If you are interested in your health, the health of those you love and the health of the Planet, join me here. Our health is affected by our environment, our political and economic systems and our relationship to everything around us. We are interconnected with everyone on the planet. If we purchase items that cause harm to others across the world, our health is impacted. If we hold on to anger at others, if we keep dangerous secrets inside us and withhold love, we damage our health. This blog will deal with our food supply, our health care system, our environment as well as the economic and political factors that are affecting our well being. I will blog about books, including the ones I am writing, movies, articles and links to sites that can help us all stay healthy in mind, body and spirit. Now a toast, Here's To your HealthAsk me anything
Crowds of people-representing climate scientists, government officials, and environmental, food and justice activists-will convene in New York City this weekend for official meetings. Some of them will also take part in the People’s Climate March [http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50865/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=79133 ] and the Global Climate Convergence [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_30839.cfm ].
But one voice will be largely missing from the conversation: the voice representing small organic farmers and pastoralists.
Why do we need the farmer’s voice at a global climate meeting?
Because the world’s two-and-a-half billion small and indigenous farmers have a message of hope for the doom-and-gloom climate movement.
The message is this: Small organic farmers can cool the planet. But only if they have a voice in the global climate conversation.
TAKE ACTION: Tell President Obama to ensure that small organic farmers and pastoralists are supported and safeguarded at the UN Climate Summit! [ http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/2002/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=14472 ]
Over 60 countries require labeling of genetically modified food but our biotech companies and our grocery manufacturers will tell you it is too expensive and not necessary. What do you think they don’t want us to know? Maybe that you are consuming GMO’s with every bite, feeding them to your babies and your children. Maybe they don’t want you to know the research about the Bt toxin being found in placentas and after-birth. Let’s fight for the “right to know” and then we’ll see what they are so worried about. They just spent 27 million $ fighting labeling again.
The perils of America’s hard-charging capitalism
May 27, 2014, Chicago Tribune
Recent data from the Luxembourg Income Study Database [is] shocking. While median per capita income in the United States has stagnated since 2000, it’s up significantly in Canada and Northern Europe. Their typical worker’s income is now higher than ours, and their disposable income — after taxes — higher still. Most of them get free health care and subsidized child care. And if they lose their jobs, they get far more generous unemployment benefits than we do. (In fact, right now, 75 percent of jobless Americans lack any unemployment benefits.) If you think we make up for it by working less and getting paid more on an hourly basis, think again. There, at least three weeks paid vacation is the norm, along with paid sick leave and paid parental leave. We’re working an average of 4.6 percent more hours more than the typical Canadian worker, 21 percent more than the typical French worker, and a whopping 28 percent more than your typical German worker. But at least Americans are more satisfied, aren’t we? Not really. According to opinion surveys and interviews, Canadians and Northern Europeans are. They also live longer, their rate of infant mortality is lower, and women in those countries are far less likely to die as result of complications in pregnancy or childbirth. But at least we’re the land of more equal opportunity, right? Wrong. Their poor kids have a better chance of getting ahead. While 42 percent of American kids born into poor families remain poor through their adult lives, only 30 percent of Britain’s poor kids remain impoverished — and even smaller percentages in other rich countries.
Note: For more on the devastating impacts of the income inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
US ‘fails to account’ for Iraq reconstruction billions
July 27, 2010, CBS News
A US federal watchdog has criticised the US military for failing to account properly for billions of dollars it received to help rebuild Iraq. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says the US Department of Defence is unable to account properly for 96% of the money. Out of just over $9bn, $8.7bn is unaccounted for, the inspector says. Much of the money came from the sale of Iraqi oil and gas, and some frozen Saddam Hussein-era assets were also sold off. The money was in a special fund administered by the US Department of Defense, the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), and was earmarked for reconstruction projects. But the report says that a lack of proper accounting and poor oversight makes it impossible to say exactly what happened to most of it. “The breakdown in controls left the funds vulnerable to inappropriate uses and undetected loss,” the report said. This is not the first time that allegations of missing billions have surfaced in relation to the US-led invasion of Iraq and its aftermath. In 2005, the inspector general criticised the Coalition Provisional Authority, the US-led occupation administration, for its management of an $8.8bn fund that belonged to the Iraqi government. A criminal investigation conducted led to the conviction of eight US officials on bribery, fraud and money-laundering charges.
Why the Pentagon’s accounting fixes end up broken
December 23, 2013, CNBC Reuters
The Defense Department has launched 20 or more projects to build modern business-management systems since the late 1990s. At least five were subsequently killed as complete failures after billions of dollars were spent on them. With each failure, a pattern emerges: An off-the-shelf product with a proven track record in the private sector is chosen and then modified to the point where it doesn’t work properly. The Pentagon is unable to account for itself, and thus for roughly half of all congressionally approved annual federal spending. Interviews with scores of current and former defense officials, contractors and Pentagon watchers, as well as a review of dozens of reports by oversight agencies, show that the Pentagon is continually thwarted by a lack of accountability for failures … and an incentive to spend. All other federal agencies are audited annually … and with rare exceptions, they pass every year. The Pentagon alone has never been audited, leaving roughly $8.5 trillion in taxpayer dollars unaccounted for since 1996. The Pentagon has for years kept lousy books with impunity. The 2009 law requiring the Defense Department to be audit-ready by 2017 provides for no penalties if it misses the deadline. From 1995 through 2002, Senator Charles Grassley pushed through an amendment to the annual defense appropriations bill requiring the Pentagon to account for its expenditures by following one seemingly simple procedure: match each payment to the expense it covered. The order was ignored, and Grassley gave up. There is no doubt that bad bookkeeping conceals movements of money that in some instances are illegal. But because the Pentagon has never been audited, it is impossible to determine the frequency or extent of violations.
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