Thursday, December 31, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
Anyway, somewhere along the line I had an employer who had Credit Union membership as a benefit. I joined, and have never looked back. Credit Unions used to be hard to get into, the laws have been relaxed and it is a lot easier now. Banks are all about making money for themselves, and they view you and me simply as a way to make money. Yet, with all their fees, they needed bailed out? Credit Unions, on the other hand, are all about SERVICE. Yes, their goal is to SERVE YOU. My credit union links my checking and savings accounts FOR FREE. No more bounced checks! If there is a problem, they CALL ME. They try to HELP me. They bend over backwards to save me from paying fees.
Credit Unions have all the options banks do, but they are non-profit, they want YOU to make money.
Here's Roland's story, and I hope it motivates you to check out your local Credit Union. You'll be glad you did! :) Oh, and if you feel like it, pass his story along to others.
An Essay to a Bank
Dear Citizens Bank,
Although my story will not sway you nor even cause you to flicker an eye, I hope that this essay will inspire the millions of individuals out there to not only demand you change your ways, but ultimately force the entire banking industry to change how it thinks and operates.
I know that we have all been there. Due to circumstances beyond our control we’ve accidentally bounced a check. And due to our accidental miscalculation you relish in taking that check, returning it immediately, and assessing us enormous fees that equate to an astronomical interest rate. When the other person gets the check back you also charge them a ridiculous fee to their account. The interesting part is that this is all done by automated computers, so you claim. Because it is done this way no individual can “stop your check” from being returned, even if you put money in the account at 9 am the next morning.
So let me get this straight…a computer system that over its lifetime may only cost you a penny to return a check and a penny to process it as received you are earning $37.00 from the individual who bounced the check and if you happen to also be the receiving bank of the returned check possibly $20.00 from that customer as well. So for simple math purposes let us round this to an even $50.00 that has been earned by the banking system that cost them roughly two cents to process. Now most banks do not return the check right away to the depositor, but in effect re-deposit it. But for sake of Citizens Bank, I will assume that you do return it to the depositor when you get that check back. A postage stamp at the current rate is about forty-eight cents, for simple argument. I pulled out my calculator Citizens Bank….that’s a ten thousand percent profit! For doing absolutely nothing!
Not to mention the headaches you have caused the customer and the depositor (if you happen to be the same bank.) This is why I blanket this to all the banking industry…you are all guilty of this to some degree. But wait…it gets much MUCH better! You see, you have discovered that if your system pays the largest check first, you get to bounce even MORE checks! Isn’t that ingenious? What a profit model you have! One simple math error on our part will make you anywhere from fifty bucks to three, four, even five hundred dollars!
So why do you do this? You claim to be customer oriented…you try to sell me multi million dollar advertising campaigns that stated you are the best bank around. In reality you all do this. You make money off of the poorest people of our society forcing them to stay poor. You rob those who are ignorant and have no other means. Rather than just charging one simple fee you continue to compound the fee until we are utterly unable to do more than go to the ‘company store’ and worship you as the golden lambs you are!
Let us now explore my personal story…you see, you claimed to be about customer service. In reality you are serving the customers for lunch. What you did to me the other day needs to be heard and told. I am going to say five words that will ruin your bank forever, causing your company and the entire banking industry to crumble under its own greed. You say I am one customer, I have no power. You say if I don’t like it go elsewhere…to where your satanic brothers do the same screw job! But no more. I will bring you down and you are about to see that my pen is much mightier than your lawyers.
On Wednesday of this past week I was so excited to know I received my first direct deposit into your bank from my hard working job. It took me two weeks of waking up, and going to work, to obtain a nice paycheck. In that paycheck my mortgage payment was going to be taken out. Normally I would have written a check, taken it to the post office, and dropped it off. In an attempt to earn higher profits you have instituted a bill pay program online. I was excited! I will save a postage stamp. During the set up there is always a long list of rules and regulations that nobody ever reads. You know this. You hope that this happens. And it did. I clicked “I agree.” Your tellers told me, that it’s a great product! All I need to do is go in, tell it when I want a bill paid, and it pays it. How much better can it get!?
When I went online I was amazed…the check I thought I was paying on Wednesday actually was paid on Tuesday. But wait…HOW? I’m over drawn! Oh my God! What do I do. Then I take a look at the check…wait…it was post dated for today…but you paid it the day before? You made an error! So I called your so called customer service number. That was when I learned how customer friendly you really were. Apparently bill pay when I put a day in, that is the day you promise to have it there by…not the day you plan on sending it! But that wasn’t how it was explained to me! You said, I agreed online to it, so it was my fault. Oh, by the way it will cost you $74.00 and we are returning the check! What do you mean you are returning it!? Yes, we are returning it because although you got over a thousand dollars today and could cover it, we just don’t care enough about you so we will be returning it. It is beyond our control! How is it beyond your control!? It’s automated!
