That would be allowing them access to Federal programs that I already took advantage of. Why should they be allowed something I used and no longer need.
Someone needs to be spayed.
That would be allowing them access to Federal programs that I already took advantage of. Why should they be allowed something I used and no longer need.
Someone needs to be spayed.
Who is really using human shields? The IDF of course.
I think the most ironic thing about this whole “Hamas uses human shields” allegation, is that the IDF is notorious for using Palestinians as human shields.
This is far from unusual:
Israel has constantly used this allegation not only against civilians in Gaza, but also when it bombed civilian populations in Lebanon during the 2006 war. Witness accounts and international rights organizations have stated time and time again that no evidence to this has been found either in Lebanon or in Gaza.
But somehow, the word of Israel, a country that needs to hire people to spread its propaganda online, still has a shred of credibility.
Ebola Quarantine Stations Established in El Paso, Los Angeles and 18 Other Cities
I have an idea. Let’s bring Ebola here instead of worrying about it coming here unexpectedly.
If we are going to put 300 million people in jeopardy, it should be our choice to do so rather than having it come as a surprise.
By now you have surely heard that at least one patient is set to arrive for treatment at a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
I am seeing reports today that it might actually be two patients, and who says they will stop there?
Does anyone see anything wrong with this?
Anyone at all?
A few days ago, Dave Hodges reported that the CDC is quietly setting up Ebola Quarantine Stations across the U.S.
I took a lot of flack for running that article on my website.
As usual, I was called a conspiracy theorist who was trying to scare people.
Am I trying to scare you?
Yes I am.
I have never denied that I try to scare people because something has to be done to awaken people from their stupor.
We can scare you with facts just as easily as fantasy because things really are that bad.
Not only is Ebola set to arrive voluntarily in the U.S. at any time, now we are starting to see evidence of those stations (he called them “centers”) that Dave was talking about.
A local CBS affiliate in Los Angeles is reporting:
The Centers for Disease Control have established a quarantine station at LAX to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus from passengers coming off international flights.
The CDC is warning Americans to avoid the Ebola-ravaged nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea where more than 700 people have died.
Tom Bradley International Terminal now has a CDC quarantine station where health officials will determine whether a sick person getting off an international flight can enter the country.
"We’re fairly comfortable that if a patient were identified here in the U.S. , that the normal kinds of barrier nursing precautions that would be in place would prevent spread even before the person would be confirmed to be a case of Ebola," Dr. Stephan Monroe said.
Two American aid workers have been infected with the virus in Liberia.
All of this seems perfectly logical except for the fact that we are bringing this disease to America.
We aren’t just preparing for the worst.
We are bringing it here.
Has that started to sink in yet?
As for the American aid workers that are mentioned, as well as the doctors and nurses who have become infected, do you not think that precautions were taken in these instances?
Ebola is not something that one invites into their living room.
KVIA.com, an ABC affiliate, is reporting that El Paso, Texas has also been chosen as a "quarantine station":
The Centers for Disease Control has designated El Paso as one of 20 quarantine stations for the Ebola virus.
The Sun City is part of a comprehensive system designed to prevent the spread of the disease in the United States.
While Ebola has never been detected in the U.S., that doesn’t mean it can’t make its way to the country.
The biggest concern is at airports with international flights and ports of entry, which there are a lot of in the Borderland.
"It’s a scary virus … Definitely," said Dr. Hector Ocaranza, the health authority for the El Paso City/County Health Department. "Terribly deadly. It’s one of those viral hemorrhagic fevers. They haven’t found where it’s coming from, if it’s coming from an animal to the human or what. But we know there is human tissue transmission."
That means it cannot be contracted like the flu, through the air.
It can only be spread by direct contact with bodily fluids like saliva or secretions.
The CDC released a map showing the 20 quarantine stations designated across the country, including El Paso, mostly where international travelers arrive. The closest ones are in San Diego and Dallas.
The CDC website seems to be suffering from some issues today that might be caused by heavy traffic.
The navigation is off and I have not been able to download the map or even see it.
However, I can tell you that San Francisco and Houston are mentioned as quarantine stations as well.
I also temporarily found an East Coast map but the page crashed.
Is Michelle Obama’s schoolmate in charge of this site as well?
Again, all of this would make sense as being precautionary if we were not allowing illegal aliens, with dangerous diseases, into this country, and if we were not willingly endangering the lives of people by bringing Ebola to America.
Why use the back door when the front door works just fine?
This is either incredibly stupid or it is part of the plan.
Either way America is now playing with fire.
