The Daily GRRR! - Feb. 10, 2015 - “Too Bad It’s Only Tuesday” Edition

The Daily GRRR! HEADLINES for Feb. 10, 2015. 1. Geological research links Montana oil spill to arsenic levels in groundwater. 2. Pesticide lobby spreads misinformation to counter ON’s plan to nix neonics. 3. Women use their wiles to orchestrate mass prison breakout in central Brazil. 4. Black man arrested for drinking iced tea finally acquitted after two years. 5. Cops who framed man for rape forced to pay his compensation out of pocket. 6. Graphic novel on healthy hookups wants to show straight boys how it’s done. 7. Activists ring in Valentine’s Day with real celebrations of love and struggle.
listen to the Daily GRRR!:  DailyGrrrFeb10.mp3

Welcome back to SoundFM! You are now listening to The Daily GRRR! on the air every weekday morning from 9-10 a.m. here at 100.3fm, CKMS in Waterloo, Ontario, and on the web. This is Kathryn and I’ll be your host on this Tuesday morning show for February 10th, 2015.

As always, we are broadcasting from the heart of the Haldimand Tract, the occupied Grand River Territory of the Six Nations, which we continue to recognize as Haudenosaunee land.

The Daily GRRR! is a project of the Grand River Media Collective and is supported by the Community Radio Fund of Canada and CKMS.

We will begin today with headlines:
The Daily GRRR!
HEADLINES for Feb. 10, 2015 
1. Geological research links Montana oil spill to arsenic levels in groundwater
2. Pesticide lobby spreads misinformation to counter ON’s plan to nix neonics
3. Women use their wiles to orchestrate mass prison breakout in central Brazil
4. Black man arrested for drinking iced tea finally acquitted after two years
5. Cops who framed man for rape forced to pay his compensation out of pocket
6. Graphic novel on healthy hookups wants to show straight boys how it’s done
7. Activists ring in Valentine’s Day with real celebrations of love and struggle

1. Geological research links Montana oil spill to arsenic levels in groundwater

As reported by The Missoulian, underground petroleum leaks like the 39,000-gallon discharge into Montana’s Yellowstone River two weeks ago can trigger arsenic spikes in groundwater which could be a problem as the United States confronts a rising trend in pipeline-related accidents. The arsenic release is more of a long-term problem compared to the immediate hazard of benzene and other toxins that prevented 6,000 residents of Glendive from drinking tap water for five days. But U.S. Geological Survey researcher Barbara Bekins said it serves to illuminate the difficulties of dealing with oil spills: “It showed up as an unintended consequence of the cleanup of other things,” Bekins said from her office in Menlo Park, California. “Where you’re trying to clean solvents, dry cleaning fluids or petroleum, what’s often done is you add organic carbon to the ground. That turns the groundwater anaerobic, which can mobilize arsenic.” New US Geological Survey research released last week found that when bacteria break down petroleum underground, the chemical process can release naturally occurring arsenic. That toxic heavy metal then can dissolve into underground aquifers, from which local communities often draw their drinking water. Another study, this time in Minnesota, found such petroleum plumes produced arsenic concentrations 23 times higher than federal drinking water standards advise. The mobile arsenic can also flow with the underground water to new locations away from the original spill site, extending the risk factors beyond the localized region.

2. Pesticide lobby spreads misinformation to counter ON’s plan to nix neonics

As reported by The Toronto Star, the pesticide lobby recently funded an “open letter to Ontarians” that was published last week week as a full-page ad in all the major newspapers. It was written on behalf of 28,000 farm families who plant their pesticide-coated seeds in over half of the province’s productive farmland, but the motivations for funding this lie are purely self-interest and profit for the pesticide lobby, who don’t want their market to run dry with the passing of proposed legislation to restrict neonicotinoid pesticides, or “neonics”, that are increasingly killing the province’s bee populations. As a result, the Ontario government is preparing legislation to severely restrict neonics on two crops: corn and soybeans. Today, virtually all corn grown in Ontario and 60 per cent of soybeans sprout from neonic-treated seeds. By 2017, the Ontario government wants that to be cut by 80 per cent. Europe is in the middle of a two-year ban on neonics, but Ontario’s restrictions, if implemented, would be the first of their kind in North America. You can see why the pesticide lobby is worried. They sense winds of change that will blow away a lot of their profits. In a nutshell, this is what their letter says: Ontario bees are not dying. Their colony numbers are up since 2003, when neonic seed treatments entered the market. The letter says that the science on neonic dangers is wrong and that when Ontario bees do die, it’s because of parasites, diseases, bad nutrition, and bad management but not the use of neonics. The corn and soy farmers love bees more than anyone else, so in a brilliant marketing move, the pesticide lobby named their anti-regulation campaign “Bees Matter”.

