…Would this really be a surprise…? ?

…Would this really be a surprise…? ?

 

NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say

10-30-2013  •  washingtonpost.com, By Barton Gellman and Ashkan    …..  The National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world, according to documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with knowledgeab. . .

name it…?

…Is there even one U S Government regulatory agency which legitimately serves & protects you and me … name it…?

 

clip_image002Ractopamine: The Meat Additive on Your Plate That’s Banned Almost Everywhere But America

 

The asthma drug-like growth additive has enjoyed stealth use in the US food supply for a decade despite being widely banned overseas.

 

Have you ever heard of ractopamine? Neither have most US food consumers though it is  used in 80 percent of US pig and cattle operations. The asthma drug-like growth additive, called a beta-agonist, has enjoyed stealth use in the US food supply for a decade despite being widely banned overseas. It is marketed as Paylean for pigs, Optaflexx for cattle and Topmax for turkeys.

This month, the Center for Food Safety  (CFS) and Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) have sued the FDA for withholding records pertaining to ractopamine’s safety. According to the lawsuit, in response to the groups’ requests for information "documenting, analyzing, or otherwise discussing the physiological, psychological, and/or behavioral effects" of ractopamine, the FDA has only produced 464 pages out of 100,000 pages that exist. Worse, all 464 pages have already been released as part of a reporter’s FOIA. Thanks for nothing.

CFS and ALDF have spent over 18 months meeting with the FDA and seeking information about the effects of ractopamine on "target animal or human liver form and function, kidney form and function, thyroid form and function" as well as urethral and prostate effects and "tumor development." The lawsuit says the CFS has "exhausted administrative remedies" and that the FDA has "unlawfully withheld" the materials.

Ractopamine’s effects on animals are documented, say the groups, but effects on humans remain a mystery. Codex, the UN food standards body, established ractopamine safety residues on the basis of only one human study of six people and one subject dropped out because of adverse effects! "Data from the European Food Safety Authority indicates that ractopamine causes elevated heart rates and heart-pounding sensations in humans," says CFS.

In an early Canadian study, monkeys given ractopamine "developed daily tachycardia"– rapid heart beat. Rats fed ractopamine developed a constellation of birth defects like cleft palate, protruding tongue, short limbs, missing digits, open eyelids and enlarged heart.

Two cousin drugs of ractopamine, clenbuterol and zilpaterol, cause such adrenalin effects in humans they are banned by the Olympics. Cyclist Alberto Contador failed a Tour de France anti-doping test in 2010 for levels of clenbuterol which he said he got from eating meat. Clenbuterol has been banned or restricted in meat after human toxicities. "The use of highly active beta-agonists as growth promoters is not appropriate because of the potential hazard for human and animal health," wrote the journal Talanta.

Certainly the ractopamine label puts no one at ease. "WARNING: The active ingredient in Topmax, ractopamine hydrochloride, is a beta-adrenergic agonist. Individuals with cardiovascular disease should exercise special caution to avoid exposure," says the label for the turkey feed. "Not for use in humans. Keep out of the reach of children. The Topmax 9 formulation (Type A Medicated Article) poses a low dust potential under usual conditions of handling and mixing. When mixing and handling Topmax, use protective clothing, impervious gloves, protective eye wear, and a NIOSH-approved dust mask. Operators should wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling. If accidental eye contact occurs, immediately rinse eyes thoroughly with water. If irritation persists, seek medical attention. The material safety data sheet contains more detailed occupational safety information. To report adverse effects, access medical information, or obtain additional product information, call 1-800-428-4441." This is used in food production?

Trade Travail      Ractopamine is banned in the EU, Russia, China, Taiwan and many other countries. In 2007, China seized shipments of US meat and charged that frozen ribs, pig ears and sausage casing contained ractopamine. This year, when the US refused to comply with ractopamine-free certification, Russia closed its market to US beef, pork and turkey.

