Government Intervention Will Eventually Eliminate The American Fishing Industry

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article on its website called, “A Fisherman’s tale of fighting Uncle Sam.” The article deals with a lawsuit that has been making its way through the legal system since 2015 and may be coming to the Supreme Court later this year.

The article reports:

It involves a small volume fisherman who is fighting back against onerous regulations from the Department of Commerce which are threatening to put him (and so many other family operations) out of business. David Goethel is in the fight of his life because new government regulations are costing him more per day than he can generally earn in profit from his fishing operation. Cause of Action Institute (CoAI) is working on this case and provides the details.

Meet New Hampshire fisherman David Goethel. The federal government is destroying Mr. Goethel’s industry through overregulation and forcing ground-fishermen like himself to pay $700 per day to have authorities monitor them on their boats. Even the government estimates these additional costs would put 60% of the industry out of business. CoAI is helping Mr. Goethel fight back through the courts to save his livelihood.

This is a story that is being told by commercial fisherman with family businesses who are under attack by federal and state regulators making legal changes that favor either sports fishermen or large commercial fishing enterprises. This over-regulation needs to stop. The state and federal government is attacking the family fisherman while at the same time over-fishing by foreign fleets continues off of our coasts. What is the government trying to accomplish?

The video below provides the background to the story:

The article concludes:

Besides the gross unfairness of the situation, I’m left wondering how this was the only solution the government could come up with. This is 2017, not 1817. Even if you feel you need to peer over the shoulders of these fisherman every time they leave port, do we really have to station a human being on every boat? Couldn’t there be a camera hooked up via satellite using Skype or something so a single person back on shore could monitor multiple boats?

Goethael has already been through two rounds of court action protesting this crippling regulatory burden but has been rejected in the lower level courts. Thus far they haven’t even been ruling on the merits of the case, but rather on a technicality, claiming that the plaintiff didn’t file soon enough after the regulation went into effect. (This ignores the fact that the government didn’t transfer the cost of these monitors to the fishermen until much later.) CoAI has filed a petition for writ of certiorari urging the Supreme Court to take up the case and rule on the merits and consider the damage that this regulatory albatross is doing to an industry as old as the nation itself.

If we have reached the point where we have surrendered so much of our freedom that the state or federal government can put small businessmen out of business, it is time to take a second look at our government. Is our government operating under the principles our Founding Fathers set forth? I think not.

Buried In The Story Is The Cause For The Change

Channel 5 in Boston posted an article today about the fact that the number of great white sharks off Massachusetts shores is rising.

The article states:

The resurgence of the gray seal population has driven the increase in white shark sightings here.

White sharks in excess of 9 to 10 to feet switch their diet to larger prey: seals, sea lions and scavenged whale carcasses,” said Skomal.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act passed by the U.S. and Canada in 1972 helped bring back the gray seals, whose numbers in the Gulf of Maine to Massachusetts are estimated at between 300,000 and 400,000, with a major nesting area for seal pups on Muskeget Island between Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, said Skomal.

About 2,000 pups were born on Muskeget in 2008, four times the rate in 1999.

Last September in Cape Cod waters, Skomal’s team filmed a white shark feeding on a freshly killed seal. The video shared Wednesday night depicted a bloody and violent scene.

The italics are mine. I don’t have anything against gray seals, I wish them well; however, when man decides to change the rules for one part of the animal population, he invariably impacts another part. Sharks have to eat, too.

You can bet that some pseudo-scientist will come along very quickly and blame the increased number of sharks on global warming. That’s just the way things work these days.

One Way To Deal With The Bullies Among Us

The Ever So Humble Pie Company in East Walpole, Massachusetts, has been getting harassed because they are one of the sponsors of the Howie Carr show, a conservative talk show broadcast in Massachusetts. The leftist thought police would like to see Howie’s show go away, so they are harassing Howie Carr and the sponsors.

The story is told on the Facebook page of The Ever So Humble Pie Company:

“OCCU-PIES!” Are here!
As many of you know, we have been receiving harassing phone calls from someone claiming to be from the “Occupy” movement and the “Boston Chapter of Black Lives Matter”. They made baseless accusations that Howie Carr is a racist and they want him off the air. And because we advertise on his show, they want to hurt us, too. Well, the only way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them! Howie’s listeners suggested we make “Occu-Pies” to poke some fun at them so we did – and 50% of the proceeds will be donated to Fisher House Boston! Pies cost $5.25 eaqch or 4 for $20. Whoopie are $3.50 each or 3 for $10. Here are the pies –
“Bye Bye American Pie “- Apple
“The Harry Reid Black & Blue Pie” -Blackberries & Blueberries
“If you like your pie, you can keep your pie” – Strawberry Rhubarb
“The IMPEACHment Pie” – Peach
“The Moon Bat Pie” – Chocolate Whoopie Pie
Buy a pie and get a FREE copy of Howie’s book RIFLEMAN! (while supplies last).

This is how you handle the thought police.

We Seem To Have Become Wimps

Sorry if that statement offends anyone, but indications are that it may be true. Dr. Roy Spencer, formerly a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where he and Dr. John Christy received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites, posted a story on his website today about the “Historic Blizzard of 2015”–it actually ranked #41, or a weak “Category 2″. The article includes a chart showing the Blizzard of 2015 in comparison to the storm ranked Number 1, which occurred in March of 1993.

