Venezuelan Parents Giving Up Children They Can’t Feed

Venezuelans have been experiencing food shortages off and on for several years, but the shortages have been especially bad and getting worse over the last couple of years during the current economic crisis there.  Roughly 90% of Venezuelan families cannot afford to feed their families as the inflation rate over the past twelve months reached over 4000%. The inflation rate for the month of January, alone, was 84% which would have prices doubling every 35 days.

According to a recent report:

…the sheer number of children being taken to orphanages and child-custody centers has increased so much that public institutions for vulnerable children are “collapsing,” and private organizations are struggling to take in the others. The number of children being abandoned on the streets is also increasing at alarming rates.

A Venezuelan social worker provided the Post with a heartbreaking quote that captured the desperation of the situation.

“They can’t feed their children,” said Magdelis Salazar in reference to poverty-stricken parents. “They are giving them up not because they don’t love them but because they do.”

…As this reality affects parents who struggle to provide for their children, placing them in the care of a foster organization is becoming an increasingly common decision. One mother told the Post that she hoped she would one day be able to collect her children from the agency she was forced to leave them at.

“You don’t know what it’s like to see your children go hungry,” she said. “You have no idea. I feel like I’m responsible, like I’ve failed them.”

Related:

Household Food Security Preparedness (pdf) – World Health Organization

WA 16th District Town Hall, Tues, Feb. 6th, 2018

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I’d like to invite you to join me, and Rep. Terry Nealey, for a telephone town hall meeting from 6-7 p.m. this Tuesday, Feb. 6. This is an opportunity for you to receive an update on the latest issues before the Legislature that could affect you and your neighbors across the 16th District.

What:                          16th District telephone town hall

 When:                         Tuesday, Feb. 6

 Time:                           6-7 p.m.

 Call-in number:          (509) 204-7030

The program is much like a radio talk show. When you are ready to ask a question, simply press the “star” (*) key on your telephone keypad.

By hosting a telephone town hall, we’re offering you the ability to ask questions of us about your concerns and interests regarding legislation and state government, all from the comfort of your home. We look forward to talking with you!

It’s an honor to serve you!

Sincerely,

Bill Jenkin

FBI Did Not Want Body Cams At Fatal Roadblock

From Redoubt News, FBI Did Not Want Body Cams At Fatal Roadblock:

More information has been released on the fateful day that LaVoy Finicum was murdered on a lonely highway north of Burns, Oregon.

In January 2016, a Dead-man’s roadblock was set up on Hwy 395, seemingly by order of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) top agent in Oregon, Greg Bretzing…

The motion outlines the government’s version of events on January 26, 2016. It also states that the FBI requested the State police were not to wear their standard body cameras.

This is a highly unusual request, especially in the current societal climate. It generally benefits officers to have their actions recorded during potentially dangerous events.

To have the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team specifically request assisting officers not wear them does not bode well for the expected outcome for the civilians involved.

In an additional apparent lack of transparency, they FBI also asked that subsequent interviews with agents not be recorded. This was, again, unusual as questioning is normally recorded, as the FBI well knows.

Read the entire article at Redoubt News by clicking here. And, yet, FBI agents only seem to worry that political attacks are tarnishing the agency’s reputation rather than the agency’s own continued bungling tyranny.

malheur noun mal·heur \ maˈlər \  archaic: misfortune, 1. misery resulting from affliction, 2. an event resulting in great loss and misfortune

 

What the FBI/FISA Memo Really Tells Us

Ron Paul has written an article on What the FBI/FISA Memo Really Tells Us About Our Government

The release of the House Intelligence Committee’s memo on the FBI’s abuse of the FISA process set off a partisan firestorm. The Democrats warned us beforehand that declassifying the memo would be the end the world as we know it. It was reckless to allow Americans to see this classified material, they said. Agents in the field could be harmed, sources and methods would be compromised, they claimed.

Republicans who had seen the memo claimed that it was far worse than Watergate. They said that mass firings would begin immediately after it became public. They said that the criminality of US government agencies exposed by the memo would shock Americans.

Then it was released and the world did not end. FBI agents have thus far not been fired. Seeing “classified” material did not terrify us, but rather it demonstrated clearly that information is kept from us by claiming it is “classified.”

