Sunday, December 13, 2015


PNN brings Political Commentators Brook Hines and Brian Stettan, PDA Peace Activist Sandy Davies and Holographer Mark Diamond
PNN brings Political Commentators Brook Hines and Brian Stettan, PDA Peace Activist Sandy Davies and  Holographer Mark Diamond

Brook Hines
will bring us her Progressive Democratic insights from her wide experience in National and State Democratic affairs

Brian Stettan
is a long time blogger and progressive Webcaster and commentator will offer his critique of our current treaty-scape. 

Sandy Davies
long time peace activist will assess the non-expanding, non-war that requires more troops, more drones and more and more military bases in a bakers dozen countries. Sandy is a longtime PDA activist   

Mark Diamond,
is an internationally recognized holographic artist/scientist we'll learn a little about the art and science of holography.


PNN 12/13/15
1. The number of bags of waste from decontamination efforts around the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant reached a little under 9.16 million as of the end of September according to Fukushima Prefecture and the Environment Ministry.


The 1-cubic-meter bags are found at some 114,700 interim storage or decontamination sites across the prefecture. In the town of Tomioka -- covered by a nuclear disaster evacuation order -- mounds of bags have grown so tall that they obscure the power shovels used to move and stack the waste, the black balls covering every sliver of landscape.
The bags of waste are typically stacked four layer high, with a fifth layer of uncontaminated soil laid on top to block radiation. Waterproof sheets are also used to stop rainwater from getting into the bags and becoming contaminated.
Negotiations with the towns of Okuma and Futaba -- both under evacuation orders -- to establish mid-term waste storage facilities there have been hard-going, and the start of construction is nowhere in sight.

2. unseasonably high temperature severe wind, and rain hit japan
Heavy rain and powerful winds hit wide areas of Japan on Dec. 11 after a frontal depression destabilized atmospheric conditions, while temperatures topped an unseasonably high 25 degrees Celsius in some parts of the country.
In central Tokyo, the temperature reached 23.8 degrees around noon, the second highest for the month of December. In Mie and other prefectures, the temperature rose to 25 degrees or higher, after warm and moist air from the south blew in with the low-pressure system.

The rain and winds intensified from the evening of Dec. 10 through the following morning, pushing up the hourly rainfall to a record high in the month of December at over 130 locations. The maximum instantaneous wind speed surpassed 30 meters per second in the Shikoku, Kinki and other regions.
In Kochi Prefecture, a 73-year-old man went missing after going out to check the swollen Shimanto River on Dec. 11. The man had his boat moored on the riverbank and had told his family that he was going to see if the boat was safe when he left home at around 2 a.m.

In Wakayama Prefecture, a 499-ton container vessel ran aground on a tetrapod breakwater at the mouth of the Kinokawa River in the city of Wakayama in the predawn hours of Dec. 11, after strong winds wrested the boat off of its moorings. All five passengers aboard the ship were rescued unscathed by a Japan Coast Guard helicopter about 4 1/2 hours after the incident was initially reported.
In central Tokyo, the hourly rainfall climbed to 18 millimeters shortly past 9 a.m. on Dec. 11, while the maximum instantaneous wind velocity reached 22 meters per second at around 11:30 a.m.

The abnormal weather disrupted public transport systems in many parts of the Tokyo metropolitan area. Service on the JR Keiyo Line was suspended from shortly before 10 a.m., while service on the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line was temporarily halted between Nishi-funabashi and Toyocho stations. The Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line highway was also closed to traffic.
According to Tokyo Electric Power Co., power outages affected some 5,900 households in Yokohama, as well as 1,100 households in Ichihara and 600 households in Minamiboso, both in Chiba Prefecture.


3. Nuclear evacuees surveyed about living in public housing later became non-eligible

Fukushima Prefecture included more people in surveys for 2013 estimates on demand for new public housing after the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant meltdowns than it ended up allowing into the housing, and the estimates based on those surveys were never publically released, it has been learned.

The estimates were reported in a document obtained by the Mainichi Shimbun. This document was created in May 2013 by a Tokyo consulting company paid around 30 million yen by the Fukushima Prefectural Government for the work. The estimates were based on fiscal 2012 surveys by the Reconstruction Agency and the Fukushima Prefectural Government of evacuees from 11 municipalities near the crippled plant.

The estimates were made based on three types of evacuees seeking a place in the housing: people wanting to live there until evacuation orders for their home municipalities were lifted; people wanting to live there after evacuation orders for their home municipalities were lifted but until a livable environment had been established; and people wanting to live in the housing permanently.

The estimated numbers of residences required for the three types of evacuees were between 3,136 and 5,663 for the first group; between 2,743 and 4,172 for the second group; and between 3,366 and 4,837 for the third group. Only the first category, however, matches up with the standards for "long-term evacuees" -- the only type of evacuee allowed to apply for the residences. Additionally, two of the 11 municipalities covered by the estimates, the city of Tamura and the town of Naraha, had their evacuation orders lifted in April 2014 and September 2015, respectively, making their residents ineligible for the housing.

The units were first proposed during the Democratic Party of Japan administration, and in September 2012 the Fukushima Prefectural Government announced preparations to build the first 500 residences. At this point, the project was being funded from reconstruction funds, and which evacuees would be eligible for a place had not yet been decided. At the end of that year, however, the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito took over the government, and at a January 2013 meeting on disaster recovery, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered the creation of a plan to allow evacuees to return home quickly, and to secure homes for long-term evacuees. The Act on Special Measures for the Reconstruction and Revitalization of Fukushima was revised in April 2013 to allow special government funding for the new housing, and to restrict eligibility to long-term evacuees.

The unreleased documents obtained by the Mainichi state explicitly that "under the current system to restrict entry into publically-managed housing to long-term evacuees," others hoping to keep living in the units after their evacuation orders have been lifted "may not be included."
A representative for the Fukushima Prefectural Government said, "It's not good to say that the national government 'toyed with us' by its policy shift, but the survey on evacuees' wishes and the establishment of the new fund (with its eligibility restrictions) happened in parallel." The official added that prefectural staff had to start applying the restrictions "in a hurry" to keep in line with national government policy.
The Fukushima Prefectural Government has announced 4,890 planned public housing units for nuclear disaster evacuees, but even when combined with around 2,800 such residences for tsunami survivors, the number of residences covers only 17 percent of the around 43,700 Fukushima households that remained without a permanent home as of the end of last year.


4. Nuclear Watch: Engineers' dissatisfactionwith lax security (Pt. 42)

"I designed that window," says Muneo Morokuzu, former specially appointed professor at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Public Policy. He refers to a window at the uranium enrichment plant of Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. (JNFL) in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, through which a JNFL public relations official says visitors can see a centrifuge inside the facility.

The materials, size and performance of the centrifuge should be kept secret. When asked whether the size of the device could be measured if viewed from outside through the window, Morokuzu said, "I designed it so that only part of the centrifuge could be seen. Even professionals who view the device through the window wouldn't know its size."

Apart from JNFL, the Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corp. (PNC), which conducted research and development of enrichment technology with Toshiba Corp. and other manufacturers, strictly controlled sensitive technologies from the viewpoint of nuclear non-proliferation. Researchers in these entities had to gain permission from their bosses to file patent applications and release research papers.

"We were unable to get even a single centrifuge-related technology patented. I'm sad about that as an engineer," says Morokuzu.
Toshiba's enrichment division was disbanded in 2000 even though it made certain achievements. At the time, there was at least one engineer who was unable to return to the division he had originally belonged to even though he wished to because he had not got even a single technology patented.
Tsutomu Yanagisawa, 72, who was involved in the development of a fast-breeder nuclear reactor at PNC, says, "Researchers and engineers want to announce their achievements in technological development and want to have their achievements recognized. Those involved in nuclear technologies are doing so secretly. However, they do so for the country and the public. They do nothing wrong."

The number of research papers that engineers and researchers have published and technologies they gain patents for are important standards for personnel evaluation.

Companies that participate in research and development projects where controls on technological information are lax -- like those at the Laser Atomic Separation Engineering Research Association of Japan (LASER-J) that was founded mainly by electric power companies -- file patent applications for relevant technologies one after another.

At LASER-J, even important documents were put in unlocked drawers and management was so lax that even cleaners could have taken such materials out of the office. A total of 187 technologies developed at LASER-J were patented and part of the information leaked overseas. Morokuzu points out that Japan's personnel evaluation system is a factor that causes unintended nuclear proliferation.

There are engineers who laugh while others cry. Amid such a situation, Japan's nuclear technologies are proliferated through patents.
Hisamitsu Arai, 71, former commissioner of the Japan Patent Office, says, "Japan's atomic energy technology is for peaceful purposes. As such, we must think not only about Japanese people but also peace for the entire world. To that end, we need a drastic change like the Copernican Revolution" in astronomy, emphasizing that Japan's patent system needs to be fundamentally reformed. (By Haruyuki Aikawa, Senior Writer)

5. Radiation spikes in Fukushima underground ducts
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says levels of radioactivity in underground tunnels have sharply risen.

Tokyo Electric Power Company has detected 482,000 becquerels per liter of radioactive cesium in water samples taken from the tunnels on December 3rd. That's 4000 times higher than data taken in December last year.

The samples also contained 500,000 becquerels of a beta-ray-emitting substance, up 4,100 times from the same period.

Around 400 to 500 tons of radioactive water, including seawater washed ashore in the March 2011 tsunami, is still pooled in the tunnels.

The tunnels lie next to a structure used to temporarily store highly radioactive water, which cooled melted nuclear fuel inside the damaged reactors.

TEPCO officials say it is unlikely the wastewater stored in the building has seeped into the tunnels.

