Saturday, July 17, 2010

U.S. Forest Service Will Close Caves in Rocky Mountains to Protect Bats from White-Nose Syndrome

Here is an earlier article on the white-nose syndrome that has been affecting bats all over the country.

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For Immediate Release, July 15, 2010

Contact: Mollie Matteson, Center for Biological Diversity, (802) 434-2388 (office); (802) 318-1487 (cell)

Forest Service Will Close Caves in Rocky Mountain Region to Protect Bats From Lethal Disease

Group Advocates for Closures Across West

RICHMOND, Vt.— More than six months after the Center for Biological Diversity filed a petition to close all federally managed bat caves in the lower 48 states, the U.S. Forest Service has indicated it intends to close caves on federal forests and grasslands in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and most of Wyoming and South Dakota. A devastating bat-killing disease known as white-nose syndrome has spread rapidly from its original epicenter in upstate New York four years ago. The Center has demanded that more proactive steps be taken to protect bats, which are dying by the millions in the eastern half of the country.

The closures would limit human access to the caves in hopes of stemming the spread of the disease, which scientists believe can be transported from cave to cave on clothing, boots, caving gear and other equipment.

“The regional office is to be commended for taking action to protect bats now, before this devastating epidemic shows up there,” said Mollie Matteson, conservation advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Already, the white-nose syndrome fungus has leapfrogged into western Oklahoma from the Midwest. It is a hair’s breadth from Colorado. The other federal land agencies of the West need to act now, as well.”

The closure order, expected within the next couple of weeks, will be in effect for 12 months, and could last longer. Caves on national forests in the South and East have been closed under similar orders since the spring of 2009. Some states have also closed state-owned caves to protect bats, and a few other federal land units, such as Great Smoky Mountains National Park, have made caves off-limits to recreational access in an attempt to stem the spread of the illness.

White-nose syndrome was first documented in a cave in upstate New York in early 2006, and started killing bats in large numbers in the winter of 2007-2008. The disease radiated out from New York to Vermont, Massachusetts and other Northeast states. The fungus associated with the disease has since been found on bats in 14 states and two Canadian provinces, and bats throughout much of the affected area are now dying at extremely high rates — up to 100 percent in some infected caves. Scientists fear that several species could be completely wiped out within a few years’ time. A total of nine bat species are now affected, and surveys in the Northeast, where white-nose syndrome has been ravaging bats the longest, reveal that several species are close to being regionally extinct.

Researchers believe the white-nose fungus spreads primarily via bat-to-bat transmission, and that bats can also pick it up from infected caves. Humans do not appear to be susceptible to the disease themselves but scientists believe people can spread it.

“Bats are essential members of North America’s ecosystems, eating immense quantities of insects every night, and helping to keep bug populations in check,” said Matteson. “If we ignore the need to take precautionary measures to protect bats, we do so not only at their peril but also at our own.”
In January the Center for Biological Diversity filed a petition to close bat caves on all federal lands in the lower 48 states due to the threat of white-nose syndrome. The Center also filed a petition to designate two white-nose-affected bat species as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. In June, the group notified the government that it intended to sue for failure to respond in time to protect the two bats, which are the eastern small-footed bat and the northern long-eared bat.

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The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 255,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.


Anthrax Confirmed in North Dakota Beef Bull & Texas Deer

These reports do not seem out of the ordinary at this point.

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Anthrax Confirmed in North Dakota


A single case of anthrax has just been confirmed in northwestern Dickey County, where the disease has been reported in the past,” said Dr. Susan Keller, the state veterinarian. “With weather conditions almost ideal for anthrax, producers need to make sure their animals are up to date on vaccinations.”

The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at North Dakota State University confirmed the
diagnosis of anthrax in a beef bull Tuesday. It is the second case of anthrax recorded in the state this year. Last May, an animal died from anthrax in Sioux County, the first confirmed case in that area in many years.

An effective anthrax vaccine is readily available, but it takes about a week to establish immunity and must be followed with annual boosters. Keller asked producers to monitor their herds for unexpected deaths and report them to their veterinarians.


Anthrax has been most frequently reported in northeast, southeast and south central North Dakota, but it has been suspected in almost every part of the state. The state usually records a few anthrax cases every year, but in 2005, the disease killed an estimated 1,000 head of cattle, bison, horses, sheep, llamas and farmed deer and elk.


An anthrax factsheet is available on the home page of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture website at
www.agdepartment.com.

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Ranchers on watch after anthrax found in deer


by Brian New / KENS 5


khou.com

Posted on July 10, 2010 at 2:43 PM


UVALDE, Texas -- Ranchers were on alert Saturday in Uvalde after a
confirmed case of anthrax was found in a white-tailed deer.

A dozen deer in all were found dead earlier
this month but only one was tested, and it tested positive for the disease.

The state is advising ranchers to make sure all their animals are vaccinated and to put medicine in their deer feed.


Anthrax is typically
spread from deer to deer by horse flies.

"They can feed on a sick animal and transmit it real easy to other animals, and it can really accelerate that a way," said Uvalde veterinarian Dr. Cecil Arnim.


In 2001, Dr. Arnim said more than
a thousand deer died in the Uvalde area from anthrax.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Verizon Unveils Cloud Computing Patient Information Database & Decision Support Cycle System Using CareEngine® Technology


The new medical technology is also wireless. How long before someone hacks the patient information database that contains all the information? I just do not believe that any wireless system is 100% secure. Also, it will only be a matter of time before the medical establishment will want to implant microchips that can sync with health information exchange systems.

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Health Information Exchange Will Enable Secure Web-Based Access - Anytime, Anywhere - to Patients' Clinical Data
News Release ShareThis

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – July 14, 2010 –

One of the biggest obstacles to sharing patient information electronically is that health care systems and providers use a wide range of incompatible IT platforms and software to create and store data in various formats. A new service - the Verizon Health Information Exchange - will soon be available via the "cloud" to address this challenge.

The Verizon Health Information Exchange, one of the first services of its kind in the U.S., will consolidate clinical patient data from providers and translate it into a standardized format that can be securely accessed over the Web. Participating exchange providers across communities, states and regions will be able to request patient data via a secure online portal, regardless of the IT systems and specific protocols the providers use. This will enable providers to obtain a more complete view of a patient's health history, no matter where the data is stored.

