Food Safety after largest recall in FDA history + Salmonella outbreak forces major recall

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Updated: 2.02.09 added another story

Democracy Now!
1.29.09

Food Safety: Georgia Plant Knowingly Shipped Contaminated Peanuts; Study Links Corn Syrup to Toxic Mercury

We look at two stories on food safety. The FDA has issued one of the largest food recalls in history after eight people died of salmonella poisoning. A Georgia peanut plant knowingly shipped products contaminated with salmonella on a dozen occasions over the past two years. And a pair of new studies has revealed traces of toxic mercury can be found in many popular food items containing high-fructose corn syrup. The sweetener has become a widely used substitute for sugar in processed foods, including many items marketed toward children. [includes rush transcript]

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via Democracy Now! | Food Safety: Georgia Plant Knowingly Shipped Contaminated Peanuts; Study Links Corn Syrup to Toxic Mercury.

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Updated

US: Nationwide salmonella outbreak forces major recall, plant closure

By Naomi Spencer
/www.wsws.org
2 February 2009

On January 30, the federal Food and Drug Administration announced it was opening a criminal investigation into food safety violations at a Georgia peanut plant responsible for a nationwide salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 500 people and killed at least 8 since September. Over 100 children under the age of five are among those who have been made seriously ill by the contaminated food.

After concluding a two-week investigation of the plant last week, the FDA issued an advisory to dispose of every product containing peanuts processed there within the past two years. The recall, one of the largest in US history, extends to over 430 different foods made with peanut products from the Blakely, Georgia facility run by Peanut Corporation of America. The recall has been extended to markets in Canada and Europe.

[…]

via US: Nationwide salmonella outbreak forces major recall, plant closure.

Like countless other food poisoning outbreaks in the past few years, the latest salmonella outbreak emphasizes the vulnerability of the country’s food supply and the toothless regulatory system charged with overseeing it. Public health, revealed time and again to be fundamentally incompatible with private profit, can only be ensured through public control of production, including organization of the food supply and its essential industry.

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Food on Dandelion Salad

Countdown: Rove Subpoenas + Rove’s Claim of Executive Privilege

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Keith talks to Jerrold Nadler about Karl Rove’s claim of executive privilege and whether he will appear before Congress on Monday.

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Rachel Maddow Show: Michael Isikoff on Rove’s Claim of Executive Privilege

Rachel Maddow talks to Michael Isikoff about Karl Rove’s claim of Executive privilege and just before leaving office Bush sent Rove’s lawyer a letter saying that he was immune from any future subpoenas.

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Obama to Face Test on Executive Privilege After Rove Subpoenaed Again Over Attorney Firings, Siegelman Prosecution

Countdown: Wiretapping, Torture and Rove Subpoena + Ghost Detainees (updated)

Conyers Subpoenas Karl Rove: “It’s Time to Talk”

Neither The US Nor Israel Is A “Genuine Party To Peace” By Noam Chomsky

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By Noam Chomsky
January 28, 2009 “Information Clearinghouse

Barack Obama is recognized to be a person of acute intelligence, a legal scholar, careful with his choice of words. He deserves to be taken seriously – both what he says, and what he omits. Particularly significant is his first substantive statement on foreign affairs, on January 22, at the State Department, when introducing George Mitchell to serve as his special envoy for Middle East peace.

Mitchell is to focus his attention on the Israel-Palestine problem, in the wake of the recent US-Israeli invasion of Gaza. During the murderous assault, Obama remained silent apart from a few platitudes, because, he said, there is only one president – a fact that did not silence him on many other issues. His campaign did, however, repeat his statement that “if missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that.” He was referring to Israeli children, not the hundreds of Palestinian children being butchered by US arms, about whom he could not speak, because there was only one president.

On January 22, however, the one president was Barack Obama, so he could speak freely about these matters – avoiding, however, the attack on Gaza, which had, conveniently, been called off just before the inauguration.

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The Audacity of Empire, by Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
featured writer
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Cindy Sheehan for Congress
January 29, 2009

Webster’s Dictionary defines empire as: a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign authority; especially: one having an emperor as chief of state.

