If You buy ROUND UP you are helping to build Monsanto’s income while destroying our agriculture.


I’m going to print an article in the morning’s HuffPo intact. I suggest you read it AND go to all the links involved AND to most of their links. What you will discover is that there is a worldwide problem, both in providing us with increased birth defects and dreadful diseases as about ten major chemical companies, with Monsanto in the lead, spreads its poison around the world.

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Roundup Birth Defects: Regulators Knew World’s Best-Selling Herbicide Causes Problems, New Report Finds

by Lucia Graves at HuffPo

WASHINGTON — Industry regulators have known for years that Roundup, the world’s best-selling herbicide produced by U.S. company Monsanto, causes birth defects, according to a new report released Tuesday.

The report, “Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark?” found regulators knew as long ago as 1980 that glyphosate, the chemical on which Roundup is based, can cause birth defects in laboratory animals.

But despite such warnings, and although the European Commission has known that glyphosate causes malformations since at least 2002, the information was not made public.

Instead regulators misled the public about glyphosate’s safety, according to the report, and as recently as last year, the German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, the German government body dealing with the glyphosate review, told the European Commission that there was no evidence glyphosate causes birth defects.

The report comes months after researchers found that genetically-modified crops used in conjunction Roundup contain a pathogen that may cause animal miscarriages. After observing the newly discovered organism back in February, Don Huber, a emeritus professor at Purdue University, wrote an open letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack requesting a moratorium on deregulating crops genetically altered to be immune to Roundup, which are commonly called Roundup Ready crops.

In the letter, Huber also commented on the herbicide itself, saying: “It is well-documented that glyphosate promotes soil pathogens and is already implicated with the increase of more than 40 plant diseases; it dismantles plant defenses by chelating vital nutrients; and it reduces the bioavailability of nutrients in feed, which in turn can cause animal disorders.”

Although glyphosate was originally due to be reviewed in 2012, the Commission decided late last year not to bring the review forward, instead delaying it until 2015. The chemical will not be reviewed under more stringent, up-to-date standards until 2030.

One of the things you will discover as you tour the links (and their links) are facts like Monsanto’s GMO corn seed (which accounts for 83% of our corn crop) is registered by the EPA as an “insecticide” due to chemical contents built into the seed. I don’t know if I have ever thought of a vegetable or grain as an “insecticide”— certainly a good reason for growing organic.

In another article in HuffPo a month ago there was this finding:

“Recent research claims that Monsanto’s Roundup Ready genetically modified crops contain an organism, previously unknown to science, that can cause miscarriages in farm animals.”

It doesn’t look like any research was followed by the previous findings into whether this caused similar miscarriages in humans. As the Washington Post commented on Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready Seeds (RRS) that are spreading throughout our Nation’s agriculture:


“You can’t recall them the way you can a car or a plastic toy. They’re out there for good. And no one knows what their full impact will be.”

Will have more to come on this topic… meanwhile, I’m getting back to the all-organic Shepherdstown Community Garden (where we are finding that it is quite a hard task to avoid the chemical subjugation of growing things.)



Where did the American united national character go?

A long time ago, in my youth in Connecticut, I remember a really different country than we have now. I didn't learn about the Federal Government through C-Span, which, of course, didn't exist back then, but through the Bristol Press and the Hartford Courant (and, occasionally, the Waterbury Republican.) These were the newspapers that came to our house, either by paper boy or by my father bringing them home at night from the Bristol Pharmacy after the 10 PM close. My parents were moderate Republicans (a concept which doesn't seem to exist any more), but some of my family were Democrats (My Uncle Pete, my Grandfather, my Aunt Helen... etc.) They all got along together. And they were part of a middle class that spent my first thirty years on this globe (I'm 65 next Tuesday) increasing their social and financial strength in a growing economy that was available to most of the population...not just the top 1%. I tripped over a quote from President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a two term Republican and hero of WWII... Republicans and Democrats respected the man... that relates to our latest political conflict. Ike said this on November 8, 1954:

