Archive by Author

Will Monsanto destroy organic?

26 Jan

This was an email one of our G’s received:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is about to approve Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa, despite the fact that it’s likely to contaminate other crops, including organic alfalfa. Organic dairies need organic alfalfa as feed for their cows, and organic standards don’t allow the use of GE crops. Contamination of organic crops from GE crops can destroy markets for organic farmers.

The USDA tried to approve GE alfalfa before and the decision was challenged all the way up to the Supreme Court, which made the agency re-assess the environmental impact GE alfalfa could have on the environment. Now USDA has rushed through this process because big agribusiness wants to be allowed to plant GE alfalfa this spring.

We need President Obama to direct the USDA to stop the approval of GE alfalfa. Help us send a loud and clear message that consumers want foods that are free from genetic engineering.

http://action.foodandwaterwatch.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5450

Thanks for taking action,

Katy Kiefer
Outreach Organizer
Food & Water Watch
goodfood(at)fwwatch(dot)org

Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

Clear and Present Danger

17 Dec

So  I was wondering, do you ever stop and think where your food comes from?  You, your parents or guardians go to Buy Low, Best Way, Superior or Ralph’s and buy all your produce, bread, munchies, you name it.  All your vitamins and nutrients are coming from these products that you consume on a daily basis.  However, we hardly think of what it took for this apple to grow, and just because its a fruit and it looks like its good for you then it must be good for you, right?  Well, I want you to take into consideration which are the institutions that are in charge of the regulation of your food and if you can really trust them.  I mean, you can grow up being told that what you’re eating is food but what if it really isn’t? Ah…

On November 30, 2010 the Senate passed S. 510 FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act by a Yay-Nay votes of 73 to 25, and will now go to be voted on in the House.

So you might say, wow that’s good that they are making sure out food is safe but this is when you need to look into this sort of legislation.  I love euphemism in the title of the bill, ensuring food safety and modernization. Modernization?! Why do we need to modernize our food?

Well I’m just warning you that you’re going to come across people in positions of privilege and agenda-setting power like Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma who are trying to get the food bill passed by saying that the government will not be held accountable for the past management of foodborne illness outbreaks and for the cost of the bill, $1.4 billion, which is fully paid according to the Office of Management and Budget.  You may also come across scare tactics like Pew Health Group Food Program Director, Erik Olson, who says, “Repeated disease outbreaks from contaminated foods, including eggs, lettuce, spinach, cookie dough, peanut products and so many other foods illustrate how serious foodborne disease problems continue to harm consumers and the food industry’s bottom line.”

Some are calling this the Food Tyranny Act, institutions of power, privilege and oppression are at work.  They are trying so hard to pass this law by January because their excuse is food safety, however its their way of making genetically modified food the only source of food in the United States. It has been said that Monsanto’s Michael Taylor was the designer of the bill and is waiting to be appointed a position in the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) which is a position unapproved by Congress.   This position will administer the agency the bill would create — without judicial review — if it passes.  S 510 would give Monsanto unlimited power over all US seed, food supplements, food and farming.

Here are some of the Logistics behind the bill:

1.  It puts all US food and all US farms under Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, in the event of contamination or an ill-defined emergency.  It resembles the Kissinger Plan.

2.  It would end US sovereignty over its own food supply by insisting on compliance with the WTO, thus threatening national security.  It would end the Uruguay Round Agreement Act of 1994, which put US sovereignty and US law under perfect protection.  Instead, S 510 says:

“COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS.

Nothing in this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be construed in a manner inconsistent with the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization or any other treaty or international agreement to which the United States is a party.”

3.  It would allow the government, under Maritime Law, to define the introduction of any food into commerce (even direct sales between individuals) as smuggling into “the United States.” Since under that law, the US is a corporate entity and not a location, “entry of food into the US” covers food produced anywhere within the land mass of this country and “entering into” it by virtue of being produced.

4.  It imposes Codex Alimentarius on the US, a global system of control over food. It allows the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the WTO to take control of every food on earth and remove access to natural food supplements.  Its bizarre history and its expected impact in limiting access to adequate nutrition (while mandating GM food, GM animals, pesticides, hormones, irradiation of food, etc.) threatens all safe and organic food and health itself, since the world knows now it needs vitamins to survive, not just to treat illnesses.

5.  It would remove the right to clean, store and thus own seed in the US, putting control of seeds in the hands of Monsanto and other multinationals, threatening US security.

6.  It includes NAIS, an animal traceability program that threatens all small farmers and ranchers raising animals. The UN is participating through the WHO, FAO, WTO, and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in allowing mass slaughter of even heritage breeds of animals and without proof of disease.  Biodiversity in farm animals is being wiped out to substitute genetically engineered animals on which corporations hold patents.  Animal diseases can be falsely declared.  S 510 includes the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), despite its corrupt involvement in the H1N1 scandal, which is now said to have been concocted by the corporations.

