Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The Welfare Queen of Denmark

The Welfare Queen of Denmark
Ronald Reagan's "welfare queen" lives on, shadowing discussions of social spending and austerity, an economist writes. 
 
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/29/the-welfare-queen-of-denmark/?smid=pl-share

Monday, 29 April 2013

Patent?

Patent WO2010051814A1 - Natural antioxidative feed additive ...

www.google.com/patents/WO2010051814A1?cl=en
May 14, 2010 – 2, LANS CHERYL ET AL: "Ethnoveterinary medicines used for ruminants in British Columbia, Canada" JOURNAL OF ETHNOBIOLOGY AND ...

How Government Cover-Up on Fish Farming Affects Your Health

How Government Cover-Up on Fish Farming Affects Your Health

ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Exposed: Why You Should Boycott Farmed Salmon

British Columbia’s pacific salmon, considered an essential species for the ecosystem, have been disappearing since the early 1990s. Biologist Alex Morton, who has followed and studied the decline for nearly 30 years, knows who’s to blame: fish farms. It seems that when commercial fish farms moved into the area, the wild salmon became infected with a number of life-threatening conditions, including parasitic sea lice, the highly lethal “salmon influenza” and other viruses.
The Canadian government is covering up Morton’s research and trying to silence her.
Today, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is set to approve the first genetically engineered salmon for sale in the U.S. Over the objections of more than 40 members of Congress and half a million U.S. consumers, the FDA says the GE salmon poses no threat to the environment, because the fish will never escape their “farms.”
Watch this full-length documentary, and you’ll know why this is a dangerous decision. And why you want to avoid factory-farm fish.
Watch the documentary

Friday, 26 April 2013

Dandelions win

After some time watching the landlord manually removing the dandelions in the lawn, they seem to have increased exponentially. Dandelions 10: lawn 0. My curved little toe has won victories against 2 more pairs of shoes. After searching, selling and buying other second-hand shoes I finally asked myself - you have already altered one pair of too-narrow shoes why not cut another hole where your toe is? Miraculous pain free result in one pair of altered too-narrow shoes and one pair of comfortable gift shoes. Two more pairs of shoes with no resale value and I previously kept a pair of new-with-defect shoes because they fit properly. Toe 6: shoes 4.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

8th Annual HerbDay to be Celebrated Saturday, May 4, 2013

8th Annual HerbDay to be Celebrated Saturday, May 4, 2013

(AUSTIN, Texas, April 23, 2013) Herb lovers in more than 13 cities in 11 states and the District of Columbia are set to take part in the 8th annual HerbDay celebration on Saturday, May 4.
Scheduled events include lectures and workshops, herb walks, in-store cooking demonstrations, presentations by herbal product companies, and herbal-themed children’s activities.
“Herbs enhance the value of our gardens by providing plants with incredible flavors, rich fragrances, and healthful, useful properties,” said U.S. Botanic Garden Executive Director Holly H. Shimizu. “They give us opportunities to add to a garden’s intrinsic beauty, texture, and charm.”
HerbDay activities are held at retail stores, schools, farms, botanical gardens, garden centers, and public parks worldwide, on and during the weeks preceding and following May 4.
“Greater familiarity with herbs will increase informed use of herbal products and build public support for maintaining personal choice in the use of botanicals,” said David LaLuzerne, who oversees the HerbDay celebration at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin. “Last year’s HerbDay attracted more than 200 herbal enthusiasts for a day of herb classes, herb walks in the garden, and herb displays in the Commons area. It included individuals, businesses, and organizations that share a love and passion for herbs and herbal medicine.”
HerbDay was conceived of in 2006 by the HerbDay Coalition, five nonprofit organizations, to raise awareness of the significance of herbs and the many ways they can be used safely and creatively for health, beauty, and culinary enjoyment. The HerbDay Coalition is comprised of the American Botanical Council, American Herbalists Guild, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, American Herbal Products Association, and United Plant Savers.
Additional events are being planned and added to the HerbDay website, www.herbday.org. This year, scheduled events include:
  • The U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory in Washington, DC will host a celebration of herbs, including demonstrations, activities, and information tables throughout the conservatory. Additionally, the Potomac Unit of the Herb Society of America will feature an herbal beads display and demonstrations, herbal tea tastings and make-your-own herbal tea bags, as well as the opportunity to create your own herbal skin lotion. The Pennsylvania Heartland and the Philadelphia Units of the Herb Society of America will present an exhibit on elder (Sambucus spp.), the International Herb Association Herb of the Year.
  • The American Botanical Council in Austin, Texas will host herb walks in 26 herb-themed gardens and herb talks in its education annex, as well as a plant and book sale, refreshments, a Maypole, and a children’s planting activity.
  • ArborVitae School of Traditional Herbalism in New York will host a full day of free workshops, demonstrations, and herb walks through the market and gardens. There will be a diverse range of teachers and presenters, with both adult and kid-friendly activities.
  • Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton, Michigan will host demonstrations on how to include herbs in gardens and cooking, vendors with plants and products, and activities for the young-at-heart.
  • The Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin will host kids’ herbal activities with two HerbDay talks: "Herbal Teas for Kids" and "Kids and Seeds for a Greener Future." There will also be a kids’ activity tour.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Various Pharmacognosy Awards

