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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ireland grants trials of GMO potatos...



Starting off with a trial within the nation’s borders, Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authorized Teagasc to plant the GMO crops throughout a two hectare land plot. While supports continue to assert that the relatively small size makes the process ‘safe,’ experts from within the Emerald Isle say otherwise. In response to the idea that starting the trial with a ‘small’ land plot is safe, The Organic Trust in Dublin explains that once you unleash genetically modified seeds into the environment, the consequences that may follow do not depend on how many acres of land is modified — only the fact that genetically modified seeds have been planted.
Spokesperson Gavin Lynch stated:
It is only a two hectare trial, but that’s like saying you’re only a little bit pregnant, there are no grey areas with GM…. Organic Trust calls on Teagasc not to act on the approval granted but to adhere to the wishes of the vast majority of Irish citizens not to pollute our precious land. Not one single solitary benefit will accrue to Ireland as a result of this trial. So why it is going ahead?”
The above stated is a valid question to which the answer may hide in previously leaked documents dating as far back as 2007. It was back in 2007 that WikiLeaks cables revealed a surprising threat made to nations who rejected GMO crops and biotechnology overall. As plainly stated by the United States ambassador to France and business partner to George W. Bush, Craig Stapleton, all nations that oppose GMOs will be hit with calibrated ‘target retaliation’ and ‘military-style trade wars’.
Stapleton even goes on to specifically state that many European nations are culprits of such anti-GMO activity and should therefore be hit with such target retaliation. In other words, it is becoming more and more apparent that political incentives and even political threats appear to play a much greater role in the establishment of genetically modified crops and subsequent trials than public opinion. And until the public utilizes serious political activism and peacefully demands change from their representatives on a major scale, such political corruption will continue to ultimately influence decisions that affect your daily life.


*****

Girls head swells due to hydrocephalus...

A family is heartbroken over their ailing daughter, who suffers from hydrocephalus, a condition that has caused her head to swell to a shocking and painful size.

Dilla Anargia Adilla, 3, of Bogor, Indonesia was born with the ailment, caused by the abnormal build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in certain parts of the brain.

Hydrocephalus, also known as “water on the brain,” causes pressure to build up inside the skull, resulting in blurred vision, mental and physical disability.

The condition is not uncommon.  [If caught early surgery can treat the condition.  I'd say, sadly, it isn't early anymore for Dilla at this point... as you see below.]


Horror Hospital: The Dawood Military Hospital pictures...

An explosive Congressional investigation revealed horrific new details this week about a U.S. funded military hospital in Afghanistan that kept patients in “Auschwitz-like” conditions. (source)

The Dawood Military Hospital

A patient's untreated wound.

This patient was not treated for three days, given no wound checks, and his dressings were soiled. He was not given any analgesics prior to his surgery, and remained conscious.

Colonel Gerald Nicholas Carozza: “Patients were lying in filth, in some cases starving and with grotesque bed sores. One patient was on the brink of starving to death.”

U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan at the time described his surgery taking place in "semi-sterile conditions".  He died four days later of sepsis.
 
Maggots began falling out of this patient's wounds. He died a week later.

Gangrene set in, making this patient a candidate for amputation. The surgeon refused to "address the issue for days," according to the investigation.
  

Investigators described this as "a sacral decubitus lesion with high grade tunneling." There were no plans for surgery for this patient.

"Drain insertion through and through sinus track. No pre-procedure pain Rx, non-sterile technique done in ‘wound care room.’"




Save a single mother's home from foreclosure...


video

'Rain Burroughs is probably the perfect neighbor; she and her daughter Summer, now 12, have lived in their house in Richmond for 8 years. Rain is an activist for peace, the environment (she works full-time at a locally owned natural food store), and a champion of social justice. I remember, at one event, Rain placing herself between two 6' 2" men whom were about to come to blows--just to keep the event, and the people, safe. Summer attends a local middle school, plays piano, and creates some of the most interesting art, and has a virally infectious grin that could wipe the grimace off the Robert E. Lee statue on Monument.

As much as Rain and Summer love their community, and as much as we love them, they may not be able to stay: their mortgage holder, the Virginia Housing and Development Association, is foreclosing on their home. To do this, they had to go to court to have her bankruptcy protection overturned, which they did without properly notifying her. Now, they are planning to auction Summer and Rain's home THIS Thursday, unless paid $13,000.'

Read more and donate here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Saving the tiger...



