2011 has been marked by extreme weather. In the U.S. alone, a record dozen disasters caused more than $1 billion in damage. One area acutely threatened by climate change is food production, where decades of steady gains could be reversed.
Speakers are Chris Field, Director, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science Dave Friedberg, Founder & CEO, The Climate Corporation Karen O'Brien, Professor of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo Michael Oppenheimer, Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Princeton Greg Dalton is the moderator and Vice President of The Commonwealth Club of California and founder of Climate One
Source: Wild Weather
Jimmy Williams used to lobby for the powerful National Association of Realtors. He tells us about the steady flow of donations that Congressmembers need, and how he wants to take down the crazy campaign finance system.
Source: The Friday Podcast: A Former Lobbyist Tells All
How Politicians Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison
Peter Schweizer explains how members of Congress profit from insider trading and use their political influence for their own financial gain. He reports on several current members of the House and Senate who have affected votes on bills or gathered information from briefings to benefit their financial portfolio.
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Seymour Hersh is interviewed by Steve Scher
Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Seymour Hersh is responsible for exposing many of the biggest stories in the 20th century, and he is still hard at work. Hersh alleged that senior officials were waging a crusade overseas, protecting Christianity from the Muslim.
Source: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Seymour Hersh
The natural gas business is booming, sometimes with deadly results. Host Bruce Gellerman sniffs out the cracks in the nearly two million miles of pipeline that run under our cities.
Source: Rampant City Gas Leaks
There are more than a third of a million miles of natural gas transmission pipelines in the U.S., and more to come. But sometimes they rupture, devastating homes and lives. Bruce Gellerman speaks with investigative blogger Frank Gallagher, editor of NaturalGasWatch.org, about the hazards of this vast system.
Source: The Explosive Growth of Natural Gas Networks
Submitted by Dan Bacher on Wed, 03/28/2012 - 2:22pm
Pinocchio at the BDCP hearing?
by Dan Bacher
Bruce Tokars of Salmon Water Now has released the latest video, "Myth or Fact? Westlands & Reality" (3:01), covering the bizarre reality of the California Water Wars - and the deceptive campaign by corporate agribusiness, southern California water agencies and the Brown and Obama administrations to build the peripheral canal.
This video, as have many of Tokars' productions, focuses on Westlands Water District, considered the "Darth Vader" of water politics by Delta advocates. Westlands has waged a relentless legal and political campaign over the years to strip protections for endangered Central Valley salmon, Delta smelt and other species. The district irrigates land laced with selenium and other toxic salts and minerals that should have never been put into agricultural production.
This video features Jason Peltier, General Manager of Westlands Water District, speaking at the hearing on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan hearing convened by Senator Fran Pavley on March 13. Tokars captures revealing footage of Senator Lois Wolk asking Peltier if Westlands would accept a stipulation that water delivered under the BDCP would go only to continued agricultural production - and Peltier's response.
Jack Abramoff is a former lobbyist who pleaded guilty in 2006 to charges of fraud, tax evasion, and conspiracy to bribe public officials. Abramoff also worked as businessman, movie producer and writer. Abramoff's lobbying and the scandals and investigation are featured in a documentary movie "Casino Jack and the United States of Money" and a political satire movie titled "Casino Jack".
Lawrence Lessig is a law professor at Harvard. He has been the lead counsel in important cases concerning copyright laws for digital content. His current work concerns institutional corruption.
Source: Lawrence Lessig interviews Jack Abramoff
Submitted by Dan Bacher on Sun, 03/11/2012 - 4:07pm
The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), under the helm of DFG Director Chuck Bonham, announced on March 1 that it is "recruiting applicants for the "Natural Resource Volunteer Program (NRVP)" to serve in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
The DFG will hold a "NRVP training academy" in Los Alamitos from April 19 to May 2, Monday through Friday. Graduates of this academy will become volunteers for DFG.
The announcement of the launch of the academy in Los Angeles and Orange Counties takes place at a very curious time - just two months after so-called "marine protected areas," created under the "leadership" of a big oil lobbyist under the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative process, went into effect in Southern California waters. The privately-funded MLPA Initiative is "proudly" backed by the Western States Petroleum Association, Safeway Stores and Walmart.
In an overt conflict of interest, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association, chaired the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force for the South Coast, as well as serving on the task forces for the North and North Central Coast. The task forces also included a real estate executive, marina developer and other corporate operatives with numerous conflicts of interest.
Submitted by Dan Bacher on Fri, 03/09/2012 - 7:00pm
I find it appalling that Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom had the gall to ask Fish and Game Commission President Dan Richards, in a February 27 letter, to resign for participating in a legal hunt in Idaho because he doesn’t represent “California values.”
