Arizona we operate under a government and for-profit leadership mantra

A Perspective … in the end it’s all about disclosure & transparency

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At least in Arizona we operate under a government and for-profit leadership mantra that the notion of running out of water is not possible …

In 2010 … still in the grips of now more than a decade long “drought” we do not have an articulated enforceable state-wide water conservation program and certainly not in metro-Phoenix … heaven forbid …

Current reality suggests that Arizona leaders formulate and present to the citizens a thoroughly and thoughtfully articulated water profile for the next 20 years.

But given the enormous degree of divisiveness in our Legislative leaders, Governor and our water agencies it is doubtful such a dialog is possible and opening up such a discussion to honestly include input from “we” (the people) is highly problematic.

So most likely Arizona will enter the second decade of this new millennium clinging to a water mantra DOA …

Not only does Arizona have water quantity issues but far more important its water quality issues rank among some of the most severe … but … you’d never know it as that’s a well kept secret.

Actually it is easy to pull the wool over voter’s eyes in Arizona … especially when your educational system ranks near bottom-barrel nationally.

With a state economy in the toilet … having put all its eggs in the built-it-they-will-come (home building bubble) which popped leaving a quite devastated job market … coupled with a health delivery system which says if you’re poor you die … water issues do not at the moment rank high on most Arizonans awareness.

Putting quantity issues aside for a moment, it strikes me that water quality issues should play a much more significant role…? Arizona could have all the water in the world, however, if its water quality is unfit for human consumption, then what…??

So the notion of running out of water is only one side of the coin we need to consider as the other side could have devastating impact on any future for anyone in Arizona…???

Carve spam

A Perspective … in the end it’s all about disclosure & transparency

HAPPY THANKSGIVING … from your dedicated 535 members of the US House of Representative and US Senate …

Please don’t worry about us … Wall Street … Military Contractors and Lobbyi$tS are throwing a big-bash for us …

Sorry it’s by invitation only and $eating is limited …

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at

A Perspective … in the end it’s all about disclosure & transparency

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Mon$anto, Cargil, Dow, Con-Agra,Tyson, Smithfield, ADM, Pilgrim’s Pride and “big” pharma … ENJOY … delicious GMO in every bite …

Why the Biggest Thanksgiving Lie May Be the Turkey on Your Table

By Jill Richardson, AlterNet ..Posted on November 19, 2010, Printed on November 20, 2010

What could be more natural a pairing than turkey and Thanksgiving? For one day a year, we sit down with our family and friends to dine on thoroughly American, seasonal fare, just like the Pilgrims did, together with the Native Americans, when celebrating their first successful harvest.

Only, very little of that myth that we retell each year is true. Among the falsehoods are the turkeys who sit in the center of so many Thanksgiving tables — these birds bear very little relation to the turkeys the pilgrims would have enjoyed — if they did at all.

To start, the feast labeled as the “first Thanksgiving” likely was not that at all. The feast commemorated a treaty between the Pilgrims and Native Americans. The Pilgrims held many days of thanksgiving, but those involved prayer more than food. By the time America became a nation, thanksgiving dinners were common, and turkey was often a part of the meal. But so were chicken, goose, pork, lamb, duck, and beef, according to the many accounts we have of early thanksgivings. And these celebratory meals had no association (yet) with Pilgrims, nor were they necessarily held in November.

For example, one day of thanksgiving was declared when America won its Revolutionary War.

The first person to associate the Pilgrims, Native Americans, and a festive meal involving turkey — and to name it the “first Thanksgiving” — was likely Alexander Young, a Unitarian minister in Boston, who published Chronicles of the Pilgrim Fathers of the Colony of Plymouth in 1841. Merely 22 years later, Thanksgiving became a national holiday. The woman who sealed the deal was Sarah Josepha Hale, after she became famous for her novel Northwood; or, a Tale of New England, which devoted an entire chapter to describing Thanksgiving and ultimately became the model for what a Thanksgiving dinner ought to be. Hale embarked on a campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, and succeeded when President Lincoln declared it so in 1863.

But why was it turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberries, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie that we still eat today? According to Andrew F. Smith, author of Eating History: 30 Turning Points in the Making of American Cuisine, because they’re cheap. (Well, at least the traditional meal is thoroughly American in that sense. Americans spend less disposable income than any other nation on food, and not just on Thanksgiving.) Smith says, “While many other main dishes had been tried, it was turkey that thrived, mainly because it was less expensive than the alternatives…. The traditional side dishes — stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, succotash, corn bread, cranberries, and pies — were inexpensive as well, so that Thanksgiving dinner was affordable to all but the poorest Americans.”