The US calls anti-ractopamine restrictions unscientific and unwarranted while its balking partners call the use of ractopamine unscientific and unwarranted. "China says it’s worried about the higher levels of drug residues that can be found in pig organs, which are part of a traditional Chinese diet, and Russia claims the drug could pose health risks," reports Food Safety News.

In 2007 more than 3,500 pig farmers in Taiwan rioted because of rumor that a ractopamine ban would be lifted. Demonstrators, some carrying pigs, threw rotten eggs and dung at people and buildings chanting, "Get out, USA pork" and "We refuse to eat pork that contains poisonous ractopamine," reported Taiwan News. After Hou Sheng-Mou, the department of health minister, assured the crowd the ban was still in place and touched a piglet, for unclear reasons, the crowd left.

Last year, the riots were repeated replete with eggs and dung when newly re-elected President Ma Ying-jeou reversed the 2007 assurances and proposed that the ractopamine ban be lifted with products labeled accordingly. Taiwan hog farmers fear "lifting the ban could spark widespread health concerns that would affect consumption of other meat products, undermining their livelihoods," reported the Associated Press.

The sale of Smithfield foods to Shuanghui International this year, China’s biggest takeover of a US company, also has implications for ractopamine. Smithfield is converting it hog plants to "ractopamine-free" animals and announced that by last June its operations would be 50 percent ractopamine-free to please the Chinese markets. (Shuanghui is not guilt-free when it comes to beta-agonists–it was forced to recall its Shineway brand meat products because of clenbuterol fears.)

Penny Wise and Pound Cruel    Why is ractopamine fed to animals? Why are antibiotics, hormones and arsenic fed to animals in the US? Ractopamine is a growth enhancer and livestock operations make more money with less feed.

Optaflexx "served up 17 lbs. more live weight, 14 lbs. more carcass weight, 0.3 sq. in. more ribeye area, and 0.3% more dressing percent when fed according to label directions," extolled Beef magazine said in 2005. Ractopamine wasn’t implemented until cattle growers were assured that it "wouldn’t dilute quality grades" and didn’t cause "altered animal behavior," assured the magazine.

Both assurances were premature. Ractopamine has caused more harm to pigs than any other drug. FDA reports link it to a startling string of conditions in cattle and pigs like respiratory disorders, hoof disorders, bloat, abnormal lameness and leg disorders, hyperactivity, stiffness, aggression, stress, recumbency (inability to get up) and death. Even the animal expert Temple Grandin has spoken out. "I’ve personally seen people overuse the drug in hogs and cattle," she said and "the pigs were so weak they couldn’t walk." Ractopamine causes such hoof damage, hooves have actually fallen off reports Countryside magazine–a phenomenon Grandin reports with the similar drug zilpateral (Zilmax).

And meat quality? Turkey meat produced with ractopamine has "alterations" in muscle such as a "mononuclear cell infiltrate and myofiber degeneration," say a 2008 new drug application from Elanco, ractopamine’s manufacturer. There was "an increase in the incidence of cysts," and differences, some "significant," in the weight of organs like hearts, kidneys and livers. ("Enlarged hearts" had been in rats in the Canadian studies.) Happy Thanksgiving.

Spin Jobs    When a food additive no one knew they were eating comes under scientific scrutiny, Big Food and Big Pharma create an It’s Innocuous fact sheet. Meat turns brown just like an apple says a fact sheet from the American Meat Institute defending the use of carbon monoxide to keep meat red. “People would be more likely to die from a bee sting than for their antibiotic treatment to fail because of macrolide-resistant bacteria in meat or poultry," says a brochure from the Animal Health Institute defending antibiotics in meat.

Ractopamine is similarly neutralized by the National Pork Board. It "helps pigs make the most of the food they eat [thanks, guys!] by promoting the conversion of dietary nutrients into lean muscle, which helps produce a leaner meat product" and working "in the same way that human health supplements do."

Ractopamine is also "green" says Colleen Parr Dekker, a spokesperson for Elanco . Moving away from beta-agonists would increase corn demand and environmental impacts since the animals would need to eat more to produce the same amount of meat!

