The latest posts from Family Survival Center
You can receive important lifesaving alerts no matter where you are - at home, at school, or at work.
Public safety officials use reliable systems to alert you and your family in the event of natural or man-made disasters. Many communities also offer emergency alert notifications through their own systems. Check with your state or local government to learn what is available in your area.
- The WEA notification is designed to get your attention and notify you with a unique sound and vibration. When you receive an alert, take action and check local broadcasts for more information.
- Public safety officials use WEA to send you essential information whenever you are near the location of a life-threatening event.
- You do not need to register to receive WEA notifications. You will automatically receive alerts if you have WEA-capable phone and your wireless carrier participates in the program.
- To find out if your mobile device is capable of receiving WEA alerts, contact your mobile device carrier or visit CTIA The Wireless Association.
- If you choose not to receive WEA messages, you can adjust the alert settings on your mobile device. You can opt-out of receiving imminent hazard and AMBER alerts, but you cannot opt-out of Presidential alerts.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from a nearby National Weather Service office to specially configured NOAA weather radio receivers. Determine if NOAA Weather Radio is available where you live. If so, consider purchasing a NOAA weather radio receiver.
Find original article and additional resources at the READY.GOV website.
An asteroid several city blocks in length will hopefully just miss the Earth on February 15th, 2013. Of course, NASA has stated that there is no risk or danger although it will be the nearest miss ever recorded in history at only about 16,000 miles away!
2012 DA14 is a near earth asteroid with an estimated diameter of about 45 meters and an estimated mass of about 130,000 metric tons. It was discovered on February 23, 2012, by the OAM Observatory, La Sagra in Spain (J75). Calculations show that on February 15, 2013, the distance between the asteroid and the Earth will be 0.09 LD (35,000 km; 21,000 mi).
Read full article at The Family Survival Center website:
Watch President Obama speak about Hurricane Sandy.
We also want to make sure you have the latest guidance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. If you don't live in an area affected by Hurricane Sandy, please pass this along to anyone you know who does.
For more information, be sure to check out FEMA.gov.
o Follow the direction of local officials -- If told to evacuate, do so immediately.
o Know the forecast in your area -- Continue to monitor your NOAA Weather Radio and your local news for severe weather updates, warnings and watches. Follow your forecast at weather.gov on your computer or mobile.weather.gov on your phone.
o Turn around, don't drown -- The potential for heavy rains can also lead to flooding, or flash flooding in some areas. Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous. o Make final preparations -- If you're further inland, now is the time to make final preparations. Visit ready.gov and be ready for power outages and stock up on emergency supplies of food, water, medications, and other supplies.
o Check on your neighbor -- Make sure they're ready, too.
o Finding shelters -- Download the Red Cross Hurricane app (redcross.org/mobile-apps/hurricane-app), visit redcross.org/find-help/shelter, or check your local media outlets. You should also register on redcross.org/safeandwell, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. Finally, you can download the FEMA smartphone app (fema.gov/smartphone-app) or text SHELTER and your Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA). Standard rates apply.
o Donate blood -- If you don't live in an affected area, please consider donating blood, because numerous blood drives have been canceled as a result of the storm. To schedule a blood donation or for more information about giving blood or platelets, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
For more information and resources on what preparations you should make please go to The Family Survival Center Website at www.FamilySurvivalCenter.com
The basic unit of the oracle is the line, which may be solid or broken. Three lines make a trigram, and one trigram sitting upon another is a hexagram, or six lines. The trigram for wood sitting on that of water may portend a good sea voyage, but it gets a lot more complicated.
"Timewave zero" is a numerological formula that purports to calculate the ebb and flow of "novelty", defined as increase over time in the universe's interconnectedness, or organized complexity.
Read Original Article at Yahoo
A lot of people were puzzled about what German Chancellor Angela Merkel meant when she recently stated that the ultimate solution to the financial crisis in the EU would “mean more Europe, not less Europe”. Well, now we are finding out. A leaked internal German government memo entitled “The Future of the EU: Required Integration Policy Improvements for the Creation of a Stability Union” actually proposes the creation of a “European Monetary Fund” which would be given the power to run the economies of troubled European nations. This “stability union” would be quickly followed by the creation of a full-fledged “political union”. Essentially, this leaked memo proposes the creation of a “European Superstate” which will be crammed down the throats of the rest of Europe whether they like it or not. National sovereignty would be a thing of the past and European bureaucrats would run everything. Of course this will never be accepted by the people of Europe until they feel the bitter pain of the coming financial collapse, but we are starting to see that there is already a clear plan for what the Germans wish to implement in the aftermath of the coming crisis.
A lot of people have just assumed that if there is a massive financial collapse in Europe and the euro crashes that it will mean that end of the euro and potentially the breakup of the EU. But that is not what the Germans have planned at all.
An article in the Telegraph has posted details about the leaked internal German government memo mentioned above. It really is startling to see that a full-fledged “political union” in Europe is being discussed at the highest levels of the German government….
The six-page memo, by the German foreign office, argues that Europe’s economic powerhouses should be able to intervene in how beleaguered eurozone countries are run.
The confidential blueprint sets out Germany’s plan to tackle the eurozone debt crisis by creating a “stability union” that will be “immediately followed by moves “on the way towards a political union”.
It will prompt fears that Germany’s euro crisis plans could result in a European super-state with spending and tax plans set in Brussels.
Can you imagine what Europe would look like under such a plan?
National sovereignty would be a thing of the past.
Ann Barnhardt of Barnhardt Capital Management actually shut down her entire firm because she could no longer guarantee that the money her clients were putting into the futures and options markets would be safe. Posted below are extended excerpts from the open letter that she recently released to the public. Normally I would not post such extended excerpts, but in this case I believe that they are warranted. What Barnhardt has written should be a huge wake up call for all of us. It is refreshing (and a bit frightening) to get an honest assessment of the corruption in the financial world from someone that has made a good living in that world. The following is how she began her letter….
It is with regret and unflinching moral certainty that I announce that Barnhardt Capital Management has ceased operations. After six years of operating as an independent introducing brokerage, and eight years of employment as a broker before that, I found myself, this morning, for the first time since I was 20 years old, watching the futures and options markets open not as a participant, but as a mere spectator.
The reason for my decision to pull the plug was excruciatingly simple: I could no longer tell my clients that their monies and positions were safe in the futures and options markets – because they are not. And this goes not just for my clients, but for every futures and options account in the United States. The entire system has been utterly destroyed by the MF Global collapse. Given this sad reality, I could not in good conscience take one more step as a commodity broker, soliciting trades that I knew were unsafe or holding funds that I knew to be in jeopardy.
So how did the MF Global collapse wreck the system? Barnhardt went on to explain this….
The futures markets are very highly-leveraged and thus require an exceptionally firm base upon which to function. That base was the sacrosanct segregation of customer funds from clearing firm capital, with additional emergency financial backing provided by the exchanges themselves. Up until a few weeks ago, that base existed, and had worked flawlessly. Firms came and went, with some imploding in spectacular fashion. Whenever a firm failure happened, the customer funds were intact and the exchanges would step in to backstop everything and keep customers 100% liquid – even as their clearing firm collapsed and was quickly replaced by another firm within the system.
Everything changed just a few short weeks ago. A firm, led by a crony of the Obama regime, stole all of the non-margined cash held by customers of his firm. Let’s not sugar-coat this or make this crime seem “complex” and “abstract” by drowning ourselves in six-dollar words and uber-technical jargon. Jon Corzine STOLE the customer cash at MF Global. Knowing Jon Corzine, and knowing the abject lawlessness and contempt for humanity of the Marxist Obama regime and its cronies, this is not really a surprise. What was a surprise was the reaction of the exchanges and regulators. Their reaction has been to take a bad situation and make it orders of magnitude worse. Specifically, they froze customers out of their accounts WHILE THE MARKETS CONTINUED TO TRADE, refusing to even allow them to liquidate. This is unfathomable. The risk exposure precedent that has been set is completely intolerable and has destroyed the entire industry paradigm. No informed person can continue to engage these markets, and no moral person can continue to broker or facilitate customer engagement in what is now a massive game of Russian Roulette.
Even more frightening, Barnhardt says that the MF Global collapse is just the “tip of the iceberg” and that more collapses like this are about to happen….
I have learned over the last week that MF Global is almost certainly the mere tip of the iceberg. There is massive industry-wide exposure to European sovereign junk debt. While other firms may not be as heavily leveraged as Corzine had MFG leveraged, and it is now thought that MFG’s leverage may have been in excess of 100:1, they are still suicidally leveraged and will likely stand massive, unmeetable collateral calls in the coming days and weeks as Europe inevitably collapses. I now suspect that the reason the Chicago Mercantile Exchange did not immediately step in to backstop the MFG implosion was because they knew and know that if they backstopped MFG, they would then be expected to backstop all of the other firms in the system when the failures began to cascade – and there simply isn’t that much money in the entire system. In short, the problem is a SYSTEMIC problem, not merely isolated to one firm.
So what does Barnhardt say that we should all do? She is actually recommending that everyone should completely abandon the futures and options markets….
And so, to the very unpleasant crux of the matter. The futures and options markets are no longer viable. It is my recommendation that ALL customers withdraw from all of the markets as soon as possible so that they have the best chance of protecting themselves and their equity. The system is no longer functioning with integrity and is suicidally risk-laden. The rule of law is non-existent, instead replaced with godless, criminal political cronyism.
So what should we do about this?
We should take action and get prepared for what is coming.
