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Archive for March, 2008

NEWS WATCH! GORE TO FORCE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES TO DISCUSS CLIMATE

Posted in Clean Energy, Conscious Media, Eco Warriors, Global Warming on March 31st, 2008

KICKS OFF $300M ADVERTISING BLITZ TO PERSUADE AMERICANS THAT PROTECTING THE PLANET TRANSCENDS POLITICAL DIVISIONS

gore_nyu1.jpgWhile George Bush was being roundly booed as he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Washington Nationals baseball game last night, in a New York television studio, his one time opponent, Al Gore, was kicking off a 300 million dollar ad campaign, a significant chunk of it self- financed, to force the issue of global warming and climate change into the nation’s political discourse.

Gore, accompanied by wife, Tipper made the announcement during an interview on CBS Television’s, 60 Minutes.

The ad campaign, which is expected to begin airing on broadcast and cable as early as this Wednesday, teams unlikely allies together to address the seriousness of the Global Warming issue and the need for all Americans to work together for our common good.

In the sample clip aired by CBS last night, fiery black preacher, Al Sharpton was featured sharing the stage with conservative wack-job, Pat Robertson. Now two men with less in common probably do not exist, and thankfully so. But this is what makes the campaign so fresh and exciting and is probably what will strike a cord with many Americans who to now have not formed an opinion on this oh so critical issue. Other odd couples expected to appear include current House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, trading lines with disgraced former congressional leader, New Gingrich, he of the numerous wives, mistresses and the abysmal, Contract with America.

When asked about those who still profess skepticism where the issue of climate change and global warming is concerned, among them the President and the Vice President, the former Vice President observed that their line of thinking “had been isolated as a fringe group” and compared their line of thinking with those conspiracy theorists who “still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona or that the earth is flat.”

Good job, Mr. Gore. I couldn’t have said it better, myself.

-LIB

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LOOSING YOUR RIGHT TO SUE FOR DAMAGES

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Corporate Greed, Government Shenanigans, News Brief, Presidential Crimes & Misdemeanors on March 27th, 2008

TWO BILLS, WHICH WOULD TAKE AWAY YOUR RIGHTS TO HOLD THE DRUG COMPANIES AND DRUG EQUIPTMENT MANUFACTURES TO TASK FOR SHODDY MATERIALS AND WORKMANSHIP

handshake.jpgThroughout most of our country’s history, we as consumers have had the right to bring the individual or corporation responsible for manufacturing a faulty product to task for their carelessness or incompetence. Traditionally this recourse took place in a court of law, where all aspects of the situation would be explored, guilt or innocence established, and damages, when appropriate, accessed. But now, thanks to the Bush administration and their corporation-loving allies in Congress and on the Roberts Supreme Court, these days may be gone forever.

This attack on our rights as consumers began with the Supreme Court decision, several months back, which stripped patients using medical devices of the right to sue the manufacturers of those devices when they fail.

Now, this would be cause for distress at any time, but is particularly relevant at this point in our history when virtually everything is outsourced. While I personally am against most aspects of outsourcing, and believe that we could live quite well without the Wal-Marts of the world with their row upon row of cheaply made, inferior Chinese goods, outsourcing, from the look of it, is apparently here to stay. For this reason, our corporations need to be constantly vigilant in policing their foreign sub-contractors to insure that these organizations maintain the stringent standards for quality and workmanship that Americans are accustomed to demanding of their products. To date they have not done so, and probably will not unless forced to do so by law, a situation, which is unlikely, at least as long as George Bush remains in the White House.

The recent recalls of toxic toys and health care products from China should serve as an unforgettable example of what happens when the corporations stop at nothing to shave prices, but do so without providing for the infrastructure necessary to see that their outsourced products are safe.

Helping the corporations along in their march to irresponsible profitability is the Bush administration, who independent of the above referenced legislation, has spent the bulk of their time in office devastating the ranks of federal inspectors – the men and women who in previous administrations served as “we the people’s” last line of defense from shoddy materials, workmanship and the unchecked greed of our corporations.

Historically, perhaps the most effective recourse we have had keeping our manufacturing sector in check has been our ability to sue, and exact damages for poor quality products. Take this away and the corporate sector will become all-powerful and more out of control than it already is.

