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Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 2,420

Journal Archives

NC is a bellweather of the south.

Please, if you care about anywhere outside your own area, donate to a progressive cause in NC. The Republicans are in control here, and they are wielding their power with a vengeance. This state has many progressives. In fact, many more Democratic votes were cast than Republican in the last election. Yet, thanks to partisan redistricting, the power consolidates further. We want to fight back, but look at circumstances like the OP, and realize that we are fighting long odds.

Some of you reading this may know me as one of the 'gungeon dwelling apes' (to borrow a quote from, DU'er Triana ). And it's true, I ike firearms collecting, target shooting, and a libertarian (note small 'l') interpretation of the Second Amendment. But in addition to all that, I know that I have neighbors who believe that Democrats are gun-grabbing nanny staters. And here I am desperately trying to convince them that believing in a social safety net, women's control over their own bodies, and people's right to marry whom they please is anything but anti-American. Guns are an unnecessarily divisive issue. NC needs to fight poverty, support education, build its public infrastructure, protect its environment, and otherwise enact a progressive future. And it's my view that gun control issues will only alienate too much of the NC populace to make this progressive future ever come to fruition.

Anyway, whether you agree with me on the 2nd Amendment or not, please realize that there are many, many issues in NC, and we need all the help (and rational prioritization) we can get.


Roundup - a converging pattern of toxicity from farm to clinic to laboratory

Roundup - a converging pattern of toxicity from farm to clinic to laboratory
Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji / ISIS

25th February 2015

Glyphosate, perhaps surprisingly for a chemical so ubiquitously associated with our food, was not first used as an agricultural chemical.

Instead it was first patented as a metal chelator in 1964 by Stauffer Chemical company (US 3160632 A) and used as an industrial pipe cleaner.


Glyphosate is teratogenic - according to Monsanto's own data

Monsanto's own toxicology tests submitted to the EU commission showed evidence of teratogenicity (see EU Regulators and Monsanto Exposed for Hiding Glyphosate Toxicity, SiS51). The submitted test reports describe rats and rabbits with skeletal abnormalities including the development of a 13th rib in offspring, as well as cardiac abnormalities.

Scientific studies such as that of the late Professor Andrés Carrasco reporting neural tube birth defects in frog and chick embryos exposed to agricultural concentrations of glyphosate have validated both Monsanto's findings and clinical observations (see also Lab Study Establishes Glyphosate Link to Birth Defects, SiS48).

Probing into the mechanisms underlying the defects, Carrasco discovered that glyphosate disrupted retinoic acid activity, a well-known regulator of developmental processes.

Much, much more in the full article:


The author's organization, ISIS (no, not the Islamist Terrorists... the 'Institute of Science In Society') is often considered controversial, but has also been mighty prescient at times on GMO issues, etc. Posted here for discussion.

My own take thus far is that Glyphosate appears to be considerably less toxic than many other herbicides (Atrazine, 2,4 D, etc.). However, we presently use so much more glyphosate than any other herbicide that caution and further investigations are warranted. I certainly won't use the stuff on my own property, but many of my neighbors do.


Did the GOP Just Give Away $130 Billion of Public Property

Did the GOP Just Give Away $130 Billion of Public Property?

A giant Anglo-Australian mining company is getting the rights to a huge copper reserve - and we don't know what US taxpayers are getting in return.

In December, two Republican senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, pushed Congress and the president into giving away what could amount to over $130 billion in public property.

That's enough to provide every single unemployed American a minimum-wage job for an entire year. That's enough to pay for a year of tuition at a public institution for every college student in the US.

And yet the GOP big-shots call themselves "fiscal conservatives"! "Fiscal conservatives," my you-know-what.

I'm talking about the huge giveaway to the mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton in the Defense Authorization Act. It was splayed across ten pages of the bill, pages 441 to 450 (out of 697).

Much more at link:


Infuriating! The public comment period of the EIS seems like the main way to exert pressure on this, with letters to Obama & Vilsack also being worthwhile.


Fraudulent labeling is already a crime.

The Hatch Act / DSHEA actually opened up a lot of opportunity to small-scale growers and herbalists. Between 2002 and 2010, I grew a number of different herbs and bottled and sold some tinctures locally, at a moderate profit. In my case, I marketed the tonifying herbs Ashwaghanda & Jiagulon, the mild sedative Valerian, some immune system boosters including Elder Flower and Boneset, and an expectorant / cough / lung remedy Elecamapagne. I had confidence in my tinctures, since I performed every step of the process: from growing, harvesting, and washing the herbs, to the alcohol and/or water extractions, to the bottling and labeling. People really liked them, and business was picking up.

