If anymore evidence was needed about what an absolutely cruel and vile state Wisconsin is, look no farther than the events of the past five days regarding our gray wolf population. As a “quick” summary this is what happened.
This is so tragic. Even for state universities the debt burden for Medical School is many times greater than for average grad degrees.
From NumbersUSA https://www.numbersusa.com
“Doctors without Jobs’ Bring Their Message to D.C.
PUBLISHED: Fri, FEB 12th 2021 @ 9:08 am EST by Eric Ruark Over the last week of January, members of the group Doctors without Jobs  came to Washington, D.C. to educate Members of Congress on their issue – that 6,570 U.S.-citizen medical school graduates in good standing are unmatched with residencies.
Without residency training, doctors can’t practice medicine, which means medical school graduates, many burdened with debt, are stuck in career limbo waiting for a residency match that may never come
As we pointed out last August,  despite the claims made by many in the media, and by politicians who are pushing legislation that will expand the number of foreign doctors admitted…
During disturbing cosmetics testing on animals, defenseless bunnies and guinea pigs are tied down and force-fed potentially deadly toxins or have burning chemicals dripped into their eyes without any pain relief.
When the experiments are finally over, most of the animals exploited for these tests are killed.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t require these horrifying trials for approval, and cruelty-free alternative methods — including cell culture, noninvasive human tissue, and computer model tests — are more accurate and readily available.
And now, there is hope for animal test subjects in Virginia. The new Humane Cosmetics Act (SB1379/HB2250) — introduced by Sen. Jennifer Boysko and Del. Kaye Kory — would ban cosmetics tests on animals throughout the state, as well as the sale of any cosmetics developed or manufactured using animal testing.
If the bill is signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam, Virginia would join California, Nevada, and Illinois in banning the sale or import of animal-tested cosmetics.
“Seemingly Oblivious to Global Pandemic and Over Ten Million Unemployed Americans, Biden Forges Ahead with an “America Last” Agenda on Immigration, Says FAIR
(February 02, 2021, Washington, D.C.) – The following statement was issued by Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), in response to yet another flurry of executive actions, triggering a review of how to increase legal and illegal immigration in the middle of a crisis with no end in sight.
Increasing Welfare State Through Potential Elimination of Public Charge:
“Protecting the interests of the American people by barring the admission of immigrants who are likely to become public charges — those who are likely to become dependent on government welfare — has been a cornerstone of U.S. immigration policy since 1882.
As part of his ‘America Last’ immigration agenda, President Biden is gearing up to reverse existing policies that protect American taxpayers – and…
“Sens. Cruz, Cotton, Colleagues Warn President Biden of Immigration Crisis, Health Risks
February 11, 2021 WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today joined Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) in sending a letter urging President Biden to reassess and reverse his executive actions on immigration, which have led to increased illegal border crossings by unvetted and unvaccinated aliens in the middle of a pandemic.
In the letter, the senators wrote: “As we write this letter, main streets across America are shuttered, millions of parents can’t go to work, and children are kept from school. In a nation where everything seems closed, our border is now open. In violation of the law and…
“This country is suffering from immigrant indigestion.” (US Civil Rights leader A. Philip Randolph, 1924)
There were already an estimated 22.1 million illegal immigrants in the United States four years ago (2016), “double the current widely accepted estimate”.  Biden-Kamala Harris aim to give immediate green cards and fast track citizenship within three years for some, and an eight year path for others. With green cards they can bring in their immediate family, and once they get US citizenship, they can bring in more extended family members, who, in turn, can bring in their family members. There are no caps on the number of immediate family members who can be permanently imported by US citizens. Once legalized, the 22 million could almost instantly become 88 million, and, once the 22 million get citizenship, they can bring in parents, grandchildren, who, in turn, can bring spouses and…
Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) has published the regulations for it’s court-ordered wolf hunt which is set to begin on Monday February 22, 2021. The state of Wisconsin and the WDNR’s appeal of the Jefferson County court ruling brought about by the Kansas-based Hunter Nation lobbying group is expected to be ruled on before the hunt starts Monday.
The facts are plainly simple, this expedited wolf hunt is the result of a special interest group’s lawsuit, not the recommendations of a single WDNR biologist. The state of Wisconsin does not even have a qualified wolf biologist as it’s Large Carnivore Specialist, instead in the rush for this hunt it called on the previous Large Carnivore Specialist who signed off on Wisconsin’s wolf hunt in 2012-14. Nothing about the hunt is cautionary, despite the fact that it is the…
It’s landing day for Perseverance and all eyes are on the Red Planet.
