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Once again thousands of trapped animals have died from a factory farm fire.

Some 250,000 hens at Ohio Fresh Eggs in Harpster died when firefighters "cut power to the chicken barns and ventilation systems to keep the flames from spreading," say news reports.

Did the birds burn to death, suffocate from smoke inhalation or asphyxiate from barn fumes? Ohio Fresh Eggs says only the hens were "euthanized." Their bodies will be sent to pet and animal feed processor G.A. Wintzer & Son Co. in Wapakoneta, says Bill Schwaderer of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Factory farms, in addition to their toxicity to workers, animals, the environment and food consumers, are fire bombs waiting to happen thanks to legions of animals packed over their own feces. Barns are so filled with ammonia, last year Maine state officials required medical care after entering barns for a short period of time at a similar egg farm, Quality Egg in Turner.


Celebrated author and long time human rights activist Patricia Nell Warren tells BuzzFlash that it’s time for ENDA to pass.

Despite the occasional setback – the vote on California’s Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage comes quickly to mind – and the incessant squawking and shameful and manipulative fundraising missiles from the likes of such professional scolds as Lou Sheldon of the Tradition Values Coalition, the American Family Association’s Wildmon family, and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities will continue to advance. Nevertheless, there are many more battles – dare I use that word in this overheated political climate – to be fought and won.

Passage of ENDA, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, is one of these impending fights.

by Norman Solomon

President Obama has taken a further plunge into the kind of war abyss that consumed predecessors named Johnson, Nixon and Bush.

On Sunday, during his first presidential trip to Afghanistan, Obama stood before thousands of American troops to proclaim the sanctity of the war effort. He played the role deftly -- a commander in chief, rallying the troops -- while wearing a bomber jacket.

There was something candidly macabre about the decision to wear that leather jacket, adorned with an American Eagle and the words “Air Force One.” The man in the bomber jacket doesn’t press the buttons that fire the missiles and drop the warheads, but he gives the orders that make it all possible.


This weekend, BuzzFlash posted a statement by a Boston survivor of church sexual abuse as a child, Gary Bergeron, in response to the recent revelations of international cases of large scale pedophilia by priests and inaction by Pope Benedict. Gary told BuzzFlash, in a call we made to confirm authorship, that he was not looking toward the past; he wanted the Vatican to sincerely commit and take action to prevent any child from experiencing sexual abuse at the hands of priests now and in the future.  On Monday, Gary E-Mailed BuzzFlash his response to Pope Benedict's Palm Sunday remarks concerning the latest outbreak of child sexual abuse revelations crossing several countries.

Yesterday, Pope Benedict stated that he “Will not be intimidated…” by accusations against the Vatican, by what he calls “Petty  gossip…” related to the clerical sex abuse crisis. These comments are grave reminders of the lack of understanding that the leader of the Catholic Church continues to have surrounding childhood sexual abuse by clergy.  

Offensive, would be an understatement to describe yesterday’s comments. It is beyond belief that words like “intimidation” and “petty gossip” are being used today in defense of the most important issue continuing to face the Catholic Church. Intimidation and petty gossip are words that I and other survivors know well. These are words that were used to dismiss the stories of victims of childhood clergy abuse for decades. These remarks were used less than one week after Pope Benedict’s words of apology.  Yesterday, in an effort to dismiss the words of his critics, Pope Benedict has dismissed his own words of apology.  


Armageddon is not just a Word, Mr. Boehner.

When asked whether he thought his use of the word “Armageddon” could cause people to do crazy things like spit at members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Minority Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner said, “Armageddon is just a word."


BuzzFlash Note: We called Gary, who lives in the Northeast, to confirm his E-Mail to BuzzFlash. In a discussion, he told us that he is not looking for vengeance, but wants the Catholic Church hierachy to answer the question of what it will do to prevent child sexual abuse from continuing.  Gary said that he wanted his grandchildren to be protected from what happened to him and his father, and that the occurence of child sexual abuse -- and the Church cover-ups -- in so many nations indicates that this is a widespread institutional pathology that needs immediate remedial action.

As a survivor of clergy abuse from the Boston area, it is of no surprise to me that the issue of clergy abuse has resurfaced on the front pages of newspapers across the globe, reaching the leader of the Catholic Church and rearing its ugly head.

It was almost 8 years ago at the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law in Boston, that I found myself asking one simple question, “What’s next?”


As radiation poured from 3 Mile Island 31 years ago this weekend, utility executives rested easy.  They knew that no matter how many people their errant nuke killed, and no matter how much property it destroyed, they would not be held liable. Today this same class of executives demands untold taxpayer billions to build still more TMIs.  No matter how many meltdowns they cause, and how much havoc they visit down on the public, they still believe they’re above the law.  

Fueled with more than $600 million public relations slush money, they demand a risk-free “renaissance” financed by you and yours. As if! In 1980 I reported from central Pennsylvania on the dead and dying one year after.  Dozens of interviews documented a horrifying range of radiation-related diseases including cancer, leukemia, birth defects, still births, malformations, sterility, heart attacks, strokes, emphysema, skin lesions, hair loss, a metallic taste and much more.  


Where were all these “freedom-loving” right wingers during the Bush years?

That’s a rhetorical question, of course. But one that should be asked of the morons now breaking windows and cutting gas lines, all in the name of “freedom from big government.”

by Marian Wang, ProPublica

You may recall the Kabul embassy guard scandal that broke last fall—the photos documenting drunken, lewd behavior by embassy guards—all to the embarrassment of the U.S. State Department. Shortly thereafter, the Department fired eight guards and announced it would not renew the contract of ArmorGroup North America after it expires in July, but that it would grant the contractor a six-month extension “to allow for an orderly transition between contractors.”

In the meantime, since ArmorGroup is still on the job until the end of this year, the State Department wants to toughen its oversight of the private security contractor, and it intends to do that by hiring other contractors to oversee this one.

If you think this doesn’t make sense, you wouldn’t be alone.

by Robert C. Koehler, Tribune Media Services

“Everything feels obscene,” a friend said seven years ago, when we carpet-bombed Baghdad, launching the invasion. It still does, but in a dull, chronic, “used to it” way — outrage mixed, these last few years, with “hope,” smearing the war effort with a thick, national ambivalence.

Is it still going on? Well, yeah, with a grinding pointlessness that’s not worth talking about or even debating anymore. The smorgasbord of justifications has been permanently shut down: the 9/11 tie-in, the WMD, “another Munich,” democracy for the Middle East. No one’s hawking Freedom Fries anymore. The war in Iraq simply continues because a war in motion, especially when it’s not really a war, when there isn’t an enemy with whom to negotiate, is incapable of just, you know, stopping. When we don’t really have a mission, completing it is difficult indeed.

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