(Farmer Frank Reese, Jr. disagrees, saying Americans probably settled on turkey because once domesticated turkeys became the norm on farms in the mid-1800s, they would have been born in the spring and ready for slaughter around Thanksgiving and Christmas.)

Was it coincidence that these inexpensive foods were all of the New World, or were they perhaps inexpensive because they could all be produced locally? And yet, as our food has become more processed and industrialized, so has Thanksgiving dinner. In some cases, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as cranberries, which could once only be enjoyed as a wild food, are now cultivated commercially.

But along the way, we’ve gotten canned cranberry sauce that retains the shape of the can after it’s dumped out and boxed mashed potatoes. And, as turkey is king in a Thanksgiving meal, it’s the turkey itself that has changed the most since the time of the Pilgrims.

We all know that, however turkeys feel about the fourth Thursday in November, it sure ain’t thankful. Paul Shapiro, senior director of the Humane Society of the United States’ Factory Farming Campaign, underscores this, saying that the vast majority of America’s turkeys are subject to “a painful life and a painful death.” Turkeys changed from their wild ancestors with domestication, but during the 20th century, the vast majority of American turkeys (about 20 percent of whom are eaten on Thanksgiving) took a turn toward freakish.

Domesticated turkeys took a long and circuitous route to go from Mexico to Europe and back across the Atlantic to New England. But their strange journey did not end there, as American breeders tinkered with them in the early- to mid-20th century, first developing the Broad-Breasted Bronze and later switching to the Broad-Breasted White, a similarly fast-growing and large-breasted breed that lacked the dark pinfeathers of bronze turkeys, providing better aesthetics.

Even before the switch from bronze to white, commercial turkeys were no longer physically able to mate naturally. Artificial insemination “solved” that problem beginning in the 1950s and 1960s. Reese, one of the most successful and famous turkey farmers in the U.S., says that as commercial breeders came up with more physical problems associated with the birds’ fast growth, they came up with more and more ways of dealing with it, from artificial insemination to antibiotics to confinement.

The commercial breed satisfies the American demand for breast meat and agribusiness’ demand for fast growth, but does so at the expense of the turkey truly being a viable animal that can survive and reproduce. The Broad-Breasted Whites who receive presidential pardons have gone to Disneyland to peacefully live out the remainder of their lives since 2005, but as of last Thanksgiving, half of the pardoned turkeys did not survive long enough to celebrate a second Thanksgiving.

According to Reese, the birds are engineered to die. Shapiro put it differently, saying that commercial turkeys are “bred to suffer.” The path to humane turkey isn’t a better habitat or organic feed: It’s in the genes.

Reese, who has raised turkeys for over 50 years, raises standard turkey breeds that have not changed to meet commercial needs over the course of the 20th century or beyond. His turkeys, like their ancestors, gain about a pound a week, taking 24 to 28 weeks (six to seven months) to reach slaughter weights. When dressed, his hens weigh 14 to 16 pounds and his toms (male turkeys) weigh 18 to 22 pounds. “That was the standard 50 years ago,” he says.

But today, commercial birds grow at double that rate. Reese is interested in the nutritional difference between his turkeys and your average Butterball, saying that he’s tested his chicken and found they contain significantly more protein and less fat compared to commercial breeds (even when the commercial breeds are raised free-range and organically).

While Reese is perhaps the best-known farmer who raises standard breeds of turkey (now commonly referred to as “heritage breeds”), he is not the only one. Around the country, many farmers are raising Bourbon Reds, Narragansetts, Standard Bronze, and other heritage breeds of turkey.

Typically, they produce smaller birds (ranging from 10 to 20 pounds) with less white meat than those you’d find at the supermarket and charge between $4 and $5 (and sometimes as much as $7 or $8) per pound. At $4.50 per pound, a 16-pound bird would cost $72, compared to $5 or $8 for the same size bird at the supermarket.

Is it worth it? Nicolette Hahn Niman, author of the book Righteous Porkchop, says that people who try her turkeys routinely tell her, “That was the best turkey I ever had!” As a once or twice a year splurge for a holiday, many feel that it’s well worth it.

Nicolette and her husband Bill (formerly of Niman Ranch) began raising turkeys on their farm, BN Ranch, a few years ago, when they recognized the high interest among consumers but low supply of heritage birds.

