Western North Carolina Landslides
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Federal officials announced recently that the Tonto National Forest horses that will be sold at auction are to be "condemned and destroyed, or otherwise disposed of .” Tonto National Forest horses are classified as strays so they are not covered by the protections of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.
To minimize growing criticism of the scheduled auction, national forest officials have delayed the sale for four months. Many of the expected purchasers are " kill buyers " who will immediately load their purchases onto long-haul trailers for shipment to Mexico or Canada to be processed into horse meat for foreign consumption. The cost of horse meat in Europe is about $20.00 per pound.
It has long been acknowledged that the businesses engaged in transport are not properly caring for the animals while in transit. Electric shocks are used to force the horses into trucks. Once confined, they forced to stand for long hours (sometimes twenty four) in claustrophobic quarters and are not fed or watered. It is no matter if horses die for they are a cheap commodity. Horses surviving the journey to the kill site suffer greatly. Approximately 150,000 horses are shipped out of the US annually. Long-haul trucks ferried 102,554 horses to slaughter houses in Mexico last year and 39,523 horses to Canadian facilities.
Congress knew that horse slaughter was a contentious issue so in 2007 they effectively shut down US horse processing sites by refusing to pay for inspections. Legislators could have permanently settled the issue by outlawing US slaughter facilities and forbidding horse transport to foreign countries but instead chose a defunding tactic. For a timeline of US Horse Slaughter Legislation please visit here .
It makes no difference whether horses are protected or strays, getting the animals to designated sites is a punishing affair. Imagine the fear that the horses experience as they are harassed by helicopter pilots or motorcycle drivers whose only job is to get them into enclosures. These mechanized roundups cause numerous injuries and death to foals and elderly horses. These casualties are of no concern to the government contractors. There are no penalties for inflicting pain.
Many of the Bureau of Land Management holding pens have no shelter for the animals. The horses are subjected to punishing weather conditions be it blistering heat, frigid cold or high winds. Looking at images of these federally-financed facilities makes one wonder if the agency is committed to the horses' wellbeing. There are approximately 50,000 horses in BLM captivity. The cost of care is 46 million dollars a year.
In spite of the fact that birth control measures have long been available, the BLM has chosen not to institute anti-fertility measures and consequently the wild horse population has grown to unmanageable numbers.
For example, the PZP vaccine available for more than twenty years has been successfully used to control horse populations on Assateague Island, a federal wildlife refuge off the coast of Maryland.
PZP is cost effective, has no side effects and has also been employed to control the US deer population.
Thousands of western horses have been subjected to horrifying conditions and painful deaths because BLM officials have failed to intervene. Only incompetent individuals would allow animals to breed till they put themselves and others in harm's way. Park service personnel say the Tonto National Forest herd of 100 horses has to go because they threaten public safety. The government says that the horses have wrecked camp sites and have been hit and killed by cars.
It is past time for Congress to tell the Bureau of Land Management and its director, Neil Kornze to stop the needless breeding. Prior to his BLM appointment, Mr. Kornze served as the agency's Principal Deputy Director. Mr. Kornze has been on the job long enough to know that the US has a critical horse population problem. For 2015 the BLM plans to gather 4,067 horses, remove 3,322 and provide dart gun fertility control measures for 470.
For a graphic presentation of the injuries sustained by the horses and burros during the gathers please see this video recorded by NBC News. A Bureau of Land Management spokesman told NBC that 1.5% of its budget is devoted to population suppression. Currently 26,715 horses and burros exceed the Appropriate Management Level and will be removed from public lands. Removed generally means death.
The NBC film is so disturbing that it raises the question of whether Neil Kornze and his subordinates are qualified to oversee the Bureau of Land Management. The NBC report is not suitable for grammar school children but it should be required viewing for high school and college students who are studying government.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Treason is the act of betraying one's country. When President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld lied to Congress, the UN, and the public about their reasons for invading Iraq they committed treason . The lie is not treasonous but the consequences of the lie are if they give aid and comfort to America's enemies.
Intelligence officers certainly warned the president and his advisors that the U.S. occupation of an Arab country would ignite a firestorm throughout the Arab world. Those who hated the U.S., for example bin Laden, now had the perfect terrorist recruitment tool.
The Bush administration's basis for seizing Iraq was Hussein's weapons of mass destruction but investigators found no WMD in the country.
The contrived reasons for taking Iraq destabilized the Middle East, spawned Isis and strengthened Al-Qaeda.
Recently the Obama administration said no to a petition to pardon Edward Snowden. Officials said that Mr. Snowden's decision, to “steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country and the people who work day in and day out to protect it.” Whether these allegations or true or not, Mr. Snowden's actions are minor offences compared to those of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell and Rumsfeld.
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Enviva, a biomass manufacturer, went public in the spring of 2015.
Prior to its IPO, Enviva touted its wood pellet product as cleaner-than-coal energy but that statement was only a sale's tool. Presently the company's customers are foreign energy utilities who are receiving government subsidies to buy and burn wood pellets rather than coal. Investors and clients are learning that the burning of wood pellets is not beneficial to the environment. In fact biomass as an energy source is a critical air pollutant, producing 50% more CO2 than coal.
