A review on glyphosate (Monsanto’s invention and key ingredient in their Roundup herbicide formulation) titled, “Developmental and reproductive outcomes in humans and animals after glyphosate exposure: a critical analysis,” was published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health late last year which claimed the following: “[T]he available literature shows no solid evidence linking glyphosate exposure to adverse developmental or reproductive effects at environmentally realistic exposure concentrations.”
The review authors included a thank you to Monsanto for funding their work: “The authors acknowledge the Monsanto company for funding and for providing its unpublished glyphosate and surfactant toxicity study reports.”
Their report aimed to discredit the work of a French research group at the Institut Jaques Monod who published five articles indicating glyphosate’s wide-ranging potential for environmental and human harm.    
In their newly published rebuttal titled, “LETTER TO THE EDITOR: TOXICITY OF ROUNDUP AND GLYPHOSATE,” the French research team pointed out several serious flaws in the Monsanto-friendly scientist’s criticism of their work.
The first major flaw was their total disregard for the scientific context within which their glyphosate research was performed, namely, the DNA-damaging and carcinogenic potential of the chemical.
The second flaw was the claim that their results were “not environmentally relevant” (repeated 5 times in the article), despite the fact that the French researchers were able to demonstrate toxicity in 100% of the individual cells at short exposure time below the usage concentration (20 mM) of the herbicide in present agricultural applications. They elaborated on this point further:
“Therefore, regarding the considerable amount of glyphosate-based product sprayed worldwide, the concentration of Roundup in every single micro droplet is far above the threshold concentration that would activate the cell cycle checkpoint. (2) The effects we demonstrate were obtained by a short exposure time (minutes) of the cells to glyphosate-based products, and nothing excludes that prolonged exposure to lower doses may also have effects. Since glyphosate is commonly found present in drinking water in many countries, low doses with long exposure by ingestion are a fact. The consequences of this permanent long term exposure remain to be further investigated but cannot just be ignored.”
CIA Officials Defy Obama Directive on FOIA which states that “the Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears.”
Washington, DC, May 10, 2012 – More than year after the National Security Archive sued the CIA to declassify the full “Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation,” a U.S. District Court judge today sided with the Agency’s efforts to keep the last volume of the report secret in perpetuity. In her ruling, Judge Gladys Kessler accepted the CIA’s legal arguments that, because Volume V was a “draft” and never officially approved for inclusion in the Agency’s official history, it was exempt from declassification under the “deliberative process privilege” despite having been written over 30 years ago.
The National Security Archive called the decision “a regrettable blow to the right-to-know” and vowed to press the Obama administration to force the CIA to adhere to the President’s Executive Order 13526 that “no information shall remain classified indefinitely.”
The volume, titled “CIA’s Internal Investigations of the Bay of Pigs Operations,” was written by CIA historian Jack Pfeiffer in 1981. It forcefully critiqued the scathing investigative report written in the immediate aftermath of the paramilitary attack – by the CIA’s own Inspector General, Lyman Kirkpatrick – which held CIA planners fully responsible for the worst debacle in the Agency’s covert history. In court papers, CIA officials described Pfeiffer’s critique as “a polemic of recriminations against CIA officers who later criticized the operation.”
“When it comes to protecting its own, the CIA appears to have a double-standard on history,” said Peter Kornbluh who directs the National Security Archive’s Cuba Documentation Project which brought the FOIA lawsuit. Kornbluh noted that the CIA had no problem declassifying Volume IV of the official history–also a draft– in which Pfeiffer attacked both President Kennedy for his role in setting restrictions on the overt elements of what was supposed to be a covert, and “plausibly deniable,” operation, as well as Attorney General Robert Kennedy for his role in the Presidential commission, led by Gen. Maxwell Taylor, that investigated the failed invasion.
“Apparently, the CIA sees no problem in the American public reading a ‘polemic of recriminations’ against the White House,” according to Kornbluh. “But the CIA claims ‘historical accuracy’ as a reason to withhold documents critical of its own officials.”
She was called that on Tuesday night at the Ft Lauderdale Airport. She and her parents had just boarded a JetBlue flight when an airline employee approached them and asked them to get off the plane, saying representatives from the Transportation Security Administration wanted to speak to them.
“And I said, ‘For what?’” Riyanna’s mother told only WPBF 25 News on Wednesday. “And he said, ‘Well, it’s not you or your husband. Your daughter was flagged as no fly.’ I said, ‘Excuse me?’”
