Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Strong anti-American sentiment in Egypt

The Arab world seems to have caught on that the US favors dictators who can control their populations and deliver markets to American multinationals and easy access to natural resources. 

Crystal Eth: America’s Crippling Addiction to Taxpayer-Financed Ethanol

"Corn-based ethanol is unlikely to significantly reduce America’s dependence on imported oil, has a negligible ability to reduce green- house gas emissions and contributes to environmental degradation in coastal waters. The public policies that promote or encourage ethanol production have significant impacts on America’s future energy use, efforts to curb global warming and the global effort to reduce hunger."http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/reports/crystal-eth/

The Right-Wing Network Behind the War on Unions

The organizational ability of the right has been ascendent for the past thirty years and presents a grave challenge to all who care about worker's rights, the environment, effective regulation and fair taxation policies. This story from Defend Wisconsin provides a number of references to current statewide activities initiated by right-wing front groups and links to a more complete Mother Jones piece on this sort of political activity and the propaganda associated with it.

What would a Chernobyl or Fukushima disaster at Indian Point mean?

Greenpeace brings attention to the risk that Americans currently face from a nuclear reactor accident in the US, a country where one in three live within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant. Yet, the government and industry continue to push the operation of old reactors, fail to safely dispose of dangerous spent nuclear fuel rods, and propose an expansion of new nuclear plants in this country. Nuclear energy is very simply not worth the risk. 

Our Deadly, Daily Chemical Cocktail

Civil Eats examines the failure of the FDA to regulate combinations of additives in our diet that have been shown to cause disease in laboratory animals. The current regulations are lax and generally test a substance for safety individually, not in combination with other substances. The summary of additives in one cereal, yogurt and Subway sandwich sampling is alarmingly informative...

  • One serving of Kellogg’s Fiber Plus Antioxidants Berry Yogurt Crunch contains more than 13 different additives, preservatives, and food dyes, including Red 40 and Blue 1, which are known to cause allergic reactions in some people and mutations leading to cancer in lab animals. It also contains BHT, monoglycerides, and cellulose gum. In addition, conventional milk often contains residues of artificial bovine growth hormones, known endocrine disruptors as well as antibiotics used in industrial milk production.
  • Dannon Light & Fit Peach yogurt contains more than 11 different additives including Red 40, aspartame, potassium sorbate, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium.
  • A Subway sandwich of turkey and cheese on nine-grain bread with fat-free honey mustard, peppers, and pickles contains more than 40 different additives, preservatives, and dyes. The pickles and peppers have yellow 5 and polysorbate 80, the bread has ten different additives including dough conditioners, DATEM, and sodium stearoyl lactylate, and the turkey contains ten additives as well.

GM Alfalfa – Why No Sprouting?

Monsanto's legal agreement with regard to genetically-modified Alfalfa explicitly prohibits the growing of sprouts, which are considered a 'super food'. The USDA approved GM Alfalfa for planting in the US without environmental or health impact testing and this prohibition of on growing sprouts raises the question of whether they are trying to protect themselves from liability against potentially untested and dangerous side effects. It may also be possible that Monsanto, which commonly does not share their internal data on safety, may already know that the consumption of GM Alfalfa in sprout form is dangerous to human health.

Daniel Ellsberg: Bradley Manning Charges Should Be Dismissed After Obama Declares Accused Army Whistleblower "Broke The Law"

Daniel Ellsberg, who famously released the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War, appeared on Democracy Now! to comment on President Obama's improper statement regarding the guilt of the Army private charged with facilitating WikiLeaks secret document releases. There is a regrettably short video clip that shows the President's comments on Manning and includes a brief response from Ellsberg on the situation.

Three new, separate studies confirm: Common pesticides harm kids' cognition

This PAN report concerns a common agricultural pesticide organophosphate that has been banned from household products for some time but is still regularly used by industry. The story points to the need to regulate dangerous chemicals more vigilantly in the US, the country with the highest worldwide cancer rates.

What is a "good" job, anyway?

An analysis of what constitutes a 'good job' in America today, a country in which four of ten jobs are currently in the service industry.

Halliburton Brings In Record $5.3 Billion In First Quarter, Credits Increased U.S. Oil Production Under Obama

US oil production is at its highest level in a decade under the Obama Administration and this article doesn't even mention the boom in natural gas drilling that is currently under popular attack because of safety issues. Halliburton stands to gain from fracking natural gas as well as the company pioneered the largely unregulated and dangerous hydraulic fracture methods commonly used to access deep gas fields today. 

The GOP's 2012 Campaign Plan: Disqualify Eligible Voters

This AlterNet feature story recounts a sad but recurring theme in GOP politics: the aggressive legal (and illegal) efforts on behalf of the Party to reduce turnout and disqualify American votes in order to gain political power. It's a dishonest tactic and it's been done time and time again, in Florida in 2000 and in Ohio in 2004 to name only the most recent examples. The bottom line is that the Republican agenda does not resonate with the general public, particularly in poor and ethnic communities, and because of this they always work through dubious legal and legislative channels to restrain the ability of these eligible voters to cast their votes. In 2004 this was blatantly demonstrated in Ohio when the Republican Secretary of State (who was also Bush's state campaign manager) reduced the number of voting machines in democratic-leaning districts of Cleveland and certain college campuses resulting in lines where voters, in America, had to wait 8-14 hours to cast a vote. I'm still pissed off about this and contend that such actions were treasonous and a clear violation of voting rights, yet the mainstream media barely covered the story at all. We should not allow these malicious maneuvers to disrupt and distort the core essence of democratic governance this time around. 

7 Shocking Gitmo Revelations from WikiLeaks

The WikiLeaks release of over 700 secret government documents concerning Gitmo is a victory for those who believe in democracy and the rule of law. We cannot simply trust our government to do the right thing and so it is critical that the facts of what is happening there in our name are made public. The mainstream media is now on this beat because of the WikiLeaks action and we would not know these details without this courageous and controversial action. Not only do we need to pay attention to what is happening at Guantanamo but we also need to be vocal about supporting the transparency movement represented by WikiLeaks. The government will do all it can to silence this organization and we cannot allow ourselves to be swayed by spurious arguments of national security to acquiesce in the persecution of this force for openness that is bringing so much information to light. We can only hope to rule and govern more sensibly, and effectively, if we know what is going on.