Even though most of us do not call our “chief of state” Emperor, the USA is most certainly an empire. We have all the trappings of empire (military parades, glorious coronation balls, an elite few ruling the empire) but the Oligarchs (rule by the few) call it a “democracy” so the plebes must buy into the myth that our nation is in any way democratic. Our military is used for spreading colonial capitalism all over the world. Even in the heyday of the Roman Empire, most conquered local governments retained some autonomy, unless, of course, the will of the people conflicted with the will of the Emperor.

Is there any bigger bureaucracy than the US government…that contains the US Military Industrial Complex? At this point, it is hard to distinguish the two behemoths…does the MIC control the government or is it the other way around? Does the government support the MIC, or has the MIC overtaken the government to insure that the bloody empire continues? Is there an evil synergistic relationship between the two that will destroy the planet before The Empire® collapses under its own gluttonous weight?

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Is It Time to Bail Out of the US? – Astonishing Incongruities By Paul Craig Roberts

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We can’t afford to war anymore.  Mr. Roberts lays it out why we need a huge peace movement now, in my opinion.  ~ DS

By Paul Craig Roberts
January 28, 2009 “Information Clearinghouse

California State Controller John Chiang announced on January 26 that California’s bills exceed its tax revenues and credit line and that the state is going to print its own money known as IOUs. The template is already designed.

Instead of receiving their state tax refunds in dollars, California residents will receive IOUs. Student aid and payments to disabled and needy will also come in the form of IOUs. California is negotiating with banks to get them to accept the IOUs as deposits.

California is often identified as the world’s eighth largest economy, and it is broke.

A person might think that California’s plight would introduce some realism into Washington, DC, but it has not. President Obama is taking steps to intensify the war in Afghanistan and, perhaps, to expand it to Pakistan.

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Mosaic News – 1/28/09: World News From The Middle East

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Warning

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This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

linktv

Mosaic needs your help! Donate here: http://linktv.org/contribute

“Israel’s Scorched Earth Policy in Gaza,” Abu Dhabi TV, UAE
“Gaza Children Play War Games,” Al Jazeera TV, Qatar
“George Mitchell in Cairo,” Dubai TV, UAE
“George Mitchell in Israel,” IBA TV, Israel
“Ahmadinejad: US Must Apologize,” Press TV, Iran
“Concerns Over US Withdrawal,” Sumaria TV, Iraq
“Orphans Receive Gifts in Iraq,” Al-Iraqiya TV, Iraq
“Slow Down in Real Estate Market in UAE,” Al Arabiya TV, UAE
Produced for Link TV by Jamal Dajani.

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Gaza farmers devastated by war

Israel-Palestine-Gaza-Occupation

Gaza Crisis Appeal

Neural Pathways, Belief and Power in Society

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DO WHAT YOU LOVE!

by Cornelius
blog post
http://www.corneilius.net/
1.29.09

Beliefs and Behaviour Patterns are Neural Pathways that have Become Hardened.

As the brain is growing and forming in the young child, with each new experience a new neural pathway is created, and as those experiences are repeated that pathway or sets of pathways get used repeatedly. Thus certain pathways will become ‘worn’ or ‘hardened’.

This is necessary, and is how, for example, learning to ride a bike gets to a point where one does not need to think about it. The thinking during repeated raining has formed enough of a pathway series to carry out all the various task required to maintain balance, note direction, read the ground and so on.

In this way the child learns and stores vital skills, such as control of her/his limbs, balance, co-ordination.

So we know that it takes about 10,000 hours of training to become fluent in say a musical instrument so that one is a virtuoso, or indeed any particular skill/talent that is then viewed, in our culture, as ‘pretty damn good’.

This applies to physical action as much as thought processes.

We know that children learn much quicker when their learning is self-directed, and that the enthusiasm of the child is a major factor in driving what they will learn.

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Gaza farmers devastated by war

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AlJazeeraEnglish

The scale of the damage caused by Israel’s war on Gaza continues to emerge. Palestinian agriculture officials estimate the cost to the strip’s farming sector will be more than 200 million dollars. Al Jazeera’s Mike Kirsch reports from Gaza, where many farmers are devastated at having to start again from scratch.

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Gaza Emergency Appeal Video

Banned from the BBC – Gaza Aid Appeal Video + George Galloway at Protest for Gaza

Israel-Palestine-Gaza-Occupation

Gaza Crisis Appeal

Match This for Stupidity: Taxing a House of Cards, by Walter Brasch

by Walter  Brasch
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
www.walterbrasch.com
January 29, 2009

My wife is a smoker. Except for one year when she quit, she’s been a smoker since she was about 18. But she’s cut back, from as many as three packs a day to just three cigarettes. And, she now smokes outside the house.