The hypocritical Newsom recently joined 40 California Legislators in calling for the resignation of Richards for posting on-line a photo of him holding a mountain lion that he had legally hunted in Idaho. Sport hunting for mountain lions, while legal in Idaho, has been banned in California for over four decades, first under action taken by Governor Ronald Reagan in 1970 and then under an initiative passed by the voters in 1990.
“While not in California at the time, your actions call into question whether you can live up to the calling of your office. Since 1870 the Commission has worked to manage the wildlife resources of our state,” said Newsom. “As president of the commission, I am sure you understand that merely complying with the conservation laws of California is not the standard by which the Commission or its members are measured. As is stated on the Commission’s website, your actions should be in the ‘best interest of the resource and truly reflect(s) the wishes and needs of the people.’”
On December 31, 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history. It could permit the president – and all future presidents – to order the military to imprison indefinitely civilians captured far from any battlefield without charge or trial. The breadth of the NDAA’s worldwide detention authority violates the Constitution and international law because it is not limited to people captured in an actual armed conflict, as required by the laws of war. The law does not require even an allegation that a detained person caused any harm or threat of harm to the United States or to any U.S. interest. Mere allegation of membership in, or support of, an alleged terrorist group could be the basis for indefinite detention. Under the American justice system, we don’t just lock people up indefinitely based on suspicion.
Submitted by Dan Bacher on Wed, 03/07/2012 - 5:32pm
I went downtown to the Capitol on Monday night to witness a scene like that of Berlin, Germany in 1933, Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1968, or Santiago, Chile in 1973. There were hundreds of heavily armed Robo-Cops, the servants of the Wall Street 1 percent, ominously poised in front of the West Steps of the Capitol, ready to crush the First Amendment, Constitution and Bill of Rights.
CHP and police cars were everywhere on the streets, making getting through the area around the Capitol very difficult. The sight of these troopers infesting the streets of Sacramento to crush dissent - all at great expense to hard working taxpayers like myself - made me livid! Downtown was on virtual lockdown.
A total of 70 brave student and Occupy movement protesters were arrested in the State Capitol Monday night for defending democracy and protesting the raising of university tuition and fees. However, these were not the only arrests, according to Cres Vellucci of the Occupy Sacramento Legal Team.
"As reported, there were 6 earlier arrests - 1 allegedly having a knife, 3 others for a banner hanging episode in the rotunda and 2 for having 'illegal' signs," said Vellucci. "All were cited and released earlier Monday."
Submitted by Dan Bacher on Mon, 02/27/2012 - 8:44pm
An article in the Eureka Times Standard and Willits News on February 26 is headlined, "Shock, disbelief follow arrests: Biology community has trouble digesting embezzlement allegations." However, those familiar with the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative that one of the arrested biologists, Ron LeValley, presided over as an official are not surprised at all.
The article by reporter Thadeus Greenson (http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_20048801) features the reaction of North Coast biologists to the arrest of Mad River Biologists' Sean McAllister and Ron LeValley Thursday on $1 million warrants accusing them of burglary, embezzlement and conspiracy to commit a crime. The Del Norte County District Attorney alleges that the two well-known biologists participated in an elaborate embezzlement scheme headed by former Yurok Tribe Forestry Director Roland Raymond that bilked the tribe out of $900,000.
The article claims, "When news spread Thursday that a pair of respected Eureka biologists were arrested for their alleged roles in an elaborate embezzlement scheme, the reaction was stunned disbelief."
Submitted by Dan Bacher on Wed, 02/15/2012 - 9:25am
I wrote this song, "Privatize Everything," back in 2000. The song was meant as political satire, but unfortunately, many of these lyrics have already become reality in recent years.
The oceans are being privatized under NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco's "catch shares" program that concentrates ocean fisheries in fewer, increasingly corporate hands.
Ocean conservation management has been privatized under the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative's creation of so-called marine protected areas in California that fail to protect the ocean from oil spills and drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture, wind and wave energy project and all other uses of the ocean other than fishing and gathering. Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the President of the Western States Petroleum Association, chairs the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force that imposed the "marine protected areas" that went into effect in Southern California waters on January 1, 2012.
The water in Central Valley rivers and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is being privatized though the Obama and Brown administration Bay Delta Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral canal, designed to increase water exports to corporate agribusiness interests, including Beverly Hills billionaire Stewart Resnick and the Westlands Water District, and Southern California. Habitat "restoration" and infrastructure "improvements" under this corporate water grab will be funded through the $11.4 billion Water Bond.