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Friday, March 30, 2012

Bravo for Joe Scarborough

I admit that Morning Joe is my guilty pleasure. But it's certainly the most civilized and intelligent of any political show on TV. It's amazing, of course, because he's a Republican.

Anyway, here's Joe Scarborough  on the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Great TV!



Thursday, March 29, 2012

Organic Bytes -- 3/29/2012

Monsanto: From a Child's Perspective

"As the U.S. Supreme Court has declared corporations like Monsanto to be 'people' with the same rights as us, it must mean that Monsanto was once a child. His parents clearly had high hopes, as his name implies - Mon Santo, or "My Holy."
However, I am pretty sure from what I have discovered about Monsanto that he is not a child I would like to have known.
As a child, BOYsanto began to make creations that copied the natural world. One of his first products was the artificial sweetener saccharin. That was just the beginning..."
-- Excerpt from a speech given by a young boy, Ci Yin Oliveira, at the protest that shut-down a Monsanto research facility in Davis, CA, March 16 and 17, 2012. Oliveira tells Monsanto's story as if, as the Supreme Court has ruled, Monsanto were actually a person. Please watch and share the video of Oliveira's clever story, then read on to learn more about the problem of giving corporations the legal rights of people and what we can do to control corporations like Monsanto.
Watch & Learn More
 
 
 
If you're in the Washington, D.C.-area, please join OCA Political Director Alexis Baden-Mayer at the Control the Corporation conference on April 2, 2012.
Agenda & Registration
As we mentioned in last week's Bytes, Alexis will also be speaking at the Occupy EPA rally in D.C. tomorrow.
Earlier that morning, she'll be delivering the Corporate Fool award to Monsanto's Washington, D.C. lobbying offices (see below).
You can also meet up with her April 5 and 13 at the National Occupation of Washington, D.C. Social Forum where she'll be presenting workshops on OCA's upcoming BioDemocracy campaign.
 
 
 

SUPPORT THE OCF AND OCA

Thanks to you . . . Monsanto knows.

A sincere thank you to the thousands of you who donated to our special fundraising campaign for the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.

Every dollar donated went  directly into the fund that will be used to support Ballot Initiative signature gatherers, media experts, consultants, and lawyers who will work together to get GMO labeling on the ballot, and pass this law in November.
If you weren't able to pitch in this time, but you've signed petitions, or helped get the word out by sharing articles or telling friends about this campaign - or other GMO labeling campaigns - thank you! Every action counts.

Thanks to your support, Monsanto knows that millions of Americans demand the right to know whether or not their food has been genetically engineered, and want an end to the routine practice of labeling or advertising GMO-tainted foods as "natural."
For an Organic Future,


Ronnie Cummins
Director, Organic Consumers Association and Organic Consumers Fund

P.S.: The Organic Consumers Fund is a 501(c)4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action. Donations are not tax-deductible. If you need to make a tax-deductible donation, you can contribute to the Organic Consumers Association, a 501(c)3. Your donation to the OCA will be used for general public education and grassroots mobilization.

 
 
 

Monsanto Voted Biggest "Corporate Fool" with the Worst Business Practices for 2012

Monsanto has won Green America's online contest as the biggest "Corporate Fool" of the year. The agricultural and chemical giant came in first, followed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Chevron.
Monsanto won hands-down for its toxic legacy, which includes Agent Orange, DDT, massive aerial spraying of Round-Up as a drug war tactic, as well as unlabeled and hazardous genetically engineered crops. Monsanto's corporate deeds damage human health and the environment, destabilize the climate, and put small farmers out of business. They continue to push genetically modified crops in the developing world, deliberately locking farmers into deadly cycles of debt and dependence on chemical crop inputs.
To "honor" Monsanto as the nation's biggest corporate fool, a donation was made in the name of Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant to Navdanya, an organization in India that works with small farmers to promote seed sovereignty, fair trade, and sustainable agriculture.
If you're in the D.C. area, please join OCA Political Director Alexis Baden-Mayer at the Corporate Fools awards ceremony tomorrow, March 30th, from 10:30am to 12pm. We'll meet at Green America's offices at 1612 K Street, NW Suite 600, Washington, DC 2006 at 10:30am.
Press Release
 
 
 

Fair World Project Announcement: Celebrate "World Fair Trade Day" With Fair Trade Sweepstakes to Sri Lanka

Fair World Project is celebrating World Fair Trade Day by organizing a joint promotion with some of our favorite mission driven brands that are dedicated to fair trade throughout their entire supply chains. Brands include:  Alaffia, Alter Eco, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, Equal Exchange, Guayaki Yerba Mate, and Maggie's Organics. Look for special promotions from these manufacturers at natural product retailers this May.
Win a Fair Trade Adventure for Two!
We're also offering you a chance to Enter to Win a Fair Trade Adventure for Two to Sri Lanka with Intrepid Travel . The trip includes a visit to Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps coconut oil facility. The Sweepstakes opens for submissions on March 15 2012.
We've produced For a Better World, a great educational video about fair trade principles showcasing all the good work Alaffia, Alter Eco, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, Equal Exchange, Guaykai Yerba Mate, and Maggie's Organics do.
Watch
 
 
 
Breaking News From The Vermont State House!
The House Agriculture Committee has announced that they will be holding a public hearing April 12th from 6:30-8:30 at the State House for Vermonters to voice their opinions on H.722.
This is our best opportunity to let our legislators know that we want to see genetically engineered foods labeled, so if you are in Vermont please make sure you come and show your support! If you can't make it to the State House on April 12th, and you live in Vermont please take action by calling in to your representatives so your voice will not be missed or sign the petition.

