What you didn’t learn in Conceal Carry Training. And how this information could change your life.

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Image: Target shooting, Kelly McCarthy. Now’s the time to think about the consequences of pulling the trigger in a defensive situation

Pulling that trigger is something you need to have thought about BEFORE you ever have to do it. Could you shoot a kid? No? Could you shoot a kid with a gun aimed at your wife? Maybe? Could you shoot a pregnant woman? Never? Could you shoot a pregnant woman with a gun to your kid’s head. Would you shoot a gunman threatening a clerk in a convenience store if you’re safely hiding at the back and in no immediate danger? Could you shoot your wife? Are you going to risk your life for a stranger? Are you willing to endure the court case? The massive hit to your finances? To even, possibly, have to move town because people won’t believe that what you did was necessary. So many ifs, right?

Here are the steps that COULD follow a defensive shooting:

  • Shots Fired
  • 911 Call
  • First Responders
  • Local law enforcement supervisors
  • Detectives – In some places the ADA will be dispatched
  • Investigation/Questioning
  • Prosecutor Determination
  • Trial Phase
  • Sentencing
  • Appeal Process
  • Civil Trial

See what I mean. Being the hero can get you in a whole world of trouble? That’s why I am probably only going to draw and shoot if I’m saving someone with the same last name as me.

Reporting a defensive shooting

So you pulled the trigger. You need to prepare for how you would report a defensive shooting. Rule No. 1. Don’t incriminate yourself. The 911 operator is not your friend but is trained to keep asking questions which are being recorded. Keep it simple.

  • Dial 911
  • Report there’s been a shooting.
  • Give them your name and the address you’re at
  • Tell them who is in the house/building. (Maybe send the kids next door if they are present.)
  • Describe any injuries and whether you need EMS
  • Describe yourself, your clothes. Put your weapon on the floor or in clear sight. (Unless you are using it to subdue a criminal.)
  • If you are insured with an organization that provides an attorney, call them. If you have an attorney call them.
  • Tell the police the bare minimum. Be cooperative but spare the details. Say only:
    • Officer, I was in fear of my life/my family member was threatened and at risk of losing their life. (You would not pull the trigger to save property. The fallout is NOT worth it for something insured or inanimate.)
    • I will sign the complaint.
    • Be helpful and show them what the assailant used to attack you.
    • Introduce any witnesses.
    • Tell them you are invoking the Fifth Amendment until you have had time to talk to your attorney and calm yourself down. You should say you’ll be back within 24 hours to talk to them. Be prepared to be arrested. And be prepared to spend a long time being questioned.
    • Remember to say: “If he/she survives I want to press charges.” Remind everyone that you’re not the aggressor here. 

Why a Trauma Kit is essential and what it should contain

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Tiny SquirrelGun shows are great places to meet kindred spirits and at the last one I went to I met David Dietrich who is co-owner of GetReady! Emergency Planning Center, getemergencyready.com. He was selling a fantastic range of Trauma items (although I admit he got my attention with a small pack on his stall labeled “Vasectomy Kit.”) Anyway, I asked him to come up with something that would really be of use to you guys and he produced a doozy. Check this list out. Thanks David, this is really useful. 

Most people likely think about equipment for trained specialists in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) when they hear “Trauma Kit.”  Other terms used are “Blow-Out Kit,” and “Individual First Aid Kit” (IFAK).  However, they would be wrong.  Such kits are instead designed to be used by the first responder, whether he is a police officer, infantryman, or just a Good Samaritan.

A Trauma Kit is a far cry from a typical First Aid Kit.  While the latter is designed to support minor injuries and medical issues, the former is essential for saving someone’s life in the next ten minutes.  That means such kits are focused on major bleeding from gunshots, stabbings, and amputations.  In addition, they address breathing obstructions from anaphylaxis or massive tissue damage.

For the purposes of post-disaster preparedness, a Trauma Kit provides coverage where there will likely be no medical services for some time.  That means we will be on our own.  We ourselves may be not only the first responder, but also the last.  So, acquiring and learning to use the components of such a kit is a critical capability.  This is one reason why so many military combatants have survived serious wounds in our recent wars.

One axiom is indisputable – all bleeding stops.  The question becomes, how it will stop?  Do you want to let it stop on its own, after the casualty has bled out, or do you want to play an active role, stopping the bleeding yourself in sufficient time for the casualty to become an asset once again?  The Trauma Kit provides a means to that end, through various included devices.

jbc-corporation-medical-assault-kit
Image: Pictured are the JBC Corporation Medical Assault Kit, costing over $200, and the GetReady! Field Trauma Kit, listing at $99.95.

So, what does a Trauma Kit look like?  First of all, it is relatively small, easily carried on a belt, armor plate, or in a backpack.  Secondly, it does not usually contain the items we expect to see in First Aid Kits.  Rather, they include tourniquets, pressure bandages, blood clotting agent, occlusive dressing, tension pneumothorax needle, and nasopharyngeal airway. There may be a few other odds and ends as well, but those are the basics.

 

Let’s take a look at components of a trauma kit, to better understand why they are used:

 

tourniquets
Image: Pictured are rubber tubing, RATS, SWAT-T, and CAT-T.  Others to consider are are SOF-TT, and TK-4.  They range in price from approximately $6 to $32 each.

Tourniquet.  There are many designs and brand available, from simple rubber tubing to complex windlass or ratcheting designs.  But, they all have one purpose – to constrict or eliminate blood flow to the bleeding extremity.  While these used to be a tool of last resort, military experience has proven their worth in saving lives as the tool of first choice.  If properly applied and combined with other devices, they can be safely removed later.

 

compression-bandages
Pictured are the H&H Medical H-Bandage and the ubiquitous “Israeli Bandage.”  They range in price from approximately $6 to $15 each.

Compression (Pressure) Bandage.  There are several commercial brands out there, typically based on the original Israeli Bandage.  As the tried and true method for staunching blood flow is pressure and elevation, their purpose is to maintain pressure at the injury site, as well as provide a clotting medium.  This is accomplished through an integrated dressing and pressure device.  The hands are then left free to perform other functions. Here are some examples of commercially available Pressure Bandages:

 

Pictured are the Celox Hemostatic Granules,  QuikClot Combat Gauze, and QuikClot Clotting Sponge.  They range in price from approximately $13 to $42 each.
Pictured are the Celox Hemostatic Granules,  QuikClot Combat Gauze, and QuikClot Clotting Sponge.  They range in price from approximately $13 to $42 each.

Hemostatic (Clotting) Agent.  There are mainly two commercial brands out there, found in three forms.  These are QuikClot and Celox, using sponges, gauze wraps, or poured granules.  The key component is either a clay mineral (kaolin), used in QuikClot, or a crustacean derivative (chitosan), used in Celox.  Both types interact with blood plasma to rapidly form clots.  They work independently of blood platelets or thinning drugs.

 

 

Pictured are the H&H Medical Wound Seal Kit and Compact Wound Seal.  Other companies also produce simple and valved options.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $30 each.
Pictured are the H&H Medical Wound Seal Kit and Compact Wound Seal.  Other companies also produce simple and valved options.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $30 each.

Occlusive Dressing (aka Chest Seal).  Several brands are used by the military and other agencies.  They are designed to block inhalation through the thoracic cavity, rather than normally, into the lungs.  If such a condition, known as a “sucking chest wound,” is allowed to continue, the lung on that side will likely collapse, putting pressure on the aorta and heart, resulting in painful breathing and associated circulatory problems.

 

 

 

Pictured are the BD Angiocath and the H&H Medical Tension Pneumothorax Needle.  Enhanced versions are also available.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $43 each.
Pictured are the BD Angiocath and the H&H Medical Tension Pneumothorax Needle.  Enhanced versions are also available.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $43 each.

Tension Pneumothorax Needle (TPN).  Several brands are used by the military and other agencies.  They are designed to release air and/or fluid pressure in the external thoracic cavity that may lead to the same conditions described under Occlusive Dressing above.  So, this device is for closed, versus open chest wounds.  The TPN is probably the most difficult of all the Trauma Kit devices to apply, and should by studied and practiced.

 

Naso-Pharyngeal Airway (NPA)

Pictured is the Rusch Robertazzi Nasopharyngeal Airway.  Packaged with water-soluble lubricant, they range in price from approximately $5 to $15 each.
Pictured is the Rusch Robertazzi Nasopharyngeal Airway.  Packaged with water-soluble lubricant, they range in price from approximately $5 to $15 each.

