River Science: Lesson 1 The C44 Reservoir
Guest video blogger: Kenny Hinkle Jr
Here’s a little science lesson by my talented friend Kenny Hinkle Jr. from over at Bullsugar.
River Science: Lesson 1 The C44 Reservoir
Guest video blogger: Kenny Hinkle Jr
Here’s a little science lesson by my talented friend Kenny Hinkle Jr. from over at Bullsugar.
H2 Worker Documentary. Legal Slavery.
Here is your music!
To everyone running for President:
Tonight I watched this incredible documentary by Stephanie Black.
Before they had harvesting machines every year people 10,000 Caribbean men were selectivity chosen by American sugar corporations to harvest sugar cane for six months in Florida under temporary “H2” visas.
They came from Jamaica in the middle of the night and put in barracks in Belle Glade.
“If we didn’t have the Jamaicans it wouldn’t get harvested because the local people wouldn’t do it.” One of the sugar field managers said. They were essential jailed. Brought from the barrack to the bus to the field to bus to the barrack and not being allowed to leave.
They got paid one dollar and few cents pr hour.
This was released in 1990.
Even before the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (Who used to hang out in Indiantown) sent workers from their Islands in the Bahamas.
“H-2 Worker is a controversial expose of the travesty of justice that takes place around the shores of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee—a situation which, until the film’s release, has been one of America’s best-kept secrets. There, for six months a year, over 10,000 men from Jamaica and other Caribbean islands perform the brutal task of cutting sugar cane by hand-a job so dangerous and low-paying that Americans refuse to do it.
H-2 Worker is the first documentary to tell the story of these men—named for their special temporary guestwork “H-2” visas. They live and work in conditions reminiscent of the days of slavery on sugar plantations: housed in overcrowded barracks, poorly fed, denied adequate treatment for their frequent on-the-job injuries, paid less than minimum wage, and deported if they do not do exactly as they are told.
The sugar plantations who employ the H-2 workers sustain this exploitation—and their own profits—with the help of the U.S. government, which authorizes the importation of Third World workers while it blocks the importation of cheaper Third World sugar through a system of quotas and price supports, citing “national security” as the reason for its costly subsidizing of a domestic sugar industry. The scandal of the H-2 program has existed for over 45 years. It began in 1942, when the U.S. Sugar Cane Corporation was indicted for conspiracy to enslave black American workers. In 1943 the first West Indian cane cutters were brought in. This scandal has largely been kept out of the public eye, and the sugar companies and their government supporters have escaped accountability. On the contrary, a new immigration law has paved the way for a rapid expansion of the H-2 program.
Directed by: Stephanie Black
Produced by: Stephanie Black
Running Time: 70 min
For more information about this film and other films in the Collective Eyes Catalog, please visit: collectiveeye.org/products/h2-worker
Grand Jury Prize Best Documentary – Sundance Film Festival (1990)
Best Cinematography, Sundance Film Festival (1990)
“‘H-2 Worker’ is that rare hybrid that succeeds as both film and advocacy. The documentary’s look and form is smooth and sophisticated … [and] it solidly frames issues about the economy, employment and the treatment of workers who seem just steps away from slavery.” —The New York Times
With admirable fluency, Black combines straightforward information and analysis with more evocative glimpses of the workers’ lives …. Black and her collaborators have an unsentimental conviction that these workers are fully human, that they experience not just anger and suffering but also love and pleasure – and even hope.”—The Nation”
Today when you go to Belle Glade you drive past the same buildings that were in this film.
“H-2 Worker is a 1990 documentary film about the exploitation of Jamaican guest workers in Florida‘s sugar cane industry. It was directed by Stephanie Black, and won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for documentaries in the 1990 festival. It was shot in Belle Glade, Clewiston, and Okeelanta, Florida as well as Jamaica and includes cane fields and worker camps (Ritta Village, Prewitt Village) owned by US Sugar Corporation and the Okeelanta Corporation.
The cane harvesters were brought in to perform the autumn harvest of sugar cane under the H-2A Visa program. The Jamaicans replaced earlier generations of Bahamian seasonal workers who in turn replaced migrant labor recruited from the Cotton Belt (region) in the first half of the 20th century. A documentary short that accompanies the DVD version of the film states that human labor was abandoned for mechanical harvesters in 1992.
The film features interviews with a United States Department of Labor official, a Florida Sugar Cane League official, Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley, local merchants, and a dozen or so field workers. It also includes footage of César Chávez, US Representative Thomas Downey, and US Senator Bill Bradley.”
I think it’s important for “us” ( and you know who I’m referring to) to watch this so we never get soft against the people who created these human rights abuses for corporate profit. Not only do they treat people like slaves they collect corporate welfare.
( Are we calling them corporate entitlements yet?)
It’s also important for those of you that think all these people are coming and taking your jobs away. The reason they have, yes I said have this program is to to the work no one else would do. Interesting enough when I worked in Boca in the hospital we got nurses from England and from the Philippines and there were plenty of nurses around to do the job. It’s been here since the 40’s. So even at your work you may have H2 workers or even the hospital you go to when your ill.
They may even be hiding your bed.
