the strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must
Archive for August, 2009
in the warm New Mexico sun
Or something like that…TTP and LH are taking a well-earned week away, somewhere near here:
So keep your powder dry, don’t listen to the media, and raise a little hell. We sure will…
The U.S. versus Monsanto?
Did a warning shot just fly across Monsanto’s bow?
Most of the focus on the newly invigorated antitrust division of the Department of Justice has centered on the possibility that the feds are taking a hard look at Google’s domination of the online advertising market. My former colleague Farhad Manjoo does a great job of explaining why that’s not a particularly smart idea. But for the foodies, organic and family farmers, and anti-GMO activists of the world, there’s a far more provocative target at which to aim the antitrust cannon: the Roundup, GMO-corn and GMO-soybean king, Monsanto.
This is not idle speculation. On Aug. 7, Philip Weiser, a newly appointed deputy assistant attorney general in the antitrust division, gave an important speech in St. Louis, which just happens to be where Monsanto is based. The title of the speech: “Toward a Competition Policy Agenda for Agriculture Markets.”
Either by direct ownership or through licensing of its genetically modified traits, Monsanto may dominate as much as 90 percent of the U.S. corn and soybean seed market, to the point that farmers are complaining about the difficulties involved in simply locating non-GMO seed.
Monsanto, of course, has its defenders, who argue that any antitrust enforcement would unfairly punish the company for its successful development of innovative über-corn. Why should we care about the small farmers who can’t afford high-priced seed or are struggling to stay organic?
Good news for…well everyone who eats. The notion that a single company “owns” 90% of corn and soybean seeds isn’t just insane, its potentially lethal.
KABUL – The family of one of the youngest prisoners ever held at Guantanamo plans to sue the U.S. government to compensate him for mistreatment and an adolescence lost to nearly seven years in a cell, his lawyers said Thursday.
Mohammed Jawad returned to Afghanistan this week after a military judge ruled that he was coerced into confessing that he threw a grenade at an unmarked vehicle in the capital in 2002. The attack wounded two American soldiers and their interpreter.
I wish him luck.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – It is one thing to trust in God, but quite another to be ordered to rely on protection from above during national emergencies, a judge has ruled.
Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate said in Wednesday’s decision that references to a dependence on “Almighty God” in the law that created the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security is akin to establishing a religion, which the government is prohibited from doing in the U.S. and Kentucky constitutions. Ten Kentucky residents and a national atheist group sued to have the reference stricken.
“It is breathtakingly unconstitutional,” said Edwin Kagin, national legal director for American Atheists Inc. in Union, “and Judge Wingate goes to great detail as to why it is.”
The judge wrote in the 18-page ruling: “The statute pronounces very plainly that current citizens of the Commonwealth cannot be safe, neither now, nor in the future, without the aid of Almighty God. Even assuming that most of this nation’s citizens have historically depended upon God, by choice, for their protection, this does not give the General Assembly the right to force citizens to do so now.”
The language in the 2006 legislation had been inserted by state Rep. Tom Riner, D-Louisville, a pastor of Christ is King Baptist Church in Louisville.
Riner said he planned to ask Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway to seek a reconsideration of the order. Conway has 10 days to do that, and 30 days to appeal.
“They make the argument … that it has to do with a religion,” Riner said, “and promoting a religion. God is not a religion. God is God.”
What is truly frightening is that Riner probably believes that statement and would most likely be confused as to how anyone else would not.
Replace the word “god” with “toaster”.
So Atlanta embarrassment Neal Boortz gets paid large to utter contemptible crap like this:
While high school students in Florida are banned from wearing an admittedly ignorant shirt:
High school students in Gainesville, FL were sent home recently for wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase “Islam is of the devil.” The children wearing the shirts belong to the Dove World congregation, an evangelical “New Testament Church” which urges followers to “bring Godly changes to our entire society.” Tom Wittmer, an attorney for the Gainesville school district, said the clothing was inappropriate and a violation of the dress code because it disrupts the learning process:
“Students have a right of free speech, and we have allowed students to come to school wearing clothes with messages,” Wittmer said. “But this message is a divisive message that is likely to offend students.” […]
He said there also has to be equal treatment of different faiths.
