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I went to the community meeting a few days ago. Around 25 people there, listening to two guests around a community bill of rights, for Lane County (Oregon). You know, the people, citizens, having the say on who and what can come into their communities.

‘…A say in what can and cannot be sprayed on their food, land, bodies, water, soil….’

I’ve done this before, and I’ll cut and paste an older old piece below, from Spokane on that town’s community rights.

But first, the angst:

Infanticide, first, in Gaza. Hell on Earth, not because this hasn’t happened before in history, but because we are here now, 2023, with Telegram and instant videos. We are supposedly ruled by the Chosen People of Israel and the Blinken-Nuland-Yellen-Garland-Kagan-Dirty-Hellion-Bargain.

Those dirty White House Thugs look like cancerous Homo Bellum. Rotting faces, slag for eyes, like a George Soros or Larry Fink or Larry Summers.

HELL on earth.

Oh, the Monster, the Oppen-Monster-Heimer:

“If we’d lost the war, we’d all have been prosecuted as war criminals.” So said Curtis LeMay after America obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki with two atomic bombs in August 1945.

The mushroom cloud after the bombing of Nagasaki on 09 August 1945, killing more than 73,000 people.

For sure, there has been great difficulty in estimating the total casualties in the Japanese cities as a result of the atomic bombing. The extensive destruction of civil installations (hospitals, fire and police department, and government agencies) the state of utter confusion immediately following the explosion, as well as the uncertainty regarding the actual population before the bombing, contribute to the difficulty of making estimates of casualties. The Japanese periodic censuses are not complete. Finally, the great fires that raged in each city totally consumed many bodies.

The number of total casualties has been estimated at various times since the bombings with wide discrepancies.

The Manhattan Engineer District’s best available figures are:

TABLE A: Estimates of Casualties

Hiroshima ………………………….  Nagasaki

(Pre-raid pop.): 255,000 ……….  195,000

Dead: 66,000 ……………………..    39,000

Injured: 69,000 ……………….      25,000

Total Casualties: 135,000 …..   64,000

Hydrogen bombs, or just plain old Greek Fire!

Katsumoto Saotome at his home in Tokyo with his hachimaki headband from World War II. He worked at a factory to support the war when he was 12. He and other students sometimes wore the headbands on their way to work.

Fire, whether from Jewish Whiskey Pete (white phosphorus) or U$A napalm, it kills kills civilians.

Katsumoto Saotome, 87, came to the door of his home in the outer reaches of Tokyo wearing a herringbone blazer, a black wool scarf tucked neatly into a vest and a black beret that he reckons makes him look like Che Guevara, the guerrilla leader in the Cuban Revolution. Saotome has practiced radicalism of a much quieter kind, insisting on preserving memories that many may prefer to forget.

Seventy-eight years ago, less than 10 miles from where he now lives alone in a low-lying neighborhood known for its moderate rents, Saotome (pronounced SAH-oh-toe-meh) survived the brutally effective American firebombing of Tokyo. Over the course of nearly three hours, an attack by the United States Army Air Forces killed as many as 100,000 people — more than some estimates of the number killed the day of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. But while the Japanese public — and the world — rightly remember Hiroshima as a living symbol of the horrors of nuclear war, the Tokyo firebombing is generally regarded as a footnote in any accounting of the war in Japan.

An aerial view of Tokyo after the March 10 bombing.

*****

I am sick to my stomach, but I soldier on: because the corporations, their lawyers, their hitmen, their PR spinners, their pimped-out politicians and lawmakers, all the Eichmann’s and Faustian Bargain Basement Mother Fuckers, they kill us with 10,000,000 cuts daily. We are firebombed by their sanctions, rules, fines, tickets, evictions, eminent domain, fees, taxes, interest rates, non-disclosure agreements, contracts, code enforcements, bust, arrests, bonds, bails, foreclosures.

Read closely how death is measured deploying better cancerous living through chemistry (outside of the implosions in Gaza).

Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Later Life

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), one of the most common chronic metabolic diseases, involves a complex interaction among genetic, epigenetic, and environmental risk factors. The incidence and prevalence of T2DM are rapidly increasing globally. In recent years, increasing body of evidences from both human and animal studies have displayed an association between exposure to early unfavorable life factors such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and the prevalence of T2DM in later life. The exogenous EDCs can lead to disadvantageous metabolic consequences because they interfere with the synthesis, secretion, transport, binding, action, and metabolism of endogenous hormones. EDCs also have long-term adverse effects on newborns, children, and adolescents by causing increased susceptibility to T2DM in adults. This review summarizes the most recent advances in this field, including diabetes-related EDCs (bisphenol A, phthalates, chlordane compounds, parabens, pesticides, and other diabetes-related EDCs), EDC exposure and gestational diabetes mellitus, prenatal and perinatal EDC exposures and T2DM, adult EDC exposure and T2DM, transgenerational effects of EDCs on T2DM as well as the possible diabetogenic mechanisms.

So in my tiny neck of the woods, where a Danish guy with 260 acres which he just clear-cut, is shooting for helicopter spraying of poison on the land so the weeds go bye-bye and the Scotch Broom, et al go bye-bye. And the timber industry lies, gets tax abatements, and has a propaganda wing here paid for by Oregon taxpayers!

But lets talk about another part of the world: For the past couple of decades, tens of thousands of people living in rural Sri Lanka have been devastated by kidney failure due to unclear causes, also known as CKDu. Similar incidences of mysterious kidney diseases have emerged in tropical farming communities around the world.

A massive field study of the wells supplying drinking water to the Sri Lankan communities, conducted by researchers at Duke University, has identified a possible culprit — glyphosate, the active compound in Roundup, the most widely used herbicide in the world. (source)

It’s global, the instant death and slow death and disease by 10,000,000 cuts, as Gaza burns and the UkroNazi’s burn burn burn.

Chronic fucking disease: Glyphosate, Hard Water and Nephrotoxic Metals: Are They the Culprits Behind the Epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology in Sri Lanka?

Seneca Lumber Company aerial spraying chemicals on their clearcut. Mist is sprayed out from a white helicopter over a brown clearcut hillside.

Progress has been made in recent years, but much remains to be done. Here are some examples of incremental advances in the fight to end herbicide use in Oregon forestry under the recent Private Forest Accord:

  • In early 2022, the EPA banned use of chlorpyrifos on food and feed crops, and starting Jan. 1, 2024, new Oregon Department of Agriculture rules will disallow most uses of the insecticide, including spraying on forestlands.
  • In 2020, then-Governor Kate Brown helped catalyze the Private Forest Accord between some environmental groups and the timber industry. Later that year, that negotiation resulted in the Oregon Legislature passing Senate Bill 1602, which increased buffers for streams and improved the system for electronic reporting and notification of neighbors within a mile of areas to be sprayed by helicopters.

But those new rules did not require any reductions in the frequency or amounts of pesticides sprayed. Environmentalists and impacted communities want the practice significantly reduced or banned altogether, and the Oregon Chapter Sierra Club will continue to work for that change. (source)

*****

More slogging on. Here, before the actual piece on the community meeting I attended here in Waldport, Oregon, my piece a long time ago about community bill of rights movement in Spokane when I had one of a dozen gigs surviving:

The right to community

Envisioning a new Spokane puts ‘business as usual’ on chopping block

Local farmer Brian Estes, foreground, stands with Kai Huschke, campaign director of Envision Spokane and leader of Proposition 1 at Estes' Vinegar Flats garden. (Paul K. Haeder / Down to Earth NW Correspodent)

[Photo: Local farmer Brian Estes, foreground, stands with Kai Huschke, campaign director of Envision Spokane and leader of Proposition 1 at Estes’ Vinegar Flats garden. (Paul K. Haeder / Down to Earth NW Correspodent)]

Here’s one credo that scares guys like Frank Schaeffer, son of evangelist Francis Schaeffer and author of “Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back.”

“God’s Word gives women respect and respectability which they had never enjoyed in any other culture, and we must do what we can to preserve biblical standards. But it establishes the man as the head of the house.”

Now replace the word “man” with “corporation” and you have what amounts to what many in the world – not just the U.S. – see as the dictum of the 21st century: Corporations are the head of our house.

Many are fighting back this imbalance of power and justice, including grassroots groups. Via Campesino, the Transition Cities movements, even foodies are fighting the corporate “infection” to preserve rights to safe, non-genetically modified, animal-cruelty free food.

One local impetus to give people more say in how neighborhoods form and evolve is on Spokane’s November ballot. Envision Spokane, which gained 25 percent of the yea votes in 2010, is returning.

