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Trump the criminal and his hero and mentor, the demonic Roy Cohn.

Trump the criminal and his hero and mentor, the demonic Roy Cohn.

This is an updated post that originally appeared on 1/25/17

It should come as no surprise that Trump has an attraction to evil leaders like Putin, Dtuerte of the Philippines and and Erdogan of Turkey.  The man who Wayne Barrett called  the personification of evil,  Roy Cohn was Trump’s hero. They talked up to five time a day on the phone. Trump is neither Republican or a Democrat. He is a criminal; a grifter and all around sociopath.

We now have a crime family in the White House. We have President who should be prison and not the White House.

I keep beating this drum and will continue to do so until that miscreant is ousted. Please share this with your dumbass Trump supporters friends and family

In a A Short History of the Trump Family, Sidney Blumenthal writes

Reckoning with Trump means descending into the place that made him. What he represents, above all, is the triumph of an underworld of predators, hustlers, mobsters, clubhouse politicians and tabloid sleaze that festered in a corner of New York City, a vindication of his mentor, the Mafia lawyer Roy Cohn, a figure unknown to the vast majority of enthusiasts who jammed Trump’s rallies and hailed him as the authentic voice of the people.

________________________________________

The recent untimely death of investigative reporter Wayne Barrett left me sad. He was one of my NYC journalistic heroes. He was a giant and his dogged determination led him to expose the fraud and criminal that Trump is.  But no one paid attention. Trump once paid Atlantic City cops to arrest him when he was working on a story about his casino fraud after Barrett turned down his offer of a free apartment to back off the story.

If you want to know Donald Trump all you have to do is look who his hero was. His hero was the hatchet man for Joe McCarthy and later in life was an evil man who was attorney for all five NYC mafia families. Everything about Cohn wreaked of evil and venality. And that was Trump’s hero and mentor.

In an interview with the New Republic in December of 2016, Barrett gave the most apt description of Cohn I’ve ever heard. He actually had lunch with Cohn and this was his takeaway :

Roy Cohn ate with his fingers. I kid you not. He brought a little glass inside of his coat pocket. He would pop little white pills when he thought you weren’t looking. He was the most satanic figure I ever met in my life. He was almost reptilian. I think he’s going to handle the swearing-in at the inauguration. They’re not going to bring a judge, they’re going to have Roy. And then Roy’s going to go back to the White House and fuck a 12-year-old. In the Oval Office.

Trump has long been the FBI radar and was even interviwed by them

R.I.P Mr. Barrett and read the interview.

Update 5/5/17

Here are some links to articles about Trump’s criminality and his association with gangsters, fixers and other lowlifes. I post these links to give those who haven’t lived in NYC for the past 40 years a good idea of who this man is and what a despicable fuck he truly is.

Just What Were Donald Trump’s Ties to the Mob?

“… Trump’s career has benefited from a decades-long and largely successful effort to limit and deflect law enforcement investigations into his dealings with top mobsters, organized crime associates, labor fixers, corrupt union leaders, con artists and even a one-time drug trafficker whom Trump retained as the head of his personal helicopter service.”

FBI agents subpoenaed Trump in 1980 to ask about his dealing with John Cody, a Teamsters official described by law enforcement as a very close associate of the Gambino crime family. The FBI believed that Cody previously had obtained free apartments from other developers. FBI agents suspected that Cody, who controlled the flow of concrete trucks, might get a free Trump Tower apartment. Trump denied it. But a female friend of Cody’s, a woman with no job who attributed her lavish lifestyle to the kindness of friends, bought three Trump Tower apartments right beneath the triplex where Donald lived with his wife Ivana. Cody stayed there on occasion and invested $500,000 in the units. Trump, Barrett reported, helped the woman get a $3 million mortgage without filling out a loan application or showing financials.

The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet, The Atlantic

There have been a string of other allegations, too, many reported by investigative journalist Wayne Barrett. Cohn, Trump’s lawyer, also represented the Genovese crime family boss Tony Salerno. Barrett also reported a series of transactions involving organized crime, and alleged that Trump paid twice market rate to a mob figure for the land under Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. Michael Isikoff has also reported that Trump was close to Robert LiButti, an associate of John Gotti, inviting him on his yacht and helicopter. In one case, Trump’s company bought LiButti nine luxury cars.

