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Member since: Mon Jan 30, 2006, 06:07 PM
Number of posts: 103,169

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Consumers reports: The FDA approval of GMO salmon is an "abuse of public trust."

It's been approved without allergy testing, though small studies showed significant allergies, and no labeling is required.

This is why people are fighting GMO's. The FDA and the producers are deliberately limiting safety research. There's no excuse for this.


Michael K. Hansen is a senior scientist with Consumers Union, the policy and action division of Consumer Reports.

The F.D.A.'s decision to allow the sale of genetically modified salmon — the first genetically engineered animal approved for human consumption — discounted the needs of American consumers.

When it comes to food, consumers deserve rigorous safety testing for human and environmental risks and meaningful labels they can use to decide what to eat. They got neither.


The AquaBounty salmon was engineered with genes from two other fish species to promote rapid growth. The F.D.A. should have rigorously assessed whether that process introduced any new safety risks, including whether this G.M.-salmon has higher levels of proteins known to cause severe allergic reactions in some people.

The F.D.A. had 15 years to mull over AquaBounty's application, but did not require that the company follow up on allergenicity tests it did on just 18 fish — despite the fact that the tiny sample study strongly suggested G.M.-salmon could pose a greater allergen risk. The F.D.A. should have conducted the most thorough safety assessment possible, considering this approval of the first genetically engineered animal for food sets a market precedent.

The F.D.A. also failed to require that AquaBounty salmon be labeled as such, even though poll after poll show that more than 90 percent of consumers favor labeling of all genetically engineered food.


The Five Stages of White Privilege Awareness

This is by a blogger I don't know. But I thought this was worth passing on.


The 5 Stages of White Privilege Awareness
Stage One:
I’m not a racist!

When I was 19-years-old I went on a Spring Break trip to the Harambee Center in Pasadena. We spent the week working in different parts of the city, doing home visits with families in Watts, and discussing various issues relating to race and reconciliation. On our first night in Pasadena I remember listening to a white man talk about race and he opened with this line to a group of 50 college students, the vast majority of whom were white:

“You are all racists. Every last one of you.”

Obviously not one for easing into things, that guy. I was sitting near the back and I remember thinking, “WHAT??? Are you kidding me with this? I am not a racist. My boyfriend in high school was totally Korean. How could I be a racist if I dated someone who wasn’t white? I don’t think so. No way.”

I’d like to say that I listened with an open ear and thus began a lifelong quest of inner examination and contemplation surrounding race. But I didn’t. I completely tuned him out, full of my own righteous indignation.


One more thing I've become disturbed by in efforts to help various friends and family members

is how incredibly complicated paperwork has become. And then that paperwork becomes the excuse for mistreating people. They break contracts they never understood and never had a choice to not sign -- and then they get punished for it.

It's like you need a college degree for practically everything these days. Not literally -- but you need college level reading skills to figure out a rental agreement or a loan agreement. And you need solid math skills to understand the interest on your credit cards.

So most people probably just sign on the bottom line -- because they don't have any other choice. And they don't know what they're getting into.'

All of this has a huge impact on politics. People who don't really understand the tax system, for example, aren't going to be able to weigh the various proposals of the candidates. They might incorrectly think their own taxes will rise because they don't understand how a progressive tax system works. So they choose candidates based on gut feelings or a political party because their parents belonged to it.

More and more, American life seems to be snowballing out of control, and people are afraid. Of course they're attracted to people who appeal to that fear. Take-charge types like Adolph Trump.

And that scares me.

In AL, standing ovation when Rosa Park's/MLK's attorney calls Hillary "next President of the US."

In an address to civil rights lawyers and activists, at an event organized by the National Bar Association, the country’s largest organization of African-American lawyers and judges, Hillary calls for an overhaul of the justice system.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. — In the church here where, 60 years ago, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired residents to boycott the local bus network, Hillary Clinton on Tuesday called for overhauling the criminal justice system, saying there is something “profoundly wrong” when black men are disproportionately stopped and searched by the police, arrested or killed.

She made her remarks to pews packed with civil rights lawyers who descended on the Alabama capital to commemorate the day Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white man, a moment that became pivotal in the fight for civil rights.

Six decades have passed since Ms. Parks’s arrest on Dec. 1, 1955, and yet as Mrs. Clinton addressed the crowd the country was reeling from another shooting of an unarmed black man by a white police officer in Chicago, and grappling with civil rights and racial justice issues that have become central to the 2016 presidential campaign.

In the stained-glass sanctuary of Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church, Mrs. Clinton recalled sitting next to Ms. Parks in 1999 as President Bill Clinton delivered the State of the Union address. “Rosa hadn’t changed much,” she said. “She was the same lovely, dignified, determined person she always was, but America had changed.”


The two-day event was one of only a handful of times since Mrs. Clinton announced her candidacy in April that she addressed organizations that were unaffiliated with her campaign and had not endorsed her. She was joined by a lineup of lawyers, elected officials and ministers who have been central in civil rights struggles, past and present.


Mr. Gray, who represented Ms. Parks and Dr. King, received a standing ovation when he called Mrs. Clinton “the next president of the United States.” He talked about the first official planning meeting for the Montgomery bus boycott, a meeting that “took place in the basement of this church” in 1955, and said, “The struggle for equal justice continues.”

Adolph Trump says of Bernie, after his hernia surgery: "May he rest in peace."

This is supposed to be a joke? What an evil man.


“May he rest in peace,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Sanders, who had a medical procedure on Monday to repair a hernia. “You know he had an operation today. I think it was a hernia operation. You know? You know why? Carrying around too much tax problems,” he said, referring to Mr. Sanders’s proposals to raise taxes.

