Sunday, May 30, 2010

Disturbing Abuse Uncovered At Ohio Dairy Farm

An investigator with Mercy For Animals was hired by Conklin Dairy and recorded hidden camera video during a four-week undercover operation. The video shows several employees, including farm owner Gary Conklin, abusing cows for no apparent reason. A well-known farmer in central Ohio, Conklin is seen on the video repeatedly kicking a downer cow in the face. The most malicious acts in the video were conducted by Conklin Dairy employee Billy Joe Gregg, 25. Gregg not only body slammed and repeatedly and forcefully punched cows, but stabbed confined animals with pitchforks and ruthlessly struck them in the face with a metal bar. Gregg was seen on the video telling the investigator how much he loved beating the animals. 
Gregg was taken into custody yesterday and arraigned this morning, facing 12 counts of animal cruelty. No charges have been brought as yet against the farm owner or the other employees, and presumably the farm is still operating. Gary Conklin issued a statement yesterday after the video came to light. "Our family takes the care of our cows and calves very seriously," Conklin said. "The video shows animal care that is clearly inconsistent with the high standards we set for our farm and its workers, and we find the specific mistreatment shown on the video to be reprehensible and unacceptable." Conklin did not address his own apparent misconduct in the video.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture inspected the facility three times within the last year, according to theColumbus Dispatch. Officials said they did not witness any abuse and approved it as a “Grade A” facility, meaning that the milk can be sold commercially for any purpose.
Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson told the Dispatch that the behavior he saw on the videotape was "vile and disgusting." "If there was a way this could be a felony charge, I would push for that," Nelson said.

Unfortunately, Ohio’s anti-cruelty law does not allow for felony-level charges for farm animal abuse, no matter how malicious the act. This is due to the lobbying influence of Ohio agribusiness interests.

Those same interests are fighting the Ohio ballot initiative to halt the abuse of downer cows, the strangulation of animals on the farm, and life-long confinement of veal calves, breeding sows, and laying hens in cages and crates barely larger than the animals’ bodies. Volunteers are now circulating the petition and have until June 29 to gather 402,000 signatures of registered voters in Ohio.  

The farmers on the tour with me expressed their disgust for the abuses documented at Conklin Dairy. But they also spoke out against other forms of more routine cruelty within agribusiness, and called on the good people of Ohio to support this reform and return some level of responsible care and husbandry to the practice of animal agriculture.

Please sign the petition

Youtube channel "Mercy For Animals"
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Billy Joe Gregg - Cow Beater


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 The voice for the voiceless 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

'I Just Killed My Children' This is really sad

Copyright © 2010 The voice for the voiceless - All Rights Reserved

Obama Defends Handling of Oil Spill

WASHINGTON — Saying that he is “angry and frustrated” over theoil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama on Thursday ordered work to be suspended on exploratory drilling in the gulf and cancelled or deferred some future wells around the country, as the head of the agency regulating offshore drilling resigned under pressure.
Doug Mills/The New York Times
President Obama spoke about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday.
Where have you seen the impact of the spill?
As the oil spill reaches land, we would like your updates and photographs of what you’re seeing. Photos are optional but recommended.

Is It Obama’s Oil Spill Now?