And as if the situation was not already bad enough, in the months to come, the Supreme Court is expected to take up Levine v. Wyeth. Levine v. Wyeth, according to a story published in a recent Washington Independent, will “examine the legality of a lawsuit preemption clause quietly written into an innocuous FDA labeling law in 2006”. Should the court side with coporate America as it is expected that it will on this matter as well, you and I would be barred from suing the drug companies when their products kill or maim.

Both of these affronts against the poor and the middle class are in keeping with the Bush administration’s adherence to a series of flawed theories, among them the one that awards to the corporation the rights enjoyed by, and the status of the individual.

Followers of this line of thinking believe that the corporation does not need outside regulation, that the FREE MARKET will force the corporations to self regulate, and innovate as they compete for the taxpayer’s dollar.

I only wish that this was true, but recent American history has shown the fallacy of this line of thinking. As proof of this, you need to go no farther than the damage done to the Medicare system by the Bush administration’s disastrous Part D. Drug Plan.

While this plan, as conceived, does help many of our fellow citizens, at least until they reach the gap of coverage a few thousand dollars in, it has done far more for the drug companies and insurance companies for whom, to be honest, the bill was written.

In one of those Bush administration gifts that keeps on giving, Part D drug coverage legislation prohibits Medicare, the nation’s largest insurer and purchaser of prescription drugs, from negotiating discount prices for the drugs that they purchase. This little throw-away has the net effect of transferring billions of dollars a year from the federal treasury to the coffers of drug companies in a move that can only be considered immoral and unethical.

But morals and ethics are not real concepts for the Bush administration, merely words that can be thrown like raw flesh to the cheering mobs of middle and lower class church goers who have bought George Bush’s ‘holier than thou’ bullshit.

Make no mistake; this administration is about profit, Profit for itself as in the case of Dick Cheney’s burgeoning portfolio of Halliburton stock, and profit for their followers. But this loyalty does not come cheap. Expect to see George Bush and Dick Cheney reap the riches that only a thankful corporate community can bestow when they leave office. This will come in the form of high paid directorships, consultancies and massive honorariums for appearing at dinners and sharing a few grunts.

But while this might be great for them, it does absolutely nothing for us. So what can we do?
First, it is important that we make our feelings known to our elected officials about Levine V. Wyeth, and what it would mean to us if this abomination passes. While there is probably not all that much, which we can do to sway the opinion of the Supreme Court, we can inundate our elected officials with our concerns and force them to address the matter legislatively.

The idea that anyone or anything can cause you or I bodily harm and potential loss of life and we have no recourse after the fact is downright wrong. Let your Congressman and Senator know that you think that this stinks. More importantly, remind them that this is an election year and if they cannot do the job, which you elected them to do, you will find someone who can.

And be vocal when you do this. Politicians do not react to nice talk. Sadly, it is a case of the old squeaky wheel getting action. I wish it was not so, but then, that is why I am supporting Obama.

-LIB

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RECYCLING OLD TECHNO TRASH

Posted in Conscious Actions, Corporate Responsibility, Eco Warriors, News Brief, Sustainable Business on March 24th, 2008

NEW BUYBACK PROGRAMS AIM TO TURN USED ELECTRONIC TRASH TO CASH

computer.pngEver wonder where that mountain of old, outdated electronic trash eventually winds up? Or are you the sort of person that once they have decided to give something the boot could care less what eventually happens to it?

Well, regardless of where you come down on this issue, a new way of dealing with the problem of outdated technology is about to make its presence felt. Yes my friends, by
the time that you read this plans will be in place for the major electronic retailers to take your old outdated junk in trade for store credit towards a new purchase.

The program is the brainchild of NEW Customer Service Co., the people who provide many of the extended warranty plans and protection programs for retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart.

Joining Customer Service Co. in this exciting new business model is another company, TechForward.

The latter company plans to offer a guaranteed buyback program similar to the optional extended warranty services offered by many consumer electronic retail stores.

According to a story published today by Reuters, both companies will evaluate the condition of the devices returned, wipe clean the hard drives and either resell the refurbished devices online or harvest the components and sell them as salvage parts.

While no one will get rich on these transactions, it
will be good to know that these products will be properly disposed of and not just dumped into some landfill somewhere in the far east.

