End Medical Debt wins 2022 Benjamin Franklin Book Award

End Medical Debt, a book by the founders of RIP Medical Debt and published by Hoku House,  on April 29 received a 2022 Benjamin Franklin Award for Health books. Sponsored by the Independent Book Publishers Association, the annual award, recognizing excellence in writing and design is regarded as one of the highest national honors for independent publishers.

End Medical Debt was written by Jerry Ashton, Robert Goff and Craig Antico, who in 2014 founded the national charity RIP Medical Debt,. Based in New York. RIP uses donations to buy and erase unpayable medical bills, with no negative tax effects for the recipients of debt relief. To date, RIP has abolished about $7 billion in medical debt causing hardship for four million disadvantaged Americans.

The authors, former debt collectors and a hospital administrator, offer the historic and current “big picture” for the root causes of our broken U.S. healthcare system. They apply divergent progressive, moderate and conservative views to examine the major proposed solutions, from healthier foods to Medicaid expansion to universal healthcare. They present the facts and let readers decide for themselves what we should do as a nation to end the crisis of medical debt in America.

The USA currently has $140 billion in unpaid healthcare bills, reports the New York Times. RIP estimates at least $1 trillion in medical debts have accumulated over the past ten years. These debts generally arise from being uninsured, underinsured, or getting treatment outside the care network, such as surprise bills from the balance due after insurance for an emergency room visit. In most cases, the unaffordable medical expense was unplanned and urgent.

End Medical Debt shows how unpaid healthcare bills, beyond producing stress that harms health an  rippling economically across the community and nation. The book provides practical strategies for individuals and families to avoid medical debt or resolve the debts they do have.

End Medical Debt was edited and published by seasoned journalist and award-winning author Judah Freed, who created the indie press, Hoku House, based in Denver.. The book briefly became a #1 bestseller on Amazon and BN.com after the authors were featured on the PBS NewsHour.

The authors and Hoku House donate 85 percent of all book royalties to RIP Medical Debt. The charity acquires bad debt for near a penny on the dollar, so each copy sold cancels about $500 in hardship medical bills. To date, End Medical Debt has earned enough to abolish about $6 million in medical debt.  

The 34th annual Benjamin Franklin Awards, presented at the Renaissance Hotel in Orlando, FL, recognized books in more than fifty categories. The awards program is administered by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). Books are judged by more than 150 volunteer industry professionals including librarians, bookstore owners, reviewers, designers, publicity managers, and editors. Due to Covid, the 2022 awards ceremony was the first live presentation since 2019.


PBS story stirs End Medical Debt book sales that forgive $1 million in unpayable debt

Category : Judah Blog

PBS NewsHour on Thursday, December 12, ran an in-depth story on RIP Medical Debt, announcing  the charity had passed the milestone of forgiving $1 billion in unpayable healthcare bills.

The NewsHour report ended with the book, END MEDICAL DEBT, written by the charity’s founders, edited by Judah Freed and published by Hoku House. The book educates readers about the historic causes and proposed cures for medical debt in America. PBS noted that each copy sold forgives about $500 in medical debt.


GREAT NEWS! As a result of the PBS NewsHour segment on RIP Medical Debt and the book, End Medical Debt, because each copy sold forgives about $500 in unpayable medical debt, as of Tuesday morning, the book had sold enough copies for RIP forgive a full $1 million in debt!

Please share this post and ask your friends and family to buy copies as holiday gifts for their friends and family. You will earn the heartfelt thanks of those  struggling to pay medical bills causing hardship for their own families.

https://www.amazon.com/End-Medical-Debt-Unpayable-Healthcare/dp/0989224120/


Welcome to Hoku House

Category : Global News

Welcome to Hoku House!

If you are on a smart phone, to access the homepage and sidebars, scroll to the bottom of this screen and switch viewing mode from the Mobile to Desktop version. 

If you are using a tablet, the site automatically loads in Desktop view, so rotate the device to landscape (horizontal) to see the sidebars.

If on a laptop or desktop, Mac or PC, the site is optimized for you.

Enjoy your explorations!
– Judah Freed


Free PDF of Making Global Sense

Category : Book News

Download: MAKING GLOBAL SENSE

EXCLUSIVE FREE LIMITED EDITION
Click book cover image below to download.