Ebola Transmission by Aerosols Confirmed: Virus Survives For Days Outside Infected Hosts
Friday, August 01, 2014 by Mike Adams
Today Kurt Nimmo from Infowars.com is incorrectly reporting that "aerosol transmission is not possible" with Ebola. (2) That statement is part of an article entitled, “Don’t Fear Ebola, Fear the State” which is, overall, a very compelling article.
Nimmo is a fantastic writer and a great researcher, but in this case his statement is factually incorrect and probably needs to be addressed.
As clearly explained by the Public Health Agency of Canada:
"INFECTIOUS DOSE: 1 - 10 aerosolized organisms are sufficient to cause infection in humans."
Ebola, you see, can “ride” on aerosolized particles of blood, mucous and other body fluids.
Someone sneezing, for example, can cause Ebola viruses to be aerosolized where they land on other people’s hands or faces.
It only takes one virus entering the corner of your eye (or the corner of your mouth) to set off a full-blown infection.
In fact, a 2012 BBC article entitled “Growing concerns over ‘in the air’ transmission of Ebola” states: (3)
Canadian scientists have shown that the deadliest form of the ebola virus could be transmitted by air between species.
In experiments, they demonstrated that the virus was transmitted from pigs to monkeys without any direct contact between them. In their experiments, the pigs carrying the virus were housed in pens with the monkeys in close proximity but separated by a wire barrier.
After eight days, some of the macaques were showing clinical signs typical of Ebola and were euthanized.
Ebola Survives For Days Outside the Host
Even worse, Ebola is a strong survivor outside a host.
Here’s what the Public Health Agency of Canada says:
SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: The virus can survive in liquid or dried material for a number of days. Infectivity is found to be stable at room temperature or at 4 C for several days, and indefinitely stable at -70 C. Infectivity can be preserved by lyophilisation.
This clearly states that Ebola viruses can survive for several days on common objects such as door knobs or household surfaces.
If an infected Ebola victim runs around touching such common objects after cleaning blood or mucous from his nose, another innocent victim can easily infect himself by touching the same objects and then eating some food that places the virus in his mouth.
Ebola Will Be Exploited By Governments
The rest of the Infowars article is spot-on, saying "Ebola is being exploited and exaggerated as part of a psychological operation by government."
That’s absolutely true.
There is always a social control component of any infectious disease announcement by the government.
As well-described by Nimmo in the article:
Disease, natural disaster, and man-made crises are routinely exploited by government as pretexts to enlarge and extend its power and reach.
The state and its propaganda media thrive on one manufactured crisis after another as part of a systematic effort to ramp up the police state.
The goal is not protection of the people.
It is an all-encompassing surveillance state with a militarized component designed not to save us from evil terrorists or scary diseases, but control the population and maintain through fear and violence its political monopoly.
The article goes on to discuss the fast-tracking of Ebola vaccines, something that also has me very concerned because of the possibility that government might mandate such vaccines for all Americans.
That would quickly escalate into a public health disaster, no doubt.
However — and this is a very important point we all need to understand — the fact that governments will exploit Ebola does not mean it isn’t a deadly pandemic with an ability to spread through aerosolized particles.
And I believe all our readers across the alternative media need to be fully informed of the risks of exposure to these deadly pathogens, just in case a full blown pandemic is unleashed across America (accidentally or on purpose).
Ebola is Very EASY to Catch
Even all of us who are naturally skeptical of “official” statements from the government must remember that just because the government benefits from an Ebola pandemic doesn’t mean there is no pandemic happening.
Yes, infectious disease outbreaks will be exploited, exaggerated and possibly even entirely fabricated from time to time by the medical-government fascism machine, but we can’t let our own guard down and pretend Ebola is “difficult to catch.”
It’s only difficult to catch if you’re nowhere near it.
For example, if Ebola is running rampant in Africa but you’re not in Africa, then sure, it’s difficult to catch because Ebola can’t cross the Atlantic and magically appear in your living room.
But if you’re in the same room with an Ebola victim, it’s incredibly easy to catch.
And guess what?
U.S. health authorities are right now importing Ebola into the United States and placing an infected patient at Emory University in Atlanta.
So now, all of a sudden, Ebola is here in the USA.
Ebola is considered a level-4 biohazard.
If Ebola were difficult to catch, you wouldn’t need to wear protective biohazard suits when being near patients who are infected with it.
Here’s what the Public Health Agency of Canada says about handling Ebola:
RISK GROUP CLASSIFICATION: Risk Group 4.
CONTAINMENT REQUIREMENTS: Containment Level 4 facilities, equipment, and operational practices for work involving infectious or potentially infectious materials, animals, and cultures.
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Personnel entering the laboratory must remove street clothing, including undergarments, and jewellery, and change into dedicated laboratory clothing and shoes, or don full coverage protective clothing (i.e., completely covering all street clothing).
