Perl – Split URL

# This will split a url like: ‘http://jamesconzett.com/whatever/this’
# on each forward slash “/”.

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
use strict;
use CGI;
use CGI ':standard';
use CGI::Carp qw(fatalsToBrowser warningsToBrowser);
print CGI::header();
use vars qw($url @splitURL $url $part);

$url=’http://jamesconzett.com/whatever/this’;
@splitURL = split(/\//, $url);

# Like:
print @splitURL[0]; # = http:
print @splitURL[1]; # = nothing
print @splitURL[2]; # = jamesconzett.com
print @splitURL[3]; # = whatever
print @splitURL[4]; # = this

# Or in a loop:
print “$_” for @splitURL;

# Or:
foreach (@splitURL){
print qq~$_~;
}

#Or:
foreach $part(@splitURL){
print qq~$part~;
}

$5 to drive through Fort Desoto!

I have been riding my motorcycle through Ft Desoto to unwind and get away from all the traffic for 30 years. There is no way I will pay $5 to ride through the park. Goodbye Ft. Desoto, you are no longer on my recommended places to visit for the tourists I advise. Really people, $5 to ride my motorcycle through Ft Desoto?? C-mon man!

$5 fee for Fort Desoto

So, some smart opportunist will now start an electric trolly shuttle service at $2 per person. Right? So much for the grass on the sides of the road due to parked cars!
Lower income folks NO ENTRANCE!
I took this picture around noon on 12/31/2011. Here is the booth on the border. Yes, a minivan full of seagull feeding, littering and cell phone tethered kids can get in for $5 for all day but, forget about the responsible bikers or Mom’s lulling a kid to sleep in the back seat just looking for a safe low stress place to ride. Well, Saint Pete’s last free destination that is worth a crap has been taken away from us. Time to move. Oh yeah, it costs $5.75 to get to Fort Desoto. Two tolls and then this little booth that screams to me “Low income? NO ENTRANCE!” and “BIKERS NOT WELCOME!” Forget about those nice Sunday morning drives through the park unless you have $5.75 plus gas. Looks like my cruises will be over the Skyway from now on. That’s only $2 and the view is better.

Acceptable Solutions?
Pay by the hour, first hour is free.
How about just a fee to park?
How about Florida residents free?
How about those utilizing SunPass?
Why not just pay for a parking pass? No parking pass, lower toll.

Obvious issues:
How about the first toll to get to the $5 toll? Still have to pay that one too right? Yes.
Why are “they” making Ft. Desoto off limits to low income families?

Should I ever desire to go to a beach at Fort Desoto ever again, I will just come by boat. Are you going to toll me then?

How about the billions of dollars of real estate and yachts we are forced to observe on the way in? Some houses in the millions right at the entrance to the park.
Where is all that tax money going again?

Finally, eat the rich (and the cell phone tethered fast food eaters too..)

How about the people who passed this kissing my ass!

Looks like today will be my last ride through Fort Desoto…

Here is an article on WTSP.

Wild Horses – Rolling Stones

Intro:
G  Am7  G  Gsus  Am7  G

   Bm         G   Gsus  Bm           G   Gsus

1.  Childhood living      is easy to do

   Am          G   C      D  G   Gsus        G     D  Dsus2  D  C

    The things you wanted    I   brought them  for you

   Bm         G    Gsus   Bm              G  Gsus

    Graceless lady         you know who I am

   Am          G     C       D  G  Gsus         G  D Dsus2 D

    You know I can't let you      slide through my hands



   Am     G  C      D  G         F       G  C     Bm

Ch. Wild     horses     couldn't drag me a- way

   Am        G  C      D G         F       G  C

    Wild wild   horses    couldn't drag me a- way



2.  I watched you suffer a dull aching pain

    Now you've decided to show me the same

    No sweeping exits or off-stage lines

    Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind



Ch. Wild horses couldn't drag me away

                                       C(VIII)

    Wild wild horses couldn't drag me away



    [guitar break]

    Fsus2(VIII) C(VIII) x 3

    D G





3.  I know I've dreamed you a sin and a lie

    I have my freedom but I don't have much time

    Faith has been broken, tears must be cried

    Let's do some living, after we'll die



Ch. Wild horses couldn't drag me away

    Wild wild horses we'll ride them some day.





Weird chords:

Am7               3  0  2  0  1  3

Gsus              3  2  0  0  1  x

Dsus2             x  x  0  2  3  0

C(VIII)           8  10 10 9  8  8

Fsus2(VIII)       8  10 10 10 10 8

Port of Amsterdam – David Bowie

Port Of Amsterdam written by Jacques Brel (8 April 1929 – 9 October 1978) – Performed by David Bowie Live at the BEEB

Am                                 Em
In the port of Amsterdam there's a sailor who sings
       F                              E
Of the dreams that he brings from the wide open sea
       Am                          Em
In the port of Amsterdam there's a sailor who sleeps
          Dm         E     Am
While the river bank weeps to the old willow tree
       C                           G          E
In the port of Amsterdam there's a sailor who dies
        Am                  Em                E
Full of beer, full of cries in a drunken town fight
       F                           E
In the port of Amsterdam there's a sailor who's born
     Dm        E           Am
On a hot muggy morn by the dawn's early light


ACOUSTIC:  Am


       Am                          Em
In the port of Amsterdam where the sailors all meet
          F                    E
There's a sailor who eats only fish heads and tails
          Am                           Em
And he'll show you his teeth that have rotted too soon
         Dm          E              Am
That can haul up the sails that can swallow the moon
       C                          G         E
And he yells to the cook with his arms open wide
     Am                          Em         E
Hey, bring me more fish throw it down by my side
       F                          E
And he wants so to belch but he's too full to try
      Dm            E             Am
So he stands up and laughs and he zips up his fly


       Am                        Em
In the port of Amsterdam you can see sailors dance
         F                             E
Paunches bursting their pants grinding women to porch
           Am                         Em
They've forgotten the tune that their whiskey voice croaked
Dm            E              Am
Splitting the night with the roar of their jokes
         C                            G              E
And they turn and they dance and they laugh and they lust
         Am                    Em      E
Till the rancid sound of the accordion bursts
         F                           E
And then out of the night with their pride in their pants
        Dm              E        Am
And the sluts that they tow underneath the street lamps


