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In the News / All about Trump: A presumed golden touch dims on closer look
« Last post by Little Feather on October 14, 2016, 12:17:52 PM »
All about Trump: A presumed golden touch dims on closer look

WASHINGTON (AP) — There's nothing like a presidential campaign to shine a bright light into the nooks, crannies and back alleys of a candidate's life. And there's nothing like Donald Trump in the annals of U.S. politics.

Some of what's been revealed about Trump's predatory personal interactions, business dealings, legal tactics and management style would come as no surprise to those who've made a career out of following the billionaire's rise to prominence. But ordinary Americans who began the 2016 campaign with a passing impression of Trump as the outspoken mogul of "Apprentice" fame now have far more information to draw upon as Election Day nears.

Despite his curated image as the businessman with the golden touch, Trump's track record in business isn't as magical as he would have people think. Yes, he is rich. Yes, he has had his share of success. But he's also kept company with any number of questionable business associates, had quite a share of projects go bust, left a string of contractors in the lurch, exaggerated his wealth and bragged of using his star power to impose himself sexually on women.

Another thing people discovered about Trump this year is all the things they still don't know. He hasn't released his tax returns, records of charitable giving, detailed medical records, immigration files for his wife and more. That penchant for secrecy is coupled with an aggressive strategy to muzzle business and campaign employees by requiring them to sign nondisclosure agreements.

A look at some of what's been learned about Trump during the campaign:

—TAX TURMOIL. Trump is the first presidential nominee in four decades to refuse to release his tax returns. The secrecy has spawned speculation that Trump doesn't pay federal income taxes, isn't as wealthy as he claims or is hiding something else about his business entanglements. The intrigue deepened when The New York Times reported that Trump lost so much in one year that he could have avoided federal income taxes for as many as 18 years. Trump subsequently admitted that he had paid no federal income taxes for many years.

—TV TURMOIL. From the outside, NBC's "The Apprentice" was an instant hit that helped turn Trump into a household name, even if its ratings did slip over time. Insiders told AP that Trump repeatedly demeaned female crew and contestants over the years, rating women by the size of their breasts and talking about which ones he'd like to have sex with. None of that made it into the show, of course. But the revelations added to persistent questions about Trump's behavior toward women.

—BEYOND BANTER. Days after "The Apprentice" revelations, The Washington Post came out with a 2005 video in which Trump is captured bragging about kissing women at will, groping their genitals and trying to have sex with them. Trump dismissed the explosive video as nothing more than locker-room banter and said he'd never done the things he talked about in the video. But it caused a number of top GOP officials to call for Trump to step down from the ticket and prompted a number of women, outraged by his denials, to step forward to say they had been targets of his lechery.

—CHARITABLE GIVING. Trump claims he's given millions to charity. But there's a big question mark about that. An AP investigation found that the overwhelming majority of recent gifts distributed by the Trump Foundation had been made with other people's money, not contributions from the candidate. And it turns out Trump has used his foundation's money to pay legal settlements for his for-profit businesses, The Washington Post reported. The New York attorney general's office this month ordered Trump's foundation to stop fundraising immediately in the state, saying it isn't registered to do so.

—SHADY CHARACTERS. For all Trump's talk about seeking out the best people, his business associates over the years have included a significant number of questionable characters . He partnered with the son of an Azerbaijani government minister suspected by U.S. diplomats of laundering money for Iran's military. He named a Mafia-linked government informant as a senior adviser and supported a convicted cocaine dealer in a letter to a federal judge. He hired a convicted felon to be the superintendent of Trump Tower. On two development deals, he partnered with convicted criminals, one convicted in a Mafia-linked stock fraud scheme. More recently, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort resigned after AP reported that he had helped a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party secretly route at least $2.2 million to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012, doing so in a way that effectively obscured the party's efforts to influence U.S. policy.

—CASINO WOES. Trump's six corporate bankruptcies after his big gamble on three Atlantic City casinos were no secret when he began his campaign, but the circumstances have come into sharper focus over the past year. Trump continues to blame his casinos' troubles on an economic downturn that walloped the whole industry. But in fact, two of his casinos' bankruptcies occurred in years when overall Atlantic City gambling revenue was rising.

