Friday Miscellany

by M.D. Creekmore on January 31, 2014 · 34 comments

Spreading the news one blog post at a time!

Spreading the news one blog post at a time!

1. Bird Flu Isn’t Just China’s Problem Anymore : “With the Chinese New Year and the Olympics on the horizon, health officials can only watch and wait for a potential pandemic. With the Winter Olympics, one of the world’s largest sporting events, just two weeks away, the virus could find the ideal conditions for breaking out. And that means the next plane could bring a pandemic to the U.S. or anywhere else around the world.”

2. Forget Metadata … The NSA Is Spying On EVERYTHING : “What frustrates me about all of this — [the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board] report, the president’s speech, and so many other things — is that they focus on the bulk collection of cell phone call records. There’s so much more bulk collection going on — phone calls, e-mails, address books, buddy lists, text messages, cell phone location data, financial documents, calendars, [smartphone apps] etc. — and we really need legislation and court opinions on it all. But because cell phone call records were the first disclosure, they’re what gets the attention.”

3. Spy Agencies Tap Data Streaming From Phone Apps : “When a smartphone user opens Angry Birds, the popular game application, and starts slinging birds at chortling green pigs, spies could be lurking in the background to snatch data revealing the player’s location, age, sex and other personal information, according to secret British intelligence documents.”

4. Herbal Antibiotics: An Effective Defense Against Drug-Resistant ‘Superbugs’ : “As the antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as “superbugs” become more numerous and more virulent, herbal medicine offers an alternative to increasingly ineffective drugs.”

5. Venezuela Enacts “Law of Fair Prices” Banning Profits Over 30%, with 10-Year Imprisonment for Hoarding : “In the section of the law regarding hoarding, those who “restrict supply, circulation or distribution of regulated goods or cause distortions in prices, shall be punished with imprisonment judicially 8 to 10 years.”

6. Tennessee bill would make ObamaCare exchanges illegal : “The federal government does not have constitutional authority to commandeer state and local governments to enforce or implement these federal health care mandates,” Beavers said. “This legislation takes a very strong stand to resist this federal overreach of power.”

7. Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act Re-Emerges : “This statute would say that state of Tennessee reserves to itself the authority to regulate guns in this state, and to the federal government you have no such authority.”

8. Warrantless Drone Surveillance Banned in Tennessee : “Governor Bill Haslam signed The Freedom of Unwarranted Surveillance Act, into law. This bill was introduced by Senator Mae Beavers, and had a roller coaster adventure through the legislative process. But it eventually passed – unanimously – in both state houses. The tally was 32-0 in the Senate and 91-0 in the House.”

34 comments… read them below or add one

Mystery Guest January 31, 2014 at 10:17 am

#’s 2 & 3
New NSA director will be a military intelligence person. How much is this a possible specific design????
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303519404579354461787691256

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JP in MT January 31, 2014 at 10:36 am

#1. It was always going to happen.

#5. I dislike “hoarding” laws because they are always so vague. The point at which you go from “stocking up” and “taking advantage of sales” to hording is all “in the eyes of the beholder” (read government official).

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axelsteve January 31, 2014 at 11:37 am

If you have 5 gallons of milk and 10 pounds of butter.You may be a hoarder. Jeff Foxyworthy`s new routine. Seriously you may have that cause you are gonna bake a wedding cake and the tdl admin can call you a hoarder if you are a member of the tea party.

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BADale January 31, 2014 at 12:10 pm

The hoarding as explained in this article is done by the suppliers so as to create, I suppose, more profit in the long run. Or to have more product to sell eventually.

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Exile1981 January 31, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Go to the original article and it says anyone who causes a shortage is a hoarder. Technically that means if your purchase causes others to go without.

The law also fixes commercial rent prices, and “As had already advanced in November Maduro, the standard provides for the establishment of a Register of Persons Develop Economic Activities (UPDAE) that must be enrolled those conducting economic and commercial activity.” – That means anyone selling anything must be registered with the government. I would suspect that means even those engaging in barter.

It also sets up a new agency designed to ” monitoring and control on the study, analysis, monitoring and control of costs and determination of profit margins and prices.”

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Mari February 1, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Wish I had a link, but the beefed-up EO for marshal law covers how much a household may have. Anything above that can be confiscated by FEMA.

