Thursday, August 26, 2010

What's "around" S 510?

by Wondering about Basics

Vandana Shiva calls "food safety" the Law of Food Fascism and says it's never about what's in the food (whether it is actually safe) but always about what's around it (how big is the oven, what material is used for flooring the kitchen, what paperwork has been filled out, ...).

Why not apply the same to S 510, the Food Modernization Act? Rather than ask what is in S 510, why not ask what is "around" it?

Here are some questions:

Who is in charge of "food safety" at the FDA now? Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and VP.

Was Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and VP, approved by the Senate? No. Obama bypassed Senate approval and made him a "Food Safety Czar."

Was Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and VP, ever at the FDA before? Yes. Bill Clinton put him there.

What did Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and VP, do while he was at the FDA before? He got Monsanto's rBGH (a genetically engineered bovine growth hormone) approved over the objections of scientists there, and he kept milk containing it unlabeled so know could know it was there, though it is associated with a seven times increased risk of breast cancer, a four times increased risk of prostate cancer and an increased risk of colon cancer, though the FDA is supposed to keep food safe. He also deregulated the approval of genetically engineered seeds, central to Monsanto's business.

Did Clinton do anything else to help Monsanto besides letting Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and VP, introduce the most radically altered food in the history of mankind into the American diet and then keep those changes unlabeled? Yes.

Árpád Pusztai (8 September 1930) is a Hungarian-born protein scientist who has spent most of his career, from 1968-1998, at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland. He is considered the world's foremost expert on plant lectins, and is the author of 270 papers and three books on the subject.[1][2]

In 1998 Pusztai publicly announced that the results of his research show eating genetically modified potato causes harm to rats, leading to his dismissal from the institute. ....
Rowett Institute's director Philip James, who had initially supported Pusztai, suspended him and used misconduct procedures to seize the data. His annual contract was not renewed and Pusztai, his wife and a colleague, Susan Bardocz were banned from speaking publicly. Phone calls to his office were diverted and his research team was disbanded.[7]

After it was revealed that James had received two phone calls from the Prime Minister's office before implementing the ban, supporters claimed that James had come under pressure from 10 Downing Street to "put the lid on" Pusztai. Later a senior Rowett manager claimed Bill Clinton had telephoned Tony Blair and told him to sort out the problem. Although James denied the calls ever took place, Professor Robert Orskov OBE, who worked at the Rowett for 33 years and is one of Britain's leading nutrition experts, claimed he was told that the phone calls went from Monsanto Company, the American firm which produces 90% of the world's GM food, to Clinton to Blair. "Clinton rang Blair and Blair rang James - you better keep that man (Pusztai) shut up. James didn't know what to do. Instead of telling him to keep his mouth shut, they should have told him to say it needs more work. But there is no doubt that he was pushed by Blair to do something."[6][8]

Who first proposed a powerful, centralized "food safety" agency (S 510, and other bills)? Hillary Clinton, as part of her presidential platform.

Does Hillary Clinton have any connections to Monsanto? Yes. Through her work for the Rose Law firm, through her campaign advisor, Mark Penn who is CEO of Burson Marsteller, a giant PR firm that represents Monsanto, through Stanley Greenberg who polled for Bill Clinton and represents Monsanto as a client, through Bill's connections to Monsanto lobbyist Carol Tucker Foreman, including around his own "food safety" bill - HACCP - and in her connection to Monsanto lobbyists.

Who designed the "food safety" bills which are now in Congress? The same man whom Clinton put at the FDA in the 1990s, the same man at the FDA now - Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and VP.

Who is likely to be appointed as "the Administrator" of the powerful, centralized agency the bill would set up? Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and VP.

Who is backing the "food safety" bills? Winrock International [which] receives financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation, the DOE, USAID, the US Department of State, the USDA, the World Bank, the FAO, SYSCO and the Tides Foundation. Winrock International also has long-standing ties with Monsanto.

How good has the FDA been in protecting American food? Abysmal? Horrendous? Shiv Chopra, a food safety expert, says American and Canadian food are the most toxic of all food in the world. Ignoring its central duty to test for their safety before allowing anything into the food chain, the FDA has allowed in antibiotics, hormones, slaughterhouse waste, pesticides and GMOs. In the years since their introduction, studies now prove they are dangerous to human health (three are banned outright in Europe and the other two are under consideration). But the FDA still has done nothing to stop them and, now, despite public outrage at deaths and the dangers to human health from antibiotics in animals, the FDA is attempting to ensure their continued use.