—UNPAID BILLS. Multiple reports over the past year have documented Trump's refusal to pay various contractors who worked for him. USA Today found at least 60 lawsuits, as well as hundreds of liens, judgments and other government filings that document people who accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them. The Wall Street Journal, likewise, documented hardball tactics that shortchanged Trump's suppliers. During the bankruptcy of the Taj Mahal Casino in the early 1990s, some contractors who'd helped Trump build the property went under because Trump's company didn't pay what it owed them — millions of dollars in some cases. Trump refused to pay in full 253 contractors who had helped build the Taj. Trump's bankers gave him a $450,000 monthly allowance while his debts were renegotiated.

—HEAD START. Trump perpetuates a self-made-man persona, stressing that he started out with a "small" $1 million loan from his father that he later repaid. He doesn't mention that he also received loan guarantees, bailouts and a drawdown from his future inheritance. Reporter Tim O'Brien noted in a 2005 book that Trump drew $10 million from his future inheritance during hard times, and inherited a share of his father's real estate holdings, which were worth hundreds of millions when they were eventually sold off.

—BRANDING. In recent years, Trump has been known more for licensing use of his name than for building things. Not all those branding deals have been seamless. Condo buyers at failed Trump-named properties in Fort Lauderdale, Florida , Tampa, Florida , and Baja, Mexico , have claimed in lawsuits that the billionaire misled them into believing he was more involved in the projects than just lending his name. Trump won the Fort Lauderdale case and settled those in Baja and Tampa.

—TRUMP UNIVERSITY. Trump faces class-action lawsuits in California and New York alleging that his Trump University, which offered real estate seminars and classes around the country, pressed students to pay up to $35,000 for mentorships and failed at its promise to teach success in the business. While marketing materials said that Trump had "handpicked" employees for the operation, in court testimony he acknowledged that he couldn't recall names of his employees. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued Trump University in 2013 alleging it had committed fraud and fleeced 5,000 people out of millions of dollars.

—LEGAL TACTICS. Trump caused a firestorm when he complained in February that Gonzalo Curiel, the judge handling the California Trump University class-action lawsuit, couldn't be fair, citing the judge's Mexican heritage. Trump also tried to get a judge pulled off a New York case in 2011, and he called the judge on a 2009 case biased.

—MODELS-IMMIGRATION. Cracking down on illegal immigration has been a huge part of Trump's campaign pitch, but his own modeling agency has come under scrutiny for its use of foreign models who came to the U.S. on tourist visas that did not allow them to work in the country. Mother Jones reported that Trump Model Management profited from work by models who didn't have work visas.

—BUSINESS DEBT. Trump's substantial real estate holdings also represent a substantial pile of debt. The New York Times reported that while Trump promotes himself as beholden to no one, his companies have at least $650 million in debt. It also reported that much of his wealth is tied up in passive partnerships that owe an additional $2 billion to various lenders.

—WHAT TRUMP SAID. BuzzFeed listened to dozens of Trump appearances on "The Howard Stern Show" from the late 1990s through the 2000s. Its headline pretty well summed up the results: "Donald Trump said a lot of gross things about women on 'Howard Stern.'"

—MADE IN AMERICA? For all of Trump's emphasis on keeping jobs in the U.S., it turns out Trump's private companies and the clothing line run by his daughter Ivanka routinely sell clothes and other products made in China and other Asian countries.

—ZIP IT. The say-anything candidate has a thing against loose lips. In both his businesses and his presidential campaign, Trump requires nearly everyone to sign legally binding nondisclosure agreements that keep them from releasing any confidential or disparaging information about Trump, his family or his companies. He's not afraid to sue those he thinks violate the confidentiality agreements.

—LAWSUITS GALORE. When Trump isn't happy with his business partners or patrons, he's not afraid to sue. On the flip side, his businesses have attracted an outsized share of lawsuits over the years. A USA Today investigation found that Trump and his businesses have been involved in thousands of suits over the past 30 years. Nearly half the suits were related to his casinos, and most of those involved suits against gamblers who failed to pay their debts. In the first presidential debate, Hillary Clinton highlighted a discrimination case from 1973, when the Justice Department sued Trump and his father for refusing to rent apartments at one of their developments to blacks. Trump said the suit was settled without an admission of guilt. The government said in the settlement that Trump and his father had "failed and neglected" to comply with the Fair Housing Act.


Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at:

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Donald Trump, Government and politics, United States Presidential Election, Events, Presidential elections, 2016 United States Presidential Election, Campaigns, National elections, Elections, United States, Hillary Clinton, Business, Campaign finance, Government business and finance, Social issues, Social affairs, Political fundraising, Campaign contributions, Immigration, National governments, Florida, National taxes, Government taxation and revenue, Government finance, Law and order, Lawsuits, Legal proceedings, Consumer product manufacturing, Consumer products and services, Gambling industry, Consumer services, Casino operators, Hospitality and leisure industry, Tampa, Eric Schneiderman, Class action lawsuits, Fort Lauderdale, Howard Stern, Paul Manafort, Legal settlements, Textiles, apparel and accessories manufacturing, Apparel manufacturing
FARMER'S FORUM / Landowner GIS mapping course and map packages
« Last post by alaliber on October 06, 2016, 03:31:44 AM »
Learn how to map your land using open source software and freely available data. This self-paced, video-based course on DVD is an excellent introduction to digital mapping tools (GIS) for landowners or permaculture designers. It will allow you to visualize the terrain of the land, perform site planning based on slope, aspect, and other features, and use GIS maps with open source software and Google Earth. You will learn where to obtain freely available aerial photos, topographic data, soil maps, and other spatial layers, and how to view and manipulate the data. Details at:
For those that prefer a final product, I offer different levels of map packages that include the finest detail mapping layers available for your property. The products can be customized to your land and needs, include free visualization software, and require no specialized mapping knowledge. Details at

Andrea Laliberte
Brownsville, Oregon

A unique market offering, Jerusalem Artichokes are also known as Sunchokes.

A high-yielding, carefree crop for additional winter sales. This extra-early strain produces large, white, potato-like tubers often weighing over 1/2 lb. each. They store well and can be eaten raw or cooked. The tall, 6-8', plants with bright yellow blooms make an attractive windbreak, helping to prevent soil erosion. Flowers in July and matures over a month before common varieties. Winter hardy in severe cold. Perennial in Zones 3-8. Organically grown at Resilience Research Farm in Missouri.  I have been growing this Stampede strain since 1995.  Many others are sold out now, but I have over 2000# of tubers that can be shipped after the first frost (usually in early November).

First orders in, first shipped out.  More info e-mail me at Herm (dot) NaturesPace (at) or order from

Jerusalem artichokes, Jerusalem artichoke tubers, Jerusalem artichoke tubers for sale, Jerusalem artichokes to eat,  Organic Jerusalem artichokes, sunchokes, sunchoke tubers, 
Growers urged to be on lookout for fall emergence of invasive onion pest

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- An insect that attacks onions, leeks, garlic and related crops may be emerging now in parts of Pennsylvania, and growers should be prepared to take measures to manage the pest, according to a Penn State entomologist.

The allium leafminer, which never had been seen in the Western Hemisphere until its discovery last winter in Pennsylvania, produces two generations per year, and the second generation could emerge in September or October, according to Shelby Fleischer, professor of entomology in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

"The adults that emerged in the spring laid eggs, and the resulting larvae fed during the spring, in some cases causing serious crop damage," Fleischer said. "Then the larvae or pupae entered a long resting stage that carried them through the summer. After pupating, they will emerge as adults in the fall, when they will lay another round of eggs. So it's important to manage any infestations now before they can start another generation."

As the eggs laid in the fall hatch into larvae, they will mine leaves before moving downward into the base of leaves or into bulbs, where they will pupate and overwinter, emerging as adults in the spring, likely between March and May.

The allium leafminer -- also known as the onion leafminer -- is a threat to several species of crop plants in the Allium genus, such as onion, leek, garlic, chive, shallot and green onion. Fleischer noted that the insect's full range of host plants is unknown.

The invasive pest's first confirmed U.S. appearance was in Lancaster County, where it was found infesting leeks and onions. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture since has reported confirmed infestations in at least 12 additional southeastern Pennsylvania counties.

Native to Germany and Poland, the allium leafminer's geographic range has been expanding rapidly, most likely transported with commercial cargo, in shipments of affected crop plants or in passenger baggage, according to state agriculture officials.

"More research is needed to assess the potential impact of allium leafminer under Pennsylvania conditions, but literature from other countries suggests that organic and market-garden production systems and home gardens tend to experience more damage than conventional production systems," Fleischer said.