So you’re telling me after I’m trying to explain to you that it isn’t my fault but yours, that I’m a stupid person and I should have read the disclosures better, even though your own staff told me something that contradicted it? That is correct sir! So now my mortgage company will charge me a $25.00 fee for a returned check PLUS it is now late? But it isn’t my fault!! I told your system to pay it today, NOT five days ago. Well, when you say that the date it is due you want us to pay it by that date. We don’t care if you have money in your account; our third party bill paying company doesn’t care. They want to make sure your check gets there on time. But you just made $74.00 for doing nothing!? But it isn’t our fault sir. How could it not be your fault!? Your online system is confusing…wait…now I get it. You WANT IT THAT WAY!
I flat out told the lady that because of that error they must make a million dollars or so a day….she didn’t care. There was nothing she could do and would not refund my fees. It was my fault that I misunderstood their very sneaky online bill pay program. So now not only is my mortgage past due, not paid, but I have just lost $74.00 to Citizens Bank and they really didn’t care. My Mortgage Company was charged most likely $10.00 by their bank, but will charge me $25.00 to cover their services. Because of this magnificent Bill Pay Program that your sales people pretty much sold to me as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, I am now out $99.00 from my paycheck!
I am furious. I’m upset. You don’t care that in reality you made $74.00 on a one day loan if you can even call it that. My mortgage payment was $686.00. A debit card purchase for groceries which also went through, but you actually paid because you had no choice, for about $90.00 hit my account. Because you paid my mortgage first, you got another $37.00 out of me for my grocery bill! So let’s do the math Citizens Bank…on an APY you just charged me about 37,000% to borrow money for one night…that you still returned! How is that legal!? How!?
Well my friends, Citizens Bank could legally do that to me. And they did. They also have done this to you and your friends. And they will continue to do it! But not just Citizens Bank….every other Bank in America does it. Now some have better policies than others, but the majority follow the lines of Citizens Bank.
Don’t you think it would have been fair after charging me that much money to wait until maybe Noon the next day to see if I put cash into the account!? Actually you KNEW it was coming because ACH deposits hit the Federal Reserve SEVERAL days before you give me credit and they give you credit. You KNEW it was coming. But you didn’t care. You hope that when my mortgage company tries to charge me $25.00 through another check that it TOO bounces and you get more fees!
But then I learned an epiphany. I learned Five Words that will change it all. I learned how that $74.00 is about to ruin your bank! You see people; banks just are out there to make money. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing saying they care about their customers. They don’t! If you believe that you are already a slave to them. In reality they are a greedy business with no particular face…well almost. They will claim that you own some of the bank if you have a mutual fund or own stock…but you know there are other industries you can invest in. More than likely if you have owed these fees you are on the bottom rung of society. You don’t own stock or maybe even have a retirement plan. So now here is something they don’t want you to know about. Did you realize that you HAVE an option!? You can go to a Credit Union!!! Credit Unions, although they deal with banks to do their clearing, have so much money they can actually leverage for you and force rates so low that they can’t charge you so much for bounced checks!?
They give you home and personal loans at rates so low it’s incredible! They know your name! My account number is FIVE DIGITS LONG!!?? They are insured just like the banks for $100,000.00! And when you bounce checks they are more likely to call you or transfer money from a savings account…and this isn’t a fee that they charge. They realize mistakes happen and they won’t kill you for it! They have debit cards! They have Credit Cards! They have online banking! They also have online bill pay…however they put their disclosures in BIG PRINT! They know your name! And most importantly they are non profit! They are there for YOU…you aren’t there for them!
Citizens Bank…you have screwed me for the last time. You lost a customer. And although you are like, who cares…he’s so small and has no money…you say that about every customer. And these five words are about to change the entire banking industry. If you agree with me...if you’ve been screwed over by the banks and you now see they don’t care…if you want to join me in bringing them to their knees and forcing them in the true American way of Dollar Votes to realize we won’t stand for being abused this way…if you know friends who have been victimized the same way that I have been…forward this e-mail and print it…listen to these five worlds….
THAT BANK DOESN’T DESERVE ME
I implore you to leave your banks and find a credit union in your area. There are hundreds. Their ATM networks are so vast you wouldn’t believe. You can use your Credit Union’s card at other credit union ATMS for no charge! Just think of what you would save! Your bank and that other bank charges you nearly $5.00 for that!!?? Think of what YOU will save. Trust me. Citizens Bank doesn’t care about me. They don’t care about you. Every big bank in America…even smaller regional banks…they don’t care. They make fees off of your hard earned money so that their rich CEO’s can bankrupt the company and leave with millions.
So remember, That Bank Doesn’t Deserve Me! And if you want them to hear us in great numbers, take this essay with you to the bank. When they ask you why are you closing your account show them this letter. Make it count! And rejoice when you realize how much nicer Credit Unions are. I don’t work for one. I don’t really know anyone at one (until I met the friendly people the other day.) Now I love them. They are caring and understanding. Don’t let the Banking Industry tell us that they deserve such massive profits off of our or in my case THEIR mistakes.
Citizens Bank…You don’t deserve me!
