Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Historical Records Show Cliven Bundy's Ancestral Claims Are Lies


At the beginning of April tea party terrorists began flocking the residence of a Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy. The stand off began after right wing media outlets like Fox News began pushing a narrative of the federal government encroaching on Bundy’s rights to graze cattle on land managed by  the federal Bureau of Land Management. Bundy claimed his family established the land in 1877, before the BLM ever existed. Property records show that the ranch was purchased by the Bundy family in 1948, several years after the creation of the BLM.

Bundy’s story doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

In an interview with KLAS – TV, Las Vegas, Bundy said:
“I’ve lived my lifetime here. My forefathers have been up and down the Virgin Valley here ever since 1877.  All these rights that I claim, have been created through pre-emptive rights and beneficial use of the forage and the water and the access and range improvements.”
While it may come as no surprise that Fox news, along with all of the other right wing media outlets that pushed Bundy’s narrative, never bothered to fact check these claims, local reporters from KLAS -TV decided to check the historical records. What they discovered is that the Bundy family purchased the land on which Cliven Bundy’s ranch is located in 1948, from Raoul and Ruth Levin. The record also shows that prior to 1948, the Bundy family resided in the state of Arizona.

Bundy’s claim that his rights predate the BLM also turned out to be bogus.

Bundy also claimed that his ‘ancestral rights’ predate the creation of the BLM. However, the BLM was created in 1946, 2 years before Cliven Bundy’s family moved to the Nevada ranch.
“My rights are before the BLM even existed, but my rights are created by beneficial use. Beneficial use means we created the forage and the water from the time the very first pioneers come here,”
Bundy told KLAS-TV.

Records show that the Bundy family was never granted water rights for land that borders the 160 acre ranch. The BLM also began managing the land in question two years before the Bundy’s moved from the state of Arizona to Nevada.

What’s more, the Bundy family didn’t begin to graze cattle on the federal land in question until 1954, a full ten years after the BLM was formed.

In an interview on the Pete Santilli Show, Bundy explained his real position. He simply denies the right of the federal government to own land. He believes he’s entitled to do whatever he wants and his ‘tea party patriot’ defenders were all too happy to be used as pawns in a phony, Koch backed war on the federal government.

How the oil and gas industry is using the tea party to further their agenda.

Far from being American patriots, the tea party militia members who flocked to Cliven Bundy’s ranch in April are nothing more than a group of pawns who are being used to further the agenda of the fossil fuel industry.

In the wake of the standoff between armed militia members and the federal government, Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva, is calling on the Department of Interior to investigate the connection between ALEC and the incidents that took place at the Bundy ranch earlier this month.

Congressman Grajalva’s letter highlights the connection between ALEC backed legislation, which seeks to remove control of federal land from the US government, giving it to the states, and the Bundy standoff. The ALEC/Koch backed agenda seeks to remove the US government’s control of federal land. It would allow the fossil fuel industry to exploit land that is currently protected by the federal government. Grajalva is the ranking member of the House Resource Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation.
“The ALEC vision of state sovereignty trumping long-standing federal government efforts to manage public lands has already had tangible effects on Bureau of Land Management and other agency employees’ efforts to do their jobs.”
Grajalva wrote in his letter to Acting Inspector General, Mary Kelly.
“Examining how severe that impact has been, and whether ALEC is exerting undue influence on federal land management efforts, is well within the scope of your office. I believe a timely examination of these issues would serve the public interest.”
While Cliven Bundy has never had the legal right to graze his cattle on land that he does not own, his fake plight has been hyped by conservative media outlets across the country. The single reason the right wing media jumped on this story is because it furthers the narrative of the big, bad evil government encroaching on the ‘little guy.’ As it turns out, everything Bundy has said about his ‘ancestral rights’ is just another bold faced lie, being told by another right wing ‘patriot’ con artist.

This time the lies perpetuated by the right wing put the lives of private citizens and law enforcement professionals at risk, including women and children. Bundy and his terrorist buddies have backed the federal government into a corner, creating a situation in which the feds will have to take action against both Bundy and the militia members that rushed to defend him. Doing anything less would be to encourage armed tea party fanatics to repeat the behavior in other areas of the country. Next stop Yellowstone? Why not? They’ve got guns and they are entitled to use them to take what they want from the evil government.

