Showing posts from April 4, 2017

Today's Trumpery


Monsanto’s Superfund Secret

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[Horrifying what Monsanto gets away with the active collusion of the EPA. "Monsanto's elemental phosphorous facility produces prodigious quantities of slag that contains elevated concentrations of radioactive material. For years, this slag was actually sold to the town of Soda Springs and nearby Pocatello, and people built their homes and roadways out it." *RON*]
Bart Elmore, Dissent Magazine, 1 April 2017
The world’s most widely used herbicide, Roundup, has faced intense scrutiny in recent weeks, since documents surfaced revealing a close relationship between Monsanto, the creator of Roundup, and EPA officials tasked with regulating herbicide use in the United States. One email exchange included a Monsanto executive boasting that an EPA official had told him he “should get a medal” if he could “kill” an agency investigation into the herbicide.

This news was troubling, considering the fact that the World Health Organization recently…

Peru's illegal gold mines are devastating the Amazon rain forest

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["All levels of the government that try to protect the Amazon have ceased to effectively work together.... 'The laws exist, but there isn’t effective action being taken to enforce them.'" *RON*]
Max Radwin, USA Today, 1 April 2017
QUINCE MIL, Peru — The roads cutting through the Amazon rain forest are lined with signs encouraging people to protect Peru's natural resources and take care of the environment, but people aren’t sure why the government posts them anymore.

Many rivers in Peru run orange with pollution from illegal gold mining, and trees were cut away to make room for sifting towers and excavators.

Peru, the largest gold producer in Latin America and the sixth largest in the world, has long struggled with illegal gold mining. Thousands of small, unchecked operations extracting gold from the Amazon are responsible for nearly 200 square miles of deforestation and mercury poisoning to the water so severe that several re…

Videos of Force-Feeding at Guantánamo Will Stay Secret, Court Rules

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["At the district court level, Judge Kessler had rejected the Obama administration's arguments that the disclosure would jeopardize national security as 'unacceptably vague, speculative,' lacking specificity or 'just plain implausible.' But the appellate panel ruled that she had erred." *RON*]

Charlie Savage, New York Times, 31 March 2017

WASHINGTON — The military is allowed to keep secret at least 28 videotapes showing guards at the Guantánamo Bay wartime prison extracting a hunger-striking detainee from his cell and then force-feeding him, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday.

After the tapes were made part of the court record in a lawsuit challenging the military’s force-feeding procedures, a coalition of 16 news organizations, including The New York Times, petitioned the court to unseal them. Judge Gladys Kessler of Federal District Court in Washington had ruled that the government must disclose them.

But the Ob…

The Hidden Monopolies That Raise Drug Prices

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[Monopolies corrupt. How pharmacy benefit managers morphed from protectors to predators. Check out the section "Pushers: Makers of OxyContin paid PBMs to keep prescriptions flowing." *RON*]
David Dayen, Prospect, 28 March 2017

This article appears in the Spring 2017 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here.

Rob Frankil of Sellersville, Pennsylvania, followed his father into the family business after college. “My entire life,” he said, “I’ve been involved with managing and owning independent pharmacies.” He now owns two stores, a traditional community pharmacy and another that caters to long-term care facilities.

Like any retail outlet, Frankil purchases inventory from a wholesale distributor and sells it to customers at a small markup. But unlike butchers or hardware store owners, pharmacists have no idea how much money they’ll make on a sale until the moment they sell it. That’s because the customer’s co-pay doesn’t cover…

B.C. Liberals Grant Major Political Donor Permission to Log Endangered Caribou Habitat

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[The planet vs. deep-pocketed political donors and corrupt politicians. "Currently, we are observing the decline, extirpation, and perhaps extinction of several evolutionarily significant units of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), an iconic and cultural keystone species," the authors note, drawing on 11 years worth of data and observations on declining caribou populations. *RON*]

Damien Gillis, DeSmog Blog, 3 April 2017
The B.C. government is granting logging permits in critical caribou habitat, despite evidence that B.C.’s Southern Mountain Caribou are being driven to extinction by habitat loss — a move that has driven citizens to call on the federal government to enforce the Species At Risk Act.

Among the hardest hit regions in the province is the area in and around Wells Gray Park, the scenic home to Helmcken Falls, two hours north of Kamloops.

There, people like Trevor Goward, a longtime local resident, naturalist and pr…