"Conventional growers may have fewer problems due to the insecticidal controls they are likely to use and to shorter time windows in which host plants are available," he said. "However, wild Allium species that exist as weeds in our agroecosystems may alter this."

Plant symptoms occur when female leafminers make repeated punctures in leaf tissue with their ovipositors, and both females and males feed on the plant fluids. Plant damage results from the larvae mining into leaf tissue and at the base of plants into leaf sheaths or bulbs. Both the leaf punctures and mines serve as entry routes for bacterial and fungal pathogens.

"Leaf punctures arranged in a linear pattern towards the distal end of leaves may be the first sign of damage," Fleischer said. "Leaves can be wavy, curled and distorted."

He said high rates of infestation were reported in early spring 2016. "There can be from 20 to 100 pupae per plant, and 100 percent of plants in a field may be infested."

Allium leafminer adults are small grey or matblack-colored flies with a distinctive yellow or orange patch on the top and front of the head and yellow on the side of the abdomen. They hold their wings horizontally over their abdomen when at rest. Their legs have distinctive yellow "knees."

The larvae are headless white, cream or yellowish maggots, measuring up to 8 millimeters long at their final instar. The insect's pupa stage is dark brown and 3.5 millimeters long.

Although more research is needed to determine how to monitor effectively for the active adult stage, growers can use yellow sticky cards or yellow plastic bowls containing soapy water to capture adults. Excluding the pest by covering plants starting in February and continuing through spring emergence of adults may help to protect crops.

In addition, Fleischer suggested that infestation rates can be reduced by delaying planting until late spring to avoid the adult egg-laying period. Covering fall plantings during the second generation flight also can be effective.

"Systemic and contact insecticides can be effective, but EPA registrations vary among Allium crops," he said. "Check labels to ensure the crop is listed and for rates and days-to-harvest intervals."

More information about the allium leafminer is available online at


EDITORS: Contact Shelby Fleischer at 814-863-7788 or

Chuck Gill
Penn State Ag Sciences News
814-863-2713 office
814-441-0305 cell
Conferences, Workshops, Farm Tours / Cheesemaking short course
« Last post by Little Feather on August 19, 2016, 02:45:54 AM »
 Science and Art of Cheese Making Short Course offered Nov. 7-10


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Farmstead and artisan dairy processors and others interested in cheese are invited to take a short course presented by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences in which they can learn about the ingredients and processes used to make specialty cheese.


The four-day course, from Monday, Nov.7 through Thursday, Nov.10, will also include techniques cheesemakers can implement to improve their businesses. Offered in the Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building on the University Park Campus -- the same building that houses the Penn State Berkey Creamery -- classes will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

The course begins with a focus on the materials used for cheese making. Knowledge of milk composition and milk microbiology combined with good sanitation practices form the foundation for consistent manufacture of high-quality cheese, according to Kerry Kaylegian, Penn State dairy foods research and extension associate and course coordinator.

"Cheese making will be discussed with an emphasis on the chemical and microbial changes at each step in the process," she said. "Understanding changes that occur in cheese throughout manufacture allows cheesemakers to adjust their make procedure to modify finished cheese properties or in response to variations in milk supply and other factors."

Hands-on laboratories include a microbiology testing session and making several varieties of cheese in the pilot plant. The sensory evaluation session integrates principles learned in lectures and labs and illustrates how cheese evaluation can be used to troubleshoot manufacturing problems.

Food-safety principles, including HACCP, are presented to enable cheesemakers to comply with current and anticipated regulations. The course encourages interaction among the students and course instructors during lectures, labs, breaks, meals and at the wine and cheese reception.

For more information or to register, go to the course's website, .



Jeff Mulhollem

Penn State Ag Sciences News

814-863-2719 (office)

814-934-6477 (mobile)

Eat Well / Ten foods that unclog arteries
« Last post by Little Feather on August 08, 2016, 01:11:01 PM »
10 foods that unclog arteries :

Soluble oat fiber is the main ingredient that doesn’t allow the increase of cholesterol. These fibers will help you regulate and eject the bad cholesterol.

Recommended dosage is 2 cups of cooked oats on daily basis.

    Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice stimulates cells absorption of fast and boosts energy. The juice also protects from fat accumulation in the blood vessels. For optimal results, drink 3 cups of cranberry on weekly basis.


Pomegranate represents a powerful antioxidant that can help you fight off hardening of the arteries. This is because it can reduce damage done to the blood vessels and prevent the progression of the disease.


Spinach is rich a rich source of potassium and folic acid. Spinach can help in the prevention of hypertension. It frees the arteries by preventing the formation of bad cholesterol, thus leading to prevention from heart attacks. Lutein is another important component of spinach which acts as a good protector against macular degeneration associated with aging.


Flavonoids, resveratrol and quercetin are pretty much the most important and useful ingredients in grapes. They are exceptionally good in preventing the oxidation of cholesterol that leads to the formation of plaque on artery walls. Grapes help reduce the risk of developing blood clots, a condition that can lead to heart disease.


We all know that fish is one of the best sources of omega-3 oils, oils that can prevent accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries. Or more specifically, they prevent oxidation of cholesterol, which is a formation of clots. This was confirmed by a study performed at the University of Southampton.

    Kiwi and melon
Due to the high content of antioxidants and their power to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol, one cup a day will suffice.

Garlic has been used in traditional medicine forever. The various health benefits make this vegetable unique. Garlic is exceptionally good for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. It can help with high blood pressure, prevention and treatment of heart diseases, prevention of coronary artery calcification.

    Olive oil
Olive oil is in this category because it contains monounsaturated fats, which are very effective in eliminating bad cholesterol.

Tomatoes contain lycopene, a compound that can help prevent the hardening of the arteries. Studies are showing that this compound is exceptionally good in preventing of the hardening of the arteries. The research also showed that women, who had higher levels of lycopene in their blood, had fewer problems with the arteries.

In the News / Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy
« Last post by Little Feather on July 23, 2016, 04:42:58 AM »
Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy

Washington Post Editorial 7/23/2016

DONALD J. TRUMP, until now a Republican problem, this week became a challenge the nation must confront and overcome. The real estate tycoon is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament. He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions. Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together. His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew.

Any one of these characteristics would be disqualifying; together, they make Mr. Trump a peril. We recognize that this is not the usual moment to make such a statement. In an ordinary election year, we would acknowledge the Republican nominee, move on to the Democratic convention and spend the following months, like other voters, evaluating the candidates’ performance in debates, on the stump and in position papers. This year we will follow the campaign as always, offering honest views on all the candidates. But we cannot salute the Republican nominee or pretend that we might endorse him this fall. A Trump presidency would be dangerous for the nation and the world.

Why are we so sure? Start with experience. It has been 64 years since a major party nominated anyone for president who did not have electoral experience. That experiment turned out pretty well — but Mr. Trump, to put it mildly, is no Dwight David Eisenhower. Leading the Allied campaign to liberate Europe from the Nazis required strategic and political skills of the first order, and Eisenhower — though he liked to emphasize his common touch as he faced the intellectual Democrat Adlai Stevenson — was shrewd, diligent, humble and thoughtful.

Donald Trump painted a dark picture of America during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, but some of his doomsday stats are rather dubious. The Post's Fact Checker examined 25 of his key claims. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

In contrast, there is nothing on Mr. Trump’s résumé to suggest he could function successfully in Washington. He was staked in the family business by a well-to-do father and has pursued a career marked by some real estate successes, some failures and repeated episodes of saving his own hide while harming people who trusted him. Given his continuing refusal to release his tax returns, breaking with a long bipartisan tradition, it is only reasonable to assume there are aspects of his record even more discreditable than what we know.

The lack of experience might be overcome if Mr. Trump saw it as a handicap worth overcoming. But he displays no curiosity, reads no books and appears to believe he needs no advice. In fact, what makes Mr. Trump so unusual is his combination of extreme neediness and unbridled arrogance. He is desperate for affirmation but contemptuous of other views. He also is contemptuous of fact. Throughout the campaign, he has unspooled one lie after another — that Muslims in New Jersey celebrated after 9/11, that his tax-cut plan would not worsen the deficit, that he opposed the Iraq War before it started — and when confronted with contrary evidence, he simply repeats the lie. It is impossible to know whether he convinces himself of his own untruths or knows that he is wrong and does not care. It is also difficult to know which trait would be more frightening in a commander in chief.

