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I'm not a pet food nutrition expert. But I have heard of Blue Buffalo. According to this article in Poisoned Pets, Blue Buffalo admitted its been lying to consumers for years about the ingredients in its pet food:

Blue Buffalo admitted the truth in court yesterday: A “substantial” and “material” portion of Blue Buffalo pet food sold over the past several years contained poultry by-product meal, despite pervasive advertising claims to the contrary. The admission came almost one year to the day when Purina filed a lawsuit against Blue Buffalo for false advertising after testing revealed the presence of poultry by-product meal in some of Blue Buffalo’s top selling pet foods.
Like any pet owner, I wanted to feed my pet the best food I could. I didn't feed Blue Buffalo, but this wasn't because I wasn't fooled by their advertising. Why didn't I feed Blue Buffalo?  In 2006 or 2007, I bought a bag. When I fed it, Cleo would throw it all up 10 minutes later. I took her to the Vet who said to change her food back to Royal Canin and if that didn't solve the vomiting she would do blood work. Well, it did solve it. I didn't feed Blue Buffalo because my single one week experience with the food made me think for whatever reason my cat did not tolerate it well.

However, I believed that animal by products and grains weren't good for pets because companies like Blue Buffalo advertised they weren't and how their products didn't contain any of these undesirable ingredients. Yes, like many consumers I was willing to pay more money for a better quality pet food because I cared so much.

In February 2014, Purina engaged Windsor Laboratories to conduct blind testing of samples of multiple lines of Blue Buffalo pet food. The results of that testing can be found here.

The article in Poisoned Pets isn't very complimentary of Blue Buffalo in general. In fact, the company seems to have been mostly marketing and very little substance. Note:

Bishop realized that getting into the pet food market by starting small with contract manufacturers making the product was a no-brainer and that all one had to do was, “Slap on a good label, come up with a slogan, and off you go.” He already knew it would be a cinch to pull the wool over consumer’s eyes, because, as he said, “There were already a lot of smoke and mirrors in how pet food was advertised, and that was the sort of stuff we were good at.”
As I said, I'm not a pet food nutrition expert. The purpose of this diary isn't to educate readers on what ingredients are good or bad although people are definitely welcome to talk about pet food nutrition in the comments.

How many other pet food companies haven't been truthful about the ingredients in their pet food?  How many of these premium pet foods sold at a premium price contain the ingredients we are told they don't?  How do we know what to believe?

I guess I'm a little upset.

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I want to commend BoiseBlue for starting a diary series about free trade agreements. Her diary series wasn't meant to argue for or against but was meant to provide information on free trade agreements and increase discussion. We need more constructive and civil discussion on Daily Kos!  

Her diary series helped me because I learned trade agreements are more complicated than I thought. There are so many variables, so it is beneficial to look beyond ideology and consider details such as who is for it and against it, who is negotiating it, and what provisions are in the agreement.  

Her diary series caused me to ask myself if maybe it is possible to negotiate a trade agreement that benefits both workers and the environment and not just corporations & investors?  If it is possible, why should we believe the TPP is such an agreement? Given the effects of NAFTA, isn't the burden of proof on the corporate class here?  

I decided to research that question and write a diary. I think I gave the TPP a fair shake because when I started I didn't want to believe the TPP would accelerate the race to the bottom. Why would I want to believe we may pass a trade agreement that would further lower U.S. wages and make it harder to combat climate change?  

Unfortunately, I wound up opposing the TPP more strongly than ever and here's why.


Do you support the TPP?

5%4 votes
84%64 votes
10%8 votes

| 76 votes | Vote | Results

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I'm tired of the war on the poor. I'm tired of running into people, including Democrats, who support the war on the poor. This is not a rebuttal to any Daily Kos diary. This is a rebuttal to what I've run into in real life.

In Missouri, Republicans have proposed a new law to prohibit SNAP program recipients from buying "junk food" and expensive food such as steak and seafood.  

This bill is not aimed at helping food stamp recipients eat healthier, low cost meals. This is a Republican ruse to cut the program. The Republican Party doesn't have any interest in the food stamp program except to cut it. The linked article from Politicus USA points this out:

Furthermore, the rationale for banning specific types of food is based more in right-wing mythology about the poor people eating lavishly off of SNAP (more commonly referred to by critics as “food stamps”) benefits than it is based on any objective reality.
In real life, someone I thought was a liberal Democrat is all in favor of this law. She has seen "first hand" the kind of junk food SNAP recipients buy. I didn't comment because I wouldn't have been nice. The people who did made neutral comments such as "there are two sides of the food stamp debate" and "cooking is a skill."
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I've said this before in comments, but I am expanding it into a diary.

