Roots & branches & all~

Leap Year Letter


President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

                                                                    February 29, 2012

                                                                   Re:  Issues of the Day

 Dear President Obama;

 I am concerned about a number of things and am hoping you can do something about them, as leader of our great nation.  Most of my concerns have to do with our food supply; its safety & our freedom of choice.  I will outline my concerns & await your response.

 what's for dinner?

Do you want genetically modified corn on your plate?
  1. Genetically Modified Organisms & Monsanto.

I have written to you about this before, because this has been a concern for years, ever since the mid-90s when genetically engineered soy beans began appearing on the market.  GMOs are an example of short-term solutions & lack long-term testing & safety.  In less than two decades we have seen the introduction of GMOs into our food supply without adequate testing & in ways that threaten native seed supplies, monarch butterflies & organic farming, just to name a few.  My choice as a consumer is compromised by the fact that there is no labeling on GMO material.  Even stores that I would have thought immune to GMOs by their very nature, such as Whole Foods, have food on their shelves with genetically modified ingredients!  Once GMOs are released into an environment, there is no taking them back.  There are no do-overs.  This is an irreversible situation if we let it go on too long & I have a hard time believing that your administration is supporting further use of such a controversial methodology.  You are a smart man, & well-educated, & I know you are supported by many specialists, of which I am not one; however, unless you take some positive action & veto further genetic modification, you are not the man I thought you were.  You have two daughters: do you feed them GMOs?  Are you willing to risk their nutritional support with untested mutations?

2.     Keystone XL Pipeline.

I have called your office about this concern.  I have signed petitions against this pipeline.  I have read about tarsands & know that the only good reason for building this pipeline is so that someone (certainly not me) can make a bunch of money.  There is no good reason for the U.S. to have this pipeline: who does it benefit?  We already have lots of pipelines.  Pipelines are vulnerable in so many ways to degradation & terrorism.  The Ogallala aquifer is still relatively clean water despite the fact of being used for irrigation since 1929.  The midwest depends on this water.  Clean water is the up & coming issue on this planet & to risk the largest fresh water aquifer in the U.S. seems short-sighted & stupid.  Alternative energy production & invention are what we need, not a dirtier way to extract fossil fuels.  The economic boost promised by the building of the infrastructure of the pipeline is not a long-term solution to our money woes; it is a band-aid to construction workers, when they would be better used building long-term solutions with renewable energy possibilities.  I can’t believe this discussion is continuing; it should be a moot point by now.  Let it go & let’s envision other ways to move this country forward.

  1. Chemtrails.

This is a new one to me.  Apparently the contrails from planes are now joined by something inexplicable in the sky: tictactoe patterns of trails that don’t dissipate.  Hmmmm, what could that be?  Apparently, if you collect rain from an area where these trails have been seen, you find unusually high amounts of mercury, aluminum & barium.  I know about mercury poisoning because I was a child of the 60s & remember LIFE magazines article about it with those incredibly sad photos.  Most of those photos were from Japan where a lot of fish was eaten containing mercury from industrial pollution.  Why would our own planes in our own skies be pouring mercury down upon us?  Aluminum has been associated with Alzheimer’s, our aging population’s dread disease.  How could any self-respecting human pour aluminum into the sky to rain down upon the population of earth; animal & human?

W. Eugene Smith's 1971 photo of mercury poisoning in Minimata, Japan from industrial waste.

  “Small amounts of water-soluble barium may cause a person to experience breathing difficulties, increased blood pressures, heart rhythm changes, stomach irritation, muscle weakness, changes in nerve reflexes, swelling of brains and liver, kidney and heart damage.”

Read more:

When I did some research into chemtrails, there were a lot of descriptions & photos but no good reasons.  What in heaven’s name is going on in the sky?  Why would planes fly back & forth across the sky leaving patterns that turn into cloud cover on a clear day?  Are we seeding the weather, the way we did in Viet Nam to flood out the Viet Cong?  Are we altering the chemistry of the atmosphere to reduce the effect of global warming?  Are we affecting the soil-chemistry of the earth so that historical seeds won’t grow, leaving space for the scientific evil genius of Monsanto?  Are we attempting to control the out-of-control population growth without exciting the censure of anti-abortion activists?  Or, just possibly, are we raining mercury so that every living soul has a base-line of mercury in their bodies & the pharmaceutical industry can’t be blamed for the mercury in their immunizations?  For more information on this topic, please read this report: “I have taken a lot of time to assemble this story because I firmly believe that chemtrails are harming and killing people.” (Russ Tanner)

Read more:


republicans & democrats agree on one thing: banking deregulation!
  1. De-regulation of Stock Market & Banking.