But most of the letter’s so-called “facts” are, at best, carefully cherry-picked to mislead readers and, at worse, flat-out wrong. For instance, the letter’s claim that reported deaths were down during last year’s spring planting is true. But what it failed to mention is that by the end of the year, reports of bee deaths were high again. The truth is that bees are dying at an alarming rate in Ontario. Last winter, commercial beekeepers lost 58 per cent of their hives. That was the apex of a worrying 12-year trend, during which a third of hives died off on average each season. Apiarists consider a 15-per-cent loss over winter the norm, so these die-off numbers have been staggering. The federal government’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency, which registers commercial pesticides, was worried enough about the bee deaths to conduct some field studies in 2012 and 2013, where they discovered neonic residue on 70 to 75 per cent of dead bees. Scientists have asked for an “urgent reduction” in the use of neonics, and the Ontario government is heeding their call.

3. Women use their wiles to orchestrate mass prison breakout in central Brazil

As reported by The Telegraph, twenty-eight inmates escaped from a Brazilian jail after three women in fantasy police costumes "seduced" prison wardens and let everyone out. The morning after the mass breakout, police found three wardens naked and handcuffed inside the Nova Mutum public jail in central Brazil. The women reportedly drugged the prison guards by giving them spiked whiskey after convincing them to take part in an orgy, according to investigators. They say that three women - one of them reportedly the girlfriend of one of the prisoners who escaped - arrived at the prison in lingerie and dominatrix-style police costumes at three o'clock on Thursday morning and asked to be let inside to "chat and drink”. The prison guards reportedly obliged and were soon persuaded to leave their posts, accompanying the women to the prison’s staff sleeping quarters. After drugging the wardens the women handcuffed them, took their keys and unlocked all the prison's cells. Inmates then left the prison through the main doors, even taking with them guns and munitions they had taken from the prison’s weapons cache. According to the police chief’s statement, the three prison officers have since been arrested themselves and will be charged with "facilitating a jailbreak" and "culpable embezzlement" because of the theft of firearms.

4. Black man arrested for drinking iced tea finally acquitted after two years

As reported by Counter Current News, Christopher Lamont Beatty was doing nothing other than standing in the parking lot of a state-owned liquor store and drinking a can of iced tea on the evening of April 27, 2013. But he found out that this is apparently enough for a white plainclothes officer to arrest you, after an unidentified and ununiformed man came up to Beatty and demanded to know what he was drinking. The man said he was “the police”, but failed to produce any badge or identifying proof that he was a member of law enforcement. The plainclothes cop said he was sure that Beatty was drinking alcohol. In reality, however, the drink turned out to not be alcohol at all. Beatty, for his part, had refused to hand his drink over but showed it to the unidentified officer, proving that it was only an AriZona-brand iced tea drink and not a can of beer as the officer suspected. But the unidentified stranger told Beatty was under arrest anyway. It turned out this guy actually was a cop, an Alcohol and Beverage Control Law Enforcer, and he threw Beatty face-down to the concrete in handcuffs.

Prosecutors in the case pressured Beatty to accept a plea deal, but he held out and now he has finally been vindicated, after two long years. According to The Fayetteville Observer, the judge decided to dismiss the charges against Beatty last Thursday, saying that the arrest was unconstitutional and that the officer had no reasonable suspicion to even stop and question Beatty. The district attorney says that he still thinks Beatty should be prosecuted though, despite all charges being dropped, showing once again the bias the pervades the American injustice system.

5. Cops who framed man for rape forced to pay his compensation out of pocket

As reported by the U.S. National Registry of Exonerations, on November 5, 1983, 58-year-old Ada Jankowski was raped and stabbed to death on the grounds of an elementary school in Miramar, Florida, after leaving a bar with a man named Anthony Martinez. Nearly two months later, on December 28 of the same year, 15-year-old Anthony Caravella was arrested for failing to appear in juvenile court on a grand theft charge. While in custody, he was questioned about the murder. Caravella—who had an IQ of 67, which is low enough to suggest an intellectual disability—ultimately gave four recorded statements to police—none of them the same—implicating himself in the murder. Not only were the statements different, but they conflicted drastically with the evidence from the crime scene. The following summer, on August 3, 1984, Caravella—who had turned 16—was convicted by a jury, almost solely on the basis of his statements to police. No physical evidence linked him to the crime, and his attorneys contended that Caravella was beaten and threatened by police until he confessed. Caravella was sentenced to life in prison.

Twenty-five years later, in September 2009, Caravella was released from prison and cleared of any and all involvement through DNA testing. As reported by Counter Current News, Caravella won a lawsuit last year against the officers who framed Caravella for the murder and stole two and a half decades of his life. But the news gets better, as it was recently ruled that the officers must pay Caravella’s $7 million compensation award themselves. That’s right, the city is not being told to foot the bill for these rogue officers—instead, they are being made to pay for their own mistakes.

