Blog Archives

Will Monsanto be allowed to poison us?

Just when we thought there might be some federal control over the spread of genetically modified vegetables and grains, a so-called “Monsanto rider” has been quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agricultural Appropriations bill. This  would require – not just allow, but require – the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed.

All the farmer or the biotech producer has to do is ask, and the questionable crops could be released into the environment where they could potentially contaminate organic crops and lay waste to a healthy food supply.

Centre for Food SafetyUnless the Senate or a citizen’s army of farmers and consumers can stop them, the Republican (read “industry”) dominated House of Representatives is likely to make this dangerous rider the law very soon.

Here is what the Center For Food Safety officially had to say about the biotech industry’s latest attempt to circumvent legal and regulatory safeguards:

Ceding broad and unprecedented powers to industry, the rider poses a direct threat to the authority of U.S. courts, jettisons the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) established oversight powers on key agriculture issues and puts the nation’s farmers and food supply at risk.

In other words, if this single line in the 90-page Agricultural Appropriations bill slips through, it’s Independence Day for the biotech industry, and Monsanto comes out on top.

This is the time to contact your Representative and complain… by telephone and in writing… to keep the “Monsanto Rider” out of the law.

If Obama is bad for business, why are foreign investors racing to invest in America?

From CNN Business:

“The State Department expects to issue over 6,000 “investor visas” in the current fiscal year, which would be an all-time record. Other countries, meanwhile, are following the U.S.’s lead, keen to spur growth in lean economic times.”

And Politicus USA summarizes:

The Dow Jones has increased 85% from 2009-2012, the S&P 500 has increased 98% since Obama took office, and corporate profits after taxes have increased 68% since President Obama took his oath. Now finally, Obama has turned this economy around from losing 750,000 jobs a month in the first quarter of 2009, to averaging growth of 150,000 jobs per month. So either foreign investors are really stupid to invest in America, when they could be investing more in Brazil, Russia and China or they see amazing economic strength coming down the pipe for America!

How much investment in America has Mitch McConnell (or John Boehner) or Mitt Romney brought in?

From what I can see: nothing.

What makes Sam Brownback the Stupidest Governor in America…

Why, eliminating its State Arts Commission in his proposed budget… and, at the same time, eliminating countless jobs and over a million dollars in matching grants from outside of his state.

This article on “Artless Sam” from HuffPo:

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
 

"Artless Sam" Brownback

Kansans suffered a painful embarrassment several years ago when a ruthlessly conservative school board rewrote its definition of science, paving the way for “intelligent design” to be taught alongside evolution in public schools. The decision since has been reversed, and sensible Kansans’ facial muscles only recently recovered from their collective cringe.

Now, though, they wince at a different sort of political horror: Newly elected governor Sam Brownback plans to issue executive orders eliminating the Kansas Arts Commission. (Brownback’s budget report for Fiscal Year 2012 is sub-titled, “Happy New Year, Art Fags.”)

The move, the commission states, would result in a monetary loss of nearly three-fold for the state: $778,300 in funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, plus $437,767 in partnership money from the Mid-America Arts Alliance. Not to mention countless jobs in the public and private sectors. Ripple effect, indeed.But maybe it’s not the state budget that drives the new governor. Perhaps Brownback, who threw his hat into the 2008 presidential election and likely has designs on the next one, views this move as draconian means of pleasing deep-pocketed fans among his fellow ideologues. “Want to keep government out of, well, everything?” he seems to be saying. “Then I’m your man.”

Meanwhile, it’s the people of Kansas — most pointedly, its children — who will suffer, as myriad organizations and programs fostering creativity and artistic expression go the way of the dinosaur (and other now-fossilized life forms that vex folks like Brownback, who raise their hands against the idea of evolution).

If Brownback is successful in abolishing this state agency, Kansas would be the only state in the nation — including the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands — without a state-funded arts commission.
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In my opinion, a state that can produce…and elect… a Sam Brownback desperately needs the intelligence and educational merits of more arts funding. What a terrible thing to bequeath to Kansas’ children. And this from a state that gave America Frederick Remington, Gordon Parks and Bruce Connor among many other well-known artists, photographers, writers and musicians.

What did YOUR Federal Taxes pay for in Fiscal 2009?

Curious about what you put money into in the last completed fiscal year? Here are the results:

…and the next time you hear a conservative politician say lets cut the Arts (NEA, etc.), you can flip them a quarter and say “Here’s my part of it… leave it in the budget for everyone else.”