Tuesday, February 28, 2006

When Americans No Longer Own America

by Thom Hartmann
Common Dreams News Center

Monday, February 27, 2006

Defeat is Victory, Death is Life

By Robert Fisk
Common Dreams News Center
This piece originally appeared in The Independent.

Blogger's note:
Do not read the piece above if you have a weak stomach. It was over ten years ago when the United States watched in horror as thousands of civilians were slaughtered in Bosnia. People cried out that we could't just stand by as so many innocent people were suffering. As the world's only remaining superpower, we had a duty to intervene and prevent more bloodshed. But it was too late for most of Bosnia by the time NATO finally did intervene. Instead of preventing tragedy, the US caused more by bombing Serbia, supposedly to prevent the massacre of civilians. The US destroyed Iraq with bombs a decade later, this time without the convenience of an imminent threat of genocide. But the military-industrial complex and the press are now bosom buddies and there is no longer much truth reaching the American public. Ike's warning when he left office (and George Orwell's vision, as well) is being realized. As Robert Fisk writes, "myth-making and tragedy go hand in hand". The tragedies will continue to mount until Americans wake up and refuse to allow secrets to be kept, the truth to be silenced, and militarism to rule.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Florida's 2004 Presidential Vote Full of Errors, Group Says

by Brian Skoloff
Common Dreams News Center
This piece
was published on February 25, 2006, by the Associated Press.

Factory Farms Blamed for Spread of Bird Flu

by Geoffrey Lean
Common Dreams News Center
This piece originally appeared in The Independent.
See the full report from GRAIN.

Toxic Skin

"Chemicals have replaced bacteria and viruses as the main threat to health. The diseases we are beginning to see as the major causes of death in the latter part of (the 1900's) and into the 21st century are diseases of chemical origin."
--- Dr. Dick Irwin, Toxicologist, Texas A&M University

Thousands of chemicals are allowed for use in personal care products. Many are known to be hazardous while many others are untested. The main routes by which chemicals enter our bodies are through the skin (absorption), through the lungs (inhalation), and through the mouth (ingestion). This post concentrates on chemical exposure through the skin. The skin is a barrier to most substances but our bodies can be endangered by many toxic chemicals that are absorbed and circulated through the body.

According to Skin Deep, a 2004 study and ranking of 7500 cosmetic products published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), 100 percent of shampoos tested contained ingredients that have not been assessed for safety by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ninety-three percent of shampoos contain possibly harmful impurities linked to cancer or other health problems.

Europeans are somewhat better protected than we are in the United States. In September 2004, a European Union ruling went into effect banning hundreds of carcinogens and reproductive toxins from all personal care products sold in Europe, while the FDA has banned only nine chemicals in its 67-year history of monitoring cosmetics. In response to the EU ruling, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is urging companies to sign its Compact for Safe Cosmetics pledge to stop using dangerous chemicals in all countries. As of February 2006, more than 260 companies have signed.


Diethanolamine (DEA)
Diazolidinyl urea
DMDM hydantion
FD&C colors (artificial coal tar colors)
Imidazolidinyl urea
Monoethanolamine (MEA)
Polysorbate 60 and polysorbate 80
Propylene glycol
Quaternary ammonium compounds (quats)
Sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate
Triethanolamine (TEA)


Note: natural ingredients often pose fewer risks to health than manufactured chemicals, but the FDA has no clear, regulated definition of "natural", so ingredients may actually be synthetic or highly-processed.

Almond oil
Aloe vera
Apricot kernel oil
Candelilla wax
Castor oil
Cocoa butter
Coconut oil
Grapeseed oil
Iron oxides
Jojoba oil
Pycnogenol (from pine trees)
Rice bran oil
Shea butter
Sunflower oil
Sweet almond oil
Titanium dioxide
Vitamins A, C, E
Witch hazel

Sun blocks:
Titanium dioxide
Zinc oxide

Grapefruit seed extract
Potassium sorbate
Vitamins A, C, E

Some companies that use natural fragrances include:
17th Century Suds
Aubrey Organics
Avalon Natural Products
Burt's Bees
Dr. Bronner
Ecco Bella
Kiss My Face
Mill Creek Botanicals
Nature’s Gate
Tom's of Maine

For more specific information on problems and solutions and for information on specific brands of personal care products, or to make your own, go to the sources below.