Will the BP disaster shape popular views of the president’s competency?
Addressing deepening public frustration and defending his handling of the five-week-old crisis, Mr. Obama acknowledged that his team had made several mistakes of judgment and approach, at one point even saying “I was wrong” to believe that oilcompanies were prepared for worst-case disasters as he moved forward with plans for expanded offshore drilling last month, before the disaster in the gulf, which was caused by an explosion on April 20 that destroyed a drilling rig leased by BP.
“In case you’re wondering who’s responsible, I take responsibility,” Mr. Obama said at a rare White House news conference. “It is my job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen right away or the way I’d like it to happen. It doesn’t mean we’re not going to make any mistakes. But there shouldn’t be any confusion here. The federal government is fully engaged and I’m fully engaged.”
In response to questioning by reporters, Mr. Obama listed several areas where he or his administration had made mistakes. For one, he said his administration should have moved more aggressively to clean up what he called a cozy and corrupt relationship between regulators and industry, suggesting that the disaster might have been prevented if steps were taken sooner.
“Obviously they weren’t happening fast enough,” he said. “If they were happening fast enough, this might have been caught.”
But the president rejected criticism that he had not focused intently enough on the spill, now estimated to be the biggest in United States history, with millions of gallons of oil already released into the gulf. He said he thinks about the disaster every morning when he wakes up and every night when he goes to bed.
“Every day I see this leak continue, I am angry and frustrated as well,” the president told reporters in the East Room. He acknowledged that not every decision has been perfect and “we can always do better.” But he added: “Those who think we were either slow in our response or lacked urgency don’t know the facts. This has been our highest priority since this crisis occurred.”
Even his daughter, Malia, prods him on the matter, he said, recounting her popping her head into the bathroom while he was shaving in the morning to ask: “Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?”
The news conference came hours after the head of theMinerals Management Service, the agency that regulates offshore drilling, stepped down under pressure. S. Elizabeth Birnbaum, who took over as director of the agency last July, announced her resignation after being asked by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to relinquish her post, a government official said. While she might have stayed in the department in another position, she decided instead to resign, the official said.
On Thursday, Mr. Obama ordered the suspension of work on 33 exploratory wells currently being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico; a further six-month moratorium on new permits for deepwater oil and gas wells; a temporary halt to planned exploration in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off the coast of Alaska; the cancellation of a planned August lease sale in the western Gulf of Mexico; and the cancellation of a proposed lease sale off the coast of Virginia. Environmentalists who had opposed the Alaska and Virginia projects hailed the decisions.
Mr. Obama said further moves will be made to strengthen oversight of the drilling industry and enhance safety as a commission he is appointing opens its own six-month inquiry. The commission will be led by former Senator Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida, and by William K. Reilly, who was administrator of theEnvironmental Protection Agencyunder the first President Bush.
The moves to rein in drilling were a marked turnaround for Mr. Obama. Just a few weeks before the disaster on the gulf rig, known as the Deepwater Horizon, Mr. Obama proposed an expansion of offshore oil exploration as a response to the nation’s continuing need for new energy sources. But the policy change reflects the volatile and rapidly shifting political environment and Mr. Obama’s search for ways to demonstrate leadership as efforts to cope with the spill have seemed to falter.
Ms. Birnbaum’s resignation came after weeks of questions about whether she was up to the task of remaking the Minerals Management Service, an agency widely recognized as one of the most dysfunctional in government.
A Harvard-trained lawyer, she was described by friends as smart, tenacious, persistent and tough, but she has also been criticized for doing almost nothing to fix problems that have plagued the agency for more than a decade. She rarely visited the agency’s far-flung offices, and critics said the same agency managers who ignored or suppressed scientists’ concerns about safety and environmental risks in the past were still doing the same things under her.


 The voice for the voiceless - All Rights Reserved

No sign of life in the effected Ocean water that oIl has swallowed up


Copyright © 2010 The voice for the voiceless - All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Otis Goodson has discovered what could potentially be the saving Grace for the Gulf of Mexico.

Copyright © 2010 The voice for the voiceless - All Rights Reserved

Otis Goodson has discovered what could potentially be the saving Grace for the Gulf of Mexico. 
And it’s as simple as hay. 
Otis was in his barn, thinking about the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill and wondering what he could do to help. 
Looking around, he began to wonder if the hay in his barn could be used to soak up oil. 
He had a large vat filled with used oil drained from his farm equipment. He dropped some hay into the vat, stirred the hay around and scooped it back out realizing the hay had absorbed a large amount of oil. 
He then filled an empty vat with clean water, mixed in several gallons of oil, added hay and stirred it around with a pitchfork. 
He lifted the hay out of the vat and found that the hay had completely absorbed all of the oil, leaving clean water behind. 
Upon discovering hay’s oil absorbing qualities he immediately began contacting the US Coast Guard and BP officials about his discovery. 
Early Tuesday morning he traveled to the Joint Oil Response Center in Mobile, Alabama and presented his findings to Coast Guard and BP officials. 
To the amazement of officials present, Otis demonstrated the ability of hay to soak up oil and almost completely remove it from the water. 
According to Otis, neither the Coast Guard nor BP officials have seen this before. 
Tuesday afternoon, Otis was in Okaloosa County waiting outside of the latest public forum to show his discovery to Secretary Michael Sole of the Florida DEP, Senator Don Gaetz, Representative Matt Gaetz, Okaloosa county officials and a BP representative. 
As of 6:15 pm, according to Otis, there are 4 semi trucks in South Walton county filled with hay and ready to go.
As of approximately 8:00 pm, Walton County officials announced an oil recovery plan using hay on Walton County beaches.