Posted: 22 Apr 2013 06:32 AM PDT
American Society of Pharmacognosy Varro E. Tyler Prize
The Varro E. Tyler Prize is to recognize an individual who has made outstanding scientific contributions to the broad field of dietary supplements, with special emphasis on botanicals. The contributions should be in an area of phytochemistry, pharmacognosy, or pharmacology. Notable contributions to botanical studies outside these primary areas of emphasis, including, for example, clinical investigations, may also be eligible for consideration.
The Varro E. Tyler Prize will consist of a suitably inscribed plaque, a monetary prize of $5000, and travel expenses to the meeting where the award will be made. Selection: To be made by a committee appointed by the President of the American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP), consisting of a chair and at least two other members. Eligibility and Mechanism: The Varro E. Tyler Prize will be awarded either at the annual or an interim meeting of the ASP. Recipients must be present in person to receive it. Applications/nominations (one electronic copy) for the Varro E. Tyler Prize must be received by the chairman of the Prize Committee at least two months prior to the meeting at which the award is scheduled. No special form is required, but the application should include a letter outlining the candidate’s significant contributions to the field and a detailed curriculum vitae of the nominee, including a complete listing of publications. Reprints of 2-3 significant papers may be included. Other types of supporting documents that may be listed are books, unpublished speeches, patents, and the like. Up to two supporting letters may also be submitted on behalf of a candidate/nominee. Membership in the ASP is not a requirement for consideration, nor is eligibility restricted on the basis of nationality.
To nominate: One electronic copy of a completed nominations should be sent to the committee chair.
Submissions must reach the chair no later than September 15. Applications will not be returned. On request, the Committee will hold unsuccessful submissions for reconsideration in future years.
Note that the Varro E. Tyler Prize is administered separately.
Posted: 22 Apr 2013 06:25 AM PDT
American Society of Pharmacognosy Undergraduate Research Award
The ASP Undergraduate Research Award consists of a stipend of $2,000 to the student and $500 to the advisor to help defray the costs of the research. There are no limitations on the type of research to be conducted other than that it should be in the area of natural products. Applications should be submitted via email. Applications for the Undergraduate Research Award must be received by February 15, and consist of the following:
• An outline of the research to be conducted, written by the student applicant. This should include a statement of the problem and the goal(s) of the research, and a brief discussion of the methodology. This outline, with pertinent references, should not be longer than four double-spaced, typed pages.
• A transcript of all college work attempted.
• A curriculum vitae, including contact information and email address (upon receipt of a completed application, a confirming receipt will be sent by email).
• A letter of agreement by the faculty advisor (a member of the American Society of Pharmacognosy) for the project, indicating a willingness to supervise the project, and provide the facilities and equipment for the conduct of the project. The letter should also include a statement about the student’s academic performance and suitability to perform the work proposed.
• Preference will be given to students who have not graduated by the time the award will be administered (i.e. undergraduate students who will graduate in the spring prior to these summer awards will receive lower priority in the evaluation of applications).
Applications should be submitted via email to William P. Jones, Chair, ASP Awards and Funds Committee (jones.william.p@gmail.com)
Posted: 22 Apr 2013 06:19 AM PDT
American Society of Pharmacognosy Student Research Award
ASP Student Research Awards are designed to recognize outstanding research in the general area of natural products. The competition is open to all graduate and undergraduate students working with a member of the ASP. Students should submit a cover letter that includes contact information including email address and a research paper describing his/her own work in the area of natural products. The research paper should conform in general to the format of the Journal of Natural Products. Up to two awards will be made in any year. The award will consist of an engraved plaque, a $500 cash gift and up to $1000 assistance with expenses to present the paper at the annual meeting of the ASP (restricted to meetings held in continental North America and Hawaii). If applicants for the Student Research Award who are working in colleges or schools of pharmacy provide the required certification letter from the student’s Dean or Registrar, they will be considered automatically for the Kilmer Prize. The deadline for submission of the research paper is February 15.
Posted: 22 Apr 2013 06:13 AM PDT
American Society of Pharmacognosy General Student Travel Grants
Student travel awards/grants are for graduate students under the supervision of a Society member. All applicants for student travel awards/grants will be considered for the Lynn Brady Student Travel Awards, the David Carew Student Travel Award, and the General Student Travel Grants. Application for these awards/grants can be made by submission of a short (1-3 pages) synopsis of the work to be presented, a curriculum vitae, contact information including email address, and a letter of justification/recommendation from the advisor. The most outstanding applicants will be winners of the travel awards. Other deserving applicants will receive the General Student Travel Grants. All awards are contingent on the acceptance of the paper for presentation by the Scientific Program Committee (submission of an abstract for the meeting is a separate process; see annual meeting website for details and abstract submission deadlines). Applications are due February 15. Applications should be submitted via email to William P. Jones, Chair, ASP Awards and Funds Committee (jones.william.p@gmail.com)
The General Travel Grant for Graduate Students is for graduate students under the supervision of a Society member. These travel grants of up to $600 help to enable students to attend a Society meeting and present a paper. Applications are due February 15.
Please Note: All travel awards/grants are provided at the annual ASP meeting, after presentation of the research as either a poster or a talk. The initial costs of registration and travel to the meeting will need to be covered by the applicant.
Posted: 22 Apr 2013 06:05 AM PDT
American Society of Pharmacognosy Travel Grants for Active Members
Travel Grants are available to enable active members who are within the first five years of earning their Ph.D. to travel to an American Society of Pharmacognosy meeting and present the results of their research. These awards of $600 are made on a competitive basis. Application can be made by submission of a short (2-3 pages) synopsis of the work to be presented, a curriculum vitae and a letter of justification for the request. All awards are contingent on the acceptance of the paper for presentation by the Scientific Program Committee. The deadline for submission of applications is February 15. Applications should be submitted via email to William P. Jones, Chair, ASP Awards and Funds Committee (jones.william.p@gmail.com)
Posted: 22 Apr 2013 06:00 AM PDT
American Society of Pharmacognosy D. John Faulkner Travel Award
The D. John Faulkner Award is available to active members of the ASP who are within five years of their first independent appointment, to support their attendance at the ASP Annual Meeting.
The American Society of Pharmacognosy honored John’s lifetime contributions to the study of natural products with the ASP Research Achievement Award in 2003. In tribute to John’s dedication as a mentor, the D. John Faulkner Award has been established to provide opportunity for a young investigator to attend an annual ASP meeting. Meryl Faulkner, John’s widow, initiated endowment of this award with the funds received from John’s ASP Research Achievement Award that she accepted on his behalf.
The award consists of an engraved plaque and $1000 to assist the recipient to travel to an ASP annual meeting and present the results of her/his research. Applicants for the Travel Grant for Active Members who meet the selection criteria will automatically be considered for this award and need not submit a separate application but should include the initial date of their appointment in their letter. All awards are contingent on the acceptance of the paper for presentation by the Scientific Program Committee. Application for this award may be made by submission of a short (2-3 pages) synopsis of the work to be presented, curriculum vitae, and a letter of justification for the request. The deadline for submission is February 15. Applications should be submitted via email to William P. Jones, Chair, ASP Awards and Funds Committee (jones.william.p@gmail.com)
Posted: 22 Apr 2013 05:53 AM PDT
American Society of Pharmacognosy Research Starter Grants
The Research Starter Grants are small research grants from $2000 to $5000 available for active members in the first eight years after earning their Ph.D. and in the first five years of their first independent career position. These are one-time awards and do not provide indirect costs. They are awarded preferentially to applicants who have not yet received major external funding. Applicants should submit a research proposal of no more than four double-spaced, typed pages. A budget should accompany the proposal and the investigator should also provide a statement of his/her current funding. A curriculum vitae of the investigator must be included with the proposal and budget. In addition, a brief letter from a departmental chair or institutional representative should be included, indicating that the applicant has institutional support for the application. The deadline for submission of application for these grants is February 15. Applications should be submitted via email to William P. Jones, Chair, ASP Awards and Funds Committee (jones.william.p@gmail.com)
Posted: 22 Apr 2013 05:32 AM PDT
American Society of Pharmacognosy Matt Suffness Award
The Matt Suffness (Young Investigators Symposium) Award, is intended to recognize the contributions of younger natural product scientists, and to provide a special, timely forum for them to present results from their research at the annual ASP meeting. The Award also recognizes and honors the memory of Dr. Matt Suffness. Dr. Suffness served as the Society’s President in 1989-1990, during which time he initiated the “Young Investigator’s Symposium” which now bears his name.
The Awards and Funds Committee has been charged with the selection of speakers according to the following procedure and criteria:
• The number of speakers per year shall be limited to one, but may be none if suitable nominations are not received in a particular year.
• Nominees must be ASP members.
• Nominees shall be within 12 years of receiving their Ph.D., and within 10 years of gaining their first independent position (e.g., Assistant Professor or equivalent position in industry or government).
• A nomination must be accompanied by the nominee’s CV, an abstract of the presentation proposed by the nominee, and relevant reprints (maximum of 4). Selected speakers will be invited to submit a short review paper to the Journal of Natural Products.
• Nominations will be solicited in the Newsletter, on the Website, and from recipients of the Research Achievement Award. Any current member of the ASP may submit nominations, however, self-nominations will not be accepted.
• The Awards and Funds Committee must keep in close contact with the appropriate ASP meeting Scientific Program Committee.
• The deadline for nominations for this award is February 15.
The Matt Suffness Award consists of complimentary Registration at the annual meeting of the ASP and $1,000 to help offset the costs associated with travel and attendance at the conference. Applications should be submitted via email to William P. Jones, Chair, ASP Awards and Funds Committee (jones.william.p@gmail.com)
Posted: 22 Apr 2013 05:26 AM PDT
Call for Nominations: Norman R Farnsworth American Society of Pharmacognosy Research Acheivement Award
The Norman R Farnsworth ASP Research Acheivement Award is selected by the American Society of Pharmacognosy annually. Candidates must be members of the Society who have made outstanding contributions to research on natural products. The award consists of an honorarium of $5000 and travel expenses to present the award lecture at an annual meeting of the Society.
Nominations are due by December 15 to the Chairman of the Norman R. Farnsworth ASP Research Achievement Award Committee and should consist of a nominating letter, a curriculum vitae of the candidate, and letters from three individuals who are familiar with the candidate’s scientific accomplishments. Nomination documents should be submitted in triplicate to:
Dr. Jim McAlpine
email: mcalpine@ecopiabio.com

