28 Sep

Fountain Hills reverses ban on firearms in town parks

good-news

(Arizona Central) – Fountain Hills plans to make clear that legal firearms are allowed in its parks, as required by a state law approved by the Arizona Legislature in 2010.

At its Sept. 18 meeting, the Town Council approved an amendment to the town code that reverses a ban on firearms at all town-owned parks, including Fountain Park, the town’s major tourist attraction. Councilwoman Ginny Dickey voted against the amendment.

The amendment resulted after a resident complained about seeing signs prohibiting firearms at town parks.

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/scottsdale/2014/09/26/fountain-hills-reverses-ban-firearms-town-parks/16291173/

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27 Sep

CA winery driven out of business after state-imposed fine

freedoms-jeopardy

(Mercury News) – A small-time vintner’s use of volunteer workers has put him out of business after the state squeezed him like a late-summer grape for $115,000 in fines — and sent a chill through the wine industry.

The volunteers, some of them learning to make wine while helping out, were illegally unpaid laborers, and Westover Winery should have been paying them and paying worker taxes, the state Department of Industrial Relations said.

“I didn’t know it was illegal to use volunteers at a winery; it’s a common practice,” said winery owner Bill Smyth.

http://www.mercurynews.com/my-town/ci_26541167/castro-valley-winery

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27 Sep

Officers celebrate the confiscation of 190 pounds of…ginsing?

what-the-hell

(Register Herald) – Over the last two weeks, National Resource Police Officers of District IV have confiscated more than 190 pounds of illegally dug ginseng worth $180,000.

Officer Marshall Richards said the seizures were the result of multiple search warrants and a one-year investigation.

Any ginseng dug before Sept. 1 or after Nov. 30 is dug outside of season and illegally. Ginseng dug during season must be certified by the state by March 31, and buyers must obtain a permit from the Division of Forestry, he said. It is illegal to be in possession of uncertified Ginseng between April 1 and Aug. 31.

http://www.register-herald.com/news/article_6a1298f1-ea5f-5a2f-a8e1-42ef6bf1c705.html

 

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27 Sep

Surprise! U.S. airstrikes in Syria spark 200 additional opposition fighters

foreign-policy

(Reuters via Yahoo) – More than 200 fighters have joined Islamic State in Syria’s northern Aleppo province since U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States would strike the militant group in Syria, a monitoring group said on Friday.

U.S.-led forces launched air strikes on Syria on Tuesday, concentrating raids on the north and east to loosen Islamic State’s grip on Syria’s oil and its presence along the border with Iraq.

http://news.yahoo.com/recruits-join-islamic-state-syrias-aleppo-monitor-095145245.html

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27 Sep

New Apple encryption on iPhone Locks Out N.S.A. investigations

good-news

(NY Times) – Devoted customers of Apple products these days worry about whether the new iPhone 6 will bend in their jean pockets. The National Security Agency and the nation’s law enforcement agencies have a different concern: that the smartphone is the first of a post-Snowden generation of equipment that will disrupt their investigative abilities.

The phone encrypts emails, photos and contacts based on a complex mathematical algorithm that uses a code created by, and unique to, the phone’s user — and that Apple says it will not possess.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/27/technology/iphone-locks-out-the-nsa-signaling-a-post-snowden-era-.html

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27 Sep

Third party exclusion helps solidify two-party train wreck

third-parties

(Lubbock Journal) – For all practical purposes, Kathie Glass has been a full-time campaigner since last October.

The Houston attorney, who is running for governor on the Libertarian Party of Texas ticket, has been crisscrossing the state because she set out to visit each of the 254 counties before the Nov. 4 election.

“I don’t know what the county counting is, 220 … 222, or 225,” Glass said Thursday, after campaigning in the Texas Panhandle/South Plains region, mainly in Amarillo and Lubbock.

http://lubbockonline.com/editorial-columnists/2014-09-26/rangel-libertarian-unhappy-be-excluded-debate

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27 Sep

Warrant-less GPS tracking may set convicted drug dealer free

news-views

(The Post and Courier) – A convicted drug dealer could potentially walk free from prison in coming months after the state Supreme Court ruled North Charleston police violated his rights by attaching a GPS device to his vehicle without a warrant.