Having more information at their fingertips will help providers reduce medical errors and duplicative testing, control administrative costs and, ultimately, enhance patient safety and treatment outcomes. Since the monthly charges are based on a provider's patient-record volume, the service is economical.

(Note - Listen to an audio podcast on Verizon Health Information Exchange.)

"By breaking down the digital silos within the U.S. health care delivery system, the Verizon Health Information Exchange will address many of the interoperability barriers that prevent sharing of clinical data between physicians, clinics, hospitals and payers," said Kannan Sreedhar, vice president and global managing director, Verizon Connected Health Care Solutions. "Providing secure access to patient data will enable health care organizations to make a quantum leap forward in the deployment of IT to meet critical business and patient-care issues."

Adoption of health information exchanges is expected to grow as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. As of March, 56 federal grants totaling $548 million have been awarded to states to facilitate and expand the secure electronic movement and use of health information among organizations, using nationally recognized standards.

Strong Security, Comprehensive Service

Because the Verizon Health Information Exchange will be delivered via Verizon's cloud computing platform, health care organizations will be able to use their current IT systems, processes and workflows, without large additional capital expenditures. The service will be ideal for large and small health care providers.

The Verizon Health Information Exchange will use strong identity access management controls to provide security for sensitive patient information. Only authorized users will have access to patient clinical data.

To build out the solution, Verizon will leverage the capabilities of several key technology and service providers - MEDfx, MedVirginia and Oracle - to deliver key features of the service including: clinical dashboard , record locator service, cross-enterprise patient index and secure clinical messaging.

"The ability to dynamically scale technical resources and pay for those used are key benefits of health information exchange platforms hosted in the cloud," said Lynne A. Dunbrack, program director, IDC Health Insights. "Cloud-based platforms will appeal to small to mid-sized organizations looking to shift technology investment from cap-ex to op-ex and to large regional or statewide initiatives that need to establish connectivity with myriad stakeholders with divergent needs and interoperability requirements."

MedVirginia to Adopt Verizon Health Information Exchange

Among the enterprise clients planning to adopt Verizon's new platform is MedVirginia, a long-time health care pioneer serving central Virginia. Formed in 2000 by a consortium of Virginia health care providers, the Richmond-based organization has long focused on initiatives to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care through IT innovations, including the 2006 launch of MedVirginia Solution®, a community-based health information exchange.

"Based on our track record of success, MedVirginia projects continued growth in the expanding marketplace for health IT," said Michael Matthews, chief executive officer of MedVirginia and chairman of the NHIN Coordinating Committee administered by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. "Our current and future needs require enhanced functionality, flexibility, performance and scalability, and the cloud-based Verizon Health Information Exchange meets those requirements."

Health Information Exchange Will Meet Stringent Federal Standards

Verizon Health Information Exchange will also meet stringent federal standards for privacy, including provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. In addition, the platform will comply with the requirements of the Nationwide Health Information Network, a collection of standards, protocols, legal agreements, specifications and services overseen by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to support the secure exchange of health information over the Internet.

Verizon Connected Healthcare Solutions

The Verizon Health Information Exchange is the latest in a series of initiatives that the company has implemented to help accelerate the use of technology in health care. For example, in March, Verizon Business launched the Verizon Medical Data Exchange, and last November, the company introduced Verizon Telehealth Collaboration Services.

Visit the Verizon Connected Healthcare Solutions website for more information.

Media Contact:
Kevin W. Irland, 703-886-1117

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If the press release above doesn't make any sense, check out the below video by clicking the Verizon picture below or clicking this Verizon link. The video is really interesting around the 4:08 minute mark, because the Verizon official says that the system will collect patient information from the doctors connected to the system. The system will then send the patient information through the CareEngine®. The CareEngine® is basically "business intelligence from a clinical perspective." I would call it operations research from a clinical perspective, but hey, what do I know.

Once the CareEngine® completes its task, the system messages the physician and tells the doctor whether or not the doctor's patient diagnosis is accurate or whether the doctor should try other methods. Based on that assertion, it appears to me that the computer is now the doctor.

If the computer is programmed with "death panel instructions" (or algorithms and artificial intelligence written for the same purpose) designed to decrease medical costs, there may be some conflicts when the doctor wants to prescribe an expensive course of treatment, but the CareEngine® says that it is not cost effective. Also, if something corrupts the system, the system might potentially provide inaccurate information to the doctors.

The technology involving the CareEngine by Active Health Management (including the patent) is also discussed below, so knock yourself out reviewing it if you like technology.



Verizon's Health Information Exchange

Whether you are looking to locate patient health records within your own extended enterprise or electronically exchange healthcare information within your surrounding community, state, or nation, Verizon Health Information Exchange (HIE) can help you improve access to patient information and achieve your goals.

Physicians, payers and patients need access to a patient’s consolidated health record at the time and place of care, which is exactly how Verizon's HIE delivers it – anytime, virtually anywhere there is an Internet connection. Not only does this help healthcare providers make more informed care decisions, but because our solution is cloud-based and delivered as-a-service, you can benefit from increased efficiencies and cost control.

The Verizon video above says that the
Brooklyn Health Information Exchange funded some of these systems and programs.

The BHIX mission is to support the advancement of healthcare information technology and maintain a secure clinical data information exchange for the benefit of the people of the State of New York.

Nevertheless, the heart of this whole new Verizon system appears to be the CareEngine® System by Active Health Management. Active Health's main page is weird, but this interior page may be one of the creepiest webpages I've ever visited. I don't like those rotating shapes around the pyramid in the middle. This is what the Active Health Management page says about the CareEngine®. A cool video on CareEngine® follows the quote.

Our patented technology, called the CareEngine® System, compiles member data from a variety of sources such as medical and pharmacy claims, lab results and information provided directly from the member. The CareEngine analyzes this information against highly respected sources of evidence-based medicine to identify gaps in care, medical errors and quality issues.



If you cannot see the above picture, click here for CareEngine® Video.


