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Logging bill can help correct a long history of injustice in Maine woods

MAINE LOGGERS WOULD FINALLY RECEIVE ECONOMIC JUSTICE UNDER PROPOSED LEGISLATION. Our friend, Allagash logger Troy Jackson, is a Senator from Northern Maine, President of the Maine Senate and author of Maine LD 1459, which would for the FIRST TIME EVER give independent Maine contract loggers the legal right to collectively bargain for fair compensation.
Maine loggers have been exploited for generations and since loggers deserve justice, this bill deserves passage. Mainers please call you Legislators TODAY (https://legislature.maine.gov/senat…/find-your-state-senator).
This article provides excellent and concise background on Maine logger history. It is written by Dr. Jason Newton of Cornell who is writing a book on the history of loggers in the Northeast. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"For more than 150 years, the loggers who made Maine forest products have been denied a fair share of the profit they produce. This is because many loggers were categorized as 'independent contractors.' 'Contracting out' is a tactic that companies use to cut costs and prevent unionization, but in Maine this practice has a long history that voters and legislators should consider.

"Much of their income they drew from the woods, most identified as farmers, not wage working loggers. Wage working was connected with dependence and slavery in the early republic.

"Into the 19th century, 'farmer-loggers' continued to be enticed by the allure of independents. When competition from the West made most commercial farming in Maine unprofitable, thousands of farmers became financially dependent on the contracts they made with mills and landowners, thus becoming independent contractors…

"…During World War II, Maine established a program that brought Canadian loggers into the state to work temporarily. Mills and landowners tried to make Canadians into contractors when possible, sometimes employing Canadian families who lived in shacks on company land. In 1947, a Great Northern Paper company official wrote that: 'If a contract can be drawn that will make these shackers independent contractors we will be able to relieve ourselves of a great deal of responsibility and will be able to produce wood much cheaper.'"

Logging bill can help correct a long history of injustice in Maine woods

For more than 150 years, the loggers who made Maine forest products have been denied a fair share of the profit they produce.


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Monsanto hit with staggering $2 billion verdict in Roundup cancer suit

BREAKING NEWS! MONSANTO HIT WITH 'STAGGERING' $2 BILLION GUILTY VERDICT IN ROUNDUP-CANCER-LAWSUIT #3. In the third Roundup-Cancer trial (13,400 more to go), yet another outraged jury – the third in a row – has found Monsanto guilty and financially liable for a California couple's serious health problems.
For decades Monsanto's greed-driven empire has deployed high-powered PR operatives to spread its fairy-dust-hokum about 'serving mankind.' Tellingly, Monsanto has utilized strings-attached-largess to have its way with bought-and-paid-for regulators and members of both the Executive and Legislative branches. Now, Monsanto''s ill will is catching up with them.
Citizen-juries have heard enough and are acting swiftly and decisively to mightily hold Monsanto accountable for its malevolent avarice and self-serving behavior.
It's high time for justice. Deadly 'Roundup' herbicide should immediately be pulled from the market.
Monsanto reminds us, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. Jim

"An Oakland jury awarded a staggering $2 billion-plus in damages Monday to a Bay Area couple who both came down with cancer after spraying Monsanto Co.’s widely used Roundup weed killer on their properties for more than 30 years…

"The couple’s lawsuit was among the first of more than 13,000 cases nationwide to go to trial against the agrochemical giant. Monsanto denies that Roundup is dangerous and notes that it has been repeatedly found safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency…

"The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate as a probable cause of human cancer in 2015, but it remains legal in the United States and Europe…

"'Juries informed by independent science have repeatedly rejected the Monsanto-promoted myth that glyphosate poses no cancer risks,' Nathan Donley, a scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, said Monday.

"Lawyers for the Pilliods and other plaintiffs offered evidence that Monsanto was in close contact with the Environmental Protection Agency while the government studied glyphosate. They accused the company of 'ghost-writing' scientific studies presented to the federal agency and with working alongside the EPA to undermine the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s criticism.

"In asking the jury for $1 billion in punitive damages last week, plaintiffs’ attorney Brent Wisner said Monsanto makes $892 million a year in profit, and that a huge sum was needed to 'punish the company for 45 years of lying to the public.'"

Monsanto hit with staggering $2 billion verdict in Roundup cancer suit

An Oakland jury finds that Monsanto Co.’s widely used Roundup weed killer caused a husband and wife in their 70s to come down with cancer and awards them more than $2 billion in damages — the third such verdict in the nation, all in the Bay Area.