Monday, 22 April 2013

The activities of the Dutch Quack watch society (VTdK)

The activities of the Dutch Quack watch society (VTdK). They consider themselves to be the new inquisition (and are even proud to be so!)

“[Dutch parliament legitimizes harmful quackery]” [in Dutch] (with FS van Dam), Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 2010; 154:A1814. [abstract in English]
  • “In the interest of all who value their purse and their health: a brief history of the ‘Vereniging tegen de Kwakzalverij’—Society Against Quackery—of the Netherlands,” Evaluation & The Health Professions, 2009 Dec; 32(4):431-450. [abstract]
  • “A Dutch view of the science of CAM, 1986–2003,” Evaluation & The Health Professions, 2009 Dec; 32(4):431-50. [abstract] [DOI]

Tedje van Asseldonk wrote abut the VTdK on their 125th anniversary. Her essay was sent to several Dutch ‘’quality’’ journals but nobody published it, only a small anthroposophical magazine. It is now listed on several patients web sites, for example
 
http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A//kanker-actueel.nl/jubileumcongres-antikwakpolitie-een-column-van-drs-agm-van-asseldonk-bioloog-zelfstandig-gevestigd-docentonderzoeker-nav-het-aanstaande-125-jarig-jubileum-van-de-vereniging-tegen-kwakzalverij.html&sl=auto&tl=en&history_state0=
 
The longlasting chairman of the VTdK retired last year. Cees Renckens was a gynaecologist. In his clinic in Hoorn a few years ago babies died. The Health Care Inspectorate (IGZ) wrote a report about it, confirming this. The reason was the arrogance of the gynaecologists that refused to cooperate with the midwifes working for the same clinic!
 
 http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://www.sin-nl.org/pdfs/rapport_cie_visser_inz._overlijden_baby_ramgoelam.pdf&usg=ALkJrhjr549B0m3Yf3wFWwEop92lNahalw
 
http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A//kanker-actueel.nl/cees-renckens-voorzitter-vereniging-tegen-de-kwakzalverij-en-gynaecoloog-in-westfriesgasthuis-in-hoorn-is-mede-onder-toezicht-gesteld-wegens-dood-babies-en-verzwijgen-van-medische-missers-miscommunicatie-die-vooraf-gingen-aan-het-overlijden-van-de-ba.html&sl=auto&tl=en&history_state0=
 
Renckens and his successor a female anesthesiologist always claimed pelvis weakness, PMS and several other illnesses are only imaginary women diseases (hysterical - remove the womb and they will be better off). 
 

(Hippocratic Hysteria: the Womb and Its Destinations

http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft0p3003d3&chunk.id=d0e1173&toc.id=d0e760&brand=ucpress)
 
Now they are fighting a war against the new practice of midwives that inject women in labor with sterile salt solution as this appeared to give pain relief. See  http://www.kwakzalverij.nl/1559/Steriele_waterinjecties_in_de_verloskunde_nieuw_
 
http://www.scienceinmedicine.org/fellows/Renckens.html
  • Hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy for severe premenstrual syndrome [letter to editor], Human Reproduction, 2005 Apr; 20(4):1113-1114. [DOI]
  • “Pain relief using electro-acupuncture for oocyte retrieval,” Human Reproduction, 2004 Dec; 19(12):2965-2966.
  • “Some complementary and alternative therapies are too implausible to be investigated” (with E Ernst), Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 2003 Sep; 8(3):307-308.
  • The sharp end of medical practice: the use of acupuncture in obstetrics and gynæcology” [letter to editor], British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynæcology, 2002 Dec; 109(12):1418-1419.
  • “A comparison between alternative pseudodiagnoses and regularly accepted fashionable diseases: an analysis prompted by the Dutch epidemic of obstetric ‘pelvic instability,’ ” The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, 2002; 6(2):91-96.
  • Alternative treatments in reproductive medicine: much ado about nothing,” Human Reproduction, 2002; 17(3):528-533. [DOI]
  • “Between hysteria and quackery: some reflections on the Dutch epidemic of ‘pelvic instability’ ” [Author's reply to letter], Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2001; 22(1):62-63. [DOI]
  • “Between hysteria and quackery: some reflections on the Dutch epidemic of ‘pelvic instability,’ ” Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2000; 21(4):235-239. [DOI]
  • “Trials of homeopathy” [letter], The Lancet, 1993 Jun 12; 341(8859):1533-1534.
 