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

Now it seems that those of negligible number or obvious stupidity are no longer a tiny splinter group, but a small control force with names like Koch Brothers, or Rupert Murdoch, or Grover Norquist, who are adamantly against the country solving it's economic problems by fair taxation of all economic levels. Nor do they want the remaining middle class, or the even poorer classes that much of that middle class is joining, to have access to adequate Social Security (if they have access to it at all) or Medicare or Medicaid or Food Stamps... you pick out any of the civil advancements we've made over the decades and it seems that this small control force is guiding the Republican Congress members into national devastation. Part of their secret weapon in defying Ike's prediction is in the creation of the Tea Party... getting a group of middle class or lower people to commit crippling torments on themselves... and then blaming progressives, and, indeed, our President for them. How did the rich get the not rich to carry out their self mutilation? One way was to spend lots of money on Republican politicians, on political lies during elections and on encouraging racial and social segregation feelings among folks with a history of the same and a minimum of intellectual dexterity. You can tie this to a previous administration (Read Bush II) that decimated the money kept aside for Social Security, leaving filing cabinets loaded with IOUs that were never intended to be paid while they cut the settled tax rates for the very rich... tax rates that never stopped them either being rich or getting richer ... leaving no more expected income for the needs of government. And the Tea Party folks BELIEVED all this crap. What must the laughs have been like at the Koch Brothers family cocktail gatherings? What was John Boehner's thoughts of getting progressive legislation stopped as he played at his golf outings? Those of us entering the world of Social Security/Medicare supported retirement have much different thoughts. Those who will retire ten years from now have even less positive expectations to think about. I am frustrated with much of what is happening... and aside from making statements in my blog, or on my podcast or on the Friday Morning radio show where I am a co-host... don't see what I can really do about it. I continue to vote and never miss an election, but my level of winning, the level of any progressives winning, is well below 50%... I live in the midst of conservatives and small thinkers, and of Democrats who might as well be Republicans. We have Corporations that are treated by our Supreme Court's conservative majority as individual citizens, with no control of the money spent by such private power. We have oil companies that make billions in profits, but receive billions from our government as subsidies. There is another President, even earlier than Eisenhower, who also had a vision of what could happen in our society:

"The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. ”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Be afraid, my friends. Be very afraid.

What do you know about Food Disparagement Laws?

Until last night, I knew nothing about them… but as I attended the F.A.R.M. program (Food Art Revolution Media) last night it was one of the topics that Melinda and Dan Hemmelgarn discussed last night.

These laws currently exist in 13 states and do things like banning photographers from taking pictures of food processing plants, or writing articles protesting farms that spray their crops with Monsanto poisons, or just discussing in the public press (and no doubt in blogs like this one) the disadvantages of non-organic farming.

The food disparagement movement has major corporate support (Monsanto, Dow, Buckeye Eggs and others) and haul people into court with their heavy economic advantage if the smallest criticism is raised. This has been going on since the 1990′s (a lot of it came out because of films like “Food, Inc.” or the works of Michael Moore.)

Senator Patrick Leahy (D – Vermont) made this statement in the late ’90s concerning this situation:

Some states permit lawsuits against those who question the safety of our food supply. It is my view that under the First Amendment, Americans possess the right

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Upper Big Branch Mine Tragedy was One Year Ago Today…

Here in West Virginia we are seriously interested in reforming the coal mining industry – whether easing it out entirely or at least improving the pollution of the air and water due to mining practices – but the most important reform necessary is mine safety.

There have been many regulations passed over the years to improve mine safety including inspections, improved methods and both labor and management responsibilites. One year ago today, however, a company called Massey Energy and an inspection system that was basically ignored, was responsible for an explosion in the Upper Big Branch Mine, Montcoal, WV (about 30 miles south of Charleston.)

29 miners died.

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Defining myself politically with the changes that have happened in the last 65 years.

On May 24th I'll be sixty five and another 1st generation Baby Boomer will be officially "Old" (though, because of our cruddy economy which stands between employment and age, I am already retired and at the mercy of Social Security... which my Congressional leadership wants to do away with).

Most of my adult life I have been a liberal Democrat... in college during the height of the Civil Rights movement and the fiercest part of the anti-Vietnam War campaign, as a working citizen through booms and busts in the economy ending in the major recession we are apparently now out of (except in my house... yours too?)... and I voted as a liberal Dem in the past couple of elections. Now I'm not certain that "liberal Democrat" has meaning anymore.


While I shudder at people who are now called "Originalists" (heard this term on a CATO Institute panel on C-Span, where it was tied as a label on Justice Clarence Thomas),  who think of the Constitution as unchangeable and fixed, I am upset with some lack of adherence to Constitutional regulations which have not been changed in the document, but have certainly been changed in practice.

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Another C-SPAN Morning, and a very unhappy vote…

I’m watching the vote as the Republican majority votes on debate rules to defund National Public Radio. So far all Republicans are voting to cut the funds and all Democrats are voting to save the funding. If it keeps up like this, NPR has no chance.

C-SPAN is taking in phone calls during the vote, alternating between Democrats and Republicans, and the trend among callers of both parties is that NPR should keep its funding. Oh, there are a few who are supporting it because they claim it’s the government telling people what to watch (where they get that from, I don’t know.)

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So what happens when Corporations control things? Say, in preventing premature births…

There is a new product out called Makena (Ma – Kee – na) which prevents pre-term labor in women who are prone to premature birth. The drug is a form of progesterone, and, for years, has been available to doctors from special compounding pharmacies at a patient cost of $10. to $20. a shot. And it has been pretty effective.

