Nutcase Florida State Senator Jim Norman Proposes Bill To Make Photographing A Farm A Felony Criminal Offense

April 30, 2011

TAMPA, FLORIDA – State Sen. Jim Norman, a Republican from Tampa, is very concerned about a farm’s right to privacy, while showing little regard for the First Amendment. He has filed a bill in the Florida Senate that would make it a first-degree felony to photograph or videotape farms without express written consent of the owner. Better hurry up and take a picture of some farm’s bull’s shit to express your feelings about the bill while you still can.

You might have heard of these laws forbidding people from trespassing. For some reason, the first section of the bill just wants to establish a special farm trespassing law.

But the second half of the bill would prohibit photographing a farm even from off the property. So let’s say you’re cruising along some highway in Central Florida on your way to Disney and spot some cows grazing on farmland. Don’t take out your cell phone camera to snap a pic, because that would make you a felon!

Here’s the specific text of the bill:

A person who photographs, video records, or otherwise produces images or pictorial records, digital or otherwise, at or of a farm or other property where legitimate agriculture operations are being conducted without the written consent of the owner, or an authorized representative of the owner, commits a felony of the first degree.

Salon.com legitimately wonders if this would make Google Earth or Google Maps images of Florida’s vast agriculture land illegal.

Though Norman hasn’t clarified the exact intentions of the bill, many observers think it was filed at the behest of agriculture special interests who want to prohibit animal rights activists from filming possible animal mistreatment.

Photography is protected in most cases under the First Amendment, and Norman’s bill, as it is written now, flies in that basic right’s face.

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Texas Bill Would Criminalize Sexual Assaults By TSA Thugs After Agent Groped Former Miss America’s Vagina During “Pat-Down” Search

April 30, 2011

FORT WORTH, TEXAS — A former Miss USA’s claims of being groped during a pat-down at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport could be a felony under a bill gaining momentum in the Texas Legislature.

The bill would make it illegal for a security officer to intentionally touch someone’s private areas — even atop clothing — unless they have probable cause to believe the person is carrying something illegal.

Bill sponsor State Rep. David Simpson says the searches are removing people’s dignity.

Last fall the Transportation Security Administration started a new pat-down procedure.

Susie Castillo, crowned Miss USA in 2003, said she was “molested” during a pat-down last April.

TSA spokesman Nicholas Kimball says the agency doesn’t comment on pending legislation. He says current security measures are the best ways to mitigate the risk of terrorism.

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President Obama’s Father Got The Boot From Harvard University Amid Questions About How Many Wives He Had And His Finances

April 30, 2011

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – President Barack Obama’s father was forced to leave Harvard University before completing his Ph.D. in economics because the school was concerned about his personal life and finances, according to newly public immigration records.

Harvard had asked the Immigration and Naturalization Service to delay a request by Barack Hussein Obama Sr. to extend his stay in the U.S., “until they decided what action they could take in order to get rid of him,” immigration official M.F. McKeon wrote in a June 1964 memo.

Harvard administrators, the memo stated, “were having difficulty with his financial arrangements and couldn’t seem to figure out how many wives he had.”

An earlier INS memo from McKeon said that while the elder Obama had passed his exams and was entitled on academic grounds to stay and complete his thesis, the school was going to try and “cook something up to ease him out.”

“They are planning on telling him that they will not give him any money, and that he had better return to Kenya and prepare his thesis at home,” the memo stated.

In May 1964, David D. Henry, director of Harvard’s international office, wrote to Obama to say that, while he had completed his formal course work, the economics department and the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences didn’t have the money to support him.

“We have, therefore, come to the conclusion that you should terminate your stay in the United States and return to Kenya to carry on your research and the writing of your thesis,” Henry’s letter stated.

Obama’s request for an extended stay was denied by the INS. He left Harvard and – divorced from president’s mother – returned to his native Kenya in July 1964. He did not complete his Ph.D.

The immigration memos, contained in the elder Obama’s Immigration and Naturalization file, were given to a Boston Globe reporter in 2009 through a Freedom of Information request. The papers were first made public Wednesday by The Arizona Independent, a weekly newspaper. The Associated Press obtained copies of them on Friday.

Harvard issued a statement Friday saying that it could not find in its own records anything to support the accounts given in the INS memos.

“While we cannot verify accounts of conversations that occurred nearly 50 years ago, a review of our existing files did not find any support for either the language or the implied intent described by the U.S. government official in the government documents,” the statement read.

When Obama was attending Harvard, the school faced serious constraints in financing research by international graduate students, the university also said.