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Koprowski passes on

Wow, I never would have believed that I would not see this obit for more than a week. I got involved in this controversy at my last teaching job at Guelph. No academic work for me since. Koprowski passes on, but others repeat the same old untruths about how AIDS began. http://www.aidsorigins.com/content/view/233/2/ There has been a remarkably low-key response by the medical community to the passing of Dr Hilary Koprowski. Five days have passed, and the only reports that I have seen to date are the Associated Press report already mentioned (which has been used by the New York Times, the Huffington Post and others), and an article by Stacey Burling in the Philadelphia Inquirer, entitled "Hilary Koprowski, Polio Vaccine Pioneer, Dead at 96". Koprowski lived in a well-to-do suburb on the outskirts of Philadelphia for most of his final 56 years, so this is effectively his home-town newspaper. The latter article, whilst featuring a largely accurate account of Koprowski's life, also contained the following paragraph, which is factually inaccurate throughout. "A discredited theory blamed clinical trials of his [Koprowski's] polio vaccine in the Congo for providing the bridge from chimps to humans for the AIDS virus. Scientific experts conclusively debunked the theory in 2001." In reality, the so-called oral polio vaccine (or OPV) theory of origin of AIDS has never been discredited or debunked, though many in the medical community would apparently like to believe that it has been. In reality, each of the alleged "disproofs" of the OPV theory is phoney. Let me be more specific: a) the samples of Koprowski's polio vaccine that were tested and found to be free of chimpanzee DNA and HIV-1 (and related viruses) were not the right samples of vaccine to test, for they had never been anywhere near Africa. (I have repeatedly stressed this point. The fact that most virologists who make statements on this subject are well aware of this discrepancy and yet continue to proclaim it as a "disproof" of the OPV theory raises questions about the integrity of such scientists.) b) It is claimed that geneticists have analysed early samples of HIV-1, and have concluded that HIV-1 must have existed in about 1908, or some 50 years before Koprowski's polio vaccine trials in central Africa were staged. But this is not a fact, but a theoretical assertion. And the assertion is based on a faulty model: the phylogenetic clock. In reality, HIV does not evolve at a constant rate that could be measured by a clock, for over 90% of its evolution comes about through recombination, rather than by constant-rate mutation. c) It is claimed that the chimpanzees at Koprowski's 1950s research station in the Congo at Camp Lindi were not the Pan troglodytes troglodytes (Ptt) subspecies of chimpanzees that is generally assumed to be the host to the immediate primate ancestor to HIV-1. But again, this is false. I have provided factual evidence that at least one of the Lindi chimps was a Pan troglodytes troglodytes, and because of routine co-caging, a virus from just one chimp could have infected many others at the Camp. More importantly, there is strong evidence (as yet unpublished) indicating that actually there were many dozens of Ptt chimps among the 500 chimpanzees held at Lindi. d) It is claimed that the chimps at Lindi Camp were not used to prepare the polio vaccines that was administered to nearly one million people in the Belgian Congo and Ruanda-Urundi in 1957-1960, but this relies entirely on statements solicited from witnesses chosen by Koprowski and his former deputy, Stanley Plotkin. It entirely ignores eye-witness accounts by Belgians and Congolese who worked in the Stanleyville laboratory and at Lindi Camp in the late 1950s, who say that bloods and kidneys from these chimps were used to prepare the vaccine. (Some of the evidence on this has already been released, but there is more to come.) e) Finally, it is claimed that even if the precursor virus to HIV-1 had been present in the Lindi chimpanzees and even if tissues from these chimps had been used to prepare the Congo vaccine, the virus could not have survived the vaccine-making process. Again, this is incorrect, and relies on the false assumption that modern vaccine-making techniques were employed to prepare the vaccine in Stanleyville. In reality, if 1950s vaccine-preparation techniques had been employed (as one would expect them to have been in the 1950s!), then there would be nothing to prevent HIV-1 or its precursor viruses from making it through to the final vaccine preparation. Those who are interested can refer to a previous article posted on this site on 26th April, 2012: "The Origins of the AIDS Pandemic: A Quick Guide to The Principal Theories and the Alleged Refutations". Ed Hooper; April 16th, 2013.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

stop Canada-China investor deal, FIPA

Breaking news from Ottawa -- In just 24 hours, a vote in Parliament could stop the secretive and extreme Canada-China investor deal, FIPA, for good. FIPA is the most sweeping trade deal in a generation, and experts thought Prime Minister Harper would sneak it through Parliament without a vote last November.[1-2] Nobody expected your campaign to unite Canadians against FIPA. But, together, we've put overwhelming pressure on Conservative MPs, divided their caucus, and the government had to shelve the deal while they try to repair the damage.[3] Now, the NDP are holding a vote in Parliament that could stop FIPA. There are deep divisions inside the Conservative benches, and if we create a massive public outcry right now we have a chance to stop this terrible trade deal for good. We only have 24 hours -- click here to tell your MP and all the party leaders to VOTE TO STOP FIPA, then forward this to everyone! If the Canada-China FIPA is ratified, this extreme and secretive deal would pave the way for a massive natural resource buyout, and allow China’s companies to sue Canadian governments in secret tribunals for unlimited damages, restricting Canadians from making democratic decisions about our economy, environment and energy.[4] Canadians have a right to determine our future, but this investor deal will undermine our democratic rights and lock us into an inescapable path of foreign-ownership and resource extraction until at least 2040. Click here to tell your MP and party leaders to vote to stop FIPA. In December, Prime Minister Harper approved the takeover of Canadian oil company Nexen by China's state-owned giant, CNOOC. If FIPA passes, companies like CNOOC can take over Canadian resources and then sue Canadian governments in secret, if the government does anything that threatens the company’s profits. Any Canadian law or government decision – even ones that protect Canada’s environment, create jobs and stop dangerous projects – could be fought in secret tribunals outside of our legal system. Arbitrators unaccountable to the Canadian public would have the power to award billions in damages to foreign corporations if we do anything that hurts corporate profits, like improve environmental standards or slow down the export of cheap, unprocessed resources.[4,5,6] We need to act now. Click here to tell your MP and party leaders: VOTE TO STOP the secretive and extreme Canada-China FIPA. http://www.leadnow.ca/stop-fipa-vote With thanks for all that you do, Matthew, Heather, Jamie, Maggie and the whole Leadnow.ca team p.s. We’ve only come this far because tens of thousands of us have stepped up to stop this FIPA - by taking action, by sharing, by donating to fund radio ads and supporting First Nations who are challenging FIPA in court. We need you now more than ever. Click here to send your urgent message. Sources [1] Tories quietly table Canada-China investment treaty (Globe and Mail) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tories-quietly-table-canada-china-investment-treaty/article4573635/ [2] Battle over CNOOC’s proposed Nexen Takeover Heats Up In Ottawa (Financial Post) http://business.financialpost.com/2012/09/17/battle-over-cnoocs-proposed-nexen-takeover-heats-up-in-ottawa/ [3] Opposition, activists in last minute push for more scrutiny of Canada-China treaty (Globe and Mail) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/opposition-activists-in-last-minute-push-for-more-scrutiny-of-canada-china-treaty/article4762814/ [4] Canada-China Investment Deal Allows for Confidential Lawsuits Against Canada (Toronto Star) http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1264290--canada-china-investment-deal-allows-for-confidential-lawsuits-against-canada [5] Chinese Companies Can Sue BC for Changing Course on Northern Gateway, says Policy Expert (Vancouver Observer) http://www.vancouverobserver.com/sustainability/chinese-companies-can-sue-bc-changing-course-northern-gateway-says-policy-expert [6] Chairman Harper and the Chinese Sell-Out (The Tyee) http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2012/10/11/Chairman-Harper/