H-2A Temporary Agricultural WorkersThe H-2A program allows U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs. A U.S. employer,a U.S. agent as described in the regulations,or an association of U.S. agricultural producers named as a joint employer must file Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, on a prospective worker’s behalf.
To qualify for H-2A nonimmigrant classification, the petitioner must:
You can order it thru amazon.
I got mine from Netflix.
Here is another review.
“H-2 Worker is the first documentary to tell the story of these men – named for their special temporary guestwork “H-2” visas. They live and work in conditions reminiscent of the days of slavery on sugar plantations: housed in overcrowded barracks, poorly fed, denied adequate treatment for their frequent on-the-job injuries, paid less than minimum wage, and deported if they do not do exactly as they are told.
The sugar plantations who employ the H-2 workers sustain this exploitation – and their own profits – with the help of the U.S. government, which authorizes the importation of Third World workers while it blocks the importation of cheaper Third World sugar through a system of quotas and price supports, citing “national security” as the reason for its costly subsidizing of a domestic sugar industry.
The scandal of the H-2 program has existed for over 45 years. It began in 1942, when the U.S. Sugar Cane Corporation was indicted for conspiracy to enslave black American workers. In 1943 the first West Indian cane cutters were brought in. This scandal has largely been kept out of the public eye, and the sugar companies and their government supporters have escaped accountability. On the contrary, a new immigration law has paved the way for a rapid expansion of the H-2 program to other agricultural industries.
H-2 Worker was shot clandestinely in the cane fields and workers’ barracks around Belle Glade, Florida. It contains footage shot in places where no media has been successful in filming before, and where the filmmakers were denied permission to enter by the sugar corporations and the local police.
H-2 Worker focuses on the lives of the workers themselves – travelling with them to the fields, where they endure long hours of monotonous labor; to their isolated barracks; to the town where they shop for American goods to bring home to their families. Following them through one six-month season, it tell their stories: Like migrant workers worldwide, these men are driven by soaring unemployment in their home countries and promises of high wages abroad. Dreaming of American opportunities to build better lives for their families, they arrive in the U.S. with high hopes – only to confront the harsh realities of the Florida cane fields.
Providing an in-depth analysis, H-2 Worker includes voices from all sides of the issue: representatives of the sugar companies and the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as U.S.l congressmen and Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley. An historical analysis combine archival footage with the testimony of 80-year-old Samuel Manston, who escaped the cane fields at the time of the peonage indictments in 1942.
But the voices of the workers themselves are foremost: They are heard through extensive interviews, and through their recordings of actual letters to and from their families in Jamaica. These voices tell an eloquent story which rings with painful truth, and will not easily be forgotten. H-2 Worker is both a compelling expose of institutionalized injustice, and a moving record of human endurance.
H-2 Worker, a 70-minute, 16 mm, color documentary made over the course of 3 1/2 years, combines the talents of director/producer Stephanie Black, award-winning editor John Mullen and cinematographer Maryse Alberti. It is a film with powerful impact and resonance, certain to be both compelling and controversial.
“‘H-2 Worker’ is that rare hybrid that succeeds as both film and advocacy. The documentary’s look and form is smooth and sophisticated … [and] it solidly frames issues about the economy, employment, and the treatment of workers who seem just steps away from slavery.” -The New York Times
“‘H-2 Worker’ is a revealing look at these men and the treatment they receive on our shores … [Stephanie Black] manages to capture the scope as well as the intensity of the problem. -New York Newsday
“With admirable fluency, Black combines straightforward information and analysis with more evocative glimpses of the workers’ lives …. Black and her collaborators have an unsentimental conviction that these workers are fully human, that they experience not just anger and suffering but also love and pleasure – and even hope.” -The Nation”
According to the update 1992, a class action suit found five sugar cane companies guilty of cheating more than 10,000 cane cutters of their contractually guaranteed minimum wage during the two seasons documented in the film.
51,000.000 in back pay was awarded.
Then the decision was revered by the Florida Appellate court finding that the H-2 contract was “ambiguous.”
Sugar cane is being harvested mechanically however the number of H-2 workers has substantially increased.
North Carolina: 10,000 workers
Colorado 2,000 workers
Maryland 9,622 (crab houses, fire work, hotel work)
Most of the workers come from Mexico.
In March 2008, over 100 guest workers from India, walked off their H-2B jobs at Signal, an oil rig construction company in Louisiana, protesting the company’s unacceptable living and working conditions.
These are not illegals. These are people that come here legally.
In the country where the people are coming from there are labor brokers that sell assess to the people from all these countries. In India that access was sold for 20,000 dollars.
People come here and they are not paid what they are told plus they had to pay the recruiters.
Over 2,100 H-2 shepherds from Peru, Chile, Mexico and Nepal work for American Ranchers. They are expected to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a minim monthly wage of less that 1,000.
If you think it’s just farm workers you’re wrong.
“That visa is also not valid for nurses and is grounds to get one deported from the US. We see it being advertised in the Philippines but it makes one subject to immigration fraud. It is for untrained workers for a very specific length of time, and nurses do not meet those requirements from the start. We see this being used for the LPN, and there are no legal visas for them to enter the US and work here.
