When I spoke at the Rockefeller Fund Conference on Pipelines and Eminent Domain last week, I emphasized that if we’re going to argue against the abuse of eminent domain for a pipeline, we truly have to get to know the landowners and tribes who sit in a pipeline company’s crosshairs. (Read the full text of my speech here.)
I also spoke about how in Iowa we are down to the wire in our fight against the Bakken Pipeline. Over 400 people have signed the Pledge of Resistance, and I encouraged attendees at the conference (and I encourage you!) to read the Pledge, consider signing it, and share it with others.
Looking beyond this pipeline battle, I reminded people that Donald Trump’s stand on eminent domain could hurt him badly in the general election. I believe Trump can be beat on eminent domain in swing states like Iowa. And I believe this battle against the abuse of eminent domain is a fight that is at the very heart of our identity as Americans. This is about freedom. This is about liberty. This is about people’s right to happiness and prosperity through the responsible use of their land and property, without fear of some big, powerful corporation, working hand-in-hand with corrupt government officials, taking what is not theirs simply to satisfy their lust for money and power.
On that argument, Trump can be beat. And oh, while in Atlanta, our crew of fearless pipeline fighters paid Mr. Trump a visit, and our action was covered by . . . um . . . Alex Jones. See what you think, and forgive me for being distracted by the guy with the “F*** Trump” t-shirt.
Closer to home, major kudos to April Burch for convincing delegates at the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) convention to include The Climate Mobilization‘s language in the Party Platform. In her speech in favor of changing the IDP platform plank from “We support Renewable Energy Standard Requirements (40% by 2020; 50% by 2030; 100% by 2050)” to “We support Renewable Energy Standard requirements of 100% by 2025,” April said:
“While it appears that the majority of Iowa democrats support the idea of reducing carbon emissions to 350 parts per million (ppm) alongside Bill McKibben of 350.org, we cannot and will not even approach scaling back to 350 ppm in our lifetimes unless we immediately fight for the most aggressive climate change measures imaginable.
“This requires the Iowa Democratic Party to send the strongest message possible that we are serious about averting the climate crisis. The Climate Mobilization pledge to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2025 allows us to soundly reject new fossil fuel infrastructure projects like the Bakken Pipeline as well as the horrors of bomb trains, catastrophic oil spills, and fracking.
“Please vote to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2025 for our grandchildren’s grandchildren.”
The change passed on a voice vote! Way to go, April!
Listen to the Fallon Forum:
– Live Mondays, 11:00-12:00 noon CT on La Reina KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines, IA)
– Outside of central Iowa, listen live here: FALLON FORUM LIVE-STREAM
– KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames, IA)
– KICI.LP 105.3 FM (Iowa City, IA)
– WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans, LA)
– KPIP-LP, 94.7 FM (Fayette, MO)
Take Muscatine Back to hold informational picket before city council meeting
June 20, 2016, Muscatine, IA – Take Back Muscatine, local citizens group, will hold an informational picket at 6PM before the June 23rd, 2016 Muscatine City Council meeting to demonstrate their concerns over proposed code changes that would strip the Mayor of appointment powers for city commissions as well as the fire and police chief (see current city code 1-11-2).
Thursday, June 23 at 6PM
Muscatine City Hall 215 Sycamore St.
On June 23rd, the Muscatine City Council will hear a proposal for the city council to strip the Mayor of her ability to appoint anyone to boards and commissions as well as remove her power to appoint the city fire and police chief, with council approval.
Since the Mayor has taken office, many of her commission appointment have been denied by the council. As well, her request that the council open its meetings with an invocation delivered by the diverse faith and secular communities in Muscatine was also voted down by the council.
We at Take Muscatine Back see the council’s actions as not in the spirit of good government, based on shared powers, checks and balances. We ask that the residents of Muscatine who wish to have a continued voice in their government, as well as checks and balances, to come to the next city council meeting on June 23rd at 7pm. We will hold an informational picket in front of City Hall starting at 6PM.