Lastly, if you are a true techie, here is the U.S. Patent 6,802,810 that describes and explains the CareEngine® System technology.





Rockefeller Foundation's & GBN's "Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development" (Lock-Step Scenario Predicts Rule by Elites)

Scenarios for the Future of Technology & International Development


Global pandemics that kill millions, mandatory quarantines, checkpoints, biometric ID cards, and a world of top-down government control. These things are not lifted from the latest sci-fi blockbuster movie, they’re part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s vision for what the globe might be like in 15-20 years’ time under a new world order tightly controlled by the elite.

This is one of four scenarios for the future of the planet outlined in the Rockefeller Foundation’s “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development,” a study produced in association with the Global Business Network.


The scenario at issue in the above quote is from the "Lock Step" future (starts at page 18).

LOCK STEP – A world of tighter top-down government control and more authoritarian leadership, with limited innovation and growing citizen pushback.

Lock Step sounds like the combination of every big budget movie about tyranny, terrorism and bio-threats over the last decade. Basically, you won't be able to move in this scenario, because when the grid locks you in place where you stand, you will not be able to take any further steps.

In 2012, the pandemic that the world had been anticipating for years finally hit. Unlike 2009’s H1N1, this new influenza strain — originating from wild geese — was extremely virulent and deadly. Even the most pandemic-prepared nations were quickly overwhelmed when the virus streaked around the world, infecting nearly 20 percent of the global population and killing 8 million in just seven months, the majority of them healthy young adults.

Source: Prison Planet ; Global Business Network


Los Angeles Air Force Base Gets a $2.1 Million Solar Retrofit as Part of the Energy Reductions Project

I am all for solar power wherever it is applicable. Any power generated by a solar panel is free energy once the energy cost required to create the solar power system is recouped.


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Los Angeles AFB goes 'Green' by Harnessing Solar Energy

by P. A. Tezuka
SMC Public Affairs

7/13/2010 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The energy department of the 61st Civil Engineer and Logistics Squadron recently finished the final portion of its three-phase construction of a photovoltaic panel project, completing the north-side parking lot of the base, May 27, 2010. Using state-of-the-art panels, the "PV Canopy Project" is part of Los Angeles AFB's $2.1 million Energy Reductions Project and will measurably cut the base's energy consumption and money paid for energy cost each month.

"The Air Force is leading the way right now with renewable energy-type of projects," said Ed Wilson, 61 CELS project manager. "We compare ourselves with the civilian world; the Air Force is pretty close to being neck-and-neck with getting into the 'green' business."

"The 12-foot high 'T-Span' structure stands on a central column with a roof extending on either side," said Wilson. "Built above the existing parking spaces, it eliminates the standard four-posted structure, making it easier for vehicles to maneuver around them. It is high enough so personal vehicles, ambulances, fire trucks, and standard utility vehicles can easily park underneath it. The approximately 42-feet wide by 700-feet long roof provides vehicles a welcome shade during hot, sunny days," he said.

"Definitely, it does have benefits," said Wilson. "The vehicles parked under the canopies will also be more comfortable when entering, and drivers will be using less gasoline because they will not have to turn on their air conditioning units as much to cool down their vehicles," he said.

The 5-degree, western tilt of the panels are designed to maximize the afternoon sun, which coincides with the peak demand on energy used by the base.

"One of the biggest benefits to the base is that the greatest amount of energy that will be produced by the solar panels at the time when we have the greatest time of demand for energy, typically in the afternoon," said Wilson. "So when we're using this energy, it's saving us on what's called the 'demand profile' ... we will not be using as much utility-monitored energy at that peak period. We are able to reduce peak demand and cost, which is pretty significant to the base. It's a great benefit to us."

The energy collected by the PV system will be used everywhere else on base from lighting, to heating and cooling the buildings, to running the computers. Since energy costs are paid to Southern California Edison from the base's operating budget, the savings will be spent on other projects which will improve the quality of life for base personnel.

"Whatever we produce [from the solar panels], we will not draw off the Edison meter," said Wilson. "All the energy that is produced will be consumed by the base. On the Edison meter, it will show less energy consumption," he said.

Wilson said the project is two-fold - saving the base money and saving California's energy. In addition, by going "green" with the use of the solar panels, Los Angeles AFB is contributing to the global conservation of ever depleting natural resources.

"Yes, it's a green source," Wilson said. "We are using a non-fossil-fuel-based source for the base by using solar energy. It benefits everybody. It puts less stress on the grid, which reduces the necessity to provide new electrical infrastructure outside of the base for the taxpayers...and at the same time reduces our electrical usage, thereby reducing our cost, which again has the advantage of reducing the burden on taxpayers," he said.

Producing energy through Green Power also brings the United States a step further from being reliant on foreign oil, reducing the vulnerability of being dependent on other countries.

Unlike private industries, which make their economic decision based on the immediate profit margin, government institutions can look ahead into the future when planning for an energy-saving project. The bottom line is to spend the available budget the best way possible.

"We're not here to make a profit," said Wilson. "We're here to save the taxpayers' dollars, and so, therefore, we have the advantage of looking at the bigger picture."

The construction of this project was managed by a company called SEI, which was hired by the Air Force Civil Engineering Support Agency, and manages the Energy and Conservation Investment Program activities for the Air Force.

Other energy reduction projects which CELS is currently working on include upgrading the heating and air conditioning control systems used to provide occupant comfort within the buildings, and roof-top PV panels for even more energy and dollar savings.

Department of Defense Establishes Ten (10) Regional Homeland Response Forces (HRFs) Consisting of CBRNE Specialists, C2 & Security Forces

What is the purpose of all this domestic infrastructure? Wouldn't this money be better spent somewhere else in the world or not at all?


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U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Release
On the Web:
http://www.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=13697
Media contact: +1 (703) 697-5131/697-5132
Public contact:
http://www.defense.gov/landing/comment.aspx
or +1 (703) 428-0711 +1

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 600-10
July 12, 2010


The Department of Defense (DoD), in collaboration with the states, has selected Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, Missouri, Utah, and California to host the remaining eight homeland response forces (HRFs), which will be established in fiscal 2012. On June 3, 2010, DoD announced Ohio and Washington as the hosts for the first two HRFs, which will be established in fiscal 2011.