Department of Homeland Security spokesman Matt Chandler declined to comment Friday, saying the department does not comment on specific immigration cases.

Concerns about Obama’s personal life while he had been studying in the U.S. had been raised previously, according to the INS documents.

In 1961, while he was an undergraduate student at the University of Hawaii, the school’s foreign student adviser called an immigration official and said Obama had recently married StanleyAnn Dunham – the president’s mother – despite already having a wife in Kenya.

According to a memo written by an INS official in Honolulu, the adviser said Obama had been “running around with several girls since he first arrived here and last summer she cautioned him about his playboy ways.”

Obama told the adviser that he had divorced his wife in Kenya.

He told the president’s mother the same thing, though she would later learn it was a lie.

Obama worked for an oil company and as a government economist after returning to Africa, but his personal and professional life would later deteriorate. He died in a car crash in 1982, when the future president was 21 and a student at Columbia University.

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FDA Spends 7 Years Trying To Figure Out What “Gluten-Free” Means

April 30, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – For seven years, the Food and Drug Administration has been trying to answer this question: What does it mean to be “gluten-free”?

That is roughly the time it took to build a tunnel beneath the English Channel to connect Britain and France.

In the meantime, foodmakers have been deciding for themselves whether they can jump into a lucrative new niche and market their products as free from gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. As a result, some products labeled gluten-free contain no gluten, others might have a trace and still more could contain a sizable amount.

That murkiness is creating a real problem for an increasing number of Americans whose health depends on avoiding even tiny amounts of gluten, which is commonly found in bread, pasta and other staples and even in some unexpected products, such as soy sauce and blue cheese.

Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder in which gluten damages the lining of the small intestine, afflicts about 3 million people in the United States. Exposure to gluten can trigger problems ranging from gastrointestinal distress and infertility to an increased risk of certain cancers.

And new research suggests that an additional 17 million Americans are “gluten-sensitive,” which means that they, too, are sickened by the protein and can experience abdominal pain, fatigue, headaches, “foggy mind” or tingling extremities.

The treatment is straightforward: a lifelong commitment to a gluten-free diet.

‘Should be a no-brainer’

Under a 2004 law, Congress gave the FDA until 2008 to establish a uniform definition for companies that want to label their products as gluten-free. But that deadline has come and gone.

“The FDA has spent years calling upon experts to have open-forum debates, town hall meetings — we’ve been having reiteration and reiteration,” said Alessio Fasano, medical director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “They’ve been reiterating and listening to Grandma, Grandpa, people on the street corners. . . . I really don’t understand why it’s lingering up in the air when it really should be a no-brainer.”

In the meantime, Fasano said, the prevalence of celiac disease in this country is soaring partly because changes in agricultural practices have increased gluten levels in crops. “We are in the midst of an epidemic,” he said.

And that has caused an explosion in gluten-free foods. The market is projected to reach $2.6 billion next year, up from $100 million in 2003. Gluten-free cereal, snacks and other foods carry a premium price, creating an alluring growth market for food companies.

Some drugmakers are also producing gluten-free coatings, fillings and capsules for medication. Gluten-free blogs and specialty bakeries are sprouting like wheat. And the gluten-free diet has acquired a faddish lustre that is undoubtedly helping drive sales; stars including Gwyneth Paltrow and Oprah Winfrey have dabbled in life without gluten and boasted how their “detox” diets helped them feel better and more energized.

But what exactly does gluten-free mean?

Three years after the congressional deadline, the FDA is still working on that question, a spokeswoman said.

The agency has said the issue is complicated, requiring analyses of various technical issues, including how well manufacturers and regulators can reliably test for the presence of gluten and whether oats are a source of gluten. The agency held a public meeting in 2005, inviting input from millers, foodmakers, medical experts and others, and published a proposed rule in 2007.

And then it continued to study the matter.

Meanwhile, Canada, Brazil, Australia and an international body — the Codex Alimentarius Commission — have all set labeling standards for gluten-free items. In most cases, that standard is 20 parts per million: A food can be labeled gluten-free if it contains less than 0.0007 of an ounce of gluten for every 2.2 pounds of food. That level was chosen largely because it’s the minimum amount of gluten that can be reliably detected.

‘Gluten-free’ water?

With no uniform standard in the United States, some foodmakers scrupulously monitor products labeled gluten-free to ensure that they have not come into contact with wheat or other gluten sources. They test their ingredients, segregate equipment so there is no chance for contamination and test the finished product.

Others are less stringent. They might fail to test their products or might allow small amounts of gluten but still label their foods as gluten-free.

