Secret Operations Against Iran

Hersh: Congress Agreed to Bush Request to Fund Major Escalation in Secret Operations Against Iran

Congressional leaders agreed to a request from President Bush last year to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran aimed at destabilizing Iran's leadership, according to a new article by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker magazine.
The operations were set out in a highly classified Presidential Finding signed by Bush which, by law, must be made known to Democratic and Republican leaders.
The plan allowed up to $400 million in covert spending for activities ranging from supporting dissident groups to spying on Iran's nuclear program.

Hansen Warns--Do It Now!


Conservation Insider Bulletin, June 27

Conservation Insider Bulletin
Published weekly for the Conservation Council of North Carolina
Conservation News to Peruse & Use
Editor: Dan Besse, cib@conservationcouncilnc.org

June 27, 2008

Another state politician's "convictions" on offshore drilling have drifted off in the political winds. Plus, there's more campaign and legislative news, this week in CIB:
--Campaign Watch: Dole Flips on Drilling; Donnan Wins Labor Nomination; Business Lobby Splits Over Campaign Strategy
--Legislative Watch: Drought Legislation Still Pending
--Local Government Watch: Warning—Propaganda Mailers to Your Local Leaders

Campaign Watch: Dole Flips on Drilling; Donnan Wins Labor Nomination; Business Lobby Splits Over Campaign Strategy

Dole Flips on Drilling: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) this week abandoned her longstanding support of a federal moratorium on Atlantic coast offshore oil drilling. She told press that she now supports lifting the moratorium in order to "increase our energy independence". Sorry, Liddy--U.S. government and industry analysts report that if the moratorium were lifted, it would likely be 2030 before new offshore leases could be brought into production. Dole's general election opponent, N.C. State Senator Kay Hagan (D-Guilford), opposes lifting the moratorium.

The score now for high-profile 2008 contests in North Carolina:

Barack Obama: opposes more offshore drilling
John McCain: supports more offshore drilling
Kay Hagan: opposes
Elizabeth Dole: supports
Bev Perdue: opposes
Pat McCrory: waffles

Donnan Wins Labor Nomination: Mary Fant Donnan on Tuesday defeated former Labor Commissioner John Brooks by more than a 2-to-1 margin in a statewide runoff primary. Donnan, a Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation program officer, and the director of research and policy under former Labor Commissioner Harry Payne, thus becomes the Democratic nominee for Labor Commissioner this fall. A central issue in the general election is certain to be the need for stronger enforcement of workplace safety and health laws.

Business Lobby Splits Over Campaign Strategy: NC FREE. long one of North Carolina's most influential business organizations in the political realms, may be breaking up. NC FREE is probably best known for its well-researched analyses of state legislative campaigns, and the competitiveness of candidates for those seats. It has also served as a forum for business leaders to share their preferences on these candidates. Recently, the organization has begun building more overtly partisan efforts to recruit and assist candidates. Most recently, its leadership has begun promoting the election of candidates who work in business as opposed to some other profession or occupation. Apparently, this trend has proceeded too far for the comfort of some of NC FREE's largest corporate members. According to a 6/27/08 article in the Charlotte Observer, "at least a dozen" member companies (including major corporations Bank of America, Duke Energy, Wachovia, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Progress Energy) have dropped their memberships in recent months. The companies reportedly are concerned that the group's increasingly partisan tone will undercut their ability to maintain influence with elected leaders in both major parties. Because the organization's dues are based on companies' size, the loss of such memberships represents a major financial hit for the group. The group's board of directors is said to be reviewing its policies and organizational status.

Legislative Watch: Drought Legislation Still Pending

One of the environmental priorities for 2008, drought and water resources management, is still alive for potential action this year, but not moving while legislative leadership finalizes the budget. HB 2499, "Drought/ Water Management Recommendations", would strengthen water conservation requirements during droughts, require better reporting of major water withdrawals, prohibit water rate structures that encourage waste, allow use of "gray water" for irrigation, encourage leak detection and repair efforts, and generally improve water supply planning. Environmental groups including CCNC are encouraging members to contact their legislators in support of this legislation.

Local Government Watch: Warning—Propaganda Mailers to Your Local Leaders

CIB has previously reported on an industry-funded right-wing advocacy group known as the Heartland Institute. Here's an updated propaganda alert: Heartland has mailed out to local government elected officials around the state (presumably around the nation) a deceptively serious-looking document titled, "Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate".

Here's a refresher regarding the Heartland Institute's real background. It has received extensive funding from ExxonMobil and other corporations financially invested in the policy debates on which it "reports". Heartland most recently embarrassed itself by releasing a report which included a list of 500 scientists who allegedly doubted that human factors are causing climate change. Heartland soon found itself furiously backtracking and blaming its own "PR department" for errors, after dozens of the scientists cited on the list began expressing outrage that they were included, pointing out that their research and analysis actually contradicted Heartland's claims.

To give you a further idea of who these folks are, here's a tip: Heartland Institute's director of Climate Strategies Watch, Paul Chesser, is also a contributing editor for the John Locke Foundation's Carolina Journal.

The subtitle of the report now being sent to local elected leaders is "Summary for Policymakers—Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change" (NIPCC). The NIPCC is an industry front entity with a name plainly seeking to create confusion with ongoing genuine scientific reports from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). That gives you another picture of the level of scruples shown by this crowd.

For a summary review of Heartland Institute in some detail, here's one source: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Heartland_Institute.