And the list goes on. We have a Criminal-Chief and his crime family

One final note. This from an article by a BBC correspondent on the conservative UK Spectator website from January of this year

…  I heard something similar at an impeccably liberal cocktail party in Washington before the election. The crowd were national security intellectuals. ‘If Trump is elected,’ said one of the guests, ‘it will end in a military coup. Tanks on the White House lawn.’ He was the second person to tell me that at the party. Conversations in Washington have taken on a hallucinatory quality. Impeachment — however far-fetched an idea — is not the most outlandish possibility being discussed in this town as the 45th president is sworn into office.

Convicted of laughing at Sessions? Not exactly

Convicted of laughing at Sessions? Not exactly

Credit Alex Brandon/Associated Press

The story is making the rounds and everyone is outraged. A Code Pink protester was arrested and convicted of laughing during Jeff Sessions confirmation hearings. Is this true? Well sort of and not exactly.

61 year-old Desiree A. Fairooz of Bluemont, Va. was escorted from the room after she laughed when Republican Senator Richard Shelby said that Mr. Sessions’s record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented.” Fairooz laughed at that description, rightfully so, but here’s where the two sides differ as to what happened next.

According the NY Times

Ms. Fairooz said that, on hearing that, she let out a giggle.

“I just couldn’t hold it,” she said on Wednesday. “It was spontaneous. It was an immediate rejection of what I considered an outright lie or pure ignorance.”

She said when officers came over, she expected to be warned or told to shush and was surprised to be taken into custody.

The feds have a different story

Ms. Fairooz had “let out a loud burst of laughter, followed by a second louder burst of laughter,” the U.S. attorney’s office said in the filing. The police then tried to “quietly escort” Ms. Fairooz from the room, but she “grew loud and more disruptive, eventually halting the confirmation hearing,” the court papers argued.

As she was escorted away, Ms. Fairooz loudly asked, “Why am I being taken out of here?” She also said that the nominee’s “voting record is evil.”

Before the trial, Fairooz was offered a plea deal which she rejected, insisting on a jury trial. Big mistake.

HuffPo interviewed jurors after the verdict and they said they didn’t convict her on the laughing charge but rather her actions after she was being led out of the room.

She did not get convicted for laughing. It was her actions as she was being asked to leave…

The jurors did say she shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place for laughing

We did not agree that she should have been removed for laughing,” the jury foreperson stated. Some jurors indicated they believed Coronado made a mistake.

“The officer, she was a rookie officer, and I think it was her first time involved in an arrest,” another juror stated. “Make of that what you will.”

They said the rules were so broadly written they had no choice but to convict.

Jurors also said, “If Fairooz hadn’t said anything on her way out… there would have been a different verdict.”

The U.S Capitol Police report stated the protesters “were advised by the committee chair prior to the committee starting that demonstrating in the committee room was an arrestable offense.”

Code Pink are professional protesters. They are well-known on Capitol Hill Police. In an article in The Atlantic from 2015 they describe the relationship as usually cordial and friendly. They quote Code Pink’s national coordinator, Alli McCracken

The signs and t-shirts are a giveaway to Capitol Police officers, who often chat with CodePink members and protesters before the activists head inside. It’s a cordial, friendly relationship, Alli McCracken, CodePink national coordinator, said.

“‘What kind of trouble are you getting into today? Is anybody going to get arrested?’ That’s their standard question after we’ve asked how their kids are doing,” McCracken said.

Sometimes they cross the line and it looks like that happened in this case.

But since Code Pink is a constant presence on The Hill and they are allegedly on good terms with Capitol Hill Police, does their presence and dissent actually do anything positive? Are they thought of as nothing more than goofballs who dress in silly costumes? Are they taken seriously or are they seen as a joke to Congress people? That’s the big question.

 

Organic Consumer’s Association issues “threat” to Congress.

Organic Consumer’s Association issues “threat” to Congress.