we need to expose and break up Monsanto’s worldwide grip

Dear Avaazers, we need to expose and break up Monsanto’s worldwide grip. Monsanto, the chemical giant that gave us poisons like Agent Orange and DDT, has a super-profitable racket. Step 1: Develop pesticides and genetically modified (GM) seeds designed to resist them, patent the seeds, prohibit farmers from replanting their seeds year to year, then send undercover agents out to investigate and sue farmers who don’t comply. Step 2: Spend millions lobbying government officials and contributing to political campaigns, get former Monsanto bigwigs into top government jobs, and then work with them to weaken regulations and push Monsanto goods into markets across the world. As long as US law allows corporations to spend unlimited sums to influence policy, they can often buy the laws they want. Last year, Monsanto and biotech giants spent a whopping $45m to kill a ballot initiative that would have labelled GMO products just in California, despite 82 percent of Americans wanting to know if they are buying GM. And just this month, the company helped ram through the "Monsanto Protection Act,” that blocks courts from stopping the sale of a product even if they’ve been wrongly approved by the government. Monsanto’s power in the US gives them a launch pad to dominate across the world. But brave farmers and activists from the EU, to Brazil, to India and Canada are resisting and starting to win. Monsanto is driving an industrial farming takeover -- trampling small farmers and small businesses as vast ‘monoculture’ farms of single crops leech the land of nutrients, diminish genetic diversity, and create dependency on fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals. The irony is, it’s not clear that the decimation of natural, sustainable farming has brought any boom in crop yields. Just more profit for the corporations. Our governments should step in, but Monsanto’s lobbying obstructs them. Monsanto’s near monopoly is breath-taking, with patent rights over 96% of the GM seeds planted in the US. And despite concerns about health and safety, the same patents allow Monsanto to prevent any farmer or scientist from testing their seeds! Still, a few countries have banned or restricted Monsanto products. They claim their products cost less, but often farmers are lured into multi-year contracts, then seed prices rise, and they have buy new seed each season and use more herbicides to keep out ‘superweeds’. In India, the situation is so dire that one cotton area has been called ‘the suicide belt’, as tens of thousands of the poorest farmers have taken their lives to escape crippling debt. But farmers and scientists are also fighting back -- and winning. One group in India has helped win three patent battles against the corporations, and in Brazil five million farmers sued Monsanto for unfair collection of royalties, and won a $2 billion payout! Scientists are campaigning for sustainable agriculture models, and just last week 1.5 million of us joined the fight against conventional patents in the EU. Only a massive, global, united force can stand up to Monsanto and the corporate capture of our governments. Let’s expose this dominance of our democracies, help farmers speak out, challenge unjust laws and patents, and go head to head with the corporate lobbies. Pledge $4 to support action now: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/stop_monsanto_nd2/?bOUfzbb&v=24246 We are running out of time. As we confront massive environmental, climate and food crises, we need sustainable agriculture and innovation, but that is best done by multiple farmers and scientists who know what works best in different ecosystems, rather than one monolith driven by their own profit, taking control our food future. This corporate Goliath is increasing in power across our world. But if our 21 million strong community stands together, we have a chance. Avaaz members have repeatedly stood up against the world's biggest bullies, and won. Now it is time for us to go big to save our policies from special interests, protect our food supply, and get justice for poor farmers. With hope and determination, Alice, Oli, Joseph, Ricken, Pascal, Chris, Michelle, Emily, and the whole Avaaz team MORE INFORMATION Seeds of discontent (Texas Observer): http://www.texasobserver.org/seeds-of-discontent/ Monsanto sued small farmers to protect seed patents, report says (The Guardian): http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/12/monsanto-sues-farmers-seed-patents Political contribution discloslures (Monsanto): http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/Pages/political-disclosures.aspx The Real Monsanto Protection Act: How The GMO Giant Corrupts Regulators And Consolidates Its Power (ThinkProgress): http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/04/10/1832621/monsanto-protection-act-power/ Monsanto Protection Act put GM companies above the federal courts (The Guardian): http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/apr/04/monsanto-protection-act-gm Biodiversity for food and agriculture (UN Food and Agriculture Organization): http://www.fao.org/sd/EPdirect/EPre0040.htm Monsanto’s harvest of fear (Vanity Fair): http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/05/monsanto200805 Wikileaks shows US pushes GM on EU (The Guardian): http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/03/wikileaks-us-eu-gm-crops USDA Greenlights Monsanto's Utterly Useless New GMO Corn (Mother Jones): http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/01/monsanto-gmo-drought-tolerant-corn Crop Scientists Say Biotechnology Seed Companies Are Thwarting Research (New York Times): http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/business/20crop.html?_r=0 Additional sources (Avaaz): http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_monsanto_sources/

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

various

I went to talk to someone who did not hire me over the 200 plus competition over the years and he questioned my CV which did not move from appointment to appointment. I took it so calmly that I came home with 2 bags of 50% off frenemy bread. Then my horoscope for today (thanks Australia) instead of talking about the future is about the health dangers of refined foods - I know that. Then the blogosphere is full of this Reinhart and Rogoff story (See Progressive Econ blog below). Their research was used as a prop for austerity and high unemployment. Now someone (not the econ blogger that I have spent so much time reading), has gotten their data and found what would be called fraud if the authors were lesser known, but is instead being called error by under paid grad students. Rogoff won the 2011 Deutsche Bank Prize in Financial Economics which comes with more money than I have earned in years. Beating Back the Ghosts: Be Gone Appeals to Reinhart and Rogoff Authority. Welcome the Triumph of Reason. Posted by Arun DuBois under debt, deficits, fiscal policy. April 16th, 2013 Comments: none They’ve haunted me. Incessantly. The ghosts of Reinhart and Rogoff. Their research here, there, everywhere. Bank of Canada speeches? Yes. Finance Department talking points? Check. House of Commons debates? Yup. Globe editorials? Ditto. Discussions with fellow progressives? Sadly, yes. Results? Arguments conjured in their name. Reason decapitated. Modern Monetary Theorists (MMT) banished to the netherworld of cranks. But we told you so. We told you so**: Randy Wray, writing a little more than a year ago, called them out, saying: “One hopes that the database they have assembled might provide more detail. We have tried contacting both authors to access the database, but so far with no response“ Bill Mitchell: pointing to the inconvenient truth of the underlying analysis and its emphasis on external (not domestic) debt. And then the countless exaggerations that followed by the authors and their propagandists. Me, in private, countless times running through the arguments to no avail. Authority wins. Fear of trespassing on the sacred convention of balanced budgets wins. Fear of the narrative wins. For a nice roundup of what I speak, cryptically because I dare not tempt the gods, please check out the following. Hopefully, this will suffice for the exorcism: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/16/holy-coding-error-batman/ http://www.nextnewdeal.net/rortybomb/researchers-finally-replicated-reinhart-rogoff-and-there-are-serious-problems http://www.peri.umass.edu/fileadmin/pdf/working_papers/working_papers_301-350/WP322.pdf Arun ** I use we in the royal we sense not to mean me but the (far far far) more prolific MMT writers who I greatly admire.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Spanish language thesis on EVM - Saberes campesinos y medicina animal en Río

Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí Saberes campesinos y medicina animal en Río Frío, Víctor Rosales, Zacatecas TESIS QUE PARA OBTENER EL GRADO DE LICENCIATURA EN ANTROPOLOGÍA http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/13805247/655060087/name/tesis+terminada+para+enviar.pdf

Monday, 15 April 2013

One million against Monsanto patents

One million against Monsanto patents in 36 hours! let's build the biggest petition to stop Monsanto ever. Sign now and tell everyone.

