Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Corporate Attack of Organic Standards

I checked the fraud site and this seems legitimate... and unfortunately it also sounds very plausible. As Americans are/have become the most overweight and obese nation on the planet (yeah I know)... and as the expensive addictive pharmaceutical dietary and health pills are being paraded across television sets around the country... there is a growing movement towards organic foods and local produce as a better way to good health... it seems too big an "opportunity" for the super stores not to want in....and unfortunately the growth, care and most important, distribution methods of local organic food runs counter to the profit-centric mindset of the corporate monopolies who stand to lose market-share as the local organic movement strengthens—taking dollars from their pockets and customers from their shelves... that is unless they can manipulate the organic food standards... weaken the definition of what is organic, to allow them to infiltrate the market.

I don't think you need to play partisanship politics on this one folks... its just as bad for republicans as for democrats... liberals as conservatives, though an argument can be made that the organic standards were established by people other than the current administration and their emboldened masses in tow... it is those masses that need to motivate and join with the movement towards organic foods, if they care about the quality and availability of good wholesome, organically grown, pesticide-free, local nutrient-rich produce— and the struggling farmers who have taken the harder road to agriculture production by refusing to subscribe to the agribusiness model for cash-farming.

Please read on and sign this... share it with your email book and show our leadership that, like public television, some things are better left pure and strong not tainted to allow exploitation.


The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) needs your immediate help to stop Congress and the Bush administration from seriously degrading organic standards. After 35 years of hard work, the U.S. organic community has built up a multi-billion dollar alternative to industrial agriculture, based upon strict organic standards and organic community control over modification to these standards.

Now, large corporations such as Kraft, Wal-Mart, & Dean Foods--aided and abetted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are moving to lower organic standards by allowing a Bush appointee to create a list of synthetic ingredients that would be allowed organic production. Even worse these proposed regulatory changes will reduce future public discussion and input and take away the National Organic Standards Board's (NOSB) traditional lead jurisdiction in setting standards. What this means, in blunt terms. is that USDA bureaucrats and industry lobbyists, not consumers, will now have more control over what can go into organic foods and products.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 20, acting in haste and near-total secrecy, the U.S. Senate will vote on a "rider" to the 2006 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that will reduce control over organic standards from the National Standards Board and put this control in the hands of federal bureaucrats in the USDA (remember the USDA proposal in 1997-98 that said that genetic engineering, toxic sludge, and food irradiation would be OK on organic farms, or USDA suggestions in 2004 that heretofore banned pesticides, hormones, tainted feeds, and animal drugs would be OK?).

For the past week in Washington, OCA has been urging members of the Senate not to reopen and subvert the federal statute that governs U.S. Organic standards (the Organic Food Production Act - OFPA), but rather to let the organic community and the National Organic Standards resolve our differences over issues like synthetics and animal feed internally, and then proceed to a open public comment period. Unfortunately most Senators seem to be listening to industry lobbyists more closely than to us. We need to raise our voices.

In the past, grassroots mobilization and mass pressure by organic consumers have been able to stop the USDA and Congress from degrading organic standards. This time Washington insiders tell us that the "fix is is already in." So we must take decisive action now. We need you to call your U.S. Senators today. We need you to sign the following petition and send it to everyone you know. We also desperately need funds to head off this attack in the weeks and months to come. Thank you for your support. Together we will take back citizen control over organic standards and preserve organic integrity.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Katrina +4

Well its four days since America's worst natural disaster and we've passed the foreboding 72hr deadline for saving lives.... food has spoiled, water has soiled, the electric grid is foiled and it will has now become a life-threatening situation as survivors run out of life's essential requirements. This rescue operation is turning into a massive post mortum. So how has the most powerful nation on earth handled this catastrophe so far? Yesterday the government took some 1500 local police and safety offices off search and rescue to forcibly stop the looting.... hello?... what difference does a TV make when you are dead? The entire city is under water and it isn't going to drain out.... it was below sea level. New Orleans is gone. Lets not concern ourselves about some petty material possessions while good citizens die waiting to be rescued? Priorities!