Sign the Petition Here
Their Website
 
 
 

Video of the Week

Symphony of the Soil

"Our soils aren't soil anymore, they're dirt, D-I-R-T, the four-letter D-word in soils, because dirt doesn't have the life. It doesn't have the level of organic matter and that's what we've done to our farmland."
-- Dr. Elaine Ingham, President and Director of Research, Rodale, 2011, President and Director of Research Soil Foodweb Inc., 1996-2011
Symphony of the Soil is director/producer Deborah Koons Garcia's follow-up to the Future of Food, the best documentary on genetic engineering.
Symphony of the Soil covers all of the most important issues OCA works on, making the case that returning to soil-enriching organic agriculture is the only way for humanity to reverse and survive the triple crisis that faces us: peak oil, global climate change and the toxification of our environment.
The film had its world premier in Washington, D.C. at the Environmental Film Festival on March 25, 2012, and it will be shown around the country at film festivals and commercial release. Don't miss it! Sign up to attend or host a screening and pre-order a copy of the DVD today!
Sign up to attend or host a screening and pre-order a copy of the DVD today!
 
 
 

Another Video of the Week

Vanishing of the Bees for Kids & Educators

There's a new educational version of the important Vanishing of the Bees documentary for students grades 5 thru 11. The 30 minute version comes with a 13 page study guide, which was written by Leslie Comnes who wrote the guide for Food Inc.
Vanishing of the Bees has paired up with Save the Honey Bee Foundation so that for every $50 donated, a school (can be of your choosing) gets a free copy and part of the proceeds go to the Vanishing of the Bees nonprofit.
Donate to Send Vanishing of the Bees to a school
The 30 minute educational version is also available for free online. The password is "student."
Watch
 
 
 

Little Bytes: Top Stories of the Week

Factory Farmers Are Hiding the Truth About Swine CAFOs
Deepak Chopra and Vandana Shiva Talk Seeds and GMOs
FDA Must Act to Remove Antibiotics from Animal Feed: Judge
Consumer Groups Seek Labeling of GMO Foods
Earth Sends Climate Warning by Busting World Heat Records
 
 
 

Message From Our Sponsors

Eden Foods Offers OCA Customers 15% Discount

Eden Foods is one of the few national organic food producers who goes beyond the USDA Organic Standards. Although Eden Foods is USDA certified, their products do not bear the USDA seal, because they say the USDA standard really represents a "minimum standard" that Eden Foods goes far beyond.
As a subscriber to Organic Bytes, you can enjoy a 15% discount rate on any Eden Foods products by going here.
Learn More
 
 
 

Connect With OCA!


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The Moon of Innocence --Now 99 cents!

My novel The Moon of Innocence is now 99 cents in the Amazon Kindle store (click for more info).

Here's the story pitch:


The Moon of Innocence is high tragedy structured as a whodunit. Language is a key element of the story, and of the storytelling. Clues to the outcome can be found in various linguistic twists.
At its heart, this is a romantic tale of love and death. Cesar is a young rural poet with aspirations of renown and greatness. Maria is the young farm daughter he loves and has known since childhood. In the peasant society of Catalonia in 1963, Cesar -- the bastard child of an unknown father and deceased mother – is at the bottom of the bottom; and Maria’s parents are opposed to the love blossoming between the two youths.
Love is not the only thing being oppressed. Under Generalissimo Francisco Franco, the last European Fascist standing at the end of the Second World War, ending the public use of the Catalan language is a government policy.
It is the time of Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliuer” speech and Russian cosmonauts outdoing American astronauts in the race for space. Two foreigners live in proximity to the young lovers, each for quite different reasons; and each to quite different effect in the lives of Maria and Cesar. Long-suppressed memories and impulses, still simmering from the Spanish Civil War, thirty years earlier, and World War Two, twenty years earlier, bubble and burst into the pastoral lives of the young lovers.
As in The Sorrows of Young Werther, or Romeo and Juliet, societal mores undermine the power of love, to tragic end. The personal and the political combine to lethal effect. The homogenization of culture and desperation born of loneliness are undercurrents as this short, gripping novel rushes toward a riveting and surprising dénouement. A powerful tale of love, intrigue and loss, The Moon of Innocence will remain with you long after you put it down.


Gold Bros. Make song "for" Santorum

Zimmerman Lies!

Watch this video. http://abcnews.go.com/US/video/george-zimmerman-police-surveillance-16024475

George Zimmerman should be arrested and every cop in that video along with him -- for aiding and abetting murder.

There's no blood. There's no remorse. There's a cold-blooded killer and his racist enablers from the P.I.G.S.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Why the TV News Media Sucks

Two cases in the news now underscore the bias and control of the media by the billionaires of the criminal banking conspiracy, the Military Industrial Complex and the P.I.G.S. (Private Incarceration Government Syndicate). They are worth comparing.

Trayvon Martin, it is now being reported, got suspended from high school for having an empty baggie that may have contained marijuana.

Meanwhile, the wife of the mass murderer soldier Robert Bales gets to go on the Today Show and give one of the stupidest interviews in the history of the medium. She doesn't believe he did it. Who care what she believes?

Did Matt Lauer ask her about her husband going into the army to avoid fraud charges, of which he was eventually found guilty and for which a fine of $1.5 million is sill outstanding? No.

Did he ask her about the recent report that one in ten Wall Street workers is a psychopath, and what she thinks of that in terms of her husband's proven shenanigans as a stock broker? No.

So Trayvon Martin is somehow less of a victim because he was suspended? Maybe a more fruitful examination of the facts would lead to the conclusion that, since Trayvon Martin was an A and B student and smoked weed, perhaps all the assumptions about marijuana use are invalid.

And could we reach the conclusion that Bales was a psychopath all along? Apparently not. The Daily Beast, in an article today, brushed aside what it called his financial problems before he enlisted. Financial problems? The guy defrauded and bankrupted a retired couple to keep that fat wife of his in high fructose corn syrup and Cheetohs.

My bet is that Bales volunteered for that 4th tour. He was a psychopath that the army welcomed with open arms and turned into a killer.

So, Trayvon Martin has his memory blackened and Robert Bales gets a whitewash. And that's America today.. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Alvino Rey and Stringy!

