Updating Monsanto

3b7ca57ea76d4a04de46aa1f40400c59

I first wrote about the trial of Monsanto at The Hague.  Just a quick update with how that turned out.  The company was found guilty on all charges, and the ban on any and all Monsanto products being sold in the European Union still stands.

However, I also wanted to write about newly released documents that show how Monsanto has been paying off government regulators and scientists in an effort to keep them from publishing scientific studies that show the harm that Monsanto products (in this case, Roundup) do, along with using their influence to stop scientific studies that show Roundup to be a health hazard.  There are lawsuits around the country that claim that Roundup is a carcinogen.  These documents have been made available to the public, since this is a public health concern.

MV_GlyphosateFB_1-e1405395639453

I hope that you go to the links provided below and read the articles.  This is an important discussion to have, since there is an effort in the U.S. to allow corporations to self-regulate.  I feel that this shows that no corporation should be allowed to self-regulate, but that the entire process needs to be made completely public, with all scientific data peer-reviewed and released to the general public.

roundup-warning-label-fb

Have you used Roundup?  What are your thoughts on this?

 

https://corporateeurope.org/food-and-agriculture/2017/04/monsanto-tribunal-outcomes

 

http://www.alternet.org/environment/just-released-docs-show-monsanto-executives-colluding-corrupted-epa-officials-manipulate?akid=15952.302291.OmHT9X&rd=1&src=newsletter1080638&t=25

 

 

I Just Don’t Get It

a7fc383733f40dc0a0d7479a94a2d71b

It seems like this country is simply going crazy.  There is more hatred being verbalized (and people being brutalized) all over.  I’m sure we’ve all seen the rants posted on social media of people verbally abusing others.  Where in the world is this hate coming from?  I simply cannot imagine anyone having the time in their lives to worry about the following:  where another person is from; what religion they choose to follow; what color someone else is; what gender they are; or what sexuality they practice.

Really, I’d like to know what is going on (or not going on) in the lives of these haters.  Seriously, how can they find the time to get involved in other people’s lives like this?  Don’t they have their own lives to worry about?  Don’t they also have to go to work, raise their children, worry about their loved ones?  How in the world do they have the time to worry about what other people are doing in their own private lives?

Nelson-Mandela-Hate-and-Love-Quotes

And, the most important question of all – what the he** business is it of theirs anyway?  Really, is a medical doctor from India taking their job away?  Is a migrant worker who earns a living picking produce taking their job away?  Is the very fact that someone worships another “god” making their “god” smaller?  Does a different skin tone change their skin tone?  Does the love that someone has for another person change the love they have for their loved ones?  What difference does it make?  I just don’t get it.

I’ve heard all the “arguments” that people try to use to defend their hatred, and seriously they are simply and completely flawed.  Not to mention illogical.  I simply cannot imagine ever having the time or the inclination to stick my nose into something that is just not my business.  If you understand this, please explain it to me.

333ed0e97fce02f8977c2abfa24ad6b0--wise-words-strong-words

Compassion is a Verb

54d8828ccae95acb9e687e7c1fc675f5

Compassion is important to me.  It should be important to all of us.  Compassion is what religion is supposed to be about.  “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”  Is one of the most quoted statements from the Bible.  Somehow, we have lost whatever compassion we had as a country.  The reason I’m saying this is specifically related to the new TrumpCare Bill that is in Congress.  This bill will take insurance away from the very people who need it.  Anyone who is older, or has pre-existing conditions will lose their health care.  Well, if they don’t want to eat, or have a place to live, they might be able to pay their premiums.  Otherwise, those premiums will be too big to pay.

fd42efdd3c49e90309845c0f18063706--dali-lama-quotes-quotes-about-compassion

Where is the compassion?  I look around me and I don’t see any.  Disabled people are blithely told to “just get a job”.  When was the last time you saw a blind or deaf person in your office?  How about the elderly?  Have you seen many 95-year-old delivery people, or an 85-year-old working at Walmart?  No, neither have I.  Even though this bill has “died”, they are still looking to simply get rid of the ACA, leaving millions of people without healthcare.

Every-thought-you-produce-anything-you-say-any-action-you-do-it-bears-your-signature.

It’s called compassion.  Find some, use some.  Be the person you were meant to be.  Compassion.  One day you will need it.  When you do, will it  be there?

What is Wage Theft, and Are You a Victim?

wage-theft

Wage theft commonly refers to workers illegally not being paid their full wages.  Usually this refers to low-wage workers who are denied full pay for a variety of reasons.  Some of these include:  refusing to pay the legal minimum per hour wage, not paying for all hours worked and/or not paying over-time pay.  This is a wide-spread problem, and costs the workers in the U.S. approximately $8 billion per year.  Obviously, this is another social issue that effects the poor more than others, since earning a minimum wage is not really a sustainable wage.  To steal from people like this is particularly nasty.

dsc_0597

However, there is another kind of wage theft that also happens.  Frequently people are told that their health insurance costs a certain amount and that amount is withheld from their paychecks by their employer to pay their portion of the health insurance costs, only to find out later that what was being withdrawn was a higher amount than the insurance actually cost.  This is particularly hard to prove, since (at least in my state) the insurance company will decline to tell you how much your employer-offered health insurance actually costs.

