redjenny: ACTION ALERT: Keep Terminator Seed out of Canada

Member of Parliament Alex Atamanenko (NDP) has reintroduced his Private Members Bill (C-343) to ban the release, sale, importation and use of Terminator technology.

What is Terminator? Terminator Technology genetically engineers plants to produce sterile seeds at harvest. It was developed by the multinational seed/agrochemical industry and the US government to prevent farmers from re-planting harvested seed and force farmers to buy seed each season instead. Terminator seeds have not yet been field-tested or commercialized. In 2006, Monsanto bought the company (Delta & Pine Land) that owned Terminator. Terminator is sometimes called Genetic Use Restriction Technology (GURTs) – the broad term that refers to the use of an external chemical inducer to control the expression of a plant’s genetic traits.

Member of Parliament Alex Atamanenko (NDP) has reintroduced his Private Members Bill (C-343) to ban the release, sale, importation and use of Terminator technology.

Actions you can take:
1. Send an instant email at http://www.cban.ca/terminatoraction.
2. Organizations can endorse the call for a ban: go to http://www.banterminator.org/endorse
3. Write a personalized letter. Remember: postage is free to your elected officials! You can use your postal code to search for your MP at http://www.parl.gc.ca (Note: The New Democratic Party and the Bloc Québécois already support a Ban on Terminator in Canada.) For more information see http://www.cban.ca/terminator
4. Distribute Ban Terminator postcards in your community! To order postcards email btpostcards@usc-canada.org
5. Donate to support the campaign — the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network implements the Canadian strategy of the International Ban Terminator Campaign http://www.cban.ca/donate
6. Sign up to Ban Terminator news http://www.banterminator.org/subscribe

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 0R5
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext.5
coordinator@cban.ca, www.cban.ca

Learn more about Terminator Technology here

Via Everdale

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redjenny: The Power of Poetry

A while back, I posted a poem written by Drew Dillinger. It begins: it’s 3:23 in the morningand I’m awakebecause my great great grandchildrenwon’t let me sleepmy great great grandchildrenask me in dreamswhat did you do while the planet was plundered?what did you do when the earth was unraveling? Words

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redjenny: The Power of Poetry

A while back, I posted a poem written by Drew Dillinger. It begins: it’s 3:23 in the morningand I’m awakebecause my great great grandchildrenwon’t let me sleepmy great great grandchildrenask me in dreamswhat did you do while the planet was plundered?what did you do when the earth was unraveling? Words

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redjenny: The media have finally discovered homelessness. Not surprisingly, they get the story wrong


One of the fundamental human requirements is shelter. How do homeless people survive? Where do they sleep? On friends and family’s couches and floors (if they are lucky), at shelters, in churches, in parks, on sidewalk grates, in abandoned buildings, in doorways, under bridges, in cars, or wherever else they can.

And of course, they sleep in tents. The burgeoning tent cities in the U.S. have finally made the national awareness. Interestingly, it seems as though the media is only interested in the newly homeless, those middle class folks who lost their homes because of the economic collapse. In other words, those who they believe are homeless because of circumstances, not because of some kind of individual moral failing. Unlike, you know, the other kind of poor.

Over the past few months, reporters from around the world have flocked to the now-famous tent city in Sacramento, Calif. When they find out that 55-year-old John Kraintz has been living in a tent for almost seven years, they turn around and walk away.

“They don’t want to talk to me,” he says. “They’re searching for people who just lost their homes. It’s kinda tough to lose a home when you’ve never owned one. Sorry, but most of the people here have been homeless for a long time.”

Homelessness is seen as an anomaly, a sign of the economic crisis, not as a structural problem with capitalism. But there are homeless during the boom times, too, lots of them.

“The other day, I heard a German reporter ask if this is happening because of the recent economic collapse,” says Kraintz. “This has been happening for 30 years, but the powers that be have been able to pretend it doesn’t exist. Why aren’t reporters asking about flat wages, jobs being shipped overseas and the lack of affordable housing?”

Burke agrees, saying one of the many issues ignored in most articles about tent city and homelessness is the fact that poor people cannot afford housing, especially in an expensive state like California.

“People who are poor end up homeless through no fault of their own, but because people higher up on the food chain have made affordable housing a very scarce commodity,” she says. “If we had sound housing policies and programs that helped people when they have a run of bad luck, we would not have a tent city.”

Kraintz says he knew the system would finally blow up. It was just a matter of time. The question, according to him, is this: Do the powers that be have the political will to create a fairer, more just economic system? Alternet>

Photo Credit: A tent city in Fresno, from a 2004 article by Mike Rhodes on Indybay

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