India’s Supreme Court banned tourists from large swathes of the country’s popular tiger parks on Tuesday, citing states’ inability to protect the endangered animals.

Until further instructions from the court, “the core zones or core areas in the tiger reserves will not be used for tourism,” a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled, according to the Press Trust of India. The ban goes into effect immediately.

The ruling could cost India’s tourist trade millions of dollars in income but might help preserve the dwindling number of big cats in India, supporters say. India is home to about half of the world’s tiger population, an estimated 1,700, down from 100,000 in the country at the turn of the last century.

Wildlife organizations estimate there are about 3,000 tigers left in the world, down from as many as 7,000 a decade ago.

*****

Now, if only Putin would put some tough guys in place to protect the Siberians and if the Chinese stopped craving eating tiger cock and balls because they believe it might make them fuck with the prowess of a tiger (I'm joking but it's high fucking time the Chinese that believe in dirt worship join the 21st century).

I'd go to war over stuff like this willingly... to protect life.  Why people are willing to go to war to protect the greed of multinationals I don't understand.  Maybe it's just me that would find living in a world full of concrete and people uninteresting.  Here's the real ironic part; when another animal's numbers are so great it threatens and declines the numbers of another we intervene by culling... yet with us we number over 7,000,000,000, and tigers live in Asia where roughly 4,250,000,000 people live, some of which are responsible for things like that which you see above.  Due to the vast majority of human beings viewing themselves and their species as superior and separate from the natural world our numbers are too great; we do not live in harmony with the world around us... it is parasitic in nature, but not to discredit other beings like mosquitos that can keep their host alive for their benefit, we are more like a parasitoid.

If you, like me, have a hardcore passion to want to see the tiger survive in the wild, take a look at this.

Because some Chinese like to eat penis and drink bone wine, this tiger is worth more dead than alive and dies a slow, planned death at Xiongshen Tiger and Bear Mountain village in Guilin, China.  Because China makes great products, like those you find in your local Walmart and in Apple packaging marked up 1000%, more and more Chinese are able to afford the goods of traditional Chinese dirt worship... hence the tiger trade has increased even more in recent years.

By the way, white tigers are created by inbreeding; it does nothing to increase gene pool or healthy numbers. Those breeding whites and ligers should be arrested and banned from having any animals in the future. Tigers should not be in any circus or "entertainment" niches; they should simply be within programs to boost subspecies numbers and gene pools. To think that some morons within my country have these beautiful animals as pets makes me sick... they also, should go to jail.

The solution is simple: Have rangers, paid well via donations from around the world, by people like me, whom are well armed and can use the force of the law behind them. All it would take would be a non-profit to raise the money and a PayPal account and you could even hire a professional merc group with a private army. Poachers should be glad I don't sit in a position like Putin, because if I did I would have poachers dealt with... harshly and with finality.

And...

STOP BUYING CHINESE, INDIAN, AND RUSSIAN PRODUCTS!!!
They fail to change their ways. They fail to protect what should be considered national treasures.

Goodbye Posse Comitatus...

With the recent upheaval in Anaheim, CA, where two alleged gang-members were shot by police, (Anaheim is far from the happiest place on Earth - there is a large proportion of lower middle-class and poor Hispanics, some native, others illegal aliens, and some gang issues - the rest of the city looks nothing like that you find around Disneyland) military personnel were seen photographing protestors... and no, I don't think he was a member of ICE.

I found this on Twitter.

I am prior-service, and it irritates me when I see helos, jets, and other military units in the city, in my book they don't belong in American cities... and I especially detest seeing them at sporting events and road check-points providing "security", and even more when they do urban exercises with U.S. cities.  I've had debates with people over this time and time again, people whom are blind by "red, white, and blue"... people who simply say "it's their country too".  I suppose they just don't get the fact that the standing military is designed for external use, and that use was to be defensive; and this is exactly what Adams and Jefferson warned (read this great piece) and maybe something Eisenhower foresaw.

Coal bad, nuclear good..?

Well, tens of thousands of Japanese, who know just one of the possible prices of nuclear power, disagree. 

*****


(Reuters) - Tens of thousands of people protested against nuclear power outside Japan's parliament on Sunday, the same day a proponent of using renewable energy to replace nuclear following the Fukushima disaster was defeated in a local election.


Tens of thousands of people protested against nuclear power outside Japan's parliament on Sunday, the same day a proponent of using renewable energy to replace nuclear following the Fukushima disaster was defeated in a local election.