       Am                          Em
In the port of Amsterdam there's a sailor who drinks
       F                           E
And he drinks and he drinks and he drinks once again
      Am                         Em
He'll drink to the health of the whores of Amsterdam
       Dm          E           Am
Who've given their bodies to a thousand other men
              C                            G            E
Yeah, they've bargained their virtue their goodness all gone
      Am                      Em            E
For a few dirty coins well he just can't go on
           F                      E
Throws his nose to the sky and he aims it up above
       Dm            E          Am
And he pisses like I cry on the unfaithful love
       Am                        Em               F  G  Am  E  Am
In the port of Amsterdam, in the port of Amsterdam

-----------------------------------------
CHORDS:  EADGBE
         ------
F        133211
E        022100
Am       X02210
Dm       XX0231
C        332010
G        320033
Em       022000

Walk The Line – Johnny Cash

Intro:
E E E E E E E E

AE7A
I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
AE7A
I keep my eyes wide open all the time.
ADA
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
AE7A
Because you’re mine, I walk the line

I find it very, very easy to be true
I find myself alone when each day is through
Yes, I’ll admit I’m a fool for you
Because you’re mine, I walk the line

As sure as night is dark and day is light
I keep you on my mind both day and night
And happiness I’ve known proves that it’s right
Because you’re mine, I walk the line

You’ve got a way to keep me on your side
You give me cause for love that I can’t hide
For you I know I’d even try to turn the tide
Because you’re mine, I walk the line

I find that an E works as well as E7. I am still looking for the “official” tab though.

The song changes keys every verse.. That’s the unique thing about the song. Key changes are: E–>A–>D–>A–>E, using a 12-cord blue progression in each key, and using an alternating baseline between each to get into the next key without sounding awkward..

22 Inch Sheepshead

Fat 22 Inch Sheepshead

I was using my same rig as described here.

This was the largest fish we have caught using the solar powered canoe!

How we landed this 22 inch Sheepshead

We put out around 4:10pm on a beautiful April Sunday afternoon. The tide was wrong, the wind was strong and we were heading into unknown grounds. We just felt like fishing, fishing somewhere new. We set up ankle deep in muddy sand and headed out with minimal bait. About 3 minutes from shore we looked at each other and one word summed it all up; “Yeah”. This is why we fish, not for the catch, it’s the pursuit. The catch is the icing on the icing.

We dropped some bait in a couple places that looked like holes. Being in a canoe, we really cannot stand up and visibly search for holes in choppy waters. I still don’t own a depth finder so it was a touchy-feelie kind of thing. While I am in our canoe, I can somehow sense deep water, no kidding, it is like a magnetic force. My youngest son, who was with me that day, felt it too. Maybe it is the sound of the water or the vibrations of the thin aluminum on our bare feet that clues us in but, whatever the indicator, we do our best to tune into the environment.

Our first spot was interesting in the fact that our anchor could not hold us. The outgoing tide, along with the wind heading in the same direction, was just too strong and our anchor became a mini dredge. My solution was to motor past the spot, turn bow into the wind, tie the anchor rope to the bow (which is usually tied to the port to position us sideways) and click the motor to “1” in attempt to stay stationary. We then would cast toward the hole allowing the current to take the bait off its’ rim and into its’ depths.
Ahhhh, no luck there, let’s try another spot.

The second spot, a hundred yards away or so, yielded the same. Our next attempt was in an area that was in the outskirts of a mangrove which shielded us from the wind a bit. There were lots of “bait fish” and mullet jumping but, no hits. There was only about 4 feet of water there but, we have been successful in shallower. Fish usually like the mangroves but, not these mangroves so, off we go around the bend, yet again to no avail.

We were coming to accept that it would simply be a sightseeing and exploring day. I motored northward looking to find a path that would lead us into the mangroves. Moving along at full bore the water immediately became shallow and the bow began to crash into an oyster bed. With blazing speed, I pivoted the motor up in attempt to save my brand new prop. Success, a couple scratches were the only ramifications of my carelessness in these unknown waters. Usually, the person in the bow is responsible for alerting the stern of an upcoming questionable depth or eminent grounding but, the current was moving out so fast that the water was murky with silt and only around six inches below was visible.

We took the oars and pushed ourselves backward off the razor sharp oyster beds. A thought then struck me. Sheepshead do eat oysters so, lets find a deep spot here. Immediately after we pushed off the bed the wind and tide began to move us at a substantial rate. By the time I was able to drop the motor, we were pushed into a narrow passage between two very large formidable beds of oysters. Concerned about depth I turned into the wind and motored on “1” allowing the current to push us slowly backwards. “I feel deep” I said quietly to my son, “do you?”. He replied “Yup”. At that point I kicked the motors speed up a couple notches and pushed past the edge as we did on our first hole. “Drop anchor” were my next words.

As we were positioning ourselves to drown some bait two morons on a waverunner came tearing up the channel a couple hundred yards away. This is a no wake zone manatee area and they were hauling ass. As a matter of fact, they were blasting right toward the area where we ran aground. My son and I looked at each other as we knew what was coming. Sure enough, the ominous sound of hull crashing against shore and the high revving of the waverunners motor followed by the yelling of all the choice words filled the air. What a couple of idiots. Fortunately for them they were not thrown into the beds or we would have been fishing out diced up bodies instead of fish. Hopefully, they were scared enough and damaged their craft badly enough to serve as a reminder to them. Your life is in your hands on the water, you are one less link down on the food chain. This is not a swimming pool but, a fickle unforgiving environment that will swallow you up as if you never existed. They got the thing running again and tentatively puttered back from where they came.

After the dumb and dumber indecent was off into the horizon we re-focused on drowning some bait. I re-positioned our craft and tightened up a wingnut on the motors shaft to keep us from turning. I threw out my 10lb test line with my home made 24 inch 30awg leader sporting a small gold hook crimped directly on. The exact set up that has worked so famously for me in the past. In fact, these are the original parts from my first attempt at leader making. I have never changed them. I verified my drag was set to a practically non-existent resistance and allowed the current to take the bait into the hole.

