federal government is on the verge of turning over a huge portion of
our public airwaves to companies like AT&T, Verizon, and
Comcast—who will use them for private gain instead of the public good.
newly available airwaves are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to
revolutionize Internet access—beaming high-speed Internet signals to
every park bench, coffee shop, workplace, and home in America at more
affordable prices than current Internet service. Phone and cable
companies don't want this competition to their Internet service—they'd
rather purchase the airwaves at auction and sit on them1
June, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will make a major
decision: Use the public airwaves for the public good, or turn them
over to big companies who will stifle competition, innovation, and the
wireless Internet revolution.
FCC is only accepting public comments for a few more days. Can you sign
this petition to them today, and send it to your friends?
public airwaves should be used for the public good. The government must
protect our airwaves from corporate gatekeepers who would stifle
innovation and competition in the wireless Internet market."
deliver your petition signature and any accompanying note directly to
the FCC's public comment record, which FCC Commissioners use to guide
There are many innovative companies jumping at the
opportunity to forge ahead with the wireless Internet
revolution—bringing us high-speed wireless networks from coast to coast
and all sorts of innovative wireless devices. But the old phone and
cable companies are aggressively trying to block this progress. They've
spent billions laying wires, and they enjoy having their customers
locked in with few alternatives.
to the public airwaves, wireless innovators can't enter the
marketplace. So the strategy of companies like AT&T, Verizon, and
Comcast is to buy the administrative rights of our airwaves at
auction—and then use those rights to block competition. They also
stifle the development of new wireless devices by only letting their
own endorsed products work on their networks.
urging the FCC to protect the public good by setting auction rules that
prohibit this anti-competitive behavior. If the government auctioned
off the right to maintain a public highway to Ford, we would certainly
not let Ford block Toyotas from the roads. Likewise, big phone and
cable should not be able to keep innovative companies off our airwaves.
also shouldn't be able to tell their wireless Internet customers which
websites they can access—as they do now. And just as phone companies
can't tell customers what phones can be plugged into a wall jack, cell
and wireless companies should not be able to dictate which phones or
wireless devices people use on their networks.
opportunity to revolutionize the Internet and wireless world is at our
fingertips. The only question is whether our government will embrace
it, and whether regular people will fight for it.
The FCC is only accepting public comments for a few more days. Can you sign the petition to them today, and send it to your friends?
Thanks for all you do. –Adam Green, MoveOn.org Civic Action Tuesday, May 29th, 2007
people haven't heard about this critical issue yet—so it's really
important that we spread the word and get others involved. As
you consider who else to tell about this issue, here's what innovation
and competition in the wireless world means for regular people:
would no longer be forced to choose solely between high-priced phone
and cable Internet. A new wireless market—including lots of competition
within that market—would mean more affordable Internet access for
Poor and rural communities which
phone and cable companies never bothered to wire with high-speed
Internet access could now have high-speed Internet signals beamed
directly into their homes.
Blackberry and other handheld wireless users are currently blocked by phone companies from accessing Internet-based phone service and other innovative services.2 The FCC could stop these anti-competitive, anti-consumer practices by mandating wireless Net Neutrality.
Socially responsible buyers
could someday go to a store, scan the bar codes of products with an
Internet-equipped cell phone, and find out which items are socially
responsible. Phone companies can currently block such innovations from
working with their devices (they often try to shake down innovators
into giving them a massive cut of their profits)—but the FCC can
prohibit such practices on these newly available airwaves.
in America are currently denied all sorts of cutting-edge technology
that people in other countries have—like using Internet-equipped cell
phones to buy products, transfer money, or give to charity. By opening
the doors to competition and innovation, the FCC can change that.
The House Agriculture Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Subcommittee is
meeting tomorrow, 5/24/07, 10 am, to consider some draft provisions of the Farm
Bill that could pave the way for mandatory NAIS. Please see the following
post on noNAIS.org for the details and please contact the Livestock, Dairy,
Poultry Subcommittee members as set forth in the post:
Netposse, aka Stolen Horse International, is the nation's best online resource
for recovering stolen horses. Thanks to their efforts, many horse owners have
had happy (and sometimes sad) reunions with their missing equine friends.
Unfortunetly, although horse theft is common in the United States (40-55,000
horses are stolen annually), most are not recovered and most people are unaware
that it is such a problem.