The protesters, including old-age pensioners, pressed up against a wall of steel thrown up around the parliament building shouting, "We don't need nuclear power" and other slogans.

On the main avenue leading to the assembly, the crowd broke through the barriers and spilled onto the streets, forcing the police to bring in reinforcements and deploy armoured buses to buttress the main parliament gate.

The protest came as results from rural Yamaguchi showed that Tetsunari Iida, an advocate of renewable energy to replace nuclear power, lost his bid to become governor to a rival backed by the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which promoted nuclear power during its decades in power, Kyodo news agency reported, citing exit polls.

Iida, who wants Japan to exit nuclear power by 2020, had promised to revitalise Yamaguchi's economy with renewable energy projects and opposed a project by Chubu Electric Power Co to build a new nuclear plant in the town of Kaminoseki.

Energy policy has become a major headache for Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who less than a year in office is battling to hold his Democratic Party together before a general election due next year but which could come sooner.

Weekly protests outside Noda's office have grown in size in recent months, with ordinary salary workers and mothers with children joining the crowds.

On Sunday, the protesters - holding candles as darkness fell on the hot summer day - took their demonstration to parliament.

Chanting "oppose restarts", they pressed against steel barriers erected around the parliament building, where thousands of police were deployed to keep the peace.

Many of the crowd had marched past the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Co, the company at the heart of the worst nuclear crisis since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

*****

We are fools for knowing the risks associated with nuclear power yet proceeding.  We are complete morons for spreading this "technology" amongst other nations (the U.S. is "assisting nations like Chile with nuclear energy).  I would rather deal with coal than have a ticking timebomb near me that is consistently churning out waste that may very well outlast life on this planet.

Syria photoshopped...

 Western (NATO) media spins images of Syria...

Here is all the evidence anyone needs to come to the realization that no media entity, especially those controlled by large conglomerates, should ever be blindly trusted.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Food and Drug Administration spies...

(Think again.  Their scientists even sent Obama warnings... guess they haven't been paying attention.)

Vast F.D.A. Effort Tracked E-Mails of Its Scientists

WASHINGTON — A wide-ranging surveillance operation by the Food and Drug Administration against a group of its own scientists used an enemies list of sorts as it secretly captured thousands of e-mails that the disgruntled scientists sent privately to members of Congress, lawyers, labor officials, journalists and even President Obama, previously undisclosed records show. 

What began as a narrow investigation into the possible leaking of confidential agency information by five scientists quickly grew in mid-2010 into a much broader campaign to counter outside critics of the agency’s medical review process, according to the cache of more than 80,000 pages of computer documents generated by the surveillance effort. 

Moving to quell what one memorandum called the “collaboration” of the F.D.A.’s opponents, the surveillance operation identified 21 agency employees, Congressional officials, outside medical researchers and journalists thought to be working together to put out negative and “defamatory” information about the agency. 

F.D.A. officials defended the surveillance operation, saying that the computer monitoring was limited to the five scientists suspected of leaking confidential information about the safety and design of medical devices. 

While they acknowledged that the surveillance tracked the communications that the scientists had with Congressional officials, journalists and others, they said it was never intended to impede those communications, but only to determine whether information was being improperly shared. 

The agency, using so-called spy software designed to help employers monitor workers, captured screen images from the government laptops of the five scientists as they were being used at work or at home. The software tracked their keystrokes, intercepted their personal e-mails, copied the documents on their personal thumb drives and even followed their messages line by line as they were being drafted, the documents show. 

The extraordinary surveillance effort grew out of a bitter dispute lasting years between the scientists and their bosses at the F.D.A. over the scientists’ claims that faulty review procedures at the agency had led to the approval of medical imaging devices for mammograms and colonoscopies that exposed patients to dangerous levels of radiation. 

A confidential government review in May by the Office of Special Counsel, which deals with the grievances of government workers, found that the scientists’ medical claims were valid enough to warrant a full investigation into what it termed “a substantial and specific danger to public safety.”
The documents captured in the surveillance effort — including confidential letters to at least a half-dozen Congressional offices and oversight committees, drafts of legal filings and grievances, and personal e-mails — were posted on a public Web site, apparently by mistake, by a private document-handling contractor that works for the F.D.A. The New York Times reviewed the records and their day-by-day, sometimes hour-by-hour accounting of the scientists’ communications. 