Whizzzzzz! In less than a minute there was fish on! Holy crap! We stared at each other in disbelief of the intensity. Whizzzz the drag buzzes like a whizzer while the line is being unreeled like a bat out of hell! What the heck did I catch and how long until the line snaps? A huge stingray, dolphin, a snook were species we bounced off each other while the line continued to buzz out. I did my best to position the pole downward and in the direction of whatever has latched onto the other end while the canoe was being pulled around in circles. I did my best to manage the pole, get the motor up, grab an oar to ward off the oyster beds while I wrestled this creature. Slack finally arrives so I reel in quickly about ten rotations then, whizzzz out she goes again. We both thought for sure we would never even catch a glimpse of what took the bait. After around 5 minutes of the same routine the mystery creature was getting tired. A striped flash appears then whizzzzz! “Wow! Did you see that” I yelled. My son replies “That is the biggest Sheepshead I have ever seen!”.

Oh yeah, there is no way we are going to be able to get this thing in the boat. Ill-prepared for such a large fish we are without a net or even a bucket big enough to put the damn thing in I just did my best to keep the line from breaking. He finally quit fighting and I was able to get him next to the canoe. I noticed that the long leader, and my awesome knots , were the only reason this beast did not escape. I reached over the side with a pair of pliers to grab him by the lower jaw and pull him into the canoe. He was so large that I had to open the pliers all the way to fit around his powerful oyster crushing jaws. He had actually even crushed the hook around his jaw when he bit. He’s in the boat! Yeah! I looked at my son and said “Call it a day?” he replied, “yup”. We agreed that since we had no means of keeping him alive or gutting him on the spot that we should get him home ASAP. We kept him wet and headed to shore.

Ten minutes later we have finished lashing the canoe to the roof of my weather beaten ’86 Camry and were off to prepare our catch for an evening of smokey mesquite filled air. Gutted, scaled, not filleted and sprinkled with lemon pepper we allowed this bad boy to smoke, tented with foil positioned high over a small brick fire pit for about 20 minutes a side. A cold Yuengling and a fork were soon my preferred tackle. My other son and his friend were just returning from a fruitless day of bridge and seawall fishing. The fish barely fit on the cookie sheet I served it up on. Wow, that is the best fish I ever tasted and I have tasted many. All four of us agreed as we dug into our days bounty with our forks. A little home made herb, garlic, peppercorn and chive seasoned vinegar was the perfect compliment to this most awesome meal for four.

All that remained was the huge head. My son said “Wrap in in foil and let’s go Andrew Zimmern on it!”. Ok, I was easily convinced. I sprinkled it with lemon pepper, and placed it in foil. Poured a little Yuengling in there along with a little of my popular vinegar and wrapped it up. I put it over the fire at first but eventually moved it directly down to the coals since the embers were failing fast. A half an hour passed and we unwrapped our fish head. I tentatively pulled back the skin to reveal a whole bunch of tender goodness. Man o’ man people throw these things away! The tender meat at the top of the head and the cheeks were superb. The tongue was the size of a large chicken nugget. I did not try an eye but, was told they were delicious. I’ll take your word on it, not that I had a chance around these hungry teens.

Now finally, all that remained was an in-tact skeleton, the huge jaws and this blog page describing the experience. Well, there is something else too, more lessons. We learned to come even more prepared for the un-expected. We learned that tide, moon wind and weather conditions are irrelevant if you find the right spot. We learned that you can catch a fish beyond the capacity of your gear if you are patient. Finally, we verified that any day of fishing is better than hanging around the house.

Solar Powered Canoe

Red Drum

We usually catch Sheepshead (below) and Red Drum (above). Sheepshead is much better eating in our opinion. We actually get our first hits in less than one minute from the bait hitting the water. We have not caught any garbage like catfish and rays. We have caught a couple pinfish but, only two in the last 5 trips. Our bait selection, leader and freeline style is key in targeting a species. We are far from experts but, through trial and error we have found what works best for us.

18 inch Sheepshead
18 inch Sheepshead
Update: Here is a 22 inch Sheepshead I caught three days later.

This design is now copyrighted 2010 © and there is a Patent Pending.

The canoe combined with the motor really gets us fishing into great places very quickly. One of the biggest obstacles is however, getting away from noisy weekend “water goers”. We fish, mostly in very secluded spots. When a gaggle of kayaks passes right through us while we are fishing, talking on cellphones and yelling back and forth. Seems to us that they are in complete disregard to the fact that WE ARE FISHING HERE. No attempt is made to give us a wider berth or to quiet down a bit while passing. Perhaps I’ll outfit the canoe with my paintball gun? 200 semi auto shots, 24oz of co2 and pretty accurate within 50 feet. Sounds like that could be an an “awareness initiator”.

Here is the mounting for the solar panel. The solar panel has a fold down piece that slips into the slot. There is a small 3/8″ diameter hole at the very tip of the bow (not seen here) for an aluminum rod that protrudes from the other end of the solar panel. Very snug rattle free drop-in fit with no screws or clamps to bother with.

The hinged mount allows for small storage space and is very forgiving to big waves and bumps.

Here is the panel dropped into place. The whole set up, including motor mounting takes less than a minute. The marine battery in its’ battery box fits right under this section. The panels are mounted to their bracket at a slight angle which optimizes profile to sun no matter where we are positioned. Seems simple but, took a while to figure out the best angles.


This is the very heavy duty but, not heavy motor mount.

The “pseudo transom” piece just drops right into the slots. The “camo” painted aluminum piece is an add on for mounting a small aerator and pump to keep caught fish alive in a well instead of an overboard bucket that would need pulled in every time we move. More stuff in the water is bad from a stealthly perspective anyhow.

The motor up position is easy to accomplish. However, I just lift the motor and transom right out and lay it in front of me for prolonged fishing. Keeps it out of the way and I don’t even need to unscrew the motor from the piece either. Very cool!

Here we are in motor down position. There is one more notch to go until level but, you get the idea.

