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Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 2,120

Journal Archives

Do you consider Hamas leadership to be 'the oppressed?'

I agree that no civilians deserve this horror. I agree that Palestinians living in Gaza experience levels of deprivation and oppression I would never want to accept. I agree that these civilians deserve a life of dignity and freedom. However, do you consider Hamas leadership to be 'the oppressed?' I do not. It's hard to find visionary, compassionate leadership on either side of the IP divide, but the Hamas leaders who chose tunnel-digging and arms buildups over electricity and resources for hospitals certainly share in the blame.


Excellent response, Kentuckian, but not the whole picture.

You offer an excellent response, Kentuckian, but not the whole picture. I agree that the truly powerful on the right wing view Israel as their beach head, and that the end-times prophesies are mere red meat for the useful rubes who keep voting them in here in the US.

However, there are also those regular Israelis who just want to live without rockets raining down upon them. They (or their ancestors) were told to move to Israel in the aftermath of one of the more horrible attempts at genocide in recent human history. Yes, some Palestinians were living there, but by 1948 there were not many truly unoccupied regions of the globe. Judea/Palestine/Israel was certainly among the least densely populated back then, and it was also a promised homeland in Jewish texts. Of course, it happens to also be a promised homeland in Islamic texts. As my kid sister used to say: aaawwwwwwkkkwwaaaarrrrd.

These regular Israelis just want to live in the home that was given them by the UN. Many regular Americans (myself included - not a Jew by ancestry or culture or religion, but with many Jewish friends) support them up to and including whatever it takes to prevent existential threats to Israel.

I also support self determination and dignity for Palestinians. Do I have a bright idea about what solution would provide both? Not really. The Clinton Peace Plan of 2000 seemed very fair to this American outsider, for both Israelis and Palestinians. But Arafat walked away from the table and demanded more. Color me unimpressed:


100% of Gaza and 92% of the West Bank, plus sacred sites such as the Al Aqsa Mosque were on the table; all the Palestinians had to do was say yes and do their part to work for peace. Israel also offered monetary compensation in lieu of a right of return to lands within Israel. Instead, Arafat and the PLO held out for more. Their loss.


Wow, what excellent advice for systemic pesticides! /sarcasm

Wow, what excellent advice for systemic pesticides! You're all, like, science-y and expert-y. Phooey on those anti-GMO Luddites!

Hey jeff47, do you even know what 'systemic' means? Systemics travel through the plant. Washing produce does NOTHING to remove systemics. So when squash seed is treated with Admire (imidacloprid - a systemic) or wheat is dried-down using RoundUp (glyphosate - a systemic) or GMO corn & soy are grown under continuous spraying of RoundUp (glyphosate - again, a *&%$*#* systemic), these chemicals are INSIDE of the vegetable or grain. Those Admire-treated squash blossoms have toxic pollen that kills bees. But the squash is surely safe for us because corpo-agri-business says so... (/sarcasm again).

Nice RW trope to blame the individual consumer and their washing habits, btw. Do you always blame the end-user who unwittingly buys and suffers from harmful corporate products masquerading as essential inputs for life itself?

Here's a radical idea: why don't we focus on growing food that, y'know, nourishes us instead of poisoning us if not treated like hazardous waste first? And then maybe the ongoing extinctions of many bees and birds and bats and frogs and Monarch butterflies might just slow down a mite.

No, no, that would be too much trouble. Fuck you, bees. And all you bats? Fuck off and die - Monsanto has a quarterly earnings target to meet. Fuck you too, frogs. I would say fuck you to a Monarch personally, but I can't find one anymore. (Well, sarcasm except not being able to find any Monarchs - I've left every Milkweed plant I can in my garden, but no Monarch caterpillars yet.)


Must suck for you if all the 'grown-ups' nearby are this clueless.

So first you try to equate conventional breeding with GMO's (and you fail).

Now, you want to equate random mutation with GMO's. You fail again. When a mutation occurs in nature, it happens in an ecological context. Possible mutations are relatively constrained, being determined by what genes are there to begin with. The genome of the mutating organism must continue to function as a whole after the mutation, or the organism's existence will be short. Human genetic engineering is loosed from these ecological constraints. Instead of the logic of the ecosystem, the logic of industry is in play. All genes from any Kingdom, any ecology, and any location are treated as commodified inputs. No concern is 'wasted' on what other genes might be disrupted as inputs are sliced into random locations along the chromosome.

Again, quit it with the false equivalence, 'Dr.'

It must suck for you if all the 'grown-ups' nearby are this clueless. But I'll reserve my serious compassion for those 'grown-ups' who have to listen to your simplistic drivel and snarky tripe in-person.


Seralini Redux: Roundup-Ready GMO Maize Causes Serious Health Damage

A highly controversial paper by Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini and colleagues has been republished after a stringent peer review process.

The chronic toxicity study examines the health impacts on rats of eating a commercialized genetically modified (GM) maize, Monsanto’s NK603 glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup.

The original study, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) in September 2012, found severe liver and kidney damage and hormonal disturbances in rats fed the GM maize and low levels of Roundup that are below those permitted in drinking water in the EU.

However it was retracted by the editor-in-chief of the Journal in November 2013 after asustained campaign of criticism and defamation by pro-GMO scientists.

The rest of the article goes on to say that a third round of peer review confirmed the Seralini conclusions that RoundUp and GMO corn did contribute to higher rates of tumors, above and beyond genetic predispositions in the rats and other factors.



I find the article's reasoning to be weak, and its prescriptions antithetical to forward movement.