Please forward a copy of any of the garbage that you see offering this, and that is exactly what it is, to the US Embassy there in Manila. You would be sold as a slave to the highest bidder
They would also have you giving false information to the US Embassy officials and this is grounds for deportation for up to ten years after a stay in immigration detention before you are deported. You would be placed in a nursing home to work and they are undergoing frequent raids exactly for this.
Save yourself from having nightmares about being picked up by ICE.”
Businesses continue to lobby for an expanded guest worker program with reduced wages and less government oversight. The violations are rampart.
No one talks about this. They talk about fences. The very people who push the hatred of the illegal people that come here use the H-2 workers as slave labor.
We’re being duped. Our attention is being diverted.
We still have slaves in America. We call them H-2 workers.
We spent a lot of time talking about the discharges to our rivers from Lake O. We talked fertilizer. We have a fertilizer ban.
We really don’t talk about pesticides and herbicides and they are everywhere.
Invisible to us.
Today I want to talk about Atrazine.
“Atrazine is a herbicide of the triazine class. Atrazine is used to prevent pre- and postemergence broadleaf weeds in crops such as maize (corn) and sugarcane and on turf, such as golf courses and residential lawns. It is one of the most widely used herbicides in US] and Australian agriculture.]It was banned in the European Union in 2004, when the EU found groundwater levels exceeding the limits set by regulators, and Syngenta could neither show that this could be prevented nor that these levels were safe.
As of 2001, Atrazine was the most commonly detected pesticide contaminating drinking water in the United States.Studies suggest it is an endocrine disruptor, an agent that can alter the natural hormonal system. In 2006 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had stated that under the Food Quality Protection Act “the risks associated with the pesticide residues pose a reasonable certainty of no harm”, and in 2007, the EPA said that Atrazine does not adversely affect amphibian sexual development and that no additional testing was warranted. EPA´s 2009 review concluded that “the agency’s scientific bases for its regulation of atrazine are robust and ensure prevention of exposure levels that could lead to reproductive effects in humans.” EPA started a registration review in 2013.
The EPA’s review has been criticized, and the safety of atrazine remains controversial.”
“Atrazine is a common agricultural herbicide with endocrine disruptor activity. There is evidence that it interferes with reproduction and development, and may cause cancer. Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved its continued use in October 2003, that same month the European Union (EU) announced a ban of atrazine because of ubiquitous and unpreventable water contamination. The authors reviewed regulatory procedures and government documents, and report efforts by the manufacturer of atrazine, Syngenta, to influence the U.S. atrazine assessment, by submitting flawed scientific data as evidence of no harm, and by meeting repeatedly and privately with EPA to negotiate the government’s regulatory approach. Many of the details of these negotiations continue to be withheld from the public, despite EPA regulations and federal open-government laws that require such decisions to be made in the open.”
Banned in the European Union and clearly linked to harm to wildlife and potentially to humans, the pesticide atrazine provides little benefit to offset its risks. In 2009, NRDC analyzed results of surface water and drinking water monitoring data for atrazine and found pervasive contamination of watersheds and drinking water systems across the Midwest and Southern United States. This May 2010 report summarizes scientific information that has emerged since the publication of our initial report and includes more recent monitoring data.
Approximately 75 percent of stream water and about 40 percent of all groundwater samples from agricultural areas tested in an extensive U.S. Geological Survey study contained atrazine. NRDC found that the U.S. EPA’s inadequate monitoring systems and weak regulations have compounded the problem, allowing levels of atrazine in watersheds and drinking water to peak at extremely high concentrations.
The most recent data confirms that atrazine continues to contaminate watersheds and drinking water. Atrazine was found in 80 percent of drinking water samples taken in 153 public water systems. All twenty watersheds sampled in 2007 and 2008 had detectable levels of atrazine, and sixteen had average concentrations above the level that has been shown to harm plants and wildlife.
Given the pesticide’s limited usefulness and the ease with which safer agricultural methods can be substituted to achieve similar results, NRDC recommends phasing out the use of atrazine, more effective atrazine monitoring, the adoption of farming techniques that can help minimize the use of atrazine and prevent it from running into waterways.”
“Atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the U.S., and is found in 94% of U.S drinking water tested by the USDA — more often than any other pesticide. An estimated 7 million people were exposed to atrazine in their drinking water between 1998 and 2003.
The highest levels of contamination are in the Midwest where it is widely used on corn fields. USGS monitoring shows drinking water concentrations typically spike during the spring and early summer as rains flush the freshly applied herbicide into streams — and into local water supplies.
Data from the EPA’s Atrazine Monitoring Program show that atrazine levels in drinking water can spike above the legal limit of 3 parts per billion in some U.S. water supplies. Although the EPA bases its limit on an annual average (not seasonal peaks), the monitoring results reveal alarming levels of human exposure.”