CIB encourages readers to touch base with your local leaders on this point. If they're receiving Heartland's propaganda pieces, let them know what they're really getting.

No Child Left Inside


Bee Lovers Are Mapping





The Way We Eat


Huh--So It Wasn't About Building Democracy?


Small Farms Up by 20%

After declining for more than a century, the number of small farms has increased 20% in the past six years. Dept of Agriculture


Instant Run-off Voting, NC


Climate Convergence, Virginia


Geopolitics of Energy

As Oil Hits Another Record High, A Look at the New Geopolitics of Energy
Oil prices have jumped to yet another record high, nearing $142 a barrel in Asian trading today. The latest price surge comes a day after OPEC's president said crude prices could reach $170 this summer. Meanwhile, Libya has threatened to cut oil production in response to US threats against oil producers. We speak with Michael Klare, author of Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet and Arun Gupta of The Indypendent.


Bees Down, Prices Up

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Food prices could rise even more unless the mysterious decline in honey bees is solved, farmers and businessmen told lawmakers Thursday.

Farmers say their businesses are feeling the sting of the decline of honey bees.

"No bees, no crops," North Carolina grower Robert D. Edwards told a House Agriculture subcommittee. Edwards said he had to cut his cucumber acreage in half because of the lack of bees available to rent.

About three-quarters of flowering plants rely on birds, bees and other pollinators to help them reproduce. Bee pollination is responsible for $15 billion annually in crop value.

In 2006, beekeepers began reporting losing 30 percent to 90 percent of their hives. This phenomenon has become known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Scientists do not know how many bees have died; beekeepers have lost 36 percent of their managed colonies this year. It was 31 percent for 2007, said Edward B. Knipling, administrator of the Agriculture Department's Agricultural Research Service.

"If there are no bees, there is no way for our nation's farmers to continue to grow the high quality, nutritious foods our country relies on," said Democratic Rep. Dennis Cardoza of California, chairman of the horticulture and organic agriculture panel. "This is a crisis we cannot afford to ignore."

Food prices have gone up 83 percent in three years, according to the World Bank.

Edward R. Flanagan, who raises blueberries in Milbridge, Maine, said he could be forced to increase prices tenfold or go out of business without the beekeeping industry. "Every one of those berries owes its existence to the crazy, neurotic dancing of a honey bee from flower to flower," he said.

The cause behind the disorder remains unknown. Possible explanations include pesticides; a new parasite or pathogen; and the combination of immune-suppressing stresses such as poor nutrition, limited or contaminated water supplies and the need to move bees long distances for pollination.

Ice cream maker Haagen-Dazs and natural personal care products company Burt's Bees have pledged money for research and begun efforts to help save the bees.

The problem affects about 40 percent of Haagen-Dazs' 73 flavors, including banana split and chocolate peanut butter, because ingredients such as almonds, cherries and strawberries rely on honey bees for pollination.

Katty Pien, brand director for Haagen-Dazs, said those ingredients could become too scarce or expensive if bees keep dying. It could force the company to discontinue some of its most popular flavors, Pien said.

Haagen-Dazs has developed a new limited-time flavor, vanilla honey bee, and will use some of the proceeds for research on the disorder. Burt's Bees has introduced Colony Collapse Disorder Lip Balm to "soften your lips while saving honeybees."

The House Appropriations Committee approved $780,000 on Thursday for research on the disorder and $10 million for bee research. The money awaits approval by the full House and Senate.

The No Poo Movement

[Another small way to untangle corporate America from our lives.]


Anti-Immigration Activists Gather


Surprise, Surprise, It Was the Oil



Water Bottles--What a Waste


Gilberto Gil: Life, Music, Digital Divide

* From Political Prisoner to Cabinet Minister: Legendary Brazilian Musician Gilberto Gil on His Life, His Music and the Digital Divide

* Forty years ago, the legendary Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil was a political prisoner. Today, he is a cabinet official in the Brazilian government. As protests raged across the globe in 1968, Gil was at the center of a cultural and political revolution in Brazil known as Tropicalia. The movement was seen as such a threat to Brazil's military dictatorship that Gil was jailed, then forced into exile, where he would become one of the world's most celebrated musicians as well as a spokesperson for Brazil's emerging black consciousness movement.

Today, Gil remains one of Brazil's best known artists, as well as the country's Minister of Culture. He is now spearheading a different kind of anti-establishment revolution. This time it¹s about democratizing the distribution of intellectual property rights.

We spend the hour with Gilberto Gil in a wide-ranging interview on his life, his music, the black consciousness movement and the future of the internet.

Hansen on Oil Exec Culpability


Scroll down and click on YouTube for "Real News."

Obama Stands for Moore, June 26, Pinehurst

First Organizational Meeting for the General Election

The Obama Stands for Moore group; a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of Moore County citizens, is holding its First Organizational Meeting for the General Election this Thursday, June 26th, at the Pinehurst Village Hall from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM.

Come help us plan our efforts for the general election! We need your input and ideas.

Please bring whatever snacks/refreshments/paper plates/napkins and drinks you can. We are expecting a huge turnout of folks.

Call 246-0872 and ask for Timothy. We would like to know how many people to expect!

The Pinehurst Village Hall is located at 395 Magnolia Rd. Pinehurst - 28374 Click Here for a Google Map of this address.