Just when you thought the crazies over at the Organic Consumer’s Association (OCA) couldn’t get more goofy, they have warned Congress that if the they pass any amendment that would “preempt or nullify any state GMO labeling law” they will work to recall candidates or support their opponents in the next election.

What has their organic hemp panties is a bunch? It’s an amendment by Iowa Congressman, Republican Steve King

The King Amendment would reinforce the Commerce Clause by asserting the right of a state to trade agricultural products with another state. States that a state cannot deny the trade of an agricultural product from another state based on its means of production.

On his website King elaborates

I am pleased that the Committee passed my amendment, the Protect Interstate Commerce Act (PICA) because states are entering into trade protectionism by requiring cost prohibitive production methods in other states,” said King. “PICA blocks states from requiring ‘free range’ eggs or ‘free range’ pork but covers all agriculture products listed in  section 206 of the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1946. By 2014 California will require only ‘free range’ eggs be sold and the impact of their large market would compel producers in every other state to invest billions to meet the California standard of “means of production.” PICA will ensure that radical organizations like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and PETA are prohibited from establishing a patchwork of restrictive state laws aimed at slowly suffocating production agriculture out of existence.”

The Agricultural Committee passed King’s Amendment.

Now what is this section 206 of the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1946 the good congressman speaks of?  Being a good republican, he gets it wrong. There is no listing of products in that section. It’s strictly administrative rules.

No matter. I see what King is going for here and I can’t say I disagree. His hatred for groups like PETA and HSUS not withstanding, I see his point. Whatever his reasons for inserting his amendment it does make sense which makes this an anomaly; a republican doing something that makes sense, but accidentally.

OCA sees this as a slippery slope where there will be more amendments piled on top of each other. They want to stop it by taking direct political action. Legally, can they?

Well, the OCA is registered as both a 501(c)(3) and their lobbying  and legislative arm, Organic Consumers Fund (OCF) is a 501(c)(4).  What’s the difference?

Both confer non-profit status. A 501(c)(3) allows an organization to promote social welfare issues but not engage in politics. They can’t endorse candidates, donate money to them or publicize which candidates agree with them on issues.

As a 501(c)(4), an organization can get involved in politics as long as they don’t spend more than 50% of their funds on political issues.

Its obvious both the the OCA and OCF are the same group.  The OCF website says The Organic Consumers Fund (OCF) is the 501 c4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association

Allied?

Organic Consumers Fund · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive, Finland MN

Organic Consumers Association · 6771 South Silver Hill Drive, Finland MN

Both groups have Ronnie Cummmins listed as the big cheese on their IRS 990s, except the 990 for the OCA he’s listed as Ronald Wayne Cummins and on the OCF he’s listed as just Ronnie Cummins

The interesting part of the OCA’s threat is that it comes from their website and they seem to be the arm that is threatening political action, not the OCF arm. If so, that would mean they are engaging in political activity which isn’t allowed under their 501(c)(3) status.

Also on their site they have a list of those who voted for and against the amendment categorized as good guys and bad guys. That sounds pretty much like a 501(c)(3) no no. That sounds like they’re rating representatives.

Whether legal or not, the OCA seems to be engaging in big time hypocrisy here. They are big opponents of the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision. Yet they get to do their thing under the OCF due to that ruling.

On their site they write

The Citizens United ruling “contradicts the notion of transparency that should prevail in a democracy,” wrote the Los Angeles Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion, in their endorsement of the measure.

The great site Biofortfied has a great post which goes into more detail about the OCA,  Progressive Activists or Organic AstroTurf?

It’s obvious the two groups are one in the same. The fact that the names on each organization are slightly different, even though it’s the same person smells of deception.  But that’s not surprising  The Cummins’ groups are hustlers and liars.

Latest anti-gmo study: More bullshit.

Latest anti-gmo study: More bullshit.

This is getting ridiculous. More anti-gmo nonsense science showing the harmful effects of gmos. It’s called  A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet.

I hesitate to link to the study because I don’t want to give them the traffic. I was also going to summarize factually why this study is so lame, but the biotech squints and other smart people were immediately on the case like ugly on Ronnie Cummins, totally discrediting it on every level.  I have posted links to those dissections below.

