The Tonka Report

Real News In A Changing World

Archive for September 21st, 2010

Arctic Ice Expanding And Thickening Contrary To Global Warmists

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September 21, 2010: CO2 Insanity Editor’s / CO2 – September 21, 2010 

Yes you read right. To all those who want to believe all the warmer propaganda like “the ice is melting” or “soon there will be no ice in the Arctic” and other cute little phrases designed to scare those global warming bucks right out of your wallet into someone else’s bank account, please go look at this one from Real Science.

As you can plainly see the ice is getting thicker, not thinning faster than Kojak’s hair.

Polar Bears will not be drowning, the Walruses will not be beaching themselves due to lack of ice (which by the way is normal and not something to get over-excited about) and the Arctic Fox probably doesn’t need to go on the endangered species list because of that old faux global warming. All you warmers please take a deep breath and say, oops! Please go to the source below for all the information…

Source: Real Science

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: I can hear Howard Cosell’s infamous call now, “Down goes, Frazier…”  

George Foreman vs Joe Frazier [HD] – 1973

And yes, I actually watched this classic fight on live network television back in 1973… What?! – SJH 🙂

Link to original article below…

ALIPAC Congratulates America For Defeating DREAM Act Amnesty

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September 21, 2010: ALIPAC Editor’s / Americans for Legal Immigration PAC – September 21, 2010

While Democratic Senators Reid and Durbin complain on the Senate floor about the latest defeat of the Dream Act Amnesty by a cloture vote that fell four votes short of the 60 needed to make it into law, ALIPAC is thanking supporters and all American activists and groups that rose up to defeat the bill.

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC deployed new strategies and an extensive national volunteer force in the battle against Reid and Obama’s attempt to insert Dream Act Amnesty into today’s defense spending bill. This morning, ALIPAC endorsed 14 candidates for US Senate based on their opposition to Dream. By pulling the bill into the elections and flooding campaign offices, as well as, DC offices with calls opposing Amnesty, ALIPAC helped defeat Dream Act for the third time.

“Now it’s time for political payback!” said William Gheen President of ALIPAC. “President Obama, Senators Reid and Durbin have made a huge tactical mistake. By energizing our supporters and delivering a morale quenching defeat to Dream and Comprehensive Amnesty supporters, the way is clear for massive political change on November 2!”

ALIPAC would like to thank the thousands of activists who worked hard to rally Americans against the Dream Act cloture vote that failed today. Many people gave their time and funds to secure this victory for those dedicated to the enforcement of America’s existing border and immigration laws instead of Amnesty.

Despite the fact that America’s two top conservative news sources, Fox News and Drudge Report, failed to alert their conservative supporters and talk radio show hosts about the impending vote at 2:30pm EST today, ALIPAC’s extensive communications network, along with the networks of other fine bloggers, local, and national organizations, was enough to defeat.

“Today’s victory was a victory for Americans, grass roots conservatives, and the new media,” said William Gheen. “We have proven we can defeat Amnesty legislation with little or no TV or newspaper coverage. Now we are going to prove we have the power to throw some of the most powerful people in America out of office, if we all pull together to secure a peaceful, political, velvet revolution in America. Revolution now! Revolution now America!”

Americans for Legal Immigration is now endorsing 159 Federal candidates for office and will work hard this week to direct the momentum created by today’s victory over illegal aliens and their supporters into more victories in the elections.

ALIPAC is contacting the Civil Rights division of the FBI to try to identify and press charges against the Dream Act Amnesty supporters that attempted to disrupt our phone communications for the last days by making hundreds of harassing phone calls to tie up the lines, block communications, and interfere with our civil rights as Americans.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: When the people are engaged, the globalists lose time and time again– SJH

Link to original article below…

Privatize Football – Sports And College ‘Bureaucracies’ In America

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September 21, 2010: S.M. Oliva / Lew – September 21, 2010

In 1874, students from Harvard University and Canada’s McGill University played a two-game football series in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The first game was played under Harvard’s Association Football rules, what we know today as soccer. The second game was played by McGill’s rules, a variant of rugby. The McGill rules proved so popular with the Harvard players they adopted and taught them to other eastern schools. The next year, Harvard played Tufts University in what was likely the first game of “American football.”

By 1876, students from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia had formed the Intercollegiate Football Association to develop and maintain common playing rules. Among the IFA’s first leaders was Walter Camp, a Yale student-player credited with developing many of the familiar rules of American football, including the set play from scrimmage, the down-and-distance system, and limiting each team to 11 players on the field. Camp also embodied the notion of “amateurism”; although he remained active in coaching and promoting football throughout his life, he became a businessman and eschewed playing or coaching football for money.