Additional protection may be worn over laboratory clothing when infectious materials are directly handled, such as solid-front gowns with tight fitting wrists, gloves, and respiratory protection.
Eye protection must be used where there is a known or potential risk of exposure to splashes.
OTHER PRECAUTIONS: All activities with infectious material should be conducted in a biological safety cabinet (BSC) in combination with a positive pressure suit, or within a class III BSC line.
Centrifugation of infected materials must be carried out in closed containers placed in sealed safety cups, or in rotors that are unloaded in a biological safety cabinet.
The integrity of positive pressure suits must be routinely checked for leaks.
The use of needles, syringes, and other sharp objects should be strictly limited.
Open wounds, cuts, scratches, and grazes should be covered with waterproof dressings.
Additional precautions should be considered with work involving animal activities.
Does that sound like a protocol for a viral epidemic that’s difficult to catch?
Not at all.
That’s why I hope Nimmo will take a second look at this issue and understand that even though governments will of course exploit this for social control, Ebola really is extremely dangerous and highly infectious, with a demonstrated ability to spread through aerosolized particles.
For more great reporting on Ebola, check out a well-documented article by Paul Joseph Watson entitled “If Ebola Hits U.S., Even Healthy Americans Will be Quarantined.”
Sources for this article include:
Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital to Receive Patient Infected With Ebola
Lauren Gambino in New York
theguardian.com, Thursday 31 July 2014 18.39 EDT
The disease, which has no known cure, has reportedly killed at least 700 people during the current outbreak. Photograph: Frederick Murphy/CDC/PA
Emory University Hospital in Atlanta is set to receive a patient infected with the deadly Ebola disease currently sweeping through swaths of west Africa.
The patient is expected to arrive “within the next several days”, the university said in a statement. The exact date of arrival is not yet known. The university did not give the patient’s name.
“Emory University Hospital has a specially built isolation unit set up in collaboration with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] to treat patients who are exposed to certain serious infectious diseases. It is physically separate from other patient areas and has unique equipment and infrastructure that provide an extraordinarily high level of clinical isolation,” the university said.
Reuters is reporting that the patient is one of the two American humanitarian aid workers infected with Ebola while responding to the outbreak in Liberia. Dr Kent Brantly of Texas and Nancy Writebol, a missionary from North Carolina, have both showed signs of improvement, but remain in serious condition.
The disease, which has no known cure, has reportedly killed at least 700 people during the current outbreak, in which there have been more than 1,000 confirmed, probable or suspected infections.
Natural News’ Mike Adams had these comments:
This event will make the first time in history that a level-4 biohazard infectious agent is being transported by air into a large U.S. city while still multiplying inside a living patient.
This startling revelation brings up all sorts of questions that range from the gullibly hopeful to the impossibly sinister. Here are some of the thoughts going through people’s minds on this right now:
Thought #1) HUH? Why are they bringing an infected Ebola patient into the USA? Do they want to start a pandemic here?
Thought #2) Hooray for Emory! They are reaching out to save the life of a brave American doctor!
Thought #3) They are going to use this guy as a human guinea pig to run medical experiments on him, hoping to produce a profitable treatment for Ebola.
Thought #4) This is commendable! There’s simply better medical care in the USA and medical professionals want to save this doctor’s life.
Thought #5) At what risk? Isn’t transporting an infected patient by air, even in a private aircraft, just begging for a pandemic outbreak across the United States? Doesn’t this risk the lives of 300 million people?
Thought #6) The Department of Defense needs the body so they can harvest newer strains of Ebola as part of their viral weaponization program.
Save the Doctor!
Personally, I tend to think there are multiple layers of agendas happening here all at the same time.
At the most basic level, front-line doctors and medical scientists simply want to save their colleague, and they likely believe bringing him back to the USA offers him the best chance of survival.
At the same time, we cannot refute the fact that there are drug company profit interests at stake in all this.
The worse the Ebola problem becomes, the more money can be made from future Ebola vaccines or anti-viral treatment drugs.
We already know one company called Tekmira has already been awarded a $140m contract by the Department of Defense for its Ebola drug development program.
At an even spookier level, we also know that Ebola is one of the most easily weaponized viruses on the planet.
We also know the U.S. Department of Defense has already developed weaponized strains of Ebola and keeps them supercooled in a level-4 biohazard facility somewhere.
This is justified on the grounds of “national defense,” of course, just in case the survival of the nation one day depends on deploying a global killer virus on enemy territory, I suppose.
You can bet blood samples from this patient will be shared with Pentagon virologists, just in case it’s some new strain with a mutation that makes it an even better bioweapon than what the military already has.
At What Risk?
Nobody argues with the compassionate idea of saving the life of an American doctor.