What has Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and VP, done in relation to small farmers whom many say could be intentionally driven out of business by S 510? Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and VP, wrote a white paper for Monsanto on how to sue them for honestly labeling their milk as rBGH-free. And under Mr. Taylor, the FDA is attacking raw milk dairy farmers across the country.

Does Monsanto have a history of harm to small farmers? Yes. To many, many, many small farmers.

Is the FDA known for its integrity? No. Not at all.

Is Monsanto knowns for its integrity? No. Not at all.

Does the FDA already have power to do whatever it wants? Yes. The FDA "food safety" division under Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and VP, says they do not have enough power to enforce recalls at corporate facilities though there is no evidence they have tried and failed, and when it comes to little organic coops buying from local farmers and to natural health people, they have been using weapons and Interpol.

Does the FDA "food safety" division under Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and VP, believe that the American people deserve safe food for themselves and their families, support the relationship between small farmers and the public, and recognize Americans have a right to their health? Apparently not. When small farmers recently sued the FDA for banning raw milk in interstate commerce as unconstitutional, the FDA "food safety" division under Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and VP, asserted in court that:

  • "There is no absolute right to consume or feed children any particular food."
  • "There is no 'deeply rooted' historical tradition of unfettered access to foods of all kinds."
  • "Plaintiffs' assertion of a 'fundamental right to their own bodily and physical health ... is similarly unavailing
  • ... because plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to obtain any food they wish."
  • "There is no fundamental right to freedom of contract."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cowboys ambushed by lawyers at the 148 to 150 Gulch

by Friends of Farmers

Cowboys and farmers invited by USDA and the what's-up-with-that?-DOJ to go west.

Search Results

In the East, corporations are set to slip S 510 through the Senate.

In the PDF version of S 510 or of 530 (its amended version):

Page 148
They refer to "reason to believe" there is an animal disease (that is, no proof is required). They'll deem it an emergency. CDC declares it. CDC, already suspect,
lied about the h1N1 pandemic and the vaccines, and then profited.

Page 150

Disposal of animals infected by foreign animal disease. Military and DHS would roll onto ranches and farms to do it, through interagency agreements.

Is Fort Collins a repeat of the futile USDA "NAIS listening sessions"? 95% of farmers expressed vehement opposition yet the USDA is moving forward with NAIS anyway (having said they scrapped it), under a new name, ADT - Animal Disease Traceability.

Is this a "GIPSA listening session"? Is it another gip? They are preparing to slip S 510 through the Senate - the end of farmers and ranchers animals - and includes ADT.

ADT helps track down every last animal. No hiding any "seed" stock.

The Monsanto Three Step

Monsanto and seeds:

1. Get patents on GE-seeds,
2. Get rid of NORMAL seed companies.
3. "Own" soy, grain, cotton, ....

Monsanto and animals

1. Get patents on GE-meat (They don't need live animals at all - they have the DNA.)
2. Get rid of NORMAL farm animals.
3. "Own" meat.

Monsanto lawyer and VP, Michael Taylor, who deregulated GMOs and kept them unlabeled. He is now FDA "
food safety czar." His FDA food safety division recently asserted in court that Americans have no right to choose their own food and no right to their health. Taylor is likely to be the Administrator over whatever S 510 would set up. If this section of HR 875 is added, there'd be no Congressional oversight, unlimited penalties and no judicial review over the appropriateness and validity of the orders of the Administrator. S 510 includes

Why would corporations which don't care about anyone's safety (with BSE or contaminated meat, for instance) slaughter millions of potentially profitable animals, unless there were a more profitable reason?

Three more concerns:

I The USDA's stated plan

U.S. House of Representatives. "The Young Executives Plan to Liquidate Farmers: Product of an Official Committee Chaired by the Under Secretary of Agriculture."Congressional Record. June 21, 1972, p. H5907.

People in the USDA are promising that the "food safety" bill is not a problem

II Those behind S 510. (See page 5.)

Winrock International was founded by Winthrop Rockefeller and counts in the long list of its funding partners numerous foundations, government agencies, international agencies, private sector groups and more, all of whom are aligned with vested interests that want international standards harmonized in order to eliminate barriers to international trade. Winrock International receives financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation, the DOE, USAID, the US Department of State, the USDA, the World Bank, the FAO, SYSCO and the Tides Foundation.[64]Winrock International also has long-standing ties with Monsanto, which has benefited from Winrock's help in introducing its products to farmers in developing nations around the world.

