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Member since: Tue May 13, 2008, 03:07 AM
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Former MSNBC Host Dylan Ratigan THANKS MARIJUANA GROWERS For Hydroponics

Former MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan thanked comedian Tommy Chong and marijuana growers for perfecting hydroponic farming technology.

“I’d like to issue a letter of gratitude to Tommy and all the hydroponic marijuana growers in the world,” he said on The Young Turks. “Much as porn made the Internet, the cutting edge of hydroponic lighting and water flow and nutrient film technique that really has been been perfect as a result of the marijuana industry is the very techniques that we are now benefiting from to yield incredibly nutritious kale, bok choy, swiss chard, basil, bell peppers — you pick it. So, Tommy, thank you.”

After ending his three-year run at MSNBC, Ratigan moved to southern California to pursue a career as an organic, hydroponic farmer. He claimed the farm he now works on uses 90 percent less water, yet produces three times the amount of food compared to traditional farms.

“Because of the incredible investment from the marijuana industry over the past couple of decades, the available technology for hydroponic kale farmers and basil farmers like myself is absolutely stunning, and because of the legalization of marijuana in so many places, while marijuana prices are declining, kale prices are rising,” he added.


Surprised? Monsanto OPENLY WROTE OWN Monsanto Protection Act

I think Blunt is confused over which ‘people’ he is serving. I created this image to call Blunt out on his open decision to side with Monsanto over the public:

It should come as no surprise to many of you to find out that Monsanto actually authored the wording of its own Monsanto Protection Act hidden in the recently passed and signed Continuing Resolution spending bill. How could a major corporation write its own laws and regulations, you ask? Quite frankly I think it’s important to understand that the entire Senate passed the bill containing the Protection Act, but the politician who actually gave Monsanto the pen in order to write their very own legislation is no others than Roy Blunt — a Republican Senator from Missouri. As the latest IB Times article reveals, the Missouri politician worked with Monsanto to write the Monsanto Protection Act. This was confirmed by a New York news report I will get to shortly.

As you probably know I do not play the political clown game of left versus right, and instead highlight corruption and wrongdoing wherever it is found — regardless of party affiliation. In the case of Senator Blunt, he admits to colluding with Monsanto, a corporation that has literally been caught running ‘slave-like’ working conditions in which workers are unable to leave or eat (among many worse misdeeds). This is one of the most blatant offenses against the citizens of the United States I’ve seen in a long time. A population that Blunt swore to serve. It’s not for the United States public at all, and it’s a serious matter that I don’t think is properly understood. The passing of this bill into law means that Monsanto is now immune from federal courts regarding any suspension or action on their crops that have been deemed to be dangerous to the people (or the environment).

This means crops that were approved and later found to damage the environment or the public will be immune from United States government action. Theoretically, one million studies could find that Monsanto’s latest creation was causing a massive cancer wave and under this law Monsanto could continue to peddle the crop to the public. The federal courts would (or will) be helpless to stop Monsanto, effectively giving Monsanto power over the entire branch of the United States government. Food Democracy Now, a major activist organization that organized signatures to fight the Monsanto Protection Act, described the rider:

“The Monsanto Protection Act would force the USDA to allow continued planting of any GMO crop under court review, essentially giving backdoor approval for any new genetically engineered crops that could be potentially harmful to human health or the environment.”

Sounds like a great idea, right?

Serving Corporations, Not People

Senator Roy Blunt and those who knowingly passed the Monsanto Protection Act (including President Obama who signed it into law just last night) have chosen to serve corporations over people. Ironic, really, as corporations legally are people — a legal area commonly used to avoid real jail sentences for major CEOs and executives who knowingly were involved with the deaths of consumers around the world. It’s sad, really. I read up on Senator Blunt, and he does seem to constantly side with corporations over the public. Even on his Wikipedia page one line reads that Blunt ”consistently sided with Big Oil and other dirty polluters over a cleaner, more sustainable future.” I was even able to find a quote by Blunt defending his decision to allow Monsanto to write its own regulation through the Monsanto Protection Act. He told the NY Daily News in defense of the Monsanto Protection Act and his relationship with the company in writing the rider: “What it says is if you plant a crop that is legal to plant when you plant it, you get to harvest it.”