Apparently Alvino Rey was a hugely popular entertainer in his day. This film clip is far out. Stringy the Singing Guitar was a regular part of one of the several musical acts Alvino Rey fronted. Stringy combined his interest in radio technology with his electric steel guitar, which he pioneered. At the time of his death in 2004, at the age of 95, Alvino Rey was still a licensed ham radio operator.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Organic Bytes -- March 22, 2012

Occupy the EPA!

What is the EPA doing to protect us from Monsanto?
Nothing. But, here's what they should be doing:
Monsanto's unlabeled genetically engineered foods are so pervasive in North American that babies are born with Monsanto's engineered genes coursing through their veins! Is this dangerous? Dangerous enough for France and other countries to ban gene-altered crops that scientists have found can kill human cells!
But the fact that a food is genetically engineered isn't the only thing that makes it dangerous. The other danger is what the crop was genetically engineered to do. What do Monsanto's Frankencrops do best? Drive up pesticide sales!
Despite their propaganda claims of being a "Life Sciences" company, Monsanto is a chemical and seed corporation. Despite their false promises about feeding the world and helping farmers grow more with less, the truth is that the only thing Monsanto has really accomplished through genetically engineering is to make farmers buy more pesticides, and drive up the price of patented seeds; meanwhile dumping billions of pounds of climate-destabilizing, water-polluting nitrate fertilizers on nutrient-depleted soils.
If Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) didn't increase pesticide use, and help them monopolize seed distribution, Monsanto and other chemical/biotech companies like Dow, Dupont, Bayer and Syngenta, wouldn't be pushing them.
If the Environmental Protection Agency ever got serious about protecting us and the environment from agri-toxic chemicals, the pesticides that these companies sell would be illegal. While the harms of GMOs are only beginning to be understood, the dangers associated with the herbicides and pesticides are well known.
Take Action! Tell the E.P.A.:
Ban Monsanto's RoundUp (Glyphosate)! Experts Say It's Worse than DDT!
Ban Dow's 2,4-D! Why Does the EPA Still Allow Dioxin-Tainted Pesticides?
Save the Bees! Ban Bayer's Insecticide Imidacloprid!
Ban Monsanto's GMO Insecticide-Producing Crops! Join 22 Scientists Who Ask the EPA to Act With "Urgency"

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Justice for Trayvon Martin

When I was writing for the Miami Herald Sunday magazine, it often shocked me seeing the stuff cops get away with in Florida. Then I moved away and a couple years later my brother turned up dead in police custody near Jacksonville. In my mind, he was murdered by the cops. Even though it was 12 years ago, it is still too upsetting for me to recount the whole thing again. 

Now, in an unsurprising move, the police in the Trayvon Martin killing let the shooter go in an obvious case of race bias -- on the part of the shooter and the police. The cops tested the dead 17 year old for drugs and alcohol (none found) but did not test the killer George Zimmerman? How does that work exactly?

Busy-body do-gooders with cell phones are bad enough. Now they've got guns and are allowed to shoot people down in cold blood?

We live in a police state where cops think they can decide justice on their own now. They let this out-of-control vigilante go because he talked their lingo. That's all it takes with most cops. The entire Sanford Police force should be fired. George Zimmerman should be indicted, tried, and incarcerated for life. And Amerika should get a grip and recognize the face of fascism staring down our rights as the jackbooted police carry on with their thuggery, and aid and abet that of others..


Serious Food Fight


The Food Fight of Our Lives.

Dear Friend,
We've just passed the halfway mark in our special fundraising campaign to label GMOs, and we are still far short of our goal. I need your help today in our fight to stand up to Big Biotech and Big Food, and demand that they tell us when they put GMO-tainted ingredients in our food.
If you have already contributed, thank you! If not, can you pitch in today?
We need to raise $150,000 by March 27 to help get the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act on the ballot and pass it in November.
Please make your secure online donation today. Or, you can donate by phone or mail.
Every dollar you donate today will help pay for signature gatherers, attorneys, media experts - whomever and whatever it takes - to get this law in front of the voters, pass it, and ultimately force GMO labeling nationally.
The Organic Consumers Association, Organic Consumers Fund, along with other coalition partners, have already raised over one million dollars to get this initiative on the ballot. But it's not enough.
Our opposition – led by the Council for Biotechnology Information, whose members include Monsanto, DuPont, Dow AgroScience, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association - recently contributed $375,000 and $250,000 respectively, to the Coalition Against the Costly Food Labeling Proposition - a front group aimed at misinforming the public about GMOs, in order to defeat this initiative.
And that's just the beginning. Big Biotech and Big Food will spend millions on Big Lies in order to defeat this initiative. They have huge profits at stake – and deep pockets.
Let's take back our food, and our government

This is the seminal battle for the right to know what's in our food. If we pass this labeling law in California, it will be only a matter of time before Big Biotech and Big Food will be forced to get GMOs out of our food supply for good.
Remember Proposition 65? In 1986, Californians approved a ballot initiative that required companies to label products containing potentially cancer-causing ingredients. Rather than tell consumers in California that the products they were buying might cause cancer, most companies reformulated their products to eliminate any potential carcinogens. And they did this on a national scale, not just in California
.
When Californians got fed up with cancer-causing ingredients in their food, they didn't wait for their elected officials - many of whom had sold out to Big Business - to protect them. They took matters into their own hands.
It's time to do it again. It's time stop being victims, to stop letting Big Biotech use us as lab rats. It's time to start writing and passing laws that protect us - not the Monsantos and Wal-Marts of the world.
This is how we make grassroots activism and direct democracy work for us - the 99% who are sick and tired of being victimized by greedy corporations and the politicians who pander to them.
Study after study indicates that GMOs are bad for our health, bad for the environment.
We have a right to know what's in our food. It doesn't get any more basic than that.
Please donate today to the Organic Consumers Fund to help pass this historic Genetically Engineered Food labeling initiative.
And please - forward this email to your friends, share it on Facebook. Diggit. Stumbleupon it. Pin it. Let's tell the world: This is how movements - and history - are made.
Thank you for your help.