Alfred Adams, Jr., 46, of Harrier Drive in Hanahan, was behind bars Friday at Lee Correctional Institution serving a 25-year sentence for trafficking 148 grams of cocaine.

His 2010 conviction stemmed from a November 2008 traffic stop and arrest on University Boulevard.

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27 Sep

Chef Emeril says Obama policies crushing middle class restauranteurs

freedoms-jeopardy

(The Week) – Chef Emeril Lagasse shot to fame as the host of a popular Food Network show that encouraged amateur chefs to try their own hands in the kitchen. But despite being one of the most recognizable celebrity chefs in the country, Lagasse’s outlook on his future as a restaurateur — and the restaurant industry in general — is fairly grim. “I have nowhere to go, really — other than broke,” said Lagasse at a recent event promoting his upcoming TNT reality series On the Menu.

http://theweek.com/speedreads/index/268690/speedreads-emeril-lagasse-i-have-nowhere-to-go-really–other-than-broke

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27 Sep

Obamacare Website Costs Exceed $2 Billion, Study Finds

news-views

(Bloomberg) – The federal government’s Obamacare enrollment system has cost about $2.1 billion so far, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis of contracts related to the project.

Spending for healthcare.gov and related programs, including at the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies, exceeds cost estimates provided by the Obama administration, the analysis found. The government’s most recent estimate, limited to spending on computer systems by the agency that runs the site, through February, is $834 million.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-24/obamacare-website-costs-exceed-2-billion-study-finds.html

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27 Sep

Despite massive spending, underachievement prevails

constitution

(SmallGovTimes) – Did you know that the number of people on food stamps has grown over the past 13 years by nearly 30 million, which accounts for almost 20% of households receiving taxpayer-funded food subsidies?  At the same time, the federal government is spending more per household than ever before – in fact, a 152 percent increase since 1965.

Our middle class is shrinking – the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, due in large part to insanely complex government rules and regulations that only those with resources can bypass.  In fact, the top 7% of households own 63% of the nation’s wealth.  During the so-called economy recovery, the other 93% of families lost wealth, putting into question the effectiveness of big spending government stimulus packages and who, in reality, the recovery truly helped.

ABC News reports that nearly 50 million people in the United States live in poverty, but yet, most Americans view our nation as the most prosperous in the world, fundamentally superior to our foreign counterparts despite our poor education system, insanely expensive healthcare industry and THE biggest government that we’ve ever had.

In fact, our healthcare system spends twice as much per person than any other developed nation in the world, a cost that accounts for more than 16% of our nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Our healthcare spending has increased at twice the rate of inflation, but yet our pharmaceuticals continue to kill and emergency rooms remain clogged with people using it as their primary care service.

A much-maligned segment of the population, the top 1% of income earners in the country have a greater net worth than the bottom 90% put together.  Perhaps this is due to nearly a quarter of all jobs in the United States that pay a wage of less than $10/hour.

Worse, spending in Washington continues to grow, more than it ever has despite record tax revenues.  Federal politicians managed to rack up $755 billion in deficits through the first eleven months of 2013′s fiscal year.  Spending during the same period amounted to a whopping $3.2 trillion.

Now, the government wants to take over healthcare.  Already the most expensive healthcare system in the entire world, the 10,500-page Obamacare monstrosity has authorized the government to spend even more money.  The new healthcare system’s broken Healthcare.gov web site cost the American taxpayer $634 million to build.  Obamacare has caused many insurance companies to cancel policies and create more expensive alternatives.  Premiums have risen and job hours have decreased to sub-30 hours to avoid Obamacare penalties.

The evidence of the big government effect is clear and overwhelming, and it is costing the American taxpayer trillions of dollars in reckless spending.  Both the Democrats and Republicans represent the cause of these problems, and our nation will never truly fix our ailing spending habits until we replace those responsible for it.

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