Kai Huschke, campaign director of Envision Spokane and leader of Proposition 1, cites several past movements in the U.S. to gain citizen rights – like abolishing slavery and giving full citizenship to people of color. He references a quote from Abigail Adams, urging her husband John in 1776 to treat women as equals in the Declaration of Independence:

“We are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”

A second quote,

“I saw clearly that the power to make the laws was the right through which all other rights could be secured” came in 1884 when 32-year-old Elizabeth Cady Stanton – joined by Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth – spoke at a women’s rally to gain the constitutional right to vote.

Huschke compares U.S. women getting the vote in 1920 after dozens of defeats to the heavy lifting he and his supporters must do to get a community bill of rights approved.

“Many would say that what we have today is a corporate state,” Huschke said. “Living within the corporate state there are no remedies to protecting safety, health, and welfare of communities. Adopting amendments to the Spokane’s home rule charter puts in place remedies to protect and nourish neighborhoods, river and workplaces. These amendments acknowledge our protections and that the power is with the people where it comes to significant impacts to neighborhoods and river.”

The 10 amendments to the 2009 bill of rights were defeated, Huschke said, by corporate bucks to the tune of $400,000 from Spokane Home Builder’s Association, Associated Builders and Contractors and other unlimited pro-growth groups.

Recently, the local GOP’s executive committee voted to oppose the 2011 proposition. That doesn’t faze Kai.

“The rhetoric will get turned up as the powerful, monied interests make claims about property rights being under attack and costs if the Community Bill of Rights is adopted. The same stuff was said in 2009,” he said.

“I’ve talked to people who voted against it in 2009, who said once they took the time to read it they would’ve voted yes. If I have to ask anything of Spokane voters, it’s to cover your ears and read what’s being proposed.”

When you have the Greater Spokane Incorporated throwing weight and money behind an anti-Community Bill of Rights movement, it’s easy to see the greater good.

“Spokane is long overdue in recognizing the value of our neighborhoods, our river, and workplaces,” Kai said. “We have a golden opportunity to show how to build a sustainable community. By honoring and protecting our assets we put ourselves in a position advocating for health and welfare over profit for profit sake, that other communities aren’t even close to considering.”

The history of communities gaining power back from outside agitators, carpetbaggers or corporate conglomerates is tied to public health and safety, centered around bad corporate behavior like factory farms’ waste ponds causing human and animal health issues; coal companies’ slurry lakes leaking millions of gallons of waste into rivers; quarry works that foul water; or energy companies that pollute the air along the Houston to Baton Rouge corridor where asthma and cancers are sky-high, according to CDC studies.

A community movement similar to Envision Spokane recently rose up against the energy lobby to put brakes on exploitation of shale deposits. The process known as hydraulic fracturing to get at natural gas fouls the water and has been implicated in earthquakes. Arkansas has temporarily stopped this process.

The Spokane Community Bill of Rights has its roots in a larger, more holistic frame – the Rights of Nature, something that sticks in the craws of GOP party loyalists, Chambers of Commerce and business interests.

Bolivia’s Law of the Rights of Mother Earth was enacted by President Evo Morales January 2011. It addresses that country’s natural resources as “blessings” and grants Earth rights to life, water and clean air; the right to repair livelihoods affected by human activities; and the right to be free from pollution.

Bolivia has established a Ministry of Mother Earth, a sort of global ombudsman whose job is to listen to nature’s complaints voiced by activists and others, including the state.

“If you want to have balance, and you think that the only (entities) with rights are humans or companies, how can you reach balance?” says Pablo Salon, Bolivia’s ambassador to the U.N. “But if you recognize nature has rights, and (if you provide) legal forums to protect and preserve those rights, you can achieve balance.”

Kai understands the power of people bicycling safely in Spokane with engineering and land use changes guided by citizens. He sees the power of community gardens and programs like Riverfront Farm putting disadvantaged youth to work in farming and landscaping experiential learning experiences. He sees corporations destroying community-based tools to fight their shock doctrine of financial wizards, disturbances created by climate change, or volatility of food and energy.

Communities under the current regulatory system are poorly suited to manage under the current political system, Kai insists. It’s clear that even presidential aspirants like Mitt Romney can end up tongue-tied when a citizen at a rally asked about the power and rights of corporations: “Corporations are people, my friends.”

