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appal_jack

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 2,225

Journal Archives

Nonsense article. NONSENSE authoritarian 'solution.'

joshcryer, have you really thought-through your suggestion to impose draconian authoritarianism over the entire internet in order to protect a few celeb pics? How is this the least bit progressive?

Let me help you with the answer:SOPA is NOT progressive, at all. And implementing it because images of a few extra square inches of a few very wealthy celebrities are now visible online would be utterly nonsensical.

-app

Upset? No. Very surprised? Yes?

Look, I am sure that HRC will be at least slightly less odious than her Republican opponent. And that's been the Turd Way campaign for the past twenty years, hasn't it? Vote for us, cuz otherwise an even shittier Republican will get in. How inspiring!

I'll say it now, and bookmark it for later. HRC will not be president of these United States. She is far too corporatist and hawkish for the Democratic base (myself included). I sincerely hope that she crashes and burns in the Primary, as she already seems inclined to do. But she certainly is campaigning, though I'm not sure what she hopes to gain by tilting rightward. The right wing views her as the shrill, scolding, nanny-stater, ultra-liberal-bogeywoman of nightmares, and they will all be voting Repub if Hilary is the Dem.

Hillary Clinton genuinely seems to be triangulating herself to a place where she is hated by virtually everybody.

As for the Second Amendment, it has been a core part of our Bill of Rights for more than 230 years, and I will stand by it (and the rest of the BoR) as long as I live.



-app

IIRC, we had a Democratic President in 1997.

IIRC, we had a Democratic President in 1997.

We have a Democratic President now.

The FDA functions under the Executive Branch of government (though in fairness, it depends on Congress for funding, as does everyone else).

It's about 17 years too late in this case, but removing that 'expedited' approval process sounds like a good move for our Democratic President Obama and his appointee Michael Taylor in order to undo the 'business-friendly' mistake made by former Democratic President Clinton...

...or y'know, we could just blame Republicans and then rally unquestioningly around the next President Clinton, and then wonder why so little changes for the better, ever.

-app

I agree that corporate power is the gigantic blindspot of most libertarians.

I agree that corporate power is the gigantic blindspot of most libertarians.

I (a libertarian Democrat of sorts) resist government power when it is used on behalf of the elites, and corporate power at every chance I get. Whether the oppression is public or private, I believe in resistance.

But your point is well-taken. Too many readers of 'Reason' see no problem in corporate dictatorship even though they are up in arms about Obama or 'socialism' in general.



-app

USDA Illegally stacking the Deck at Organic Standards Board?

http://www.cornucopia.org/2014/08/nosb-voting-scorecard-released-lobbyistsinfluence-peddlers-eroding-organic-standards

On-edit: I just realized that the excerpted quote does not explain the acronym. NOSB = National Organic Standards Board - a volunteer panel created by the Organic Foods Production Act to create Organic policy in conjunction with the USDA and its paid staff. The Cornucopia Institute is doing a good job of watch-dogging both the NOSB and the USDA itself.

“In recent years, just as with the polarized U.S. Supreme Court, many critical issues were decided by one-vote margins,” said Mark A. Kastel, Codirector and Senior Farm Policy Analyst at Cornucopia. “Almost universally, the NOSB is split along ideological lines (corporate agribusiness versus farmers and consumers) on whether to allow controversial synthetic and non-organic additives in organic food or weak animal husbandry standards utilizing the ‘factory farm’ production model of organic meat, eggs and dairy products.”

Cornucopia’s analysis comes two years after the policy group released a white paper entitled The Organic Watergate. That report documented how a number of risky and/or gimmicky synthetic or non-organic materials were approved for use in organics. It highlighted a couple of board members, appointed as “farmers,” who did not meet the intent and legal qualifications that Congress had set out for composition of the board.

“We have two members of the current board, both sitting in seats that Congress had designated for someone who must ‘own or operate an organic farming operation’ but who were actually agribusiness employees when appointed to the five-year term on the NOSB,” said Kastel.