If you are unable to make it, please call your councilman and ask them what is the reason for stripping the mayor of power, when just last year, they already updated the city charter. If the mayor’s appointment powers were not an issue then, why is it an issue now? We feel that the city council’s actions have nothing to do with good governance, but only with isolating a democratically elected mayor with whom they do not agree.
Under our Manager-Council form of government, the Mayor has traditionally had limited the power to name the fire department chief and police chief, and to make appointments to boards and commissions, with council approval, and preside at council meetings or break a tie (rare in a city with an odd number of council members).
We have not seen the proposed changes, as they will be shared at Thursday’s Special Session. But, we are also concerned that the public won’t be given ample opportunity to scrutinize the proposed changes before the council moves into a closed session to possibly vote on this matter (see agenda below).
The public, so far, is being left in the dark about why these changes are needed after more than 100 years of our charter. We ask the good people of Muscatine to join us on Thursday to seek answers.
MUSCATINE CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL MEETING THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2016 – 7:00 P.M. CITY HALL COUNCIL CHAMBERS
1. Call to Order/Roll Call
2. Review and Discussion of City Attorney’s Opinion on Proposed Amendments to City Code
3. City Attorney Update
4. Request to enter Closed Session per Iowa Code 21.5.1.c to discuss strategy with Counsel in matters that are presently in litigation or where litigation is imminent where its disclosure would be likely to prejudice or disadvantage the position of the governmental body in that litigation
5. Request to enter Closed Session per Iowa Code 21.5.1.c to discuss strategy with Counsel in matters that are presently in litigation or where litigation is imminent where its disclosure would be likely to prejudice or disadvantage the position of the governmental body in that litigation
Take Muscatine Back
When Diana Broderson decided last year to run for Mayor Muscatine, she thought that her many years in the community and working in family programs at the YMCA would bring a unique perspective to the city, one mainly focused on reducing poverty and on creating a family-focused community. As it turned out, the majority of voters agreed. Mayor Broderson won by eight points over the incumbent mayor, garnering more votes than anyone else on the ballot in the City.
But as they say, no good deed goes unpunished. While the special charter form of government had reduced the powers of the mayor considerably, assigning most matters to the city administrator and council members, the mayor still does have the power to make appointments to commissions and to the city fire and police chief, with council approval, as well as preside over meetings, and to veto.
And since assuming office, Mayor Broderson has attempted to use those limited powers to make the city more inclusive. She proposed to have an invocation delivered at the start of the city council meetings, to be delivered by a member of the faith or secular community. It was her way to invite the public into the council chambers every week, rotating among different faith communities and secular voices so both the council could better know the diversity of the city, as well as so community leaders could participate in government. This proposal did not pass.
She then nominated a few people to serve on city commissions. It was her desire to bring new voices to the table, get better diversity among commission members. In no way could any of her commission appointments change the power dynamic on these commissions as he or she would be one vote among 4-5 others. However, the new commissioner would bring a different perspective and enrich the conversation.
Regardless of the Mayor’s intention, the city council has killed most of the mayor’s appointments saying they people were unqualified or that their association with striking workers somehow was not good. They accused her of appointing only Democrats or union members (not true). One council member suggested that a woman the mayor recommended for Power and Water would be better suited to Library Board or the Art Center. They accused the Mayor of being partisan in a “non partisan arena” and that she will earn respect if she “stop playing politics”. They made their recommendations for whom they thought were better suited, a CFO for instance.
In the six months since elected office, Mayor Broderson has only been able to get two council appointments approved by council.
I decided to do my own analysis of the composition of the commissions to see if indeed they are imbalanced. I make no promise my findings are completely accurate, but even if they are only ballpark, what I found is very imbalanced Below is a list of the commissioners’ names. I looked up their party identification, union status, and gender. I asked people in the community about the racial demographic to get a sense of that, important especially given that Muscatine has a large and growing Latino population (around 12%).
