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Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 3,813

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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.


So for one instance of spitting, and one ambush by water gun, all firearm owners are at fault?

So for one alleged instance of spitting, and one ambush by water gun, all firearm owners are at fault? I haven't spit on anyone since elementary school, I never intend to do so again, and I think that the night time water gun ambush was a reprehensible action that could have resulted in one or more people being killed.

I also think that setting policy by anecdote is a bad idea. The gun control movement seems very attached to this very bad idea.

Of course, there are those people out there who do think that spitting, and even physical violence, is an appropriate response to others' speech. Let's examine this type of ignorant machismo:

Memo to every gomer out there who got fucked over by their high school's failure to teach Civics and never bothered to figure this out on your own:


The First Amendment protects your freedom of speech from one (1) thing: GOVERNMENTAL INTERFERENCE with you speaking your mind.

If you go into a bar and bellow NI*GER NI*GER NI*GER FUCKING NI*GER and get your ass handed to you for it, that's not a Free Speech 1st Amendment issue, you fucking useless hopeless dumbfuck dickwad puddle of tepid Fail, because the bar is NOT THE GOVERNMENT. That's the marketplace working it out.


Your right to free speech ends exactly where I can fuck you up for life in public for being a dumbass.

I am not the government, either. Read a book, you clown car.

Who is this violence-prone meathead who would substitute ass-kicking for rational debate? Oh, it's William Rivers Pitt, taken straight from his journal (with the bolded emphasis added).

How doth the shoe fit in this case, Will?

By the way, the OP by Will Pitt from which I copied this quote garnered 238 recs here at DU.


Composting or fallow periods can make animal manures safer.

Composting or fallow periods can make animal manures safer. Liquid slurries of course would need a lot of dry matter bulking agent (wood chips, etc.) in order to successfully compost. A generally more economical alternative would be to apply the slurry to the field, then grow a cover crop for a few months, then kill the cover crop via herbicides (if the grower is non-organic), mowing, or tillage, then grow produce in the cover crop residue and captured fertility. Cornell studies done on manure borne pathogens indicate that a 120 day period between manure application and a food crop harvest is a reasonable mitigation practice:



Yup, and too many DU'ers want to take that nation-wide.

Yup, and too many DU'ers want to take those sorts of unconstitutional bans nation-wide (all the while saying that they're not banning guns). Cosmetic regulations of firearms do not improve safety or security, but they (legitimately) inflame firearms enthusiasts' anger. Similarly, mandatory removing of shoes at airports does not improve safety or security. I oppose both.

A healthy respect for the Second Amendment (and all the rest of the Bill of Rights) is a necessary precondition for Democrats to regain the South and garner the passion of Americans nationwide. Many of us southern DU'ers speak-up on this issue, but too often it falls on deaf or hostile ears.


While this is very worth studying, I suspect that this study is not the last word on the topic.

While this is very worth studying, I suspect that this study is not the last word on the topic. On agricultural lands, the entire history to this point has tilted toward burning, destroying, and otherwise reducing soil carbon. Various exciting cover-cropping, reduced-tillage-organic, and soil humification strategies being pioneered by people such as the Rodale Institute offer significant tools that could help turn this trend around if widely adopted. Also, pastured systems and rotational grazing seem to significantly build soil humates over time as animals are moved over perennial polyculture meadow grounds. Then there is the bio-char work being done by Cornell University, etc. Some of the fringe-ier deep ecology types actually oppose bio-char work out of a fear that it could deplete our O2 supply if widely adopted. Naturally, I think that those people have a poor understanding of basic math, and especially orders of magnitude. But I do believe that a bio-char, cover-cropping, reduced-tillage-organic, and soil humification-centric agriculture, adopted across much of the world, could not only decrease atmospheric CO2, but also radically improve agricultural productivity and sustainability.



Laugh all you want, but this is a problem.

Laugh all you want, but this is a problem. A non-specific call for more gun control by Hillary will inflame the ardent pro-2A crowd like nothing else. I know full-well that most of this crowd would never vote Hillary anyway, but it certainly makes convincing our neighbors to vote Democratic that much harder for pro-2A Democrats like myself.

It doesn 't have to be this way. Hillary could come forward with concrete proposals toward expanding background checks without creating a back-door gun registry, and many gun folks might be persuaded to sign on. But she seems to be choosing otherwise and I believe, choosing poorly.

The Supreme Court and so many other issues hang in the balance at present,and Hillary chooses to expend political capital on ill-defined open-ended calls for gun control? Not smart.

Hillary's hawkishness on international policy and pro-TPP, pro-Wall St. stances alienate the left. Her gun grabber reputation and many other aspects alienate the right as well as those of us progressives who take the Bill of Rights seriously. Who exactly does she hope to vote for her? Her math does not add up to a candidacy that can win here in the south. Hillary should know better.

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