WHY It’s Called The ‘STUPID PARTY’ – ‘Kansas GOP To LEGALIZE Quarantine Of HIV Patients’

The Kansas legislature is about to empower the state to quarantine people with HIV and AIDS. The local Fox affiliate says the legislation is expected to become law in the next few weeks. Republicans in the Kansas state legislature promise that the quarantine power will never be exercised against people with AIDS, but they then shot down a Democratic-led effort, by Senator Marci Francisco, to exempt people with HIV and AIDS from the quarantine provision.

Funny how they don’t ever plan on using it against people with AIDS, but then refuse to exempt people with AIDS from the quarantine they promise they’ll never use. And the Republicans wonder why they lose elections. Then again, the GOP is becoming a bit of a leper colony of late, what with women, blacks, gays, Latinos and youth fleeing the party in droves. So it’s no wonder that quarantines are on the Republican mind.

Here’s the part of the proposed legislation where they repeal a ban on quarantining people with HIV/AIDS that went into place in 1988:

AIDS health experts are understandably concerned.

“We live in a very conservative state and I’m afraid there are still many people, especially in rural Kansas, that have inadequate education and understanding concerning HIV/AIDS,” said Cody Patton, Executive Director of Positive Directions (PDIKS). “My fear would not be the state uses the law as some way to move all people living with HIV/AIDS into an isolated community, but that this law could allow some county employee to use this law to justify their religious beliefs over their professional responsibilities and discriminate against people with HIV/AIDS.”

Keep in mind that AIDS quarantines didn’t even happen in the 1980s, when people were extremely AIDS-phobic. Still, a NYT story at the time, dated 1985, showed that reactionary views to HIV/AIDS were not unpopular:





Erin Burnett talks to Col. Cedric Leighton about North Korea's plan on targeting U.S. bases.

Wounded IRAQ VET Prepares to Die, Saying He's 'READY TO GO'

Nine years after bullet, VET braces for the End.

A wounded soldier who went public with a letter to Bush and Cheney speaks out on his decision to Die.

Tomas Young is "ready to go" as he puts it. After nine years of suffering and with his body quickly deteriorating he has decided to end his struggle. Young, 33, was paralyzed from the chest down by a sniper's bullet in a battle in Sadr City, Iraq on April 4, 2004, less than a week after he got to the country. He had joined the Army just two days after September 11, 2001 and assumed he would be sent to Afghanistan. Now nine years after that battle he is choosing to end his suffering. He is in hospice care and getting ready to die.

"I just decided that I was tired of seeing my body deteriorate and I want to go before it's too late," Young said in phone interview with ABC News from his home in Kansas City, Mo. "I've been doing this for the past nine years now…and I finally felt helpless every day and a burden to the people who take care of me and that's why I want to go." Young and his wife Claudia Cuellar are receiving guests for a few more weeks. During that time, Young will say goodbye to friends and family and then will stop receiving medications, nourishment and water. They don't know how long it could be after that time he will die, but they believe it will be one to three weeks, but it could be as long as six weeks.

They don't consider it suicide, just an end to his suffering.

"I'm not the boy who would always think suicide if maybe something goes wrong," Young said. "I put lots of time into this. I considered the facts that people I know who love me and would prefer that I stick around, and my only hope is that they realize that they're being selfish in wanting me to just stick around and endure the pain." Young and Cuellar have decided to go public with their story. First, in an article in the Kansas City Star because they want to change the perception on death and dying in this country as well as continue to shine a light on the anti-Iraq war activism Young has been focused on since becoming paralyzed. He was the subject of a 2007 documentary "Body of War" produced by Phil Donahue. It showed Young dealing with the excruciating physical effects of his injury including post-traumatic stress, as well as his work against the Iraq war.