To set up the canoe, it really takes less than a minute. There is nothing to screw on, clamp or any tools. Just drop it all together, plug in the harnesses and we are off! This configuration also has nothing sticking out so, I can mount the canoe upside down on the roof of the old fishing car with ease. This was my first attempt at doing this type of set up and I would not change a thing. I am however, adding a bait cup holder and pole holder in the bows solar panel mounting piece (the piece permanently affixed to the bow in the first picture). With the battery and panels in front, and motor with me in back, the canoe is well balanced with either one or two people.

Get the Flash Player to see this content.
Play video above to see a test run. The panels are up front but, in front of my beautiful, supportive, sight seeing fiancee so, you can only catch a glimpse of them. This was March 31st 2010 at around 2pm.

Here are some GREAT magazines in which you may be interested in subscribing.
These magazines make a great gift for someone too!

Sport Fishing

Sport Fishing

Sport Fishing magazine, the ultimate magazine for salt water fishing, gives you tips on baiting and rigging, instruction on salt water fly fishing, reviews of the latest tackle, tips on boat electronics, guides to the hottest fishing spots and much more.








Fly Fishing in Salt Waters

Fly Fishing in Salt Waters

Fly Fishing in Salt Waters magazine invites you to explore new fly fishing frontiers. Each bimonthly issue is filled with action-packed photography, techniques from the experts, the latest developments in equipment and extensive travel information.








Fishing Facts

Fishing Facts

Technique oriented & edited for people who want to catch more fish by improving their skills.








Factory Farms – Have it their way, artificially enhanced and barely legal.

Hold the Pickle, Hold the Propyl P Hydroxybenzonate

 

Factory Farming: The True Costs
Despite overwhelming scientific evidence presented during the past 2 decades demonstrating a relationship between factory farm meat consumption and disease, the amount of animal flesh consumed in the U.S. has not dropped. In fact, it has increased slightly. The per capita consumption of mammal and bird flesh rose from 196 lbs. in 1980 to 213 lbs.

Americans continue to eat large amounts of animal flesh – far more than what could be considered necessary for nutritional purposes – because it is aggressively marketed to seem desirable and essential, it is readily accessible and convenient, and because it is relatively cheap.

Eat This Kill A Tribe

A Brazilian cattle ranching company is seeking permission from the Paraguayan government to destroy the forest where the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode Indians live, one of the last “uncontacted” tribes in the world. If it does, the last of the uncontacted Totobiegosode will be wiped out.

This is happening more frequently, in Brazil a yanonami tribe was displaced so that a cattle farm could be built funded by McDonalds meet with demands. In Sumatra, a whole lot of forests were removed displacing and killing hundreds of orangutans so that they could grow palm oil plantations.

The take-over of agriculture in the U.S. by large corporations has allowed a larger number of animals to be produced more quickly and for less money. Agribusiness has reaped great profits while keeping consumer prices low. But the real costs of factory farming – in terms of the loss of family farms, food-borne illness, damage to the environment, and animal suffering – have been tremendous. To produce even more fast food “ingredients”, the fast food industry has massive, well established factory farms in third word countries where animal conditions and cruelty are even more severe and the low labor cost forces workers to live in poverty.

A handful of the world’s largest food companies and commodity traders, including McDonald’s in the UK, are driving illegal and rapid destruction of the Amazon rainforest, according to a six-year investigation of the Brazilian soya bean industry.

The report, published today, follows a 7,000km chain that starts with the clearing of virgin forest by farmers and leads directly to Chicken McNuggets being sold in British and European fast food restaurants. It also alleges that much of the soya animal feed arriving in the UK from Brazil is a product of “forest crime” and that McDonald’s and British supermarkets have turned a blind eye to the destruction of the forest.

The report, by Greenpeace investigators, details how the world’s largest private company, the $70bn (£40bn) a year US agribusiness giant Cargill, has built a port and 13 soya storage works in the Amazon region. It provides farmers with seeds and agrochemicals to grow hundreds of thousands of tonnes of beans a year, which the company then exports to Liverpool and other European ports, mainly from Santarem, a city on the Amazon river

Loss of Family Farms
Family farms are being squeezed out of business by their inability to raise the capital to compete with huge factory farms. Traditional farming is labor intensive, but factory farming is capital intensive. Farmers who do manage to raise the money for animal confinement systems quickly discover that the small savings in labor costs are not enough to cover the increasing costs of facilities, energy, caging, and drugs.

The increase in factory farms has led to a decrease in the price independent farmers get for their animals, forcing thousands out of business. The number of U.S. farmers dropped by 300,000 between 1979 and 1998.

During a recent 15-year period, hog farms in the U.S. decreased from 600,000 to 157,000, while the number of hogs sold increased. Consolidation has resulted in just 3 percent of U.S. hog farms producing more than 50 percent of the hogs. Similarly, 2 percent of cattle feed operations account for more than 40 percent of the nation’s cattle. In the poultry industry, the number of “broiler” chicken farms declined by 35 percent between 1969 and 1992, while the number of birds raised and slaughtered increased nearly three-fold.

The demise of small farms in the U.S. has been helped along by actions of the federal government. Congress, influenced by strong lobbying groups, has consistently passed federal farm programs benefiting the large agricultural corporations. According to the Center for Public Integrity, between 1987 and 1996, the food industry made campaign contributions of more than $41 million to federal lawmakers.

The bias against small farms continues despite the appointment of a special commission in the late 1990s by then-Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman to study how small farms have been displaced by factory farms and how the trend might be reversed. The report from that commission, titled “A Time to Act,” described the enormous social costs of the destruction of the American family farm, as the economic basis of rural communities in the U.S. diminishes and rural towns are “lost.”

Animal Suffering
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service, each year about 10 percent, or 900 million, of the animals raised for food never reach the slaughterhouse. They die on the farm due to stress, injury, and disease. The on-farm death rate ranges from a low of 4 percent for cows and calves to 12 percent for turkeys, 14 percent for hogs, and 28 percent for some types of chickens.

Agribusiness corporations claim that animals in factory farms are “as well cared for as their own pet dog or cat.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The life of an animal in a factory farm is characterized by acute deprivation, stress, and disease. Industrialized agriculture has made the determination that it is more “cost effective” to accept some loss in inventory than to spend money on treating animals humanely.

