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JackRiddler's Journal
JackRiddler's Journal
January 12, 2019

Yes, and that should give pause.

Who exactly here is purporting to be the hero of the Resistance? The same Comey who delivered the most important single blow against Clinton just before the election, completely without justification (remember, it was about Weiner's computer and it was bullshit through and through)? Note the rest of the dirt from his career, only some of which has been mentioned here (Ashcroft). Note that Trump never goes after him for the real shit, like the COINTELPRO-style entrapment of Muslims by the FBI. How much of this is an over-hyped mutual antagonism to mutual benefit? In pro wrestling, it's called kayfabe.

He's hardly the only one. With a regime seeking ways to transition to full dictatorship, many of us who want to stop it are sitting here taking inspiration or direction from the surveillance state's head perjurer Clapper, former heads of the U.S. international crime agency CIA, former pushers of the WMD lie, former architects and propagandists of the Bushian war of aggression like Kristol and Frum and Boot, and sometimes even from Bush himself. How short the memories at times seem to be.

January 12, 2019

I'd have to say Pompeo is the greater threat

given that he's active operationally, so well placed, and pushing two new prospective major wars right at this moment (Iran and Venezuela).

December 23, 2018


There has been one legislative achievement, and it was for them. For his darling class mates. They've been binging on it for more than a year. They didn't complain then! And this is how they repay him? Damned Manhattan. They still hate him, the Little Mobster from Queens Who Could.

December 22, 2018

Everyone hold your bloodthirst, not open and shut

Here's a story that actually names them:


The man's boss claims an alibi for him, says he was working at the time.

They are model plane enthusiasts. It is possible they've been wrongly accused. It is also possible that if it was their drones, they are idiots and did not intend to shut down the airport.

You know, innocent until proven guilty, mitigating circumstances based on intent... all that crazy stuff about rights to trials in court and fairness and no cruel and unusual punishments and shit that even 18th century slaveholders believed in so much they included it in the U.S. bill of rights, etc. etc.

May 21, 2017

The authoritarianism is so charming.

You'd love to see him questioned by the Senate? I don't think you are that naive about what kind of people will be doing the questioning, the kinds of means they will be employing, and the odds that he would ever appear in public again.

January 26, 2017

It's just a vote, right?

"Obstruction" relates to procedural blocks.

The vote is going to happen regardless.

The vote gives her one binary choice: Yes or no?

She made the wrong choice here.

November 2, 2016

The issue for me is not the GMO, it is the business model.

Under capitalism and in practice, GMO is developed with the purpose of claiming patent on life-forms so as to facilitate the extraction of revenues to for-profit corporations. GMO opens up a further revenue stream through the increased use and thus sale of more chemical inputs. So you have this perfect convergence of Bayer and Monsanto. These are shareholder corporations with the fiduciary morality that puts the venture's business growth above all other human interests. It's no wonder that pesticide/herbicide ready GMOs are deployed, while "golden rice" (assuming it even works) remains a PR move.

So please let's discuss the political economy first, that helps us understand the technological choices that are made, and why: it's for a business model. Pure "science" may be involved in the research, but capitalism determines what gets developed & deployed.

October 30, 2016

New York Times: Broken Promises of GMO Crops

Broken Promises of Genetically Modified Crops

Always amazing when you see what we all should already know finally covered in the New York Times: GMOs do not increase crop yield, let alone present a solution to problems of nutrition or world hunger, as Russell and Hakim report.

Nothwithstanding unproven claims about the health effects of the GMO food itself, GMOs have had two main impacts:

(1) Pesticide and herbicide resistant crops mean that farmers use more pesticides and herbicides, so that higher concentrations of these poisons end up in the environment and in our bodies.

(2) Corporations claim patent and ownership on seeds harvested by farmers to the nth generation, effectively acting as feudal lords demanding annual tribute from peasants. Thus the evil is not in the product itself, but in the radically new business model it enables, which overturns 10,000 years of social and agricultural practice. Farmers do not own the seeds they grow.

This profit-making combination is why the world's biggest chemicals producer, Bayer, is attempting to merge with the world's biggest producer of GMO seeds, Monsanto. The neoliberal trade treaties TPP and TTIP, if they go into effect, would allow such companies a new and near-absolute power to overturn potential governmental regulations of their products and markets. It would mean more GMO production, more patenting of organisms and claims on the incomes of farmers globally, and more poisons in the environment.

The great lie of the GMO-producing corporations has been that GMOs produce higher yields and thus possible solutions to hunger. They have coupled this with lies about enhanced nutritional value, such as the "golden rice" with extra Vitamin A (betacarotenes, actually) they always advertise but have chosen not to introduce, probably because it does not work. And if "golden rice" is supposed to be a humanitarian move, why would they not give away the technology, as Norman Borlaug did during the Green Revolution?

Meanwhile the world produces much more food than all of its people need to eat. Hunger is a problem of poverty, inequality, markets and distribution, as well as regional ecological disasters. The pro-GMO ideology makes things worse by distracting from the real problems, by implying there is global scarcity that can be addressed by a capitalist, technocratic quick-fix. Stop worrying about poverty - GMOs will feed everyone! (One factor that always interests me is the incredible way the U.S. puts nearly half of its corn into gas tanks, at a net energy gain of near-zero.)

Meanwhile the industrial farming mentality that promotes GMOs has also encouraged the spread of monoculture farming, with attendant impact on what quality of food ends up at the supermarket at what prices.

By the way, my prediction is that you will see the Times publish some kind of outraged corporate damage control attacking this as "unscientific."

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