A Very Unhappy Former Customer,
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Yes, I know, it needs weeded some more - you should have seen it on Friday, lol. There's dirt on some of the leaves from me burying the vines this morning to protect them from pests. There's also yellow on some of them, I was trying some organic fertilizer spikes and whenever I'd place one under a root node I'd get these yellow spots on the leaves, so I quit using them, and the rest of the plant is nice and green. It also got attacked early on by cucumber beetles, I took care of them. :)
Anyway, I have a female flower out at about 10 feet, which is a good position, I'm starting to bend the vine to accomodate it. Pretty soon I'll have to provide shade for the flower, and later the fruit. Not today, though, it's a nice, cool, overcast day and we should be getting some rain to wash the dirt off the leaves.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
May we remember and honor all those who gave their lives protecting us and our way of life.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Here is one of my newest additions to the rabbitry, Dusty's Smoke. He has a very promising body under all that fluff, and the crimp to his wool is amazing. He'll get his first shearing soon. Smoke has an interesting mix of bloodlines that should mesh beautifully with my own.
Members of Dark's litter are finding their way to their new homes, all but the little tort should be gone by the end of the month. She'll hang around here until we can figure out a way to get her to Vermont, as well as a way back home for a bunny I'll be getting. I'll be posting a very patriotic picture of these bunnies over the holiday weekend. ;)
I took a day off work today to help out at an alpaca shearing. A friend of mine has around 50 alpacas and today they all got nekkid. They weren't too thrilled by it all, but the shearer was quick and gentle and they were each done in less than 5 minutes, none the worse for wear. Now there are bags upon bags of fiber to be skirted, sorted, and washed. I plan on buying a pound of some beautiful golden fiber.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
I went to an old acquaintance who no longer breeds and bought a trio of rabbits, a buck and two does. They are related to Mopsie, who is the doe with the spectacular litter of ten who graces my blog and my web page. The buck will be sold along with one of my baby does from Dark's colorful litter, the does are staying here to be bred. They are from some excellent older lines, and if they do half as well as Mopsie did they'll do 10 times better than the newer lines I was so heavily invested in. I also picked up a gorgeous dark black buck from my good friend Dustin. :)
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Contact: National Assn. Of Farm Animal Welfare
280 Fair Ave, Suite #35
Fairview, OH 43736 USA
April 13, 2009
FOR TIMELY RELEASE, PLEASE
NAIS vs. the Equine Owner
by R. M. Thornsberry, D.V.M., M.B.A.
It is important for horse owners to know why NAIS is being forced on the equine industry within the United States. The United States and many other countries signed a World Trade Organization (WTO) treaty in the 1990â€™s which obligated the first world countries, which had spent literally millions and millions of taxpayer dollars to eradicate contagious animal diseases, to develop a system of individual animal identification. The individual animal identification was demanded by the Organization of International Epizootics (OIE), a WTO world wide governmental agency, tasked with developing trade rules and internationally obligated trade regulations that would force animal and meat trade between countries that had eradicated contagious diseases with those that had not eradicated contagious animal diseases. In other words, the United States, which had eradicated Equine Piroplasmosis in the 1980â€™s, a tick borne protozoal infection, would, by identifying all equines, be forced to trade with countries that had not eradicated Equine Piroplasmosis. In general, the argument goes something like this: Once you can identify every equine at birth and trace their every movement off the farm from birth to death, a first world country that has spent millions of taxpayer dollars to eradicate Equine Piroplasmosis, can no longer prevent trade with those countries who have refused to spend the necessary resources to eradicate Equine Piroplasmosis.
The United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) no longer seeks to carry out their mandate to prevent the introduction of foreign animal and plant diseases into the United States. Currently, USDA-APHIS in supporting NAIS, spending millions of tax payer dollars to entice livestock and equine owners into the system by promoting the acquisition of a free Premises Identification Number (PIN)from their respective state departments of agriculture. Producers of cattle, and equine owners, are the two classes of livestock owners who have overwhelmingly refused to receive an internationally sanctioned encumbrance to their private property. The USDA says a PIN is the first step to a painless process of identification of all livestock ownersâ€™ physical locations, and that this PIN number is essential for the USDA to find a farm and quickly trace the movement of animals in the face of a contagious animal disease outbreak.
Yet, in any location within the state of Missouri, and I am sure in most states, you can simply punch 911 into your phone, and in a matter of 15 to 20 minutes, the police, the fire department, the ambulance, the sheriff, and usually the Conservation Commission Agent will be at your doorstep, but the USDA says they cannot find you? At every Agricultural Services-USDA office in the United States, you may obtain a description of your farm or ranch, including a current aerial photograph. You can go on Google Earth, type in your physical address, and privately obtain a detailed satellite photograph of your farm or ranch, providing such detail, that you can actually count individual cattle or horses in your pasture, and the USDA says it cannot find your farm or ranch in a contagious animal disease outbreak? The reasons the USDA want you to obtain a Premises Identification Number have nothing whatever to do with the USDAâ€™s ability to find your farm or your cattle or your horses. My 10 year old grandson can find my farm, a detailed satellite photograph of my farm, my telephone number, my mailing address, and my physical address on his computer in a matter of seconds. Itâ€™s called Google!!!
