Monday, December 26, 2011

Springtime for Toxics

Paul Krugman brings us some very good news at a time when there is precious little good taking place at the leadership level in the US. The EPA's long overdue decision to regulate Mercury pollution from power plants will lead to tremendous health and productivity benefits for Americans but, of course, it is opposed vehemently by the anti-regulatory zeal of the Republican Party.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dear Editor- LAPD Arrests the Truth at Occupy LA

This is a first-hand account from a writer of "Family Guy" about the scene in LA when the cops moved in, paramilitary style, to forcefully remove the peaceful, nonviolent protesters from public space. It's a heart-wrenching account and the writer brings it all together at the end when he re-examines the motives of the Occupy Wall Street movement - the massive, unpunished, criminal fraud perpetrated upon the American public by the financial industry. If this piece doesn't get your dander up then, perhaps, it's time to take a good hard look at your own personal moral character and beliefs. A Democracy enshrined with a Constitution and a Bill of Rights that answers non-violent civil disobedience with brutality and violence is not, in truth, a Democracy.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Learning Too Late of Perils in Gas Well Leases

Unscrupulous Landmen and lawyers for oil and gas drilling companies have hoodwinked naive landowners throughout the country, ripping landowners off with deceptive legal language that enables the companies to indefinitely extend leases despite contaminating drinking water in huge swaths of rural land. It's among the most despicable industrial practices in America and, unless the people win a ban on fracking, it'll be coming soon to the Northeast.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Campus Police Chief Put on Leave in Pepper Spray Incident

Amidst calls by the faculty and students for the UC Chancellor to resign, she has put the Police Chief on Administrative Leave in response to the despicable pepper spray attack by campus police. Check out the video below - it's sickening.

Police Pepper Spray UC Davis Protesters Nov 18,2011

Police pepper spraying and arresting students at UC Davis - Video

Police Attack Peaceful UC Davis Students With Pepper Spray 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

NYPD blasting Occupy protesters with powerful military megaphone - LRAD

I first read about the Long Range Acoustic Device - LRAD - being used against American civilians as a crowd control tool during an event at Western Illinois University. LRADs have been used in war zones as a device to disorient combatants and also as a communications device. The NYPD possesses two of these weapons and reportedly used at least one of them on 11/15 when they cleared Zucotti Park of peaceful Occupy Wall Street protestors. These devices are capable of causing hearing loss and other ailments and surely should not be used against American citizens peacefully exercising their rights of assembly and free speech.

NY Police Using LRAD Sound Cannons Against Protesters

More detail on the use of LRAD by the NYPD.

Occupy Wall Street Crackdowns: Was The Federal Government Involved?

The NYPD and FBI are currently denying that the Feds provided training and guidance  to police forces seeking to remove protestors from the public square across America. This report indicates the involvement of the FBI and Homeland Security in the recent NYC actions, and any student of American history would not be surprised by such federal involvement in seeking to quell social unrest.

Keith Olbermann's Special Report on Mayor Bloomberg's Decision to Evict OWS Protesters

Friday, November 18, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Evicted by $174.5 Million Subsidized Firm

The Occupy Wall Street movement compels authorities to grapple with the legal protections of free speech and assembly embedded in our democratic constitution, and it's become quite an inconvenience for those who are perfectly content with the status quo. Recent crackdowns on OWS encampments throughout the country shine a glaring light on the contradictions between the ever-present rhetoric of American "freedom" and the grim reality of the violence instigated by the NYPD (and other police forces around the country) against peaceful, non-violent protesters. This post reveals that Mayor Bloomberg's decision to ruthlessly clear out Zucotti Park came at the behest of a corporate real estate power enjoying generous public subsidies.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Talking Turkey