The article states:

The ranking is based upon societal impacts, so if the worst storm on Earth in the last 10,000 years hit where no one lived, it would not even rank.

So, the NESIS scale for Northeast snowstorms isn’t well suited for talking about climate change. It’s not clear that more snowstorms in recent decades aren’t just from a slight shift in the storm track bringing Northwest Atlantic winter storms (of which there are many…Greenland routinely gets clobbered) closer to New England.

As someone who lived in New England from 1967 to 2013, I was glad not to be there during snowstorm Juno. I would like to point out that this is the first year I remember naming snow storms. I was in Rhode Island for the Blizzard of ’78, and we never named it. There were 48 inches of snow in about a day and a half, and no one thought about naming the storm. We have become wimps.

My warmest thoughts go out to my friends in Massachusetts as they endure the weather expected over the next week. I think you should name the first sunny day “Fred.”

Another Voice On ‘Deflategate’

The American Thinker posted an article today about the recent controversy regarding the footballs at the recent playoff game in Foxboro, Massachusetts. First of all, I would like to mention that one of my daughters will tell you when asked what she learned from her mother will say, “Denver wins at home.” A realize that for some reason that is no longer the case, but in the early days of mile high stadium, that was generally the case. It is also the case when New England or Green Bay play a southern team outside in the winter in New England or Green Bay, the home team generally wins. That may be due to a loss of pressure in the footballs (which incidentally happens to both teams) or that may be due to the other team wanting to get out of the cold and go home. At any rate, cold weather and an outdoor stadium do affect football games.

The article at the American Thinker explains:

Assume Tom Brady‘s footballs were all inflated to the maximum allowable, 13.5 psi gauge. We need to convert gauge pressure to absolute pressure. At sea level we add the atmospheric pressure (14.7 psia) to the gauge pressure (13.5 psi), we discover the initial absolute pressure was 13.5 + 14.7 = 28.2 psia).

Multiplying the initial absolute pressure at 75 F (28.2 pia) by the ratio of absolute temperatures (510/535 = 0.95327) we find the absolute pressure on the field is (28.2 x 0.95327 = 26.88 psia). Converting absolute pressure back to gauge pressure we need to subtract the atmospheric pressure of 14.7 psia. The field gauge pressure then becomes (26.88 -14.7 = 12.18 psig).

I am one of the least scientific (and sometimes least logical) people I know, but this makes sense to me. It’s time for all of us to conclude that this whole discussion is made up by the media, buy the nachos and wings, and enjoy the game tomorrow!

Let The Squabbles Begin

The Boston Globe posted an article today about the fight among the New England States for ObamaCare grants to set up websites. Originally, Massachusetts was given a $45 million federal innovation grant to build a state-of-the-art consumer platform for President Obama’s insurance program.

Massachusetts is a bit of a ‘techie’ state, and it was hoped that they would share the technical knowledge used to build their ObamaCare website with the other New England states. That sounds like a very reasonable idea in theory. Unfortunately, in practice it didn’t work.

The article reports:

Massachusetts has failed to produce a successful computer model to share, and in the meantime Connecticut’s insurance marketplace, built by Deloitte LLP, is working so well that the state is now offering its computer system as a model for other struggling states.

Counihan said five states have expressed interest in piggybacking off Connecticut’s insurance marketplace, but not Massachusetts.

“Some states were trying to build a Maserati. We built a Ford Focus,’’ Counihan said. “It might not be as glamorous but it runs. It can get you to the store.”

So what’s the problem? The article explains:

Connecticut health care officials are now mounting a campaign to collect a portion of a $45 million federal innovation grant that was awarded to Massachusetts to build a state-of-the-art consumer platform for President Obama’s insurance program.

…But, Rhode Island state Representative Joseph McNamara, a Democrat on the General Assembly’s Permanent Joint Committee on Healthcare Oversight, said he thinks Rhode Island could benefit from the money. Federal grants for the Rhode Island insurance marketplace end by July 2015, when the state would face a $24 million shortfall, he said.

“It’s a liability that we’re starting to discuss right now,” McNamara said. “We would appreciate any assistance from our friends in Massachusetts.”

Somewhere along the way, someone needs to remind these states that this is not ‘free’ money. It comes off the backs of overtaxed taxpayers who are paying upwards of 40 percent of their earnings in taxes. At some point we need to admit that ObamaCare is costing considerably more money than anticipated and repeal it. Unfortunately, as long as states are willing to fight over federal tax money in order to avoid spending their state tax money, the federal deficit will continue to grow.

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About The Claim That Women Are Paid Less Than Men Who Do The Same Job

First of all, if there were real wage equality, mothers would be the highest paid workers ever–they are on call 24/7, often act as family CEO’s, peacemakers, custodial staff, grounds keepers, in charge of grocery logistics, family nurse, and often hold a job outside the home as well. If there were true wage equality, mothers would make more than most company presidents.

However, in regard to President Obama’s statement on Tuesday night that “You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.” This is simply not true.

The argument against this statement comes from three articles from people with very different political persuasions. On November 5,2012, Real Clear Politics posted an article by Dean Kalahar, on January 29, 2014, the American Spectator posted an article by Natalie deMacedo, and on January 30, 2014, Power Line posted an article by Scott Johnson.