By the way, the US government is us. It’s we the people. Federal land is land that belongs to all citizens of the United States. It includes our national parks, national forests, national monuments, scenic highways, protected wetlands and wilderness, historic landmarks and many other areas of country that the fossil fuel industry is currently not able to plunder and destroy.

Most people understand why they aren’t supposed to let their dogs poop on the public beach. They understand why they can’t just cut down trees in a national forest. They get why their kids can’t throw their trash all over a public park. That’s because they understand that they aren’t the only people with rights.

In Bundy’s case the BLM never said that Bundy couldn’t let his cows trample the land, eat the grass or leave big old cow patties all over the place. They just asked that he contribute a small fee, to help ensure that the land is preserved for the rest of the American taxpayers. But the idea of simple, basic respect for the rights of others is beyond  the comprehension of most tea party members. The idea that a person who owns livestock should carry the burden of the cost of feeding that livestock, is ‘tyranny,’ to tea-publicans. How dare the evil government expect Bundy to contribute to the cost of caring for his own livestock?

Will the right wing media outlets that pushed Bundy as a conservative hero report on the historical facts, now that they’ve been made public? Can we assume that sources like Fox News and Breitbart just failed to fact check Bundy, but didn’t purposely set out to mislead anyone? I highly doubt it.

Remember the conservative mantra, the ends justify the means. If they can rile up enough tea party fanatics to provoke a violent confrontation with the government and ultimately start a civil war, they will accomplish what they set out to do a long time ago.

Here’s the full report on Bundy’s family history from KLAS-TV.

8 News NOW

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The rise of the precariat promises a renewal of the left

In sociology and economics, the precariat is a social class formed by people suffering from precarity, which is a condition of existence without predictability or security, affecting material or psychological welfare as well as being a member of a Proletariat class of industrial workers who lack their own means of production and hence sell their labour to live. Specifically, it is applied to the condition of lack of job security, in other words intermittent employment or underemployment and the resultant precarious existence.

By Guy Standing, The Guardian

Next year is the 800th anniversary of one of the greatest political documents of all time. The Magna Carta was the first class-based charter, enforced on the monarchy by the rising class. Today’s political establishment seems to have forgotten both it and the emancipatory, ecological Charter of the Forest of 1217. The rising mass class of today, which I call the precariat, will not let them forget for much longer.

Today we need a precariat charter, a consolidated declaration that will respect the Magna Carta’s 63 articles by encapsulating the needs and aspirations of the precariat, which consists of millions of people living insecurely, without occupational identity, doing a vast amount of work that is not counted, relying on volatile wages without benefits, being supplicants, dependent on charity, and denizens not citizens, in losing all forms of rights.

The precariat is today’s mass class, which is both dangerous, in rejecting old political party agendas, and transformative, in wanting to become strong enough to be able to abolish itself, to abolish the conditions of insecurity and inequality that define it. A precariat charter is a way of rescuing the future.

Every charter has been a class-based set of demands that constitute a progressive agenda or vision of a good society. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. A radical charter restructures, being both emancipatory, in demanding a fresh enhancement of rights as freedoms, and egalitarian, in showing how to reduce the vital inequalities of the time. Since the crash of 2008 and during the neoliberal retrenchment known as austerity, many commentators have muttered that the left is dead, watching social democrats in their timidity lose elections and respond by becoming ever more timid and neoliberal.

They deserve their defeats.

As long as they orient their posturing to the “squeezed middle”, appealing to their perception of a middle class while placating the elite, they will depend on the mistakes of the right for occasional victories, giving them office but not power.

This retreat of the laborist left does not mean progressive politics is dying. Costas Lapavitsas and Alex Politaki, who wrote for this site earlier this month asking why Europe’s young are not rioting now, are too pessimistic. Appearances deceive. The reason for the lack of conventional political activity reflects a lack of vision from the left.

This is changing, and quickly by historical standards. Let us not forget that the objectives and policies that emerged in the great forward march a century ago were not defined in advance but took shape during and because of social struggles.

I have been fortunate to witness the phenomenal energies within the precariat while traveling in 30 countries over the past two years. But a transformative movement takes time to crystallize. It was ever thus.