This free PDF edition celebrates the January 10, 1776, anniversary of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.
Thanks for reading this review copy. Please share if you like what you read. 
Comment and feedback welcome.
Contact: Judah Freed  at HokuHouse.com


The actual book is available online and retail in most free nations.
Booksellers: Order from Ingram ipage


Copyright: Permission is granted to copy and distribute this PDF file for free only. Otherwise, all rights reserved. 
THIS PDF MAY NOT BE SOLD in any form at any time. As a living indie author paying bills, I hope you purchase the actual book.

Safety First. Always check out the source before downloading any file anywhere. If you are unfamiliar with my work and life, explore Hoku House and my archive. Websearch “Judah Freed.” Once you feel safe, please download the  PDF.


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End Medical Debt

Category : Global News

END MEDICAL DEBT
Curing America’s $1 Trillion
Unpayable Healthcare Debt

End Medical Debt, written by industry insiders Jerry Ashton, Robert Goff and Craig Antico (founders of the charity RIP Medical Debt), realistically and clearly looks at the causes and possible cures for more than $1 trillion in unpayable medical debt in America. Our national conversation on healthcare can no longer ignore the urgent medical debt crisis.

In our fervent public debates about the broken U.S. healthcare system, we have overlooked the devastating impacts of America’s urgent medical debt crisis. Everybody knows somebody struggling with their medical medical bills. 

End Medical Debt, written by three industry insiders, is the first book to bypass political posturing to look clearly and realistically at the actual causes and possible cures for more than $1 trillion in unpayable medical debt in America. Medical debt causes hardships for individuals, families, communities, and the nation as a whole.

Voicing decades of experience in debt collections, debt buying and healthcare management, the authors of End Medical Debt bring deep expertise to the problem of medical debt. Jerry Ashton has more than 40 years of experience in the credit and collections industry. Robert Goff recently retired from 40 years in healthcare administration management. Craig Antico has 30 years in collections, debt buying, outsourcing, and consulting.

Drawing on their industry knowledge, the authors lay bare the inner workings of our healthcare system. They show how it produces medical bills that people cannot ever pay, including insured middle-class people who think they are covered. They tell how the early hospitals that focused on patient health evolved into today’s healthcare conglomerates focused on patient revenues. They dissect the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) to show where theory and reality do not match. They expose how our veterans get laden with medical debt that effectively tells them, “No thank you for your service.”

The authors together began RIP Medical Debt, the charity made famous in 2016 by John Oliver on HBO for abolishing $15 million in medical debt. Since 2014, RIP has purchased and forgiven more than $500 million in medical debt. RIP is on track to abolish $1 billion in medical debt by 2020.

Expressing the authors’ divergent progressive, moderate and conservative viewpoints, End Medical Debt offers pragmatic insights on such diverse solutions as promoting healthier behaviors to reduce costs and debt (personal responsibility), imposing price controls on drugs and care services, reforming health insurance, fixing the Affordable Care Act, making Medicaid an opt-out program for all who qualify, adding a Medicare Option to the ACA for people over age 50, or enacting “Medicare for All” for single-payer universal healthcare.

The authors disagree on the solutions, but they all agree on their one simple act of charity — buying and forgiving medical debt. Debt forgiveness is necessary but not sufficient. At best, it’s an interim solution for medical debt until we can agree on a better financial structure for the broken U.S. healthcare system. End Medical Debt is a major step in that direction.

REVIEWS:

End Medical Debt confronts an important, sad truth: No one asks to be sick. It’s hard enough being poor; it’s hard enough being sick. But being poor and sick becomes a death sentence for some, a life sentence of indentured servitude for others. The bills are almost beyond belief. I went into the hospital overnight with chest pains, and the hospital bill was $25,000. It’s time to lift this yoke off the necks of some of the most vulnerable and defenseless members of society, and that is precisely what End Medical Debtdoes.”
Alan Grayson, Former U.S. Congressman (D-FL)

End Medical Debt does more than describe the unsustainable structure of our current health care system. The book demonstrates what was always the solution: People helping people, voluntarily and without coercion. The current healthcare system has created a debt-enslaved class with few options. Necessity will produce many solutions, but in the meantime, End Medical Debt is offering hope from those willing and able to pay forward their success. Humanity at its best.”
Ernest Hancock, Publisher, FreedomsPhoenix Talk Show Host, “Declare Your Independence”