For Envision Spokane’s backers this line of logic is a slap in the face of our own bill of rights and democratic institutions tied to a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Kai said this effort is a vital one.

“The assault on public workers from corporate interests has been daunting. There is no reason not to believe that this attack won’t carry into the private sector. In the spring the Spokane City Council passed a resolution supporting collective bargaining for city employees. The Community Bill of Rights would protect that right with binding law for all unionized city workers. There is a power grab happening across the country, and Spokane needs to make sure it protects its workers.”

Kai Huschke is building a straw bale house in the Vinegar Flats area near the Vinegar Flats community garden area. (Paul K. Haeder / Down to Earth NW Correspondent)

Photo: Kai Huschke is building a straw bale house in the Vinegar Flats area near the Vinegar Flats community garden area. (Paul K. Haeder / Down to Earth NW Correspondent)

(The previous column is the opinion of columnist Paul K. Haeder and doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinions of Down to EarthNW, The Spokesman-Review or the Cowles Company.)

*****

That was 2011!! Twelve fucking years ago. Today?

*****

Community Rights,  Agency Capture, Corporations as People?

I’m at the Waldport  Central Oregon Coast Fire and Rescue (10/15) with twenty-two other residents listening to Holman and David Tvedt  discuss the work of Lane County Community Rights.

It is a room full of gray-haired men and women, anxious to hear from these two gray panthers on their work to codify a bill of rights for Lane County citizens to write laws.

I’ve been in this rodeo before – El Paso, Seattle and  Spokane, where I covered the work of Envision Spokane, a bill that would’ve enshrined on voters the right o determine the community’s health, safety and welfare.

I was hosting a radio show focused on sustainability, social justice, and environmental stewardship. I had two regular news columns – in the weekly and a monthly magazine. I was sustainability coordinator for the community college.

It was a lot of work getting people out to participate in events around clean water, clean air, food,  transportation and ecosystems.

My biggest goal after codifying guest authors, film festivals, teach-ins, and Earth Day festivals was to get the so-called “younger generation” involved. It was somewhat easy since I taught at Gonzaga and SFCC, and had cohorts at Whitworth and WSU and Eastern Washington University.

Even so, I had to solicit help from local musicians, local restaurants, and merchants for entertainment, food, swill and swag.

Here, today, years later, I am in a room with older folk who are concerned to aerial spraying  of herbicides on a clear cut along Beaver Creek. Tvelt has been working on forest issues since 1970. His degree in forestry informs his fight to galvanize common sense into forest management and logging.

For many in the audience they learned about the value of forests– mixed species of trees, shrubs and even weeds – as a way to help with water flows.

Hard logging reduces water flow because organic matter, downed trees and other forest dynamics are eradicated by timber companies. Tvelt  recalled taking a chain saw on a four-foot downed log for a clearway on a path near Sweethome whereupon the cut produced “a full-blast flow of water . . . like a water spigot was turned on.” It lasted for two minutes.

Wells and springs are drying up in summers and in many cases year round. Pressure on watersheds can be located directly to the growth of human populations. Additionally, clear cutting and other heavy logging practices reduce the natural flow of things. This is not rocket science, and the memo on this was written decades ago.

The community meeting centered around spraying of chemicals. The News Times has run stories, letters to the editor and editorials debating acreage along Beaver Creek scheduled for helicopter herbicide application.

It’s no secret that our state’s timber industry’s practice of spraying herbicides — all of them dangerous to humans, fish and animals — has been highly controversial for decades. Studies show that up to 40 percent of the pesticides sprayed onto forestland by helicopters is blown off course from its targets (drift).

These toxic sprays — used by the timber industry to kill insects, weeds and vegetation in areas that have been clear cut — drift onto land on or near homes, farms, streams and lakes.

While many of the inert ingredients and specialized mixes are industry secrets, the main pesticides include triclopyr, chlorpyrifos, Diuron and 2,4-D (one of the so-called “Agent Orange” chemicals).

Study after study has show all of these singularly or synergistically are linked to diseases and health issues, including respiratory problems, liver and kidney damage, miscarriages, and cancer.

Regulating how much poison should be allowed in food, air and water is antithetical to Michele Holman’s ethos. She’s lived 47 years in the Coast Range, tossing out the activist script of going to the state capitol to beg for redress on any range of environmental concerns.

“I got tired of the retort, ‘It’s legal . . . well settled in law.’ Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s just.”

