Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


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Special Report: High finance and corporate pot, California style

While I don’t especially like the idea of introducing another legal drug to add to the problems we have with alcohol, it seems inevitable.  It is certainly preferable to the completely inhumane laws that now send people to prison for selling weed, while down the street the government sanctions the sale (and taxation) of a substance that is known absolutely to destroy hundreds of thousands of lives a year.

“If California legalizes marijuana, the rest of the nation may well follow. One way or the other, cut rate, highly potent California weed is unlikely to stop at the state’s borders.

The U.S. state that first allowed sales of medicinal marijuana, in 1996, may take away all restrictions on adult use of the drug in a November vote, giving local governments the option to regulate sales and growing of marijuana.

The magnitude of the experiment is difficult to fathom — the world’s eighth largest economy will tear down barriers to the most used illegal drug in the United States….”

http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE66M1YH20100723


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A 50-Watt Cellular Network

Technology Review: A 50-Watt Cellular Network

An Indian telecom company is deploying simple cell phone base stations that need as little as 50 watts of solar-provided power. It will soon announce plans to sell the equipment in Africa, expanding cell phone access to new ranks of rural villagers who live far from electricity supplies.


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Chipotle: time to back up ‘food with integrity’

Chipotle Challenge: time to back up ‘food with integrity’ | Grist

In Florida, the human rights crisis engulfing farm labor is perhaps most starkly visible. Tomato pickers have received virtually the same harvesting piece rate since 1980: 40-50 cents for every 32-pound bucket they fill. At this rate, workers must pick and haul a staggering 2.5 tons of tomatoes in order to earn minimum wage for a typical 10-hour day. Decades of class-action lawsuits have exposed a pattern of systematic minimum wage violations, and supervisor violence in the fields is not unheard of.

In November 2007, three farmworkers in Immokalee – the heart of Florida’s winter tomato production – escaped from more than a year of bondage after punching through the ventilation hatch in a box truck where they were held captive by their employers. In total, a dozen workers were forced to pick tomatoes by day and then chained, beaten, and robbed of their pay at night in one of southwest Florida’s “biggest, ugliest slavery cases ever,” according to U.S. Attorney Doug Molloy.

The enslaved crew harvested for farms owned by two of Florida’s largest tomato growers. It was the seventh farm labor slavery case prosecuted by federal civil rights officials since 1997, now involving well over 1,000 workers. All of which brings us to a question posed by Eric Schlosser at last year’s Slow Food Nation conference: “Does it matter whether an heirloom tomato is local and organic if it was harvested with slave labor?” 
‘food
with integrity


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Vancouver crackdown on homeless

Winter Olympics on slippery slope after Vancouver crackdown on homeless | World news | guardian.co.uk

The anxiety stems from a recent provincial government law empowering the police to force rough sleepers into shelters in extreme weather, a move which homeless groups appear to view as an Orwellian effort at civic image control. Police officers have been told to use only “non-forceful touching” in implementing the Assistance to Shelter Act, but that has not stopped critics calling it the Olympic Kidnapping Act.

Hey, it worked for China.


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New FTC Guidelines for Bloggers

THESE ARE THE NEW FTC GUIDELINES THAT WENT INTO EFFECT 12/01/09:

· The Guidelines apply to Bloggers and online word-of-mouth marketers and require them to disclose any material connection to a company when reviewing the company’s products or services (failure to disclose any payment or receipt of free product from an advertiser or someone acting on their behalf could expose you to liability);

· Both advertisers and endorsers can be liable for false or unsubstantiated claims made in an endorsement (if you were given a product for free or were paid to write a review, then the claims you make about the product must be accurate and substantiated);

· Advertisements containing consumer endorsements, or testimonials, must disclose what results a reasonable consumer could expect from the product and can no longer rely on a disclaimer that “results may vary”;

The complete revised Guidelines can be found at http://ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf

. The FTC has also posted several short videos explaining the Guidelines at http://www.ftc.gov/multimedia/video/business/endorsement-guides.shtm


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Environment

Fed Takes 2nd Look at Threat to Desert Tortoise

Japan’s annual dolphin cull disrupted by activists

China Gradually Improves Environmental Transparency

U.N. Reports on Developing Nations’ Energy Needs

Monkeys Appreciate Monkey Music and Metallica

A Bad Mix: Exposure May be “Safe” Only With One Chemical at a Time.

People won’t change lifestyle for planet: straw poll

Consumers Backlash Against Ban on Incandescent Light Bulbs

Our best guess about global warming may be wrong

Wolves Are Set to Become Fair Game in the West