Organize Smorganize!!! -

Come meet our new Field Organizer, Cisco Robinson from the Obama for America campaign. Cisco will be at the Pinehurst Village Hall on Thursday night. Here's your opportunity to meet our new "Lance Orchid". He's looking forward to meeting you all and will have news about the re-opening of the Obama office in Southern Pines, as well as information directly from the Obama for America campaign.

Black Arts Festival Followup -

Thanks to everyone who turned out for the Obama Stands For Moore booth at the Black Arts Festival this weekend! Nancy Barton, Jane Deaton and others raised over $100 dollars and registered new voters for the general election. A donation from the Obama Stands For Moore group was also made to help send Tessie Taylor find her way to the National Democratic Convention from the funds raised.

What's Next? -

Mark your calendars for the Fourth of July! The Obama Stands for Moore group is looking for volunteers to help decorate our float for the Pinehurst Parade. A $100 prize will be awarded to the best float in the parade, so we need your ideas and creativity. More details to be discussed on Thursday night.

“America, this is our moment. This is our time.” – Barack Obama

Action Alert, Call Your Reps and Senators

ACTION ALERT: Mandatory Requirement for NAIS in School Lunch Program Put in House Agriculture Appropriations Bill. CALL NOW!

The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee has included pro-NAIS provisions in the Agriculture Appropriations bill for 2009.

According to the press release, the bill would require USDA to purchase meat products for the School Lunch Program from livestock premises registered with National Animal Identification System beginning in July 2009.

This is a back-door method for mandating NAIS through the power of the purse strings. The bill also provides a total NAIS funding level of $14.5 million or about $4.8 million above 2008.

We must stop these provisions from going any further.

The full House Appropriations Committee will meet about the Agriculture Appropriations bill this Thursday, June 26. Sometime after that, it will go to the full House. We also need to contact our Senators now, to keep them from doing the same thing.


1) Call or fax your US Representative. You can look up who represents you at www.congress.org or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or toll-free at 866-340-9281.

2) Call or fax the members of the House Appropriations Committee who come from your State. The members are listed at: http://appropriations.house.gov/members110th.shtml When you see a member who comes from your state, click on his or her name to get contact information.

3) Call or fax your Senators. You can look up who represents you at www.congress.org or call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or toll-free at 866-340-9281.

With each person, ask to speak to the staffer who handles appropriations. If you get their voice mail, leave the following message, or something in your own words that makes the same points:

MESSAGE: My name is ____. I am a constituent [or live in your state, if you aren't in their district]. I am calling because the Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee has inserted language requiring the School Lunch Program to only buy meat from farms registered in the National Animal Identification System. I am against NAIS, and I do not want it to be tied to school lunch programs. NAIS, which tracks live animals, will not improve food safety because most food safety problems start at the slaughterhouse and food processing facilities. Funding for NAIS, particularly any mandatory NAIS, needs to be stopped. Please call me back at _____ to let me know where the Congressman/woman stands on this issue.

When you talk to the staffer, be sure to make the same points as in the message, and expand on them with some of the talking points below.

For more information, contact the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance at info@farmandranchfreedom.org or 866-687-6452.

The press release, from Chairwoman DeLauro (D-CT) is available at http://appropriations.house.gov/pdf/DeLauroSubMarkup06-19-08.pdf

MORE TALKING POINTS - state your concerns in your own words

* This bill uses the government's power to economically coerce farmers into NAIS. That is not a "voluntary" program.

* This bill throws good money after bad, supporting a program that is not sound economically or scientifically.

* USDA has presented no science to back up its claims that NAIS will address livestock diseases.

* The USDA has never completed a cost/benefit analysis to show that NAIS is worthwhile.

* NAIS will not improve food safety. The massive Hallmark/Westland beef recall this past year was caused by the slaughterhouse employees' failure to follow existing regulations for handling "downer" cows. Mandating NAIS on cattle producers will not make anybody obey the laws we already have.

* NAIS will not help Americans compete in the world market. If it is mandatory, or even adopted by most producers, those who participate will not get premiums for their meat.

* Pouring more money into the program is a waste of precious tax dollars that could be better spent on safety inspections at packing and processing plants, where most food contamination occurs.

* Using the school lunch program to force farmers into NAIS undermines the growing farm-to-school program, which helps children get fresh, local, and sustainably raised foods. Local farmers should not be forced into an unpopular program that has nothing to do with food quality or safety in order to provide food for our children.

* The claim that USDA has achieved 33% of its Premises Registration goal is wrong. USDA computes its percentage of premises registered based on farmers who answer the agriculture census. Hundreds of thousands of additional horse owners, families with a few chickens, suburbanites with a pet pot-bellied pig, and others like them are technically covered by NAIS, but USDA ignores them when it reports its supposed successes to Congress. The vast majority of people who will be impacted by NAIS either oppose it or are still unaware of it!

* NAIS has never been specifically approved by Congress. This massive program, which will impact millions of people, should be addressed through full and open debate, not sneaked in through appropriations.

Our postal address is PMB #106-380
4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20016

Meet Your Pollinators, June 28, Chatham Co.

Subj: [NCSBA-Chapters] National Pollinator week and SaveTheHives.com

This week (June 22-28) is National Pollinator Week (http://www.pollinator.org/pollinator_week_2008.htm). It is the second annual National Pollinator Week, initially proclaimed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and a unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate in 2007.

The purpose of Pollinator Week is to teach pollinator-friendly practices and raise public awareness of the importance of the bees, beetles, butterflies, moths, flies, birds, and bats that are needed to produce 80 percent of our flowering plants and one third of our human food crops.