In some cases, manufacturers affix the labels to items that don’t naturally contain gluten, such as milk and bottled water.

“Everyone is trying to get on the bandwagon and get a piece of this market, and consumers are being misled,” said Andrea Levario, executive director of the American Celiac Disease Alliance. “People see a ‘gluten-free’ sticker on bottled water and they think, ‘Does that mean I should be concerned about other bottled waters?’ It’s very confusing.”

In the absence of a federal standard, two organizations have formed to certify foods as gluten-free for a fee from the manufacturer.

But for many consumers, it’s buyer beware.

In North Carolina two weeks ago, a man was sentenced to 11 years in prison after he was found guilty of buying regular breads and rolls and repackaging them as gluten-free under the name Great Specialty Products. Dozens of people complained of illness after eating the baked goods, including a woman who gave birth to a 31 / 2 pound baby prematurely, a complication that can result from celiac disease.

“We thought it was fantastic because it tasted just like real bread,” said Rebecca Fernandez of Raleigh, who gave it to her son, Malachy, who has celiac disease.

Within days, an angry rash covered the then-2-year-old’s body. “We thought maybe it was chickenpox,” Fernandez said. He ate the bread for two weeks, as the rash intensified and turned bloody, until Fernandez realized the problem and stopped giving him the bread. Malachy suffered from diarrhea for four more weeks.

“I called the police because this guy had basically poisoned my son,” Fernandez said. “They said it wasn’t really their thing.”

Her call to the FDA’s Charlotte office in December 2009 was not returned, she said.

She finally contacted the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, which regulates bakeries in the state, and an investigation led to the conviction of Great Specialty Products owner Paul Seelig, 48, on 23 counts of obtaining property by false pretense.

FDA spokeswoman Pat El-Hinnaway said the agency “has no history” with Great Specialty Products or Seelig and has not investigated the company.

To pressure the FDA to speed up its work, activists are bringing a 13-foot-tall gluten-free cake to Capitol Hill on May 4. “Doesn’t it seem strange that Congress would have issued a mandate and years go by and it hasn’t been done?” said Jules Shepard, an organizer and author of gluten-free cookbooks who sells gluten-free flour and cake mixes. “It seems like the FDA is breaking the law, and it’s time to do something about it.”

El-Hinnaway, the FDA spokeswoman, said in an e-mail that “efforts are now underway” to publish another document in the Federal Register and reopen the matter to another round of public comments. The FDA will then “consider the comments,” the findings of a safety assessment and “other factors” to develop a final rule.

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On Duty Los Angeles California Police Officers Appeared In Pornographic Film – Used Patrol Car – Not Disciplined By City…

April 29, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – City officials failed to discipline two traffic officers who appeared in a pornographic film while on the job, NBC4 LA has found.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has opened an investigation into the behavior of two uniformed, on-duty officers who appear in the sexually explicit movie. The investigation was prompted by the NBC4 LA expose, which will air in full Friday at 11 p.m.

“It’s absolutely disgusting,” said Amir Sedadi, general manager of LADOT, after viewing a copy of the movie shown to him by NBC4 LA. “Immediately, we will conduct a full investigation. This is not acceptable to me.”

The video, which is available on a popular adult subscription website, tracks the interactions of a porn actress as she approaches men in a range of work environments.

Various men in the film appear to grope her and perform a range of sex acts with her. In one scene, the actress jumps into the arms of an LA traffic officer, who spanks her and then fondles her bare breasts.

A second traffic officer takes a few spankings from the woman, then allows her to get into his official city car, where she performs lewd acts on herself.

A full report with video will air on NBC4 LA at 11 p.m.

In an interview, Jimmy Price, the city’s parking enforcement chief, acknowledged that his employee’s behavior rose to the level of misconduct.

“In my mind, and legally, yes that’s misconduct,” Price said.

Price knew of his employees’ behavior more than two months ago, according to an internal memo obtained by NBC4 LA.

In the February 21 memo, addressed to his superiors and his employees, Price wrote about a “recent incident” involving “an inappropriate website” where a city uniform and car appeared.

Price said “city and department policy prohibit this kind of misconduct, on and off the job,” and “failure to meet the standards of conduct will result in “disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.”

Price did not discipline the officers.

When asked why, Price said he had only seen some still photos of the officers from the video, and “we were not able to positively identify the individuals as employees.”

LADOT parking enforcement employees who originally gave NBC4 LA a copy of the movie say Price has seen it and knows the identities of the officers.

One of the officers who had a prominent role in the video declined to comment. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, when asked about his participation. The veteran officer jumped into his city car, and sped off.