Unfortunately, an increasing number of Americans seem to be “checking out” instead. According to a recent Gallup poll, alcohol consumption in the United States has hit a 25 year high. More than one out of every ten Americans over the age of 12 is on prescription antidepressants, and most American families spend endless hours staring at the television in an attempt to escape the pain and the frustration that they constantly feel.
Hopefully by working together we can help more Americans (and more Europeans as well) to wake up, to get off their couches, and to take action in a positive way.
Time is running out and the economic crisis is rapidly getting worse.
We don’t have any time to waste.
by Michael Grabell (ProPublica) Nov. 1, 2011, 1:07 p.m.
Look for a PBS NewsHour story on X-ray body scanners, reported in conjunction with ProPublica, to air later this month.
On Sept. 23, 1998, a panel of radiation safety experts gathered at a Hilton hotel in Maryland to evaluate a new device that could detect hidden weapons and contraband. The machine, known as the Secure 1000, beamed X-rays at people to see underneath their clothing.
One after another, the experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration raised questions about the machine because it violated a longstanding principle in radiation safety — that humans shouldn’t be X-rayed unless there is a medical benefit.
“I think this is really a slippery slope,” said Jill Lipoti, who was the director of New Jersey’s radiation protection program. The device was already deployed in prisons; what was next, she and others asked — courthouses, schools, airports? “I am concerned … with expanding this type of product for the traveling public,” said another panelist, Stanley Savic, the vice president for safety at a large electronics company. “I think that would take this thing to an entirely different level of public health risk.”
The machine’s inventor, Steven W. Smith, assured the panelists that it was highly unlikely that the device would see widespread use in the near future. At the time, only 20 machines were in operation in the entire country.
“The places I think you are not going to see these in the next five years is lower-security facilities, particularly power plants, embassies, courthouses, airports and governments,” Smith said. “I would be extremely surprised in the next five to 10 years if the Secure 1000 is sold to any of these.”
Today, the United States has begun marching millions of airline passengers through the X-ray body scanners, parting ways with countries in Europe and elsewhere that have concluded that such widespread use of even low-level radiation poses an unacceptable health risk. The government is rolling out the X-ray scanners despite having a safer alternative that the Transportation Security Administration says is also highly effective.
A ProPublica/PBS NewsHour investigation of how this decision was made shows that in post-9/11 America, security issues can trump even long-established medical conventions. The final call to deploy the X-ray machines was made not by the FDA, which regulates drugs and medical devices, but by the TSA, an agency whose primary mission is to prevent terrorist attacks.
Research suggests that anywhere from six to 100 U.S. airline passengers each year could get cancer from the machines. Still, the TSA has repeatedly defined the scanners as “safe,” glossing over the accepted scientific view that even low doses of ionizing radiation — the kind beamed directly at the body by the X-ray scanners — increase the risk of cancer.
“Even though it’s a very small risk, when you expose that number of people, there’s a potential for some of them to get cancer,” said Kathleen Kaufman, the former radiation management director in Los Angeles County, who brought the prison X-rays to the FDA panel’s attention.
About 250 X-ray scanners are currently in U.S. airports, along with 264 body scanners that use a different technology, a form of low-energy radio waves known as millimeter waves.
Robin Kane, the TSA’s assistant administrator for security technology, said that no one would get cancer because the amount of radiation the X-ray scanners emit is minute. Having both technologies is important to create competition, he added.
“It’s a really, really small amount relative to the security benefit you’re going to get,” Kane said. “Keeping multiple technologies in play is very worthwhile for the U.S. in getting that cost-effective solution — and being able to increase the capabilities of technology because you keep everyone trying to get the better mousetrap.”
Determined to fill a critical hole in its ability to detect explosives, the TSA plans to have one or the other operating at nearly every security lane in America by 2014. The TSA has designated the scanners for “primary” screening: Officers will direct every passenger, including children, to go through either a metal detector or a body scanner, and the passenger’s only alternative will be to request a physical pat-down.
How did the United States swing from considering such X-rays taboo to deeming them safe enough to scan millions of people a year?
A new wave of terrorist attacks using explosives concealed on the body, coupled with the scanners’ low dose of radiation, certainly convinced many radiation experts that the risk was justified.
But other factors helped the machines gain acceptance.
Because of a regulatory Catch-22, the airport X-ray scanners have escaped the oversight required for X-ray machines used in doctors’ offices and hospitals. The reason is that the scanners do not have a medical purpose, so the FDA cannot subject them to the rigorous evaluation it applies to medical devices.
Still, the FDA has limited authority to oversee some non-medical products and can set mandatory safety regulations. But the agency let the scanners fall under voluntary standards set by a nonprofit group heavily influenced by industry.
As for the TSA, it skipped a public comment period required before deploying the scanners. Then, in defending them, it relied on a small body of unpublished research to insist the machines were safe, and ignored contrary opinions from U.S. and European authorities that recommended precautions, especially for pregnant women. Finally, the manufacturer, Rapiscan Systems, unleashed an intense and sophisticated lobbying campaign, ultimately winning large contracts.
Both the FDA and TSA say due diligence has been done to assure the scanners’ safety. Rapiscan says it won the contract because its technology is superior at detecting threats. While the TSA says X-ray and millimeter-wave scanners are both effective, Germany decided earlier this year not to roll out millimeter-wave machines after finding they produced too many false positives.
Most of the news coverage on body scanners has focused on privacy, because the machines can produce images showing breasts and buttocks. But the TSA has since installed software to make the images less graphic. While some accounts have raised the specter of radiation, this is the first report to trace the history of the scanners and document the gaps in regulation that allowed them to avoid rigorous safety evaluation.
Little research on cancer risk of body scanners
Humans are constantly exposed to ionizing radiation, a form of energy that has been shown to strip electrons from atoms, damage DNA and mutate genes, potentially leading to cancer. Most radiation comes from radon, a gas produced from naturally decaying elements in the ground. Another major source is cosmic radiation from outer space. Many common items, such as smoke detectors, contain tiny amounts of radioactive material, as do exit signs in schools and office buildings.
As a result, the cancer risk from any one source of radiation is often small. Outside of nuclear accidents, such as that at Japan's Fukushima plant, and medical errors, the health risk comes from cumulative exposure.
In Rapiscan’s Secure 1000 scanner, which uses ionizing radiation, a passenger stands between two large blue boxes and is scanned with a pencil X-ray beam that rapidly moves left to right and up and down the body. In the other machine, ProVision, made by defense contractor L-3 Communications, a passenger enters a chamber that looks like a round phone booth and is scanned with millimeter waves, a form of low-energy radio waves, which have not been shown to strip electrons from atoms or cause cancer.
Only a decade ago, many states prohibited X-raying a person for anything other than a medical exam. Even after 9/11, such non-medical X-raying remains taboo in most of the industrialized world. In July, the European Parliament passed a resolution that security “scanners using ionizing radiation should be prohibited” because of health risks. Although the United Kingdom uses the X-ray machine for limited purposes, such as when passengers trigger the metal detector, most developed countries have decided to forgo body scanners altogether or use only the millimeter-wave machines.
While the research on medical X-rays could fill many bookcases, the studies that have been done on the airport X-ray scanners, known as backscatters, fill a file no more than a few inches thick. None of the main studies cited by the TSA has been published in a peer-reviewed journal, the gold standard for scientific research.
Those tests show that the Secure 1000 delivers an extremely low dose of radiation, less than 10 microrems. The dose is roughly one-thousandth of a chest X-ray and equivalent to the cosmic radiation received in a few minutes of flying at typical cruising altitude. The TSA has used those measurements to say the machines are “safe.”
Most of what researchers know about the long-term health effects of low levels of radiation comes from studies of atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. By charting exposure levels and cancer cases, researchers established a linear link that shows the higher the exposure, the greater risk of cancer.
Some scientists argue the danger is exaggerated. They claim low levels stimulate the repair mechanism in cells, meaning that a little radiation might actually be good for the body.
But in the authoritative report on low doses of ionizing radiation, published in 2006, the National Academy of Sciences reviewed the research and concluded that the preponderance of research supported the linear link. It found “no compelling evidence” that there is any level of radiation at which the risk of cancer is zero.
Radiation experts say the dose from the backscatter is negligible when compared to naturally occurring background radiation. Speaking to the 1998 FDA panel, Smith, the inventor, compared the increased risk to choosing to visit Denver instead of San Diego or the decision to wear a sweater versus a sport coat.
Using the linear model, even such trivial amounts increase the number of cancer cases. Rebecca Smith-Bindman, a radiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, estimated that the backscatters would lead to only six cancers over the course of a lifetime among the approximately 100 million people who fly every year. David Brenner, director of Columbia University’s Center for Radiological Research, reached a higher number — potentially 100 additional cancers every year.
“Why would we want to put ourselves in this uncertain situation where potentially we’re going to have some cancer cases?” Brenner asked. “It makes me think, really, why don’t we use millimeter waves when we don’t have so much uncertainty?”
But even without the machines, Smith-Bindman said, the same 100 million people would develop 40 million cancers over the course of their lifetimes. In this sea of cancer cases, it would be impossible to identify the patients whose cancer is linked to the backscatter machines.
How the scanners avoided strict oversight
Although they deliberately expose humans to radiation, the airport X-ray scanners are not medical devices, so they are not subject to the stringent regulations required for diagnostic X-ray machines.