The National Academy of Sciences has reported that there is direct evidence of the decline of some pollinator species in North America. And, recently, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) of honey bees has alarmed the agricultural industry.

To celebrate, the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the Chatham County Beekeepers' Association will be holding a very special celebration of National Pollinator Week on Saturday, June 28, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

The event is sponsored by Chatham Mills Development Corporation (see http://www.chathammillscenter.com/pages/newhomepage.html)
and hosted by Chatham Marketplace
(http://www.chathammarketplace.coop/) at The Lawn at Chatham Mills in Pittsboro, NC.

Outreach activities will include beekeeping demonstrations, an observation hive, and stickers identifying the variety of fruits and vegetables pollinated by bees.

We hope that next year other local chapters of the NCSBA and CES
Centers might engage in similar efforts, as this is a fantastic means of drawing attention to the importance of honey bees to our food supply.

Also, I bring your attention to another effort that we are launching this week to celebrate National Pollinator Week. Some local beekeepers have developed the "Feral Bee Project" website to map, track, and monitor feral bees nests across the state (http://www.savethehives.com/fbp/).

The site is still being developed, but we introduce it this week to start collecting information on non-managed honey bee colonies. If you know of any honey bees living outside of beehives, we encourage you to complete the simple online form so that we may capture these reports. We found our first "bee tree" this morning near Lake Jordan. We have uploaded the info onto the site, and it will likely be the subject of a newspaper report.

As always, let me know if you have questions, and I hope you enjoy your National Pollinator Week.

David R. Tarpy
Assistant Professor and Extension Apiculturist
Department of Entomology, Campus Box 7613
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7613
TEL: (919) 515-1660



Sen. Feingold on Telecom Spy Bill

"One of the Greatest Intrusions, Potentially, on the Rights of AmericansProtected Under the 4th Amendment" - Sen. Feingold Blasts Telecom Spy Bill
It's being described as the most significant revision of the nation's surveillance law in three decades. The Senate is preparing to vote on rewriting the nation's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and giving immunity to phone companies involved in President Bush's secret domestic spy program. We speak with Senator Russ Feingold (D­WI), who has been the leading congressional voice against the Bush administration's warrantless spy program since it was exposed nearly three years ago. Listen/Watch/Read

New Stats on Religious Belief Systems


Barack Speaks to Staff--video


Put Oil Chiefs on Trial


Amnesty for Illegal Spying? Call Today!

No Immunity for Telecoms that Illegally Spy on US!

Last Friday, the House of Representatives granted de facto amnesty to the phone companies who cooperated with the Bush administration's illegal spying on American citizens. Our final opportunity to prevent this from becoming law lies with the Senate. We must stop the Senate from making the same terrible decision, a decision that chips away at one of our most fundamental and progressive values-the right to privacy.

Please call your senators right now and tell them to vote against any bill that lets the Bush administration and these telecom companies off the hook for shredding the constitution.

We cannot let the Senate give the phone companies and the Bush administration a free ride for past and future violations of our basic civil liberties. If we join together and ask our Senators to stop this bill by supporting a filibuster and voting NO against a bill that gives the phone companies amnesty, we can protect our privacy rights from this assault by conservative forces in Congress.

Call Your Senators Today.

The Senate switchboard is (202) 224-3121 (see below for a list of direct numbers). Tell them your state and ask them to connect you to your senator. Be sure to speak with both senators from your state. When you complete your calls, let us know what happened using this report form.

In addition to giving phone companies a free pass, this bill fails to restore adequate judicial review for future surveillance, which will continue to put our privacy rights at risk. Protecting our privacy rights is a core progressive value. Don't let them slip away. Take action by calling your senator today. And don't forget to report back to us.

Alan and the CAPAF advocacy team

P.S. We are excited to tell you that we will soon be launching our new advocacy website, IAmProgress.org. IAmProgress.org will be the home to all future CAPAF advocacy campaigns. So look out for the announcement and help us make IAmProgress.org a success.

Direct Phone Numbers to Senators (Listed by State)

Sen. Richard Shelby (R) (202) 224-5744; 224-3416
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) (202) 224-4124; 224-3149

Sen. Ted Stevens (R) (202) 224-3004; 224-2354
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) (202) 224-6665; 224-5301

Sen. Jon Kyl (R) (202) 224-4521; 224-2207
Sen. John McCain (R) (202) 224-2235; 228-2862

Sen. Blanch Lincoln (D) (202) 224-4843; 228-1371
Sen. Mark Pryor (D) (202) 224-2353; 228-0908

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) (202) 224-3553; (202)228-2382
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) (202) 224-3841; 228-3954

Sen. Wayne Allard (R) (202) 224-5941; 224-6471
Sen. Ken Salazar (D) (202) 224-5852; 228-5036

Sen. Christopher Dodd (D) (202) 224-2823; 224-1083
Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I) (202) 224-4041; 224-9750

Sen. Joseph Biden (D) (202) 224-5042; 224-0139
Sen. Thomas Carper (R) (202) 224-2441; 228-2190

Sen. Bill Nelson (D) (202) 224-5274; 228-2183
Sen. Mel Martinez (R) (202) 224-3041; 228-5171

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R) (202) 224-3521; 224-0103
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R) (202) 224-3643; 228-0724

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D) (202) 224-6361; 224-2126
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D) (202) 224-3934; 224-6747

Sen. Larry Craig (R) (202) 224-2752; 228-1067
Sen. Michael Crapo (R) (202) 224-6142; 228-1375

