If We’re Going to Defend Social Security We Need to Understand It

The Republican-dominated Congress, with the help of a cadre of sell-out conservative Democrats in both chambers, are gearing up to attack Social Security again, under the guise of “saving” the program. The attack will be brutal, because the program’s assassins understand that this is probably their last chance to undermine Social Security. With the Baby Boom generation born after 1946 …

Why You Should be More Grateful

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude ishappiness doubled by wonder.  —GK Chesterton ‘Gratitude’ derives from the Latin gratia, which, depending on the context, translates either as ‘grace’, ‘graciousness’, or ‘gratefulness’. Gratitude never came easily to us men, and is a diminishing virtue in modern times. In our consumerist society, we tend to focus on what we …

Congress Is Poised to Introduce a Bill to Fast Track TPP so It’s Timeto Act Now

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks are stalling while the White House assures its trading partners that this secret trade agreement won’t be amended when it comes back to Congress for ratification after the President signs the deal. That’s why the Executive is scrambling to get its allies in Congress to pass Fast Track. If they succeed, the U.S. Trade Representative can block …

What’s Butylated Hydroxyltoluene and Why Is it In Your Food Even Though It’s Banned in Europe?

A speaker at an event I recently attended asked why U.S. food companies put butylated hydroxyltoluene, a food preservative and endocrine disruptor, in cereal sold stateside, while in Europe the same companies formulate the same product without  BHT. There are three answers to that question: The European Union prohibits numerous harmful ingredients U.S. regulatory agencies allow. Well-informed European citizens have organized …

Spitting In The Face of Obama

WINSTON CHURCHILL famously said that democracy is the worst political system, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. Anyone involved with political life knows that that is British understatement. Churchill also said that the best argument against democracy is a five minute talk with an average voter. How true. I have witnessed 20 …

Roundup: TEPCO blasted for concealing latest radioactive leak for nearly a year

Local fisherman in Fukushima Prefecture, home to Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s stricken Daichi nuclear power station, blamed the plant’s operator on Wednesday for knowingly allowing radioactive substances from a rainwater drainage ditch linked to one of its buildings to flow freely into the sea since April last year. The leader of a local fishing corporative, Masakazu Yabuki, lambasted the embattled …

Women Over 65 Own Nearly a Third of Iowa’s Farmland—Can They Prevent the Next Dust Bowl?

In her late 50s, Alice Ramsay returned to the Iowa farm where she’d grown up. She had graduated college in Missouri and spent most of her adulthood in Colorado employed as a teacher. But after her parents passed away, she bought up the inherited land from her brother and sister, and, in 2000, she moved back. “I’d been gone for …

Clinton Foundation raked in cash from right-wing regimes, corporations

Several press reports last week highlight details of the major donors to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, including right-wing Persian Gulf monarchies, big defense contractors, and an array of corporations and governments seeking influence with the US political establishment—and potentially in the next White House. Founded in 2001 after the end of Bill Clinton’s second term as president, …

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Bee Die-Off

For years, honeybees were dying, and no one knew why. There have been some glimmers of hope recently. The number of bee deaths wasn’t as dramatic last winter. Studies began pointing the finger at pesticides. But a simple fact remains: Bees still are on the decline, and no one’s sure why. They’re dying in large numbers, and scientists are scrambling …