With the documents from the surveillance cataloged in 66 huge directories, many Congressional staff members regarded as sympathetic to the scientists each got their own files containing all their e-mails to or from the whistle-blowers. Drafts and final copies of letters the scientists sent to Mr. Obama about their safety concerns were also included.

Insight on Afghnistan, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, and more...


Right on point in my book.

The 'Monsanto Protection Act'...

Sunday, July 15, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer 



(NaturalNews) While millions of Americans were busy celebrating freedom from tyranny during the recent Independence Day festivities, Monsanto was actively trying to thwart that freedom with new attacks on health freedom. It turns out that the most evil corporation in the world has quietly attached riders to both the 2012 Farm Bill and the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that would essentially force the federal government to approve GMOs at the request of biotechnology companies, and prohibit all safety reviews of GMOs from having any real impact on the GMO approval process.

The Alliance for Natural Health - USA (ANH-USA), the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), and several other health freedom advocacy groups have been actively drawing attention to these stealth attacks in recent days, and urging Americans to rise up and oppose them now before it is too late. If we fail to act now as a single, unified community devoted to health freedom, in other words, America's agricultural future could literally end up being controlled entirely by the biotech industry, which will have full immunity from the law.

You can fight back now against these threats to food freedom by visiting: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25711.cfm
 

Full exemption from the law for the biotech industry

 

Authored by Congressmen and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill rider, known as the "farmer assurance provision" (Section 733), specifically outlines that the Secretary of Agriculture will be required, upon request, to "immediately" grant temporary approval or deregulation of a GM crop, even if that crop's safety is in question or under review.

In other words, if the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is strong-armed into approving a new GM crop that is later legally challenged in court (which is basically what happened for GM sugar beets and GM alfalfa), the Secretary of Agriculture, under the provisions of the Kingston rider, will be required to approve the cultivation and sale of that crop anyway, even if a higher court has already ordered a moratorium on that crop.

"A so-called 'Monsanto rider,' quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, would require -- not just allow, but require -- the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is completed," wrote Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins in a recent piece for AlterNet.
"All the farmer or the biotech producer has to do is ask, and the questionable crops could be released into the environment where they could potentially contaminate conventional or organic crops and, ultimately, the nation's food supply."

You can read the rider for yourself, which begins on page 86, Sec. 733 of the following document: http://appropriations.house.gov
 

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Or.) introduces amendment to kill 'Monsanto Protection Act'

 

According to the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations website, the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, with the Kingston rider, was already approved by the committee on June 19. (http://appropriations.house.gov) But it will move next to the House floor, where debate and further amendment proposals will take place -- this means there is still time to fight it.

One amendment being proposed by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Or.) seeks to altogether eliminate the Kingston rider, which has now been dubbed by the health freedom community as the Monsanto Protection Act, from the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. You can urge your Congressmen to support Rep. DeFazio's amendment to kill the Monsanto Protection Act by emailing (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25711.cfm) or calling (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25778.cfm) them.

Committee Farm Bill riders would destroy safeguards that protect farmers, environment from untested GMOs

 

Another serious food freedom threat exists in the House Agriculture Committee's discussion draft of the contentious 2012 Farm Bill, where Monsanto et al. have inserted key language, via corrupt legislators of course, that will dismantle existing federal law as it pertains to regulating GM crops, and replace it with a free-for-all system where biotech giants are basically free to grow and market whatever GMOs they please without resistance or legal challenge.

"Deliberately buried in the House Agriculture Committee's voluminous discussion draft of the 2012 Farm Bill, these significant changes to the Plant Protection Act (PPA) -- one of the few statutes that regulate GE crops -- will counter the gains that have been made to protect our food supply and the farmers who grow it," writes Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety (CFS), one of the key groups fighting back against this Monsanto sneak attack.

"The provisions (Sections 10011, 10013 and 10014) would force the rushed commercialization of GE crops, create a backdoor approval for Dow's 'Agent Orange' corn and eliminate any meaningful review of the impacts of these novel crops" (http://www.huffingtonpost.com).

These provisions would explicitly outlaw any review of the environmental or human impacts of GM crops under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), or any other environmental laws as well. Only the USDA would be allowed to review the safety of GM crops, and this review process would be so severely neutered that the USDA would essentially operate as a formal "rubber stamp" for approving the biotech industry's offerings.

