88-year-old Bob Wallace, and his 85-year-old girlfriend, Marjorie Ottenberg fell in love 35 years ago backpacking to the tops of the highest peaks in the world.
Wallace is a Stanford educated engineer and Ottenberg is a former chemist and decades ago they came up with a water purification product for backpackers like themselves called Polar Pure out of their garage in Saratoga, Calif.
“For an old guy with nothing else to do, this is something that keeps us occupied,” says Wallace.
Today, Wallace and Ottenberg are fighting the Drug Enforcement Administration and state officials to continue to operate their business. Why? The DEA says that drug dealers are using their product to make methamphetamine.
The DEA says meth heads are interested in Polar Pure’s key ingredient, iodine crystals.
In 2007 the DEA reclassified iodine as a controlled substance and named Polar Pure in particular as a product that was of concern to the DEA. The DEA told Wallace and Ottenberg, they could continue to operate their business but they would have to pay a $1,200 regulatory fee, register with the state and feds, report any suspicious activity and keep track of each and ever person who bought a bottle of their product.
Bob says that the overhead alone would be too much to pass onto customers.
“So that’s why I didn’t bother with their rules, because I would be out of business if I followed their regulations,” says Wallace.
The same went for camping stores and online outlets that stocked Polar Pure. Instead of dealing with the new regulations they just dropped the product, effectively killing Wallace and Ottenberg’s business.
“Any time you deal with a government it’s a hassle,” says Ottenberg.
A spokeswoman for the DEA told the San Jose Mercury News that Wallace was “collateral damage.”
“They are being put out of business, they are totally being put out of business,” says Stephen Downing, a former Los Angeles Police Department deputy chief and a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
Downing says that that the DEA is the most out of control arm of the federal government today because they are given so much authority with very little oversight.
“Within the controlled substances act, the DEA is given authority chemicals as they come up,” says Downing. “To make it easy for federal enforcement people to so called, do their job and make their quotas and have their show-and-tells, they pass these regulations that impact innocent people.”
Downing also says that the metrics for stopping use and production of methamphetamine don’t make sense.
The Justice Department’s own National Drug Threat Assessment for 2011 said that the availability of methamphetamine was increasing in every region of the country and the rates of abuse were increasing as well.
In Massachusetts, file this one under “You Can’t Make It Up” – as the controversy has grown over Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren’s decision to cast herself as a Native American early in her legal career, Warren finally broke five days of silence yesterday and offered this truly bizarre explanation – she did it to make friends. As the Boston Herald reports, Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, fending off questions about whether she used her Native American heritage to advance her career, said today she enrolled herself as a minority in law school directories for nearly a decade because she hoped to meet other people with tribal roots. “I listed myself in the directory in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group something that might happen with people who are like I am. Nothing like that ever happened, that was clearly not the use for it and so I stopped checking it off,” said Warren.
But that’s not all – the Herald goes on to report that Warren may not even be 1/32 Native American after all — Warren’s statements come as genealogists at the New England Historic Genealogical Society were unable to back up earlier accounts that her great great great grandmother is Cherokee. While Warren’s great great great grandmother, named O.C. Sarah Smith, is listed on a electronic transcript of a 1894 marriage application as Cherokee, the genealogists are unable to find the actual record or a photograhic copy of it, Society spokesman Tom Champoux said.
So how does Elizabeth Warren know that she’s Native American given the genealogists’ findings and the fact that her campaign has been unable to produce a single shred of evidence to support it? High cheekbones. Seriously. As the Weekly Standard reports, Speaking to a reporter on a local news station in Boston, Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts cited her ancestor’s “high cheekbones” (quoting an aunt) as evidence of her Native American heritage:
But there’s even more – one legal blog astutely observes that Warren’s latest explanation that she checked the Native American box to meet new friends with tribal roots, simply doesn’t hold water. Why? The Legal Insurrection blog writes, Why doesn’t it add up? Because the section listing “minority” faculty doesn’t list which minority, so Warren listing herself that way would not be a means of meeting other Native Americans, because no one else would know she was claiming to be Native American just from the listing. (I wonder how Harvard knew if she never told them and it never came up?)… I checked, and her full bios also did not disclose her Native American status. Perhaps Warren just lumped all minorities together in her friendship plans….Something tells me this is not over.
Needless to say, Warren’s latest bizarre claims have been met with incredulousness by the Boston media. While the examples are countless, click below to watch New England Cable News’ Jim Braude’s reaction to Warren’s press conference yesterday….
- From ABC’s The Note today – ABC’s Rick Klein weighs in on the mounting problems for Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren: “You don’t win elections in May, but you can start to lose them.”