But in a nutshell, the study claims that pigs fed gmo corn got sick.  They had more stomach ulcers, or not.

Mark Lynas: GMO pigs study – more junk science

Farm and Food Care: Canadian experts convinced GMO swine feed study is deeply flawed

Cami Ryan: From ‘I smell a rat’ to ‘when pigs fly’, bad science makes its rounds

Random Rationality: Pigs, GMOs & Bullshit

Control Freaks: The evidence of GMO harm in pig study is pretty flimsy

GMOPundit: Pigs in the real world — feed them different diets, measure many health parameters, some will show differences– but what does it all mean?

Biofortified: Lack of care when choosing grains invalidates pig feeding study

I’m not being lazy, but I thought it would be silly to repeat what others have so expertly addressed. Besides, these are people whose sites you should bookmark.

What I want to talk about here is how I have never seen a so-called progressive movement so willing to distort, lie, and obfuscate to advance their cause. It’s repulsive and offensive. And it’s hard to repulse and offend me.

Anti-gmo activists are constantly painting Monsanto as evil.  Well, we know corporations aren’t good citizens. But judging by the behavior of the anti-gmo activists and their in-house scientists, neither are they.

The study was funded by folks like… wait for it… Jeffrey Smith’s  Living Room for Responsible Technology and the Organic Federation of Australia. yet the studies authors claim no conflicts? It’s been said elsewhere, but what if Monsanto had funded a study that showed no hazards?

The anti-gmo campaign brings dishonor to the progressive movement. Progressives have bought into crazy. Yeah, crazy.

The folks running the anti-gmo campaign are frauds, charlatans and freaks. I mean c’mon really. Alex Jones is on your side?

As soon as the latest study was released, anti-gmo groups like GM Watch warned of the “biotech industry” backlash against it. And by biotech industry,  they mean any scientist that uses facts and evidence to point to the flaws in the study.

What I don’t get, as a non-scientist, is how scientists can keep their jobs when they do such blatantly do such bad work, on purpose? Tenure?

The sad thing is this bogus study will keep getting repeated ad nauseam on all the anti-gmo websites and I’ll have to listen to my anti-gmo friends cite it.

The anti-gmo movement is the Tea Party of the left, yet they have gained traction in the mainstream liberal/left/progressive thought about this issue.

Norman Borlaug and Vandana Shiva were walking along a beach…

Norman Borlaug and Vandana Shiva were walking along a beach…

Norman Borlaug* and Vandana Shiva were walking along a beach when they came upon a bottle. Borlaug reached down, picked it up and opened it.

A genie appeared and thanked them for releasing him. He was so grateful that he offered to grant the two any wish they wanted.

He turned to Borlaug and asked him what he wanted. Borlaug didn’t miss a beat and said, “I wish there was  a new solution to help agriculture advance and help feed the poor of the world and increase nutrition in areas that lack it.”

The genie winced and said, “Well, I don’t have the power to create the solution,  but I can give you a scientific tool that will help.  It’s called genetically modified organisms.” Borlaug was thrilled, thanked the genie and walked away smiling.

He then turned to Shiva and asked what she wanted. Shiva  furrowed her brow and then perked up and said excitedly,  “My  neighbors get better yields with gmos than my organic farm. I want you to destroy my neighbor’s  farm.”

Connecticut legislature makes anti-science history

Connecticut legislature makes anti-science history

Today’s post is a version of an op-ed that was quickly and roundly rejected by the Hartford Courant with a curt,  No Thanks, response.

courant

The Connecticut legislature made history recently when it overwhelmingly approved a gmo labeling bill. They made history by giving credibility to the anti-science views of crackpots, frauds, and charlatans.

In 2012, the Assembly’s GM labeling task force had one Jeffrey Smith testify.  Readers of this blog are well acquainted with him. He is the go-to-guy and is considered an “expert” on gmos. Unfortunately he is not a scientist and has no agricultural experience. He is considered a joke among the scientific community.