To determine the distribution and concentration of atrazine at south Florida sites, multiple water samples were collected from several canals/ditches at each of two agricultural sites every two weeks from February through June, 2002 . Adult toads were collected from two sugarcane agricultural areas Canal Point (CP), and Belle Glade (BG) as well as from a University of Miami pond/canal (reference site with little to no atrazine use or agricultural input) during April-June 2002. Adult Bufo marinus were collected from these three sites: Canal Point (N=55), Belle Glade (N=50), and University of Miami (N=24). Body weight, length, and coloration were recorded, blood was collected, and gonads were removed and weighed. This species is sexually dimorphic, with females having a mottled appearance and males having a solid coloration. Sex was identified as follows: the presence of ovarian tissue and absence of testicular tissue = female; presence of testes and absence of developing eggs, oviduct, and ovarian tissue = normal male; and presence of testes with developing eggs or oviduct or ovarian tissue = intersex . Macroscopic identification of additional testicular anomalies included: segmented testes, abnormal shaped testis, twisted or curled testes, and multiple testes. Gonads from each individual that had testicular tissue were both macroscopically and histologically examined. Blood plasma was analyzed for phospho-lipoprotein (an indirect measure of vitellogenin) and estradiol and testosterone concentrations were analyzed using RIA procedures.
Atrazine levels were highest at Canal Point during March, but were highest at Belle Glade in February. B. marinus tadpoles were potentially exposed to atrazine concentrations as high as 20ppb during development at Canal Point and 26ppb at Belle Glade during 2002. Toads collected from the nonagricultural /reference, University of Miami, site exhibited the characteristic gender-specific pattern which correlated to subsequent gonadal morphology and histology. However, all toads collected from both agricultural sites, Belle Glade and Canal Point, exhibited the distinctive female pattern, although subsequent gonadal morphology and histology demonstrated male, intersexed, and female toads. The frequency of males exhibiting “testis abnormalities” was not significantly different among sites. The frequency of intersexed animals was significantly different among sites: 39 percent and 29 percent of the individuals at the agricultural sites, Canal Point and Belle Glade. No individuals from the non-agricultural/reference site were intersexed. The types of abnormal female tissue found in association with testicular tissue varied between CP and BG. Plasma sex steroids did not differ between intersexed and normal males. However, plamsa phospholipoprotein (an indirect indicator of vitellogenin was increased in intersexed males to levels which were similar to those for vitellogenic females.
The purpose of this preliminary study was to determine if animals found in sugarcane exhibit reproductive abnormalities similar to those seen in African Clawed Frogs exposed to atrazine in the laboratory. The incidence of testicular anomalies, other than intersex were similar across sites. However, the incidence of intersex was increased for both agricultural sites as compared to the non-agricultural/reference site. Nonetheless, Bufo marinus adults were active and breeding at all sites. Data suggests that agricultural exposure, including exposure to atrazine, may explain the differences in the percent of intersexed individuals and length of oocytes between Canal Point and Belle Glade sites. However, we can not conclude that atrazine is responsible for these abnormalities, since other agricultural chemcials are likely present at both sites. In addition, water quality analyses were not conducted for the non-agricultural/reference site (University of Miami) and exposure to atrazine at this site is unknown. The University of Miami site is expected to have low levels of atrazine, but is probably not atrazine free. Further research should be conducted to determine whether atrazine is capable of causing the effects we have documented in B. marinus under controlled laboratory conditions as well as expanded field studies of these and other sites. Nonetheless, these results indicate an increased incidence of intersex in toads exposed to agricultural contaminants. The implications of these data to future and ongoing restoration is unknown, however, a redistribution of water resources in the greater everglades ecosystem could result in additional exposures for amphibian populations in this sensitive ecosystem.
Contact: Timothy S. Gross, USGS-FISC, 7920 NW 71st St., Gainesville, FL 32653., Phone: 352-378-8181 Ext 323, FAX: 352-378-4956, Tim_s_gross@usgs.gov”
A Million people a day are exposed to Atrazine. Atrazine is used in sugar cane fields. Read this or watch the videos and weep.
In 1997, the consulting firm EcoRisk, Inc. paid Hayes to join a panel of experts conducting studies for Novartis (later Syngenta) on the herbicide atrazine. When Hayes’ research found unexpected toxicities for atrazine, he reported them to the panel, however the panel and company were resistant to his findings. He wanted to repeat his work to validate it but Novartis refused funding for further research; he resigned from the panel and obtained other funding to repeat the experiments.
In 2002 Hayes published findings that he says replicate what he found while he was working for EcoRisk, that developing male African clawed frogs and leopard frogs exhibited female characteristics after exposure to atrazine, first in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and then in Nature.
In 2007, Hayes was a co-author on a paper that detailed atrazine inducing mammary and prostate cancer in laboratory rodents and highlighted atrazine as a potential cause of reproductive cancers in humans. At a presentation to the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in 2007, Hayes presented results of his studies that showed chemical castration in frogs; individuals of both sexes had developed bisexual reproductive organs.
In one of the 2005 e-mails obtained by class-action lawsuit plaintiffs, the company’s communications consultants had written about plans to track Hayes’ speaking engagements and prepare audiences with Syngenta’s counterpoints to Hayes’s message on atrazine. Syngenta subsequently stated that many of the documents unsealed in the lawsuits refer to “ideas that were never implemented.”,
Florida! Let the Good Times Roll!
Sometimes I think I live in this other world where we see things and then there is this other place where things get reported and the only thing I can say is “huh?”
From the Florida Water Daily
What if instead of draining away about 2 billion gallons of water a day, there were better ways to put that water to use?
