While we are distracted by the latest glitch in the ACA and stories of President Kennedy and who may REALLY be at fault, our “friends” at ALEC are not sleeping. While we enjoy the year end holidays ALEC is preparing to make your year once again miserable with low wages, armed citizenry, busted unions, inadequate schools and the rich getting oh so much richer.
Remember those days of decent jobs with decent pay and benefits? Remember when we worked together to make a better world for our children than it was for us? That was the American Dream and that Dream is long gone. One of the major players in dismantling that dream and making sure that the rich get richer and all others continue to slide is ALEC.
So less than a week after the rich eat a huge meal while McDonald’s workers cut their hamburger into pieces to cover a whole day of meals, ALEC will be gathering in luxury in the nation’s capital to once again give its marching orders to their members.
What laws will they be telling their mostly Tea Party members to enact to enrich the corporations this year? Get tougher on crime to fill the corporate prisons? Stand your ground laws to sell more guns? Surely they will be pushing hard for more right-to-work (for less) laws around the country? How about further restricting local governments ability to tax so they will need to cut back on services? How about the ever popular union busting? How could we forget the continuing privatizing of the schools?
Whatever they do, they will have had a new set of so-called network of think tanks. In these “think tanks” the right wing agenda for states and other local governments will be pushed. Laws that will be introduced into 50 legislatures including Iowa’s will be well thought out to enhance the rich and screw the poor, middle-class and workers.
While ALEC acts exactly like a lobbying firm, they are not treated like a lobbying firm. They are given the status of a legislative education organization thus avoiding taxes and other restrictions on lobbyists. Thus they have a status that not only allows ALEC special access, many members of the state legislatures are also members of ALEC. They should be wearing clothes that identify their owners.
So while our eyes are so often focused on the travesty that Washington has become, the real damage is being done right back here in the states in places like Des Moines, St. Paul, Lincoln, Jefferson City, Springfield, Madison and all the others capital cities. Quietly, furtively, our legislators conspire with the rich to give our money, our freedom and our future to the corporations and the wealthy.
One of the new proposals I have heard floated this year is to do away with sick pay for governmental jobs. Think about that. You go in to renew your driver’s license and the person snapping your picture has pneumonia but can’t take a day off. You get your license and something extra.
We need to make ALEC an issue in all our state level elections this year. Always remember that a man can only serve one master at a time. If our legislature is beholden to ALEC, how can they possibly work for us.
Well, here we go again. The drums of war are beating. Stories of atrocities; stories of government run amok; stories of good guys and bad. Forgive me if I say that in my lifetime we have been down this path so many times. This time at least we seem to have a president who is weighing what the real costs will be from a bloody excursion. Of course we have plenty of people of the chattering class pushing for war, more than happy to send our overstretched military into yet another action that where losses will be costly and gains ephemeral at best.
Please, Mr. President think long and hard not just about the immediate situation, but what involvement will lead to years and decades out. History should show that when you step in the sand in the middle east, it is hard to pull your foot back out.
FFRF? Who Do They Think They Are?
Ever heard of the Freedom From Religion Foundation? They are a group out of Madison Wisconsin that is working hard to keep church and state separate as they were meant to be. They have been involved in various lawsuits and actions concerning religion and state. Well, they have torn off a huge chunk to chew on now. They have sued the IRS to force them to end tax exemptions (parish exemptions) for churches who cross the line and endorse candidates from the pulpit.
Monday FFRF was declared to have “standing” in the case. That is the court said they have a valid interest in suing. Last year you may remember many evangelical churches openly defied the so-called line to cross by endorsing Mitt Romney from the pulpit. As I recall in several instances they dared somebody to do something. They got their wish. At the time, I believe one pastor felt certain that the courts would rule in their favor. We shall see.
There is also a strange twist to this story in which FFRF co-presidents were declared by the federal government to be “clergy.” Worth a click to read the whole story here.
Bush And Company Get Blanket Immunity
Why not? After all, what damage did they do? Ok, sorry about the snark. I am one who believes that when a person commits a crime they should be subject to some punishment in this lifetime. We have a system of justice that is supposed to set no man above the law. I also feel that the illegal war in Iraq was an almost direct result of Dick Nixon getting a pardon for anything and everything he did as president. What that told the twisted minds of Rumsfeld and Cheney was that a president could do nearly anything and not pay the consequences. So they tested it.