Another type of wage theft is when a “salaried” employee routinely works many hours of overtime, but is not paid because they are considered “salaried”.  The usual answer for not paying salaried workers is that they will be “given” the same number of hours as extra time off.  However, trying to receive any of that promised time off is difficult, to say the least.

b69b697d7dae77f87303fae6c3728c90

This whole concept is particularly evil, since you have a right to be paid for the work that you do, and you should have the right to find out exactly how much your own health insurance costs.  Has any of this happened to you or to anyone you know?  If so, let me know in the comments below.  I’ve included some links below that give you more information regarding this issue.

http://www.epi.org/publication/employers-steal-billions-from-workers-paychecks-each-year-survey-data-show-millions-of-workers-are-paid-less-than-the-minimum-wage-at-significant-cost-to-taxpayers-and-state-economies/?utm_source=Economic+Policy+Institute&utm_campaign=f46b5aacc2-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_05_17&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e7c5826c50-f46b5aacc2-58297025&mc_cid=f46b5aacc2&mc_eid=d8e2a8427b

http://www.nclnet.org/wage_theft_six_common_methods

 

Dutch Documentary on Donald Trump

uJpJX5nZ

There is a recent documentary that has come out regarding Donald Trump and his business associates that is a must watch for people who are concerned about the future of the United States.  What struck me most while watching the first part of this was why the U.S. Congress seems to be sitting on its hands.  However, what bothered me the most about the second part was the greed and zeal it takes to deliberately set out to rape and rob a country.  I encourage you to watch this documentary.  Let me know what you think.

2aoX9lMC4GoZJBmN

http://www.alternet.org/video/donald-trumps-financial-ties-russian-oligarchs-and-mobsters-detailed-new-documentary?akid=15556.302291.6IM7Io&rd=1&src=newsletter1076882&t=2

 

http://www.alternet.org/video/dutch-documentary-part-ii-blood-trumps-and-kushners-hands-deals-africa-war-zone-diamond-mines?akid=15566.302291.syzStJ&rd=1&src=newsletter1076957&t=2

“Fight Club”- FOAK and What it Means

wgbillboard

The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks such things as hate crimes, terrorism, and white supremacists.  They are a well-respected organization and committed to dealing with facts.  As most of us know, there are a lot of white supremacist organizations throughout the U.S.  What a lot of people don’t know, is that there is a lot of talk within these organizations about military operations against various groups of U.S. citizens.  All a person has to do is look at some recent events to see that this is true.

daviddukequoteshit

However, the specific issue at hand is the formation of a new group, by Kyle Chapman (I am leaving a link below where you can see who and what Kyle Chapman is) which will be a “highly masculine” group called the Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights (otherwise known as FOAK’s) which is going to be formed for the express purpose to “bring the fight to the streets”.  Recently we have seen an uptick in the violence that protestors are being met with, not only from the police, but also from these groups of the extreme right-wing.

whitesup1

I am not going to regurgitate the links that I’ve provided.  Instead I am encouraging you to read them, and educate yourself.  With the fear of being seen as a lunatic conspiracy theorist, my thoughts are leading to this:  What if, with all the new violence, the President declares Military Rule, Democracy is suspended and we have a dictator?  I know, it sounds insane, however, don’t these various groups vowing to “fight” against protestors (and others) sound a lot like the Nazi Brown Shirts?  Let me know what you think.

quote-white-nationalist-white-supremacis-feel-like-this-is-a-watershed-moment-in-the-history-chris-hayes-143-63-81

http://nypost.com/2017/04/27/alt-right-group-tries-to-build-small-street-army/

https://www.adl.org/education/resources/reports/state-of-white-supremacy

http://www.salon.com/2017/03/24/white-supremacist-who-traveled-to-new-york-to-murder-black-men-followed-extremist-racist-online-groups-who-support-trump_partner/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/26/opinions/white-supremacy-is-terrorism-ifill-opinion/

 

Individualism

Whats-on-Americans-minds-Increasingly-me-UD1RA9SQ-x-large

In school, we learned all about “individualism” which according to Webster, is a doctrine where the interests of the individual are paramount, and the individual is totally self-reliant.  I was taught this theory by way of understanding that those who went west (“Go West, Young Man!) were the living symbol of this theory, since they were supposedly self-reliant, made it on their own, and were self-made men.  Except this never made any sense to me, because as a child I read the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and was aware that no one who went west “made it” on their own.  Houses were collectively raised, crops were collectively brought in and help was there even if it was ten miles away.  Yes, the Laura Ingalls Wilder books were a fiction, however, the fiction was based on facts.  And, the facts proved this theory as a fiction.  Read Laura’s autobiography Pioneer Girl which tells a much different story regarding the help that these pioneers gave each other.

LP0a2zl

So why is this myth so popular and enduring?  My cynical thoughts on this are that it’s convenient to use as a way to insist that Americans historically “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps” by themselves.  However, even our first colonies were created by group effort – otherwise they all would have starved.  Individualism is a lie of massive proportions as shown by our elected officials insistence that: education, health care and a living wage are not rights of citizens.  They often insist that our ancestors were all self-made men, and in order for anyone to succeed, all we have to do, regardless of background, education or opportunities, is to work hard. That way, when people don’t make it, we can blame them.

pc_70f0bef193bbb14b9fcc73f90c08c853

Therefore, even though plenty of people work two jobs, it’s still their fault when they need government assistance.  That way, we don’t have to have a conversation regarding the fact that low minimum wages are that no one can live on them, poor education, and lack of opportunities.  This blame-game is used for a variety of problems.  Welfare, food stamp and fuel assistance recipients can all be blamed, and that way we can avoid any conversations regarding why working people need so much help.  Meanwhile, CEO pay has increased a staggering 340 times that of the average worker and the poor often pay federal taxes at a higher percent than the rich.  Do you believe in individualism?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/17/ceo-pay-ratio-average-worker-afl-cio

http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/poor-pay-more-taxes-5660