“nearly 200 billion gallons of Lake Okeechobee water was drained to the east and west coasts to ease the strain on the erosion-prone dike that protects South Florida from flooding.”
“*SEVEN MONTHS OF DRINKING WATER: The amount of Lake Okeechobee water drained east and west and out to sea was enough to supply about seven months of drinking water for the nearly seven million people in Palm Beach County, Broward County, Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys. Water plants in southeast Florida churn out about 840 million gallons of drinking water a day.
*NEARLY 40 PERCENT OF EVERGLADES’ WATER NEEDS: Everglades advocates have called for moving almost 500 billion gallons of Lake Okeechobee water south each year to help replenish Florida’s struggling River of Grass. The volume of lake water drained east and west for flood control between January and June equated to almost 40 percent of that Everglades restoration goal.”
What can I say. I have posted hundreds of hours of video of people pleading to save our water.
This is recent letter to the Miami Herald from Maggy Hurchella.
When you kill the environment to get more water, you end up with less water and you end up with very dirty water.
This is the same James Moran who lectured a crowded meeting room in May.
The crowd was there to ask the SFWMD Board to buy land and send the water south.
Moran said that was impossible and unnecessary, “And I don’t know why you claim it will save the Dade County water supply. They get their water from wells.”
He finally seems to have figured out that Miami-Dade’s wells are in aquifers that are recharged by water flowing south from Lake Okeechobee.
Maggy Reno Hurchalla, Miami”
These are people in charge of our water. We know what’s happening. They don’t.
On the website on SFWMD they have loads of information about water conservation and have been on the news multiple time even having the nerve to tell us to conserve ( I don’t have an issue conserving but I do have an issue with them not conserving. Not just not conserving. Just totally wasting millions and millions of gallons of water send out to tide and destroying our estuary.
Then this happened and i knew the world was just turned upside down.
Rick Scott gets an environmental award.
“But Rodney Barreto thinks Scott has been a tree-hugging warrior for Mother Gaia. The Miami developer, who also chairs the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, announced via email this week that at the BlueGreen gala this fall, he’ll honor Scott for his conservation work.
“Governor Scott has been instrumental in helping develop a strong connection between fish and wildlife conservation and traditional outdoors activities like hunting and especially fishing,” Barreto says in a release.
Local environmentalists are aghast at the news. “It’s laughable,” Alan Farago, president of Friends of the Everglades, tells New Times. “In terms of the environment, I think he’s the worst governor in modern Florida history.”
Aghast doesn’t even cover it.”
Fishing. Yes I dare you Rick Scott to come swimming in the Indian River Lagoon.
“Today, a report by AP’s Gary Fineout, “Florida Gov. Scott against at odds with Florida Republicans” sheds light on the award, in the context of a deeply strained relationship between court-penalized Republicans, shuddering at the prospect of having to draw fair districts, and an isolated governor.
What to do with a governor hunkered down in his coastal multi-million dollar estate from which he doesn’t emerge, except to his private jet clutching talking points? Give him an environmental award! Cheer up his mysterious spirits, unknowable except to special interests and cronies.”
“On Tuesday morning, I began reaching out to other sponsors of the event. But Tuesday afternoon, the foundation had removed all the sponsors’ names from its website.”
You can’t make this stuff up.
Even the sponsors know its BS. But it will interesting to see who sponsors this event. Let’s stay tuned for that one.
Here is the new guy he picked for the SFWMD board.
Accursio, 52, whose family owns and farms 2,000 acres in South Miami-Dade County, has been among farmers bitterly complaining about Everglades restoration efforts flooding fields and causing crop losses in the region.
Big Sugar Summit: Sheila Krumholz, Executive Director, Center for Responsive Politics
“The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) is a non-profit, nonpartisan research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks the effects of money and lobbying on elections and public policy. It maintains a public online database of its information.
Its website, OpenSecrets.org, allows users to track federal campaign contributions and lobbying by lobbying firms, individual lobbyists, industry, federal agency, and bills. Other resources include the personal financial disclosures of all members of the U.S. Congress, the president, and top members of the administration.”
“Just as water flows downhill, money in politics flows to where the power is. And the Center for Responsive Politics is there to help you follow the contours and learn about these connections. This section of the Action Center contains a wealth of information about the unhealthy influence money can have on our elections and government politics.
The Basics. From frequently asked questions to our money-in-politics glossary, from the 10 Things Every Voter Should Know about money in politics to our Follow the Money Handbook, and iPhone App, this section of the Action Center contains a wealth of information about the unhealthy influence money can have on our elections and government politics. Begin your learning here.
Sheila Krumholz has been the CRP’s executive director since December 2006, having previously served for eight years as the CRP’s research director. She first joined the organization in 1989 and served as the assistant editor of the first edition of the printed volume Open Secrets.”
Shelia told us this: “Votes still trump money and that’s bad news for Donald Trump and good news for Democracy.”
Big Sugar Summit: Daren Bakst, Heritage Foundation
Daren Bakst is a Research Fellow In Agricultural Policy, Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity at the Heritage Foundation.
