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JackRiddler

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 21,943

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After World War II, Hitler was dead.

We're talking about the wholesale adoption of scientists and spies who had worked diligently in the programs and agencies of the defeated Nazi regime by the U.S. government into the CIA and other programs, as well as the creation of the West German intelligence agencies out of the Gehlen Organization, after the war. Some were Nazis, some were loyal technocrats, all had participated willingly and operationally in the regime and its war.

After the war.

The issue with GMO seeds is political, not just scientific

NOTE ON EDIT of August 10, 2014: I'm changing the title of this thread (formerly, "Vandana Shiva on the problem with GMO seeds") to make clear it's about the issues generally, and to make it harder for certain parties to degenerate it into the sneering distraction tactics of the fake "skeptics" and the irrelevant ad-hominem attacks now fashionable among many self-designated embodiments of "science". Let's focus on the issues of GMOs and their actual utilization within the present-day system of political economy.

First, a Vandana Shiva interview with Bill Moyers - please watch it.



http://billmoyers.com/segment/vandana-shiva-on-the-problem-with-genetically-modified-seeds/

Bill talks to scientist and philosopher Vandana Shiva, who’s become a rock star in the global battle over genetically modified seeds. These seeds — considered “intellectual property” by the big companies who own the patents — are globally marketed to monopolize food production and profits. Opponents challenge the safety of genetically modified seeds, claiming they also harm the environment, are more costly, and leave local farmers deep in debt as well as dependent on suppliers. Shiva, who founded a movement in India to promote native seeds, links genetic tinkering to problems in our ecology, economy, and humanity, and sees this as the latest battleground in the war on Planet Earth.


Here are questions the GMO issue raises that are generally avoided by framing the discussion merely as one of science determining the supposed effects on health:

How is this technology applied? What kinds of GMOs have been developed? By whom and to what purpose? With what effect, not just on the biology of the organism or of the eater, but also on the environment and in the political economy, the lives of humans generally? What are the totality of the consequences, insofar as we might know them, as well as the potential unintended consequences? Who decides?

My argument:

This is at least as much an issue of politics and power as of science. GMO functionally is used as a means for business entities to claim intellectual property rights to seeds whether or not these are in their possession, or to set up other systems of guaranteed rent-seeking, as when they sell both the seed and the persticides/herbicides to which it is resistant. (A place gets flooded with that particular herbicide and then everyone's forced to buy the more expensive, herbicide-resistant seeds and prohibited from using seeds gained in the harvest.) As a matter of system GMO tech is applied with corporate pecuniary interests as the motivating force. In practice reinforces the present systems of energy-intensive industrial monoculture, food processing and delivery-marketing in the hands of cartels, and problematic diet.

Analogy:

Applying new techniques in metal sciences, I invent a new gun and sell it to a corporation that puts it into immediate mass production. Some people don't like this, many of them for visceral reasons. Others rationalize my invention, like Neil de Grasse Tyson has just done with GMOs, with the general argument that people have been making things out of metal for millennia. This is obtuse. He's a smart guy, but he's missing the point. What's the gun for? Who's using it, to what end?

Missing the matter of who and why. Politically naive.

Re: Tyson's defense of GMOs.

Here is what he's not asking:

How is this technology applied? What kinds of GMOs have been developed? By whom? To what purpose? With what effect, not just on the biology of the organism or of the eater, but also on the environment and in the political economy, the lives of humans generally? What are the totality of the consequences, insofar as we might know them, as well as the potential unintended consequences? Who decides?

Analogy:

Applying new techniques in metal sciences, I invent a new gun and sell it to a corporation that puts it into immediate mass production. Some people don't like this, many of them for visceral reasons. Others rationalize my invention, like Tyson in this case, with the general argument that people have been making things out of metal for millennia. This is obtuse. He's a smart guy, but he's missing the point. What's the gun for? Who's using it, to what end?

"The reason Israel doesn't do it..."

is that they are using this (weak) defensive response from Hamas as the retroactive pretext for the IDF's own attack. Tunnels, schmunnels, none of this is a threat to Israel. They're playing a strategy to crush Palestinian hopes over the long term.

The IDF initiated the offensive on Gaza, after a two-year ceasefire and in the absence of any rain, trickle, barrage, or salvo of rockets from Gaza. The government had decided to pursue this aggression following the crime against the settler children in the West Bank (not by Hamas, not in Gaza, not by anything other than a "lone cell") and just as a unity deal had been struck between Hamas and the P.A. The government's actions are for domestic political consumption and out of long-term calculations of the power constellation. This aggression has never had anything to do with Hamas's rockets, or its supposed tunnels. These are the excuses for consumption among true believers and low-information voters in the U.S., and they wear thin, and I tire of hearing nonsense about the "rain of rockets" when Israel chose to initiate this massacre which has laid waste to large carpets of residential areas without regard for the civilians.