Guide to Less Toxic Products, Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia, 2004: www.lesstoxicguide.ca
Safe, Not Sorry, Hair: The Case for Nontoxic Shampoos, Conditioners and Colors by Maureen Ryan, The Green Guide Institute, 2005.
Moisturizers, Body Lotions and Hand Creams by Claire Gutierrez, The Green Guide Institute, 2004.
A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients by Ruth Winter (Three Rivers Press, 2005)
Drop-Dead Gorgeous: Protecting Yourself from the Hidden Dangers of Cosmetics by Kim Erikson (McGraw-Hill, 2002)
Family Herbal: A Guide to Living Life with Energy, Health, and Vitality by Rosemary Gladstar (Storey Publishing, 2001)
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics: www.safecosmetics.org
Cancer Prevention Coalition: www.preventcancer.com
Environmental Working Group, Skin Deep: www.ewg.org/reports/skindeep
The Green Guide: www.thegreenguide.com
Organic Consumers Association: www.organicconsumers.org/bodycare
Poisoned Cosmetics, Not Too Pretty
: www.nottoopretty.org

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Climate Change: On the Edge

by Jim Hansen
Common Dreams News Center
This piece originally appeared in The Independent.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

USDA Poised to Push Us Off Our Farms

by Lynn R. Miller
Farm & Garden
This piece originally appeared in the Winter 2006 issue of the Small Farmer's Journal.

Congress Needs to Be Reformed

by Molly Ivins
Common Dreams News Center

"If Patrick Henry thought that taxation without representation was bad, he should see how bad it is with representation." ---The Old Farmer's Almanac

"It seems a little silly now, but this country was founded as a protest against taxation." ---unknown

The Unreal Death of Journalism

by Norman Solomon
Common Dreams News Center

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Blog Format

Due to copyright concerns and time constraints, my originally intended format for this blog has been altered a bit. Since I don't currently have time to do full-length articles without the risk of being plagiaristic, I'm going to briefly introduce topics and include links for readers to do their own research. I would love to present you all with my own research and save you the time, but for now the best I can give you is the sources of my information. (Contributions to fund a new writing career for me would not be turned away. However, I will continue pursuing a career in GIS until the heavens fund other educational pursuits!) Meanwhile, check out the superb links on my blog page and stay tuned for topics of concern.


Monday, February 13, 2006

Prudent Doonesbury

Sunday, February 05, 2006

My Wedding Day

13 August 2005

The Beginning

1. abounding in or covered with green growth or foliage
2. made with green or leafy vegetables
3. characterized by mild or temperate weather
4. youthful; vigorous
5. brand-new; fresh
6. beneficial to the environment
7. favoring or supporting environmentalism
8. pleasantly alluring
9. concerned with or in conformity with the political principles of the Green Party

1. the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason
2. sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs
3. skill and good judgment in the use of resources
4. caution or circumspection as to danger or risk

All good things must begin somewhere. Green Prudence begins with definitions, a profile, and interests. Before moving forward, one needs to know where they stand and a vision of where they want to go. The purpose of this blog is to inform, educate, enlighten, illuminate, cultivate... or, to borrow from a pyramid learned in my introductory course to GIS, to use data to provide information to develop knowledge to cultivate wisdom. My hope is that it will make a difference in this world, so much in need of a guiding light. Its beginnings are humble, as I try to be. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." And the earth needs good stewards to bring it back to the Eden it was meant to be.

I would like to credit a few of the people who helped me reach this point. My parents brought me into the world with an appreciation of nature, science, hard work, education, moral values, travel. My grandparents, long deceased, left me with an appreciation of land, simplicity, conservation, farming, freedom, home. My older siblings expanded on my parents' love of travel with even more travel and enough backpacking to eventually lead me onto the Appalachian Trail. My friend Yamin brought computers and the internet into my life nearly a decade ago. My wife started me on the path to blogging a few months ago.

Of course there are countless others who have influenced me over the many years that I've been on this path less traveled. It took me a long time to fully realize that I couldn't survive as an island. I developed myself into the ultimate independent, self-sufficient, isolated rock that thru-hiked the AT in 1989. But afterward I couldn't reconcile the two different worlds on my own and I gradually became lost on the land I grew up adoring. Reaching out to others brought me back. Ithaca became the perfect location to reach out and become a part of a community. The culmination of my realization that I am ultimately not in control of my destiny was a near-fatal car accident less than two years ago. Nothing could have prepared me for it and nothing I did could have prevented it. My wife has been by my side since that day to help me recover and to lead me forward in pursuing the spirituality that I've been seeking my whole life.

So, it's with that background and an undiminished ambition to both explore the world and cultivate it that I embark on this project. I can't see the future but I can envision a better future for all of God's children who are willing to follow. I'll try to do my small part to lead the way.

Peace, and good luck.