Tuesday November 3 2009

middle east imagesHour One: Teabagger wars and inequality - coming to a town near you?

Hour Two: "Could GMOs end all life on earth?!"  Thom mixes it up with Reason Magazine's Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey reason.com

Hour Three: "Restarting the Middle East Peace Process" with Arab American radio host Ray Hanania and J-Street Executive Director Jeremy Ben Ami www.themediaoasis.com and www.jstreet.org


Mark (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

In regard to comments he made yesterday, Thom often seems to allow his prejudices to cloud his logic (I’ll refrain from putting that in quotes). Unlike him, I am familiar with Ruben Navarrette, who usually swings right of center (he once likened George Bush to George Washington) but to his credit he is sensitive to the racist hypocrisy aimed at Latinos. In regard to the Social Security, it was the GAO that came out with a report stating that undocumented workers would be responsible for 15 percent of any potential shortfall in the system at the current rate.

Unfortunately, Economics 101 has changed since Thom was in school (admittedly mainly for worse). Social Security payments are based on what a person contributes to the system, and the years worked beyond the "official" retirement age; I receive a statement every year from the Social Security office that tells me this. It is clearly the case that in the changing demographics in this country, "native" citizens are getting older and have fewer children, and are picking-up Social Security checks at a faster rate. It is the older work force that tends to be hit harder by unemployment, and they do not have much more time to contribute to the SS system in any case. Also, people tend to take out more money out of the SS system that they ultimately will put in. To say that undocumented workers who input more and receive nothing has no net positive impact is simply another Dobbsism that I thought Thom was above, but apparently is not.

Undocumented workers, I am forced to point out again, perform work that is in industries that either uncomfortable, unpopular, or are in competition with even lower-wage imports; when unemployment rates were at a “normal” level of around 4 percent, they were here because businesses did not have access to a sufficient labor pool not just to draw from, nor a willing one. The undocumented worker issue was just something for people looking for scapegoats. What has changed is that the economy has tanked due to policies that have nothing to do with undocumented workers. Thus it is not logical to assume that employers of these products or services will willingly raise compensation without cutting their labor force or simply going out of business, which will ultimately effect jobs on the periphery. The new Economics 101 preaches that in order for businesses to stay competitive, they have to cut labor costs (rather than their executives’).

I am familiar with what one company did at the airport. Several years ago they told the union representatives of the largest component of its work force to accept a greatly reduced “maximum” wage, which was not accepted, leading to the mass firing of this component. They were replaced by low-wage workers; none of these workers are “illegal” or undocumented, since all have to submit to FBI background checks. Although there is a high turnover, there seems to be no shortage of replacements. One of the contractors used to deliver alternative non-union labor hires almost exclusively eastern European and African immigrants; in fact a website for a supplier of these workers brags about how it can get these folks off the federal, town or city’s public assistance programs and into jobs at the airport.

Let’s be perfectly honest: if isn’t illegal immigrants, legal immigrants will be the “problem”—and blacks, and so on and so forth. And the hypocrisy doesn’t stop there; people in this country are addicted to “cheap,” not necessarily out of choice, of course. But on the other hand, paying people more does not necessarily mean they will buy more “cheap” domestically-made products that costs more than the imported products. Americans are generally so narcissistic (especially hypocritical Republicans) that economic “patriotism” may be preached, but is seldom practiced.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

I wonder about a political landscape where Barry Goldwater and William Miller are cursed as liberals. We need folk to know that haters want to hurt folk in Maine, Washington & Kalamazoo. Recessivists dismantled the Republican Party in NY-23. Democrats are running crappy, lackluster candidates against an unindicted criminal thug in Jersey and a dude who thinks barefoot & pregnant is too difficult for women to handle in Virginia. No matter what happens, FOX will point to it as Obama's failure.

Oh yeah, request for action . . . Please call any and all folk you know who are registered to vote in States of Maine and/or Washington or Kalamazoo, MI, get them to vote TODAY! The races are going to be so close. . .