The creation of the HRFs is a part of DoD’s larger reorganization of its domestic chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high yield explosive (CBRNE) consequence management enterprise, initiated during the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review. This reorganization will ensure DoD has a robust ability to respond rapidly to domestic CBRNE incidents while recognizing the primary role that the governors play in controlling the response to incidents that occur in their states.

The homeland response forces (HRF) will be distributed across the nation, with one HRF hosted in each of the ten Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regions. Each HRF will provide a regional response capability of approximately 570 personnel composed of CBRNE specialists, command and control and security forces. HRFs will self-deploy by ground within six to 12 hours of an event, bringing life-saving medical, search and extraction, decontamination, security, and command and control capabilities -- this represents a dramatic improvement in response time and life-saving capability to the previous construct.

Coincident with the creation of the eight HRFs in fiscal 2012, the department has selected Puerto Rico, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Kentucky, Nevada, Oregon, and Maine to replace existing CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Packages (CERFP) that will evolve into HRFs. These formations composed of existing National Guard units will be trained to respond to a weapons of mass destruction incident, including: locating and extracting victims from a contaminated environment, performing mass patient/casualty decontamination, and providing medical treatment as necessary to stabilize patients for evacuation.

A Fact Sheet on HRFs and CERFPs can be found at http://www.defense.gov/news/HRFCERFP.pdf.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why Did Seven (7) Members of U.S. Congress Spend Independence Day Weekend Placing Seeds in a Sub-Zero Arctic Doomsday Vault in Norway?

It makes no sense for a Congressman (let alone 7 of them) to spend his 4th of July weekend in Norway at some seed vault unless the powers-that-be know something that we don't know.

Why are our congressman spending their fourth of July weekends in the frozen arctic tundra putting seeds in a Doomsday Vault? Does this further the assumption of a new world order/global conspiracy? This vault rarely gets any attention by the mainstream media, but the leaders of many countries seem to frequent the location. Why has the doomsday vault been such a top priority recently?


Instead of placing seeds in the vaults, why doesn't Congress do something about the GMO seeds and varieties that are contaminating organic and non-GMO seed stocks all over the world?

Source: Freedom's Phoenix

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Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman
Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
http://www.csce.gov/
July 11, 2010

RED HOT CHILE PEPPERS ARRIVE IN SUB-ZERO ARCTIC SEED VAULT

Senator Cardin-led Delegation Delivers U.S. Seed Collection of Valuable Varieties of Chile Peppers and Hundreds of Sorghum Varieties, an Essential “Climate Ready” Crop



From left to right: Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dr. Cary Fowler, Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ambassador Barry White, Rep. Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL), and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).

SVALBARD, NORWAY (11 July 2010)—A new collection of some of North America’s hottest foods—an eclectic range of New World chile peppers—were delivered to the cool Arctic Circle environs of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault today, where their exotic tongue-scorching qualities can be kept safe for centuries.

The seeds were delivered to the vault by a seven-person bipartisan delegation from the U.S. Congress, led by Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), and including Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL). The seeds were handed over to Dr. Cary Fowler, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, the institution that funds the operation and management of the seed vault, as well as the transport of unique seeds from collections around the world. The latest samples of seeds come from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Other members of the bipartisan delegation are: Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), the Helsinki Commission’s Ranking Republican; Commissioner Senator Tom Udall (D-NM); Commissioner Representative Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY); Commissioner Representative Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL); and Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX).

“The world is interdependent when it comes to crop diversity, the essential raw material needed for a healthy and robust food supply,” said Senator Cardin. “As we manage the impact of climate change and other natural and man-made disasters around the world, the seed vault in Svalbard will be the safety deposit box that ensures we can keep that food supply intact.”

The so-called “doomsday” seed vault now contains seeds of more than 525,000 crop varieties, making it the most diverse assemblage of crop diversity amassed anywhere in the world. Overall, this week’s deposit consists of a total of 537 varieties of 13 crops.

It includes Wenk’s Yellow Hots, a pepper that starts out yellow and hot and cools somewhat to red and medium-hot; Pico de Gallo or “Rooster’s beak,” a medium-hot salsa staple; and the unpredictable San Juan “Tsile,” a New Mexico chili still grown by elder farmers in a Native American pueblo that can be anything from mild to medium to hot.

“In New Mexico, our distinctive red and green chile peppers not only define our cuisine, they also symbolize our state’s unique cultural heritage and the livelihoods of generations who have called it home,” said Senator Tom Udall. “I’m very pleased that we are saving New Mexico’s most deliciously famous crop in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.”

The USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has sent tens of thousands of seeds from its National Plant Germplasm System to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault since January 2008. “Our goal, over the next 10 to 15 years, is to have the majority of the system's 511,000 collections represented in the Svalbard vault," said Edward B. Knipling, ARS administrator.

He added, "While we've sent samples from some very familiar crop species, such as maize, soybeans, and peanuts, we're also sending more exotic germplasm, such as seeds of the wild strawberry Fragaria iturupensis, collected from the island of Iturup on the lower flank of the Atsunupuri Volcano in far eastern Russia. ARS has a strong commitment to sharing its crop diversity to ensure that Svalbard is well positioned to help protect the world's genetic diversity."

In addition to the assortment of chile peppers, the Fort Collins collection also deposited in the vault this week melons, peanuts, beans, sesame, hibiscus, squash, gourd, and 448 different varieties of sorghum. Sorghum is a crop that is grown around the world and is a dietary staple for 500 million people in over 30 countries. It is getting renewed attention as a “climate change ready” crop due to its ability to withstand hot and dry conditions.

“Sorghum is an amazingly versatile crop—it’s used for flour, bread, animal feed, beer and, increasingly, biofuels—and it’s likely to become ever more important to global food security given its drought tolerance,” said Fowler. “But production in many areas is threatened by insect pest and plant disease,” he continued. “This intensifies the need to conserve sorghum diversity so that plant breeders can find the genetic traits they need to equip this important crop for these challenges.”