“The Heritage Foundation is an American conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. The foundation took a leading role in the conservative movement during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, whose policies drew significantly from Heritage’s policy study Mandate for Leadership. Heritage has since continued to have a significant influence in U.S. public policy making, and is considered to be one of the most influential conservative research organizations in the United States.
When people get upset because our US Congressman Patrick Murphy voted for the “Farm Act” I get upset. The issue with this act is that there are sugar subsidies and food stamps in the same bill. I understand why people are upset but I could not take what little food people have out of their mouths. It’s a conundrum and for that reason they must be separated.
I want to save food stamps for another day because it is a complicated subject. There are people who need them and there are people who take advantage and we need to have a better system like input from health care workers that are actually in people’s homes. I can hardly tell someone to eat good whole foods, fruits and vegetables when they get 50 bucks a month, is 90 years old and all they can afford is stuff in a can that is full of sodium and stuff in a box that is processed and filled with sugar. I hope we can engage in that conversation one day. I do begrudge people that do not have compassion for people that out of no fault of their own cannot afford food. We have to retain our compassion. We just have to find a better way to do this. Nothing is black and white. Certainly not the lives of our elderly population.
At any rate there were cuts in food stamps.
But check this out regarding the sugar subsidy.
“Critics say U.S. sugar policy artificially inflates sugar prices to benefit an exclusive group of processors — even though it leads to higher food prices. But this year, prices fell anyway. Now, the government could be poised to use taxpayer dollars to buy up the excess sugar.
Sugar costs are a complicated combination of import restrictions, production quotas and a kind of guaranteed price.
“The U.S. sugar system is essentially a Soviet-style control on production,” says Chris Edwards, an economist at the Cato Institute.
The effect of these policies, he says, is that U.S. sugar prices normally remain artificially high — sometimes twice the world price. (Last year, the price of sugar around the world averaged 26.5 cents per pound, compared with 43.4 cents in the U.S.) That hurts food companies and leads to higher prices at the grocery store.
“The core goal of policymakers has been to push up U.S. sugar prices to the benefit of U.S. sugar growers,” Edwards says.
A big part of this policy is a sweet loan program for the processors that refine sugar. To pay growers like Gravois right away, processors can take out government loans. The sugar itself is the collateral.
This leads to an interesting choice: If sugar prices go up, processors sell it on the open market and make a profit. If prices fall, they can just hand over their sugar to the government and keep the loan money.
Representing Big Candy is Bob Simpson from Jelly Belly, who also chairs the National Confectioners Association. “We’d just like them to compete on a fair, open market without the intrusion of the federal government,” he says.
He says Jelly Belly opened a plant in Thailand, partly to get cheaper sugar for markets overseas.
Defending Big Sugar is Jack Roney of the American Sugar Alliance.
“There’s really no reason for contention about U.S. sugar policy. It’s the most successful of any U.S. commodity policy,” says Roney, who adds that in most years this program costs taxpayers nothing — unlike other farm supports.
He blames falling prices on Mexican imports which, under the North American Free Trade Agreement, are not controlled by tariffs.”
“The Agriculture Department lost $280 million on the sugar program in fiscal year 2013, with more losses expected next year. A surge of imports from Mexico has driven down U.S. sugar prices — to the point where it’s profitable for processors to take advantage of a U.S. law that lets them forfeit the sugar they posted as collateral for government loans and keep the cash. Stuck with mountains of excess sweetener, the government has two choices: hoard it until prices go up or sell it at a huge loss to the few ethanol makers willing to take it.
280 million dollars is a lot of money and would buy my gramma’s a lot of fruits and vegetables. I don’t think even the Heritage Foundation would argue with that. After all, they have gramma’s too.
So let’s have this conversation and let’s tell Congress what they need to do. Obviously they can’t figure it out themselves.
Here is Daren’s video. Please watch and lets start talking about this!
Big Sugar Summit: Wolfram Alderson “Sugar is Toxic ”
“The only food item that isn’t on the label is added sugar.”
Wolfram Alderson, Founding Executive Director, Institute for Responsible Nutrition
I’m looking forward to the final video with all the slides but this will get you really excited about seeing the entire finished product.
This piece is so important because not only can I share with you guys but I can share with my patients. Most medical people do not pay attention to this information and do not know anything about Metabolic Dysfunction. My own ARNP told me my fatty liver was genetic ( which I don’t doubt its part of it being that I’m Jewish and my ancestors ate things like chicken schmaltz, chopped liver, bagels and cream cheese. The list goes on.
One of things that I learned is that its impossible to loose weight when you have fatty liver disease. The whole thing makes me very sad when I’ve spent a life time taking good care of my liver and now its screwed up.
Sugar is a huge part of this and also a huge part of the inflammatory process.
I can tell people this stuff (Including my own cardiologist who looked at me like I have 14 heads) (and my cousins who blow me off.) I can tell them that a peanut and jelly and white is not a heart healthy diet. I can tell them they can give me a smoothie with whole milk if they don’t have almond milk because whole milk has less sugar in it that low fat milk. I can tell them anything that is low fat is high in sugar which is worse for us that the fat and in fact we need fat for our brains.
As nurses, teaching nutrition is our greatest gift because we need a doctors order to tell patients to take Omegas but we certainly don’t need one to tell them to eat foods rich in omegas. We can tell people “Eat a healthy diet that’s low in saturated fat, trans fat, refined carbohydrates and salt, and rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains.”
