April 2011

A new warning about genetically modified crops

A stark and terrifying warning has been made by a reputable source concerning the health of RoundUp Ready crops -- corn, soybeans, and now alfalfa. Monsanto, manufacturer of the genetically modified seed, has of course launched its counter-attack against the warning, an effort involving political contributions, lobbying, and propaganda rather than scientific investigation.
The biotech corporate science has been good enough to modify the genetic structure of food crops but has not shown the same enthusiasm for investigating consequences of the radical biotechnology.

Despite regulations, irrigators are still polluting ground and surface water

Below is a letter to Katherine Hart, Chair of the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Region, concerning the failure of the present Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program Framework.
One of the more than 100 signatories to the letter summarized it by saying:

"If we compared our lives to the rich, we would die of heartbreak" -- Cabbie Wu, Zheng Zhou, China

A story about China's bullet trains reminds us of what they are all about -- one more segregation by income group. Affluent Americans would much prefer to ride by flashy new bullet trains so that they too can be a part of solving the energy crisis. But we the people will of course have to build a separate train for them in the same way that we keep giving them unconsionable tax breaks.

Immoral, unacceptable

 
We've long known that the industrial chemists that create our pesticides test for one thing and one thing alone: how effective is the poison for the targeted pest. We know another thing: no pesticide ever annihilated any pests. Pests develop resistance which keeps the poisonmakers in business. A third thing we know is that the poisonmakers do not test for collateral damage to the environment or other species.

An issue of political vocabulary

Since the beginning of awareness among decent people that the largest financial fraud in world history was occurring, Gretchen Morgenson at the New York Times and Gilian Tett at the Financial Times have been covering the story as honestly and fearlessly as Semour Hersh with New Yorker Magazine has covered Iraq and Afghanistan; and, as Hersh once remarked about his work, it looks like "an alternative history" compared with the constant bombardment of propaganda dished out by mainstream media ("real estate prices set to rise" in the near future, etc. etc.)

Our Man in Tel Aviv

Leaving his family and his racehorses in Maryland to make the arduous journey back to his congressional district -- our home -- Congressman Dennis Cardoza made one of his rare public appearances at the Merced County Board of Supervisors meeting this week. He congratulated a few honored volunteers before turning the task over to an inanimate staffer who repeated the identical congratulation to each of the remaining volunteers, regardless of their accomplishments.

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