Tag Archives: op-ed

The Farmer and the Bill

O’bummer Obama

On March 26th , despite a petition signed by 250K Americans calling for President Obama to veto the Senate & House approved bill known as the Farmer’s Assurance Act, the bill was signed into law. Buried 78 pages within the much larger HR 933 bill, a bill predominantly focused on homeland security and defense, section 735 came along for the ride, and this is one government-stamped, hitchhiker Americans should fear as much as their politicians. The text of the bill is available here: 933/text.

thumbs down

First things first. Let’s call the Act for what it is: the Monsanto Protection Act, because this rider isn’t about assuring farmers as much as protecting the behemoth biotech corporation from litigation. That’s right. Our federal courts are now powerless to halt the sale & continued planting of GMO crops should these Franken-seeds prove to present health hazards to the populace, and there’s certain to be many related health hazards, if the initial findings on laboratory animals are any indication. Rats and mammals forced to consume these seeds have developed cancer, sterility, and seizures, while a goodly portion have suffered miscarriages and death—a consequence the government has evidently come to terms with, and we should to.

lab rats

The makers of the pesticide Round-Up, the Monsanto Group used to make DDT & Agent Orange among other poisons, and is currently best known for wanting to control the world food supply! In a nutshell, or better said, in a seed hull, since they already control an obscene percentage of the crops produced in the US. From soya, canola, and wheat–to cotton, corn, sugar beets & alfalfa, none of these crops have passed USDA muster, interestingly enough, even though almost any food that contains corn syrup contains syrup derived from Monsanto corn. Almost any product containing oil contains oil derived from Monsanto soya, canola or cottonseed, and not just a little, either. 100% of that vegetable oil you’re using is GMO oil, while an enormous array of other products are subject to “stealth appearances” from GMO’s, as well. From processed foods & baked goods, to fresh vegetables & fruits, to second-hand GMO’s contained in animal proteins harvested from livestock raised on GMO crops, the Franken-seed is everywhere.


The why of this boat seemed to have sailed. Why did President Obama sign this horrendous bill? (cha-ching!) Why do monoculture crops dominate the American farming industry? (cha-ching!) There is no greater yield, no higher profit to farmers (rabbit ears) but there’s certainly a greater need for systemic pesticides to contain the pests that set up camp in such crops. Literal camp, since the bugs can count on the same cover, the same food, and the same conditions in a monoculture, and who doesn’t like a little quality control in their living conditions? Why, it’s the American ideal, but this picket fence is guarding the wrong people! It takes only a new strain of pest to which the crop is vulnerable to be introduced for the entire harvest to be plagued, as the genetic diversity in monocultures is pretty much non-existent. (so that’s what mono means!) One goes down for the count, they all do, but at least the soil becomes more fortified by the planting and re-planting of the same seed…right?

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Wrong! Monsanto even puts the squeeze on dirt, since using the same soil for the same crop year after year after profit-making year leads to plant pathogens and diseases. Basically, if bugs don’t blight the plants, the standardization of the monoculture will–by way of poor, plant health–and since repeated use of pesticides will result in the soil becoming resistant to those pesticides, still more and stronger insect and weed killers are sure to be needed. Good thing Monsanto makes pesticides, eh? Eh? Good for their bottom line, but not so much the farmer’s, and our poor health can only benefit another corrupt system in America: its health care.

montsanto cycle


Obama signed it, and Republican Roy Blunt worked with top brass at Monsanto to craft the rider in language this side of gibberish, but the public had its apathetic hand in it, too. We have to demand action from our congressmen and women before it’s too late—we have to get out there and inform ourselves—we need to vote! Had California Prop #37 passed last November, Monsanto would have been compelled to at least label the Franken-food flooding our grocery stores since the mid 90’s, but it was defeated, and not surprisingly. I can’t tell you how many produce sellers I talked to at both farmer’s markets and grocery stores that had no idea what the proposition referenced.


To sum it up from a consumer’s perspective, I advise you buy organic while you still can, before bird-poop & wind-driven seeds contaminate all the world’s crops, or relocate to any of the myriad European countries that have banned the production of Monsanto crops outright, or strictly regulated them. And hey. Get out a vote next time, America. That is to say…if you’re feeling well enough.

Gym Dandy

Well what a weekend. As promo’ed, I descended on Spectrum gym like a lithe leprechaun in search of workout gold, and since this gym did business as Gold’s gym for so many moons—and I did so many moons of exercise there–it wasn’t surprising to find a few nuggets of Golden Gluts Goodness left for me to mine.

pull up

It all started with a trek up Machu Picchu. At least that’s what I dubbed the extreme Stairmasters that have upstaged—or upstaired—their clunky brethren of yore in Spectrum’s spacious & varied cardio area.

Stairway to...? You decide!

Stairway to: /————-/ fill in the blank!

I own such a stepper, so I know whereof I speak. These newer versions of elliptical hell spanked their bro’s soundly. Bro code notwithstanding, and all if, ands & butts about it.

interesting native dress

interesting native dress

By virtue of escalator type stairs rather than foot pedals, the machine compelled me to pick up each foot completely from the steps as they cascaded toward me at a pre-determined rate. As if that helped. It was a lot different than the see-sawing motion I usually adopt on Stairmasters, a mutation of intended muscle movement that was absolutely off the table with these rolling bad boys.

Have a nice trip? See you next fall!

Am I there yet!?


Wikimedia Commons: Macchu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Cusco in Peru, Martin St-Amant (S23678)

And while this chicken trip-trip-tripped on them as often as Billy Goat Scuff on Saturday, by Sunday I was an old hand. An old foot, I suppose, though no nearer the Mayans fabled ruins than the day before, and while I’d fully intended to catch a class—if one had been running nearby—I ended up free-styling my visits as was my previous wont.

these look familiar...

these look familiar…

Note the nominal weight...

Note the nominal weight…

Plenty of class-purtunities tomorrow, or at GVAC, the gym I’ll visit next weekend (and by next weekend I mean thereabouts) so I felt none too guilty about focusing on weight training and Nautilus machines for the balance of both these trips. Mainly because employing the refrigerator door as a way to work my lateral obliques isn’t optimum, and besides. Even with the icebox option, I have no “ab rippers” or “butt pulverizers” or “thigh-po-section suctionators” like Spectrum featured. Why, they even had a machine that measured my weight and BMI in alien caloric units. Just look!

BMI use copy

I’m a virtual waif! A stiff breeze would knock me over with a feather, but not my determination. You can’t measure that in pounds, and if you want to keep losing a few of yours, keep an eye out—and an arm curled—for the next installment in the Gym-a-palooza series. It’s listed as a sub-cat of the Santa Barbara Beautiful category. Until then, I advise you to ice it, wrap it, put it up, & stay off of it.

Spectrum Amenities: Spacious locker rooms, walk-in showers/rainstorms, full toiletries & sauna, complimentary pots of gold, lounge area, child-care, pixie dust & muscle building supplements, private trainers, leprechauns & full range of aerobic, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, tulip tippy-toeing, Zumba & spinning classes. Nautilus and cardio machines as noted above, though no Rainbow Bridge.

Spectrum Locations (SB)

3908 State St
Santa Barbara
(805) 563-8700

21 W Carrillo St
Santa Barbara
(805) 965-0999


Spectrum 3 Day Guest Pass



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