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California Mayor Admits Local Government Has “Lost Control” of 5G Rollout

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California 5G

During a recent city council meeting the Mayor of Danville, California admitted that the council had “lost control” of the 5G rollout to the federal government and Big Wireless.

On March 6, the Danville Town Council voted four to one to block a permit for an upcoming small cell wireless installation by Verizon. During the meeting, Danville Mayor Robert Storer stated that the vote was an effort to stand up to the federal government and telecommunications companies, like Verizon.

The Danville Town Council’s decision to deny the land use-permit for the small cell opens the town to possible lawsuits from Verizon.

“We’ve made a lot of difficult decisions over the years, and this one is right up there in my top three. But that is exactly why somebody elects us to do the right things,” Mayor Robert Storer said during the council meeting. “We’ve lost local control and this says: ‘You know what? We are sick of this and we’re not going to just sit here and be bulled over.’ We say no; we play our cards out. We’ve been in lawsuits before.”

The installation of small cell sites is taking place around the nation as the U.S. government and telecommunications companies roll out 5th Generation—or 5G—cellular technology. The new technology is expected to herald the beginning of Smart Cities, where driverless cars, pollution sensors, cell phones, traffic lights, and thousands of other devices interact in what is known as “The Internet of Things”. However, there have been a number of health and privacy concerns raised by opponents of the rapidly advancing 5G technology expansion.

The controversial vote came after the Town Council had been inundated with complaints and concerns from Danville residents who worry the new small cell site and other 5G related infrastructure could have negative health effects. The installation of small cells and other 5G infrastructure is opposed by Danville Citizens for Responsible Growth (DCRG), a local group who has been putting pressure on the Town Council since at least October 2018.

That month the Danville Planning Commission approved a land-use permit for the small cell site owned by Verizon. On November 2, DCRG filed an appeal challenging the approval. The group has been battling Danville officials since and was successful in convincing most of the council to vote against the permit. However, despite many of Danville’s residents expressing concerns regarding health, the council voted against the permit because the chosen location was intrusive.

Danville SanRamon reports:

“The Danville The decision to deny the permit was based on the council majority claiming that the proposed location was not the least intrusive site possible, that better alternative locations may exist and that the applicant had not adequately demonstrated the proposed facility would meet federal radio frequency standards — all of which went against the recommendation of town staff.”

In fact, Danville city attorney Robert Ewing noted that the Federal Communication Commission heavily regulates the installation of wireless cell sites and in the process limits local government’s ability to enact their own regulations.

While potential health concerns are a huge concern, if that was the basis on which you were making a decision I would be fairly confident to tell you that you would lose, because that’s about as clear as the law can get,” Ewing said at the meeting. “As much as I understand the concern folks have over safety, what I can tell you is that if you make a finding based on potential health impacts of RF, then I will tell you that my opinion is you would lose.”

According to the FCC’s regulations, local governing bodies are not allowed to even consider health risks when making their decisions. This is because the federal law known as the Wireless Communications Act of 1996 prohibits local jurisdictions from considering perceived health effects when taking an action on a proposed facility. Instead, cities and towns can only regulate cell sites based on the aesthetics and placement of the devices. This problem was only made worse in September 2018, when the FCC passed a new rule which put the federal government in complete control of the 5G rollout.

This is why Danville Mayor Storer talks about losing local control. The federal government and their partners in Big Wireless have usurped local control of our communities. Danville Councilwoman Renee Morgan advised the people of Danville not to stop their efforts to expose this loss of power.

“What we need to do to make sure that we gain that local control. You cannot walk out of here and say we won by having this cell site moved somewhere else. The point is to go out there and talk to your state legislators, and make sure that they understand that we as the town of Danville, deserve to tell people where we want to put these things — not have them dictate it to us.”

