PENTAGON DEFINED LEGAL PROTEST AS TERRORISM

ACLU – The Department of Defense considers protests an example of “low-level terrorism” according to an exam DOD employees were required to take this year. According to a whistleblower that came to the ACLU, a multiple choice question on the 2009 DOD Anti-terrorism Awareness training exam asked which of the following was an example of low-level terrorism:

– Attacking the Pentagon
– Improvised Explosive Devices
– Hate crimes against racial groups
– Protests

The ACLU fired off a letter to Gail McGinn, Acting Under-Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, demanding that the materials be corrected immediately. The DOD responded in an interview with Fox News, admitting the question was on the test that more than 1,500 department employees took.

“They should have made it clearer there’s a clear difference between illegal violent demonstrations and peaceful, constitutionally protected protests,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Les Melnyk said on Thursday.

The DOD agreed to remove the question from the test and to send an e-mail to each employee that took it “explaining the error and the distinction between lawful protests and unlawful violent protests.”

Marijuana bills intorduced into congress

Today, Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to eliminate all federal penalties for marijuana possession. This came only one week after he also introduced a bill to protect medical marijuana patients.

Would you please take one minute to ask your U.S. representative to support these two bills? MPP’s easy online action center makes it simple — just enter your name and contact info, and we’ll do the rest.

The Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2009 would eliminate the threat of federal arrest and prison for the possession of up to 3.5 ounces of marijuana and the not-for-profit transfer of an ounce of marijuana — nationwide.

What’s more, last week Congressman Frank introduced the Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act, which would allow states to protect medical marijuana patients from arrest and jail without federal interference, as well as allow pharmacies to dispense marijuana to patients with a doctor’s recommendation. You can take action on this bill here.

MPP has worked closely with Congressman Frank’s staff in past months, helping to craft both pieces of legislation and build political support for the proposals on Capitol Hill.

Now members of Congress need to hear from their constituents who want to see it passed — that means you! It takes only a minute or two to use MPP’s online action system to send a quick note to your member of the House, so would you please send your letter right now?

Eliminate threat of federal arrest and prison for marijuana possession

Protect medical marijuana patients nationwide

ALERT OF THE WEEK- Stop Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered Wheat

wheatMonsanto and the biotech bullies are once again moving to tighten their grip on the world’s food supply. Genetically engineered (GE) varieties now account for 70-90% of all conventional (non-organic) corn, soybeans, cotton, and canola grown in the U.S. Joining the growing menu of unlabeled and untested gene-spliced Frankenfoods, genetically engineered sugar (derived from GE sugar beets) hit store shelves in 2008. Now it appears that the most controversial crop of them all, Monsanto’s GE wheat, is not far behind, at least if industry gets its way. Given that wheat is such a major global crop and essential ingredient in bread, breakfast cereals, pasta and other everyday foods, the force-feeding of unlabeled GE wheat on the public would represent a major conquest for Monsanto and the biotech industry.

Although Monsanto withdrew their applications to the U.S. and Canadian governments for approval of genetically engineered wheat in 2004 because of tremendous pressure from the OCA and hundreds of our allied public interest groups and farmers (as well as pressure from large food companies such as General Mills), it looks like we’re in for another round of battle.

Wheat industry groups in the United States, Canada and Australia announced on May 14, 2009, they would work toward the objective of “synchronized commercialization of biotech traits in the wheat crop.” For the sake of the Earth and public health, we must stop them.

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An exchange between My Senator and I about GMOs and food safety..

On May 28, 2009, at 6:31 AM, <senator@feinstein.senate.gov> <senator@feinstein.senate.gov> wrote:

Dear Mr. Saunders:

Thank you for writing to express your views on the “Global Food Security Act of 2009” (S. 384). I appreciate hearing from you on this legislation and welcome the opportunity to respond.

Like you, I believe that Congress must maintain its commitment to a robust foreign aid package designed to help develop and maintain effective food security programs worldwide. Please know that I understand and have noted your concerns about the development of genetically modified food as a means to provide for global food security.

As you may know, on March 31, 2009 the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations favorably reported S. 384 to the full Senate for consideration. Be assured that I have noted your views on how best to further global food security, and will keep your views in mind should the Senate have the opportunity to debate this bill.

Again, thank you for writing. I hope that you will continue to write on matters of importance to you. Should you have any further comments or questions, please feel free to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the Nation are available at my websitehttp://feinstein.senate.gov/public/. You can also receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing to my e-mail list at http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ENewsletterSignup.Signup.

Dear Senator,

Thanks for your reply.
As for your statement which I am perceiving as a “hinting” without verbally committing to the position of being in SUPPORT of Genetically Modifying Organisms in dangerous and wreckless ways before feeding them to ourselves despite scientific evidence and a great deal of it that suggests that it is endangering to human health and safety to do so? As a public leader it seems that you hold a tenuous position of balance between individual human rights concerns and corporate interests, and possibly without enough time to fully research the information required to make a fully responsible decision about the issue, you have my empathy on that if it is the case. It is on this issue that I urge you to draw the line on the side of human rights concerns, many of your constituency have researched enough to know that GMOs for food is a dangerous proposition, and only valuable to those who would seek to harm human life, justifying the act with statistics, and junk-science. When this comes up on the floor for debate, what will your position be on the issue of GMO’s? You reply that you have noted mine, and neglected to inform me of your position. Am I mistaken in my assumption that you and I have differing views on this issue?

As always, I appreciate you and your efforts,

Stephen Saunders

Don’t Believe the Hype — Fructose Truly is Worse Than Glucose

The average American is in the form of added sugars – the majority of which comes from high fructose corn syrup addictHFCS. As scientists learn more about the problems associated with HFCS, more consumers are seeking products with traditional fruit sugars or sucrose table sugar. The ever powerful corn lobby and its associated industry trade groups have responded by launching an aggressive advertising campaign claiming HFCS is as safe as its natural competitors. But new studies confirm previous studies and indicate a diet high in fructose, as compared to glucose, gained more of the dangerous belly fat that has been linked to a higher risk for heart attack and stroke.

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When Local Goes Industrial

locallygrownThe local food movement is gaining enough popularity to capture the interest of big business. Some of the biggest corporate food companies are looking for ways to greenwash their products. Although it sure beats sourcing their crops from overseas and is a step in the right direction, the following marketing claims can be misleading since the actual processing of these often factory-farm grown products may be anything but local:

–Frito-Lay North America owned by PepsiCo is trying to portray Lay’s potato chips as a local food in the regions where the potatoes are grown.

–ConAgra is trying to say that because Hunt’s canned tomatoes are mostly grown within 120 miles of its processing plant in Oakdale, California, that makes them “local” for Oakdale, and maybe even Californians.

–Kraft is trying to figure out whether people in Wisconsin will buy more pickles if they know the cucumbers that go into a jar of Claussen’s are grown there.

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New Survey Finds a Number of ‘Organic’ Soy Food Brands Importing Beans from China — “Silk” Soy Milk Abandons Organic Ingredients Altogether

“Health conscious shoppers should no longer associate Silk with organic, and should seek the green USDA Certified Organic seal when purchasing soy products… The good news in this report is that consumers can easily find, normally milkwithout paying any premium, organic soy foods that truly meet their expectations.”

Source: Charlotte Vallaeys, a researcher at Cornucopia Institute and the primary author of a new report that ranks mainstream soy brands based on how much they source their beans from U.S. Farmers.

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