Of the four seats reserved for farmers on the current board, one is held by an employee of the giant California berry marketing firm, Driscoll’s (which does not grow organic strawberries but rather relies on contract farmers), and one by an individual who, when appointed, worked for the country’s largest organic marketing cooperative, CROPP ($928 million in annual revenue). The voting records of these two agribusiness employees are significantly lower than those of the actual farmer members of the NOSB.


Much more at the link. Certified-organic agriculture needs to maintain its threshold of integrity in order to retain any legitimacy. There will always be more innovative, sustainable, and/or 'fringe-ier' systems of farming out there (Permaculture, biodynamics, etc.) but Organic is both big enough to be recognizable by the average American, yet holistic and sustainable enough to really make a difference with respect to the land, farmworker health, and the quality of the food itself. Our Democratic Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, needs to quit eroding Organic's integrity. Congress set up a good system with the NOSB, and the USDA needs to respect it.

-app

Rise of the 'Unholy Alliance' of Libertarians and Leftists

Rise of the 'Unholy Alliance' of Libertarians and Leftists

(starting quote at the fifth paragraph of the article)

Eight months after Nader’s "Freedom Watch" pronouncement, Ron Paul supporters along with socialists, anti-market anarchists, and other lefties of various stripes were the first to set up camp in Zuccotti Park and launch the Occupy Wall Street movement. There were arguments over whether advocates of free markets belonged in the movement, whether the economic crisis was caused by deregulation or by government encouragement of high-risk financial speculation, and whether the solution to the crisis was greater or less government control of business, but the libertarians stayed. As Occupy spread to other cities, libertarians were almost always a visible—though minority—presence at the encampments. "One would more reliably come across vocal Ron Paul supporters at Occupy events than vocal Obama supporters," reported Michael Tracey in the American Conservative. "It was not lost on the Zuccotti Park crowd, for instance, that Ron Paul personally expressed a measure of support for the movement earlier than most any other national U.S. politician–aside from Sen. Bernie Sanders or Rep. Dennis Kucinich."

(snip)

In the summer of 2013 the "unholy alliance" wreaked havoc on the national-security and foreign-policy establishments. Edward Snowden, a Ron Paul supporter, received passionate support from both libertarians and a broad array of leftists for revealing, at the risk of imprisonment, the NSA’s dragnet surveillance of American citizens. Snowden’s disclosures were publicized by the journalist Glenn Greenwald, who is a regular speaker at the International Socialist Organization’s annual Socialism Conference, a recipient of the Nation Institute’s I.F. Stone Award, and according to Rachel Maddow "the American left’s most fearless political commentator." But Greenwald is also, like Scahill, an eager collaborator with libertarians. He authored a study for the Cato Institute on Portugal’s decriminalization of drugs and frequently praised Ron Paul for being "far and away the most anti-war, anti-Surveillance-State, anti-crony-capitalism, and anti-drug-war presidential candidate in either party."

(snip)

One might think all this would be cause for celebration among those who share Nader's objectives, but many find it more a cause for grave concern. Since last summer, liberal media outlets have streamed out warnings to their readers to "Beware of Libertarians Bearing Gifts," as the Center for American Progress put it. Any alliance with libertarians, even for a cause as worthy as reining in the NSA, "could kill the New Deal." Salon has frequently trafficked in hysteria over the libertarian "threat" to progressivism. "Don’t Ally With Libertarians," admonished one of many headlines about the "fatally compromised" coalition that produced "The Day We Fight Back." At The New Republic, Princeton history professor Sean Wilentz explained to the "liberal establishment" that had fallen in with Snowden, Greenwald, and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange that these purveyors of "paranoid libertarianism" were outside the bounds of respectable politics. They occupy "a peculiar corner of the political forest, where the far left meets the far right, often but not always under the rubric of libertarianism." Where unwitting liberals have "portrayed the leakers as truth-telling comrades intent on protecting the state and the Constitution from authoritarian malefactors, that’s hardly their goal," Wilentz warned. "In fact, the leakers despise the modern liberal state, and they want to wound it."