The seed vault was constructed deep in a mountain on a remote Norwegian archipelago near the North Pole as a fail-safe back-up to existing crop collections around the world. Collections are constantly under threat from wars and natural disasters but also small but important threats like lack of funding to pay for electricity to store seeds in refrigerators. The seeds in the vault are the property of the country or institution that sent them and are available in the public domain through these institutions. Crop collections around the world serve the daily needs of farmers and plant breeders in their work to find new traits that can boost yields or address problems posed by diseases, pests or shifting climate conditions.

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The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (www.csce.gov)

The CSCE, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.

Svalbard Global Seed Vault (www.seedvault.no)

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is designed to store duplicates of seeds from seed collections from around the globe. If seeds are lost, e.g. as a result of natural disasters, war or simply a lack of resources, the seed collections may be reestablished using seeds from Svalbard. The seed vault is owned by the Norwegian government which has also financed the construction work, costing nearly NOK 50 million.

The Global Crop Diversity Trust (www.croptrust.org)

The mission of the Trust is to ensure the conservation and availability of crop diversity for food security worldwide. Although crop diversity is fundamental to fighting hunger and to the very future of agriculture, funding is unreliable and diversity is being lost. The Trust is the only organization working worldwide to solve this problem. The Trust is providing support for the ongoing operations of the seed vault, as well as organizing and funding the preparation and shipment of seeds from developing countries to the facility.

The Agricultural Research Service is the principal intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more information, please contact:

Shelly Han at +1 202 351 1929 or shelly.han@mail.house.gov

Jeff Haskins at +254 729 871 422 or jhaskins@burnesscommunications.com

Sandy Miller Hays at ARS USDA +1 301 504 1636 or Sandy.MillerHays@ars.usda.gov

For a full copy of the press release, please click here.

Media Contact: Shelly Han
202.225.1901
# # #

Hundreds of Bottom-Feeding Carp Dying & Stinking in Lake Spokane, Washington (Cause Unknown)

I've been seeing a lot of these fish die-offs in various places here and there around the country such as the one recently at Short Creek Dam, North Dakota (Is There an Oil Spill at Short Creek Dam Recreation Area in North Dakota Killing Hundreds of Thousands of Fish as Waters Blacken & Smell Sulfurous?). I wonder if they are all just natural coincidences or if something else is up. Fish die-offs happen frequently due to natural events, so it may not be gloom and doom just yet. The State of Washington doesn't know the cause.


WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

July 15, 2010
Contact: Chris Donley, WDFW, (509) 892-1001 Ext. 307
Jani Gilbert, Ecology, (509) 329-3495; or
Cathy Cochrane, Ecology, (509) 329-3433
Dave McBride, (DOH) (360) 236-3176

Long Lake carp die-off may be natural occurrence

SPOKANE -- The cause of a recent die-off of hundreds of carp in Long Lake (also known as Lake Spokane) remains unknown, but it may be a natural occurrence.

State health authorities say the situation is not a human health emergency, although residents should take basic hygiene precautions if they recreate in the area or handle fish carcasses.

Most of the fish carcasses are expected to decompose completely within a couple of weeks. Lakeshore homeowners who want to be rid of the smell and sight of the fish carcasses more quickly are encouraged to bury them, taking standard personal-hygiene precautions, such as using gloves and thoroughly washing equipment.

State agencies do not have sufficient staff or equipment to pick up the dead fish.

Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) water-quality experts ruled out toxic substances as a cause of the die-off. They also ruled out low dissolved-oxygen levels in the lake water as a cause, because almost all the dead fish are carp, which can live in water with very low oxygen levels.

“All the species of fish in Lake Spokane would have been affected if there were toxic pollutants,” said Mike Hepp of Ecology. “In addition, we would see small fish dying as well as larger fish, and that’s not the case here.”

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) district fish biologist Chris Donley said the die-off may have occurred because of spawning stress on the carp and temperature fluctuations.

“Since all the dead carp appear to be adult fish, it’s highly possible they came near shore to spawn when it was cool a few weeks ago, waited around for the warmer water temperatures they prefer, then were stressed with very elevated water temperatures very quickly, and became susceptible to natural pathogens like bacteria or viruses,” Donley explained. “Things like this happen more often than most people realize, usually with fish carcasses either sinking to lake bottoms or decomposing in remote areas where no one sees them.”

A dead carp was examined July 14 by a WDFW fish pathologist but a specific cause of death could not be determined. Organ and tissue samples have been submitted to other laboratories for further testing, but results will not be available for several weeks.

Boeing Company Unveils Hydrogen-Powered Unmanned Airborne Intelligence and Surveillance System Called Phantom Eye

Another vehicle that will be able to track, trace and database people, places and things from 65,000 feet.

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Boeing Unveils Unmanned Phantom Eye Demonstrator

ST. LOUIS, July 12, 2010 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today unveiled the hydrogen-powered Phantom Eye unmanned airborne system, a demonstrator that will stay aloft at 65,000 feet for up to four days.

"Phantom Eye is the first of its kind and could open up a whole new market in collecting data and communications," Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Phantom Works, said today at the unveiling ceremony in St. Louis. "It is a perfect example of turning an idea into a reality. It defines our rapid prototyping efforts and will demonstrate the art-of-the-possible when it comes to persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The capabilities inherent in Phantom Eye's design will offer game-changing opportunities for our military, civil and commercial customers."

Later this summer, Phantom Eye will be shipped to NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to begin a series of ground and taxi tests in preparation for its first flight in early 2011. That debut flight is expected to last between four and eight hours.

"The program is moving quickly, and it’s exciting to be part of such a unique aircraft," said Drew Mallow, Phantom Eye program manager for Boeing. "The hydrogen propulsion system will be the key to Phantom Eye's success. It is very efficient and offers great fuel economy, and its only byproduct is water, so it's also a 'green' aircraft."

Phantom Eye is powered by two 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engines that provide 150 horsepower each. It has a 150-foot wingspan, will cruise at approximately 150 knots and can carry up to a 450-pound payload.