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

Going back to yesterday’s issue” Call your Senators and Representative to express option on healthcare reform whatever it may be . . . and IF one of those Senators is Joseph Lieberman, please, make sure to use the words "douche," "asshole" or "human-dildo" in various combinations when speaking to his office.

(Holy Joe is simply putting the Health Insurance Lobbyist that is contractually committed to bang him at least once a week before the people of his State and the Citizens of America. You may e personally okay with that but . . . I’m not.)

Mugsy (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

Origin of "Peeping Tom":

"Tom" was the name ofthe one character that "sneeked a peek" at "Lady Godiva" as she rode naked through the streets of Coventry (she did so on a dare after the King said he would only care for the poor if she did so. Out of respect and thanks, the townsfolk all hid their eyes as she rode past to perserve her dignity.)

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

Thom, Marty Nemko, career specialist shared with us that Moore's list of Top Jobs for Women over 40 ranking 10th were small scale farming. I would like to see us produce more of our own food. Urban Agriculture as it is referred to and as you know, also as Vertical Farming as portrayed in this following link: http://www.popsci.com/futurecity/plan.html Beats gambling and becoming a third world nation...or if we are destined to be a 3rd world nation, lets at least get the best land and way to sustain ourselves on it! now.

Idea of communing with the tea baggers is brilliant. Like I say, I did find amicable people searching for the truth at the first tea bagger protest I went to with your Boston Tea Party History papers and handed them out.

Mugsy (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago


When we talk about a "70% tax rate before Reagan", my experience has been that most people (and ALMOST ALL Republicans) mistakenly think that "100% of a person's income is taxed at 70%, thus giving 70% of all they earn to the government". This is false, and you need to point this out every time you mention those early high tax rates.

If the tax rate is "70% on people making over a million" and only 35% on people making less than that, and you make "1 million and 1 dollar", YOU ONLY PAY 70% ON THAT ONE DOLLAR, not all $1, 000,001.

Republican RELY on this misinformation to whip up its ignorant base into frothing over "high taxes". Make sure you clarify this when you discuss the old tax rates.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

Libertarianism is sociopathic by definition.

DRichards (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

TPM: Lieberman will still filibuster
Lieberman's office shoots down Hill report about an 'understanding' with Reid.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

Apparently, Lieberman-ism is sociopathic by definition, also.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

WAIT! November 2nd was MONDAY!!!! What is up with this?

B Roll (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

It's not uncommon for the date to be wrong on this blog.

But if you're not satisfied with what you did on November 2nd you get to try and do it over again today.

DDay (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

First Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

Yahoo News Reports The Food Safety Modernization Act did pass the House Today-Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro has said the bill is a solid first step but said she believes Congress needs to go even further and reorganize FDA to help it better focus on its "food" mission. She has introduced legislation that would divide the FDA in two, separating the agency's drug oversight and food safety duties.

The bill, which has support from the food industry as well as a wide range of consumer groups, would give the agency the authority to order recalls if a company fails to act on its own, and would increase the frequency of inspections to high-risk food processing facilities. It would charge food processors an annual $500 fee to help defray the cost of increased enforcement. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090730/ap_on_go_co/us_congress_food_safety

However, small farmers and organic food consumers are suspicious. Given the momentum of the grow your own food movement including community gardens and gleaning, let's see if the opponents fears come forth. Will this bill make us any safer or is it just a publicity play band aide on the entire food industry given all the new food documentaries coming out. Could the result be the forfeiture of smaller farms for whom meeting the already unnatural unhealthy standards, applied to the smaller farms make little sense and could become a way to, as we have seen before, support the corporations and knock out the competition on the free market as consumers would rather support smaller more diverse farms.