Global AgriTrends, an industry group agrees. If beef and pork producers dropped beta-agonists like ractopamine, 91 million more bushels of corn would be necessary! The green spin is reminiscent of the National Turkey Federation’s Michael Rybolt testimony that antibiotics are green on Capitol Hill. Without antibiotics, more land would be needed to grow crops to feed turkeys and more housing would be necessary because the birds could not be squeezed together, he said. There would even be "an increase in manure," he threatened.

We’re Eating What?  ….  If the Center for Food Safety and Animal Legal Defense Fund are successful in prying 100,000 pages of safety information about ractopamine loose from the FDA, there will probably being a collective, national "yuck" sound. But meat producers may see the writing on the wall before that happens. A beef industry conference in Denver in August included a pro-and-con discussion of the drugs with a video depicting distressed cows struggling to walk shown by meat giant JBS USA. On the same day, in an apparently unrelated event, Tyson Foods Inc announced it would no longer accept cattle fed the ractopamine cousin zilpateral because of cattle that had "trouble moving after being delivered."

Maybe ractopamine will eventually be phased out like lead in gasoline or rBGH in milk and for similar reasons. But, meanwhile, don’t count on Smithfield’s ractopamine-free initiative benefiting the US like it will China. “Americans aren’t getting the ractopamine-free pork,” Elisabeth Holmes, a staff attorney for the Center for Food Safety, reveale

Could be one less issue for religion to argue about…

Could be one less issue for religion to argue about…

 

The Dutch Don’t Care About Marriage…

Americans can learn a lot from their indifferenceclip_image002

 

I was in Amsterdam for probably three hours when I began to see that having children and not being married was not a big deal there. In fact, marriage itself is not a big deal there. I was there to talk about my book In Praise of Messy Lives, which was coming out in Dutch, but what passes in America for a messy life is in Amsterdam just, well, how things go.

The Dutch attitude, which I like, is that marriage is not for everyone; it is a personal choice, an option, a pleasant possibility, but not marrying is not a failure, a great blot on your achievements in life, a critical rite of passage you have missed. Sometimes people get around to getting married, and sometimes they don’t. Several Dutch women in their 40s, with children and rich romantic histories, tell me about marriage, “It just wasn’t something that mattered to me.”

As a popular view, this laissez faire approach accommodates the vicissitudes of the heart, the changing nature of love, the great variety of forms attachments take in real life. It acknowledges that things change, and to exit a relationship with kids is less violent somehow, less publically absolute, than to exit a marriage. A bit of tolerance, of bemusement, of compassion or imagination is built into the system.

I try to describe to a couple of audiences in Amsterdam the against-the-grainness of someone, especially a woman, who has not married in America. I try to explain how having children outside of marriage is still considered an alternative, and essentially inferior life choice. I mention that an American writer wrote a cover story in the Atlantic on the remarkable and exotic fact that she was in her late 30s and had never married. This sort of blew their minds. Who could possibly care? It seemed like a crazy American thing for marriage to matter so much. To them this obsession, this nagging necessity for weddings, the lack of general acceptance toward other pretty common ways of living, is so foreign, so uniquely American, such a quaint narrowness, that it’s incomprehensible as an actual mode of modern life.

At first I started fantasizing about whether I could move to a steep little Dutch house, and if I could balance a child on a bicycle. But it also seems to me it would be a great thing if we could absorb some of the Dutch attitude toward conjugal life. I am not here arguing against marriage, but against marriage as a rite of passage, against the assumption of all little girls that they will one day be married in a white dress on a green lawn, against the socially engraved absolute of it, the impossible-to-evade shining ideal.

What would it mean to end the centuries-long American fixation on traditional family structures? Would we be able to look at families living outside of convention without as much judgment, as much toxic condescension? Would the “smug marrieds” Helen Fielding wrote about in Bridget Jones’ Diary be less smug and just married?