End Medical Debt explains that among all the developed countries, only Americans risk the probability that medical treatment will be financially inaccessible or that a family will be made destitute from a serious injury or disease. The sacrifices families make for medical care of loved ones is heartbreaking. The experience and wisdom of authors Jerry Ashton, Robert Goff and Craig Antico have resulted in the system presented in their exciting new book. Their charity, RIP Medical Debt, may well help us to turn the corner on this major problem facing quality medical care in America.”
Nancy A. Niparko, M.D., Attending Neurologist, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

“While care providers fight to make ends meet and corporate interests seek out profit margins everywhere, politicians struggle to strike a balance as more and more Americans are compounding their serious health issues with unprecedented and unmanageable medical debt. Meanwhile, a small self-appointed group of experts from the world of health care finance are seeking solutions for consumers, providers and a broken system. Where there are no acceptable answers yet, people are creating them. Jerry Ashton, Robert Goff and Craig Antico are putting lifetimes of experience to work in End Medical Debt to spread the word that medical debt is a personal and national crisis. More so, they are offering answers that are gaining national attention.”
Kevin A. Cahill, New York State Assemblyman; Chair, Assembly Committee on Insurance; Member, Assembly Committee on Health

End Medical Debt is exactly what is needed to jumpstart the much-needed national discussion about our current dysfunctional for-profit health care system, and what to do about it, so patients like me don’t have to experience the financial and personal hardships caused by medical debt. We are a forgotten, disposable, invisible universe of people. There are millions of us. This book explains with passion and honesty the nightmare of medical debt”
Joel R. Segal, Former senior legislative assistant, U.S. Congress, 2000-2019, Co-author, HR 676: “Expanded and Improved Medicare For All”

“America spends more on medical care than any other country, and the resulting medical debt is our nation’s top reason for bankruptcy and financial ruin. I’ve seen the impact. End Medical Debt offers clear answers on what people can do for themselves and society to end this scourge.”
Ed Asner, Actor, Activist


Ethical Journalism in the Age of ‘Fake News’

Category : Global News

In our age of “fake news” with journalists widely distrusted by the public, we may benefit from a better understanding of what is ethical journalism, how to identify ethical journalists, and how to support more of it.

Despite what some pundits would have us believe, good journalists do exist. They work each day with the highest professional ethical standards in mind.

SPJ ethical journalismAccording to The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), ethical journalism is “truthful, compassionate, independent and transparent.” We need ethical journalism now more than ever.

No journalist is ever wholly objective on any news topic, especially if controversial. However, good news stories written by ethical journalists are not that hard to spot.

Good journalists report all the sides in any issue as accurately and as equally as possible. Good journalists make sure all opposing viewpoints are represented fairly. No special interest get special treatment in the selection of quotes or facts.

Good journalists may have their own views on the people and events they cover, especially when controversial, but you will find no trace of it in their writings. Their news stories are free of bias. A news story may have an “angle” or “news hook,” but never a slant.

Good journalists verify all facts in a story from at least two reliable “sources,” more if possible, and ideally from a variety of sources. In a story on a traffic accident, for instance, statements from the drivers are balanced by statements by at least one eye-witness along with quotes from the investigating officer and ideally the police accident report.

Good journalists ask the tough questions. They dig for the story behind the story. The investigate and  report the truth as best they can learn it. They do not accept anything they are told at face value. They stay skeptical without becoming cynical.

Good journalists verify each “fact” from as many sources as possible, the more the better. In the canon of ethics for journalists, news stories citing only one single source are discouraged, although necessary at times, but that single source must be carefully vetted and corroborated before the news story ever appears in print.

A reporter may quote a news source stating an opinion (placing the quote where it best fits the story flow), but good journalists differentiate opinions from facts in all news writing. Even if they agree, they accept as given that beliefs are not facts.

Good journalists write tight and get it right. Simple nouns and verbs do the job of reporting the news. Good news stories are free of undue adjectives and adverbs.
Features stories may show off a writer’s creativity and perspective, but not hard news stories. Opinions belong on the editorial page, not the news pages.

Good journalists are skilled at writing “straight news.” Their stories usually use an “inverted pyramid” style. The most crucial facts are on top, called “the lead,” followed by a “nut graph” or “neck” paragraph (or two) placing the news event into context. Nut graphs help readers make sense of the news The rest of the story presents facts and quotes in descending order of importance.

A playful example:

Headline: “Man bites big dog.”
Lead: “A local man yesterday was first to bite into a 15-foot hotdog offered free to the public at the grand opening of the new Mustard’s Last Stand food cart downtown.”
Nut graph or neck: “The food cart is among a dozen small businesses opening this month as part of the city’s  economic revitalization initiative.”