To make sense of what is happening, one must appreciate that we are in the middle of a global transformation. The disembedded phase dominated by the neoliberal Washington consensus led to the crisis of 2008 – fiscal, existential, ecological and distributional crises rolled into one. By then, the precariat had taken shape. Its growth has accelerated since.

What Jeremiahs overlook is that a new forward march towards a revival of a future with more emancipation and equality rests on three principles that help define a new progressive agenda.

The first principle is that every forward march is inspired by the emerging mass class, with progress defined in terms of its insecurities and aspirations. Today that class is the precariat, with its distinctive relations of production, relations of distribution and relations to the state. Its consciousness is a mix of deprivation, insecurity, frustration and anxiety. But most in it do not yearn for a retreat to the past. It says to the old left: “My dreams are not in your ballot box.”

The second principle is that a forward march requires new forms of collective action. Quietly, these are taking shape all over the world. No progressive moves can succeed without forms of collective voice, and the new forms will include a synthesis of unions and the guilds that for two millennia promoted occupational citizenship.

The third principle is that every forward march involves three overlapping struggles, which take time to spring into effective life. The first struggle is for recognition. Here, contrary to the Jeremiahs on the left, there has been fantastic progress since 2008.

Recognition has been forged in networks boosted by a string of collective sparks, through the Arab spring, the Occupy movement, the indignados, the upheavals in the squares of great cities, the London riots of 2011, the spontaneous actions in Istanbul and across dozens of Brazilian cities in 2013, the sudden rise of Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement in Italy’s elections last year, the riots around Stockholm, the brave, prolonged occupation of the streets in Sofia, Bulgaria, until usurped by an oligarch’s thugs, and the even braver outrage of the precariat in Kiev in recent months. These events are messy, loosely linked at best. But the energy out there is vivid, if one wants to see and feel it.

What has been achieved is a collective sense of recognition, by millions of people – and not just young people. A growing part of the precariat perceives a common predicament, realising that this is a collective experience due to structural features of the economic and political system. We see others in the mirror in the morning, not just our failing selves. The precariat is becoming a class for itself, whether one uses that word or another to describe a common humanity. There is a far greater sense of recognition than in 2008.

That was necessary before the next struggle could evolve into a unifying call for solidarity. That is a struggle for representation, inside every element of the state. It is just beginning, as the precariat realises that anti-politics is the wrong answer. Again, there are encouraging signs that the energy is being channelled into action. We demand to be subjects, not objects to be nudged and sanctioned, fleeced and ignored in turn.

The precariat must be involved in regulating flexible labour, social security institutions, unions and so on. The disabled, unemployed, homeless, migrants, ethnic minorities – all are denizens stirring with anger and collective identity. We are many, they are few. The years of slumber are over.

The third struggle is for redistribution. Here, too, there is progress. The social democratic, lukewarm left has no clothes, and neither does the atavistic left harrying at its heels with empty threats, wanting to turn the clock back to some illusionary golden age. They would not understand the subversive piece of precariat graffiti: “The worst thing would be to return to the old normal.”

Unstable labor will persist; flexibility will increase; wages will stagnate. Now what? The struggle for redistribution is in its infancy, but it has evolved into an understanding of class fragmentation, of how the plutocracy seduces the salariat and placates the proletariat. The struggle will show that with globalization a new distribution system must be constructed, far more radical than that offered by a living wage, however desirable that might be.

A precariat charter should revive a rights-based path towards redistribution of the key assets denied to the precariat, including security, control over time, a reinvigorated commons, assets essential for its reproduction and eventual abolition. This vision is taking shape, messily but perceptibly.

In 1215, the class of barons forced a powerful monarchy to concede to demands for recognition, representation and redistribution. Throughout history, emerging classes have done much the same, from the French Revolution with its radical Enlightenment and the wonderful achievements of Thomas Paine and others to the Chartists of the 19th century and the spate of human rights charters after the second world war. The progressives of the era have always reinvented the future. They are doing it now. Cheer up.

Glenn Beck The Target Of Paranoid Anger He Helped Create

Now that Beck has condemned violence at a Nevada ranch, his own followers have turned on him - with the same violent talk he used to direct at others.
Now that Beck has condemned violence at a Nevada ranch, his own followers have turned on him - with the same violent talk he used to direct at others.