These are my rudimentary initial findings:
86 Commissioners total
28 are women (with 6 of those serving on multiple commissions); 58 are men, none are Latino or African American (if this is wrong, my apologies, please correct the record),40 are Republicans, 19 are Democrats, 19 are independents, and 4, I could not find data.
Age was more difficult to establish, though it is safe to say that few are younger than 35 years of age
It is clear that the Mayor’s intention to diversify the commissions would be long overdue. It would also appear that despite the council’s accusation that the mayor is acting in a partisan manner, the overwhelming representation of Republicans on commissions (in a city that is pretty evenly split among Democrats, Republicans and Independents) demonstrates that this accusation is more appropriately made at the past council and mayor.
Ultimately, the council would not stand for any attempt to democratize the city, so at their last meeting they voted to ask the city attoney to draft language that would strip the mayor of her remaining powers to make appointments.
They council is going to consider the code changes at this Thursday’s meeting (see press release below). The community group, Take Muscatine Back, is organizing an information picket beofe the meeting to call attendtion to the proposed code changes.
If you are available, please show your support for the Mayor. It’s not just the citizens group who noticed the apparent obstructionism of the council. The Muscatine Journal itself ran the following editorial cartoon. It’s really funny, and not funny at all.
City of Muscatine Council and Commissioners
City Council and Mayor
Broderson – Democrat
Fitzgerald – Democrat
Rehwaldt – Republican
Spread – Republican
Bynum – Republican
Harvey – Republican
Natvig – Republican
Saucedo – Independent
Civil Service Commission
Dan Olson – Republican
Christina Kelly – Independent
Brandy Olson – Independent, but she voted in the 2014 Republican primary. She is also staff attorney for Muscatine Power and Water – I view that as a conflict of interest for her to be both counsel and commissioner.
Planning and Zoning Commission
Larry Wolf – Republican
John Sayles – Republican
Jodi Hansen – Democrat
Rochelle Conway – Democrat
Muscatine Power and Water Board:
Steven Bradford – Republican, General Counsel of HNI
Susan Eversmeyer – Republican Co-owner, river rehabilitation.
Warren Heidbreder – Republican
Tracy McGinnis – Republican, VP Retail Banking, Central State Bank
Doyle Tubandt – Republican, President Kent Corporation
Airport Advisory Commission
Bill Leddy – Independent
Jerry Page – unregistered
Scott Natvig – Republican
Stacy Lewis – Republican
Steven Bradford – Republican
Electrical Licensing Advisory Board
Cliff Lanfier – unregistered
Steve Lemke – no data
Nick Nietzel – Republican
Tim Reed – unregistered
Joseph Hagerty – Republican
Art Center Board of Trustees
Kelly Rushford – Independent
Susan Freers – Republican
Rochele Conway – Democrat
Jon Moravec – Republican
Brian Wright – Democrat
Clair Penner – Democrat
Mary Shihadeh – Democrat
Melissa Snydacker – Democrat
James Burr – Independent
Historic Preservation Commission
Mark LaRette – Republican
Kyleigh Johnson – Democrat
Michael Maharry – Democrat
Paul Carroll – Republican
Rochelle Conway – Democrat (service on 3 boards)
Housing Advisory and Appeals Board
Alan Rusher – unregistered
Ed Hogan – Independent
Sam Curry – Democrat
Kyle Eller – Republican
Mike Allenbaugh – Republican
Administrative Review Panel
Nancy Lueck – Republican
Brett Talkington – Independent
Tina Boldt – Republican
Library Board of Trustees
Jane Daufeldt – Republican
Jon Moravec – Republican
Krista Regennitter – Democrat
Diana Gradert – Republican
Nancy Dew – Independent
Bret Olson – Independent
Travis Sheets – Republican
Peggy Gordon – Independent
Dr. Jarod Johnson – Independent
New Construction Appeal and Advisory
Rich Jones – Staff
Jim Noble Jr – Republican
Tom Bankhead – Democrat
Plumbers board of examiners
Joseph Hagerty – Republican
Phil Fitzerald – Democrat
Tim Kelly – unregistered
Ken Rogers – staff
Rich Jones – staff
Recreation Advisory Commission
Kim Warren – Democrat
Tim Riley – no data
Dana Kraft – Democrat
Greg Harper- Republican
Janell Kassel – Independent
