Monday, April 14, 2014 by: J. D. Heyes

http://www.naturalnews.com/

 

(NaturalNews) Despite proclamations that the “economy is improving” and that “unemployment is down,” one thing is evident and that is – for a number of reasons – food costs are soaring, and as they do, those most vulnerable, like the poor, the elderly and those earning the lowest wages, are being hurt the most.

“We are sure the weather is to blame but what happens when pent-up demand (from a frosty east coast emerging from its hibernation) bumps up against a drought-stricken west coast unable to plant to meet that demand? The spot price (not futures speculation-driven) of US Foodstuffs is the best performing asset in 2014 – up a staggering 19 percent,” notes Tyler Durden over at Zero Hedge.

In February, the site gave voice to a sort of prelude to the aforementioned scenario, in publishing a post by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog:

Did you know that the U.S. state that produces the most vegetables is going through the worst drought it has ever experienced and that the size of the total U.S. cattle herd is now the smallest that it has been since 1951? Just the other day, a CBS News article boldly declared that “food prices soar as incomes stand still,” but the truth is that this is only just the beginning. If the drought that has been devastating farmers and ranchers out west continues, we are going to see prices for meat, fruits and vegetables soar into the stratosphere.

A number of factors are leading to price increases

Sure, prices are up because California’s drought is limiting supply. Some have even said that commodities prices are being pushed upward by speculators on Wall Street; that may be happening to an extent.

But there are a number of other factors that the government doesn’t report as having much of an effect at all on food prices (and remember, the government doesn’t include “volatile” food and energy prices in its monthly inflation reports).

Speaking of energy, the price of a gallon of fuel, especially diesel fuel, has a lot to do with the prices you pay at the grocery store. Historically, food supplies were more much more local; transportation costs, therefore, were much reduced (and that was during the era of much cheaper fuel). Not anymore; the impact on prices that California’s drought is having demonstrates how vast the U.S. food supply chain has become. With it has come higher transport costs.

Kimberly Amadeo, a U.S. Economy Guide at About.com notes:

Food prices rise in response to high gas prices. That’s because transportation is a large cost of food you buy at the store. When you notice prices at the pump rising, expect to see the same thing happen in about six weeks at the grocery store. High gas prices are, themselves, usually caused by high oil prices. Here again, it usually takes about six weeks for increases in oil futures to translate to the pump.

Government policies don’t help keep prices down

Regulations and laws are also behind the increase. As NaturalNews has reported, with Americans hungry and hundreds of millions around the world starving, U.S. lawmakers have adopted an insane policy of burning up our food supply in the form of a corn-based ethanol fuel mandate (and by the way, ethanol-laced fuel gets much worse mileage, meaning you have to buy more of it to get where you’re going).

It’s a policy that has never made much sense, but adopted more as a sop to Big Agriculture creating a market that otherwise would not have existed. Also, growing corn for ethanol reduces the available farm land to grow food crops.

What’s more, a recent Congressional Budget Office report concluded that the increased use of ethanol accounts for 10-15 percent of the increase in food prices.

Speaking of inane government policy, ever-changing subsidies for certain crops (which creates shortages) and paying farmers in some regions not to grow crops are two more factors that enhance shortages.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.zerohedge.com

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/044711_increasing_food_prices_California_drought_subsidized_crops.html#ixzz2yqHgKNfD

Misty Montano, KUSA4:58 p.m. MDT April 10, 2014

http://www.9news.com/

 

1397156587000-APC

KUSA – To some, including morning radio talk show host Willie B, it looks like a tank. The truth is, it’s an armored personnel carrier.

Willie B posted a photo of the vehicle on his Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon saying, “Uhhhhhh Damn.. they gotta Tank!! I’m absolutely sure this is to protect us and serve us…. right?”

The photo quickly went viral on Facebook and Reddit. The original post has received more than 1,800 shares and over 1,000 comments. Many in the comments explained that it’s not a tank, but that didn’t stop the questions about what it is and why does a local sheriff’s department have it.

Thursday morning, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department left a reply on Willie B’s post to address some of the questions.

“The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has been in possession of the 1976 M113A1 armored personnel carrier (APC) since 2005, when it was provided by the Department of Defense. The Sheriff’s Office does not own the APC, it still belongs to the Department of Defense. The APC is assigned to the Bomb Squad, and can be used to retrieve explosive devices.