Farm animals, by the millions, are forced to live in cages or crates just barely larger than their own bodies. While some species, like hogs and veal calves, may be caged alone without any social contact, others, like egg-laying hens and chickens, may be crowded so tightly together that they fall prey to stress-induced cannibalism. Unable to groom, stretch their legs, or even turn around, the victims of factory farms exist in a constant state of distress.

If a private citizen confined a dog or cat in a manner common in factory farms, or subjected an animal to surgical procedures without anesthesia, the individual could be charged with cruelty to animals. Farming is an area, however, that federal and state laws protecting animals barely touch. The powerful agribusiness and pharmaceutical lobbies have seen to it that farm animals are specifically excluded from welfare laws.

There are virtually no federal laws that protect farm animals from even the most harsh and brutal treatment as long as it takes place in the name of production and profit. The federal Animal Welfare Act, which regulates the treatment of animals for commercial purposes, does not apply to farm animals unless they are being used in research or for exhibition. Moreover, a majority of states have specifically exempted some aspect of the treatment of animals in agriculture from their cruelty laws.* It is left entirely to the preference of the individual company how many egg-laying hens are stuffed into each little wire cage, or whether an artificially inseminated sow must spend her entire pregnancy chained to the floor of a cement-bottomed cage.

Making People Sick
Factory farm conditions result in severe physiological as well as behavioral afflictions in animals. Anemia, influenza, intestinal diseases, mastitis, metritis, orthostasis, pneumonia, and scours are only the beginning of a long list of ailments plaguing animals in factory farms. By ignoring basic needs such as exercise, fresh air, wholesome food, and proper veterinary care, factory farms are a breeding ground for stress and infectious disease.

It is all done in the name of increasing profits. Animals in factory farms are confined in cages and crates to save on space and limit the number of workers required. The animals are given antibiotics, hormones, and highly concentrated feed to accelerate growth and weight gain.

Factory farms attempt to counter the ill effects of this intensive confinement by administering continuous doses of antibiotics and other drugs to the animals. This “cost effective” practice has a significant negative impact on both the animals and the people who consume them. Veterinarians and animal protection advocates have long expressed concern over the conditions on factory farms, and now medical doctors are warning that the tragedy of factory farming reaches well beyond the farm animals themselves.

In 1954, American farmers used about half a million pounds of antibiotics a year in raising food animals. Today, about half of the 50 million pounds of antibiotics produced in the U.S. each year is used for animals, 80 percent of which is poured directly into feed to make animals grow faster. Among the most commonly used antibiotics are penicillin and tetracycline. The squandering of these important drugs to increase the profits of factory farms is wreaking havoc for physicians in the treatment of human illness.

Widespread overuse of antibiotics is resulting in the evolution of new strains of virulent bacteria whose resistance to antibiotics poses a great threat to human health. Doctors are now reporting that, due to their uncontrolled use on factory farms, these formerly life-saving drugs are often rendered useless in combating human disease.

Conditions on factory farms and in slaughterhouses are also responsible for a large proportion of food-borne illnesses reported in the U.S. each year. Officials at the USDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have referred to the current situation with food-related disease as an “epidemic.”

Most food-related diseases are caused by the contamination of food, milk, or water with animal fecal material. Animals in factory farms are commonly infected with a number of pathogens capable of causing food-related illness and death that are transmitted to consumers in the flesh itself or through carcass contamination at the slaughterhouse. Studies have found that nearly 80 percent of ground beef sampled – and about the same percentage of poultry – contain microbes spread by animal feces.

According to the General Accounting Office (GAO), 81 million Americans become sick, and 9,000 die, from food-borne illness every year. The GAO sets the price tag for these illnesses and deaths at about $22 billion a year. The full extent of the health ramifications of factory farming is unknown, however, as nobody counts deaths from drug-resistant infections and a majority of food-borne illnesses go unreported.

Poisoning the Land, Air & Water
In 1996, the U.S. cattle, pork, and poultry industries produced 1.4 billion tons of animal waste, or 130 times more than produced by the entire human population – about 5 tons of waste for every man, woman, and child in America. That calculation was included in a 1998 report on factory farming pollution prepared at the request of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). The Harkin study attributed 1.2 billion tons of the waste to cattle manure, 116 million to hog manure, and 14 million to poultry manure.

While some of the manure is used to fertilize crops, Harkin’s report noted that most is stored in large pits or “lagoons” where it poses a serious threat to the land, air, and especially the water. A study released in 1998 by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) claimed that water quality in at least 30 states was threatened by manure from large dairies, feedlots, chicken farms, and hog farms. The study cited the situation in California’s central valley as being particularly acute. “You have 900,000 dairy cows in the valley producing waste equivalent to 21 million people,” said an NRDC official. “That’s having a terrible effect on drinking water quality, fisheries and wildlife.”

In fact, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified 60 percent of U.S. rivers and streams as “impaired,” and agriculture runoff is cited as the biggest culprit.

After years of inaction, the EPA and some states are finally taking steps to clamp down on agricultural pollution. In 1998 the EPA began implementation of a plan to impose new pollution controls on cattle, hog, and poultry farms. Revised regulations governing concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) were finally approved in late 2002. The new rules require that farms develop a plan to manage animal manure and expand the number of facilities covered from 4,500 to 15,000.

Unfortunately, the CAFO rules don’t apply to the majority of poultry farms and do not extend to the big processing companies that contract with farmers to raise animals. Moreover, the rules do not allow for public review of waste management plans for individual farms.

Oversight by the federal government is essential as three-quarters of U.S. factory farms are subjected to no state pollution controls. California, for example, specifically exempted farm machines from smog restrictions more than 30 years ago, and provided farms with 20-year waivers on water pollution controls. Fortunately, the rules have changed – primarily as a result of environmental lawsuits – and California’s $30 billion agricultural industry is now starting to be held accountable for its waste.