For an Organic Future,


Ronnie Cummins
Director, Organic Consumers Association and Organic Consumers Fund


P.S.: The Organic Consumers Fund is a 501(c)4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action. Donations are not tax-deductible. If you need to make a tax-deductible donation, you can contribute to the Organic Consumers Association, a 501(c)3. Your donation to the OCA will be used for general public education and grassroots mobilization.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Police State Amerika -- Thanks, Obama!

The Obama administration's march toward an end to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech continues. "Scores Arrested as Police Clear Zuccotti Park" says the NY Times City Room blog post..

FAIR WARNING: Please don't come around at election time asking me to vote for the fascist Obama because he's not as bad as the clown the Republicans put up.

Obama ran on transparency. He runs one of the most secretive, corporate controlled White Houses in history. He is persecuting whistle blowers endlessly.

His Homeland Security czarina pressures mayors to stop the Occupy Wall Street protests and citizens exercising their constitutional rights are gassed, arrested, and brutalized by police on behalf of Obama's re-election and the Wall Street criminals who are his biggest backers (after oil companies like BP, who he also let off the hook).

he ran on a promise to not bother medical marijuana. Now his fascist administration is attacking those who help the sick in California and elsewhere.

Obama inherited a lot of problems, as his apologists insist. I agree. However, where we differ is that for me, it's not okay to cover up the crimes that led to those problems in order to get more campaign money.

Obama is a hack, fascist politician with no morals or backbone. He is a lackey for Monsanto, Big Pharma, Wall Street, M.I.C.(military industrial complex), P.I.G.S. (Prison Industrial Government Syndicate) and every other corporation or interest group with some graft to shovel toward his campaign.

Vote for Jill Stein, Green Party!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Monsanto Could Cause A Famine

http://news.yahoo.com/honeybee-deaths-linked-corn-insecticides-221639948--abc-news.html

The link above leads to a story about scientific studies that show corn insecticides are behind the massive bee die offs. Beekeepers have suspected these deadly poisons as a source of bee deaths for some time.

Without bees, many plants won't pollinate and won't produce food.

With genetically engineered industrial corn crops planted for miles and miles seeminglyt without end in the Midwest and elsewhere, all it takes is one corn mite to become resistant to Monsanto's chemical stew and this country would be without all those food-like items that line grocery store shelves. That might not be so bad if there was something to replace all those unhealthy craptastic calories.

I guess that's why Obama made a Monsanto executive his food czar. Couldn't have had anything to do with money.

Afghanistan

From here out in Afghanistan, all we are doing is training for battle people who wants us gone.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Organic Bytes March 16, 2012

March 16, 2012 Global Actions: Occupy Monsanto

There are now 30 actions in the US, and many more around the world, planned for this Friday, March 16.
Shut Down Monsanto!
Guerrilla Theatre in California
Scroll down for pictures of Occupy Monsanto's Genetic Crimes Unit action at last weekend's Natural Products Expo West
 
 
 

Scientists Seek EPA Action on Monsanto Crop Failure

Twenty-two leading scientists, experts in pest resistance, have written an urgent letter to the EPA asking the agency to warn farmers about the hazards of Monsanto's genetically engineered Bt corn, planted on millions of acres across the U.S. and Canada. The corn has been gene-spliced with bacterial DNA that produces Bt insecticide in every cell of the plant. Monsanto's misleading promise was that farmers could plant Bt crops and not have to spray pesticides, but predictably, corn rootworms have begun to develop resistance. Scientists warn of massive yield loss and surging corn costs if the EPA doesn't act quickly to drastically reduce Bt crops' acreage and force Monsanto to make non-GMO varieties of its high-yielding hybrid corn available to farmers.
Now's our chance to ask the EPA to ban Bt crops! Let's urge the EPA to look at the danger to human health, as well as farming. Monsanto's insecticide-producing bacterial DNA survives digestion and is now found in the blood of more than 80% of North American women - and their fetuses! Scientists say the exposure comes from a typical (non-organic) diet, primarily through the consumption of animals fed GMO crops. The chronic health impacts of exposure to GMO Bt genes is unknown, but Monsanto's own study of rats fed Bt crops showed liver and kidney damage.
Tell the EPA to Ban Monsanto's Insecticide-Producing GMO Crops!
 
 
 

Bizarre Quote of the Week: Monsanto Supports GMO Labeling?

"You have a right to know what you eat, especially when it's better…After several months of debate, Europe has just adopted a new law for the labeling of food that comes from genetically engineered plants…We believe that products that come from biotechnology are better and that they should be labeled."
- (Text from a Monsanto advertisement that appeared in French magazines in 1998.)
Cited in Bill Lambrecht's book, Dinner at the New Gene Café. St. Martin's Press, 2001
 
 
 

Petition to Get Monsanto's Mole, Michael Taylor, Out of the FDA Makes National News

A petition targeting Michael Taylor, a former lawyer/lobbyist for Monsanto who currently serves as President Obama's Food Safety Czar, has made national news. Taylor was instrumental in the early 1990s in ramming through the controversial FDA policy that genetically engineered foods did not need to be labeled, utilizing the bogus argument that genetically engineered foods are "substantially equivalent" to non-GE foods. USA Today reported that the petition to fire Taylor had already gathered more than 400,000 signatures with the help of MoveOn.org. The petition, begun by Frederick Ravid, currently has nearly 427,000 names. The article gave equal time to Taylor's supporters, quoting a letter from food safety "experts" who called the petition a "factually untrue Internet smear campaign" and argued against the statement in Ravid's petition that biotech foods may be contributors to colon, breast, lymphatic, and prostate cancers. Reporter Elizabeth Weise let the criticism stand, failing to cite evidence that Monsanto's Bovine Growth Hormone, rBGH increases levels of IGF-1, a powerful growth hormone and cancer tumor promoter.
Sign the Petition
Read and Respond to the USDA Today Article
 
 
 

Dr. Oz Exposes Hazards of Genetically Engineered Food

Popular TV health expert, Dr. Oz, recently covered the GMO issue, explaining to his viewers that they've probably been eating genetically engineered food without knowing it. Guests on the show included Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology and Michael Hanson of the Consumers Union. Please watch the segment and then take action, asking your Congressional Representative to co-sponsor Rep. Dennis Kucinich's bill to label GMO foods.
Tell Congress to Label GMOs!
 