We all know about the crash of 2008, and, if we’ve watched Inside Job, we know that much of the guilt for this economic debacle lie on the shoulders of the CEOs of that industry, as well as the politicians who allowed the de-regulation that led to the economic chaos we now enjoy.  I was not surprised to learn that President Reagan started this trend.  I was surprised to find that trend supported & continued by President Clinton, as well as yourself, President Obama.  (I was not surprised that Presidents Bush would support such shenanigans, but you?!!!)  What happened?  Did you find out your pension plan was tied to the allowance of such de-regulation, or, did your campaign finances require you to say yes to the powerful lobbies of that industry?  There is no excuse for removing the protections put in place after the infamous stock market crash of 1929.  No excuse for not replacing them after it became obvious this new system of free-for-all, or what one might call gambling, became the norm in the financial industry.  I have had money to put into the stock market for several years but I don’t know where to put it because I don’t trust the ***s who run the show.  I just watched an episode of the hit comedy WEEDS in which the SEC doesn’t prosecute the investment company that’s cooking its books because it is pointed out to them that their personal pensions are tied to the profits of the same company.  Ah ha!, I thought to myself, there it is.   Your personal life & profits must be tied to the same companies that are raping our economy.  So, not surprisingly, the money men are in control of the presidency & not the other way around.

  1. Food irradiation.

Despite the industry’s exhortation that irradiation is no different than pasteurizing or cooking it, there are many doubts, particularly among organic farmers & consumers.  The molecular structure of food is changed during irradiation; it is no longer fresh, though legally can be labeled as such.  I have fought against food irradiation since the early 80’s when NY instituted labeling laws so that at the very least we would have a choice in the matter.  Proper food handling is indeed an issue, especially when food is shipped hither & yon, but irradiation does not make food safer.  Indeed, it creates more free radicals in the food, destroying vitamins & enzymes, as well as potentially altering the DNA replication on a cellular level.  Free radicals are involved in the creation of cancer cells as well as other cellular level damage & though many of us have high levels of antioxidants to balance these free radicals, many of us do not.  You are enhancing the vulnerability of our most vulnerable population, depressing immunity by encouraging the production of free radicals.  To me, it looks like the underlying reason for irradiation, rather than safety, is consumption of radiation waste.

Read more:

  1. Marine Mammals & Overall Ocean Health.

We know that the Navy’s use of low frequency (as well as mid-range in proximity) sonar has a negative effect on marine life.  The odontocetes that depend on echo-location for their livelihood, get lost, confused & sometimes beach & die in the vicinity of sonar.  Fish become confused & do not reproduce so that fish stocks are depleted.  Seismic air gun arrays used in oil exploration or ocean floor mapping, have similar effect on fish & mammals.  Though it is difficult to study the amazing world under the sea, there is enough data indicating the negative effects on all marine populations which would have a direct negative effect on the health of our oceans.  We don’t know enough.  We act like we do but we don’t.

Read more:

Read more:

  1. Hydraulic Fracturing.

The contamination of wells, streams & watersheds is not worth the energy provided by this misguided technology.  Not only is this obvious by the fact that it was developed & certified behind closed doors during the previous administration, it has proven itself as evil as could be deduced by such underhandedness.

 “The Energy Policy Act of 2005, developed behind closed doors with Cheney’s oversight, allowed energy companies to conceal as trade secrets the chemicals they use to help the drilling liquid reach and fracture the shale. But reports by whistle-blowers, and industry documents have revealed that the “trade secrets” clause is being used to cover the fact that dangerous compounds like butoxyethanol, formaldehyde, ethylene glycol, glycol ethers, hydrocholoric acid, sodium hydroxide and benzene are posing a major health risk to increasing numbers of Americans.” (Peter Rothberg)

Read more:

Not only does hydro-fracking contaminate water sources & push methane gas into public pipes,

it has a negative economic impact as well.  In areas that have been “fracked”, not only is there an increase in heath costs & loss of real estate value, but downturns in personal income, economic diversity & investment potential as well.  This is not an issue in my state as yet (perhaps we don’t have the “right” kind of rock) but I am concerned for my friends & family back east who drink well water (lucky ducks!) & might soon drink methane water!