Agency capture, lobbying influence, campaign meddling/contributions, and propaganda on a massive scale work in favor of rich corporations, whether it is Boeing and planes or Weyerhaeuser and logging.

A recent push is for a community rights movement to catch like wildfire throughout the state. Protect Lane County Watersheds is spearheading the Rights of Nature law (supported by CELDF, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund) to protect drinking water and watersheds throughout the county.

The old adage, ‘you can’t fight city hall,’ has dangerously morphed into: “Corporations are considered people, so you can’t stop them from doing business as usual because they have equal rights . . .  and then some.”

I’ve been studying these chemicals for decades. Rosemary Mason from England is an amazing researcher who does on the ground work as well as collates hundreds of scientific field studies on that infamous weed killer used on clear-cut’s – glyphosate. You can read a journal article like this one, “The Effects of Clearcutting and Glyphosate Herbicide Use on Parasitic Wasps in Maine Forests.”

Or, a recent Duke University report, “Roundup Ingredient Connected to Epidemic Levels of Chronic Kidney Disease.” You can spend years digging through the science that never gets in front of mainstream media’s unwatchful eye.

Citizens involved in Stop the Spray at Beaver Creek are concerned for their health, as well as the health of children, grandchildren and the entire life web of our ecosystem.

Countless studies which are looking at pesticides and herbicides produce chilling findings: “For the past couple of decades, tens of thousands of people living in rural Sri Lanka have been devastated by kidney failure.”

This massive field study of the wells supplying drinking water to the Sri Lankan communities, conducted by researchers at Duke University, has identified a possible culprit — glyphosate.

When it’s in your backyard, the alarm goed off. Chilling: November 14 is World Diabetes Day. Here we go again, more reading: “Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Later Life.”

Community Rights Fight-State and Federal Preemption

“One of the first things an elected official does upon taking office is to swear an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. Unfortunately for local communities and the environment, the Commerce Clause, which gives Congress the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states …” is an integral part of that constitution. According to the Cornell School of Law, “Congress has often used the Commerce Clause to justify exercising legislative power over the activities of states and their citizens, leading to significant and ongoing controversy regarding the balance of power between the federal government and the states. The Commerce Clause has historically been viewed as both a grant of congressional authority and as a restriction on the regulatory authority of the States.”

Imploring Oregon Governor Kate Brown to say “NO” the aerial spraying or to Jordan Cove’s LNG project is literally asking her to violate her oath of office and assumes she has plenary authority (or the balls) to stand up to federal preemption. She does not.

The Community Doesn’t Have the Legal Authority to Say “No”!

The existing structure of law ensures that people are blocked from advancing their rights, governing their own communities and acting as stewards of the environment, while protecting corporate “rights” and interests over those of communities and nature.

Community Rights work is a paradigm shift. It moves away from unsustainable practices that harm communities by moving towards local self-government.

Today, policy-makers have told communities across the country that they don’t have the right to make critical decisions for themselves. They’re told they cannot say “no” to GMOs or aerial spraying. They’re told they cannot say “yes” to sustainable food or energy systems.

Through the Community Rights Movement, communities are working with CELDF to create a structure of law and government of the people, by the people, and for the people. That structure recognizes and protects the inalienable rights of natural and human communities.


This content originally appeared on Dissident Voice and was authored by Paul Haeder.

Citations

[1] Errol Morris: Film ➤ http://www.errolmorris.com/film/fow_transcript.html[2] Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Later Life | Exposure and Health ➤ https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12403-022-00486-0[3] Roundup Ingredient Connected to Epidemic Levels of Chronic Kidney Disease | Duke Pratt School of Engineering ➤ https://pratt.duke.edu/news/roundup-ingredient-connected-epidemic-levels-chronic-kidney-disease/[4] Glyphosate, Hard Water and Nephrotoxic Metals: Are They the Culprits Behind the Epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology in Sri Lanka? - PMC ➤ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945589/[5]https://www.oregon.gov/oda/programs/Pesticides/RegulatoryIssues/Documents/Documents/2020/ChlorpyrifosRule.pdf[6]https://www.oregon.gov/odf/board/Documents/laws-rules/changes-to-oregon-fpa-sb1602.pdf[7]https://www.sierraclub.org/oregon/blog/2023/02/aerial-spraying-still-spreading-poisons-oregon-forestlands