 
 

Special Fundraising Campaign: GMO Labeling

After years of campaigning for GMO labeling laws, we are closer than ever to getting this issue on the ballot in California in November - and finally getting GE-tainted foods out of our nation's food supply for good.
Evidence abounds that GMO foods are not safe for human health or the health of the planet. Yet our government continues to let the biotech industry exert greater and greater control over our farmers and our food supply - without requiring them to tell us what's in our food.
The biotech giants are already filling their war chest in order to defeat this initiative. But we can beat them this time. Please help us raise $150,000 in the next two weeks to start building an effective public education campaign in order to pass the California Genetically Engineered Food Act.
Please read this letter from Ronnie Cummins, Director of the OCA and OCF, and donate today. Thank you!
Please donate today to the Organic Consumers Fund to help pass this historic initiative. You can make a secure online donation, or donate by mail or by phone. Thank you!
 
 
 

Occupy Monsanto "Genetic Crimes Unit" Investigates Natural Products Expo West

The more than 30,000 attendees arriving at the Anaheim Convention Center Friday for Expo West, North America's largest trade show for the natural products industry, were greeted with activists in bio-hazmat suits. It was Occupy Monsanto's Genetic Crimes Unit on the look out for toxic contamination and genetic modification. The group sees this as a necessary civil defense against the unknown long-term effects of eating GMO foods. Their method is to identify GMO victims by asking them what they've eaten recently. If they've ingested non-organic soy, cotton, canola, corn, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya, zucchini, squash, or animal products, they're considered contaminated and tagged with bracelets.
Sadly, genetically modified foods can be found right on the show floor, exhibited as so-called "natural" products. New Hope Media, the host of the Expo, doesn't require exhibitors to be non-GMO.
Learn More & Take Action
 
 
 

Little Bytes: Top Stories of the Week

Still a Fast Food Nation: Eric Schlosser Reflects on 10 Years Later

California Campaign Pushes for Labeling of GM Food
Way Beyond Greenwashing: Have Corporations Captured "Big Conservation"?
Fracking Democracy: Why Pennsylvania's Act 13 May Be the Nation's Worst Corporate Giveaway
Glenn Greenwald Tears Apart the Propaganda Driving the Insane Push for War With Iran
 
 
 

Message From Our Sponsors

Dr. Bronner's is Celebrating Our 60th Anniversary!

Marking the 60th Anniversary of the company, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps is pleased to announce that all classic liquid & bar soaps are now not only certified under the USDA National Organic Program, but also certified Fair Trade! In addition, we are pleased to introduce a revolutionary new range of high-quality organic products, from hair rinses to shaving gels – all certified under the same USDA program that certifies organic foods.
Please visit us on the web at DrBronner.com
 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

From the Delaware Riverkeeper


Tell the National Park Service NOT to go over the river and through the woods 

The National Park Service and the Department of Interior are about to announce thier "Preferred Alternative" as to where the Susquehanna-Roseland Transmission Line should cross the Delaware River, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, the Middle Delaware Wild and Scenic River and the Appalacian Trail.
March 14th, is International Rivers Day.  We need to come together and speak out in a unified voice against this ugly, destructive, and polluting energy project. Our rivers are life.  We need President Obama to step up and protect the Delaware River from this assault by utility companies on our precious resources.
Help us defend the Delaware River and stop the Susquehanna-Roseland line on this special day and throughout this week.  There are three simple steps you can take to save the Delaware River from this irresponsible fossil fuel threat.  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

From the Organic Cosumers Association

No More GMOs! Please Donate Today

Dear Friend,
Two weeks ago, thousands of volunteers and paid signature-gatherers hit the streets of California, clipboards in hand. They're collecting signatures in front of grocery stores and farmers markets. They're talking to college students, moms, business owners, health professionals . . . anyone who will listen.
Their mission? Gather 830,000 signatures of registered voters by April 22nd. That's the deadline for submitting signatures to state officials in order to get The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act on the ballot in November.
If we pass this initiative – which will require food manufacturers and retail stores in California to label genetically engineered (GE) foods – we will be on our way to getting GE-tainted foods out of our nation's food supply for good.
We need to raise $150,000 in the next two weeks to guarantee we have enough people on the streets to get 830,000 signatures by April 22nd and start building an effective public education campaign.
I believe we can get the signatures we need by April 22nd and take this issue directly to California voters in November. And I believe we can win. But only if all of us - you, me, young, old, democrats, republicans, greens, libertarians, and independents - all 99% of us who have a stake in the future of our food - pull together. And pool our resources.
Please donate today to the Organic Consumers Fund to help pass this historic Genetically Engineered Food labeling initiative. You can make a secure online donation, or donate by mail or by phone.
If we win in California, we all win.