They say the water level in the tunnels is higher than that in the building and measures are in place to stop the toxic water from leaking out.

They plan to investigate what caused the spike in radiation.

They say there has been no leakage out of the tunnels as radiation levels in underground water nearby have not risen.

International Monitoring Station


6. Editorial: Fracking unbound

Published: December 12, 2015
We are not among those who view fracking as an unmitigated horror. The practice has produced an abundant supply of cheap energy, increased U.S. oil to near record highs and is helping make the nation energy self-sufficient. And because the natural gas it produces burns cleaner than oil, it even has helped reduced the United States’ carbon emissions.

Nevertheless, Floridians should be alarmed by fracking legislation that would rob local elected officials of any say over whether the practice could take place in their communities.

It is a typical Tallahassee ploy: seize control of such decisions at the urging of industry lobbyists, who know they are unlikely to get their way with the local elected officials who would have to live with the consequences.

In fracking, a mixture of water, sand and caustic chemicals is pumped deep into the ground to fracture shale rocks and release natural gas. On its face, such a process would seem unsuitable for most of Florida, with porous limestone below the surface and underground aquifers providing most of the state’s drinking water.

It’s true a comprehensive study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found no evidence the process had a widespread impact on drinking water, but the places where fracking is taking place now do not have Florida’s geology, nor its critical water needs.

As Dr. Lonnie Draper, a member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, told The Associated Press, the very process is designed to create leaks in the layers of earth that contain oil and gas, increasing the risk to Florida’s underground water supply.

The EPA study, after all, did document cases of damaging spills and leaks. Fracking also has been linked to minor earthquakes, hardly an insignificant concern to homeowners and builders.

For such reasons, as The Associated Press reports, about 20 Florida counties and 40 cities have banned fracking. Yet the legislation advancing in Tallahassee eliminates local control, not only over fracking but over any decisions concerning the processing, storage or transportation of oil and gas. A similar bill made it through the House last session but not the Senate.

The Florida League of Cities opposes the measure because it strips local governments of the ability to protect residents. As Tom Shelly, a Belleair commissioner, says, “We would lose our authority over land decisions. We couldn’t stop fracking even it was planned next to a school.”

If lawmakers do anything, they should adopt minimum safety standards. But local governments should retain the authority to adopt whatever regulations they deem necessary, or to prohibit the mining altogether.

Environmentalists are pushing for a statewide ban on fracking. That may be an overreaction, but is more responsible than stripping local governments of any say over such critical decisions and essentially encouraging companies to pursue fracking here.

Florida, already the nation’s third-largest state, cannot continue to grow and prosper if it does not rigorously protect its water sources and natural appeal. Lawmakers should bury the fracking push.


7. Big Cypress under threat
Florida's Big Cypress National Preserve is facing an unprecedented threat, as Big Oil gears up to turn this iconic landscape into an industrial oil drilling zone.

Right now, the National Park Service is inviting comments on risky new plans to explore for oil and gas in preparation for fracking in the heart of this irreplaceable wild wetland.

Thousands of NRDC supporters like you sent messages of opposition to the National Park Service when we first learned of the plan last August. Now that NPS had decided to move forward with this ill-conceived scheme, we must take the next step and make our voices heard once again to block this assault on our natural heritage.


8. The Environmental Protection Agency's draft national assessment on fracking's potential to pollute drinking water is still under review. If it is to reflect science over policy, some dramatic changes to the wording of the study's conclusions are needed, EPA's review panel was told during a public comment teleconference on Thursday.
Back in 2010, when Congress first tasked EPA with investigating the risks that hydraulic fracturing poses to American drinking water supplies, relatively little was known about the scale and significance of the onshore drilling rush's environmental impacts.

Over the past half decade, the pace of scientific research into fracking has accelerated dramatically. In 2009, only a handful of peer-reviewed studies (the gold standard for scientific research) on the environmental risks of shale and tight gas extraction were published; by contrast, over 150 studies were published in 2014, according to a review of the literature by Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Health Energy. 
That scientific evidence has overwhelmingly found that shale and tight gas extraction has the potential to harm – and has harmed – air, water and people's health, that group wrote in an analysis released this year.
For politicians seeking to keep federal regulations for the industry at bay and for those backing an “all of the above” energy strategy, the growing evidence of a broad range of hazards related to fracking is bad news. In Pennsylvania alone, state regulators have documented hundreds of cases of water contamination, making it more challenging for supporters to argue that the industry is well-policed and operating safely.

But the final word on all of this research, as far as many federal policy-makers are concerned, will likely be the EPA's take on fracking's risks.
When the draft assessment was released, the door should have been closed on a favorite industry talking point – the (oft-debunked) claim that there has never been a documented case where fracking contaminated underground drinking water supplies. The EPA's draft assessment reported multiple documented instances where that precise problem occurred.

But a single phrase from the study's executive summary – saying that the EPA “did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States” – managed to leave a door open. That phrase continues to be quoted in headlines and media coverage about the report.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

PNN - Harvest Time

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International (RI), and Millions Against Monsanto, joined by dozens of global food, farming and environmental justice groups announced today that they will put Monsanto MON (NYSE), a US-based transnational corporation, on trial for crimes against nature and humanity, and ecocide, in The Hague, Netherlands, next year on World Food Day, October 16, 2016. The announcement was made at a press conference held in conjunction with the COP21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change, November 30 – December 11, in Paris

 Falling oxygen levels caused by global warming could be a greater threat to the survival of life on planet Earth than flooding, according to researchers from the University of Leicester published in Bulletin of Mathematical Biology. A study led by Sergei Petrovskii, Professor in Applied Mathematics from the University of Leicester’s Department of Mathematics, has shown that an increase in the water temperature of the world’s oceans of around six degrees Celsius – which some scientists predict could occur as soon as 2100 – could stop oxygen production by phytoplankton by disrupting the process of photosynthesis. 

By Staff of Wikileaks - Today, Thursday, December 3, 10am EST, WikiLeaks releases new secret documents from the huge Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) which is being negotiated by the US, EU and 22 other countries that account for 2/3rds of global GDP. Coinciding with the ongoing climate talks in Paris, today's publication touches on issues of crucial relevance including the regulation of energy, industrial development, workers' rights and the natural environment. WikiLeaks is also publishing expert analyses of the documents. The Trade In Services Agreement is the largest trade treaty of its kind in history

Cruz on firing range he doesn't care if its not PC

By Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Throughout the United States, but primarily in the Great Plains and the West, a silent polluter is responsible for cancers, birth defects and many diseases including kidney and autoimmune diseases. Yet, most people living in close proximity to these polluters are aware of the danger. I am talking about the 15,000 abandoned Uranium Mines. Most of them are open pits that continue to emit radiation and clouds of radon gas. When it rains, radioactive and toxic heavy metals are washed into the aquifers and rivers. When it is dry, dust carrying radioactive and heavy metals blows across the land. In the heart of the US' agricultural belt, these radioactive and heavy metals enter our food supply. Animals breathe in the toxic dust or drink contaminated water. Metals are taken up by plants that are harvested for animal feed or human consumption

By Chloe Fox for The Huffington Post - The Supreme Court has indefinitely stopped Native Hawaiians from moving forward with aunique and controversial election that they are hoping to use to form their own government. The high court on Wednesday extended a temporary stay issued by Justice Anthony Kennedy on Friday, granting an injunction requested by a group of Native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians challenging the election. The election would select delegates for a constitutional convention, and is seen as a critical first step toward self-governance for Native Hawaiians -- the only indigenous community in the country without an independent political structure

By Steven Rosenfeld for AlterNet - Another explosive report of institutional racism by white police and prosecutors who willfully targeted black youths has emerged from one of the most remote regions of Alabama, the deep southeastern city of Dothan, where for years a handful of officers apparently planted drugs on hundreds of black youths and railroaded them into prison. The documentary trail of these arrests dating back to the late 1990s and a subsequent coverup by high-ranking county law enforcement officials was firstreported on Reporter Jon B. Carroll describes how a handful of powerful officers and prosecutors targeted the youths for several years:

Jon Stone for Independent - David Cameron has refused to apologise after branding MPs who oppose air strikes in Syria “terrorist sympathisers”. The Prime Minister faced repeated interventions from MPs during a House of Commons debate on military action demanding that he retract the attack. Mr Cameron reportedly last night told rebel Conservative MPs that they might be set to “walk through the lobbies with Jeremy Corbyn and a bunch of terrorist sympathisers”. But today he did not acknowledge requests in parlaiment to withdraw the comments, even from pro-intervention MPs. 

Dozens of Florida cities and counties oppose a plan to give the state control over the oil and gas exploration process known as fracking.
The Tallahassee Democrat reported on Saturday that 20 counties and nearly 40 cities in Florida have passed regulations banning fracking. The cities and counties represent about 8 million people or 43 percent of the state's population.
Two Republican legislators, Rep. Ray Rodrigues of Estero and Sen. Garrett Richter of Naples, have proposed bills that would give the state authority to regulate oil and gas exploration, production, processing, storage and transportation.
Local leaders say the move wrongly takes away their right to regulate activities in their areas and that fracking could harm the environment and hurt Florida's tourism economy.
The Florida Association of Counties' general membership voted unanimously in November to oppose the legislation. The association also voted in favor of a moratorium on fracking until independent and comprehensive studies on fracking are completed.
"Whether you like fracking or don't like fracking, to have the county's powers usurped by the state is just the complete antithesis of local government," Wakulla County Commissioner Howard Kessler, who supported the Florida Association of Counties' proposals, told the newspaper.
Kessler said he's concerned about the impact hydraulic fracturing could have on the environment, public health and major industries like tourism and agriculture. The drilling technique involves the injection of mass amounts of water along with chemicals under great pressure to fracture underground rock formations and release oil and gas.
David Mica, executive director of the Florida Petroleum Council, said Florida law is fairly clear that oil and gas should be regulated by the state. And he said differences between the industry and cities and counties over fracking regulations can be resolved. But Mica said some fracking opponents want no oil or gas activity in Florida.
"I understand that point of view," he said. "It's an extremist point of view because Florida has a long history and a positive history of exploring for and producing oil and gas. We've done it since the '40s and we need to do it in the future. And we need to do it in ways that are protective of Florida's environment."
Fracking is already legal in Florida, though it's believed to have occurred only once, in Collier County. The proposed legislation would regulate the practice, establish fines for violations and pay for a study of any hazards or risks it might pose.
Last year, Rodrigues and Richter sponsored similar bills in the House and Senate. But they died when the regular session imploded over health-care differences between the chambers. The re-filed House bill passed its first committee stop earlier this month.