The USDA-APHIS has testified before the United States Department of Agriculture, House of Representatives, Committee on Agriculture, Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, Poultry, March 11, 2009 that the NAIS would have to be electronic in nature to function as envisioned by the WTO. This simply means no visual tags, hot or cold brands, tattoos, ear notches, or individual color markings or descriptions will be allowed for individual animal identification. While this is a problem for other types of livestock, for the equine industry, it becomes a major hurdle to overcome. For equines, dogs, cats, fish, poultry, and many exotic animals, the only acceptable means of electronic individual animal identification is a surgically implanted glass enclosed electronic microchip. This implant is not nearly as simple to surgically implant within an animal as some are led to believe. When I implant a chip into an animal, I clip or shave the area. I scrub the area with surgical preparation soap containing iodine, and I finish by spraying the area with a surgical site disinfection iodine-alcohol solution. Lastly, I inject the area over the site of implantation with lidocaine to render the skin and underlying tissues devoid of sensation. The chips come individually packaged in a sterile container. To maintain this sterility, I must be sterile, which requires a surgical scrubbing of my hands, and the donning of a pair of sterile surgical latex gloves. Only after this extensive preparation, am I ready to actually implant the chip in the nuchal ligament of the mid neck area of my equine patient. Compare this process to the cattle producer who simply places a small eartag in his cattle.
The glass enclosed chips do not always stay put. Like a splinter in your finger, the body often mounts a response to a foreign body, even one as innocuous as a piece of sterile glass. The response may include the formation of a sterile abscess around the chip, or it may simply be painful and generate a negative response from the horse as it turns its neck or tries to graze, or attempts a performance endeavor at a race, show, or event. Chips have been known to migrate quite extensive distances within the body of an animal. Ask any veterinarian that works in this area of interest. Simply finding a chip to make a reading in some animals becomes a major undertaking. Only recently, has another side effect of chipping become known. A small percentage of veterinary patients have developed a cancerous growth at the site of implantation. While the incidence is low in animals whose lives are relatively short, an equine patient, living to the age of 20 to 35 years, has much more time to develop a cancerous growth around the implanted chip, than does a dog or cat, whose lifetime is closer 12 to 15 years. For a very complete summary and analysis of the scientific literature on microchips and cancer, see Katharine Albrecht, Ed.D., â€œMicrochip Induced Tumors in Laboratory Rodents and Dogs: A Review of the Literature, 1990 to 2006,â€� available at www.antichips.com/cancer.
With all that being evaluated, the primary reason the USDA-APHIS desires to force the NAIS system onto the livestock sectors of the United States is simple: Bruce Knight told a large group of bovine practitioners at our annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada in September 2007, when asked why the USDA was pushing so hard for NAIS, and I quote, â€œIt is quite simple. We want to be in compliance with OIE regulations by 2010.â€�
Now I donâ€™t know about all you equine owners, but we cattle producers do not look kindly on an international agency in Belgium telling us what we can and cannot do with our livestock in the United States. Our grandfathers and fathers spend untold millions of dollars to assist the USDA in eradicating many serious contagious animal diseases during the last 75 years. Why would we now acquiesce to a system that will open up our privately owned animals to contagious animal diseases that we whipped and wiped out many years ago, for access to our marketplace to animals and meat from countries who have chosen in that same time period to ignore eradication of contagious animal diseases? No way!!!
We live in the United States, not the WTO. We have a Constitution that directs our legal system, not the OIE. We have a government by the people, for the people, and of the people. It is time for the people to stand up and say, â€œEnough with the one world government junk!!!â€� If equine owners do not stand up and unite their voices with other livestock producers, NAIS will become mandatory in the United States. It will cost the equine owner in excess of $50.00 a head to implant the electronic microchip desired by the USDA and the WTO. You will then be required to report any movement of your horse or horses off your property, and for any reason. Imagine the bureaucratic nightmare and the paperwork requirements of reporting to your government every time you go on a trail ride, every time you go to a show or an event, and every time you trailer a mare to go to the stud. There will have to be an NAIS office in every county seat to process all this data, keep track of your information, and report any violations to the USDA. Just imagine the fines and enforcement actions that will be carried out to enforce this NAIS system on the livestock industry of the United States of America, including equine owners.
R. M. Thornsberry, D.V.M., M.B.A.
March 28, 2009
Thornsberry has a B.S. in Agriculture and a minor in Chemistry from the University of Missouriâ€™s College of Agriculture. In 1977, Thornsberry received his D.V.M. from University of Missouriâ€™s College of Veterinary Medicine. In 1992, Thornsberry acquired his M.B.A. at California Coast University in Santa Ana, Calif.
Thornsberry is a past president of both the Missouri Stockgrowerâ€™s Association and the Missouri Cattlemenâ€™s Association. He also is a current member of the Academy of Veterinary Consultants and the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
One of the frustrating things about raising rabbits is having a litter and wanting to keep every one of them. :) I have to repeat this breeding. These babies are so friendly and so cute, there is not a shy one amongst them. Somehow the other day, three of them got out, they must have jumped out as I was feeding them (in the dark) and they roamed all day. Come evening, as I was feeding, something didn't look right, why were there only 4 babies in the cage? Not to worry, I called the bunnies and all three came running to be scooped up and put back with Mom. :) Ya gotta love that!