Key Phantom Eye suppliers and partners include Ford Motor Company (engines); Aurora Flight Sciences (wing); Mahle Powertrain (propulsion controls); Ball Aerospace (fuel tanks); Turbosolutions Engineering (turbochargers); the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); and NASA.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.

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Contact:

Chris Haddox
Boeing Phantom Works
Office: 314-234-6447
Mobile: 314-707-8891
chris.d.haddox@boeing.com

Deborah VanNierop
Boeing Phantom Works
Mobile: 210-454-2656
deborah.a.vannierop@boeing.com


Willie Herenton Respectfully Disses President Obama's Endorsement of Rep. Steve Cohen in Tennessee 9th District Primary


I know Willie Herenton personally. I know Rep. Steve Cohen personally. And I actually like both of them personally. Nevertheless, this race has the potential to be a shocker on election night in a few weeks.

I find it interesting that President Obama would get involved in a local primary campaign, and Mayor Herenton correctly points this fact out in the above video. Did Rep. Cohen reach out to President Obama for the endorsement or did President Obama want to get involved in a local primary?

I don't doubt Rep. Cohen, because he has raised a lot of money and he doesn't lose often. However, President Obama's endorsement of Rep. Cohen may cause Rep. Cohen to lose white votes, because Obama's political touch to candidates is like kryptonite to Superman these days.


Nevertheless, the demographics will determine the race. If Mayor Herenton is correct about his numbers*, then Herenton will be going to Congress next January.

Rep. Cohen needs to receive significant black votes and Cohen has proven that he can get black votes in primary elections in both 2006** & 2008. Unfortunately for Rep. Cohen in 2010, Herenton is the only major black opponent on the ballot and Herenton is no Nikki Tinker. If Rep. Cohen wins this primary, then it will be Cohen's greatest victory in my opinion.


But if Herenton gets 80% of the black vote in this primary as alleged, then this election will be a wrap no matter what Rep. Cohen does.

Remixx World! Disclaimers:

*(1) Willie Herenton was the School Superintendent of the State-funded school system I attended until the 10th grade. Therefore, my writings are indirectly a product of Mr. Herenton's administration and educational objectives on my intelligence and skills; and

**(2) I lost in a Congressional primary that Steve Cohen won in 2006.



Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Arkansas Official Rob Rash Says Push to Get Flood Insurance Is a FEMA Scam to Raise Money

This is not very surprising, because it appears to me that most of our federal agencies are beyond corrupt at this point. I wouldn't expect FEMA to be any different.

Recommendations by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for local landowners to purchase flood insurance are nothing more than a scam, a levee district official told a crowd of concerned residents Saturday.


“FEMA is taking an area of debt that they have and they are trying to expand, and they are trying to get money, and this is the only way they have to do it,” said ROB RASH, CEO and chief engineer of the St. Francis Levee District, during a candidate forum at Trumann High School. “FEMA officials in Washington, D.C., looked me in the eye and said, ‘We owe $20 billion to the U.S. Treasury, and the only way we have to get it is through flood insurance premiums.’ Please don’t be fooled by this.”


Source: The Jonesboro Sun


U.S. Military to Purchase New "Green Bullets" - M855A1 Enhanced Performance Rounds

Even the military is going "green."

The Marine Corps intends to purchase 1.8 million rounds of the Army’s new green bullet in addition to the millions of U.S. Special Operations Command cartridges already downrange as the service looks to find the best replacement for its Cold War-era ammo.


The new environmentally friendly M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round is on the way to U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, Army officials said, with about 1 million rounds arriving soon. The updated 5.56mm round is touted as more effective than old M855 ammunition and, in some cases, 7.62mm rounds currently in use.

The new M855A1 will be used by the Army to replace the Cold War-era M855 round, which was developed in the 1970s and approved as an official NATO round in 1980. In recent years, troops have widely criticized it, saying it is ineffective against barriers such as car windshields and often travels right through unarmored insurgents, with less-than-lethal effects.

The Army plans to buy about 200 million rounds of the new ammunition over the next 12 to 15 months, Army officials said late last month. The announcement came 11 months after the service had to halt the program when the M855A1 lead-free slug failed to perform under high temperatures.


Source: Military Times


FLASHBACK: Ole Miss' National Center for Natural Products Research Is Only Entity Registered with DEA to Legally Grow Marijuana in USA

Picture © Ole Miss

I thought the government took the position on marijuana that it has no medicinal value. If that is indeed the true government position, then why does the government fund a marijuana farm at the University of Mississippi called the National Center for Natural Products Research (website is currently being constructed)? However, you can click here for a history of this farm.

Here is some additional description information I found about the National Center from a DEA pleading.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is in turn a component within the Public Health Services (PHS) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), oversees the cultivation, production, and distribution of research-grade marijuana on behalf of the United States Government. NIDA fulfills this obligation through a contract it administers currently within the University of Mississippi, National Center for Natural Products Research (National Center), which is the only entity current registered with the DEA to manufacture (cultivate) marijuana for the purpose of supplying the United States with research-grade marijuana. Based on the NIDA contract, the National Center then supplies the marijuana it cultivates to the Research Triangle Institute (RTI). RTI, which is registered with the DEA to manufacture marijuana, has a subcontract with the University of Mississippi to process the National Center's marijuana into cigarettes. RTI then distributes the marijuana cigarettes to DEA-registered researchers who utilize the marijuana for experimental clinical use. All of the foregoing activities take place under the supervision of NIDA.

Can you say government hypocrisy? If marijuana is so dangerous as claimed, then why is the government spending so many millions to study it?



U.S. Marines Train with Los Angeles Police Department to Take on Taliban

This LAPD-U.S. Marines exercise probably doesn't violate the Posse Comitatus Act, because the exercise is designated as a training exercise. Nevertheless, I don't really like the cross-collateralization between our domestic law enforcement services and our military. What happens if the LAPD encounters live fire with the embedded Marines or heaven forbid, a soldier is taken hostage in ambush? Who has jurisdiction then? The Marines or the LAPD or Arnold?

Abbott was among 70 Camp Pendleton Marines in a training exercise that aims to adapt the investigative techniques the LAPD has used for decades against violent street gangs to take on the Taliban more as a powerful drug-trafficking mob than an insurgency.