Both sets of riders threaten to eliminate every remaining semblance of regulatory power that "We the People" have over our own food system. If passed, these riders will abolish virtually all remaining protections over the American food supply, and allow Monsanto and the rest of Big Ag to completely control what is grown, and how it is grown.

There is still time to fight back against these heinous threats to food freedom, but swift action is necessary to stop Congress from hammering the last few nails into the coffin of American food freedom.

Be sure to contact your Congressmen right now and demand their support for Rep. Peter DeFazio's amendment to eliminate the Monsanto rider from the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, as well as their opposition to Sections 10011, 10013 and 10014 of the 2012 Farm Bill: (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25711.cfm)

Sources for this article include:
 
  
source  

***** 

I am currently reading Seeds of Deception; I encourage anyone out there wanting to learn the hushed truth about biotech and GMO's to read it... you can find it at places like Amazon for under $13.

UN arms treaty and the Second Amendment...

IF you Fox News consuming Americans out there ever needed proof that the U.S. is being sold down the river for globalism with aims for the UN assuming (who knows how long) an authority and leadership role... here you go:


http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/07/10/the-u-n-arms-trade-treaty-are-our-2nd-amendment-rights-part-of-the-deal/

http://www.examiner.com/article/global-gun-control-critics-warn-u-n-treaty-would-undermine-u-s-gun-rights

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/12/15/as-predicted-fast-and-furious-scandal-gives-rise-to-gun-regulation-debate/#ixzz20bvypxQC (people said those guns were leaked for a purpose... ahem)

http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/item/12060-un-arms-treaty-would-impact-second-amendment-rights

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2011/06/07/u-n-agreement-should-have-all-gun-owners-up-in-arms/

http://www.ammoland.com/2012/07/10/u-n-arms-trade-treaty-negotiations-underway/#axzz20bzhOrSM

http://www.ambafrance-uk.org/France-and-UK-call-for-binding-UN

I guess these people don't know that criminals prefer to use non-registered weapons.  I guess some forgot the purpose of the Second Amendment; a tyrannical government, domestic and foreign threats.  I guess next they will ban the ownership of all knives... followed with the eventual ban of hands, after all you can make a fist with them and possibly even kill someone.

I personally don't own a gun but am now thinking about getting one and putting it away somewhere.

Progress (or lack of) in Egypt


So, without talking out of the sides of my mouth like government officials everywhere, here's my take on what happened and what is going on:

The United States (my country) and other NATO powers sought to give the illusion to the people of Egypt that they support the rights of Egyptian citizens and to accomplish that, they utilized certain groups and organizations to topple the Mubarak regime, to later install another puppet to whom they hold the leash.  They got half of what they wanted across the board and now are pushing extremely hard to do the same in Syria.  The problem is that for the common people in these countries nothing has changed; there is still violence and there is still oppression.  We can't let people sort out there own affairs???  I can't and refuse believe any representations of fact in the U.S. media or any other for that matter.

Here's an earlier post I did on Egypt and the great change that transpired there.  I knew it was going to end badly and knew what a sham and witch hunt Libya was; we Americans are walking-talking oxymorons - we hold nobody accountable for anything yet are chomping at the bit for guys like Gadhafi or al-Assad to "get what's coming to them".

Homeland Security wants molecular scanners...


Why do you think they want you scared?  While I don't believe all this terrorist hype, and barring my initial reaction to 9/11 I never did, has it not occurred to any of the idiot "authorities" that there hasn't been another "attack" in nearly eleven years?!?  So then, even if what they say is true and everyone in the west has a target on their forehead because some cave-dwellers want to kill us, why the need for this absurdity?

Oh yeah, the Brits had 26,000 military and police providing security and it still wasn't enough; they had to call up more troops.  I suppose it takes a standing army to stop or deal with a handful of fictitious terrorists.  The times we live in are beyond ridiculous.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Russia approves WTO membership...


The State Duma has ratified the protocol on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) despite protests by the parliamentary opposition parties. 

The document that opens for the country a door into the world trade club was supported by all members of the majority United Russia (238 deputies). Members of opposition factions – 201 deputies from the Communist party, LDPR and Fair Russia – voted against.

Earlier on Tuesday, a group of protesters representing the Communist Party (KPRF) gathered in central Moscow, waving banners reading "WTO accession – road to the abyss!" and "WTO will strangle Russia!" 