I wanted to keep a buck from this litter, but right now there appears to only be one buck (imagine that!) and he is promised to someone. I wonder if I can talk her out of him? Not likely, he's really nice. Oh well, I guess Dark has another date with Crosby in her future...
Saturday, April 04, 2009
The babies continue to grow and are getting very curious about their world. They also harass their mother incessantly, poor dear! I have more requests for these babies than I can fill! I need to keep a buck from this litter, plus I might keep the fawn doe, but everyone else is already spoken for.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Sunrise's fat babies wait for me to feed them, they've learned all about chow time. :)
But the little black is shy, and tries to hide behind Mom.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
I'm feeling pretty excited about having Tan-based Reds. One of the babies is indeed a Tort, I'm thinking Blue but I'm told Black Torts look a lot like Blue at first, and the level of rufus in this baby is pretty high for a dilute - but time will tell.
The eye bands and other Tan markings are starting to color up in the two Reds, making them harder to distinguish. I'm including a picture of the Black Tan Pattern so you can more easily see how the rufus really starts coming in the markings with time. I'm hoping the reds will color up so much that they appear to be Selfs.
I lost one of the Black Tans yesterday, poor thing got dragged out of the nest and chilled. :( This was one of three who needed some supplemental time with Mom at first, and was doing a great job of catching up to the others. I thought the entire litter was going to make it, but that's life.
Anyway, here's a picture of the Tort:
And here are pics of the bigger of the two red babies:
And here is a pic of the Black Tan, notice the rufus coming out in the markings:
I've had some interest expressed in the Reds already, I'm not sure if I'll keep one or not. I really don't have room for another project, lol, but they sure are pretty! Anyway, these babies will only go to someone who is serious about developing color in Giants.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Do you see what I see? Three Torts! At least one of which looks to me like it might be a Torted Otter, or even
The lone self Blue puzzles me. I thought for sure Crosby was homozygous for Tan Pattern, but apparently not. I'm also wondering where Dark got the non-extension gene from. Her mom Yeungling never threw Torts, even when bred to bucks whom I knew for a fact carried it. So, that leaves Oscar as the probably source, although his breeding to Sunrise (pictured below) didn't result in any Torts. Speaking of Sunrise, here she is with her shy little brood:
I know Oscar carries wideband and throws some nice rufus, if he also carries non-extension, that opens the possibilty of purebred Red German Angoras! Woo Hoo!
I'm having so much fun with colors, I may someday abandon REWs totally. That would mean not showing, unless I or someone else starts getting colors developed and approved in Giants.
Which brings me to a funny thing I noticed about Nino, my purebred Black German. He's been having issues getting does bred. He tries his little heart out, but he just can't seem to connect. One day, as the doe who was in with him was getting frustrated, I took him out and flipped him over to see if something was in the way - maybe he got matted from trying so hard or something... warning... warning... explicit language coming up... leave now or prepare to be offended...
This rabbit's willy was out and ready, and was also a good THREE INCHES LONG!!! And curved! I honestly wonder how he possibly could manuver that sucker in there! No wonder he can't get anyone bred! Could you imagine if, proportionately, a man had one like that? Whoa, get out the yardstick!!! ROFLMAO!!!
Now I dunno, maybe all bucks are like that, I've never interrupted on at that point before, but GEEZ!
Friday, March 13, 2009
Last Chance to Comment on USDA's Proposed Rule, Subcommittee Hearing, and Appropriations Update
The comment period on USDA's proposed rule to implement NAIS premises registration ends on Monday, March 16. Please take action now!
The proposed rule would require NAIS premises registration for existing disease control programs for goats, sheep, cattle, and swine. It also sets the stage for mandatory NAIS animal identification in the future.
You can comment here online through the Federal Register site and click on the yellow balloon under “add comments.”
An easier way to comment online is through the Organic Consumers Association's automated system, which includes a sample letter.
Please be sure to personalize the letter! It can be as easy as a couple of sentences at the beginning stating who you are (for example, a farmer, consumer, property rights proponent) and why you care about NAIS.
Congressional Hearing on NAIS
On Wednesday, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry held a hearing on NAIS. The questions and comments of several of the Subcommittee members revealed that they view NAIS as a food safety program and critical for animal health in case of a “catastrophic outbreak.” One member said, in essence, that the costs to farmers financially, and in loss of privacy, must be weighed against the "cost in human life" if NAIS isn't implemented.
Yet USDA continues to provide absolutely no scientific evidence to support the claim that NAIS will do anything at all to improve animal health or food safety! What NAIS will do is impose government surveillance and significant expense on animal owners for no real benefit to the public. The only ones who will benefit from NAIS are the meat packers and exporters, tag manufacturers, database managers and other large corporations.
You can send written testimony to the Subcommittee for up to 10 days after the hearing, until Saturday, March 21. Send your testimony to the Hearing Clerk, Jamie Mitchell. Be sure to put “March 11 Hearing – Animal Identification Programs” in the subject line. Keep your comments clear, polite, and concise.