All three articles said essentially the same thing–the figure of 77 cents on the dollar does not represent equal work–it represents the overall workplace and does not take into consideration the fact that many women work part time or that men tend to go into the higher paying professions–engineering, medicine (as doctors), etc.

What should be considered here is that women don’t always have the luxury of dedicating themselves to the high-paying corporate fast track. Women have to make a choice of priorities–motherhood versus career. While many women in lucrative careers can afford good child care, women in jobs in industries that do not pay as well often have difficult choices to make. That is not the government’s fault or the government’s responsibility–it is simply the way that things are.

Many years ago, I spent a few years working as a temporary employee. I learned a few things along the way. One of the things I learned was that pay scales in various industries vary a great deal. I have no idea why this is, but it was very obvious during the early 90’s in New England. I definitely considered that fact when I finally accepted a full-time job. It is also good to remember that a good statistician can make any given set of statistics say anything he wants them to say. The 77 cents on the dollar quote is a good example of that.

Just for the record, this is the statistic that was not cited (from the American Spectator):

Women congregate in different professions than men do, and the largely male professions tend to be higher-paying. If you account for those differences, and then compare a woman and a man doing the same job, the pay gap narrows to 91 percent. So, you could accurately say in that Obama ad that, “women get paid 91 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.”

Many men tend to go into science and engineering fields which generally pay more. Women who stay at home with children are factored in as earning nothing. Therefore, the 77 cent stat is a misleading one.

Rosin adds that the reason women are making less could largely depend on more complicated issues, such as maternity leave, marriage, and a lack of childcare options. Debates on those topics can be saved for another day.

Remember, any good statistician can make any given set of statistics say anything he wants them to say!

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The War On The Fishing Industry Continues

On Thursday, the Washington Examiner posted an article about the Obama Administration’s continuing war on the fishing industry. Having lived in Massachusetts for a number of years, I saw the results of this war. I also saw that on occasion Massachusetts elected people to Congress who would fight the Administration on this issue. Scott Brown was one of those people, and oddly enough, so was Barney Frank. Both men understood the importance of the fishing industry to New England and also understood that the environmentalists who were fighting that industry were often fudging the numbers they were using in that fight.

The article at the Washington Examiner points out the money behind the attack on the fishing industry. The article has an illustration of the groups that are funding the attack. Please follow the link to the article and view the chart–it is amazing.

The article reports:

For more than a decade, the National Marine Fisheries Service has devoured fishing fleets while Big Green’s money octopus prods the feds by waving grant-eating enviros in its tentacles, causing them to hook the public’s attention with mindless frenzy against “overfishing.”

…Stolpe (Nils Stolpe, veteran executive, consultant, and advocate for the commercial fishing community) hopes to get fair play. He spoke of the House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., and panel members’ concern over attacks on the seafood industry. Stolpe said, “They’ve had four hearings this year, getting ready to reauthorize the primary ocean fisheries management law.”

That law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, has had provisions for a thriving, respected seafood industry since it was first passed in 1976 — but Big Green pressure has blotted out everything that would help production.

University of Washington fisheries Professor Ray Hilborn focused on that problem in a September committee hearing, pointing out that the Magnuson-Stevens Act provides not only for rebuilding fish stocks, ensuring conservation and protecting essential habitat, but also, “the Act makes it clear that one objective is to provide for ‘the development of fisheries which are underutilized or not utilized … to assure that our citizens benefit from the employment, food supply and revenue which could be generated thereby.’”

Hopefully the attack on the fishing industry can be stopped before all of the small fisherman are put out of business.

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How Over-regulation Impacts Local Food Producers

I have lived in Southeastern Massachusetts for almost 35 years. When my husband and I and our daughters first moved here in October 1978, our neighbors told us we had to go see “The Big Apple.” Having New York City roots, we found this rather odd until we realized that The Big Apple was a local orchard and farm growing a variety of produce. Later, one of my fondest memories is driving the daughter of the owners (the Morse family) home one night and following their beautiful Christmas star through the snow to their house.

What I am trying to say is that The Big Apple is a local tradition. It has fresh cider, doughnuts, rides through the farm, apple picking, and a wonderful atmosphere. Unfortunately, government over-regulation may put The Big Apple out of business.

Today’s Attleboro Sun Chronicle posted a story about the impact of new government regulations on small family farms.

The article reports:

With new rules proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, The Big Apple would likely face expensive water testing requirements, paperwork and other changes covering not only its fields and orchards but its farm store, which washes fruit and serves up specialties like candy-coated apples.

“There’s a lot of paperwork,” Peg Morse said, adding that meeting the regulatory requirements could require as many as three or four additional full-time workers. The new rules would also require stepped-up water sampling and testing.

…The proposed new irrigation and water testing standards alone could cost the farm more than $20,000 per year, they say.

Currently, the Morses test water once a year. The new rules would require weekly testing of each and every water source the Morses use.

Since they draw from three irrigation ponds and two wells, John Morse sets the cost of testing, alone, at $400 per week.

There are lots of other changes, too, he says.

The farm will have to replace its wooden apple picking boxes with plastic ones, upgrade its machinery and change the way it applies fertilizer.

Proposed rules require nine months between the time manure is applied to a field and harvest time. With New England‘s short growing season, such a rule doesn’t make sense, Bonanno says.