By Ellen Brodsky

Glenn Beck has spent years exploiting violent rhetoric and blowing extremist dog whistles about the U.S. government. But now that his followers have begun acting out his fantasy at the Cliven Bundy ranch conflict in Nevada, Beck has suddenly gone all Prince of Peace. In response, his audience has turned against him with just the kind of rhetoric Beck has directed at others.

Apparently, Beck feels that those armed militia types who have rushed to scofflaw Bundy’s ranch in Nevada are not following God as closely as he does. Or something.
On Monday, Beck wanted them to know he’s really one of them. He said, “I do fully believe that the federal government does want to put ranchers out of business. … I am fully clear on what the federal government wants to do.”

But then Beck started lecturing his listeners about how to respond. He said:
You get down on your knees and you pray. Which way, Lord? Which way? Do I follow the teachings of Jesus vis-a-vis Martin Luther King? Do I follow those rules or do I get into a crowd stirred up by the media on both sides?
Only God is in control and so I will stand exactly where He wants me to stand and I can tell you right now, it is not standing in front of people with guns.
Unfortunately for Beck, all those folks he has stirred up don’t want to hear that. Not only that, they’re thinking he might be some kind of fraud for jumping out of the frying pan, so to speak, just as things are beginning to heat up.

Raw Story caught some of the outcry against Beck on his Facebook page and Twitter:
“When the possibility of bloody conflict exists does Beck simply roll over and side with the oppressor, the tyrannical State?” one Facebook user wrote on the Glenn Beck fan page.
Another person commented: “Glenn, you are no longer a friend of the Patriots fighting for FREEDOM. Go away and sell some books and your false ‘Bravado’ to other traitors. How about you yourself said this Tyranny was coming and did not stand up. Re-read Article 1 Bundy is a hero. Oh, thats why you are mad, they didn’t invite you to speak?”
… “Get a grip Glenn. My vote didn’t keep Obama out of office. Our country is being destroyed and you and Obama think talk will fix it all. I am not for violence but you can’t use a sign against a fed sniper.”
On both Monday and Tuesday, Beck expressed shock and outrage that people should respond to him with such venom. He instructed those who support violence to unfriend him, unsubscribe from his newsletter and Blaze TV.

In truth, Beck is merely reaping what he has sowed. This is the same Beck who has repeatedly suggested that viewers need to use violence against the crooked Obama administration. For example:
“This administration…they model themselves…after Al Capone. You take these guys on, and they will bash your brains out. …That’s what they do to everyone who stands in their way. So, you have to ask yourself, …what are you prepared to do. If you’re going to get into a fight with these guys, you better be able to battle all the way to the end.”
So maybe Beck has replaced “Al Capone” with “Martin Luther King” in his spiels. But now, nobody’s buying it.

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving fellow.

Right Winger Proves Bundy And His Nevada Clown Posse Benefit From White Privilege

By Justin "Filthy Liberal Scum" Rosario

white privilege card

This article was originally posted on

If there’s one thing right wingers despise more than anything else, it’s when someone points out their White Privilege. They’re so invested in their “I’m a persecuted victim” narrative that any suggestion of white people, specifically white conservatives, getting away with behavior that would land black people in jail or the morgue is met with howls of outrage.
Aside from denying privilege even exists, the favorite anti-privilege tactic of the poor, oppressed white conservative when discussing white privilege is to find a vaguely similar incident involving black people. This proves, PROVES! that black people aren’t treated any differently, liberals are hypocrites, and blablabla.

Curiously, many of these “similar” incidents are only superficially in nature and usually prove the original point that white people do get special treatment. For example, here’s Chris Ayarza, one the genius libertarians I regularly encounter, trying to debunk my claim that if Cliven Bundy and his cosplay cowboy posse had been black, they’d all be dead right now:
The Black Panther Party invade the State Assembly…:

Oh noes! He got me! The Black Panthers terrorized the state legislature! That’s just like hundreds of armed militiamen threatening to shoot officers of the law for doing their jobs! Liberal hypocrisy! (There’s a good chance Chris will claim he wasn’t really comparing the two. Good luck with that!)

But what, exactly, were the Black Panthers doing at the California State Assembly and why did they have their guns?

Well, you’ll be shocked to learn that, in the 60's, black people in California had a tendency to be targeted, beaten and/or killed by the police with appalling regularity. Unlike today where that never happens. Ahem.