If they were, the manufacturer would have to submit clinical data showing safety and effectiveness and be approved through a rigorous process by the FDA. If the machines contained radioactive material, they would have to report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
But because it didn’t fit into either category, the Secure 1000 was classified as an electronic product. The FDA does not review or approve the safety of such products. However, manufacturers must provide a brief radiation safety report explaining the dose and notify the agency if any overexposure is discovered. According to the FDA, no such incidents have been reported.
Under its limited oversight of electronic products, the FDA could issue mandatory safety regulations. But it didn’t do so, a decision that flows from its history of supervising electronics.
Regulation of electronic products in the United States began after a series of scandals. From the 1930s to the 1950s, it was common for a child to go to a shoe store and stand underneath an X-ray machine known as a fluoroscope to check whether a shoe was the right fit. But after cases arose of a shoe model’s leg being amputated and store clerks developing dermatitis from putting their hands in the beam to adjust the shoe, the practice ended.
In 1967, General Electric recalled 90,000 color televisions that had been sold without the proper shielding, potentially exposing viewers to dangerous levels of radiation. The scandal prompted the creation of the federal Bureau of Radiological Health.
“That ultimately led to a lot more aggressive program,” said John Villforth, who was the director of the bureau. Over the next decade, the bureau created federal safety standards for televisions, medical X-rays, microwaves, tanning beds, even laser light shows.
But in 1982, the FDA merged the radiological health bureau into its medical-device unit.
“I was concerned that if they were to combine the two centers into one, it would probably mean the ending of the radiation program because the demands for medical-device regulation were becoming increasingly great,” said Villforth, who was put in charge of the new Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “As I sort of guessed, the radiation program took a big hit.”
The new unit became stretched for scarce resources as it tried to deal with everything from tongue depressors to industrial lasers. The government used to have 500 people examining the safety of electronic products emitting radiation. It now has about 20 people. In fact, the FDA has not set a mandatory safety standard for an electronic product since 1985.
As a result, there is an FDA safety regulation for X-rays scanning baggage — but none for X-rays scanning people at airports.
Meanwhile, scientists began developing backscatter X-rays, in which the waves are reflected off an object to a detector, for the security industry.
The Secure 1000 people scanner was invented by Smith in 1991 and later sold to Rapiscan, then a small security firm based in southern California. The first major customer was the California prison system, which began scanning visitors to prevent drugs and weapons from getting in. But the state pulled the devices in 2001 after a group of inmates' wives filed a class-action lawsuit accusing the prisons of violating their civil liberties.
The U.S. Customs Service deployed backscatter machines for several years but in limited fashion and with strict supervision. Travelers suspected of carrying contraband had to sign a consent form, and Customs policy prohibited the scanning of pregnant women. The agency abandoned them in 2006, not for safety reasons but because smugglers had learned where the machines were installed and adapted their methods to avoid them, said Rick Whitman, the radiation safety officer for Customs until 2008.
Yet, even this limited application of X-ray scanning for security dismayed radiation safety experts. In 1999, the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors, a nongovernmental organization, passed a resolution recommending that such screening be stopped immediately.
The backscatter machines had also caught the attention of the 1998 FDA advisory panel, which recommended that the FDA establish government safety regulations for people scanners. Instead, the FDA decided to go with a voluntary standard set by a trade group largely comprising manufacturers and government agencies that wanted to use the machines.
“Establishing a mandatory standard takes an enormous amount of resources and could take a decade to publish,” said Dan Kassiday, a longtime radiation safety engineer at the FDA.
In addition, since the mid-1990s, Congress has directed federal safety agencies to use industry standards wherever possible instead of creating their own.
The FDA delegated the task of establishing the voluntary standards to the American National Standards Institute. A private nonprofit that sets standards for many industries, ANSI convened a committee of the Health Physics Society, a trade group of radiation safety specialists. It was made up of 15 people, including six representatives of manufacturers of X-ray body scanners and five from U.S. Customs and the California prison system. There were few government regulators and no independent scientists.
In contrast, the FDA advisory panel was also made up of 15 people — five representatives from government regulatory agencies, four outside medical experts, one labor representative and five experts from the electronic products industry, but none from the scanner manufacturers themselves.
“I am more comfortable with having a regulatory agency — either federal or the states — develop the standards and enforce them,” Kaufman said. Such regulators, she added, “have only one priority, and that’s public health.”
A representative of the Health Physics Society committee said that was its main priority as well. Most of the committee’s evaluation was completed before 9/11. The standard was published in 2002 and updated with minor changes in 2009.
Ed Bailey, chief of California’s radiological health branch at the time, said he was the lone voice opposing the use of the machines. But after 9/11, his views changed about what was acceptable in pursuit of security.
“The whole climate of their use has changed,” Bailey said. “The consequence of something being smuggled on an airplane is far more serious than somebody getting drugs into a prison.”
Are Inspections Independent?
While the TSA doesn’t regulate the machines, it must seek public input before making major changes to security procedures. In July, a federal appeals court ruled that the agency failed to follow rule-making procedures and solicit public comment before installing body scanners at airports across the country. TSA spokesman Michael McCarthy said the agency couldn’t comment on ongoing litigation.
The TSA asserts there is no need to take additional precautions for sensitive populations, even pregnant women, following the guidance of the congressionally chartered National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements.
But other authorities have come to the opposite conclusion. A report by France’s radiation safety agency specifically warned against screening pregnant women with the X-ray devices. In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration’s medical institute has advised pregnant pilots and flight attendants that the machine, coupled with their time in the air, could put them over their occupational limit for radiation exposure and that they might want to adjust their work schedules accordingly.
No similar warning has been issued for pregnant frequent fliers.
Even as people scanners became more widespread, government oversight actually weakened in some cases.
Inspections of X-ray equipment in hospitals and industry are the responsibility of state regulators — and before 9/11, many states also had the authority to randomly inspect machines in airports. But that ended when the TSA took over security checkpoints from the airlines.
Instead, annual inspections are done by Rapiscan, the scanners’ manufacturer.
“As a regulator, I think there’s a conflict of interest in having the manufacturer and the facility inspect themselves,” Kaufman said.
Last year, in reaction to public anger from members of Congress, passengers and advocates, the TSA contracted with the Army Public Health Command to do independent radiation surveys. But email messages obtained in a lawsuit brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a civil liberties group, raise questions about the independence of the Army surveys.
One email sent by TSA health and safety director Jill Segraves shows that local TSA officials were given advance notice and allowed to “pick and choose” which systems the Army could check.
That email also suggests that Segraves considered the Rapiscan inspectors a valuable public-relations asset: “They are our radiation myth busters,” she wrote to a local security director.
Some TSA screeners are concerned about their own radiation exposure from the backscatters, but the TSA has not allowed them to wear badges that could measure it, said Milly Rodriguez, health and safety specialist for the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents TSA officers.
“We have heard from members that sometimes the technicians tell them that the machines are emitting more radiation than is allowed,” she said.
McCarthy, the TSA spokesman, said the machines are physically incapable of producing radiation above the industry standard. In the email, he said, the inspections allow screeners to ask questions about radiation and address concerns about specific machines.
The company’s lobbying campaign
While the TSA maintains that the body scanners are essential to preventing attacks on airplanes, it only began rolling them out nine years after 9/11.
After the attempted shoe-bombing in December 2001, the federal government conducted a trial of a Rapiscan backscatter at the Orlando International Airport. But the revealing images drew protests that the machines amounted to a virtual strip search.
The TSA considered the scanners again after two Chechen women blew up Russian airliners in 2004. Facing a continued outcry over privacy, the TSA instead moved forward with a machine known as a “puffer” because it released several bursts of air on the passengers’ clothes and analyzed the dislodged particles for explosives. But after discovering the machines were ineffective in the field and difficult to maintain, the TSA canceled the program in 2006.
Around that time, Rapiscan began to beef up its lobbying on Capitol Hill. It opened a Washington, D.C., office and, according to required disclosures, more than tripled its lobbying expenditures in two years, from less than $130,000 in 2006 to nearly $420,000 in 2008. It hired former legislative aides to Rep. David Price, D-N.C., then chairman of the homeland security appropriations subcommittee, and to Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss.
It started a political action committee and began contributing heavily to Price; Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., then head of the homeland security committee; Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., also on that committee; and Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., the top Republican on the Senate appropriations committee.
In addition, it opened a new North Carolina plant in Price’s district and expanded its operations in Ocean Springs, Miss., and at its headquarters in Torrance, Calif., in Harman’s district.
“Less than a month after U.S. Senator Trent Lott and other local leaders helped officially open Rapiscan Systems’ new Ocean Springs factory,” Lott’s office announced in a news release in late 2006, “the company has won a $9.1 million Department of Defense contract.”
But Rapiscan still hadn’t landed a major contract to roll out its X-ray body scanners in commercial airports. Indeed, in 2007, with new privacy filters in place, the TSA began a trial of millimeter-wave and backscatter machines at several major airports, after which the agency opted to go with the millimeter-wave machines. The agency said health concerns weren’t a factor.
But with the 2009 federal stimulus package, which provided $300 million for checkpoint security machines, the TSA began deploying backscatters as well. Rapiscan won a $173 million, multiyear contract for the backscatters, with an initial $25 million order for 150 systems to be made in Mississippi.
Three other companies — American Science & Engineering, Tek84 Engineering Group and Valley Forge Composite Technologies — make X-ray scanners, but none are used by the TSA.Peter Kant, executive vice president for Rapiscan, said the company expanded its lobbying because its business was increasingly affected by the government.