Given his ignorance, it is perhaps not surprising that Mr. Trump offers no coherence when it comes to policy. In years past, he supported immigration reform, gun control and legal abortion; as candidate, he became a hard-line opponent of all three. Even in the course of the campaign, he has flip-flopped on issues such as whether Muslims should be banned from entering the United States and whether women who have abortions should be punished . Worse than the flip-flops is the absence of any substance in his agenda. Existing trade deals are “stupid,” but Mr. Trump does not say how they could be improved. The Islamic State must be destroyed, but the candidate offers no strategy for doing so. Eleven million undocumented immigrants must be deported, but Mr. Trump does not tell us how he would accomplish this legally or practically.

What the candidate does offer is a series of prejudices and gut feelings, most of them erroneous. Allies are taking advantage of the United States. Immigrants are committing crimes and stealing jobs. Muslims hate America. In fact, Japan and South Korea are major contributors to an alliance that has preserved a peace of enormous benefit to Americans. Immigrants commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans and take jobs that no one else will. Muslims are the primary victims of Islamist terrorism, and Muslim Americans, including thousands who have served in the military, are as patriotic as anyone else.

The Trump litany of victimization has resonated with many Americans whose economic prospects have stagnated. They deserve a serious champion, and the challenges of inequality and slow wage growth deserve a serious response. But Mr. Trump has nothing positive to offer, only scapegoats and dark conspiracy theories. He launched his campaign by accusing Mexico of sending rapists across the border, and similar hatefulness has surfaced numerous times in the year since.

In a dangerous world, Mr. Trump speaks blithely of abandoning NATO, encouraging more nations to obtain nuclear weapons and cozying up to dictators who in fact wish the United States nothing but harm. For eight years, Republicans have criticized President Obama for “apologizing” for America and for weakening alliances. Now they put forward a candidate who mimics the vilest propaganda of authoritarian adversaries about how terrible the United States is and how unfit it is to lecture others. He has made clear that he would drop allies without a second thought. The consequences to global security could be disastrous.

Most alarming is Mr. Trump’s contempt for the Constitution and the unwritten democratic norms upon which our system depends. He doesn’t know what is in the nation’s founding document. When asked by a member of Congress about Article I, which enumerates congressional powers, the candidate responded, “I am going to abide by the Constitution whether it’s number 1, number 2, number 12, number 9.” The charter has seven articles.

Worse, he doesn’t seem to care about its limitations on executive power. He has threatened that those who criticize him will suffer when he is president. He has vowed to torture suspected terrorists and bomb their innocent relatives, no matter the illegality of either act. He has vowed to constrict the independent press. He went after a judge whose rulings angered him, exacerbating his contempt for the independence of the judiciary by insisting that the judge should be disqualified because of his Mexican heritage. Mr. Trump has encouraged and celebrated violence at his rallies. The U.S. democratic system is strong and has proved resilient when it has been tested before. We have faith in it. But to elect Mr. Trump would be to knowingly subject it to threat.

Mr. Trump campaigns by insult and denigration, insinuation and wild accusation: Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; Hillary Clinton may be guilty of murder; Mr. Obama is a traitor who wants Muslims to attack. The Republican Party has moved the lunatic fringe onto center stage, with discourse that renders impossible the kind of substantive debate upon which any civil democracy depends.

Most responsible Republican leaders know all this to be true; that is why Mr. Trump had to rely so heavily on testimonials by relatives and employees during this week’s Republican convention. With one exception (Bob Dole), the living Republican presidents and presidential nominees of the past three decades all stayed away. But most current officeholders, even those who declared Mr. Trump to be an unthinkable choice only months ago, have lost the courage to speak out.

The party’s failure of judgment leaves the nation’s future where it belongs, in the hands of voters. Many Americans do not like either candidate this year . We have criticized the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, in the past and will do so again when warranted. But we do not believe that she (or the Libertarian and Green party candidates, for that matter) represents a threat to the Constitution. Mr. Trump is a unique and present danger.
Thoughts and Ideas / Chickens Can Protect You From Malaria
« Last post by Little Feather on July 22, 2016, 07:42:53 AM »
 Chickens Can Protect You From Malaria

Deadly mosquitoes take one whiff of chickens and fly off as fast as they can.
Malaria-transmitting mosquitoes avoid chickens, according to a new study that finds the deadly insects take a whiff of chickens and turn in the other direction.