-LIB

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GUITAR MAKERS MARTIN, GIBSON, FENDER, TAYLOR AND YAMAHA PARTNER WITH GREENPEACE TO PRESERVE THEIR SUPPLY OF OLD-GROWTH WOOD

Posted in Conscious Actions, Corporate Responsibility, Eco -Chic, Sustainable Business on March 24th, 2008

SITKA SPRUCE, A KEY MATERIAL IN GUITAR AND PIANO SOUNDBOARDS IS THE FIRST TO RECEIVE THE COLLECTIVE’S SCRUTINY

martinguitar.jpgSome of the most sought-after woods used in guitar construction come from trees that can take hundreds of years to develop their acoustic characteristics. To protect their supplies of this wood, a collective comprised of leading guitar makers Martin, Gibson, Fender, Taylor, Yamaha and others have partnered with Greenpeace on its Music Wood campaign.

The goal of this new alliance is to protect the planet’s supply of old-growth wood from clear-cutting, the dreadful industry practice where all trees within a designated area are removed with absolutely no regard for the trees age or specific value.

The first such wood to receive the collective’s scrutiny is Sitka spruce, a key material in guitar and piano soundboards. The wood’s main supplier, Sealaska, has already agreed to a preliminary audit of its logging practices. A full assessment by third parties accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council is set to take place in summer 2008, and if Alaska-based Sealaska decides to implement their recommended reforms and apply for full FSC certification, it will be on the road to more selective logging and consideration of surrounding habitats before it cuts.

While there have been many advancements in recent years in constructing guitars from composite substances, for many of us old time guitar fanatics, there is nothing like a wooden guitar.

Let’s hope that we will continue to have that option.

-LIB

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COURAGEOUS KANSAS GOVERNOR VETOES PLANS TO REVIVE TWO COAL-FIRED ELECTRIC PLANTS

Posted in Conscious Actions, Corporate Greed, Corporate Polluters, Eco Warriors, Health Watch on March 24th, 2008

THE PLANTS WOULD ANNUALLY PRODUCE AN ADDITIONAL 11 MILLION TONS OF CARBON-DIOXIDE

climate_security1.jpgKudos to Kansas’ Democratic Governor, Kathleen Sebelius, for bravely vetoing a measure, which would have revived plans to construct two coal-fired power plants in the southwest corner of the state.

Production of the plants, estimated to generate up to 1,400 megawatts of electricity, was halted by the state’s secretary of health and the environment, Rod Bremby, when it was revealed that the plants would add an additional 11 million tons of carbon-dioxide for each 1400 megawatts generated.

As might be expected, Governor Sebelius’ action has brought about threats from prominent Kansas Republicans – who like their brothers and sisters elsewhere in the country, have never met a utility, no matter how destructive, that they could not embrace – to draft a new measure to revive the coal plants, but when or if they will be successful is unknown.

Now if only they would spend some of the money that they will invest in fighting this battle developing alternate sources of clean power, well, we all know what that could mean to our world and the futures of us all.

But that is not the way of the corporations, and more importantly why, an unregulated market based economy will never work. Unless big brother is there forcing their hand, the unmitigated greed of corporations will do nothing but destroy what little we have in this country that is actually engaged in doing the right thing by our citizens.

But this is a rant for another day…

-LIB

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WAL-MART TO STOP SELLING MILK WITH GROWTH HORMONES

Posted in Conscious Actions, Health Watch on March 22nd, 2008

NATION”S LARGEST RETAILER BOWS TO CUSTOMER DEMAND

milk_glass1.jpgWal-Mart Stores, the nation’s largest retailer, will no longer sell milk obtained from cows treated with recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST).

In making this announcement, Wal-Mart says that it is bowing to the wishes of it’s customers.

It is the official position of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that milk from cows treated with rbST poses no risk to human health though at press time more and more experts are challenging this finding.

-LIB

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STUDY: YOUR STRESS CAN MAKE YOUR CHILDREN ILL

Posted in Conscious Actions, Health Watch on March 20th, 2008

RESEARCH SUGGESTS THAT PARENTS WITH STRESSFUL OUT-OF-CONTROL LIVES MAY BE MAKING THEIR CHILDREN AS WELL AS THEMSELVES VULNERABLE TO ILLNESS

2007-08-10-smartteen1.jpgA University of Rochester study, reported by New Scientist, found sickness levels were higher in children of anxious or depressed parents. It also found links between stress and immune system activity in the children.