Camp and his allies fervently believed that college football should remain under student and alumni control. He resisted early efforts by the Yale administration and faculty to regulate – or abolish – football. Most university presidents, in fact, hated the game. One notable exception was William Harper, the first president of the University of Chicago. Harper saw football as an excellent means of promoting his newly formed school, and he hired the first paid coach in football history, Yale alumnus Amos Alonzo Stagg. Chicago’s early success under Stagg spurred the creation of the first athletic conference in 1895, the Western Conference, which survives today as the Big Ten.

Although football quickly grew in popularity, the violence of the still-developing game caught the attention of President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1905 –  a year that reported 18 football-related deaths – Roosevelt convened a summit with Camp and Ivy League representatives to discuss possible changes to the sport. Later that year, 60 colleges met in New York to form an alternative to the student-led IFA –  a group known today as the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Amateurism and Federalization

The IFA quickly dissolved itself into the NCAA, giving it a monopoly on football regulation. In its first few decades, the NCAA merely continued the IFA’s role as a playing rules committee. But now that the university presidents, not the players and alumni, were in charge, the NCAA slowly morphed into a grander bureaucratic entity based on the concept of preserving “amateurism” at all costs.

The first NCAA Constitution banned “proselytizing” – the recruiting of, or offering financial incentives for, any student to enroll at a school based on athletic ability. The NCAA viewed any compensation related to a player’s athletic ability unacceptable. This yielded over time to reality; eventually, the NCAA allowed schools to offer athletic scholarships, but even today the strict ban on outside income related to athletic ability remains.

Amateurism itself is a class-based concept. In Walter Camp’s day, an amateur was merely a generalist who didn’t specialize in a particular sport or hobby. This excluded members of the “working classes,” because their specialty in physical labor gave them an unfair advantage over gentlemen of the privileged classes (like Camp). The idea of paying amateur athletes was unnecessary, as their social position made it unnecessary.

By the early 20th century, academics transformed amateurism into a moral code consistent with collectivist principles. Howard Savage, a Carnegie Foundation official in the 1930s, said “professionalism in school and college athletics … is a most serious evil,” and that amateurism represented “the moral struggle between force and the uses to which, with the sanction of our civilization, it may be used and should be put.” In other words, athletes were barbarians who had to be tamed by the “civilizing” presence of academics. Savage noted that while it was acceptable for students in artistic fields to profit from their work – because they offered “tests of even temper and self-control” – it was never acceptable for athletes to profit from their efforts.

The Subsidized Truth

Of course, there is nothing wrong with the universities profiting from the athletes. As student-alumni control of football yielded to university administrators, schools not only realized substantial profits from football, they moved to block competing influences. Schools constructed on-campus stadiums to capture revenues going to municipal and privately owned stadiums. When a pair of postseason college basketball tournaments emerged in the late 1930s, the NCAA quickly acquired one of them and turned into what we know today as “March Madness.” When television emerged, the NCAA spent three decades trying to restrict public access to games, until the Supreme Court struck it down as an antitrust violation in 1984. And, of course, from its earliest days, the NCAA has tried to outlaw every form of private wagering on its “amateur” contests.

The NCAA itself is a giant subsidy scheme that redistributes revenue from two sports –  men’s basketball and football – to dozens of other sports and hundreds of schools that generate little or no independent revenue. This same process exists at the university level, where football revenues often support entire athletic departments.

Overall, college athletics is a money loser for the universities. Former NCAA executive director Cedric Dempsey said in 2002 that only 40 major college programs turned a profit, and even at the lower levels of the NCAA – schools that offer few or no athletic scholarships –  expenses had jumped as much as 30 percent in recent years.

Of course, much of these losses are borne by government-run universities. As I discussed in a 2004 paper, while 80 percent of Division III (non-scholarship) schools were private institutions, 65 percent of Division I (scholarship) schools were government sponsored. The growth of college athletics mirrored the boom in government-run universities spurred by the massive influx of student subsidies (and research “grants”) in the years following World War II.

The Privatization Solution

Awhile back I had an exchange with a law professor who was incensed over the competitive environment for college coaches. He couldn’t understand why the NFL could prevent its member clubs from “tampering” with one another – that is, Team A hires a coach under contract to Team B – but the NCAA was powerless to prevent the same among colleges. I replied the main difference was that NFL teams were privately owned and universities were not. He didn’t understand; surely, universities were “owned” by the students and the “public”!

