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