The APC is also used for active shooter situations. The APC does not have offensive capabilities; it is strictly a defensive piece of equipment to transport and protect deputies from active shooter incidents. The last time the APC was deployed was in 2009, for just such an incident.

The Sheriff’s Office often brings it out for public events such as the Jefferson County Fair and the Summerset Festival in south Jeffco.”

Nevada sheriff announces feds to reopen land and end standoff with Cliven Bundy

Infowars.com
April 12, 2014

The Infowars exclusive yesterday exposing U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) involvement in the Bureau of Land Management’s land grab, which was trying to push out American ranchers such as Cliven Bundy in order to make way for Chinese solar farms, was the #1 news story in the entire world over the past 24 hours thanks to the Drudge Report and others, forcing the BLM to retreat from the standoff.

A screenshot of the Viral News Chart, showing the Infowars article connecting Sen. Reid to the land grab as the #1 story in the world.

The article, Breaking: Sen. Harry Reid Behind BLM Land Grab of Bundy Ranch, revealed that Sen. Reid is directly destroying the livelihoods of hard-working American ranchers in order to profit from future deals with Chinese energy firms and was shared on Facebook over 44,000 times, Twitter over 34,000 times and was even shared on the professional networking site LinkedIn.

And it worked. Today the Sheriff of Clark County, Nevada, Douglas Gillespie, announced that the BLM would retreat from its standoff with cattle rancher Cliven Bundy.

No doubt that the feds realized that they could not win the public relations war after the public realized that this land grab was for a solar farm.

Now this could be a ruse for the time being to get the crowds to leave so the feds can continue its criminal operation later, but Alex Jones doubts that because they have definitely lost the moral high-ground.

This is a HUGE victory that shows what We the People can do.

The coverage of the Nevada standoff on the Drudge Report, the #1 news aggregate in the world.

Spearheaded by the #1 news aggregate in the world, the Drudge Report, the real media, once called the alternative media, grew from the grassroots to report on real news and truth, unlike top-down mainstream media organizations which have been influenced by the CIA and other government agencies since at least the early 1950s and are little more than government propaganda outlets.

Americans want real truth, not lies and whitewash designed to cover up the galactic level of fraud seeping through all levels of our government which is leading once-prosperous America down the road to serfdom and poverty.

When the Founding Fathers drafted the First Amendment, particularly the freedom of the press, they envisioned the press as citizen-journalists such as Thomas Paine who stood up to the collective power structure as individuals willing to defend their birthrights.

They didn’t envision the dinosaur news outlets that we have today which serve the elite and not the people.

And everyone can stand up for their rights by becoming citizen-journalists! Shoot videos exposing corruption and fraud on your local level! Educate others through print and media about their birth rights and their human potential which only comes through liberty! Report on the real truth instead of the lies printed in ink on every newspaper daily!

Thomas Jefferson once wrote “enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”

This will happen by investigating the world around you instead of accepting the lies propagated by the establishment and the mainstream media.

This article was posted: Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 1:03 pm

War of words over standoff with feds intensifies

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
April 11, 2014

Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins has caused outrage by remarking that Utahns planning to travel to Nevada to support Cliven Bundy in his standoff against the feds “better have funeral plans”.

Image: Tom Collins (YouTube).

The comments were revealed by Darin Bushman, a Piute County, Utah, commissioner after he spoke with Collins about Utah ranchers and his colleagues on the County Commission complaining about tactics used by Bureau of Land Management agents during their seizure of Bundy’s cattle in southern Nevada.

“I was just told by commissioner Collins of Clark County NV that all of us folks from Utah are a bunch of “inbred bastards” and if we are coming to Clark Cointy NV to support Cliven Bundy we all “better have funeral plans”. We should “turn our asses around on mind our own f-ing business”. Now there’s some classy leadership for you,” wrote Bushman on his official Facebook page.

After the story was picked up by the Las Vegas Review Journal, Bushman responded to the controversy by posting on Facebook, “I guess I’ve made an enemy in Las Vegas.” The commissioner also lambasted Clark County Sheriff Douglas Gillespie as being, “too spineless to exercise his Jurisdiction”. Earlier this week, Cliven Bundy called on Sheriff Gillespie to start arresting BLM feds on charges of trespassing and theft.

Collins’ remarks were made in the context of him fearing that protests against the BLM could turn violent, which is ironic given that the only person invoking direct violence is Collins himself.