Home Depot to phase out bee-killing pesticides
Coalition presses for all retailers to make commitment to protect bees

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Home Depot (NYSE: HD), the world's largest home-improvement chain, has  announced that it has removed neonicotinoid pesticides, a leading driver of global bee declines, from 80 percent of its flowering plants and that it will complete its phase-out in plants by 2018. This announcement follows an ongoing campaign and  letter by Friends of the Earth and allies urging Home Depot to stop selling plants treated with neonicotinoids and remove neonic pesticides from store shelves. 

"Home Depot's progress in removing neonics shows it is listening to consumer concerns and to the growing body of science telling us we need to move away from bee-toxic pesticides," said Lisa Archer, Food and Technology program director at Friends of the Earth U.S. "However, we know that Home Depot and other retailers can do even more to address the bee crisis. Along with allies, we will continue to challenge retailers to engage in a race to the top to move bee-toxic pesticides off their shelves and out of garden plants as soon as possible. Bees are the canary in the coal mine for our food system and everyone, including the business community, must act quickly to protect them."

A study released by Friends of the Earth and Pesticide Research Institute, Gardeners Beware 2014, showed that 51 percent of garden plants purchased at Lowe's (NYSE: LOW), Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contained neonicotinoid pesticides at levels that could harm or even kill bees. Following the release of this report, Home Depot announced it would require its suppliers to label all plants treated with neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been shown to harm and kill bees, by the fourth quarter of 2014. It also committed to "find alternative insecticides for protecting live goods and bees."

Friends of the Earth and allies have called on Home Depot to strengthen its existing commitments to protecting bees and other pollinators and nursery workers by immediately disclosing the progress it has made to date in phasing out neonicotinoid pesticides in all of its plants and off-the-shelf products. The coalition also called on the retailer to make a public commitment to complete its phase-out of neonicotinoids in all plants and off-the-shelf products, while transitioning to least-toxic alternatives that are benign to human health and the environment, by December 2016.

"Home Depot's public commitment will better position the company to meet the demands of an increasingly environmentally-conscious consumer base. And, it sends an important market signal that restricting the use of bee-harming pesticides is essential to stemming chronic bee declines," said Susan Baker, Vice President of Trillium Asset Management. Trillium and partners in the Investor Environmental Health Network, Domini Social Investments and the Sustainability Group of Loring, Wolcott and Coolidge, have been in active dialogue with management on this issue.

"Home Depot's progress in removing neonicotinoids from the majority of its flowering plants shows how fast a corporation can move when it needs to respond to consumer pressure and science," said Beatrice Olivastri, CEO,  Friends of the Earth Canada."We expect all garden retailers, big and small, to be specifying right now to their suppliers to stop use of neonics for 2016 flowering plants."

"We welcome Home Depot's announcement that it has removed 80% of bee-killing pesticides from its plants. Together, over 750,000 SumOfUs members told Home Depot to stand up for the bees, and together we will be watching closely to make sure that Home Depot phases out these bee-killing pesticides as quickly as possible," said Angus Wong, campaigner, SumOfUs.  

"It's important that retailers like Home Depot begin to make the switch towards safer products for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects.  By phasing out neonicotinoid products, Home Depot is helping consumers break away from a dependency on the use of toxic pesticides in their homes and gardens," said Jay Feldman, executive director,  Beyond Pesticides.

In the past year, more than thirty nurseries, landscaping companies and retailers have taken steps to eliminate bee-killing pesticides from their stores. A growing body of scientific evidence has continued to mount that neonicotinoids are a major contributor to both wild bee and honey bee declines and that they are contaminating the environment, harming a variety of other organisms essential to healthy ecosystems and sustainable food production.

"Even though Home Depot has taken these steps in the right direction, it's important for gardeners to be aware that many plants in stores today still contain neonicotinoids. We look forward to the day when we can all buy home garden plants without worrying about harming pollinators. In the meantime, gardeners should choose organic and neonic-free starts, seeds and soil," said Katherine Paul, associate director, Organic Consumers Association.

"It's time for other retailers, such as Ace and True Value, to take a stand against toxic, bee-killing neonicotinoids by making a full-fledged, public commitment to eliminate bee-killing pesticides from store shelves," said Laurel Hopwood, Sierra Club'spollinator protection program coordinator.

Earlier in 2015, Friends of the Earth and Pesticide Research Institute surveyed nurseries and released the report   Growing Bee Friendly Garden Plants: Profiles in Innovation, to find out how growers and retail stores were working to meet consumer demand for neonicotinoid-free plants.

"The survey showed that many growers are stepping up to the plate to ensure that their plants are safe for pollinators," said Dr. Susan Kegley, principal scientist atPesticide Research Institute. "These growers are using innovative approaches to control pests such as application of beneficial insects or fungi that eat or disable pest insects, as well as tried and true common-sense pest prevention methods like proper sanitation, frequent monitoring for pests, and selection of pest-resistant plants. Their success shows that harmful systemic insecticides are not necessary to grow bee-friendly plants."

Greenhouse Grower magazine surveyed the one hundred largest greenhouse growers in the industry, and found 31 percent of the growers surveyed are not using neonicotinoids at all, and 38 percent have eliminated neonicotinoid use for some of their plant products.

Last April, the EPA placed a moratorium on new and expanded uses of neonicotinoids. In September, the 9th Circuit Court suspended the EPA's approval of sulfoxaflor, a neonicotinoid.

In November, the U.S. Geological Survey released a reconnaissance study demonstrating native bees collected in an agricultural landscape are exposed to multiple pesticides and of the bees tested, 70percent contained pesticides, including neonicotinoids.

*Organizations partnering with Friends of the Earth U.S. in the campaign to urge garden retailers including Home Depot to phase out the use and sale of neonicotinoids include: American Bird Conservancy, Atlanta Audubon Society, Beyond Pesticides, Beyond Toxics, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, CREDO Action,  Ecology Center, Endangered Species Coalition, Environment New York, Environment Texas, Environmental Youth Council, Farmworker Association of Florida, Friends of the Earth Canada, Georgia Organics, GMO Inside, Green America, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Maryland Pesticide Network,, Natural Resources Defense Council, Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, Olympia Beekeepers Association, Organic Consumers Association, Pesticide Action Network North America, Planet Rehab, Save our Environment, Sierra Club, Smart on Pesticides Maryland, SumOfUs, Toxics Action Center, Toxic Free North Carolina,  Turner Environmental Law Clinic and The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. 

Last month, US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard went on CNN and laid bare Washington’s Syria strategy.
In a remarkably candid interview with Wolf Blitzer, Gabbard calls Washington’s effort to oust Assad “counterproductive” and “illegal” before taking it a step further and accusing the CIA of arming the very same terrorists who The White House insists are “sworn enemies.” 
In short, Gabbard all but tells the American public that the government is lying to them and may end up inadvertently starting “World War III.”

Gabbard, who fought in Iraq – twice – has partnered with Republican Austin Scott on the bill. Here’s AP:
In an unusual alliance, a House Democrat and Republican have teamed up to urge the Obama administration to stop trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad and focus all its efforts on destroying Islamic State militants.
Reps. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, and Austin Scott, a Republican, introduced legislation on Friday to end what they called an “illegal war” to overthrow Assad, the leader of Syria accused of killing tens of thousands of Syrian citizens in a more than four-year-old civil war entangled in a battle against IS extremists, also known as ISIS.
“The U.S. is waging two wars in Syria,” Gabbard said. “The first is the war against ISIS and other Islamic extremists, which Congress authorized after the terrorist attack on 9/11. The second war is the illegal war to overthrow the Syrian government of Assad.”
Scott said, “Working to remove Assad at this stage is counter-productive to what I believe our primary mission should be.”
Since 2013, the CIA has trained an estimated 10,000 fighters, although the number still fighting with so-called moderate forces is unclear. CIA-backed rebels in Syria, who had begun to put serious pressure on Assad’s forces, are now under Russian bombardment with little prospect of rescue by their American patrons, U.S. officials say.
For years, the CIA effort had foundered — so much so that over the summer, some in Congress proposed cutting its budget. Some CIA-supported rebels had been captured; others had defected to extremist groups.
Gabbard complained that Congress has never authorized the CIA effort, though covert programs do not require congressional approval, and the program has been briefed to the intelligence committees as required by law, according to congressional aides who are not authorized to be quoted discussing the matter.
Gabbard contends the effort to overthrow Assad is counter-productive because it is helping IS topple the Syrian leader and take control of all of Syria. If IS were able to seize the Syrian military’s weaponry, infrastructure and hardware, the group would become even more dangerous than it is now and exacerbate the refugee crisis.
And make no mistake, Tulsi’s understanding of Washington’s absurd Mid-East policy goes far beyond Syria. That is, Gabbard fully grasps the big picture as well. Here’s what she has to say about the idea that the US should everywhere and always attempt to overthrow regimes when human rights groups claim there’s evidence of oppression:

“People said the very same thing about Saddam (Hussein), the very same thing about (Moammar) Gadhafi, the results of those two failed efforts of regime change and the following nation-building have been absolute, not only have they been failures, but they’ve actually worked to strengthen our enemy.”