They knew that Reese has some of the best turkey genetics in the country, so when the opportunity to buy some of his poults (baby turkeys) came up, they went to Kansas and drove 36 straight hours back to Northern California with a car full of turkeys. They keep the turkeys they bought from Reese as a breeding flock, raising and selling the poults hatched each year at Thanksgiving.
Over and over, turkey farmers who raise heritage breeds told me their turkeys were not stupid. The myth that turkeys can drown in the rain is just that — a myth. Niman said that from the first day her turkeys stepped outside, they had their natural instincts intact.

When a bird of prey flew overhead, the turkeys flocked together and stood close to the guard dog. Many farmers bring their turkeys indoors in the evenings, but otherwise the turkeys would roost in the trees, where they are safe from most predators. Heritage turkeys, unlike commercial turkeys, are able to fly.

(One farmer saw that as a disadvantage to heritage breeds, because by flying out of their fenced enclosure, her turkeys made themselves more vulnerable to predators.)

In an experiment for the University of Arkansas, Reese raised a flock of 40 Broad-Breasted Whites in exactly the same way he raises his own birds. He got the commercial poults in August, and found that the birds could not tolerate the hot Kansas weather as well as his own birds (who can survive in temperatures ranging from 20 below to 110 degrees).

In the heat, the commercial birds had breathing problems. Even in more temperate weather, the birds were in poor health. They could not walk well, let along run, and they could not fly up to the roof of the coop like the heritage birds could.

“They wanted to be turkeys and do the things that turkeys do, but they couldn’t. They physically couldn’t,” says Reese. Reese says that when he brings his own birds to the processing plant, the staff there (who are used to commercial turkeys) are surprised that his turkeys do not have bone fractures, cellulites, and open sores like their commercial counterparts do when they reach slaughter weight.
But, one still may ask, if a heritage breed turkey takes twice as long to grow as a commercial turkey, why do they cost so much more than twice as much?

When I told Reese that a 16-pound Butterball turkey was going for $8 at my local supermarket, he replied that industry views Thanksgiving as a giveaway. They get much more money selling deli meats than they do selling whole turkeys. Imagine what Subway charges per pound of turkey when you consider the few ounces of cold cuts served on each sandwich.

It’s also possible that the supermarket is selling the turkeys for a loss in order to lure shoppers into their stores to do the rest of their Thanksgiving shopping.

For a farmer like Reese, most of the money he charges for his turkeys is spent long before Thanksgiving on hatching, feed, processing, and other costs associated with raising his turkeys. Despite the high price tag, he does not make very much profit per bird. He feels that the two ways a farmer can make ends meet while raising heritage breed turkeys is to stay small (around 50 turkeys) and do everything from hatching to slaughter oneself, or to raise more than 5,000 turkeys, at which point processing costs per bird decrease and supplies can be purchased for wholesale prices. This rang true for another farmer, who stopped raising turkeys altogether because after buying the poults from the hatchery, buying the feed, and paying for the slaughter, she was not able to make heritage turkeys profitable even when charging $8 per pound.

It may be the humaneness, the environmental concerns, or the sense of tradition that drive some people to try heritage turkeys, but farmer after farmer raved mostly about the taste. The meat is really rich, says Niman, who always has leftovers after Thanksgiving. She said her turkey also makes an amazing stock. Often, chefs try her turkeys and comment on their incredible flavor. Reese noted that when professional taste testers compared his birds to the commercial, grocery store variety, his birds won.
Is it worth it to you, to recapture an American tradition (even if it doesn’t go back to the Pilgrims) by serving a heritage breed turkey this

Thanksgiving, and possibly eating the best turkey you’ve ever had?

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it would be progress

A Perspective … in the end it’s all about disclosure & transparency

Frankly was Congress to spend its time on inane actions like this I would feel that they are actually making progress …

Push off cliff

A Perspective … in the end it’s all about disclosure & transparency

CORPORATIST … both political parties … male, female, all colors, all creeds … just follow the $$$ … or believe nincompoops like Glenn Beck … it’s your choice …???

How Corporate America Is Pushing Us All Off a Cliff

By Michael Moore,
Posted on November 19, 2010, Printed on November 20, 2010

When someone talks about pushing you off a cliff, it’s just human nature to be curious about them. Who are these people, you wonder, and why would they want to do such a thing?

That’s what I was thinking when corporate whistleblower Wendell Potter revealed that, when “Sicko” was being released in 2007, the health insurance industry’s PR firm, APCO Worldwide, discussed their Plan B: “Pushing Michael Moore off a cliff.”

But after looking into it, it turns out it’s nothing personal! APCO wants to push everyone off a cliff.

APCO was hatched in 1984 as a subsidiary of the Washington, D.C. law firm Arnold & Porter — best known for its years of representing the giant tobacco conglomerate Philip Morris. APCO set up fake “grassroots” organizations around the country to do the bidding of Big Tobacco.