Numerous brands are used by the military and other agencies. They are used to maintain breathing in the event of an airway blockage due to anaphylaxis or tissue damage.  They are basically comprised of a stiffened rubber tube, beveled on one end and enlarged into a bell shape on the other.  Assisted by accompanying water-based lubricant, they are fully inserted into a nostril up to the bell.

compressed-gauzeCompressed Gauze.  Numerous brands are used by the military and other agencies.  They are used primarily to absorb and aid in the clotting of blood.  Almost always comprised of cotton, they are the most versatile Trauma Kit component.  And it cannot be overstated that you can never have enough gauze.  Additional uses include absorbing other bodily fluids, covering burns and lacerations, wrapping dressings, and securing splints.

 

Trauma Shears

Pictured are 3.5” and 5.5” light duty Trauma Sheers from Rescue Essentials and Ronson.  Other, more robust sheers are available.  They range in price from approximately $3 to $50 each.
Pictured are 3.5” and 5.5” light duty Trauma Sheers from Rescue Essentials and Ronson.  Other, more robust sheers are available.  They range in price from approximately $3 to $50 each.

Numerous brands are used by the military and other agencies.  They are used primarily to cut away clothing and other accessories (eg bra underwire) to quickly access the point of injury.  Their unique design provides a safe and easy method to cut through almost anything, including coins!  The major take-away regarding arterial bleeding is that saving clothing comes in a distant second to saving a life.

 

 

 

 Pictured are rolls from eGear and H&H Medical.  Also found among survival gear, they range in price from approximately $1 to $4 each.

Pictured are rolls from eGear and H&H Medical.  Also found among survival gear, they range in price from approximately $1 to $4 each.

Medical (Duct) Tape.  This ubiquitous resource really comes into its own in a medical kit.  Not only can it be used to secure bandages and dressings, but it also has applications for foot care (eg prevention and treatment of blisters), wrapping splints, making snow goggles, and repairing medical gear and other items.  Mini rolls, primarily for storage purposes, are the best configuration.  Don’t leave home without them!

 

 

Pictured are rolls from eGear and H&H Medical.  Also found among survival gear, they range in price from approximately $1 to $4 each.
Pictured are rolls from eGear and H&H Medical.  Also found among survival gear, they range in price from approximately $1 to $4 each.

Medical Gloves.  These are included in Trauma Kits primarily to protect the responder, not the patient.  Bodily fluids can carry many dangerous diseases, and having additional barriers during treatment may keep the responder from becoming a casualty.  In addition, they may preclude the need for further cleansing following treatment.  Simple glove removal and disposal may be sufficient action under tactical conditions.

Marking Pen

Pictured are mini Sharpies.  Full-sized versions can also be used.  They range in price from approximately $1 to $3 each.
Pictured are mini Sharpies.  Full-sized versions can also be used.  They range in price from approximately $1 to $3 each.

This is important not only for recording information on a Casualty Card, but also for marking other information, such as the date and time of a tourniquet application.  Such marking can be on the device itself, or even on the forehead of the patient.  There are other uses for such pens, such as taking notes on environmental conditions, and descriptions of agents (eg animals, plants, suspects) involved.

 

Pictured are the H&H Medical standard and Marine Combat Casualty Care Cards.  They range in price from approximately $2 to $4 each.
Pictured are the H&H Medical standard and Marine Combat Casualty Care Cards.  They range in price from approximately $2 to $4 each.

Casualty Response Documentation Tool (CRDT).

This is an event recording card, containing information describing patient and injury, treatment (including drugs) administered, mental state, circulation, respiration, mechanisms of injury (MOIs), medical conditions, and overall patient medical status, from routine to critical.  It’s always good to keep track of what’s happening in such cases, for reference prior to future treatment.

 

 Pictured are medical pouches from Eagle Industries and Maxpedition.  Another common brand is Rothco.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $45 each.

Pictured are medical pouches from Eagle Industries and Maxpedition.  Another common brand is Rothco.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $45 each.

Pouch.  Typical military kit dimensions are 8 inches long by 6 inches wide by four inches deep when full.  It uses the Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) to fasten to Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) configured backpacks.  Made of rugged Cordura nylon, this Pouch can be used under adverse environmental and tactical conditions.  It should be readily accessible for immediate use.

 

Other Components.  A number of other items may be included in a Trauma Kit for various reasons.  For example, if the owner would like to access the kit for minor injuries, and not dip into important trauma components, then adhesive bandages may be included.  In addition, medications (eg aspirin) should be considered.  Sterile wipes and water for cleaning wounds, flashlight for nighttime, and CPR shield round out the list.

 Pictured are a CPR Shield, regular strength Aspirin, Moist Towelettes, Sterile Water, Penlight, Adhesive Bandages, and Gauze Pads.  They range in price from approximately $1 to $5 each.

Pictured are a CPR Shield, regular strength Aspirin, Moist Towelettes, Sterile Water, Penlight, Adhesive Bandages, and Gauze Pads.  They range in price from approximately $1 to $5 each.

_________________________________________________________________

 

David Dietrich is co-owner of GetReady! Emergency Planning Center, getemergencyready.com. He has been preparing for uncertainty since he was a youth, recognizing that backpacking is about smaller, lighter, and multi-capability.  His experiences in the Boy Scouts and military have given him an appreciation for the real meaning of the Scout Motto – “Be Prepared.”  Today, David runs a disaster preparedness business that is focused on the creed – helping you help yourself.  It is about delivering resources, training, education, and consulting in preparation for a failure of civility.  Prepared people are survivors.

 

 

 

 

Texas Bowie Knife FTW

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One of the other projects I’m involved with is called American Liberty PAC. Here, ALPAC’s Project Director, Donny Ferguson, who hails from East Texas, talks about the recent change in knife law in the Lone Star State.

AMERICA: The Coming Breakup?

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Image: By Richard Conn Henry (My own work, but from Wikipedia US svg map) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Robert Ringer reflects on the nature of America today and where it’s headed. Back in the early eighties, when I was publishing my newsletter The Tortoise Report, the thought crossed my mind that the crumbling American Empire might eventually break up into smaller pieces — similar to the path chosen by the Roman and British Empires.

When it comes to maintaining control over your subjects, bigness tends to be a handicap. The most recent example of this is the former Soviet Union. With its satellite countries biting at its ankles at an accelerating pace and its troops bogged down in Afghanistan, the bitter truth finally came to the surface: Notwithstanding its military might, Moscow couldn’t stop the disintegration of its empire.

When I first started thinking about the possibility of the U.S. breaking up into independent states or regions, it seemed to me that people in places like Wyoming and Utah would simply grow tired of supporting welfare states like California, New York, and Maryland.

But I now realize that it’s a lot more complicated than that. The problem with my vision was that it didn’t take into account that, through the magic of gradualism, all fifty states are doomed to ultimately yield to the disease of collectivism.

Some years back, a leading Russian political analyst, Professor Igor Panarin, predicted that the United States would eventually break up into six regions based along cultural lines, as follows:

  • The Pacific Coast, with its growing Chinese population.
  • The South, with its Hispanics.
  • Texas, where independence movements are already on the rise.
  • The Atlantic Coast, with its distinct and separate mentality.
  • Five of the poorer central states, with their large Native American populations.
  • The northern states, where the influence from Canada is very strong.

Panarin saw the breakup as a direct result of a total collapse of the U.S. economy. Further, he believes that China and Russia will replace the United States as “regulators of world markets.” And he may be on to something, because both of those countries have one big advantage over the United States: Their politicians don’t have to fight for votes!

Instead, they maintain power through the use of force. Though it’s a bit offensive to those of us who prefer persuasion over force, the truth is that Machiavelli’s advice on the subject of keeping the masses in line is remarkably effective. Dictatorships (and to a great extent Russia is back in that mode) violate the rights of their citizens, repress free speech, and can be brutally harsh in meting out punishment.

Hmm … come to think of it, that sounds a bit like the United States, a country that routinely violates the rights of its citizens and is moving rapidly toward the elimination of free speech (i.e., the elimination of conservative and libertarian free speech). But, in all fairness, it’s not yet nearly as harsh as countries like Russia and China when it comes to crushing dissent.

