ORGANIC BYTES #147
Health, Justice and Sustainability News Tidbits with an Edge!


10/9/2008

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IN THIS ISSUE:

  • Quote of the Week: The Financial Crash
  • Alert Update: Foodies and Teamsters Put the Squeeze on Whole Foods
  • Plunder of the Week: Bait and Switch on Disaster Relief Brings Pentagon Another Half Trillion
  • Solution: Election Season is Here, and It's Time For Positive Change
  • Organic Transition Tips of the Week
  • Communities Solutions News of the Week: People Uniting to Create Green Neighborhoods
  • Sustainability News of the Week: Old McDonald Outshines Ronald McDonald
  • Web Video of the Week: An interview with author Naomi Wolf:
  • Web Forum Posting of the Week
  • Headlines of the Week

Written and edited by Craig Minowa and Ronnie Cummins

 



Quote of the Week:
The Financial Crash

"Confident men took leave of common sense and bet on the idea of perpetual profit in the real estate market and crashed. But it wasn't their money. It was your money they were messing with. And that's why we need government regulators. Gimlet-eyed men with steel-rim glasses and crepe-soled shoes who check the numbers and have the power to say, 'This is a scam and a hustle and either you cease and desist or you spend a few years in a minimum-security federal facility playing backgammon.' "

Garrison Keillor, Alternet, October 6, 2008

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Justice for Farmworkers Update:
Foodies and Teamsters Put the Squeeze on Whole Foods

Last weekend, OCA joined forces with the United Farm Workers, the Teamsters Union and the National Farm Workers Ministry and leafleted at Whole Foods Markets in 33 states. Our solidarity is having an impact. The entire $70 billion organic and natural foods sector is watching this campaign very closely. Whole Foods Market is Country Natural Beef's largest purchaser and can easily take a stand for domestic Fair Trade by pressing Beef Northwest to sit down with the United Farm Workers and negotiate a fair contract. Keep up the pressure by sending Whole Foods an email here. Many organic consumers and Fair Trade advocates are interested in learning more about this campaign and the plight of America's farmworkers. Please read our Frequently Asked Questions here.

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Government Plunders of the Week:
Bait and Switch on Disaster Relief Brings Pentagon Another Half Trillion

With the mainstream media focused on the outrageous $850 bailout of Wall Street, the Senate sneaked through a separate $633 billion bill last week, the bulk of which is allocated to increased funding for war ($488 billion) and Homeland Security ($73 billion). According to the Associated Press, "The administration won approval of the defense budget while Democrats wrested concessions from the White House on disaster aid, heating subsidies for the poor and smaller spending items."

In related news CNN reported this week that 60% of Americans now expect the economic recession to metastasize into a full-blown depression, though CNN forgot to ask disgruntled taxpayers what they thought should be done to fix the economy. Here's what OCA would suggest:

  1. Implement massive cuts in military spending and get the hell out of Iraq and Afghanistan;
  2. Ban all offshore, untaxed bank accounts and then start taxing these $23 trillion dollars in assets;
  3. Slap a .1% transaction tax on all stock transactions and currency speculation and use this trillion dollars in annual revenues to help rebuild the economy;
  4. Nationalize the troubled banks that need bailouts, renegotiate their mortgages, and start investing these nationalized assets in green jobs, affordable mortgages, and retooling the economy.

Learn more


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Solution:
Election Season is Here, and It's Time For Positive Change

Learn where your candidates stand on issues of Health, Justice, Sustainability, Peace, and Democracy here.

2008 Voting Alert: In 26 States, It's Not Too Late to Register The Organic Consumers Association has joined the Peace Impact coalition to help register voters for the historic 2008 election. If you live in one of these states, AL, CA, CT, DE, KS, MD, MA, NE, NV, NC, NJ, NY, OK, OR, SD, UT, VT, WA, or WV, it's not too late, but the deadlines are coming up, some as early as Friday, October 10, 2008. Please click here to register:

ID, IA, ME, MN, NH, WI and WY have election day registration at the polls on November 4th. ND doesn't even have voter registration, you just show up and vote.


