Sunday, January 29, 2012

Monsanto Knows What's Good For You

 Another black eye for the president.  First, he signed the NDAA - authorizing sweeping changes that expand his powers and move us one step closer to a police state.  Now he's appointed the fox to watch over the hen house - making Monsanto-boy Michael Taylor an advisor on food safety for the FDA.  Couldn't you just die laughing?

 Family farmers are about to go to court, suing Monsanto for contaminating their organic crops with GMO seeds. writes:  "In the past two decades, Monsanto’s seed monopoly has grown so powerful that they control the genetics of nearly 90% of five major commodity crops including corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets.
In many cases farmers are forced to stop growing certain crops to avoid genetic contamination and potential lawsuits. Between 1997 and 2010, Monsanto admits to filing 144 lawsuits against America’s family farmers, while settling another 700 out of court for undisclosed amounts. Due to these aggressive lawsuits, Monsanto has created an atmosphere of fear in rural America and driven dozens of farmers into bankruptcy."

And our president has appointed Michael Taylor, a Monsanto-VP, to advise on food safety.

Did I miss something?  Didn't Monsanto make floor cleaners?  Now they're a massive chemical company.  And we want their advice on food safety?

Monsanto Man to Advise on Food Safety

Michael Taylor - Monsanto's Man in the FDA

Angry yet?  Start yelling.

write to the White House

Monday, January 23, 2012

Land of the Tax and Home of the Papagallo

I've been trying to keep my mouth shut, remembering my mother's advice about what to do when you don't have anything good to say.  But what Americans accept as a presidential primary campaign is too much for me.  The hypocrisy on every side is remarkable, but the stupidity and mindless acceptance of well-funded lies by the voting public is mind boggling.

I am not immersed in this - it makes me too angry.  I can just skim off the top of the headlines and explain why I cannot dive deeper - there is no clean air down there at all.

Yet a nation of bobble head dolls believes what it hears, or worse, knows it's all crap and rationalizes it away.

Allow me to begin with Newt Gingrich (what an perfect name for such a lizard) - the man of the people who will take on the Washington "insiders".  He was Speaker of the House, a lobbyist for Freddie Mac (a government agency) and he made millions for other lobbies by helping them gain access to government decision makers.   Am I expected to believe that because you say you're not part of the corrupt, incestuous system, Newt, you're not?

In your twisted brain, the answer is probably yes.  You live by the mantra of do as I say, not as I do.  That is evidenced by your behavior - you were the first Speaker of the House to be disciplined for an ethics violation, your personal behavior is serially repugnant and rather than take responsibility for it, you blame your ex-wives and the press.  It's the behavior of a two year old - throw dirt on someone else in hopes your own filth isn't noticed.  You are not only an insider with huge wealth amassed because of your public career, you're morally destitute.

Yet I heard a home-schooling evangelical mother who drove several states to campaign for the lizard explain away his behavior, saying, "If he's made his peace with God, and I believe he has, I can't ask for more."

Oh yes you can.  And I do.  I expect a hell of a lot more from a man who wants to lead a country.  Why doesn't everyone?

Mitt Romney - he's the man who seems destined to be no one's favorite, the wealthy handsome guy who somehow just doesn't do it for anyone.  There's not a poor man among any of the candidates, but he's become the Richie Rich of the GOP field.  That's what seems to bother most voters.  Plus he's too moderate, too reasoned and just a little too inclined to waffle.  Voters appear to want a snarling, snapping junkyard dog, not a photogenic cardboard cutout.  He is running simply because it's his turn to steer.

Rick Santorum - another candidate with a twisted sense of how the rules apply to him.  He's not a fan of public schools - in fact his own kids were home schooled.  That's a wonderful luxury in a world where most folks can't pay the rent if both parents don't work. But he also enrolled his kids in an online charter school (which came under investigation for other reasons) for which Santorum's home school district in Pennsylvania had to pay the bill.  Just one problem - they were living in Virginia.  When the story broke, the charter school offered to let the kids stay for free if Santorum would pay just the costs for the technology they used.  Santorum pulled the kids out.  The state ended up paying $55,000 to the school to settle up.

Then there's Ron Paul.  He's got a lot to say that resonates with folks who are fed up with an insatiable system that's only goal is to perpetuate itself.  But he's also been the author of a newsletter that's spewed some incredible quotes - were gays really better off when they were forced to stay in the closet, Ron?  He's made some sweeping generalizations about minorities that literally make me cringe.  He's a man comfortable with conspiracy theory and survivalists.  I don't mock the conspiracy theorists - just because you're paranoid doesn't mean everyone isn't out to get you.  But there's a thin line between skepticism and paranoia and Ron Paul gets too cozy with the extreme side of those questions.

Lest I leave anyone out, let me say that the irony of the fact that our president, the winner of the Nobel Prize, has proven to be the most effective assassin of any president in recent memory is not lost on me.  The massive power grab of the NDAA - giving him the authority to indefinitely detail any belligerants, including US citizens - is a solidification of an imperial presidency that somehow the public is still able to ignore.

This is not a democracy.  Let's stop pretending it is.  It's not socialism, either. That's a smokescreen.

This is the Empire of America and it is led by an elite ruling class and supported through the taxation of the public, which has the privilege of choosing which of a limited field of elite players will be chosen to make future policy.

In a land where corporations are people and the serfs pay ever-increasing premiums to the empire to be allowed to work until they can't work anymore, where children are sent to centers to be kept safe while both parents work to pay the bills, where those same children are later sent to die in wars that are about profit while a flag of principle waves over the real motives, where health care and higher education are not a right but a privilege, where basic education is increasingly under fire, where the old and the sick must fight for basic care and dignity, how can we use the word democracy? 

Let's call it what it is - it's an empire.  And don't tell me there's a presidential race that needs to be decided.  It's already decided - it doesn't matter who wins - the nuances may be different, but the basics are the same.  The machine will not allow any serious diversion from the only path that matters - the path that leads to the continued growth of the machine.

I knew a man who told me his father used to ask him his opinions of world events.  When he spewed back whatever he'd heard or read, his father chided, "Papagallo...parrot!  Don't tell me what you heard.  Tell me what you think!"

If you must participate in this farce, at least do your research and don't rationalize away hypocrisy. 
Demand answers and accountability.