In any event, I agree with Professor Panarin that the U.S. economy has barely begun its collapse, and that there is no way it can sustain the government’s insane fiscal policies. Regardless of whether we have a deflationary or inflationary collapse (or both!), millions of folks are certain to become downright hostile toward Washington as their standard of living continues to decline.

And if that hostility leads to “civil disobedience,” a dictatorship could be the government’s only way of maintaining control. But even if that should happen, I doubt it would last very long. The U.S. government is too much of a clumsy giant to maintain authoritarian control for very long, because there are still too many Americans who take Patrick Henry’s words literally.

The reality is that no one knows for certain how things are going to play out in the coming years, but I, too, believe there’s a real possibility that the United States could eventually break up into a number of independent states or regions. Let’s face it, most Oklahomans are as different from Californians as the Kurds are from the citizens in Baghdad.

The primary reason Iraq has been able to force the Kurds to remain under its control is because of its small geographical area (roughly twice the size of Idaho) and its relatively small population (about 28 million). And, of course, it helps to have the freedom-loving U.S. and other Western countries insist that the Kurds not be set free.

Remember that paragon of wisdom, Rodney King, who once asked, “Why can’t we all just get along?” The answer is because thousands of years of human history have clearly demonstrated that people of different cultures don’t particularly like to be around each other.

I said cultures, not colors. In this day and age, I believe a majority of people don’t care much about skin color. But they do care about the social and cultural mores of their neighbors. The fact is that diversity, contrary to the propaganda drumbeat of the globalists, is not a strength; it’s weakness. Which brings me back to a possible breakup of the U.S.

If it should occur, I don’t see it happening along the lines Professor Panarin suggests. I believe many states would secede individually, and a number of them would work to weed out the evils of big government and return to Jeffersonian principles of government.

In other words, ideology would be the driving force behind such a breakup. Which would probably make Panarin’s view accurate in some respects — e.g., on ideological grounds, it might be convenient for such states as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine to stick together in the Northeast, and California, Oregon, and Washington to form a coalition of some kind on the Left Coast.

To paraphrase the signers of that long-ago-forgotten document, the Declaration of Independence: It is the right of the people to alter or abolish the government and institute new government. It is not only their right, but their duty, to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security.

Of course, Rodney King’s thinking was correct — it would be much simpler if we could all just get along. But based on the hatred and violence the Radical Left has displayed of late, what odds do you think Las Vegas bookmakers would give on that ever becoming reality?

Robert Ringer+Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

VIDEO: Think you’re tough? Watch this Brit get hit by bus, jump up and walk into pub!

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The last person Simon Smith thought he’d meet at a local bar was the driver of the Number 17 bus.

The two became acquainted when the out-of-control, 12-ton, double decker bus struck him as he crossed the street in Reading, England, the Telegraph reports.

The speeding bus hit Smith with such force his body shattered the windshield before landing 20 feet away. The bus only stopped after colliding with and smashing apart the building’s overhang. It was clearly out of control and traveling at considerable speed.

That’s when Smith simply got up, dusted himself off, walked into the Purple Turtle and “informed staff he had just been hit by a bus,” according to the South Central Ambulance Service.

Amazingly, being struck by a 12-ton bus left Simon with only bruises.

“We’ve known Simon for about 20 years,” said Purple Turtle manager Stuart McNaught, “He went to hospital, he’s ok he’s a bit frail today, he’s not feeling the best. He went to hospital the paramedics who called the ambulance took him. He’s bruised and shocked I think.”

“He shouldn’t be here,” his wife tells the Telegraph.

It is unknown if he got a drink.

Did you see this? CNN confirms Russia story is BS

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American Pravda: In the recent video footage obtained by Project Veritas, John Bonifield a Senior Producer at CNN, admits to several beliefs that are in direct conflict with the official CNN narrative that Trump has colluded with Russia, and that Russia has interfered with the 2016 election.

Bonifield expresses clear doubts that there is a fire behind the Russia smoke, stating, “I haven’t seen any good enough evidence to show that the President committed a crime.” He also confirms suspicions that CNN staff is ideologically biased against Trump, stating, “I know a lot of people don’t like him and they’d like to see him get kicked out of office…”

Bonifield even further confirms CNN’s bias against the President, stating, “I think the President is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me…you have no real proof.”

Bonifield exposes that Russia has been great for CNN’s ratings, and that orders from CEO Jeff Zucker himself have directed CNN to pursue Russia leads at the expense of other stories. Bonifield states “And the CEO of CNN said in our internal meeting, he said ‘good job everybody covering the Climate Accords, but we’re done with it let’s get back to Russia.’”

He further comments on Russia, “it’s mostly bullshit right now. Like, we don’t have any giant proof…if it was something really good, it’d leak.”

In addition they confirm they’re piling on the climate change agenda.

Can anyone say “Very Fake News?” Great reporting from Project Veritas. 

5-year old shreds and drifts like racing driver

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Some people think this is too dangerous for a young kid. What are your thoughts on getting the child to learn about motors, batteries and driving?

(I hope someone was watching the road when she drifted off the driveway! It was fun to watch, mind.)

Polishing a rusty knife was never so satisfying!

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This video is breaking the internet. And when you watch it you’ll see why! It’s so very satisfying. The cats are a nice touch, too!

Aircrete dome homes – strong, cheap and long-lasting

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Aircrete blocks are quick to construct with and are easily cut on-site meaning very little wastage, saving time and money. They tend to be cheaper than wood frames.

Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) is an eco-friendly building material, made from natural raw materials such as: sand (or fly-ash), or ash from a power plant, cement, lime, gypsum, aluminium powder and water. This mix creates an aerated concrete providing insulation, structure and fire protection in one lightweight product.

One of the comments under this YouTube video is from an aircrete enthusiast who makes his own. I might try it my self!
It is an ultra light masonry product, weighing only 1/5 of the weight of ordinary concrete. It is composed of 1 part water, 1 part cement (which is powdered or ground limestone), 1 part non toxic dish soap. The detergent is foamed using air from a compressor and a pump or motor to agitate the mixture (I use a conventional drill and paint mixer to blend it all together and it works fine). The expansion of trapped materials results in ”air” or oxygen molecules which comprise the majority of the material (I believe close to 80%) upon expansion. It’s fire proof, water proof, insulating, bulletproof (U.S Army used the foam for ballistic testing, look it up) and earthquake proof, hurricane and monsoon proof, impervious to insects, rodents provides acoustic insulation and is 100% free of toxic of harmful substances, which makes it 100% biodegradable and completely recyclable.

Wow! Using tilapia skin for burns actually works

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This is amazing. In the US we use artificial skin, animal skin (pig, usually) and donated human skin to treat burn victims. Sterilized skin is applied over a burn instead of using gauze and bandages which require many painful changes for infection reasons. Donated skin binds to human skin and allows the healing to take place underneath. The human body finally sheds the donated skin, much as a scab falls off a wound.

In less prosperous Brazil, they don’t have enough donated skin, just 1% of the amount needed, so they turned to another, much more available source, tilapia skin.

Tilapia is a farmed fish and the skins are usually thrown away. That’s probably about to change. It turns out that the amount of collagen proteins, types 1 and 3, which are very important for scarring, exist in large quantities in tilapia skin, even more than in human and other skins. In addition, the amount of tension, of resistance in tilapia skin is much greater than in human skin, as is the amount of moisture.

The skins are trimmed and bathed in sterilizing agents, then sent for radiation to kill viruses, before being packaged and refrigerated. Once cleaned and treated, they can last for up to two years.

More: https://www.statnews.com/2017/03/02/brazil-tilapia-skin-burns/

and here: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-brazil-burns-idUSKBN18L1WH

Naled spray to kill mosquitos linked to defects in Chinese babies

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There are two main weapons in the war on mosquitos and the diseases they can carry such as malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, filariasis, Japanese encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis and Zika fever.

These weapons are Bti spray – a fungus that prevents larval mosquitos from processing food and thriving; and naled – an organophosphate that kills on contact that’s been registered for use in the U.S. since 1959 and is sold under the brand name Dibrom.

There is some consternation in areas where the naled pesticide has been sprayed as some studies suggest it might cause damage to humans, particularly those in utero. 