Louisiana Gov Jindal Press Conference May 26 2010

Copyright © 2010 The voice for the voiceless - All Rights Reserved

BP Leak Will Stop When Oil Well Runs Dry

 BP Leak Will Stop When Oil Well Runs Dry

Maria & Paul
'Dead in the Water'

Dead in the water
There's no coming home
This world is forgotten
Past the danger zone

We warm this earth with sorrow
Cool our dread with fear
What price our tomorrow?
So many won't be here

Dead in the water
Drowned in our fate
Choosing the horror
We know it's too late

Dead in the water
Washed up as one
Humanity's daughter
Fighting destiny's son

We hurt ourselves for riches
We bleed our friends for gold
Burn the ancient bridges
Shame the honour of the old

What right have we to murder
Each life within our grasp
To brutalize and burden
Every creature in our path

Where is the life we could have had?
Where is the world we should have had?
Where is the peace in every man?
We are a stain on a ruined land...

Dead in the water
These yesterday lives
Plastic and poison
The silence of lies

Dead in the water
Too little too late
We listen to orders
And die while we wait...

We hurt ourselves for riches
We bleed our friends for gold
Burn the ancient bridges
Shame the honour of the old

What right have we to murder
Each life within our grasp
To brutalize and burden
Every creature in our path

© Maria Daines/Paul Killington
All Rights Reserved
(mcps) ASCAP

Maria Daines website

Link to song Dead in the water

Copyright © 2010 The voice for the voiceless - All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Toxic Oil Spill Rains Warned Could Destroy North America

A dire report prepared for President Medvedev by Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources is warning today that the British Petroleum (BP) oil and gas leak in the Gulf of Mexico is about to become the worst environmental catastrophe in all of human history threatening the entire eastern half of the North American continent with “total destruction”.
Russian scientists are basing their apocalyptic destruction assessment due to BP’s use of millions of gallons of the chemical dispersal agent known as Corexit 9500 which is being pumped directly into the leak of this wellhead over a mile under the Gulf of Mexico waters and designed, this report says, to keep hidden from the American public the full, and tragic, extent of this leak that is now estimated to be over 2.9 million gallons a day.
The dispersal agent Corexit 9500 is a solvent originally developed by Exxon and now manufactured by the Nalco Holding Company of Naperville, Illinois that is four times more toxic than oil (oil is toxic at 11 ppm (parts per million), Corexit 9500 at only 2.61ppm).  In a report written by Anita George-Ares and James R. Clark for Exxon Biomedical Sciences, Inc. titled “Acute Aquatic Toxicity of Three Corexit Products: An Overview” Corexit 9500 was found to be one of the most toxic dispersal agents ever developed. Even worse, according to this report, with higher water temperatures, like those now occurring in the Gulf of Mexico, its toxicity grows.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in discovering BP’s use of this dangerous dispersal agent ordered BP to stop using it, but BP refused stating that their only alternative to Corexit 9500 was an even more dangerous dispersal agent known asSea Brat 4.
The main differences between Corexit 9500 and Sea Brat 4 lie in how long these dangerous chemicals take to degrade into their constituent organic compounds, which for Corexit 9500 is 28 days.  Sea Brat 4, on the other hand, degrades into an organic chemical called Nonylphenol that is toxic to aquatic life and can persist in the environment for years.
A greater danger involving Corexit 9500, and as outlined by Russian scientists in this report, is that with its 2.61ppm toxicity level, and when combined with the heating Gulf of Mexico waters, its molecules will be able to “phase transition” from their present liquid to a gaseous state allowing them to be absorbed into clouds and allowing their release as“toxic rain” upon all of Eastern North America.
Even worse, should a Katrina like tropical hurricane form in the Gulf of Mexico while tens of millions of gallons of Corexit 9500 are sitting on, or near, its surface the resulting“toxic rain” falling upon the North American continent could “theoretically” destroy all microbial life to any depth it reaches resulting in an “unimaginable environmental catastrophe” destroying all life forms from the “bottom of the evolutionary chart to the top”.
Note: For molecules of a liquid to evaporate, they must be located near the surface, be moving in the proper direction, and have sufficient kinetic energy to overcome liquid-phase intermolecular forces. Only a small proportion of the molecules meet these criteria, so the rate of evaporation is limited. Since the kinetic energy of a molecule is proportional to its temperature, evaporation proceeds more quickly at higher temperatures.