A Reminder For Next Year
Iowa could easily be the next North Carolina. Branstad is a founding member of ALEC. If he were to get a majority of Republicans in both Iowa houses, there would be no stopping them in turning Iowa into the union busting, low wage, education cutting, voter suppressing state they want.
Skipping The MLK Event
In case you had heard that Republicans were not invited to the MLK remembrance event Wednesday, that would not be true. Boehner, Cantor and many more were invited but were too busy to attend. This may have been a good opportunity for Republicans to try to connect with African American voters, but Eric Cantor had a better idea. He was in North Dakota no doubt looking for the black vote there.
Opposing Obama Makes Republicans Twist
Once again the single Republican of the past 5 years has forced the party to do some acrobatic twists explained by illogical rhetoric. The single policy that was struck on inauguration day of 2009 is to oppose Obama at every turn in an attempt to sabotage his presidency. It has been most vividly illustrated in their incredible opposition to the coming health care plan that is a Republican health care idea conceived and fleshed out by the Heritage Foundation. The Republican Party is now considering a last minute kamikaze attack to stop “Obamacare.” Incredible that they may destroy their own party trying to stop a Republican conceived policy.
And now as talk of some type of military action wafts through Washington, Republicans, many od whom have been goading Obama to attack, are now questioning him. Oh what that single Republican policy has caused them to do. As many have said before, I wish Obama would call for a national policy of eating and breathing so Republicans could stop doing that to show their opposition to Obama.
Thank you, workers, for all you have done to build America and maintain our democracy. Enjoy you weekend. And keep fighting.
People know Bill Moyers has as much integrity as anyone in Washington or anyone in the news business. If ever there was a must see and probably a must save video this is it. In about 3 minutes, Bill Moyers lays out the perilous situation for our democracy. You may want to watch it more than once. Please share with your friends.
A Democratic freshman legislator from Wisconsin attended the most recent ALEC gathering in Chicago two weeks ago. Her story gives a great insight into what happens behind those closed doors where the actual legislation is cooked up and served to Republican state legislators across the country. These legislators in turn attempt to run this corporate friendly legislation through the various state legislatures.
One of the most important exchanges takes place between a think tank person and Rep. Taylor:
Taylor: One guy I was talking to, who was from one of these right wing think tanks was saying we need to curb Obama’s reckless power with these administrative regulations, and he wanted a federal constitutional amendment saying Congress has to approve federal regulations. I said, I don’t think most people are going to want to amend the Constitution for that. I don’t think that ignites people. Maybe it does on the far right, but most people don’t really care about that. And he said, “Oh, well, you really don’t need people to do this. You just need control over the legislature and you need money, and we have both.” [italics BFIA's]
That sentiment was underscored so many times to me, that they don’t want people involved in the political process, or in the policy process. And that seems to be the intent in a lot of ways: You have a think tank in every state and all they do is come up with these very, very regressive policies, you have corporations who are going to benefit so they fund it all, and then you have the legislators as your foot soldiers to carry out the tasks.
Read the interview here:
In case you missed that line it came from economist Dr. Paul Krugman from his daily blog. What Krugman says in this particular edition is something that most in popular media have been afraid to say – that one of our two major political parties have “gone off the deep end” and
“Over the longer run the point is that one of America’s two major political parties has basically gone off the deep end; policy content aside, a sane party doesn’t hold dozens of votes declaring its intention to repeal a law that everyone knows will stay on the books regardless. And since that party continues to hold substantial blocking power, we are looking at a country that’s increasingly ungovernable.
The trouble is that it’s hard to give this issue anything like the amount of coverage it deserves on substantive grounds without repeating oneself. So I do try to mix it up. But neither you nor I should forget that the madness of the GOP is the central issue of our time.”
Krugman is ever so right and I thank him for being so forthright in saying what many have been thinking. Now the battle is to root out the craziest on the right. But that will not be easy to do in a gerrymandered situation where safe Republican seats are increasingly held by the wing of the Republican Party that wants chaos and non-governance. We truly need a responsible party on the right, not a bunch of hooligans set on destroying government from the inside.
Ready For Privatized Water?