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Organic Transition Tips of the Week:

  1. How to Make Compost
  2. Washing Clothes Without Electricity
  3. Canning 101

Learn how to rely less on the system and more on your own abilities here.

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We know times are tough for everyone right now. That's why the OCA continues to work for consumers, family farmers, our environment, and our most precious assets, our children. We want to continue fighting the good fight, as well as bring you Organic Bytes, but we need your donations to survive these financially difficult times. If you enjoy Organic Bytes and believe the world is a better place with OCA's nonprofit work, please consider donating today. Any size of donation is helpful and appreciated.

Donate Now: http://www.organicconsumers.org/donations.htm

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Communities Solutions News of the Week:
People Uniting to Create Green Neighborhoods

Housing prices may be crashing, but there's a new green networking trend that is picking up momentum in neighborhoods across the U.S. Citizens are abandoning expectations that the government is going to implement truly sustainable policies, and they are banding together to create their own green communities and neighborhoods. One example is the Nubanusit Neighborhood in New Hampshire, which is a green neighborhood of single family homes and multiplex units that share an organic farm, office space and common space. According to Lono Hunter, resident of the eco-neighborhood, "In terms of actually living in a way that can help the environment, I think you need the power of numbers." The U.S. Green Building Council is picking up on the trend and says it will begin applying a version of its Leadership in Energy Environmental Design (LEED) rating system to entire neighborhoods starting in 2009.

Learn more


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Sustainability News of the Week:
Old McDonald Outshines Ronald McDonald

Despite the ongoing economic recession, consumers are increasing their purchases of green or sustainably produced foods. One Florida-based chain, Pizza Fusion, delivers locally grown, family-farmed foods in hybrid vehicles. The chain now boasts 75 franchises in 15 states, all of which are built from recycled materials. Not to be outdone, a union of 42,000 North Dakota farmers have pooled their resources and invested more than $6 million to build green restaurants in Washington D.C. to showcase food from family farms. One of the "farm-to-table" establishments is walking distance from the Capitol and the White House, offering a tasty home-cooked reminder to U.S. policy-makers that this nation was built on the backbone of the family farmer. When asked if a meal at the restaurant has the potential to positively impact a congressperson's ability to reject the offers of a corporate-agribusiness lobbyist, one patron said, "It depends on how warm the apple pie is that day."

Learn more


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Web Video of the Week:

An interview with author Naomi Wolf: Give Me Liberty

Watch


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Web Forum Posting of the Week:

Posted by OCA Web Forum User William Jase: "I am a cancer patient and am looking for a source where I can discuss cancer related problems and share my experiences with other people. When I heard that I am suffering from cancer, I was feeling uneasy, but at that time my family and friends helped me a lot and encouraged me to fight the situation. So, if you people have any idea where I can talk about cancer then please let me know. Any help will be really helpful. Thanks a lot in advance!!!"

Register at the forum and join the online discussion now.



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Headlines of the Week:

1) Phthalates Linked to Abnormal Genitalia in Baby Boys

2) Food Buying Clubs Make a Comeback in Tough Economy

3) Farmers & Ranchers Mobilizing to Stop USDA's 'Big Brother' National Animal Identification System (NAIS)

4) USDA Withholding Documents on Outrageous Rule to Pasteurize Raw Almonds

5) USDA's New Biotechnology Regulations Could Allow Drugs in Food

Let OCA sift through the media smog and bring you the top new and analysis of the day. The OCA website has 20 or more news articles posted each day, and a library of over 4,000 articles covering issues including health, justice, food and farming, politics, and the environment. Bookmark OrganicConsumers.org

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ORGANIC BYTES is a publication of:
ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION
6771 South Silver Hill Drive
Finland, Minnesota 55603
Phone: (218)- 226-4164 Fax: (218) 353-7652
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