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) Weighs In
From: Claudia Reid [mailto:claudia@ccof.org]
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 10:28 AM
To: foodfascist.blogspot.com
Subject: your phone inquiry


Prepared March 2009 by Claudia Reid

Thank you for contacting us about federal food safety legislation such as HR 875 or S 425. CCOF is watching this legislation closely and has provided additional information which you can read by going on our website, http://www.ccof.org/foodsafety.php. There is a link on that page to a review of the legislation, prepared by Food and Water Watch, which articulates Myths and Facts surrounding food safety legislation. I encourage you to read this review since it will put your mind at ease.

Claudia Reid, CCOF’s Policy and Program Director, is paying very close attention to this legislation, as well as to other proposals. According to her colleagues in DC, many organic agriculture advocates and farmers themselves have had meetings with Congresswoman DeLauro, the sponsor of HR 875. Congresswoman DeLauro wants to make clear she is open to constructive criticism, and will continue to be a champion for farmers markets and organic farming, despite all the crazy talk out there. She is not trying to criminalize organic farming. She also wants to make clear that her bill is just a marker bill. This means that it is a placeholder in the legislative process. Congresswoman DeLauro is not on the committee of jurisdiction and ultimately the bill that gets worked on in the House will be a bill carried by Congressman Waxman. In the meantime, Congressman Waxman has to deal with energy and climate change bills. Congressional staff in DC have said many times recently that barring some major new food safety scare, the likelihood of food safety legislation moving in 2009 is slim. There is more likelihood of legislation moving next year (2010) but even this is not a sure bet. In either case, nothing is happening legislatively right away, despite all the messages out there in e-land, on various blogs and action alerts.

If/when the legislation is forthcoming, CCOF will work with other organizations on an advocacy campaign where we will ask members like you to communicate directly with your elected officials. CCOF appreciates your inquiry. Please email Claudia Reid (Claudia@ccof.org) if you need additional information. Thank you.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

HR 875: Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 . . . proposed in February 2009 by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and was supposed to be up for vote in September 2009.

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

So important exerpt from above is: Congresswoman DeLauro wants to make clear she is open to constructive criticism, and will continue to be a champion for farmers markets and organic farming, despite all the crazy talk out there. She is not trying to criminalize organic farming. She also wants to make clear that her bill is just a marker bill.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago
Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

ALL ACTIONS: 2/4/2009:
Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
Referred to House Energy and Commerce
Referred to House Agriculture
Referred to the Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry.

j.sea (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

"Over the last decade, 200,000 farmers have committed suicide. The 1,500 figure is for the state of Chattisgarh. In Vidharbha, 4,000 are committing suicide annually. This is the region where 4 million acres of cotton have been grown with Monsanto's Bt cotton. The suicides are a direct result of a debt trap created by ever-increasing costs of seeds and chemicals and constantly falling prices of agricultural produce....

Monsanto's contribution to the suicide economy is by extracting super profits from farmers in the form of royalties and by intentionally transforming seeds from a renewable resource that farmers can save to a nonrenewable resource that they must buy in the market every year. Monsanto had a big role in shaping the TRIPs agreement [on intellectual property] of WTO."

- from an interview with Vandana Shiva Ph.D., a physicist, environmentalist, feminist, science policy advocate and director of Navdanya and the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology;
"Corporate Agriculture Is to Blame for the Hundreds of Thousands of Farmer Suicides in India"
By Tara Lohan, AlterNet
Posted on May 20, 2009, Printed on November 3, 2009

Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

THX all here- more for the Food Fascist Files!

Also, again is that Scype that Victoria is calling in on- fantastically clear phone line!

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

Obama Adopts Bush's State Secrets Position -- And Exact Language -- In NSA Spying Case


Food Fascist (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

You know what? There is no way big ag is going to let De lauro's bill through. How was it that the organic community got so paranoid about this- I think a masterful pr campaign targeted and used the organic community to frighten them in the same manner the tea baggers are used. Given all the deaths from the 1000 cow hamburgers (meaning who knows how many different cow's guts make up a single hamburger) - we really should regulate big ag and the meat industry in general.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

Oh crap . . . This means RASTA will be back . . . Sigh.

