Guest Commentary (4369)
ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUTLORRAINE CHOW OF
Articles reprinted with permission from EcoWatch
Christine and Kenneth Sheppard, the former owners of Dragon’s Lair Kona Coffee Farm in Honaunau, Hawaii, have accused the multinational agribusiness of falsely masking the carcinogenic risks of glyphosate and is responsible for causing the woman’s cancer, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.
The civil suit, Sheppard et al v. Monsanto Company, was filed Feb. 2 in U.S. District Court in Honolulu by the Miller Firm of Orange, Virgina and Honolulu attorney Brian K. Mackintosh on behalf of the husband-and-wife duo.
ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUTLORRAINE CHOW OF
Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch
A turtle hospital in Marathon, Florida is treating an increasing number of green sea turtles affected by fibropapillomatosis (FP), a global sea turtle disease caused by a herpes virus. The disease leads to the formation of tumors on the turtles’ eyes, flippers and internal organs. The possible culprits? Pollution and warming waters.
“Marine turtles with FP have external tumors that may grow so large and hanging as to hamper swimming, vision, feeding and potential escape from predators,” hospital manager Bette Zirkelbach told the publication. “Over 50 percent of the green sea turtle population in and around the Florida Keys is infected with FP.”
BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Almost a year ago, Jeff Roe, the founder and principal of the Kansas City, Missouri-based Axiom Strategies, was knocking out attack ads aimed at trashing the gubernatorial candidacy of former Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich. A sixty-second radio ad "labeled Schweich as a weak candidate for governor and pointed out that his political foes would 'squash him like the little bug that he is,'” The Kansas City Star reported. The radio ad also compared Schweich to Barney Fife, the hapless fictional deputy sheriff of Mayberry, on "The Andy Griffith Show."
According to a 2011 Kansas City Star piece by Steve Kraske, Team Roe was involved with "instances of Dumpster diving when Roe's minions would sift through an opposing candidate's household garbage to find something embarrassing. There were stories about Roe employees dashing out of the nighttime shadows to snap photos for use in unflattering campaign fliers. The thing was, Roe admitted it all. 'Politics ain't beanbag,' he would say. In 2006, there were TV ads that chastised one opponent in a wheelchair for working for Penthouse magazine. In reality, she sold ads for a company that owned the magazine."
ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUTMARK RUFFALO OF
For the past two years, the 100,000 residents of Flint, Michigan, drank, cooked and bathed with lead-contaminated water. Rates of lead poisoning - which can impair brain development and cause other serious health ailments - among the area's children have skyrocketed, from 5 percent before the water turned bad to 16 percent today.
Residents have long reported brown, bad-tasting and foul-smelling water and unexplained sicknesses. Almost a year ago, water tests showed dangerous levels of lead. Yet state, local and federal officials did nothing. Worse, they assured residents that the water was safe. In recently released emails, state officials demonstrated indifference and even contempt toward the complaints that came mostly from poor, black residents. Furthermore, according to some witnesses and media reports, state officials diluted water samples or took incomplete "slow drip water samples" to game results and claim that the water was safe.
Flint's man-made water disaster is an outrageous tragedy and a human health crisis. And unfortunately, it's not an isolated case. It's one instance in a pattern of government failures to take water testing seriously and respond to evidence of water pollution.
PAUL BUCHHEIT FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
US plutocrats are afraid of too much change. But it's too late for gradual change. Only a popular uprising against big business greed can restore a semblance of justice to our perversely unequal society.
The election should be about oppression and the economy - but the economy of the 99% in the US, not of establishment wealth. So many in the US are in need of justice, including the following members of the US commons.
Black Americans and Other People of Color in the United States
"I cringed when people would ask me where I lived ... Just to say 'public housing' was basically saying that you're dirty, you're bad, you're dumb, you're lazy, you're a problem." - Shana Griffin, New Orleans activist
Emergency home repairs? Not for Black families. The average African American family had readily available liquid wealth of only $200 in 2011, less than $1 for every $100 owned by whites.
We tend to believe that education is the great equalizer. But a middle-aged Black person with a graduate degree has about the same odds of being a millionaire as a white person with only a high school diploma.
KEN ROSEBORO OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
genetically modified food and changed the text of an article without the author’s permission.The Genetic Literacy Project (GLP) has been accused of unethical journalistic practices after it published personal information about individuals opposed to
GLP is an organization that heavily promotes genetic engineering of foods and attacks critics of the technology.