The man put his life on the line for others, and he deserves our best efforts to save his. My prayers are with him as he struggles to overcome this terrible disease.
At the same time, we must all very carefully consider the risks associated with intentionally bringing Ebola into the USA, transporting it across a large body of water in which the virus could never survive on its own.
By transporting this patient into North America, U.S. health authorities may have just followed the steps the virus “wanted” them to follow.
What happens if someone makes a mistake during this patient transfer and the virus gets loose?
The proof that mistakes can happen even among well-meaning doctors is readily apparent in the fact that this well-meaning doctor sadly became infected himself.
He obviously did not intend to become infected with Ebola.
Thus, even medically-trained personnel can and will underestimate the ability of this Ebola strain to spread.
What Happens if There is an Air Transport Accident?
Suppose the jet experiences a critical flight systems failure and barrel rolls into the forests of Georgia?
The chance of this happening may seem very, very small but it is not zero.
And if it happens, then suddenly we have Ebola on the loose in Georgia, possibly spreading across the streets of Atlanta.
What happens if a terrorist organization operating inside U.S. borders stages some sort of raid or attack on the Emory University isolation room for the sole purpose of acquiring (and then deploying) Ebola as a bioweapon?
Is this doctor’s room going to be guarded by Special Forces teams to prevent this?
What Security Will Exist Around This Patient?
What happens if this Ebola victim infects others at Emory University who are working on him or near him?
Surely there will be blood draws taking place, and blood draws and IVs involve sharp objects.
Sharp objects pierce protective gloves and clothing.
One little prick from a needle is all it takes for a full-blown infection to occur, and yes it has happened many times in the past with a variety of infectious agents.
Obviously, infectious disease experts are going to be extremely careful with this patient and everything he comes into contact with, but 100% containment is impossible to achieve.
You might achieve 99.999% containment or even better, but the physical process of moving a doctor from an aircraft into a hospital isolation room involves a level of risk which is greater than zero.
No one can honestly say there is zero chance of an Ebola outbreak occurring from this situation, because “zero” isn’t a valid concept when Ebola is at your doorstep.
Why Not Send the Medical Teams to the Patient Instead?
Why are U.S. health authorities not sending U.S. medical teams to the infected patient instead of bringing the infected patient to America?
This is not an irrational question.
Why not give this doctor the advanced treatment he deserves and keep Ebola a continent away at the same time?
These are questions we should all be seriously asking right now as the future of all our lives may be impacted by these decisions.
Ebola is nothing to play around with, and over-confidence in dealing with Ebola can be fatal to a great many people.
Remember, this particular strain of Ebola has already overwhelmed the full government resources of several countries in West Africa.
Doctors who were fully versed in safety measures involving biohazards underestimated their own exposure and allowed themselves to become infected.
This virus has already shown an ability to out-maneuver a surprising number of health experts, including one of the world’s top Ebola doctors who died from the disease earlier this week.
Now, Emory University infectious disease experts are bringing this virus to the continental United States, and the rest of us can only sit back and hope they haven’t grossly underestimated the ability of this virus to leap from victim to victim.
Because if they’re wrong, it’s not just a simple matter of a doctor making another mistake: it’s something that could place all our lives at risk by subjecting us to a deadly pandemic with a horrifyingly high fatality rate of 50 - 90 percent. (Interestingly, the high fatality rate actually works against the virus because it causes victims to die so quickly that they don’t live long enough to spread it around.
A more “successful” virus would have a much lower fatality rate of around 5% coupled with very long incubation times in infected carriers.)
The recent discovery of loose smallpox vials in CDC labs doesn’t exactly give me confidence in the government’s ability to handle infectious disease agents in a safe manner. As Natural News previously reported.
The virus was stored recklessly in six glass vials inside a cardboard box.
It was previously thought that this pathogen, “one of the most virulent infectious diseases” known to mankind, was kept only in two places, one at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and the other at the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology (VECTOR) in Novosibirsk, Russia.
oMFG I just came downstairs and I found my sister with a lighter and I told her she can’t use fire and that it could catch the house on fire. She said that she was doing something important so I asked “what the hell is so important that you need fire for!?” and she told me with serious face ” I am using black magic to summon demons to get the mean girls at my school.” i can’t fucking breathe. I sat and watched her ritual hahahahaha shes fucking 10 years old
This should be a wake-up call to her parents.
She obviously needs help.
Her parents should to talk to her about those mean girls,
and teach her that she can’t summon demons with just candles.
You need at least a pentagram drawn in a perfect circle
with goat or lamb blood,
and a proper incantation from a book of dark magick.
This is great way to to teach your child early on
about geometry and foreign languages.