The wheels of ALEC sometimes turn slowly, but never forget what they are about – privatizing anything and everything. Later this year I expect we will be treated to the auctioning of publicly held goods to those seeking to wrench every nickel of profit from a bad situation in Detroit. And Detroit will just be the leading edge of municipal and county sell-offs throughout the country over the next decades.
In legislatures across the land the powers to tax at the lowest levels of government have been greatly cut back to the point where cities of all sizes will be hard pressed to pay their bills thanks to ALEC legislation. This has already happened in Iowa. We can then expect that cities will have to look for different ways to finance what they can. Those who run ALEC will be prepared with legislation to push cities to sell of municipal services. One of the most popular such services on the block will be municipal water services. Imagine now what it would be like if you were paying 5 to 10 times what you now pay for water?
Looks like we have a choice of stopping the ALEC express to privatize everything or electing legislators who will turn back ALEC initiatives.
Keep An Eye On This:
“A strange, newly discovered particle could shrink a laptop computer’s hard drive to the size of a peanut and an iPod’s drive to the size of a rice grain.
The particle, called a skyrmion, is more stable and less power-hungry than its conventional, magnetic cousin. Besides storing data in ultra compact media, skyrmions could lead to faster computers that combine storage with processing power and usher in smaller and smaller devices that have the same computing power as a desktop machine.”
One More From Dr. Krugman
“The truth is that we understand perfectly well why recovery has been slow, and confidence has nothing to do with it. What we’re looking at, instead, is the normal aftermath of a debt-fueled asset bubble; the sluggish U.S. recovery since 2009 is more or less in line with many historical examples, running all the way back to the Panic of 1893. Furthermore, the recovery has been hobbled by spending cuts — cuts that were motivated by what we now know was completely wrongheaded deficit panic.
And the policy moral is clear: We need to stop talking about spending cuts and start talking about job-creating spending increases instead. Yes, I know that the politics of doing the right thing will be very hard. But, as far as the economics goes, the only thing we have to fear is fear-mongering itself.”
Daily Kos Article Well Worth The Time
Unfortunately way to long to reprint here. If you have a little time today please follow this link to see the stories you don’t see in our current media set up.
America has a problem with some rich kids called ALEC. ALEC is a corporate headed group that prepares and pushes legislation through America’s state legislatures. ALEC is terribly unethical. It amounts to the super-rich having a very special and very inside the 50 legislatures lobbying group.
Below is an email I received from the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) summarizing their year watching ALEC. We here at blogforiowa are damned happy they are doing this since watching ALEC is quite time consuming and takes much expertise. Our hats off to those at CMD!
MADISON — Today, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) released a new report: “ALEC at 40: Turning Back the Clock on Prosperity and Progress.” The report identifies and analyzes 466 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) bills introduced in 2013.
This week, ALEC celebrates its 40th anniversary in Chicago. At this meeting — as in all ALEC meetings — lobbyists from U.S. and foreign corporations will vote as equals alongside state legislators to adopt ALEC “model” bills, which then will be distributed nationwide with little or no disclosure of their ALEC roots.
In 2013, ALEC is going to new lengths to hide its lobbying of legislators from the public eye. It has taken to stamping all its documents as exempt from state public records laws, dodging open records with a “dropbox” website, and other tricks. After Watergate, many states strengthened their laws regarding open meetings and open records, but real sunshine on government is anathema to ALEC.
“When ALEC was born, Richard Nixon was president. Gasoline was 40 cents a gallon and the minimum wage was $1.60 an hour. Forty years later, ALEC legislators seem to be hankering for this bygone era, pursuing an agenda to roll back renewables, expand the use of fossil fuels, and suppress wages and benefits for even the lowest paid American workers,” says CMD Director of Research Nick Surgey.
In this report, the CMD identifies 466 ALEC “model” bills introduced in 2013, but pursuing a retrograde agenda.
- CMD identified 466 ALEC bills from the 2013 session. 84 of these passed and became law. ALEC bills were introduced in every state in the nation and the District of Columbia in 2013. The top ALEC states were West Virginia (25 bills) and Missouri (21 bills).
- Despite ALEC’s effort to distance itself from Voter ID and Stand Your Ground by disbanding its controversial Public Safety and Elections Task Force, 62 of these laws were introduced: 10 Stand Your Ground bills and 52 bills to enact or tighten Voter ID restrictions. Five states enacted additional Voter ID restrictions, and two states passed Stand Your Ground.