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POTATO HOUSE ROW, CARIBOU,MAINE. Circa 1949. Individually-owned, this long con…

POTATO HOUSE ROW, CARIBOU,MAINE. Circa 1949. Individually-owned, this long connected row of potato storages, known locally as "Potato Houses" is in "The Potato Empire" of Aroostook County, Maine.
Each potato house was separated from its neighbor by a foot-thick concrete wall which minimized risk of catastrophic fires.
It was common for such a string of potato houses to have been positioned alongside a railroad siding. However, no tracks are visible in this photo.
Aroostook County pioneered the use of highly-efficient cedar potato barrels, banded together by hand-shaved ash hoops ("huups," rhymes with books).
Each 11-peck barrel held 165 pounds of potatoes, and barrels were the universal standard unit of measure in Maine's potato industry.
Seed potato growers planned on needing 20 barrels of seed per acre. A hard-to-achieve goal for most farmers was to grow 200 barrels per acre (33,000 pounds or 330 "bags" or cwt). In the Fall, 'Hand Pickers' were paid piece-rate by the barrel.
And of course, the farmers' fate was reliant upon the sale of Aroostook County's annual massive potato crop. Each deal was negotiated as a price of dollars per barrel. Jim




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Wendell Berry Is Not a Prophet

WENDELL BERRY IS A WISE ELDER FOR ALL OF AMERICA. While he is a farmer, Wendell's wisdom serves to enlighten all of humankind and not just other farmers.
Granted, those of us who 40 years ago read his landmark work, "The Unsettling of America," gained a spot-on prescient crystal ball view into the now accelerating corporate takeover of agriculture.
This piece about Wendell in 'Modern Farmer' from 18 months ago is something we can all enjoy on this Mother's Day.
The coming end of the Fossil-Fuel era may hold big surprises for centralized Industrial Ag, the pendulum may once again swing, and family farmers may regain their rightful places as champions for community. Caleb, Megan & Jim https://truthout.org/…/as-capitalism-fails-we-need-a-roadm…/

"WENDELL BERRY CELEBRATED his 83rd birthday in August. He is old. But not so old that he can’t kick and spit and fight every force that threatens to destroy his way of life and, thus, his worldview. 'What I stand for is what I stand on,' the seventh-generation Kentucky farmer and urgently prolific scribe wrote in 1980. And, indeed, Berry returns again and again to his hometown of Port Royal (Port William in his fiction). By pledging allegiance to all things local, he has brought global attention to the plight of fragile rural economies and the importance of sustainable agriculture."

Wendell Berry Is Not a Prophet

At 83, America's beloved farmer-philosopher still has plenty to say about how our disregard for the past points us in a destructive direction.


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Maine Becomes First State In America To Ban Single-Use Styrofoam Containers

STATE OF MAINE BANS STYROFOAM CONTAINERS. Maine has become the first State in the nation to Ban single-use Styrofoam containers. Other States are also toying with the idea.
So, Maine continues with its reputation as a longtime environmental leader. It was forty-two years ago that Maine banned highway billboards in a successful effort to go after visual pollution (Vermont passed the first billboard ban in 1968). Caleb, Megan & Jim

'While that cup of coffee may be finished, the Styrofoam cup it was in is not,' Mills said in a statement. “In fact, it will be around for decades to come and eventually it will break down into particles, polluting our environment, hurting our wildlife, and even detrimentally impacting our economy'…

"Environmental groups hailed the measure, saying it solidified the state’s reputation as a leader on green causes. Mills has taken a hard line on climate change as well, proposing a 27-member panel of experts this week to help the state dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"'Maine has proven itself as an environmental leader once again, this time in eliminating disposable foam containers that have become a common, costly, and deadly form of plastic pollution,' Sarah Lakeman, a sustainability director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine, said in a statement. 'We need to be doing everything possible to limit our use and better manage our single-use plastics ― starting with eliminating the use of unnecessary foams like plastic foam.'"

Maine Becomes First State In America To Ban Single-Use Styrofoam Containers

The measure was hailed by environmental groups, which called the products "unnecessary" and harmful to the planet.