FYI: The inverted pyramid style goes back to the earliest days of print newspapers. News stories often were and still are cut for length, from the bottom up, to fit all the stories into the available space (the “news hole” is determined by how much advertising is sold). If only the first paragraph or two sees print, that’s still enough to report the core news.

Now you have the basics of what makes any news story trustworthy.

I’m bringing all this to your attention because this week, April 22-28, is “Ethics in Journalism Week.”  In connection with this observance, SPJ.org offers a simple four-part Code of Ethics that all good journalist follow:

  • Seek truth and report it — Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
  • Minimize harm — Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.
  • Act independently — The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public.
  • Be accountable and transparent — Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining one’s decisions to the public.

If you read a news story in any publication that meets these ethical standards, then you are reading the work of good journalists.

We will continue to suffer fake news and unreliable reporting only if we tolerate it. Talk back. Object to unethical journalism, Never accept it a “normal.”

Whenever you spot ethical reporting in a newspaper or magazine, or on the internet, you can support quality journalism by sending a short, polite note to the editor or publisher. You can help the venture stay in business by thanking the advertisers or other backers, saying you found them through a publication you trust.

We may dislike the news being reported. We may dislike what the facts imply about some notion of reality we hold dear. That’s fine. Demand solid evidence and debate the facts openly. Truth and the rule of law uphold democratic republics.

Demand and support ethical journalism. The Fourth Estate remains our best guarantor of freedom and democracy in America and the world.


Judah Freed worked four decades in Denver as a local to national and international journalist before moving to Kauai in 2010. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Hawaii chapter of SPJ.


Title - A Parable of Liberty Lost and Found

A Satirical Allegory about Liberty

A Parable of Liberty Lost and Found (cover)
For your free copy of the ebook, please subscribe to the newsletter or blog in the column at right.

A Parable of Liberty Lost and Found is the fiction preamble of my nonfiction book, Making Global Sense, inspired by Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. Paine wrote Common Sense to spark national revolution. I wrote Global Sense to spark world evolution.

Thomas Paine began Common Sense with a parable about a remote community struggling to govern itself. He used the fable to show how various forms of government arise, to argue against hereditary monarchy, and to help create in America the first modern republic.

In updating his allegory in “A Parable of Liberty Lost and Found,” I aim to show how governments change when people and societies lose a genuine connection with Spirit, by whatever name we prefer for the divine creative force. We face this peril now, so I’m retelling Paine’s cautionary tale for us today. I’m adding an optimistic alternative ending to encourage the practical idealism of common global sense.

Paine published Common Sense in Philadelphia on January 10, 1776. This ebook excerpt from my unpublished book was released in Hawaii on January 10, 2018.

As an experiment, I’m offering this ebook to show a prospective publisher that there’s public support for my work, so the more readers I can report, the better. Therefore, if you are willing to help, you can get your own free copy by subscribing to my “Global Sense News” e-letter or by subscribing to my “Global Sense Blog” (use the form on the right). Your support is profoundly appreciated!

Read an Excerpt from:
A Parable of Liberty Lost and Found

  • Imagine with me a small group of brave humans who settle a large, remote and unoccupied island paradise surrounded by a vast ocean….

More generations pass. Government makes basic choices that people once made for themselves. Government decides when to harvest the field and where to grind the grain. Government decides who can tend the sick and how much it costs to be ill.

Government sets all the rules for commerce and industry as well as personal conduct in the community and home.Habits of mindfulness that once ensured joyful harmony have been replaced by habits of dull obedience. Compliance with the government earns social approval and rewards, which satisfy most people’s need for safety and love.

Spiritual consciousness is left to a few mystics and faith healers. They are respected not revered, or tolerated as quirky amusements, but denied any real social influence.

A descendant of preacher Al Cartman, Horace B. Cartman, runs for president. His name is tainted. Voters reject him. In retaliation, he urges election reform. He says public funding of campaigns denies “freedom of speech.” The government should pay for running the elections themselves, of course, but paying for all campaigns across the island, even in remote districts, is unfair to those suffering taxpayers who care only about their own backyards, the working stiffs, struggling to feed their hungry families, bless them.

Cartman and his secret backers offer a new constitutional amendment. Any private person or group may contribute to any campaign — citizens, businesses, trade unions, civic clubs, religious groups, even charities — but taxes may not fund anything beyond election administration and vote counting.