In the end, both sides got it wrong. Here’s what the memo really shows us:

First, the memo demonstrates that there is a “deep state” that does not want things like elections to threaten its existence. Candidate Trump’s repeated promises to get along with Russia and to re-assess NATO so many years after the end of the Cold War were threatening to a Washington that depends on creating enemies to sustain the fear needed to justify a trillion dollar yearly military budget.

Imagine if candidate Trump had kept his campaign promises when he became President. Without the “Russia threat” and without the “China threat” and without the need to dump billions into NATO, we might actually have reaped a “peace dividend” more than a quarter century after the end of the Cold War. That would have starved the war-promoting military-industrial complex and its network of pro-war “think tanks” that populate the Washington Beltway area.

Second, the memo shows us that neither Republicans nor Democrats really care that much about surveillance abuse when average Americans are the victims.

Continue reading at The Ron Paul Institute by clicking here

Inslee Vows to Fight Offshore Oil Drilling

From Washington State Wire, Inslee vows to create hostile environment for potential oil drilling businesses:

…At the beginning of January, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced a five-year plan to expand offshore oil and gas drilling in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans. The plan would open over 90 percent of the outer continental shelf (OCS) to leasing, which surrounds all coastal areas of the continental United States and Alaska.

During a press conference on Monday, AG Ferguson announced that if the Trump Administration moves forward with this plan to drill off Washington’s coast, he will file a lawsuit…

The primary rationale for a lawsuit relates to Zinke’s decision to remove Florida from the list of states that are under consideration for new oil and gas drilling. In a lengthy letter released today, Ferguson says that every reason given to exclude Florida also applies to Washington…

Governor Inslee agreed, pointing to Florida’s Republican governor as the only difference between the two states that both rely on healthy coasts to fuel their economies.

“the only thing [Florida and Washington] have differently is they have a Republican governor, who is running for the US Senate, who has a friend in the white house of his party, and who had a phone call made and got his state protected. Our state has had a phone call made and we’re still not protected.”

Click here to continue reading.

All tourism and recreation of any sort in Washington State’s coastal counties amounted to $3.4 billion (of a $425 billion state GDP, or less than 1%) in 2014.  In Florida, the economic impact of beach tourism alone accounted for $50 billion (of a $764 billion GDP, or 6.5%) in 2012. But the “only difference,” according to Inslee, between the two states is Florida’s Republican governor. Regardless of how one feels about offshore oil drilling, Inslee’s assertion is a bit hard to swallow.

Venezuelan Hunger Turns to Looting

Conditions in Venezuela continue to deteriorate, as their society and economy collapse further. From the PanamPost, Recent Wave of Looting Shows Extent of Hunger in Venezuela

The economic crisis and the food shortage in Venezuela is so serious that looting has become commonplace throughout the country. In January alone, nearly 400 small protests and more than 100 instances of looting have taken place across 19 states, according to the Venezuelan Conflict Observatory.

On Saturday, January 13, Venezuelans began looting for food in the states of Guárico and Zulia.

In Maracaibo — the capital of Zulia — residents looted a supermarket after waiting hours in line to buy corn flour. Violence broke out when they were informed that only members of pro-government community councils could make purchases…

The Bolivarian National Guard has been tasked with keeping the area in order with gunshots and tear gas, but the situation seems irrepressible…

The situation in Venezuela is becoming increasingly worse. Inflation has reached 2,616 percent and the minimum monthly salary is at US $5 — barely enough for a kilo of meat and a carton of 30 eggs…

n January 11, a group of Venezuelans desperate to find food broke into a farm in Merida and dismembered about 40 cows for their meat.

According to Manuel López, President of the Association of Agricultural Producers of the Sur del Lago area, criminals go from farm to farm, extorting producers and asking them to give up an animal. If they don’t,  they destroy everything…

(Twitter)

Cape Town Running Out of Water and SA Land Appropriation

Cape Town, South Africa is expected to run out of water by April 22nd, 2018 due to drought.

One of South Africa’s largest cities, Cape Town, could be the world’s first major municipality to run out of water due to an unprecedented drought.

The city, which is also an iconic tourist destination, has less than a 90-day supply of water left in its reservoirs, meaning residents are forced to ration by taking short showers, flushing the toilet only when necessary and recycling bathing water.

