by Cassius Methyl
On June 2nd, there was a large house fire at Morningview drive, in San Antonio, Texas. 3 children were staying at their grandparents house, when a fire started from an unknown cause. The grandparents managed to rescue 2 children from the house, and accidentally left a nine month old boy.
Shortly thereafter, the father of the children arrived, and immediately attempted to go inside the burning house to rescue his nine month old son. However, police interfered with his will in this life or death situation, and went as far as to tase him for trying to save his own son. He was tased, and sadly, the infant did not make it. (more…)
By Carolanne Wright
Remember the private mercenary army Blackwater that caused such a stir in Iraq during an unprovoked attack in 2007? Apparently, Monsanto and the controversial security firm are in bed together, described by blogger Randy Ananda as “a death-tech firm weds a hit squad.” At this point, you might be wondering what in the world the GM seed giant needs with the services of a ‘shadow army’? It appears as though the corporation found it necessary to contract with Blackwater in order to collect intelligence on anti-Monsanto activists as well infiltrate their ranks.
Protest Monsanto, stalked by Blackwater
Notorious for the Iraqi Nisour Square Massacre, Blackwater “created a web of more than 30 shell companies or subsidiaries in part to obtain millions of dollars in American government contracts after the security company came under intense criticism for reckless conduct in Iraq,” reports the New York Times. One of these subsidiaries became Total Intelligence, the company contracted by Monsanto between 2008-2010 to collect intelligence on activists rallying against GMO crops and other Monsanto activities. Journalist Jeremy Scahill states in The Nation: (more…)
As fellow residents of the state of Maine, we can only hope that our town is next!
By Carolyn Baker
The earliest humans were hunter-gatherers who never knew exactly where their next meal might be coming from. In fact, their “meals” were probably eaten on the run as they stalked enough prey to constitute an actual meal, but it is unlikely that their meals were regular or even eaten daily. Given the conditions under which they secured food, it was impossible for them to take any of it for granted. Every morsel was hard-won and therefore, exceedingly precious.
When humans became sedentary, they transitioned from hunting and gathering to growing their own food, and while this made eating more predictable as a result of a more stable lifestyle, few ate mindlessly. Whether living in a small agricultural village along the Nile River in ancient times or growing food in one’s backyard garden in the twenty-first century, small-scale agriculture is labor-intensive, and appreciation for food is greatly enhanced by the energy expended in growing it.
Sedentary societies were dependent on the kindness of nature to provide the rain and sunshine necessary for growing food. Thus, many earth-based forms of spirituality evolved in which humans experienced a direct connection between the agricultural harvest and a particular deity such as Osiris in Egypt and Ceres in Rome. As part of their gratitude for what they believed the deity had provided, people offered food to the gods and goddesses of nature. (more…)
Tell President Obama: Don’t Appoint Pro-Fracking, Pro-Big Oil Scientist to Head the U.S. Department of Energy
According to Reuters, President Obama is poised to nominate ardent “fracking” supporter Dr. Ernest Moniz as the next head of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Moniz is the director of MIT’s Energy Institute, which boasts such Big Oil financial backers as BP, Chevron and Saudi Aramco.
Moniz isn’t only a true believer in the need to expand fracking infrastructure and development to serve as a “bridge” to low-carbon sources of energy; he’s on record as calling the controversial and toxic energy extraction method “paradigm shifting.”
Fracking is a highly polluting form of oil and gas extraction that requires blasting huge volumes of water, mixed with toxic chemicals and sand, deep into the earth to break up rock formations. There are more than 600,000 fracking wells and waste injection sites littering the United States. Worse are the state and federal plans to open up of huge new swaths of public land to this dangerous process in the months and years to come.
Blasting toxic chemicals into the same ground that gives us the food we eat and the water we drink not only fails to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also destroys farmland, contaminates groundwater, and endangers the health of people and animals alike. And without a sustainable farming system the safety of America’s food supply would be threatened. (more…)
More than 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav “Molai” Payeng began planting seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in India’s Assam region, the Asian Age reports.
It was 1979 and floods had washed a great number of snakes onto the sandbar. When Payeng — then only 16 — found them, they had all died.
“The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms,” Payeng told the Times Of India.
“It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. Instead, they asked me to try growing bamboo. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me,” he told the newspaper.
Now that once-barren sandbar is a sprawling 1,360 acre forest, home to several thousands of varieties of trees and an astounding diversity of wildlife — including birds, deer, apes, rhino, elephants and even tigers. (more…)
By Alan Phillips, J.D.
This past fall, I worked with about 150 healthcare workers in 26 states who were required to get a flu shot to keep their job. I’m happy to report that the vast majority were successful. But I gained some disturbing insights from this national perspective regarding flu shots that have implications for all adults in the U.S.:
1. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources’ Healthy People 2020 initiative has aggressive vaccine goals that include not only vaccinating 90% of healthcare workers, but also vaccinating all U.S. employees with the flu vaccine. Wake up, folks! Healthcare workers are just the front lines–we’re all in big pharma’s sites, and there’s no light at the end of this tunnel. In 2010, there were over 330 vaccines already on the market or in development. There will always be another vaccine to give a person, and always another person to give a vaccine. Meanwhile, states around the country are rapidly changing laws restricting access to exemptions, while adding laws to require more and more vaccines for more and more people, both children and adults. Join the NVIC Advocacy Portal to stay abreast of proposed vaccine laws around the country, and to support vaccine freedom of choice in your state. (more…)
By Beverly Bell
The first group of protestors at Occupy Wall Street publically delivered 23 complaints, outlining the ways in which corporations control our daily lives. Number four asserted, “They have poisoned the food supply through negligence and undermined the farming system through monopolization.”
How we feed ourselves and each other is the backbone of how, historically, we have organized our communities and societies. The ways in which we arrange our agricultural systems make evident our larger worldviews. Food literally and figuratively connects us to each other, to our ancestors, to our cultures, and to the earth. Maybe all food should be acknowledged as soul food (with a low bow to Southern cooking) because it is, in fact, that deep. (more…)
By Lori Rotenberk
With mounting school loans and the uncertainty of finding a job after graduation, 26-year-old Jenny Monfore decided to leave college early and look for alternative education. At the Driftless Folk School in Wisconsin, the Bozeman, Mont., native and massage therapist studied organic food preparation, blacksmithing, and mushroom identification — skills she hopes will augment her income and allow her to live a more independent lifestyle.
“We no longer have practical skills, we don’t know how to feed ourselves, and we’ve basically become lost,” Monfore says. “So we’re slowly building new, thoughtful communities.”
Folk school: The phrase calls to mind cloggers, birch bark hats, and strains of “If I Had a Hammer.” But these craft schools of yore are experiencing a resurgence of late, drawing young do-it-yourself homesteaders and restless baby boomers to the woods to learn about everything from organic farming to electric cars. (more…)