- CMD identified 117 ALEC bills that affect wages and worker rights. 14 of these became law. These bills included so-called “Right to Work” legislation, part of the ALEC agenda since at least 1979, introduced in 15 states this year. Other bills would preempt local living or minimum wage ordinances, facilitate the privatization of public services, scrap defined benefit pension plans, or undermine the ability of unions to organize to protect workers.
- CMD identified 139 ALEC bills that affect public education. 31 of these became law. Just seven states did not have an ALEC education bill introduced this year. Among other things, these bills would siphon taxpayer money from the public education system to benefit for-profit private schools, including the “Great Schools Tax Credit Act,” introduced in 10 states.
- CMD identified 77 ALEC bills that advance a polluter agenda. 17 of these became law. Numerous ALEC “model” bills were introduced that promote a fossil fuel and fracking agenda and undermine environmental regulations. The “Electricity Freedom Act,” which would repeal state renewable portfolio standards, was introduced in six states this year.
- CMD identified 71 ALEC bills narrowing citizen access to the courts. 14 of these became law. These bills cap damages, limit corporate liability, or otherwise make it more difficult for citizens to hold corporations to account when their products or services result in injury or death.
- CMD identified nine states that have been inspired by ALEC’s “Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act” to crack down on videographers documenting abuses on factory farms. These so-called “ag-gag” bills erode First Amendment rights, and threaten the ability of journalists and investigators to pursue food safety and animal welfare investigations.
- CMD identified 11 states that introduced bills to override or prevent local paid sick leave ordinances, such as the one recently enacted in New York City. At least eight of these bills were sponsored by known ALEC members. Although ALEC has not adopted a preemption bill as an official “model,” ALEC member the National Restaurant Association brought a bill to override local paid sick leave ordinances to an ALEC meeting in 2011, along with a target map and other materials.
ALEC has faced increasing scrutiny since CMD launched its ALEC Exposed project in July 2011, making the entire ALEC library of more than 800 “model” bills publicly available for the first time. Since then, groups including Color of Change, Common Cause, Progress Now, People for the American Way, the Voters Legislative Transparency Project, and others have put ALEC in the spotlight like never before.
To date, 49 major American corporations have dumped ALEC, including some of the largest firms in the world.
About the Center for Media and Democracy
The Center for Media and Democracy is a non-profit investigative reporting group whose work aids public awareness about the people, companies, and groups attempting to shape the media and our democracy. Founded in 1993, our national reporting and analysis focus on exposing corporate spin. We accept no funding from for-profit corporations or the government. The Center for Media and Democracy’s websites are PR Watch, SourceWatch, BanksterUSA, ALECexposed and Food Rights Network.
The Speech Gov. Terry Branstad Doesn’t Want You to Know About
Branstad to deliver private address this week at the annual meeting of ALEC, the “stealth corporate lobbyist” front group
DES MOINES– Governor Terry Branstad will deliver a featured address this week at the 40th annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). However, his speech to the controversial organization has not been publicized by the governor and is not listed on his public schedule.
“It’s no surprise that the governor wants to keep this a secret,” said Matt Sinovic, executive director of Progress Iowa. “The more the public learns about ALEC and their secretive influence in our legislature, the more controversial it becomes. But despite his desire for political cover, the governor should be inviting the public to participate in the democratic process, not attempting to deceive them.”
“The public has a right to know what the governor is saying to this controversial group, whether tax dollars are being spent on his trip to Chicago, and what other legislators are attending the meeting. Unfortunately, as a founding member, the governor has played a major role in ALEC’s 40-year effort to undermine democracy, and it appears he will continue those efforts this week.”
Branstad’s picture appears on the ALEC website as a featured speaker, with no date or time listed for the general public to attend. In the past, ALEC meetings have been closed to the general public despite the use of Iowa tax dollars for legislative memberships in the organization.
ALEC has received mounting criticism over the past year and a half, due to their promotion of legislation such as the “shoot first” laws that gained national attention after the shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida. In Iowa, ALEC has provided model legislation to suppress voter rights, withdraw from regional environmental partnerships, and require intellectual diversity reporting from our college campuses.
