Food Truth Freedom

Your food, where it comes from & what's in it


Poison for This Country – Gun Violence

Poison for this country: gun violence.

Poison for this country: gun violence.

Since the horrific gun deaths of the 20 children in Newtown, on my other blog here on WordPress, “A Little Knowledge Is A Dangerous Thing,”   I have been on a crusade to end gun violence.

I’ve written an article which is posted both on my blog and on the Reader Supported News site.  The piece is titled:  “The Other Gun Deaths: Black-On-Black Gun Deaths In The Inner City.”  It has gotten over 1,000 hits.

Why am I writing about guns on a food blog?

Violence is poison, just like the chemicals and poison that surrounds us on a daily basis.

Violence is insidious, too, just like the poison of lawn chemicals, artificial food additives, cleaning products and GMOs.  Like these poisons, it steals our lives, creates hatred, resentment and the poison of a need for revenge.

I have one request to all my faithful readers:  Please go to this LINK

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/dont-let-nra-hold-country-hostage-gun-control/LrncYgsT

and anonymously sign the White House Petition.  It will only take a minute of your time.

Then I ask that you post it on your Facebook page, Tweet it and send it out in your e-mails to friends.

The petition NEEDS 150 votes to be “public” on the White House site. It needs 25,000 signatures to get to the President’s desk.  Can you do this for me?

I am only going to ask once.

In my activist stance, not only the fight for food is important but for the safety of our families from gun violence.

As I have said time and time again —  WE THE PEOPLE — must stand up and speak out.

SILENCE IS ACCEPTANCE

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Wal-Mart Black Friday Strike Is Really About YOUR Rights, Too!

Wal-Mart Black Friday Strike hopefully will bring changes to labor laws.

I side totally with the striking Wal-Mart workers who plan to walk out tomorrow, Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. Allow me to blabber on for a few minutes about this Wal-Mart action and why we all need to support it.

Now I realize that some of you love Walmart. Their cheap stuff and mantra, “Save money, Live better” sounds like they care about you.  They don’t.  All the Walton family cares about is their wallets – period.  As their wealth is vast, any potential unrest in the company will be squashed.

Of COURSE they deny any wrongdoing.   They’re lying through their teeth! It’s their word, or the word of their PR people against HOW MANY WORKERS? Unrest in the company has been swept under the rug for many years;  I think the broom has just been yanked out of their hands, broken  in two.  There’s a big lump under the carpet; the dirt is spilling out.

The internet is rife with information about Wal-Mart’s employment practices, but I hardly think that they are the only corporation which uses subterfuge and illegal tactics against their employees.

What IS behind the Black Friday Strike?  Wal-Mart has, in a sense, trampled workers’ rights. They do not want their workers to be able to unionize because that will give workers something Wal-Mart fears:  power! Hence the harassment and dirty tricks involving their employees and the baldfaced lies to the public that they are a company that cares!  Bullshit!

While some complain about the unions, remember that in those early days the unions stood up against employees’ mistreatment. They championed worker’s rights,  rallied against child labor, wanted to make sure that employees had safer working conditions and helped get the right of workers to be aided in the case of injury.  READ MORE at the History Channel.

Now we’ve come forward over 100 years.  Not being a union member I will state the two points:  labor unions were good and sometimes ultimately bad.  Good, in that they helped to bring about drastic change and protection to all employees.  Bad, because their high wages and benefits during the heyday 40-50 years ago, probably helped in the shift to manufacturing overseas (see Bureau of Labor Stastics link below) as corporate America’s 1% got greedier. ll in all, though, standing up for workers outweighs the bad.

This Wal-Mart Black Friday strike is certainly drawing attention to the current situation of employment.  As our economy increasingly shifts to a service sector, corporations might want to take some serious notice.  In the following link from the Bureau of Labor Statistics,  scroll down the page through each category and the trend will become clear.  More service area jobs, outside of the booming healthcare industry, like retail trade, is 4th on the list of the projected growth sector.  Wal-Mart — are you listening?

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/About/Projections-Overview.htm

What is my hope for this strike?  Employers in every sector need to pay attention to the Wal-Mart Black Friday walkout, and not just in retail.  My wish is that this opens up the closet of dirty little secrets for every large company who mistreats its workers with threats of retaliation,  unfair and unrealistic company policies that hearken back to the early days of the last century.  This Black Friday walkout is the can opener on the can of worms, and my wish is that employees of every company help to turn the crank.