The EPA says of BtiBti is a biological or a naturally occurring bacterium found in soils. (Bti is short for Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis.) It contains spores that produce toxins that specifically target and only affect the larvae of the mosquito, blackfly and fungus gnat. EPA has registered five different strains of Bti found in 48 pesticide products that are approved for use in residential, commercial and agricultural settings primarily for control of mosquito larvae. Bti is approved for aerial spraying, which has taken place in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Michigan, among other states.  Bti can be sprayed over waterbodies such as ponds, lakes, rivers and streams.  Bti is used to kill developing mosquito larvae by being applied to standing water where those larvae are found. Bti can be used around homes in areas and containers where water can collect, such as flower pots, tires, and bird baths. Bti can also be used to treat larger bodies of water like ponds, lakes and irrigation ditches.

The EPA allows Naled: It says that “when applied according to label instructions, naled can be used for public health mosquito control programs without posing risks to people. People aren’t likely to breathe or touch anything that has enough insecticide on it to harm them. Direct exposure to naled during or immediately after application should not occur. However, anyone who has a particular concern because of an existing health problem should talk to their doctor. Also, those who tend to be sensitive to chemicals in general, including household chemicals, could experience short-term effects such as skin, eye and nose irritation.” 

There are dissenting voices, however. Some children in China, studied by the University of Michigan, have symptoms that suggest the Naled spray can cause birth defects – the very thing authorities are trying to prevent when killing mosquitos infected with the Zika virus.

The study, whose authors say it is the first to examine real-world exposure to naled outside workplace accidents or lab experiments, used cord blood from 237 mothers who gave birth to healthy babies at a hospital in southeast China between 2008 and 2011. At six weeks, the babies displayed no problems. But at nine months, the babies suffered from slight problems with coordination, movement and other motor functions.

How to get shot by the police during a routine traffic stop…

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I think you can see where this all went pear-shaped. With the right to carry a weapon comes the responsibility not to act like an idiot.

Watch the video. Look for where the mistakes were made and then go to the page from the great people at Frontsight: and Ignatius’s 10 Simple and Smart Rules That Will Save Your Life the next time you are pulled over by the police while you are carrying a gun.

Hint: Don’t reach for your weapon when the police stop you!

“This thing right here, is like the Swiss army knife of clothing!”

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Unless you live under a rock — in which case I envy you — you will be aware of the abomination in men’s fashion called the Romper.

Here we have a tongue-in-cheek look at the practicalities of the Romper for a real man. (and unless I am much mistaken this is actually a ladies’ item Ginger Billy is wearing.)

 

Canadian sniper’s kill shot is world-record breaking 3,871 yards

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Image: http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/operations-special-forces/jtf2.page

A sniper with Canada’s elite special forces in Iraq has shattered the world record for the longest confirmed kill shot in military history at a staggering distance of 3,540 meters (3,871 yards) or OVER TWO MILES AWAY.

Sources say a member of Joint Task Force 2 killed an Islamic State insurgent with a McMillan TAC-50 sniper rifle while firing from a high-rise during an operation that took place within the last month in Iraq. It took under 10 seconds to hit the target.

“The shot in question actually disrupted a Daesh [Islamic State] attack on Iraqi security forces,” said a military source, who stressed the operation fell within the strictures of the government’s advise and assist mission. “Instead of dropping a bomb that could potentially kill civilians in the area, it is a very precise application of force and because it was so far way, the bad guys didn’t have a clue what was happening.”

The kill was independently verified by video camera and other data, The Toronto Globe and Mail has learned. The skill of the JTF2 sniper in taking down an insurgent at 3,540 metres required math skills, great eyesight, precision of ammunition and firearms, and superb training.

“Hard data on this. It isn’t an opinion. It isn’t an approximation. There is a second location with eyes on with all the right equipment to capture exactly what the shot was,” another military source said.

Canada has a reputation among Western military forces for the quality of its snipers, despite the small size of the Canadian Armed Forces compared to the United States and Britain. If you want to know more about tithe select group known as JF2, go here. They are very cool!

Are we headed for a solar waste crisis?

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BOY IN GUIYU, CHINA,ATOP A PILE OF ELECTRONIC WASTE. CREATIVE COMMONS, BASEL ACTION NETWORK, 2017.

Environmental Progress is an activist and lobbying group out of California. NO STOP! They’re sensible! They support clean nuclear energy.

Their researchers Jemin Desai and Mark Nelson have identified a possible environmental crisis. (The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again.) Just as we discover the “eco-friendly” Tesla car battery releases as much CO2 as EIGHT years of gasoline driving JUST IN PRODUCTION, now we discover that solar panel waste is filthy, toxic, and ground and air polluting. And it’s growing so fast it can’t be dealt with. This is in addition to the massive amounts of electronics waste that’s being exported to poor countries where despite Basel Convention Hazardous Waste trade regulations, some dubious recycling companies cut costs by offloading dismantling and recycling to impoverished countries with lax labor laws, weak environmental regulations, and poor human rights track records.

As a result of this massive, global flow of e-waste, former farming villages in countries like Vietnam, China, and Nigeria are now e-waste dumps.

In these impoverished communities, “recycling” often means burning circuit boards, soaking microchips in acid, and burning plastics to sort them by order. In short, it means poisoning people and the planet.

Here we look at the impact of that most smug of alternative energy industries: Solar Power.

Last November, Japan’s Environment Ministry issued a stark warning: the amount of solar panel waste Japan produces every year will rise from 10,000 to 800,000 tons by 2040, and the nation has no plan for safely disposing of it.

Neither does California, a world leader in deploying solar panels. Only Europe requires solar panel makers to collect and dispose of solar waste at the end of their lives.

All of which begs the question: just how big of a problem is solar waste?

Environmental Progress investigated the problem to see how the problem compared to the much more high-profile issue of nuclear waste. 

We found:

  • Solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than do nuclear power plants.
  • If solar and nuclear produce the same amount of electricity over the next 25 years that nuclear produced in 2016, and the wastes are stacked on football fields, the nuclear waste would reach the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (52 meters), while the solar waste would reach the height of two Mt. Everests (16 km). 
  • In countries like China, India, and Ghana, communities living near e-waste dumps often burn the waste in order to salvage the valuable copper wires for resale. Since this process requires burning off the plastic, the resulting smoke contains toxic fumes that are carcinogenic and teratogenic (birth defect-causing) when inhaled.
Waste Production per TWh.001.jpeg

 

The study defines as toxic waste the spent fuel assemblies from nuclear plants and the solar panels themselves, which contain similar heavy metals and toxins as other electronics, such as computers and smartphones.

To make these calculations, EP estimated the total number of operational solar panels in 2016 and assumed they would all be retired in 25 years — the average lifespan of a solar panel. EP then estimated the total amount of spent nuclear fuel assemblies that would be generated over a 25 year period. EP then divided both estimates by the quantity of electricity they produced to come up with the waste per unit of energy measure.

While nuclear waste is contained in heavy drums and regularly monitored, solar waste outside of Europe today ends up in the larger global stream of electronic waste. 

Solar panels contain toxic metals like lead, which can damage the nervous system, as well as chromium and cadmium, known carcinogens. All three are known to leach out of existing e-waste dumps into drinking water supplies

The deployment of solar has increased significantly in recent years in response to government subsidies and mandates. Global installed capacity more than doubled between 2012 and 2015. 

In 2016, solar provided 1.3% of the world’s electricity, with 301 GW installed. Nuclear reactors provided 10% of the world’s electricity in the same year.

A recent report found that it would take 19 years for Toshiba Environmental Solutions to finish recycling all of the solar waste Japan produced by 2020. By 2034, the annual waste production will be 70 – 80 times larger than that of 2020.

Original article here: http://www.environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2017/6/21/are-we-headed-for-a-solar-waste-crisis

 

SCAM ALERT: New Medicare cards are on the way

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Changes are coming to your Medicare card. By April 2019, your card will be replaced with one that no longer shows your Social Security number. Instead, your card will have a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that will be used for billing and for checking your eligibility and claim status. And it will all happen automatically – you won’t have to pay anyone or give anyone information, no matter what someone might tell you.

Having your Social Security number removed from your Medicare card helps fight medical identity theft and protect your medical and financial information. But even with these changes, scammers will still look for ways to take what doesn’t belong to them.