Apparently, the Black Panthers thought this was not a good thing so they decided to follow the police around in minority neighborhoods to keep an eye on them. Whenever a cop would get out of their car, so would the Panthers. You know, just to let the cops know that someone was watching.

Oh, and they all had guns which was perfectly legal for them to carry out in the open according to California law.

You’ll also be shocked to learn that this sent white people into a complete panic. The idea of openly armed black people was so horrifying that California suddenly thought it might be a good idea to make open carry illegal. The resulting Mulford Act was the very bill under discussion the day the Black Panthers showed up at the State Assembly.

Side note, the NRA was quite an enthusiastic supporter of the Mulford Act and then-Governor Ronald Reagan happily signed it into law. Funny how no one on the right seems to remember this…

Anyway, the end result was that the Black Panthers were arrested, unlike Bundy and his “freedom fighters.” Oh, and the Black Panthers are still regularly referred to as terrorists despite the fact that their community had been (and still is, frankly) terrorized by the police for decades. By way of comparison, Bundy is just a freeloader.

So on the one hand, you have a group of legitimately armed and legitimately angry black men protesting a law being passed specifically to strip away their constitutional rights. Their protest got them arrested and demonized by the right wing. On the other hand, you have a group of white privileged cosplayers playing cowboy, threatening officers of the law and strategizing to use women as human shields all so one man can continue to steal from the taxpayers.

I can’t think of a better example of how white conservatives are afforded special treatment than this.

Angry and armed black men standing up for their constitutional rights are terrorists that need to be arrested. Angry and armed white men standing up for a freeloader that spits on the Constitution are “heroes” that need to be lionized.

Got it. Thanks for clearing that up Chris!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Rush Limbaugh Is Going Down, And It Can't Come Soon Enough

By Ryan Denson

Rush Limbaugh has been around for over twenty years. For twenty years, the misogynistic pig has plagued our airways with outrageous speech, offensive rhetoric, and sheer stupidity to a mass of equally stupid people. However, just two years ago, grassroots groups like BoycottRush and StopRush put their feet down and said enough is enough, and began a massive national boycott movement which took storm to expose Limbaugh for his truly offensive ways, with the goal of destroying his hateful career. Conservatives can pipe up about Limbaugh’s “freedom of speech,” for it is his sponsors who can choose what to do with their money.

Facing possible probes of illegal funding based on political agenda, right-wing think tank The Heritage Foundation ended its five-year sponsorship of Limbaugh’s circus act show after paying a total of $9.5 million over the course of the partnership. If someone receives money from an organization like The Heritage Foundation, who pays you to promote their product (in this case a slanted political opinion), without directly telling the audience the source of funding, it may be considered ‘payola,’ which is illegal. It’s like a business paying for positive reviews. So they paid $9,5 million, and when they realized it might be illegal, they pulled out.
So for 25 years Limbaugh has gotten away with his bigotry and wacky conspiracy theories. However, after his grotesque attack on Sandra Fluke, Americans woke up and realized that he was nothing but a fame-seeking moron. Also realizing that neither his radio affiliates, nor the FCC planned to do anything about his hate speech, citing his “first amendment rights,” American consumers decided band together for the common good of the people and their dignity, and organized boycotts via petitions in order to bring Limbaugh down by way of his sponsors. The grassroots organizations prevailed, and it is now reported that 3,100 companies have pulled their ads from Limbaugh’s show.

Rick Ungar, the senior political contributor for the conservative Forbes and regular attendee on Fox, has some tough words when it comes to Limbaugh’s relevance in the conservative movement while being interviewed by MSNBC host Ed Schultz:

“At long last, it appears that Rush Limbaugh has run out of steam. I have to acknowledge that I have sensed Rush getting by on fumes for some time now (yes, I tune into his show from time to time to enjoy his broadcasting skills if not his message). However, it was only recently that the world of Limbaugh crossed that thin red line from partially serious to total self-parody and audience deception—a line crossed from which there is often no return.”

Rush Limbaugh also seems to have a hard time holding onto his sponsors, because as of April 12, 2014, some of the sponsors that haven’t been heard of in months include: Sodastream, Club Glove, Fin Electric Cigarettes, Mannheim Steamroller, Kars4Kids, Sears, Taco Bell, Jewelry Exchange, National Association of Realtors, SweetJack, New Vitality, Greenlight Financial Services, Stanley Steamer, Midas, Income At Home, Verengo Solar, Taste Of Home, Gold Bond, NFL Monday Night Football,, University of Iowa, and Blue Bell Ice Cream.