It is TIME that the workers of this country unite again. We are fast losing our right of respect as human beings in the workplace.  Increasingly employers hiring only part-time employees who aren’t given enough hours to qualify for any benefits, even on a limited scale.  Individual corporate mandates  forbid employees to work another job.

We are human beings, not machines.  Unlike a car, where one gets in, turns the key and goes off at 100 mph, stops, then gets back in and does it again: the human body is not designed to do that.  Corporate America has forgotten that.  Nothing matters but the bottom line.  We are all expendable; when one falls, someone else will take their place. The economy being what it is we’re so desperate for work that we’ll take anything, even if it borders on modern-day slavery; even if it demeans us, reducing us to just another number on a payroll.

Wal-Mart’s Black Friday strike is the line in the sand.  These employees are drawing that line for themselves, but also for every other worker in this country! This is our line in the sand, too! We want respect restored to the workplace, recognition of our humanity, encouragement and praise for what we do for our company instead of threats, intimidation and harassment. What happens here, at the nation’s largest employer, will hopefully produce a ripple effect in labor laws. Others will come forward from different companies to stand up for their rights and for your rights, too.  We are all one collective workforce family and every single one of us working today, should THANK the Wal-Mart employees who are brave enough to Stand Up and Live Better!

Wal-Mart strikers:  I’M WITH YOU, 100%!

TO FIND A STRIKE at a Wal-Mart near you, click HERE!


Words As Weapons: The Activism of Speaking out

We’re just days away from the  2012 election and we stand on a precipice. On one hand is a man from a mixed race union, who is far more connected to the people of this country. Born sans the silver spoon of his opponent,  Barack Obama has been an advocate for the people  and for our political system since his early days. To me, Barack Obama seems more “real” and in tune with the America that we, the 99%, are a part of. 

His rival, Mitt Romney was born into a more affluent incarnation. He has done well for himself,  making obscene amounts of money then doing what many of the 1% do so well: hide it to avoid paying taxes. As a venture capitalist, his company, Bain Capital has made a tremendous amount of money on the backs of the 47%.  His recorded comments which he tries to whitewash, deny  and circumvent, blatantly show his lack of compassion and connection to the people of this country, our environment and the world.  A chameleon for a president  in the most powerful country in the world is a dangerous  precedent.  He scares me.  I don’t trust him.

It’s time for the status quo to go.  The “Occupy” movement has brought to light many facets that corporate America would just as well keep in the closet.    While the 1%, the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson  and their ilk, practice corporate and political subterfuge – and get away with it courtesy of laws like Citizen’s United – we here at the bottom continue to be stomped on.  The obscenely rich want to stay that way and will do anything and everything to silence dissenters.  We cannot allow this any longer.  

In an exquisite post on  Reader Supported News, author Rebecca Solnit vividly points out why our  society must change from its passiveness nature to activism.  As she points out in the article, the process of “calling out” the untruths to society at large, naming them and getting them out front is what’s needed.  To quote from the article: “Much of the work around human rights begins with accurately and aggressively reframing the status quo as an outrage, whether it’s misogyny or racism or poisoning the environment.”

As I said in a earlier post:  “We Need To Occupy Everything!” and start now! I have no idea how to change all this.  I am not versed in the inner working of the political system, but I do know it’s been bought and paid for by Monsanto, Dow Chemical, the Walton’s of Wal-Mart, the Koch brothers and thousands of this country’s élite with nothing more than money on their side and intense desire to control our very lives.

We must do what we can to infuse new blood into the political system.  Change the status quo in Washington.  As was recently said by President Obama:  You can’t change Washington from the inside, it needs to be changed from the outside.   Appoint people — real people — connected to the preservation of human rights and all on this planet. No career politicians need apply. 

Instead of just handing elected officials a salary, why not let them EARN IT? Doesn’t the average citizen have to earn their wages as well? They don’t get paid if they don’t show up for work.  Why not  apply this to  those in government?

If they do something which truly benefits their constituents, this country or the world,  fine – they’ll get paid.

On the other hand if they “fail to show up for work” by bickering and fighting across the aisles, wasting taxpayer’s money, being a do-nothing Congress or the “Party of NO,” they’ll not see a dime added to their bank accounts.    Passing insanely ridiculous & wasteful bills will get them zip!  Failure to LISTEN to the people of this country when its citizens overwhelmingly oppose something,  thus swamping their representatives with phone calls, faxes, texts and e-mails, will result in no pay!     