Bradley Bark – Independent
Transportation Advisory Commission
Tom Curry – Independent
Pat Hagens- Republican
Tricia Honeyman- No data
Therese Finney – Independent
Kathy Moore – Independent
Water, Electric & Communication Trustees
Tracy McGinnis – Republican
Susan Eversmeyer – Republican
Warren Heidbreder – Republican
Doyle Tubandt – Republican
Steve Bradford – Republican
Zoning Board of Adjustment
Larry Wolf – Republican
Rochelle Conway – Democrat
Jodi Hansen – Democrat
Seth Munier – Independent
Convention and Visitors Board
Peg Heither – Republican
Greg Jenkins – Republican
Tina Boldt – Republican
Robert Bahn – Republican
Beth Johnson – Independent
Tony Lonconsole – no data
Mary Wildermuth – Republican
“Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign will maintain staff in all 50 states during the general election with an eye toward overwhelming Republicans in the fall and rebuilding the Democratic Party’s infrastructure thereafter.”
This is really the best news I’ve seen for awhile. Howard Dean implemented the 50-state strategy back in the day when he was DNC chair. Under President Obama, it went by the wayside in favor of OFA. Hillary Clinton is super smart and she now realizes it is esssential to beating back the Republican party and making sure it stays dead this time.
According to Huffpo:
When he took over the Democratic National Committee following the 2004 election, Howard Dean implemented an across-the-map approach to rebuilding the party, arguing that Democrats could only regain a foothold in lost territory if they put people there.
“The 50-state strategy worked. It gave us the majorities in the House and the Senate, and then it was abandoned because Obama chose to go with OFA [Organizing For Action], which did not work, and the DNC scaled way back on it,” Dean, a supporter of and consultant to Clinton’s campaign, told HuffPost. “But I’m very pleased it is going to be rebuilt. I think they totally get that her legacy depends on having a Democratic Congress and that she has to start now.”
Iowa’s recent very unpopular and poorly thought out experience with the privatization of the administration of Medicaid in Iowa makes one wonder what are the roots of privatization in this country and how pervasive is privatization. Much like guns or health care, no one else in the industrialized world does privatization (or profitization as many call it) like we do in the United States.
How was the right able to get the country to move from having most of their public services provided by governmental agencies to a point where even some of the most basic of public services are contracted out to a private supplier? For those of us who have had it happen to us but never understood why or what the driving force behind it was, Talking Points Memo has begun a series that will hopefully answer those questions.
So far the introduction and the first part of a four part series have been posted at the site. From the looks of the start this will be an extremely informative series and one well worth your time to read and understand.
Here is a little teaser from part one of The Hidden History Of The Privatization Of Everything:
“Austrian-born economist Friedrich von Hayek was the movement’s intellectual leader. His 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom, is considered to be the intellectual wellspring of anti-government, pro-market ideas and the privatization of public goods. The book was met with surprising success – with excerpts printed in Readers Digest and Look Magazine. It continues to be a significant influence on politicians, journalists, and business leaders. House Speaker Paul Ryan considers Hayek his intellectual guru.
Yet public support for government remained high throughout the postwar years as public services expanded and the economy grew. Hayek and his followers, therefore, were powerless to stem the continued growth of government activities throughout the 1950s. This began to change in 1962 with the publication of Capitalism and Freedom by economist Milton Friedman. Friedman was an effective promoter of two critical ideas: governments were just like markets and government was a public monopoly. Both of these became central arguments of privatization advocates in the 1970s and 1980s.