Things have gotten so bad for Rush Limbaugh, that Cumulus Radio Network also complains of losing millions of dollars due to Limbaugh’s insane and erratic behavior on the air. A representative from the company even said that many companies are reluctant to invest because of Rush, and say that 49 out of 50 advertisers have ‘No-Rush’ clauses when buying air time.

However, some of the more prominent sponsors still remain: U.S. Marine Corps, Advance Auto Parts, Cox, Allegra, Quicken Loans, Menards, ProFlowers, Insperity, Power Swabs, and Lifelock, among others.

Grassroots organizations have the power to shut down hate, and there is nothing Rush Limbaugh can do about it.

If you want to join in on the fight to end the Pig’s career, sign on here:
Boycott Rush Facebook Page
Limbaugh Sponsor-Cumulus Petition
Flush Rush Facebook Page

Sunday, April 20, 2014

5 Unemulated Computer Experiences

By Jason Scott

While I and many others work to turn the experience of emulation into one as smooth and ubiquitous as possible, inevitably the corners and back alleys of discussions about this process present people claiming that there are unemulated aspects and therefore the entire project is domed.

I thought I would stoke that sad little fire by giving you five examples of entirely unemulated but perfectly valid vintage computer experiences.

Disk Drive Spin Vibration

Some games on home computers would feature permanent player death and the requirement to start over in the event of a catastrophic loss. To ensure the death was permanent, the player status would have to be recorded on a floppy disk drive with a floppy disk in it. Therefore, a trick could be implemented: by putting your finger underneath the latch of a floppy disk drive, you could feel the vibration of the disk beginning to spin, and you could flip up the drive door, disengaging the magnetic head and ensuring that the death was not recorded.

Computer Fans

There are currently no attempts to emulate the sound of a computer fan or have it speed up and slow down slightly over time, eventually reflecting the decay of the fan and the steadily noisier experience as time goes on. In a tangential relation, there are currently no emulations of system failure due to overheating.

Chip Unseating

One common cause of machine issues in older systems would be the slow working out of seated chips on motherboards and other circuits. The resulting glitches and behavior would be noticed by experienced owners, resulting in a reseating of the chips, either by full-board pressure or by pressing down on individual chips and experiencing the clicking into place.

Damaged Floppy Noise

One of the most terrifying and disheartening sounds was the sound of a distraught grinding across a damaged or demagnetized portion of a floppy disk. The noise told you that it was going to be a crapshoot whether the data would ever be heard from again. Variations in the sound also told you how close you were to total data loss, and whether you were at the beginning of a slow decline for that sector.

Power Outage

Emulators do not have an option for sudden and dramatic loss of power. Is not possible to indicate a lightning strike, a brownout, a black out, or the yanked out power cord. This is a central and fundamental aspect of the Atari 2600, where careful glitching of a system including yanking and replacing cartridges could allow you to access game options and experiences that would otherwise never be reached.


The point of me bringing all these up is not to be particularly weird, but to point out that emulation is not a binary experience – it is a continuum, a spectrum. For some people, the mere reappearance of older computing information is a miracle. For others, it is a endless opportunity to point out flaws, complain about glitches, and otherwise drag the conversation into a Xeno’s paradox of unfulfilled promises and impossibly high hurdles.

As time goes on, I expect some experiences to fall by the wayside, and to live only in lore and stories. Unfortunately, that is the nature of history, and computers don’t get a pass, just because the material involved gets re-created with such fidelity.

So, let’s focus on what’s been done and refine that, instead of a mystical set of experiences that may never see the light of day again except in our stories.

Halo Theme - Lindsey Stirling and William Joseph

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Armed Mob Descends On Nevada To Steal Land From Federal Government

By Nathaniel Downes
Armed Mob Descends On Nevada To Steal Land From Federal Government
Gun-toting ‘Patriots’ attempt to start a new civil war over a Nevada land dispute. Apparently stealing from taxpayers is ‘patriotic’ somehow.