7.  It extends a failed and destructive HACCP to all food, thus threatening to do to all local food production and farming what HACCP did to meat production – put it in corporate hands and worsen food safety.

8.  It deconstructs what is left of the American economy. It takes agriculture and food, which are the cornerstone of all economies, out of the hands of the citizenry, and puts them under the total control of multinational corporations influencing the UN, WHO, FAO and WTO, with HHS, and CDC, acting as agents, with Homeland Security as the enforcer.  The chance to rebuild the economy based on farming, ranching, gardens, food production, natural health, and all the jobs, tools and connected occupations would be eliminated.

9.  It would allow the government to mandate antibiotics, hormones, slaughterhouse waste, pesticides and GMOs. This would industrialize every farm in the US, eliminate local organic farming, greatly increase global warming from increased use of oil-based products and long-distance delivery of foods, and make food even more unsafe.  The five items listed — the Five Pillars of Food Safety — are precisely the items in the food supply which are the primary source of its danger.

10. It uses food crimes as the entry into police state power and control. The bill postpones defining all the regulations to be imposed; postpones defining crimes to be punished, postpones defining penalties to be applied.  It removes fundamental constitutional protections from all citizens in the country, making them subject to a corporate tribunal with unlimited power and penalties, and without judicial review. It is (similar to C-6 in Canada) the end of Rule of Law in the US.

For further information, watch these videos:

Vandana Shiva: Food Laws – Forcing People to Globalize
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia-P4rL2IWc

State Imposed Violence … to snatch resources of ordinary people
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onw_PkVvpts&feature=related

Corporate Rule
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PwqUQ_HIlg&feature=related

Reclaiming Economies
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXoJHG-er7A&feature=related

 

I know everybody is busy with school, finals just passed for some of us and the high school students are soon going to apply for financial aid and the such.  However, I encourage you to do your own research and learn more about this issue because it will affect all of us.  This is something ridiculous which I would of never even thought of coming across during my lifetime, but here it is… Please we aware of your material realities and the invisibility of oppression,  that we don’t recognize until innocent people like my grandfather will have to face the consequences of his leisure activities like growing an organic garden in my backyard. 

U.S.: Accused teen hit man in Mexico is an American citizen

7 Dec

A 14-year-old accused of ruthless killings on behalf of a Mexican drug cartel boss is a U.S. citizen, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said Monday.

Gini Staub would not provide any further information.

“We have confirmed the boy’s U.S. citizenship but can’t say anything more about the boy’s situation in the absence of a (provisional arrest warrant) signed by at least one of the parents,” Staub said.

Earlier, Staub said that the boy, once his citizenship was confirmed, would be given “all appropriate consular assistance, just like we would for any U.S. citizen arrested and incarcerated overseas.” Assistance would include prison visits, information on local attorneys and checks on his welfare, she said.

The teen — reportedly carrying a birth certificate issued in San Diego — and two of his sisters were detained Thursday at an airport in central Mexico after an anonymous tip alerted authorities he was heading to Tijuana, Mexico, local media reported.

A spokeswoman for the Mexican attorney general’s office said authorities detained the 14-year-old Thursday evening on suspicion of working as a drug-cartel hit man, but declined to provide details.

But the boy faced a battery of questions from reporters after he was detained, answering questions point-blank as camera flashes lit his face.

“I slit their throats,” he said, describing what he said was the killing of four people.

The teen told reporters after his capture Thursday night that he was an orphan who joined the Pacifico Sur drug cartel when he was 12. He said Julio “El Negro” Padilla, one of the group’s alleged leaders, threatened him.

“I either work or he’ll kill me,” the 14-year-old said.

With his hands shoved into the pockets of his cargo pants, the 14-year-old told reporters that he was paid weekly in dollars and pesos. But in answering questions about whether he knew what he was doing when he allegedly participated in the killings, the teen said he was under the influence of drugs and unaware of his actions.

“No, I didn’t know,” he said.

Troops standing beside the teen while the youth was interviewed wore masks to hide their faces — a common sight in Mexico, where clashes between authorities and cartels have intensified since President Felipe Calderon announced a crackdown shortly after he took office in 2006.

But the teen’s face was clearly visible.

Martin Perez, director of Mexico’s Children’s Rights Network, said late Friday that authorities should not have given television cameras and newspaper photographers access to the 14-year-old.

“It was completely inappropriate, the form of presenting him in front of the media,” he said.

“Everyone has the right to be presumed innocent,” he said. “Also, it could put his life at serious risk. We have to remember that this is a fight between criminal organizations.”

A New Beginning

6 Dec

Hey Gs! It’s Luci, and I know we’ve all been very busy with our schedules, but we’re back now! I hope that everyone is doing well and I hope you’re all ready to breath life back into SUP G.