The Morses say they’re worried about the new rules and how they would affect not only their business but their customers. All the added expenses would have to be paid by someone, and most likely would be passed on to the consumer.

“We might have to charge $12 for a bag of apples we now charge $6 for,” John said. “Who’s going to pay that?”

The article reminds us that if we drive the local farmers out of business, America will be forced to import more food from countries that do not have the strict agricultural standards that America has. Our attempt to increase food safety may in fact result in having a food supply that is less safe.

The bill involved in these changes is H.R. 933. The good news is that there is an amendment to the bill, H.AMDT.221 to H.R.1947, which requires a scientific and economic analysis of the FDA’s Food Safety and Modernization Act prior to final regulations being enforced with the focus of the analysis being on the impact of the bill on agricultural businesses of all sizes.

If the original bill is enforced, we will lose many sources of local produce throughout the country. In Southeastern Massachusetts, we will lose the experience of taking our children to a wonderful place where they can see apples sorted and drink fresh cider. That would also be a major loss.

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I Guess It Depended On Where You Were

New England had a hot July this summer. I live in a house without central air-conditioning, and we ran between two and three air conditioners most of the month. Usually we run two for about two weeks. Well, I guess there were other places that just weren’t quite that warm.

This is a map from a website called climatedepot.com:

RecordEvents-21Aug13

The map shows high and low record temperatures from July 24 through August 21. This was posted on their website yesterday.

Meanwhile, Steven Hayward at Power Line points out that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will begin its battle to convince us that global warming is real and man-made within the next few weeks. The IPCC will bring out its report in three sections–Science, Impacts, and Mitigation. The Science report is due out next month.

We already know from past scandals that much of the data used to prove global warming was cherry-picked–important warming periods were left out to skew the data. We have the emails to prove this. So why is the UN trying to convince us that global warming is real and that we are responsible? Because any bureaucracy in any governmental organization likes to grow and likes to control more people and more money. If the IPCC can convince Americans and other wealthy countries that unless they give all kinds of money to non-wealthy countries we will all die, chances are we will give them the money. Unfortunately, this is not about concern for the earth–this is about taking money from wealthy countries and giving it to other countries (generally run by tyrants who will live gloriously at our expense while giving nothing to the people of their countries.)

The earth’s climate goes through cycles. It has gone through cycles before man was here. Those cycles are somehow built into the way the earth works. So far we have not successfully figured out how those cycles work. In recent years the National Weather Service in America has predicted catastrophic hurricane seasons caused by global warming. We have had some severe hurricanes, but it has been a long time since we have seen a catastrophic hurricane season.

The bottom line here is that we as people do not control the earth. We could give all the money we have to corrupt dictators in third-world countries, and we still would not control the earth. We need to do everything we can to keep our air and planet clean, but giving money to countries that will not spend money responsibly helps neither us or the earth.

 

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The Central Valley Water Problem Is Still In The News

In 2010, I posted some pictures of my summer vacation (It’s my blog–I can do that). The pictures were of the California Central Valley, once the breadbasket of America, now a politically created dust bowl. This is one of the pictures:

IMG_2957.JPG

Well, California Governor Jerry Brown is trying to change that. I don’t know how practical his plan is, but I love the fact that he is trying to change a really unfortunate situation.

Today’s Sacramento Bee reported that the state and federal water agencies that control most of Northern California’s water are negotiating the details of Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to build two massive water diversion tunnels in the Delta with 279 farm and urban water buyers. These contracts will govern those relationships – and extend the government’s obligation to provide water – for decades.

The article reports:

How the new contracts are shaped will affect water rates for millions of Californians. It also will change how taxpayers at large continue to subsidize the many dams and canals that deliver water.

The process is a kind of house-cleaning for the giant financial investment required to build the proposed tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. If the $25 billion project is approved next year, the state will be selling bonds for decades to pay for it; and the bond buyers, before committing, will want to see that the state has a solid contractual foundation with water agencies.

Meanwhile, today’s Wall Street Journal reports:

The U. S. Bureau of Reclamation this spring cut water deliveries to farmers and the two-thirds of Californians who live south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to between 20% and 35% of their contractual allocations. The reason? Because 300 three-inch smelt were caught int he pumps at the south end of the delta. Since smelt is designated “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act, it’s being protected at literally all costs.

I am not a scientist, but common sense tells me that you don’t destroy the breadbasket of America for 300 fish. Governor Brown’s solution to the Central Valley’s water problem is very expensive. However, if the voters don’t kill the project because of the expense, the environmentalists will kill it because it will promote growth in an area that is losing people because of unemployment.

In the past four years I visited California about twice a year (my military children were stationed there). It is a beautiful state with a wonderful climate (I live in New England. To me, most other places have a wonderful climate). It was truly sad to drive through the Central Valley (on my way to a family reunion in Santa Rosa) and see the dust bowl that had once been abundant farms that supplied America’s food.

I have no idea whether or not Governor Brown’s plan is the answer to the water problems in the Central Valley. I am impressed, however, that at least he is looking at the problem and attempting to do something about it. Water in the Central Valley would do wonderful things for both the California economy and the California unemployment rate.

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Destroying The American Economy One Industry At A Time

This article was written by a friend of mine who works in the fishing industry in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The article was published in South Coast Today on February 28.