The rover spent the last seven months flying the roughly 125-million-mile (202 million kilometers) distance to Mars on a quest to find signs of ancient life. Later today (Feb. 18), the mission will begin a daring “seven minutes of terror“-type descent, and if all goes well, its wheel touchdown will signal the beginning of the most powerful rover yet to roam the Martian surface.
Perseverance will broadcast information back in high-definition 4K, set aside promising rock samples for a sample-return mission and launch the first interplanetary helicopter — all while photographing, laser-targeting and investigating targets in the ancient delta of Jezero Crater.
Within 148 pages, explore the mysteries of Mars. With the latest generation of rovers, landers and orbiters heading to the Red Planet, we’re discovering even more of this world’s secrets than ever before. Find out about its landscape and formation, discover the truth about water on Mars and the search for life, and explore the possibility that the fourth rock from the sun may one day be our next home.View Deal
This mission has been a decade in the making and as such, various officials from NASA expressed a lot of excitement and trepidation in a press conference Wednesday (Feb. 17). Also, understanding Perseverance best comes after putting it in context with the 50 or so years of Mars missions that came before. The groundwork to this life-seeking mission began with exploring signs of water from orbit, landing a few missions, and then sending out the first rovers in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The first long-running rover missions were Spirit and Opportunity, which landed in 2004 and lasted until about 2010 and 2018, respectively. “[We were] following the water, trying to understand the history of water on Mars and understanding if there were ever a time when there was enough liquid water present on the surface of Mars to support life,” Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s planetary science division, said in the press conference.
“That was followed, of course, by Curiosity [in 2012] — where we really took the next step to understand the habitable environments on Mars. We were able to confirm the presence of a lake of liquid water on the surface of Mars that was sustained over a period of time, and also identify the complex organic molecules that would be the building blocks for life.
“We’ve built on all of that knowledge to prepare ourselves now with the Perseverance rover,” Glaze continued, “which is going to take that next step — to really, actually look for those signs of life.”
Landing on Mars is the first planetary challenge the Perseverance rover, or “Percy” for short, will face as it whips into the atmosphere. Most Martian landing sites of past missions were wider plains, but Jezero Crater has more interesting terrain — craters, rock fields, sand dunes, a wealth of places to explore.
“All those things also represent landing hazards for the spacecraft,” warned Matt Wallace, Perseverance deputy project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. “So we do have a new hazard avoidance capability we call terrain-relative navigation, which we’ll employ for the first time.”
In the last minutes before landing, Perseverance will use artificial intelligence to scan for the safest landing site below — and then it will make final adjustments to touch down softly on the surface. The computer-directed landing is a necessity because the light speed between Earth and Mars is too great for somebody to hand-steer the rover remotely, all the way down.
Controllers have not been idle these last few months, however, rather spending the time to make sure Perseverance will stick its crucial landing. Indeed, for about nine years before Perseverance launched, they were already discussing how the last few minutes of the mission would proceed, Wallace said. In more recent weeks, there was lots of practice also, preparation of the various systems.
“Our [pyrotechnic] systems are armed and ready to execute the deployments necessary to execute entry, descent and landing,” Wallace said. “We have tested out our engines and our guidance sensors — they are ready to go, and really we just have a few more [planned] interactions with the spacecraft. But if necessary, Perseverance could land itself already, without any more help.”
The next step after landing is to start communications with Earth. Perseverance can send back simple “tones” or communications without data attached to it, and an orbiting spacecraft known as Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) can send back a little more data a few hours after landing.
But what is really required for real-time updates is the muscle of the long-running Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), a frequent relayer of information from surface spacecraft. MRO recently received a new set of software to relay data from the rover, said Allen Chen, Perseverance’s entry, descent, and landing lead, at JPL. The data sent back during landing will be slow at only eight kilobits per second, roughly half the speed of a dial-up Internet connection, but it will be valuable to see how the spacecraft did.
“We’ll be able to show you what’s going on in real time — and show ourselves as well,” Chen said. “We’ll be able to see what mode we’re in, where we think Perseverance is looking, how fast we’re going, how high we are above the ground, even an estimate of how much fuel we have left as well. We hope to use that to assess what’s going on and to show everybody else what’s going on, as it’s happening.”
All of MRO’s and Perseverance’s information will be useful to numerous future landing missions, NASA officials said, allowing spacecraft in years to come to fly and land more precisely. Such information would in fact be useful for any world with an atmosphere, such as the intriguing moon of Saturn, Titan, which has prebiotic chemistry and may help us understand more about the origins of life in the solar system.
The first few weeks after Percy’s landing will be intense, as the team temporarily works on “Mars time” (a Martian day or “sol” of 24 hours, 37 minutes) to make the most of the first action-packed weeks on the surface. Data will flow back constantly from the rover to the science team, which will need to interpret what they see and then figure out what to do the next day. Next, that information needs to be coded into the rover and sent to Mars for execution.