All of a sudden, “normal, everyday, in-no-way-employed-by-Philip Morris Americans” were popping up everywhere. And it turned out they were outraged — outraged! — by exactly the things APCO’s clients hated (such as, the government telling tobacco companies what to do). In particular, they were “furious” that regular people had the right to sue big corporations…you know, like Philip Morris.

(For details, see the 2000 report “The CALA Files” (PDF) by my friends and colleagues Carl Deal and Joanne Doroshow.)

Right about now you may be wondering: how many Americans get pushed off a cliff by Big Tobacco every year? The answer is 443,000 Americans die every year due to smoking. That’s a big cliff.

With this success under their belts, APCO created “The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition.” TASSC, funded partly by Exxon, had a leading role in a planned campaign by the fossil fuel industry to create doubt about global warming. The problem for Big Oil speaking out against global warming, according to the campaign’s own leaked documents, was that the public could see the “vested interest” that oil companies had in opposing environmental laws.

APCO’s job was to help conceal those oil company interests.

And boy, have they ever succeeded. Polls now show that, as the world gets hotter, Americans are getting less and less worried about it.
How big is this particular cliff? According to the World Health Organization, climate change contributes — right now — to the deaths of 150,000 people every year.

By 2030 it may be double that. And after that…well, the sky is literally the limit! I don’t think it’s crazy to say APCO may rack up even bigger numbers here than they have with tobacco.

With this track record, you can see why, when the health insurance industry wanted to come after “Sicko,” they went straight to APCO. The “worst case,” as their leaked documents say, was that “Sicko evolves into a sustained populist movement.” That simply could not be allowed to happen. Something obviously had to be done.

As Wendell Potter explains, APCO ran their standard playbook, setting up something called “Health Care America.” Health Care America, according to Potter, “was received by mainstream reporters, including the New York Times, as a legitimate organization when it was nothing but a front group set up by APCO Worldwide. It was not anything approaching what it was reporting to be: a ‘grassroots organization.’ It was a sham group.”

Health Care America showed up online in 2007 (the year “Sicko” was released) and disappeared quickly by early 2008. You can still find their website archived here. As you’ll see, their “moderated forum” allowed normal, everyday, in-no-way-employed-by-the-insurance-industry Americans to speak out. For instance, here’s something Nicole felt very strongly about:

“Moore shouldn’t be allowed to call his film a ‘documentary.’ It should be called a political commercial. We need to fix our health care system, but we shouldn’t accept a Hollywood moviemaker’s political views as the starting point.”

Here’s what Wendell Potter revealed about the insurance industry’s media strategy:

“As we would do the media training, we would always have someone refer to him as ‘Hollywood entertainer’ or ‘Hollywood moviemaker Michael Moore.’ They don’t want you to think that it was a documentary that had some truth.”

Thanks for your perspective, “Nicole”!
Now, how big was THAT cliff? A pretty good size — according to a recent study, 45,000 Americans die every year because they don’t have health insurance.

And here we are in 2010. A lesser PR firm might be resting on its laurels at this point, content to sit back and watch hundreds of thousands of people continue to be pushed off the various cliffs they’ve built.

But not APCO! Right now they’ve taken on their biggest challenge yet: leading a giant, multi-million dollar effort to help Wall Street “earn back the trust of the American people.”

We may never know the size of this particular cliff. But we can be sure it’s gigantic. According to the New York Times, one of the things Wall Street’s recession gave us is “the crippling of the government program that provides life-sustaining antiretroviral drugs to Americans with H.I.V. or AIDS who cannot afford them.” Internationally, organizations fighting AIDS and other diseases are “hugely afraid” of cutbacks in funding.
Of course, there are the 101 ways recessions kill quietly. For instance, children’s hospitals are seeing a sharp 55% rise in the abuse of babies by parents.

And that’s just the previous cliff. If APCO and its Wall Street co-conspirators lull us into turning our backs on them again, we can be sure the next cliff — the next crash — will be much bigger.

Anyway, this is all just a way for me to say to APCO: No hard feelings! My getting mad at you would be like a chicken who’s still happily pecking away getting mad at McDonald’s.

Compared to the millions you’ve already turned into McNuggets, you’ve actually treated me much, much BETTER! Spying on my family, planting smears and lies about me, privately badgering movie critics to give the film a poor review, scaring Americans into believing they’d be committing a near-act of treason were they to go to the theater and see my movie — hey, ya done good, health insurance companies of America.