Friedman’s most important insight was that privatization didn’t necessarily mean cutting popular public services. The public still trusted and valued government programs; Friedman’s argument gave privatization advocates a new approach by making the distinction between government responsibility and government provision of public goods. You could put public services in the hands of private contractors while still maintaining the program. Friedman’s real agenda, though, was clearly about removing public responsibility as well. He called for the elimination of Social Security, the minimum wage, public housing and all national parks.”
A friend told me way back in the 80s that once the privatization started it will be impossible to stop, let alone reverse. This is an easy way for politicians to claim they are saving taxpayer dollars, even though they often are more expensive. Privatization is also an easy way to avoid blame when something goes wrong. This is near and dear to a politician’s heart.
Some quick memories from raising a couple of very strong women:
* Being rescued by the girl scouts when I got lost in the woods at Indian Creek Nature Center when we took s group up to watch maple syrup being made.
* Taking our girls “grazing” – sampling foods in the grocery stores during Saturday morning shopping.
* The youngest trying to teach the dog to say “thank you” when he got a treat.
* Using the stairs as a summer time sledding hill
* Sledding at the golf course in -10 degrees with a howling wind. Followed by hot cocoa and a pleasant murder on “Murder She Wrote.”
* Junior High Girls Basketball. Nothing – and I do mean nothing – like it in the world.
* Having to be on my toes in science and math to stay ahead of them
* Meeting the boyfriends. Having much sympathy for these guys. I was in your shoes once.
Were you paying attention? It was a busy week!
1) Republicans immediately claimed the Orlando massacre was caused by what?
2) Wow – what historical musical cleaned up at the Tonys last Sunday?
3) Due to the Orlando massacre the LGBT community was at the top of the news all week. What does LGBT stand for?
4) Also in Orlando, what other tragedy happened at Disney World?
5) The Rio Olympics face a lot of problems this year. The newest is the banning of what country from the Games for repeated doping?
6) Chuck Grassley took a stand on allowing terror suspects to buy guns. What side of the issue does Chuck fall on?
7) Donald Trump surprised many with his reaction to the Orlando massacre. What was it?
8) A British MP was murdered after meeting constituents in Birstall. The murder appeared to be tied to what emotional issue that comes to a vote next week?
9) At the UEFA soccer tournament in France, what two countries continually clashed even though they were threatened with disqualification?
10) The name of the nightclub in Orlando where the massacre took place is what?
11) A year ago June 16th, you could have picked up a quick $50 by going to what event?
12) Microsoft acquired what social networking company last week for $26 billion?
13) Margaret Vinci Heldt died last weekend. Her claim to fame was what hairstyle ubiquitous in the 60s? (hint: Marge Simpson)
14) Michu Meszaros also died last week. Meszaros was best known as what short, out of this world tv character?
15) June 16, 1963 the first Russian woman in space. June 18, 1983 the first American woman in space. Can you name these pioneering women?
16) A heavily armed man from Indiana was arrested in California on his way to what event?
17) The Supreme Court handed what US commonwealth a major setback in its bankruptcy problems?
18) A Dutch woman had her drink spiked and was raped in Qatar. How was this handled by Qatar authorities?
19) Which senator took over the chamber and held a filibuster until some concessions were made on gun control legislation?
20) David Jolly ended his senate bid in Florida and will run for his current seat in the House. Jolly’s change was in anticipation of what?
BTW – Iowa needs blood. Give your local blood bank a call and set up an appointment. Our hospitals go through a lot of blood in the summer!
1) Islamist terrorists
2) Hamilton – won 11, one short of the record 12 by “The Producers”
3) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered
4) a toddler was snatched in a lagoon by an alligator – found dead a couple of days later.