Sea Sponge (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

A lot of the teapartyer/libertarian/"conervative/right-wing" types have been sold on the idea that any limitation on the amount of wealth an individual can accumulate results in an overall loss of liberty within that society. Rather than try to convince people who are invested in this point of view to change their attitude, we need to appeal to people newly becoming involved in social and political discourse to focus on the corporations and the oligopoly which is controlling the corporations. The oligopolists use populism against the government because they are done exploiting it, and they feel ready to take over the functions which government has traditionally been responsible for (things that are too important to screw up). But in reality "the" government may be subverted, but barring the emergence of genuine anarchy there will always be "government" by somebody. Who will decide who can built what house or open what business where? How will it be decided who can travel on roads? How will contracts be enforced? If the transnational corporate cartel has its way, the answers to these questions will paint a very grim picture; if the democratic movement originating especially across South/Central America there may be some hope for a an egalitarian and free society based on small-scale and collective agriculture and manufacturing, mass ownership of the means of production in a genuinely free market.

Diane Standley (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

For a great read about Monsanto, check out Vanity Fair's "Harvest Of Fear"


Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

The re-building of the Temple will be Version Three . . . Recessivist Rapturarians . . . Sigh.

Sea Sponge (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

Hail Dionysus.

Richard L. Adlof (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

If Israel were negotiating with the majority of folk calling themselves Palestinians, I am sure that the two-state solution would be acceptable. Although I maintain that what the Israelis are being forced to negotiate with is a marketing campaign and not the Palestinian people.

Quark (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

Democrat rips Barney Frank bill as 'TARP on steroids'


Quark (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

Addition to my previous post:

Financial services Comittee chairman Barney Frank decided to delay Tuesday's vote on legislation which would eliminate "too big to fail." (Video):


Quark (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

In our local election of Bloomington, MN city council and school board members, there are 3 rabid right-wing Grover Norquist Republicans running for city council who are dead set against any form of taxation. (Our senate district committee just sent out an email alert.)

This is so disgusting. There is a good chance they will be elected...

donnasag (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

I disagrree strongly with Hanania and Ben Ami that the Goldstone Report is a distraction from the peace process.

On the contrary, it is central to the peace process.

Until now, Israel has steered the discussion of peace in terms of its own security. Israel portrays itself as the victim, the small outpost of democracy in the midst of backward Arabs. This is the image of Israel that its leaders would like the world to have.

The Goldstone report demolishes this image, and re-imagines Israel as an entity capable of committing war crimes. It describes how Israeli soldiers used Palestinian civilians as human shields, how Israels targeted Palestinian civilians and civilian infrastructure, and how Israel used chemical weapons on a civilian population. These are not the actions of a helpless, morally just state.

Furthermore, the report would lead to real questions about the siege of Gaza and the right of Palestinians to resist the illegal occupation. Israel claimed it attacked Gaza to stop the rockets on Sderot, but in truth, those rockets were in response to the siege, targeted assassinations, the killing of civilians, and the occupation in general.

Aside from weaponry, Israel’s big advantage over the Palestinians is its PR abilities—it gets better press because it knows how to manipulate the press and because racist Americans want to believe that it’s the good guy. No doubt we can identify with Israeli theft of Palestinian land as our ancestors stole Native American land. But the Goldstone report would hang Israel’s dirty laundry out for all the world to see, and it would force Israel to acknowledge its illegal and inhuman actions.

Gerald Socha (not verified) 13 years 21 weeks ago

Obama is a failed president. When will people start to believe me?The stimulus package was to bailout the rich. Why is Obama a failed president?

He failed to join the International Criminal Court; he failed to rollback those obscene taxcuts; he failed to start a robust public works program like FDR; he failed because he is Bush's clone; he failed because the generals run the military; and he failed because he has embraced the slaughter of human beings in the Middle East.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

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to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
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