If we woke up one morning and discovered that in America marriage was suddenly regarded as a choice, a way, a possibility, but not a definite and essential phase of life, think how many people would suddenly be living above board, think of the stress removed, the pressures lifted, the stigmas dissolving. Think how many people living unhappily would see their way to living less unhappily. In Edwardian England, the cultural critic Rebecca West wrote about the “dinginess that come between us and the reality of love” and the “gross, destructive mutual raids on personality that often form marriages.”

Whatever one thinks about the institution, the truth is that marriage is increasingly not the way Americans are living. If one goes strictly by the facts—that the majority of babies born to women under 30 are born to single mothers, or that about 51 percent of American adults are married—one has to admit that marriage can’t be taken for granted, assumed as a rite of passage, a towering symbol of our way of life. But somehow this hasn’t dimmed our solid sense of marriage as the American normal.

If we suddenly stopped being in thrall to the rigid, old-fashioned ideal of marriage, we could stop worrying about low marriage rates and high divorce rates. We could stop worrying about single mothers and the decline of marriage as an institution, especially in the lower middle class, and the wasteful industry of wedding planning. We could instead focus on actual relationships, on intimacies, on substance over form; we could focus on love in its myriad, unpredictable varieties. We could see life here in the amber waves of grain not for what it should be, but for what it is.

needs to carefully investigate the enormous power

…Any community considering “privatizing” any of its basic utilities … water … sewer … power … needs to carefully investigate the enormous power and authority now vested in most multinational utilities like Suez … Veolia …

 

Why Anytown, USA, Privatizes Its Water System

 

Ellen Dannin, Truthout: ….Read the Article 

 

When Allentown, Pennsylvania, rented its water and waste systems for 50 years this August, it was fortunate to find a public partner with closely aligned interests. Yet some of the problems with public infrastructure privatization remain very much the same.

 

This has very interesting repercussions…

…This has very interesting repercussions…

 

clip_image002

MIT Wristband Could Make AC Obsolete

The Wristify prototype is a personal climate-controlling wearable. Image: Wristify

Here’s a scary statistic: In 2007, 87 percent of households in the U.S. used air conditioning, compared to just 11 percent of households in Brazil and a mere 2 percent in India. Another one: By 2025, booming nations like those are projected to account for a billion new consumers worldwide, with a corresponding explosion in demand for air conditioning expected to arrive along with them. Keeping indoor spaces at comfortable temperatures requires a huge amount of electricity–especially in sweltering climates like India and Brazil–and in the U.S. alone it accounts for a full 16.5 percent of energy use.

All of that adds up to a big problem. At a point when humans need to take a sober look at our energy use, we’re poised to use a devastating amount of it keeping our homes and offices at the right temperatures in years to come. A team of students at MIT, however, is busy working on a prototype device that could eliminate much of that demand, and they’re doing it by asking one compelling question: Why not just heat and cool our bodies instead?

Shames runs hot. His mom runs cold. He figured there must be a way for them to coexist.

Wristify, as they call their device, is a thermoelectric bracelet that regulates the temperature of the person wearing it by subjecting their skin to alternating pulses of hot or cold, depending on what’s needed. The prototype recently won first place at this year’s MADMEC, an annual competition put on by the school’s Materials Science and Engineering program, netting the group a $10,000 prize, which they’ll use to continue its development. It’s a promising start to a clever approach that could help alleviate a serious energy crisis. But as Sam Shames, the MIT senior who helped invent the technology, explains, the team was motivated by a more prosaic problem: keeping everyone happy in a room where no one can agree where to set the thermostat.

Shames runs hot. His mom runs cold. He figured there must be a way for them to coexist peacefully. So he started researching, digging into physiology journals to get a better understanding of how we experience temperature. One paper held the key to the Wristify concept. It detailed how locally heating and cooling different parts of the body has all sorts of effects on how hot or cold we are–or, more accurately, how hot or cold we think we are. “There’s a big perceptual component to it,” Shames says.