This little ditty from the Pew Environmental Group details what has become of the American Turkey farming tradition with the advent of industrial farming. Like other animals, such as chicken, beef cattle and pigs, turkeys today are raised in confined feedlots (CAFOs) under horrible conditions. The birds produce ungodly amounts of manure in these concentrated production operations and use enormous amounts of water, with adverse environmental effects and pollution resulting. Furthermore, the turkeys are fed GMO corn and soy grain as opposed to their natural grass and vegetable-based diet. Antibiotics are also used liberally in CAFO's to prevent the spread of disease in the unsanitary dwellings that the birds inhabit. All of this is not intended to create despair but rather to underscore that we all have the opportunity to influence these issues by voting with our pocket books. If you are troubled by the state of industrial agriculture and livestock production then you can act by supporting local farmers when possible. Every dollar spent on local or organic products makes a difference and will ultimately help to change the practices of industrial producers. Money and markets are all that matter to these operations and they will respond to the preferences of consumers. One need only to look as far as Europe where familiar name brand products are produced without GMOs for sale on that continent because the people there have demanded labeling of all products containing GMOs there.

It's too late to order a heritage breed turkey for this season but you may want to check out this site and order a Bourbon Red or other traditional bird that is sustainably raised in the future. I recently read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and learned about many remarkable heritage livestock breeds as well as the inspiring growth of sustainable farming, centered around non-hybrid and non-GMO heirloom seeds, taking place around the country.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle website.

Monday, November 14, 2011

EPA Finds Compound Used in Fracking in Wyoming Aquifer

Read this EPA report on contamination from fracking in Wyoming over the past ten years and imagine such devastation to drinking water in the Delaware River Water Basin or New York State's reservoir system. The lightly regulated exemption-fueled natural gas industry cannot be trusted to protect public health in the northeast when it has so completely failed to do so out west and other parts of the country.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Glenn Greenwald, How the Rich Subverted the Legal System

Greenwald illustrates how the OWS movement has been ignited by the widely held belief that powerful interests are not held to the same standard as ordinary citizens, in an unjust legal system.

Consciousness: What You Don't Know Might Kill You

This piece examines the issue of GMO food labeling through the Ayurveda lens; pointing out the dangers of genetically hacked, nutritionally deficient foods that animals will not consume if given a choice, and tracking the rapid growth of allergies, autism, ADHD, diabetes, obesity and cancers since the introduction of GMOs to the food stream.

CDC Deliberately Manipulated, Covered Up Scientific Data Showing Link Between Vaccines Containing Mercury and Autism

The blatant disregard of many regulatory agencies in the US regarding risks to public health is appalling. A Danish study showing a direct link between Mercury and autism was rewritten by CDC administrators to alter results and then published in a leading medical journal under pressure from the agency. Autism now strikes something like one in seventy American boys and the rates have been dramatically increasing in tandem with our government's public push for vaccines.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Losing Their Immunity

I keep thinking of that Police Officer who got caught on video pepper spraying the girls during the first week or so of the Occupy Wall Street protests. His actions are what made it a mainstream and international story. We should all send the poor bastard Thank You cards. Here's a good piece from Paul Krugman shining light on the deregulation era and how it made a bunch of cats fat down on Wall Street.

Occupy Wall Street update and video...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Why We Should Label Genetically Engineered Food

This is an excellent overview of why American consumers should insist that genetically engineered food by labeled. Biotech's insist that these foods are safe but use all of their corporate and political muscle to fight against labeling. The threat of GM foods and their inevitable contamination of the seed and natural food supply, if not checked, is something that should concern all mentally competent citizens.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Settle In, Despite Weather And Police Clashes

The mass protest instigated by the Occupy Wall Street protest group is gaining traction after video of a police officer pepper spraying women in the face brought the previously lagging national media onto the story. The New York Times played a large role in making the story national by posting video of the incident on its website. Previously, it had been the independent media that was reporting on the protests and the excessive force and demeaning tactics employed by the NYPD. It seems these people are dedicated and organized and in for the long run. I, for one, am surprised and inspired by the course of events and want to go downtown to check it out, and see if I get harassed for exercising the freedoms of the democracy.