Sen. Dick Durbin (D) (202) 224-2152; 228-0400
Sen. Barack Obama (D) (202) 224-2854; 228-5417

Sen. Evan Bayh (D) (202) 224-5623; 228-1377
Sen. Richard Lugar (R) (202) 224-4814; 228-0360

Sen. Charles Grassley (R) (202) 224-3744; 224-6020
Sen. Tom Harkin (D) (202) 224-3254; 224-9369

Sen. Sam Brownback (R) (202) 224-6521; 228-1265
Sen. Pat Roberts (R) (202) 224-4774; 224-3514

Sen. Jim Bunning (R) (202) 224-4343; 228-1373
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) (202) 224-2541; 224-2499

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) (202) 224-5824; 224-9735
Sen. David Vitter (R) (202) 224-4623; 228-5061

Sen. Susan Collins (R) (202) 224-2523; 224-2693
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) (202) 224-5344; 224-1946

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) (202) 224-4654; 224-8858
Sen. Ben Cardin (D) (202) 224-4524: 224-1651

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) (202) 224-4543; 224-2417
Sen. John Kerry (D) (202) 224-2742; 224-8525

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) (202) 224-4822; 228-0325
Sen. Carl Levin (D) (202) 224-6221; 224-1388

Sen. Norm Coleman (R) (202) 224-5641; 224-1152
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) (202) 224-3244; 228-2186

Sen. Thad Cochran (R) (202) 224-5054; 224-9450
Sen. Roger Wicker (R) (202) 224-6253; 224-2262

Sen. Christopher Bond (R) (202) 224-5721; 224-8149
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) (202) 224-6154; 228-6326

Sen. Max Baucus (D) (202) 224-2651; 224-4700
Sen. John Tester (D) (202) 224-2644; 224-8594

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R) (202) 224-4224; 224-5213
Sen. Ben Nelson (D) (202) 224-6551; 228-0012

Sen. John Ensign (R) (202) 224-6244; 228-2193
Sen. Harry Reid (D) (202) 224-3542; 224-7327

New Hampshire
Sen. Judd Gregg (R) (202) 224-3324; 224-4952
Sen. John Sununu (R) (202) 224-2841; 228-4131

New Jersey
Sen. Robert Menendez (D) (202) 224-4744; 228-2197
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) (202) 224-3224; 228-4054

New Mexico
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D) (202) 224-5521; 224-2852
Sen. Pete Domenici (R) (202) 224-6621; 228-3261

New York
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) (202) 224-4451; 228-0282
Sen. Charles Schumer (D) (202) 224-6542; 228-3027

North Carolina
Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) (202) 224-6342-; 224-1100
Sen. Richard Burr (R) (202) 224-3154; 228-2981

North Dakota
Sen. Kent Conrad (D) (202) 224-2043; 224-7776
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D) (202) 224-2551; 224-1193

Sen. George Voinovich (R) (202) 224-3353; 228-1382
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) (202) 224-2315; 228-6321

Sen. James Inhofe (R) (202) 224-224-4721; 228-0380
Sen. Tom Coburn (R) (202) 224-5754; 224-6008

Sen. Ron Wyden (D) (202) 224-5244; 228-2717
Sen. Gordon Smith (R) (202) 224-3753; 228-3997

Sen. Arlen Specter (R) (202) 224-4254; 228-1229
Sen. Robert Casey (D) (202) 224- 6324; 228-0604

Rhode Island
Sen. Jack Reed (D) (202) 224-4642; 224-4680
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse(D) (202) 224-2921; 228-6362

South Carolina
Sen. Jim DeMint (R) (202) 224-6121; 228-5143
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) (202) 224-5972; 224-3808

South Dakota
Sen. Tim Johnson (D) (202) 224-5842; 228-5765
Sen. John Thune (R) (202) 224-2321; 228-5429

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) (202) 224-4944; 228-3398
Sen. Bob Corker (R) (202) 224-3344; 228-0566

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) (202) 224-5922: 224-0776
Sen. John Cornyn (R) (202) 224-2934; 228-2856

Sen. Robert Bennett (R) (202) 224-5444; 228-1168
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) (202) 224-5251; 224-6331

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D) (202) 224-4242; 224-3479
Sen. Bernard Sanders (I) (202) 224-5141; 228-0776

Sen. John Warner (R) (202) 224-2023; 224-6295
Sen. James Webb (D) (202) 224-4024; 228-6363

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) (202) 224-3441; 224-0514
Sen. Patty Murray (D) (202) 224-2621; 224-0238

West Virginia
Sen. Robert Byrd (D) (202) 224-3954; 228-0002
Sen. John Rockefeller IV (D) (202) 224-6472; 224-7665

Sen. Russ Feingold (D) (202) 224-5323; 224-2725
Sen. Herbert Kohl (D) (202) 224-5653; 224-9787

Sen. Michael Enzi (R) (202) 224-3424; 228-0359
Sen. John Barrasso (R) (202) 224-6441; 224-172

The Center for American Progress Action Fund is the sister advocacy organization of the Center for American Progress. The Action Fund transforms progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world. The Action Fund is also the home of the Progress Report and Think Progress, the blog that pushes back daily.


More Evils from King Corn and Big Agri

Sierra Club Wants Treatments stopped, NOW!

From Alan Harman

The Sierra Club accuses the U.S. Department of Agriculture of caving in to lobbyists over massive bee deaths and compares this with Germany taking a major step to keep their bees pollinating crops.