* States that exempt some aspect of agriculture from animal anti-cruelty statute: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Codes and names of dangerous food additives

Dangerous Food Additives table
Additive Number Name of Food Additive Hyper-
activity
Asthma Cancer
102 & E102 Tartrazine (food color) H A C
104 & E104 Quinoline Yellow (food color) H A C
107 & E107 Yellow 2G (food color) H A C
110 & E110 Sunset Yellow (Yellow food color #6) H A C
120 & E120 Carmines, Cochineal (food color) H A
122 & E122 Azorubine, Carmoisine (food color) H A C
123 & E123 Amaranth (Red food color #2) H A C
124 & E124 Ponceau, Brilliant Scarlet (food color) H A C
127 & E127 Erythrosine (Red food color #2) H A C
E128 Red 2G (Red food color) H A C
129 & E129 Allura Red AC (food color) H A C
E131 Patent Blue (food color) H A C
132 & E132 Indigotine, Indigo Carmine (food color) H A C
133 & E133 Brilliant Blue (food color) H A C
142 & E142 Acid Brilliant Green, Green S, Food Green (food color) H A
143 Fast Green (food color) A
150 & E150 Caramel (food color) H
151 & E151 Activated Vegetable Carbons, Brilliant Black (food color) H A C
154 Food Brown, Kipper Brown, Brown FK (food color) H A C
155 & E155 Chocolate Brown HT, Brown HT (food color) H A C
160b & E160b Bixin, Norbixin, Annatto Extracts (yellow, red to brown natural colors) H A
E173 Aluminium (preservatives) C
E180 Latol Rubine, Pigment Rubine (preservatives) H A C
200 &
E200-203
Potassium & Calcium Sorbates ,Sorbic Acid (preservatives) H A
210 & E210 Benzoic Acid (preservatives) H A C
211 & E211 Sodium Benzoate (preservatives) H A
212 & E212 Potassium Benzoate (preservatives) A
213 & E213 Calcium Benzoate (preservatives) A
E214 Ethyl Para Hydroxybenzonate (preservatives) A
E215 Sodium Ethyl Para Hydroxybenzonate (preservatives) A
216 & E216 Propyl P Hydroxybenzonate, Propylparaben (preservatives) A
E217 Sodium Propyl P Hydroxybenzonate (preservatives) A
220 & E220 Sulphur Dioxide also Sulfur dioxide (preservatives) H A
221 & E221 Sodium Sulfite or Sodium Sulphite (preservatives) A
222 Sodium Bisulfite or Sodium Bisulphite (preservatives) A
223 & E223 Sodium Metabisulfite or Sodium Metabisulphite (preservatives) A
224 & E224 Potassium Metabisulphite or Potassium Metabisulfite (preservatives) A
225 & E225 Potassium Sulfite or Potassium Sulphite (preservatives) A
E226 Calcium Sulfite or Calcium Sulphite (preservatives) A
E227 Calcium Hydrogen Sulphite or Calcium Hydrogen Sulfite (preservatives) A
E228 Potassium Bisulfite, Potassium Hydrogen Sulfite or Potassium Bisulphite, Potassium Hydrogen Sulphite (preservatives) H A
E230 Diphenyl, Biphenyl (preservatives) C
E231 Orthophenyl Phenol (preservatives) C
E236 Formic Acid (preservative) C
E239 Hexamine, Hexamethylene Tetramine (preservatives) C
249 & E249 Potassium Nitrate (preservative) A C
250 & E250 Sodium Nitrite (preservative) H A C
251 & E251 Sodium Nitrate (preservative) H C
252 & E252 Potassium Nitrate (preservative) H C
260 & E260 Acetic Acid, Glacial (preservatives) A
280 to 283 Calcium or Potassium or Sodium Propionates, Propionic Acid (preservatives) H A
310 & E310 Propyl Gallate (Synthetic Antioxidant) A C
311 & E311 Octyl Gallate (Synthetic Antioxidant) A
312 & E312 Dodecyl Gallate (Synthetic Antioxidant) A
319 & E319 TBHQ, Tert Butylhydroquinone (Synthetic Antioxidants) H A
320 & E320 Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) (Synthetic Antioxidants) H A C
321 & E321 Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) or Butylhydroxytoluene (Synthetic Antioxidants) H A C
330 & E330 Citric Acid (NOT DANGEROUS naturally occurring e330 & 330 citric acid additive – can contain sulfites and mold, explained earlier in the article next to this table printable version link.)
407 & E407 Carrageenan (Thickening & Stabilizing Agent) A C
413 & E413 Tragacanth (thickener & Emulsifier) A
414 & E414 Acacia Gum (Food Stabilizer) A
416 Karaya Gum (Laxative, Food Thickener & Emulsifier) A
421 & E421 Mannitol (Artificial Sweetener) H
430 Polyxyethylene Stearate (Emulsifier) C
431 Polyxyl Stearate (Emulsifier) C
E432 – E435 Polyoxyethylene Sorbitan Monostearate (Emulsifiers Gelling Stabilisers Thickeners Agents) C
433 – 436 Polysorbate (Emulsifiers) C
441 & E441 Gelatine (Food Gelling Agent) A
466 Sodium CarboxyMethyl Cellulose C
507 & E507 Hydrochloric Acid (Hydrolyzing Enhancer & Gelatin Production) C
518 & E518 Magnesium Sulphate (Tofu Coagulant) C
536 & E536 Potassium Ferrocyanide (Anti Caking Agent) A
553 & E553 & E553b Talc (Anti Caking, Filling, Softener, Agent) C
620 – 625 MSG Monosodium Glutamate, Glutamic Acid, all Glutamates (Flavour Enhancers) H A C
627 & E627 Disodium Guanylate (Flavour Enhancers) H A
631 & E631 Disodium Inosinate 5 (Flavour Enhancers) A
635 & E635 Disodium Ribonucleotides 5 (Flavour Enhancers) A
903 & E903 Camauba Wax (used in Chewing Gums, Coating and Glazing Agents) C
905 & 905 a,b,c Paraffin and Vaseline, White Mineral Oil (Solvents, Coating and Glazing, Anti Foaming Agents, Lubricant in Chewing Gums) C
924 & E924 Potassium Bromate (Agent used in Bleaching Flour) C
925 & E925 Chlorine (Agent used in Bleaching Flour, Bread Enhancer and Stabiliser) C
926 Chlorine Dioxide (Bleaching Flour and Preservative Agent) C
928 & E928 Benzoyl Peroxide (Bleaching Flour and Bread enhancer Agent) A
950 & E950 Potassium Acesulphame (Sweetener) C
951 Aspartame (Sweetener) H A
952 & E952 Cyclamate and Cyclamic Acid (Sweeteners) C
954 & E954 Saccharine (Sweetener) C
1202 & E1202 Insoluble Polyvinylpyrrolidone Insoluble (Stabiliser and Clarifying Agent added to Wine, Beer, Pharmaceuticals) C
1403 Bleached Starch (Thickenner and Stabiliser) A

Are All Food additives to avoid !