Despite the difficulties in organizing to raise awareness about 5G, there are recent examples of resistance at the federal level. In early February, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing on the future of 5G wireless technology and its impact on the American people and economy. At the hearing, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) raised concerns with the lack of scientific research and data on the technology’s potential health risks.

On January 24, Frank Pallone, Chairman of the U.S. House Commerce Committee, accused the FCC of collusion with Big Wireless on the massive 5G rollout. Pallone sent a letter to the FCC asking for copies of communications between the FCC and the corporations involved in the current roll out of 5th Generation (5G) cellular technology. Pallone’s letter seems to indicate that the Commerce Committee had spoken with a whistleblower.

In early December 2018, Senator Richard Blumenthal and California Representative Anna Eshoo held a press conference asking the FCC to provide evidence that 5G technology is safeTo ensure we communicate accurate information to our constituents we respectfully request you provide to our offices the 5G safety determination from FCC and relevant health agencies that you referred to during the field hearing,” Blumenthal wrote.

It’s clear there are many questions about 5G which are going unanswered. Help us get to the bottom of this important story by sharing this article. 

To learn more about this topic see the following interviews: 

Derrick Broze talks with Theodora Scarato, Executive Director of Environmental Health Trust (EHT), about the health concerns around cell phones, wireless devices, and 5G.

Derrick Broze talks with Matt Cagle, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, regarding the privacy concerns surrounding the roll out of 5G technology and the so-called Internet of Things.

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Good News

Betty White Turns 99, and Her Tips on Living a Long and Happy Life Are More Valuable Than Ever

Elias Marat

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Betty White, the original golden girl beloved by people of all ages, celebrated her 99th birthday on Sunday.

The spry granny, born Betty Marion White on Jan. 17, 1922, has managed to live a long, healthy, happy life and this can likely be chalked up to her unconventional approach.

The Emmy award-winning veteran actress once joked that her secret to longevity consisted of three simple ingredients: vodka, hot dogs, and her love of pets.

However, her tongue-in-cheek advice is getting new attention, especially given that too many of us have been forced to stay at home over much of the past year.

In 2011, during a Late Show interview with David Letterman, White gave 10 sagely tips on how she’s managed to maintain her verb and energy for so long. With White reaching one year short of a century, the advice is worth revisiting.

Her first bit of advice was to “get at least eight hours of beauty sleep, nine if you’re ugly.” Next, she advised that one should “Exercise. Or don’t. What the hell do I care?”

Third, she opined that one should “never apologize. It shows weakness.”

Her fourth tip shouldn’t give anyone any adventurous ideas, but it’s helpful nonetheless: “The best way to earn a quick buck is a slip and fall lawsuit.”

She then gave the priceless tip that one should “avoid tweeting any photos of your private parts” while also making sure to “schedule nightly appointment with Dr. Johnnie Walker.”

Some of the healthy eaters in our audience may take exception to White’s seventh tip, which is to: “Take some wheatgrass, soy paste and carob, toss it in the garbage and cook yourself a big-*ss piece of pork.”

Her next bit of adice was to “try not to die” and “never dwell on past mistakes,” which may both be easier said than done. Lastly, she recommended that you “don’t waste your time watching this crap.”

Sound advice that we can all relate to, Mrs. White!

White is reportedly spending her 99th birthday simply relaxing, she told Entertainment Tonight.

“You probably didn’t ask, but I’ll tell you anyway. … What am I doing for my birthday? Running a mile each morning has been curtailed by [coronavirus], so I am working on getting ‘The Pet Set’ re-released, and feeding the two ducks who come to visit me every day,” she explained, referencing a 1971 show she starred in that featured celebrities appearing alongside their pets.

Her birthday was also marked by various celebrities, who tweeted out birthday greetings to the TV icon.

“Happy birthday, @BettyMWhite! You’re a miracle in every way,”  wrote Ellen DeGeneres.

“I still get warm when I see this look. Happy 99 baby. You are a testament to living life on your own terms. Sending you a great big socially distanced kiss. I love you @BettyMWhite,” Ed Asner tweeted.