 

So let’s quickly review what we’ve discussed on the Facebook mass messages:

1. We have all agreed on pitching in to reorganizing SUP G

2. We need to set up times to meet online and set apart an hour to communicate.

3. Gabby has agreed to recreate a Facebook  profile as the previous one was deleted because Facebook thought the name was fake.
Eily and I have committed ourselves to updating the blog

4. We need to set dates and locations for the following:

*A retreat (so we can come together!)
*An open meeting for new people to join and get involved [Create a facebook event for this meeting].

Now that we’re all caught up, I think we should all take a moment and consider what an immensely positive effect this collective can have on all of us. Apart from that, all the time, energy, love, and patience we give will ultimately result in a better education for ourselves, as well as the generations to come. Please remember to update, be updated, and continue to share your ideas.

 

Justice, Unity & Education

-Luci

Vote No on Prop 23! How Voting Yes on Prop 23 Will Affect Our Community’s Right to Environmental Justice

30 Sep

Communities for a Better Environment protests at a Tesoro refinery in Wilmington!

In our May 20 post we shared the concept of ‘environmental racism’ and its origin. https://threetenstudentsuptogood.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/environmental-what/.

Here is how Prop 23, if passed, will ensure the social phenomena of environmental racism; a phenomena experienced by millions of Californians of poor and working-class communities like Inglewood.

Many young Californians seem to be unaware of this November’s Proposition 23: a measure appearing to be responsive towards our state unemployment rate.  And no matter the television ads that began airing yesterday, we deserve to know the facts.  We cannot solely rely on television ads, whether in support of Prop 23, or in opposition to, for sufficient information.

Because many studies report that climate change will affect low-income communities and people of color first, it is important for all Inglewood youth and for youth of communities like Inglewood to become informed now.

On November 2, 2010 our community is being asked to vote, with very little information on Prop 23, also known as the “California Jobs Initiative”.  It is being presented to our families as a promise to create more jobs.  However, many argue this is an empty promise and that it more importantly, is a distraction.

Among those who argue Prop 23’s deceptiveness, is the coalition Communities United Against the Dirty Energy Proposition.   A coalition of social justice and community-based organizations, Communities is working to expose their common belief that the real purpose of the “California Jobs Initiative” is to: suspend the Global Warming Solution Act AB 32 of 2006, killing clean energy and air pollution reduction efforts.

Another belief shared by the measure’s opposition is that, instead of creating more jobs, it will actually cause the state unemployment rate to suffer; by negatively impacting  existing green jobs and businesses.  It is estimated that over 500,000 people are employed by clean energy and other sectors of green industry.  A fact that clearly contradicts supporters’ claims that AB 32 negatively affects our job economy.

Who is behind Prop 23?

Two major Texas companies of the oil industry, Valero and Tesoro; companies responsible for polluting our communities and our environment. These companies are funneling millions of dollars into pushing this measure.

How would these companies benefit from the suspension of AB 32?

Because it is an environmental law focusing on climate change instigated by pollution and the burning of fossil fuels, it consequently places regulations on the state of California and industries that contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases.

Why should it matter if Prop 23 passes and AB 32 repealed?

Well, if you felt the heat this past Monday, please attempt to reconsider the reality of climate change.  For it has begun affecting third-world communities around the planet.  And it is tremendously important that the Global Warming Solution Act AB 32 remain a law because it includes a provision addressing the killing and harming of poor and working-class communities of color here in California. And just as important, our state of California, and specifically our law AB 32, has become a model for the U.S. in making political and social changes toward environmental protection.

Learn more:

http://www.stopdirtyenergyprop.com/index.php

http://communitiesagainstprop23.com/about/

http://climaticidechronicles.org/2010/09/13/prop-23-reinforces-race-class-discrimination/

http://www.law.berkeley.edu/9316.htm

http://www.examiner.com/green-careers-in-san-francisco/the-green-economy-future-california-prop-23-attempts-to-undo-ab-32

The Government’s New Right to Track Your Every Move

1 Sep

The Government’s New Right to Track Your Every Move With GPS

By ADAM COHEN, Time.com

Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn’t violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway – and no reasonable expectation that the government isn’t tracking your movements.

That is the bizarre – and scary – rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants – with no need for a search warrant.

It is a dangerous decision – one that, as the dissenting judges warned, could turn America into the sort of totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell. It is particularly offensive because the judges added insult to injury with some shocking class bias: the little personal privacy that still exists, the court suggested, should belong mainly to the rich.

This case began in 2007, when Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents decided to monitor Juan Pineda-Moreno, an Oregon resident who they suspected was growing marijuana. They snuck onto his property in the middle of the night and found his Jeep in his driveway, a few feet from his trailer home. Then they attached a GPS tracking device to the vehicle’s underside.

After Pineda-Moreno challenged the DEA’s actions, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled in January that it was all perfectly legal. More disturbingly, a larger group of judges on the circuit, who were subsequently asked to reconsider the ruling, decided this month to let it stand. (Pineda-Moreno has pleaded guilty conditionally to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and manufacturing marijuana while appealing the denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained with the help of GPS.)

In fact, the government violated Pineda-Moreno’s privacy rights in two different ways. For starters, the invasion of his driveway was wrong. The courts have long held that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in the “curtilage,” a fancy legal term for the area around the home. The government’s intrusion on property just a few feet away was clearly in this zone of privacy.

The judges veered into offensiveness when they explained why Pineda-Moreno’s driveway was not private. It was open to strangers, they said, such as delivery people and neighborhood children, who could wander across it uninvited.

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who dissented from this month’s decision refusing to reconsider the case, pointed out whose homes are not open to strangers: rich people’s. The court’s ruling, he said, means that people who protect their homes with electric gates, fences and security booths have a large protected zone of privacy around their homes. People who cannot afford such barriers have to put up with the government sneaking around at night.

Judge Kozinski is a leading conservative, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, but in his dissent he came across as a raging liberal. “There’s been much talk about diversity on the bench, but there’s one kind of diversity that doesn’t exist,” he wrote. “No truly poor people are appointed as federal judges, or as state judges for that matter.” The judges in the majority, he charged, were guilty of “cultural elitism.”

The court went on to make a second terrible decision about privacy: that once a GPS device has been planted, the government is free to use it to track people without getting a warrant. There is a major battle under way in the federal and state courts over this issue, and the stakes are high. After all, if government agents can track people with secretly planted GPS devices virtually anytime they want, without having to go to a court for a warrant, we are one step closer to a classic police state – with technology taking on the role of the KGB or the East German Stasi.

Fortunately, other courts are coming to a different conclusion from the Ninth Circuit’s – including the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That court ruled, also this month, that tracking for an extended period of time with GPS is an invasion of privacy that requires a warrant. The issue is likely to end up in the Supreme Court.

In these highly partisan times, GPS monitoring is a subject that has both conservatives and liberals worried. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s pro-privacy ruling was unanimous – decided by judges appointed by Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Plenty of liberals have objected to this kind of spying, but it is the conservative Chief Judge Kozinski who has done so most passionately. “1984 may have come a bit later than predicted, but it’s here at last,” he lamented in his dissent. And invoking Orwell’s totalitarian dystopia where privacy is essentially nonexistent, he warned: “Some day, soon, we may wake up and find we’re living in Oceania.”

Cohen, a lawyer, is a former TIME writer and a former member of the New York Times editorial board.

Original Article:
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2013150,00.html

Read Gizmodo’s article on how to combat Goverment GPS tracking!!!

http://gizmodo.com/5622807/how-to-stop-the-government-from-tracking-your-location

Chiapas

12 Aug

I spent this summer in the beautiful Mexican state of Chiapas more specifically in the city of San Cristobal de las Casas which is tourist town known for its rich culture and Zapatista influence.  For the first five weeks, I took Spanish and Culture classes.  There were many places I got to travel to like Mayan ruins such as Palenque, Yaxchilan, and Bonampak.   This was the relaxing part of the whole 10 week Humboldt State University summer program. The second part of the program were the last 5 weeks of intense engineering/appropriate technology courses. I was part of the improved cook stoves team, you can check out our project page at [http://www.appropedia.org/HSU_Chiapas_Improved_Cookstoves]. We worked alongside our cultural liaisons, a non-profit organization, Otros Mundos [http://www.otrosmundoschiapas.org/index.php],to build two different stove designs called the Lorena and the Patsari.  The Lorena which is built of all natural and local materials was the design we built in an indigenous community over 2 hours out of San Cristobal, and the Patsari we only built for our own testing purposes.  The Patsari is more fuel efficient but the materials aren’t all so easy to find or afford, plus it is made with cement which works as insulation.  The purpose of these stoves is the replace the open fires since the women and children who spend most of their day inside the kitchen are being exposed to black carbon and CO2 emissions.  Two million deaths a year are associated with respiratory problems from indoor cooking fires.  Our project page elaborates more on our whole experience, how to build the stoves and why we built them. CHECK IT OUT!

I recommend that website, Appropedia, for anybody who is interested in posting up their experiments as well or any sustainability projects.  You can read about some hundreds of projects which have already been made.  (I’ll probably bring up some of them in weeks to come.) The site was created by my engineering teacher, Lonny Grafman.  Some of the other project teams in our program were Microhydro feasibility studies, Biodigesters, Rainwater Catchment Systems, and Windbelts. The URL below has more information and links to the other project teams’ pages and sites of the organizations we worked with.

http://www.appropedia.org/Category:HSU_Chiapas_Program_2010

E. E.