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Archive for February 7th, 2011

US Military Buys Gulf Of Mexico Seafood For Resale To Our Troops

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February 7, 2011: Mary Foster / The Washington Post – February 6, 2011

Sales of Gulf of Mexico seafood are getting a boost from the military after being hammered by last year’s BP oil spill, which left consumers fearing that the water’s bounty had been tainted. Ten products, including fish, shrimp, oysters, crab cakes, and packaged Cajun dishes such as jambalaya and shrimp etouffee are being promoted at 72 base commissaries along the East Coast, said Milt Ackerman, president of Military Solutions Inc., which is supplying seafood to the businesses.

Gulf seafood sales fell sharply after a BP gulf well blew out in April, spewing millions of gallons of oil into the sea. Consumers have long feared that fish, oysters and other products could be tainted by oil and chemicals used to fight the spill, although extensive testing has indicated the food is safe. The perception has lingered – along with the poor sales.

Bobby Barnett, a shrimper in Pass Christian, Miss., said he was glad the U.S. government was embracing domestic and not imported seafood. “Every sale helps us out, and we need some help to come back,” Barnett said. “You would have thought they would have been buying U.S. seafood all along.”

The Defense Department-run Defense Commissary Agency – known as DeCa – sells groceries to military personnel, reservists, retirees and their families at cost plus a 5 percent surcharge. The stores have emphasized healthy diets as part of first lady Michelle Obama‘s “Let’s Move” fitness and health campaign. “What fits in with that better than seafood?” Ackerman said.

The gulf seafood promotion begins Tuesday at Belle Chasse Naval Air Station, La., where chefs from the military and New Orleans restaurants will prepare gulf delicacies. Some 20,000 people have commissary privileges at the air base just outside New Orleans.

“We’re doing dishes that the home cook can take home and cook easily,” said Chef Tenney Flynn of GW Fins’ French Quarter restaurant, who will prepare black drum with tomato sauce. Commissary shoppers will be able to take home the recipes.

The commissaries deal was brokered by Ready 4 Takeoff, a group that has worked since Hurricane Katrina to help the Gulf Coast, and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. Mabus was appointed by President Barack Obama in June to oversee the Gulf’s recovery from BP’s massive oil spill, which began in April.

DeCa spokesman Kevin Robinson said the agency viewed promoting Gulf seafood as an opportunity to expand its focus on domestic seafood and broaden choices for commissary shoppers. The Gulf buys are not receiving special funding but are part of a DeCa revamp of its purchasing.

The New Orleans Fish House, a wholesaler that buys from fishermen at dockside, is making an initial shipment of 10,000 pounds of Gulf seafood to the commissaries, said Mike Ketchum, director of retail sales. Some will be packaged frozen shrimp products under the label of famed chef Emeril Lagasse.

“Compared to our existing customers, that is on the lower end,” Ketchum said. “But we see it taking off quickly. They could certainly become one of our biggest customers.”

So far, 72 of the 249 U.S. commissaries have committed to stocking Gulf seafood, but more could join the program. Before, a large majority of the seafood stocked at commissaries was imported, Ketchum said. Progressive Grocer magazine ranked the commissary chain as the nation’s 17th largest grocery chain.

“That’s true of all the grocery industry, but now our government is stepping up and saying they will use domestic product,” he said. The boost couldn’t come at a better time. The New Orleans Fish House, for instance, was selling $40 million in seafood annually before the spill. Now, Ketchum said, the company is doing about $10 million.

A recent Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board survey found 70 percent of people are still nervous about eating Gulf seafood, said executive director Ewell Smith. “And that’s with all the testing that has been done and is still being done,” he said.

Some commissary customers have been just as nervous, but not enough to pull seafood from the shelves, Ackerman said. “We believe that will fade quickly,” he said.

KLFY Eyewitness News: US Government Lies About Gulf Seafood Safety

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: And our tax dollars subsidize the poisoning of our own children! – SJH

Link to original article below…

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/06/AR2011020603941.html?hpid=topnews

Russia Is Poised To Penetrate Subglacial Lake Vostok In Antarctica

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February 7, 2011: Alissa de Carbonnel / Reuters – February 4, 2011

For 15 million years, an icebound lake has remained sealed deep beneath Antarctica’s frozen crust, possibly hiding prehistoric or unknown life. Now Russian scientists are on the brink of piercing through to its secrets. “There’s only a bit left to go,” Alexei Turkeyev, chief of the Russian polar Vostok Station, told Reuters by satellite phone.

His team has drilled for weeks in a race to reach the lake, 3,750 meters (12,000 ft) beneath the polar ice cap, before the end of the brief Antarctic summer.

It was here that the coldest temperature ever found on Earth — minus 89.2 Celsius (minus 128.6 Fahrenheit) — was recorded. With the rapid onset of winter, scientists will be forced to leave on the last flight out for this season, on Feb 6.

“It’s minus 40 (Celsius) outside,” Turkeyev said. “But whatever, we’re working. We’re feeling good. There’s only 5 meters left until we get to the lake so it’ll all be very soon.”

Scientists suspect the lake’s depths will reveal new life forms, show how the planet was before the ice age and how life evolved. It could offer a glimpse at what conditions for life exist in the similar extremes of Mars and Jupiter’s moon Europa.

“It’s like exploring an alien planet where no one has been before. We don’t know what we’ll find,” said Valery Lukin of Russia’s Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) in St Petersburg, which oversees the expedition.

Exploratory Rush

A centenary since the first expeditions to the South Pole, the discovery of Antarctica’s hidden network of subglacial lakes via satellite imagery in the late 1990s has sparked a new exploratory fervor among scientists the world over.