Netposse has helped recover horses 10 or more years
after the horses were stolen, giving hope to hundreds of owners around the US
who fear horse theft might happen to them (and those unfortunate ones to whom it
has already occured). Many stolen horses are sold to slaughter either at horse
auctions or directly at the plants (former plant workers have confirmed
slaughtering horses that were knowingly stolen---that is, the person selling
them the horse said that he'd stolen it just a few hours before from someone's
pasture). Not to go on an anti-slaughter rant, but if we can reduce the
incidence of horses that are stolen, we can also reduce the number of horses
that go to slaughter every year. Horse theft is one of my greatest fears; I have
even looked into buying a survellence system with a webcam to moniter my horses
(but this might distract me from work...and the barn owner doesn't have a
high-speed connection). My horses are microchipped (except the baby) and I keep
current photos of everyone---and I know to do this, thanks to netposse.
Netposse has done so much for so many people. Right now they are trying
to get a petition together that would allow Idaho, their mascot, to become a
Breyer model. Making him into a Breyer model would not only be a great tribute
to their cause, but would also increase awareness of the horse theft situation.
Idaho was recovered more than a year after he was stolen. He was the inspiration
and foundation for SHI.
Horse theft has so many victims; often the new
owners have no idea that the horse they bought was stolen, and it is all around
heartbreak for everyone.
Horse lovers love Breyer horses. Founded in
1951, Breyer has introduced thousands of horse lovers to horses at an early age.
I played with them as a kid, and I still have some of the models I had back
Consider signing the petition to make Idaho into a Breyer model
and increase horse theft awareness. It is such a small act and could really make
a difference. You can even remain anonymous if you would like to., and if you do
you will even be anonymous to the petition maker.
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED TO STOP HORSE SLAUGHTER IN TEXAS
In light of the recent U.S. Fifth Circuit Court Decision upholding current Texas law banning the slaughtering of horses for human consumption, the horse slaughter plants and their supporters have introduced companion bills in the Texas Legislature to legalize horse slaughter in Texas. The bill number in the House of Representatives is HB 2674 and the Senate companion bill is SB 1742. These bills are the horse slaughter plants absolute last chance to keep operating in Texas and they will do everything possible to pass these bills. We must be prepared for an all out fight to kill these bills and make sure that horse slaughter stays banned in Texas.
The horse slaughter plants have lots of money to spend on highly paid and very influential lobbyists. Although we don’t have a lot of money, we do have a great grassroots network and if we all work together, we can and will win defeat these bills.
The first thing you can do is to immediately contact your state representative and state senator and tell them you are opposed to these bills. Also, notify your friends, neighbors, and members of horse organizations to do the same. Our game plan is to inundate the legislators with calls, letters, faxes and e-mails and let them know how we feel. You can get the name and contact information for your state representative and senator online at https://www.capitol.state.tx.us or by contacting your county clerk (the phone number will be listed in your phone book under county government).
The second thing you can do is to be ready on short notice to go to Austin when these bills are open for public comment before the committees considering them. Our goal is to have at least 250 people to pack the hearing room and sign in against these bills. In addition, if you would like to speak against the bill, you are invited to do so. It is your right to voice your opinion at these hearings. We must have a large turnout to let the legislators know we are serious. We will generally only have 4 or 5 days notice before the hearing is set, so try and be flexible and do everything possible to get to Austin so our voices can be heard.,
Also, if you go to Austin, be sure and make a personal visit to your representative and senator and again tell them that you oppose these bills.
Some talking points for you to use when you contact your representative or senator are:
1. There are three slaughter houses in the United States. Two are in Texas; one in Fort Worth (Beltex) and the other in Kaufman (Dallas Crown). Both are foreign owned and all profits go to the foreign owners. Because of accounting loopholes, these plants pay little or no federal income tax.
2. Texas has banned the slaughter of horses for human consumption since 1949. However, due to lack of enforcement, the two Texas horse slaughter plants have operated for many years with impunity. Finally, in 2002, the Texas Attorney General ruled that these horse slaughter plants were violating a criminal law and could be prosecuted. Through various court actions, the horse slaughter plants were able to hold off prosecution for over four years, but finally in January of this year, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of the prosecutors and denied the horse slaughter plants any court protection.
3. Now, as a last ditch stand, the slaughter houses are attempting to repeal the nearly 60 year old ban on horse slaughter. HB 2476 and its Senate companion, SB 1742 will legalize horse slaughter in Texas and allow these plants to continue to slaughter our horses and ship their meat to satisfy the palates of foreign diners in France, Belgium and Japan.