III The US fully surrenders to the WTO in S 510


Nothing in this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall be construed in a manner inconsistent with the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization or any other treaty or international agreement to which the United States is a party.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Democratic Party should be Pro-Gun. The Constitution is and Gandhi was.

by E. Samuels

The Democratic Party frequently criticizes opponents for being pro-gun, seeming not to realize that being "pro-gun" means simply respecting the Second Amendment of the Constitution. But if the founding fathers making certain that the American populace had the right to bear arms as protection against a tyrannical government is insufficient for rethinking its gun control stance, the Democratic Party might be interested to know that Mohandas K. Gandhi, the Mahatma, one of the world's most committed believers in non-violence, said that taking away people's guns was the worst thing the British did to India.

"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." -- Mahatma Gandhi (An Autobiography OR The story of my experiments with truth, by M.K. Gandhi)

In 1999, there were 28,874 gun-related deaths in the United States - over 80 deaths every day. Of those, more than half were from suicide, which means that less than 14,000 people a year die from gun violence as we tend to think of it.

There were an estimated 6,289,000 car accidents in the US in 1999. There were about 3.4 million injuries and 41,611 people killed in auto accidents in 1999. 114 people a day die from auto accidents which is 1.4 times more than die from guns but the Democratic Party isn't billing itself as anti-car. Why not?

The Democratic Party does not point to 41,000+ deaths a year from cars as cause to ban them nor suggest that just in owning them, a person should be thought of as violent, criminal or racist.

More than 100,000 people a year die from the pharmaceutical industry's prescription drugs (Journal of the American Medical Association, April 15, 1998), far exceeding the number of people killed by car and guns. 2.4 times as many people die from drugs as die from car accidents (114).

And more than 7 times as many people die from drugs (274 people a day) as die from guns (80) .

Shouldn't the Democratic Party be especially concerned about drugs since they are one of the leading causes of death in the US, and are being caused by a criminal pharmaceutical industry that is associated with Republicans, GHW Bush, and George Bush , to say nothing of literal Nazis.

To give some perspective on being pro-gun control, Hitler was." He removed all weapons in private hands.

Did Hitler's cutting down person-on-person gun violence by removing guns help in reducing deaths and create a less violent country (something Democrats seek to attain)?

Given the concern of framers of the Constitution that a second amendment was needed to protect the people from their own government, perhaps it might be instructive, to look at what the figures for government-on-people violence were during the same time (by guns and otherwise) in which "gun-control" was in effect.

The exact number of people killed by the Nazi regime may never be known, but scholars, using a variety of methods of determining the death toll, have generally agreed upon common range of the number of victims. Recently declassified British and Soviet documents have indicated the total may be somewhat higher than previously believed[20]. However, the following estimates are considered to be highly reliable. The estimates:

5.1–6.0 million Jews, including 3.0–3.5 million Polish Jews
1.8 –1.9 million non-Jewish Poles (includes all those killed in executions or those that died in prisons, labor, and concentration camps, as well as civilians killed in the 1939 invasion and the 1944 Warsaw Uprising)
500,000–1.2 million Serbs killed by Croat Nazis
200,000–800,000 Roma & Sinti
200,000–300,000 people with disabilities
80,000–200,000 Freemasons [23]
100,000 communists
10,000–25,000 homosexual men
2,000 Jehovah's Witnesses

Raul Hilberg, in the third edition of his ground-breaking three-volume work, The Destruction of the European Jews, estimates that 5.1 million Jews died during the Holocaust. This figure includes "over 800,000" who died from "Ghettoization and general privation;" 1,400,000 who were killed in "Open-air shootings;" and "up to 2,900,000" who perished in camps. Hilberg estimates the death toll in Poland at "up to 3,000,000."[24] Hilberg's numbers are generally considered to be a conservative estimate, as they generally include only those deaths for which some records are available, avoiding statistical adjustment.[25] British historian Martin Gilbert used a similar approach in his Atlas of the Holocaust, but arrived at a number of 5.75 million Jewish victims, since he estimated higher numbers of Jews killed in Russia and other locations.[26]