This diary is a thank you diary to many. But I also want to illustrate that I learned from kossacks who were different from myself. What would I have learned if everyone on Daily Kos thought like me?  

When I came to Daily Kos in 2006, I was a strong Democrat into economic populist issues such as universal health care, the minimum wage, fair trade, jobs, social security, and poverty. I didn't think much about climate change, race, police brutality, abortion rights, or foreign policy. At the time, if someone asked me if I thought climate change was real, I would have replied yes because that's what I thought Democrats believed. But I didn't think much about it and I had no sense of urgency.

Looking back, I had never met a strong environmentalist. The Democrats I knew were Democrats due to economic and/or social issues. If someone mentioned climate change, they would reply "What is that exactly?" or "That is in 100 years." The Republicans I knew would reply "God is not going to let that happen" or it was about liberals "trying to save the spotted owl so we can all pay more for gas." I didn't know anyone from the corporate class who knew it was real and urgent, but couldn't break his or her addiction to profit at any cost to humanity.

Why didn't I know much about climate change?  I don't remember a single question about climate change in any presidential debate from 1992 to present. I don't remember climate change being a significant issue in any presidential campaign. I don't remember it being a topic in any political books or magazines I read. I rarely read about climate change until I came to Daily Kos.

I learned about climate change because a lot of kossacks took the time to write about it. In 2006, the issue wasn't even on my political radar. Today it ranks a tie or near tie as my number one political issue along with all those economic populist issues dear to me. I've learned just how urgent and critical climate change is. I've learned our ability to solve the economic issues dear to me depends on a stable climate. In addition, doesn't world peace and an effective foreign policy also depend on a stable climate?  How much energy will political activists have for social issues and equality if climate change soaks up all our time and energy in 20 years?  If we don't solve the climate crisis, it will overwhelm us and we may not have the economic or other resources to address much else.

I'd really like to focus on a huge green energy infrastructure and jobs program to solve our environmental and economic crisis with the same dollars.

And since 2006, kossacks have written over 22,000 environmental diaries. These are highlighted every Saturday and Wednesday in Meteor Blades Spotlight on Green News and Views.

I've been told eco-writers sometimes feel discouraged because their diaries don't get a lot of comments. I understand - writers gauge interest by recommends, comments, and tips. But I'd like to explain why that doesn't necessarily indicate a lack of interest. The topic of climate change is more scientific and less ideological. For example, a diary about why the Arctic ice is melting, and the implications is complex and scientific. That means a poster needs more knowledge to participate meaningfully in the comments than on other topics.

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First, I want to say I am not a Veterinarian. I do not have any Veterinary training. I am just a geeky, over analytical cat owner who reads too much :)

This diary is a story about my recent journey with my 13.5 year old kitty Cleo and her diagnosis of both arthritis and early stage renal insufficiency. This diary isn't intended to provide Veterinary advice, but it will contain information about Cleo's diagnosis and treatment. Please do not change anything you are doing without talking to your Veterinarian. Also, I want this diary to be a place where everyone feels free to talk about their experiences whether related to kidney disease or another pet issue (cats or dogs!).

This journey started in mid-January. I noticed Cleo would sometimes hold her paw up when drinking water. I thought "Did she hurt her paw?" I then noticed a limp. I went to the Vet who did a "lameness exam."  The Vet said it wasn't her paw but her elbow- she had decreased range of motion and bony changes to both elbows. The X-Ray confirmed  mild to moderate arthritis in both elbows.

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Welcome to Brothers and Sisters, the weekly meetup for prayer* and community at Daily Kos.  We put an asterisk on pray* to acknowledge that not everyone uses conventional religious language, but may want to share joys and concerns, or simply take solace in a meditative atmosphere. Anyone who comes in the spirit of mutual respect, warmth and healing is welcome.
Note: Anyone who wants to share prayer requests or joys and concerns is welcome to. It is not necessary to discuss the diary topic.
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This is just an honest and factual diary about my high blood history and my recent doctor visit. I have to go to the doctor once a year to get my blood pressure pills (Lisinopril) refilled. They also do some routine blood work - blood sugar and kidney function tests. At that visit, I was told I still have pre-diabetes and I need to get my blood sugar level down. Also, I was told I just turned 50 so I needed to have two cancer screenings done (prostate and colon). This diary will cover a wide spectrum of issues, so I thought it could generate some good discussion.  