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MorePooperThanPrepper January 31, 2014 at 10:38 am

#4… how to talk about this…

Absolutely Amazing headline. Our antibiotics are ineffective on these “bugs”, they are causing great harm even deaths. And, wow, simple herbs cure these drug resistant infections. Or wait, did I just read (well really just scan) 5 pages to find that that claim is never supported, or even made.

If someone else has the patience and interest to read more carefully than I and can see where the herbals are found to be effective on “superbugs” please point me to it. If not… what the heck was that all about?

Does the author really want to mislead readers about something this serious? I have a good deal of respect for M.E.N. but this headline is not ok in my book.

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Lantana January 31, 2014 at 2:22 pm

MPTP, the article’s preface has a link to a chart entitled “Herbal Remedies to Common Ailments”, that says “Use these herbal remedies, recommended by Stephen Harrod Buhner in Herbal Antibiotics, as alternatives to pharmaceutical antibitotics”.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/herbal-remedies-common-ailments-zm0z13djzsor.aspx

The chart shows five types of “maladies” (ranging from earache to staph infections including MRSA), herbs that address the malady, and some info on how to use such herbs.

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MorePooperThanPrepper February 1, 2014 at 12:00 am

A chart suggesting herbs to use for mrsa is th closest thing to what I was asking for – still not an case for effectiveness. Please see my comments, it’s largely the headline I disagreed with not the article.

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Bam Bam January 31, 2014 at 8:37 pm

MoorPooper,

Check out this abstract from the journal Nutrition and Cancer. The article discusses research on the use of soursop (graviola) on breast cancer. The research is out there. You just have use Google Scholar and know the key terms.

Quote:

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is an oncogene frequently overexpressed in breast cancer (BC), and its overexpression has been associated with poor prognosis and drug resistance. EGFR is therefore a rational target for BC therapy development. This study demonstrated that a graviola fruit extract (GFE) significantly downregulated EGFR gene expression and inhibited the growth of BC cells and xenografts. GFE selectively inhibited the growth of EGFR-overexpressing human BC (MDA-MB-468) cells (IC50 = 4.8 μg/ml) but had no effect on nontumorigenic human breast epithelial cells (MCF-10A). GFE significantly downregulated EGFR mRNA expression, arrested cell cycle in the G0/G1 phase, and induced apoptosis in MDA-MB-468 cells. In the mouse xenograft model, a 5-wk dietary treatment of GFE (200 mg/kg diet) significantly reduced the protein expression of EGFR, p-EGFR, and p-ERK in MDA-MB-468 tumors by 56%, 54%, and 32.5%, respectively. Overall, dietary GFE inhibited tumor growth, as measured by wet weight, by 32% (P < 0.01). These data showed that dietary GFE induced significant growth inhibition of MDA-MB-468 cells in vitro and in vivo through a mechanism involving the EGFR/ERK signaling pathway, suggesting that GFE may have a protective effect for women against EGFR-overexpressing BC.

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MorePooperThanPrepper January 31, 2014 at 11:55 pm

What does all that have to do with atibiotic resistant infection?

I try to stay slightly informed but this sounds like gene expression and cancer, not infection. But you’re the biologist around here no?

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Hunker-Down January 31, 2014 at 11:48 am

#4. From “Mother Earth News”, page 3 of the article; Quote “Salmonella, which is now genetically lodged in the ovaries of (and hence the eggs that come from) many agribusiness chickens, can survive refrigeration, boiling, basting and frying. To kill salmonella bacteria, the egg must be fried hard or boiled for nine minutes or longer. Listeria in deli meat can survive refrigeration. E. coli can now live in both orange juice and apple juice — two acidic mediums that previously killed it. A 2011 study, published by the Translational Genomics Research Institute, a nonprofit research institute in Phoenix, found that nearly 50 percent of all store-bought meat and poultry tested were contaminated with staph, and more than half of the bacteria tested were strains that had become resistant to one or more antibiotics.’ End quote.

Doesn’t this prove that the food industry is poisoning us?

I wouldn’t want to eat an egg after it was fried for 9 minutes. The dog and I could play Frisbee with it, and the dog wouldn’t eat it.
Luckily, we bought the book referred to in the article about 2 weeks ago. Much to learn.
Michelle, we anxiously await your book!

