Short Takes: Restoring Voting Rights(ex-felons)

Politician swearing an oath with fingers crossed behind back

More than 6 million American citizens are unable to vote because of a past criminal conviction. As many as 4.7 million of these citizens live, work, and raise families in our communities. But because of a conviction in their past they are still denied this fundamental democratic right. These laws, deeply rooted in our troubled racial history, have a disproportionate impact on minorities. Across the country, one in every 13 voting-age African Americans have lost their right to vote, which is four times the rate for all other Americans.

Racism & Felony Disenfranchisement

The United States stands alone among modern democracies in stripping voting rights from millions of citizens on the basis of criminal convictions.

The United States stands alone among modern democracies in stripping voting rights from millions of citizens on the basis of criminal convictions! Lifetime felon voting ban lawsuit filed in Mississippi . Mississippi’s constitution bars its citizens from voting ever again after being convicted of felonies. “Once you’ve paid your debt to society, I believe you should be allowed to participate again,” said plaintiff Kamal Karriem, a 58-year-old former Columbus city councilman who pleaded guilty to embezzlement in 2005 after being charged with stealing a city cellphone. “I don’t think it should be held against you for the rest of your life.” 

Voting age citizens convicted of a felony are barred from voting for some period of time. While many states restore voting rights to individuals automatically after they exit jail or prison, others permanently disenfranchise people with a past felony conviction or require they petition the government to have their right restored.

Voting rights retained while incarcerated for a felony conviction in: Maine and Vermont. Voting rights restored automatically upon release from prison in: The District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Utah. Voting rights restored automatically once released from prison and discharged from parole (probationers can vote) in: California, Colorado, Connecticut, and New York.

Voting rights restored automatically upon completion of sentence, including prison, parole, and probation in: Alaska, Arizona ,Arkansas, Georgia , Idaho, Kansas , Louisiana Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas , Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Voting rights restoration is dependent on the type of conviction and/or the outcome of an individual petition or application to the government in: Alabama , Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada,Tennessee, and Wyoming. Voting rights can ONLY be restored through an individual petition or application to the government in: Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia.

Lead In Hair Dye!

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on October 30, 2018 said that hair dyes can no longer contain lead.

New rule does not take effect for 12 months, but it ends the only remaining legal use of lead, a neurotoxin, in cosmetic products in the United States.

     40 years since lead acetate was initially approved as a color additive, our understanding of the hazards of lead exposure has evolved significantly,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb explained in an agency news release. We now know that the approved use of lead acetate in adult hair dyes no longer meets our safety standard,” he added. “Lead exposure can have serious adverse effects on human health, including for children who may be particularly vulnerable. Moreover, there are alternative color additives for hair coloring products that consumers can use that do not contain lead as an ingredient.” For the most part, the hair dyes that now contain lead acetate, such as Grecian Formula, are used to darken gray hair, according to the Environmental Defense Fund . Along with new scientific data, the FDA’s decision was prompted by a petition opposing the use of lead as a color additive. “In the last several decades, we’ve seen tremendous progress in reducing exposure to lead from major sources. Given this progress and wide recognition that there is no safe level of exposure, it may seem unbelievable that common hair dyes contain the neurotoxin — putting those who use the product and their children at risk,” said Tom Neltner, chemicals policy director at the EDF, one of the groups involved in filing the petition. FDA’s decision is an important step to protecting people from a continued source of exposure to lead that is a more significant route than the agency originally thought over three decades ago. Now, there is no safe level of lead exposure, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Companies have 12 months to reformulate hair dye products that contain lead acetate. Consumers who want to avoid using these products during that time can check to see if lead acetate is listed as an ingredient or there is a warning label that states, in part: “For external use only. Keep this product out of children’s reach,” according to the FDA.

Halitosis Bad Breath

(Photo by Ami Vitale/Getty Images)

More than 80 million people suffer from chronic halitosis, or bad breath. In most cases it originates from the gums and tongue. The odor is caused by wastes from bacteria in the mouth, the decay of food particles, other debris in your mouth and poor oral hygiene. The decay and debris produce a sulfur compound that causes the unpleasant odor. What causes bad breath? Bad breath is primarily caused by poor oral hygiene but can also be caused by retained food particles or gum disease. Does bad breath come from other sources than the mouth? Bad breath also may occur in people who have a medical infection, diabetes, kidney failure or a liver malfunction. Xerostomia (dry mouth) and tobacco also contribute to this problem. Cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy may experience dry mouth. Even stress, dieting, snoring, age and hormonal changes can have an effect on your breath. An odor that comes from the back of your tongue may indicate postnasal drip. 