Opinion polls show that the Russian people are also split down the middle on whether the country should join the WTO. Thus, the authorities are working overtime to assure the public that Russia will only benefit from entering the organization, vowing “there will be no negative consequences.” 

“We believe that the increase in prices of many goods will at least considerably slow down,” said Economic Development Minister Andrey Belousov.

The minister also stated there is no danger of a rise in unemployment following Russia's accession to the WTO.

At the same time, Belousov admitted that the country's budget may lose up to 188 billion rubles (US $ 5.6 billion) next year and 257 billion rubles (about US $ 7.7 billion) in 2014 as a result of Russia's entry in the organization. However, he said, real losses are expected to be smaller because of overall trade growth.


*****

Welcome to the club Russians.  It's easy to say "there will be no negative consequences" for joining... but, I'm still waiting for the positive consequences of my country joining in 1995 (I got news for you; there is none... we got NAFTA et al).  The WTO supersedes policy at the national level.  Whatever industry you have will feel the effects as cheap good flood into you country.

Internet, meet CETA...

Hydra’s new head: Copyright activists in panic over CETA


Less than a week has passed since ACTA was defeated by a comprehensive vote in the European parliament. But some copyright activists believe its provisions may get in through the backdoor via the CETA treaty.

­The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is a wide-ranging set of agreements between the EU and Canada. Only a small part of it concerns intellectual property, but this part appears to have been lifted from the drafts of ACTA, often word-for-word, as has been revealed by a leak of unpublished treaty protocols.

“The European Commission strategy appears to be to use CETA as the new ACTA, burying its provisions in a broader Canadian trade agreement with the hope that the European Parliament accepts the same provisions it just rejected with the ACTA framework,” claims Michael Geist, a Canadian law professor, on his website.

Read the entire story here.

The 'Monsanto Rider'...


by Ronnie Cummins 
Originally published July 10 2012

(NaturalNews) While many Americans were firing up barbecues and breaking out the sparklers to celebrate Independence Day, biotech industry executives were more likely chilling champagne to celebrate another kind of independence: immunity from federal law.

A so-called "Monsanto rider," quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill, would require - not just allow, but require - the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed. All the farmer or the biotech producer has to do is ask, and the questionable crops could be released into the environment where they could potentially contaminate conventional or organic crops and, ultimately, the nation's food supply.

Unless the Senate or a citizen's army of farmers and consumers can stop them, the House of Representatives is likely to ram this dangerous rider through any day now.

In a statement issued last month, the Center For Food Safety had this to say http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org about the biotech industry's latest attempt to circumvent legal and regulatory safeguards: "Ceding broad and unprecedented powers to industry, the rider poses a direct threat to the authority of U.S. courts, jettisons the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) established oversight powers on key agriculture issues and puts the nation's farmers and food supply at risk."

In other words, if this single line in the 90-page Agricultural Appropriations bill slips through, it's Independence Day for the biotech industry.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) has sponsored an amendment to kill the rider, whose official name is "the farmers assurance" provision. But even if DeFazio's amendment makes it through the House vote, it still has to survive the Senate. Meanwhile, organizations like the Organic Consumers Association, Center for Food Safety, FoodDemocracyNow!, the Alliance for Natural Health USA and many others are gathering hundreds of thousands of signatures in protest of the rider, and in support of DeFazio's amendment.

Will Congress do the right thing and keep what are arguably already-weak safeguards in place, to protect farmers and the environment? Or will industry win yet another fight in the battle to exert total control over our farms and food supply?

Biotech's 'Legislator of the Year' behind the latest sneak attack

Whom do we have to thank for this sneak attack on USDA safeguards? The agricultural sub-committee chair Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) - who not coincidentally was voted "legislator of the year for 2011-2012" by none other than the Biotechnology Industry Organization, whose members include Monsanto and DuPont. As reportedhttp://www.motherjones.com by Mother Jones, the Biotechnology Industry Organization declared Kingston a "champion of America's biotechnology industry" who has "helped to protect funding for programs essential to the survival of biotechnology companies across the United States."

Kingston clearly isn't interested in the survival of America's farmers.

Aiding and abetting Kingston is John C. Greenwood, former US Congressman from Pennsylvania and now president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization. No stranger to the inner workings of Congress, Greenwood lobbied for the "farmers assurance provision" in a June 13 letter to Congress, according to Mother Jones and Bloomberg,http://www.businessweek.com claiming that "a stream of lawsuits" have slowed approvals and "created uncertainties" for companies developing GE crops.