“Day Zero” (or April 22) is when authorities predict the taps will run dry, leaving city officials scrambling to build desalination plants and drill underground water wells.

The drought has been caused by very low rainfall over the past few years and increased water consumption by the city’s growing population.

Cape Town Mayor, Patricia De Lille said its four million residents have to start drastically cutting down on their water. The capped household water usage at 87 litres per person, per day and residents will be fined if they break the rules.

 

Also weighing heavily in South African news, concerns over uncompensated land expropriation continue to heat up.

South Africa could turn into the ultimate paradise if the implementation of the policy of expropriation of land without compensation leads to higher food production, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said in Nongoma, Kwazulu-Natal on Sunday.

“In fact, it is possible for us to begin a process of working the land and improving agriculture – making it a very successful factor in our country,” Ramaphosa said, addressing King Goodwill Zwelithini at Osuthu Palace – explaining the ANC’s decision to implement a policy of land expropriation.

Ramaphosa emphasised that the implementation of the ANC’s policy must not harm the economy, the agriculture sector or food security.

“We can make this country the garden of Eden,” the new ruling party head said at a meeting to introduce the ANC’s new top six leaders to the Zulu king. Ramaphosa said redistributed land must be used productively. He estimated that increased food production could grow the economy by two million jobs…

Above sourced from news24.com

The fight for the land ownership is reaching heated levels apparently – it’s “war against the Boer Afrikaner people”, the Boer Afrikaner Volksraad had warned the ANC.

The Afrikaner activist group says it will not recognise any law that makes nationalisation of land without compensation legal, even if it comes from parliament.

“Deprivation, dispossession and occupation of our country in terms of any law shall be considered formal acts of war against the Boer Afrikaner people, which we have to defend against and retaliate with internationally accepted means and methods in order to ensure our ownership and recovery,” wrote the organisation in Afrikaans.

This after the EFF on Tuesday called for the expropriation of land without compensation in parliament. The motion was tabled by EFF leader Julius Malema, who called for black people to unite in ensuring that section 25 of the constitution is amended so to make it constitutionally possible to nationalise the South African land without compensation.

Above sourced from citizen.co.za

Second Amendment Rally in Olympia, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018

Rally 4 UR Rights will be held on the Capitol steps in Olympia on Friday, January 12th, 2018 from 9:00 am until noon. Washington State arms rights activists are rallying to oppose a slew of gun control bills which Democrats, who now hold the majority in both the state House and Senate, hope to pass.

Very important this year, set aside January 12th. We are going to Olympia to Rally for Our Rights again. This year it is very important as we no longer have the safety net of a state senate to stop anything bad for us. As we do each year we are rallying to our representatives. We will have a short rally at 9:00 AM to discuss the current issues regarding our right to keep and bear arms. Following this all attendees are asked to get to your representatives to meet and discuss the issues with them. This is imperative this year as they need to know our right to keep and bear arms must be protected. We will have a team there to both help you find your reps and to help you write letters to them as well. In the past these have been quite successful. Those attending were able to get to many of their representatives to meet and speak with them. Let’s do this again folks and see if we can get 1000 people there this year. We know it is a weekday so please do whatever is necessary to get that day free. It is more important than ever this year.

Please note: We would like to ask anyone that carries firearms to please keep them holstered or slung. Each of us is responsible for our own actions. That includes both appropriate safety and conducting ourselves in a respectful manner that will reflect positively on the group as a whole. Thanks and can’t wait to see you all there.

Washington State Capitol
416 Sid Snyder Ave SW, Olympia, Washington 98504

Bundy Charges Dismissed with Prejudice

From AZCentral.com Jan. 8, 2018

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his two sons and a militia member will not face a retrial on charges that they led an armed rebellion against federal agents in 2014.

A federal judge on Monday said the federal prosecutors’ conduct was “outrageous” and “violated due process rights” of the defendants.

U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed the charges against the four men “with prejudice,” meaning they cannot face trial again. She said a new trial would not be sufficient to address the problems in the case and would provide the prosecution with an unfair advantage going forward.