Map titled "Jewish Executions Carried Out by Einsatzgruppe A" from the December 1941 Jäger Report by the commander of a Nazi death squad. Marked "Secret Reich Matter," the map shows the number of Jews shot in the Baltic region, and reads at the bottom: "the estimated number of Jews still on hand is 128,000". Estonia is marked as judenfrei ("free of Jews").Lucy Davidowicz used pre-war census figures to estimate that 5.934 million Jews died. Using official census counts may cause an underestimate since many births and deaths were not recorded in small towns and villages. Another reason some consider her estimate too low is that many records were destroyed during the war. Her listing of deaths by country is available in the article about her book, The War Against the Jews.[27]

One of the most authoritative German scholars of the Holocaust, Prof. Wolfgang Benz of the Technical University of Berlin, cites between 5.3 and 6.2 million Jews killed in Dimension des Volksmords (1991), while Yisrael Gutman and Robert Rozett estimate between 5.59 and 5.86 million Jewish victims in their Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (1990).[28]

The following groups of people were also killed by the Nazi regime, but there is little evidence that the Nazis planned to systematically target them for genocide as was the case for the groups above.

3.5–6 million other Slavic civilians
2.5–4 million Soviet POWs
1–1.5 million political dissidents

Additionally, the Nazis' allies, the Ustaša regime in Croatia conducted its own campaign of mass extermination against the Serbs in the areas which it controlled, resulting in the deaths of at least 330,000–390,000 Serbs.

Might things have been different for the people in the Warsaw Ghetto and elsewhere if they had had a means to defend themselves?

Is it possible India might not have been reduced to abject subjugation by the "gun controlling" British if "pro-gun" Gandhi had prevailed?

It is mysterious why the Democratic Party would identify itself as being in support of violating an amendment of the Constitution, especially one specifically written to protect the American people and the country itself from undemocratic (tyrannical) governments? Isn't the Democratic Party in favor of democratic rights and opposed to unfettered government power? And didn't the previous experience with GW Bush help the Democratic Party understand the value of that amendment?

And where is the Democratic Party's passion to stop the real killer threatening each and every person's family - 100,000 drug deaths a year?

And that number does not include the untold numbers of deaths caused by prescription drugs in other ways than by taking them.

For while media covered the shooting deaths at Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Fort Hood as examples of gun violence that needed to be curtailed through gun control, they did not cover the fact that the shooters at the first two massacres were on drugs associated with psychotic rage, or that there is reason to believe that was true of the man at Fort Hood as well. How many post office killings if this true of?

The numbers for deaths by guns and the numbers of deaths by drugs might need revising since it is unclear how many deaths (of others and by suicide) which have been attributed to guns should more accurately have been attributed to the drugs which "triggered" them.

Is Democratic Party silent around so many drug deaths because the drug industry pours millions into political campaigns? (Does the party, which was supposed to deliver single payer or at least a public option, not realize the drug companies were behind Obama gutting the public option from the health care bill, and inserting controls to prevent cheap non-drug forms of treatment?)

When the Democratic Party identifies with violating a constitutional amendment meant to protect democracy itself, and finds itself on the same side of the fence as "pro-gun control" Adolph Hitler and the British Empire, and at complete odds with "pro-gun" Mahatma Gandhi, something is terribly wrong.

Six things are plain: 1. guns are very far from being the biggest threat to people's lives in this country; 2. deaths by drugs, one of the leading causes of American deaths, is ignored as are gun massacres being triggered by drugs; 3. Gandhi believed it is crucial for a nation of people to maintain private weapons; 4. the removal of weapons by Hitler did not lead to a "safer" country; 5. the Second Amendment was written to protect the American people from tyranny (or empire) - an democratic and even a Gandhian purpose; and 6. the Democratic Party is caught siding with tyrants and imperialists and opposing the Bill of Rights and one of its own heroes.

Perhaps it's time for the Democratic Party to reconsider its position on the 2nd Amendment and its anti-gun stance.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

This civil rights movement is "No picnic"

by Steve Green

The world is very familiar with the American civil rights movement and discrimination. It entailed a struggle by one race of people to stop being cut off by another race, from jobs and schooling and housing and public accommodations.

But a new form of discrimination occurring now has yet to be grasped even by those whose lives already are beginning to be impacted by it because it is so radically different in form, in timing, in victims, in losses, in abusers, in emotion.