“I’m trying to do everything I can to discourage anybody who tells me they’re coming here with loaded guns,” Collins said. “I’m going to tell them not to come,” adding, “The Bundys want peace, they don’t want any violence going on so all these gun-packing folks just need to go home.”

Clark County commissioners will hold a meeting next week to discuss issues of decorum in response to Collins’ comments. It is unclear whether or not any action will be taken against him.

Bushman questioned Collins’ sanity in light of his offensive comments.

“This guy was just off-the-hook weird,” he said. “I’ve never ran into a fellow commissioner who treated me like that.”

Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71
FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @ https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet

*********************

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.

This article was posted: Friday, April 11, 2014 at 9:39 am

 

BLM attempted cover-up of Sen. Reid/Chinese gov’t takeover of ranch for solar farm

Kit Daniels
Infowars.com
April 11, 2014

The Bureau of Land Management, whose Director was Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) former senior adviser, has purged documents from its web site stating that the agency wants Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle off of the land his family has worked for over 140 years in order to make way for solar panel power stations.

The first segment of the document pulled by the feds from BLM.gov.

Deleted from BLM.gov but reposted for posterity by the Free Republic, the BLM document entitled “Cattle Trespass Impacts” directly states that Bundy’s cattle “impacts” solar development, more specifically the construction of “utility-scale solar power generation facilities” on “public lands.”

“Non-Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle,” the document states.

The second segment of the document pulled by the feds from BLM.gov.

Another BLM report entitled Regional Mitigation Strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone (BLM Technical Note 444) reveals that Bundy’s land in question is within the “Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone and surrounding area” which is part of a broad U.S. Department of Energy program for “Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States” on land “managed” by BLM.

“In 2012, the BLM and the U.S. Department of Energy published the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States,” the report reads. “The Final Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement assessed the impact of utility-scale solar energy development on public lands in the six southwestern states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.”

“The Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments/Record of Decision (ROD) for Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States implemented a comprehensive solar energy program for public lands in those states and incorporated land use allocations and programmatic and SEZ-specific design features into land use plans in the six-state study area.”

In 2012, the New American reported that Harry Reid’s son, Rory Reid, was the chief representative for a Chinese energy firm planning to build a $5-billion solar plant on public land in Laughlin, Nevada.

And journalist Marcus Stern with Reuters also reported that Sen. Reid was heavily involved in the deal as well.

“[Reid] and his oldest son, Rory, are both involved in an effort by a Chinese energy giant, ENN Energy Group, to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel manufacturing plant in the southern Nevada desert,” he wrote. “Reid has been one of the project’s most prominent advocates, helping recruit the company during a 2011 trip to China and applying his political muscle on behalf of the project in Nevada.”

“His son, a lawyer with a prominent Las Vegas firm that is representing ENN, helped it locate a 9,000-acre (3,600-hectare) desert site that it is buying well below appraised value from Clark County, where Rory Reid formerly chaired the county commission.”

Although these reports are in plain view, the mainstream media has so far ignored this link.

The BLM’s official reason for encircling the Bundy family with sniper teams and helicopters was to protect the endangered desert tortoise, which the agency has previously been killing in mass due to “budget constraints.”

“A tortoise isn’t the reason why BLM is harassing a 67 year-old rancher; they want his land,” journalist Dana Loesch wrote. “The tortoise wasn’t of concern when [U.S. Senator] Harry Reid worked with BLM to literally change the boundaries of the tortoise’s habitat to accommodate the development of his top donor, Harvey Whittemore.”

“Reid is accused of using the new BLM chief as a puppet to control Nevada land (already over 84% of which is owned by the federal government) and pay back special interests,” she added. “BLM has proven that they’ve a situational concern for the desert tortoise as they’ve had no problem waiving their rules concerning wind or solar power development. Clearly these developments have vastly affected a tortoise habitat more than a century-old, quasi-homesteading grazing area.”

“If only Clive Bundy were a big Reid donor.”

Update: The Drudge Report, the #1 news aggregate site in the world, has now picked up this story. Unfortunately for the BLM, the documents they wanted to delete are now exposed for the world to see.

 

 

By Kurtis Lee
The Denver Post

POSTED:   04/09/2014 05:52:05 PM MDT

 

 

A proposal to require parents to take an online course that showcases the benefits and risks of vaccinating their children received several hours of testimony in a Senate committee Wednesday evening from those on both sides of the issue.