Sedadi called the officers’ behavior “is not tolerable.”

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Feds Piss Away Our Tax Dollars On Year Long Sting Operation Targeting Pennsylvania Amish Farmer Selling Milk

April 29, 2011

PENNSYLVANIA – A yearlong sting operation, including aliases, a 5 a.m. surprise inspection and surreptitious purchases from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, culminated in the federal government announcing this week that it has gone to court to stop Rainbow Acres Farm from selling its contraband to willing customers in the Washington area.

The product in question: unpasteurized milk.

It’s a battle that’s been going on behind the scenes for years, with natural foods advocates arguing that raw milk, as it’s also known, is healthier than the pasteurized product, while the Food and Drug Administration says raw milk can carry harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli and listeria.

“It is the FDA’s position that raw milk should never be consumed,” said Tamara N. Ward, spokeswoman for the FDA, whose investigators have been looking into Rainbow Acres for months, and who finally last week filed a 10-page complaint in federal court in Pennsylvania seeking an order to stop the farm from shipping across state lines any more raw milk or dairy products made from it.

The farm’s owner, Dan Allgyer, didn’t respond to a message seeking comment, but his customers in the District of Columbia and Maryland were furious at what they said was government overreach.

“I look at this as the FDA is in cahoots with the large milk producers,” said Karin Edgett, a D.C. resident who buys directly from Rainbow Acres. “I don’t want the FDA and my tax dollars to go to shut down a farm that hasn’t had any complaints against it. They’re producing good food, and the consumers are extremely happy with it.”

The FDA’s actions stand in contrast to other areas where the Obama administration has said it will take a hands-off approach to violations of the law, including the use of medical marijuana in states that have approved it, and illegal-immigrant students and youths, whom the administration said recently will not be targets of their enforcement efforts.

Raw-milk devotees say pasteurization, the process of heating food to kill harmful organisms, eliminates good bacteria as well, and changes the taste and health benefits of the milk. Many raw-milk drinkers say they feel much healthier after changing over to it, and insist they should have the freedom of choice regarding their food.

One defense group says there are as many as 10 million raw-milk consumers in the country. Sales are perfectly legal in 10 states but illegal in 11 states and the District, with the other states having varying restrictions on purchase or consumption.

Many food safety researchers say pasteurization, which became widespread in the 1920s and 1930s, dramatically reduced instances of milk-transmitted diseases such as typhoid fever and diphtheria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no health benefit from raw milk that cannot be obtained from pasteurized milk.

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Disgraced Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards Must Testify About Affair With Mistress

April 29, 2011

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – Former Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards must testify before a judge about his relationship with his former mistress, Rielle Hunter, a North Carolina judge ruled on Friday.

The private testimony will come during a deposition set for June 20 as part of a civil suit brought by Hunter against Edwards’ former aide, Andrew Young.

Hunter has sued Young and his wife Cheri to force the return of a videotape that allegedly shows Hunter and Edwards having sex. Young says he found the tape while packing boxes in a home near Chapel Hill, North Carolina where Hunter lived with the Youngs for a time.

A February 8 deposition of Edwards was halted when his lawyers told him not to answer numerous questions posed by Young’s attorneys. Young’s attorneys filed a motion March 2 asking Superior Court Judge Carl Fox to compel Edwards to answer.

On Friday, Fox said he will preside at Edwards’ next deposition and settle objections as they arise. The judge also agreed that portions of the transcript not deemed confidential would be made public.

Fox, responding to a motion filed by lawyers representing media organizations, also eased a blanket protective order to allow motions in the case to be made public.

Testimony by Edwards, the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee who sought his party’s presidential nomination in 2008, could cast light on possible criminal charges regarding payments to Hunter. The U.S. Attorney in Raleigh is investigating whether Edwards violated federal law by using campaign funds to pay Hunter.

Andrew Young wrote a 2010 book, “The Politician,” about Edwards’ affair with Hunter and how the former North Carolina senator sought to keep the relationship secret as he sought the 2008 Democratic nomination.

Hunter became pregnant with Edwards’ child and she gave birth to a daughter in February 2008. Young, at the request of Edwards, first claimed he was the child’s father, but Edwards later acknowledged the child was his.

Edwards, an accomplished trial attorney, continues to live in Chapel Hill where he cares for his two youngest children. His wife, Elizabeth, who wrote bestselling books about her life’s struggles with cancer and her husband’s betrayal, died in December 2010.

Hunter’s civil suit against the Youngs is scheduled to go to trial this October.

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