By MEGHAN LAPP
Meghan Lapp lives in Dartmouth.

February 28, 2013 12:00 AM

In recent weeks, with utter destruction facing the New England groundfish fleet, newly appointed NOAA Regional Administrator John Bullard, whom it was hoped by many would be a responsive voice of reason in the midst of governmental and scientific uncertainty and chaos, has instead used it to further demean and dismantle this nation’s hardworking families. At a time of crisis such as this, the leadership role he possesses could be used to avert disaster and preserve our community. But what we have seen is not only an indifference to the stark reality for fishing families but also to the federal fisheries law designed to protect them.

Regarding a talk at New Bedford’s Ocean Explorium a week or so ago, designed to discuss the state of challenges facing Northeast fisheries and fishermen, Mr. Bullard “jokingly told the Standard-Times” he hoped to face a bunch of third-graders rather than fishing families. Why? Does he think it is a joke that we have lost hundreds of boats in the last three years due to mismanagement by his agency? Does he think it’s a joke that fishermen and their families are losing their businesses? Does he think it’s a joke that they are losing their homes? Does he think it’s a joke that they are losing their retirement and life savings? Does he think it’s a joke that there have been documented cases of suicide attempts, divorces, and families and relationships collapsing because of the pressure of these regulations? Is it a joke to him that there have been documented cases of suicide attempts, divorces, and families and relationships collapsing because of the pressure of these regulations? Is it a joke to him that fishermen in New Bedford are still eligible for state unemployment while working full time on groundfish boats due to the fact that their paychecks are now so low? Is this a joke to him? It isn’t to the hundreds and thousands of people he is supposed to be representing in management.

In response to the newest cuts, which signal the end for New Bedford’s groundfishing fleet — which will essentially allow each boat to work for only a couple or few days next year — Mr. Bullard stated, “A plant shuts down. A person who’s worked there for 30 years all of a sudden goes to the factory door and it’s closed. You learn a new trade and you adapt.” I am dumbstruck by the indifference of this statement to our fishermen. Basically, it is “too bad.” But too bad for Mr. Bullard and his agency that the federal law protects fishermen and fishing communities in a way that factories do not. Maybe he has forgotten that.

The federal law governing our fisheries, The Magnuson-Stevens Act, states in Section 301(a)(8) that, “Conservation and management measures [which the newest cuts purport to be] shall “¦ take into account the importance of fishery resources to fishing communities by utilizing economic and social data “¦ in order to (A) provide for the sustained participation of such communities and (B) to the extent practicable, minimize adverse economic impacts on such communities.” The federal law demands that economic impacts be minimized on our fishing families, and make sure that they can continue to participate in the fishery. No factory I know of has such overt federal legal protection. Mr. Bullard and his agency seem to forget and disregard this part of the law — the law, not a suggestion — that binds their actions. To cut groundfish quotas by such draconian levels, based on science that continues to be debated as to accuracy and reliability, without any provision for the socio-economic impact and continued fishing opportunities for fishing families is, quite frankly, illegal.

Section 303(a)(9) of the same law states that “any” fishery management plan must “include a fishery impact statement for the plan or amendment … which shall assess, specify, and analyze the likely effects, including the cumulative … economic, and social impacts, of the conservation and management measures on, and possible mitigation measures for (A) participants in the fisheries and fishing communities affected by the plan or amendment.” I have seen no such statement, analysis, or mitigation measures put forward by Mr. Bullard or his agency. But they still plan to essentially annihilate the groundfish fleet by their so-called “conservation” measures. To ignore one side of the law while pretending to adhere to another side of the same law is just not good enough. It is not good enough for our fishing families. It is not good enough for the Port of New Bedford.

What is good enough is an emergency action, also provided by the law, to address the brink of disaster. Section 305(c)(1) gives the Secretary of Commerce the ability to issue emergency regulations and interim measures to address an emergency in the fishery. This is an emergency. If Mr. Bullard used his position, based on the above considerations, to request such emergency measures, perhaps fishing families could have a chance to survive the coming fishing year. And perhaps he would be more respected.

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Thug Tactics In Recruiting Union Members

This story is based on two sources–a Washington Free Beacon article on Thursday, and a MyCentralJersey.com article on Wednesday.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

HealthBridge and CareOne, two nursing home companies, are suing the New England Health Care Employees Union (Service Employees International Union Chapter 1199 New England), accusing the labor leaders of using political threats and dangerous workplace sabotage to force several non-union shops into their ranks.

The explosive charges stem from a July labor walkout in which identification badges were removed from elderly patients’ doors, including from some who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s, and medical records were mixed up. The lawsuit alleges that such tactics constitute the same sort of intimidation that the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) were designed to prevent.

MyCentralJersey.com reports:

Among the prestrike acts of sabotage alleged in the court filing: Workers removed patient ID wristbands, dietary stickers and name plates from doors; tampered with medication records; and hid or damaged blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes — acts designed to leave “patients and replacement workers to fend for themselves.”

…The lawsuit alleges that the unions are resorting to desperate measures because their pensions are underfunded and the groups need the union dues to sustain their operations.The New England affiliate, which represents 29,000 workers, contributed $3.5 million in dues to SEIU in 2010. The New York affiliate represents 350,000 members and contributed $40 million in dues. SEIU comprises 2.1 million workers nationally.