Sunday, November 29, 2015

PNN Holiday Special

PNN - Holiday Special -
News Director Rick Spisak welcomes Brook Hines political commentator and Columnist for Orange Squeeze to discuss the latest democratic issues in Florida and beyond.
Then our long time friend of the show, Progressive Activist and political leader  Luis Cuevas of Progress Push to discuss national and international progressive issues.
And as a very special holiday guest Melinda Hemmelgarn Nutritionist Researcher and Broadcaster who will give us her take on the Healthy Holiday meal

TUNE IN - Live of Anytime

Solidarity & Peace
Rick Spisak News Director and Producer



1. Wring more money from FL Parks
    allow hunting 
    golf courses
    (Cut the fees) make them dependent on concessions

2. will negron do what the public demanded for Amendment 1

3. full measure - classified 9/11 - report
    rep lynch 395 certain sensitive - Protect Saudi

4. Israel & Google & YouTube Coordinate To Censor Palestinian Videos Of Conflict
Israel held meetings with representatives of YouTube and Google to find ways of cooperating to censor Palestinian videos.

Israeli daily Maariv said Hotovely will be working with Google and YouTube officials in a joint mechanism that will be in charge of “monitoring and preventing” any publication of materials deemed by Tel Aviv to be “inflammatory.”

Hotovely announced in a Hebrew-only press release that she met with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and Google’s Director of Public Policy, Jennifer Oztzistzki, at Google’s Silicon Valley Offices. 

Hotovely said that she received a comprehensive review mechanism for companies to monitor the films that allegedly incite violence, claiming that the supposed ‘incitement videos’ drive young children to go out and stab: "The attacks daily in Israel are the result of youths and children incited by the education system and the social networks, this is a daily war of incitement."

She said that Google agreed to strengthen the bilateral relations with Israel’s Foreign Ministry, and build a mechanism of “collaborative work” that would make both parties partners in monitoring the published materials and censoring them.

The Israeli move comes amidst escalating tension in occupied Palestine, and a large number of videos, including those showing Israeli soldiers and officers killing Palestinians execution-style after injuring them, and many videos that in general highlight the suffering of the Palestinian people, living under the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine.

The Israeli coordination with Google and YouTube has very serious implications, and many journalists have spoken out in opposition, saying it is a direct assault on the Freedom of the Press.

All foreign journalists who report in the Occupied Territories are required to register with the Israeli military, and any footage that they film is required to go through the Israeli Military Censor’s office before it can be released. 

With the recent advances in technology, many Palestinians and other civilians have been able to post videos uncensored online. 

The Israeli government has frequently voiced its discontent with this development, and have worked to find ways to continue to censor videos coming out of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

5.The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a genetically engineered fish for human consumption—without thoroughly studying its effect on native fish populations.

My colleagues and I are springing into action to fight this decision, but we need your help. Make a tax-deductible gift to support our work and your gift will be matched $1-for-$1 by the Sandler Foundation.

What do you think would happen if our vulnerable native salmon came face-to-face with fast-growing, genetically engineered salmon? Not sure? Unfortunately, you’re not the only one.

5. Drone Pilots’ Bank Accounts And Credit Cards Frozen By Feds
For Exposing US Murder

For having the courage to come forward and expose the drone program for the indiscriminate murder that it is, 4 vets are under attack from the government they once served.

The U.S. Government failed to deter them through threats of criminal prosecution, and clumsy attempts to intimidate their families. Now four former Air Force drone operators-turned-whistleblowers have had their credit cards and bank accounts frozen, according to human rights attorney Jesselyn Radack.

“My drone operators went public this week and now their credit cards and bank accounts are frozen,” Radack lamented on her Twitter feed (the spelling of her post has been conventionalized). This was done despite the fact that none of them has been charged with a criminal offense – but this is a trivial formality in the increasingly Sovietesque American National Security State.

Michael Haas, Brandon Bryant, Cian Westmoreland and Stephen Lewis, who served as drone operators in the US Air Force, have gone public with detailed accounts of the widespread corruption and institutionalized indifference to civilian casualties that characterize the program. Some of those disclosures were made in the recent documentary Drone; additional details have been provided in an open letter from the whistleblowers to President Obama, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, and CIA Director John Brennan.

“We are former Air Force service members,” the letter begins. We joined the Air Force to protect American lives and to protect our Constitution. We came to the realization that the innocent civilians we were killing only fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like ISIS, while also serving as a fundamental recruiting tool similar to Guantanamo Bay. This administration and its predecessors have built a drone program that is one of the most devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world.”

Elsewhere the former drone operators have described how their colleagues dismissed children as “fun-sized terrorists” and compared killing them to “cutting the grass before it grows too long.” Children who live in countries targeted by the drone program are in a state of constant terror, according to Westmoreland: “There are 15-year-olds growing up who have not lived a day without drones overhead, but you also have expats who are watching what’s going on in their home countries and seeing regularly the violations that are happening there, and that is something that could radicalize them.”

By reliable estimates, ninety percent of those killed in drone strikes are entirely harmless people, making the program a singularly effective method of producing anti-American terrorism. “We kill four and create ten,” Bryant said during a November 19 press conference, referring to potential terrorists. “If you kill someone’s father, uncle or brother who had nothing to do with anything, their families are going to want revenge.”

Haas explained that the institutional culture of the drone program emphasized and encouraged the dehumanization of the targeted populations. “There was a much more detached outlook about who these people were we were monitoring,” he recalled. “Shooting was something to be lauded and something we should strive for.”

Unable to repress his conscience or choke down his moral disgust, Haas took refuge in alcohol and drug abuse, which he says is predictably commonplace among drone operators. At least a half-dozen members of his unit were using bath salts and could be found “impaired” while on duty, Haas testifies.

Among the burdens Bryant now bears is the knowledge that he participated in the mission that killed a fellow U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki. Identified as a radical cleric and accused of offering material support for al-Qaeda, al-Awlaki was executed by a drone strike in Yemen. His 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, was killed in a separate drone strike a few weeks later while sitting down to dinner at the home of a family friend. Asked about the killing of a native-born U.S. citizen – who, at age 16, was legally still a child – former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs appeared to justify that act by blaming it on the irresponsibility of the innocent child’s father.

As Bryant points out, as a matter of law the elder al-Awlaki was innocent, as well.

“We were told that al-Awlaki deserved to die, he deserved to be killed as a traitor, but article 3 of section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states that even a traitor deserves a fair trial in front of a jury of his peers,” Bryant notes, lamenting that his role in the “targeted killing” of a U.S. citizen without a trial was a violation of his constitutional oath.

Investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill has produced evidence suggesting that the White House-approved killing of Anwar al-Awlaki’s son may have been carried out as retaliation against the family for refusing to cooperate in the search for the cleric. There are indications that the government has tried to intimidate the whistleblowers by intimidating their families.

In October, while Brandon Bryant was preparing to testify about the drone program before a German parliamentary committee, his mother LanAnn received a visit in her Missoula, Montana home from two representatives of the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations. The men claimed that her personal information was in the hands of the Islamic State, which had placed her name on a “hit list.” She was also told not to share that disclosure with anyone – a directive she promptly ignored by informing Ms. Radack, who represents Brandon and the other whistleblowers.

According to Radack, a very similar episode occurred last March in which the stepparent of another whistleblower received a nearly identical visit from agents of the Air Force OSI. “This is the US government wasting taxpayer dollars trying to silence, intimidate and shut up people. It’s a very amateurish way to shut up a whistleblower … by intimidating and scaring their parents. This would be laughable if it weren’t so frightening.”

Given the role played by the U.S. government in fomenting, equipping, and abetting the growth of ISIS, such warnings have to be perceived as credible, albeit, indirect death threats.

6. Doctors Without Borders Calls (AGAIN)  For Independent Investigation

The US version of events presented today leaves MSF with more questions than answers. It is shocking that an attack can be carried out when US forces have neither eyes on a target nor access to a no-strike list, and have malfunctioning communications systems. It appears that 30 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of people are denied lifesaving care in Kunduz simply because the MSF hospital was the closest large building to an open field and “roughly matched” a description of an intended target.

The frightening catalogue of errors outlined today illustrates gross negligence on the part of US forces and violations of the rules of war. The destruction of a protected facility without verifying the target—in this case a functioning hospital full of medical staff and patients—cannot only be dismissed as individual human error or breaches of the US rules of engagement. MSF reiterates its call for an independent and impartial investigation into the attack on our hospital in Kunduz. Investigations of this incident cannot be left solely to parties to the conflict in Afghanistan.