6. Graphic novel on healthy hookups wants to show straight boys how it’s done

As reported by, Colin Adamo is the creator of the website Hooking Up & Staying Hooked that he’s written for high school guys and his goal is to change how heterosexual teenage boys learn about sex. Namely, the 26-year-old, who helped organize Sex Week at Yale as a student there, offers the opposite of a pickup artist guide. On the website, he provides practical advice for healthy dating and, of course, hookups, such as, “Whenever you get resistance move your hand away from where it’s landed” and, better yet, “Avoid being flyswatted by asking her what feels good.” Now, to reach more teenagers, he’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a graphic novel that he plans to distribute for free online in early 2016. While the website is a factual resource, Adamo told Salon that “the graphic novel literally illustrates what it would look like for a reader to navigate the world of dating, relationships and sexual decision-making in high school. The illustrated pages will follow multiple characters as they improve themselves, initiate and build healthy relationships, make decisions about sex, and grapple with conflict.”

When asked about what’s missing from contemporary sex ed directed towards young straight men, Adamo explained, “When it comes to teaching young men to respect women or make responsible decisions about sex, other resources fail to address the extremely complex milieu young men are acting in. When we ask them to do the “right” thing, often this goes against dominant norms of what it means to be a man or young or both. I want young men to be respectful and responsible but I want to help them figure out what that might look like in their lives. If we merely demand better of young men without helping them make sense of the competing forces that influence their behavior, their failure to do better is on us.”

Adamo welcomes the responsibility that this places on him as a straight man who does know better, explaining that “what drove me to create this resource in the first place was that I didn’t see anything out there that was speaking to young straight men. They’re at the intersection of so many issues we’re trying to address in the fight for sexual health, gender equity and LGBTQ rights. Young straight men are usually involved in one way or another in matters of unplanned pregnancy, STI transmission, sexual assault, dating violence, or homophobic/transphobic bullying. While there were a number of resources that I could point to that were specific to young straight women or queer youth, I hadn’t seen anything that was built for straight guys. If no one is speaking to young straight men directly about these issues it is too easy for them to ignore the importance of their role in the movement.” And, as Adamo clearly understands, it’s up to other straight men to speak to these young straight guys about such issues and teach them how to do better.

7. Activists ring in Valentine’s Day with real celebrations of love and struggle

For those of us who can’t stand the empty symbolism of valentine’s day, Hamilton’s anarchist social centre The Tower is hosting a real celebration of the power of love (and rage) through poetry and music. On Friday, February 13, at 7pm, come join poets David James Hudson and Lisa B from Guelph and Kahsenniyo of Six Nations, as well as local musicians Milo + Otis.

There’s another event happening closer to home the next night as well! On Saturday, February 14, at 7pm, poets David James Hudson and Lisa B are coming to Kitchener to join Janice Lee for a PAL-entine’s Day House Show at 85 Gruhn St. With the tagline “All aboard the friend-ship!” the night will feature music, poetry, crafts, and snacks for a suggested donation of $5-10 or PWYC.

And whatever your plans this weekend, if you’re looking to pick up a fellow activist for some fun or sexy times ~ always consensual, of course ~ you can check out the #ActivistPickUpLines on Twitter for some smooth lines to try out! I’ll give you a little preview now though with a few of my favourites:

“I’d invite you over to my place, but I don’t believe in private property.”
“I hadn’t experienced real privilege until I met you.” (That one was tweeted by the handsome and hilarious anti-colonial stand-up comedian Aamer Rahman!)
“I’d love to occupy something with you. And my bed’s empty and available.” (And if you get that far…)
“Race and gender aren't the only things about to get intersectional tonight!”
“Somebody get me a human rights lawyer, ’cos being without you is cruel and unusual punishment.”
“I just found out our shirts were manufactured in unfair working conditions; let's take them off.”
“I don’t wanna stop protesting, but you’re positively arresting!”
“I fell for you bell hooks, line, and sinker!”
“If you’re looking for action, my answer is affirmative.”
“Is the climate changing? ’Cause it just got hot in here!”
“You had me at ‘Fuck the system!’
“Baby, you must been tired cause you've been marching for equality in my mind all day.”
“Hey, I just met you, but calling something "crazy" stigmatises the mentally ill so check your privilege and call me maybe!”

And finally, if you’re feeling really shy, you can start that first conversation with your crush like Aamer Rahman suggests, saying, “I hope you don't find this too forward, but I'm a firm believer in direct action.”

Midway Music: Ask First! (Radical Rewrite of “Blurred Lines”) by Kaleigh Trace and J. Mary Burnett (Video:

Feature: “What Happens When A Prominent Male Feminist Is Accused Of Rape?” by Cecilia D’Anastasio for (**TRIGGER WARNING: Some explicit discussion of sexual acts that were not consensual and other accounts of personal boundaries being crossed.**)

Closing Song: The Empty by Le Tigre