But then the FDA imposed "Good Manufacturing Processing" (GMP) requirements on herbal tinctures. To keep selling them, I would have to process the herbs in a certified commercial kitchen, and keep a pile of paperwork on each batch and product. This paperwork should help to avoid mix-ups at the scale of a business that buys bulk herbs and sells product, but they were ridiculous for me. I chose not to do that, and quit selling tinctures.

However, these companies in the OP surely did pretend to comply with FDA GMP regs. Fat lot of good it did their customers: the companies just lied on their paperwork.

The problem is not the freedom that DSHEA affords small-scale, honest entrepreneurs. The problem is those businesses, whether large or small, who have no scruples or honesty. If someone is buying a bottle that says 'ginseng,' they should damn well get ginseng. DSHEA has little to nothing to do with this problem.


So ideally, Obama should have weighed-in sooner.

The time for Obama to have exerted influence over Net Neutrality would have been before or during the appointment process for Tom Wheeler.

Right now, Obama's words are just words. Nice words, for sure. I agree with them. But I voted in 2008 and 2012 for progressive action from my President. Getting a few nice words in 2014 is a little too little, too late.


The Stasi never convinced the E. Germans to buy their own bugs/cameras/mics.

Capitalism has been much more creative in convincing us to rush toward being spied upon via embracing the latest gizmos. Add-up many peoples' cable bills, smartphone plans, and internet service and we are shelling out hundreds of dollars per month to help the NSA know everything about us.

If you have not yet watched "The Lives of Others" (2006) I highly recommend it for a powerful look at East Germany back in the day.

I know that by posting here, I am doing my part to be known and tabulated. But fuck it, I'm an American who believes in the Constitution and a government that derives its legitimacy from the consent of the citizenry. This is nothing to be ashamed of...

Other than that matter of degree, I agree with your post 100%.


The Fifth Amendment is NOT exclusively about criminal matters.

Amendment V

No person shall be... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

There are bits in-between about processes relating to criminal indictments and trials, but the Fifth Amendment serves as a restriction on what government may and may not do under any and all circumstances. Saying that something is a civil matter does not exempt the government from abiding by Fifth Amendment protections.

Demanding that the government abide by the Constitution is good citizenship. Save the Teabagging accusations for idiots who can't spell Medicare properly on signs saying that the gubmint needs to get their hands off it.


Repub efforts at student vote suppression in Boone, NC fail. Spectacularly.

Cross-posting from the NC Forum for wider visibility. For original, see:

As mentioned in the original thread, I (appal_jack) am typing this with a newborn NC progressive in my arms, so I won't be able to participate in this thread much, but please spread the good news:

Minutes after the State Board of Elections selected an early-voting site on the campus of Appalachian State University for the general election on Wednesday afternoon, the N.C. Supreme Court stepped in and allowed a stay against an early-voting site on the college campus.

“It happened almost immediately,” said Ian O’Keefe, a member of the Watauga County Democratic Party.

The State Board of Elections held a special meeting at 4 p.m. on Wednesday to select the early-voting site. The board members unanimously chose the Price Lake Room in the Plemmons Student Union from among multiple recommendations from ASU officials and members of the Watauga County Board of Elections.

Enthusiasm of the local Democrats quickly dissipated initially as news spread that the N.C. Supreme Court had taken up the issue and allowed a stay against an early-voting site on the campus, which would mean that the State Board of Elections wasn’t legally bound to have an early-voting site on the campus and that the constitutional matter of no early voting at ASU could be decided by the courts after the general election.

“I am pretty disappointed … I think the Supreme Court decided to do something against the will of the people, and the will of this county, and they are actively engaging in voter suppression, and with the highest court in our state to be involved in that is disappointing,” O’Keefe said minutes after the N.C. Supreme Court ruling. “I think they should be ashamed of themselves, and their actions do not warrant their position.”

However, State Board of Elections spokesman Josh Lawson noted that the N.C. Supreme Court’s ruling didn’t void the State Board of Elections decision to have an early voting site on the campus of Appalachian State University.

“The State Board can adopt a new voting plan for a county really at any time,” Lawson said, adding that the State Board of Elections made the unanimous decision moments before the N.C. Supreme Court’s stay because it thought it was “under legal requirements” to do so.

“Unless the State Board were to meet again and establish a new plan for the county, the plan approved unanimously for stands,” Lawson said.


The local Democratic activists who sued and fanned flames in the media about local vote suppression are true heroes!


Really? Patenting Plants?

I prefer that my leaders carry the torch of Jefferson, supporting small farms and the free exchange of biological resources we inherit from the commons. The TPP and other trade agreements are the leading edge of a vicious modern enclosure movement that steals from farmers past, present, and future.


Excellent point CaptainTruth.

I could not have summarized the core principles of our Constitutional system of governance any better.

When one of the nine most powerful arbiters of the Constitution is in such willful denial, we are in a lot of trouble as a nation.

Scalia is unfit to serve on the Court (as are Thomas & Alito, at the very least).

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