It doesn't matter where you live. A win in California, where there is tremendous opposition to GE foods as well as a multi-billion dollar organic food industry, will have the same impact as a national labeling law.
Think about it. If a company like Kellogg's has to print a label stating that their famous Corn Flakes have been genetically engineered, it will be the kiss of death for their iconic brand in California - the 8th largest economy in the world - and everywhere else.
We know we can't win the GE food labeling law battle at the federal level - Monsanto's lobbyists have seen to that.
Just last week - despite the growing public outcry against GMOs - the USDA announced plans to speed up the approval process for more genetically modified crops - cutting in half the time it will take for Monsanto, Dow, and others to get their genetically modified crops to market.
Last year the public sent more than 250,000 comments asking the government to stop the commercialization of genetically modified alfalfa. The agency approved it anyway.
More recently, 850,000 – and counting – have written to the FDA demanding the right to know if GMOs are in their food. Don't hold your breath for the FDA to listen to the overwhelming majority of Americans who want to know whether the food they are eating contains GMOs.
Do count on this: Washington bureaucrats will protect the obscene profits of the biotech industry. Not consumer choice and public health.
That's why we have to make an end run around the indentured politicians and win this battle in California. And we can do it by using one of the last remaining tools of Direct Democracy: the ballot initiative.
Why do we need to raise so much money?
Companies like Monsanto, Cargill, Archers Daniel Midland and DuPont, along with the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the Farm Bureau and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, make billions of dollars selling contaminated foods.
They will invest millions to defeat this initiative.
They did it a decade ago in Oregon, where Monsanto and Big Ag outspent us 30-1 to defeat a GMO labeling initiative. Pro-labelers there were up against a cabal of corporate giants - including Monsanto and DuPont - which called itself the Coalition Against the Costly Labeling Law. The coalition's $5.5-million propaganda campaign scared voters into believing that labeling laws were unnecessary and too expensive.
They did it again in Washington state last month, where campaign contributions to three of the eight politicians on the Senate Agriculture Committee - Democrat Brian Hatfield, and Republicans Jim Honeyford and Mark Schoesler - guaranteed the bill's death in committee.

At this very moment, industry is working to defeat GE labeling bills in Vermont, Hawaii, Connecticut, and other states.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, in 2010 alone, Monsanto spent $8 million lobbying in and more than $400,000 in political contributions. It also spent $120 million in advertising in the mass media, including National Public Radio, to convince consumers that GMO-tainted foods are safe – despite the overwhelming scientific evidence otherwise.
Now Monsanto and Big Food Inc. are cranking up their PR campaign again in California. Same old arguments, same old lies – this time, backed by even bigger bank accounts.
We will never be able to outspend monopolistic corporations with billions in profits at stake.
But if we raise enough money to collect 830,000 signatures, to get this Initiative on the ballot, to run a strong counter-campaign, I believe we can win in California. Here's why:
● This time, we have far more scientific information and greater public awareness on our side. GE contamination is now a mainstream media issue. Monsanto has become the most hated corporation in the world.
● This time, we have overwhelming public support. Polls show that more than 8 out of 10 voters in California want mandatory GMO labeling.
● This time, we have built the strongest coalition of alternative food and health consumers in history, for the exclusive purpose of passing this law.
We've been campaigning on this issue for years. We are closer than ever to a win. But we need all the help we can get.
Today, I'm asking you to invest in this Initiative. Invest in your future. And invest as generously as you can.
The Organic Consumers Association, Organic Consumers Fund, along with other coalition partners, have already raised over one million dollars to get this Initiative on the ballot. We need to raise $150,000 more, as soon as possible. This money will be used to pay our signature gatherers, media consultants, attorneys and others whose expertise we need in order to win.
Please contribute to this historic and critical campaign today. And then please forward this email to your friends. Share it on Facebook and Twitter. Print it out, tack it to telephone poles. Hand it to your grandmother.
Tell the world: This is our last best hope to take back our food and farming system and to protect our health, the health of our children, and the environment. Thank you.
For an Organic Future,


Ronnie Cummins
Director, Organic Consumers Association and Organic Consumers Fund


P.S.: The Organic Consumers Fund is a 501(c)4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action. Donations are not tax-deductible. If you need to make a tax-deductible donation, you can contribute to the Organic Consumers Association, a 501(c)3. Your donation to the OCA will be used for general public education and grassroots mobilization.

 

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Nomination for Top TV Jerk -- L.Z. Granderson

So, this afternoon T.U.P. broke down and turned on TV "news" for a few moments. The report / conversation was about the mass murder in Afghanistan, by an American soldier, and the lack of support for the war among Americans at large.

L.Z. Granderson was one of the commentators. This dunce started out as a sports writer, then ESPN commentator. He should have stuck to sports. He is a complete jerk about the war, law, and public policy,

He said that the American people should have no say in how long a war lasts. Likewise "the legislative branch" should have no say in  war policy. According to Granderson, the only person equipped to decide on war policy is the President.

I guess this jerk knows better than the Constitution.

CNN sucks. It's bad enough they put that smarmy, phone-tapping Brit in Larry King's old seat. This guy Granderson now puts the icing on the cake. CNN -- Craptastic Non News

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ginseng Roots Trio Tonight -- Bookstore Speakeasy

Johnny Peppers will be trotting out
The World's Largest Saxophone 
Tonight at the Bookstore Speakeasy

Friday, March 9
The Bookstore Speakeasy


Ginseng Roots Trio
Uke Jackson, JJ "Johnny" Peppers, and Paul Kendall 
9pm - 1 am
336 Adams Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015-1661

(610) 867-1100 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Organic Bytes March 8, 2012

Global Days of Action Against Monsanto

Take Action Now
Scroll down to learn more about the global days of action to shut down Monsanto on March 16 & 17. We urge you to challenge corporate power directly at "the gates of evil," as the organizers of the protests have dubbed Monsanto's headquarters, research facilities and lobbying offices, but, before you leave this screen to head to the nearest Occupy encampment to get involved, please take action now on these important campaigns...


Safeguard Organic Standards!
National Public Radio's Diane Rehm Show covered the organic standards debate on Tuesday. Here's the show's teaser: "The market for organic food has grown from just $1 billion in 1990 to nearly $30 billion today. As big corporations enter the market, concern has grown about enforcement of organic standards, and some see the movement drifting away from its founding principles of sustainability and local farming. They are alarmed by organic tomatoes grown in far-off, Mexican deserts that require constant irrigation, organic cows living on industrial-sized feedlots, and chickens laying organic eggs while confined in high-capacity barns. But others say that big farms bring organic food to the masses."
Listen and Take Action


No Agent Orange Corn! Ban 2,4-D!
Dow Agrosciences has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to approve corn that is genetically engineered to survive massive spraying of the herbicide 2,4-D. This would increase 2,4-D use 50-fold, threatening farmers (even those who don't grow GMOs), farm workers, rural communities, and food consumers. On February 23, the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit to force the EPA to act on their 2008 petition to ban the use of this known neurotoxin and Agent Orange ingredient within 45 days of the court's decision.
Stop 2,4-D-Resistant GMO Corn
Why Should 2-4-D Be Banned? Ask the Pitchfork Rebellion


Stop Monsanto's Harassment of Organic Farmers!

On March 1st, hacktivists Anonymous and LulzSec jacked the Monsanto database in retaliation for its motion to dismiss a farmer lawsuit challenging the company's use of its patents against farmers whose crops have been contaminated with Monsanto's engineered DNA. The attack was part of their AntiSec campaign targeting the world's banks, governments and corporations. Monsanto made the list for providing the US government with the herbicide Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
Learn More and Take Action
 
 
 

Support the OCA

OCA and our lobbying ally, the Organic Consumers Fund, put our money where our mouth is. With the 2012 California Ballot Initiative, and GMO labeling legislation gaining momentum in Vermont, Connecticut, Hawaii and other states, we have a real chance to hit Monsanto, corporate agribusiness, and the supermarket chains with the skull and crossbones they fear so much: mandatory labels on genetically engineered food. At the same time we are continuing our struggle to strengthen organic standards and significantly expand the market for organic food and products, especially those produced locally and regionally; while warning consumers about the dangers of junk food and chemical agriculture.
Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible)
Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in California and other states)
 
 
 

Stop GMO Salmon and Save Wild Salmon!

As the Food & Drug Administration stands poised to approve the first genetically engineered animal, a salmon-like Frankenfish, the Environmental Protection Agency could take action to protect wild salmon by stopping the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska's Bristol Bay. This open-pit mine would generate up to 10 billion tons of toxic mine waste that will have to be treated for hundreds of years. Mine waste disposal in the Bristol Bay watershed is a direct threat to the tremendous wild salmon habitat that supports the Bristol Bay fishery, and supplies the world with a healthy and sustainable source of wild salmon. The salmon fishery is the economic engine of the region, generating an estimated $450 million in revenue each year, and supplying some 10,000 jobs.
Tell the EPA to Protect Wild Alaskan Salmon
Ask Your U.S. Senator to Cosponsor a Bill to Ban Frankenfish
 
 
 

Global Days of Action to Shut Down Monsanto March 16 & 17

Shut Down Monsanto and the Anti-Monsanto Project are calling for global days of action to shut down Monsanto on Friday and Saturday March 16 & 17.
Global Call to Action
The Current List of Global Actions
 
 
 

Updates on the Right-to-Know Campaign to Label GMOs

California
Monsanto's minions launched a media campaign of lies and misinformation attacking the Organic Consumers Association and the CA Right to Know/Label GMOs ballot initiative coalition. You can help set the record straight by posting comments and writing letters. They've also begun to amass the war chest they'll use for a barrage of paid propaganda. The money is coming from Washington, D.C.-based industry groups, including $375,000 from the Council for Biotechnology Information, whose members include Monsanto, DuPont, Dow AgroScience and $250,000 from the Grocery Manufacturers Association. We're on track to gather the signatures we need to get this on the ballot, but we still need more volunteers and donations.
Learn More & Take Action
Donate
Volunteer

Connecticut
Things are really moving in Connecticut. If you want to be inspired, watch the video of the Capitol Press Briefing on HB 5117, the CT genetically modified foods right to know act. The opposition there had come from government spokespersons, including the state agriculture commissioner, as well as USDA and FDA flacks taking their cues from former Biotech Governor of the Year USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack and former Monsanto lawyer Food Safety Czar Michael Taylor.
Learn More & Take Action

Oregon
As of Wednesday, GMO Free Oregon has just started to collect the 1,000 sponsorship signatures needed for a measure to label genetically engineered foods. They are finishing up the language for a "Right to Seed Heritage and Sustainable Agriculture" measure to prevent GMO contamination. This is a county level measure, and any county that is interested can it put it on their ballot. GMO Free Oregon can help. Jackson County (Ashland) is already on board. Syngenta has started planting GM sugar beets all over Ashland and there is quite an uproar among farmers and others concerned. This weekend GMO Free Oregon is hosting a workshop on the Right to Seed Heritage and Sustainable Agriculture measure with Paul Cienfuegos in Corvallis. Things are budding in Oregon this Spring!
Get Involved

Minnesota
Minnesota Anti-GMO activists have convinced Rep. Karen Clark (DFL) to introduce GMO labeling legislation! Once we have the bill numbers, we will be asking Minnesotans to take action by contacting their legislators in support of the bills, and possibly attending legislative hearings on the bills. Stay tuned for more detailed info as this progresses.
Take Action
 
 
 

Little Bytes: Top Stories of the Week

The "Pink Slime" in Your Kid's School Lunch

Mercury Alert: FDA Ignores Its Own Scientists' Warning on Amalgam Fillings
Naomi Klein: 'If You Take Climate Change Seriously, You Have to Throw Out the Free-Market Playbook'
Glenn Greenwald Tears Apart the Propaganda Driving the Insane Push for War With Iran
 
 
 

Message From Our Sponsors

Eden Foods Offers OCA Customers 15% Discount

Eden Foods is one of the few national organic food producers who goes beyond the USDA Organic Standards. Although Eden Foods is USDA certified, their products do not bear the USDA seal, because they say the USDA standard really represents a "minimum standard" that Eden Foods goes far beyond.
As a subscriber to Organic Bytes, you can enjoy a 15% discount rate on any Eden Foods products by going here.
Learn More
 
 
 

Connect With OCA!


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Please forward this publication to family and friends, place it on web sites,
print it, duplicate it and post it freely. Knowledge is power!
Organic Bytes is a publication of Organic Consumers Association

Eddie Woods on Urban Graffiti

Eddie Woods is still going strong as ever! Check him out on Urban Graffiti.

You can find a video of him reading his poem Mary here.

The text of the poem is there, and a couple of cool photos of T.U.P.'s favorite A'dam bohemian genius poet.

Here's the actual URL:

http://urbgraffiti.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/mary-by-eddie-woods/

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lord Byron's Coda -- Coming Soon from T.U.P.