Here are some ways to avoid Medicare scams:

> Is someone calling, claiming to be from Medicare, and asking for your Social Security number or bank information? Hang up. That’s a scam. First, Medicare won’t call you. Second, Medicare will never ask for your Social Security number or bank information.

> Is someone asking you to pay for your new card? That’s a scam. Your new Medicare card is free.

> Is someone threatening to cancel your benefits if you don’t give up information or money? Also a scam. New Medicare cards will be mailed out to you automatically. There won’t be any changes to your benefits.

(Alert from the Federal Trade Commission)

Earthquake Swarm Signals Yellowstone Supervolcano Could Blow

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296 earthquakes have been recorded in the Yellowstone caldera, a massive supervolcano which is past due for a major eruption.

Image Credit: Kbh3rd Public Domain

The recent earthquake swarm could be a sign of an impending eruption on a scale not seen by humans.

There is normally a rise in seismic activity before a volcano erupts, and according to theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, a long overdue eruption at Yellowstone could “rip the guts out of the USA”…Scientists currently believe that there’s a 10% chance that a “supervolcanic Category 7 eruption” could take place this century, as pointed out by theoretical physicist Michio Kaku who appeared on a segment for Fox News.

The grey haired physicist told Shepard Smith that the “danger” we are now facing with the caldera is that it’s long overdue for an eruption which Kaku said could “rip the guts out of the USA.”Kaku said that a “pocket of lava” located under the park has turned out to be twice as big as scientists originally thought.

A Yellowstone caldera eruption would be classified as an ELE or extinction level event with huge consequences for not only the Western United States but the entire globe.

I would like to try to describe for you what a full-blown eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano would mean for this country.Hundreds of cubic miles of ash, rock and lava would be blasted into the atmosphere, and this would likely plunge much of the northern hemisphere into several days of complete darkness.

Virtually everything within 100 miles of Yellowstone would be immediately killed, but a much more cruel fate would befall those that live in major cities outside of the immediate blast zone such as Salt Lake City and Denver.Hot volcanic ash, rock and dust would rain down on those cities literally for weeks. In the end, it would be extremely difficult for anyone living in those communities to survive. In fact, it has been estimated that 90 percent of all people living within 600 miles of Yellowstone would be killed.

Experts project that such an eruption would dump a layer of volcanic ash that is at least 10 feet deep up to 1,000 miles away, and approximately two-thirds of the United States would suddenly become uninhabitable. The volcanic ash would severely contaminate most of our water supplies, and growing food in the middle of the country would become next to impossible.In other words, it would be the end of our country as we know it today.

The rest of the planet, and this would especially be true for the northern hemisphere, would experience what is known as a “nuclear winter”. An extreme period of “global cooling” would take place, and temperatures around the world would fall by up to 20 degrees. Crops would fail all over the planet, and severe famine would sweep the globe.In the end, billions could die.

This is the worst case scenario.  A smaller but still devastating eruption could knock millions of people into a state of survival. Take the May 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens for example. This eruption cost $3.03 Billion in damages, killed an estimated 60 people, and released more than 1,600 times more energy than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Even bigger than Mt. St. Helens, was the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa.  This volcanic event was one of the biggest and deadliest in recorded human history. It was so powerful, the sound waves from the eruption were heard around the globe 5 times. It caused over 37,000 deaths, created Tsunami waves as tall as football fields and released 4 times more energy than the largest nuclear device ever detonated on planet earth, the Tsar Bomba. It also caused global weather changes that lasted for nearly 8 years, impacting farming and transportation routes.

Worried yet? Here’s a quick chart to show you the difference in ejection volume between Mt. St. Helens, Krakatoa and Yellowstone.

Better start prepping!

Fake News media caught misleading again about guns and kids. Here are the facts.

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Photo: Randall Goya/Flickr (cc by-sa 2.0)

“KIDS AND GUNS: SHOOTINGS NOW THIRD LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH FOR U.S. CHILDREN,” Newsweek screamed in a bold, all-caps headline.

“Children are dying because of America’s lax gun policies,” shrieked The Washington Post.

The stories refer to a recent article in a medical journal claiming 1,297 “children” die each year from gunshot wounds.

Any premature death is tragic, but as with nearly every gun story in the mainstream media, they are intentionally misleading readers in the hopes of provoking terror.

So what’s the real story?

While virtually every mainstream media story on the study is accompanied by a photo of a toddler, in reality, 92.3 percent of the “children” cited in the article are teenagers.  Most of those are older teens.

Only 7.7 percent of those firearms deaths are among those 12 years old or younger.

They are intentionally misleading readers in the hopes of provoking terror.

But the real story is how those gunshot deaths occurred.

While the mainstream media phrase their stories to make it appear all these deaths are the result of preventable accidents, reality once again debunks liberalism.

According to the study, 91 percent of those 1,297 deaths are suicides, or homicides.   Crime statistics consistently show that among those homicides, most are older teen gang members shooting each other.

Most of those firearms homicides are in cities that ban guns.

Of the remaining nine percent, a third are of unknown cause or due to “legal intervention,” which means a police officer or civilian shooting someone to defend their life.

That leaves accidental deaths by firearms — the cause the media try to make appear responsible for all 1,297 deaths.

In reality, only about 78 of those 1,297 were due to firearms accidents.

While still tragic, that’s only 0.6 percent of all firearms deaths for those under age 18.

A look at 2015 statistics from the Centers for Disease Control reveal that among the causes of accidental death for people under age 18, firearms rank only tenth.

Deaths from land transport, excluding bicycles and cars, accidentally kill twice as many young people as firearms.

Are the mainstream media running hysterical headlines about ATVs and horses?

No.  But then again, they’ve never been honest.

Any death of a young person is tragic, and 78 deaths from firearms accidents is 78 too many.

But it’s flat-out dishonest and unethical for the media to run headlines and stories making it appear a lack of anti-gun laws is killing 1,300 children.

That’s a lie, and the media should be ashamed of themselves for their amoral, dishonest politicking.

Selecting a booster seat for young children

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Image: “3 kids + 3 booster seats = tight squeeze” by vkanaya is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Once your child has grown out of their car seat, you may think that it would be okay to just let them use the seat belts in the backseat of your vehicle. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Many times, your child is still too small for the seatbelts to work properly. This can lead to injuries, especially when the shoulder strap is too high on them, where it can hurt their neck, or when they decide to put the shoulder strap behind them and just use the lap belt.

The truth is that continuing to use a safety seat such as a booster until your child is at least 4’9” will decrease the chances of injury by 45%. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the right booster seat and using it correctly until your child is old enough to go without one.

Booster Seats

Booster seats are designed to protect children who are too large for a car seat, but not yet tall enough for regular seat belt use. You will use the car’s seatbelts to secure your child, but the booster seat will lift them up so the shoulder strap and lap belt fit properly to ensure their safety.

Booster seats are typically available in two models: high-backed and backless. The high-backed models are the safest for vehicles with a low back seat and backless models work for vehicle seats that naturally provide full support to your child’s head and back.

If you are unsure how to install a car seat or a booster seat properly, you can find a safety seat inspection stationnear you. They will be able to help you with any questions you have as well as so you step-by-step how to properly install both types of car seats.

How to Choose a Booster Seat

As with a car seat, there are a few things to think about when you are buying a booster seat:

  • Is Your Child Ready? — just because your child has reached a certain age where you feel they should be in a booster seat doesn’t mean they are ready. If they are still within the maximum requirements of a car seat, feel free to keep them in it.
  • Choose Backless or High-Backed — the two types of booster seats are very different. High-backed boosters help keep the shoulder strap in place because they usually have a routing guide. Backless boosters are usually cheaper and they offer better lap belt positioning. Ultimately, the backs of your vehicle’s seats may be the determining factor, as lower seats will require you to purchase a high-backed model.
  • Make Sure Your Child is Comfortable — if you can, try a floor model with your child before buying a booster. They will be able to give some feedback as to the comfort and fit of the model, allowing you to make a better decision. The goal of a booster is to raise your child up so they can use the car’s seatbelts properly, so you need to make sure that the lap belt fits snugly across their upper thighs (not their stomach) and the should strap should fit across the middle of their shoulder rather than near their neck.

Using a Booster Seat

Children are ready for a booster seat typically between the ages of four and seven. Again, make sure that they’ve outgrown their car seat before transitioning them to a booster seat, otherwise, you risk injury. Just because other parents have transitioned their children to a booster doesn’t necessarily mean your child is ready.