Cuellar says since the first story was written about his choice to die last week they have received mixed reactions of people supporting Young's decision as well as people urging him to "hang on" or "fight a little more." She says it's because people can't fathom his daily pain. In 2008, he suffered a pulmonary embolism and anoxic brain injury which he believes was because he was taken off of blood thinners. It affected his speech as well as impaired the use of his arms. Cuellar and Young met when she saw the documentary and she began visiting him when he was in rehabilitation in Chicago after the embolism. They married last April.



This Man Has A DRUNK WOMAN On His Sofa: Watch What Happens Next

If you’re wearing a short skirt, get drunk and pass out at a guy’s house, don’t complain when this happens to you:

“Real men treat women with respect.” That’s the message that people, men included, have been trying to scream over the loud cries of “she deserved it,” ever since the rapists in the Steubenville case were found guilty (and long before that). The defense attorney representing the rapists tried to make it her fault because she chose to drink to excess and did not specifically say “no;” members of the media lamented the ruined lives of two promising young athletes and said she needed to look at her own role in the incident; and Buzzfeed compiled a list of 23 posts, messages and tweets blaming the girl for what happened to her.

That the young man above even needed to make a video demonstrating how he would treat an unconscious woman is a deeply sad statement about America and rape culture. Still, it’s definitely a message worth paying very close attention to as it’s entirely too common for our society to blame a rape victim for being raped. There are two main facets of rape culture. The first is that the victim is to blame for the crime. Usually a woman, people will say, as they have said in the Steubenville case, shouldn’t have dressed a certain way, behaved a certain way, gotten drunk, gone out alone, walked down an alley, etc. You name it, she shouldn’t have done it, because not doing it would have prevented her from being raped.

It’s so bad that a female judge in Arizona blamed a woman for a police officer groping her under her skirt in a bar. Judge Jacqueline Hatch, after ruling that DPS Officer Robb Evans was guilty of sexual abuse, told the victim, “If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you.” She then went on to tell the victim that she hoped she learned a lesson about friendship and vulnerability, and that blaming others takes away a person’s power to change.

The victim believes, and perhaps rightly so, that if she hadn’t been there, it would have happened to someone else. The judge said she wasn’t to blame, and then blamed her anyway, because “bad things happen in bars.”




In 1961, President Eisenhower warned Americans about the danger of a Military-Industrial Complex diverting public funds into excessive arms manufacturing, but now that influence reaches more broadly into U.S. politics as military contractors flex their muscles on other businesses, as Lawrence S. Wittner describes.

The REAL ' Welfare Queens '

What do hungry children and the world’s largest military contractor have in common? Not much, it seems. At the very time when (thanks to sequestration) state governments are cutting back aid to low-income women and their children, the government of the State of Maryland seems en route to providing the Lockheed Martin Corporation with a handout worth millions of dollars. This is not just a Maryland issue; Pentagon contractors seek special breaks in virtually every congressional district in the U.S. The details of the Maryland case are illuminating. Lockheed Martin, which did $47 billion in business during 2012 – mostly weapons sales to the U.S. government – owns a very large, luxurious hotel and conference center in Montgomery County, Maryland. In 2010, the corporation succeeded in getting the state to exempt it from paying the state lodging tax that all other Maryland hotels paid.

Then it sought exemption from paying Montgomery County’s 7 percent lodging tax. But the County Council, realizing that this would pull $450,000 per year out of its annual revenues – revenues that it used to fund education and other public services – refused to give way to corporate pressure. Indeed, it pointed out that the lodging costs of the company’s employees at the hotel, including taxes, were already subsidized through Lockheed Martin’s contracts with the federal government. The company readily admitted this, but stated: “The fact that some percentage of those costs over time can be reimbursed by the federal government doesn’t reduce the need to lower our overhead costs whenever we can.” Rebuffed on the local level, Lockheed Martin turned once more to its friends in the state government, championing a bill that would exempt it from Montgomery County taxes and, furthermore, force the county to provide it with a $1.4 million refund for past tax payments.