I read the article in-full, and am not impressed. Ta-Nehisi Coates plays fast and loose with time scales, conflating German reparations in the decade following WW2 (just one example of this among many) with a call for American reparations more than a century and a half after slavery ended.

Also, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes as if the oppression of African Americans was the only oppression perpetrated by the US government during the 19th, 20th, & 21st Centuries. But of course that was not the case. While slavery was indeed a "peculiar institution" and it and institutionalized racism are particularly horrible ones at that, during the post-emancipation years of the 19th, 20th, & 21st Centuries, American oligarchs exploited the poor and vulnerable of all races as much as they could. Often, the oligarchs have gotten their way by playing poor whites against blacks, blacks against Jews, natives against immigrants, absolutely everybody they could against unions, etc., etc.

Worst of all, Ta-Nehisi Coates seems willfully blind to the destruction of 99% solidarity that a call for reparations will bring about. You want to see white union members, Hmong immigrant communities, Latino activists, and many other essential allies in the 99% distance themselves from the African American community? A call for reparations will do that. Even Ta-Nehisi Coates tacitly acknowledges this when he mentions how the ACA Medicare expansion has been tarred by haters such as Limbaugh as a special favor to the blacks. If a colorblind, mildly-progressive program such as that can be denigrated as such, imagine the fury that an actual reparations program would engender. Meanwhile, too many potential allies in solidarity will abandon a movement that focuses on reparations towards one race, for one subset of exploitation and oppression. At this point in time, we need solidarity and ideas that build common cause, not fractional identity politics.

There are many other ways that we could 'lift all boats.' Racism is a real issue in America, and deserves to be confronted head-on as a part of any reform and progress. But there is a big difference between necessary anti-racist actions and the needless kicking of multiple hornets' nests and alienation of essential allies at once.


It OUGHT to be entirely legal.

It OUGHT to be entirely legal. After plenty of readings of the US Constitution, I still can't find a grant of power to the state allowing it to ban plants.


Just interpreting and applying the Bill of Rights as written would restore so much.

Just interpreting and applying the Bill of Rights as written would restore so much. If we really, really upheld the simple and straightforward applications of fundamental freedoms outlined by the founders, combined with the greater equality gained in the ensuing centuries via the enfranchisement of women, the Fourteenth Amendment, and now anti-discrimination policies regarding sexuality, we could have a truly wonderful, free, and relatively egalitarian country.



10 Crazy Things Pesticides Are Doing to Your Body

Pesticides are designed to kill, although the mode of action they use to put the stranglehold on pests varies. Whether it's nerve gas–like neurological disruption, the unbalancing of key hormones, or the stunting of a plant's ability to absorb life-sustaining trace minerals from the soil, none of the chemical interventions seems all that appetizing, especially considering that chemical residues routinely wind up on and even inside of the food we eat everyday. Pesticides are also blamed for diminishing mineral levels in foods.


#1: Food Allergies. In one of the strangest links to pesticides to date, researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City found an association between food allergies and the levels of a pesticide breakdown product in urine. People with high levels of dichlorophenol, a breakdown product of the herbicide 2,4-D and of chlorine used to disinfect tap water, were more likely to suffer allergies to milk, eggs, seafood, and peanuts. It's not clear what could be happening, says Elina Jerschow, MD, MSc, lead author of the study, but she says it may have something to do with the "hygiene hypothesis." Dichlorophenol acts like an antimicrobial and could interfere with healthy bacterial levels in the gut, which, in turn, could upset the body's natural immune reactions to certain allergens in food.
Prevent it: Go GMO free. The USDA is about to approve a genetically modified (GMO) corn resistant to 2,4-D, one of the main sources of dichlorophenol in our food supply. If approved, the nonprofit Center for Food Safety estimates that the use of 2,4-D would quadruple, exposing millions more people to potentially food-allergy-inducing pesticide by-products. Buy certified-organic foods and download the True Food Shoppers Guide to avoid nonorganic foods that might contain GMOs.


#8: Infertility. Pesticides spell trouble in the baby-making department, thanks to their bad habit of not staying put. For instance, atrazine, a common chemical weed killer used heavily in the Midwest, on Southern sugar cane farms, and on golf courses, has been detected in tap water. Doctors and scientists point to published evidence tying atrazine to increased miscarriage and infertility rates. Other pesticides cause a plunge in male testosterone levels. A 2006 study found chlorpyrifos, a chemical used in nonorganic apple and sweet pepper farming, and carbaryl, a go-to pesticide in strawberry fields and peach orchards, caused abnormally low testosterone levels.
Prevent it: Avoid the worst summer fruit, the kinds most likely to be laced with toxic pesticides. Instead, choose organic grapes, strawberries, and imported plums.

Source / rest of article:


Thanks. I had read the thread back when it was current, remembered its author, and therefore searched Pitt's Journal on the hunch I'd find it there. I added the recs tally on-edit, after I visited the link in curiosity, but did not think to link to the post itself.

Anyway, I did not participate in that Sterling thread due to the fact that I already knew full-well what the First Amendment says. I actually do think that a corporation (such as the NBA), which is chartered by a state (probably Delaware, but I'm too lazy right now to look it up) has some obligation to respect freedom of speech. Otherwise, you have corporations growing more powerful than states, and eclipsing Constitutional rights in both the private and public spheres (sound familiar?).

On the other hand, these ardent gunners that the MJ article highlights are just individuals. Are they acting stupidly and hatefully? Yes. Are they doing the Second Amendment any favors via their actions? No. Nonetheless, they are each staying well-shy of what Will Pitt states he might do in the face of speech he finds highly disagreeable.


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