 

The day ended without a vote, which will come next week.

 

Current Colorado law requires only a parent’s signature to claim a personal, medical or religious exemption from vaccination, with the majority of exemptions for personal reasons.

 

House Bill 1288 focuses on the personal-belief portion of the law. It would require parents to complete an online-education course that discloses the benefits and risks of immunization if they choose to opt out for personal reasons.

 

 

The measure passed through the House last month on a bipartisan 42-19 vote.

 

Parents who believe more children need to be vaccinated and others who believe this will lead to mandatory vaccination requirements packed into the Capitol’s Old Supreme Court Chambers ahead of Wednesday’s hearing.

 

“This moves us toward vaccinations for everyone and eliminating exemptions altogether,” said Robyn Charron, a Denver resident with two young children. Charron said her 4-year-old son received a vaccine injury that affected his brain. As a result, her 2-year-old daughter is not vaccinated.

 

Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, the bill’s Senate sponsor, said the measure “balances rights by simply adopting a requirement that parents receive credible information before exempting their children from immunization requirements.”

 

“We are seeing Colorado children diagnosed and hospitalized with vaccine-preventable diseases,” Aguilar said.

 

In Colorado, a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 85 percent of kindergartners entering elementary school in the fall of 2012 were vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR. That was among the lowest percentages. Mississippi and Maryland had rates near 100 percent.

 

Kurtis Lee: 303-954-1655, klee@denverpost.com or twitter.com/kurtisalee

 

Read more: Colorado Senate hears testimony on bill to educate parents on vaccines – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25533227/colorado-senate-hears-testimony-bill-educate-parents-vaccines#ixzz2yVSztWQQ
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April, 9, 2014

http://completecolorado.com/

By Michael Sandoval 

The second in a multi-part series.

Top administration officials for Gov. John Hickenlooper asked the Environmental Protection Agency for help killing a 2012 Republican-sponsored water bill that would have saved rural Colorado water districts and their customers millions of dollars, according to recently obtained emails.

Those emails, uncovered by The Competitive Enterprise Institute and CEI senior fellow Chris Horner in October 2013 as part of a Freedom of Information Act request, demonstrate ongoing conversations over several months between officials in the Governor’s Office and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Region 8 EPA Director Jim Martin, all of whom sometimes used private, unofficial emails for official government business.

The emails show that administration officials asked Martin for EPA help defeating the bill in the Democratic-controlled State Senate because Hickenlooper feared political fallout and would not veto the bill if it made it to his desk.

Senate Democrats on the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy Committee voted to postpone indefinitely the water bill in a party-line vote on May 3, 2012. The vote killed the bill before it reached Hickenlooper.

icon_exclusiveAlan Salazar, Chief Strategy Officer to the Governor of the state of Colorado, and Martha Rudolph, director of Environmental Programs for CDPHE, used a combination of unofficial and official email addresses in their communications with Martin, who was also using an unauthorized, private email account to both receive and send emails pertaining to the Colorado regulation and legislation.

Martin resigned from the EPA on February 15, 2012. In response to a separate FOIA seeking Martin’s private emails to environmental activists, the EPA administrator had denied using “his personal account to conduct official business,” according to The Daily Caller.

While Martin offered in his supplemental declaration at the time that he “did not take any action on these emails sent to my personal email account or otherwise rely on these emails in furtherance of EPA business” with regard to the separate emails discovered by CEI’s other FOIA request, Martin repeatedly received, and sometimes responded to, emails from Rudolph and Salazar from 2011 to 2012 obtained by CEI and the Independence Institute.

‘I would like to strategize on this’

Beginning in December 2011 Rudolph, using her official CDPHE email address, contacted Martin’s private me.com account about proposed regulations targeting “nitrogen and phosphorus discharged from wastewater treatment plants into rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs” across the state.

On December 14, 2011, Rudolph forwarded an email to Martin that contained a letter written by regional wastewater managers concerned about the fiscal impact the CDPHE Water Quality Control Division’s proposed 85 and 31 regulations would have on small, rural communities.

Rudolph noted the perceived strength of the arguments laid out in the attached letter (see below)—specifically the lack of a mandate for the new regulations, and the need for the EPA to weigh in on behalf of the regulatory proposal.