But this new company demand sparked a lively citizens’ campaign in opposition to what was dubbed the “Corporate Welfare for Lockheed Bill.” Dozens of organizations threw themselves into the battle, including advocacy groups (Common Cause, Fund Our Communities, Progressive Neighbors, Progressive Maryland, and the NAACP), labor unions (United Food and Commercial Workers, SEIU, and unions representing teachers, police, and fire fighters), and peace groups (Peace Action, Pax Christi, and Maryland United for Peace and Justice). Articles started to appear in the press. Local politicians began to speak out against the legislation. The County Council again voted its opposition to exempting Lockheed Martin from taxation.

Faced with an upsurge of popular resistance, the State Senate sent the measure back to committee, where it was amended to eliminate the provision for retroactive payment to Lockheed. This action reportedly infuriated a Lockheed lobbyist and represented a small victory for opponents of the legislation. Nevertheless, a bill providing for the corporation’s future tax exemption went forward, and was passed by the Senate on the night of March 13 by a vote of 37 to 9. The large majority included all but one Republican, as well as a substantial number of Democrats. A counterpart bill is expected to reach the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Delegates soon. Given the controversy surrounding the measure, its fate remains uncertain. But the corporation seems determined to press forward.



French Ex-President Sarkozy Facing CHARGES

France has no problem of filing " preliminary charges " against a former president in connection with " allegations he illegally took donations from France’s richest woman for his 2007 election campaign.".......The DoJ should also be pursuing charges against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the Cabal for their part in Iraqi war.

PARIS (AP) — A lawyer says preliminary charges have been filed against former President Nicolas Sarkozy in connection with allegations he illegally took donations from France’s richest woman for his 2007 election campaign.

Lawyer Antoine Gillot told French TV i-Tele that Judge Jean-Michel Gentil in the southwestern city of Bordeaux placed Sarkozy under investigation — a step short of formal charges — after hours of questioning Thursday.

Sarkozy in November was named a key and potentially indictable witness in an investigation involving 90-year-old L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

Gillot represents former butler, who was also questioned Thursday along with Sarkozy.


Senate Votes 40-59 To REJECT RYAN BUDGET

The Senate voted 40-59 to reject the Paul Ryan budget on Thursday night.

Republican Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Rand Paul (R-KY) joined a unified Democratic caucus in voted against it. Republicans did not offer the Ryan budget; Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) forced the vote by bringing up the plan as a substitute to her own Democratic budget.

"There seemed to be some resistance among my Republican colleagues in bringing up the House Republican budget for a vote. And it's pretty easy to see why that is," she said in a floor speech before the vote. "The House Republican approach has been thoroughly reviewed and just as thoroughly rejected by the American people."

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) urged passage of the Ryan plan prior to the vote, calling it a responsible solution and arguing that it balances federal spending and revenue in 10 years.

The Ryan blueprint passed the House Thursday morning.


Harry Reid To INTRODUCE GUN CONTROL BILL With Universal Background Checks TONIGHT

WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will introduce gun control legislation Thursday night that includes a proposal for universal background checks.

"Later tonight, I will start the process of bringing a bill to reduce gun violence to the Senate floor," Reid said in a statement. "This bill will include the provisions on background checks, school safety and gun trafficking reported by the Judiciary Committee. I hope negotiations will continue over the upcoming break to reach a bipartisan compromise on background checks, and I am hopeful that they will succeed. If a compromise is reached, I am open to including it in the base bill. But I want to be clear: in order to be effective, any bill that passes the Senate must include background checks."

The news will cheer up gun control advocates who were left despondent when Reid announced the baseline bill would not include a ban on assault weapons. That measure, which is sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), will be considered as an amendment, diminishing its chances of ending up in the final bill produced by the Senate. A provision that would ban the production and sale of high-capacity magazines will also be considered as an amendment.

"The bill I advance tonight will serve as the basis for opening debate. Once debate begins, I will ensure that a ban on assault weapons, limits to high-capacity magazines, and mental health provisions receive votes, along with other amendments," Reid said. "In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for all of these provisions to receive votes, and I will ensure that they do."

Progressives had been bracing themselves for the possibility that a measure expanding background checks, widely considered the most important of President Barack Obama's suggested reforms, would meet the same fate. But Reid will instead go to the floor with background checks as part of the baseline legislation.


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