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White House Has “Monsanto’s Back on Pesticides,” Newly Revealed Document Says – U.S. Right to Know

INTERNAL MONSANTO DOCUMENTS EXPOSED IN COURT REVEAL A DARK WHITE HOUSE BROMANCE WITH MONSANTO AND A 'WIDENING RIFT' BETWEEN GOVERNMENT STAFF SCIENTISTS AND POLITICAL-APPOINTEE-LEADERS. Lovey-dovey White House treatment of DowDupont and its ban-worthy 'Chlorpyrifos' has close parallels to the sweetheart romance with Monsanto and its deadly 'Roundup.' The Court revelations were from from Roundup Trial #3 in which California 'Roundup' cancer victims Alva & Alberta Polliod are seeking justice.
Additionally, the docs reveal a 'widening rift' between government scientists – and their scientific research – in MULTIPLE Federal agencies and their agenda-driven political leaders. Jim

"Internal Monsanto records just filed in court show that a corporate intelligence group hired to 'to take the temperature on current regulatory attitudes for glyphosate' reported that the White House could be counted on to defend the company’s Roundup herbicides…

"'A domestic policy adviser at the White House said, for instance: ‘We have Monsanto’s back on pesticides regulation. We are prepared to go toe-to-toe on any disputes they may have with, for example, the EU. Monsanto need not fear any additional regulation from this administration.'

"In the email accompanying the report, Hakluyt’s Nick Banner told Rands the information related to issues both for the United States and for China. The report notes that 'professional' staff has 'sharp' disagreement with 'political' staff on some areas, but that the concerns of some of the professional staffers would not get in the way…

"'The way the EPA under the Trump administration has handled Chlorpyrifos might be instructive in how it would handle new science or new developments related to glyphosate'…

"According to the Hakluyt report, an official with the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs said: 'There is growing unease in this office at what seems like scientific intransigence by Monsanto to give credibility to any evidence that doesn’t fit their view. We would agree with them that such evidence is non-conclusive, but that does not mean that it is without basis.'"

White House Has “Monsanto’s Back on Pesticides,” Newly Revealed Document Says – U.S. Right to Know

Internal Monsanto records just filed in court show that a corporate intelligence group hired to “to take the temperature on current regulatory attitudes for glyphosate” reported that the White House could be counted on to defend the company’s Roundup herbicides. In a report attached to a July …


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“Go Get ‘Em” – Jury Deliberations Starting in Roundup Cancer Trial – U.S. Right to Know

MONSANTO 'ROUNDUP' CANCER TRIAL #3 MAKES IT TO JURY DELIBERATION STAGE. Plaintiff attorney Wisner in his final summation asked jurors to award $1 BILLION in punitive damages against malicious Monsanto – so as to send a powerful message against Monsanto's pattern of deceit.
Now, the fate of the Polloids rests with a jury of their peers who have in the past weeks heard a mountain of evidence against misanthrope Monsanto.
Chin up Monsanto! Only 13,000 more Roundup Cancer lawsuits to go! How is that heartless, bullying defiance working for you? Jim

"Alva and Alberta Pilliod, each diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, were in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland, California, on Wednesday as attorney Brent Wisner implored jurors to agree with allegations that the development of the Pilliods’ debilitating illnesses was due to their many years of use of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicides.

"Monsanto strongly denies its products are carcinogenic. But Pilliod attorney Brent Wisner told jurors there was ample evidence of cancer concerns and rather than warn customers of the risks, the company engaged in 45 years of deceptive tactics that manipulated the scientific record about the dangers of its products.

"He said jurors should consider ordering at least $892 million in punitive damages as that represented one year of profits for Monsanto, which last year was acquired by Bayer AG. He said a better figure might be $1 billion in order to send a message to Bayer and Monsanto…"

“Go Get ‘Em” – Jury Deliberations Starting in Roundup Cancer Trial – U.S. Right to Know

After dramatic day-long closing arguments in which the plaintiffs’ attorney suggested $1 billion in punitive damages would be appropriate, jury deliberations were getting underway on Thursday in the trial pitting a married couple with cancer against Monsanto. Alva and Alberta Pilliod, each diagnos…


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California defies Trump to ban pesticide linked to childhood brain damage

CALIFORNIA FINISHES THE JOB POLITICAL-BOSSES AT EPA SIDETRACKED AND BANS CHILD-ENDANGERING FARM INSECTICIDE 'CHLORPYRIFOS.' Scientists at EPA had correctly set in motion the banning of problematic organophosate insect-killer 'Chlorpyrifos.' Then political leaders – advancing self-serving corporate interests – reversed that ban.
Now, the State of California has announced it will FOLLOW THE SCIENCE and will ban Chlorpyrifos, a chemical linked to autism and IQ impacts on our children. Other States are considering similar moves to ban Chlorpyrifos.
Kidos to California for their leadership in protecting the public interest Jim

"The state ban on chlorpyrifos, a pesticide used on almonds, citrus, cotton, grapes, walnuts and other crops, follows years of research finding the chemical causes serious health effects in children, including impaired brain and neurological development. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had moved to ban the chemical under Barack Obama, but the Trump administration reversed that effort, rejecting the scientific conclusions of its own government experts.