Be sure to send a copy to your Representative and Senators! If you are not sure who represents you, click here.
The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 was passed by the Senate and signed by President Obama yesterday. The bill includes $14.5 million for USDA to continue implementing NAIS. This is about half of what the agency requested, but still too much.
Thank you to everyone who called and emailed their Senators to try to strip the NAIS funding out of the bill. Although no amendment was offered, your calls still mattered! The Senators know that their constituents care about NAIS and are watching this issue, which will be important as we continue to fight NAIS battles in Congress throughout this year.
For more information about NAIS, visit and support LibertyArk.net
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The above blogger is a kindred spirit, and documents the Obama Administration's attack on small farmers and food producers, in the name of "safety". Check out the documenting links, and also read the comments at the end of the article, they're also very informative and thought-provoking.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Here they are again, I took this Tuesday when they were 8 days old. They're starting to look like bunnies! I'm keeping the otter on the right, the rest are going to a new home with their Mom.
I think this is the first time I've had a statistically correct litter! (Well, except for REW to REW breedings.) Chances were 50% Chestnut, 25% Otter, and 25% Black, and that's exactly what I got! I wonder if the sexes will also be statistically correct?
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Here are Oscar and Sunrise's babies. Two of them have white spots on their foreheads, they'll make nice woolers. One is the black, the other is, I think, a chestnut, but it's a bit early to tell. I think (hope!) one of the others is an otter, and the last looks like a chestnut.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I've since bred her twice, once to Nino and once to Oscar, and still no babies. The last time she built a nest right on time, even pulled wool, but no babies. This time around, she built the nest on Wednesday, was due Friday, and today, still no babies, no wool pulled, even. :(
I have more does due over the next few weeks, hopefully SOMEBODY will hatch!
This morning, after checking Sunrise's (empty) nestbox, I shot Bob a sideways look and said, "Have you been slipping these rabbits birth control?"
He laughed that yep, he had indeed done that. ;) Good thing he was joking. :)
Louis and Lizzie are clipped down and (hopefully) bred. This of course means neither will be ready to be shown at Nationals. Oh well. Maybe if the weather stays cool I'll show them at Hamburg in late May or Frankfurt in June.
I've given it a lot of thought, and I may stop taking reservations for rabbits. I'll still honor the promises I have made, of course, but when I make promises of rabbits that have yet to be born, it prevents me from making changes to my breeding program when I want to. Except for the funk that Sunrise is in, my Tan line reproduces like - well, like rabbits. I'm certain Dark took, maybe not so certain about Cadbury, but then I bred her to Nino, and my German bucks just haven't been getting the job done lately. I'm not saying the fault lies with them, a lot of breeders I talked to at the PA Convention told me they're having issues, too. Could it be the bad winter we're having? Where the heck is that darned Global Warming when you need it? Oops, I mean "Climate Change". (They've switched to Climate Change so that no matter what the weather does, they can blame it on Man.) But I digress. Crosby is a spectacular breeder, he gets the job done and it is obviously successful. No flirting and fumbling around, he is all business, and I really like that in a buck. Anyway, I'd like to use him more, but I need to produce REW babies because I have them promised to folks, and I doubt he carries albino. I know Midas doesn't. So, once I've satisfied the promises I have made, I think I'll start integrating the Tans into the Giant line and focus more on them. I'll still get REWS, of course, but I won't have many to show with or sell. Which is OK, because I'm not in this to make money, anyway. And I'll have Louis, Lizzie, and maybe even Joy to show if and when their coats are prime and there is a show worth going to at that time.
Not showing so much will also free me up to spend more time in fiber pursuits. I have a used knitting machine on the way. :) If I can figure out how to use it, I plan to have a lot of fun with it.
Monday, February 09, 2009
I didn't keep track of much of the goings-on at the PaSRBA show. I was so busy grooming and taking care of rabbit sales and transportation stuff that I didn't pay much attention to results. Louis and Lizzie did well in the UARC Specialty judged by ARBA Prez Dr. Chris Hayhow. Louis took BOS and Lizzie was in the running for BOB, Terri Robertson's super Sr doe beat her out. In the PaSRBA Open shows, they both placed dead last in their classes on Saturday, they placed well on Sunday, but didn't win anything. Tomorrow they'll be shorn and bred. :)
Update: Got my show report today - Lizzie got a Best Wool on Sunday! Woo hoo!
Meanwhile back at the ranch, I bred Joy to Oscar one final time before he left to go visit a friend's German doe for awhile. I also had bred him to Sunrise, who will be going to her new home this weekend. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Joy actually took this time. At the same time, I bred Guin to Nino. I tried Dark and Crosby, but Dark wasn't having any part of it. I'll try them again tomorrow.
I picked up a new "Giant Fuzzy Lop", actually a purebred French Lop with wool, whom I named King Midas, since he is a gold-tipped Steel and I wanted to stick with the royalty names for these lines. I'll get a pic up as soon as I shear him. His first date will eventually be with Joy. I'm hoping to get a chestnut doe out of that breeding and breed her to Nino when she's old enough.