… linked to hyperactivity, asthma, cancer – avoid these in your every day diet!
Allergic and other reactions to food additives occur hours and even days later therefore many people cannot notice these connections.

Sources:
traditionaloven.com
hfa.org

I help keep family farmers on their land. Join us at www.FarmAid.org

Ban Fast Food

Eat  fast food to destroy this

A Brazilian cattle ranching company is seeking permission from the Paraguayan government to destroy the forest where the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode Indians live, one of the last “uncontacted” tribes in the world. If it does, the last of the uncontacted Totobiegosode will be wiped out.

This is happening more frequently, in Brazil a yanonami tribe was displaced so that a cattle farm could be built funded by McDonalds meet with demands. In Sumatra, a whole lot of forests were removed displacing and killing hundreds of orangutans so that they could grow palm oil plantations.

Are You Being Fed by a Clown?

 

There’s a drugless and side effect-free way to reduce inflammation in the body, restore the body’s natural defense system, lose weight, possibly increase lifespan and improve or prevent diabetes, cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. What’s more, you can get the benefits from this natural health strategy no matter what your age or whether you already have a serious disease. So who’s behind these “wild” health declarations? It’s not a supplement maker or natural health group. Instead, the claims come from mainstream science — researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, to be exact.

Their findings, published in the October/November issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism conclude there’s a simple, inexpensive dietary intervention that could control weight even without changing caloric intake and help make people healthier in a host of ways. The key? Stop eating processed and fried foods.

According to the Mount Sinai study, these foods, which are abundant in Western diets, are loaded with harmful toxins called Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs). AGEs are produced when foods are heated, pasteurized, dried, smoked, fried or grilled. Then, once consumed and inside the body, AGEs adhere to tissues and oxidize them, causing inflammation which can result in numerous diseases. In fact, a long list of animal studies conducted by Helen Vlassara, MD, Professor and Director of the Division of Experimental Diabetes and Aging at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and her team have previously shown the dangers of AGEs. The oxidative stress from high oxidant levels and inflammation associated with long-term exposure to AGEs increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and other chronic ills.

The new clinical study, conducted in collaboration with the National Institute on Aging (NIA), built on this earlier animal research but this time looked at what people ate and how it affected their bodies. The researchers studied 325 healthy adults and 66 with chronic kidney disease. A subset of 40 healthy participants and another nine with kidney disease were randomly assigned to follow a regular Western diet full of AGEs or to follow a diet with only one-half the amount of AGEs typically found in the American style of eating. Research subjects in the “AGE-less diet” group were advised to avoid grilling, frying or baking their food. Instead, they were told to eat food that was poached, stewed or steamed. There was no change in calories or nutrient intake during the time of the study.

After four months on the low-AGEs eating plan, the scientists checked the blood of the healthy research subjects. They found that AGE levels, lipid peroxides, inflammatory markers, and biomarkers of vascular function declined by as much as 60 percent. What’s more, a similar reduction was found in the kidney patients after only one month on the AGE-less diet.

In addition, the research team found a positive effect on a cellular receptor for AGEs called AGER1. That’s a critical finding because the AGER1 receptor is needed for removing toxic AGEs from the body. On the other hand, the participants with kidney disease, all of whom had extremely elevated levels of AGEs, had severely suppressed AGER1 receptors. The Mount Sinai scientists speculate that’s because this important defense mechanism is “exhausted” as a result of persistently elevated AGEs.

But there’s good news. After even a short period of not eating AGEs loaded fried and processed foods, the number of AGER1 gene copies was restored to normal levels among patients with kidney disease. That means by simply adjusting the diet to avoid processed and fried foods, the body was rebuilding its healthy defense system.

“What is noteworthy about our findings is that reduced AGE consumption proved to be effective in all study participants, including healthy persons and persons who have a chronic condition such as kidney disease,” said Dr. Vlassara, the study’s lead author, in a press statement.

“This suggests that oxidants may play a more active role than genetics in overwhelming our body’s defenses, which we need to fight off disease. It has been said that nature holds the power, but the environment pulls the trigger. The good news is that unlike genetics, we can control oxidant levels, which may not be an accompaniment to disease and aging, but instead due to the cumulative toxic influence of AGEs.”

Here’s the link to the original study – http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/94/11/4483

Source: (NaturalNews)

I help keep family farmers on their land. Join us at www.FarmAid.org

The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life – Plastic?

 

First, a Rant; Real activists don’t eat fast food! Support the farmers! We need healthy food and breathable air not a health care band aid. Fix the problem at the source. Pink ribbon type charities are paying themselves with 92 to 96 cents of every dollar donated! Yes, only $.04 to $.08 of every dollar you donate is actually contributed to the huge expense pool of bureaucrat managed, corporate targeted medical research and… the people running these charities are making $400,000 – $600,000 + a year individually! (example: Breast Cancer Research Foundation)

Think
What are the root causes of most cancers? Pesticides, carbon monoxide and chemicals in our food and air! Support the earth charities who are directly helping everyone, not just a select few. Hug a tree, while you still can.
Think your favorite charity is good? Prepare to be disgusted. http://www.charitynavigator.org/
There are a few, (very few) good “targeted” charities out there however, keep in mind, the only way to eliminate a recurring problem is to locate the cause, not throwing money at the effect. Support bio-diversity, forestry, geo-thermal/solar/wind energy, and Farm Aid.