His bio and resume are vague. What is known is he was a member of the Maharishi Natural Law Party in Iowa, whose solution to the national crime problem was “yogic flying.”

In 1996, the Daily Illinni wrote, “Smith presented charts with evidence of a correlation between the presence of yogic flyers and an increase in the quality of life and a decrease in crime. Smith cited limited yogic flying programs in Washington D.C. and near the Middle East that resulted in less crime and more harmony.” 

He has two self-published books on genetic engineering.  One of them, Genetic Roulette has been discredited by real scientists. The organization, Academics Review, looked at the book to see how his claims stacked up against current peer-reviewed science and submitted a chapter by chapter take down of the book.

Smith recently backed out of a debate on the safety of gmos at the Cato Institute where he would have had to defend his nonsense against actual scientists. Those scientists are Karl Von Mogel and Kevin Folta. Von Mogel is a Ph.D. candidate in plant breeding and plant genetics at the University of Wisconsin who co-founded the science site Biofortified.  Folta is Interim Chairman and Associate Professor Horticultural Sciences Department at the  University of Florida and writes the blog Illumination. 

Last year, I wrote the Connecticut legislature’s GMO Labeling Task Force suggesting they have an actual scientist testify as a counterbalance to Smith’s nonsense. From my email:

I just read that Jeffrey Smith, of the Institute of Responsible Technology will be speaking before your GMO Labeling Task Force on August 8th. I would recommend you rescind this offer as Mr. Smith is a self-styled expert on GMOs. He has no experience in science or agriculture. For some reason he is considered an expert by the media and others.

If this is not possible, I suggest you at least have actual scientists testify on this issue to counterbalance his nonsense.

I received a polite reply from Elaine O’Brien who wrote

 “my intention is to gather as much information as possible. I understand that this is not a simple subject and I do not believe we should be rushing to label before we understand the issue”.

It seems they didn’t take my advice and consult any real scientists and listened only to a minority of vocal activists who peddled discredited studies and lies.

Every major health and scientific organization have weighed in on the safety of genetically modified foods. The safety is not in question.

Humans have been genetically modifying foods for thousands of years. Activist claim GM is different. Yes, it is. It is more precise.

With conventional breeding it is a hit and miss method. With conventional breeding they transfer thousands of genes, hoping they will get what they want. With GM, scientists only transfer the gene(s) that they need.

Activists point to the 64 countries that have laws requiring labeling as a talking point. Well, 74 countries have laws against homosexuality. Should we follow their lead?

The legislature should be ashamed of themselves.

March against Monsanto: NYC version

March against Monsanto: NYC version

models

First off, if you’re going to have a protest about how we’re all being poisoned, you need to have it led by healthy, well-fed, good-looking people.

Second, you need music and what better music to have than the Occupy Wall Street All-No-Star Band with special guest, Zuccotti Park Sax Guy.

Saturday’s March against Monsanto was everything I expected it to be. The one thing I didn’t expect was how the protest stayed on point. In almost every protest I’ve participated in since the 1970s, there were always groups pimping their own causes(s) which took away from the actual issue of the protest. This one didn’t.

One of the reasons may be this isn’t really an issue that resonates with the wider progressive movement. Or maybe it was just a problem of outreach.

I missed the rally, but I did arrive in time to catch the march to Washington Square where there would be a teach-in where people could discuss the issue in groups. What that meant was let’s stand around looking serious and nod our heads knowingly in agreement. Washington Square was a sea of signs plastered with all the bad science and misinformation and surprisingly, I had very few Woody Allen-Marshall McLuhan moments.

My first encounter was with a guy who had a button that read, Stop Monsanto. Ask me why. I did and he wouldn’t tell me. Seriously. I said, “You have a button that says ask me, so I am.” He sheepishly smiled and responded, “That’s just what the button says.” Then he scurried away.

My next little chat was with a woman manning(?) a table. She was actually very nice and claimed to be a nurse. She echoed the talking points about weed resistance, mono cropping etc. I explained that weed resistance was an age-old problem and farmers have always had to stay one step ahead of the weeds. It wasn’t just a gmo problem. That’s where I got my first dog head tilt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I asked her if gmos were so dangerous, why were they so popular among farmers? “Well, they want to make a profit, right? Next!