Odors emitted by chickens and possibly other species could therefore provide protection for humans at risk of getting mosquito-transmitted diseases like malaria, reports the study, published in the Malaria Journal.

"We were surprised to find that malaria mosquitoes are repelled by the odors emitted by chickens," co-author Rickard Ignell of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences said in a press release.

"This study," he continued, "shows for the first time that malaria mosquitoes actively avoid feeding on certain animal species, and that this behavior is regulated through odor cues."

To determine which species the mosquitoes prefer as prey, Ignell and his colleagues collected data on the population of human and domestic animals in three Ethiopian villages. They also collected blood-fed mosquitoes to test for the source of the blood that the mosquitoes had fed on.

The researchers discovered that while the mosquito Anopheles arabiensis strongly prefers human over animal blood when seeking dinner, it randomly feeds on cattle, goats and sheep when outdoors. In all settings, however, it avoids chickens, according to the new study.

The scientists next isolated compounds found in chicken feathers and placed them in mosquito traps set in 11 thatched houses in the villages. In at least one residence, the researchers even placed a live chicken in a cage near the trap. A single volunteer, aged between 27 and 36 years old, slept under an untreated bed net in each of the houses.

The study period lasted 11 days. Control traps were deployed as well, using hair, wool and feathers from other types of birds.

Ignell and his team found that significantly fewer mosquitoes were caught in traps baited with chicken compounds than in control traps. The live chicken also worked wonders in repelling the blood-sucking insects.

"People in sub-Saharan Africa have suffered considerably under the burden of malaria over an extended period of time and mosquitoes are becoming increasingly physiologically resistant to pesticides, while also changing their feeding habits, for example, by moving from indoors to outdoors," Ignell said.

"For this reason there is a need to develop novel control methods," he added. "In our study, we have been able to identify a number of natural odor compounds which could repel host-seeking malaria mosquitoes and prevent them from getting in contact with people."

Maybe we'll all be spritzing ourselves with eau de chicken as a result, if the goal is to ward off mosquitoes and the diseases that they can carry.

As for sleeping next to a live chicken, people living in the areas in which the research was conducted share their living quarters with their livestock, so having an actual chicken close by at night would not necessarily be unusual and could offer health benefits until the researchers are better able to pinpoint the mosquito-repelling compounds.

In the News / Animals healing humans a new focus
« Last post by Little Feather on July 22, 2016, 05:44:28 AM »
 Animals healing humans a new focus at Ag Progress Days Equine Experience


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Animal lovers may instinctively know it, but many people may not realize the therapeutic value of our domesticated four-legged friends. Visitors who come to the Equine Exhibits Building at Penn State's Ag Progress Days, Aug. 16-18, can learn more about how animals help humans heal.


"People connect with animals, sometimes when they cannot connect with people," said Ann Macrina, senior instructor in the College of Agricultural Sciences' Department of Animal Science and coordinator of the Ag Progress Days Equine Experience.


Macrina pointed out that using animals to improve human health is a new research initiative for the National Institutes of Health. "While we've long known the emotional and physical benefits for people, medical field personnel are now embracing use of animals in the treatment and healing process," she said.


Several activities at the event will illustrate how animals help people, Macrina noted. For example, psychologist and behaviorist Dr. Gesa Wellenstein will present a session on how she uses dogs and horses in her practice to treat psychological issues.


Service dogs act as guide dogs for the blind while others serve as health-detection dogs. They can sense cancer, low blood sugar and impending seizures in their owners. Nancy Dreschel, instructor in small animal science at Penn State, will discuss raising these puppies and how they will go on to become service dogs.


Therapeutic riding provides an opportunity for those with disabilities to improve their physical and mental well-being through riding horses. For those who can't or don't wish to ride, interaction with horses provides great psychological benefit, Macrina said. As prey animals, horses often react visibly to people's emotions, providing for instant feedback and reflection in a nonjudgmental way.


Hands On Therapeutic Riding and the Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Association will be on hand to provide information on physical and psychological therapies for people with physical or emotional challenges. These include cerebral palsy, attention deficit disorder and confidence building, to name a few. In addition, Victory Therapeutic Horsemanship will provide information on how its program helps veterans.


