Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cops arrest 87-year old man for cultivation violation: too many plants

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Once again, stupidity rules, as the cops come down like gangbusters against an 87-year old man.

When you listen to this vid you’ll see how crazy things are, even with all the required 215 associated compliances.

Yes, he had too many plants according to the cops, but do you take a senior citizen like this to jail for such a minor infringement?

The answer should be NO, in a free society.

VA Starts Study on Service Dogs for Servicemen and Women with PTSD

           Good Day Humboldt County!

 As someone who has PTSD, I’m glad to see the VA is getting serious about training dogs to help PTSD sufferers.

I firmly believe in the curative powers of animals, and dogs in particular. I’ve known for a long time how good my dog, Millie, makes me feel just petting and cuddling her.

There’s been this mystic relationships between man and dog/wolf for thousands of years dating back to prehistoric times. For whatever reasons, dogs like the company of humans. Sometimes I wonder why when I see how some are treated by their masters.

With the thousands of servicemen and women who currently have PTSD, programs like the following are sorely needed. Right now there’s little chance of meeting their needs with trained service dogs, but hopefully in the near future they can. There are many challenges ahead, as described in this article: 

There are also no widely accepted standards or best practices for training dogs to alleviate PTSD symptoms, a point of concern for many traditional service dog organizations, some of which have been in the industry for decades.

At the veterans' hospital in Tampa, a team of epidemiologists, mental health providers, veterinarians and other experts are conducting a study that will address some of these questions.


There are neurobiological effects of interacting with an animal; research has shown that when focus is on petting and playing with a dog, it can increase oxytocin, a brain chemical that boosts trust and quiets the brain's fear response.


Seventeen participants enrolled in the program over the past year, though Congress -- which recommended the study -- permitted the Department of Veterans Affairs to match as many as 200 with service dogs.

The study is the first of its kind at VA; the agency only just began providing benefits for service dogs to veterans with physical disabilities in 2001 and had previously done a handful of small studies looking at whether veterans benefits from mobility and hearing service dogs.” (Go here to read the full story)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, August 3, 2012

Australian researchers compare humans to fruit flies to find out why Women Outlive Men – no really!

         Good Day Humboldt County!

What’s all the buzz about? I’ll tell you.

I’d like to know why scientists are always using weird test subjects to study men and women?

What’s with using fruit flies – like in the following article – to find out why men die sooner than women? You can’t tell me our anatomies are even vaguely alike, so why fruit flies?

It was bad enough using chimps to study our similarities, but insects are crossing the line! What’s next? Octopuses? The fact that all animals possess mitochondria is good enough for this group of researchers. I have a sudden urge to swat the researchers!

(HealthDay News) -- New research reveals that mutations to the DNA of the mitochondria cause men to age faster than women -- a finding that may explain why women, on average, outlive men.

The researchers from Monash University in Australia examined male and female fruit flies that carried mitochondria -- the part of the cell that converts food into energy -- of various origin. They found that genetic variation in the mitochondria predicted life expectancy in males, but not in females. The investigators concluded that several mutations within the DNA of mitochondria affect how quickly men age as well as their longevity.

Intriguingly, these same mutations have no effects on patterns of aging in females. They only affect males," Dr. Damian Dowling, from the Monash School of Biological Sciences, said in a university news release. "All animals possess mitochondria, and the tendency for females to outlive males is common to many different species. Our results therefore suggest that the mitochondrial mutations we have uncovered will generally cause faster male aging across the animal kingdom."

The mutations result from the way mitochondrial genes are passed down from one generation to the next, the study authors noted.

"While children receive copies of most of their genes from both their mothers and fathers, they only receive mitochondrial genes from their mothers. This means that evolution's quality control process, known as natural selection, only screens the quality of mitochondrial genes in mothers," explained Dowling. "If a mitochondrial mutation occurs that harms fathers, but has no effect on mothers, this mutation will slip through the gaze of natural selection, unnoticed. Over thousands of generations, many such mutations have accumulated that harm only males, while leaving females unscathed."

The study authors said they plan to continue their research and explore ways to negate the genetic mutations that negatively affect men's life expectancy. The study was published Aug. 2 in Current Biology. The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about genetics.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, August 2, 2012

In the spirit of America’s favorite pastime BASEBALL, here’s an interesting team of old …

                                       House of David Baseball Team, c.1920-1955

‘The Israelite House of David religious society was founded by Benjamin and Mary Purnell in 1903. Benjamin Purnell was a sports enthusiast and encouraged the Community to play sports, especially baseball, to build physical and spiritual discipline.