But things can change… and sometimes the change is devastating.

After years of exploration, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in association with The March Of Dimes carried out their program of tests and finally issued their support for the drug. Since it is FDA approved, the drug could be signed to a major manufacturer, in this case KV Pharmaceutical of suburban St.Louis, who won government approval to exclusively sell the drug. That means compounding pharmacists can no longer make Makena (or any similar progesterone) for doctors. So what is wrong with that?

KY has increased the cost per required weekly injection from $10. to $1500.

Nope. That wasn’t a typo. KY has increased the price 150 times, causing a rage among both doctors and patients. Dr. Roger Snow, deputy medical director for Massachusetts’ Medicaid program commented on the price change:

“That’s a huge increase for something that can’t be costing them that much to make. For crying out loud, this is about making money.”

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The real struggle in Wisconsin has just begun...

Today people are returning to the Wisconsin capitol building to protest the act of the Republican Senators and the approval they have received by Scott Walker. The organization of trade unions is becoming intense and recalls of some legislators and a build up to recalling Walker (which cannot happen until next January by Wisconsin law) are in process.

Frank Emspak of the Workers Independent News in Madison stated:

“We’ve had democracy by deception here. You’re talking about disenfranchising millions of people, not only in Wisconsin, but also throughout the Midwest, and basically saying that working people, in an organized fashion, have no right to participate in the electoral process. That is what the Republicans are doing.”

And there was this statement by Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME):

At a time when we should be pulling together to create jobs, Governor Walker and the legislators who back him are more interested in stripping nurses, teachers, correction officers, bus drivers and EMTs of their rights. This is a question of right and wrong. The governor is tearing Wisconsin apart when voters want real solutions to the problems they face.

This is about more than Scott Walker's arrogance. He is tossing aside basic American values. Public workers fought long and hard for the right to collective bargaining. Martin Luther King, Jr. died defending that right for AFSCME sanitation workers in Memphis. We are not going to allow a small group of radical politicians in Wisconsin destroy what Americans have fought generations to win.

Only one Republican, Dale Schultz, voted against the bill last night. Schultz is a moderate Republican who previously proposed a compromise. His vote is likely to protect him from a recall effort by unions and Democrats.

Shultz stated:

As someone who as spent the better part of the last four weeks working toward and hoping for a compromise, this is a difficult night.

I’ve had the honor and privilege of representing folks in Southwest and South Central Wisconsin for 28 years, and where I come from ‘compromise’ isn’t a dirty word.

I’ve received tens of thousands of emails, thousands of phone calls and letters, and spent hours meeting with thousands of citizens in my district. I’ve heard personal and heartfelt stories of friends and neighbors, and they ask for just two things.

First, be inclusive by listening and working with your colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reach a compromise which addresses our fiscal crisis. Second, public employees are willing to make sacrifices on things like wages and benefits, but we need to preserve collective bargaining as a tool which has helped keep labor peace in this state for decades.

Ultimately, I voted my conscience which I feel reflects the core beliefs of the majority of voters who sent me here to represent them.

Because of the Wisconsin law that prohibits a recall until an elected official has served one year in office, only eight of the Republican Senators, who violated the open meeting rule and the 24 hour public announcement policy by eliminating collective bargaining last night, may currently be recalled. These are:

* Robert Cowles
* Alberta Darling
* Sheila Harsdorf
* Luther Olsen
* Randy Hopper
* Glenn Grothman
* Mary Lazich
* Dan Kapanke

The protestors will have until January of next year to get the 500,000 signatures needed to recall Scott Walker. Meanwhile, Walker has been a Uniter, not a Divider: he has united the Unions, the Democrats, the people of Wisconsin and voters all across the unites States. Perhaps we could get the Republicans to run him for President.

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As the world unravels before us, we have decisions to make…

Chris Hedges has posted quite a long article in Truthdig called This Time We’re Taking The Whole Planet With Us. It is devastating… not because it makes up a fantasy of destruction, but because it deals directly with the truth. Here are 2 excerpts, but I urge you to go HERE and read it all… then tell your friends and even casual aquaintences to read it… then look at what is being done in Wisconsin and Ohio and Indiana and other places dominated by Tea Party attackers and decide to join the rest of us in doing something…anything…about it (I recommend listening to Michael Moore’s speech from Saturday which I posted earlier this morning.

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Happy President’s Day… a few quotes from Presidential History which we might apply today…

If only Mount Rushmore could talk! Think what thoughts these great and former Presidents might have on the anti-Union aggression of Gov. Scott Walker and his minions…

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”

- George Washington

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.”

- Thomas Jefferson

“These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people”

- Abraham Lincoln

“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.”

- Theodore Roosevelt

 

http://underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com

 

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