The judge criticized both the prosecution and the FBI for not providing evidence to the defense as required under court rules. “The court finds that the universal sense of justice has been violated,” Navarro said…

Click here to continue reading on AZCentral

Related:

USA Today: Cliven Bundy-FBI Debacle: Another Example of Why the Feds Need to Be Leashed

Judge Declares Mistrial in Bundy Ranch Trial

From AZ Central:

A federal judge has declared a mistrial in the case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, saying U.S. prosecutors willfully withheld critical and “potentially exculpatory” evidence from the defense.

Judge Gloria Navarro dismissed jurors Wednesday, several weeks after the trial began against Bundy, his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and militia member Ryan Payne, who were accused of leading an armed standoff with federal land agents in 2014.

Navarro cited five key pieces of information that prosecutors did not disclose: records about surveillance and snipers at the Bundy Ranch; unredacted FBI logs about activity at the ranch in the days around the standoff; threat assessments about the Bundys dating to 2012; and internal affairs reports about the BLM.

Withheld evidence at issue

Navarro methodically laid out her reasoning for about an hour, citing legal standards and case law, before delivering her ruling.

She said the evidence that was withheld could have been favorable to the accused and could have affected the outcome of the case.

Navarro stopped short of dismissing charges against the four men. It is unclear whether the case will be retried because Navarro did not rule whether the mistrial was with or without prejudice.

She has set another hearing for January and has tentatively scheduled a new trial to begin Feb. 26.

Navarro suspended the trial two weeks ago and warned of a potential mistrial after prosecutors for the first time disclosed several documents that appeared to support defense claims about the government’s use of video surveillance and sniper teams during the standoff.

Prosecutors have long maintained the FBI was not involved in the standoff and that no video surveillance or sniper teams were used. They charged defendants with making false claims about snipers and videos to incite militia in the runup to the standoff.

Lawyers raise self-defense

Documents turned over by the prosecution after the start of the trial indicated the FBI played an active role in the standoff and that surveillance cameras and armed tactical teams were positioned around the Bundy Ranch.

Defense lawyers filed motions to dismiss the case, arguing the new documents provided critical evidence that would have allowed them to challenge the government’s charges, impeach government witnesses and lay the foundation for self-defense claims.

Read entire article by clicking here

Or read about it at Redoubt News

Brushbeater: Reveille in America

Another good blog post from NC Scout over at the Brushbeater blog.

First Call, Americans. Out of your bunks. For a good portion of you out there, a year ago you went to sleep. That attitude driven by a very real fear of government out of control over eight years produced diamonds. For many, it meant getting serious about preparing yourselves, family and neighborhoods for uncertain times. And then, you went to sleep. Your guy got in, and he’d make it all right. Everything would be fixed, time to rejoice and rest on those laurels. He’ll undo all the wrongs and the lever pullers of power would truly yield to vox populi. And then, you went to sleep…

Rekindle that fire you had a year ago. Your five minute breather is over. Pick up your rucks and start walking again. You don’t have enough food or ammo for what’s coming. Prep harder, train harder. Go back to your Churches. And while your at it, seek out training from experienced folks even if you think you know it all- because I promise you, that outside viewpoint or different opinion may make a big difference. You can’t learn it by only reading a blog; you have to go and do. Your enemy is training, and they want you dead. Reveille is sounding, American. Do you hear it?

Click here to continue reading at Brushbeater.

Puerto Rico Disaster Reports, Oct. 16, 2017

Puerto Rico continues to struggle following the recent hurricanes.

Here is a link, to an ARRL report on ham radio operators sent down to assist with communications. Note the references to generator fires, generator failures, hospital evacuations, and shortages of food, fuel and water.

This week, the team relayed a request for Culebra Hospital, which reported that a generator fire had forced relocation to a nearby clinic. In addition, volunteers relayed a request from Culebra Hospital that it needs temporary housing from FEMA for necessary staff members who lost their homes in the hurricane. The team also relayed a message for Hima San Pablo Hospital in Fajardo, which needed specialized IV fluids for a 4-day-old infant.

Rob Landon, KE8AMC, stationed at the hospital on Vieques, learned from the hospital administrator that they needed to evacuate dialysis patients, who require air conditioning that the hospital is unable to provide. “We made their day,” said Hotzfeld. “They were not aware of our presence and were impressed with our communications capabilities.”