In 1913, the Israelite House of David began to play competitive baseball. The House became famous touring America from the 1920s through the 1950s. The team members wore long hair and beards as they played.


‘By the late 1920s, the House began hiring professionals. Some professional players grew their beards out to show respect towards the God of Israel, while others wore false beards. New York City had three separate barnstorming teams touring the county, playing and evangelizing wherever they went.

‘From 1946 until 1955, there were numerous teams which bore the House of David name and wore beards.’

- Wikipedia  Source: House of David Museum

AS IT STANDS takes a look at a paramilitary group called the ‘LIGHT FOOT MILITIA’

              Good Day Humboldt County!

  You may be aware of paramilitary groups in America, but never read much about them. Today I’m offering the following information on one group – the Idaho regiment of the Light Foot Militia.

The Light Foot Militia started in Kootenai, Bonner and Boundary counties in northern Idaho, but units have sprung up around the country, including in Utah, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Texas and Pennsylvania. Members of the Light Foot Militia train together to prepare for a time when they must protect themselves, their families or their community from an unforeseen scenario. The Lightfoot Militia claims they are not racists, but only have Caucasian members.

The panhandle of Idaho is known for its beautiful mountains, trees, and waterways. It's also home to a growing group of men and women who call themselves the Idaho regiment of the Light Foot Militia. Members believe they are the "teeth of the Constitution" at a time of economic and political uncertainty for the United States of America.

According to the Light Foot Militia standards, a 69-page document available on the group's website, the unit’s patch is green with a Spartan helmet with crossed swords pictured below the ancient Greek words, "Molon Labe," meaning "Come and get them."

(Photo below) Members from multiple battalions of the Light Foot Militia salute the American flag while, left to right, Willard Protsman, Robert Clemens and Randall Klein remove it from a makeshift flagpole and fold it at the end of a weekend training exercise near Priest Lake, Idaho.

 "The Constitution is what protects your freedom and liberty. It’s the document the guarantees everything you do," said Maj. Stankiewicz, describing the reason he and his fellow militia members felt duty-bound to join the Light Foot Militia. "It’s the whole point of it and why we are our here to defend the free republic. The 2nd Amendment is the teeth of our Constitution." (Source)

PhotoBlog: Learn more about the Idaho Light Foot Militia

 Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It’s Summer and Time to Hit the Beach – just watch which one you pick!

Warning signs on beach, Kauai, Hawaii (© Roger Fletcher/Alamy)

          Good Day Humboldt County!

It’s summer and people gravitate to beaches like lemmings. You should know that all beaches are not safe to go to. I’ve got a list of top offenders, and some may surprise you – like Acapulco.

I remember going to Kauai in 2008 with my wife and she got caught by the dangerous riptide at Hanakapiai Beach. Lucky for her there were some strong swimmers who helped her out as I was on the beach at the time. There’s still plenty of good beaches to go to, but sadly there are an increasing number of beaches succumbing to pollution and no longer safe to swim in.

                                                         Hanakapiai Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

Over the past 40 years, more than 300 people have drowned in the waters off Kauai, far more than on any of its sister isles. Why? Kauai is the westernmost island in the Hawaiian chain, set off from the rest and the one least protected by reefs. That means that although the ocean surrounding it often looks calm, it is beset by treacherous rip currents. This is particularly true of Hanakapiai Beach; its waters have claimed 80 lives over the years. Tip: If find yourself caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the beach rather than toward it; this may allow you to escape the tug of the water, because rip currents can be as little as 20 feet wide.  

High bacteria level warning sign, Little Florida Beach, Cameron Parish, La. (© David Wei/Alamy)

                        Cameron Parish Beaches, Louisiana

Sunburn? Yeah, that could be a problem here. But the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group, is much more worried that people who swim off these beaches will end up with a serious gastrointestinal illness. The NRDC called Louisiana’s beaches the most contaminated in the United States in 2012, after testing water from 3,000 locations for bacteria found in human and animal waste. The beaches in Cameron Parish were particularly badly polluted, the problems caused by storm-water runoff and sewage effluents. Yuck.