Some left-wing observers have offered more constructive evaluations of the alliance. Ralph Nader continues to lead the way, with a new book on the "Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State" and a lengthy interview promoting it on Reason TV. Perhaps the most notable among the left-wing sympathizers to Nader’s cause is Peter Frase, an editor at the socialist Jacobin, who questioned "this obsession with people like Greenwald and Snowden as vectors for noxious libertarianism rather than people who are doing courageous and useful work even if their politics aren’t socialist." Frase identified "an instinct among some on the Left to suppose that defending the possibility of government requires rejecting any alliance with libertarians who might criticize particularly noxious aspects of the existing state." For those on the left who share Nader’s optimism about libertarians, Frase’s conclusion should serve as a manifesto:

One should not have any illusions that critics of the national security state all share socialist politics. But we should judge these critics by what they say and do and what their political impact is. An endless inquisition into hidden beliefs and motives, and the attempt to unmask a devious libertarian hidden agenda, makes for a satisfying purity politics for those who want to justify their own inaction. But it does nothing to contest the predatory fusion of state and capital that confronts us today, which must be confronted in the government, the workplace, and many other places besides.

Hear, hear. So let us say to leftists and libertarians: Unite! You have nothing to lose but your ideological chains.


Source: http://reason.com/archives/2014/08/16/rise-of-the-unholy-alliance

Ron Paul, Edward Snowden, & Ralph Nader together?!? This should be fun at DU...

The author, Thaddeus Russell, also covers the Snowden leaks, the aversion of US military action in Syria, Greenwald's reporting on such issues, etc. The whole article is worth a read, though I feel like I posted the four best paragraphs above.

I think that Russell enjoys being a gadfly to both establishment Republicans and Democrats. In so doing, he certainly glosses-over the very real threats to New Deal Programs (especially Social Security and SNAP) and other important government regulations (environmental laws, etc.) posed by Koch-funded wolves in libertarian clothing. Nonetheless, until mainstream Democrats return to the democratic progressivism that made the Party great in the past, there is a very real vacuum that libertarians can and will fill. I would prefer that Democrats stand-up for core principles of freedom and justice, but will still cheer the principles whether the actions are led by people wearing the "L" jersey or the "D" (or "S," etc.).

-app

A good campaign would have beaten B*sh by hundreds of thousands.

A good campaign would have beaten B*sh by hundreds of thousands. We're talking Shrubya, the dimwit son of a truly criminal one-term president. Had Gore run anything resembling a populist, progressive, decent campaign, Nader would not have had a leg to stand-on. Even if Nader had still gotten 34,000 votes in FL, that should have been a drop in the bucket compared to Gore's margin.

Plus, Gore lost his home state of TN. Can't blame Nader there. But had Gore's campaign been popular enough to even win his OWN (*&^$$%##** STATE, Florida would not have mattered.

I refuse to believe that the Gore/Loserman campaign of 2000 was the best the Democrats could do. It was DLC-driven, tepid, corporatist crap. If the Dems decide to learn no lessons from 2000 and again run a tepid, widely-disliked, polarizing candidate with a wooden campaign that tilts toward a right wing that will NEVER vote for the candidate in question, then they deserve to lose.

I myself would prefer to learn the lessons of the past, embrace the populism and progressivism that the nation craves today, and elect a viable, liberal, truly Democratic president in 2016. The Democrats can and should do better than Hillary Clinton in 2016.

-app

Hillary distancing herself from Obama is as stupid as Gore's 2000 distancing from her husband.

Hillary distancing herself from Obama is as stupid as Gore's 2000 distancing from her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Now don't get me wrong, I am not an unabashed fan of either Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, but they each deserve credit where it is due.

During the 2000 campaign, the economy was doing pretty well, the world was relatively at peace, and and WJ Clinton was quite well liked even after the impeachment hearings, blue dress, etc. Why Gore chose to hold that legacy at arms' length is completely beyond me. Some Party apparatchiks around here love to hate on Nader (rather unjustifiably) and/or the Supeme Court's awful Bush v. Gore decision (entirely deserving of hate and contempt), but above and beyond all that, Gore ran a truly awful campaign, and (I hate to say it) pretty much deserved to lose.