—Christopher Stokes, General Director, MSF

7. Too Much Solar Power not good for the Utilities?

8. Homes provided for Vets in VA

Sunday, October 25, 2015

PNN Harvest Time

Progressive News Network - Harvest time

Brook Hines Political Commentator
Jennifer Hecker SW Nature Conservancy on FLORIDA FRACKING SUMMIT
Emine Dilek Progressive Press (Publisher/Editor)
Melinda Hemmelgarn The Food Sleuth
Frank Day Panhandle Progressive

1. Environmentalists file Amendment 1 lawsuit
By JennaBuzzacco-Foerster
Naples Daily News
Environmental activists are asking a judge to order the state’s top financial officer to transfer more than $237 million to Florida’s land acquisition trust fund, the latest move in a lawsuit claiming the state misused money available for land and water conservation.
Conservation groups have asked a judge to rule the Legislature violated the state Constitution by spending a portion of the $740 million from Amendment 1 to pay for the salaries and other expenses of environmental agencies, which in the past were funded with money primarily from the state’s general revenue. The complaint also calls on Leon County Circuit Court Judge George Reynolds to require Jeff Atwater, the state’s chief financial officer, to transfer $237 million of the state’s general revenue surplus to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund.

“This is a long standing issue for us, that we would have long-term funding for conservation land acquisition,” said Manley Fuller, president of the Florida Wildlife Federation, which is one of the groups involved in the suit initially filed in June and amended in August. “We think it’s critical, and we don’t think the state is doing the job. We think the Legislature misappropriated funds.”
Both the legislative parties and Atwater have filed motions to dismiss the suit.
Amendment 1, a land and water conservation provision sponsored by Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, passedwith 75 percent of Floridian’s votes in November. The measure sets aside one-third of money collected through taxes on real estate documentary stamps to protect environmentally sensitive areas for the next 20 years.
The group had hoped the state would dedicated $170 million to Florida Forever, a state program to buy land for preservation, to protect and maintain conservation lands and local parks. This year, lawmakers set aside $17.4 million, not all of which came from Amendment 1 money, for Florida Forever.
Of the 14 environmental organizations that were part of the amendment’s steering committee, two — the Florida Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club — have joined the lawsuit now challenging the Legislature’s handling of the money.
In a Sept. 8 filing on behalf of the state Legislature, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senate President Andy Gardiner, attorneys said the lawsuit’s request “ignores the separation of powers and the Legislature’s exclusive authority” to appropriate public funds.
The legislative filing goes on to say the court has “no authority to redistribute public funds,” and that an order to transfer funds would be “a quintessentially legislative function and violate the Legislature’s long-settled, exclusive authority to control public funds.”
Atwater, in his Oct. 7 motion to dismiss, said his office has no independent authority to draw money from the state Treasury or re-balance trust funds.
“Simply stated, the general revenue fund is not a piggy bank from which the CFO may draw funds as he sees fit. Yet this erroneous metaphor is how the plaintiffs would have the court visualize the CFO’s role in the administration of the State Treasury,” the Department of Financial Services said in its motion.
David Guest, an attorney at Earthjustice, which filed the suit on behalf of environmental groups, said the courts have ruled in the past on whether the Legislature misappropriated money. In some cases, Guest said the appropriation was invalidated or struck from the books. Requiring the comptroller to repay the fund, however, hasn’t been done before.
Guest said the suit doesn’t ask Atwater to set aside money to be spent for a specific purpose. Instead, they’re asking that the $237 million be transferred into the Land Acquisition Trust fund and reserved for uses permissible under the state constitution.
But what is permissible remains in question. Lawmakers said they acted within the law by using money for salaries and other expenses, while conservation groups have said the money was intended to be used to buy more conservation land.
Guest said he hopes the court gives guidance on how lawmakers should allocate money from the amendment during its next legislative session, which begins in January. Environmental organizations, will also be pushing lawmakers to increase environmental spending in the coming year.
“The hope is always that the Legislature will abide by the requirements of the constitution that 75 percent (of voters) told them to do,” said Guest. “We have not seen yet any signal from the Legislature that they intend to mend their ways. One would hope they would.”
A hearing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 3.
This is a long standing issue for us, that we would have long-term funding for conservation land acquisition. We think it’s critical, and we don’t think the state is doing the job. We think the Legislature misappropriated funds.”
Manley Fuller, president of the Florida Wildlife Federation

2. TTIP: EU negotiators appear to break environmental pledge in leaked draft

The EU appears to have broken a promise to reinforce environmental protections in a leaked draft negotiating text submitted in the latest round of TTIP talks inMiami..
In January, the bloc promised to safeguard green laws, defend international standards and protect the EU’s right to set high levels of environmental protection, in a haggle with the US over terms for a free trade deal.
But a confidential text seen by the Guardian and filed in the sustainable development chapter of negotiations earlier this week contains only vaguely phrased and non-binding commitments to environmental safeguards.
No obligations to ratify international environmental conventions are proposed, and ways of enforcing goals on biodiversity, chemicals and the illegal wildlife trade are similarly absent.
The document does recognise a “right of each party to determine its sustainable development policies and priorities”. But lawyers say this will have far weaker standing than provisions allowing investors to sue states that pass laws breaching legitimate expectations of profit.
“The safeguards provided to sustainable development are virtually non-existent compared to those provided to investors and the difference is rather stark,” said Tim Grabiel, a Paris-based environmental attorney. “The sustainable development chapter comprises a series of aspirational statements and loosely worded commitments with an unclear dispute settlement mechanism. It has little if any legal force.”
The document contains a series of broadly sympathetic statements about the importance of conservation and climate action. But it offers no definitions of what core terms – such as “high levels of protection” for the environment or “effective domestic policies” for implementing them – actually mean.
 The leaked draft document on sustainable development
Last year, more than a million people across Europe signed a petition calling for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks to be scrapped. Their concern was that multinationals could use the treaty’s investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions to sue authorities in private tribunals, not bound by legal precedent.
In one famous case, Lone Pine launched an unresolved $250m suit against the state of Quebec after it introduced a fracking moratorium, using ISDS provisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).

US officials maintain that few such cases are ever likely to be brought under theTTIP, which could wipe away tariffs in the world’s largest ever free trade deal.
However, environmental cases accounted for 60% of the 127 ISDS cases already brought against EU countries under bilateral trade agreements in the last two decades, according to Friends of the Earth Europe. Europe’s taxpayers paid out at least $3.5bn to private investors as a result.
Natacha Cingotti, a trade campaigner for the group, said that only a carve-out of environmental protections from the tribunal process could prevent such cases mushrooming after a TTIP deal.
“This new leak illustrates that the European commission is not serious about protecting essential safeguards for citizens and the environment in the context of the TTIP talks,” she told the Guardian. “Powerful corporate polluters are likely to get VIP treatment under it, while the only chapter that could bring strong language to protect essential regulations to build a sustainable future is weak and unenforceable.”
A trade deal is supposed to be clinched by the end of 2016, although the deputy US trade representative, Michael Punke, said on Wednesday that the negotiations had not been moving as “constructively and ambitiously” as planned.
 The promised ‘transparency’ around TTIP has been a sham
Sven Giegold
 Read more

But lawyers and campaigners fear that any further progress around the Miami table could come at the expense of environmental concerns, with the latest round of talks due to close in Miami on Friday.
An EU promise that TTIP would “support our climate targets, for example by promoting trade and investment in green goods and services” has already been thrown into doubt by the leak of a draft energy chapter last May. In it, Europe’s negotiators pushed for “a legally binding commitment in the TTIP guaranteeing the free export of crude oil and gas resources”.
By comparison, “sustainable development is being treated like an appendage or unwanted stepchild,” Grabiel said. “The unequal treatment of sustainable development cannot be reconciled with the EU policy objectives in this area.”

3.TPP, the Export Import Bank (ExIm) and .....

Is the House of Representatives vote on the re-authorization of Export Import bank going to take place on Tuesday October 26, 2015?

The re-authorization of the Export Import Bank cleverly maneuvers Congressional votes to be in favor of the Trans Pacific Partnership whenever the TPP voting takes place. 

I was disheartened to discover a few days ago that the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) as a whole has assisted in the first steps for re-authorization of the Export Import Bank. (ExIm)

This is similar to the linkage of AGOA, TAA, in spite of the objections of the Congressional Black Caucus, during the multiple Trade Promotion Authority debates and voting in Congress. (See references below)

Do they (CBC) actually believe that the power elite will finally provide assistance to their downtrodden constituents? Most likely they are at the funding trough for their personal gain - ready to glide through the revolving door themselves - all the while pretending to not understand the disastrous implications of their actions. 

The Export Import Bank addicts (big business corporate users such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin - both weapons manufacturers) instead of using their own money as the loans to foreign countries have made use of U.S. taxpayer guaranteed loans. (Hello Occupy!)

The likes of GE (another "defense contractor") threatens to move even more jobs overseas if ExIm is not put back in place. (GE should be spanked now that they are a real boy.)