Read more:

Read more:

I supported your election & was incredibly happy when you won, not only for the excitement of having a person of some color in the White House, but also because of your intelligence, love for your family & concern for the environment.  I have taken more part in your presidency than in any previous, partly due to my age & time of life, and because I felt you were someone I could talk to (unlike several of our previous presidents for whom I had no respect at all).  I have been surprised & disappointed that things have turned so sour.  We are still at war in Afghanistan & Iraq.  We are still fighting to protect whales & other endangered species, our water, air & food supply.  The economy is in a shambles & we still take from the poor to support the rich; avoiding prosecution of the reckless irresponsible investors at the core of the problem.  We still don’t have national health care, & because of the power of insurance companies in deciding treatment, I wouldn’t want it if I could afford it.  I am one of those who pays my own way for health care, for organic food, for alternative power choices… so much of the ingenuity of this country has become submerged in social networking, 243 channels of television, & getting the right look, that we don’t pay attention to what matters.

I am hopeful that you can prove to me that you know what matters.  I know it is difficult when Congress is at such logger heads & act like they have to toe the party line rather than come to some kind of common sense compromise for any & all issues.  It is a joke to listen to the news about our government & politics.  And yet, Mr. Obama, you are still our president.  You are The Man.  Our Commander In Chief.  Please, can’t you do something to protect us from ourselves?  I wish I had more power to make things better but I know I could not tolerate the people I would have to hang out with!  So I am asking you, imploring you, begging you, to take a look at what really needs to happen & do it.  Maybe if everyone took their attention off of campaigning & put it back into the business of governing this country, we might succeed.  Instead, because there is an election this year, nothing can happen.  Because someone might not like it & you therefore might lose a vote.  It is possible that the first thing that needs to happen is in regards to campaign contributions; keeping elected officials from being bribed into voting the way their richest constituents want them to rather than how their conscience wants them to, I don’t know.  I do know the system, as it is, is rotten.  The tax code is ridiculously complicated & unfair.  Nothing is protected forever so we are always spending our time, energy & attention vying for the same things over & over.  I am so tired of writing, speaking & feeling concerned over the same things time & again.  I am 57 this year & have spent my life concerned about the direction my nation is going.  From JFK’s murder when I was in third grade, to hiding under desks to rehearse the threat of nuclear bombs from the U.S.S.R., to watching our peaceful leaders murdered or emasculated, through Watergate, the Viet Nam war & on into the era of Bushes… it is sad & intolerable what has happened to the greatest country on earth.  We can no longer carry that standard because we can’t even feed our people, nor educate them, nor house the needy.  Yet there are always video games to be played, movies to be watched & the stars in them to be worried over…. noone cares.  I know you care & you now know I care.

Thank you for listening to my ramble.  I hope it reaches you & that you weep to read it.  As someone who cares, I drive to the country to get water from a spring rather than trust what comes from my tap.  I trust tap water doesn’t have typhoid or cholera but I don’t trust the chemicals added to kill those pathogens. (Isn’t the combination of chlorine & ammonia also what was once known as mustard gas?)  I drive to the country to buy raw milk so that I can drink milk full of the enzymes it came with, something that cannot be sold in stores in my state.  I plant a garden with heritage seeds & shop a farmer’s market with biodynamic & organic fruits & vegetables.  I buy meat that has never been fed hormones or antibiotics or been irradiated on its way to market & my children were never immunized.  I do what I can to live a peaceful life & keep a calm mind and yet, when I read about “chemtrails” (is this for real?!) or flouride in drinking water, I feel anxious & upset by the sheer hubris of those in power.  Where do you stand on all this?  What keeps you from making the difference I know you’d like to make?  Please share with me what is going on in Washington D.C. that makes it seem as if our government is a hamster running in its wheel & never getting anywhere?

Good luck in solving these issues.  Let me know if there’s anything further I can do, besides contribute money, only because I don’t have any to contribute.  I gave to your campaign already & don’t plan on handing over any more because I need it to pay for the fossil fuels that get me to where my water & milk reside!  I need it to pay for the health care I receive.  I need it to pay for food that costs what food really costs when it is raised without chemicals, GMOs & subsidies.

Thank you again & may peace be with you.

The mind can go in a thousand directions,

but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace.

With each step, a gentle wind blows.

With each step a flower blooms.

–Thich Nhat Hanh

Peacefully, Connie


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