It isn't just make believe environmental statements that should give investors and clients reason for doubt. Enviva's timbering practices were criticized by The Wall Street Journal a few years ago. The newspaper questioned the company's source of wood. Enviva's spokesmen had reported that the bulk of their wood was purchased from sawmills and pine tree plantations. Contrary to Envivaspeak the company's primary source of wood is southern forests. Wood pellet mills, including Enviva's are located in southern states and are growing in number. Stand outside these production facilities and watch the entering trucks bring large hardwood trees to the grinder. Enviva and its competitors are devastating southern woodlands to produce greenhouse toxins for foreign entities. In June The Washington Post raised the same red flags as The Wall Street Journal concerning Enviva's forestry practices and far fetched energy claims.
For the truth of biomass manufacturing please google Enviva images. One of the photos taken by the WSJ shows an eighty-one acre tract along the Roanoke River in North Carolina that was clear cut by Enviva operators. It is not known how many trees it takes to make 1.74 million metric tons a year but that is Enviva's advertised processing capacity. When biomass loggers work a forest site it is razed to bare dirt. There are reasonable concerns regarding Enviva's forest removal techniques. Experts warn that Enviva's denuded landscapes will raise the risks of flooding and erosion events.
One would not expect Enviva's owners to need public money to expand their business but the costs of the Enviva Pellets Northhampton facility was underwritten by various federal, state, and local agencies including the Economic Development Administration , North Carolina Department of Commerce, Golden Leaf Foundation, and the North Carolina Rural Center. Enviva's owners, Riverstone Holdings, LLC , a $20 billion private equity fund, was the beneficiary of these public funds. In addition to those sweeteners Enviva received $ 1.7 million in North Carolina tax rewards.
Carbon dioxide levels reached a never-achieved point in March according to NOAA and exceeded 400 ppm for an entire month. The trees being pelletized by Enviva and other biomass manufacturers were pulling massive amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere. Now these pellets are contributing to the earth's warming.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Michael Morell, former CIA deputy director, current self promoter would have readers of his new book, "The Great War of Our Time: The CIA's Fight Against Terrorism - From al-Qaida to ISIS," believe that Edward Snowden's release of classified documents in 2013 advantaged terrorist organizations such as ISIS. Mr.Morrell offers no proof that Snowden was instrumental in enhancing terrorists' abilities to avoid detection but uses the allegations as a sales gimmick. If possible Mr. Morell would accuse Snowden of complicity in the September 11 attacks. Mr. Morell's focus on Snowden is nothing more than a distraction from the real issue which is why the CIA had no clue that al-Qaeda had formed a motley crew of Saudi nationals to bomb the twin towers, the Pentagon, and an unknown government building with commercial jets. Although the 911 attacks are the greatest intelligence failure in U.S. history there are no answers as to how this horror came to be. Remarkably the CIA has not had to answer for the 911 breakdown or its erroneous intelligence reports regarding Iraq's nonexistent WMD. The CIA has caused irreparable harm and is responsible for the Middle East maelstrom. It is not Mr. Snowden who endangers the US, it is retired government officials who hope to profit from their unbelievable books.
Monday, June 15, 2015
CarePartners, an Asheville, North Carolina rehabilitation facility, cared for me for three weeks after I suffered a stroke in early May. The stroke damaged my left arm and leg.
Shortly after entry into the hospital I was enrolled in CarePartners' rehabilitation programs which are designed to restore function to damaged limbs. It was an amazing adventure and because of the efforts of the physical and occupational therapists my leg and arm are responding to treatment. It is a long-term endeavor but I have been offered recovery. I owe CarePartners' therapists a debt of gratitude for they are responsible for my recovery.
Sunday, June 14, 2015
An area known as Oak Flat, Arizona , long revered and protected since '55 as an Apache holy site was recently bartered in a foreign land exchange deal. The copper to be extracted from the Oak Flat mining site will primarily benefit Iran and China. Congress approved the exchange at the behest of Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake. For smooth sailing McCain tacked H.R. 687 onto the National Defense Authorization Act which guaranteed passage. For quid pro quo McCain received campaign funds from the new owner, Resolution Copper Mining, part of the Rio Tinto conglomerate. Flake before gaining entry to the Senate was a lobbyist for Rio Rössing Uranium. Oak Flat is sacred ground for it is where Apaches go to pray. The planned despoliation is like plundering Gethsemane for economic advantage. Members of Congress should be barred from selling sacred places. McCain, Flake and the members of congress who supported the Oak Flat transaction deserve harsh criticism for their participation in the scheme. For further information on this shameful legislation please read " Selling Off the Holy Land ." Congress can repair the injury done to the Apache people by rescinding H. R. 687. [ Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2013].The question is will they?
Governor McCrory and the state legislature support wildlife killing fields. For effortless deer kills North Carolina allows property owners to lure state animals onto private property and then fence them for slaughter. Private deer farms also supply animals for the state's death sport. Killing captive animals does not fall under the definition of hunting. It is death for pleasure. North Carolina hunters may use AR-style weapons in their sporting endeavors. It could be said that North Carolina is a savage state.