“There’s a lot of misinformation about the technology; there’s a lot of questions about how various inspection technologies work,” he said. “And we needed a way to be able to provide that information and explain the technology and how it works, and that’s what lobbying is.”
The lawmakers either declined to comment or said the lobbying, campaign contributions and local connections had nothing to do with the TSA’s decision to purchase Rapiscan machines. The TSA said the contract was bid competitively and that the winning machines had to undergo comprehensive research and testing phases before being deployed.
While the scanners were appearing in more and more airports, few passengers went through them, because they were used mostly for random screening or to resolve alarms from the metal detector.
That changed on Christmas Day 2009, when a Nigerian man flying to Detroit tried to ignite a pouch of explosives hidden in his underwear.
Following the foiled “Great Balls of Fire” suicide bombing, as the New York Postdubbed it, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ramped up plans to roll out body scanners nationwide. Members of Congress and aviation security experts also pushed heavily for the TSA to install more machines that could detect explosives on passengers.
Harman sent a letter to Napolitano, noting that Rapiscan was in her district.
“I urge you to expedite installation of scanning machines in key airports,” Harman wrote in the letter, which was first reported by the website CounterPunch. “If you need additional funds, I am ready to help.”
Michael Chertoff, who had supported body scanners while secretary of Homeland Security, appeared frequently on TV advocating their use. In one interview, he disclosed that his consulting firm, Chertoff Group, had done work for Rapiscan, sparkingaccusations that he was trying to profit from his time as a government servant.
Despite the criticism, little has been revealed about the relationship. Rapiscan dismissed it, asserting that the consulting work had to do with international cargo and port security issues — not aviation.
“There was nothing that was not above board,” Kant said. “His comments about passenger screening and these machines were simply his own and was nothing that we had engaged the Chertoff Group for.”
A public records request by ProPublica turned up empty: The Department of Homeland Security said it could not find any correspondence to or from Chertoff related to body scanners. DHS also said Chertoff did not use email.
The Chertoff Group did not respond to requests for comment.
The TSA plans to deploy 1,275 backscatter and millimeter-wave scanners covering more than half its security lanes by the end of 2012 and 1,800 covering nearly all the lanes by 2014.
According to annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, OSI Systems, the parent company of Rapiscan, has seen revenue from its security division more than double since 2006 to nearly $300 million in fiscal year 2011.
Miles O’Brien and Kate Tobin of PBS NewsHour contributed to this report.
“Our goal is nothing less than to survive the apocalypse to come in comfort and luxury,” said Pink Visual spokesman Quentin Boyer, “whether that catastrophe takes the form of fireballs flung earthward by an all-seeing deity, extended torrential rainfall, Biblical rapture, an earthquake-driven mega-tsunami, radioactive flesh-eating zombies, or some combination of the above.”
A San Fernando Valley adult entertainment studio began construction this month on what it calls a “post-apocalyptic” underground bunker in anticipation of a global catastrophe rumored to take place in late 2012.
A spokesman for Van Nuys-based Pink Visual said the bunker will be “far more than a mere bomb shelter or subterranean survivalist enclave” with amenities such as multiple fully-stocked bars, an enormous performing stage and a sophisticated content production studio.
The studio’s website will also be maintained and updated throughout any potential disaster “even if those websites are only available on the bunker’s self-contained local network by that time,” Boyer added.
He declined to give the exact location of the bunker over “security concerns”.
The studio is currently working out details on the selection criteria for all non-Pink Visual personnel who they will allow to take refuge in the bunker, but Boyer said it will “likely include both merit-based and random selections, with Pink Visual performers, active site members and Twitter followers getting priority over the general public.”
Although no set number was provided, LA Weekly reported anywhere from 1,200 to 1,500 people will be allowed into the bunker by its planned completion date of September 2012.
Fukushima Is Continually Blasting All Of Us With High Levels Of Cesium
….Strontium And Plutonium And Will Slowly Kill Millions For Years To Come
Fukushima is now far and away the worst nuclear disaster in all of human history. Chernobyl was a Sunday picnic compared to Fukushima and the amount of cesium-137 released at Fukushima this year so far is equivalent to 168 Hiroshima bombs. The crisis at Fukushima is far, far worse than you have been told. We are talking about multiple self-sustaining nuclear meltdowns that will not be fully contained for years. In an attempt to keep people calm, authorities in Japan (and around the rest of the world as well) have lied and lied and lied. Over the months that have passed since the disaster began, small bits of the truth have slowly started to come out. Authorities are finally admitting that the area immediately surrounding Fukushima will be uninhabitable indefinitely, and they are finally admitting that the amount of radioactive material that has been released is far higher than initially reported. It is going to take the Japanese years to fully contain this problem. Meanwhile, Fukushima will continue to blast all of us with high levels of cesium, strontium and plutonium and will slowly kill millions of people around the globe for years to come.
These days, the mainstream media does not talk about Fukushima much. The reality is that there have been a whole lot of other disasters for them to talk about.
But just because Fukushima is a nightmare that is playing out in very slow motion does not mean that it does not deserve our full attention.
To get an idea of just how nightmarish Fukushima has turned out to be, just consider the words of nuclear expert Steven C. Jones….
By way of comparison, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that occured in 1986 in the Ukraine, Russia- heretofore the worst nuclear disaster on record- burned for 10 days and cumulatively killed an estimated 1 million people worldwide. The Fukushima, Japan nuclear disaster has 5 nuclear reactors burning, 2 in partial meltdown and 3 in full meltdown- and they’ve ALL been uncontrollably burning since March 11th. Its been over 3 months and this nuclear disaster remains completely out of control. In fact, some industry estimates cite the possibility that these meltdowns will be contained (optimistically) in 1-3 years, at the very earliest.
The amount and intensity of the radioactive fallout from this particular nuclear disaster will assuredly kill hundreds of millions of people worldwide over time. Japan itself is, of course, the epicenter of this radioactive contamination that has spread out from these reactors.
Keep in mind that radioactivity from the Chernobyl disaster deeply contaminated 77,000 square miles.
So if Fukushima is many times worse, what does that mean for us?
Just recently, authorities in Japan confessed that the amount of cesium-137 released by Fukushima is equivalent to 168 of the nuclear bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima. The following is a brief excerpt from a recent article inthe Telegraph….
Japan’s government estimates the amount of radioactive caesium-137 released by the Fukushima nuclear disaster so far is equal to that of 168 Hiroshima bombs.
I am no nuclear expert, but shortly after the Fukushima disaster began I postulated that much of northern Japan would be rendered uninhabitable by all of this radiation.
Well, it turns out that authorities in Japan have finally reached the same conclusion. According to the New York Times, the Japanese government is acknowledging that large areas around the Fukushima nuclear facility may be uninhabitable for decades….
Broad areas around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant could soon be declared uninhabitable, perhaps for decades, after a government survey found radioactive contamination that far exceeded safe levels, several major media outlets said Monday.
So what is the big deal?
Unfortunately, most people do not have any concept of just how dangerous nuclear contamination can be.
At this point, the vast majority of people living in the northern hemisphere have been exposed to radioactive material from Fukushima.
We can’t see them, but radioactive particles can do an insane amount of damage. We can breathe them in, we can eat them in our food and we can even absorb them through our skin. Once trapped inside our bodies, these particles can slowly “bake” us for years and years. The following is from an opinion piece by Helen Caldicott in the Guardian….
Internal radiation, on the other hand, emanates from radioactive elements which enter the body by inhalation, ingestion, or skin absorption. Hazardous radionuclides such as iodine-131, caesium 137, and other isotopes currently being released in the sea and air around Fukushima bio-concentrate at each step of various food chains (for example into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow’s meat and milk, then humans).  After they enter the body, these elements – called internal emitters – migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, where they continuously irradiate small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years, can induce uncontrolled cell replication – that is, cancer. Further, many of the nuclides remain radioactive in the environment for generations, and ultimately will cause increased incidences of cancer and genetic diseases over time.
One of the most dangerous radioactive elements being released at Fukushima is strontium. Strontium accumulates in the bones and in the teeth. It is also known to cause cancer in humans.
It has been estimated that approximately 80 percent of the strontium that was released during the Chernobyl nuclear disaster entered the food cycle.
Considering the vast amount of strontium that has been released at Fukushima, that is a very frightening statistic.
The following is what NHK World recently had to say about the levels of strontium that are being found around Fukushima….
The utility detected up to 480 becquerels of radioactive strontium 90 per kilogram of soil. That’s about 100 times higher than the maximum reading recorded in Fukushima Prefecture following atmospheric nuclear tests carried out by foreign countries during the Cold War era.
TEPCO reported detecting 2,800 becquerels of strontium 89 per kilogram of soil at the same location.
Once you absorb strontium, it will stay in your bones for the rest of your life. Just consider what Dr. Russell Blaylock recently told Newsmax….
When we look at Chernobyl, most of West Germany was heavily contaminated. Norway, Sweden. Hungary was terribly contaminated. The radiation was taken up into the plants. The food was radioactive. They took the milk and turned it into cheese. The cheese was radioactive.
That’s the big danger, the crops in this country being contaminated, the milk in particular, with Strontium 90. That radiation is incorporated into the bones and stays for a lifetime.
So would you like to have radioactive material in your bones that affects your health for the rest of your life?
It may have already happened to you and you wouldn’t even know it.
Other deadly radioactive elements that are being released at high levels at Fukushima include iodine, cesium, uranium and plutonium. Large amounts of these radioactive particles have already been absorbed in the soil and in the water in the United States.
Large amounts of these radioactive particles have also entered our food chain.
