutch Jesuit priest, came to Syria in 1966 and eventually founded a home for children and adults with mental disabilities outside Homs, where he lived before the three-year-old civil war started. After fighting began, he relocated to the rebel-held neighborhood of Bustan al Diwan in Homs Old City, where he worked with refugees and civilians during the more than two-year-old siege by regime forces.

“I can confirm that he’s been killed,” Jan Stuyt, secretary of the Dutch Jesuit Order, told the news agency Agence France-Presse by phone. . .

A "rogue al-Qaeda" group has been blamed for the murder. As opposed to mainstream al-Qaeda groups in Syria? - Greg Pollowitz

USAID Responds to ‘Cuban Twitter’ Controversy

Via USAID.gov:

Eight Facts About ZunZuneo

On Thursday, April 3, the Associated Press published an article on a social media program in Cuba funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The article contained significant inaccuracies and false conclusions about ZunZuneo, which was part of a broader effort that began in 2009 to facilitate “twitter like” communication among Cubans so they could connect with each other on topics of their choice. Many of the inaccuracies have been re-reported by other news outlets, perpetuating the original narrative, or worse.

The article suggested that USAID spent years on a “covert” program to gather personal information to be used for political purposes to “foment” “smart mobs” and start a “Cuban spring” to overthrow the Cuban government.  It makes for an interesting read, but it’s not true.

USAID’s work in Cuba is not unlike what we and other donors do around the world to connect people who have been cut off from the outside world by repressive or authoritarian governments. USAID’s democracy and governance work focuses on strengthening civil society, governance, and promoting human rights.

Here are eight claims made by article, followed by the facts. . .

-

Cow Tipping? Out. Smart-Car Tipping? In.

Via NBC Bay Area:

Someone’s been vandalizing compact Smart cars in San Francisco, flipping the tiny vehicles on their front and rear ends in the city’s streets.

NBC Bay Area found four of the targeted Smartcars between Sunday night and Monday morning. Two were found in the Bernal Heights neighborhood on Anderson Street, and another was found a bit south on Sweeny and Bowdoin streets, closer to the Portola district. They were either sitting on their headlights, rear bumpers high in the air, or vice versa. . .

LOL. - Greg Pollowitz

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