"'Countless people have suffered as a result of this chemical,' the California EPA secretary, Jared Blumenfeld, said in an interview on Wednesday. 'A lot of people live and work and go to school right next to fields that are being sprayed with chlorpyrifos … It’s an issue of environmental health and justice'"…

"Epidemiological studies have linked chlorpyrifos to a number of health conditions. Pregnant women living near fields and farms that use the chemical have an increased risk of having a child with autism. Exposure to low to moderate levels of chlorpyrifos during pregnancy have also been associated with lower IQs and memory problems. California officials cited a recent review by a state panel on toxic air contaminants, which found the effects in children could occur at lower levels than previously understood."

California defies Trump to ban pesticide linked to childhood brain damage

The EPA had moved to ban chlorpyrifos under Obama, but the Trump administration reversed that effort


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Hydroponically Grown Produce Threatens Real Organic Agriculture

FRAUDULENT SOIL-LESS CORPORATE-HYDROPONIC-PRODUCTION THREATENS REAL ORGANIC. Over its entire 125-year history, enriching the soil has ALWAYS been the foundation of organic farming. Healthy soil grows healthy plants which are naturally resistant to destructive pressures from insects and disease. Organic food is nutritionally-dense, delicious and healthy. These metrics of high quality are due to organic family farmers' loyal dedication to NURTURING THE SOIL.
The worldwide system known as organic farming UNIVERSALLY acknowledges the central nature of life-giving soil to organic. Importantly, this world view includes provisions which REQUIRE soil stewardship in the landmark Organic Food Production Act (OFPA) of 1990, the Federal law which regulates organic in the USA.
Unfortunately, captive Federal agency USDA conducts business as an outlaw operating under corporate control. Shamefully, USDA has been turning a blind eye to OFPA's soil REQUIREMENTS in a cynical and calculated ruse to place the self-serving interests of Industrial Ag above the law and the public good.
The blitzkrieg invasion of organic by fake soil-less Corporate Hydroponic operations is beng fueled by hundreds of million dollars of Wall Street investments. Their fraudulent and illegal misuse of the word "organic" represents an existential threat to honest organic family farmers and therefore to families wanting continued access to real organic food.
Alison Rose Levy penned this excellent report for 'Truthout.' Caleb, Megan & Jim

“'Organic food is about an entire ecosystem: taking care of the soil, recharging nutrients with crop rotation, [and] providing for natural pollinators and pest control. It is a way for farming, which can often be ecologically destructive, to work with the planet,' writes Dan Nosowitz at Modern Farmer. 'Massive hydroponic and container operations like Driscoll’s do not do that: They are willfully separate from the environment.'"

Hydroponically Grown Produce Threatens Real Organic Agriculture

Calling food grown without soil-based nutrients "organic" amounts to fraud, say organic farmers.


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Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace

NEW UNITED NATIONS ASSESSMENT PAINTS A DIRE PICTURE OF MASSIVE HUMAN-CAUSED DECLINES IN BIODIVERSITY AND RESULTING DANGERS TO HUMAN CIVILIZATION. A sobering thirty-nine-page Summary was released in Paris yesterday.
The full 1500 page report "compiled by hundreds of international experts and based on thousands of scientific studies" – the most extensive work of its kind ever produced – will be released later this year.
The grim assessment makes clear that human wellness and economy are interconnected with the natural-world-declines we are causing. The impacts upon humans promise to be mighty. Jim

"Humans are transforming Earth’s natural landscapes so dramatically that as many as one million plant and animal species are now at risk of extinction, posing a dire threat to ecosystems that people all over the world depend on for their survival, a sweeping new United Nations assessment has concluded…

"Its conclusions are stark. In most major land habitats, from the savannas of Africa to the rain forests of South America, the average abundance of native plant and animal life has fallen by 20 percent or more, mainly over the past century. With the human population passing 7 billion, activities like farming, logging, poaching, fishing and mining are altering the natural world at a rate 'unprecedented in human history'…

"The report is not the first to paint a grim portrait of Earth’s ecosystems. But it goes further by detailing how closely human well-being is intertwined with the fate of other species.

"'For a long time, people just thought of biodiversity as saving nature for its own sake,' said Robert Watson, chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, which conducted the assessment at the request of national governments. 'But this report makes clear the links between biodiversity and nature and things like food security and clean water in both rich and poor countries.'"

Humans Are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace

A dire United Nations report, based on thousands of scientific studies, paints an urgent picture of biodiversity loss and finds that climate change is amplifying the danger to humanity.


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