At various times, she was asked to show an ID. When in her 20s she saw it as an annoyance. By her 30s and 40s, it was a compliment. Now it’s just downright annoying.

The law restricts persons under 18 years of age from buying or smoking cigarettes. My wife understands why she must be “carded.”

Yesterday she was carded when she wanted to buy two lighters. The sweet lady at the grocery checkout counter said that the chain store is carding everyone who buys lighters. Something about a juvenile who used a lighter and accidentally set his house on fire.

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Bush’s Secret Counterterrorism Law Book—and the Demands to Release It

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Democracy Now!
1.28.09

Bush’s Secret Counterterrorism Law Book—and the Demands to Release It

We take a look at the Bush administration’s secret Justice Department memos on detention, interrogation, surveillance and prosecution. These opinions were issued by the Office of Legal Counsel and advised the executive branch on the legality of a range of tactics in fighting the so-called “war on terror.” A few of these records have been made public, but many remain secret, including those relating to the Bush administration’s domestic surveillance program. The investigative website ProPublica has compiled the first public database of all that is currently known about these memos. [includes rush transcript]

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Guests:

Chisun Lee, Award-winning reporter now with ProPublica, propublica.org. She was a former staff writer at the Village Voice and counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.

Scott Horton, New York attorney specializing in international law and human rights. He is also a legal affairs contributor to Harper’s Magazine, where he writes the blog No Comment.

AMY GOODMAN: We move now to another legacy of the Bush administration: the secret Justice Department memos on detention, interrogation, surveillance and prosecution. These opinions were issued by the Office of Legal Counsel and advised the executive branch on the legality of a range of tactics in fighting the so-called “war on terror.” A few of these records have been made public, but many remain secret, including those relating to the Bush administration’s domestic surveillance program.

The investigative website ProPublica has compiled the first public database of all that’s currently known about these memos. It’s available at propublica.org.

The Bush administration claims the memos had to remain secret for reasons of security and internal confidentiality.

Dawn Johnsen, Obama’s nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel, has been an outspoken critic of the Justice Department under the Bush administration. This is an excerpt of a speech she gave at the American Constitutional Society in October of 2007, discussing the key principles that ought to govern the Office of Legal Counsel.

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via Democracy Now! | Bush’s Secret Counterterrorism Law Book—and the Demands to Release It.

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Demands to release Bush war memos increase

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Countdown: Turley on Torture Memos and Holder Nomination

Countdown: Wiretapping, Torture and Rove Subpoena + Ghost Detainees (updated)

Obama’s Torture Loopholes, by Prof. James Hill

Should Obama prosecute Bush and Cheney?

Torture on Dandelion Salad

Obama to Face Test on Executive Privilege After Rove Subpoenaed Again Over Attorney Firings, Siegelman Prosecution

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Democracy Now!
1.28.09

Obama to Face Test on Executive Privilege After Rove Subpoenaed Again Over Attorney Firings, Siegelman Prosecution

The chair of the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, has subpoenaed former White House adviser Karl Rove to testify next week about the Bush administration’s firing of nine US attorneys and the prosecution of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman. Rove previously refused to appear before the panel, and former President Bush upheld his legal position. Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin, said he would consult with President Obama’s White House counsel to determine the Obama administration’s stance. We speak with attorney Scott Horton and former Alabama governor Don Siegelman. [includes rush transcript]

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via Democracy Now! | Obama to Face Test on Executive Privilege After Rove Subpoenaed Again Over Attorney Firings, Siegelman Prosecution.

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Obama to face test on Executive Privilege

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The Big Con Game, By Siv O’Neall

By Siv O’Neall
featured writer
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axisoflogic.com
January 28, 2009

Milton Friedman’s Chicago school [1] of deranged predators who wanted, and nearly managed as well, to completely distort the economic system on a global scale was born out of a creed that everything could be gained by a tiny minority. There has been a total lack of concern for everything but those very few who were the profiteers. What was destroyed in the process didn’t bother them in the least. Irreversible damage to the environment was of no consequence. The billions of people on the planet who wanted just to live and be left in peace had no importance whatsoever. They were destined to be cannon fodder and slaves for the gung-ho swindlers who were out to own the world.

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