Friday, September 20, 2013

crossing borders project: Poverty, Homelessness, Food Stamps and the Middle Class

crossing borders project: Poverty, Homelessness, Food Stamps and the Middle Class

The house just passed a cut of $38 billion in the food stamp program.  Read some facts about the program and poverty.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Letter to Chuck Todd

In response to Chuck Todd's statement that "It is not his job to point out Republican Lies" regarding Obama Care and the Republican stance. 

 I say really? Is not journalisms responsibility to report the facts and the truth as we investigate them, check them, double fact check and then report those truths to the public and allow THEM to make their own decisions?

 Here is what happened: MSNBC host Chuck Todd said Wednesday that when it comes to misinformation about the new federal health care law, don't expect members of the media to correct the record.

During a segment on "Morning Joe," former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) speculated that most opponents of the Affordable Care Act have been fed erroneous information about the law. Todd said that Republicans "have successfully messaged against it" but he disagrees with those who argue that the media should educate the public on the law. According to Todd, that's President Barack Obama's job. "But more importantly, it would be stuff that Republicans have successfully messaged against it," Todd told Rendell. "They don't repeat the other stuff because they haven't even heard the Democratic message. What I always love is people say, 'Well, it's you folks' fault in the media.' No, it's the President of the United States' fault for not selling it." Chuck Todd is the chief White House Correspondent for NBC News who is viewed by millions of Americans. Yes, Chuck you do have a responsibility for the American public along with your six figure income.

Here is my letter to Chuck:
Dear Mr. Todd,

I have been a reporter for over ten years all over the world.  I am a member of the NPPA and I adhere to sound ethical reporting, proudly.  It is my responsibility to tell the story, the facts from all sides and to allow the readers to make decisions and judgements on their own.  Without those facts, the public is being misled and that is not good journalism.  It denies the public to take a stand on where they feel it is needed, it denies the public true democracy and it misrepresents realities that could very well affect the very lives of many people or a population.

Shame on you negating the ethics of journalism to the American public and all other journalist who work hard to investigate and report top and compelling news to the world.  Shame on you for downgrading journalists responsibility for accountability to thousands of journalism students who look up to people like and and want to be in your shoes one day.  Your statement that it is not your job to point out Republican lies about Obama Care is like saying that there are weapons of mass destruction without ever fact checking before you help to start a war.

Yes, it is your responsibility.  You offer a service and your service is to the American public to report the facts and to point out untruths.  Are you telling journalism students that it is okay to be lazy and unethical in your job?  Are you teaching the future journalist that it is okay to take a majority stance on issues that may even cause millions of people to suffer and to bend under corporate pressure?

That is not true journalism and I am ashamed.  You are not helping your colleagues to gain "trust" to gather stories and in the readership.  These type of comments does not make my job any easier and I say thank you.

You have a greater responsibility than I do, to have integrity in your reporting because so many eyes are on you and on what you say and report.  Society depends on reliable journalism to gather information regarding important issues.  Even the facts on Obama Care where millions of people have the need to be informed.  It is not a case of Republican or Democrat, it is a place of journalism...plain and simple.

Did you loose sight of this?  I wonder and I am mad.
I am not in your position to tell the world what is and what is not although I would like to be and earn your six figure income.  

Did you forget ethical journalism because you got caught up in the power?
I am ashamed and you are making journalism shameful.

Susan Brannon

Write you own letter to Chuck voicing your concern for lazy journalism here is his email:

his twitter: @chucktodd


Monday, September 16, 2013

Stop Monsanto Protection Act..Again; Call Congress ACTION

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives decided to introduce the same language for the Continuing Resolution spending bill (H.J.RES.59) that contained the Monsanto Protection Act that Congress passed last spring.

This past March, Monsanto succeeded in sneaking the controversial rider into a must pass spending bill, which is set to expire onSeptember 30th. But now, with the new continuing resolution, the Monsanto Protection Act would be extended for 3 additional months!
The Monsanto Protection Act undermines the basic concept of judicial review and forces the USDA to allow the planting of untested GMO crops even if a federal court ruled that the USDA had not properly considered the environmental or economic risks these new crops pose to family farmers.

If allowed to pass again, this new provision would undermine agency oversight and this dangerous provision could eventually become permanent, allowing Monsanto to succeed in stripping judges of their constitutional mandate to protect consumer rights and the environment, while opening up the floodgates for the planting of new untested GMO crops.

Is Congress Trying to Kill GMO Labeling?

Even worse, right now Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI) is working behind the scenes to introduce a bill that would kill state GMO labeling efforts by preempting it with a bill that would place GMO labeling under federal authority, circumventing successful citizen led efforts in Maine and Connecticut and trying to invalidate the ballot initiative in Washington state before it even passes.

We need your voice today more than ever to stop Monsanto’s shenanigans in Congress!

Click here to make a call to Congress to tell them to vote no on the continuing resolution if it contains any protections for Monsanto or undermines state’s rights to label genetically engineered foods!

Even now as we are close to winning, Monsanto, DuPont and the biotech seed and chemical giants are working desperately behind the scenes to thwart our efforts.

While the previous Continuing Resolution that was passed this March is set to expire onSeptember 30th, Roll Call reported this week that House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, (R-KY) has introduced the short-term Continuing Resolution, with the exact same language as last time, which could be voted on as early as next week.

While members of the House are desperate to pitch this new continuing resolution as a “responsible” effort to pass a temporary budget to avoid a shutdown of the federal government, Monsanto and the biotech industry are using it as another opportunity to corrupt our basic democrat rights and protect their bottom line.

Last spring Food Democracy Now! members exposed the initial Monsanto Protection Act to the world when more than 300,000 of us stood up and demanded an end to the special interests handouts to Monsanto and the biotech seed and chemical giants.

Right now, we are once again calling on you and your friends and family to stand with us again to help expose this corruption of our basic democratic process once again!

Monsanto’s days are numbered and they know it! This year, you helped passed GMO labeling bills in Connecticut and Maine and right now we’re working hard with our allies to help win a citizen led ballot initiative in Washington state that would mandate labeling of genetically engineered foods.

Unfortunately, Monsanto, DuPont and the largest junk food companies in the world are determined to try to steal our basic democratic rights to protect their corrupt corporate profits. Just this week Monsanto dumped $4.5 million to defeat our efforts to win Yes on 522 and GMO labeling in Washington state while DuPont dropped $3.4 million. 

Right now is the critical window where we need to stand together to stop Monsanto and these corrupt corporations from trying to betray our basic democratic rights once again.

Please stand with us to help stop Monsanto, DuPont and the biotech seed and chemical companies from corrupting our laws and democratic process.
Remember, democracy is like a muscle, either you use it or you lose it!