Branstad is a founding member of ALEC, the group media has called a stealth corporate lobbyist for its secretive influence and extreme conservative agenda. Branstad received ALEC’s Pioneer Award in 1996 and has received more than $200,000 in campaign donations from ALEC’s corporate funders.
In March of this year, Progress Iowa released ALEC Exposed in Iowa, a report detailing the history and influence of the organization in our state. To read the full report, click here.
I believe ALEC should be the single biggest issue in the next election at the state level. ALEC has made the Republican legislators their lackeys at the state level. Republican legislators have pretty much surrendered their capabilities to act as a bloc for ALEC. What ALEC has brought to the states is not good. They have written bills that their Republican lackeys bring to the states that are only set up to serve corporations.
Some of these bills include the “Stand Your Ground” laws. But those are only a small part of their agenda to wreck the states. Other bills move public school money to privatized corporate schools, cut cities and counties ability to tax (this will lead to Detroit type situations at all levels) and privatized prisons. ALEC is also notorious for union busting, and cut backs on safety nets at the state level.
Wednesday to Friday, ALEC will be meeting behind closed doors in Chicago. This is their 40th anniversary. The fact that few people have heard of ALEC over 40 years is incredible. If you are like me and believe that all of government should be in the open, I call on you to contact your local legislator and ask them to drop from ALEC if they are a member. Also, I ask that you write letters to the editor to let others know of how insidious ALEC is.
Cumulus Drops Hannity and Limbaugh
It appears that Cumulus radio can no longer afford to carry the hate radio. Cumulus is losing money at the rate of $2.4 million a quarter. Can’t stay in business long at that pace. Do you suppose they might get a spark of an idea that perhaps a left wing show could be a good replacement? No, I doubt it either. I am sure they can find more right wing hate talkers to take their place.
Fast Food Workers On Strike.
Much like the Walmart workers I wrote about last week, once more we have workers in low level jobs with low pay and little future willing to put what little they have on the line for better pay and working conditions. These folks have my admiration and support. All workers in America deserve to be paid a living wage for work. This is a tenet of most major religions and systems of ethics. If you can support these folks by shopping and eating at businesses that pay their employees living wages.
Moral Mondays Spreading?
I read some rumor yesterday that there may be an attempt to expand the Moral Monday movement across the country. Sounds like a good idea to me. Keep your ears open.
Braley in Wapello.
We got an invitation to visit with (I hope) future Senator Bruce Braley over lunch in Wapello Tuesday. There was no earth shaking news. I doubt I have to tell you folks that Mr. Braley is a solid progressive with great credentials. This time next year some republican we have never heard of and backed by money from who knows where will be throwing a year’s worth of New York garbage at Braley. Truth will be the biggest loser in this campaign. Iowa desperately needs Braley. We also deserve a clean and honest campaign. Those of us who want a clean campaign will need to help the Republicans understand what the truth is, as they seem to have very short memories in that area.
Sweden has done what environmentalists in other countries only dream of: they have run out of garbage. As a matter of fact, since their recycling program is so efficient, they are now importing garbage from other countries to burn in their electricity generating plants. Nearly unbelievable.
On A Similar Note:
The Netherlands is running out of prisoners. Therefore they are closing 8 prisons.
“The Criminal Justice Alliance (CJA), which represents more than 60 organisations, called for the government to urgently limit “the unnecessary use of prison, ensuring it is reserved for serious, persistent and violent offenders for whom no alternative sanction is appropriate.”
And in America, thanks to ALEC, prisons are privatized and the prison populations are rising at alarming rates.
Right Wing Blogger, No Insurance, Faces Life Threatening Disease
Right wing blogger Caleb Howe faces life threatening liver failure with no insurance and a family. Howe has spent much of his time railing on the horrors of Obamacare for redstates.com. Draw your own conclusions.
On August 7-9th, the American Legislative Exchange Council will be holding its annual policy meeting at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Over the course of three days, following standard ALEC protocol, state lawmakers from across the country will be wined and dined by corporate lobbyists; “educated” by climate change deniers and free market doctrinaires; and instructed on what corporate-backed bills they should bring back to their respective statehouses.
