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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: 2,264

Journal Archives

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.

-app

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).

-app

MFN status for China was granted by Clinton

I agree that Reagan was a pivotal actor (see what I did there?) in the destruction of the Middle Class. However, it started well before him, certainly under Nixon as the Treasury was emptied to pay for the Vietnam War, maybe earlier (Chris Hedges traces it back to the early 20th Century, basically as soon as the Middle Class formed in America).

While it's worthwhile to focus on particularly evil Republicans like Nixon and Reagan, too many Democrats have been willing players in the hollowing out of our country as well. Particularly, Bill Clinton reneged on his campaign promises about the Middle Class & China, granting China Most Favored Nation trading status in 1994:

http://tech.mit.edu/V114/N27/china.27w.html

This + NAFTA (plus too many other venal moves to mention) defines the Clinton legacy for me.

-app

Yes, decriminalize it all already.

I know that mj decriminalization is still controversial in some circles, and not many people are ready to hear that coca should follow, but really, could it be any worse than now? With cartels banking billions from the illegal trade (and stockpiling arms, engaging in human trafficking, etc.), would it not be preferable to have all drugs in the open, taxed and inspected for contamination, etc.

I've never tried cocaine, but I did work a short while in Bolivia, and one could find packets of coca tea in offices there, right between the black tea and instant coffee packets. I found it helped with altitude sickness to drink a cup or two.

In my lifetime, I have seen nothing so corrosive to democracy and Constitutional governance than the War on (some) Drugs. It's time to toss this social error into the dustbin of history.

-app

The Montreal Protocol was one of several major environmental victories

The Montreal Protocol was one of several major environmental victories of the past few decades resulting from a straightforward ban. Scientists determined that certain compounds were causing undue harm, and activists kept up the pressure until concerted action was taken at the international or national levels.

When I was in graduate school for environmental science during the 1990's, it was much more fashionable for the chic and powerful to advocate 'market based solutions' (the environmental side agreement to NAFTA, cap and trade on CO2, etc.) and regard bans and other drastic actions as old-fashioned and unnecessarily anti-business. I never drank the kool aid.

The other bans I consider as important as the ban on CFC's include the ban on lead in gasoline & paints, the ban on DDT, and the ban on PCB's.

I'd like to see bans on neonicotinoid pesticides, non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in animal agriculture, persistent antibacterial compounds (especially the chlorinated ones - like Triclosan) in home products, and all packaging that is not easily recyclable or compostable. Tackling these problems with straightforward bans could save the bees, improve public health drastically, and eliminate the oceanic garbage gyres in short order.

What would you ban, if you could?

Here's celebrating an environmental victory!

k&r,

-app

In some ways, I am just the opposite.

I recall the common graffiti seen around the Lower East Side of NYC during the late 1980's of an inverted martini glass and the text "The Party's Over." To my young activist eyes of the time, this looked prophetic. Surely the excesses of Wall St. in the 1980's and the inequality and environmental destruction wrought by capitalism and militarism then had reached a logical endpoint, and society would either correct course or fall-apart. Boy, was I wrong. The Gordon Gecko days and the S&L Bailout were just dress rehearsals for Jamie Dimon and TARP.

Now, don't get me wrong; things have surely gotten worse, and at some point the chickens will come home to roost. Infinite growth and consumption CANNOT keep going on this oh so finite planet of more than 7 billion people. But 'the system' (however you define it) is enormously creative in how it keeps going. Powerful people have a strong interest in continuing patterns of exploitation, and they have been largely creative and successful in sustaining their own wealth and power, at the expense of the planet's ecosystems and common good.

Are things going to hell in a hand basket? Almost certainly, by nearly any measure. And yet the endpoint of 'collapse' has not arrived.

I will not tempt fate or show my own ignorance by predicting a set time for 'collapse.' But I will express my true amazement that it has not arrived at some point during the past three decades.

-app

Few people in America are buying 'select fire' weapons.

It pains me to say this, but bow tie-boy (on-edit - I see that he has graduated to the leash-style ties now....) is technically correct here. 'Assault rifles' are accurately defined in your Wiki link. However, what the NY gun store was busted for selling were semi-automatic versions of an AR, further modified in an unsuccessful attempt to comply with NY's byzantine and unconstitutional SAFE act. The pictures you show of an AR-pattern rifle and an AK-pattern rifle look similar to actual military rifles, but unless they can fire continually while the trigger is held-down and/or be able to fire 3-round bursts, they are not assault rifles. Calling those things 'assault weapons' is a strategy used by the gun control movement in an attempt to unduly regulate or even ban popular semi-automatic rifles. Assault rifles /= assault weapons.

Actual select fire assault rifles are classified as machine guns by the National Firearms Act. To legally buy one as a regular civilian would require (at minimum) an NFA tax stamp ($200), and a bunch of associated paperwork. Also, the registry for the guns themselves has been closed since 1986 (under Ronald Reagan!). Law Enforcement agencies and certain FFL's seem to be able to get 'post samples' and other select-fire weapons in other ways too, but I don't know the details, as I am not a member of either of those communities.

-app

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
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