“Eat good whole foods. Don’t eat anything from a can or a box. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.”
Why? Because there is sugar in everything. It’s added to make thing taste better.
Sorry for the rant. Back to Wolfram. Here are some noteworthy quotes.
“75% percent of our healthcare costs are related to preventable conditions.”
“You are what you metabolize not what you eat.”
“74% of food at the supermarket has added sugar in it.”
“Sugar is hidden in our food supply. 47% in sugary beverages.”
“Total fat consumption has little impact on obesity.”
“if you look back at the last decades at the low food marketing scam which has been selling us low quality carbohydrates with processed food and added sugar in it.”
“The human organism can survive without carbohydrates but not without protein and fats.”
All of us in healthcare need to embrace this and learn more and make it part of our lives the daily conversations with our patients so I hope we can engage Wolfram in more of these conversations.
Like for instance. What do you do for a fatty liver besides cutting out all the bad foods?
Thank you Wolfram for coming to our conference and we hope to hear lots more from you!
This was my blog post from before the conferance
Big Sugar Summit: Julia Hathaway, Is Big Sugar Burning Your Lungs?
Here is our amazing friend Julia Hathaway at the Big Sugar Summit! I learned so much from her speech and now I know all the things that can be done with sugar cane if it is green harvested. Brazil and Australia do it!
We can green harvest too. Imagine something good coming out this whole mess!
Reduced Use of Agrochemicals
“Application of pesticides on Brazilian sugarcane fields is negligible and use of fungicides practically nonexistent. Major diseases that threaten sugarcane are fought through biological control, introducing natural enemies to fight pests and advanced genetic enhancement programs.
Brazilian sugarcane growers also apply relatively few industrialized fertilizers, using on average 75 kilograms per hectare. That’s 50% less than the amount typically applied to corn in the United States and 30% less than what’s used for beet sugar in Europe.
Brazilian sugarcane needs fewer chemicals due to the innovative use of organic fertilizers created during sugarcane processing. For instance, sugarcane mills recover residues called filter cake (which is rich in phosphorus) and vinasse (loaded with potassium, organic matter and other nutrients), which they use in place of traditional fertilizers.”
Is Big Sugar Burning Your Lungs?
You can help by going here and filling out this questionnaire.
CBS 12 (TV): Sierra Club Activists Call For Sugar Cane Clean-Up By: Jonathan Beaton
“Hundreds of environmentalists gathered Saturday in West Palm Beach, determined to clean up Palm Beach County’s sugar cane industry.
CBS12 attended Sierra Club’s Sugar Cane Summit, talking with activists about what they call our country’s love of fructose and the dangers the crop potentially poses to you and your family.
Wolfram Alverson, a California nutritionist attended the event, telling CBS12 America is too dependent on sugar, saying with each passing year more and more cases of childhood diabetes are diagnosed.
“In fact we’re seeing type 2 diabetes in the womb now so it’s being transferred from mothers to their children, even before they’re born,” said Wolfram Alverson.
Another troublesome aspect of the industry is how the crop is harvested and what gets left behind.
Julia Hathaway with Sierra Club says it’s common practice for some sugarcane to be burned, sending toxic fumes into the air and possibly into our water supply.
Leftover crops she says could be recycled and used for good.
“That can be used to make products including bio-plastic and parts you can use as mulch,” said Julia Hathaway.
For now, Hathaway says she and her fellow activists have their work cut out for them, raising awareness so lawmakers and companies can make changes, for a better Palm Beach County. “It’s a big problem and it’s a big hill to climb but we’re worth it and we should stand up for ourselves.”
If you would like more information or to be involved go here.
Here is a piece I did a few weeks ago on sugar burning your lungs.
Here is a video of a sugar burn.
Big Sugar Summit: Richard Grosso, Environmental Legal Eagle!
Richard Grosso is Director, Environmental and Land Use Law Clinic. Shepard Broad Law Center, Nova Southeastern University.
“In 1990, a small group of law professors and lawyers created the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center, Inc. to establish a nonprofit law firm dedicated to meeting the needs of the public interest in environmental issues facing Florida. In 1995 the organization hired Richard Grosso, the former Legal Director of 1000 Friends of Florida, as its Executive Director, to establish a legal representation program at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The name of the organization was officially changed in October of 1996 to the Environmental and Land Use Law Center, Inc.
The firm began to expand, adding three additional attorneys to the team, including Senior Staff Attorney Lisa Interlandi in 2001 and now Executive Director and General Counsel Jason Totoiu in 2006. In 2006, the firm changed its name to the Everglades Law Center to reflect its unique role in providing legal, strategic and policy advice to the dozens of organizations and individuals working to restore the Everglades.
Today, the Everglades Law Center celebrates over 20 years of providing legal counsel to nearly forty national, state, and local environmental and conservation organizations. We tackle issues from the Kissimmee River Basin to Florida Bay. We also assist clients on issues affecting other imperiled landscapes and watersheds throughout Florida. Our lawyers are strategically located across the greater Everglades ecosystem.”