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seeuncourt January 31, 2014 at 3:15 pm

exactly why i raise all of my own. Our food chain is “safer than ever” according to the dept of ag and the fda…i disagree!

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Frugalmom3 January 31, 2014 at 9:31 pm

I agree with you- our food chain is not safe. Too many recalls for salads, meats, frozen foods, etc…. That is why we grow the majority of our own foods as well. Mainly heirlooms that are becoming harder and harder to find.
Our family uses herbal and EO blends as much as possible. But only when we really need to go seek medical treatment do we go and only then would we get antibiotics.

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rjarena January 31, 2014 at 11:54 am

I have mixed feeling regarding hoarding, I don’t like laws telling me what to do, one way or the other, I am very much a libertarian, but I also do not like that I can’t pick up 22lr ammo, because someone out there believes he needs 25,00o rounds on hand. The other day I walked into my local gun shop, they had just received an order of powder, and the guy in front of me bought everything that came in, 100lbs(stupid law limits the number of Lbs. of powder on a shipment), now I told the store manager that this was a little ridiculous, to be fair they could limit purchases. but it is their store and they can do what they want. The point is that there is a difference between stocking up and not being reasonable.

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Exile1981 January 31, 2014 at 12:46 pm

True but the new law in Venezuela is very open ended. In effect if the government says your hoarding then what ever quantity you have is too much. So if you buy 3 tubes of toothpaste when it is on sale then you could be charged as a hoarder.

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MorePooperThanPrepper January 31, 2014 at 1:21 pm

I can’t make the economics of any of this make sense. In this country why should there be shortages (demand exceeding supply at a particular price point). Why doesn’t wall mart have 22lr on the self right now at 20, 25, 30 cents a round?

Would I buy it? Not unless something really odd twisted my arm, no. Would someone? Probably. Maybe they have more money than they need and want some ammo. And walmart and CCI and everybody could make some good money.

Isn’t that the way things are supposed to work? And when no one steps up to pay that high (ridiculous) price, then to make a sale walmart will have to lower the price. They lower it just enough to be able to sell their ammo. That is a perfect way to find out how valuable 22lr is.

But what is happening now? The ammo hits the shelves at 8 cents a round, and it all disappears in an hour or less. Who gets ammo? Not the ones who value it most, but the ones who just got lucky. I don’t even get to choose whether I want to buy at some high price, it is always gone.

I don’t believe the government has any business knowing how much anybody has of anything, just that they didn’t steal it or buy it “hot”.

If I paid for a legal good then it its mine and its no business of anyone else. Ever. No exceptions.

If you don’t want bare shelves raise prices – if you don’t want high prices expect bare shelves. Any manipulation by the government beyond that is immoral and mistaken.

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GoneWithTheWind January 31, 2014 at 6:09 pm

You are right, but there is another factor too. If 22LR or any ammo is in short supply and the manufacturers cannot keep up with demand they will expand and new manufacturers will start up to meet the demand. If the government stays out of it the problem will correct itself. The problem Venezuela has is because the government injected itself into everything. They are becoming a Fascist country and as their economy and infrastructure begins to fail the leaders can only blame individuals and punish their citizens. Left wing politicians cannot or will not understand economics and free markets so they create problems then make it all worse in their misguided efforts to fix the problems they created. We are in a similar situation. Obama’s administration is churning out regulations by the ton and they are intentionally business unfriendly. So we will continue to lose jobs, lose income, create market anomalies and spiral downward. The only question is will they double down on it like Venezuela has and begin punishing citizens with laws and regulations or will they reverse coure and rescind most of the harmful regulations?

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Mari February 1, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Methinks the current admin will continue with more and more regs, mostly thru EO and the agencies. I see things only getting worse if we don’t start replacing idiots via the voting booth. The whole nutty fascist socialist sneaky regime needs to be replaced in 2016. Hope we make it until then. The cures are really gonna hurt.

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kts532 January 31, 2014 at 10:48 pm

The Goberment sure likes the taxes on the things we buy.

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Lantana January 31, 2014 at 12:24 pm

As I mentioned late on Wed’s miscellany, we found out our good friend R.A. has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma (stage IV).

No new news to report, but I wanted to thank again worrisome, Frugalmom3, and Rob in Ontario for their kind words and sharing wisdom from the experience of their loved ones.