It’s a massive undertaking which calls for lots of loudmouths like myself:  political, food, environmental and human rights activists.  With our words we can bring truth to light.  With our words we can spur others to question what they’ve long believed to be true.  Our words can cause the stagnant to act, to ignite the heart and passions of people all over the world. We can chip away at that mountain of greed and avarice.  Our words can be the transfusion of new blood into a system that has been sucked dry by the ticks of corporate greed.  We can scream with our words, in a loud voice, which cannot be blocked out!  We can and must use our words as weapons and spread the  real word, the real truth which cannot be denied by those sequestered behind the guarded gate.


Imagine This: Corporate Patriotism, Government Involvement = A Better U.S.A.

 

Imagine the gov’t listening to us!

Can you take a minute to dream with me?  Imagine this: Corporate America actually creating jobs here in the United States.  Imagine this, too: The U.S. government actually listening to the people of America instead of the whims of corporate America. Those two things could transform this country in ways we’ve never seen!

What would happen if some of these mega-corporations decided to say, “Let’s help out our nation and put people back to work.  We’ll take some of our profits and invest in America. We want people to have pride in our country again and we want the citizens to see that we really are a good American company! After all, we have the resources to make great changes all across America.” 

Suppose the United States government actually did its job and worked FOR the American people:  listening, protecting, advocating for the citizens of this land.  Isn’t that what the plethora of government agencies are for:  the FDA, USDA and the EPA? What about the Bill of Rights and the Constitution? Weren’t these entities established to protect the people from governmental abuse? 

Ralph Nader recently proposed what he termed “Corporate Patriotism” in an article written in Reader Supported News.  Excellent ideas and something that could turn this country around.

Instead of greed, why not compassion toward the millions of us without full-time jobs?  We don’t want handouts:  welfare, food stamps, unemployment insurance – we want decent jobs!  We want to work, to feel useful, not used or forgotten or unworthy. Bring those jobs back home from China, India, Pakistan, Thailand and see what could happen to this economy! We want to work at real work, not at service jobs paying just over the minimum wage with no benefits.

In lieu of the news that the Supreme Court decided not to take another look at Citizens United, which is a shameful misnomer.  There is nothing “united” for “citizens” in this.  It’s all about favoritism and opportunity for corporate America.  If anything, it’s corporations uniting against America:  using their vast monetary resources to buy and influence government to do their bidding.  It should be declared illegal. The Supreme Court has its head up its ass!    

The United States government continues to ignore the American people.  Polls show that 93% want labeling on GMO ingredients in food. GMOs are benned in many countries and any GMO food must be labeled in about 50 places worldwide.  Alas, here in the United States – where GMO ingredients are in about 90% of our food,  the government backs down again and again.  Why?  The all-fearsome Monsanto!  It is so powerful that nobody wants to take it on.  Why?  Because nobody has had enough balls to bring them down.  Why?  Our justice system, the USDA, the FDA and the EPA have wimped out time after time:  there’s no teeth in the laws to hold these companies accountable.  Money, influence, threats of lawsuits cause even our own GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES to tuck their tails between their legs, whimper and run the other way.  How can this be that companies like Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta, DuPont and others have so much power, so much influence that our own government is afraid of them?  Where are the LAWS to protect the citizens of this country?  Sen. Bernie Sanders (below) puts forth a reasonable argument which, alas, was not adopted in the Food Bill of 2012.

WE THE PEOPLE built this nation.  It was on the backs of our ancestors that this country was founded. Our fathers, grandfathers, great and great-great grandfathers toiled to build the cities of this nation.  Brave enough to go into the unknown, they ventured across this vast continent to the opposite sea.  Their dream was to have a home, land and be free of oppression.

Today we see that dream has failed. Our government — and I might add, NOT just this present administration  — has morphed into a puppet of corporate America.  No longer do WE THE PEOPLE have any say.  Oh yes, we can vote – but it means nothing because elected officials are not working for the American people but the corporations.

What would happen if our elected officials were paid according to what they did for their constituents?  No automatic salary, perks, benefits.  If they could stop bickering like little children and realize that IT IS THEIR JOB to work for the American people, not against them!

Imagine this:  America becoming great again.  People honestly being proud to be  Americans.  A compassionate, human government that works for the people and with the people of this nation.  Companies that are made by law to tow the line, invest IN America and proudly say, “Look what we’ve done.” 

……. what a dream and it could come true…..if…..

 


Why Can’t US Sue Monsanto & Dow For Poisoning People?

The comment period on approval for Dow’s 2-4-D tolerant GMO corn ends on the 27th of this month.  I’m holding my breath, hoping that somehow the USDA will do the right thing and deny it. 