Good art lesson too. Drawing perfect circles is hard
dOES NO ONE ELSE FIND THIS EXTREMELY DISTURBING
Actually I find this girl fantastic. Ending bullying one curse at a time.
She might want to hold off on summoning demons until she’s a bit more mature but yes curse those fuckers you go, girl
Now hang on, just hang on a moment there. Let’s make one thing clear right now:
There is not a goddamned thing wrong with calling on someone bigger and stronger then you for help if need be.
If that stronger someone just happens to have tentacles and two-foot-long fangs, well, that’s more the problem of certain mean girls, I’d say.
Here kid, i drew you a new pal. You summoned a demon, you got one. Sorry i couldn’t put more time into this sketch but his name is Bill.
We have an entire show about why this isn’t a good idea…
I might call on a different source, myself. In 6th grade I finally was able to deal with the “ringleader” of the gang of bullies that had terrorized me since the second week of second grade.
Night after night 3-5 of these overgrown idiots would “lie in wait” for me…NEVER just one, let alone the one in charge.
Then one fateful February day the “head honcho” showed up to school alone. The after school scenario went QUITE DIFFERENTLY. I made sure he understood that if the bullying continued, I wouldn’t wait for the next chance at some “mano y mano” time.
The bullying ended, and I learned something vastly important. The bully crews of the world, just like pack animals have alphas, and alone, they generally are NOT so tough. Weigh it out carefully, but if they aren’t deadly killers, it might be worth the risk to find a little “personal time” to spend with them.
50 Members of Congress Urge EPA and USDA to Reject New GMO Crops
GE Crops Would Lead to Dramatic Increase in Use of Toxic, War-era Herbicide 2,4-D
Fifty Members of Congress led by Representatives Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04) and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME-01) wrote today to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expressing “grave concerns” over Dow Chemical’s Enlist Duo™ herbicide and new varieties of genetically engineered (GE) corn and soy the herbicide mixture would be used with.
“In the absence of leadership from the agencies tasked to protect our health, our food, and our environment, it is up to Congress to put pressure on the Obama Administration to do what’s right. On the cusp of the 5-week August recess, 50 Members of Congress sent a clear message to USDA and EPA: reject the next wave of pesticide promoting crops before it is too late,” said Colin O’Neil, director of government affairs at Center for Food Safety.
“If either USDA or EPA had any surprises in store over the August recess, they’d better think again,” added O’Neil.
“We request that USDA and EPA fully review the facts, law, and science in this case. …the risks of approving 2,4-D crops are simply too great and benefits too few to jeopardize public health, the environment and the long-term sustainability of our food supply. We therefore request EPA not to register Enlist Duo for use on 2,4-D crops and USDA maintain the regulated status for 2,4-D resistant crops,” write the Members of Congress.
USDA and EPA are currently reviewing applications from Dow Chemical for new varieties of GE corn and soybeans and seeking registration to use Enlist Duo™—a mixture of 2,4-D and glyphosate—on the crops. USDA has granted preliminary approval for the crops, while EPA is reviewing the application for more extensive use of 2,4-D.
We currently stand at an agricultural crossroads.
The first generation of ‘Roundup Ready’ GE crops increased herbicide use by 527 million pounds between 1996 and 2011, triggering an epidemic of glyphosate-resistant ‘superweeds’ which now infest over 61 million acres across 36 states. 2,4-D crops are among the ‘next-generation’ of GE crops engineered to withstand applications of older, more toxic herbicides.
While they are often touted as a solution to herbicide-resistant weeds, even the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recognizes in its draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that deregulating 2,4-D crops will spur the further evolution of 2,4-D resistant weeds and cause a three to seven fold increase in 2,4-D use,” write Members of Congress.
Exposure to 2,4-D has been linked to multiple adverse health effects including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, decreased sperm count, liver disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Further, exposure has also been shown to negatively impact the hormonal, reproductive, neurological and immune systems.
In addition, EPA has reported that 2,4-D is the seventh largest source of dioxins in the United States.
Dioxins are extremely toxic chemicals, and their bioaccumulation in the food chain may potentially lead to dangerous levels of exposure.