When such concerns get shared here, I know many others also pause to send a prayer or good thought–I can’t thank you by name, but the good Lord knows who you are, and I thank Him for you, too.

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Copperhead January 31, 2014 at 1:11 pm

My prayers for R.A. coming, too. Also, for you as you see your friend through this.

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Lauri no e January 31, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Lantana,

I have been praying for your friend and I made a post to let you know you were in my prayers. When I went back later I didn’t see my post so maybe by accident it didn’t go through. So sorry about your friend and we will continue to pray.

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Frugalmom3 January 31, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Thank you for the update, Lantana! Again, I will keep this friend lifted up in prayer.

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Mari February 1, 2014 at 12:23 pm

My prayers for R.A.

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Rider of Rohan January 31, 2014 at 2:06 pm

All this warrantless spying is a violation of the 4th Amendment, a clear violation. No one who honestly reads this text could make any other conclusion. Any judge who decided otherwise should be removed by Congress.

4th Amendment
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The 1st politician supporting the end of all this spying and the return to Constitutional gov’t gets my vote.

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Bam Bam January 31, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Check out this quote from the Director of the CDC.

Editor’s note: Dr. Tom Frieden is the director for the Center for Disease Control. The views expressed are his own.

“Today marks the Lunar New Year – and the world’s largest annual migration. There will be more than 3.6 billion transit trips within China, in addition to countless international trips. Yet this celebration comes at a time of growing concern about the H7N9 avian influenza virus. And this concern is not unfounded – should this virus change into a form that easily spreads between people, the world’s next pandemic could occur in the next three weeks.”

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worrisome January 31, 2014 at 8:27 pm
put your boots on January 31, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Sounds like TN is the place to be!

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Bam Bam January 31, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Here’s another interesting tidbit. The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Statement for the Record: Worldwide Threat Assessment presented to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had this to say about H7N9.

Quote:

Health security threats arise
unpredictably from at least five sources: the emergence and spread of new
or reemerging microbes; the globalization of travel and the food supply; the rise of drug
-
resistant
pathogens; the acceleration of biological science capabilities
and the risk that
these capabilities might
cause inadvertent or intentional release of pathogens; and adversaries

acquisition, development, and
use of
weaponized agents
.
Infectious diseases, whether naturally caused, intentionally produced, or
accidentally released, are still among the foremost
health security threats
. A
more crowded and
interconnected world is increasing the opportunities for human, animal, or zoonotic d
iseases to emerge
and spread globally.
Antibiotic drug resistance
is an increasing threat to global health security.
Seventy
percent of known bacteria have now acquired resistance to at least one antibiotic
,
threatening a return to
the
pre
-
antibiotic era
.
In addition to the growing threat from resistant bacteria, previously unknown pathogens in humans are
emerging and spreading primarily from animals. Human and livestock population growth results in
increased human and animal intermingling and hasten
s crossover of diseases from one population to the
12
other.
No one can predict which pathogen will be the next to spread to humans or when or where this will
occur. However, humans remain vulnerable, especially when a pathogen with the potential to cause a
pandemic emerges. For example, we judge
that
the H7N9 influenza in China that emerged from birds in
early 2013 is not
yet
easily transmissible from person to person. However
,
it bears watching
for its
extreme severity, high death rates, and potential to mutate and become more transmissible. Between
late March 2013, when the virus was first recognized, and the following May, when it was brought under
control, H7N9 influenza killed over 20 perce
nt of those infected and caused severe disease with long
-
term hospitalization in nearly all other cases. If H7N9 influenza or any other novel respiratory pathogen
that kills or incapacitates more
than 1 percent of its victims were to become easily transmi
ssible, the
outcome would be among the most disruptive events possible. Uncontrolled, such an outbreak would
result in a global pandemic with suffering and death spreading globally in fewer than six months and
would persist for approximately two years.

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Bam Bam January 31, 2014 at 6:43 pm
Rider of Rohan January 31, 2014 at 11:22 pm

That FEMA request for 1000 field hospitals to be supplied on short notice is making more and more sense. I’m getting apprehensive.

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Draq wraith February 1, 2014 at 12:53 pm

1 always be aware of bugs going around.
2 & 3 kids they been doing this since inception. Your not going to change them.
5. The benefits of socialism.

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Steve February 2, 2014 at 4:54 pm

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