Greenwood was no doubt referring to several past lawsuits, including one brought in 2007 by the Center for Food safety challenging the legality of the USDA's approval of Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa. In that case, a federal court ruled that the USDA's approval of GMO alfalfa violated environmental laws by failing to analyze risks such as the contamination of conventional and organic alfalfa, the evolution of glyphosate-resistant weeds, and increased use of Roundup. The USDA was forced to undertake a four-year study of GMO alfalfa's impacts under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). During the four-year study, farmers were banned from planting or selling the crop - creating that 'uncertainty" that Greenwood is so worried about.

The USDA study slowed down the release of GMO alfalfa, but ultimately couldn't stop it. As Mother Jones reports,http://www.motherjones.com in 2011, the USDA deregulated the crop, even though according to its own study, the USDA said that "gene flow" between GM and non-GM alfalfa is "probable," and threatens organic dairy producers and other users of non-GMO alfalfa, and that there is strong potential for the creation of Roundup-resistant "superweeds" that require ever-higher doses of Roundup and application of ever-more toxic herbicides. The report noted that two million acres of US farmland already harbor Roundup-resistant weeds caused by other Roundup Ready crops.

In another case - which perhaps paved the way for this latest provision now before the House - the USDA in 2011 outright defied a federal judge's order to halt the planting of Monsanto's controversial Roundup-Ready GMO sugar beets until it completed an Environmental Impact Statement. The USDA allowed farmers to continue planting the crop even while it was being assessed for safety on the grounds that there were no longer enough non-GMO seeds available to plant.

Who loses if Monsanto wins this one?

Among the biggest losers if Congress ignores the DeFazio amendment and passes the "farmers assurance provision" are thousands of farmers of conventional and organic crops, including those who rely on the export market for their livelihoods. An increasing number of global markets are requiring GMO-free agricultural products or, at the very least, enforcing strict GMO labeling laws. If this provision passes, it will allow unrestricted planting of potentially dangerous crops, exposing other safe and non-GMO crops to risk of contamination.

As we've seen in the past, farmers who grow crops that have been inadequately tested and later found dangerous, or whose safe crops become contaminated by nearby unsafe crops, risk huge losses and potentially, lawsuits from their customers. Ultimately, the entire US agriculture market and US economy suffers.

We have only to look back to the StarLink corn and LibertyLink rice contamination episodes for evidence of how misguided this provision is. In October 2000, traces of an Aventis GM corn called StarLink showed up in taco shells in the U.S. even though the corn had not been approved for human consumption because leading allergists were concerned it would cause food allergies. The contamination led to a massive billion dollar recall of over 300 food brands. The 'StarLink' gene also turned up unexpectedly in a second company's corn and in US corn exports, causing a costly disruption to the nation's grain-handling system, and spurring lawsuits by farmers whose crops were damaged.

A similar disaster occurred for US rice farmers in 2006. In august of that year the USDA announced that mutant DNA of Liberty Link, a genetically modified variety of rice developed by Bayer CropScience, a then-German agri-business giant, were found in commercially-grown long-grain rice in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Missouri. LibertyLink rice, named for Bayer's broad-spectrum herbicide glufosinate-ammonium, was never intended for human consumption. Following the announcement of contamination, Japan banned all long-grain rice imports from the U.S., and U.S. trade with the EU and other countries ground to a halt. Rice farmers and cooperatives were forced to engage in five long years of litigation against Bayer CropScience in an attempt to recoup some of their losses.

All the other ways this provision is just plain bad

There's a reason we have laws like the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Plant Protection Act of 2000, which was specifically designed "to strengthen the safety net for agricultural producers by providing greater access to more affordable risk management tools and improved protection from production and income loss . . .". The 'farmers assurance provision" is a thinly disguised attempt by the biotech industry to undermine these protections. Worse yet, it's an affront to everyone who believes the US judicial system exists to protect US citizens and public health.

Why should you be outraged about this provision? For all these reasons:

• The Monsanto Rider is an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers. Judicial review is an essential element of U.S. law, providing a critical and impartial check on government decisions that may negatively impact human health, the environment or livelihoods. Maintaining the clear-cut boundary of a Constitutionally-guaranteed separation of powers is essential to our government. This provision will blur that line.