What has the all important Homeland Security Department done?... the uber-bureau designed by the Bush Administration in the wake of 9/11—claimed to "streamline" our forces in the event of a disaster like a terror plot or natural phenomenon (say Katerina?) ... FEMA, who once held a cabinet position to ensure a close connect to the Commander-And-Chief, now relegated to a back seat in the anti-terrorism-focused Homeland Security Department, has had its infrastructure gutted by the Bush administration.... and is now in the cross-hairs of the media's scapegoat squad... its all their fault... ... What about our leaders?

Well, President Bush waited until yesterday to swing on out from Crawford to take a look at the problems.... of course heading to the oil platforms first... then touring New Orleans and the Mississippi coastline. But even as thousands were dying... he saw it more fitting to give a little speech for VJ day- where he could plug the estate tax cut, the need for more troops in Iraq, and his social security reform.... Priorities

And Vice President Dick Cheney? He's still on vacation! (no doubt he's meeting with his secret energy task force to see how he should protect their assets at the expense of ours... raise the pump price and give us a scare— no doubt these meetings are to be top secret too!)

Meanwhile, the head of FEMA woke up Monday morning and knew America was facing its worst nightmare... He saw the reports of the hurricane growing in intensity from a category 1 storm as it rounded Florida... turning into a category 5 storm as it entered the hot waters of the gulf of Mexico.... he knew of the unprotected coastlines, of the repercussions of Bush's budget cuts in hurricane readiness and relief... he knew that guard troops and the necessary vehicular forces normally in-place were deployed to Iraq... he knew of the ill effects this administration's energy policy has had on energy emissions and how they cause the temperature gulf waters to rise... he knew of the dangers associated with the loss of natural buffers along the coastline due to the "infrastructure" necessary to service all the oil platforms and how these channels cut through the reed-grass coastlines that used to reach some 20 miles from shore have been reduced to a quarter mile in many places.... these channels, that act like a trail bike path cut up a hillside when a storm comes—channeling a rush of water and sediment down the hill or out into the sea... killing the natural ecosystem. He knew and he was worried. But his hands had been tied long ago by Bush's desire to "protect us from terror".

Meanwhile Bush slept soundly in Crawford... his oil buddies might suffer a temporary loss... but they'd just raise the gas price and claim it could have been less troublesome had we been drilling in the Arctic Natural Wildlife Animal Reserves or off the Florida coast or deeper in middle America... then they get a bunch of government contracts to explore and exploit fossil fuels from our nation, build those environmentally unsafe refineries they've desired for so long-- and get huge tax considerations and incentives too!

No, George W woke Monday knowing he could play off this little disaster as a springboard to insure America would pass his energy bills... His secret Energy council could jack the gas prices and he could instill enough fear in America to push through his plan to privatize our resources and make it seem like a good idea.... heck it worked with the Patriot Act after the Twin Towers fell! Bush woke Monday feeling like he had another disaster in the bag— to use as a launch pad for his agenda.

Priorities! He's got us off killing a nation's people, stealing their oil, and propping up a puppet government he can spin as "democracy" while at home.... our nation's people bear the hardships his policy and preferences have bestowed upon us—weakened infrastructure, limited resources, no plan for disaster relief, though that WAS the original purpose of the Homeland Security Department—Monday and Tuesday he went off making stump speeches for his new world order.... kinda like reading a silly kids book to 3rd graders as the twin towers fell. Priorities!

Our Homeland Security Department... the one we've been pouring billions of dollars into to make us better able to respond to trouble... to give us better command and control of our nations resources in the event of a catastrophe.... what have we got? a color-coded warning system, som metal detectors in airports and government offices, a staff to police subway terminals conducting random searches, video cameras for every local law enforcement agency so they can document peace rallies and church group meetings and protests and a very scary database that contains the names, contact info and leanings of every American from 14 to 80... and we've centralized all this information into the hands of a few very questionable few people... (*you look up John Negriponti's history... I wouldn't trust him to hold my dirty socks).... when one of our nations biggest cities is under 20 feet of water with thousands dead and dying.... no alert from our fancy christmas tree warning system was sounded, no distress from Homeland Security is sounded....