Meandering around and listening in on the discussion groups it dawned on me, every discussion was one talking point after the other. It was like listening to the gmo rerun channel.

I came across a how to detoxify from gmos discussion. It was more a pitch for Isogenics than a real discussion. But even though the audio in this short video is bad at times due to the wind, what I want you to see is the guy at the beginning.  He is rambling on about the new proposed strain of gmo wheat that will eat your liver and kill your kids. He makes another appearance later.

I saw a trio holding signs, one of with the usual gamut of the dangers of gmos. Where did she get her information? “Have you ever heard of the Institute for Responsibility Technology?  I’m not sure if I actually physically cringed, but I had to explain to her the history of Jeffrey Smith.  Second dog head tilt of the day or maybe it was blank stare.

They were thinking of taking their protest show on the road and join some others in Times Square. I warned them that might not be such a good idea because the cops don’t “take kindly to protesters going off the Rez.”  They could wind up in the jail for the holiday weekend.

One guy said, “I’ll ask that cop over there. Here hold this.”  And he handed me his sign. Not wanting to seem like a party pooper, I took it. The result was this damning photo taken at my request.

monsantomonopoly

Finally, I came across Vegan Guy.  He had a nice little crowd.  As I walked up I heard him saying, “Don’t take my word for it. Look it up yourself. Look at the ingredients in vaccines…” I immediately spoke up and asked if he was anti-vax.  He stopped mid-sentence and looked at me, eyes wide and smiled a toothy, Vegan grin,

“I”m not taking about vaccines right now but that is a conversation we can have privately.”

“But are you anti-vax?”

He ignored it and continued talking as I said, “Oh, so you are,” getting a slight giggle from the crowd.

That’s when I noticed Liver Guy standing next to me. I had to talk to this guy. He said he was pro-vaccine which I said was a good thing. I asked him why he called gmos contamination. He told me that just because it’s created in a lab doesn’t mean it’s not contamination.

The conversation turned to pesticides and I asked why Bt was okay when sprayed by organic farmers and not okay when one of the genes was engineered in the plant. I explained Bt was weak and degraded quickly in the environment due to rain and sunshine which necessitates more spraying… Well, you can listen to part of it here.

Now, this was that guy from the earlier video who was talking about the gmo liver, kid killing wheat and he tells me that I should have brought my sources with me? The last line of that audio cracked me up. I told him yes, and his last words to me were, “I’m moving over there,”  and then skedaddled. The audio at that point is weak. I really wanted to post that.

I  didn’t get a chance to ask him if he had his sources with him about the child-killing gmo wheat, but he was gone in a flash. I should have led with that.

So, what did we learn? We learned that although many people had signs about tumerous rats etc, very few them knew who Seralini is and weren’t familiar with his study. Around the same number didn’t know who Jeffrey Smith is.

Among those who did know, there were many head tilts when I mentioned Seralini and Smith were frauds who refuse to publicly debate scientists who want to challenge them.

Probably the biggest eye-opener was that for the first time, the real agenda was out in the wide open. It’s not just about labeling. The end goal is to eliminate gmos. There were no Just Label It signs. It was all about ridding the world of the poison of gmos and sending Monsanto packing. It’s about the misguided notion that if you bring down Monsanto, you eliminate the technology of gmos.

It’s about time the activists running the shows in various states come clean. They’ve been allowed to dance around the issue for too long. Labeling is a red herring. If they feel gmos are so dangerous, then why stop at labeling?

The final takeaway was that, given my non-confrontational conversations, save Liver Guy, I’ve come to believe the fanatical, fire-breathing,  anti-gmo crackpots on the interwebs are just that, crazy keyboard jockeys who have no relation to  their real world counterparts. And that’s the depressing thing. (Although, I have a sneaking suspicion Liver Guy is one of those people and he escaped from the basement. Earlier in our conversation he said he wasn’t there to debate, but to “impart information. Not to discuss or debate, but impart” )

I want the anti-gmo crowd to be this one-dimensional cartoon. It would make it much easier to dismiss them.  Instead, they’re nice, friendly, smart, well-meaning dumbasses. Just the kind of people I could hang around with and well, pretty much do.

