Texas Cops Rescue 8 Starving Horses

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HOUSTON, Texas – Texas police officers, working with the Houston Humane Society, rescued eight horses suffering from malnourishment and abuse.

The eight horses were found on a property in the Acres Home area of Houston, members of the Houston Humane Society told a Houston newspaper. The horses were ridden with parasites and appeared to have been starved by their owners.

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Houston Humane Society Photo

The photos provided by the Human Society tell the story of a long period of animal abuse and neglect. The ragged coats of the sad animals cling tightly to their exposed ribs. The wounds of parasites are obvious from a distance.

The horses were stored in a small area with “ankle-deep muck and manure,” the local newspaper reported. The eight horses, ranging in age from three to twenty, were placed in trailers and taken to the Houston Humane Society’s Animal Wellness Clinic. Officials said the area is “not a farm” and they were not sure why so many horses were on the lot.

Houston Humane Society Photo

Houston Humane Society Photo

Houston police officers and deputies from the Harris County Precinct 5 Constable’s Office assisted the Humane Society officials in the seizure of the emaciated horses.

Officials received an anonymous tip about the horses. Observation of the horses revealed untreated wounds and obvious signs of rain rot on their coats, Humane Society officials stated in a press release.

Houston Humane Society Photo

Houston Humane Society Photo

Spokesperson Monica Schmidt called the environment where the horses were kept “deplorable,” the newspaper reported. “I think what makes it a little worse is the fact that usually we’re dealing with one or two horses, but when you’re dealing with eight that’s eight times the abuse and neglect,” she told the reporter.

Schmidt said it was one of the most severe cases of cruelty to horses her organization has seen in Houston. “And definitely there’s a lot of long-term neglect going on here,” she said.

No charges have been filed in the case. Schmidt told the reporter prosecution does not usually begin until after a civil lawsuit is filed. The “caretakers” of the horses will be given an opportunity to present their side of the story in a Harris County court on January 3.

Schmidt said she expects all eight of the horses to recover from their mistreatment. Two of the younger horses are reported to be small for their age. She said this could lead to their growth being permanently stunted.

Houston Humane Society Photo

Houston Humane Society Photo

The Humane Society has seen an uptick in reports of cruelty to horses in the area after they launched “Monty’s Task Force” to combat the abuse of horses in the Acres Homes area.

“I think people are fed up,” Schmidt concluded, “of driving down the street and seeing emaciated horses along the side of the road or of seeing a horse that died of starvation being dragged down the road for heavy trash pick-up.”

In July 2015, Humane Society officials seized 200 horses that were left starving near Conroe, Texas, Breitbart Texas reported. The seizure of the horses led to the arrest of Herman and Kathleen Hoffman on three charges of misdemeanor animal cruelty.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.

 

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January 1, 2017 at 05:36PM

Study: New York Has Most Socially Isolated Districts in United States

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Study: New York Has Most Socially Isolated Districts in United States



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A new study shows the college-graduate inhabitants of New York’s elite zip-codes are the most socially isolated Americans in the United States, and have the least familiarity with how ordinary Americans live.

Close behind are the parochial professionals in zip codes around Boston, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, whose social bubbles leave them isolated from the hopes and fears of their fellow Americans, according to the study by Charles Murray, one of the nation’s leading policy experts, who now works at the D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute.

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“America really does have a new elite that is isolated from and often ignorant about white mainstream America,” said Murray, who recently said a pause in low-skill migration might aid the most economically damaged districts in the United States.

The results are based on a survey of the 130,000 people who voluntarily completed Murray’s online test — see here — and it shows that familiarity with mainstream American lives slides down as the number of college graduates rises up in each zip code’s particular social bubble.

But the elite respondents’ understanding of ordinary Americans’ lives actually crashes in the top few districts with the highest percentage of college degrees and greatest “Socio-Economic Status” or ‘SES.’

The important point about the graph is that the top few percentiles are crucial for understanding our cultural divide. The people living in zip codes in the top two percentiles include almost all of those who run the nation’s culture, economy, and politics. And that’s where the bubble scores plunge…

The New York City area dominates, accounting for 34 zip codes in the top [most isolated] 100 [zip codes]. Manhattan alone has 18 zip codes in the top 100, including all the zip codes in the Upper East Side and Upper West Side. The zip codes surrounding San Francisco Bay constituted the next largest contribution, amounting to 29 zip codes. I have divided them somewhat arbitrarily between those associated with San Francisco and those of Silicon Valley. The Boston area had 15 zip codes and Los Angeles 8. That adds up to 86 out of 100. The entire rest of the country had just 14.

Here is a chart showing how knowledge drops in the most elite zip codes.

Screen Shot 2016-12-30 at 8.38.05 PM

The most ignorant district is Fremont, California, near Silicon Valley. However, that zip code is somewhat of an anomaly because it includes many immigrants who did not grow up in the United States. New York’s Upper East Side, alongside Central Park, has the second-worst ranking. See the results here.

Murray’s test asks people a series of questions designed to reveal their familiarity – or ignorance — of mainstream civic reality in normal America.

Did you grow up in a family in which the chief breadwinner was not in a managerial position or a high-prestige profession (defined as attorney, physician, dentist, architect, engineer, scientist or college professor)?

Have you ever lived for at least a year in an American community with a population under 50,000 that is not part of a metropolitan area and is not where you went to college?