U.S. public opinion is shifting radically.

51% of Americans 18-29 years old think the Israeli attack is unjustified. Most support from Israel comes from ages 50 and up.... the majority of Republican identifiers back what Israel is doing. Meanwhile, Democrats take the opposing view, with nearly half saying Israel’s actions are unjustified.


This is an analysis digging down into the numbers from the latest Gallup poll, at

http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/israels-actions-unjustified.html

It's no surprise given the audacity of the IDF's crimes against humanity in Gaza, and the transparently lame justifications served up by the pro-Israeli PR. Which, as we're learning in this thread, has also not worked on Democratic Underground, despite the flood of posts by the relatively small but highly vocal group who support of the Israeli aggression against the occupied people of Gaza.

Now we're also seeing what the true majority opinion on this site is, although you'd never be able to tell from just reading threads, due to how prolific a handful of IDF supporters are.

Check out the link for further breakdowns - opinion among U.S. women is 44 to 33 percent against the Israeli action, says Gallup! Among non-Whites, it's running 2 to 1 against.

This is almost parallel to the general right/left divide, wherein the old white men still predominate and keep the Tea Party politics going, but everyone else is against that.

Israel’s actions ‘unjustified’ in eyes of women, non-whites, Dems, indy’s, and those under 50 — Gallup
http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/israels-actions-unjustified.html

This "Russian shelling" story is bullshit on its own terms.

I don't need to question the source or authenticity of the image itself, or use past examples of deception as though these necessitate deception in this case. (Although certainly, with the exception of the reason for entering World War II, there has never been any matter of war and peace, under Democrats or Republicans, on which the U.S. government has not lied systematically to the American people.)

Here's all I need to do:

They're the DNI! Why are they presenting images obtained from a civilian source?!

What's with the interpretative past tense? We are told the images show that there had been fire, due to "ground scarring" on the Russian side. All that ground scarring proves is that the Russians have a lot of heavy military gear that they move around, including near the Ukrainian border during a confrontation with the West over the Ukraine. In their routine maneuvers and excercises, one would expect them to track units on the Ukrainian side and target these, but not to shoot. (Something that all forces would do!)

And what do impacts on the Ukrainian side show, without proof of where the fire comes from? That there's a war happening there? Really?

If the Russians really are shelling into Ukraine from over the border, DNI/NRO could easily train military satellites on these areas 24/7 and get definitive proof of the firing. That DNI presents such weak and circumstantial evidence speaks volumes.

This is not serious. It is also not pitched at an international audience (sort of like the U.S. weekly version of the old Soviet encyclopedia, TIME). People outside the U.S. and outside the reflexively pro-Kiev bubble are not going to take it seriously. It is 100% for true believers and suckers among the American people, to shore up support for the new cold war with Russia.

This is also why it's being presented by the PR front for all intel agencies, the DNI, rather than a real agency like CIA/State Department. If it were Kerry talking this, it would be a very bad sign about what's coming next. DNI, whatevs.

There's a reason you have to "imagine" that.

Since it has no relation whatsoever to the actual situation in the Middle East, where the facts are completely unrelated to your fantasy.

In this case, the "wealthy suburb" has put a locked gate up around your "Detroit," has cut off the people there from the flow of goods, and bombs them on a regular basis. When a crime is committed in a third district, the wealthy commence a collective punishment with an enormous, merciless bombing of "Detroit." When some homemade rockets come out of "Detroit" in response, they pretend retroactively that was the reason for their massacre in the first place. In all things, the wealthy suburbanites blame the victims for an aggression they initiated.

Civil Rights; social justice; civil liberties; investment in human potential

All of these issues are closely related to the drug war and in particular marijuana prohibition as main drivers of the prison-industrial complex and the New Jim Crow. An interest in these values demands that one support legalization. What is social justice, what are rights and liberties, what room is left for human potential when a teenager in a black neighborhood can be subjected to an illegal search, be found with an ounce of marijuana, and end up as a forced laborer in the prison system for a dozen years on charges of conspiracy?

The drug war furthermore funds an epic distortion of all politics comparable to the effect of money in politics generally. Not just in the United States but all over Latin America. There are narco-states and death squads because pot is illegal in the U.S., fer chrissakes. It is the central factor in money laundering all around the world. All of the big banks take part in this business.

Do you support the IDF action in Gaza?

Should the U.S. government end support to Israel?

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