Oh, I almost forgot Illuminati Guy. I had no clue what the hell he was talking about, except the fact we were the only ones who are hearing this information. I’m not quite sure what that information is, but I am one of the lucky few outside the Illuminati that knows it.

Is organic farming the boy in the bubble of agriculture?

Is organic farming the boy in the bubble of agriculture?

In their opposition to GMOs, organic farmers point to the possible contamination of their crops. The use of the word contamination in itself is hyperbole and note the qualifier, possible. What they mean is cross-pollination, a less scary sounding word. Their vocabulary is full of maybescould happens, and what ifs?

Organic farmers seem to be feel everything modern is a threat to their crops and it doesn’t even have to be that modern. Conventional farming, large-scale farming, the Moops. Everything seems to be a threat organic farming including food safety rules.

 He and other organic farmers say stricter food-safety regulations, developed after a cluster of outbreaks of bacterial contamination in spinach and lettuce in 2006, threaten the principles upon which their farms are based.

If your principles are at odds with food safety, perhaps you might want to re-think your principles.

The Organic Seed Trade Association (OSGATA) lawsuit against Monsanto is a classic example of paranoid what if thinking.  They sued to have Monsanto promise not to sue organic farmers if their crops get contaminated from neighboring gmo fields. They admitted in court filings that it hasn’t happened yet, but it might happen. 

Monsanto, in response, offered up the reasoning that why would they sue someone who isn’t using, and has no use for their seeds?

Here is an aerial view of the lead plaintiff  Jim Gerritson’s, organic farm taken from their site. Where is this contamination going to come from? Is Monsanto going to fly over his farm in planes dropping seeds so they can sue him?

woodprairie

Last year, a federal court dismissed the suit. It is currently under appeal.

The latest threat  to organic farms comes to us from Shoreham, Vermont.  Raj Bhatka, is a kind of unlikable guy who was fired from the Trump reality show The Apprentice and ran an unsuccessful campaign for Congress.  He built a rye whiskey bottling plant, Whistle Pig on some farmland and wants to start distilling his own rye whiskey and his organic farming neighbors are against it.  They, you guessed it, feel the distillery might be a threat to their crops.

WCAX.com reports:

Bhatka’s neighbors, George Gross and Barbara Wilson, who own a small organic berry farm called Solar Haven Farm, have voiced concerns about potential traffic, noise and black fungal growth or BFG, which can be produced from ethanol in the fermentation and whiskey-aging process.

“We believe the ethanol could be a potential source [my emphasis] of mold on our crop,” Gross said.

The article says that both sides have spent tens of thousands of dollars in this booze fueled fight. Bhatka says he’s not a rich guy and that “In an attempt to work through the rules, there are ample loopholes for malcontent and slightly insane neighbors with a budget to slow things down.”

His neighbors claim they are not trying to stop him just to ensure he follows the rules. George Gross claims they are not trying to queer his deal. “It’s not our intention to stop WhistlePig. We want them to be compliant with the law and respect the community and neighbors they have.”

When Gross refers to the community and neighbors, he is referring specifically to his farm. The town Selectmen have no problem with Bhatka. And seemingly, neither do most people in the area.

The aptly named Geoff Green, Environmental Commission coordinator for the area said, “Even a whiskey distillery can have potential big impacts on the environment and that’s what it’s all about.”

The angle the Gross’ are using is to claim that Bhatka’s business has been running for two years without a Act 250 permit which is required since his business is not considered a farm. According to state law, to be considered a farm, 50%  of the ingredients have to be grown on the farm. Since the state says the whiskey’s main ingredient is water they don’t qualify, even though they grow rye for their whiskey, organic rye no less.

Organic farming seems to be the Boy in the Bubble of agriculture. Organic farmers are always complaining about threats to their method of farming; and that’s what it is, a method. If organic farming is so fragile, how on earth do they think it is a viable and sustainable way of farming?