The 50 signers of the letter are:
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03), Robert A. Brady (D-PA-01), Matt Cartwright (D-PA-17), Judy Chu (D-CA-27), David Cicilline (D-RI-01), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY-09), Gerald Connolly (D-VA-11), John Conyers Jr. (D-MI-13), Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03), Keith Ellison (D-MN-05), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA-18), Sam Farr (D-CA-20), Alan Grayson (D-FL-09), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-03), Mike Honda (D-CA-17), Jared Huffman,(D-CA-02), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH-02), James Langevin (D-RI-02), Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47), Nita Lowey (D-NY-17), Stephen Lynch (D-MA-08), Betty McCollum (D-MN-04), James McGovern (D-MA-02), Michael Michaud (D-ME-02), Gwen Moore (D-WI-04), James Moran (D-VA-08), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-01), Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ-09), Chellie Pingree (D-ME-01), Mark Pocan (D-WI-02), Jared Polis (D-CO-02), Mike Quigley (D-IL-05), Charles Rangel, (D-MY-13), Bobby Rush (D-IL-01), Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09), Adam Schiff (D-CA-28), Louise Slaughter (D-NY-25), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-01), Jackie Speier (D-CA-14), Dina Titus (D-NV-01), Paul Tonko (D-NY-20), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23), Maxine Waters (D-CA-43).
How Corporations are Creating a Life-Threatening Water Shortage
CARL GIBSON / OCCUPY.COM / NEWS ANALYSIS
Published: Friday 1 August 2014
The world water shortage looks unsolvable and corporations aren’t helping the problem.
Imagine the swift and fierce government response if Al-Qaeda took a precious resource out of a delicate environment, sold it for profit and endangered 40 million people in the process.
Now compare that example to the nonexistent government response to American energy companies, golf courses and corporations like Nestlé taking 75 percent of the groundwater out of the Colorado River Basin at a time when the American West is facing a record drought.
Corporations will continue to abuse their constitutional protections as legal “persons” until fresh water has become fully privatized, or until corporate constitutional rights are eliminated with a constitutional amendment.
Depleting a Precious Resource
Most news sources are funded by corporations and investors.
Their goal is to drive people to advertisers while pushing the corporate agenda.
Nestlé has two plants on the Colorado River Basin that take in water to bottle and sell under its Arrowhead and Pure Life brands.
One is in Salida, Colorado, on the eastern edge of the Upper Basin; the other is in the San Gorgonio Pass, halfway between San Bernardino and Indio, Calif., on the western edge of the Lower Basin.
According to annual reports filed up to 2009, Nestlé bottles between 595 and 1,366 acre-feet of water per year – enough to flood that many acres under a foot of water – from the California source.
The company takes 200 additional acre-feet per year from the Colorado source.
This means altogether Nestlé is draining the Colorado River Basin of anywhere from 250 million to 510 million gallons of water per year, according to the acre-feet-to-gallons conversion calculator.
The Colorado River Basin is an especially critical water resource, responsible for supplying municipal water to 40 million Americans and irrigating 5.5 million acres of land.
As the US Bureau of Reclamation has documented, 22 federally-recognized tribes, seven national wildlife refuges, four national recreation areas, and 11 national parks depend on the basin.
In a new report by NASA and the University of California at Irvine, researchers discovered that between December of 2004 and November of 2013, the basin lost 53 million acre-feet of water.
41 million acre-feet, or 75 percent of that loss, came from groundwater sources, like those pumped by Nestlé.
That’s more than twice the amount of water contained in Lake Mead, America’s largest freshwater reservoir.
In the meantime, Nestlé, with 29 water bottling facilities across North America, pocketed $4 billion in revenue from bottled water sales in 2012 alone.
But Nestlé isn’t alone in abusing the main water source of the Western United States.
Expansive golf courses in desert areas, like those in Arizona and Southern California, require hundreds of thousands of gallons of water per day to maintain.
According to the United States Golf Association (USGA), 2 million acres of American golf courses are irrigated, or 80 percent of the country’s total golf course acreage.Between 2003 and 2005, the USGA estimated that 2,312,701 acre-feet of water was used to maintain golf courses, amounting to over 2 billion gallons of water per day.
An NPR report from 2008 put that in perspective, comparing the average daily water usage of one golf course to the amount of water used by one American family over the course of 4 years.
An “Insurmountable” Water Crisis by 2040
Egregious abuses of limited freshwater supplies have led to panic from some and greed from others.
If current drought conditions and water usage patterns persist, it’s estimated that the world will face an “insurmountable” water crisis by 2040.
Aarhaus University of Denmark, the Vermont Law School and the nonprofit CNA Corporation recently released a study showing that a global population increase compounded by an exponential increase in water consumption will inevitably lead to drastic drought conditions unless immediate action is taken.
The study projected a 40 percent gap between water supply and demand by 2030 under current conditions.
According to the study, 41 percent of American freshwater consumption came from energy production alone.
Energy sources like nuclear and coal power were responsible for the bulk of water consumption, though the process of hydraulic fracturing – better known as fracking, where jets of water mixed with chemicals are blasted underground to break up shale formations that produce natural gas – was also high on the list.
A prime example is Texas, where the population is expected to skyrocket from 25 million to 55 million in the next 35 years.