Source: NBC Los Angeles


Attorney General Eric Holder Seizes More Than 1,000 Firearms from Alleged Unlicensed Gun Dealer in East Mesa, Arizona

Is this a legit gun confiscation raid in Arizona or is "Stedman" coming from yo' guns?

Federal authorities seized more than 1,000 firearms from the unincorporated east Mesa home of a man they accuse of being an unlicensed gun dealer who unlawfully sold firearms at area gun shows.


About two dozen Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents clad in bulletproof vests and assault rifles surrounded the home of Robert B. and Lois Daly before 6 a.m. Monday.


Source: azcentral.com


Internal Revenue Service Tells Congress It Does Not Have Sufficient Funding & Resources to Handle Obamacare

I seem to recall Republicans saying that the IRS would need to hire 16,500 new agents to enforce Obamacare. The Democrats disagreed and said the IRS did not need to hire 16,500 new agents. The IRS has weighed in and while it is not asking for 16,500 agents, the IRS does say that it does not have funding and resources to effectively enforce the health care mandates (as is stated in the National Taxpayer Advocate Mid-Year Report to Congress)

Second, with respect to the IRS’s ability to deliver social programs, the report expresses concern that the IRS currently is neither structured nor funded to do the job effectively. “I have no doubt the IRS is capable of administering social programs, including health care,” Ms. Olson said. “But Congress must provide sufficient funding and the IRS itself must recognize that the skills and training required to administer social benefit programs are very different from the skills and training that employees of an enforcement agency typically possess. While some enforcement measures are required to prevent inappropriate claims, the overriding objective of agencies that administer social benefit programs is to help as many eligible persons qualify for the benefits as possible. That requires outreach and working one-on-one with potentially eligible individuals. If the IRS continues to ramp up enforcement while reducing taxpayer service programs, I would be concerned about its ability to administer the new health care credits and penalty taxes in a fair and compassionate way.”


Source: IRS


Former Bill Clinton Official Says Only a 9/11 or Oklahoma City Terrorist Event Will Save President Obama Politically This November

This site is all about exposing potential false flag attacks first and foremost. Everything else I write about is secondary and should be taken as such. It now appears that a major terrorist attack will be the only thing to save President Obama if you believe former Bill Clinton officials, so I bet Rahm is hatching up something. Neverthless, Remixx World! stands by its prediction that the next major false flag will be attempted in cyberspace.

“The bottom line here is that Americans don’t believe in President Obama’s leadership,” says Rob Shapiro, another former Clinton official and a supporter of Mr Obama. “He has to find some way between now and November of demonstrating that he is a leader who can command confidence and,
short of a 9/11 event or an Oklahoma City bombing, I can’t think of how he could do that.”


Source: Financial Times


U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers Inspects Beaver Dam in Arkansas for Cracks & Other Problems

Fortunately, the engineers have not found any problems with Beaver Dam.

Engineers are spending their workdays suspended at the top of
Beaver Dam. They're using unique tools to slowly inspect the tainter gates.

"That's pretty much what holds the water back," said Alan Bland, with the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers.


Source:
4029TV.com


Florida Law Enforcement Agencies Participated in Full-Scale Emergency Exercise Yesterday Involving International Terror Cells

This drill happened yesterday, so this post is more for future reference. Click here for the news video or the picture above.

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Multi-Agencies Participate in Full-Scale Emergency Exercise Tomorrow in Kissimmee

Published On: Monday Jul. 12, 2010

WHEN: July 13, 2010, 9 AM – 1 PM

WHERE: ABANDONED HOTEL property (ACROSS FROM THE K-MART located at 2009 West VINE STREET, KISSIMMEE, FL 34741)

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Orlando/Orange Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) and over 20 municipal, county, state and Federal agencies will participate in a full-scale emergency response preparedness exercise on July 13. The four-hour exercise will evaluate response capabilities to an emergency event that involves the discovery of an international terrorist cell and a terrorist-drive plot. Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Teams, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Teams, Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Teams and other assets will test their capabilities.

This year’s exercise is part of a progressive exercise program for the Orlando/Orange UASI that is made up of City of Orlando, Orange County, Brevard County, Volusia County, Seminole County, Osceola County and Lake County. This progressive exercise program will incorporate the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) and the responding agencies' plans and procedures within the region. The exercise and evaluation will test response capabilities that include rapid and accurate notification and communications, command and control responsibilities, and information sharing among all regional participating agencies.

Media planning to attend must RSVP to Ann Rowe-McMullen at 850-933-0161 or Twis Lizasuain at 407-709-9135 no later than 5 p.m. today. Interview opportunities will be arranged during the exercise.

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State & Federal Agencies Converge on Central Kansas for CERF-P Certification & Domestic Terrorism Table-Top Exercise (July 11-18)


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News from
The Adjutant General's Department
Kansas Army National Guard
Kansas Air National Guard
Kansas Division of Emergency Management
Kansas Homeland Security
Civil Air Patrol

CONTACT:
Sharon Watson
Director, Public Affairs Office
Work: (785) 274-1192
Cell: (785) 806-4063
http://www.Kansas.gov/ksadjutantgeneral

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 8, 2010

No. 10-055
MULTISTATE EXERCISE BRINGS MILITARY AND CIVILIAN FORCES TOGETHER

Local, state and federal first responders and National Guard units from Kansas and Nebraska will join forces for an eight-day exercise in Salina July 11-18. Operation Smokey Hill will take place at Crisis City at the Great Plains Joint Training Center, the Saline County Emergency Operations Center and other sites in Salina, testing civilian and government response to a domestic terrorism scenario.

The training portion of the event will begin with a table-top exercise on July 12, which will involve state and Saline County agencies. On July 13, personnel and equipment will be deployed to Crisis City and other locations to work through simulated terrorist attacks in realistic training venues.

“This is the kind of ‘get-your-hands-dirty’ training that benefits everyone,” said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the adjutant general and director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. “In real world situations, civilian and military responders must work together, so it makes sense that we should train together. We can see how the other person responds, what they do, how they operate. When we all understand the roles that each agency plays in these events, it helps make our response and recovery operations safer and more efficient.”