- From Politico’s Morning Score – Warren Loses Another Day.
Meanwhile, while Warren entered semi-meltdown mode at her event in Braintree yesterday, the Associated Press reports that Scott Brown was at the Bunker Hill Community College reminding students of his bipartisan, pro-jobs record. In a speech to students and faculty at Bunker Hill Community College, Brown touted several bills he sponsored that passed with bipartisan support and his willingness to appear at President Barack Obama’s side during signing ceremonies. Brown, who took office in 2010 after winning a special election to fill the seat of the late Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy, lambasted a bitterly partisan Washington environment in which Democrats and Republicans constantly question each other’s motives and “look at each other as enemies who need to be defeated at all costs.” “We want people with convictions and backbone, not a bunch of pushovers who agree on everything because they believe in nothing,” Brown said.
In Nevada, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports that embattled Las Vegas Congresswoman Shelley Berkley is having trouble gaining traction in Washoe County. Don’t know what to make of U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley’s campaign for U.S. Senate yet. In Washoe County, the noted Democrat has held a number of news conferences but hasn’t seemed to really get out and meet all the new people she would like to vote for her. Sure, she’s taken a tour of the Caughlin Fire devastation with city and county officials and talk to some folks. But she showed up more than a week after the fire. … And where is Berkley on TV? The Nevada Newsmakers archive of past programs indicates she hasn’t been on Sam Shad’s show since Feb. 1, 2011. The Ralston Flash noted Berkley has not appeared on Face to Face with Jon Ralston in more than 400 days.
Yeah, what’s with the stereotyping? What happened to Liberals being so tolerant???
From the Weekly Standard:
Speaking to a reporter on a local news station in Boston, Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts cited her ancestor’s “high cheekbones” (quoting an aunt) as evidence of her Native American heritage:
Earlier today, the Harvard law professor explained that she listed herself as “Native American” on school directories in the past so she could meet others “who are like I am.” Genealogists have been unable to verify that Warren is descended from Native Americans, despite her claims.
Warren is running closely with her opponent, incumbent Republican senator Scott Brown, according to the RealClearPolitics poll average.
(Las Vegas, NV) – Seven-term Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today chose to allow student loan interest rates to spike rather than eliminate a wasteful ObamaCare slush fund. Her vote to protect the President’s massive health care law comes just weeks after she backed down her support for ObamaCare while campaigning in Nevada.
“Considering Congresswoman Shelley Berkley has been tip-toeing away from ObamaCare when in Nevada, this was her chance to prove her worth in Washington DC. Instead, Shelley Berkley doubled-down on the government takeover, paying for the $2.6 trillion law on the backs of students,” said Chandler Smith, Heller for Senate spokeswoman.
In Nevada this month, candidate Berkley “stopped short Wednesday of urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the federal health care law supported by Democrats and abhorred by Republicans. Pressed about her position after her speech, she told reporters that she supports health care access for the nation’s uninsured, but again declined to defend the law.” (Cristina Silva, Rep. Berkley champions small businesses in Vegas, Associated Press, 4/16/12)
But back in Washington DC, Shelley Berkley has twice targeted students to pay for the government healthcare takeover:
- In 2010, Berkley voted to pay for the healthcare law by eliminating the Federal Family Education Loan Program.
- This program “has helped generations of students attend college.” The termination was a “result of a provision in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act—the health care reform bill—that President Barack Obama signed into law on March 30. (Mike Costanza, “Termination of student loan program causes changes,” Rochester Business Journal, 5/21/10)
Today, instead of freezing student interest rates, Shelley Berkley chose protect a slush fund created by ObamaCare—a fund that even President Obama has been willing to cut.
- In September 2011, President Obama recommended using $3.5 billion of the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) to reduce the federal deficit. In his 2013 budget request to Congress, he proposed cutting the fund by $4 billion. (“Democrats Increased Student Loan Rates To Pay for Healthcare Law,” April 26, 2012)
From CNET -
Mayo Clinic researchers consider the results of their 926-person study preliminary and hope to study the correlation further.
The combination of mentally stimulating activities such as computer use and moderate physical exercise appears to decrease one’s odds of suffering from age-related memory loss, according to a new Mayo Clinic study.
It seems that the government’s thirst for high tech surveillance can’t be quenched. First, came the NSA’s warrantless wiretap program. Then it was CISPA. Now, its warrantless video surveillance in the home. And just like we stood up against the NSA and CISPA, yesterday we told the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that invasive warrantless home video surveillance violates the Fourth Amendment. More