Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Subject: A Nation Powered by Solar and Wind


We have the best opportunity we've ever had to get this country off of polluting energy like oil and coal and onto real clean alternatives. This will not only help curb the climate crisis, but save consumers money and create new jobs. Seems like a slam dunk, right?

But some in Congress are still willing to do the bidding of the oil and coal industry and vote down bills that would undercut their stranglehold on our economy. We need to tell Congress now to do what's right for the American people, not continue business-as-usual.

I signed a petition urging Congress to vote for to give solar and wind the support they need to assure a clean energy future. Can you join me at the link below?



Friday, July 27, 2007


Thursday, July 26, 2007

How's that chili (sauce)?

Tens of millions of cans of chili, chili sauce, beef stew, corned beef and dog food are being recalled nationwide because of possible contamination with the deadly botulinum toxin, the Food and Drug Administration said Monday.

The recalled cans cover more than 90 brands and every "best by" date on the market. Four cases of botulism, two in Texas and two in Indiana, have been traced to the contaminated foods. The four patients were all hospitalized but are recovering, says Michael Lynch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Botulism can cause paralysis. Symptoms, including blurred vision and slurred speech, can occur 18 to 36 hours after eating tainted food.

Georgia-based Castleberry Food Co., a subsidiary of Bumble Bee Seafoods, first issued a recall Wednesday after the botulism cases were traced back to its Hot Dog Chili Sauce Original. Nine other products also were included in that recall.

The recall was expanded Saturday to include 80 brands made at the Augusta, Ga., processing plant. Although only the chili sauces have been linked to the illnesses, Castleberry's is recalling everything made on that manufacturing line.

FIND MORE STORIES IN: Food and Drug Administration Botulism
RECALLED ITEMS: Complete list

FDA advised consumers to search their cupboards and shelves for any of the products, which are identified with a USDA seal that has "Est. 195" printed on it. Those cans should not be opened under any circumstances, says Robert Brackett, director of FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

"Discard them immediately. Double-bag the cans in plastic bags that are tightly closed, then place them in a trash receptacle outside the home," Brackett says.
Botulinum is so toxic that it can cause paralysis merely by breathing it in or exposing it to broken skin, he says.

The plant produced more than 10,000 24-can cases of products a day. "That's a lot of product," says David Elder of FDA's Office of Enforcement. "These products can hurt, and they have to be taken off store shelves."

The problem appeared to stem from a particular bank of retorts, large vessels used to heat canned foods to temperatures above 250 degrees to kill botulism spores.

When FDA sent testers in, they found 17 swollen and bulging cans — a classic sign of botulism — and 16 of those tested positive for the toxin, Elder said. All were produced late in the day on May 7 or early in the day on May 9, he said.

The company extended the recall out of caution.

Botulism in commercially canned foods is extremely rare. The FDA last recorded a case in 1971.
Consumers can find more information at castleberrys.com or by calling 800-203-4412 or 888-203-8446.

USA Today Article

Monday, July 23, 2007

Never Forget

Another Sunday has gone by with the network talking heads stroking and strumming the representatives of the powers that be to pick out the ballad of why we are still sacrificing our precious blood to feed the inferno of Iraq. No matter what the talking points are each week, the end result is always the same...More American Sacrifice.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

Remember Lee Iacocca, the man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from death throes? He has a new book, and here are some excerpts.

"Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder.We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course"

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.

The Biggest C is Crisis

Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It’s easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else’s kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of theashes. Where was George Bush? He was reading a story about a pet goat to kids in Florida when he heard about the attacks. He kept sitting there for twenty minutes with a baffled look on his face. It's all on tape. You can see it for yourself. Then, instead of taking the quickest route back to Washington and immediately going on the air to reassure the panicked people of this country, he decided it wasn't safe to return to the White House. He basically went into hiding for the day, and he told Vice President Dick Cheney to stay put in his bunker. We were all frozen in front of our TVs, scared out of our wits, waiting for our leaders to tell us that we were going to be okay, and there was nobody home. It took Bush a couple of days to get his bearings and devise the right photo op at Ground Zero.

That was George Bush's moment of truth, and he was paralyzed. And what did he do when he'd regained his composure? He led us down the road to Iraq; a road his own father had considered disastrous when he was President. But Bush didn't listen to Daddy. He listened to a higher father. He prides himself on being faith based, not reality based. If that doesn't scare the crap out of you, I don't know what will.

A Hell of a Mess

So here's where we stand. We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you've got to ask:
"Where have all the leaders gone?" Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, competence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane, or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm. Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again.