What I meant was that since NFL teams were privately owned and operated, the owners had market incentives to cooperate on certain subjects and adhere to a certain code of mutually beneficial conduct. That’s why you don’t see many reports about the kind of tampering and cheating that are now commonplace in college athletics. The college programs are unowned and answer to multiple layers of often-conflicting bureaucracy, including athletic departments, university presidents and boards, the NCAA, athletic conferences, the Bowl Championship Series, and federal and state authorities. There’s nobody truly “in charge.”

In particular, the NCAA is a self-sustaining bureaucracy. It exists to justify its existence. The most recent example is the NCAA’s flogging the University of Southern California because a former player, Reggie Bush, accepted money from an outside agent. By the NCAA’s reckoning, agents are the greatest force for evil in the universe, as they seek to corrupt the ideals of “amateurism.” But agents reflect a simple economic reality: There is a market demand for talented football players, and agents assist players in maximizing their value.

Former NCAA president Myles Brand once argued there’s a fundamental conflict between “education” and “profit” and that “we must be vigilant” in keeping the latter away from the former. This attitude reflects higher education’s long descent into state control – universities as a whole are not expected to be profitable, so why should athletics be any different? Except that for at least some schools, their football (and basketball) programs could successfully operate outside the NCAA’s bureaucratic system.

“Privatization” of college football might sound like sheer lunacy, but in some respects it would be a return to the 19th century system of student and alumni control. Wealthy alumni boosters could pool their resources and purchase the assets and naming rights to existing college programs. In exchange, universities could get out of the minor league football (and stadium operations) business, allowing them to shed some of their massive bureaucracies. Obviously, players would benefit from an abolition of “amateurism” and its quasi-socialist principles. Not only could they gain the right to market their services, they would be able to form voluntary associations – and yes, even unions – to strengthen their bargaining position.

Privatization would also improve the quality of the football product. The NCAA’s regimental approach to “student-athletes” severely restricts practice time and overall access to coaches. These arbitrary restrictions don’t apply to any other college discipline and effectively deprive students of the vocational education they’re seeking. This may not matter to players at lower-level schools – they don’t expect to play in the NFL – but it stunts the growth of high-level players with pro potential. And since privatization would reduce the size of “major” college football by eliminating unprofitable programs that only exist because of NCAA subsidies, the remaining programs would produce stronger schedules – and even the elusive championship playoff, which has never existed due to NCAA bureaucracy.

The counter-argument is that privatization would totally sever the mystical “student-athlete” link. But it would actually liberate the student from the athlete. The NCAA’s model remains tethered to 20th century assumptions about how students obtain degrees. These assumptions are moot in the Internet age. Privatization would enable experimentation. Some programs might offer players “vouchers” that could be used for tuition after their playing days are over. Other programs could utilize online learning. Schools might even commit the ultimate heresy and offer full degree programs in professional football – which is hardly unthinkable given the proliferation of majors offered by the typical university.


There’s no real alternative to privatization. The NCAA’s enforcement bureaucracy will never be effective. The disparity between the “haves” and “have-nots” in college football will continue to expand. The number of secondhanders demanding subsidies will continue to increase. And the façade of “amateurism,” already cracked beyond repair, will shatter sooner rather then later.

Of course, the same could be said of the state-controlled university system itself. Privatizing football would provide a roadmap for doing the same to the other parts of the nation’s bloated academic bureaucracies. Which is precisely why the established interests will fight to their dying breath to preserve some form of “amateurism,” and insist that education should never be tainted by the horrors of profit.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: This is yet another example why the Federal government needs to be stopped! – SJH 

Link to original article below…

FDA Decides Safety Of Genetically Engineered And Altered Salmon

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September 21, 2010: Mary Clare Jalonick / AP via Yahoo News – September 20, 2010

WASHINGTON – Genetically engineered salmon that grows twice as fast as the conventional fish appears to be safe, an advisory committee told the Food and Drug Administration Monday. But they argued that more testing may be needed before it is served on the nation’s dinner tables.

If the FDA approves the sale of the salmon, it will be the first time the government allows such modified animals to be marketed for human consumption. The panel was convened by the agency to look at the science of the fish and make recommendations on its safety and environmental impact. Ron Stotish, chief executive of the Massachusetts company that created the salmon, AquaBounty, said at Monday’s hearing that his company’s fish product is safe and environmentally sustainable.

FDA officials have largely agreed with him, saying that the salmon, which grows twice as fast as its conventional “sisters,” is as safe to eat as the traditional variety. But they have not yet decided whether to approve the request, saying there is no timeline for a decision.