It has long been known that stress can cause immune system changes that make a person more prone to infections and other illnesses. However, the new study is the first to provide evidence that the problem can be transmitted from parent to child.

READ MORE….

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VATICAN UPDATES ITS THOU-SHALT-NOT LIST

Posted in News Brief, Public Service Announcement, Will Wonders Never Cease Department on March 17th, 2008

POLLUTION, MIND-DAMAGING DRUGS, GENETIC EXPERIMENTS AND SOCIAL INJUSTICE TAKE OVER FOR LUST, GLUTTONY AND GREED

popeshouse.JPGIn an attempt to prove that they are not totally out of touch with modern life, the Vatican recently updated its list of mans most grievous offenses.

Much to our surprise here at Libsearthwatch.com, pollution makes the list this time around, as does mind damaging drugs (a no-brainer), genetic experiments (sadly this more than likely includes stem cell research as well as the more futuristic cloning), and social injustice, which the pope and his henchmen use as shorthand when referring to the imbalance between the rich and the poor.

Gone from the new list are the old standbys lust, gluttony and greed. Now whether this means that the Vatican has acknowledged that the ship has sailed where these vices are concerned and has moved on to fresher fields afar, is open to discussion in locales more theological than this.

In the interim, Kudos to Pope Benedict and his team for any effort, no matter how small or insignificant, to modernize this moribund institution.

Kudos also for moving to convert Vatican buildings to solar energy, and for installing photovoltaic cells on the roof of the auditorium where religious pilgrims’ gather for meet and greets with the pontiff.

-LIB

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Defamer’s take on the story: Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Snort Coke Off Your Copy Of The New Testament…

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OH NO! POPULAR ‘GREEN’ PRODUCTS TEST POSITIVE FOR A CANCER-CAUSING CHEMICAL

Posted in Health Watch, News Brief, Toxic Products on March 17th, 2008

TOXICANT IS FOUND IN ALMOST HALF OF 100 SUCH GOODS STUDIED INCLUDING PRODUCTS FROM KISS MY FACE, ALBA, SEVENTH GENERATION AND NATURE’S GATE

s-health-insurance-large.jpgNew tests of 100 “natural” and “organic” soaps, shampoos and other consumer products show that nearly half of them contained a cancer-causing chemical that is a byproduct of petrochemicals used in manufacturing.

Many items that tested positive for the carcinogen are well-known brands, including Kiss My Face, Alba, Seventh Generation and Nature’s Gate products, sold in retail stores across the nation.
Related

Of the 100 products tested, 47 had detectable levels of 1,4-dioxane, which the Environmental Protection Agency has declared a probable human carcinogen because it causes cancer in lab animals.

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BUSH ‘DERAILS PLANNED CLIMATE PROTECTIONS

Posted in Corporate Greed, Corporate Polluters, Eco Thugs, Government Shenanigans, Health Watch, News Brief on March 13th, 2008

STEPS IN AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR TO PROTECT BIG MONEY POLLUTERS

bushpoint.jpgCorporate America’s bought paid-for friends in high places, the much hated George Bush and Dick Cheney, proved their worth to their multinational benefactors yet again, yesterday when they stepped in and muscled Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lapdog, Stephen Johnson, forcing the latter to overrule “the unanimous advice of the EPA’s scientific advisory council” for more stringent smog standards.

Had the standards in question become law, they would have established tougher seasonal limits on ozone based on its harm to forests, crops and other plants. Federal climate scientists had recommended those growing-season limits as a way to keep vegetation healthy and still capable of trapping carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas linked to global warming, according to a story originally published in the Los Angeles Times and reprinted on the Think Progress website.

The executive branch’s ruling came after months of closed-door meetings between EPA staffers and representatives of the oil, electric, and automotive industry.

With this action, once again, the Bush administration has placed the financial interests of corporate friends over the health and well being of us mere mortals. This news is particularly devastating to those among us who suffer from breathing related conditions.

-LIB

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