Protected by UN peacekeepers, Pope Francis plunges into central African war zone,

bringing a call for peace between Christians and Muslims.

Has a Pope ever done something like this before? He continues to amaze me.


BANGUI, Central African Republic — The popemobile rolled into the center of this country’s civil war Monday, crossing the dangerous border between Christian and Muslim neighborhoods as Pope Francis launched what may be his boldest diplomatic effort yet.

Hundreds of U.N. peacekeepers patrolled the streets, AK-47 assault rifles slung over their shoulders, while residents waved white flags symbolizing peace — and their hopes for an end to a two-year conflict that has been fought mostly along religious lines and has killed more than 6,000 people.

It was the first time in recent memory that a pope has plunged into the middle of an armed conflict. When Francis arrived at the city’s Koudoukou central mosque, a group of community leaders and schoolchildren were waiting for him. During a ceremony inside, Francis bowed toward the Muslim holy city of Mecca and sat on a plush white sofa next to the imam.

“Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters,” he said in a speech, his voice filling the mosque and booming from an outdoor speaker to the overflow crowd. “We must therefore consider ourselves and conduct ourselves as such.”

For weeks, the visit had been in doubt. Foreign peacekeeping troops said they could not guarantee Francis’s safety. Violence continued until the morning the popemobile took off for PK-5, the city’s Muslim enclave, which has dwindled from 122,000 to 15,000 inhabitants in two years because of militia assaults.


Letter from 100 black religious leaders asking black clergy

not to meet with Donald Trump.


We write to you as fellow clergy, community organizers, scholars, socially aware Christians, and/or concerned voters who are deeply confounded by your decision to participate in an upcoming telecast meeting with Presidential contender Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump routinely uses overtly divisive and racist language on the campaign trail. Most recently, he admitted his supporters were justified for punching and kicking a Black protester who had attended a Trump rally with the intent to remind the crowd that “Black Lives Matter.” Trump followed this action by tweeting inaccurate statistics about crime prevalence rates in Black communities — insinuating that Black people are more violent than other groups. Those statistics did not reflect the fact that most crimes are intraracial, meaning that most people do harm to people of their own race. They also did not speak to the crime of neoliberalism, capitalism, and white supremacy which kill thousands of black and nonblack people each day.

Trump’s racially inaccurate, insensitive and incendiary rhetoric should give those charged with the care of the spirits and souls of Black people great pause. As people of God, you are surely aware of the emotional, spiritual, and physical toll continued structural and state violence takes on Black people. Being continually reminded of reckless police disregard for Black life through the circulation of videos that show them murdering our young people, like 12-year old Tamir Rice, 7-year old Ayanna Stanley Jones, and 17-year old Laquan McDonald are both heartbreaking and stress-inducing.

Moreover as people of God, you know that our theology shapes our politics, and politics are a great indicator of our theology. What theology do you believe Mr. Trump possesses when his politics are so clearly anti-Black? He routinely engages in the kind of rhetoric that brings out the worst sorts of white racist aggression, not only toward Black people, but also toward Mexican-Americans and Muslim-Americans, too. Surely, we can agree that this kind of unloving and violent language does not reflect the politics of the Christ we profess?


What if Bernie were Bernice?

And everything was the same except gender.

Would a loud, finger-jabbing, arm-waving Bernice, a Senator from a tiny state, a non-practicing Jew, a 74 year old white female, ever have had Bernie’s success?

Bernice, whose son was born out of wedlock to a man she never married.

Bernice, who divorced her first husband and remarried a man nine years younger.

Bernice, who had been repeatedly arrested for demonstrating.

Bernice, who, at the age of 30, had written an essay that discussed male and female rape fantasies.

Bernice, who for decades proudly called herself a socialist before announcing a run in the Democratic primary.

The answer is NO.
No matter how righteous her anger or her cause.
A furious Bernice with an unconventional past wouldn’t have had a chance.

Women have a decorum they are required to uphold. Bernice Sanders would have been labeled hysterical, and a harpy, and laughed off the national stage.

Until you can imagine a Bernice Sanders being as successful as a Bernie Sanders has been, please don’t tell me that gender is not a factor in this race.

And this argument holds for an African American Bernie, also. An African-American Bernie wouldn’t have a chance of being elected President. Not in 2016.

In the US women and African Americans are still held to a higher standard than white men. Acknowledging this isn’t playing the gender card or the race card. It’s the simple truth.

If President Obama had been previously divorced

and had a son born to a third woman (to whom he was never married), would he have ever been a serious contender for President?

If Hillary had been previously divorced and had a baby born out of wedlock, would she be at the top of the polls?

Somehow I doubt it.

Black people and women are treated differently and acknowledging this isn't playing the race or gender card.

Are movement politicians like Bernie tone deaf?


That's the problem with movement politics, no matter what end of the political spectrum they occupy. Movement politics tend to be narcissistic and dictatorial. They allow dissent only within a narrow philosophical band. That constrains the ability to hear through others' ears.


Sanders has much mellowed since then, but he still inhabits a self-righteous cocoon that has made him an ineffective and marginal figure in the Senate.

Even Democrats express frustration at working with Sanders, an independent who caucuses with them. Moderates bristle at his moralizing and refusal to make compromises required to pass needed legislation. The undeniably liberal Barney Frank, former rep from Massachusetts, complained of Sanders' "holier-than-thou attitude."

Bernie's positions on civil rights have been close to impeccable, but his history with nonwhites is more complicated.

Back in 1960s New York, black radicals weren't keen to sit at the knees of white intellectuals and be told what's what. The ensuing tensions prompted many white radicals to flee to the more accommodating hills of Vermont. Sanders was one. There's no gentler way to put this, but they were part of the era's white flight.
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