On June 13, 2010, I reported (rightwinggranny.com):

The reference for this story is a May 25 article in the Washington Examiner.  The article deals with the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC).  Senator Bob Casey, (D-Pa.), introduced S. 3157 in late March.  According to Thomas.gov, the bill is currently in committee.  The bill is called “Create Jobs and Save Benefits Act of 2010.”

The bill would back union pension funds with federal tax dollars.  The article in the Washington Examiner points out that in 2006, before the recession, only six percent of these union pension funds were doing well.  In a column in the Washington Examiner in April, Mark Hemingway pointed out that the average union pension plan had only enough money to cover 62 percent of its financial obligations.  Pension plans that are below 80 percent funding are considered “endangered” by the government; below 65 percent is considered “critical.”  Union membership is declining, which means that less people are paying into these funds.

The union pensions are essentially a Ponzi scheme. The only way that union members will receive their pensions is if the membership of the unions increases to cover those expenses. Meanwhile, the unions are spending millions of dollars to support political candidates that will be sympathetic to their cause.

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Under The Radar In The New England Fishing Industry

My friend who is working to save the fishing industry in New England sent me the following email:

As a member of the commercial fishing industry, I can say with personal experience and knowledge that the effect that Obama administration policies have had on the nations fishing industry have been overwhelmingly destructive. Not that the fishing industry hasn’t had its struggles over the past 10-15 years, but the most recent developments have been the most drastic. Upon his election, the President nominated Dr. Jane Lubchenco, a publicly outspoken opponent to all kinds of commercial fishing, to head the nation’s top fishing agency, NOAA (the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration). Prior Vice Chairwoman of the Environmental Defense Fund, an NGO which during that time advocated- at a national investor’s conference- financial gain to be obtained through certain types of fishing regulations, she made these types of regulations, which cause massive loss of fishing jobs and boats, the national policy of NOAA. She pushed them through in New England, despite vehement resistance from the majority of the fleet, including an ongoing lawsuit. These policies have caused people to lose their homes, boats, lifetime livelihoods, and in some cases their families. Despite calls from a bipartisan group of various Congressmen and Senators, the President refuses to remove Dr. Lubchenco from her post. While NOAA Administrator, her agency has undergone two IG investigations, during which NOAA officials were found to have lied to the IG and destroyed 80% of the documents of the NOAA department being investigated. Still to this day, no NOAA personnel have been reprimanded or fired. This has led to Senator Brown’s repeated question- what does it take to get fired at NOAA? Under this administration, apparently nothing.

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Something For Massachusetts Voters To Think About In November

This video was sent to me with a note from a friend who is working to save the fishing industry in New England. The video is from YouTube.

These are the comments included with the video:

 

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Massachusetts Fishermen Are Still Fighting For Their Livelihood

SouthCoastToday posted an article on May 30th about a recent meeting in New Bedford by the New England Fishery Management Council. During the meeting seafood auction king Richie Canastra read a letter written by Captain Mark Phillips of the F/V Illusion who could not be there because he was out fishing.

The letter showed that the fishermen who are out working their trade every day understand more about the ecology and techniques of fishing than the bureaucrats at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

The article points out:

The shiny new federal research vessel Bigelow lies at the center of this argument. For example, fishermen who really know how to fish are consistently pointing out that the too-big Bigelow is using the wrong net, a one-size-fits-all compromise arrangement that isn’t designed to target yellowtail.

Government scientists, say the fishermen, deploy the wrong net the wrong way and then trawl too fast, with the yellowtail making their escape. The conclusion is drawn that the yellowtail aren’t down there to start with. So we cut quota.

The letter from Captain Phillips explains how the information the Bigelow collects on the yellowtail is not accurate due to the lack of actual fishing knowledge on the part of the people on the boat. The thing to remember here is that the fishermen are not attempting to over-fish–if they over-fish, they put themselves out of business. In my experience, hunters and fishermen, both professional and amateur, understand more about the ecology of wildlife than the people who want to regulate it. Education has value, but hands-on experience is needed when making decisions that impact people’s ability to make money.

The article concludes:

At the meeting last week, one person after another targeted the design of the net as a real culprit in stock assessments for yellowtail. Tellingly, no one in a position of authority, including the government scientist, uttered a word of rebuttal. They were silently confirming that what the fishermen were saying is true.

At this point there is no excuse for not having fishermen on the Bigelow as observers, the way government observers ride the fishing boats. We could also send out fishing boats to shadow Bigelow to compare results. We could even hire some of these fishing pros to do the survey work.

It makes perfect sense. It also could hurt somebody’s feelings, I’m afraid.

It’s time to bring sanity to fishing quotas.

 

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Two Good Things Happening In The Senate

Scott Brown was elected as Senator from Massachusetts in a special election in January of 2010, after the death of Senator Edward Kennedy. I tend to be somewhat more conservative than Senator Brown and have disagreed with him on some of his votes, but I think he is a man of integrity who is trying to do what is best for the country and for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is responsible for two good things that happened in the Senate this week.

On his facebook page, Senator Brown reports:

On 12/14/11 the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs passed Senator Brown’s revised STOCK Act, which would prohibit insider trading in Congress.

I have no idea what is in the revised bill, but it is an accomplishment to get it out of committee. Thomas.gov should have the revisions up tomorrow.