Now a Story; While on a skate boarding adventure in Ohio, I sat on a bench to rest. A guy sat next to me and saw a farm aid sticker on my board. He said, “Yeah, good to see that. We just voted on a bill here to help the local farmers who are going under. It’s a shame what is happening to them. I wish we could do more to help them.” I looked at the guy and pointed out to him the fast food bag he was holding. Basically, I used far more severe words than “hypocrite” (well, I used that too) ….He wasn’t very happy with me at first but, agreed in the end. Voting is one thing but, actions do speak louder.

My Findings and Philosophy; Far more people don’t care than care. Far more say they care than those who do and actually modify their behavior to coincide. So, where does that leave us? What will it take? Even with a fact encrusted Powerpoint™ presentation to the masses, are we spinning our wheels? Are we just doing this to prove we are a drop in the bucket? Are the drops filling, evaporating or is the bucket just the wrong size, adjusted as necessary by corporate pocketed politicians? If we put a thumping bass and a cowbell on it, will everyone listen then? Are we just vindicating a purpose to bitch? If so then, why the hell are we even here? There can only be one answer, the one thing we do as a species that does nor occur in nature and is not produced by any other known life form, the reason for our whole existence, one word… plastic. Someone out there needed a buttload of plastic. Other interpretations are happily considered.


I help keep family farmers on their land. Join us at www.FarmAid.org

Now some Facts;

Did you know that federal aid earmarked for “farmers” only goes to huge corporate farms?

Have you ever toured a corporate operated beef plant and slaughter house?

Did you know that our health care system is in shambles due to the typical American diet?

Did you know that when you eat fast food you are part of the problem?

Did you know you can actually help and make a difference by just changing your eating habits?


Watch this video:

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And this video:

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Millions of Americans must change their eating habits!

After reading, visit the link at the end.

Pope John said it best, “Capitalism Without Responsibility”

Fast Food’s Hidden Dangers

Jeffrey Zurlinden, RN, MS

Every day, about one-quarter of American adults eat at fast-food restaurants. Cheap, tasty, and convenient, fast food is loaded with saturated fat and calories, and it’s low in fiber and nutrients. Thanks in large part to fast food, half of America’s adults and one-quarter of its children are obese, double the rate of a generation ago. Even some popular chicken nuggets, which many consumers consider a healthier alternative, are flavored with beef extract and contain twice as much fat, ounce for ounce, as a hamburger.

Besides the long-term health risks of a high-fat, high-calorie diet, fast-food chains have indirectly changed the way cattle are fed, slaughtered, and processed, making meatpacking the most dangerous job in America and increasing the risk of large-scale food poisoning. In his new book, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, Eric Schlosser describes fast food’s hidden dangers.

A Lifetime of Fast Food

Although most of the health problems related to fast food aren’t felt until middle age — obesity and diabetes are at an all-time high — the damage starts before children enter kindergarten. Hoping to shape eating habits, fast-food chains market heavily to children. About 96% of American school-aged children recognize Ronald McDonald, second only to Santa Claus. Almost every American child eats at a McDonald’s® at least once a month.

Fast food runs on cheap labor, usually supplied by teenagers. Child labor laws that restrict work schedules are often ignored at fast-food chains. Although part-time employment can teach teenagers responsibility, teenage boys who work long hours are more likely to abuse drugs and get into trouhle. They also risk getting hurt: Each year about 20,000 teenagers suffer work-related injuries, about twice the adult rate.

Meatpacking Factories: Injuries and Food Poisoning

To keep meat prices low, most slaughterhouses have moved out of big cities and into small towns. Instead of hiring skilled, unionized workers, meatpacking plants frequently recruit recent immigrants who are willing to work hard for low pay on assembly lines that turn living cattle into frozen hamburger at record speed. To keep up the pace, plant workers often abuse methamphetamine. Meatpacking has become the most hazardous occupation in the US, with three times the injury rate of factory work. Each year, at least one-third of all meatpackers are injured on the job.

Concentrating cattle into large feedlots and herding them through processing assembly lines operated by poorly trained employees increase the risk of large-scale food poisoning. Manure gets mixed with meat, contaminating it with salmonella and Escherichia coli 0157:H7. Schlosser reports a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) study that found 78.6% of ground beef contained microbes spread primarily by fecal material. Because of current processing methods, each contaminated carcass is distributed to a large number of people. The typical frozen hamburger that is used in fast-food restaurants contains meat from dozens or hundreds of cattle, multiplying the risk of food poisoning.

E. coli 0157:H7 is one of the worst forms of food poisoning. Usually spread through undercooked hamburgers, it’s difficult to treat. Although antibiotics kill the bacteria, they release a toxin that produces dreadful complications. About 4% of people infected with E. coli 0157:H7 develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, and about 5% of children who develop the syndrome die. E. coli 0157:H7 has become the leading cause of renal failure among American kids.

Meat also can become poisoned as it’s processed into hot dogs or bologna. The US Food and Drug Administration and the USDA recently warned that children under six and pregnant women should avoid hot dogs and sandwich meats unless they’re thoroughly cooked, due to the risk of Listeria monocytogenes infection. Once mixed into food, L. monocytogenes continues to multiply, despite refrigeration. Usually, it causes mild flu-like symptoms, but it can turn deadly in young children. Pregnant women are 20 times more susceptible to infection, which may lead to miscarriage or stillbirth. Each year, L. monocytogenes causes 2,500 serious illnesses and 500 deaths. As food processing is concentrated among fewer and fewer facilities, large-scale contamination becomes more likely. Last year, for example, agricultural giant Cargill recalled almost 17 million pounds of processed poultry products due to the risk of L. monocytogenes.

Jeffrey Zurlinden, RN, MS, is a Nursing Spectrum contributing writer.

Bibliography

Kilman S. Listeria outbreak in Cargill turkey poses problems for meat industry. Wall Street Journal. December 20, 2000:84.
Kulman 1. Pregnant women get no bologna — or shark or brie. U.S. News & World Report. 2001; 1 30(4}:52.
Marcus M. Organic foods offer peace of mind — at a price. U.S. News & World Report. 2001;130(2):48-50.
Schiosser E. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin; 2001.
US Food and Drug Administration.

FDA issues letter to industry on food containing botanical and other novel ingredients.

Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Food/DietarySupplements/Alerts/ucm111188.htm