Have you ever walked on a factory floor?

Have you ever held a job that caused something to hurt at the end of the day?

Have you ever had a close friend who was an evangelical Christian?

Murray will soon release another study of the data showing the wealthy SES zip-codes with the least ignorance about their fellow Americans. That data, he said, “for the elite among you, [will show] places where you could raise your kids with a somewhat lower probability that they grow up to be isolated elitist snobs.”

Take the test here.

 

 

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January 1, 2017 at 05:36PM

Brilliantly-colored polar stratospheric clouds appear over Arctic Circle

Earth’s stratosphere is normally free of clouds. Not this weekend, though. Observers around the Arctic Circle are reporting an outbreak of brilliantly-colored icy clouds in the typically dry and transparent layer of our planet’s atmosphere. Eric Fokke photographed the display on New Years Eve from the Lofoten Islands of Norway:

© Eric Fokke

These icy clouds are a sign of very cold temperatures. For ice crystals to form in the arid stratosphere, temperatures must drop to around -85º C. High-altitude sunlight shining through tiny ice particles ~10µm across produce the characteristic bright iridescent colors.

Once thought to be mere curiosities, some

polar stratospheric clouds

(PSCs) are now known to be associated with the destruction of ozone. Indeed,

an ozone hole

formed over the UK in Feb. 2016 following an outbreak of ozone-destroying Type 1 PSCs.

These clouds really are as amazing as they look in Fokke’s photo. They have much more vivid colors than

ordinary iridescent clouds

, which form closer to Earth in the troposphere. Once seen, a stratospheric cloud is never forgotten.

© Eric Fokke

© Eric Fokke

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January 1, 2017 at 05:34PM

‘Peak Solar’ Hits California

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‘Peak Solar’ Hits California



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Despite the U.S. Congress passing the Consolidated Appropriations Act in December 2015 to slather another $9.3 billion of taxpayer credits on new solar power added to the electrical grid, California solar installments peaked in 2015 and are now headed south.

The extension of the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) through 2021 was quietly tucked into 3 pages of the 887-page continuing resolution that allowed Congress to spend about $3.85 trillion this year. The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that extending solar tax credits will cost taxpayers $9.3 billion.

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As a result of massive taxpayer-funded subsidies, solar installations added 9.5 gigawatts of utility-scale power in 2016. That gave solar a nation-leading 40 percent share of all new electrical power capacity, dwarfing the 8.3 gigawatts of new fossil fuel capacity added in 2016, according to the Energy Information Agency.

California dominates solar power in the U.S., with 13,241 mega-watts of capacity, accounting for an overwhelming 44 percent national market share. Due to a marketing blitz by companies like SolarCity, about 71 percent of all solar capacity in the Golden State consists of residential installations.

California sought to continue its leadership in solar installations after Governor Jerry Brown passed SB 350, titled the “Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015.” The bill established 2030 targets to increase retail sales of renewable electricity to 50 percent and a requirement to double the energy efficiency savings in electricity and natural gas end uses by 2030.

With supposed experts claiming a huge amount of solar demand was being undermined due to the expiring of the federal investment tax credit, the renewal was expected to create another California boom. But the number of residential solar installations appears to have peaked in 2015 at 148,000 new installations, and the numbers fell for the first time in a decade, to 140,000 in 2016, according to the state.

A big selling point for renewing the solar investment tax credit was the promise that the cost of producing solar electric power would crash. But according to the California state website, the cost only fell by 2 percent from $.50 a kilowatt in 2015 to about $.49 a kilowatt in 2016.

Compared to natural gas on a national basis, solar costs 50 percent more to produce electricity than natural gas. That does not adjust for the fact that solar electric generation is availability for only an average of eight hours per day. During the other 16 hours a day, which includes peak the period of peak daily residential use during evening hours, the electrical grid must have 100 percent standby fossil fuel power generation capacity.

Another serious downside for solar power is that during sunny days in the spring and fall, when Californians are not using much air conditioning, the daily demand for electricity is low. As a result, the surge of midday solar power is more than the California electric grid can use.

Balancing solar power availability and consumer demand has become a major challenge for the Independent System Operator that manages California’s electric grid for about 30 million people. Nancy Traweek, who directs system operations, recently warned, “It’s constantly solving a constant problem, meaning you’re always trying to balance.”

Photo: file

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January 1, 2017 at 05:20PM

Man Accused of Gouging Out Victim’s Eye, Biting Nose in Fight in San Diego

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Man Accused of Gouging Out Victim’s Eye, Biting Nose in Fight in San Diego



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A man accused of gouging out another man’s eye and biting a piece of his nose off during a fight in San Diego has been arrested Thursday, the San Diego Union Tribune reported.

Police said the fight began when the man pushed a shopping cart into the victim, who was walking west on Market Street near Park Boulevard about 8:30 p.m.

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The two men started yelling at each other before the attacker swung an umbrella at the man. When the victim took it away, the attacker started hitting him with his fists, KSWB reported.

The attacker bit off a chunk of the victim’s nose and gouged out one of his eyes during the fight, police Officer Robert Heims said.

The victim, a 60-year-old man, was taken to the hospital where it was determined that his injuries were not life-threatening.

Police caught the 44-year-old suspect not too far away from the scene of the crime and arrested him.

The suspect was charged with suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated mayhem.

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January 1, 2017 at 05:20PM