As with car seats, a booster seat should always be placed in the back seat. Unlike car seats, however, you will probably need to place the booster behind one of the front seats. This is because vehicles rarely have shoulder harnesses in the middle seat. If your vehicle’s middle seat does, then you can place them in whichever seat you would like.

You should place your child in a booster seat until the regular seat belts of your vehicle fit them properly. It’s recommended that they use a booster until they are 4’9”, although if the booster still fits comfortably and properly and you want them to use it a little longer, they may. Typically, by the time your child is 12, they will be able to use the car’s seatbelts properly.

Even after your child has outgrown their booster seat, it safest to have them ride in the back seat. In the event of a crash, they still may be injured by the airbag, so it’s best not to let them ride in the front until their teenage years when their bodies are taller and stronger.

Taken from A Comprehensive Guide on Road Safety for Parents. For more on Car Safety and insurance – from baby to teenager, visit the site.

Calculate your Blood Alcohol Count before you drive

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Image: BAC Calculator. Click on image to go to Calculator. 

It is difficult to assess the level or degree of impairment from alcohol due to a number of factors. But according to some experts, just a small amount can affect the brain, and change driving behavior. And the troubling thing is that many car owners and drivers will say that they are normal and think straight even if they are not. Now, this is a classic symptom of impairment- not realizing that alcohol is already clouding your judgment. The lower levels of impairment of the person may not be noticed by the other person, but for the driver, he will easily know where the ‘buzz’ starts. And there is a big chance that the driver is already impaired before he even knows it.

How BAC Impacts the Body

Even a small amount of alcohol can impact both coordination and judgment when drinking, with each drink increasing your overall impairment. Too much alcohol and your body will ultimately shut down, resulting in organ failure and even death. It’s important to understand that individuals may react differently to alcohol intoxication at each BAC level. In general, they may exhibit some or all of the following symptoms and behaviors.

.02 BAC
At this level, the muscles start to relax. Inhibitions are also reduced, with many individuals experiencing a heightening of whatever mood they may have been in before they started drinking, whether that be a positive or a negative state of mind.

.05 BAC
Once you reach this level, you may start experiencing a mild euphoria. Your body temperature starts to feel elevated and your inhibitions become even more relaxed, along with an even greater exaggeration of mood.

.08 BAC
This is the legal BAC limit in many states, and typically for good reason. At this point you may think you’re not intoxicated, but your speech has started to slur, your ability to walk and stand starts to become more difficult and your reaction times slow. At this level of intoxication, motor skills are largely impacted and driving a car becomes dangerous (though for many, even at lower levels you should not be behind the wheel of a vehicle).

.10 BAC
At this level, your intoxication is more apparent both to yourselves and to those around you. Your judgement, memory, motor skills and balance are all reduced, and you start to forget just how many drinks you’ve had. Depending on the individual, you may become loud or belligerent. Men begin to experience difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection at this level.

.14 BAC
Once above .13, feelings of euphoria start to drop, and feelings of sickness, dizziness, and difficulty controlling the body take over. Each of the negative effects of drinking at lower alcohol concentrations are markedly more severe. At this point you may also start to black out.

.20 – .30 BAC
Alcohol sickness starts at this level, often resulting in vomiting. When this intoxicated, gag reflex is severely impacted, dramatically increasing the risks of choking on your own vomit. Blackouts are more frequent, and your memory starts to blackout as well. Pain sensors are dampened, which means that if you are injured at this point, you may not know it or feel the pain from it. This also reduces the chances you’ll go to get help.

.35 BAC
Once at .35, your blood alcohol level is similar to the effects of being under anesthesia. Your brain function is reduced, which also reduces your respiratory rate, causing you to potentially stop breathing.

.40 BAC
If you have not stopped breathing by this point, your body will most likely enter a coma state. Your heart rate will slow, and your chances of survival are very low.

Want to work out your BAC after an evening’s drinking? Here’s a link to a quick calculator. http://www.sr22insurance.net/bac-calculator/

Are you a “high-risk driver” with a problem? Ever hear of SR22 Insurance?

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Image: Mock car accident, DoD, Public Domain.

I had never heard of this before but it’s interesting.

Driver’s licenses are suspended every day for a number of reasons. In order for you to get your driving privileges re-instated, it will often require making an appearance in a courtroom to plead your case. Involving a lawyer can help you to strengthen your case so that the judge will allow you to get your license back. Regardless of the situation, most judges will give you the right to drive again, assuming that you get an SR-22 certificate to meet the financial responsibility laws.

An SR-22 is not an insurance policy. Rather, it is an addition to an insurance policy that is required of some drivers by law as a result of a DUI or other driving-related issue that marks you as a high risk. The actual details behind the SR-22, including the costs, how long it needs to stay in effect and why it must be a part of your policy will vary from state to state and are not (currently) required in:

  • Delaware
  • Kentucky
  • Minnesota
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma

Having the SR-22 will allow you to drive with a restricted license and it will also allow the insurance company the ability to submit to the DMV that you have met your state’s financial responsibility requirements as necessary based upon your driving record.

Causes of SR-22’s Issuance

There are a number of reasons behind issuing an SR-22 to a driver. Many times, this is because during a particular traffic offense, the person was unable to show financial responsibility. This is due to such traffic violations as:

  • DUI (DWI/OUI)
  • Reckless driving
  • At-fault accidents
  • Driving without insurance
  • Other offenses
  • Pissing off the wrong people (I added that bit ~Kelly)

The best way to fully grasp the details of the SR-22 is to familiarize yourself with state laws. The filing of the certificate will be handled differently from state to state. The penalty and filing fees will vary as will with the certificate will actually be required. Since all states have different financial responsibility laws, the SR-22 will look very different in California than it would in Ohio or another state. Familiarizing yourself with the state laws will ensure that you remain in accordance with the law to prevent future driver’s license suspensions. Rate comparison site, Auto Loan says the cost of getting an SR-22, which is between $15 and $30, far outweighs the financial and legal risks of not carrying one which can be thousands.

If you are looking for a SR-22 insurance addendum or want further information look here.
http://www.sr22insurance.net/guide/

Paul Ryan, House speaker promises tax reform by end of year

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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan takes a selfie with National Association of Manufacturer’s President Jay Timmons during their summit in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top Republicans from Congress and the Trump administration vowed on Tuesday to complete tax reform by the end of 2017, despite party infighting and political distractions from investigations of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

In a speech to U.S. manufacturers, House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress hoped to complete the job in the autumn, with a new tax system in place by the beginning of 2018.

The goal is to get tax legislation to the floor of Congress during the first two weeks of September, Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn told technology industry representatives at the White House.

Republicans are promising the biggest tax overhaul since the Reagan era, saying a simplified system with tax cuts for individuals and businesses, along with reforms to eliminate taxes on the foreign profits of U.S. corporations, can boost economic growth and create jobs.

Independent analysts say there is no evidence that tax cuts drive long-term economic growth. Democrats contend that the Republican tax measures are designed to benefit wealthier Americans.

“I am here to tell you we are going to get this done in 2017. Why are we going to get this done in 2017? Because we need to get this done in 2017,” Ryan told a conference hosted by the National Association of Manufacturers, a powerful Washington lobby group.

“This will create jobs. That is what this is all about, jobs, jobs, jobs, good-paying jobs,” he said.

The effort has drawn warnings and criticism from Democrats. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Republican moves to grant new tax breaks to the wealthy could jeopardize Democratic support for an increase in the government’s borrowing authority later this year.

Shortly after Ryan’s speech, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi’s office called his remarks “a poor attempt to distract” from a lack of Republican initiatives on job creation.

TOP CAMPAIGN PLEDGE

The Trump administration and Republicans in Congress face mounting pressure from U.S. businesses and their electoral base to deliver tax reform, a top 2016 campaign pledge that could determine whether Republicans retain control of Congress in the 2018 midterm elections.

It was not clear whether Republicans can overcome infighting over healthcare legislation and government spending to move forward on tax reform.

Earlier in the day, Vice President Mike Pence assured the same audience that tax reform would be done this year, in remarks echoed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a CNBC television interview.

Ryan and Mnuchin are among six officials trying to craft a tax deal in closed-door discussions with Cohn, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and the Republican chairmen of two tax committees.