As over 50 miles of the US State of Louisiana’s coastline has already been destroyed by this spill, American scientists are warning that the damage may be impossible to repair, and as we can read as reported by the Associated Press News Service:
And to understand the full import of this catastrophe it must be remembered that this disaster is occurring in what is described as the “biologically richest waters in America”with the greatest amount of oil and toxic Corexit 9500 set to come ashore in the coming days and weeks to destroy it completely for decades to come.
Reports are also coming from the United States that their government is secretly preparing to evacuate tens-of-millions of their citizens from their Gulf of Mexico States should the most dire of these scientific warnings start to come true.
To the greatest lesson to be learned by these Americans is that their government-oil industry cabal has been just as destructive to them as their government-banking one, both of which have done more to destroy the United States these past couple of years than any foreign enemy could dare dream was possible.
But to their greatest enemy the Americans need look no further than their nearest mirror as they are the ones who allowed these monsters to rule over them in the first place.


The voice for the voiceless

Part of Robeson animal shelter suit tossed

LUMBERTON - A Robeson County District Court judge on Monday dismissed parts of a lawsuit alleging cruelty at the county animal shelter.
The crux of the lawsuit, though - a series of charges accusing shelter staff of abusing and unnecessarily euthanizing animals - will be heard, Judge Stanley Carmical ruled.
County Attorney Hal Kinlaw had asked to have the entire case thrown out. He argued that the charges against the animal shelter would be better handled through administrative review than through court action.

The judge disagreed.
"If (the allegations) are true ... then they would appear to be unlawful," Carmical said.
The Gerber Animal Law Center of Raleigh filed the lawsuit last month on behalf of Winston-Salem animal rights activist Susan Barrett. Among other accusations of abuse, the lawsuit alleges shelter staff regularly euthanize animals even after rescue groups call to adopt them.
Carmical dismissed two claims in the lawsuit which challenged matters of protocol at the animal shelter. The shelter's policy to keep at least half of its kennels empty for cleaning and the county's decision not to utilize a voluntary fostering program allowed by the state are not illegal, the judge ruled.
"The only thing I need to be concerned about is whether these practices deviate from state law," Carmical said. "It seems the proper mechanism to address those issues would be with the legislature."
Also during the hearing, Carmical issued an injunction preventing the shelter from euthanizing an animal for at least 24 hours after a rescue group sends a fax expressing plans to adopt the animal. The order will remain in place throughout the course of the litigation, Carmical said.
The defendants listed in the lawsuit - Health Director Bill Smith, shelter manager Jeff Bass and Environmental Health Director Albert Locklear - did not attend the hearing.
Barrett said afterward she was pleased the lawsuit was moving forward.
"I'm absolutely thrilled," Barrett said. "I know this needs to go to court, because people need to have this exposed."
The lawsuit cites a handful of alleged instances in which shelter staff were said to have abused sick or injured animals, ignored requests to adopt animals and euthanized animals within the state mandated 72-hour hold period.
The lawsuit names a handful of witnesses, and Barrett said she has stacks of documents to back her claims.
Calley Gerber, the Raleigh-based animal rights lawyer representing Barrett, said the lawsuit deals more with how individual employees treat animals than with the shelter's written procedures.
"The policy isn't necessarily the problem; it's the people," Gerber said. "The policy could be improved, though, don't get me wrong."
As enforced, the animal shelter's policy doesn't require a time window for pet adoptions. After giving owners 10 days to claim a lost pet, the animals can be put down without ever being put up for adoption.
The health board will consider changing the hold policy at its meeting Thursday, county officials said.
"That would be a welcomed start," Gerber said.
The Robeson County shelter has become a popular target of animal rights groups and rescue organizations from across the country as repeated reports of abuse have surfaced on Internet message boards.
The lawsuit was filed days after county officials agreed to end a controversial euthanasia practice at the facility. Before the policy change, the shelter was the only one in the state still euthanizing animals on a regular basis by injecting lethal drugs directly into their hearts - intracardiac injections known as "heart sticking."
In 2001, the shelter was embroiled in controversy when animal activists posted a video online showing shelter workers euthanizing dogs and cats without first sedating the animals. The video has attracted thousands of views worldwide.
Staff writer Mike Hixenbaugh can be reached at or (910) 486-3511.