• Judicial review is a gateway, not a roadblock. Congress should be fully supportive of our nation's independent judiciary. The ability of courts to review, evaluate and judge an issue that impacts public and environmental health is a strength, not a weakness, of our system. The loss of this fundamental safeguard could leave public health, the environment and livelihoods at risk.

• It removes the "legal brakes" that prevent fraud and abuse. In recent years, federal courts have ruled that several USDA GE crop approvals violated the law and required further study of their health and environmental impact. These judgments indicated that continued planting would cause harm to the environment and/or farmers and ordered interim planting restrictions pending further USDA analysis and consideration. The Monsanto rider would prevent a federal court from putting in place court-ordered restrictions, even if the approval were fraudulent or involved bribery.

• It's unnecessary and duplicative. Every court dealing with these issues is supposed to carefully weigh the interests of all affected farmers and consumers, as is already required by law. No farmer has ever had his or her crops destroyed as a result. USDA already has working mechanisms in place to allow partial approvals, and the Department has used them, making this provision completely unnecessary.

• It shuts out the USDA. The rider would not merely allow, it would compel the Secretary of Agriculture to immediately grant any requests for permits to allow continued planting and commercialization of an unlawfully approved GE crop. With this provision in place, USDA may not be able to prevent costly contamination episodes like Starlink or Liberty Link rice, which have already cost farmers hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. The rider would also make a mockery of USDA's legally mandated review, transforming it into a 'rubber stamp' approval process.

• It's a back-door amendment of a statute. This rider, quietly tacked onto an appropriations bill, is in effect a substantial amendment to USDA's governing statute for GE crops, the Plant Protection Act. If Congress feels the law needs to be changed, it should be done in a transparent manner by holding hearings, soliciting expert testimony and including full opportunity for public debate.

If we allow this "Monsanto Rider" to be slipped into the FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill, consumers and farmers will lose what little control we have now over what we plant and what we eat.

Monday, July 9, 2012

I've been lazy...

Started a new job, so I've been pretty lazy outside of that.  That said though I have quite a bit of material piled up I'll be getting to some point within the next few days.

While I'm at it; there seems to be quite a lot of traffic from Russia here... actually two-fold that of other regions... I'm curious how Russians feel about their country joining the World Trade Organization - I doubt anyone will say anything, but feel free and you can comment anonymously... and all the rest of us can use translators.  I always thought Russia stood against globalism, but the issue with the WTO and then letting NATO forces use Russian access to ferry supplies into Afghanistan for money has me rethinking that.  It really is simply the same principles that developed here, where the powers-that-be don't give a flying crap about what the people want and sway in the wind on their positions when there is money to be made.  Russians, you now have your toes in the globalist bath tub. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Anti-Obama reporter being watched by drones...

 
Journalist Joseph Farah says the aircraft he saw hover above his rural Northern Virginia home recently was a government surveillance drone, and he believes the unwelcome visit was just a step in the Obama administration’s war against liberty.

“I’m taking my dog for a walk and guess what I see right over the tree line right above my head is a drone,” Farah, the editor of World Net Daily, tells radio host Alex Jones this week. 

“I don’t live in the city, I don’t live in a populated area, I live in one of the most rural places you could possibly live in Northern Virginia and there could only be one thing that this drone was spying on and that would be me, that would be my property because there’s just nothing else around except woods and deer,” he adds.

Farah implies in the interview that the drone could have been dispatched by US President Barack Obama, whom he insists is out to attack his critics. It just so happens that Farah is perhaps one of the most famous opponents of the current administration, and has been such since before the commander-in-chief ever took the oath of office. In a 2008 op-ed, Farah was one of the first well-known journalists to take jabs at the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate, saying at the time that, if elected, “the question of eligibility for the highest office in the land will no longer even be a matter for concern.”

"It'll plague Obama throughout his presidency. It'll be a nagging issue and a sore on his administration, much like Monica Lewinsky was on Clinton," Farah added. "It's not going to go away and it will drive a wedge in an already divided public."

This week Farah adds that as Election Day is once again about to come around, he fears a win for the incumbent could be a colossal blow for others unconcerned with opposing the president.

“The liberty lovers out there really have to stick together….or we’re going to hang together as our founders said,” warns Farah. “Look – this is the first term – if he’s re-elected it’s going to be war – they will be at war – we will be hunted down like dogs, keep that in mind, that’s what the stakes are.”


*****

I guees it's just “Change” versus “More of the Same” and more "Change We Can Believe In".