Val Hotzfeld, NV9L (left), and ARRL Emergency Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U.

An Amateur Radio operator has been assigned at Centro Medico (Medical Central) to provide communication between the center and other hospitals. “This happened just in time, because the Menonita (Mennonite) Hospital in Caguas had both generators fail,” Hotzfeld said. The emergency room doctor at Medical Central and the ham embedded there, Juan Trujillo, N0PSF, coordinated with Dennis Perez, WP4Q, at the Mennonite Hospital in Caguas to transfer four critical patients to the Mennonite Hospital in Cayey.

Volunteers at the EOC relayed a request from Guayana Hospital for snacks, water, and a generator. Their second generator was reported to be about to fail. They also relayed requests from hospitals for fuel and water, and they provided communication for fire departments contacting the EOC.

Brushbeater blog posted a short Reflections on Puerto Rico, discussing communications preparations in light of lessons from Puerto Rico.

So upon reading this, a serious skill assessment should be in order. If you’re the communicator in your group:

  • Can you rig your own wire antennas?
  • Do you have the rough calculations to make them resonant?
  • Do you have the current consumption of your various radios written down and a way to monitor it?
  • How long can you operate battery-only?
  • Do you have enough spare equipment to keep your station up if Murphy happens?
  • Do you have a working knowledge of different propagation modes (such as why NVIS does what it does)

But most important- how many people can also do what you do in your group?

Four deaths and ten suspected of infection are being investigated as possible cases of leptospirosis, a disease spread by animal urine, possibly from drinking contaminated stream water.

Meanwhile some desperate Puerto Ricans are reported to be drinking possibly toxic water from superfund cleanup sites. 34% of Puerto Ricans are still without access to fresh drinking water.

Rotting garbage may be the next health crisis there.

Three weeks after Hurricane Maria ransacked this island leaving at least 44 dead, Jose Vargas surveyed street after street lined with mounds of soaking garbage mixed with mud, trees and sometimes dead animals.

You couldn’t make a better breeding ground for rats, roaches and all sorts of nasty diseases, the public health volunteer said. And every day the fetid piles stay there, the risk of an epidemic grows.

“We’re already building the next disaster,” he warned.

ARRL: Radio Amateur on St. Lucia Relays Hurricane Reports

From ARRL.org, Radio Amateur on St. Lucia Relays Reports of Hurricane Devastation on Dominica, a reminder of the usefulness of alternative communications methods during a disaster:

As “potentially catastrophic Hurricane Maria” is headed for the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Frans van Santbrink, J69DS, on St. Lucia checked into the VoIP Hurricane Net to relay damage reports he gathered via repeater conversations with hams on Dominica, which was hit by Category 5 Hurricane Maria.

He recounted a damage report from Kerry Fevrier, J69YH, in Roseau, Dominica. “Trees down, river has flooded half the village, cars are all over, most houses have lost their roofs or are destroyed, the area between his house and the church is just flattened…in his words, ‘devastation is total,’” van Santbrink told the net.

He also heard from J73CI, who has lost his roof; J73WA on the northern end of the island, who lost his tower and was uncertain how he was going to weather the back end of the storm, and J73MH, who also lost his roof and was “just hunkering down and hoping for the best.”

Click here to read the entire article

ARRL: Emergency Net Active in Wake of Central Mexico Earthquake 9/20/17

From arrl.org, Amateur Radio Emergency Net Active in Wake of Earthquake in Central Mexico.

The FMRE National Emergency Net has activated on 7.060 MHz following a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in the central Mexico state of Puebla at 1814 UTC on Tuesday. The net also uses 3.690 MHz and 14.120 MHz as well as IRLP reflector 9200, channel 08.

The epicenter was some 75 miles southeast of Mexico City, which felt the temblor. Preliminary reports indicate a lot of collapsed buildings and missing people.

The FMRE net has been handling traffic to make up for the loss of some cellular networks, FMRE President Al Tomez, XE2O, told ARRL. The earthquake came 32 years to the day after a 1985 magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck the Mexico City, killing some 9,500 people in and around the capital city.

Just one week ago, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck off Mexico’s southern coast, killing more than 60 people and causing considerable damage.