4.What Clinton Got Wrong About Snowden
The former secretary of state attacked the NSA whistleblower without bothering to get her facts straight.
Hillary Clinton is wrong about Edward Snowden. Again.
The presidential candidate and former secretary of state insisted during the recent Democratic debate that Snowden should have remained in the United States to voice his concerns about government spying on U.S. citizens. Instead, she claimed, he “endangered U.S. secrets by fleeing to Russia.”
After accusing Snowden of stealing “very important information that has fallen into the wrong hands,” she added: “He should not be brought home without facing the music.”
Clinton should stop rooting for Snowden’s incarceration and get her facts straight.
First, Snowden is a whistleblower, not a leaker. Whistleblowing is the act of bringing to light evidence of waste, fraud, abuse, law-breaking, or dangers to public health or safety. Snowden did exactly that when he divulged proof that the National Security Agency was illegally snooping on all of us.
Second, Snowden knew it was impossible to report this wrongdoing through his chain of command at the NSA, where he was working as a contractor employed by the consulting giant Booz Allen Hamilton.
I’ve written previously about whistleblower Tom Drake, who went through his own chain of command to report an earlier illegal wiretapping scheme by the NSA. Drake went to his bosses, his office’s general counsel, the NSA’s inspector general, the Pentagon’s inspector general, and congressional oversight committees — only to be charged with 10 felonies, including five counts of espionage.
CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, who reported wrongdoing in a CIA operation related to the Iranian nuclear program through his chain of command, was similarly charged with multiple counts of espionage. Now he’s serving 42 months in prison.
The sad fact is that many national security chains of command are overtly hostile to people who report wrongdoing. I learned this firsthand when I spent nearly two years behind bars for denouncing the CIA’s use of torture years after I left the agency. And I didn’t go to any country club. I went to a real prison.
Indeed, one of my former supervisors at the CIA called whistleblowing “institutionalized insubordination.” In other words, employees should just “follow orders,” even if those orders are illegal.
Didn’t Nazi war criminals say that they were just following orders, too? To me, their compliance was criminal.
Third, Clinton claimed that Snowden would have enjoyed protection from theWhistleblower Protection Act if he’d remained in the United States to make his revelations.
I’m disappointed, frankly, that somebody running for president of the United States doesn’t know that the Whistleblower Protection Act exempts national security whistleblowers. There are no protections for you if you work for the CIA, NSA, or other federal intelligence agencies — or serve them as a contractor. You take a grave personal risk if you decide to report wrongdoing, and there’s nobody who can protect you.
Even the federal body that’s supposed to protect whistleblowers, the Merit Systems Protection Board, got itself in trouble in October for suspending and retaliating against its own whistleblower, who revealed that the agency had a huge backlog of cases and was taking far too long to adjudicate them. That certainly doesn’t inspire confidence.
Finally, let’s get this straight: Snowden didn’t “flee to Russia.” Snowden stopped in Moscow on his way from Hong Kong to South America when Secretary of State John Kerry revoked his U.S. passport. Snowden never intended to move to Moscow. Kerry made that decision for him.
Of all people, Hillary Clinton — Kerry’s predecessor at State — should know that.
I get that Clinton doesn’t like Snowden. I doubt he’s too upset about that. But Clinton should get her facts straight if she’s going to take a stand against those federal employees and contractors who take their oaths to uphold the Constitution seriously enough to report crimes against it.
She should be celebrating whistleblowers, not vilifying them and suggesting they waltz into the nearest penitentiary.
OtherWords columnist John Kiriakou is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. He’s a former CIA counterterrorism officer and senior investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

5. Your Internet Provider Is Distorting Free Speech
Comcast thinks it has the right to censor you.
Earlier this year, the Newseum Institute asked 1,000 Americans to name their rights under the First Amendment. A clear majority listed freedom of speech first — before freedom of religion, assembly, and other core civil liberties.
And that makes sense. Protecting free speech is essential to the health of any functioning democracy.
Free speech matters to the hundreds of millions of Internet users who exercise this right every time they connect with others online. But if you ask some of the lawyers working for the companies that sell you Internet access, they’ll insist that it’s more important to protect the free speech rights of phone and cable giants like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon.
In a convoluted twist, they argue that the First Amendment gives these same companies the right to block, throttle, and degrade the communications of everyone using their services.
Did you get that? Comcast thinks it has the right to censor you.
We owe this Orwellian shift in thinking to a growing number of court decisions, among them Citizens United, that define corporations as people and their business practices as speech.
Harvard Law School’s John C. Coates documented this change in a study released last February, noting that “corporations have begun to displace individuals as the direct beneficiaries of the First Amendment.” This trend, Coates writes, isn’t just “bad law and bad politics.” It’s also “increasingly bad for business and society.”
It was only a matter of time before Internet service providers — or ISPs for short — decided to get in on this dangerous game.
In February, they lost a monumental battle when the Federal Communications Commission adopted strong Net Neutrality protections that prevent providers from blocking or slowing down online traffic and services. By summer, their legal teams hadfiled 10 lawsuits against the FCC’s ruling to undermine the protections it extends to Internet users.
“Broadband providers are First Amendment speakers,” reads a brief filed by one of these ISPs. The new FCC rules, the brief claims, “strip providers of control over which speech they transmit and how they transmit it.”
When it sued the FCC over the agency’s 2010 rules on Internet access, Verizon’s lawyers explained this position in more detail. “Broadband providers possess ‘editorial discretion,’” they claimed. “Just as a newspaper is entitled to decide which content to publish and where, broadband providers may feature some content over others.”
Not quite. ISPs aren’t like newspaper editors — their services merely transmit our speech. A long list of prominent First Amendment scholars agree: Acting as a conduit for our messages isn’t the same as engaging in free expression.
“Whether it’s a phone call, a text, an email, a webpage request, or a video stream the carrier transmits, making that delivery isn’t an editorial function,” notes my Free Press colleague Matt Wood.
Indeed. The framers of the Constitution couldn’t have foreseen a time in which technology allowed more than 2.7 billion people to communicate worldwide via interconnected digital platforms. This exponential growth of speech is without precedent — and it requires us to be clear on who the real speakers are.
As the court case against the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules unfolds, the First Amendment shouldn’t be used to take communication rights away from the very people it was designed to protect.
Timothy Karr is the senior director of strategy for Free Press.
Distributed by

6.Another Day, Another Massacre
Fear and distrust keep many Americans attached to the very weapons that kill thousands of us each year.
Yes, it’s happened again. A man with a legally acquired arsenal walked onto a college campus. Moments later, 10 people were dead, and nearly as many wounded.
Sick to your stomach? Of course you are. Surprised? Didn’t think so.
Like Aurora, Newtown, and a lengthy list of similar tragedies, the October 1 mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon aimed the spotlight on the debate over guns in America. But there shouldn’t be a debate at all.
Arguing that guns are a sacred part of our culture just doesn’t cut it anymore. They’re instruments of death. Nothing else you can own can kill more easily or efficiently.
Guns in private homes extinguish the lives of loved ones far more often than they prevent the advance of an intruder. Children shoot other children. Adults shoot their spouses and their children. Accidental death or suicide is just a trigger pull away.
This, apparently, is the price we’ve agreed to pay to uphold a convoluted interpretation of the Second Amendment.
Sure, there’ll be calls for background checks to keep these weapons away from people stricken with severe mental illness, served with a restraining order, or convicted of violent crimes. But gun owners appear to have nothing to worry about.
After all, who’s going to suggest disarming ourselves completely?
From the Brady Campaign to Everytown for Gun Safety and Americans for Responsible Solutions, no prominent organization purportedly working to end gun violence — actually, they prefer the word “reduce” — has been willing to explicitly endorse giving up our firearms.
Instead, some of them — along with nearly any elected official you can think of — seem to go out of their way to express support for the Second Amendment. “Sensible” gun control, they say, is their objective.
Making it harder for the most troubled among us to acquire a gun would, of course, be a good thing. As would comprehensive mental health care for all, and a ban on assault weapons.
Yet well-intentioned as this strategy may be, it’s cursed with a deadly flaw: There’s no guarantee that anyone deemed a “responsible gun owner” today will still be one tomorrow.
The human mind is ever-changing. And there’s no end to the number of things that can send people into a nosedive — disintegrating relationships, devastating unemployment, unlucky biology, profound trauma. Passing a background check on a given day does nothing to ensure that a person buying a gun will remain emotionally stable for the rest of his or her life.
So how do we dig ourselves out of this mess?
The answer, I believe, lies in confronting the two-headed monster that’s left us in a state of perpetual paralysis.
Fear and distrust lurk beneath our collective psyche.
For example, people who wholeheartedly distrust our leaders delude themselves into thinking that, if properly armed, they’ll prevail in an apocalyptic shootout with the government.
Some gun buyers fear the neighborhood “bad guy” and comfort themselves by fantasizing about winning a duel in their living room. Others fear the aftermath of a prolonged natural (or man-made) disaster where fighting over — rather than sharing — food, water, and shelter becomes the norm.
To varying degrees, the odds would be stacked against us in any of those situations — just as they would be in a mass shooting. It’s only on the front end that we can improve our chances. The sooner we develop a genuinely compassionate and trusting society, the less likely any of us will find ourselves in such dire circumstances.
John Morlino is a former social worker and founder of The ETHIC (The Essence of True Humanity Is Compassion). He’s been writing about gun violence for more than a decade.
Distributed by