Here go the right-wing lunatic fringe once again. For the past week they have been proclaiming that the federal government is attempting to steal land from a Nevada rancher. Groups have organized with the goal of travelling to Nevada in order to kill federal agents attempting to enforce the law. What would gather this group up with the goal of unloading as many bullets as possible in what they call the “next Ruby Ridge?”

Why, it is this man, Clive Bundy. Here’s the video:

Land Use At Root Of Disagreement

Bundy has been failing to pay the fee for the use of federal land now for over 20 years. After numerous warnings, the federal government began impounding Clive Bundy’s cattle. Of course this caused an outcry of support by anti-government protesters, many of which began arming themselves in anticipation of a wild-west like stand-off.

But why did Clive Bundy stop paying his rent? In an interview with Pete Santilli he came out and said it.

He simply denies that the federal government can own the land, so he refuses to pay for the right to use it. The reality is that the state of Nevada was created out of the merging of the Washoe, Utah and New Mexico territories, three pieces of land owned by the federal government. Why does the federal government own over 80 percent of the land? Because they never sold it in the first place, and still maintain ownership in trust of the land as part of the commons. The US gained the territory after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1849. The portions which were allocated originally were done, initially, under mining and farming claims, but greatly expanded later by the Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909.

If and until the United States agrees to sell the land in question, it is the property of the United States. To claim otherwise and win would not succeed in enabling access to the land, but would instead revert the land to its previous registered owner. Incidentally, that is Mexico. If that happens, adios la gente estúpida!

Bundy Summons Gun-Loving Psychopaths To Cause.

Mr. Bundy is inventing terms and conditions in his head, qualifications to defend his defrauding of the US Government of over a million dollars. To defend his fiction, he has called upon armed goons with the idea of murdering people who are there to do their job. This is intimidation of the highest order. But facts do not matter to these ammosexuals. Their fear of some bogeyman monstrous “Govn’t” and their romanticized ideal as to what an armed standoff is so grand, that they would sooner bring war against the United States than pay their own rent. They are just that eager for a war which they cannot win, believing in the fiction one sees in cinema.

Wisely, the Bureau of Land Management backed off of their impounding of illegal cattle. This is not the end of the matter, but the government now will turn to tactics that will make Mr. Bundy wish that they had just impounded his cattle. Things they do can include having his auctioning license and sales permits voided. They can lein his property. They can even legally take snipers and shoot all of his cattle from a safe distance. They can make his life a living hell in ways none of us can fathom.
But hey, he got to play cowboy for a few minutes.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Will Wal-Mart eat up organic supply?

By Jenny Hopkinson

 An organic market is pictured. | AP Photo
Recent announced moves by big retailers could make matters worse. | AP Photo

Big box retailers are attempting to bring organic foods to the masses, but there might not be enough to go around.

Wal-Mart — the country’s largest grocer — announced Thursday that over the next few months, about half of its more than 4,000 U.S. stores will start carrying almost 100 new products from natural food distributor Wild Oats at prices about 25 percent less, on average, than other national brands.

The news from Bentonville, Ark., comes just a day after Target announced it is partnering with 17 natural, organic and sustainable brands, including Annie’s Homegrown, Burt’s Bees, Clif Bar & Co. and Horizon Organic, to make available more than 120 products exclusive to the retailer under its new “Made to Matter – Handpicked by Target” program.

Now the question is, how will organic production keep up with all of this new demand?

The expansion of organic offerings by both companies are “a validation of what we know, which is that organic foods are attractive to consumers and they are attractive to young consumers and consumers from all walks of life,” said Laura Batcha, CEO and executive director of the Organic Trade Association, the industry’s leading lobbying organization.

However, “there are issues with supply currently in the U.S. — we see it particularly in the livestock and dairy production” side, though there also are problems in other commodities as well, she said.

“The growth in the demand is outpacing the acreage.”

If that’s a problem now, the recent announced moves by Wal-Mart and Target look to make matters worse.

Sales of organic food and beverages totaled more than $28 billion in 2012, the most recent year available, accounting for 4 percent of total grocery food sales, OTA reports. In October 2013, the Department of Agriculture estimated that the organic sector would total more than $35 billion in sales in 2014 and grow about 10 percent.

However, production acreage and facilities are growing at a much slower rate. Between 2008 and 2011, organic pasture and croplands grew 12 percent, USDA reports. The total number of certified organic livestock only grew about 3 percent during the same period.