Foes of the measure finally win one concession: Donation records become public documents. The provision is meaningless, however, because campaigns already routinely keep two sets of books. It’s a difference that makes no difference.

A campaign of united citizens buys time on the newfangled broadcast radio and television networks. Letters to the editor run in the newspapers with a plain-folks appeal, “All of them darn campaigns should be paid for only by those who care about them, not by everyone,” writes one man. “Taxes for election campaigns is unfair to all of us like me who never even vote!” The amendment passes by a slender margin.

Competition for campaign donations soon spawns rival political parties. Each party adopts a platform of proposed laws, which the party machine sells to voters like a bill of goods. Scoundrels readily sway voters with patriotic appeals, saying the other party is an evil threat to the nation and must be feared. Bigots use racial slurs to divide and conquer the opposition. Passions get aroused and manipulated in this game of graft.

Meanwhile, each party ensures all candidates running for office, whether for the congress or the presidency, first prove their loyalty to the gentry. Elections convince the common people that their democracy is real, but the campaigns are a pretense, held for sport, actually. The ruling class still rules, men still rule, no matter who wins any election.

The elites are more powerful than ever. Wealthy donors assume they own the politicians they help to elect. Politicians spend more time raising funds than passing laws.

Still, the legislators’ job is lawmaking, so they generate a vibrational energy field attracting more problems to solve with more laws, hoping they look good to voters. They never see their trap.

If you like this except from the middle of the story, if you are curious about all that  happens on the island over many generations, their ups and downs, how the fable applies to our real lives today, please subscribe and download the whole ebook. Most folks tell me it takes about a half hour to read. I believe you will feel the time is worthwhile.

You also may download the ebook for free from iBooks app (search “Judah Freed”) or from Smashwords, Kobo, and Scribd, or Amazon  at 99 cents (for now).

Thanks and blessings,
Judah

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First Windstar ‘Choices’ with John Denver

Category : Judah Blog

FOUND this rare video today from the first 1986 Windstar Foundation “Choices For the Future” symposium in Aspen, hosted by John Denver. The video touches me because it’s still relevant to our world today, three decades later.

I attended the annual summer gatherings from 1988 until the last one in 1995, two years before JD passed. For most of those years, I was blessed to serve as the press room aide. I volunteered in the active Colorado Windstar Connections program, too. Connected my personal and spiritual growth with social and economic activism. Changed my life.

Hope you see for yourself what stirred my heart and mind:


bill maher

dump trump dump democracy

Would Trump Dump Democracy?

SOME in the GOP wish they could dump Trump, but do millions of Americans wish to see Trump dump democracy?

Trump’s most fervent followers want Donald John Trump to be the 45th President of the United States, whatever it takes to get the job done, democracy be damned. This scares me because a Trump victory in the electoral college looks increasingly difficult or doubtful but not downright impossible. With less than two weeks to go before  Election Day, The Donald is shouting about “conspiracy” and a “rigged” election.

Despite ample researched evidence that widespread vote tampering is not possible and is not happening, depute ample researched evidence that individual voter fraud is relatively rare, despite facts and logic, a Reuters poll show half of the electorate believes Trump about the election system begin rigged, The belief casts doubt on the entire democratic process, from local town councils to national government.

In a brazen act of hypocrisy and chutzpah, like a child having a temper tantrum, “man-baby” Trump refuses to accept the voting results will be valid “unless I win!” He plays the blame game to deny how he shot himself in the foot with his sexist, racist, and xenophobic outbursts.

Instead of thinking matters through, Trump’s most ardent True-Believer followers parrot his words, and some threaten to act on them by launching a violent revolution if he loses.

Why would Trump do and say such things, and why is all this surreal absurdity so dangerous for America and the world?

dump trump or dump democracy
Donald Trump points at others for his problems instead of looking within himself.

“Read More”

Climate Change Deniers: Facts and Fictions

Please see through the misleading guest commentary by Tom Harris of the Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC), a press release now circulating internationally and published by The Garden Island newspaper on Sunday, May 18.

Tom Harris
Tom Harris, ICSC

Harris said it is “ridiculous” to think that only industry-funded “deniers” are claiming that climate change is not real.  What’s ridiculous is that Harris and the ICSC themselves are industry-funded climate change deniers.