Police Brutality and Mainstream Media Blackout of "Occupy Wall Street" Protests
I only really know about the Occupy Wall Street protests because a friend aggressively brought it to my attention. I had read a piece on the 80 arrests the other day inThe Times, and apparently they've posted video of protesters being pepper sprayed by the NYPD, but somehow the significance of the ongoing action didn't dawn on me. I was, and am, consumed by work and the day-to-day challenges of life in the city at the moment. Amazing. I am working to survive, in a corrupt system, and therefore I don't always have the energy or time to try and make it honest by challenging it.

Video of protests and the NYPD actions against the Occupy Wall Street protesters

A site with live-streaming of the protests

A chilling interview with an active trader on BBC News, in which he warns of an impending crash and declares that Goldman Sachs, not governments, rule the world.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Five Health Enhancing Foods That Don't Even Seem Like Health Foods

Over the past several months, since launching Ransacked Nation, I have found to be an unerring source of important and reliable information on matters related to nutrition, including the hazards of processed foods and GMOs, as well as rock solid documentation of over-reach by our government in its efforts to support industrial agriculture and the pharmaceutical industry. I recommend this site without reservation and challenge any of our readers to demonstrate that the site is in any way unreliable. I view this site, and the activism of Mike Adams, to be a truth-telling resource amidst the cacophony of our twisted universe. With that in mind, I offer a rather innocuous but important story from the site about common foods that offer tremendous health benefits if consumed in unprocessed form. This is good information...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Monsanto’s GM sweet corn coming to America’s dinner plates

In an alarming development, Monsanto has announced plans to market its BT Sweet Corn to American consumers. It turns out that some of us have been eating this corn already as a small amount of genetically modified sweet corn has been grown in this country, and sold without labeling, over the past ten years. This corn is engineered to kill insects and also to be resistant to Monsanto's Roundup Ready herbicide which is responsible for the growth of super weeds and various infections in animals among other issues worldwide. We all need to wake up and demand that companies label GMOs in America as is required in most other developed countries.

Monsanto Targets Consumers
Here is another report on Monsanto's BT Sweet Corn coming to American supermarkets. With this development it will become increasingly difficult to procure genetically pure sweet corn seed, and harder to find heirloom seeds in general as industry has been consolidating its control of the seed market.

GMO Labeling Project
Please get involved with the Organic Consumer's Association and the national movement to require labeling of GMOs in America; World Food Day on October 16, 2011.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Seeds hold the key to a GMO-free food future

This piece from Food Freedom focuses on the problems organic farmers are having with procuring certified organic seed. In the wake of consolidation of the seed market by biotech companies over the last several years, some trusted seed sources have now been found to contain genetically-modified material. The threat to organic farming is duo fold; contamination via pollen from widely cultivated GMO crops such as corn, soy, cotton and now alfalfa, and now the uncertainty of the seed supply. This is spurring a movement to reclaim the integrity of our non-conventional genetically pure organic seed sources.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Health Problems Reportedly Emerge Near Gas Fields, Science Lags Behind

This disturbing report was produced by Propublica and reposted on the Huffington Post. It provides more evidence of the environmental and health horrors resulting from Hydraulic Fracturing around the country. Despite claims by industry that fracking is safe, the process was exempted under Bush and Cheney from federal regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Air Act. Over 600 chemicals are used in the process and industry, in most cases, refuses to say what chemicals they use so it is difficult to test for them. Nonetheless, there is growing evidence that fracking poses a threat to human health and drinking water. If you are unfamiliar with the issue check out the documentary Gasland, and several other stories posted on this site.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

This is a brilliant analysis of the current political mess in America, painstakingly breaking down the motives behind GOP obstructionism and the Party's cow-towing to wealthy and corporate interests. It's an important document that should be widely distributed if there is any hope that the misinformed public may someday wake up and stand up for their interests and future well-being.

GOP Backs Insurance Industry-Friendly, Anti-Consumer Bills

This piece from PR Watch should come as no surprise to anyone following the increasingly blatant handiwork of Congressional Republican efforts to increase profits for their corporate benefactors at the expense of working Americans. What amazes me is that millions of working class people support a party that explicitly works against their own interests, in this case consumer protections related to healthcare spending. Democrats often cave to corporate influence as well but they are far less brazen in their capitulations.