“The next kid might show up with a shirt saying ‘Christianity is of the Devil,’” Wittmer said.
So in Florida, the only “free speech” allowed is that with which the majority would approve. And truly terrifying is the notion that some kid might show up with a shirt saying something “divisive” about Christianity. Oh the horror.
But in Georgia, the major radio station in the metro Atlanta area has long hosted the draft-dodging fascist cheerleader Neal Boortz to the embarrassment of all of us who don’t view human beings as debris.
Other than Neal Boortz, that is.
NEW YORK — Ellie Greenwich, who co-wrote some of pop music’s most enduring songs, including “Chapel of Love,” “Be My Baby” and “Leader of the Pack,” died Wednesday, according to her niece. She was 68.
Greenwich, a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, was considered one of pop’s most successful songwriters. She had a rich musical partnership with the legendary Phil Spector, whose “wall of sound” technique changed rock music. With Spector, she wrote some of pop’s most memorable songs, including “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “River Deep, Mountain High.”
If you haven’t listened to “River Deep, Mountain High” by Ike and Tina recently, do it now.
CHICAGO (Editor and Publisher) – HBO is considering a show based on “Savage Love,” the sex advice column syndicated in alternative weeklies.
In his blog for his home paper, Seattle’s The Stranger, columnist Dan Savage said he has been working on “a non-airing presentation pilot for HBO” that would be called “Savage Love.”
Quoting from a draft press release for the show, Savage said the possible show “will focus on current events and cultural trends with sex as the filter.”
The alarm has been sounded. Politicians, pharmaceutical executives and media conglomerates would have us believe that a 1918-style pandemic is a real threat.
…The 1918 flu virus became pandemic because, during World War I, the normal host-pathogen relationship was abandoned when millions of young men crowded into geographical confinement. In World War I, a flu virus was presented with a seemingly limitless number of hosts – almost all young, male, and with compromised immune systems. Unconstrained and unchecked by the usual habits of human behavior, the virus went rogue.
If the current H1N1 swine flu virus does become abnormally lethal, there would be three leading explanations: first, that the virus was accidentally released, or escaped, from a laboratory; second, that a disgruntled lab employee unleashed the virus (as happened, according to the official version of events, with the 2001 anthrax attack); or third, that a group, corporation or government agency intentionally released the virus in the interests of profit and power.
Each of the three scenarios represents a plausible explanation should the swine virus become lethal. After all, the 1918 flu virus was dead and buried – until, that is, scientists unearthed a lead coffin to obtain a biopsy of the corpse it contained. Later, researchers similarly disturbed an Inuit woman buried under permafrost.3
The US Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, with a scientist from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, then began to reconstruct the 1918 Spanish flu. Had Iran or North Korea engaged in Frankenstein experiments (complete with ransacking graves) to reverse engineer the 1918 virus the US and the UK would have gone ballistic at the UN Security Council.
Interestingly, numerous doctors and scientists suspect that the swine flu virus was cultured in a laboratory. A mainstream Australian virologist, Adrian Gibbs – who was one of the first to analyze the genetic properties of the 2009 swine flu – believes that scientists accidentally created the H1N1 virus while producing vaccines. And Dr. John Carlo, Dallas Co. Medical Director, “This strain of swine influenza that’s been cultured in a laboratory is something that’s not been seen anywhere actually in the United States and the world, so this is actually a new strain of influenza that’s been identified.”4 Because of this, the 2009 swine flu virus – which has yet to be detected in any animals – has a rather suspicious pedigree.
Hmm. Read up on what happened the last time we faced “swine flu”.
The end of one of America’s most powerful ruling families is upon us:
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, the last surviving brother in a political dynasty and one of the most influential senators in history, died Tuesday night at his home on Cape Cod after a year-long struggle with brain cancer. He was 77.