4. In 2003, these horse slaughter plants tried to legalize horse slaughter in Texas and failed. At that time, a survey of Texans was conducted and the findings were as follows:
* 89% were unaware that horses were being slaughtered in this state for human consumption. • 72% were opposed to the slaughter of horses for human consumption. * 77% were opposed to changing the state law to permit the slaughter of horses for human consumption. * 77% said they would be less likely to vote for a legislative candidate who supported a change in the law to permit the slaughter of horses for human consumption. * By an 8 to 1 margin, Texans associate the value of horses with Texas state culture, heritage and economy rather than the horse’s value as a simple livestock commodity like cattle.
Bottom line, Texans do not want their horses slaughtered for human consumption.
5. Last year, over 100,000 horses were slaughtered in the United States and their meat exported to France, Belgium and Japan. Contrary to the claims of the horse slaughter plants that the slaughtered horses were old, sick, injured or had behavioral problems, the USDA, who inspects the slaughtering of these horses, found that over 92% were fit and healthy and had no behavioral problems.
6. Horse slaughter also promotes horse theft. The slaughter plants are a perfect outlet for horse thieves to dispose of their stolen horses. This is quick and all evidence is destroyed. The slaughter plants brag that a horse “goes from the stable to the table in 48 hours”. After California banned horse slaughter in 1998, reported horse thefts fell by over 34%.
7. The slaughtering process is extremely cruel and inhumane, beginning with cruel transport where horses unfamiliar with each other are crammed together in over crowded transfer vehicles normally used to haul cattle. Stallions are mixed with other stallions, mares, pregnant mares, and mares with foals are also included in the mix. Many horses are injured or dead at the time they arrive at the slaughter plant. The slaughter process itself is done using a “captive bolt gun”. This is applied to the head and triggered to render the horse unconscious before it is hoisted to the killing line to have its throat slashed. Often times the procedure is imprecise and the horse is hit numerous times with the bolt gun and often the horse regains consciousness while its throat is slit.
8. Banning of horse slaughter will not, as some contend, cause horses to be abandoned or left in the field to starve. First of all, such conduct is a criminal offense in Texas and most other states. Also, there are various options such as horse retirement sanctuaries and other adoption facilities and if all else fails, the humane euthanasia of the animal by a qualified veterinarian.
9. Banning horse slaughter does not deprive a horse owner of any of his “property rights”. Instead, it protects those rights from horse thieves and from a fraudulent market place in which “killer buyers” posing as horse brokers buy horses from unsuspecting sellers thinking their horses are going to a good home, when in fact they will be slaughtered.
This very important request for your action is being sent to you by Habitat for Horses and the Texas Humane Legislative Network. When Rep. Betty Brown of Kaufman introduced a bill to legalize horse slaughter in Texas, the Texas Government received an estimated one million phone calls, more than had ever been received in the history of Texas on any subject. Now we need to do it again. Let show them that we mean business.
Habitat for Horses P.O. Box 213 Hitchcock, Texas 77563
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of Alberto Machado Sent: Sunday, January 28, 2007 7:19 AM To: Alberto Machado Subject: [grassfedbeef] A REAL RASTREABILIDADE ANIMAL - National Animal Identification (NAIS) - USDA Extreme Enforcement - THIS IS TRUE -
USDA Extreme Enforcement
I'm not sure which Ohio newspaper this letter to the editor was sent to (besides Senator Harkin) but this gives you a good idea of what life will be like under NAIS. Darol Dickinson has written a number of excellent articles against NAIS for quite some time. Karen
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From: Ben Grosscup [[email protected]] Sent: Friday, January 19, 2007 11:26 AM To: undisclosed-recipients: Subject: [NOFA/Mass Update on NAIS] The 2006 Agricultural Identification Survey and the NASS/NAIS Identity Yesterday, I received a call from a farmer in Massachusetts who had been sent a survey from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). We understand that people all over the country are receiving this survey. Many are concerned that information from this survey could be used to bolster the USDA's national Animal Identification System.
We wanted to provide this perspective from small farm advocate and small-scale farmer, Mary Zanoni, who has written extensively about NAIS. We think her article helps explain the significance of this survey and may usefully inform people who have received it as well as public officials charged with overseeing USDA activities.
Ben Grosscup Northeast Organic Farming Association, Massachusetts Chapter Amherst, MA 01002 413-658-5374 [email protected]