“This is a very fast-paced, high-stakes operation. It’s kind of a race to get it done. And it also involves literally hundreds of people having to work together seamlessly. I can tell you, this is not what scientists usually do. Scientists do not usually perform under these kinds of circumstances,” Ken Farley, Perseverance project scientist at the California Institute of Technology, said at the press conference.
So JPL — as JPL often does — turned to simulation. Farley said the team sent scientists out to the Nevada desert with instruments for a week to simulate rover activities, while the rest of the science team remained at JPL or at home — a necessity given that everyone still needs to largely self-quarantine amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“One special skill we’ve had to pay attention to — and it’s different than ever before — is the science team is not going to be shoulder-to-shoulder doing this for the foreseeable future,” Farley said. “We are going to be operating remotely. So literally, the science mission is going to be executed from people’s living rooms and bedrooms, all around the country and all around the world. It’s spectacular that we are able to do that. It’s a big challenge and I think we are ready.”
Ground images from the rover will be needed to figure out the best and safest pathway forward for exploration. Perseverance’s wheels are beefed up compared to the delicate wheels of Curiosity, which got unexpectedly torn up due to tough terrain in its early mission before JPL made driving adaptations. Using images from Perseverance and orbit, the team will look for key scientific targets — “rocks that we think will tell us the most about the geologic history of Jezero Crater,” Farley said.
“They are the places where we think there may be evidence for past life on Mars, where we might find biosignatures and places where we are likely to collect samples, so getting onto that trajectory will be something that we do very early in the mission,” he added.
“So, I can tell you that the science team is very excited for this transition. And I personally am extremely excited for those first images that are going to come back. They will be fabulous from a scientific point of view and also, a huge milestone after so many years of effort in this mission.
Visit Space.com today for complete coverage of the Perseverance Mars rover’s landing on the Red Planet.
Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow uson Twitter @Spacedotcomand on Facebook.
An outbreak of avian salmonellosis is killing songbirds in the Bay Area.
Please take down your birdfeeders IMMEDIATELY if you see sick or dead birds in your yard!
Update February 18, 2021: WildCare continues to admit multiple songbirds ill with salmonellosis every day. Although the numbers have decreased slightly, the outbreak is NOT over.
This disease is spread from bird to bird primarily at bird feeders and bird baths.
Just since the new year began, WildCare has admitted over 40 Pine Siskins with the symptoms of salmonellosis. Sadly, the vast majority of these beautiful little songbirds have died.
WildCare’s Hotline 415-456-7283 has received multiple calls about ill and dead songbirds in people’s yards from throughout the Bay Area, indicating there is a widespread outbreak of bacterial disease.
The disease salmonellosis is a common causes of disease and death in wild birds.
Bird feeders bring large numbers of birds into close contact with each other, which means diseases can spread quickly through multiple populations. The bacteria are primarily transmitted through contact with fecal matter, so birds at a crowded feeder are much more likely to be exposed than birds in a wild setting.
A healthy Pine Siskin shows his sleek plumage. Photo by Tom Grey
If you have dead or sick birds in your yard:
Immediately REMOVE bird feeders and birdbaths.
Disinfect with 9:1 bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach.)
Scrub well to remove all debris and allow to soak 10 – 20 minutes.
Rinse very well and allow to dry in the sun.
Do not rehang feeders or bird baths for at least three weeks after the last sick or dead bird is seen in your yard.
Resterilize and allow to dry before rehanging.
Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling feeders or baths.
If you have not yet seen sick or dead birds:
Please use the following guidelines as preventative measures to protect your local birds from a outbreaks of Salmonella and other avian diseases. These measures should also be practiced as regularly scheduled maintenance to ensure healthy birds:
Bird feeders should be disinfected every other day, or at least once a week, while the outbreak is active.
Bird baths should be emptied and cleaned daily, regardless of disease outbreaks.
For feeders: Do not use wooden feeders (they easily harbor bacteria and other pathogens). Immerse feeders in a 10% bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach.) Soak 10 minutes, scrub, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry fully, ideally in the sun, before refilling (a dry feeder will deter mold growth on seeds).
For baths: You can make a 9:1 bleach solution in a jug to bring outside. Scrub with a hard brush, cover with board while soaking to prevent birds bathing in bleach, rinse very thoroughly, allow to dry before refilling.
For hummingbird feeders: NO BLEACH! Change food often. Clean and fill with only enough to last 1-2 days (sooner if gets cloudy/moldy). Use vinegar and water in a 9:1 solution (9 parts water to 1 part vinegar) and special bottle brushes to get into small holes. Rinse thoroughly!
Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling feeders or baths.
Always wear gloves (latex or dishwashing) to keep bleach off your skin and a facemask to keep from accidentally ingesting feces, bleach, etc.
Always keep a large tray under feeder to collect hulls/seed that fall. Empty discards every evening. This will prevent mold & disease spreading to ground-feeding birds and will also prevent rodent infestations.
Keep cats indoors if you have birdfeeders.
Another suggestion to prevent wildlife problems (from rats, raccoons, skunks, etc.) is to bring feeders inside at night.
Bird feeders should be disinfected every two weeks regardless of disease outbreaks.
Bird baths should be emptied and cleaned daily regardless of disease outbreaks.
How likely is it that kids or adults could get Salmonella from handling the bird feeder or feed?
Salmonella is primarily transmitted through contact with fecal matter, so, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), avoiding hand-to-mouth contact during, and washing hands thoroughly with soap and water after contact with birds or their fecal matter will minimize or eliminate any risk.
The following recommendations from the CDC pertain to avoiding contracting Salmonella from domestic or exotic pets, but the general rules apply to wild bird feeders too.
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching animals, their food (e.g., dry dog or cat food, frozen feeder rodents, etc.) or anything in the area where they live and roam.
Running water and soap are best. Use hand sanitizers if running water and soap are not available. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water as soon as a sink is available. Adults should always supervise hand washing for young children.
Do not let children younger than 5 years of age, older individuals, or people with weakened immune systems handle or touch high-risk animals (e.g., turtles, water frogs, chicks, ducklings), or anything in the area where they live and roam, including water from containers or aquariums.
How can I avoid transmitting Salmonella from the birdfeeder in my yard into my home?
The CDC recommends always cleaning items that have been in contact with animals outside. If it is necessary to clean a feeder indoors, the sink or tub used for cleaning should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected with a bleach solution afterward.
Common sense precautions to avoid tracking bird feces into the house should be taken including checking shoes for fecal matter.
Are the domesticated birds in my home at risk?
Check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your pet birds. Salmonella bacteria are transferred between birds from contact with fecal matter, so making sure domestic birds do not come into contact with the droppings, seeds or hulls from your wild bird feeders is the first step to ensuring their safety.
Can my cat get salmonellosis from an infected bird?
Check with your veterinarian if you are worried about your cat. Studies have shown that it is possible for predator animals to get salmonellosis from eating their prey, and cats can contract the disease. Cats under stress or with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to the infection.
WildCare strongly recommends keeping your cat indoors to prevent him or her from coming in contact with sick birds or other hazards, but also to protect the songbirds that are drawn to your yard by your feeder.
Is my dog likely to get salmonellosis from playing in the yard?
Check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your dog or other pets. Salmonella is transferred from contact with fecal matter, so making sure domestic pets do not come into contact with the droppings, seeds or hulls from your wild bird feeders is the first step to ensuring their safety.
How often should I rake the hulls and fallen seed under my bird feeders?
According to Melanie Piazza, WildCare’s Director of Animal Care, for optimal bird health, and especially in an outbreak situation like this one, hulls should be removed every night.
The problem with feeder seed and hulls is that the birds sit above and knock seed down to the ground, but also drop their droppings down. As Salmonella and other bacteria are transmitted through feces, this means a concentration of potentially infected feces beneath the feeders which can be dangerous to ground-feeding birds, even when there isn’t an epidemic.
In fact, Melanie says that raking the hulls isn’t necessarily sufficient. The best choice is to put a pan or, even better, a sheet held down by rocks under the feeders and remove it and dispose of the hulls every night. This will also prevent rat and mouse infestations which is a bonus.
I’ve heard wood is better for cutting boards in the kitchen. Why do you recommend against wooden bird feeders?
This is a somewhat controversial issue in the kitchen— there are studies both proving and disproving the bacteria-killing properties of wooden cutting boards, and many chefs do prefer wooden cutting boards.
Whatever the best choice is for the kitchen, WildCare still recommends against wooden bird feeders for the following reasons:
Wooden bird feeders sit outside 24 hours a day and get cracked, soft and moldy which, Salmonella aside, can be detrimental to songbirds.
The wood used for bird feeders is usually not the same hardwood used for cutting boards and softer woods are more likely to mold and rot, trapping bacteria.
People are often less likely to want to bleach their wooden feeders because frequent soaking in bleach (especially of feeders made of pine and softer woods) will ruin them.
A plastic feeder will last longer through the recommended bleach soakings and can be rinsed and dried more thoroughly.
The main point, however, is no matter what kind of feeder you have, be sure to keep it clean!
“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard