Sunday, February 27, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Folks Back Home Are Making Me Proud!

May 1933: Hitler Abolishes Unions

On May 2nd, 1933, the day after Labor day, Nazi groups occupied union halls and labor leaders were arrested.  Trade Unions were outlawed by Adolf Hitler, while collective bargaining and the right to strike was abolished.  This was the beginning of a consolidation of power by the fascist regime which systematically wiped out all opposition groups, starting with unions, liberals, socialists, and communists using Himmler’s state police.

First of all, assaulting the rights of workers to collectively bargain has absolutely nothing to do with any immediate budgetary issues. It does however have everything to do with ending one of the basic rights of labor to organize.

Second, and more importantly, the budget “crisis” in Wisconsin is both exaggerated and created in part by the new Republican power base as a tool to attack political opponents. Walker decreased state revenue when he enacted tax cuts for the rich and big corporations, who are not surprisingly large campaign donors for his political campaign.
The ball is rolling:
And tonight here in Sacramento


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Great News for the Whales

[click image]

Captain Paul Watson and the Sea Shepard fleet have caused the Japanese whalers to abandon their Scientific Research Hunt in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary:
On Friday, Japan said it was bringing home its four whaling ships, weeks before the usual end of the annual cull in mid-March, citing the need to protect their crew from Sea Shepherd's sustained harassment.

Japan -- which hunts the ocean giants under a loophole to a global ban that permits lethal "scientific research" -- has killed 172 whales this season, only about a fifth of its target, the fisheries agency said.

Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara said Tokyo had summoned the Australian, New Zealand and Dutch ambassadors and made "a strong request to take effective measures to avoid the recurrence of Sea Shepherd's obstructionist activities".
Australia -- which last year launched legal action against Japan's whaling programme at the International Court of Justice -- and New Zealand earlier on Friday said they hoped Japan had given up whaling for good.
Japan has long defended whaling as part of the island nation's culture and makes no secret of the fact that the meat ends up in restaurants.

Tomoaki Nakao, the mayor of Shimonoseki, the port from where the whaling ships leave each year, said: "I want Japan to maintain a firm stand and continue appealing to the world about the legitimacy" of scientific whaling.
Just what is legitimate about killing whales in a sanctuary for food and calling it scientific study?


Latin America urges Japan to stop whaling!

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society


Saturday, February 12, 2011


[photo merge by Kae]

Here they go again, tinkering with the genetics of one of our food sources for the benefit of corporations. A new genetically modified corn has been approved for use in the United States by the Department of Agriculture. In addition the FDA has also certified it safe for human consumption. It has already been approved for use in Canada and Japan among a number of other countries.

Manufactured by the Swiss company Syngenta, the corn named Enogen contains a microbial gene which causes it to produce the enzyme alpha-amylase, a compound which currently must be added to the corn during the fermentation process to produce ethanol. The presence of the enzyme in the corn at the time of milling jump starts the process of turning the starch to sugar.

Not everybody is happy about this - from the New York Times:
The decision, announced Friday, came in the face of objections from corn millers and others in the food industry, who warned that if the industrial corn cross-pollinated with or were mixed with corn used for food, it could lead to crumbly corn chips, soggy cereal, loaves of bread with soupy centers and corn dogs with inadequate coatings.

“If this corn is comingled with other corn, it will have significant adverse impacts on food product quality and performance,” the North American Millers’ Association said in a statement on Friday.
The North American Millers’ Association, representing 43 companies including General Mills and Con-Agra, also claims that Syngenta's own research shows that as little as one kernel of Enogen in 10,000 normal kernels could weaken the corn starch enough to interfere with food processing operations. They are also fearful of recalls and distribution disruptions should it enter the food stream.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is also worried:
“This is StarLink all over again,” said Margaret Mellon of the Union of Concerned Scientists. She was referring to the situation in 2000 when a genetically modified corn approved only for animal use got into the human food supply, prompting huge recalls and disrupting American exports.
The Center for Food Safety is also preparing to sue:
The group persuaded a court to temporarily revoke the approvals of the biotech alfalfa and sugar beets because the Agriculture Department had not done a full environmental impact statement. The department, which has been reviewing Syngenta’s application since 2005, did not prepare such a statement for Syngenta’s corn.
In the end the supposed benefits of this product, an 8% increase in production and 8% decrease in natural gas consumption are certainly not worth the risk.

It's time to go back to whole, organic foods and stop mutating our food sources!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Sunday, February 06, 2011