6) he’s in favor of letting them buy guns
7) tweet that many had congratulated him on being right. It was about him!
8) the British exit from the EU. The murderer favored exit.
9) Russia and England
11) Donald Trump’s presidential announcement. He had to pay people to join the audience.
13) the beehive
15) Valentina Tereshkova and Dr. Sally Ride. Tereshkova is still alive if you are curious
16) the Los Angeles Pride Parade
17) Puerto Rico. Now they must depend on congress for help
18) The woman was arrested and convicted of having sex outside of marriage. She was fined, given a suspended sentence and deported. The rapist received 40 lashes.
19) Chris Murphy of Connecticut
20) Marco Rubio’s entry into the race. Rubio had promised he would not run for his seat previously.
Republicans lost no time in blaming Muslims for the massacre in Orlando last weekend. As the investigation unfolds it becomes more and more clear that the perpetrator was a lone wolf who was really screwed up. Apparently he was really screwed up about his sexuality. His targeting of gays seems to be quite premeditated.
This aspect of the crime is all but ignored by Republicans. The last thing they want to do is to say anything that would promote sympathy for one of their perpetual punching bags.
What they do want to do is to once again is to ignore any evidence and catapult the propaganda that once more we must be in fear and we must turn to the Daddy party for safety. The bogey man du jour is Muslims. In the past it has been Communists, blacks, Latinos or any one of a number of “other” humans. Those folks are still pulled out of the trunk now and then and shaken to remind us to be scared of them, but today we must fear Muslims.
So while the real target was the LGTB community, Republicans once again tilt at the windmill marked “Muslim.”
Not only do they tilt at that windmill, but they insist that we all must talk about their windmill in only a certain way. They insist that their windmill be called “radical Islam” and nothing less. Republicans lecture others on political correctness, that speaking of people and things in a respectful way is somehow evil. Yet within their ranks they practice their own version politically correct speech. In their version anyone or anything marked as an enemy must only be spoken of in a denigrating way. To not do so illustrates your unfitness for office.
So if say a president does not refer to Muslims as “radical Islamists” then that is proof that he is in sympathy with the enemy and must resign. In a similar strain, blacks are referred to as “thugs”; latinos as “drug smugglers or criminals”; anyone who wants strong government as a “communist” or “socialist”; union members are likened to thieves and government workers are portrayed as lazy and worthless. But guns are never bad or a tool of death. Nope guns are good and the more the better.
Republicans want the media and their opponents to only discuss issues using their terms. In other words they want issues spoken of in their politically correct language. Their words are loaded with images they conjure up – my favorite is that Reaganesque term “welfare queen.” The only way we can have substantive discussions is to use words of respect that are not loaded with hate. We can’t make good decisions if our thought process is clouded.
And of course Iowa’s politicians are always ready to join the parade. Here’s Terry Branstad: “My heart goes out to the people that were killed and their families, and I think it underscores why we need to be vigilant, and we need new leadership that’s going to take this threat from Islamic terrorism seriously,”
Steve King once again shows his shallow understanding of any problem that all our ills are caused by terrorists that we don’t talk about in the Republican way:
“King also said that “political correctness” was keeping the United States from responding to and preventing terrorist attacks, a view shared by Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).”
A simple google search gives us Mother Jones’ continuing investigation of mass shootings in the US 1993 to 2016. This table shows that most of the mass murders in the US were perpetrated by whites (see pivot table 1 on MJ link). “Islamic Terrorist” doesn’t as yet rate a category.
What we do see in this table is guns, guns, guns. At a glance that is at the core of every mass murder listed. Potential mental illness rates second place. The guns – even weapons of war – are easily obtained in this country thanks in great degree to a lobbying group named the NRA and spineless congress critters like Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst.