The second good thing is a Press Release Scott Brown released on December 13. In part, the Press Release reads:

Washington, DC – Following a series of major electric outages that have left millions of New Englanders without power in recent years, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators from the region today, including Senator Scott Brown (R-MA),  called for a hearing to review our nation’s electric grid reliability standards.  In a letter to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Senators highlighted the fact that power outages not only pose a threat to public safety, but also to local businesses and economies.

As an example, the Senators pointed to last month’s New England snowstorm that left more than 2 million utility customers without power, including 672,000 in Massachusetts, 315,000 in New Hampshire and 830,000 in Connecticut.

“This year, Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm caused hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents to lose power for days or weeks, often with little information about when the lights would turn back on,” said U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA).  “I share their frustration and, as we have learned, a reliable power grid is not just critical to our economy, but a matter of life and death.  I hope the Committee will hold this oversight hearing to reveal the extent of our energy reliability issues, and help our nation be better prepared for major disruptions to our power supply.”

“Power outages can have significant consequences, even life-threatening ones when they come during the brutal cold of winter.  Families can be forced out of their homes and businesses forced to close unexpectedly,” said U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  “Unfortunately, over the past two years, significant and sustained outages have been occurring across New England with unacceptable regularity.  Our electric grid reliability standards are designed to protect the welfare of the American people and the American economy, and it’s time that we review their effectiveness and adequacy.”

“This hearing can be highly significant, not only in fact finding but change making,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).  “An oversight hearing should enable us to explore and expose defects in utility preparation and response, and empower reforms in policies and practices at every level.  The prolonged power outages from this past October’s storm had real and pernicious consequences for the economy, health, and safety of Connecticut residents.  An oversight hearing is essential to upgrade our reliability standards as well as improve Mutual Aid Agreements, so that states can protect against similar catastrophes.”

There is another issue here. An organization called EMPact America has been trying to wake Americans up to the dangers of an Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack.

The EMPact America website reports:

An EMP can be caused by a natural event like a severe solar storm or a malicious act using a weapon like a high-altitude nuclear burst. National experts have concluded that consequences of a natural or manmade EMP event could be long-lasting, continent-wide and cripple the U.S. critical electricity-dependent infrastructures, which are highly vulnerable and largely unprotected.

On a personal note. I have been aware of the potential of an EMP attack for a number of years. As I have previously stated on this website, I am not particularly scientifically inclined and not always totally logical. Before I retired, I worked about 20 miles from my home, I knew that in the case of an EMP attack my car would not work and I would want to get home if I was at work. Since I generally wore high heels to work, I always kept a pair of jogging shoes in the trunk of my car. That was my security blanket. I felt very secure until my husband pointed out to me that after an EMP attack I would have no way of getting into my trunk–it has an electronic latch. That is an example of one of the little things that would not work after an EMP attack.

Shielding the electric grid is not an expensive proposition. It needs to be done to protect the people of America. I am grateful Senator Brown is calling for hearings on the reliability of our power grid.

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Yes, It Really Is Cold Outside

Route 3 southbound in Crofton, MD during a lat...

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On Saturday, November 5, my favorite scientific site, wattsupwiththat, posted a story stating that the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) data shows that the United States has experienced cooler summers and colder winters in the past 10 years.

The article featured the chart below.

As anyone who regularly reads this blog knows, I hate cold weather. Now I know that the fact that I am convinced that I am freezing most of the time in New England is not just my imagination.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. There are all kinds of charts showing changes in temperature in America over the past century. The bottom line is very simple–global warming is a myth. We don’t need to cripple the American economy due to junk science!

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Fighting City Hall

This small shrimp trawler uses outriggers, wit...

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As many of you who read this blog on a regular basis know, I have a friend who is active within the New England fishing industry who keeps me informed of what is happening with the attempted government takeover of the industry. She recently submitted an article to the New Bedford Standard Times updating some recent events in the battle to save the small fishermen of New England.

Meghan relates some of her experiences with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and its battle against the small fishermen of New England:

In fact, EDF has on-site paid personnel in Washington, on a continual basis, to lobby Congress for its own agenda. I have seen its employees repeatedly at congressional fishery hearings in D.C. At one such hearing, I witnessed EDF pay to have a few, select “poster children” fishermen, whose airfare, lodging and total expenses were paid by EDF, come and sit in a congressional hearing room before a House subcommittee, and wear red T-shirts that said “Fishermen for Catch Shares.”

The rest of us from the fishing industry who attended, in order to oppose catch shares, did not have any of those luxuries. We, as the majority of the industry, had to take unpaid time off of our own jobs, away from our own businesses and boats, and money out of our own pockets and those of other cash-strapped industry members who wanted their voices heard, to pay for hotels, food, travel, etc., in order to defend our own interests against groups such as EDF who would lead Congress to believe that we “wanted” catch shares in our region. My experience has been that EDF works against the majority fishermen, not with them.

Please follow the link to the article to see further details. The bottom line here is that the New England small commercial fishermen are fighting a well-funded, cash-rich group of bureaucrats who either do not understand the needs of the small commercial fishing fleet owners or are trying to destroy the small businessmen within the fishing industry. This is a place where New Englanders need to let the government know that they are meddling where they have no reliable scientific information and no rational reason for meddling. I appreciate the efforts of the Congressmen in Massachusetts who are fighting for the rights of the small commercial fisherman–regardless of which party they represent.