Miniature horses will greet visitors all three days. "Children and adults in wheelchairs really connect with the miniature horses because they aren't daunted by their size," Macrina explained.

Sponsored by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, Ag Progress Days is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, nine miles southwest of State College on Route 45. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 16; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 17; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 18. Admission and parking are free.

For more information, visit the Ag Progress Days website at Twitter users can share information about the event using the hashtag #agprogressdays, and Facebook users can find the event at



EDITORS: Ann Macrina can be reached at 814-863-4202 or at .



More than 600 people have gotten sick so far this year in outbreaks of Salmonella traced to pet chickens or ducks kept in backyard flocks. And health officials are warning that as tempting as it might be to nuzzle up to a fluffy chick, owners of poultry pets should rein in the affection to protect themselves from illness.

Forty-five states have reported outbreaks of Salmonella linked to live poultry in backyard flocks this year, the CDC said this week. A total of 611 people have been infected, including 138 who had to be hospitalized. One patient died, although Salmonella was not considered the main cause of death.

The CDC said this is the largest number of illnesses linked to live poultry on record; there were about 180 such cases in the first six months of last year.

The outbreaks -- eight since January of this year -- have affected people of all ages. One-third of infections have been in children under 5 years old.

All live poultry can carry Salmonella bacteria, even if they look healthy and clean, health officials warned. People can be infected by coming in contact with bird droppings. But there are steps you can take to avoid illness:

    Don't kiss chickens and ducks or bring them close to the face.
    Always wash hands well with soap and water after handling feathered pets, and keep hands away from the face.
    Don't let live poultry inside the house.
    Don't let kids under 5 handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry without adult supervision.

Internist Dr. Len Horovitz, an attending physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said symptoms of salmonella infection include nausea and vomiting.

"You may or may not have blood in the stool. Fevers, chills, abdominal pain," he said.

Antibiotics are used to treat patients, but those with more severe symptoms may require hospitalization for intravenous medication.

"It doesn't go away by itself. Once Salmonella gets in the body, it can go from the gastrointestinal tract if it's untreated into the bloodstream and become fatal," Horovitz said.

Bird owners who fell ill in the most recent outbreaks said they purchased live baby poultry from a variety of locations -- feed supply stores, websites, hatcheries and friends. Contact with the birds occurred in a variety of places including the owner's homes, someone else's home, at work and in schools.

"Children don't have to own pets to get it," Horovitz said, advising parents to think twice about offering to take home the classroom pet duck for the weekend or vacation.

Dr. Sherrill Davison, director of the Laboratory of Avian Medicine and Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, told CBS News that people should only buy baby chicks and ducks from reputable sources.

"The USDA and CDC have programs in place for hatcheries and for the feed stores that sell the baby chicks or ducklings to reduce the incidence of Salmonella," said Davison.
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Just how many small poultry flocks there are throughout the U.S. is unknown, she said, but there's been lots of interest in recent years in keeping poultry as pets -- including "layers" that produce fresh eggs for their owners. Pet flocks can now be found in cities and suburbs all over the country, not just rural areas. But issues with Salmonella may crop up when people don't care for their chickens and ducks properly.

Like other family pets, chickens and ducks need fresh water and food, clean living areas, good ventilation, and protection from predators, Davison said. Cage cleaning and keeping separate clothes and shoes used solely for handling and caring for poultry will reduce the risk of infection.

Davison said that the birds can carry salmonella in their intestines but may not show any symptoms, so avoid eating eggs that have any fecal matter on the shells or eggs that had cracks because they may have become contaminated.

"When you're in the coop area, it is essential whether it's a young person or adult, to wash your hands. The key also is not having birds in your house, especially near food preparation areas. I really do advise against that," said Davison.

If you buy new birds, she said, wait at least three weeks before adding them to your existing flock. Keep wild birds -- which can carry Salmonella and other diseases that can infect poultry -- at a distance by not hanging wild bird feeders nearby.

And just like dogs and cats, pet chicks and ducks should have a veterinarian, too, Davison said.

"Sometimes the information on the internet isn't correct and sometimes it can hurt the bird and is damaging to welfare of the bird. Call someone to help you," she said.

"You can talk with universities in your state that have veterinary schools, and also talk with your state's department of agriculture to people who can help with advice for backyard flocks," Davison said.
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