“The human body and human skin is not like a thermometer. If I put something cold directly on your body at a constant temperature, the body acclimates and no longer perceives it as cold.” Think of what happens when you jump in a lake. At first, it’s bracingly cold, but after a while, you get used to it. By continually introducing that sudden jolt of cold, Shames discovered, you could essentially trick the body into feeling cold. Wristify basically makes you feel like you’re continually jumping into the lake–or submerging into a hot bath.

clip_image004In building the prototype, Shames and his co-inventors–Mike Gibson, a second-year Ph.D. student; David Cohen-Tanugi, a fourth-year Ph.D. student, and Matt Smith, a postdoctoral researcher–had the challenge of figuring out how to best exploit that perceptual tick. The research suggested that anything with a temperature change greater than 0.1 degree Celsius per second would produce the effect. Their wristband, which harnesses thermoelectrics to both heat and cool a patch of skin, is capable of changing that surface at a rate of 0.4 degrees Celsius per second.

“The most common reaction you get is that you see someone smile.”

They’re still refining the cycles used to deliver that temperature change–right now, Shames says, they’ve settled on roughly 5 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Along the way they had the chance to test it on all sorts of friends, family and classmates, and Shames says that people could definitely feel the technology at work. “The most common reaction you get is that you see someone smile,” he says.

The group is keen to push the product forward. In its current state, the device is very much a prototype–a crude mess of electronics strapped to a cheap, fake Rolex band. But none of the components are prohibitively expensive–the prototype works with about $50 worth of off-the-shelf parts–and Shames says they could produce the same effect with about half the on-the-skin surface area used by the current version. “The focus on our development thus far has been technical proof of concept,” Shames says, but they’re committed to turning Wristify into a real product. “We’ve been thinking long and hard about the next best steps to pursue,” he says. “One thing we’re really conscious about is the aesthetics of our device. It has to look good and it has to be comfortable.”

If it comes together, though, it would be a compelling sell–a wearable that offered personalized, dynamic climate control. It might not solve the AC energy problem in one fell swoop, but it could nudge us away from the central-heating-and-cooling mindset that is taking us there–more of a next-gen fan or handwarmer than a full heating and cooling replacement. It’s certainly an intriguing approach. As Shames says, “Why heat or cool a building when you could heat or cool a person?

and he is allow to criticize the leadership of others

…and he is allow to criticize the leadership of others … Cheney lies … cheats … steals and corporate owned media props him up as credible … what a joke…

 

clip_image002Dick Cheney says Iraq War was worth it because now we know they didn’t have WMDs

 

byHunterFollow

 

 

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney is on a Famous Person Book Tour. A Famous Person Book Tour, for any youngsters out there unfamiliar with the practice, is an American phenomenon in which a famous person writes a book, and/or causes a book to be written in their name, and because they are famous American law dictates that all American media programs are required to have them on to discuss various things that may or may not have anything to do with the book they may or may not have written. You may think that this law is a bit stupid, but it is entrenched; no newsperson or talk show host wants to be the first person to go to jail for failing to give a Famous Person their free network interview.

So Dick Cheney may or may not have written a book that may or may not be a tutorial as to how to lure young homeless people into your house so that you may harvest their organs for later use. This means we get to hear him defend his life’s work, aka the Iraq War, and you will not be surprised to know that he considers it a fine success because we were able to find out that there weren’t any weapons of mass destruction there.

 

What we gain and my concern was then and it remains today is that the biggest threat we face is the possibility of terrorist groups like al Qaeda equipped with weapons of mass destruction, with nukes, bugs or gas. That was the threat after 9/11 and when we took down Saddam Hussein we eliminated Iraq as a potential source of that.

Whether Iraq actually had any weapons of mass destruction, you see, is beside the point. The point is that by invading them, unleashing a chaotic series of events that killed perhaps a half a million people or so, we were able to set our minds at ease as to how they did not have any. Scratch one country off the list; all that is required now is to bomb and invade every other nation in the world so as to satisfy ourselves that there are not any illicit weapons there either. You may recognize this as another rephrasing of the Cheney Doctrine, which says that if there is even a one percent chance that another country might do something bad to us, we are allowed to bomb and invade them before they get the chance. If bombing and invading them did not result in them liking us sufficiently, of course, we may have to bomb and invade them again; there is no common rule of thumb as to how many times you need to bomb and invade someone before they like you.