Dear Avaazers,




It’s unbelievable, but Monsanto and Co. are at it again. These greedy biotech companies have found a way to gain exclusive control over the seeds of life – the source of our food. But if we can pressure key European countries to slam the patent door shut on their destructive plans, we can stop this attack on our food. Help build the biggest food defense call ever by clicking here:
It’s unbelievable, but Monsanto and Co. are at it again. These profit-hungry biotech companies have found a way to gain exclusive control over the seeds of life – the source of our food. They’re trying to patent away varieties of our everyday vegetables and fruits like cucumber, broccoli and melons, virtually forcing growers to pay them for seed and risk being sued if they don’t.

But we can stop them from buying up Mother Earth. Companies like Monsanto have found loopholes in European law to have exclusive rights over conventional seeds, so we just need to close them shut before they set a dangerous global precedent. And to do that, we need key countries like Germany, France and the Netherlands -- where opposition is already growing -- to call for a vote to stop Monsanto’s greedy plans. The Avaaz community has shifted governments before, and we can do it again.

Many farmers and politicians are already against this -- we just need to bring in people power to pressure these countries to keep Monsanto’s hands off our food. Sign now and share with everyone to help build the biggest food defense call ever:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/monsanto_vs_mother_earth_rb/?bOUfzbb&v=24061

Once a patent exists in one country, trade agreements and negotiations often push other countries to honour it as well. That’s why patents change everything about how our food chain works: for thousands of years, farmers could choose which seeds they’d use without worrying about getting sued for violating intellectual property rights. But now, biotech companies are getting patents on the seeds and then charging farmers exorbitant royalty fees. And farmers can’t even save patented seeds for replanting the next season -- Monsanto has sued hundreds of them for practicing the age-old art of seed-saving and plant breeding. Monsanto and Co. claim that patents drive innovation -- but in fact they create a corporate monopoly of our food.

But luckily, the European Patent Office is controlled by 38 member states who, with one vote, can end dangerous patents on food that is bred using conventional methods. Even the European Parliament has issued a statement objecting to these kinds of destructive patents. Now, a massive wave of public outcry could push them to ban the patenting of our everyday food for good.

The situation is dire already -- Monsanto alone owns 36% of all tomato, 32% of sweet pepper and 49% of cauliflower varieties registered in the EU. With a simple regulatory change, we could protect our food, our farmers and our planet from corporate control -- and it's up to us to make it happen:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/monsanto_vs_mother_earth_rb/?bOUfzbb&v=24061

The Avaaz community has never been afraid to stand up to corporate capture of our institutions, from pushing back the Rupert Murdoch mafia, to helping ensure that telecoms keep their hands off our Internet. Now it’s time to defend our food supply from this corporate takeover.

With hope and determination,

Jeremy, Michelle, Oli, Dalia, Pascal, Ricken, Diego and the whole Avaaz team

PS - Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community! Start yours now and win on any issue - local, national or global: http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/start_a_petition/?bgMYedb&v=23917


SOURCES:

Conventionally-bred plants or animals should be exempt from patents, say MEPs (EU Parliament)
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/pressroom/content/20120509IPR44733/html/Conventionally-bred-plants-or-animals-should-be-exempt-from-patents-say-MEPs

President of the European Patent Office gives green light for patents on plants and animals (No Patents on Seeds)
http://www.no-patents-on-seeds.org/en/information/background/green-light-for-patents-on-plants-and-animals

Monsanto: All Your Seeds Belong to Us (Mother Jones)
http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/02/scotus-hears-monsanto-soybean-case

Seeds and Patents on Life (World Agriculture Report)
http://www.globalagriculture.org/index.php?id=2156

Structures and developments of the swiss and international seed markets through the a case study on certain vegetables varieties (Berne decleration, Swissaid and others) (German only)
http://www.evb.ch/cm_data/Saatgutmarkt_Juni_2012.pdf

Plant Patentability Questions Deepen In EPO Tomato Patent Case (IP Watch)
http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/06/13/plant-patentability-questions-deepen-in-epo-tomato-patent-case/

Tomato patent back before EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal (Europolitics)
http://europolitics.eis-vt-prod-web01.cyberadm.net/business-competitiveness/tomato-patent-back-before-epo-s-enlarged-board-of-appeal-art336003-7.html

Sunday, 14 April 2013

THE DOWNFALL OF EXTRAVERTS AND RISE OF NEUROTICS: The Dynamic Process of Status Allocation in Task Groups

THE DOWNFALL OF EXTRAVERTS AND RISE OF NEUROTICS: The Dynamic Process of Status Allocation in Task Groups

http://amj.aom.org/content/early/2012/07/20/amj.2011.0316.abstract

  1. Neha Shah
+ Author Affiliations
  1. C Bendersky, Organizational Behavior, UCLA, Los Angeles, 90095-1481, United States
  2. N Shah, Rutgers Business School, Management and Global Business, Rutgers University, Piscataway, 08854, United States
  1. Correspondence: Corinne Bendersky, Email: corinne.bendersky@anderson.ucla.edu

Abstract

We advance previous research that has associated extraversion with high status and neuroticism with low status in newly-formed task groups by examining how variations in personality affect status changes over time. By building on research that emphasizes the dark sides of extraversion (e.g., Grant, Gino, & Hofmann, 2011; Judge, Piccolo, & Kosalka, 2009) and the bright sides of neuroticism (e.g., Norem & Cantor, 1986; Tamir, 2005), we challenge the persistence of extraverts' advantage and neurotics' disadvantage in task group status hierarchies. In a field and an experimental study, we find that extraversion is associated with status losses and disappointing expectations for contributions to group tasks and neuroticism is associated with status gains due to surpassing expectations for group-task contributions. Whereas personality may inform status expectations through perceptions of competence when groups first form, as group members work together interdependently over time, actual contributions to the group's task are an important basis for reallocating status.
  • Received April 7, 2011.

Friday, 12 April 2013

‘What if Chicken Conquers the World?’