If you haven’t already done so, PLEASE go to the following link and post your comment against it:

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2011/12/27/2011-33009/dow-agroscience-llc-availability-of-petition-plant-pest-risk-assessment-and-environmental-assessment

More poison for the US?

Recent information is that the USDA is leaning toward approval because it is using industry funded studies, provided by the manufacturer, on which to base its judgement.  As with other approvals for the biotech industry, like Monsanto’s products, this smacks of collusion. 

 

As I reported in a previous article on industry funded studies referencing an article in Mother Earth News,  (https://foodtruthfreedom.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/poison-in-our-food-industry-funded-studies-say-no-but-we-know-better/)  manufacturers routinely use this tactic.  Sadly, since there is little concern for the wellbeing and protection of the people of this country by our government, we’re all on the short end of the stick. 

Other countries have sued Monsanto, Dow and other biotech firms.  Argentina is now in the process of a lawsuit against Monsanto – a lawsuit brought by the farmers on grounds that Monsanto has poisoned them.  Last year an Indian tribunal brought charges against the “Big 6” and found them guilty of human rights abuses.

Why can’t we, the American people, bring charges against the biotech firms for poisoning us?      


What Has Happened To Us As A Nation?

Two recent events have saddened me and make me wonder where our country is going.   Rush Limbaugh’s attack on Sandra Fluke and the smack down that a judge gave organic farmers in favor of Monsanto. You’re probably saying,  WHAT does ONE have to do with the other?” 

Regarding the first item:  Limbaugh’s three-day on-air attack of Ms. Fluke everyone is aware of so I will not reiterate.  What I will add is that this latest controversy is just another in a long line of disparaging remarks and attacks made by so-called ‘entertainment’ establishment.  I view the likes of Rush as pretty much way down on the food chain.

Why has belittlement of people become so interesting? It seems pervasive in our society today.  Reality shows, which I won’t name,  subsist on back-biting  and attack of contestants. Much of it is stirred up and staged for the viewing public; a modern-day Roman coliseum event.   This has become our entertainment.  “Shock jocks” in various forms from not-so-shocking are prized for disparaging any and all, guilty and innocent. 

I remember the ’70s and Imus.  He was  tame compared to his imitator and successor, Howard Stern. Why?  The envelope was only to be pushed so far and that was it!  Fast forward 20 years: I found nothing amusing about Stern’s rants and on-air attacks of people, even after trying to listen many times.  I turned off his show in disgust. Making someone else look stupid is not funny.  Recently,  Imus was caught in an remark about black women in a college basketball team.  OK, that wasn’t appropriate, but was far less damaging than Stern’s garbage, and  nowhere near the despicable rant of Limbaugh!  However, for both of their transgressions, Imus and Stern were tossed off  mainstream radio and into  the then unreachable realm of satellite radio.  Limbaugh, in my opinion, needs to go away…, period!

Here we have a celebrity who has used his radio platform and his right-wing stance to literally slander a woman in public.  These programs were initially listened to by millions of people.  Since the explosion of controversy – and the fact that his tirade lasted for 3 days – millions more have heard it.  It wasn’t pretty.  It wasn’t funny. 

Limbaugh, and I will not use the term, “Mr.” regarding him, which is the usual journalistic form of respect, because his words do not deserve it – since has offered an apology.  We can read this and see right through it because it is not an apology:  it is a placation, an offering to his advertisers.  It is transparently insincere; it is a sham. 

~~“For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit?In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.

My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”~~

In his statement he questions: “What  happened to personal responsibility and accountability?”  He, and the entire media community should be asking themselves this.  His station, Clear Channel, did not come down on him the first day, nor the second or the third.  It wasn’t until their pocketbook was threatened that the apology was offered.  I’d bet my shoes that it was NOT Rush’s idea, either.

The “in the attempt to be humorous,” statement, Rush didn’t seem to be trying to be funny. I listened to his words and tone.  They weren’t, “Ha ha, I’m trying to be funny,”  but indicated attack. I don’t buy his flaccid excuse of an attempt at humor.

It wasn’t funny and clearly Limbaugh crossed a line.  The public needs to take a stand against this.  He should not be allowed to proffer this imitation token of remorse and go back to business as usual.

The second item above has so disheartened me.    The suit brought by organic farmers against Monsanto was dismissed last week. Judge Naomi Buchwald threw out the suit by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) claiming that the suit aimed to “transparent effort to create a controversy where none exists.”

I disagree.  Monsanto over the years has aggressively gone after farmers when it finds contamination in adjoining fields.  They are a biotech bull in a china shop, destroying all in their wake.  These farmers sought to avoid potential lawsuits for patent infringement from crop contamination.  They stood up for all farmers, organic or not. They stood for the freedom of farmers all over this country to plant the crops of their choice. 