Federal policeman stands guard near beach, Acapulco, Mexico (© John Moore/Getty Images)

                 Acapulco, Mexico

Vendors on the beach? Not so dangerous — unless they’re peddling Acapulco Gold, this area’s superstrong strain of marijuana, rather than ice cream. That’s reportedly the case in this once-glamorous beach town, which has become a major battleground in Mexico’s drug war. The city once known as a stomping ground for such stars as Elizabeth Taylor and Rod Stewart now has a reputation for gangland kidnappings and decapitations. According to a Reuters article in November, the number of killings in Acapulco tripled to nearly 900 in 2011, making it one of the most violent cities in the world. (See More Dangerous Beaches here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

AS IT STANDS ART MOMENT: Body-Painting Work By Craig Tracy

Good Day Humboldt County!
I’m feeling kinda artsy today and thought a look at body painting would be interesting.
A lot of people are doing it. I’ve heard of people having a tattoo painted on first and then the real thing after the person is ready.

But full-on body painting has taken on an art form in itself. Here’s the works of someone who is a master at the technique:

Craig Tracy, a New Orleans native, has been a professional artist since the age of sixteen. Never satisfied with conventional contemporary art, Craig was always searching for a form of expression that would amplify his unique creative perspective eventually leading him to take his expertise in body painting into the realm of fine art. His work encompasses a bevy of techniques from traditional paintbrush for the majority of the work mixed with airbrush, finger-painting, sponging, splatter and dripping as part of the process as well. Often inspired by a specific body's shape or perhaps a unique pose, Craig takes inspiration from daily doses of culture, nature and intellectual constructs.

Considered a cornerstone in Body paintings progressive movement, today Craig Tracy Body paints exclusively as well he owns and operates the very first art gallery in the world dedicated to fine art Body painted images. The gallery allows even the most seasoned art collectors and novices alike to see and experience first hand what Body painting is ultimately capable of expressing. With a passionate and pioneering spirit Craig personally meets and educates hundreds of people each week in the gallery. The Craig Tracy Gallery is filled with spectacular photographic, paper and canvas prints as well there are numerous videos of the process and books that focus on this art form. Please feel free to visit the gallery if you are ever in or near New Orleans. You will not regret the experience. (Go here to see more)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, July 30, 2012

PUG POTPOURRI PART IV: Pugs just wanna have fun!

twopugsMy Pugs: Mollie (the black one hamming it up in front) and Millie, in the backround. St. Paddy Pug (below) doesn’t look too happy, but looks are sometimes deceiving with Pugs. The Pug on the far right is ready to go to work.




Meet ‘Stubby’ the Staffordshire Terrier: A True Amerrican hero

                 Good Day Humboldt County!

 I admit that I love animals, especially dogs, and when I ran across the following information about a dog called Stubby in WWI…I had to share it.

I remember the “Charlie Dogs” we had in Vietnam back in 1970.They were German Shepard's, and were trained to go down into tunnels fearlessly seeking out the enemy.

Now here’s Stubby’s story:

“America's first war dog, Stubby, served 18 months 'over there' and participated in seventeen battles on the Western Front. He saved his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks, located and comforted the wounded, and even once caught a German spy by the seat of his pants. Back home his exploits were front page news of every major newspaper.Sergeant Stubby.jpg

Stubby was a 'Staffordshire Terrier' although no one ever discovered where he hailed from originally. One day he appeared at Yale Field in New Haven, Connecticut; while a group of soldiers were training, stopping to make friends with soldiers as they drilled. One soldier, Corporal Robert Conroy, developed a fondness for the dog. When it became time for the outfit to ship out, Conroy hid Stubby on board the troop ship.

Stubby served with the 102nd Infantry, 26th (Yankee) Division in the trenches in France for 18 months and participated in four offensives and 17 battles. He entered combat on February 5, 1918 at Chemin des Dames, north of Soissons, and was under constant fire, day and night for over a month. In April 1918, during a raid to take Schieprey, Stubby was wounded in the foreleg by the retreating Germans throwing hand grenades. He was sent to the rear for convalescence, and as he had done on the front was able to improve morale. When he recovered from his wounds, Stubby returned to the trenches.

After being gassed himself, Stubby learned to warn his unit of poison gas attacks, located wounded soldiers in no man's land, and — since he could hear the whine of incoming artillery shells before humans could — became very adept at letting his unit know when to duck for cover. He was solely responsible for capturing a German spy in the Argonne. Following the retaking of Château-Thierry by the US, the thankful women of the town made Stubby a chamois coat on which were pinned his many medals. There is also a legend that while in Paris with Corporal Conroy, Stubby saved a young girl from being hit by a car. At the end of the war, Conroy smuggled Stubby home.