Dick Cheney was and is considered an American foreign policy expert. He was one of the people most intimately involved with deciding who should and should not be killed becausereasons. All of the others are still around as well, flitting about on their occasional legally mandated Famous Person Book Tours. There is at least a 99 percent chance that they are all secretly idiots or worse, but the law is the law

will go to any length to deprive them of basic rights…

Americans should be fully aware as a result of the Mormon Church secret funding of the campaign to defeat “gay” marriage in California this is a religion which chooses to engage in secrecy and despises anyone who is “gay” and will go to any length to deprive them of basic rights…

 

clip_image002Election Over, the Mormon Church Quietly Re-enters the Gay Marriage Fight

 

After brief hiatus last year, Mormon officials are once again pushing back against gay-marriage legislation—this time in Hawaii.

 

By Stephanie Mencimer  Tue Oct. 29, 2013 3:00 AM PDT

Reports that the Mormon church had given up the fight over gay marriage were premature. Earlier this year, Mother Jonesand other news outlets noted the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was making a concerted effort to mend its tortured relationship with gay members and their families and to stay out of divisive political fights over gay marriage. The church sat out virtually every state ballot measure on the issue in 2012, helping assure that marriage equality bills passed in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and elsewhere. It launched a website, mormonsandgays.org, to urge better treatment of LGBT members. Mormons even marched in pride parades in Salt Lake City.

Now that the 2012 election is over, and Mitt Romney, the nation’s most famous Mormon, is no longer running for president, it seems the church is back in the ring. This week, the Hawaii state legislature began a special session to consider a bill that would legalize gay marriage in the state. The church is actively working to kill that measure.

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One Sunday in September, local Mormon bishops read a letter from top Hawaii Mormon leadership instructing churchgoers to contact public officials about the same-sex marriage bill.

The letter was not the full-throated call to action the church issued during the fight over California’s anti-gay marriage measure, Proposition 8, when church leaders read letters directing members to "do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time." The September Hawaii letter was far subtler, and even acknowledged that some Mormons might actually be in favor of the marriage bill. Nonetheless, it urged members to "review" the church’s "proclamation to the world," a 1995 speech given by church president Gordon Hinckley that spelled out the church’s belief that marriage can only be between a man and woman. This latest letter also recommended members donate time and resources to groups working on the bill, though it didn’t say on which side they should be working.

The church also suggested that regardless of how members felt about the marriage bill, they should advocate for an exemption that would protect religious organizations from having to perform same-sex marriages and to allow individuals and small businesses to refuse to cater to such marriages (a nod to the famous cases of photographers and bakeries that have refused to serve customers celebrating a same-sex wedding in states where it’s now legal). The language the Mormon church favors mirrors the religious freedom argument the Catholic Church has adopted in its fights over everything from contraceptive coverage to gay marriage.

But Salt Lake City’s focus-grouped language didn’t sit well with Hawaii church leaders, who wanted a more forceful message. On October 13, Hawaii church leaders read another letter to their flocks, this time stating flatly that the church’s position on same-sex marriage had not changed and that the church "is opposed to the proposed legislation in Hawaii." The state church’s letter argues that traditional marriage is "fundamental to successful families and a strong society," and directs members to actively oppose the legislation.

Cynics have suggested that the Hawaii campaign is evidence that the church was only temporarily backing away from the marriage fight to help Romney. Among those cynics is Fred Karger, a former California GOP political consultant who came out publicly at age 54, and became a same-sex marriage advocate. During the Prop. 8 battle, Karger helped publicize the fact that the Mormon church was directing millions of dollars into the campaign for the measure and attempting to hide its involvement.