Riyanna’s father was flabbergasted.
“It’s absurd,” he said. “It made no sense. Why would an 18-month-old child be on a no-fly list?”
A federal appeals court on Friday upheld the National Security Agency’s decision to withhold from the public documents confirming or denying any relationship it has with Google concerning encryption and cybersecurity.
That’s despite the fact that Google itself admitted it turned to “U.S. authorities,” which obviously includes the NSA, after the search giant’s Chinese operation was deeply hacked. Former NSA chief Mike McConnell told the Washington Post that collaboration between the NSA and private companies like Google was “inevitable.”
The Electronic Privacy Information Center, invoking the Freedom of Information Act, had sought such documents following the January 2010 cyberattack on Google that targeted the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. The attack was among the considerations that prompted Google toconsider abandoning China, and Google announced that it was “working with the relevant U.S. authorities.”
The Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post followed up, saying Google had contacted the NSA following the attack.
EPIC sought documents seeking to know what type of collaboration there was between Google and the NSA and, among other things, records of communication between the NSA and Google concerning Google’s e-mail service Gmail.
In response, the NSA invoked a so-called “Glomar” response, in which the agency neither confirmed nor denied the existence of records on the topic at all. EPIC sued and lost in the lower courts.
On appeal, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided with the NSA’s conclusion that admitting the existence of relevant documents would harm national security (.pdf).
Judge Janice Rogers Brown, in a 3-0 opinion, sided with the government’s contention that acknowledging any records “might reveal whether the NSA investigated the threat,” or “deemed the threat a concern to the security of the U.S. government.”
If we removed all the legalese, the appellate court upheld the government’s often-said contention that, “if we told you, we’d have to kill you.”
What an extraordinary year this has been for Net activism. After the great SOPA blackout led to SOPA and PIPA being withdrawn, and the anti-ACTA street demonstrations triggered a complete rethink by the European Parliament that may well result in a rejection of the treaty, now it seems that the Trans Pacific Partnership is falling to pieces.
Foreign Policy magazine, for example, has a feature entitled Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Foundering?, where its author explains that a number of the smaller countries participating in the negotiations are starting to ask themselves whether there are any advantages in joining at all:
Of even more concern, however , is the sudden questioning by the Chileans of the value of the deal as presently being constituted. Chile had been considered a slam dunk supporter. So its raising of questions is a red flag danger signal. Beyond that it seems that the Malaysians are also questioning whether any benefits they may be getting are worth the trouble of further liberalization of their domestic economy. And just to put the icing on the cake, it is becoming ever clearer that the Vietnamese, whose economy resembles that of China with large segments controlled by state owned companies, are going to have great difficulty in actually meeting the high standards being proposed.
Although the deal, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, has received relatively little media attention in the United States, it has sparked international friction among consumer groups and environmental activists who worry that terms demanded by the Obama administration will eliminate important public protections. Domestically, however, the deal’s primary source of political tension is from a portion that could ban “Buy American” provisions — a restriction that opponents emphasize would crimp U.S. jobs.
That seems like a pretty significant issue. After all, one of the supposed aims of the trade agreement is to remove such internal barriers to trade for all signatories. But in an election year, President Obama will hardly want to be painted as someone who is sacrificing American jobs.
Millions may know him best from one of the only lines he delivered in the Blues Brothers movie: “We had a band powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline“. Others who notice these things will remember him as the guy who also played the bass in the Blues Brothers band. And those for whom Stax records and the Memphis sound are important will know him as the four-string foundation of the great Booker T and the MGs, and the man who lent his solid, no-frills bass lines to many a tune by soul luminaries Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and lots of other greats. Memphis-born bassman Donald “Duck” Dunn has died while on tour (along with fellow legend and bandmate Steve Cropper) in Tokyo. RIP, Duck Dunn, and if there’s any goat piss in heaven, I know you’re gonna turn it into gasoline up there, too.
A church pastor is suing a mother and daughter for $500,000 because they gave the church bad reviews online.
The family being sued left the church a few years ago and Julie Anne Smith says she and her family were shunned and couldn’t understand why. So she went online and wrote Google and DEX reviews of the church and then started a blog.
“I thought, I’m just going to post a review,” Smith said. “We do it with restaurants and hotels and whatnot, and I thought, why not do it with this church?”
Never did she think Beaverton Grace Bible Church and Pastor Charles O’Neal would slap her with the lawsuit.
So this creepy cult is using lawsuits as control tactics? Somebody should explain the Streisand effect to them.