“Betty White bloopers are the best bloopers #HappyBirthdayBettyWhite,” Valerie Bertinelli tweeted alongside a video of hilarious mistakes made on the set of their former show, Hot in Cleveland.

“Wishing the incomparable Betty White a very happy 99th birthday! What’s your favorite Betty White role, friends?” wrote Star Trek star George Takei.

White, who is best known for her role as Rose Nylund in the classic sitcom The Golden Girls (1985-92), has over 75 years in show business under her belt. The comedian became a staple of U.S. television in such shows as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Hot in Cleveland along with memorable appearances in shows like Mama’s Family and That ‘70s Show.

She catapulted to fame with her first sitcom, Life with Elizabeth, where White played the titular role and became the first woman to have creative control of a program as both a producer and the star.

White earned no less than 24 Emmy nominations and won eight in the span of her career.

When she reached the age of 90 it didn’t slow her down one bit. Not only did White become the oldest host in the history of Saturday Night Live but she also made dozens of cameos. White also starred in a memorable 2010 Super Bowl commercial for Snickers where she got tackled to the ground, football-style.

In an email to the Associated Press, White shared an especially enjoyable perk of old age: “Since I am turning 99, I can stay up as late as I want without asking permission!”

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QAnon Rioter to Get Organic, Healthy “Shaman’s Diet” in Jail

Elias Marat

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The kooky “QAnon Shaman” clad in furs and a horned hat who became an icon of last week’s botched storming of the U.S. Capitol Building will be able to enjoy an all-organic diet on religious grounds while in jail after refusing to eat the standard food provided by authorities.

Jake Angeli, 33, of Arizona, whose real name is Jacob Anthony Chansley, appeared in court in Phoenix on Monday after he was arrested on charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, last Wednesday, Jan. 6.

The Phoenix native and vocal supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory became the subject of thousands of memes after he appeared on every major news network sporting face paint, a fur hat, and numerous tattoos of symbols associated with Norse mythology and used by the white supremacist movement. For many across the globe, the bizarre appearance of the self-designated “shaman” encapsulated the absurdity of the mob’s politics.

During his first appearance at the federal court in Phoenix, Angeli’s public defender Gerald Williams informed the judge that he had refused to eat since being taken into custody due to his highly restrictive diet consisting exclusively of organic food, ostensibly for religious reasons.

In response to the claims, Judge Deborah Fine said that this was “deeply concerning” before ordering that the state find a solution to the demands of the finicky eater.

“We will abide by the judge’s order,” said David Gonzales, U.S. Marshal for the District of Arizona, according to ABC 15, adding that Angeli would be provided with food that abides by the shaman’s strict organic diet.

Angeli’s mother, Martha, was also in attendance during the court hearing. The supportive mom, who has expressed sympathy for the shaman’s “patriotic” cause in interviews, explained to the Arizona Republic that his diet was extremely important.

“He gets very sick if he doesn’t eat organic food – literally will get physically sick,“ Martha Chansley said.

The special dietary accommodations for the wannabe medicine man stand in stark contrast to the malnourishment suffered by most prisoners in the United States.

Three-quarters of U.S. prisoners are reportedly forced to eat “rotten or spoiled food” and suffer denigrating conditions while incarcerated, according to a recent report from prison watchdog group Impact Justice. The report found that inmates typically must deal with low-nutrient foods that are high in sodium, sugar, and processed, refined carbs that typically lack protein, fresh fruits or vegetables, and calcium.

“Just one month of unhealthy meals can result in long-term rises in cholesterol and body fat, increasing the risk of diet-related diseases,” said the report, which also noted that such a diet endangers prisoners by contributing to a weakened immune systems, which in turn risks making them more vulnerable to viruses and long-term diseases.