Why is saliva so important in the fight against bad breath? Saliva is the key ingredient in your mouth that helps keep the odor under control because it helps wash away food particles and bacteria, the primary cause of bad breath. When you sleep, however, salivary glands slow down the production of saliva, allowing the bacteria to grow inside the mouth. To alleviate “morning mouth,” brush your teeth and eat a morning meal. Morning mouth also is associated with hunger or fasting. Those who skip breakfast, beware, because the odor may reappear even if you’ve brushed your teeth.

Do certain foods cause bad breath? Spicy foods, such as onions and garlic, and coffee may be detected on a person’s breath for up to 72 hours after digestion. Onions, for example, are absorbed by the stomach, and the odor is then excreted through the lungs. Studies even have shown that garlic rubbed on the soles of the feet can show up on the breath.

How do I control bad breath? It is important to practice good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. Proper brushing, including brushing the tongue, cheeks and the roof of the mouth, will remove bacteria and food particles. Flossing removes accumulated bacteria, plaque and food that may be trapped between teeth. To alleviate odors, clean your tongue with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper, a plastic tool that scrapes away bacteria that builds on the tongue. Chewing sugar-free gum also may help control odor.

Article by Queen A Davis

 

Say No To GMO’s Pt. 1

Red apple in genetic engineering laboratory, gmo food concept

Part 1.  GMO defined-The abbreviation for genetically modified organism. A GMO is an organism whose genome has been altered by the techniques of genetic engineering so that its DNA contains one or more genes not normally found there. A high percentage of food crops, such as corn and soybeans, are genetically modified. GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. … Because this involves the transfer of genes,GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms. Currently commercialized GMO crops in the U.S. include soy (94%), cotton (90%), canola (90%), sugar beets (95%), corn (88%), Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%), zucchini and yellow squash (over 24,000 acres).

Genetically modified foods have been linked to toxic and allergic reactions, sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals. The effects on humans of consuming these new combinations of proteins produced in GMOs are unknown and have not been studied. Crops such as Bt cotton produce pesticides inside the plant. This kills or deters insects, saving the farmer from having to spray pesticides. Farmers in India, who let their sheep graze on Bt cotton plants after the harvest, saw thousands of sheep die!

GMO Health Risk According to the Institute for Responsible Technology, “Human studies show how genetically modified (GM) food can leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long-term problems. Genes inserted into GM soy, for example, can transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside us, and that the toxic insecticide produced by GMO corn was found in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn fetuses.”

Seven ways that GMOs may adversely affect health:

1. Food allergy – “The list of GMO food products intersect with the eight m ost common food allergens: eggs, milk, fish, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat.” OCA states that protein in foods is what triggers allergic reactions and “most of the foreign proteins being gene-spliced into foods have never been eaten by humans before or tested for their safety.”

2. Toxicity – “A review of 19 studies (including industry’s own studies submitted to regulators in support of applications to commercialise GMO crops) on mammals fed with commercialised GM soy and maize that are already in our food and feed chain found consistent toxic effects on the liver and kidneys,” reports GMO education.

3. Infertility – According to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, “There is more than a casual association between GMO foods and adverse health effects.” In a study on GMO corn and fertility there was a “significant decrease in offspring over time and significantly lower litter weight in mice fed GMO corn.”

4. Gluten Disorders – In a 2013 report released by the Institute for Responsible Technology, internist Emily Linder MD states, “Based on my clinical experience, when I remove genetically modified foods as part of the treatment for gluten sensitivity, recovery is faster and more complete. I believe that GMO’s in our diet contribute to the rise in gluten sensitivity in the U.S. population.”

5. DNA Transfer – GMO’s are created using horizontal gene transfers as opposed to natural reproduction, which is accomplished via vertical gene transfer.