I've taken blood pressure pills since I was 24 years old (I'm now 50). In high school, my systolic blood pressure was high - around 160-180 - but the diastolic was low - around 60 to 70. When I was 24, I went to the doctor for an unrelated reason. My blood pressure was 190/100. I was 24 and high blood pressure didn't run in my family. Neither parent or grandparent ever had it - not even in old age.

At the time, everyone I told this story thought I brought this all on myself because I was an anxious, nervous person.

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I was sad to read this article in People's magazine about Brittney Maynard, a 29 year old woman with stage 4 glioblastoma, a terminal brain cancer. She died Saturday November 1st by taking a fatal dose of barbiturates prescribed by her doctor.

Brittney decided she didn't want to go through chemotherapy because of the side effects and it would only prolong her suffering. Also, following her diagnosis she and her family moved from California to Oregon due to Oregon's Death with Dignity law. She knew Glioblastoma was a very painful death, and she didn't want to die that way.


Do you support dying with dignity laws?

52%165 votes
44%142 votes
2%9 votes

| 316 votes | Vote | Results

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We all remember Mitt Romney's secret 47% video where Mr. Romney told a small group of wealthy Republican donors what he really thought of the 47% of Americans who paid no income tax. This came as no surprise to people familiar with Romney's business record, but he was now fully exposed for who he really was.  

Well, it seems recently veteran corporate lobbyist Richard Berman and the oil industry executives secretly funding him had their own "47% moment" caught on secret tape saying what they really believe about people, animals, the environment, and corporate responsibility.

On June 25, 2014 Richard Berman gave a presentation to oil industry executives entitled "Big Green Radicals: Exposing Environmental Groups." In this presentation, Mr. Berman talked about an "endless war" against environmentalists and detailed his "war plan" to discredit the environmental movement. A transcript of the presentation can be found here.

What Mr. Berman did not know is an executive in the audience was so disgusted by the presentation he secretly recorded it and turned the tape over to The New York Times. An audio tape of the presentation can be found here.

And the New York Times recently published an article about it Hard-Nosed Advice From Veteran Lobbyist: ‘Win Ugly or Lose Pretty’ highlighting the fossil fuel industry's new public relations campaign called "Big Green Radicals" designed to discredit environmentalists.

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I ran across this story on Facebook.

Heba Mohammad is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and founder of the school's Muslim Student Association. She was concerned the city wasn't providing free bus service on election day, and how this would impact low income voters.  The city of Green Bay provides free bus service on Green Bay Packer game days. Why not do the same on election day to help low income people and those unable to drive vote?

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Welcome to Brothers and Sisters, the weekly meetup for prayer* and community at Daily Kos.  We put an asterisk on pray* to acknowledge that not everyone uses conventional religious language, but may want to share joys and concerns, or simply take solace in a meditative atmosphere. Anyone who comes in the spirit of mutual respect, warmth and healing is welcome.
Note: Anyone who wants to share prayer requests or joys and concerns is welcome to. It is not necessary to discuss the diary topic.

I recently ran across the above chart "How To Respect Other Religions." I noticed #8 on the chart was "Experience How Others Worship." I had never attended a non-Christian worship service, but I had always wanted to. So I did an internet search, found a local Mosque, and I attended their Friday prayer service.

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Welcome to Brothers and Sisters, the weekly meetup for prayer* and community at Daily Kos.  We put an asterisk on pray* to acknowledge that not everyone uses conventional religious language, but may want to share joys and concerns, or simply take solace in a meditative atmosphere. Anyone who comes in the spirit of mutual respect, warmth and healing is welcome.
In his book "Why The Christian Right Is Wrong" Dr. Robin Meyers says:
"When you dismantle countless environmental laws designed to protect the earth, which is God's gift to us all, so the corporations that bought you and paid for your favors will make higher profits while our children breathe dirty air and live in a toxic world, you have done something immoral. The earth belongs to the Lord, not Halliburton."
I recently had the privilege of listening to a sermon about climate change called "God's Taunt" given by Bill McKibben, founder of at Riverside Church in New York. That sermon is the topic for tonight's Brothers & Sisters diary.
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