Texas currently draws 91 percent of its electricity from natural gas, nuclear and coal power.
And in the summer of 2011, Texas experienced its worst drought in history.
Outdoing Texas, California is now facing its worst drought in 1,200 years.
Latest numbers from the National Drought Mitigation Center show that 80 percent of California is in “extreme drought.”
A full 31 percent of California is experiencing “exceptional drought” conditions, including population centers like Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Francisco.
Food prices have gone up by an average of 2.5 percent since last year, and are expected to increase by another 3.5 percent before year’s end.
No less than 85 percent of the lettuce Americans eat comes from drought-ravaged California.
Fresh fruits and vegetable prices are projected to increase by 6 percent in the coming months as a result of the drought.
Constitutionally-Protected Corporate Greed
The research community isn’t the only group of people paying attention to the writing on the wall.
Corporate executives are quickly making moves to privatize water resources, declaring the resource to be the next oil.
Peter Brabeck, chairman and former CEO of Nestlé, has openly said that "access to water is not a public right."
This is in spite of UN Resolution 64/292, which declares that water and sanitation are both basic human rights.
The World Health Organization has said that one person needs 20 liters of water for “survival” levels of use, including bathing and laundry.
As I wrote previously for Occupy.com, the France-based Suez company is using a New Jersey-based subsidiary to prepare a buyout of Detroit’s water infrastructure, with a potential end goal of privatizing the Detroit River and the Great Lakes.
Researchers argue for greater regulation of water usage to prevent future global drought, though that becomes complicated when looking into how such regulations would be implemented and enforced.
The US Bureau of Reclamation monitors surface water, but groundwater regulation is up to individual states.
And in the Colorado River Basin, for example, California has no regulations on groundwater usage-despite the Bay Area implementing strict new penalties for excessive use of water.
Even if federal or state agencies wanted to intervene to stop corporate entities like golf courses, power companies or Nestlé from using up precious groundwater resources, corporations and their profits are protected under the constitution, giving them the same rights as actual human beings.
Ever since the Supreme Court established that corporations are legally people in the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad ruling of 1886, corporations have successfully overridden a slew of regulations citing the equal protection clause under the 14th Amendment.
By proving that a certain regulation would unduly infringe on a corporation’s ability to make a profit, well-heeled corporate entities have lawyered up to defy regulatory agencies for over a century.
The Buckley v. Valeo ruling in 1976 further ensconced corporate personhood, and the Citizens United v. FEC ruling in January of 2010 established the precedent that because corporations have the same legal rights as a person, their money is considered free speech.
So not only can corporations defy any new regulation on their future usage of precious water resources, but they can spend unlimited amounts of money in election cycles to elect politicians who will prioritize their right to make a profit over a citizen’s right to have access to water.
As long as corporations are given the same constitutional protections as people, they’ll always escape regulation and accountability for their actions.
Simply “getting money out of politics” is not enough – only a constitutional amendment that explicitly abolishes the concept of corporate personhood and separates money from free speech will guarantee that necessary actions can be taken to prevent a disastrous water shortage.
Industry Employing Bullying Tactics to Scupper GM Food Labeling in South Africa
Press Release: African Centre for Biosafety
1 August 2014
The South African government took the deeply controversial decision to permit the genetic modification (GM) of our staple food, maize, in 1997.
Three years later they also approved the cultivation of GM soya.
South African consumers have lobbied extensively for the labeling of GM food ever since, while the biotech and food industry have fought aggressively to keep consumers in the dark.
The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) of 2008 requires the mandatory labeling of GM foodstuffs and food producers were lawfully bound to start labeling from October 2011 after regulations to the Act came into force.
However, labeling started appearing haphazardly and incorrectly and when non-profit organisation, the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB), began testing products, they alerted the National Consumer Commission to the blatant non-compliance and inconsistency that seemed to be creating even more confusion for consumers, as well as calling upon the Consumer Goods Council SA and the food companies involved to comply with the law.
Industry responded that they were unable to label because the regulations were ambiguous.
In response to industry intransigence, the DTI published a set of amended regulations in October 2012 for comment, which clearly conveyed government’s intention that all foods containing 5% or more GM content must be labelled.
This has still not been promulgated due to a powerful industry lobby that does not want consumers to know about the GM content in their food and have lobbied the DTI and Parliament with fallacious arguments that labeling will raise food prices and cause a “food scare” that will lead to food insecurity.
They insist that it is only the producers of non-GM foods that should be obliged to label their food products as not containing GM.
However, this approach is inconsistent with the provisions and spirit of the CPA, which requires labeling for the presence, not absence of GM, so the next prize for industry is to insist that manufactured foods with GM content should not be labelled, only the raw materials, such as maize kernels or soya beans.