Republicans once again take a serious situation and twist the data to fit their narrative rather than investigate to find the real sources of the problems. If this sounds familiar, let me remind you that 15 years ago airplanes were hijacked and flown into buildings in New York City. Then the Republican administration began the task of fitting an attack by religious extremists from Saudi Arabia to their desire to invade Iraq and steal Iraq’s oil.
Based on statements by various Republican officeholders and candidates we know there is a strong desire to once more have the US get deeply militarily involved in the Middle East. Once again they will need to create a reason for military action. Getting the public to go along with such an adventure again after the last disaster will take a lot of PC – propaganda channeling.
The annual Iowa City Pride Parade is a tradition of fun for the whole family.
Join us as a participant or just watch with friends on a warm June afternoon.
Parade starts at noon and travels through Downtown Iowa City for approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
After the Parade there are many events throughout Downtown including:
Pride on the PedMall, Pride Entertainment on the PedMall, Free Food @ Studio 13, Pride Entertainment @ Studio 13 and more!
Join us as we celebrate acceptance and diversity the third weekend each June.
We hope this isn’t true.
The stories became far too frequent to ignore.
E-mails from folks with allergic or digestive issues to wheat in the United States experienced no symptoms whatsoever when they tried eating pasta on vacation in Italy.
Confused parents wondering why wheat consumption sometimes triggered autoimmune reactions in their children but not at other times.
In my own home, I’ve long pondered why my husband can eat the wheat I prepare at home, but he experiences negative digestive effects eating even a single roll in a restaurant.
There is clearly something going on with wheat that is not well known by the general public. It goes far and beyond organic versus nonorganic, gluten or hybridization because even conventional wheat triggers no symptoms for some who eat wheat in other parts of the world.
What indeed is going on with wheat?
For quite some time, I secretly harbored the notion that wheat in the United States must, in fact, be genetically modified. GMO wheat secretly invading the North American food supply seemed the only thing that made sense and could account for the varied experiences I was hearing about.
I reasoned that it couldn’t be the gluten or wheat hybridization. Gluten and wheat hybrids have been consumed for thousands of years. It just didn’t make sense that this could be the reason for so many people suddenly having problems with wheat and gluten in general in the past 5-10 years.
Finally, the answer came over dinner a couple of months ago with a friend who was well versed in the wheat production process. I started researching the issue for myself, and was, quite frankly, horrified at what I discovered.
The good news is that the reason wheat has become so toxic in the United States is not because it is secretly GMO as I had feared (thank goodness!).
The bad news is that the problem lies with the manner in which wheat is harvested by conventional wheat farmers.
You’re going to want to sit down for this one. I’ve had some folks burst into tears in horror when I passed along this information before.
Wheat harvest protocol in the United States is to drench the wheat fields with Roundup several days before the combine harvesters work through the fields as withered, dead wheat plants are less taxing on the farm equipment and allows for an earlier, easier and bigger harvest
Pre-harvest application of the herbicide Roundup or other herbicides containing the deadly active ingredient glyphosate to wheat and barley as a desiccant was suggested as early as 1980. It has since become routine over the past 15 years and is used as a drying agent 7-10 days before harvest within the conventional farming community.
Yesterday’s victory on net neutrality:
A federal court of appeals fully upheld the FCC’s strong net neutrality rules to keep the internet open, fair, and free.
This is a victory for the millions of Americans like you who made your voices heard in support of a fair and free internet — who petitioned your government, spoke out on social media, and stood up for what you believe.
As President Obama said in 2014:
“Net neutrality’ has been built into the fabric of the internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow internet service providers to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas.”
Today’s ruling reaffirms this. And it’s why the President has so strongly supported net neutrality since he was a Senator, and continues to work every day to protect the internet ecosystem: because it remains one of the greatest gifts our economy — and our society — has ever known.
Thanks again for raising your voices on this platform,
— The We the People Team
P.S. Check out this timeline to see the progress we’ve made on net neutrality.
If you haven’t seen this yet, now would be a good time.