Now, that’s just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're going to do the next time.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when "the Big Three" referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, what are we going to do about it?

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bobble head on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don’t you guys show some spine for a change?

Had Enough?

Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire I'm speaking out because I have hope. I believe in America. In my lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some of America’s greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises: the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, the1970s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11. If I've learned one thing, it's this: You don't get anywhere bystanding on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I’m raising in this book. It's a call to action for people who, like me, believe in America. It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off the horseshit and go to work. Let's tell 'em all we've had enough"

Excerpted from Where Have All the Leaders Gone?
Copyright C 2007 by Lee Iacocca. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007


If we were involved in the game of "Life Boat", Bush and Cheney would be growing rapidly smaller in the watery distance as the rest of America headed onward toward the future we know to be ours.

The major problem we have right now is the reluctance of a Democrat Majority in Congress to act with the decisive power that is necessary to raise this country off it's knees and out from under the bootheel of an inept and corrupt administration.

The two videos below are from Bill Moyers Journal, and address the wisdom of Impeachment.

I sincerely hope that Congress is paying attention to the polls because almost half the people are yelling for the insanity to stop...and it will continue to get louder. So far, Dennis Kucinich is the only one I know is paying attention.

Part One

Part Two

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Support Progressive Democrats (dump the rest)

Kissing up to K Street

Democrats are selling out the economic populism that got them elected in the first place

By David Sirota


Democrats rode their populist, anti-corruption platform to victory in 2006. But as we are now beginning to see, what we may have with the Democrats is merely a transfer from honest graft to dishonest graft—that is, corrupt behavior that pretends to be done in the people’s name and that flies in the face of what the people were promised.

On May 10, a handful of Democratic congressional leaders held a press conference to trumpet a so-called “deal” with the Bush administration to push forward a package of lobbyist-written trade deals—the very same kinds of trade deals 100 of their candidates in 2006 said they would work to stop if elected to Congress. Though Democrats said they had secured basic labor and environmental protections in these deals, Thomas J. Donohue, the Bush-connected head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told reporters that he had been given “assurances that the labor provisions [in the deal] cannot be read to require compliance.”

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) provides a good example of dishonest graft. In 1993, Emanuel was the Clinton administration aide charged with ramming NAFTA through Congress “over the dead bodies” of labor and environmental groups, as American Express’s CEO cheered at the time. Emanuel orchestrated weekly meetings with K Street lobbyists to strategize about how to pressure Democratic lawmakers. Emanuel went on to cash in as an investment banker, raking in roughly $16 million over a two-year period. From his Wall Street perch in 2000, he published a scathing Wall Street Journal op-ed demanding Congress pass the China free trade deal—another K Street-backed goodie that has helped keep American wages stagnating in the face of skyrocketing corporate profits, and is now projected to destroy at least 1 million American jobs, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Just two years after grossly outspending an opponent to buy an Illinois congressional seat, Emanuel was appointed to the House Ways and Means Committee, the panel that oversees trade policy and that helped corporate lobbyists ram NAFTA through back in 1993. Emanuel also was appointed head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which ran millions of dollars worth of ads trumpeting Democrats anti-corruption platform, and which supported the scores of Democrats running against the very lobbyist-written trade policies Emanuel has based his political career on.

Now, with Emanuel as Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, we see dishonest graft kick into high gear. The same day as the press conference, a group of House Democrats wrote a formal letter to Emanuel demanding he hold a Democratic Caucus meeting to discuss the secret trade negotiations going on between a handful of Democrats and the White House. That letter, according to The Hill, was “rebuffed” even though, again, it was Emanuel’s DCCC that aggressively supported Democrats 2006 fair trade candidates. No meeting occurred, and instead Democratic leaders held their press conference, announcing a secret trade deal that, like NAFTA, is strongly backed by K Street lobbyists, but opposed by organized labor, environmental groups, health care groups and grassroots Democrats. Meanwhile, when Emanuel was asked by the Politico’s Jeff Patch for details about why Democrats were now backing off their promises to reform lobbying laws so as to prevent Abramoff-style abuse, he did his best Dick Cheney impression, telling the reporter, “Why don’t you go fuck yourself.”

Running a campaign against corruption, against lobbyist-written trade policies and for lobbying reform, and then using the power granted by voters based on that campaign to engage in corruption, pass lobbyist-written trade pacts and reject the most minimal lobbying reforms—all in exchange for campaign contributions—is Plunkitt’s very definition of dishonest graft. It is “political looting” and it is the result of a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party by Big Money interests.