In other words, none of the food products on the shelves containing GM ingredients would be labelled.
In a desperate bid to appease the industry, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) held a stakeholder workshop on 25th July 2014 in Pretoria. In their opening remarks they thanked Africabio – who is spearheading the industry lobby – for their assistance and collaboration regarding identifying the stakeholders present.
This apparent bias was strenuously objected to by the ACB, which noted the distinct lack of stakeholders present from GMO concern groups.
The DTI explained that their intention was to advertise the workshop to the public but they failed to do so because of logistical problems.
According to Haidee Swanby of the ACB, “the result was a process heavily dominated by the industry lobby, especially Africabio, whose sole purpose was to find a way to circumvent the good intentions of the CPA. Their arguments were based on insults about “the lunatic fringe” and false claims that a tiny minority funded by a “European lobby” was fueling a demand for GM labeling. If their bully tactics work, South Africans will have no right to know that their staple food as well as most processed foods on our shelves are saturated with GM ingredients.”
Since 2012 the ACB has tested a variety of maize and soya based products as well as popular maize and bread brands to determine their GM content.
The public has been incredulous about the high level of GM in their staple foods, for example, all major maize meal brands tested contained between 55% and 87% GM content, while the GM content in the soya flour used in bread was found to be up to 91% GM.
The labeling across these products was often absent, inconsistent or misleading, leaving consumers confused about whether or not these foods are in fact genetically modified.
Campaign Officer at the ACB, Zakiyya Ismail said, “the food industry tells consumers they support the right to know and to choose but behind closed doors they’ve banded together to continually stall implementation and lobby hard against GM labeling.
The DTI needs to step in and act immediately to promulgate these long stalled regulations and fulfill the mandate of the CPA”.
The Department of Trade and Industry has re-opened the public comment period on amendments to the GM labeling legislation until 15 August 2014.
For further information or to submit comments, the public can contact: JSekgobela@thedti.gov.za
Contact: ACB Researcher: Haidee Swanby email@example.com
021 510 6956
ACB Campaigns Officer: Zakiyya Ismail: firstname.lastname@example.org 0832737304
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The ACB’s press release on the publication of draft amendments in October 2012 can be found here: Consumers win labelling victory http://www.acbio.org.za/index.php/media/64-media-releases/405-consumers-win-gm-labelling-victory
Permits for the cultivation of GM maize, soya and cotton have been granted in South Africa
In 2013 it was estimated that 86.6% of South Africa’s maize production was GM.
There is no segregation of GM and non-GM maize in storage resulting in comingling and an absence of non-GM maize on the market
The ACB’s tests for GM in staple foods found the following
Tested Product GM content
2012 Futurelife 100% GM maize, 37% GM soya*
2012 Bokomo wheat free Pronutro 90% GM maize, 71% GM soya
2012 Nestle Cerelac infant cereal 76% GM maize*
2012 Impala maize meal 66% GM maize
2013 Purity Cream of Maize 56% GM maize
2013 Purity Baby First 71% GM maize
2013 Ace super maize meal 78% GM maize
2013 Ace maize rice 70% GM maize
2013 Ace instant porridge 68% GM maize
2013 Lion samp and beans 48% GM maize
2013 Jungle Breakfast 41% GM maize
2013 Nyala super maize meal 87% GM maize
2013 White Star super maize meal 72% GM maize
2013 Premier Course Braai Pap 55% GM maize
2013 Woolworths super maize meal 79% GM maize
2013 Iwisa super maize meal 81% GM maize
2014 Checkers white bread 91.09% GM soya in soya ingredient
2014 Woolworths white bread 85.62% GM soya in soya ingredient
2014 Spar white bread 72.69% GM soya in soya ingredient
2014 Blue Ribbon white bread 64.9% GM soya in soya ingredient
2014 Pick n Pay white bread 42.82% GM soya in soya ingredient
2014 Albany superior white bread 23.23% GM soya in soya ingredient
2014 Sunbake white bread 20.46% GM soya in soya ingredient
2014 Sasko white bread so low as to be unquantifiable
* These companies have since pledged to remove GM content from the products tested
Renounces Israeli Citizenship to Protest Gaza Rampage
Lenny Lapon who had been a dual U.S./Israeli citizen renounces his citizenship publicly outside the Springfield, MA Jewish Center where hundreds a few days earlier cheered Israeli war crimes in Gaza. July 29, 2014.
"On October 19, 2010, my plane landed in "Israel" and instantaneously, I was awarded Israeli citizenship, with identification card #012706735, solely because I am Jewish. Through reflection and study, I come to realize that this act was a travesty of justice. There are several million Palestinians and their descendents who cannot enter and/or live in their native, historical homeland.