I'm putting the finishing touches on a sensuous monologue that's been one of my projects for the last 3 years. I'm awaiting word from the folks at Kindle to discover how one releases something as a Kindle Single -- in the case Lord Byron's Coda  I will also be releasing it as a paperback.

The tech requirements are extensive if some wants to stage it the way it is written. There are costume changes that take place more or less instantaneously. Should be a great challenge for the designer(s) .

As to casting, if going the traditional (gender-specific) route, somebody please get me Charlie Hunnam, or Rupert Friend -- both brilliant young British actors. However, if a young woman decides to play Byron in this monologue, the author would love it! 

More soon.

Monday, March 5, 2012

First Entry in Video Contest!

Thanks to the Dutch artists who created this, our first entry! I really enjoyed seeing this. Not only is it a good cover of my song, but it also takes to heart the purpose of the contest -- to promo my new novel "The Moon of Innocence"



Here's the contest video in case you missed it:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Captain Kazoo's Antique Kazoo Sale

Cap'n Kazoo is selling his collection of antique kazoos:

BUY A KAZOO FROM CAPTAIN KAZOO TODAY !!!

http://www.captainkazoo.com/zoosales.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJRa9_hi6yM

THERE IS NO BIDDING
It's more like Storage Wars on TV...If you've got the CASH, you've got the TRASH !


I've even set up a LAY AWAY PLAN 

JUST SELECT THE ITEM YOU DESIRE & MAKE MONTHLY PAYMENTS UNTIL YOU HAVE PAID THE FULL AMOUNT
AND THEN YOU RECEIVE THE ITEM

THERE IS NO INTEREST OR CARRYING CHARGE & SHIPPING IS FREE !

Sorry... we do not ship internationally !

Failure to make  agreed upon payments within a specified time frame may result in a cancellation of the agreement and forfeiture of payments made.

I USED TO BE A LAWYER OR NOT !

FYI: The "Pipe Fitters Kazoo" Does NOT exist !

This SALE will last till everything is GONE


MORE INFO AT CAPTAINKAZOO.COM

KEEP WELL & KEEP ON HUMMIN',

kaz

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Organic Bytes



Stop the Biotech Bullies!

If Monsanto's genetically engineered crops (corn, soybeans, canola, sugar beets, cotton) pollute an organic or non-GMO farmer's land, under corporate-corrupted U.S. patent law, Monsanto can sue these victimized farmers for so-called "theft of intellectual property." Since the mid-1990s, 144 farmers have been taken to court by the Biotech Bully of St. Louis. Monsanto has brought charges against more than 700 additional farmers who have settled out-of-court. These farmers had no intention of growing crops or saving seeds that contain Monsanto's controversial patented genes. Their crops have been contaminated by genetically engineered plants in neighboring fields or contamination in seed processing facilities.
In an attempt to protect these farmers, a case, Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association, et al. v. Monsanto, was filed in federal district court in Manhattan on March 29, 2011, on behalf of 83 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations, representing over 300,000 members.
On February 24, Judge Naomi Buchwald dismissed in the case.

Support Farmer Protection Legislation

Learn More & Donate to the Farmers' Appeal

Monsanto's Minions Attack OCA in California: Lies & Censorship at the Sacramento Bee

Last week, we reported that the Sacramento Bee had run an opinion piece by Dan Morain full of lies about the California ballot initiative campaign to label GMOs. We asked Bytes readers to set the record straight by reading our rebuttal and posting comments to the article on the Sacramento Bee website.
A flood of comments ensued, prompting the Bee to shut down the comment function. Then, on Saturday, Stuart Leavenworth, the editorial page editor, published a piece attacking the OCA that, like Morain's editorial, parrots Monsanto's talking points with no regard for the truth.
Again, we ask you to read Leavenworth's article and our rebuttal, then post comments defending freedom of speech and our right to know what's in our food.
Learn More & Take Action

Op-Ed of the Week: "America's Obesity and Diabetes Epidemic: Junk Food Kills"
by Ronnie Cummins

"The U.S. industrial food and farming system, dominated by fast food restaurants and processed, chemical-laden food, has precipitated a public health crisis. Although nutritionists recommend that consumers avoid eating unhealthy junk foods, every day 75 million Americans "supersize" themselves and damage their health by eating at McDonald's or other fast food restaurants. Forty percent of American meals are now purchased and consumed outside the home, typically consisting of high-calorie, low-nutrition items such as soft drinks, French fries, and low-grade meat, laced with fat, cheap sweeteners, pesticide residues, chemical additives, and salt. We have become a Fast Food Nation of bulging waistlines and high blood pressure."
Read More

Support the OCA and the OCF: Strike a Blow Against Biotech and Junk Food

OCA and our lobbying ally, the Organic Consumers Fund, put our money where our mouth is. With the 2012 California Ballot Initiative, and GMO labeling legislation gaining momentum in Vermont, Connecticut, Hawaii and other states, we have a real chance to hit Monsanto, corporate agribusiness, and the supermarket chains with the skull and crossbones they fear so much: mandatory labels on genetically engineered food. At the same time we are continuing our struggle to strengthen organic standards and significantly expand the market for organic food and products, especially those produced locally and regionally; while warning consumers about the dangers of junk food and chemical agriculture.
Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible)
Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in California and other states)

Two More Months to Stop Dow's Agent Orange Frankencorn

The US Department of Agriculture has extended its comment period on Dow's request to commercialize corn which has been genetically engineered for increased resistance to the herbicide 2,4-D of Agent Orange infamy.
The comment deadline has been extended to April 27, 2012.
Learn More & Take Action

Little Bytes: Top Stories of the Week

Big Food Must Go: Why We Need to Radically Change the Way We Eat
'Natural': The Most Meaningless Word on Your Food Label?
Time for Environmental Funders to Stop Neglecting the Grassroots
Dr. Vandana Shiva: Occupy Our Food Supply!
Infiltration to Disrupt, Divide and Misdirect Is Widespread in Occupy
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