George Orwell: 1984
If you only have time to read one book in your lifetime, read this one. (*****)
John Stauber: Trust Us We're Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future
Just read it if you think all polls and surveys are done by independent third party non-biased agnostic truth-loving people who have no agenda and don't take money from those that do. (****)
A great new app is out on the iPhone, compliments of the Pesticide Action Network (PAN). It's called "What's On My Food?" It puts their database at your fingertips so you can look up just about any food item to see what kind of residues might be on it or in it before you buy it, including carcinogens, hormone disruptors, neurotoxins, and developmental/reproductive toxicants. It compares organic vs. conventional for each with lists of "ingredients" and how they affect your health (and the health of your future kids). I highly recommend the app, and donating to PAN...
If you only have 20 minutes in your life to spare for watching videos online, and care about the future of your kids and grandkids, please watch "The Story of Stuff". After that, you may find yourself watching their other great videos, "The Story of Electronics", "The Story of Bottled Water", and "The Story of CAP & TRADE".The Story of Stuff
I just found 10 great talking points on About.com, about the LBAM madness. Here are the cliff notes:
1. The Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) is Not an Emergency - No Crop Damage
2. The Light Brown Apple Moth Has Likely Been in California For Years
3. The Light Brown Apple Moth Can Be Safely Managed
4. Aerial Spraying is an Experiment Without Our Consent
5. It's Not Simply a Pheromone - It's a Chemical Mix
6. The Delivery System: A Tiny Plastic Microcapsule That Can Be Inhaled
7. Long-Term Health, Environmental & Wildlife Effects Are Unknown
8. Years of Aerial Spraying May Damage Local Economy
9. Effects on Other Moths, Butterflies and Bees are Unknown
10. Opposition to the Aerial Spraying is Not an Isolated Group of "Activists"
This is a video I produced (with the help of ANIMOTO) and posted to YouTube to help spread the word about the plans by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to shower much of the Bay Area and surrounding communities with chemicals that are not safe, especially for kids, and not effective at eradicating the moth they fear so much, and not necessary. Go check it out and comment, and spread the word. AND please write Governor Schwarzenegger and all his friends and family to ask him politely to not let this happen.
Credits to Charity and the JAMband for the excellent soundtrack and catchy lyrics that really tell the story in a nutshell. Bottom line, there ain't no moths on us, so why do you wanna spray the places we play? Check out their site too:
Here's some sobering reading from the Moms of Marin Against the Spray:
MOTHERS OF MARIN AGAINST THE SPRAY (MOMAS)
A. HEALTH IMPACTS & TESTING OF SPRAY CHEMICALS
The proposed chemicals have never been sprayed over densely populated area.
Numerous chemicals will be sprayed repeatedly throughout the Bay Area every 30-60 days by low-flying airplanes, over highly populated urban areas near water, for a period of 3-10 years.
The chemicals to be sprayed, which are contained in a formula called CheckMate, were designed to be applied only over unpopulated agricultural areas.
California’s consensus document on the health risk of the spray explicitly states that studies assume “aerial application over agricultural areas rather than aerial application over populated areas.” [Cal. Dept. Pesticide Regulation, Cal OEHHA Oct 31 2007 Consensus statement]
No tests have addressed long-term exposure of the chemicals on humans.
No tests have addressed the impact of breathing these chemicals over a long-term period by varied populations, including pregnant women, children and the elderly.
CheckMate and other similar formulations of pheromone pesticides have undergone only short-term testing on rats and rabbits.
The active ingredient, a synthetic pheromone, has not undergone long-term human toxicity testing. [Testimony of Philip Richard in County of Santa Cruz v CDFA, Superior Court of California, Santa Cruz County, Oct 31, 2007]
The spray contains hazardous chemicals.