In light of the mounting evidence that new seed chemical coatings are deadly to bees and action by Germany calling for their immediate suspension, the Sierra Club reaffirmed its call for a U.S. moratorium on specific chemical treatments to protect our bees and crops until more study can be done.
It cites Germany's federal agricultural research institute as saying, "It can unequivocally be concluded that poisoning of the bees is due to the rub-off of the pesticide ingredient clothianidin from corn seeds."
At issue are the neonicotinoids, including clothianidin, being used in a new way - as seed coatings.
For years, farmers have been spraying neonicotinoids onto their crops to stop insect infestation. Now Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto have acquired patents to coat their proprietary corn seeds with these neonicotinoids.
"Part of the equation in the U.S. is genetically engineered corn, as more and more corn seeds are being gene spliced with a completely different species -- a bacterium," says Walter Haefeker of the German Beekeepers Association Board of Directors. "Bayer and Monsanto recently entered into agreements to manufacture neonicotinic-coated genetically engineered corn. It's likely that this will worsen the bee die-off problem."
A Sierra Club statement says American Beekeeping Federation former president David Hackenburg has been urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to do more study.
"Look at what's time-based,” it quotes Hackenburg as saying. “The massive bee decimation started when regulatory agencies rubber stamped the use of neonicotinoid spraying and coating."
Sierra Club genetic engineering committee chairman Laurel Hopwood says the club joins the concern of beekeepers.
"It's unfortunate that regulatory agencies are using double speak,” he says. “They claim to protect our food supply - yet they aren't doing the proper studies. The loss of honey bees will leave a huge void in the kitchens of the American people and an estimated loss of $14 billion dollars to farmers. We call for a precautionary moratorium on these powerful crop treatments to protect our bees and our food."

This message brought to you by Bee Culture, The Magazine Of American Beekeeping www.BeeCulture.com

Subscribe to the Apis Newsletter http://apis.shorturl.com


Climate Action Plan to G8 Leaders

Business chiefs urge carbon curbs *A coalition of 99 companies hands a climate action plan to G8 leaders, asking for emission targets and global carbon trading.


How's It Growing? Carthage, June 25

Howʼs It Growing?

Taylor Williams, Horticulture Extension Agent for Moore will conduct a plant clinic from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 25 at the agriculture building, 707 Pinehurst Ave., Carthage.

Taylor will discuss the current growing season and address some of the questions coming in on the Master Gardener Hot Line. The emphasis will be on landscape plants and vegetable gardens.

Bring your questions and a specimen from a plant that shows disease or insect damage. If an insect is causing problems, bring a sample thatʼs alive if possible. Now is an excellent time to evaluate your plants and see how they are growing.

For additional information, call the Extension office at 947-3188.

Mortgage Fraud, Cuba, More War $ from Dems

FBI holds 406 for mortgage fraud *The FBI says it has arrested 406property market players as part of a crackdown on mortgage fraud.

EU to lift sanctions against Cuba *The European Union is to lift sanctions on Cuba it imposed in 2003 in protest at the jailing of dissidents.

US House approves war funds bill *The Democrat-held US House of Representatives approves $162bn to pay for another year of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Concert, June 22, Aberdeen


CFSA Dinner, Carrboro, June 23

This coming Monday night, June 23, Panzanella Restaurant in Carrboro will open to feature a special menu created with ingredients from Cathy Jones and Mike Perry’s Perry-Winkle Farm, including (hopefully) their amazing potatoes.

You won’t want to miss this delicious local meal, and you won’t want to miss this chance to support CFSA either. Panzanella will be donating 10% of the night’s proceeds to CFSA, so you’ll be feeding yourself delectable, wholesome, artisanal food and you’ll be contributing to CFSA’s health at the same time. Please make plans to be there.

Doors open for the dinner at 5:30pm. I hope to see you there!

Roland McReynolds, Esq.
CFSA Executive Director
PO Box 448
Pittsboro, NC 27312
Ph: 919-542-2402
Fax: 919-542-7401


Sam Ragan Poetry Fest, June 21, Weymouth


The North Carolina Poetry Society presents


A fun-filled, jam-packed day featuring readings by Pulitzer Prize nominee Keith Flynn, Michael Beadle’s performance poetry, campfire songs with Bill Griffin, musical performances by Bill Blackley, John Amen, and Linda and Shelby Stephenson, free giveaways, open mic readings throughout the day, and more!

Bring a bag lunch or order a box lunch from 195 during morning registration which begins at 9:15am.

Visit www.NCPoetrySociety.org for directions to Weymouth, general Poetry Society info, and photos of past Festivals. Contact NCPS Vice President of Programs, Sara Claytor at sclaytor@nc.rr.com with questions.


M. Dowd at Her Best


23rd Annual Sustainable Ag. Conference, Oct/Nov

The 23rd Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference is just around the corner!

You won’t want to miss this year’s conference: Keynote speakers include sustainable ag legends Wes Jackson and Joel Salatin, and we’ll be debuting extended, hands-on workshop formats.

And of course we’ll have the staples that have made the conference such an important part of the Carolinas’ ag community for so long: great teachers, great food and great people—you!

What: Carolina Farm Stewardship Sustainable Agriculture Conference
When: Oct.31 – Nov. 2
Where: Anderson County Civic Center, Anderson, SC

Look for more information coming soon on our website, www.carolinafarmstewards.org, and in the mail. Please forward this announcement to anyone you know—friends, colleagues, customers—who is interested in food and farming systems that are good for farmers, good for consumers and good for the land.