‘What if Chicken Conquers the World?’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p013d1wp The documentary series about the world’s love affair with chicken meat ‘What if Chicken Conquers the World?’ will be broadcast in two successive weeks in the Your World documentary slot on BBC World Service. Susie Emmett of Green shoots goes on a journey to investigate chicken production, an industry which dates back 10,000 years. In one programme Emmett visits farms with millions of birds, speaks to the reclusive world-dominating poultry breeders who control the genetics of most of the 50 billion chickens eaten globally each year, and travels to the US to see the grain harvest which feeds the birds that feed us. Emmett also hears concerns that modern chicken-keeping is all about the needs of those who eat them and not those of the chickens. Back on the farm, Emmett also examines what has made the all-important 'feed conversion ratio' even better and faster than ever. Surprisingly, it's not some new high tech intervention that is making the difference. Giving the chickens a bit of exercise is what matters Link: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p013d1wp

Thursday, 11 April 2013

First US-China Trade Ship Carried 30 Tons of American Ginseng

First US-China Trade Ship Carried 30 Tons of American Ginseng
Helped Establish American Identity and Roots of International Trade

http://cms.herbalgram.org/heg/volume9/05May/EmpressofChinaGinseng.html?t=1335902799


Though modern political relations between the United States and China can sometimes appear shaky, the 2 power countries have an undeniably strong and deep-rooted trade relationship. According to the US-China Business Council, the United States is China’s number one trade partner, exchanging about $385 billion worth of goods in 2010.1 Although it is a story that most Americans have never heard, a medicinal plant, wild American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), played an essential role in establishing the roots of this colossal, centuries-old trade alliance.2,3

In late 1783, the United States of America, which had just won its independence from Great Britain, was in dire economic straits partly because Britain had banned many trade hubs from dealing with the new country.3 In an effort to establish its own trade routes and rescue the country’s financial system, the United States sent a ship named the Empress of China from New York Harbor to Canton, China (now called Guangzhou) on February 22nd of 1784.2 It carried 30 tons of wild American ginseng, mostly gathered from southern Appalachia.

While British and European settlers in North America had been trading with other countries for several years, the Empress cargo was the first shipment under the American flag. According to David Taylor, author of Ginseng, the Divine Root, loading the ship with ginseng was a smart and safe strategic decision.

“We knew they wanted ginseng because there was already a history of demand for it, rather than a range of goods we didn’t know if they would like,” he said (oral communication, April 10, 2012).

David Wang, PhD — manager of Queens Library in Laurelton — said the early Americans saw ginseng “as a valuable opportunity to break their economic blockage by Britain” (e-mail, April 23, 2012). Other sources document the Empress as an attempt to establish a new source of tea, which was becoming dearly missed after the United States was banned from trading with the British West Indies.4

Meanwhile, China also had a need for new ginseng sources. Though the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) first sought to protect the region’s ginseng populations by controlling collection, it eventually gave up that mission. According to Taylor’s Divine Root, “Resigned that ginseng would be overharvested no matter what, the imperial court decided to reap the plant’s riches while it could… In the end, China’s last dynasty ebbed and the wild root vanished from its forests.”2

Much of the Empress’s success depended on a French missionary traveling through the New World.2 In the early 1700s, a Jesuit cleric who had heard of this mysterious root from Asia discovered the Mohawks’ use of ginseng. He recorded it and published a booklet on ginseng,2 which led to the trade of wild ginseng roots throughout North America and eventually China.

“[The Empress] triumphed because it made it there and back, and made a profit, which was never guaranteed at that point in time. Economically, it was important in terms of making contact between the US and China,” said Taylor, noting a Congressional resolution, passed after the Empress’s return, encouraging more such ventures. According to Dr. Wang, American ginseng “was the most important commercial good in the trade between China and the United States during the late 1700s leading into the early 1800s.”

Not only was the Empress’s ginseng cargo an economic success, it also tied the countries together on another — and perhaps equally important — level.

“Ginseng opened the door to the idea that there were natural and cultural resources shared between North America and Asia,” said Taylor.

Instead of becoming competition for Asian ginseng, the American variety was viewed as being complementary, said Dr. Wang. “[The Chinese] discovered that Chinese ginseng is warm and good for people who have recovered from a serious illness and need to regain their strength; on the other hand, American ginseng has cooler properties and is normally used to cool down fevers or summer heat. The Chinese considered it good for people with deficient yin or excessive yang. Therefore, American Ginseng was welcomed all the time.”

But both Taylor and Dr. Wang indicated that the Empress and early ginseng trade influenced America more than it did China.

“[The Empress of China] definitely shifted [China’s] view to realize this new country that had a complement of Asian ginseng,” said Taylor. “On the American side, it probably had more impact because it really set the pattern for foreign trade for more than 3 decades.”

Most Americans, he continued, were driven by a potential for trading and making a living and ginseng was one of the first products that enabled them to find success in these aspirations. Similarly, Dr. Wang noted that ginseng helped “Americanize” the new country. Among famous early Americans, George Washington, Daniel Boone, and John Jacob Astor were reportedly involved with the ginseng trade.5

“It also, however, seems pretty clear that lots of ginseng was collected [for trading] by native peoples, especially the Cherokee,” said Dan Moerman, author of Native American Ethnobotany and an anthropology professor at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. “I think it's likely that ginseng became more interesting to native peoples after they realized how valuable it was in trade. Maybe that Americanized them.”

“The search for ginseng, the most important and lucrative export to China, became an important driving force of the westward expansion,” said Dr. Wang. “From the Eastern coast areas all the way out west… searching for Ginseng became a fever.”


In return for ginseng and other goods aboard the Empress and early trading ships to China, the United States imported much tea, which Dr. Wang said helped popularize the beverage, especially for lower classes of society that previously were unable to afford such a luxury item.

The United States exported hundreds of thousands of pounds of ginseng in the years after the Empress set sail, over-exploiting many of the country’s wild populations.5 When the US Fish and Wildlife Services implemented the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species, or CITES, in 1977, the agency began controlling wild ginseng harvest and trade.

“There is an unquenchable interest in the plant and how it grows and how people can use it,” said Taylor. “It also points out the boom and bust cycle of natural products from the wild, particularly medicinal products, especially if they’re not regulated.”


—Lindsay Stafford


References


  1. US-China Trade Statistics and China's World Trade Statistics. US-China Business Council website. Available at: www.uschina.org/statistics/tradetable.html. Accessed March 19, 2012.
  2. Taylor D. Ginseng, the Divine Root. 2006: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill; New York, NY.
  3. Wang D. Ginseng: the herb that helped the United States to enter international commerce. World Huaren Federation website. Available at: www.huaren.org/members-contribution/ginseng--us-commerce. Accessed April 23, 2012.
  4. Markoe K. Two hundred years of U.S. Trade with China (1784-1984). Asia for Educators, Columbia University. 2009. Available at: http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/special/china_1750_us.htm. Accessed April 23, 2012.
  5. Beyfuss R. Ginseng growing. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website. Available at: www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7472.html. Accessed April 23, 2012.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Monsanto: All Your Seeds R Belong to Us

Dear Avaazers,

It’s unbelievable, but Monsanto and Co. are at it again. These profit-hungry biotech companies have found a way to exclusively ‘own’ something that freely belongs to us all -- our food! They’re trying to patent away our everyday vegetables and fruits lik e cucumber, broccoli and melons, forcing growers to pay them and risk being sued if they don’t.

But we can stop them from buying up Mother Earth. Companies like Monsanto have found loopholes in European law to get away with this, so we just need to close them shut before they set a dangerous global precedent. And to do that, we need key countries like Germany, France and the Netherlands -- where opposition is already growing -- to call for a vote to stop Monsanto’s plans. The Avaaz community has shifted governments before, and we can do it again.