So hopefully I'll have some full nestboxes soon. :)
Menawhile, here are some pictures my friend Annette took at the show:
This is me holding Lizzie
And this is Dr. Hayhow judging Giants:
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Liberty Ark Alert: January 16, 2009
USDA Publishes Proposed Rule on NAIS
USDA has published a proposed rule that would mandate NAIS premises registration and animal identification for several key animal disease programs. This includes scrapie, brucellosis, tuberculosis, and Johne’s. If this rule is adopted, hundreds of thousands of people who own cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs will be forced to register their property and use only tags approved by the USDA for NAIS.
This proves, yet again, that NAIS is NOT a voluntary program at the Federal level. Participation in these disease control programs are often mandatory, or necessary for economic reasons, for farmers to stay in business. Converting the programs to mandate NAIS Premises Registration effectively makes NAIS an involuntary program, contradicting USDA’s continued claims that NAIS is voluntary.
Submit comments on the proposed rule. You can submit comments on the proposed rule through March 16, 2009, using either the online portal or regular mail:
1. Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal to submit or view comments, as well as related materials.
2. If you mail your comments, send two copies of your comment to:
Docket No. APHIS-2007-0096
Regulatory Analysis and Development
PPD APHIS Station 3A-03.8
4700 River Road Unit 118
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238
You should clearly state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS- 2007-0096.
We will send out sample talking points to help people in submitting comments as soon as possible.
Here are some of the key points of the proposed rule:
1. If the rule is adopted, the NAIS Premises ID Number (PIN) would be the ONLY form of premises identification allowed for official uses such as federal disease control programs.
2. The proposed rule states that it will still allow the use of the National Uniform Eartagging System, but it would be linked to the NAIS PIN.
3. USDA claims that it has determined that the proposed rule is "not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866," which requires a cost-benefit analysis of federal regulations. But the agency never completed a cost/benefit analysis (and refuses to release its draft analysis). So it has no proof that the proposed rule’s benefits outweigh the costs to be inflicted on the animal owners.4. The bottom line: The proposed rule would mandate portions of NAIS though official federal regulations.
Excerpts from the Proposed Rule
Below are a few excerpts from USDA's explanation of its proposed rule. The full notice and proposed rule can be found here.
"[W]e are ... requiring that all PINs issued on or after the date on which this proposed rule becomes effective would have to use the seven-character alphanumeric code format." [Ed. note: the NAIS PIN]
"Identification eartags, as well as other devices or means of official identification, such as backtags and tattoos, that employ a premises-based numbering system that include a PIN could not be applied to animals 1 year or later after the date on which this proposed rule in finalized if the PIN does not employ the seven-character form."
"[T]his proposed rule would not require the use of the AIN. Other animal identification numbering systems currently recognized in the regulations for use on official eartags, such as the National Uniform Eartagging System and premises-based numbering systems that combine a PIN with a producer's livestock production numbering system, will continue to be so recognized. If the AIN is used, however, on an official eartag or other device (currently, it is only used on eartags and implants), only the format with the 840 prefix would be acceptable for use on animals tagged 1 year or more after the date on which this proposed rule in finalized."
"Our proposed definition of official eartag would also require such eartags, including those that use the National Uniform Eartagging System, if issued or distributed in conjunction with a Federal disease program, to be correlated with the PINs of the premises to which they are issued, by means of the Animal Identification Number Management System (AINMS) or other recordkeeping systems approved by the Administrator. (Both the National Uniform Eartagging System and the AINMS are discussed in greater detail later in this document.) For this proposed requirement to be met, official eartags used in animal disease programs could only be issued, going forward, to registered premises that have PINs."
"Our proposed definition of official eartag would also require that when AIN eartags are used, the AINs would have to be correlated with the PINs of the premises to which they are issued, meaning that AIN eartags could only be issued to registered premises that have PINs."
"The definition of official eartag in Sec. 79.1 would be amended to remove the option of using the National Uniform Eartagging System in the NSEP [National Scrapie Eradication Program]."
The official website of the President-elect has set up a section where people can vote on ideas, and the top ideas will be presented to President Obama after he is sworn in.
Several suggestions to stop NAIS have been posted. The one that has garnered the most votes so far is Eliminate NAIS.
You can find all the ideas that mention NAIS by searching the citizens briefing book. Please go vote for eliminating NAIS.
For more information on NAIS, visit and support LibertyArk.net
I'm going to wait now until after the PA Convention to breed again. Plus, I'm going to forget about, at least for now, trying to breed a purebred chocolate German. All my energy is going to be focused on producing the perfect Giant, colored or otherwise. To that end, some stock will be leaving here. Donna has hit her third strike, she'll be sold as a wooler. I can't keep feeding a doe who won't produce babies. It's a shame, she has a spectacular coat, but if she can't or won't pass those genes on, she's useless to me. Oscar will be camping out at a friend's rabbitry for awhile, making purebred German babies. :) Garritt, my little French buck, will be re-homed. He is a cute little fella, but doesn't make senior weight even for a French, so I'll find a spinning home for him. Sunrise will move on to a pet home. She has done her part here and deserves a comfortable retirement. Lizzie might be sold at Convention, if not, she'll be bred to Louis.