HO YA GONNA C(S)ITE?” GHOSTBUSTERS AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION DEBATE
CHRISTINE ALICE CORCOS[*]Copyright © 1997 Florida State University Journal of Land Use & Environmental LawI. INTRODUCTION “Ghostbusters, the phenomenally successful Bill Murray/Harold Ramis/Dan Ackroyd comedy is generally considered to be an amusing takeoff on horror films of the thirties and forties, a kid’s movie, or a satire on academia, intellectuals, city government, yuppies, tax professionals, and apathetic New Yorkers. What no one has con sidered this movie to be is a thoughtful introduction to environmental law and policy, suitable for discussion in a law school class, or a serious examination of the competing interests in the environmental regulation debate. Yet, the film’s premise is that ghosts, like television advertising, marshmallows, and non-biodegradable packaging materials, can be classed as pollutants—messy, disruptive, loud, dangerous entities that need to be rounded up effectively and confined forever. Further, a government’s inability to admit that an environmental danger, represented here by psychic pollutants, might exist increases the likelihood that such a danger may damage the environment, just as the government’s unwillingness to recognize the true dangers of the pollutants at Love Canal put nearby inhabi tants at risk. Thus, the film contends that the traditional reaction of the independent-thinking American to a danger which government is unable or unwilling to respond to is a kind of justified vigilantism. Too much government, like too much dependence on government, creates an environment suitable for disaster.”
Great clip from a great environmental law film.
A compelling story about water!
Big Sugar Summit: Stephen E. Davis III PHD, Wetland Ecologist, The Everglades Foundation
This presentation will available thru the Sierra Club, Florida in full with all the slides. So enjoy this preview.
“The Foundation employs a team of scientists to serve as technical expert sources for the environmental community. These resources include providing sworn expert testimony in legal proceedings, testimony at public hearings, and general education and training for environmental partners. The Foundation also provides fellowships and internships to graduate students from regional and national universities working on Everglades projects, all to ensure that the next generation of Everglades experts will be well-trained to face the mission in front of them well into the first half of the century. Areas of fundamental interest in the science program are: hydrology, natural resource planning, water quality and ecology”
Check this out! It’s so cool!
Water is the key to understanding the Everglades and the built environment. One in every three Floridians relies on the Everglades for their water supply and the native flora and fauna are finely tuned to the seasonal water cycles. Part of what we do at the Everglades Foundation is discover how the Everglades works, convert that to mathematics, and then program it on a computer. Once you do that, you can run “what-if…” scenarios that help decide what can and should be done to restore the Everglades. Hydrology and engineering allow us to look for solutions to restore the “River of Grass.” Thomas Van Lent, Ph.D., Senior Scientist
Ecological research at the Everglades Foundation is centered on understanding how human impacts such as the introduction and spread of exotic invasive species, urban development, off-road vehicle (ORV) use, oil and gas activity, water management and nutrient inputs have affected plant and animal life across the Everglades. To do this, we partner with agencies, academic institutions and environmental organizations across the region to tap into the extensive body of scientific information and peer-reviewed research. We analyze data and provide input regarding various social and political issues that may offset the current ecological balance of the Everglades or thwart progress of Everglades restoration. Stephen E. Davis, III, Ph.D., Wetland Ecologist
Restoring the Everglades will take more than just putting the right amounts of water back. It will also require that the water be clean. We conduct research on what causes imbalances in native flora and fauna, and then determine what actions are needed to correct those problems. The survival of the Everglades depends on the quality of its water. Melodie Naja, Ph.D., Water Quality Scientist
Research and ideas alone will not restore the Everglades. These ideas must be converted into specific actions and projects. The science team at the Everglades Foundation works with government agencies and stakeholders to implement science-based solutions. We contribute modeling information, review scientific research and analyses, provide scientific and engineering input to restoration and water quality projects, and work to educate decision makers and the public on the issues. This helps to build consensus and get things done. Hong Xu, Environmental Engineer and Aida Arik, Ecological Engineer
“No single entity is tackling or can tackle all of these issues,” Van Lent says. “It’s actually a concerted effort on the part of government agencies, non-profit organizations such as ours, and research entities to get this accomplished.” The single most important project being accomplished by Foundation scientists is not in-the-lab, test-tube science. It’s the synthesis of all scientific work conducted on the entire Everglades ecosystem from the Kissimmee River through Lake Okeechobee and into the southern Everglades and Florida Bay.
“The project combines all the available information and seeing which is most likely to get us to the goal,” says Van Lent. “This will guide us to recommend public policy that will lead to decisions to fix the ecosystem.” The initiative, financed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, involves explaining the work of 15 top scientists in Everglades-related fields for the past decade and making their work understandable to decision-makers and the public. “We’re taking the reports off the shelf and making them useful,” says Van Lent. “We’re the bridge between the laboratory and the real application of the science. We make the science useful.”
Stephan has a bunch of studies. I tried to get an account to read but I’m not with an institution.
Check these and other research by Stephen.
Here is one my favorite song writer/singers/comedians/philosophers Tom Lehr teaching us “The Elements.”
Thank you Stephen for your great presentation.
psych nurse, documentary filmmaker, photographer, crazed river warrior of the Indian River Lagoon.
Geographer & Environmental Enthusiast
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