 

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This Actually Might Make Sense Somewhere Other Than New England

Shorter 1980s bicycle

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I live in Massachusetts. Sometimes that is somewhat awkward as I truly hate cold weather. I am an expert at hibernating. My car has heated seats. My house has two pellet stoves. Occasionally I do actually get warm.

Therefore, a story in yesterday’s Boston Herald caught my eye. The story reported that Massachusetts Avenue in Boston will lose about 70 parking spaces in order to make way for a new bicycle lane.

The article reports:

The 71 parking spaces on the northbound side of the busy thoroughfare will be eliminated by year’s end to make way for the new bike lane, with construction possibly starting as early as this week and stretching two-thirds of a mile from Symphony Hall to the Charles River bridge, officials said.

I learned to drive in New Jersey, so I will spare you my comments on Massachusetts drivers, but I will say that finding a parking space in Boston at any time of day or night is a major accomplishment. I understand the desire to get cars out of the city, but I am not sure a bike lane in New England is the answer. We have winters of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. I am not convinced that a bike is even safe in any of those conditions. Public transportation is not totally awful in Massachusetts–there are trains, subways and buses–all of which are used by the state residents. The federal government just financed the Big Dig (costing over over $14.6 billion), which provided more access to and through the city for cars. Why, after all that, are we taking away parking spaces–we should be putting up multiple-story parking lots!

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I Don’t Usually Post Household Hints But This Is Amazing !

Field mouse of the subgenus Mus.

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As Americans, we are a bit nutty (compared to many other areas of the world) about cleanliness. We use bug spray, bug repellent, ant spray, ant repellent, roach motels, etc. We also worry about what affect these products have on our children and our pets. Well, I came across the most amazing answer to dealing with mice. I live in New England, and in the fall we sometimes get field mice that manage to come into the house. I am a wimp and am not interested in mouse traps. I depend on whatever foster cat we currently have to solve the problem. However, now there is a better way.

Ehow.com posted an article explaining how to get rid of mice using peppermint Altoids. Who knew?

The opening paragraph of the article:

When you have mice in the home, it’s crucial to figure out a way to get rid of them as quickly as possible. If you have peppermint Altoids on hand, you can forget the trip to your local pest control store, and instead use the peppermint Altoids as a natural mouse repellent. The little rodents cannot stand the scent of peppermint, and will go nowhere near it, allowing these small candies to double as an inexpensive mouse repellent.

Follow the link above to the article to get the details. It is an amazingly easy, safe and simple way to deal with wayward mice!

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Brigitte Gabriel To Speak In Westborough Massachusetts Sunday October 16th

The ActBoston Chapter is proud to cosponsor the New England debut of:
Brigitte Gabriel
Leading Expert on Global Islamic Terrorism
Sunday, October 16th at 7:00pm
Indian Meadows Country Club
275 Turnpike Road (Route 9W)
Westborough, MA 01581
This event is open to the public. Please RSVP at actboston@gmail.com
If you have any additional questions, please send them to
actboston@gmail.com
Additional Co-sponsors:
ACT for America Connecticut /New Hampshire/Rhode Island/Maine Chapters, Rabbi Jon Hausman
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Hope For New England Fishermen

This small shrimp trawler uses outriggers, wit...

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During the Obama administration, there has been an attack on the commercial fishing industry in New England. I have posted on this before (rightwinggranny August 27, 2010). Now the fishermen have two allies in the Senate who are preparing to help their cause.

Senators Scott Brown and Kelly Ayotte introduced S. 1678 on Tuesday. The bill would amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to permit eligible fishermen to approve certain limited access privilege programs.

An article at The Republic states it more clearly:

Under the bill, New England’s program would be terminated if more than 15 percent of participating fishermen lost their jobs in the first year. The new system finished its first year in May, but it’s not yet known if the 15 percent threshold was reached.

The bill also requires a two-thirds vote by fishermen before any future fishery management systems are approved.

This does not restore the businesses of the fishermen who have been put out of business by over regulation, but it is a first step in limiting the power of the federal government to choose winners and losers in the fishing industry.

These are quotes from Senator Ayotte’s website about the need for the legislation:

Catch share programs are driving New Hampshire’s fishermen out of business.  Five months after federal catch shares were implemented in New England, 55 out of the initial 500 boats in the fishery controlled 61 percent of the revenue, and 253 of the boats were sitting at the dock, unable to fish without quota,” said Senator Ayotte, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fishers, and Coast Guard.  “This legislation would help level the playing field for independent small fishermen by scrapping unreasonable federal mandates that are killing jobs while giving local fishing communities more control during the program establishment process.”

Senator Brown said: “It is clear that the hastily implemented system of catch-share management in New England has led to fewer fishing jobs and a consolidated fishing fleet.  As more and more jobs disappear from Massachusetts ports, Congressional action is needed to save the fishing industry from overzealous federal regulation.  This bill sends a clear message to NOAA that the broken relationship between the agency and fishermen needs to be fixed and we need to work together to save fishing jobs and ensure a robust and vibrant industry in Massachusetts.”

Both of these Senators are to be congratulated for their efforts on the part of New England fishermen.

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