The product label, which can be found on the manufacturer’s website (Suterra LLC of Bend, Oregon, www.suterra.com) states “Hazardous to Humans and Domestic Animals. Harmful if absorbed through the skin. Causes moderate eye irritation. Avoid contact with skin, eyes, or clothing. Harmful if inhaled. Avoid breathing vapor or spray mist.”
The State continues to focus on the alleged safety of the pheromones contained in CheckMate. However, the spray contains at least 8 other chemicals.
Material Data Sheets for several of these chemicals state:
“Substance may be toxic to blood, liver, central nervous system.”
”Toxic to lungs and mucous membranes.”
“Very hazardous in case of eye contact.”
“Hazardous in case of skin contact.”
”May cause cancer based on animal studies.”
“Harmful by inhalation.”
”Risk of serious damage to eyes.”
“Material is irritating to mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract.”
“May affect genetic material.”
“May cause adverse reproductive effects and birth defects.”
They both can fly, but one burns fossil fuels and the other burns food. One is capable of dropping pesticides on the entire San Francisco Bay Area, and the other capable of eating moths. (Click the image to magnify.) For more on the topic of planned monthly aerial sprays of checkmate pesticide, visit:
Here is a note I sent to the Governor of California and good friend of Stewart Resnick, a gazillionaire that donated $144K to his campaign, and owner of Suterra, the company that makes Checkmate, a pesticide that they both want to spray over most of the Bay Area, including our homes, playgrounds, schools, gardens, shopping malls, and parks.
If you don't like monthly pesticide showers, I suggest you do the same. Call him and/or send a note via this site: http://gov.ca.gov/interact
Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,
I just read your press release "Gov. Schwarzenegger Meets with Local Officials on Light Brown Apple Moth" and didn't find it very reassuring. It sounds like your "six-pack" of tests is only short term, and doesn't explain much about your methodology or extent of testing, and who is doing the tests. Where can we find more details?
As a father of two children and relative and friend of several who have suffered from cancer, alzheimer's, and autism, I have read too many press releases about other programs like this that were supposed to be safe, but are now highly correlated with long-term side effects due to prolonged exposure. (Remember DDT and Malathion?) I don't care about getting a sore throat and watery eyes the day after we get showered the first or second time, but monthly, for years? The micro-capsules are considered particle pollution which is considered dangerous by the American Lung Association, and the "inert ingredients" don't appear to be on your list for testing. Please clarify if I am wrong about this. Kids have a different metabolism than us, put things in their mouths, and like to play in the places you spray.
And where is the believable evidence this moth is such a big threat that it requires total eradication? It sounds like you are planning to spend more of our tax dollars on the eradication program than we could potentially lose by leaving it to natural predators and voluntary control programs. And that is not even counting the potential collateral costs of health complications, tourism declines, real estate drops, and other side effects.
Do a few bad apples really warrant an all-out war on a moth, and more importantly, potential harm to millions of adults, kids, and pets?
Why can't we change our mindset and become leaders in the organic farming evolution? Organic food is becoming popular and commands higher prices, and farming methods are becoming more efficient. We should be investing in the startups and projects that are innovating new methods to farm efficiently (use resources more intelligently while reducing waste), reduce the carbon footprint, and make better tasting food that is healthier for us all. That could even help solve our healthcare crisis at the same time. (Think of those economics...)
Hope to see a press release soon that is titled "Gov. Schwarzenegger Meets with 'Local Moms and Dads and their Kids' on Light Brown Apple Moth"
If you don't like the idea of airplanes flying over your house every month for several years showering you with pesticides, I'd suggest you visit Stop The Spray and sign their petition, write to Governor Shwarzahoweveryouspellit, call and email everybody you care about, and study up on the subject and do something about it.
The spray, Checkmate, targets the light brown apple moth, known affectionately as "LBAM", an enemy combatant that has no access to due process as the DHS, in voluntary cooperation with the USDA, the CDFA (California Dept. of Food and Agriculture), and the Governor of California, has been classified under terror threat level "A" for the actions of a few bad apples among their population that have been seen nibbling on leaves.