Roland McReynolds, Esq.
CFSA Executive Director
PO Box 448
Pittsboro, NC 27312
Ph: 919-542-2402
Fax: 919-542-7401


Interview with Senator Mike Gravel



Extreme Weather



Water, Sustainability, Spain


Check Out World Clock



Tomato Fright!

The antidote to Fear of Tomatoes? Your local Farmers' Market! See you tomorrow morning, downtown Southern Pines. Maureen


Locavores Go Mainstream



Big Box Mart





Kitchen Drumming!

http://www.youtube.com/ikea by Tommy Brunjes

Moyers on Media Consolidation



Downtown Southern Pines Green Space?

A group of downtown [Southern Pines] merchants met this morning. It was our second meeting, and we are meeting to discuss issues affecting the downtown merchants.

Today's meeting was focused on the park where the Farmer's Market is held on Saturday mornings. We have heard that the town wants to build a town hall on the site, and we are opposed to that idea. We would like to see it remain green.

A petition is being printed that will be available for signatures at the Ice Cream Parlor, Flynne's Coffee Shop,and the Country Bookshop. The signers must be Southern Pines residents.

We are also writing letters to the Editor to help educate people on this idea, and would like to see more letters.

Yard signs are being printed and will be available soon.

We are going to attend Town Council meetings and get up and speak about this, and are looking for others to do so, too. The next meeting is Tuesday, June 10 at 7 pm at the Douglas Center at 1185 W. Pennsylvania Ave.

Hope to see you there!

[posted by Maureen, member of Moore County Farmers Market]


Q & A: Rising Food Prices

[processed foods and drinks now account for 80% of sales.]


Good Article on Honey Bee Troubles


Concerts Calendar Update, Aberdeen


NC Could Be the First


Sandhills Renaissance Players, June 6, 7

The Sandhills Renaissance Players present
TRUE COLORS, an original work
Pinecrest HS Auditorium
June 6 and 7, 7:30 p.m.

$8 (children under age 12 admitted free)
more info: 695-1004


Conservation Insider Bulletin, May 30

Conservation Insider Bulletin
Published weekly for the Conservation Council of North Carolina
Conservation News to Peruse & Use
Editor: Dan Besse, cib@conservationcouncilnc.org

May 30, 2008

Key bills are introduced in priority areas good and bad; the Catawba River interbasin lawsuit parties expand; another challenge is filed to EPA's newest ozone standards; and other news, this week in CIB:

--Legislative Watch: More Key Bills Reviewed; Clean Water Lobby Day
--Judicial Watch: Parties Join Catawba Water Suit
--Washington Watch: Ozone Rules Challenged
--Campaign Watch: Both Sides Considering NC Senate Contest

Legislative Watch: More Key Bills Reviewed; Clean Water Lobby Day

More Key Bills Reviewed: As anticipated, legislation to block the new coastal stormwater rules approved by the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) and Rules Review Commission (RRC) has been filed in the General Assembly. The bills, HB 2138 / SB 1967, "Disapprove Coastal Stormwater Rule" are a priority target for opposition by the environmental "Common Agenda" coalition which includes CCNC.

CIB thinks that the Charlotte Observer editorial of 5/29/08 has the right analysis of the disapproval effort: "If you want to know why government doesn't work very well, look no further than House Bill 2138, sponsored by Rep. Pryor Gibson, D-Anson. The bill, also sponsored by 11 other Democrats and Republicans, would stop new stormwater runoff rules designed to protect water quality in coastal counties that are more than 100 miles from his district... Never mind that the rules were carefully crafted over more than two years by experts concerned that existing stormwater runoff rules have been ineffective in halting the decline of water quality along North Carolina's coast.

Never mind that more than 100,000 acres of shellfish beds along the coast have been closed because they are so fouled with bacteria from feces and contaminated with fertilizer runoff and toxic heavy metals from oil and gas along the state's roads. Never mind that health officials sometimes designate areas of the coast that are not safe to swim in on a warm summer's day.

Never mind that in January the N.C. Environmental Management Commission considered, amended, debated and adopted the rules, designed to slow the increase in water pollution in an area where the pace of residential development is rapidly consuming land.

Never mind that the N.C. Rules Review Commission -- which usually takes a hard look at any environmental rules and declines to approve them if its members believe they go too far -- approved the new rules in March. In spite of all that, these legislators now would step in to block those much-needed rules...[T]he simple fact is that coastal construction is proceeding at a break-neck pace, consuming land, creating more hard surfaces and worsening water quality. The state needs stricter coastal stormwater runoff rules, not a legislative cave-in to builders who don't want to be inconvenienced by having to slow the flow of poison into waters that belong to all of us."

Another key defensive effort in the environmental Common Agenda this session will be stopping proposals to gut North Carolina's beach protection policies which bar the construction of new seawalls and other "hardening" of the oceanfront. In particular, environmental groups will focus on opposing SB 599, "Inlet Stabilization Pilot Program", which passed the Senate last year and is currently held in committee in the House. The so-called "pilot program" would simply authorize "terminal groins" to protect threatened private structures--a strategy which is an old, well-known failure, that simply shifts the point of erosion to nearby properties.

On the positive side, environmental groups will support SB 1871 / HB 2526, "Motor Vehicle Emissions Study", an effort to move North Carolina toward adoption of the California "clean cars" standards that will help fight global warming by demanding greater fuel efficiency by vehicles sold in our state.