As the years go by, a whole lot of Americans are going to get sick and die and they will never even know that it was Fukushima that caused it.
Remember, just because you cannot see these radioactive particles does not mean that they aren’t incredibly deadly. Just check out what nuclear expertSteven C. Jones recently had to say about plutonium….
To give one an example of how lethal radiation is, one pound of plutonium evenly distributed into everyone’s lungs would kill every man, woman and child on Earth. There are literally “tons” of radioactive plutonium (among other radioactive elements) that have been released into the air and ocean environments since March 11th. Another critical fact to remember is that radioactive plutonium, for example, remains lethal (killing life) for thousands years as it has a half-life of 24,000 years. Some other radioactive elements such as uranium have a half-life of 4.47 billion years.
That is the scary thing with many of these radioactive elements. Now that they have been released, many of them will be with us for as long as we live, for as long as our children live and for as long as our grandchildren live.
Yes, things are much worse than you have been told.
Up until now, the Japanese government has insisted that those living outside the 20 kilometer exclusion zone are safe.
But is that really the case?
According to Reuters, Greenpeace has found incredibly high levels of radiation at schools up to 60 km away…..
Greenpeace said on Monday that schools and surrounding areas located 60 km (38 miles) from Japan’s tsunami-hit nuclear power plant were unsafe for children, showing radiation readings as much as 70 times internationally accepted levels.
In addition, a recent Japan Times article noted that high levels of cesium have been discovered at 42 incineration plants in seven different prefectures in Japan….
High levels of cesium isotopes are cropping up in dust at 42 incineration plants in seven prefectures, including Chiba and Iwate, an Environment Ministry survey of the Kanto and Tohoku regions shows.
Also, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal stated that incredibly high levels of cesium-137 have been found up to 100 km away from the Fukushima nuclear facility….
The first comprehensive survey of soil contamination from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant showed that 33 locations spread over a wide area have been contaminated with long-lasting radioactive cesium, the government said Tuesday.
The survey of 2,200 locations within a 100-kilometer (62-mile) radius of the crippled plant found that those locations had cesium-137 in excess of 1.48 million becquerels per square meter, the level set by the Soviet Union for forced resettlement after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, Japanese authorities said.
Remember that Tokyo is only about 250 km away from the Fukushima nuclear facility.
So what happens if high levels of cesium start showing up in Tokyo?
According to some sources, things have already gotten very serious in Tokyo.
Dr. Chris Busby recently traveled to Japan with some very sophisticated testing equipment and found one sample in Tokyo that had levels of radioactivity that were higher than the exclusion zone surrounding Chernobyl during that nuclear disaster.
But things are much worse for those living much closer to Fukushima. High levels of cesium have been detected in the urine and in the breast milk of those living in the region surrounding the facility. All over the area there are reports of people coming down with the symptoms of radiation sickness.
The truth is that the “evacuation area” should be far, far larger than it is now. Just consider what Mike Adams of Natural News recently had to say about what recent tests have shown….
One soil sample taking 25 kilometers away from Fukushima showed Cesium-137 exceeding 5 million becquerels per square meter. This level, of course, makes it uninhabitable by humans, yet both the Japanese and U.S. governments continue to downplay the whole event, assuring their sheeple that there’s nothing to worry about. By their logic, since all the people are sheeple anyway, as long as the area is safe enough for sheep, it’s also safe enough for the human population.
A lot of people in Japan are going to die, and frustrations are rising. According to an article in The Independent, a lot of Japanese feel totally abandoned by their government at this point….
It is the fate of people outside the evacuation zones, however, that causes the most bitter controversy. Parents in Fukushima City, 63km from the plant, have banded together to demand that the government do more to protect about 100,000 children. Schools have banned soccer and other outdoor sports. Windows are kept closed. “We’ve just been left to fend for ourselves,” says Machiko Sato, a grandmother who lives in the city. “It makes me so angry.”
But just because you don’t live in Japan does not mean that you are not in danger. The Fukushima nuclear facility sits right on the Pacific Ocean. When nuclear material gets released into the air at Fukushima, the first time much of it will encounter land is when it reaches the United States.
Also, thousands upon thousands upon thousands of tons of highly radioactive water has been released into the Pacific Ocean at Fukushima.
What this is going to do to our oceans nobody knows for sure. But according to the Los Angeles Times, the seawater near Fukushima has been found to be incredibly radioactive….
Tokyo Electric Power Co. had said Tuesday that it had found iodine-131 at 7.5 million times the legal limit in a seawater sample taken near the facility, and government officials instituted a health limit for radioactivity in fish. Other samples were found to contain radioactive cesium at 1.1 million times the legal limit.
All of this radioactive water is going to circulate all over the globe. It is going to be a nightmare that is never going to end.
Just because the mainstream media is not talking much about all of this radiation does not mean that it is not affecting the United States….
*Radiation from Fukushima has been detected in seaweed in Puget Sound.
*Radiation from Fukushima has been detected in the drinking water in numerous states.
*Radiation from Fukushima has been discovered in milk in numerous states.
*Very high levels of radiation continue to be detected in rainwater in the northwest United States.
This is a slow motion nightmare that is going to play out for years and years.
Some nuclear experts claim that it could be up to 50 or 100 years before any of the nuclear material at the Fukushima complex will cool down enough to be removed from the facility.
Right now there is no viable solution to what is going on at Fukushima, so it will continue to blast all of us with high levels of radiation and will slowly kill millions of people around the globe for years to come.
Former nuclear industry insider Arnold Gundersen recently put it this way….
“With Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, and now with Fukushima, you can pinpoint the exact day and time they started,” he said, “But they never end.”
This is a nightmare that will be with us for the rest of our lives. Millions are going to get sick and untold numbers of people are going to slowly die.
So the SHTF and you have successfully bugged in or bugged out according to your contingency plans. Now what? Is this going to be a longterm crisis due to war, asteroid strike or solar flare EMP? What is longterm for you...a couple weeks, months or several years?
I suggest that there are three distinct duration intervals for which you should stock supplies:
72 Hour Events
Something has happened while you are at work, school or stuck at home. It may be a riot, power outage or minor earthquake. You may need to use your BOB, GHB or GOOD kits to get home or stay at home until the crisis passes. Most people already have food and beverages at home to make it through a three day event. Of course food is just one supply that is needed to survive. In winter, sufficient heating is critical and power, lighting, communications are important at anytime.
Recently there have been several events affecting people in the United States that impacted their lives for weeks and months at a time. Winter blackouts have lasted for weeks on end and are often combined with lack of running water, no heating and impassable secondary roads to suburbs. Floods and hurricanes often destroy houses, clothing, vehicles and much needed supplies such as food. These events often call for relocation to a BOL (Bugout Location) where you have put away supplies in advance or to a prepared relative's home several hundred miles away from the impact area.
The devastation of war, catastrophic natural disasters and economic collapse can make your current home and lifestyle into nothing more than a memory. The Tsunami of 2004 and New Orleans Katrina Flooding are two examples of events that leave the survivors with nothing but the clothes on their back and no choice but to relocate and start over. This migration and rebuilding can take years to complete and many survivors will be refugees relying on others for assistance for much of their lives.
How do you prepare for a longterm event? Can you trust that your supplies will be safe and available in your current home? Should you split your supplies across several locations to hedge against the impact of the possible disaster? What can you do now to prepare for the recovery and rebuilding of your life?
Those with unlimited financial resources, can buy bunkers and stock them with all imaginable types of supplies to last for decades.
But for most people that work just to get by with perhaps only a paycheck or two between their current lifestyle and bankruptcy, each decision and purchase towards longterm preparation has to be beneficial by cost and ultimate value.
Ideally, you should have a bugout location already identified and stocked with basic supplies. This could be a vacation property, family farm or the home of a relative. The bare minimum supplies for a bugout location are food and water to support the number of people and length of time needed.
For just a family of four over a year's time, that will be a lot of food and water. It's possible to buy and put away that amount of food but it is costly and actually takes some room to store. Can you live off of stored food indefinitely? Obviously, no you can't. If the infrastructure that you use to acquire food is broken or unavailable to you, how do you feed yourself?
Well, we can look to the 19th century for the solution. Small scale farming and keeping of animals will be the lifestyle post-SHTF.
If you are at your BOL longer than a year and committed for the near future to that location, then gardening and farming should become your new occupation. A couple of acres of land can produce a great deal of food. You should plant a variety of foods to take advantage of seasonality and nutrition.
Now if you start farming and raising animals in year two of your new life, there won't be much food produced until the following year. If there is bad weather, flooding or disease you might lose most of the production from that year.
You should prepare to live off of your food cache for at least two years to give your new farming and ranching efforts a chance to bear fruit. The first year of cache is just to get you over the initial devastation of the longterm event and the second year is to feed you while you are busy transforming your BOL into a self-sustaining farm.
What should go into your two year cache?
It turns out that an adult needs over 2,000 calories per day to maintain their current weight and health. If you are active during the day, you should actually double that requirement.
How do calories equate to the volumes of food that you can purchase by the pound or gallon? Well, it varies by the food type, but generally a serving as documented on food packaging is about 250 calories. That would be two and half cups of rice, or a cup of beans, or a can of chili. Each of those servings is about one pound in weight after preparation.
Here's a good food storage calculator provided by the LDS:
As you can see, a single adult requires about five hundred (500) pounds of varied food per year. If you focus equally on white rice, pinto beans, rolled oats and canned meats, you should have the right mix of food staples to survive.