The circumstances are hard to perceive as discriminatory:

1) all people in the country are being wronged - every color, every ethnic group, every religious denomination, every level of society, every age group.
2) around rights so primary they are taken for granted by all human beings,
3) and the government itself is the one doing the discriminating,
4) and the government is doing so on behalf not of bigoted, hating people but of emotionless, non-living entities (corporations),
5) while the government has laid the groundwork using fear and false threats,
6) to pose as the public's saving protector from precisely those non-living entities,
7) in order to accrue, legislatively, unlimited police state power (to discriminate, to wrong),
8) amassing that power incrementally, at every level (municipal, state, federal, international), and in dispersed form geographically,
9) and now beginning to use that power incrementally, at every level, and in dispersed form (boiling the frog slowly, and boiling only parts at a time),
10) taking away rights that have never been removed in the history of humankind,
11) and at a scope and scale that is unfathomable.

Absent the familiar racial shape (though using similar techniques) and given how immense and all encompassing this discrimination is, and how dressed in caring Orwellian language, and how unique historically - only descending now to exert its choking grip - it is understandable that "food safety" has been virtually impossible to discern as the removal of human beings' most fundamental rights.

"Food safety" laws are now descending rapidly around the country. Americans have not yet realized what is occurring to them. They do not yet see the government Swat team attacks on raw milk farmers or armed FBI raids on organic coops as the totemic of their own discrimination, just as Bull Connors using hoses on black students became the image for black civil rights movement. Most American are still trusting that the government is imposing "food safety" laws for their well-being, to protect them from contamination by the big meat packers or those large companies importing melamine-laced food from China.

But all Americans are slowly, piece by piece, law after law, and inexorably, being blocked from their own access to food. The government is removing rights to the fundamental of their existence: food, health ... and the greatest need of all human beings - connection with each other.

P.J. Huffstutter at the Los Angeles Times wrote of what is happening to public potlucks in "Raw food raid raises questions over existing milk laws — and the safety of potlucks. And Steve Green at Food Freedom indicated that much beyond potlucks are being shut down.

* Bringing home made foods to churches for bazaars;

* Selling at farmers markets home made goods (including distinctive (and ethnic) foods unavailable in any other way);

* Donating food to the homeless;

* Donating home made foods for school fundraisers;

* Selling excess food to neighbors which farmers made for their own families, a practice that is as old as agriculture.

But even in understanding that the rights being removed around food and health pose an imminent threat to people's lives, what is missed is that the government's abuse of its own people goes much deeper.

Human bonds

"Food safety" as wielded by the government, now threatens human bonds themselves.

Not only are they profoundly important to human development and survival, human bonds are intimately related to food. The most primary of all human bonds begin as a baby begins to nurse from its mother. Enduring human connections are formed and strengthened through producing of food, the preparation of food, the sharing of food, the selling and the purchasing of food. The baby becomes attached to its mother as it nurses, family bonds form around growing food and cooking together, community connections take shape around sharing of food at fairs and festivals, friendships are made at farmers markets, between buyers and sellers, just as they are made at neighborhood cafes, at local delis, and as they used to be made with neighborhood food vendors.

Social connection is so primary that it is considered as necessary for existence as food.

Sociality is at the heart of human existence, a fact that has been acknowledged as far back as Aristotle. Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs were among the first in the twentieth century to develop theoretical perspectives on the topic, but only in the last half-century has sociality been subject to vigorous theoretical and empirical study.

According to Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, relational and belonging needs are superseded in importance only by survival and safety needs. Harry Harlow's study of infant rhesus monkeys did not deny the importance of survival needs (i.e, food), but showed that social contact is just as important for healthy growth and development. Prompted by Konrad Lorenz's studies of imprinting and the plight of infants and young children in Britain's post-World War II orphanages, John Bowlby (1973) showed that in humans, too, maternal-child attachment bonds are essential for healthy growth and development.

Across the lifespan, affiliative and attachment bonds have clear survival and reproductive advantages that may help explain why the motivation to form and maintain close social bonds is as potent as the drive to satisfyhunger or thirst. Just as hunger and thirst motivate the search for food and water, the pain of unmet social needs (i.e., felt social isolation) motivates a search for social reconnection.

The desire for connection is so irrepressible that people imagine relationships with important social others, or indulge in "social snacks" (e.g., photos of loved ones) and surrogates (e.g., parasocial attachments to television characters).

One can see in a couple examples of how industry has already inserted itself between human beings, via its control over certain foods, and the dangers it has posed by doing so. Baby formula companies are infamous for disrupting nursing in poor countries, and in the US, they are promoting formula to Hispanic mothers, and while government programs promote formula to the poor, running directly counter to medical advice and national goals.