And, most important, you stopped the nation from getting true universal health care. Good job!

There’s only one problem — I’m not one of those “liberals” you fund in Congress, the ones who fear your power.

I’m me. And that, sadly, is not good for you.

Yours in good health,
Michael Moore

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Next they fit you for your own personalized RFID implant … now doesn’t that feel good …? ? ?

A Perspective … in the end it’s all about disclosure & transparency

Next they fit you for your own personalized RFID implant … now doesn’t that feel good …? ? ?

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New Ways to Get your Coke Fix
Coca-Cola and Samsung unveiled
a new soda dispensing machine which incorporated a large LCD screen along with touchscreen capabilities with flash and motion graphics.

The user can interact with the all touch screen interface. Future plans are for bluetooth integration and the ability to download songs and wallpapers directly to your phone.

You may have seen these new vending machines if you were in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics. They are rolling these out in select Simon Mall locations and if all goes well, you may see these in more places.

Personally, not sure if all the technology in the machine is worth it just to dispense a $1.00 bottle of Coca-Cola – but you know me, anything tech related and I’m there.

Here is a clip from CNET’s Brian Tong who got to interact with one of these machines at this years CES show.
Another vending machine that the Cola giant has released is a different kind of dispenser. This is a new dispenser meant to replace the soda fountain at your local fast food joint. So why is that news?

This new dispensing machine uses RFID technology (Radio Frequency ID) in the machine itself and changes the way the syrup is distributed to restaurants.

For years, soda fountain technology really hasn’t changed. Restaurateurs purchase large bags of syrup that is then connected to a water line that dispenses the carbonated drink of your choice with the press of your cup against the trigger. This new machine uses cartridges, much like your inkjet printer, that has an RFID chip in it so that it can collect data on usage and help restaurants get a better handle on their inventory.

The new machine also allows for a myriad of drink combinations to be made.

We’ve all done it. We got our cup, filled it with ice and got a little bit of that, then a little bit of this and we had our signature drink. Well, Coca-Cola has pre-programmed over 28,000 drink combinations with more to come. The cartridges allow for a much larger inventory to be carried than the traditional bags of syrup. Currently the machine holds up to 30 different cartridges that will mix up about 100 drink combinations for you.
The RFID technology gives retailers access to data they couldn’t get before. For example, data can be collected during special events at the restaurant and track exactly what consumers were drinking. The new dispenser allows for new drink concepts to be tested faster in the field and collect data on it. In the unlikely event a cartridge needs to be recalled, the system can be accessed remotely via the network and that cartridge can be disabled.

The technology behind the door is a combined effort with Verizon’s wireless network and Coke’s Data Warehousing systems in Atlanta, GA.

They are rolling out these machines in test environments here in Orange County, Atlanta and Salt Lake City.
Have you seen one of these machines and if so, what do you think about it?

Let me know …July 6, 2009 …Scott Mindeaux, Editor

let’s make a deal

A Perspective … in the end it’s all about disclosure & transparency

Get real … a closed door smoke filled room deal has been cut … got it …

Senate Throws Softball Questions in DEA Chief Confirmation Hearings at Drug Warrior Michele Leonhart

By Phillip S. Smith, Drug War Chronicle
Posted on November 19, 2010, Printed on November 20, 2010

Michele Leonhart’s nomination to be Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) administrator appeared to be on track for an easy confirmation after a Wednesday hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The nomination is opposed by the drug reform, medical marijuana, and hemp movements, but insiders say it is all but a done deal.While reformers had hoped one or more senators would ask Leonhart “tough questions” about her tenure as acting DEA administrator, that didn’t happen. Sens. Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) pressed Leonhart about easing access to pain medications for senior citizens in nursing homes, but that was about the extent of the prodding.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), expressing concern about all that legalization talk in the air, gave Leonhart the opportunity to assure him that she and the DEA stood steadfast. She obliged him.

“I have seen what marijuana use has done to young people,” Leonhart said. “I’ve seen the addiction, the family breakup. I’ve seen the bad. I’m extremely concerned about the legalization of any drugs,” she avowed. “We already have problems with prescription drugs, which are legal, so it’s of concern.”

Legalizers are singing a seductive siren song, Leonhart warned. “The danger of these legalization efforts, they say we could just end the problem of drugs if we just make it legal,” she explained.

“But any country that has tried that — the Netherlands, Alaska — it has not worked, it is failed public policy.” … (actually from what we observed in the Netherlands this statement is simply not true … but then just follow the $$$ see where it leads … then perhaps you will begin to obtain awareness on why this War on Drugs is a joke … but it makes $$$ … )

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