In order to add some variety and supplement your required intake of nutrients and minerals, you should also include a case each of real maple syrup, domestic honey (not from China), iodized salt, black pepper, assorted spices and powdered drink mixes.
This food cache needs to be purchased and stored at your BOL ahead of time. Most of the items I suggest have near indefinite storage lengths, if kept cool, dry and airtight. Rice and pinto beans will last for decades, while honey and salt have been discovered to last for THOUSANDS of years.
You can supplement your food staples with freeze-dried and nitrogen packed foods that come in various flavors and meals. These are often more expensive than the bulk staples, but may be worth it to you by providing some mental and emotional health benefits. Macaroni and cheese or tuna casserole are great comfort foods that the family can enjoy while settling into their new lives.
Given that a one (1) pound bag of rice or a can of chili seem to be going for about a $1.00 nowadays, it is reasonable to estimate that the cost per person per year will be about $500.00. If you look for sales and buy in bulk, you should be able to come down from that by as much as 25% or more.
You don't have to buy all of that food at once! Get into a routine of double buying when you go to the grocery each week. Look for sales and deals and buy then. If you keep at it, you'll be surprised how soon you will have six (6) months or even a year stored up already!
Irene is destined to strike the southeastern United States later this week as a major hurricane. Residents in the Carolinas are urged to begin preparations.
The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center is expecting Irene to target the Carolinas after emerging from the Bahamas later this week.
AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski has the latest details on how bad it will be for the Carolinas.
Irene strengthened into the season's first hurricane as it pounded Puerto Rico early Monday morning.
The hurricane will continue its assault on the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean prior to reaching the Bahamas.
As Irene plows through the Bahamas, the storm is forecast to become a major Category 3 hurricane this week.
Exactly when and where Irene moves onshore with its torrential rain, destructive winds and flooding storm surge depends on how soon the storm tracks in a more northward fashion instead of its current northwestward heading.
Go To ACCUWEATHER.COM For Updates
WASHINGTON - The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Ready Campaign, in partnership with Citizen Corps and the Ad Council, today announced the launch of new web tools that will make it easier for individuals and organizations throughout the nation to join the 2011 National Preparedness Month (NPM) coalition and pledge their support to help prepare their families, businesses and communities for emergencies of all kinds.
The eighth annual NPM will kickoff this September, using the slogan: "A Time to Remember. A Time to Prepare." The campaign seeks to transform awareness into action by encouraging all Americans to take the necessary steps to ensure that their homes, workplaces and communities are prepared for disasters and emergencies of all kinds.
"As we move forward with planning for this year's events and activities, we also recognize that this September marks the ten year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "By doing what we can to ensure that our communities, and our nation, are prepared to respond and recover from all types of disasters and hazards, we honor the memory of those who were lost that day."
Individuals and groups can now register to become NPM coalition members by visiting http://community.fema.gov. Once registered, members have access to a toolkit that includes suggestions for activities and events, templates, articles, banners and customizable materials. Coalition members also have access to an events calendar allowing them to post and promote preparedness events, share success stories, and participate in national and regional discussion forums to engage with fellow coalition members and FEMA representatives.
By hosting events, promoting volunteer programs and sharing emergency preparedness information, coalition members can help ensure that their communities are prepared for emergencies. Becoming a coalition member is easy and free, so register now to get started. Nearly 2,000 coalition members have already joined this year's campaign.
While NPM is held each September, FEMA's Ready Campaign promotes individual emergency preparedness at home, in the workplace, and throughout America's communities throughout the year. Ready is a national campaign, produced in partnership with The Ad Council, designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.
The Ready Campaign's websites (ready.gov and listo.gov) and toll-free numbers (1-800-BE-READY and 1-888-SE-LISTO) provide free emergency preparedness information and resources available in English and Spanish. Additionally, through FEMA's partnership with the Ad Council, public service announcements are available to increase the American public's involvement in preparedness.
If You Haven't Already, Visit www.Ready.gov to Prepare for Hurricanes and Other Hazards
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are partnering once again to get the message out about the importance of preparedness for hurricanes and other possible disasters. FEMA is aggressively preparing for the upcoming hurricane season and has been working closely with other federal, state, local, and tribal partners, the private sector, faith-based and voluntary organizations, and most importantly, the public, to get ready.
President Obama recently designated May 22-28, 2011, as National Hurricane Preparedness Week, and called upon all Americans, especially those in hurricane prone areas as well as inland areas, to learn more about how to protect themselves against hurricanes and to work together, as a whole community, to respond to and recover from them. The Atlantic and Central Pacific Hurricane Season runs from June 1-November 30. The Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season began on May 15.
FEMA continues to work with state, local, tribal, federal and private sector partners to increase preparedness and coordinate response and recovery in the case of a hurricane or other disaster. FEMA also urges Americans to use this week as an annual reminder to assess their personal readiness to respond to emergencies. Our team can only be as prepared as the public is prepared, which is why it's important that people living in hurricane-prone areas take steps to prepare and protect their family.
"We never know where the next hurricane or disaster will strike, but what we do know is that being prepared can make a world of difference, for individuals and their larger communities," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "In hurricane prone areas as well as inland areas, we urge the entire community to prepare now. There are a number of steps individuals, families, communities, churches and businesses can take to better protect themselves against hurricanes and other disasters."
"Having a personal hurricane plan is not just for those living along the coast. Inland areas are just as vulnerable to the effects from hurricanes, including damaging winds, tornadoes, and especially, flooding," said Bill Read, director, NOAA's National Hurricane Center.
Throughout the entire hurricane season it is important to know the risk for the area in which you are in and to stay informed of the latest weather information. Having a battery-powered radio, like a NOAA Weather Radio is a critical first step. Also, everyone, including those living well inland, should be prepared by checking personal preparations such as emergency kit supplies and knowing emergency evacuation routes. More information on how we can all be prepared for this hurricane season can be found by visiting www.Ready.gov/hurricanes.
Businesses have a vital role in preparedness as well. Putting a disaster plan in motion now will improve the likelihood that your company may recover from a disaster faster. Ready Business outlines commonsense measures business owners and managers can take to start getting ready.
For more information on how we can all be prepared for this hurricane season, visit www.Ready.gov/hurricanes.
For information about the hurricane outlooks and National Hurricane Preparedness Week, visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/outreach/prepared_week.shtml
Follow FEMA online at http://blog.fema.gov, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema. Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
The Mississippi Natchez Democrat reports that crews first discovered the radioactive water in the plant's Unit 2 turbine building after heavy rains began hitting the area last week. Unit 2 was a partially-constructed, abandoned structure that should not have contained any radioactive materials, let alone tritium, which is commonly used to manufacture nuclear weapons and test atomic bombs.
According to reports, alarms began to go off as workers were releasing the radioactive storm water into the river, which engaged the stop flow on the release pump. Neither NRC nor plant officials know how much tritium was released into the river during this release.
Read More At www.FamilySurvivalCenter.com
Is the increase in these events due to normal geologic processes, or are they being prompted by other forces such as the increased gravitational influence of the Moon in perigee or the magentic pole shift currently underway?
In any case, it looks like this weekend should be particularly risky for those living on the West Coast of the United States.
Earthquakes of greater than 6.0 magnitude are happening daily all along the Ring of Fire, from New Zealand to Japan and down to Chile.
The SuperMoon will be at it's closest point to the Earth since 1993 on Saturday the 19th.
Initial fallout from the radioactive releases in Japan will reach the United States some time on Friday, the 18th.
Learn More At www.FamilySurvivalCenter.com
Moon To Be Closest To Earth Since 1993...Could This Cause Earthquakes, Volcanos Or Super Waves?
On March 19th, a full Moon of rare size and beauty will rise in the east at sunset. It's a super "perigee moon"--the biggest in almost 20 years.
Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit. It is an ellipse with one side (perigee) about 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other (apogee).
Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser moons that occur on the apogee side of the Moon's orbit.
Learn More At www.FamilySurvivalCenter.com
"We're Poisoned. We're Sick." - BlackListed News
Residents who live along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, all the way from Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, to well into western Florida, continue to tell me of acute symptoms they attribute to ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals being released from BP's crude oil and the toxic Corexit dispersants used to sink it.
Oil continues to wash ashore. That which was already there, usually in the form of tar balls or mats of tar, is being uncovered by the weather.
The chemicals in her blood include Benzene, Ethylbenzene, Hexane, 2- and 3-methylpentane and M,p-Xylene. Ethylbenzene is a form of benzene present in the body when it begins to break down; it is also present in BP's crude oil. M,p-Xylene, is a clear, colorless, flammable liquid that is refined from crude oil and is used as a solvent. Ethylbenzene, m,p-Xylene and Hexane correlate to the volatile organic chemicals in the BP crude oil.
Independent blood testing by environmental groups and independent scientists along the Gulf is finding exceedingly high concentrations of these chemicals in people's veins ... people who live near the Coast, former BP cleanup workers and even one man who lives 100 miles from the coast ... everyone is testing positive with BP's toxic chemicals in their blood stream.
Many of the chemicals present in the oil and dispersants are known to cause headaches; nausea; vomiting; kidney damage; altered renal functions; irritation of the digestive tract; lung damage; burning pain in the nose and throat; coughing; pulmonary edema; cancer; lack of muscle coordination; dizziness; confusion; irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat; difficulty breathing; delayed reaction time; memory difficulties; stomach discomfort; liver and kidney damage; unconsciousness; tiredness/lethargy; irritation of the upper respiratory tract; and hematological disorders.