The exercise scenario will involve requesting support from Nebraska by the afternoon of July 13. This will fulfill one of the primary goals of this exercise, which is to provide certification training for the Nebraska National Guard’s new Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High-Yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package. The CERF-P assists first responders with casualty search and extraction, decontamination and medical triage in the event of a terrorist attack.

The CERF-P, although located in Nebraska, could be called on to assist officials in Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri, as well. Nebraska Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy; Brig. Gen. Judd Lyons, Nebraska adjutant general; Col. Scott Gronewold, Nebraska National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters Operations Director; and Col. Michael Navrkal, commander of the Nebraska National Guard’s 92nd Troop Command, will visit on July 18 to observe the CERF-P exercise evaluation.

Other agencies that will be participating in Operation Smoky Hill include the Kansas National Guard, Kansas Division of Emergency Management, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas Regional Search and Rescue Team, Kansas Civil Air Patrol, Major Emergency Response Group of Wichita, Saline County Emergency Management, Salina Police Department, Salina Fire Department, Salina Regional Health Center and the American Red Cross, as well as representatives from the FBI and Secret Service. Student volunteers from Brown-Mackie College in Salina will also participate, playing the roles of incident victims.

-30-

Follow the Kansas Adjutant General’s Department on Twitter at:
http://twitter.com/KSAdjutantGen


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Arizona Gov. Brewer Deactivates Seventy-Six (76) Freeway Cameras Owned by Australian Holding Company Subsidiary That Made $84M Gross Profits in 2009


Photo-enforcement cameras are a joke, because they allow private companies to make fat profits. It is also Big Brother at its finest and the trivial numbers of violations these cameras may deter are completely outweighed by the dangers these cameras cause when people are more distracted by the camera than the road. That's not even mentioning the many 4th Amendment violations. I'm glad that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer continues to fight the good fight that many Americans want her to fight. In this exciting episode, she fights against the illegal photo-enforcement cameras.

Dozens of photo-enforcement cameras on freeways throughout the state are coming down this week.


A total of 76 cameras will cease operation on Thursday.

Here is where the story gets interesting and it requires a little patience as Remixx World! takes you on the journey I just took when I first noticed the name of the company who operates these freeway cameras for the State of Arizona.

Gov. Jan Brewer, who has always been critical of the program, decided earlier this year not to renew Arizona's contract with Redflex Traffic Systems, the company that runs the cameras.

If there was a contract, then the State of Arizona paid Redflex Traffic Systems to operate the cameras, because every contract must have some consideration on each side. The only reasonable consideration that the State of Arizona could give Redflex Traffic Systems is money.

The newspaper article does not state how much money Redflex Traffic Systems was making under the Arizona contract, but the amount was probably significant, because Redflex Holdings (parent company of Redflex Traffic Systems) earned $56,343,000 gross profits in 2008, and the company earned $84,259,200 gross profits in 2009 (page 48 in 2009 Annual Report). The company deducted its expenses and received $7.9 million profits in 2008 and $9.6 million in net profits in 2009.

I did an Internet search for Redflex Holdings (parent company of Redflex Traffic Systems) and I found a document entitled Change in Interests or Entitlements of Substantial Shareholder for Redflex Holdings Limited dated as of June 8, 2010. The aforementioned document lists the substantial shareholders of Redflex Holdings.

  • Thorney Holdings Pty Ltd Level 39, 55 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000
  • Thorney Investment Group Australia Pty Ltd, Level 39, 55 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000
  • TIGA Trading Pty Ltd, Level 39, 55 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000
  • Jamahjo Pty Ltd, C/- TWF Partners, Level 4, 25 Claremont Street, South Yarra, 3141

A further search of these companies reveal that Thorney Holdings Pty Ltd is a unit of Pratt Group Holdings Pty Ltd. And once you reach Pratt Holdings, you have Dick Pratt (a/k/a Richard J. Pratt f/k/a Ryszard Przecickiwho) died in 2009. Pratt was one of Australia's richest people and it seems pretty clear to me that Mr. Pratt was making some of his dollars off of contracts with States here in the United States, because I doubt there was a market for these traffic services among private entities.

Why is an entity under the umbrella of an Australian holding company receiving such a State contract?


P.S. - Mr. Pratt may be dead, but
his love child inherited $23 million. I don't know how much of that $23 million pro rata are a result of state dollars from Arizona, but I imagine that a certain percentage of it is.

**Please note, if someone with more financial knowledge and skill than me catches errors in my above analysis, please let me know.


Boeing's Aerodynamic F-15 Silent Eagle (F-15E1) Demonstrator Makes First Flight

More military industrial complex dollars being spent on hardware - particularly a new jet fighter.

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Boeing F-15 Silent Eagle Demonstrator Makes 1st Flight

ST. LOUIS, July 9, 2010 -- The Boeing [NYSE: BA] Silent Eagle flight demonstrator aircraft F-15E1 completed a successful first flight on July 8 from Lambert St. Louis International Airport. During the 80-minute flight, F-15E1 opened and closed its left-side Conformal Weapons Bay, which contained an AIM-120 Instrumented Test Vehicle (ITV) missile. The ITV was not launched.

"The Silent Eagle demonstration flight validated our initial engineering design approach," said Boeing F-15 Development Programs Director Brad Jones. "Our intent was to verify all systems are operational in a flight environment. This flawless flight allows us to move into the next phase. In the next couple of weeks, we will ferry F-15E1 to the test range and launch an AIM-120."

"Everything about the flight went according to plan," said Boeing F-15 Chief Test Pilot Dan Draeger. "We saw nothing unusual during the flight, and we cleared the desired flight envelope needed to fire the missile at the test range; that is pretty much unheard of on a first flight."

The Silent Eagle is an innovative design solution developed in response to international customer requirements for a cost-effective, high-performance fighter aircraft to defend against future threats. The F-15SE offers unique aerodynamic, avionic and Radar Cross Section reduction features that provide the user with maximum flexibility to dominate the ever-changing advanced threat environment. The aircraft's Conformal Weapons Bays can carry a variety of air-to-air missiles and air-to-ground weapons.

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