“We’re comparing and contrasting various versions of reform to get the best possible one that gives us the lowest possible rates and most internationally competitive tax system, and the best one we can pass,” Ryan told CNBC after his speech.

The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> is up nearly 20 percent while the S&P 500 <.SPX> has added 14 percent since Trump’s election in November, as investors bet he would spark economic growth by cutting taxes and boosting infrastructure spending.

The Trump administration and Republican leaders in Congress have agreed that tax reform should eliminate estate and alternative minimum taxes, both levies on the wealthy. They also want to allow U.S. corporations to repatriate trillions of dollars in profits held overseas at a reduced tax rate and eliminate taxes on future foreign profits.

(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton and Richard Cowan; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Peter Cooney)

There’s also this Press Conference from Sean Spicer.

Study Finds Fracking Doesn’t Harm Drinking Water in Texas

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Image: Matt Blower, Rig North Dakota

Hydraulic fracturing hasn’t contaminated groundwater in Texas, isn’t an earthquake hazard, and has been a boon for the state’s economy, according to a study released Monday.

The new study’s conclusions on drinking water are in line with multiple other studies of hydraulic fracturing, popularly known as fracking.

Hydraulic fracturing is the process of drilling into rock and injecting a high-pressure mixture of water, sand, and chemicals to obtain shale gas and oil, which is produced from fractured rock. Some environmentalists argue that it can harm water supplies.

The report initiated by the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas, based in Austin, asserted that “direct migration of contaminants from targeted injection zones is highly unlikely to lead to contamination of potential drinking water aquifers.”

To conduct the three-year study, the academy assembled a panel called the Task Force on the Environmental and Community Impact of Shale. The report was written by experts in oil and gas, engineering, transportation, medicine, economics and law, who analyzed existing research rather than conduct new, original research. The task force included oil executives, academics, an oil and gas regulator and a representative from an environmental group.

“In Texas and pretty much everywhere, hydraulic fracturing has not been proven to have an adverse impact on drinking water,” Christine Ehlig-Economides, a professor of petroleum engineering at the University of Houston who is chairwoman of the task force, told The Daily Signal.

The study examined the impact of fracking on drinking water.

“The average annual water use for hydraulic fracturing activities in 2011 and 2012 in Texas was about 20 billion gallons of water,” the report said, citing an Environmental Protection Agency study from last year. “Because this volume represents on 0.2 percent of total water use in the state, and 0.7 percent of total state consumptive use, it might be considered small.”

The study also explored the impact of fracking in five other areas: geology and earthquake activity; land resources; air quality; the economy; and society. It found generally positive results for each.

However, in a sixth category, transportation, the report found that fracking produced a surge of trucks, damaging pavement at an estimated cost to state taxpayers of $1.5 billion to $2 billion per year.

Even so, the study concluded that fracking adds $473 billion to the Texas economy and created 3.8 million jobs.

“Texas has had a long history of oil and gas technology for the world,” Economides said. “Has it had environmental impacts? Yes, it has since it started in the 1850s. But over that time, the industry has learned and corrected those mistakes.”

Last year, the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency completed a five-year study that didn’t find evidence of widespread contamination as a result of fracking. The EPA said fracking can affect drinking water “under some circumstances,” but didn’t cite any confirmed instances and determined there were too many uncertainties about existing data of contamination.

The Texas academy study cited a 2011 Groundwater Protection Council study, which found that 10 of the 211 contamination incidents examined occurred because of drilling and none was related to fracking.

The Texas academy study asserted that direct fracking into rock affecting the state’s drinking water supply “has not been observed in Texas.”

In March, a U.S. Geological Survey of 116 wells across Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas found fracking was not a major source of chemicals and methane in drinking water wells. It concluded that the detected levels of methane were likely naturally occurring.

A University of Texas study found methane levels from well water in two Texas counties, Parker and Hood, weren’t the result of North Texas’s Barnett Shale, after a sample of 479 wells in those counties.

A Duke University study dated July 2017 noted a “lack of changes in water quality observed in drinking-water wells following the installation of nearby shale-gas wells.”

VIDEO: Texas ranchers battle 10 foot gator

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Roping a gator is just like roping cattle, except you aim lower.

At least that’s what three Hawkins, Texas cattle ranchers learned when they had to take down a ten-foot-long alligator that apparently hoped to make a hearty meal of their calves.

The showdown was caught on video.

Texas ranchers have seen, and can deal with, nearly everything, so they simply roped the beast.  The video shows one rancher expertly lassoing the hissing animal with a whip of the wrist.

“He was a dangerous one,” rancher Hal Conover told FOX 4. “But he was leaving the place — dead or alive.”

In the process of tying down the gator, one rancher was bitten.  Even with the most powerful bite of any animal on Earth, at a literal bone-crushing 3,000 pounds per square inch, he suffered only a flesh wound.

“He done bit me to the bone.  Oh, well,” the man says.

The animals was hauled away to a local gator farm by a licensed wrangler.

When Obama said: “We’re going to punish our enemies and reward our friends” he was actually telling the truth

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Remember the Barack Obama Administration’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal? The media really wish you wouldn’t, which is why they never really reported on it while it occurred. And, in many ways, the IRS scandal continued well past its initial exposition date.

Here’s a (re)fresher:

IRS Targeting Scheme is a Scandal with No End in Sight: “When the Senate Finance Committee released its findings on the Internal Revenue Service scheme targeting conservative organizations a couple of weeks ago, the initial determination was clear….

“(T)he evidence shows partisan political animus resulted in the unwarranted targeting of conservative groups because of their political beliefs….

“(Top IRS official Lois) Lerner called Republican critics ‘evil and dishonest’ – even ‘hateful.’

“She lashed out following an appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in 2014: ‘Yesterday was a doozy. They called me back to testify on the IRS “scandal,” and I tool (sic) the 5th again because they had been so evil and dishonest in my lawyer’s dealings with them….’”

This was weaponizing government in a way of which Richard Nixon or any other president never even dreamed. But this was just one of myriad ways the Obama Administration turned the very many arms of the Leviathan against we less government types – and/or in favor of their big government political cronies.

When Obama said “We’re going to punish our enemies and reward our friends” – it was an administration manifesto.

$878 Billion Stimulus Money: A Slush Fund for Unions and Democrats

80% of DOE Green Energy Loans Went to Obama Backers

Obama’s Manufacturing Hubs Mean Cronyism, Corporate Welfare And Less Innovation

Obama Cronyism + Your Personal Data = Trouble

Oh Look, Three More Examples of Obama Administration Cronyism

And the examples of Obama turning government against half the citizenry continue to roll out – even after his administration has oh-so-thankfully ended.

We recently wrote of the fake democracy and staggering stupidity of the bureaucracy power grab “Comment Period.” Where an Executive Branch agency pretends to be the Legislative Branch – by writing laws rather than executing them:

“To make these power grabs appear less power grabby, the agencies have devised the rule-making process – during which they have ‘Comment Periods.….Except we didn’t elect these bureaucrats – so we can’t un-elect them. So it is decidedly unlikely that they care a whit what we think….So no matter what happens during the fake democracy ‘Comment Periods’ – they’re going to do what regulators do.”

And in the Obama Administration, what regulators did – was punish enemies and reward friends. If the following sounds an awful lot like the Obama IRS scandal – that’s only because it is an awful lot like the Obama IRS scandal.

Obama-Era FCC Caught Red-Handed Giving Preferential Treatment To Liberal Groups: “A high-level employee at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2014 appeared to give leaders of liberal-leaning groups preferential treatment for posting and publicizing comments on the agency’s public forum for the net neutrality debate.

“The FCC hosted a period in 2014 where anyone could submit feedback on so-called net neutrality…The FCC at the time invited people to publish their thoughts about net neutrality on the public filing system in an attempt to have the rule-making process for internet regulation as democratic as possible. But how democratic and equal that process was can now be called into question.

“Gigi Sohn, a top counselor to then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, responded (to Leftist groups) using her official agency email address.

“‘Thanks so much to all of you for your efforts,’ Sohn wrote. ‘We’ll do our best and keep our fingers crossed too! I’ll be out of town tomorrow, but will be checking emails,and (sic) (presumably FCC staffers) David and Sagar will be at your service.”

Sohn not only provided assistance for technical issues, but also publicized the (Leftist) advocacy groups’ purportedly authentic numbers.