Many farmers and politicians are already against this -- we just need to bring in people power to pressure these countries to keep Monsanto’s hands off our food. Sign now and share with everyone to help build the biggest food defense call ever:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/monsanto_vs_mother_earth_loc/?tOUfzbb

Once a patent exists in one country, trade agreements and negotiations often push other countries to honour it as well. That's why these food patents change everything about how our food chain works: for thousands of years, farmers could choose which seeds they’d use without worrying about getting sued for violating intellectual property rights. But now, companies launch expensive legal campaigns to buy patents on conventional plants and force farmers to pay exorbitant royalty fees. Monsanto and Co. claim that patents drive innovation -- but in fact they create a corporate monopoly of our food.

But luckily, the European Patent Office is controlled by 38 member states who, with one vote, can end dangerous patents on food that is bred using conventional methods. Even the European Parliament has issued a statement objecting to these kinds of destructive patents. Now, a massive wave of public outcry could push them to ban the patenting of our everyday food for good.

The situation is dire already -- Monsanto alone owns 36% of all tomato, 32% of sweet pepper and 49% of cauliflower varieties registered in the EU. With a simple regulatory change, we could protect our food, our farmers and our planet from corporate control -- and it's up to us to make it happen:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/monsanto_vs_mother_earth_loc/?tOUfzbb

The Avaaz community has never been afraid to stand up to corporate capture of our institutions, from pushing back the Rupert Murdoch mafia, to helping ensure that telecoms keep their hands off our Internet. Now it’s time to defend our food supply from this corporate takeover.

With hope and determination,

Jeremy, Michelle, Oli, Dalia, Pascal, Ricken, Diego and the whole Avaaz team


SOURCES:

Conventionally-bred plants or animals should be exempt from patents, say MEPs (EU Parliament)
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/pressroom/content/20120509IPR44733/html/Conventionally-bred-plants-or-animals-should-be-exempt-from-patents-say-MEPs

President of the European Patent Office gives green light for patents on plants and animals (No Patents on Seeds)
http://www.no-patents-on-seeds.org/en/information/background/green-light-for-patents-on-plants-and-animals

Monsanto: All Your Seeds Belong to Us (Mother Jones)
http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/02/scotus-hears-monsanto-soybean-case

Plant Patentability Questions Deepen In EPO Tomato Patent Cas e (IP Watch)
http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/06/13/plant-patentability-questions-deepen-in-epo-tomato-patent-case/

Tomato patent back before EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal (Europolitics)
http://europolitics.eis-vt-prod-web01.cyberadm.net/business-competitiveness/tomato-patent-back-before-epo-s-enlarged-board-of-appeal-art336003-7.html

The Library is a workplace

I just want to repeat what I said more rudely a few months ago. The University Library is a workplace for me and others. Since when do staff and patrons get to use a workplace to "pick up?" people who are trying to work there? If the patron leaves and moves to another library branch, isn't that enough of a hint that the patron only wants to work at the library? If those men were interested in my employment (who knows, I guess I can give them the benefit of the doubt so that I don't undermine any job offers I might get) I have an email address and a Linkedin account that they can use. Further proof - since the last time that I saw two of the men that I moved away from to go to another library branch I have published two papers that I worked on in the library and have had no interviews in the same period. So the library is therefore more of a workplace for me in terms of my CV than the actual workforce. Just like the Temporary Foreign Program is being discussed this week as undermining the employment of people already in Canada, I have to wonder at the motives of men who must know that I am looking for work but only motivate themselves to have me followed for non-employment reasons that also undermine my ability to work in the library and to move around freely.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Older men not as fertile and have genetic changes

  1. Dad's Age Raises Down Syndrome Risk, Too

    www.webmd.com/infertility-and.../news/.../dad-age-down-syndrome
    Jul 1, 2003 – Infertility & Reproduction Health Center ... A new study found that older fathers were responsible for up to 50% of the ... Older fathers over 40 had twice the rate of Down syndrome births compared with men 24 years old and ...
  2. Age Raises Infertility Risk in Men, Too

    www.webmd.com/infertility.../age-raises-infertility-risk-in-men-too
    "Not only are men not aware of the impact their age has on infertility, they deny it. They walk around like they're 18 years old," Fisch tells WebMD. It's no wonder.
  3. Secondary infertility: what is it? - BabyCenter Canada

    www.babycenter.ca/a563459/secondary-infertility-what-is-it
    When you have trouble conceiving again, it's called secondary infertility. ... Your partner, like all men, will become less fertile as he gets older. ..... This site is published by BabyCenter, L.L.C., which is responsible for its contents as further ...

Death of a Revolutionary Shulamith Firestone

When Shulamith Firestone’s body was found late last August, in her studio apartment on the fifth floor of a tenement walkup on East Tenth Street, she had been dead for some days. She was sixty-seven, and she had battled schizophrenia for decades, surviving on public assistance. There was no food in the apartment, and one theory is that Firestone starved, though no autopsy was conducted, by preference of her Orthodox Jewish family. Such a solitary demise would have been unimaginable to anyone who knew Firestone in the late nineteen-sixties, when she was at the epicenter of the radical-feminist movement, surrounded by some of the same women who, a month after her death, gathered in St. Mark’s Church In-the-Bowery, to pay their respects

Shulamith Firestone, Feminism, and the Private Life of Power

http://crookedtimber.org/2013/04/09/shumalith-firestone-feminism-and-the-private-life-of-power/
by Corey Robin on April 9, 2013
In The Reactionary Mind, I wrote:

One of the reasons the subordinate’s exercise of agency so agitates the conservative imagination is that it takes place in an intimate setting. Every great blast—the storming of the Bastille, the taking of the Winter Palace, the March on Washington—is set off by a private fuse: the contest for rights and standing in the family, the factory, and the field. Politicians and parties talk of constitution and amendment, natural rights and inherited privileges. But the real subject of their deliberations is the private life of power: “Here is the opposition to woman’s equality in the state,” Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote. “Men are not ready to recognize it in the home.” Behind the riot in the street or debate in Parliament is the maid talking back to her mistress, the worker disobeying her boss. That is why our political arguments—not only about the family but also the welfare state, civil rights, and much else—can be so explosive: they touch upon the most personal relations of power.

Cooperate for Canada campaign ??


Thousands of Canadians have joined the Liberals, NDP and Greens through our Cooperate for Canada campaign that's calling for a one-time agreement between the NDP, Liberals, and Greens to cooperate in the next election then pass crucial reforms.1
Voting in the Liberal leadership race begins at midnight tonight, and there is only one candidate, Joyce Murray, with a strong position in favour of cooperation. Within the race, Joyce also has some of the strongest positions on the other issues the Leadnow community have told us they care about - electoral reform, climate change, inequality, tankers and pipelines.

Please share this video now...

Joyce Murray: "Change Is In Your Hands"

Video to share: http://youtu.be/z5HnLwHjc8I