Critics call the modified salmon a “frankenfish” that could cause allergies in humans and the eventual decimation of the wild salmon population. Representatives from consumer, environmental and food safety groups asked the agency to decline the company’s application to market the fish, saying it is untested.

Most members of the advisory committee agreed with the FDA that the company has presented some compelling evidence that the fish is safe. But members raised several concerns about the data, saying many of the sample sizes were too small and it is not certain how healthy the fish will be many years from now. Some said there wasn’t enough data to be certain the fish won’t cause food allergies.

It is still unclear whether the public will have an appetite for the fish if it is approved. Genetic engineering is already widely used for crops, but the government until now has not considered allowing the consumption of modified animals. Although the potential benefits — and profits — are huge, many people have qualms about manipulating the genetic code of other living creatures.

The hearing will continue Tuesday, when the agency will hear public comments on labeling the fish. It is possible that if the modified salmon is approved, consumers would not even know they were eating it. Current FDA regulations require modified foods to be labeled as such only if the food is substantially different from the conventional version, and the agency has said that the modified salmon is essentially the same as the Atlantic salmon. If approved, the fish could be in grocery stores in two years, the company estimates.

Approval would open the door for a variety of other genetically engineered animals, including a pig that is being developed in Canada or cattle that are resistant to mad cow disease. Each would have to be individually approved by the FDA. “For future applications out there the sky’s the limit,” said David Edwards of the Biotechnology Industry Association. “If you can imagine it, scientists can try to do it.”

AquaBounty says it would be the first in the world to market genetically engineered fish. The company submitted its first application for FDA approval in 1995, but the agency did not decide until two years ago to consider applications for genetically engineered animals — a move seen as a breakthrough by the biotechnology industry.

Genetically engineered — or GE — animals are not clones, which the FDA has already said are safe to eat. Clones are copies of an animal. In GE animals, the DNA has been altered to produce a desirable characteristic. In the case of the salmon, AquaBounty has added a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon that allows the fish to produce growth hormone all year long. The engineers were able to keep the hormone active by using another gene from an eel-like fish called an ocean pout that acts like an “on” switch for the hormone, according to the company. Conventional salmon produce the growth hormone only some of the time.

In documents released ahead of the hearing, the FDA said there were no biologically relevant differences between the engineered salmon and conventional salmon, and there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from its consumption. FDA scientists said Monday there are very few differences between the modified and conventional fish. Critics have two main concerns: The safety of the food to humans and the salmon’s effect on the environment.

Because the altered fish has never been eaten before, they say, it could include dangerous allergens, especially because seafood is highly allergenic. They also worry that the fish will escape and intermingle with the wild salmon population, which is already endangered. They would grow fast and consume more food to the detriment of the conventional wild salmon, the critics fear.

The FDA tried to allay both of those concerns Monday, saying the fish shouldn’t cause any allergies not already found in conventional salmon and that there is little chance they could escape. But the advisory panel, which was formed to give input to the agency and did not hold a final vote, cast some doubts on whether there was enough evidence to say those things for sure. Critics speaking at the meeting said they were concerned about the unintended consequences of approval, arguing the FDA is relying on too little data.

Wenonah Hauter, director of the advocacy group Food & Water Watch, said the FDA process is inadequate because it allows the company to keep some proprietary information private. Modified foods are regulated under the same process used for animal drugs. “With all due respect, we don’t believe a veterinary advisory committee is the appropriate place to discuss these food safety issues,” Hauter told the panel.

AquaBounty CEO Stotish countered his product has come under more scrutiny than most food. “This is perhaps the most studied fish in history,” he said. “Environmentally this is a very sustainable technology.”

The company has several safeguards in place to quell concerns. The fish would be bred female and sterile, though a small percentage might be able to breed. They would be bred in confined pools where the potential for escape would be low. In its environmental analysis of the fish released earlier this month, the FDA agreed with the company that there are enough safeguards in place.

Stotish says the fish would be bred in better conditions than many of the world’s farmed salmon and could be located closer to towns and cities to help feed more people. The company has also said the increase in engineered salmon production could help relieve endangered wild salmon populations.

The company is arguing that the fish do not need to be labeled as genetically engineered. Stotish said, “The label could even be misleading because it implies a difference that doesn’t exist.”

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: The frankenfish salmon are genetically engineered and “altered” with the genes of another species and that’s “misleading because it implies a difference that doesn’t exist.” – SJH  

Link to original article with video below…