A separate report from civil rights group Muslim Advocates found that prisons regularly refuse to comply with Muslim dietary restrictions, often due to intentional and discriminatory practices by prisons and guards, in an open violation of their constitutional right to religious freedom.

In 2018, a report found that an Alaska prison purposely starved Muslim prisoners during Ramadan by only giving them pork sandwiches and not providing them with the calories necessary to sustain themselves while fasting, which is a religious obligation during the holy month.

Last August, similar reports found that Muslim detainees at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Miami, Florida, were also being forced to either eat pork, eat spoiled Halal meals, or simply starve. In response to their complaints, the prison chaplain reportedly told them: “It is what it is.”

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Environment

Mexico Decrees Ban on GMO Corn and Monsanto’s Glyphosate Weed Killer

Elias Marat

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Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has rung in the New Year by decreeing an end to the use of glyphosate – best known as the active ingredient in Monsanto’s “Roundup” pesticides – and also ordering the phase-out out of genetically modified corn for use in the food industry, with both goals to be realized by January 2024.

The move has been widely hailed by organic food producers and environmental, health, and social justice advocates, who welcome the move as crucial to preserve Mexico’s native corn crops, national heritage, and food sovereignty from the threat of multinational food corporations.

On Thursday, the government published an official decree stating that federal biosecurity authorities would “revoke and refrain from granting permits for the release of genetically modified corn seeds into the environment,” reports Reforma news agency.

The decree noted that the object of the decision, which came after months of unsuccessful pushback from lobbyist groups representing the massive food industry, was to “contribute to food security and sovereignty” and protect “native corn, cornfields, bio-cultural wealth, farming communities, gastronomic heritage and the health of Mexicans.”

The move makes good on promises by President Lopez Obrador, popularly known by his initials AMLO, to preserve native corn varieties from the threat of GMO corn.

The government of Mexico has taken numerous steps in recent months to safeguard the over 60 types of corn developed with traditional and indigenous agricultural methods that are, by law, considered a part of Mexico’s national food and cultural heritage.

Indigenous peoples in the Mesoamerican region cultivated the first strains of corn thousands of years ago, but multinational corporations have been flooding the Mexican market with varieties of corn that have been genetically modified to resist certain types of infestations and adverse climate conditions such as drought.

The government also ordered the phase-out of GMO corn imports for use in the food industry and decreed the elimination of the chemical glyphosate – the active ingredient in Bayer-Monsanto’s weedkiller, Roundup.

While a total ban on glyphosate isn’t yet possible in Mexico – especially amid major pushback from Big Ag lobbyists – federal agencies must immediately halt “purchasing, using, distributing, promoting and importing glyphosate or agrochemicals that contain it as an active ingredient,” according to the decree.

Instead, they must use “culturally appropriate” alternatives such as low-toxicity agrochemicals and organic products.

Opponents of the use of genetically modified crops have hailed the ban.

“It’s a great victory,” said Homero Blas, the director of the Mexican Society of Organic Producers. His group, like many other civil society organizations, blames GMO crops for contaminating the native, ancient varieties of corn while saying that the widespread use of dangerous pesticides endangers the health of both producers and consumers while undermining biodiversity.

However, GMO advocates such as the National Agricultural Council (CAN) claim that the prohibition of GMO corn cultivation will harm farmers while curbing imports will harm the Mexican food chain.

“The lack of access to production options puts us at a disadvantage compared to our competitors, such as corn farmers in the United States,” said CNA spokeswoman Laura Tamayo, who is also the regional director for the German multinational Bayer AG, the parent company to agro-chemical subsidiary Monsanto.

Glyphosate has been at the center of safety concerns in numerous countries and has also been the focus of massive lawsuits in the U.S. in recent years over the allegedly carcinogenic effects of the herbicide Roundup, which Monsanto introduced in 1974.

In July, Bayer agreed to pay as much as $10.9 billion to settle nearly 100,000 lawsuits in the U.S. claiming that the chemical causes a type of blood cancer.

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