“‘Just a note that we’ve got 500k or so more comments that were held up by server issues today. It would be great if you could pass press on to us for the real number,’ (Leftist group ‘Fight for the Future’ founder Holmes) Wilson said in an email.

“‘Can you tweet from @fcc early today, something like: “The FCC server has had problems with the large number of comments, so the number on the docket website is not the official number. We’ll have an official number soon,”’ Wilson asked in a separate email dated September 11th, 2014, at around 10:26 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time).

Then-FCC spokesman Kim Hart – happily did so:

Seton Motley | Red State | RedState.com

“(L)eaders of…right leaning organizations, like (Mike) Wendy (of Media Freedom) and Phil Kerpen of the advocacy group American Commitment, said they were barely even able to get their foot in the door.

“‘Our team got some help from low-level FCC employees who kind of answered the phone the way anyone just calling in would,’ Kerpen explained. ‘But we certainly didn’t get any kind of high-level assistance from high-level staffers managing media requests and helping to shape a narrative.’”

“Kerpen believes that the level of service and assistance was ‘completely one-sided’ because the FCC wanted to ‘help them reach the predetermined outcome of their process.’

“What upsets Kerpen and Wendy even more is that the FCC isn’t supposed to be political. Rather, it is to be an independent expert agency that makes decisions based on data, facts, economics and the law. Since specific staff members at the FCC, like Sohn, essentially bended over backwards to help one side but failed to help others with different political views, they believe the agency rendered itself partial and subservient.”

Yes, the Obama era is finally, thankfully over. But the lessons to draw therefrom – are many. But a few:

Government can and will be weaponized. And when it is – it will be done to advantage anyone who wants to grow government, and against anyone who does not.

The unelected Executive Branch agencies are far more formidable weapons than our elected Legislative Branch. Because bureaucrats are accountable to…no one – save for their weaponizing President.

These ridiculous “Comment Periods” – are completely ridiculous. As are any moves by the Executive to behave like the Legislative.

Law-writing should be left…to the elected, accountable Legislative. To minimize the ability of obnoxious government officials weaponizing the government against We the People.

Let us please keep all of this in mind going forward.

Seton Motley is the founder and president of Less Government.  Please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@SetonMotley) and Facebook.  It’s his kind of stalking.– See more at: http://lessgovernment.org/obamas-irs-2-0-or-3-04-0or-is-it/#more-1680

God Bless Texas: Lone Star State legalizes open carry of massive knives

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Photo credit: Flicker, KAZ Vopal

The Bowie knife is synonymous with Texas.  The massive blade, which Jim Bowie carried at the Alamo, has even been proposed by lawmakers as an official state symbol.

“The bowie signifies a spirit of individualism, aggression, and resourcefulness, of adventure and an inflamed sense of honor that is part of the idea of Texas,” Texas Monthly magazine wrote in 1988. “In the fierce blade of the bowie knife is a souvenir of the merging of civilized society with the wild frontier and of the westward march of history that drew many of us here in the first place.”

But it was illegal for Texans to actually carry one, until now. 

Gov. Greg Abbot last week signed legislation repealing an 1871 ban on carrying blades over 5.5 inches, unless they are part of a ceremony or historical reenactment.

The bill, HB 1935, overturns the ban on “Bowie knives, daggers, dirks, stilettos, poniards, swords, and spears,” but maintains prohibitions on carry in schools, correctional facilities, bars and places of worship, or by those under 18 years of age.

Even Texas Democrats supported knife carry, with the bill passing the State House 131-1 and the State Senate 30-1.

“It has been a shame that for so long Texans have been unable to carry a knife bearing the name of one of the defenders of the Alamo. The Texas legislature has restored a small part of our state pride,” said gun rights activist CJ Grishman of Open Carry Texas.

While the rest of the world goes down the tubes, Texas just keeps getting freer.

Or, as David Crockett put it, “You may all go to Hell. I’ll go to Texas.”

Trump should use the 100-year-old debt ceiling — to fix the debt ceiling

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By Robert Romano

White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has said the White House has not decided its plan for an upcoming vote extending the debt ceiling.

“We haven’t settle on a final way to address the debt ceiling any more than the Hill has,” Mulvaney said to reporters on June 15.

At issue in the White House among President Donald Trump’s team are those who prefer a so-called “clean” vote on extending or suspending the debt ceiling with no strings attached, versus those who would like to see budgetary reforms or spending cuts included in the vote.

The fact that there’s even a question of how to proceed on the debt limit is because of its fundamental feature: When the debt ceiling is reached, there is not enough money to spend on all of the parts of the $3.8 trillion budget and to meet existing debt obligations including paying interest owed on the nearly $20 trillion national debt.

As a result, every time the debt limit came up in Congress during the Obama administration, the momentum is always in favor of voting yes, because voting no is perceived — rightly or wrongly — as tantamount to defaulting on the debt. As a result, it was no effective check on the unbridled expansion of the national debt.

But what if that pressure could somehow be neutralized?

Now that the President is Donald Trump, the White House could promise to prioritize payments in the event the debt ceiling was reached under his Article II authority to execute the laws to ensure that there would be neither default on the debt — nor on other deemed essential obligations like the military, veterans, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and whatever else the administration thought was necessary to be funded immediately.

Longer term, Congress could similarly codify debt prioritization so that no future President could ever again threaten default like former President Barack Obama did. Such a law would allow Congress or the President for that matter to be assertive about adding things like budgetary reform or spending cuts or you name it as the price for further expanding the national debt. At least there would be a choice, a bargaining chip, if you will, for taxpayers and their representatives in Congress.

This would be an assertion of Congress’ Article I power of the purse authority, and fix the debt ceiling — now 100-years-old — so it could work the way it is intended to.

This would automatically change the complexion of all future debates on the debt ceiling. By taking default off of the table for good, the only consequence of reaching the debt limit would be that the budget would be automatically balanced — temporarily — while the debate on extending it ensued.

Naturally, the Washington, D.C. establishment would hate the idea, since it would potentially be used to limit the size and scope of the federal government. There would be no way to extort Congress into voting to increase the debt limit. Instead, Congressional leaders would finally have a choice about whether even extending borrowing authority was fiscally prudent.

They could say no, then.

And what if Congress or the President decided not to raise the debt ceiling? The swamp would lose all its power, that’s what.  Which is why under normal circumstances, such a proposal would never be allowed to pass.

Yet, under normal circumstances, such an unorthodox candidate like Donald Trump would have never been nominated to be President, let alone elected.

Beyond political considerations, these are not normal circumstances.

Since 2000, the nearly $20 trillion national debt has exploded, growing a whopping 7.7 percent a year.

But nominally — prior to adjusting for inflation — the U.S. economy has only grown at an average annual 3.94 percent rate.

If those trends persist during the Trump administration, the debt could be $37 trillion by the time President Donald Trump hypothetically leaves office after the 2024 election campaign.

By then, the debt to GDP ratio — now 106 percent — could grow dramatically, to 142 percent: $36.7 trillion debt to a $25.8 trillion economy.

After 20 years of excessive borrowing — all but guaranteed as Baby Boomers fully receive their Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits — the national debt would be $93 trillion.

And if the economy continues at its current anemic rate, the GDP would only be $40 trillion — a debt to GDP ratio of 232 percent.

Is that legacy members of Congress wish to leave their children and grandchildren? With President Trump, there’s a chance to finally rein in the debt, but they must work together to take default off the table — for good. This will set the table for future debt battles, where those who prefer fiscal restraint will finally have the upper hand.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.

VIDEO: FIXD app helps diagnose car problems – and bandits!

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This is an amazing diagnostic toolamazing. Watch how FIXD (only works on a post-1996 car and a smartphone) diagnoses the problem when a light comes on. And then watch how this woman is almost ripped off by a surprising culprit.

Talking of canoes….

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A fishing canoe with outriggers, a 480W battery and a place to store your catch!

This dude made his own cedar strip canoe. And now so can you.

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Want to know how to make and paddle your own cedar strip canoe? Watch this. And go to the YouTube Channel called A Guy Doing Stuff  where this beast of a woodworker has made 19 videos showing you how to everything up to weaving the seats on this beautiful canoe. It took him eight months to make and he documented every step.

Here’s the link to his Channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUaYID9hD-EmMMLhuKn3hLBj1hCBPGOLe

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