Portland Coroner: “buycott” app user starved to death

Portland Coroner: “buycott” app user starved to death

The Portland, Oregon coroner’s office has determined that a 26- year old local Portland man starved to death after relying on his “‘buycott” app to only buy food that fit in with his political and moral worldview.

Friends of the deceased,  known as “Rainbow Bob,” said no matter what product he scanned on his iPhone app, there was something that offended his moral senses. Asked why Bob had an iPhone considering the controversy over Apple using slave labor to produce  iPhones, his friends stared blankly.

His family said the increasingly wasting away Bob became despondent at not being able to buy any food that fit in with his principles.  There was always something that some company did that offended him. In a last-ditch attempt to eat, he decided to go local. However, when he used his app he found out local farmers did things that offended him as well.

One farmer smoked cigarettes.  Another farmer, an organic one,  left the lights on when he wasn’t in the room

In lieu of flowers his, family asked that donations be made to the “Don’t Be a Dumbass Fund”

Is Himalayan “non-gmo” pink salt radioactive?

Is Himalayan “non-gmo” pink salt radioactive?

Now this is rich. If there was any doubt as to why we think the anti-gmo crowd is head shakingly stupid, here is a classic example. A company called Himalania is selling Himalayan Pink Salt as a non-gmo certified product. That’s right, non-gmo salt.  Kudos to Shea Gunther for his mnn.com column, Facepalm of the week: Non-GMO salt!?  for bringing it to our attention.

non-gmo-rock-salt_sm

The twittersphere was all giggly at this nonsense and mad scientist Kevin Folta weighed in on his Illumination blog,

Here’s how we know that science is dead in the anti-GMO movement.  The Non-GMO Project and their crack scientific team has verified, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that salt is not a transgenic plant.

It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad and so true. On their website, Himalania touts the salt as being mineral rich, containing such helpful minerals as magnesium, potassium, copper and iron. They go on to say the salt is pure and hasn’t been “exposed to any modern chemicals, toxins or radiation sources.”

Sounds great? Well, what else does it contain? A visit to the site saltnews.com has a chemical breakdown of all  the natural elements in this purest of pure salts. Among those are fluoride, arsenic, lead, plutonium, uranium, and polonium.

Huh. Some of those things sound kind of radioactive, especially that polonium one. Wasn’t that what assassins used to kill this guy, Viktor Yushchenko?

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Or maybe he wasn’t assassinated but was eating Himalayan Pink Salt?

And it has fluoride? Isn’t there some hippie movement to tale fluoride out of our water supplies?

I noticed the list included lead, which has been shown to affect IQ. Maybe all these natural folks consuming pink salt may have had their IQ compromised by the lead in the salt?

No, of course not. These trace amounts aren’t harmful to humans. As they say, the dose makes the poison. Imagine if any of the elements were in gmo foods?  The frightened anti-gmo villagers would be jumping and hollering and pointing… “Look! Look! Poisons!”

Oh and this is choice. The company wrote in the comment section on Gunther’s piece,

… we are demonstrating our support for this meaningful cause, and advocating that we do care about our consumer’s health concerns. Not all consumers are as educated on this topic, and for some it is primordial and comforting to have the NON GMO Verified seal on the products they intend to purchase.

Allow me to translate. “Our customers are idiots.” How in God’s name is placing a non-gmo label on a product that can’t be gmo be educating people?

“…we do care about our consumer’s health concerns.”

Really? Then how about a label that warns people who are 51 years of age or older, are African American, have high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease to limit their salt intake? (source CDC.)

Ah, here it is, “We are committed to clean labeling and standing behind the Himalania brand, as being a part of the NON-GMO Verified eco-system is more than just adding a 1” x 1.5” logo on our products – It is a state of mind…”

A state of mind? There you have it. Their stance is not based on science, but a state of mind. 

But maybe we should err on the side of caution. After all, the FDA has been bought off by big business, so those safe levels may be all wrong and could very well be harmful. That’s why Himalayan Pink Salt should be not only labeled non-gmo, it should have another label, prominently displayed on the  front of the package saying. “This product may be radioactive.” 

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