Medical Societies Maintain Secret Financial Ties to Drug Companies

A short primer on the revolving doors and conflicts of interest that renders the integrity of various medical societies suspect. Emanating from ill-conceived clinical trials and the manipulation of dubious data to promote drug sales, Big Pharma willfully sacrifices public health in the pursuit of massive profits. One need only to look into the case of Vioxx to get a taste of Big Pharma's medicine and what it can do to unsuspecting and trusting patients.

Monday, September 5, 2011

How Bad is the Drought in Texas, Really?

Mike adams, who lives in Austin, reports on the Texas drought for Natural News, and puts forth several initiatives that would mitigate future droughts and help build more sustainable soil for farming in that critically arid state.

Good Jobs

On Labor Day we should all reflect on the current anti-labor agendas being pushed in a number of states designed to strip collective bargaining right from workers and strengthen the position of corporations and industry at the expense of working Americans. While the USA is still considered a wealthy country its population is becoming poorer and increasingly unemployed. The dialogue is off the mark in Washington and it's clear that massive jobs programs, in the form of infrastructure investment, is the key to ending the recession and reigniting economic growth. Unions are not the problem in America but rather its the reckless profit-driven corporations and their political enablers who are ripping out the heart and soul of our democracy and co-opting the American Dream.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Science Stunner: Editor of Journal that Published Flawed Denier Bunk Apologizes, Resigns, Slams Spencer for Exaggerations

This is a very interesting piece about the manipulated science and false claims behind climate denier attempts to debunk established science on global warming. In this case a journal published and, after public criticisms through discussion groups, lifted a position paper that broke all the rules for credible research and analysis.

Stung by the President on Air Quality, Environmentalists Weigh Their Options

This follow-up to the Obama Administration's recent actions offers a glimmer of hope for the strong-willed and passionate citizens committed to sustained activism on environmental issues. The undeniable evidence that the President is weak on pollution and climate change has led to a determination on the part of environmental groups to fight through sustained public action and lawsuits to force the government to comply with existing statutes and to institute more stringent regulations to protect public health and counter climate change. No progressive legislation has ever been accomplished without a fight and it's clear that the Administration cannot be trusted to do what they have promised to do.

Nuclear Expert Says Fukushima Radiation Coming to USA, Massive Cover-up Under Way

The US government has not been vigilantly testing for radiation fallout from Fukushima, and estimates have been systematically scaled back in an effort to calm public fears from the dangers of the disaster. There are significant long-term risks from elevated radiation levels that are currently hard to quantify because the Japanese and American governments are politically committed to downplaying the event. Isn't it odd that these reactors continue to leak radiation, and that massive amounts of radioactive water continue to be dumped into the Pacific Ocean, but there is next to zero coverage of the issue in the mainstream media? If politics nuclear energy were not influencing government's handling of this catastrophe, wouldn't we be hearing more about the continuing radiation releases and coverage about methods to mitigate danger from increased radiation levels in our food, water and air?

Farm Wars posted this 60-minute video featuring nuclear expert Dr. Michio Kaku on the long-term fallout and health risks posed by radiation leaking from the three reactors that melted down in Japan.

Is the Obama Administration Putting Corporate Profits Above Public Health?

The before and after picture above compelling demonstrates the horror of the tar sand coal mines that Obama has embraced by approving the Keystone pipeline project. Robert Redford lays it all out in a crisp and passionate report.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New WikiLeaks Cables Show US Diplomats Promote Genetically Engineered Crops Worldwide

A new batch of WikiLeaks diplomatic cables lays bare the US Government's interest in aggressively pushing genetically engineered crops in both developed and developing countries. In particular, these documents show that our government is trying to subvert resistance to biotechnology in France where there is an active opposition. In America, unfortunately, there is very little attention given to this topic and most people seem not to care about the issue. In my opinion the biotech GE and GM crops, trees  and animals already in production and in development represent one of the biggest threats we face on the planet in terms of agricultural diversity and the quality of the food we depend on for human health.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The 5 Dumbest Right-Wing Reactions to Hurricane Irene

