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Finished the book on the Napoleonic years. Despite the very last section being about the creation of the Byronic Bonapartist myth and its selective relationship with reality, I still feel ardent.
Will spend the rest of the week reading Hawthorne and Poe but, honestly, La Principessa's coming up tomorrow night so we can drive out to Plymouth Rock and protest Thanksgiving with Native Americans, so I doubt I'll be reading much.
And while I've been busy running around Lowell, it seems that my union brothers have been finding plenty of opportunities to get into trouble:
F~~% Top Chef!
No, alas. I changed shifts two Januaries ago and no longer have access to Candy Mountain.
Earlier this year, however, my former co-Candy Mountaineer was fired for allegedly stealing $50,000 in cellphones. The Black Goblin and I find occasions to wander over there and, if there are any supervisors around, yell, "Where's Bill XXXXX?!?"
It's "international proletarian socialist revolution."
Although I did once read a conversation on Facebook between La Principessa* and some other comrades on how ridiculous it was that it was cheaper for her to buy a new carpet than get the old one cleaned.
Anyway, I have no opinion one way or the other about using or banning GMOs. I do have doubts about the claims that golden rice or any other GMO is going to help wipe out global hunger or malnutrition when, according to some, this planet already produces enough food to feed the world. If that's the case, I'm not exactly sure what difference GMOs are going to make.
Parenthetically, I also read, on wikipedia, that there's some NGO running around out there called Vitamin Angels that has committed itself to wiping out Vitamin A deficiency on the planet by 2020 through "providing antiparastics and one high dose vitamin A capsule to children under five twice yearly. Their cost to provide vitamin A and antiparasitcs, including shipping and administrative costs, is 25 cents per child, per year." I wonder how much progress they've made.
Sounds great, but if more subsistence farmers and small peasants are driven off of their lands because of increased concentration of industrial agribusiness...
I don't know. Sounds more and more like a situation comparable to the original Luddites.
But, whatever. God knows I ingest enough toxic shiznit on a daily basis, what do I care?
Bring on the Frankenfoods!
It sounds like the suicides are economic related, not cause by GMOs directly. Ie, it's not some chemical released by the cotton that causes depression, rather it's the cost of the seeds that puts economic pressure on them, forcing them to go broke, which leads to suicide.
Yes. It appears that India's previous anti-GMO position was informed more by the economics of industrial agriculture and its effects on the peasants (hence my comments about old-school Luddism) rather than GMOs-are-Frankenstein's-monsters-in-waiting fears. Which is a whole interesting set of non-scientific considerations to consider.
The whole part about Green Revolution hybrid seeds creating larger cotton yields that attract heretofore unproblematic pests who you now need a special GMO seed to combat strikes me as the kind of irony the anti-GMO crowd can really savor.
And it also makes me wonder: if, as our un-google searched CBAN friends claim, most vitamin A deficiencies in the world are created by poverty and income inequality, does it matter if vitamin A enriched rice is introduced if most of the vitamin A deficiency-sufferers are unable to purchase vitamin A enriched rice?
But I'm always in favor of a people's revolt.
Well, I can't say much about that piece, other than it was published today, but it did lead to interesting google search results about Indian peasants being driven to destitution and suicide by Green Revolution Big Agribusiness, which indicate that some India's previous anti-GMO position before Modi was elected might have been based in old-school Luddism and not just in its latter day anti-technology incarnation.
No, GMOs Didn't Create India's Farmer Suicide Problem, But… sez Mother Jones.
I haven't yet google searched his claim about the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, but it looks juicy:
"The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) last year released a fully referenced report that concluded hunger is caused by poverty and inequality and that we already produce enough food to feed the world’s population and did so even at the peak of the world food crisis in 2008."
Being really close to finishing both of the books I am reading didn't stop me from starting a new one: Europe and the French Imperium, 1799-1814 by one Professor Geoffrey Bruun, who, I see on the internet, has another book entitled, Saint-Just: Apostle of the Terror. Wonder if I'll ever run across that.
Activist Friends and Comrades of Mine in the News
Too many Fight for $15 articles to post, so I'll just link the page for 15 Now NJ because I saw something on Facebook with my NJ high school comrade speaking at Jersey City City Hall and because I'm in the picture on the homepage.