This ruling tells me that the justice system does not care about the small farmers of this country.  It finds no valid reason for their expressed concerns.  Judge Buchwald, in effect, told them they were making things up regarding Monsanto.  Knowing what I know of Monsanto’s track record, they weren’t. Some say that Judge Buchwald was paid to do this. On the side of caution, I will politely say that she is probably uninformed about the entire history OF Monsanto and its various deals and facades over the past century.  She may have been acting from a different viewpoint, but I think that if she had known more of their background, the ruling may have been different.

The two connections here are accountability.  Individual or corporate, there must be some sort of line, some form of accountability, a kind of respect for the other side.  In todays’ business  and entertainment world there seems to be little. 

Our government had its back broken by corporate influence.  Insidious tentacles of lies, cover-ups and hidden agendas – which is nothing new – influence our every day lives.  Even when we as citizens, bring forth what we feel are legitimate concerns (as the farmers did) and hope to make some progress for a more civilized & just society, Goliath again stomps the crap out of David. Why?

What has happened to “liberty and justice for all,”  common courtesy, or any inkling of respect?

Our actions define us as do our reactions.


Deja Vu For 2-4-D GMO Corn?

Deja Vu on GMO corn? Photo: Catholic Chalplaincy

I am one of the millions of little people here in the United States.  Of late, we have come to be known as the 99%.  My voice is unheard in the halls of our government as are most of the millions of other voices of my fellow 99%-ers.

Like a dog, which has a hearing range much different than humans, our government has become attuned to only one frequency:  the voice of corporate America.  This voice does not speak for the American people but for its own advancement, power and profits. 

This voice is full of lies, too.  It produces so-called evidence of its good intentions, what it pretends it wants to do for the people of the United States.  It proffers one-sided studies, carefully edited as to avoid discrediting itself.  Naysayers are held at bay by an unseen hand: holding them by the throat, strangling discordant voices into silence. Their heads are held under water to stifle them; weighting bodies of damnable evidence, hoping that it will sink to the bottom of the lagoon never to rise again.

Somehow this voice always seems to drown out millions of Americans: WE THE PEOPLE. Citizens are screaming at the top of their lungs against corporate agendas. They know these corporate plans are wrong, will not serve the people of this country, and continue to scream even louder.    Public venues, online petitions, faxes and phone calls to their lawmakers fall yet again, on deaf ears. The government dog can only hear that frequency above the mass human cry:  money, influence and market share.

Supposed consumer watchdog agencies:  the FDA, the USDA and others pay no attention to the public cry.  They continue to be infiltrated with cronies of the very corporations seeking approval of their agendas.  Again this whispered voice triumphs.  Again the slanted data is presented with earnest and humble countenance in outstretched hands by corporations saying, “See how much GOOD we want to do for the American people and this planet? Our product will alleviate hunger, protect the ecosystem, forever banish disease and send bad bugs into oblivion!”

The American people keep yelling, protesting, writing, calling, faxing, e-mailing – to no avail.  The USDA just goes ahead and approves things like more GMO corn, citing the need for more ethanol production and a growing world population which needs feeding. 

The government discounts the public, opting to believe the “scientific evidence,” and approves this new GMO corn.  Another round of poisoning begins.  At first it works.  The corporation is vindicated as a savior to modern agriculture and food.  Billionaires pile on the bandwagon to boost their humanitarian ratings. 

Again the government of the United States has failed WE THE PEOPLE. Our elected officials, sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States and act in the best interest of WE THE PEOPLE, have yet again acted only in the best interest of their own wallets.  They have acted in the best interest OF the corporations who are NOT people!

Years go by.  This wonder-product begins to fail.  In the meantime, millions of humans the world over have died from direct or indirect poisoning. Cancer, fetal abnormalities, circulatory, cell damage and many other insidious diseases from eating this GMO food sprayed with poison.  It’s in the soil, water and air. Medical science struggles to know WHY people are dying of cancer. Our bee population has all but been eradicated.  Waters have been polluted the world over.  Small farmers in poor countries were hoodwinked into believing they could feed their starving families with this new plant. The cycle goes on and on, just like last time.

This new product was not the be-all, end-all of the world’s food crisis.  It did not save farmers time or money.  It was not good for the environment. Least of all, it was not “perfectly safe” for humans to eat. 

The voices raised by millions of WE THE PEOPLE who spoke against this at the outset were ignored. We were right but you would not listen…, again.