In Chicago, ALEC will be celebrating its 40th year of existence. ALEC was founded in the city by a coterie of conservative activists in 1973, and has decided to come back to its roots for its 40th annual celebration. For forty years, ALEC has worked behind closed doors to push its extreme agenda, one that harms the American people and weakens our democratic institutions.
That is why activists are rallying to make sure ALEC receives the proper “welcome” it deserves, and that ALEC lawmakers, ALEC corporate sponsors, and ALEC supporters across the country are called out for backing such a reactionary group.
People will be driving in from across Illinois and neighboring states to rally against ALEC. If you do not live in the area, please pass this information along to anyone you know in the Chicago-area who may be able to attend. Turnout will be high and every person who can make it should come.
If you can attend the protest, please let us know! Send an email to People For the American Way’s Midwest Coordinator Scott Foval at firstname.lastname@example.org, who will be on site attending the rally and will give you up-to-date information about the event. You can follow him on twitter at @scottfoval.
Taking Action In Chicago:
On August 8th at 12:00 PM outside the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago, thousands of concerned citizens are holding a protest against ALEC.
Republicans have lots of solutions. What they were short on for the longest time – until the Reagan presidency – was problems that those solutions could answer. One of their favorite solutions was privatized schools. But until Republicans were able to take over legislatures around the country and cut funding that solution didn’t make much sense. Now after years and years of cutting taxes for the wealthy and comparably cutting funding for schools, the idea of turning schools over to private groups is gaining some grudging interest. To make it more palatable, legislatures will continue to choke the public school system until it is all but non-functional.
In Iowa we are one vote shy of a Republican majority in the senate. If they had that majority, they would be going after schools in a major way. Thus they could greatly lower the quality of learning and up the desire of folks to consider privatizing schools. This is really at odds with a state where pride in the local PUBLIC schools are part of the fabric of society. Even without a majority, Republican legislators did try to cut school funding.
Schools is only one of many fronts that ALEC owned legislatures are attacking. Fortunately, Iowa has bucked the trend in most of their efforts. Therefore we can watch as the ALEC sponsored legislation blows up in disastrous ways around the country. Privatized prisons that must be filled even if it is with kids pulling harmless pranks; cities in bankruptcy; streets falling apart; closing libraries, cemeteries and pools.
More next week.
Watch Detroit Get Sold Off.
What happens in Detroit will be watched across the country. What happens there will be repeated to some extent in most states in the next decades. Remember before Ronald Reagan when the federal government had a concept called “revenue sharing.” Money that returned to cities to help with projects or whatever the cities needed. That ended under Reagan and many cities started charging for services that once were free, such as garbage pickup.
During its heyday, Detroit built buildings, and created parks that it can no longer maintain. Look for these to be auctioned off at pennies on the dollar. Then expect private industry to do even less maintenance, then abandoning said buildings.
By the way, as Detroit sinks into bankruptcy it did agree to pay $400,000,000 for a new hockey stadium for the Red Wings. This is money that will not go for promised pensions and retirements.
Drug Companies Exempted From Being Sued
With all the hoopla around marriage equality and the gutting of the voting rights act, few people paid attention to a SCOTUS decision that would all but exempt drug companies from being sued for side effects of drugs. Surprise! The ruling is that if the FDA said a drug was good, then it is still good no matter what happened. Read this nearly unbelievable story here:
Walmart Workers Go On Strike
These folks are gutsy. They have no union, they have low pay and probably no savings. But in the tradition of standing up for what is right, workers at several low wage employers have gone on one or two day strikes in recent weeks to bring problems out in the public after finding that going through channels at the company does little good.
The most recent example are workers at a Walmart warehouse in Mira Loma, California who went on strike to protest working conditions. Good luck folks. Let us hope that most people will vote with their feet and let Walmart know we will take our business to good employers.
Bee Colony Collapse Disorder
Big news on one of the most baffling problems we have – bee colony collapse disorder. This is a problem with life threatening consequences for mankind. Simply stated, bees are needed to pollinate crops. Without bees much of the pollination doesn’t happen. Without pollination, no food without which we die.
Well, it looks like scientists (people thought useless by Republicans) have narrowed down the cause. The problem is that it looks like fungicides in particular and fungicides mixed with pesticides may be what is in the lethal cocktail for bees. Here is hoping that scientists can pinpoint the problem soon before we try to exist without bees.