7. The seagrass in Florida Bay is dying, a sign that the ailing bay could be going from bad to catastrophic.
Years of flood control on top of a prolonged drought wilted the bay over the summer, making already hot water twice as salty as it should be. When scientists hustled out to investigate last month, they found miles of dead seagrass: up to six square miles in Rankin Bight and seven square miles in meadows around Johnson Key, a flat once famed for redfish and snook. A cloud of sulfur had spread in water just off the Flamingo Visitor Center, leaving behind a stinky stain scientists call “yellow fog.” It may cover 25 square miles already.
But what really concerns them is this: The last time the bay looked this bad, a massive algae bloom followed. The bloom lasted for years, turning gin clear water a sickly pea green and unleashing a scourge in Everglades National Park that anglers and scientists still regard as a turning point for the bay.
Imagine if a third of Yellowstone National Park suddenly died.
To emphasize the severity of conditions, scientist Fred Sklar, who monitors the Everglades for the South Florida Water Management District, titled a presentation made last month, “Florida Bay Conditions: Another Perfect Storm?”
“I don’t think there’s anything we can do to stop this. The question might be, is there something we can do to slow it down,” he said. “The train is moving and the only thing we can do is put roadblocks in the way.”
Seagrass scientists who began monitoring the bay in 1995 after the unprecedented bloom threatened to derail the region’s $723 million fishing industry are just as worried.
“It looks like this die-off will be every bit as extensive as the episode in the 1980s,” said Paul Carlson, a marine ecologist with the state’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, who investigated the earlier crash. “There’s places where dead turtle grass … covers the bottom a foot deep.”
And it’s not just the grass that’s suffering. In July, when salinity peaked at 65 parts per thousand, toadfish that lurk on the bay bottom waiting to ambush prey died in Rankin Bight, said Chris Kelble, an oceanographer with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.
“My hypothesis is they don't swim away like other fish and the double whammy of extreme high [salinity] and temperature just took them out,” he said.
his year’s winter fish counts turned up no freshwater minnows, the first link in a complicated food chain. Sea trout, a fish perfectly engineered to reflect the health of the bay, failed to show in last’s year count. Researchers caught juveniles this year, but in numbers “nowhere near where they should be or where their numbers have been in the past,” Kelble said.
How the bay got to this point is as much about human meddling as mother nature. For decades, water managers have been struggling to undo damage from the C-111 canal, which was built in the 1960s to barge rocket engines from Homestead to the coast. It shifted a vital flow of Everglades water away from northeast Florida Bay.
Another factor also may be at work: climate change.
With models showing a 10 percent to 20 percent decrease in rainfall over South Florida, heat waves and droughts will likely become more common, making water scarcer and creating Florida Bay’s equivalent of a California wildfire. Climate forecasts also call for fewer hurricanes, which help flush out salty water by stirring up the bay.
“It’s just like the fire analogy in the west,” said Ben Kirtman, a climate scientist at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science. “The water managers will have to make decisions based on that.”
And that means the fight for water — and whether to save the fish or keep the farms or both — could become more heated.
“That’s sort of the elephant in the room that we don’t really talk about,” he said.
Because it is such a complex ecosystem, scientists have struggled to understand how to fix the bay. At 850-square miles, it is actually made up of about 24 different basins, divided by mud banks. Each basin has its own distinct level of salinity, influenced by water from the Everglades, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic ocean, along with years of man-made changes going back to Flagler’s plans to build a railroad across the bay and drain coastal marshes in an attempt to lure ranchers to the mosquito-infested wetlands. Knowing the right mix of groundwater and surface water could be the key to keeping salinity in check, Sklar said. But so far, the balance remains uncertain, he said.
What scientists do know is that to avert an algae outbreak, they need to get it right before time runs out. In the 1980s, a massive die-off spread across five basins. Five years later, an algae bloom unfolded. Most likely, the dead seagrass loaded the shallow bay with nutrients that triggered the bloom.
It took more than 12 years for the grass, considered a key indicator of the bay’s health, to begin recovering. The grass also is critical to maintaining the ecosystem: The rolling meadows provide food and shelter for sea life and stabilize the muddy bottom to keep water clear.
“These kinds of things have probably been happening periodically over time,” said Margaret “Penny” Hall, a state seagrass expert overseeing a team investigating the die-off. “It’s not a new phenomenon, but there was a perfect storm where it took off in 1987, probably exacerbated by water management decisions.”
After the 1980s disaster, the state began monitoring 17 spots in the bay, trying to understand what set of conditions might trigger a die-off. They focused on turtle grass, which was hit hardest and grows more slowly, and shoal grass, which can grow faster in harsher conditions. Knowing which grass grows where can give them a good idea of what’s going on in the water. In 1997, as grass began recovering, researchers found the amount of shoal grass had taken over western Rabbit Key basin after the turtle grass died. Overall, shoal grass more than doubled, an indication of harsher conditions.
Over the summer, on the heals of a dry winter that spiked salinity in Taylor Slough, a biologist at Everglades National Park spotted what she suspected was the beginning of a die-off and contacted the researchers who had studied the 1980s event, Carlson said.
When Hall’s team got there, they found two of the five basins hit hardest in the 1980s dead or dying. A third showed signs of trouble.
They think this is what happened: Without rain, the hot water turned saltier and heavier, creating a kind of lid, trapping sulfur in mud and keeping oxygen out. Seagrass can normally tolerate low levels of sulfide, the sulfur that occurs naturally in the mud. But the higher levels caused it to die. Once dead, the decaying grass released even more nutrients and continued the cycle.
“The sulfur is both cause and effect,” Carlson said.
Had more restoration projects been complete, scientists believe the extra water would have helped buffer the harsh drought. But lack of funding, bureaucratic delays and the demands of competing interests have delayed work that might have brought more water south.
This summer, for example, when the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers announced plans to conduct a two-year test on a series of canals, gates and flood control structures to restore water flows, the agency enraged environmentalists by opting for a plan environmentalists say favored farmers. The Corps decided to continue using a pump to keep farmland dry, a decision the Everglades Law Center called as “arbitrary and capricious as it is based on unsupported assertions.”
“We should be doing everything we can to benefit the bay right now,” said staff attorney Julie Dick. The Corps was unable to say whether an environmental study would be done when reached late Friday.
Even with restoration, park superintendent Pedro Ramos said the bay “relies on higher rainfall, which we have not been getting.”
And given climate change projections, he worried that keeping the bay healthy will become only more difficult.
“Things are changing for sure,” he said in a text message. “New territory for everyone, including scientists, and weather seems to just be getting more and more difficult to forecast.”
Recent rain — September had more than 10 inches — may have helped some, but it also changed conditions too quickly. Monitors at Buoy Key show salinity in parts per thousand dropping from the mid 40s to the high 30s in the last few days. Normal ocean conditions are 30 parts per thousand.
But scientists worry the bay is already in a downward spiral — and anglers have long reported seeing fewer fish.
“It’s the largest fish kill I’ve ever seen in the park,” said Capt. Dave Denkert, a guide who has fished the bay since the 1970s and spotted dead pinfish and snapper throughout the summer. “It goes from real salinity to almost completely fresh. It’s extreme one way and extreme the other. It all has to come together.”
When conditions go bad, some fear the fish will simply leave. Already the stock of bonefish, a catch that draws anglers from around the world, are “below the 30 percent threshold considered sustainable,” said Jerry Ault, a University of Miami fish ecologist, who warned that Florida Bay may be a microcosm of bigger problems to come.
“You get to where you really listen to the fishermen because they’re usually the first ones to find something wrong,” Hall said. “They may not know the name of the seagrass, but they know what it looked like.”

Read more here:

8. Group Promoting Peace and Love Labeled As Terrorists, Surveilled by DHS and Police

Missoula, Montana – According to the Missoula Police Department, peace and love are extremist views, and promoting these ideas could be a possible sign of terrorist activity.
The police department received a Department of Homeland Security grant of $254,930 last week, to assist them in fighting the terrorist threat. That threat was apparently posed by “the Rainbow Family,” a large hippy gathering that promotes peace and love.
In the application documents where the agency requested the grant, the Rainbow Family was listed as an “extremist organization” that requires constant surveillance.
Police Chief Scott Hoffman said that the department needed a “mobile command unit” to deal with the Rainbow Family threat.
“It’s a mobile command unit. It’s just like a motor home with communications and computers and radios and things like that. I don’t know what the hazards of the Rainbow people are,Hoffman said.
After the story went public, representatives from the police department have played damage control with the media, claiming that the operation is only to help with cleaning up and keeping the area safe.
When reporters with the Missoulian called the police department for a comment, they were told by Missoula Police Lt. Scott Brodie that the mobile command unit would be primarily for the clean up effort.
“When they have their gatherings, they historically have created a mess that needs to be cleaned up. The command center could just coordinate and speed things up, get it done faster. It’s a coordination tool is what it is,” Brodie said.
It becomes apparent how ridiculous the accusations of “extremism” are when doing some research into what the Rainbow Family stands for. They are a decentralized, loose-knit group of people who want to promote ideas of peace, freedom, equality, and love.
The group takes their name from the ancient Native American proverb that says “When the earth is ravaged and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people shall come unto the earth from many colors, classes, creeds, and who by their actions and deeds shall make the earth green again. They will be known as the warriors of the rainbow.
Back in 2013, the U.S. Forest Service spent over $500,000 in efforts to police the event and only made two arrests. Otherwise, there were no issues or problems at the event.

9. Hillary Support
1. Foreign Policy
As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton was reportedly one of the most hawkish members of President Obama's cabinet, pushing for the 2009 troop surge in Afghanistan and US intervention in Libya. She has also been a vocal proponent of the same drone war that has led to the deaths of 2,400 civilians. In her recent memoir,Hard Choices, she bragged about having presided over the imposition of "crippling sanctions" on the Iranian economy during her tenure as secretary of state. These crippling sanctions are a form of collective punishment and have benefited thewealthy only, while making life miserable for everyone else. In an interview with Atlantic columnist Jeffrey Goldberg in August 2014, she further outlined her views on Iran, staking out a maximalist position on Iranian nuclear enrichment, which effectively opens the door to military intervention. She also suggested that the United States should have done more to intervene in Syria, by, in her words, creating a "credible fighting force," while the lack of said force led to the rise of ISIS. In addition, she vociferously defended Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's handling of the assault on Gaza. Not surprisingly, her bellicose rhetoric has received praise from neocon luminary Robert Kagan. Senator Clinton's vote in favor of the Iraq war, a vote for which it took her more than a decade to express regret, was clearly not a temporary lapse in judgment.