I don't know why, but it seems that most disasters happen during the day. Obviously, earthquakes, asteroids, solar flares and volcanos are round the clock threats. But, most man-made events, such as riots, tend to occur during business hours.
In any case, if you prefer to be at home with your family (and your supplies), the worst case scenario is to be at work or school when disaster strikes. After reaching out to family and friends, you will be wanting to get home as soon as possible.
(For information on how to communicate with your loved ones in the event of a disaster, check out our article Establish a Communications Plan).
I've been through several disasters myself including the '89 Loma Prieta Earthquake, Rodney King Riots in '92, WTO Riot '99, Mardi Gras Riot '01 and numerous blizzards and floods. The '89 earthquake was the worst for me, in that I was cutoff from my apartment for TWO WEEKS!
I commuted daily from one end of the Bay to the other and when the bridge and several arterials were damaged, I could not navigate back home after work that day. Luckily, at the time, I had no pets and there was an available couch at a friend's house.
Most people commute to work or school an average distance of thirty (30) miles round trip each day. I currently commute forty-one (41) miles round trip, crossing several bridges, bodies of water and past the homes of MILLIONS of people. Spend some time considering that. When disaster strikes, the millions of people that you share your organized metropolitan world with will not be so tidy and civic minded as during more peaceful times.
If you've ever been stuck in traffic after a major sporting event or a blizzard for hours at a time, consider what a major infrastructure outage affecting the power grid or disabling a bridge would be like.
You may not be able to drive home that night, maybe forced to sleep in your car if it is safe, or strike out on foot for shelter and progress towards home. Several times in the past year, people have had to sleep in their cars during blizzards and occasionally they wind up dying before being rescued.
What could have kept them alive? What would have allowed them to safely leave their car for a more secure shelter?
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Published on 01-13-2011
Posted below are 25 hard questions that you will not see asked on CNN, MSNBC or Fox News. Sure, they may “tease” their viewers by “touching” on some of these issues, but they will never dig deep and they will never ask the really tough questions that are not “politically correct”.
If a tough issue is brought up on one of these networks, it may be debated by a couple of establishment “talking heads”, and we will be told that both sides are being presented so that we can “decide”, but it is all a big dog and pony show. The truth is that the big media companies will never really do anything that threatens the big money interests that own them or the big money interests that pour billions of advertising dollars into their organizations.
Some of the big news companies may be a little bit more “blue” and some of them may be a little bit more “red”, but the versions of the news that all of them produce are always incredibly similar.
Wouldn’t you just love it if the big media companies would tackle some of the questions posted below with some real honesty?
#1 The U.S. dollar has lost well over 95 percent of its value since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913. The Fed has failed time and time again from preventing big financial bubbles from being created and then eventually bursting. About the only thing the Federal Reserve seems to be good at is creating more government debt that the rest of us have to pay for. So what possible justification is there for allowing the Federal Reserve to continue to issue our currency and run our economy?
#2 Ten years ago, the “employment rate” in the United States was about 64%. Since then it has been constantly declining and now the “employment rate” in the United States is only about 58%. So where did all of those jobs go? Is this what we can expect from “globalism”?
#3 Thousands of dead birds are falling out of the sky and millions of dead fish are washing ashore all over the globe. So does this mean that there is something seriously wrong with the planet?
#4 If the U.S. economy is getting better, then why did the number of Americans filing for bankruptcy rise another 9 percent in 2010? Why won’t our government officials be straight with us and tell us the real truth about the economy?
#5 Would a failure to raise the debt ceiling really “have catastrophic economic consequences that would last for decades” or is U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner just blowing off a lot of hot air again?
#6 If 71 percent of the American people are against it, and only 18 percent of them are for it, then why in the world are our representatives in Congress overwhelmingly in favor of raising the debt ceiling again?
#7 Will a combination of extreme weather, soaring agricultural commodity prices and rising oil prices lead to a devastating global food shortage at some point in the next few years?
#8 In Algeria, hordes of young people are throwing fire bombs and are shouting slogans such as “Bring us Sugar!“ Are these the kinds of food riots that we should expect to see around the globe as food gets tight this year?
#9 Over the last couple of years, lawmakers in at least 10 U.S. states have introduced legislation that would allow state commerce to be conducted with gold and silver coins. Could this be the beginning of a new trend?
#10 When German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that Germany will do“whatever is needed to support the euro” is that supposed to make all of us feel better about the stability of the failing European currency? If the Euro does fail, won’t that cause another financial meltdown like we saw back in 2008?
#11 Back in 1970, 25 percent of all jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs. How in the world could we allow that to happen?
#12 According to a recent Gallup survey, 7 out of every 10 Americansbelieve that religion is losing influence in the United States. So exactly what does that say about our society?
#13 Now that the State of Illinois has passed a 66 percent increase in the state income tax, how long will it be before other states start passing draconian income tax hikes?
#14 Shouldn’t we be at least a little bit concerned that China has developed a new ballistic missile that can completely destroy a U.S. aircraft carrier nearly 2,000 miles out to sea? Has China become a military threat that we need to start taking very, very seriously?
#15 In 2006, no U.S. banks failed. In 2009, 140 U.S. banks failed. So did things get better in 2010? No. In 2010, 157 U.S. banks failed. Do does that mean our financial system is getting healthier or does that mean our financial system is coming apart at the seams?
#16 On January 1st, the very first of the Baby Boomers started to reach the age of 65. Now more than 10,000 Baby Boomers will be turning 65 every single day for the next 19 years. So where in the world are we going to get all the money we need to pay them the retirement benefits that we have promised them? Isn’t the Social Security system essentially one gigantic Ponzi scheme?
#17 According to a shocking recent survey, 40 percent of all U.S. doctorsplan to bail out of the profession over the next three years. So how in the world is our health care system going to continue to function if that happens?
#18 Why is the federal government spending approximately 6.85 million dollarsper minute if our founders intended for us to have a “limited central government”?
#19 Should we be glad that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency want to lower the amount of fluoride in our drinking water, or should we be furious with them for poisoning us with super high levels of fluoride for all of these years?
#20 The U.S. trade deficit with China during the month of August alone was more than 4,600 times larger than the U.S. trade deficit with China was for the entire year of 1985. Do you think perhaps we should all not be buying so much stuff with “made in China” stamped on it?
#21 If the federal government stopped all borrowing today and began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 440,000 years to pay off the U.S. national debt. So does anyone out there actually still believe that the U.S. national debt will be paid off someday?
#22 1180 new snowfall records were set in the United States just this past week. So does that mean that global warming isn’t true after all?
#23 If the U.S. economy is getting better, then why are an all-time record 43.2 million Americans now on food stamps? Are middle class Americans being impoverished by design?
#24 What in the world will a “security perimeter” around the United States and Canada actually look like? Are our leaders slowly trying to turn North America into another version of the EU?
#25 How in the world can Facebook be worth 50 billion dollars? Is Goldman Sachs trying to pull a big joke on all the rest of us?
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Source: www.roguegovernment.com - By Lee Rogers
Over the past several weeks there have been numerous reports of bird and fish die offs around the planet. The most likely cause for these die offs is the confirmed disruptions to the earth’s magnetic fields. It is widely believed by scientists that birds and fish use these magnetic fields as a navigational tool to migrate to warmer weather areas. In 2001, the National Geographic reported on a study that suggests birds actually use these fields to plan their migration routes. It is also widely believed that fish use these fields to find and detect prey. Any disruption or change in the normal behavior of the earth’s magnetic field or the electromagnetic spectrum as a whole could easily misdirect birds and fish into locations that do not necessarily have warmer weather and result in their death.
It is clear that such disruptions in the Earth’s magnetic fields are already taking place. Scientists have already confirmed that the Earth’s magnetic north has been moving closer and closer to Russia. Although these fields are constantly changing the recent changes have been so dramatic that the Tampa International Airport for the first time has been forced to change around one of their runways. It is also confirmed that the Sun is moving into its solar maximum phase which means that the sun is now ejecting larger doses of electromagnetic radiation towards the Earth than usual. Even crazier is that in 2008, NASA reported that there was a massive breach in the Earth’s magnetic field which potentially could create massive geomagnetic storms.
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Despite our perspective, humans are actually quite delicate creatures and limited to a narrow habitable range of our planet. The exact mix of oxygen, gravity, air pressure, temperature, nutrients and water must be available and kept in balance at all times or else we would perish.
That said, we are still relatively hardy when kept within our "comfort" zone.
Left alone, with no other resources, the average healthy person could live for weeks without anything but air to breath. But, should there be weather, stress, injury, disease or danger present, access to additional resources is mandatory for survival.
Civilisation is often described as some combination of
food, clothing and shelter achieved once early humans climbed down from that tree and started walking upright.
Survival can be described and achieved with a similar approach. For example, one way to quantify the components of survival is with the "Rule of Threes".
The Survival Rule of Threes is a convenient way of memorizing the order of importance for each basic survival necessity. In extreme survival situations you cannot survive more than:
- 3 minutes without air
- 3 hours without shelter
- 3 days without water
- 3 weeks without food
- 3 months without hope
Air is pretty much a given, so other than an NBC event (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) which would require a protective mask of some type, you needn't concern yourself with breathing.
Shelter is critical but shouldn't be difficult to supply. You need to have a sun and wind break available to you at all times. This can be in the form of protective clothing when on the move and exposed or trees, tents or buildings when hunkered down. Time of year, climate and geography will dictate what form of shelter is needed.