I've been out of town for a bit and haven't posted in a while. Though the entire system seems largely broken to me it's still remarkable, in my view, how delusional and reactionary the Tea Party folks on the right continue to be. The rhetoric is deafening and the logic in virtually all of their arguments and policy positions is wholly porous. Reactions from the right to the government response to Hurricane Irene is a case in point.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sorry, NY Times: GMOs still won’t save the world

The hollow promises of industrial agriculture and the biotech industry reverberate throughout mainstream media with percussive regularity through spurious claims that GMOs are the only way to feed the world. Yet, numerous studies by reputable international organizations and sustainable farming projects refute this pernicious talking point promoted by the biotech industry. This piece, which originated at Civil Eats and was cross-posted by Grist, provides some push back on this critical issue.

Groups Sue to Uproot GE Crops from Southeast Wildlife Refuges

Friday, August 12, 2011

Japan Ignored Government's Radiation Forecast - Misinformed Citizens

A video news report form the HuffPost that documents how officials misled the public about fallout nearby Fukushima, and the presence of radiation in the nation's beef supply.

Court Rules Organic Farmers Can Sue Conventional, GMO Farmers Whose Pesticides 'Trespass' and Contaminate Their Fields

An important legal ruling has come out of a long-standing dispute in Minnesota where a large organic farm was continually contaminated by a nearby pesticide co-op. The decision, if ultimately upheld (one worries about the US Supreme Court on this point), could be an important precedent for limiting the spread of GMOs and the genetic and chemical contamination they threaten to organic and non-GMO farmers.

GMOs Failing Across America - Farmer to Farmer Film Reveals Disastrous Failure

This Natural News bulletin summarizes many of the emerging issues concerning GM crops and the emergence of Roundup -resistant weeds and other issues that threaten American farmers. The story includes a link to a film with more details about these issues that the mainstream media is ignoring.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Timeline of FDA Raids Raw Milk Farmers, Dietary Supplement Makers, and Natural Medicine Practitioners

Natural News has compiled a list of FDA raids on natural food and supplement businesses that dates from 1985. The often warrantless actions of the agency are stunning to contemplate and demonstrate a clear bias by the FDA against these providers who essentially compete with the pharmaceutical industry for therapeutic business. In a country where 100,000 die each year from Big Pharma's FDA-approved medicines, and no one dies from raw milk and few, if any, from vitamin supplements, the FDA's actions beg the question of whether the rogue agency is serving the public interest or that of the pharmaceutical industry.

Wisconsin Recalls Replace Two Republican Senators in a Rebuke to Governor's Anti-Labor Agenda

I admit to a bit of let down after learning that the recall elections in Wisconsin only resulted in the defeat of two of the six Republican State Senators there by Democrats, leaving anti-labor Governor Walker with a one vote majority. Then I learned that all of these races were in heavily Republican districts and that even the losses were extremely competitive. In fact, the successful recall of these two Walker allies was a remarkable triumph for democracy and the ability of ordinary people to effect change in government. The result is even more stunning in light of the fact that it was the first Citizen's United election which saw millions upon millions of dollars, and the predictable propaganda, pour into the state from outside conservative organizations funded by the Koch brothers and other groups. If they Democrats can hold the seats of two state senators facing recall next week then they will be able to aggressively challenge the Governor's agenda and curtail some of his autocratic power and move on to the next goal, recalling the Governor himself.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Handicapping the Wisconsin Recall Elections

Mother Jones handicaps the Wisconsin GOP recall elections that will take place tomorrow. The Dems need to win three seats, and defend their own candidates recall elections net week, to regain control of the Wisconsin State Assembly and slow down the anti-labor forces of the Walker Administration. I'm excited to see how this all turns out and am hopeful for a resounding victory for the people of the state. Watch out for election fraud and dirty tricks on Tuesday...