Here are some basic facts that anyone could discover from a few minutes of web research:

“Read More”

My restart at LA Hotel before surgery

Restart: A Site and a Life

Category : Global News

AMID  the restart of my life after the second cancer surgery, I’ve installed a new site theme, chosen by Melissa. Navigation requires clicking the line stack in the upper left corner or scrolling to the bottom of every screen. As time allows, I will work on making navigation better. Meanwhile, here’s an interim menu bar:

Judah Freed’s Blog | Making Global Sense | Hoku House Author Services | KIAPA | Newsletter | ResourcesAbout Judah Freed | Judah’s Archive | Contact


The site redesign reflects a life redesign. My restart occurs on every level.

“Read More”

Open Book Expo America to the Public?

During a recent conversation with book publicist, Cathy Lewis, we began to talk about the relatively low turnout for Book Expo America 2015 compared to prior years. We agreed that attending BEA no longer seems essential for success in the book industry. Why not?

The big houses already are sending their reps to call on the chains and indie booksellers, so they do not need BEA to pitch new titles and take orders. The medium to small publishers mostly have distributors that call upon the chains and indie booksellers, so they do not need to spend big bucks for exhibit space to reach booksellers when they already have distributors making sales pitches in the field.

“Read More”


5 Needed Election Reforms

We hear that political corruption is like the weather. Everybody complains about it, but nobody can do anything to change it. Well, I believe that’s just not true. In fact, I feel taking action on the moral climate of corruption is just as necessary for our survival as taking action on the changing climate of our planet. Political corruption is a form of pollution, and we ignore it at our peril. To stimulate thought and action, therefore, I’m distilling into one essay the five most widely supported election reforms. If we can enact even one of these reforms, perhaps starting locally and going national, the decline in political corruption will be tremendous.

The five election reforms below will not be easily enacted, yet the cause is worthy.

1. Public Funding of Public Elections.

“Read More”

Police at 2008 Democratic National Convention

Recalled: 2008 Democratic National Convention

With the 2016 Democratic National Convention approaching faster than we may expect,  this piece of narrative from the 2008 DNC is worth recalling.

The Network of Spiritual?Progressives (NSP) asks me to coordinate a conference in?Denver at the 2008 Democratic National?Convention (DNC), which will nominate a candidate for president. Our event overlaps the opening day of the DNC at a Denver sports arena. We hope to nudge Democrats toward more enlightened social values.

The request comes from NSP cofounder Rabbi Michael Lerner. Months earlier, I’d helped him organize an interfaith evening at a Denver mosque. Before an overflow audience, Rabbi?Lerner joined local Muslim, Christian and Jewish clergy to explore options for Middle East peace.

“Read More”

Syngenta in Switzerland Urged to Drop Suit Against Kauai GMO Pesticide Law

Category : Global News

Syngenta HQ in Basel
Syngenta headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. (by Latschari, WikiCommons)

 

At the annual shareholders meeting of the Syngenta Corporation in Basel, Switzerland, Kauai County Council member Gary Hooser urged the transnational chemical giant to withdraw from its lawsuit against the Hawaiian island county.

Syngenta in January 2014 joined with Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer and BASF in a federal suit to block the enforcement of controversial Kauai Ordinance 960, which regulates testing agrochemicals on GMO seed crops on the garden island.

Enacted in late 2013 by Kauai County Council in an override of the island mayor’s veto, Ordinance 960 requires the GMO seed companies to disclose when and where and how much they spray toxic chemicals on their test crops. The law also requires a 500 foot buffer between the testing areas and local schools, hospital and homes.

“Read More”

Email and the Surveillance State

A friend recently asked me for advice on how to send his email securely. I had to ask what he meant by “secure.”

Did he mean a password-protected email account? Practically all email accounts are password-protected today, even Yahoo and Google, plus virtually every viable email app require password authentication for both sending and receiving email from a remote IMAP or POP mail server.

“Read More”

The Government Accountability Project Investigates Biotech Industry Influence on Hawaii State and County Officials

Category : Global News

LIHUE –  This week, the Government Accountability Project (GAP), a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group based in Washington, D.C., submitted several information requests to Hawaii state and county officials about meetings and communications with large biotech companies during the debate over Kauai’s pesticide and disclosure legislation, Bill 2491. The bill, now signed into law as “Ordinance 960”, requires biotech companies to disclose pesticide use information and establish buffer zones between their fields and schools, hospitals and residential areas.

“Read More”

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