Reminds me of one time I was in Brooklyn with La Principessa meeting some of her friends and we were in some overpriced coffee shop. She and her friend started chatting and the friend's husband was cramming to pass the bar, so he had his headphones on which left me with a copy of Asimov's More Soviet Science Fiction eavesdropping on a couple of white, French I think, but what do I know?, maybe they were Belgian or something, hippies arguing with a black hippie about GMO's.
The Euro-hippies were adamantly anti-GMO and the black hippie was all like, "we could wipe out rickets in one generation." "I don't trust science," said Eurohippie. "Science is great" responded black hippie, who was wearing a t-shirt advertising something like Doctor Zang's Electrotherapy Clinic. I figured it was a band or something, but after they left, the law student looked it up and it turned out to be some quack in Bushwick or something who claimed he could use electric shocks to make you stop biting your nails or quit smoking.
Activist Friends and Comrade of Mine in the News
A couple of CAJE members basically took this movement, which was started by a comrade in Boston, over. Looks a little white, middle-class, NIMBY to me, but, [shrugs] good for them.
Of course, them having their big rally on the 98th anniversary of the Russian Revolution meant that there wasn't anyone left in Lowell to attend our #SocialistRising event at the Lowell Public Library.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
pretty close to our life expectancy if not better.
Which reminds me: article to trot out during the next outbreak of white skin privilege theory arguments--
Kirth Gersen wrote:
It's true. The collapse of the Soviet Union and its economic lifeline has led to many reversals. Still, last I checked they still have a lower infant mortality rate than the United States and, depending on who's stats you use, they have pretty close to our life expectancy if not better.
I believe they still have the program where doctors go around to every house and do preventative care which is how they get those stats even though antibiotics and other medicines are pricey and largely unavailable.
I wonder if that would change if the American embargo was scrapped? Beats me.
Oh, I'm sorry. I figured the way you quoted me and then asked your question that they were somehow connected. I didn't realize it was a complete non sequitur.
Anyway, again, similar to Comrade BeeNee up above at the beginning of this exchange, I am amused that you've spent years denying that I exist and then ask me questions as if, you know, I exist.
I like France's shorter work week. I like Cuba's health care system. I like China's gigantic housing project that they just wound down.
I still think the proletariat should overthrow all those governments.
There were a few that I kinda liked but I don't really see what that has to do with anything.
European-style welfare states aren't socialism. They don't even pretend to be socialism.
"'I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism,' the Prime Minister said, 'therefore I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.'"
True historical capitalism always included strong elements of worker protection (e.g. unions, child labor laws, overtime pay, et cetera)... which would now be called 'socialism'.
I don't even know what that means. In the USA, there was a good eighty or so years where there weren't strong elements of worker protection. Maybe that was false, ahistorical capitalism?
Well, for starters, you make sure it's not one person running things.
[Dials back the hyperbole and tries again]
It's lying to people and making it seem like crappy European-style welfare state (which, by the way, are nowhere near as extensive as they used to be) are socialism.
I was crafting some quip about how, if government programs equal socialism, then Alexander Hamilton and Ben Franklin must've been socialists, but, apparently, the right beat me to it.
I distinctly remember you asking me this question before.
IIRC, I petulantly refused to answer because you had just dismissed me as a crackpot crazy person and then Comrade Jeff came along and answered something like:
"Because we tried it before and the rich took it all back."
Comrades of Mine in the News
Huh. One of my comrades got into Truthout.
"...Sanders did cite some helpful examples of what he considers socialist institutions: Social Security, Medicare and the police. Interestingly, the last time I heard these institutions in the United States referred to as socialist was when they were being attacked by libertarians like Ron Paul and Ross Perot. Apparently the populist independent-turned-Democrat from Vermont and the unrepentant capitalists share the viewpoint that government institutions are inherently socialist."
Although, I don't remember Ross Perot being a Libertarian.
1d4 Goblin Babies wrote:
Which reminds me: The Anklebiter clan grew by one when the Black Goblin and His Libertarian Wife successfully reproduced. Little Ezekiel James was cross-eyed, wrinkled and ugly when I met him. I hear that's the way all you pinkskins look when you start.
Anyway, because they are crazy hillfolk (or goblins, take your pick), The BG and HLW did a home birth and, later, HLW made a fruit smoothie out of her placenta.
There may pictures one day. Of the baby pinkskin, not HLW eating her placenta.
Comrades of Mine in the News
When I first met Comrade Axelbank, I tried telling him about his namesake in "Order of the Stick" but he wasn't particularly interested.