One of the problems is the high barrier that needs to be surmounted to gain USDA organic certification. Under the program, any land used to produce organic commodities must not be treated with non-organic substances for three years before it can be certified. Livestock must be treated organically from before birth.

Farming without chemicals and other synthetic materials is expensive, which is why organic products are sold at a premium, but producers in transition cannot take advantage of that higher price tag at market. The industry has taken steps to address this problem, working with suppliers and producers to ease the burden and gaining a provision in the just-passed farm bill that sets up a cost-share program for transitioning farmers, Batcha noted.

Meanwhile, from Wal-Mart’s perspective, the proposition of adding more organic products to its existing offerings and at a lower price than other stores is hard to resist. The company reports that internal research found 91 percent of its consumers would consider purchasing affordable organic products.

“We know our customers are interested in purchasing organic products and, traditionally, those customers have had to pay more,” Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of grocery at Wal-Mart U.S., said in a statement. “We are changing that and creating a new price position for organic groceries that increases access. This is part of our ongoing effort to use our scale to deliver quality, affordable groceries to our customers.”

Wal-Mart insists that it can keep prices low by using its large scale and supply chain. It’s a theory that a number of organic industry experts believe could work.

“My hope is that this will encourage and increase [organic] acreage in the United States because that’s been the weak link,” said Bill Wolf, president of Wolf DiMatteo & Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in serving the organic industry.

“Their approach to the rollout, with taking a few products, a few more easily produced items that are available, like canned beans and others and limiting how many stores they can go with,” is probably manageable by the sector in the short term, he added.

“Price points can be achieved in a number of ways, and one of the main ways is through efficiency in the supply chain that is not necessarily the same things as paid price to farmers,” Batcha said. “The actual cost of a raw ingredient is just a small percentage” of the price on the shelf.

However, she added, maintaining a good price for organic commodities is key for the survival of the industry.

“Organic farming is difficult to do and there are increased costs going in for production, and it’s important for the long-term viability for farming that at the production level there be sustainable incomes.”

But even if the industry can keep Wal-Mart’s shelves stocked, it’s unclear whether they can do it in the long run at the low prices the company is calling for.

“It depends on the individual brands and how they partner with Wild Oats, but if its private label that usually drives down prices for everyone in the supply chain,” said Mark Kastel, co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute, an organic policy research group. “That premium is what enables people to do organic farming. Farmers can’t produce commodities at the same price as conventional. They can’t do it.”

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hank Aaron compares Republicans and other Obama opponents to KKK

Hank Aaron compares Republicans and other Obama opponents to KKK 

The baseball Hall of Famer, who was honored at the Braves' home opener on Tuesday night, said the only difference between the type of racism he faced as a player and the kind that exists today is 'now they have neckties and starched shirts.'

Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 4:41 PM
Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, asked about race relations in 2014, says the only thing that’s changed since his days as a player is ‘back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.’  Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, asked about race relations in 2014, says the only thing that’s changed since his days as a player is ‘back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.’
Hammerin' Hank can still swing for the fences.

Hank Aaron, who was celebrated Tuesday night in Atlanta on the 40th anniversary of breaking Babe Ruth's all-time home run record, compared Obama critics to the KKK as he opened up about the state of race relations in an interview with USA Today.

The Braves legend, who told the newspaper he still has the bigoted letters and death threats he received during his pursuit of one of baseball's most cherished records, said that little has changed despite the decades that have passed.

"The biggest difference is that back then they had hoods," Aaron said. "Now they have neckties and starched shirts."

Aaron said he keeps the hate mail to remind himself that not everything has changed.
Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves poses with his bat in this undated handout photo. National Hall of Fame via Bloomberg News Hank Aaron in a Milwaukee Braves uniform in this undated photo. On Tuesday, the baseball legend compared President Obama's critics to the KKK.
"We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics," said the Hall of Famer who finished with 755 career homers. "Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he's treated."

"We still have a long ways to go in the country," Aaron added.

On the 40th anniversary of Aaron's record-breaking 715th career home run, the Braves held a pregame ceremony before the start of Tuesday night's game against the Mets at Turner Field.

Aaron was called baseball's "true home run king" by the hometown Braves, while MLB commissioner Bud Selig said he was the "embodiment of the American spirit."