GLP has posted phone numbers, email and home addresses and other personal information about GMO critics. According to David Murphy, executive director of Food Democracy Now, GLP posted the phone number and email and home addresses of Don Huber, Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology at Purdue University. Murphy contacted GLP asking them to remove the information, which they did, but shortly after GLP posted Murphy’s cell phone number and home address.
“It’s one thing to have a public disagreement with highly trained scientists and activists on a controversial subject like GMO safety, but publishing personal information, home addresses and cell phone numbers, is a new low, even for Monsanto’s smear merchant,” Murphy said. “Does Monsanto really want us publishing their CEO and top scientists like Robb Fraley’s home addresses? One wonders what they really have to hide if they’re willing to employ such slimeball tactics against their critics.”
JIM HIGHTOWER FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
The mantra of every Koch-headed, right-wing politico is that government should be run like a business, always focused on cutting costs.
Welcome to Flint, Michigan. This impoverished, mostly African-American city has indeed been run like a private corporation since Republican Gov. Rick Snyder appointed his "emergency manager" to seize control of Flint's heavily indebted local government. Snyder's coup d'etat usurped the people's democratic voice and effectively imposed a corporate-style autocracy over them, run by his unelected CEO-like manager who answers only to Snyder.
Flint's emergency manager holds authoritarian budgetary power and is focused not on serving the people but on the bottom line. His mandate from the governor was to slash costs ruthlessly, so bankers and other holders of the city's debt could be paid off. Snyder was delighted that his appointed czar proved to be an enthusiastic slasher, including a cleaver move in 2014 to cut a couple million dollars from the budget by shifting the source of the city's drinking water from Lake Huron to the Flint River.
ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUTMICHAEL BRUNE OF
Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch
At a convention center and casino in Auckland, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, setting the clock ticking for President Obama to send the deeply flawed deal to Congress for approval.
The U.S. Trade Representative is gambling away our jobs, our clean air and water, and our future by pushing the polluter-friendly Trans-Pacific Partnership, so it only makes sense that it was signed in a casino and convention center. Signing the TPP is Russian roulette for our economy and our climate.
LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
main ingredient in the Monsanto’s flagship product Roundup, is now the “most widely applied pesticide worldwide,” according to a report published today in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe.Glyphosate, the
The paper, Trends in glyphosate herbicide use in the United States and globally, reveals that since 1974, when Roundup was first commercially sold, more than 1.6 billion kilograms (or 3.5 billion pounds) of glyphosate has been used in the U.S., making up 19 percent of the 8.6 billion kilograms (or 18.9 billion pounds) of glyphosate used around the world.
Globally, glyphosate use has risen almost 15-fold since “Roundup Ready” crops were introduced in 1996, the paper noted. These crops, such as soy, corn, canola, alfalfa and cotton, are genetically engineered to withstand direct applications of Roundup, as the product kills only the weeds.
“Genetically engineered herbicide-tolerant crops now account for about 56 percent of global glyphosate use,” agricultural economist Charles M. Benbrook, PhD, and author of the study wrote in his paper. “In the U.S., no pesticide has come remotely close to such intensive and widespread use.”
According to the study, two-thirds of the total volume of glyphosate applied in the U.S. from 1974 to 2014 has been sprayed in just the last 10 years.
“The dramatic and rapid growth in overall use of glyphosate will likely contribute to a host of adverse environmental and public health consequences,” Benbrook claimed.
JANE STILLWATER FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Good grief, talk about your hypocrites. For the past eight years, America has been forced to listen to Birthers, the GOP, Fox News and various Tea Party crazies go on and on about how Barack Obama shouldn't be our President because they claim that he was born in Kenya, right? Eight years of odious blather that we can never get back again.
Enter Ted Cruz. "I was born in Canada but I have an American mother," he tells us, "and therefore I am qualified to be President." But wait. Obama had an American mum too, and Obama was born in the United States in Hawaii.
Obama was born in Honolulu. Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada. So why does the Tea Party have its knickers all in a twist over Obama's having in their imaginations been born in Kenya -- but doesn't give a flying freak that Cruz was actually born in another nation? Hypocrisy, right?
But Obama and Cruz have somethin in common. For the past eight years Obama has been perfectly okay with Americans like you and me going into deep and endless debt so that the Pentagon could afford to manufacture cause endless death in the Middles East. And Cruz is okay with that policy too, even proposing carpet-bombing ISIS and others in the Middle East.