In the survivalist and prepper world, they refer to an improved and fixed shelter as a BOL or BugOut Location (or even Bug Out Lair). During the Cold War this would have been easily recognizable as a fallout bunker. But for anything short of a nuclear war or cosmic calamity (e.g. asteriod impact), any cabin or trailer that is safely outside of the crisis area is a reasonable BOL.
Water is critical. We use it as fuel, coolant, lubrication ... really everything your body does requires water as a component or conduit.
The conservative estimate of how much water an individual needs is two gallons. This accounts for a gallon for consumption and food prep and another gallon for cleanliness and hygiene. If you are setting up a water supply and waster removal system for your BOL (i.e. BugOut Location), then this would be a good volume to plan and manage towards.
But, if you are just considering bare bones survival, then a couple eight (8) ounce water bottles per day is sufficient. The more labor and exercise you are engaged in will require additional water, so plan ahead accordingly.
After water, food is the number one resource you need to plan to provide for in the event of a crisis. You need food for energy, healing from sickness or injury and high level brain functioning.
Adults need over 2,500 calories of fat, protein and carbohydrates each day to be active and healthy. Anything less that 2,500 calories a day will lead to weight loss within days and illness within weeks.
How much is 2,500 calories? It's both more and less than you probably think. You need to be smart about what food you store and consume. Four cans of food and a handful of dry goods like cereal, rice or pasta is about what you should consume each day. The entree in an MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) has roughly half of what you need to eat each day.
Most people don't give much thought to how much food and water they need, say over the course of week, to survive.
Do you and your family have a week's worth of food and water stored up? Per person? Where is it?
By Michael Snyder - BLN Contributing Writer
Does anyone really want to hear that America is in decline? For decades, most of us have been raised to believe that the United States is "number one" and that anyone who doubts that fact is a "gloom and doomer" that should just pack up and move to "Russia" or "Iraq" or some other country where things are not nearly as good. But does it do us or future generations any good to ignore the very serious signs of trouble that are erupting all around us? The truth is that it is about time to wake up and admit how much trouble we are actually in. The U.S. government is absolutely drowning in debt. The entire society is absolutely drowning in debt. We are being slaughtered in the arena of world trade, and every single month tens of billions of dollars (along with large numbers of factories and jobs) leave our shores for good. Our infrastructure is failing, our kids are less educated and our incomes are going down. We have serious, serious problems. At one time, the U.S. economy was so dominant that it was not even worth talking about who was in second place. That is no longer the case in 2010. Our forefathers handed us the greatest economic machine in history and we have allowed it to fall apart right in front of our eyes. A national economic crisis of historic proportions is getting worse with each passing month, and yet most of our leaders seem to be asleep at the switch.
So is American in decline? Well, read the statistics below and decide for yourself. The reality is that when you start connecting the dots it gets really hard to deny what is going on.
Urgent action must be taken if things are going to be turned around. It is time to get our heads out of the sand. It is not guaranteed that the United States will always be the greatest economy in the world or that we will even continue to be prosperous.
For many Americans, it will be incredibly difficult to admit that our nation has become a debt addict and an economic punching bag for the rest of the world.
But if we are never willing to admit what the problems are, how are we ever going to come up with the solutions?
What you are about to read below is going to absolutely shock many of you. But hopefully it will shock you enough to get you to take action. We desperately need to change course as a nation.
The following are 24 statistics about the United States economy that are almost too embarrassing to admit....
#1 Ten years ago, the United States was ranked number one in average wealth per adult. In 2010, the United States has fallen to seventh.
#2 The United States once had the highest proportion of young adults with post-secondary degrees in the world. Today, the U.S. has fallen to 12th.
#3 In the 2009 "prosperity index" published by the Legatum Institute, the United States was ranked as just the ninth most prosperous country in the world. That was down five places from 2008.
#4 In 2001, the United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use. Today it ranks 15th.
#5 The economy of India is projected to become larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2050.
#6 One prominent economist now says that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.
#7 According to a new study conducted by Thompson Reuters, China could become the global leader in patent filings by next year.
#8 The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001. Approximately 75 percent of those factories employed at least 500 workers while they were still in operation.
#9 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
#10 Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.
#11 In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of all U.S. economic output. In 2008, it represented only 11.5 percent.
#12 The television manufacturing industry began in the United States. So how many televisions are manufactured in the United States today? According to Princeton University economist Alan S. Blinder, the grand total is zero.
#13 As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing. The last time that less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.
#14 Back in 1980, the United States imported approximately 37 percent of the oil that we use. Now we import nearly 60 percent of the oil that we use.
#15 The U.S. trade deficit is running about 40 or 50 billion dollars a month in 2010. That means that by the end of the year approximately half a trillion dollars (or more) will have left the United States for good.
#16 Between 2000 and 2009, America's trade deficit with China increased nearly 300 percent.
#17 Today, the United States spends approximately $3.90 on Chinese goods for every $1 that China spends on goods from the United States.
#18 According to a new study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, if the U.S. trade deficit with China continues to increase at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.
#19 American 15-year-olds do not even rank in the top half of all advanced nations when it comes to math or science literacy.
#20 Median household income in the U.S. declined from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 in 2009. That was the second yearly decline in a row.
#21 The United States has the third worst poverty rate among the advanced nations tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
#22 Since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913, the U.S. dollar has lost over 95 percent of its purchasing power.
#23 U.S. government spending as a percentage of GDP is now up to approximately 36 percent.
#24 The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that U.S. government public debt will hit 716 percent of GDP by the year 2080.
Please share these statistics with as many family members and friends as you can. It is time to get real. It is time to admit that we have some really big problems.
America is in decline and the situation is getting worse by the day. If we are not willing to admit how bad things really are, then we are never even going to have a chance to find the solutions that we need.
Friday, September 10, 2010
The billion-or-so egg recall fiasco that took place this summer is a perfect example of the failures implicit in modern, industrialized agriculture. But rather than respond to the situation with concerted efforts to reform Big Agribusiness and return to clean, localized food production methods, some groups and regulatory agencies are calling on Congress to pass legislation that would shift total control of the nation's food supply to Monsanto and various international governing bodies.
According to a recent CNN article, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and several other groups allegedly representing "victims" of the recent salmonella outbreak, are calling on the U.S. Senate to pass the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act--also known as S.510--as the solution to the broken food system. According to them, the bill will give the FDA the power it needs to properly regulate and prevent future illness outbreaks.
But in reality, the FDA already has the power it needs to properly regulate. It simply fails time and time again to actually do its job. While favoring the corporate offenders responsible for the outbreaks, the FDA continually goes after small producers that produce clean food, and even against food itself (which the agency has claimed is inherently dangerous and in need of pasteurization).
In a nutshell, the agency has utterly failed to address the real problems that cause food contamination and is in desperate need of major, fundamental reform that will limit its power and help restore real food freedom.
Instead of instigating this type of reform, however, S.510 will essentially give unconstitutional control of the U.S. food supply to multinational corporations and force the U.S. to relinquish its sovereignty to international governing bodies.
For the whole story:
Two small asteroids in unrelated orbits will pass within the moon's distance of Earth on Wed. Both should be observable with moderate-sized amateur telescopes.
(Source: Foxnews.com and AP)
Skywatchers get ready: Two asteroids passing nearby tonight should make for quite a spectacle.
NASA says two small asteroids discovered just days ago will zip harmlessly past Earth on Wednesday, a double flyby that should be visible through a telescope.
Both asteroids should be observable with moderate-size amateur telescopes, the space agency said -- stressing that neither has a chance of hitting the Earth. In fact, asteroids like these are relatively common: A 10-meter near-Earth asteroid from the undiscovered population of about 50 million would be expected to pass almost daily within a lunar distance, and one might strike Earth's atmosphere about every 10 years on average, NASA said.
The asteroids were discovered Sunday by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona. The Minor Planet Center in Massachusetts, which tracks asteroids and comets, determined there was no chance of an Earth collision.
Asteroid 2010 RX30, thought to be 32 to 65 feet (10 to 20 meters) long, passrf within 154,000 miles (248,000 kilometers) of Earth shortly before 3 a.m. PDT; (1000 GMT) Wednesday morning.
The second one, dubbed 2010 RF12, will fly by about 11 hours later at a distance of about 49,000 miles (79,000 kilometers). NASA says the second one is slightly smaller, at just 20 to 46 feet (6 to 14 meters) long.
The effects of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake striking the San Andreas fault, modeled here, could cause 1,800 deaths and $213 billion of economic losses, the USGS said. Warmer colors representing areas of greater damage.
A San Andreas Earthquake Alert!
By Elisabeth Scarlett
Geologists have now agreed that their previous estimates of when a sizeable earthquake would occur in the San Andreas fault were incorrect. Their previous timeline, measured in a matter of centuries, predicted it would likely be two to three centuries until the San Andreas fault suffers the long awaited "Big One".
Recently experts are favoring a more imminent timeframe, as a result of the field's significant research into the type of fault lines that make up San Andreas. Now geologists have announced that they believe the San Andreas Fault earthquake, expected to be a 7 or higher magnitude measured on the Richter Scale, actually occurs every 140 to 145 years.
The last such earthquake of that magnitude occurred in 1857; therefore, the new estimates suggest that the "Big One" was actually due around 1997 to 2002. Thus the conclusion is that California, especially the Los Angeles area, could actually be as much as 13 years overdue.
Of course as more time elapses without a significant quake, the more likely that the increasing pressure between the plates will result in more impact and damage when the fault does finally "unsnag".
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