Read the entire article

Both political parties are loaded with slime-balls, and it will be hard work getting rid of them. Make sure your contributions go directly to the campaign you desire to support instead of through a Congressional Organization that serves the interests of the people struggling to be on top of the heap (like the guy who took credit for the work Howard Dean did in the states the Democrats previously gave up on).

Friday, July 06, 2007

Willie Nelson speaks

Take Action: Support a Better Farm Bill

I believe nothing is as central to our well-being as food — who grows it and how. When produced with the interests of the eater in mind, food makes our bodies strong. When produced with the dream of passing the land on to the next generation, food strengthens local communities. And when produced with a long view of the planet’s health, food keeps our environment intact, even thriving.

Family farmers have always understood the direct connection between healthy soil, healthy food and healthy people — that’s why they take great measures to improve and protect their soil. The key to strengthening this fabric that holds our country together is to keep family farmers on this land, from coast to coast. It’s a solution to many of today’s most important concerns — climate change, fossil fuel dependence, childhood obesity and dwindling biodiversity.

In the coming months, Congress will seal the next farm bill, legislation so broad in scope that it touches each of us in many ways. When you hear “farm bill,” think beyond the farm. Think food bill, renewable energy bill, nutrition bill, environmental stewardship bill, anti-hunger bill.

Over the past several decades, the farm bill has served the interests of large-scale industrial agriculture with policies designed to produce cheap food and lots of it. This cheap food policy, however, comes with incredibly high external costs: a depleted countryside with fewer farmers, degraded soils and waterways, and public health disasters. A new farm bill — one that serves the interests of all Americans — with a vision toward sustainability, can help reverse these trends.

Instead of countless dying small towns across rural America, imagine the countryside dotted with thriving communities, all of them contributing to strong local economies. Imagine clean waterways, protected for generations to come. Imagine farmers markets in every community with fresh, locally grown food, free of chemicals and additives. Imagine powering your home and automobile with energy from renewable sources produced close to your home. Imagine your child’s school serving fresh, wholesome food from your neighbors’ farms. Imagine young people returning to the land to carry on the great tradition of farming. These dreams aren’t futile. They are possible with a farm bill that serves your interests over those of giant corporations.

If you want your grandchildren to inherit a nation with healthy soil, clean water and nutritious food, pick up the phone today and call your representatives in Congress. Tell them you want a farm bill that assists young people who want to start farming; one that restores fairness in the marketplace so family farmers can compete with giant food companies and factory farms; one that puts better food in our schools and rewards farmers who transition to sustainable methods. Let them know you want a farm bill for all, because the farm bill belongs to all of us.

For Congressional contact information, visit www.congress.org. To keep up with farm policy news, and find helpful tips for communicating with your representatives, check out the following sites:
Farm Aid
Community Food Security Coalition
National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture
National Family Farm Coalition
Building Sustainable Futures for Farmers Globally
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Bread for the World
Rural Coalition
Western Organization of Resource Councils
Union of Concerned Scientists

Taken from Mother Earth News

So help me, GOD

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Food for thought

The Wall is coming to Kitsap County in a few days, and and it stirs a lot of mixed emotion.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tar and feathers are too good for the Bush Administration

9/11 Sicknesses consistent with environmental radiation contamination

by David Jones

A group of 9/11 responders has contracted blood cancers at an unusually young age, and top doctors suspect the disease was triggered by an unprecedented "synergistic mix" of toxins at the World Trade Center site. These growth of these cancers among Ground Zero workers, and others, are consistent with exposure to environmental radiation contamination associated with the destruction of the "9/11 targets".

The WTC Medical Monitoring Program is now studying a group of Ground Zero workers, including cops, construction workers and volunteers, suffering from cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

"The kind of thing that worries us is that we have a handful of cases of multiple myeloma in very young individuals... a condition that almost always presents late in life," said Dr. Robin Herbert, co-director of the program at Mount Sinai Hospital.

"That's the kind of odd, unusual and troubling finding that we're seeing already," she says in an interview with the New England Journal of Medicine, which comes out today. The WTC monitoring program has examined more than 20,000 workers, but so far has focused on respiratory ailments.

The mounting cancers, Herbert said, represent a "third wave" of sickness stemming from Ground Zero exposure. First came immediate breathing problems, then chronic lung diseases.

"We're worried about a third wave, which is the possibility of cancer down the road," she said.