Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My letter to the Texas Water Development Board

La Familia swimming Jacobs Well
Mi familia swimming in Jacob's Well on the occasion of my 50th birthday shindig a couple of years ago...

My letter re: this, to these gentlemen...asking them to repeal the recent decision by the Groundwater Management Area No. 09 [GMA-9] to establish a Desired Future Condition [DFC] wherein the Hays-Trinity Aquifer can be drawn down by thirty (30) feet over the next 50 years.

This action will likely dry up our beloved Jacob's Well, which feeds Cypress Creek, thence into the Blanco River. We're in an "Alarm" Stage drought condition here in the Texas Hill Country - and the economic interests of the few seem to be held higher than the water supply interests of the many...

I have also read recently that given current growth trends, we are on track to actually dry up Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin and the Colorado River over the next 50 years...

2012 02 29 Alex Long Letter to the Texas Water Development Board

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cortometraggio "Milonga" di Marco Calvise

This just excellent (Italian) short film... a find by my tango field operative Rigoberto Ruiszhik...uploaded just the other day...

Enjoy. It's a good'un. Thanks go out to Rigoberto.

Uploaded by carcasstube on Feb 13, 2012
*Capalbio Cinema International 2011 -- Capalbio(GR)
"Best Director Award"

*Settimo Senso 2011 -- Festival del cinema di Scafa -- Scafa(PE)
"Premio come miglior Corto"

*III Movieclub Film Festival 2011 -- Palestrina(RM)
"Premio come miglior regia"

*Fiati Corti 12 -- Istrana(TV)
"Premio miglior interprete"

*5° Festival Internazionale del Cinema dell'Aquila - L'Aquila
"Miglior Cortometraggio"(cat.Abruzzo)

*6° Festival Cinematografico Cinema & Ciociaria premio "Nino Manfredi" - Frosinone(FR)
"2° Classificato miglior cortometraggio"

Festival di cinema.
Selezione ufficiale:
*TFF - Torino Film Festival 2010 -- Torino
*Bif&st -- Bari International Film & Tv Festival 2011 - Bari
*Cortinametraggio 2011 -- Cortina d'Ampezzo(BL)(fuori concorso)
*A Corto D'Idee 2011 -- Ravello(SA)
*Figari Film Fest 2011 -- Golfo Aranci(OT)
*Trani Film Festival 2011 - Trani(BA)(fuori concorso)
*XIII VideoLab Film Festival 2011 -- Vittoria(RG)
*Premio cinematografico Palena 2011 -- Palena(CH)

Festival Di Tango:
*I Montalbano Tango Festival 2011 - Montalbano Elicona(ME)
*I Bari International Tango Congress -- Bari
*IX Tano Tango Festival -- Napoli
*VI Choco Tango Festival - Perugia

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My letter to the President this morning...

White House
Thanks to Nello Latini for sharing his photo of the White House on flickr!

Dear Mr. President,

Over the past week or so, there has been a great deal of chatter on Facebook about Monsanto, GMO's and Whole Foods.

The entire issue is very confusing and complex, and it's difficult to get at what's actually going on with regard to government regulation of GMO's and biotech companies like Monsanto, Dow, Dupont, Syngenta, et al.

My concern is that unregulated and unsupervised, these companies are potentially harming the environment, the balance of ecosystems, our food supply, and ultimately the health of humans, domestic animals and wildlife. Because of the unknown implications/ramifications of this research and technology (much of which is apparently already being implemented into widespread use) - I feel that a danger exists to all flora and fauna and the ecosystems of the entire planet.

We have many, many very grave issues before us, and I appreciate the monumental job you have before you. When everything on the to-do list is of the highest priority - well, I do feel for the huge responsibilities you face.

If you could point me to an agency website, or if a staffer could fill me in on this (very broad) topic as far as your administration is concerned - your specific policy towards GMO's - and your specific regulatory approvals and other actions within the USDA and possibly other departments (such as the EPA), I would appreciate it.

I'm also concerned about Tom Vilsack's close ties to Monsanto and the biotech industry.

It also appears that several former Monsanto executives/employees have been appointed/hired to key positions within the USDA. Not to question your judgement in this matter, but this smacks of, well, the old "inside the beltway" of doing things.

I would like a specific response to your reasoning behind appointing industry insiders to key positions within your administration - where these individuals may be inclined to steer policy in favor of their former employer/industry, in lieu of steering policy/regulations in a direction that provides the maximum benefit for "We The People" and the (hopefully) wholesome ecosystems we all depend on for healthy life and sustenance.

For reference, here are the two articles that I read on Facebook this morning that prompted this letter to you.

A story that appears to get at the heart of the Whole Foods/Monstato/GMO/USDA matter:

and from a year ago, an ABC news story about the deregulation of GMO alfalfa:

Thank you for your time, and keep up the good work. But, and there always is a but, you can do better.

Sincerely yours,

Alex T. Fuego
Driftwood, Texas

(I'll let y'all know when I receive a response...)

Follow up...

Here are two more really good articles from mi amigo Colby:

"Did Whole Foods Sell Out to Monsanto? The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto: Now What?"


"19 Studies Link GMO Foods to Organ Disruption"

And lastly, the link to write to the President, your Senators, and Representatives...and State Governors and State Legislators as well...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Islands at Risk - Genetic Engineering in Hawai'i :: Monsanto Playing God?

Taro Fields
Photo by Peter Adams on Flickr...

I would offer that it's not just Hawai'i that's at's the entire planet, and us along with it.

"We cannot ignore the moral and ethical ramifications of combining species at the molecular level..."

"...(genetic engineering is) crossing sacred seems unholy...."

Bio-piracy: Multinational corporations (Monsanto, Dow, Dupont, Syngenta) bought up virtually all seed companies in the 1990's, and with the assistance of the Federal and State governments, and aligning Public Universities to help with additional research (some might say "converting them into their own private laboratories), and conducting genetic engineering research, that is eventually patented and thereby becomes private (corporate) property owned by a few individuals.

"...the end of bio-diversity?..."

"...the vast majority of industrialized nations have banned GMO's (genetically modified organisms) completely...the small papaya farming industry in Hawai'i is dying because Japan, their major market, does not allow the import of GMO's...but not the United States...we are leading the research and development of GMO's..."

Hawaii has more experimental field trials of genetic engineering than any other state in the nation. Just a few of the many examples of permits granted for field trials include:

Corn engineered with human genes (Dow)
Sugarcane engineered with human genes (Hawai‘i Agriculture Research Center)
Corn engineered with jellyfish genes (Stanford University)
Tobacco engineered with lettuce genes (University of Hawai‘i)
Rice engineered with human genes (Applied Phytologics)
Corn engineered with hepatitis virus genes (Prodigene)

I have a bad feeling about all this.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Related Info:

The Global Spread of GMO Crops
Inherit the Wind


Hawaii Seed :: GMO Info

Union of Concerned Scientists :: Food & Agriculture

NPR's "On Being" :: Joanna Macy "A Wild Love for the World"

Joanna Macy - The Great Turning: The Great Turning is a name for the essential adventure of our time: the shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization.

Here is an interesting graphic showing ex-Monsanto employees who are now employed by WeThePeople in positions that in theory they can guide Federal policy to the benefit of Monsanto - or worse - basically corporate spies reporting back to Monsanto. Note that Flickr is blocking me from sharing the image...basically lobbying from within...

Our system is broken...