Karger thinks what’s happening in Hawaii now is standard operating procedure for the church. Hawaii has a large Mormon population, and the church operates a large campus of Brigham Young University there. After Hawaii’s supreme court ruled in 1993 that a ban on same-sex marriage likely violated the state’s constitution, the LDS church got to work and organized a major lobbying campaign that was instrumental in the passage of a state constitutional amendment that allowed Hawaii’s legislature to ban gay marriage, which it did, in 1998.

Karger unearthed documents from that time that show the extent to which the church was involved in the amendment fight, and the lengths to which it attempted to hide its involvement, including starting a front group to help disguise donations from Mormon contributors. (You can find the documents here.) In the wake of the Hawaii supreme court decision, the LDS church developed an extensive national lobbying campaign through its public affairs committee that would rival that of a big corporation, Karger says, with operations fighting marriage equality in virtually every state. During the Prop. 8 fight, Karger obtained internal church documents showing involvement of high-ranking church officials in the campaign. (Those documents are now public for the first time and can be found here).

Because of the Mormon church’s long history of hiding its extensive lobbying efforts to oppose same-sex marriage, Karger questions whether it has fully disclosed its current role in Hawaii. On Friday, Karger filed sent a letter to the state’s ethics commission suggesting that the church is violating Hawaii’s ethics laws by failing to register its employees as lobbyists. Hawaii has a fairly low threshold for requiring lobbyists to register with the state. Anyone working on an issue as part of their employment who spends more than $750 or five hours on an issue in a month must register within five days.

Karger points to a Deseret News story from October 15 that indicated the church had several lobbyists working the Hawaii Legislature to craft some sort of religious exemption in the bill. As of October 24, though, the church has only one lobbyist registered—Linda Rosehill, a woman who served as the church’s lobbyist in the 1990s. State records show she didn’t officially register until September 25, almost two weeks after the church first issued its call to arms in local wards (what Mormons call individual churches).

In his complaint, Karger suggests that employees of church-owned BYU have been actively recruiting students to work on the campaign opposing the same-sex marriage bill. He notes that BYU’s Hawaii campus president, Steven Wheelwright, and his family donated a hefty $225,000 to the Prop. 8 campaign in California.  

Wheelwright did not respond to a request for comment. Officials in Salt Lake City would not answer questions about why the church didn’t get involved in state marriage battles last year but are doing so now that the presidential election is over. A spokeswoman suggested asking a "political science" professor about that issue and forwarded the following statement from Owen Matsunaga, a local church leader in Hawaii:

The Church’s position in relation to same-sex marriage is unchanged. The Church is opposed to the proposed legislation in Hawaii for two reasons: first, it attempts to redefine marriage.  The Church is firm in its belief that marriage as the union of a man and a woman is most beneficial to children, families, and society. Second, the protections offered in the current draft are completely inadequate to safeguard constitutionally guaranteed religious freedoms. These are important issues that affect the most vital aspects of society and thus deserve careful scrutiny.

The Church’s opposition to this legislation does not reduce our regard for all children of God, including individuals who choose to live by other standards. It does confirm our conviction that traditional marriage and robust protections for religious freedom are foundational issues for successful families and a strong society.

The church’s reappearance in the anti-gay marriage lobbying force in Hawaii has disappointed Mormons who had hoped the church’s position was changing. Mitch Mayne is an openly gay Mormon who in late 2011 was appointed executive secretary to the bishop of a San Francisco Bay Area ward in California. His appointment has been cited as an example of how the LDS church is trying to change its approach to LGBT issues. Mayne wrote a Huffington Post piece earlier this month lamenting the church’s position on the Hawaii bill and its new attempt to soften its tone by invoking religious freedom. He was particularly upset by the church lobbying to win an exemption in the bill that would allow businesses and individuals to refuse to serve LBGT customers. He wrote:

We wouldn’t like it if those same businesses hung signs that read "No blacks," and we would be outraged if they hung signs that said "No Mormons." In fact, if we took a moment to look at our own history, we’d see that we’ve faced that same intolerance and exclusion from others in the not-so-distant past, yet here we are advocating for it to be done to another group inside our human family. That’s simply indefensible, scripturally or otherwise.