“We are likely fighting a losing battle on nutrients, see attached letter. We have met with the Governor’s office, and with the Governor, but I fear the comments in the attached letter will outweigh our arguments in support of the regulation. I believe the assertions that this is not federally required and that there is no required timeframe will be too compelling,” Rudolph wrote in the email.

“So we have been talking over here about the possibility of EPA, at the highest level, having a conversation with the Governor – about the need for the regulation, and specifically what EPA would do if Colorado does not act. I would like to strategize on this, if you think it may be doable. There will also be legislation introduced that would prohibit us from adopting a nutrients regulation. When you have a moment perhaps you could call or we could meet,” Rudolph concluded.

The FOIA does not reveal Martin responding to Rudolph’s pleas for EPA assistance.

‘We don’t want to expose the administration to political fire’

The legislation introduced during the 2012 legislative session that Rudolph mentioned—HB 1161, sponsored by then-Rep. Marsha Looper (R-El Paso)—called for a one-year postponement of the proposed water regulations. The bill ordered a report from a “nutrients scientific advisory board” that would consider cost-benefit analysis and compliance with a previous Hickenlooper executive order against regulations not mandated specifically by law, and unfunded mandates.

The wastewater managers in their December letter to the Governor shared both of those concerns—exceeding federal mandates and imposing onerous costs of compliance.

Salazar, using his AOL account, emailed Martin’s private account about the then-pending legislation and his “Thoughts on Nutrients Response” following the bill’s 8-5 approval from the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources committee to the House Committee on Appropriations on March 12, 2012.

At 2:54 p.m. on March 17 Salazar wrote, “1. My sense is that it’s fine to take some time with the response. Doesn’t have to be soon – maybe better if it’s not too quick. 2. Specificity and direction with regard to the questions posed would also be helpful. 3. We don’t want to expose the administration to political fire, but also need to see language that articulates the hard legal consequences for the state. 4. Deeply sorry (me to you) but you don’t need to put that in the letter.”

Martin responded to Salazar at 5:32 p.m.

“Thanks, Alan. In a session and missed your call. Amazingly easier to do work when you are sitting in a hotel room far away. Hearing rumors of more changes [to the bill] so unsure of how best to proceed. But speed is not our forte, that’s for sure.

Salazar had written to Martin at 4:52 p.m. as well, with a suggested line.

“How about: Dear Governor: It’s a friggin unfunded mandate, so sit and spin… Sincerely.”

“I could try that. But not sure LPJ (Lisa P. Jackson) would let me keep my corner office. Let me tone it down just a tad,” Martin wrote back at 6:17 p.m.

‘We do know that he will not veto Looper’s bill if it passes’

Two days before the House Appropriations committee would send the bill to the Committee of the Whole, Martin reached out to Rudolph’s Gmail account, seeking an update on “Water quality” on March 21, 2012 at 4:06 p.m.

“Any more insights into what is happening? And how was ECOS? I think I owe you a drink, by the way,” Martin wrote.

Rudolph responded to Martin a few hours later, at 8:55 p.m.

“Don’t know what is happening – I believe the Gov is waiting to see what EPA does. I will try to find out (although I was told by several in the Gov’s office that the Gov was going to Ok the rule two days before he/she sent the letter so even those in the inner sanctum don’t really know what is happening) We do know that he will not veto Looper’s bill if it passes. What do you think EPA’s response will be? ECOS was good – nice to get away,” Rudolph emailed.

She added, “Drinks would be great. Any free time in the next couple of weeks?”

The next morning, at 9:01 a.m., Martin responded.

“Thanks. Have not seen Looper’s bill, but will go looking for it. Could do drinks Mon, Tues, Thurs, Friday of next week. But not before noon. Cheers,” Martin wrote.

‘Bottom line – are comments from EPA helpful or hurtful?’

In the final set of emails from April 2012, Martin asks Rudolph what effect is perceived when the EPA weighs on state-level issues, this time on “Water and arsenic.”

“Martha – your vm stopped before you did, I think. Bottom line – are comments from EPA helpful or hurtful?” Martin queried.

“They have been helpful. Bob Benson knows the difficulties associated with selecting a standard that is below detect [sic] but more significantly below treatable levels. He recommended a level that is protective yet I understand is relatively easy to treat to,” Rudolph responded. Benson is a senior EPA employee with water-related expertise.

“Thanks,” Martin wrote back.

Click here to read Part I of the series.

 

 

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