6. Birth defects – Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp. Monsanto Company, considered the giant of GMOs, engineers “RoundUp Ready” crops that are routinely treated with the herbicide. According to Andres Carrasco, head of the molecular Embryology Lab at the University of Buenos Aires glyphosate “is responsible for causing birth defects, infertility, sperm destruction, and cancer.”

7. Cancer – A study that linked GMO’s and Round Up to cancer was first published in 2012, was retracted in 2013 and republished in 2014.

By Ghost Part 1 of 2

 

 

Too Much Sugar Harms Your Body

Sweet granulated refined white sugar cubes for unhealthy diet habit or food ingredient addiction.

Diabetes

Sugary drinks in particular can boost your odds for type 2 diabetes. This can happen because when sugar stays in your blood, your body may react by making less of the hormone insulin, which converts the food you eat into energy.

High Blood Pressure

Salt gets the blame for this condition, also called hypertension, researchers say another white crystal — sugar, is the worrisome culprit. 1 way they believe sugar raises blood pressure is by making your insulin levels spike too high. Making your blood vessels less flexible and cause your kidneys to hold onto water and sodium. Sugary diets are bad for your heart, regardless of how much you weigh.

Liver Disease

Packaged foods, snacks, and drinks are sweetened with fructose, a simple sugar from fruits or veggies like corn. Your liver turns it into fat. If you regularly pump fructose into your body, tiny drops of fat build up in your liver. This is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Early diet changes can reverse it. But over time, swelling and scarring can damage your liver.

Cavities

You know sugar rots your teeth. It feeds the bacteria in your mouth, which leave behind acid that wears away your tooth enamel. Sugary drinks, dried fruits, candy, and chocolate are common offenders. Sour candies are among the worst. They’re almost as acidic as battery acid! If you eat tart treats, rinse your mouth with water afterward or drink some milk to neutralize the acid.

Mood Problems

Feeling down? Your sweet tooth may be part of the problem. Several studies have linked sugar and mental health problems. One of the latest showed that men who ate more than 66 grams of sugar a day — almost double what’s recommended — were 23% more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression than men who ate 40 grams or less. Too much sugar could fuel depression through swelling, or inflammation, in your brain, which is more common in people with depression.

Aging

Sugary drinks may add years to your biological age. DNA called telomeres cap the end of your chromosomes to protect them from damage. Longer is better. Shortened telomeres may go hand in hand with age-related diseases like diabetes. One study found that people who drink 20 ounces of soda a day have shorter telomeres. Researchers figure that’s like adding more than 4 years to the age of your cells.

 

Discrepancy? Legal R Not

Cannabis cola (Thousand Oaks marijuana strain)

Marijuana Arrests by the Numbers According to the ACLU’s original analysis, marijuana arrests now account for over half of all drug arrests in the United States. Despite roughly equal usage rates, Blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana. Billions of taxpayer dollars fund these arrests, which disproportionately target Black people. Wasted Time and Money: Enforcing marijuana laws costs us about $3.6 billion a year, yet the War on Marijuana has failed to diminish the use or availability of marijuana.  Between 2001 and 2010, there were over 8 million pot arrests in the U.S. That’s one bust every 37 seconds and hundreds of thousands ensnared in the criminal justice system. Police arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes — combined . On any given day in the United States, at least 137,000 people sit behind bars on simple drug-possession charges according to the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch. More than one of every nine arrests by state law enforcement is for drug possession, amounting to more than 1.25 million arrests each year.” 

Drug cops raid an 81-year-old woman’s garden to take out one marijuana plant. Marijuana is legal in Colorado It’s still illegal for kids to possess,juveniles are coming to dominate the marijuana arrests in Colorado. But another startling trend also has developed: Arrest rates have risen dramatically for young blacks and Latinos. “Police do patrol more in neighborhoods of color, ” he says. police show up and find kids illegally possession they’re obligated to do something

What Is Bullying?

     It typically starts in elementary school, peaks in middle school and wanes in high school, experts say. About one-third of all U.S. students experience some type of bullying, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

What is bullying?

Bullying is officially defined as unwanted, repeated aggressive behavior involving an imbalance of power, according to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). It’s meant to harm or scare victims, experts say – and it’s prevalent.