A more detailed analysis by AlterNet on the recalls. It turns out that one Democrat has already successfully defended his seat in an election. Tuesday could become a monumental day in United States history, and demonstrate that the foundation of our democracy still has some kick left.'s_recall_elections/?utm

Credibility, Chutzpah And Debt

Paul Krugman deconstructs the latest development in the hoopla of debt in this country. S & P, of course, was partly responsible for the mortgage crisis fiasco which triggered the economic downturn that has exacerbated debt problems, when it maintained high credit ratings for financial institutions that were on the brink of collapse in 2008. Krugman also points out that US debt problems could be solved rather easily if we were able to cut health care costs and raise revenues from the wealthy and corporations that was more in line with what other industrialized countries have done. Of course, the extremist right that has gummed up the political scene are hellbent on stopping that sort of sensible action.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Tainted Water Well, and Concern There May Be More

The CEO of ExxonMobil stated emphatically to Congress that there had never a documented case of groundwater contamination from natural gas fracking. Actually, it turns out that there is one such case as well as hundreds of others in which the details of the case and settlement terms have been sealed by a court. Such sealed settlements are the subject of a bill before Congress that would require judges to consider public safety and health before agreeing to seal the settlement. Such sealed cases have frustrated the EPA's efforts to research the safety of fracking, as well as many others who have sought records. If fracking is so safe, as the government and industry claims, then why is there so much secrecy. With fracking post-2002, exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act, drilling operators are not even required to tell regulators or the public what chemicals they are using in the process. Reportedly over 600 chemicals are pumped into the ground during deep shale drilling, and as you can see in the excellent documentary, Gasland, many of them migrate into water supplies along with escaped natural gas. And, by the way, natural gas fracking is not a clean alternative to oil and gas, as a Cornell study established earlier this year.

Multi-Agency Armed Raid Hits Rawesome Foods, Healthy Family Farms Selling Raw Milk and Cheese

The US Federal Government is continuing an all-out assault on anyone promoting healthy, living foods such as raw milk and cheese. The government and industry desperately want to pasteurize these products so they can maintain control of the food system. There have been several armed raids against farmers promoting natural methods over the past few years and I have posted a couple of stories on these actions. Rather than regulate the food industry to eliminate GMOs and minimize the use of hormones and antibiotics in conventional farming, the USDA, FDA and CDC are using the power and resources of the federal government to persecute small family farmers and coops on behalf of their industrial clients.

Join the Social Media Revolt Against Government Raids on Raw Milk

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Obama's Compromising Stirs Talk of Dem Primary Challenge; Bernie Sanders Says It's a 'Good Idea'

With discontent among democrats and liberals mounting against President Obama and his abdication of the core principles that got him elected, Bernie Sanders argues that the President should face opposition in the primaries to get important grievances and issues out in the open.

Tim DeChristopher sentenced to 2 years in prison, taken immediately into custody

This story and the others below shine light on the prosecution and sentencing of environmental activist Tim DeChristopher. His actions at a hastily arranged and illegal public land auction in Utah, designed by the Bureau of Land Management to be a cheap sell-off of lands to the oil and gas industry, brought attention to an illegal sale that bypassed legal environmental impact review requirements. His actions were not only courageous but overwhelming in the public interest, yet the government has aggressively prosecuted his case and pushed for jail time as a deterrent to others who might wish to disrupt the wholesale land grabs for energy companies that have traditionally delivered millions of acres to industry for pennies on the dollar.

Tim DeChristopher's Courtroom Speech: This is What Patriotism Looks Like
This is an extremely well-constructed and informative commentary on the case itself and what facts were not permitted into the courtroom.

DeChristopher case begs question: What if enviros were allowed to bid on oil leases?

DeChristopher Sentenced: Real News Network Video Report

Pardon Tim DeChristopher - Petition

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Republicans Seek Big Cuts in Environmental Rules

Republicans are using the chaos of a split government to try to ram through at least 39 bills aimed at weakened environmental protections. It's a travesty that threatens the health of citizens and our stewardship of the country, and denies the overwhelming science that shows that bills such as the Clean Air Act are beneficial for the economy and public health, and pay for themselves with reduced sickness and increased productivity. These actions take the concept of privatizing profits and externalizing costs to a new level.