I hate to say this too, but I predict that if Hillary gets the nomination, she too will run an awful campaign (if 2008 and the present is any reasonable foreshadowing) and then will lose. She is already squandering her legacy and the resources available to her. A former Secretary of State has no good reason to run against her former boss, especially given that he will not be on the ballot ever again.

-app

Evidence Mounts that Neonicotinoid Insecticides Harm Bees and Beneficial Insects

http://www.cornucopia.org/2014/07/debunking-latest-attempt-defend-agrichemicals-cost-greater-good-evidence-mounts-neonicotinoid-insecticides-harm-bees-beneficial-insects

Debunking the Latest Attempt to Defend Agrichemicals at the Cost of the Greater Good: Evidence Mounts that Neonicotinoid Insecticides Harm Bees and Beneficial Insects

Neonicotinoids, developed in the 1990s and used more heavily in the early 2000s, are the most widely used insecticides worldwide. The EPA estimates that 3.5 million pounds were applied on approximately 127 million acres worldwide in 2011. They are registered for use as an insecticide on soil, seed, and foliar applications for both residential and agricultural uses.

Research is voluminous linking neonicotinoids to bee memory loss and learning, weakened immunity, developmental injury, impaired foraging, diminished navigation and honing ability, and the loss of reproductive production of bumblebee queens.

(snip)


While Colony Collapse Disorder is complex, not fully understood, and likely cannot be solved with a single policy, research has shown that insecticidal dust clouds following the planting of neonicotinoid-coated seeds can cause the loss of entire bee colonies. Neonicotinoids are used to coat over 99% of corn seed planted and are used to coat many other crops. The destructive effect of neonicotinoids on birds, bees, earthworms, aquatic insects, and beneficial insects is well researched and published in respected, peer-reviewed journals.

Neonicotinoids are water soluble and persistent chemicals having the potential to remain active in soils, wetlands, and waterways for years causing irreversible effects leading to a cascade of unintended consequences. They particularly harm organic farmers by contaminating irrigation water and airways by chemical drift and run-off during seeding and spraying. Organic growers depend on beneficial insects in the soil and air for pest prevention.

Neonicotinoids are systemic insecticides, meaning they are absorbed into all plant tissues. Their systemic effect allows the poison to move into the pollen and nectar of flowers from treated seeds, when soil is treated before sowing, and when insecticides are applied through drip irrigation within labeled rates. The insecticides within the pollen and nectar have been shown to harm beneficial insects when they feed.


I've said it before here at DU, and now I'll say it again: unchecked continued use of neonicotinoid pesticides will create a modern Silent Spring. They harm bees, insectivorous birds, bats, soil
life, aquatic life, and very possibly also us humans.

-app

Modified & improved, but never abandoned.

I was an Antioch student during the early 1990's, and I can say with confidence that the sexual offense policy that gained nationwide notoriety was not set-aside during my time on campus (through 1994), nor to my knowledge any time thereafter (I am not sure what has happened since the 'old' Antioch closed its doors ~2005, and then reopened as a 'non-successor institution' in 2008 or so).

Though the policy was deemed radical by the mainstream media during 1991-1992, most of us on campus were not shocked or horrified that our college asked us to discuss sexual boundaries with our partners before and during sexual activity. The policy came about after a quarter when three rapes were reported on campus. This was a college of 600, where only 300-400 students were on-campus at a time (their co-op program had about 1/3 of the students working jobs off-campus at any given time). So imagine that: 1% of the on-campus population reported a rape. Of course something needed to be done.

The originally-proposed policy was modified and improved through a community and administrative process, which thankfully added necessary due process protections for the accused. But the core of the policy remained the same: if you are going to engage in sex, you have a responsibility to talk about what's OK and mutually desirable with your partner. This was a good step for the Antioch community back then, and I hope it is also a good step for California campuses now.

K&R,

-app
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