After returning home, Stubby became a celebrity and marched in, and normally led, many parades across the country. He met Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren G. Harding. Starting in 1921, he attended Georgetown University Law Center with Conroy, and became the Georgetown Hoyas' team mascot. He would be given the football at halftime and would nudge the ball around the field to the amusement of the fans.

Stubby was made a life member of the American Legion, the Red Cross, and the YMCA. In 1921, the Humane Education Society awarded him a special gold medal for service to his country. It was presented by General John Pershing.

In 1926, Stubby died in Conroy's arms. His remains are featured in The Price of Freedom: Americans at War exhibit at the Smithsonian. Stubby was honored with a brick in the Walk of Honor at the United States World War I monument, Liberty Memorial, in Kansas City at a ceremony held on Armistice Day, November 11, 2006.”

Time for me to walk on down the road….

Sunday, July 29, 2012

AS IT STANDS: Rhetoric and reality follow movie massacre

      By Dave Stancliff/For The Times-Standard
 It won’t be easy to tell fact from fiction while we’re in the midst of a media storm over the movie theatre massacre in Colorado. I expect the feeding frenzy will probably slow down in the next month or so, or when something more sensational comes along.

For starters; fact or fiction? The Colorado movie massacre is the worst in American history. Most (I didn’t say all) mass media markets claim it is. The criterion used appears to be the total number of people shot (killed + wounded). If more writers, editors, and bloggers had taken the time to really investigate, they would have found that’s not true.

The worst case of civilian-on-civilian gun violence in our history was the Colfax Massacre of 1873, where more than 100 people were killed.
However, when the majority claim it’s the worse case of violence against civilians, not only do they ignore the Colfax killings, but they leave out state violence against civilians. If we want to look at the facts, the worst mass shootings of civilians have been perpetrated by groups of heavily armed men in officially sanctioned killings.
There’s no ignoring that most of these massacres targeted Native Americans and African Americans. We may not have that long a history as a country, but we certainly seem to have a national case of amnesia when it comes to massacres of civilians.

The second aspect of a horrific shooting incident like the one in Aurora, Colorado is the political one. Gun control advocates seize on such incidents as a reason for stricter gun control. The NRA doesn’t see it that way and is quick to resist any law that might infringe their member’s Second Amendment rights.
The scene is set for more half-truths on both sides, as each cites information favorable to their position. Statistics can go either way, depending upon who gathers them.

I can see both sides of this argument. Why does a person need an M&P Smith & Wesson AR-15 (or similar semi-automatic rifle) with 100 round drums? James Holmes, the shooter at the movie house had one, along with a shotgun and a couple of handguns for good measure.
Weapons like the M&P Smith & Wesson AR-15 are not designed for hunters. They are made for firefights with other humans. What’s next? Bazookas? Some common sense needs to be applied to current gun laws, adjusting them to reflect the reality of the weaponry available today.
On the other side, the NRA argues that we have the right to bear arms. The NRA’s stance is that any tightening of current gun laws will set a precedent that won’t stop until all types of guns are banned.
The bottom line is that nothing is going to change because of the movie massacre in Colorado. It’s an election year, so get used to the rhetoric from people on both sides of the issue. 
To go a step further, the reason I predict no new laws will result from this tragedy, is the shift toward more permissive gun laws in recent years. Republicans and the NRA have used gun rights as a wedge issue in elections very effectively.

While some Democrats remain ardent proponents of stricter gun control, conservative Democrats have deflected the issue by embracing Second Amendment rights on the campaign trail.
The administration’s reluctance to push for tighter gun laws reflects how far the political debate over gun owners' rights has shifted in the past two decades. So, despite all the calls for change you’ll hear in the news, it’ll be business as usual.
It was hypocritical of President Obama, and Mitt Romney, to make a show of “not campaigning” briefly to recognize the loss of lives (twelve victims) in the rampage.
You know why? Twenty-five people (on average according to FBI statistics) are killed daily with guns. Why just recognize a dozen on a given day?
In a way, it’s like the movie “Ground Hog Day” where the same things happen day-after-day. In this case, after every sensational shooting, there’s a media circus and the political pundits clash over gun control.
I’m not demeaning the slaughter that took place in that movie house by bringing up these ramifications, and I’m certainly not ignoring the very human element involved. No words can adequately describe the horror or the sorrow.
As It Stands, in the end we must all realize that a single shooter (especially one who keeps to himself) can’t be stopped by any law if he is determined enough.

                                             Websites that have picked this column up

1) Movie Downloads

2) Celebrity News Post

3) Silobreaker

4) Guns Newswire

5) Keep and Bear Arms

6) Intertribal Times

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...