While police and fire departments across America have been pleading for better inter-department communication systems... so the police can talk to the fire department and area departments can talk to each other in case of a major disaster... Mr Negriponti and the Bush people have been buying databases, metal detectors and video cameras! They've been spending our money traveling across the nation stumping for increased authorization to invade our privacy.... Priorities!

Look at Wednesday's big news from our Attorney General—they uncovered a "terrorist" plot in San Francisco! Alberto Gonzales went on the air... not to alert America of the collapse of the levies and the subsequent drowning of New Orleans... no, he had more important things on his to-do list.... gotta talk about the "alleged" terror plot they nipped in the bud before it could materialize... justifying their eavesdropping techniques... their extreme violations into our freedoms... to catch a "would-be" terror threat..... the Attorney General saw it more important to scare us with possibility, rather than address reality!

Unfortunately for the millions whose lives are never going to be the same.... they have to be the canary in the coal mine to hopefully wake America up to the reality of our nation's troubles...

Bush, the leader that everyone has such supreme confidence in— is now being put to the test... Watch carefully loyal Bush fans... as the city of New Orleans fades into the sea forever... watch as thousands of our citizens spray "help us" and "no water" signs on their roofs while they wait in vane to be rescued. As they wade in waist-deep water, contaminated by hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals that were stored by the oil and gas industry in "safe" retention pools along the coastline.... watch as no mention is made of their heavy metals and dangerous molecular structures as they invade the wading "survivors" trying to find help from an infrastructure that has given lip-service to this disaster for years.—to an infrastructure hollowed out by troop and vehicle deployment to fight to secure something overseas... I think at last iteration, it was to create a democratic nation — a likeness of our own, in the middle east...

Meanwhile, our nation-building policy has made us unable to protect our own nation from adversity... watch as we slowly respond to the severity of this disaster... how only now, spokesmen for Bush are saying this could be really bad... in 1992 FEMA and a number of environmental scientists ran computer models of a hurricane hitting New Orleans... they are textbook narratives of what we are witnessing... and they have tried for years to ready for such a disaster... but since being relegated to a minor position in the new Homeland Security Department, Bush's and Negriponti's eyes have only been on manufacturing consent for
their terror agenda... not actually helping provide homeland security.

Wake up people... watch him struggle to be than man you all thought he was... he's got no plan for helping America... only exploiting it... watch him hang out on the ropes as he points fingers at one department after another... how he twists the lack of response into a call for reduced freedoms, increased police/miltary preparedness and a need to build refineries and drill-now! ... First he'll prop up the energy prices to scare us, then he'll speak of increased oil drilling.... not alternative energy... he is looking out for his oil interests... not his citizen's interests... watch, listen and learn. We are the smartest nation on earth yet we still run on fossil fuel?

Our collective inventive/creative genius has changed every aspect of the world around us dozens of times since the advent of fossil fuel.... yet we as a people haven't been able to figure anything better than a system of depleting a non-renewable resource to produce pollution generating machines who's very existence is helping to kill the planet! And we don't question why? Now Bush, the Oilman President, is directing our nation into bankruptcy- international turmoil and unprecedented corruption- and who's really behind it? The Oil and Fossil fuel industry... the "secret" energy task force who staffs the governmental regulation bureaus- who establishes the regulatory policy for their own industry- who determines their own penalties, fines and clean-up responsibilities.

time to establish real priorities... time to wake up and take political action... write the congress, demand accountability demand credibility, demand truthfulness...

Wake up America! How much more do these Homeland Terrorists have to do to get you to see their agenda? As thousands perish in Louisiana parishes, see how Bush steps to the plate... swings for the fence, and strikes out!

Now, lets all say a prayer for the dead and dying in in Louisiana and Mississippi... let us pray for the people in need and for the brave Americans who have gone to provide aid... and for the generous hearts who've opened their homes, hearts and wallets to help their fellow Americans.