By Mike Hixenbaugh 
Staff writer

Copyright © 2010 The voice for the voiceless - All Rights Reserved

Robeson News~ Animal lawsuit to move to trial

LUMBERTON — District Court Judge J. Stanley Carmical on Monday delivered mixed success to animal rights lawyer Calley Gerber and County Attorney Hal Kinlaw: He made a restraining order preliminary, extending it until trial, but he dismissed two of three items in a complaint against the county, leaving one item to be addressed at trial.

“What I have to look at is whether those practices deviate from state law, not whether it’s what people prefer,” Carmical said. “It boils down to, ‘the shelter’s following the law, but we don’t think that’s good enough.’”

A trial date has not been set.

Following two months of contentious negotiations over Robeson County Animal Shelter policy between animal rights advocates and county officials, Gerber, of Gerber Animal Law Center in Raleigh, on April 29 filed a lawsuit that alleges shelter employees regularly engage in animal cruelty. The suit was filed on behalf of Susan Barrett, a Forsyth County resident who has been active in rescues at the shelter.

That day District Court Judge Jeff Moore granted ex parte — without the defendants’ presence or knowledge until they were served — a temporary restraining order that kept shelter staff from “causing unjustified pain, suffering and death” by euthanizing animals that individuals or rescue groups had reserved, and banned employees from “engaging in animal cruelty.” Eight days later, Carmical extended the order to give the attorneys time to file briefs.

The preliminary injunction granted Monday forbids shelter employees from euthanizing animals that are “reserved” by groups or individuals.

Carmical instructed Gerber to write an order that includes two stipulations: Reservations must be made by fax so there’s traceable evidence, and rescue groups or individuals must pick up the animal within 24 hours after the county’s mandatory 120-hour hold period expires.

The order is deliberately absent of an injunction against “engaging in animal cruelty,” which was in the original restraining order but has yet to be proven, Carmical said.

Kinlaw said the restraining order “the way it’s worded now, is in no way a burden.” He said the main concern will be ensuring shelter employees receive the notices to reserve, but that’s “not going to affect operations at all.”

While the injunction was extended because it prevents “irreparable, irreversible harm,” Carmical said, it only applies to the one item in the complaint that was not dismissed. The claim alleges specific cases of abuse, both physical and procedural. Several items claim that Jeff Bass, the shelter manager, handled animals roughly or didn’t go through proper euthanasia procedures, and other items say shelter employees lied to potential adopters and inhibited rescuers’ efforts.

Kinlaw argued the claim should be dismissed because of governmental immunity. Carmical allowed the claim to proceed since it is essentially a check on governmental power; he said if the principal were taken to its logical extreme, it would be like permitting a lawsuit if a police officer killed someone.

“These allegations are of instances, which if they’re true, would appear to be unlawful,” Carmical said. “These are specific acts of cruelty to specific animals, not how you’re doing business.”

Carmical approved the county’s motion to dismiss two other claims that allege improprieties with state law since the shelter wasn’t actually breaking laws.

The first claim said that because the county doesn’t use a fostering law, which allows animals to stay with foster homes until they’re adopted, the shelter needlessly euthanizes animals, which is cruel. Carmical said the law allows fostering but does not mandate it, so the shelter is not breaking the law by not using it.

The second claim said that because the shelter euthanizes animals to keep half its kennels open, it is unnecessarily killing animals. County officials say the kennel space is a matter of state Department of Agriculture rules that require animals to be moved out of their kennels during cleaning; animal rights advocates say that is not common elsewhere. Carmical determined the practice does not violate state law.

“Even though the judge didn’t agree with me that it’s unjustified killing, it still raised awareness in the community, and that’s an intricate part of animal advocacy,” Gerber said, adding “we were pleased the judge recognized the validity of the claim that alleges willful and wanton acts at the shelter.”

Despite the two-thirds win, Kinlaw said he was disappointed in the outcome.

“It takes a lot of resources to try a case like this, and the county hasn’t got a lot of resources,” Kinlaw said.

He has 30 days to file a response to Gerber’s complaint, then must begin preparing for trial.

Read more:The Robesonian - Animal lawsuit to move to trial

Copyright © 2010 The voice for the voiceless - All Rights Reserved