U.S. and British explorers are on the trail of Russia’s scientists with missions to probe other buried lakes, some of the last unexplored reaches of the planet.

“It’s an extreme environment but it is one that may be habitable. If it is, curiosity drives us to understand what’s in it. How is it living? Is it flourishing?,” said Martin Siegert, head of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Geosciences, who is leading a British expedition to a smaller polar lake.

Experts say the ice sheet acts like a duvet, trapping in the Earth’s geothermal heat and preventing the lakes from freezing. Sediment from the lake could take scientists back millions of years to tropical prehistoric times, the AARI’s Lukin said.

 Oasis Under The Ice

Lake Vostok, about the size of Lake Baikal in Siberia, is the largest, deepest and most isolated of Antarctica’s 150 subglacial lakes. It is supersaturated with oxygen, resembling no other known environment on Earth.

“The Russians are leading the way with a torch,” said John Priscu of Montana State University, a chief scientist with the U.S. program to explore another Antarctic lake.

Beneath the endless white landscape, Priscu suspects creatures may lurk, far from the sunlight, around thermal vents in the depths of Lake Vostok.

“I think Lake Vostok is an oasis under the ice sheet for life. It would be really wild to thoroughly sample…But until we learn how to get into the system cleanly that’s an issue,” he told Reuters.

The low-lying, snow-drift buildings and radio towers of Vostok Station sit above the eponymous lake. The borehole, pumped full of Kerosene and Freon to keep it from freezing shut, hangs poised over the pristine lake.

The explorers now face the question: How do we go where no one has gone before without spoiling it or bringing back some foreign virus?

“I feel very excited but once we do it there is no going back,” Alexei Ekaikin, a scientist with the expedition said from Vostok Station. “Once you touch it, it will be touched forever.”

The Lost World Of Lake Vostok (Part 1 of 4)

The Lost World Of Lake Vostok (Part 2 0f 4)

The Lost World Of Lake Vostok (Part 3 of 4)

The Lost World Of Lake Vostok (Part 4 of 4)

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: This is relevant to the increasing news of a pole shift and how it affects weather patterns, all driven by the sun, not CO2! – SJH 

Pole Shift Threatens To Cause Weather Chaos

http://www.prisonplanet.com/pole-shift-threatens-to-cause-weather-chaos.html

Link to original article below…

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/04/us-russia-antarctica-lake-idINTRE7135MB20110204

Bureau Of Labor Statistics 9% Unemployment Rate Is Statistical Lie

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February 7, 2011: Greg Hunter / USAWatchdog.com – February 7, 2011

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the latest unemployment figures last Friday. There was a stunning drop to 9% from 9.4%. How did that happen? Is the economy really getting better or is the government up to its old statistical tricks.

According to the mainstream media, the economy is getting better and the so-called recovery is alive and well. Here’s how the Associated Press reported the story…

“The unemployment rate is suddenly sinking at the fastest pace in a half-century, falling to 9 percent from 9.8 percent in just two months — the most encouraging sign for the job market since the recession ended. More than half a million people found work in January. A government survey found weak hiring by big companies. But more people appear to be working for themselves or finding jobs at small businesses.”  (Click here for the complete AP story.)

“More than half a million people found work in January.” How? The BLS reported there was only a tiny gain of 36,000 workers to the payrolls, and even that number is a statistical lie, according to economist John Williams of Shadowstats.com. In his latest report (last Friday), Williams said…

“Incredibly, despite ongoing regular overstatement of payrolls by the BLS, the BLS appears to have upped, not lowered, the excessive biases in its latest rendition. Without the higher bias, the reported January 2011 payroll gain of 36,000 would have been a decline of 52,000.” 

As for the big drop in the unemployment number down to 9%, you can credit that with something the BLS calls “seasonal adjustments.” The government takes into consideration things like cold weather and snow when it puts together unemployment figures. Williams thinks these seasonal adjustments have been distorted by the dismal economy during the past few years. Williams says…

“…the extraordinary severity and duration of the economic duress in the United States during the last three to four years has destabilized traditional seasonal-factor adjustments and the related monthly reporting of certain economic series. The unemployment rate rose in January 2011, not seasonally adjusted. The 0.4% decline reported in the headline January unemployment rate appears to be a seasonal-factor issue.”

In other words, seasonal adjustment jobs are created out of thin air and are not really there for people. In reality, unemployment increased slightly. It did not decrease. 

While we are on the subject of reality, after one year, the unemployed are no longer counted in government statistics. If unemployment was computed the way BLS did it prior to 1994, the true unemployment rate (according to Shadowstats.com) would be 22.2%.

I wonder why the mainstream media feels compelled to only do stories that support government statistics. There is bona fide analysis that can show government numbers are rigged to make things look better than reality.

Yesterday, millions of Americans celebrated the unofficial holiday called the Super Bowl. In closing, I would like to share part of a comment I received recently from a regular reader named Samantha. She writes…

“We are living in Roman circus-like times! Keep the people entertained and they don’t have to THINK too much and certainly don’t have to notice the corrupt activities of our elected officials. The “Stupor Bowl” is an intentional dumbing down of our society.”

Things are a lot worse than the government would like the public to know.

PBS News Hour: 9% Unemployment Is A Lie

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: Is there anything the government tells us that isn’t a friggin’ lie?! – SJH 

Link to original article below…

http://usawatchdog.com/9-unemployment-rate-is-a-statistical-lie/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UsaWatchdog+%28Greg+Hunter%E2%80%99s+USAWatchdog%29