And the advent of fast food establishments has ruptured a number of bonds, also impacting health. It has undermined cooking at home where the food is more nutritious, and it has almost ended the relationship between food vendor and customer, since speed of interaction has destroyed almost any chance for personal interaction, as people speak into microphones and are then handed a bag of processed food through a window, as customers and worker have barely enough time to say hello (though many try). The food is as degraded as the interaction, in both cases real value (adequate time, adequate nutrients) is squeezed out in the interest of profit. Yet in both cases, people are still straining to find something nourishing.

Potlucks, festivals, fairs

It is not incidental to bring up potlucks - a universally enjoyed cultural means of coming together around food.

Nor is it incidental to bring up church fairs or ethnic festivals, because "food safety" is poised to destroy religious communities, and to eradicate American subcultures - Western, Jewish, black, Indian, Hispanic, Scandanavian, coastal.... - because communities and cultures are intimately, historically and emotionally linked to food.

It is not incident to bring up home made food for school fund raisers, both traditional and a means of teaching children food skills, responsibility, generosity, and pride. This fabric of food interaction, all of it significant from raising children in a way in which they become active in their own community and home and community are directly linked, is being shredded. The benefit is to the commercial food companies who turn school fund raisers into mini-markets for themselves.

For those who might deny the homogenizing impact of laws that criminalize local use and customs around food, they need only look at what Walmart did to local businesses across the United States to appreciate the immense power of corporations to flatten human life. While the map is meant to show the stunning growth of a non-living entity (a corporation), it could be read as an image of a cancer taking hold, killing off American local businesses and true communities. And that non-living entity is one that would benefit hugely from the removal of Americans' rights over their own food.


A ban on public potlucks is a ban on picnics.

Above all, it is not incidental to speak of picnics. P
icnics are the very definition of human delight in food - a return to nature to enjoy friends and family through a shared bounty of food.

"Food safety" is n
ot a good fit with that glorious stuff Americans
have been intimate with since birth, that stuff which spells comfort and happiness, whose sauce runs down the chin from a luscious barbeque or that makes a creamy raw milk mustache on the upper lip or that babies get all over themselves, grinning in pleasure, or that lovers feed each other in front of the fire. It is the stuff which people believe with good reason, belongs to them by right of existence in the human race, by their simply being in the natural world with it.

Picnics are freedom, pulling us out of the control and commercialization imposed everywhere by industry. Picnics let us re-enter, however briefly, what we all came from, a time when we once used to live in nature. Formality is gone, children play, adults relax, we are in touch with the earth, sharing food from the earth. Picnics remind us that food is ours by natural right, an inseparable bond between earth, ourselves, and the divine. Picnics, at their heart, celebrate our belonging to life, to being in it.

Picnics give us joy.

For food corporations, even caring is canned

"Food safety" - using a caring sounding name - wrongs every person in the country, threatening their most essential human rights to food and to health. Though "food safety" threatens survival itself, it is packaged as "caring."

One of the largest and most reviled PR firms in the world urged their food industry clients to use "symbols that elicit hope, satisfaction and caring - not logic." "Caring" is thus a literal PR strategy. The CEO of that same firm was also the campaign strategist for the president who proposed the last major "food safety" effort and for the recent presidential candidate who proposed the creation of a giant, centralized "food safety" department. He also represents a corporation, now dealing in food, which is considered one of the worst, ethically, in the world.

The caring of "food safety" comes from such a background.

And it is in using "caring," that what is now befalling everyone breaks free of our previous notions of discrimination. For those wronging Americans are promoting the removal of the most crucial of all rights in life, as a good thing. While conservatives refer to government taking care of people as "nanny government," here is not the overzealous Mary Poppins who comes to mind, but a Mary Poppins costume disguising the likes of Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

This radically new form of discrimination raises no red flags because it is naked of personal bias or negative feelings. It is very flat emotionally - no emotional bias, no bigotry, no hatred, no intolerance, no prejudice to react to. Instead, it is coldly calculated, long planned, intricately detailed power over all people in this country. It is an all inclusive, non-emotional "bias" as befits its source - a non-living thing. That thing seeks absolute control over food, at a level never before seen. While pumping out messages of caring for the public to respond to emotionally, behind the scenes, the "food safety" division of the government, run by an agent of a non-living entity, works to remove rights to food and denies that the public has even a right to their health.

From Primo Levi:

"In order for the wheel to turn, for life to be lived, impurities are needed, and the impurities of impurities in the soil, too, as is known, if it is to be fertile. Dissension, diversity, the grain of salt and mustard are needed: Fascism does not want them, forbids them ..."