The water planning/drought management bills reviewed in last week's CIB, HB 2499 / SB 1879, "Drought/Water Management Recommendations", incorporating recommendations from the legislature's Environmental Review Commission, will also receive support from the Common Agenda groups.

Clean Water Lobby Day: Reminder: CCNC encourages concerned conservationists to come out for Clean Water Lobby Day at the General Assembly this Wednesday, June 4 in Raleigh. Focus issues this year will include water management, coastal stormwater rules, and steep-slope development rules in the mountains. The day's activities will begin with a 9 a.m. meeting of conservation advocates at the N.C. History Museum, 4 E. Edenton Street, in Raleigh, and continue with meetings with legislators throughout the day until 3 p.m. For more information, contact the CCNC office via carrie@conservationcouncilnc.org. Clean Water Lobby Day is a cooperative effort sponsored by a coalition of 20 organizations, including CCNC and other conservation groups around North Carolina.

Judicial Watch: Parties Join Catawba Water Suit

The City of Charlotte, Duke Energy, and a water system serving Union and Lancaster counties have been allowed to join as parties in the lawsuit by South Carolina against North Carolina over withdrawals from the Catawba River basin. South Carolina sued North Carolina last year after the N.C. Environmental Management Commission (EMC) partially approved a request by the cities of Concord and Kannapolis to transfer millions of gallons of water per day from the Catawba to the Yadkin basin. The newly authorized parties say that their own withdrawals from the Catawba could be affected by the suit's outcome, but that neither state government fully reflects their interests.

The addition of these parties may simultaneously expand the breadth of issues to be reviewed, and complicate the case's settlement. The "special master" named by the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case allowed the new parties' entry into the case. Since the lawsuit originated as a case between two states, the U.S. Supreme Court has unusual original jurisdiction over the case. Decisions by the designated "special master" are reviewable only by the Supreme Court itself.

Washington Watch: Ozone Rules Challenged

The environmental law group Earthjustice this week filed a second lawsuit challenging EPA's new ozone standards as too weak to protect public health, on behalf of a number of environmental and public health organizations (including the American Lung Association). A similar claim has previously been filed on behalf of 11 states, by Connecticut's state attorney general. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will hear the case.

Campaign Watch: Both Sides Considering NC Senate Contest

The U.S. Senate seat contest between incumbent U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) and challenger N.C. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-Guilford) has clearly moved onto a front-burner spot for both sides of the struggle for control of the Senate. Recent polls showing the race to be a statistical dead heat have sparked interest by national endorsing groups, including the national League of Conservation Voters (LCV).

On the anti-environmental side, one of the national flat-earth groups which continues to oppose action on global warming, the "Club for Growth", is financing a series of broadcast ads aimed at six senators including Dole. The ads exhort her to oppose legislation coming up for a vote in the U.S. Senate which would mandate American action on climate control. Dole is currently a co-sponsor of the bipartisan legislation. Look for any waffling by Dole on that bill to provide a sense of whether she plans to try to run to the middle or move to the right-wing on environmental issues in this campaign.

Poetry Day, Weymouth, June 21



The North Carolina Poetry Society presents



A fun-filled, jam-packed day featuring readings by Pulitzer Prize nominee Keith Flynn, Michael Beadle’s performance poetry, campfire songs with Bill Griffin, musical performances by Bill Blackley, John Amen, and Linda and Shelby Stephenson, free giveaways, open mic readings throughout the day, and more!

Bring a bag lunch or order a box lunch from 195 during morning registration which begins at 9:15 a.m.

Visit www.NCPoetrySociety.org for directions to Weymouth, general Poetry Society info, and photos of past Festivals.

Contact NCPS Vice President of Programs, Sara Claytor at sclaytor@nc.rr.com with questions.

Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations


Carbon Farming

What a concept! Grow plants especially good at sequestering carbon in the soil, and sell the carbon credits as one of your crops! How cool!

Snips from a provocative article:

The next step is to add carbon farming as a core or foundational element of this industry.

Let’s speculate about a small urban farmer. She is targeting both the food and ornamental markets [vegetable, micro-livestock and potted flowers]. If she can gear up to be paid on a regular basis for her carbon sequestering, she will have a base cash flow. She will then select her crops partially based on their government certified carbon return capacity and the seasonal measurement of her soil’s carbon content.

So, she might chose to grow a root and vine and shrub crop mixture rather than only one of them; thereby creating a diverse roots and foliage capacity.

And snips from an interview very clever Vermont Farmer who heads the Carbon Farmers of America:

We are an all-grass, organic dairy – one of a growing handful of dairies in the United States doing no-grain dairying. We have created a new company, Carbon Farmers of America, to advance the idea that soil building can reverse climate change, and that the planned grazing of livestock on perennial grasslands is the single most-effective way to rapidly create new topsoil. On our dairy farm, we are using a number of methods in addition to planned grazing that allow us to build topsoil even faster by pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and putting it back into the soil as various forms of organic matter.

If society chooses to pay farmers $25 dollars per ton of carbon dioxide transformed into soil organic matter, then we humans can reduce atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases to pre-industrial levels within a decade. We will also eliminate most water-quality problems and biosecurity issues, we will restore economic prosperity to our rural communities, and we will not have a farm-viability crisis on our hands any more.


Posted By Jill to All Along The Edge

Eco Elvis is Alive!