So, the only purebred Germans will be Nino and Joy. The rest will be Giants.
Germans certainly have left their stamp here, Louis, Guin, and Lizzie are 3/4 German and 1/4 French Lop. Their offspring will produce Giants with clean pedigrees. The German in their background is a blend of old lines and 2002 import lines. In my opinion, they have perfect texture and density. Special Dark, my young Black Otter Giant doe, is a daughter of Oscar. Her mother is a blend of Giant, French, Tan, and Thrianta (talk about genetic diversity!) Dark inherited her dad's wonderful wool and her mom's rufous. She'll be bred to Crosby, my Black Tan Giant buck. Crosby is heavily inbred back to my original Giant/Tan cross. He lacks texture (needs frequent grooming) but has a nice body, nice furnishings, and has every color gene I want (atat Bb C? Dd EE ww). Cadbury, my Chocolate Otter Giant doe, is a blend of Giant, German, French, and Tan. She has a wonderful little body and decent wool, and will be bred to Nino.
So, most of my breedings will be back to my own lines. Louis will be bred to either Lizzie or Guin, depending on whether Lizzie sells. Guin will be bred to either Louis or Nino. Nino and Cadbury will be bred together, and Crosby and Dark.
I have special plans for Joy
PS - please check out the Save Handmade image (it links to an article you will appreciate) at the bottom of the blog.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
"Top 10 Ideas for America"
The private website, www.Change.org, will present the "Top 10 Ideas for America" to the Obama Administration on Inauguration Day. "Stop NAIS" has made it to the second round of voting! It is competing against 86 other ideas to see if it can make it into the Top 10. The second round of voting will end at 5 pm next Thursday, January 15.
STEP 1: If you are not already signed up for the site, register at: https://www.change.org/admin/sign_up
STEP 2: Go to http://www.change.org/ideas/view/stop_nais. Be sure to click the box labeled "vote!" to the left of the Protect Our Food Supply -- Stop NAIS! Simply leaving a comment does not count as a vote. The box should change color and the text will change to "voted." You may have to try a couple of times.
STEP 3: Email all your friends, and ask them to vote also!
STEP 4 (optional): The most important thing is the number of VOTES that the idea gets. If you want to leave a comment after you have voted, think in terms of what will encourage other people to vote to stop NAIS. Keep your comment short and clear.
Remember that Stop NAIS! is competing against all of the other ideas for one of the Top 10 slots. Only the Top 10 will be presented to the transition team.
In the first round of voting, almost 300,000 votes were cast. So this is a great opportunity for us to get the NAIS issue in front of a broad audience during the voting process! And if Stop NAIS! makes it to the Top 10, it will be among the ideas presented at an event at the National Press Club on January 16, followed by a press release. The organizers of Change.org have committed to supporting advocacy campaigns for each of the Top 10 ideas, including encouraging their 200,000 members to support the effort.
This is a very quick, easy way to help us raise awareness about NAIS and potentially get significant new resources for this fight! Please go to http://www.change.org/ideas/view/stop_nais and vote now!
For more information on NAIS, visit and support LibertyArk.net
Sunday, January 04, 2009
If my local feed store (a Purina dealer) can't get it, I'll have to order it over the internet.
We'll see how it goes. I'll probably mix it with Calf Manna and feed it in the mornings with the bunns' hay. That way the protein will be more balanced throughout the day - helpful for maintaining proper gut flora.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
which has it's benefits and its disadvantages. Benefits are that harmful bacteria have less starch to use for food, and so have lower potential for harm.
(http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/Rabbits/meredith.htm) One should see less incidence of enteritis, for example.
However, one thing I have noticed is that my rabbits have become leaner. Not a bad thing for breeding, especially for does, but not quite so desireable for showing them. Essentially, Fibre3 seems to be the Atkins Diet for rabbits. If I had Tans or another running breed, I think I'd be estatic. I do think it had a positive impact on the breedabilty of two of my (hard to breed) does. BUT everyone's pin bones are more apparent, so performance on the show table may suffer. I am also wondering how milk production will fare when said does deliver. It is nice to know, however, that with this feed I can put a rabbit on a diet without withholding feed.
I could feed one feed for show animals (Complete Plus looks good: http://www.rabbitnutrition.com/OurProducts/Products/RabbitChowCompletePlus/default.aspx) and the other (Fibre3) for brood animals. Or, I could keep using the Fibre3 and add a starchy supplement like whole oats to the show animals' feed. I used to mix oats, Calf Manna (or Sunshine Plus) and sunflower seeds (1 part Calf Manna, one part sunflower seeds, and 2 parts oats) and give that to the bunns with their hay in the morning, I could go back to that, and adjust amounts of the mix to the requirements of the individual rabbits. I'm using Calf Manna anyway.
But all this is way more complicated than I want to be. I'd like feeding to be a simple one or two-step process, easily replicated by other care-givers when I am traveling. In other words, I'd like one feed that covers all the bases.
I'm going to have to think on this. Complete Plus may be the answer.