This terrorist moth is an "invasive species", like carrots, tomatoes, cows, and most of the food and animals grown commercially in California. The difference is, it is only located in San Francisco, Marin, Berkeley, Santa Cruz, and Monterey. And before it gets to Atherton, Hillsborough, Sacramento, and our central valley farms, we need to eradicate it completely.
The CDFA argues the pesticide is not a pesticide, but more like a cologne that makes the male moths get confused and mate with everything that gets sprayed with it. It hasn't been tested for long term health effects and special effects on children and others who like to eat dirt and frolic in gardens and playgrounds after the showers. But, don't worry, they assure us it is much safer than DDT and Malathion and the other solutions of the past that were also supposed to be good for us. Just because the American Lung Association is worried about the particulate matter getting lodged in your deep lung tissue doesn't mean you should worry.
And don't believe any of the conspiracy theories. It is only a coincidence that Stewart Resnick donated $144K to Arnold's campaign, and just happens to be the owner of Suterra, the company making the Checkmate spray that will be bought with our millions of tax dollars.
Sure, Arnold said on August 31, 2003 "Any of those kinds of real big, powerful special interests, if you take money from them, you owe them something.” But he was talking about the other politicians at the time...
Jon Stewart discusses the White House plans to sell $20 billion in weapons to the Saudi Arabian royal family. Part of the Bush administration offer of more than $60 billion in new weapons and military assistance to Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other countries that have diverse ideas about where boundaries should be drawn. Should be good for business, if you're an arms dealer. Video expires on Sept. 23rd due to draconian licence deals, but read the post continuation for the full transcripts.
The history of AT&T as it disintegrates then reassembles itself.
Keith Olbermann just questioned the prophet, Donald Rumsfeld. He has since taken on some other tough subjects like Habeus Corpus, while the rest of the Ministry of Truth keeps feeding us with more on drunk celebrity debutantes, car chases, anthrax scares, and Elvis sightings.
A key take-away from this was his quoting of Eward R. Murrow: "We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it."
Link: Google News keeps bringing us more news that the end of the world is near. Mexico is invading from the South and the Canadians are terrorizing us from the North and North Korea from the West and Cuba from the SouthEast. The bird flu is flying its way closer, while the West Nile mosquitos are starting to swarm. The Palestinians are throwing rocks at their neighbors on all sides again. Kenneth Lay had a heart attack and Dick Cheney shot his lawyer cause he looked like a quail. Evolution is just some theory made up by a bunch of scientists with a hidden agenda to kill God.
I just saw a video on YouTube that restored my faith in democracy, and gave me hopes that Web 2.0 can help save the world. There's a lot of manure on there, but hopefully a few good gems like this will start to float to the top. It's a butchered State of the Union address by the leader of the free world that sounds more like what he was thinking when he made the speech. I found it by doing a search on "bush", which led to several other gems I don't have time to review at the moment... I admit I enjoy watching the common people make fun of our political leaders, but grateful that we can without risking time at the guillotine. As long as they let us keep getting away with it, I'll still respect them, despite not liking the way they spend our tax dollars.
Dear Mister Gonzales,
You might have the best of intentions to protect us from evil terrorists, but please allow us to make sure the rule of law is followed here. Our founding fathers put czechs and balances in place to prevent any one branch of government or any one person to accumulate excessive power...
The press is telling us today that kids in Kansas can now cast critical doubt in class with the new curriculum that collectively mandates the teaching of intelligent design.
According to this MTV article, "CRITICS of evolution have won a major victory in the US with the Kansas education board approving a school curriculum that casts doubt on Darwin's theory." I'm glad to hear that doubt can be cast on any theory, but wonder why it has to be mandated. Why can't debate just be a natural part of the evolution of our school systems?
InTeLLigunt dEzinE holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power. My question then is - who designed the higher power? How did this higher power evolve? Let's talk about that in class too.