2. Economy
Her recent foray into vague populist rhetoric notwithstanding, Clinton has long nurtured close ties to the financial sector. Over the course of her political career, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup have been among her top political donors, in addition to giving heavily to the Clinton Foundation. In October 2013, Clinton received $400,000 to speak at two Goldman Sachs events and delivered what was described as a "reassuring message" to the assembled bankers. In all likelihood, a second Clinton administration would involve the appointment of industry insiders to regulatory posts in the perpetually revolving door between Wall Street and the federal government. It's understandable then that her friends on Wall Street would be quick to shrug off her halfhearted attempt to shore up her left flank as anything but substantive. Nobody who was genuinely concerned with economic inequity would be hobnobbing with some of the same economic institutions whose reckless financial schemes helped engineer the 2008 economic collapse.
Hillary Clinton has a long history of being willing to serve the interests of large corporations. In 1976, while serving as legal counsel for the Rose Law Firm, sherepresented several Arkansas utilities companies that sued the state after a ballot initiative (sponsored by conservative boogeyman Acorn) passed that decreased utilities rates on Little Rock residents and increased them on businesses. In defending the utilities conglomerates, she argued that the initiative amounted to an unconstitutional seizure of property. The judge ruled in these companies' favor

3. Environment
As Grist magazine reported, during her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton took an active role in promoting hydrofracking worldwide through the Global Shale Gas Initiative. Clinton's State Department, and in some cases she personally, lobbied on behalf of companies like Chevron intent on expanding the practice, particularly in countries like Bulgaria and Romania where there was widespread public skepticism. This lobbying was met with mixed success, as Chevron eventually pulled out of Bulgaria due to a moratorium, while Romania's moratorium was repealed following US lobbying. Since stepping down as secretary of state, Clinton has continued to express support for the practice, which she outlined in a September 2014 speech to the National Clean Energy Summit. She has also remained disturbingly silent on the issue of the Keystone XL pipeline.

4. Civil Liberties
If you have been outraged by the Obama administration's abysmal record on civil liberties - from its continuation of NSA spying, rampant secrecy and overzealous prosecution of whistleblowers - and would like to see a change in the post 9/11 status quo, then Hillary Clinton is the last candidate you should expect change from. In the Senate, she voted for the Patriot Act as well as its subsequent reauthorization. In an appearance in April 2014 at the University of Connecticut, she defended NSA surveillance and chastised whistleblower Edward Snowden, accusing him ofsupporting terrorism.
5. Culture Wars
Clinton has a long history of cynical pandering on hot button social and culture war issues. As a senator, she frequently co-sponsored legislation that would make many on the left cringe. In 2005, she joined a bipartisan group of senators in signing onto the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, which, according to the ACLU, would effectively have legalized discrimination. Later that same year, she introduced a bill that would have made flag burning a felony.
In addition, she has an extensive history of anti-video game demagoguery, something that wouldn't exactly endear her to younger voters. In July 2005, shecalled upon the Federal Trade Commission to launch an investigation into Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas over the "hot coffee mod" - a sexually explicit mini-game within GTA. This led to the game's rating being changed to Adults Only until Rockstar Games removed it from shelves. In November 2005, she introducedlegislation that would have banned the sale of games rated M for mature to anybody under the age of 17. Two years later, she again introduced similar legislation in the middle of her first presidential bid.
It's also worthwhile to note that many secular Americans would find some of the company she keeps disturbing. Beginning in 1993, Clinton was a member of "The Fellowship," a clandestine and influential evangelical group, which has recruited many prominent figures in business and politics and holds meetings in gender-segregated "cells."
If you agree with these positions, then by all means, Hillary Rodham Clinton is your candidate. If, however, you want a more peaceful foreign policy at a time in which an entire younger generation of Americans have never known anything other than a state of permanent undeclared war, or if you would prefer to see Wall Street and NSA spying reined in, then you should find a better candidate to support. If we don't address these vitally important issues now and Hillary does become the nominee following a no contest primary, then to get a change in the status quo, we will have to wait until 2020, if she loses (in which case we'd face the terrifying possibility of an ultra-reactionary Republican Party in control of the White House and both houses of Congress), or 2024, if she wins. Neither of these options bodes well for the future of the Democratic Party or the country.
If, as progressives, we simply allow ourselves to fall in line behind a Democratic establishment that smugly mocks us, then we will forever be marginalized and beholden to a political system in which the Overton window is permanently slanted to the right.

via / September 28, 2015 / Radiation can be carried long distances by marine currents, concentrated in sediments, and carried in sea spray 16km or more inland, writes Tim Deere-Jones. So Fukushima poses a hazard to coastal populations and any who eat produce from their farms. So what are the Japanese Government and IAEA doing? Ignoring the problem, and failing to gather data.
Review of the official Japanese marine monitoring programme reveals that the Japanese government is turning a blind eye to the risks of marine radiation from the stricken Fukushima site.
The strategy it has adopted, with the support of the IAEA, consistently ignores the latest evidence about the way marine radioactivity behaves in inshore marine environments and the potential radiological risks to coastal populations.
This strategy is based on a flawed hypothesis, developed by the nuclear industry through the late 1940s and early 1950s, when both oceanography and the study of the behaviour and fate of radioactivity in marine environments were in their absolute infancy.
As a result, the principal conclusions on the marine impact of the Fukushima event put forward in recent reports from the IAEA, the Government of Japan and it’s relevant agencies, minimise the environmental and public health negatives and emphasise a range of hypothetical ‘positives’.
This is a major flaw because the empirical evidence from ‘non-aligned’ research in the UK is that coastal communities are subjected to highly enriched doses of marine radioactivity through pathways of exposure, and from environmental parameters, which will not be analysed and researched under current Fukushima monitoring plans.
As a result, significant public health impacts of the event will not be documented, nor will important data about the way Fukushima marine radioactivity behaves at the coastline.
11 Nuclear Expert: US West Coast being continuously exposed to Fukushima radioactive releases, it’s an ongoing tragedy — Marine Chemist: Impossible to stop nuclear waste flowing into ocean; “It never will be… that’s what keeps me up at night” — Radiation levels spiked 1,000% since floods

12. “Mystery as scores of dead rare sea animals wash up” in Gulf of California — AP: Dozens of carcasses found on beaches and floating in water — Gov’t experts ‘baffled’ over mass death of dolphins, sea lions, turtles — “Long stretch of coastline closed off to public” (PHOTOS)
AP, Oct 15, 2015 (emphasis added): Mexican authorities are investigating the deaths of 36 marine animals that washed up on an island in the Gulf of California. The federal environmental prosecutor’s office says in a statement Thursday that 21 dolphins, 4 sea lions and 11 sea turtles were discovered at Altamura Island… decomposing remains were found on the beaches and floating in the water… The private island [has] dunes stretching some 12 miles… it’s rare to find so many at one time. Authorities are seeking to determine the cause of death and avoid possible health threats…

AFP, Oct 15, 2015: Four sea lions, 11 sea turtles and 21 dolphins have mysteriously turned up dead on an island in northwestern Mexico, sparking an investigation, authorities said Thursday. [The federal prosecutor's office for environmental protection] said in a statement that inspectors, park rangers and other experts were dispatched… to investigate the “unusual event.” They will collect evidence to figure out how the animals died, the statement said.
he Sun, Oct 16, 2015: Mystery as scores of dead rare sea animals wash up on stretch of coastline — A long stretch of coastline has been closed off to the public after the corpses of dozens of rare sea animals washed up on the beach. Mystery surrounds the sudden influx of dead marine life… Since none of the creatures appeared cut or marked, it has been ruled out that the animals died after being caught up in fishermen’s nets. There’s growing concern over what has caused the tragedy… Mexico’s Federal Environmental Protection Agency, Profepa, has activated a security protocol and tourists have been warned not to use the beacheswhile the water is being tested for signs of pollution and other evidence is collected. A [gov't] spokesman said: “We will be looking at what species are affected, their condition, size, age, physical appearance, nutritional state, health, visible traumas, the time and date, climacteric conditions, state of the sea, topography of the beach and accessibility of the area.”


This weeks guests with our lead Commentator Ms Brook Hines discussing adventures with Florida Democrats

Then we welcome Ms Jennifer Hecker who will give us the heads up on this coming weeks FLORIDA FRACKING SUMMIT in Fort Meyers.

We also welcome Melinda Hemmelgarn (aka the Food Sleuth) gives us her take on the Healthy way to celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Frank Day long time friend of the show brings us the Panhandle Progressives take on what his friends and neighbors are saying about the recent debates (R & D) alike with surprisingly good news for Progressive across Florida.

Emine Dilek publisher and Editor in Chief from ProgressivePress.Net brings us her unique perspective from Europe on all things Middle Eastern, from Syria, Turkey and Libya.

Sunday 7pm Eastern 

PNN Harvest Time Brook Hines & I welcome Melinda Hemmelgarn - The Food Sleuth, Jennifer Hecker SW FL Conservancy, Frank Day - Panhandle Progressive, Emine Dilek Publisher and Editor of Progressive Press and Steve Horn of DeSmog Blog on Energy bring you Progressive News

Progressive News Network - Harvest time
This weeks guests lead off with our Progressive Commentator Ms Brook Hines discussing adventures with Florida Democrats
Then we welcome Ms Jennifer Hecker of the SW Florida Conservancy who will give us the heads up on this coming weeks FLORIDA FRACKING SUMMIT in Fort Meyers.
We also welcome Melinda Hemmelgarn (aka the Food Sleuth) gives us her take on the Healthy way to celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Frank Day long time friend of the show brings us the Panhandle Progressives' take on what his friends and neighbors in the Florida Panhandle are saying about the recent debates (R & D) alike with surprisingly good news for Progressive across Florida.

Emine Dilek publisher and Editor in Chief from ProgressivePress.Net brings us her unique perspective from Europe on all things Middle Eastern, from Syria, Turkey and Libya. (With a comment or two on Hillary versus the Midgets)