Friday, November 29, 2013

Obama does whatever he wants - who's gonna stop him?

important primer - see this excellent piece; Front Man - by Kevin Williams

When I restarted this blog I vowed not to get into personality politics. The aim was to comment on broader themes that spoke to the evolution  - or - devolution of the country and the culture. When one man has the power, or rather takes the power,  to remake the country then it's fair game here.

While we like to look back at simpler times and claim the mantle of the good old days we have to admit in many ways life is getting better. That's unfortunately only part of the picture. Obviously in other ways the train is wobbling on the tracks and every one knows it.

If you think about the country like a bucket of water that's teetering back and forth, the water sloshing about with some violently flying out. The water hovering toward the bottom half of the bucket is happy as a lark, knowing not what's happening up near the top. For this layer of water everything is fine until the day the bucket tips over completely. When that happens there will still be a little water safe within the bucket. For sake of the analogy we'll liken this water to the very rich and the bureaucracy. The rest, the poor and the vast middle class spills out onto the ground to evaporate into the ether, forsaken.

The result conjures a picture of a third would cesspool for me. By then it will too late to examine how and why it happened.

What set the bucket teetering back and forth?

I think the answer is rather obvious. The very rich and the bureaucracy. Face it, the very rich don't really care about poor and middle class Americans any more than they care about poor and middle class Africans or Australians. Their concern is maximizing profit, as long as there is a growing middle class somewhere that's all that matters.

The bureaucracy needs helpless multitudes to herd about, and the more the better. The old mantra in business to grow or die is just as valid for the bureaucracy. The bureaucracy is by far the largest growth industry there is in America. Thus the point of this article... The bureaucracy has its ultimate front man, his name is President Obama.

In his piece on the National Review website Kevin D. Williams details the actions and attributes of Barack Obama better than anyone I've read before. I think he actually sums it up neatly by implying Obama is the ultimate front man for the liberal bureaucratic train that's been barreling down the track at us since the turn of the last century. Far from having any grand vision or even a few big ideas Obama's politics are utterly conventional managerial liberalism. What makes him the perfect man for the job is his decent oratory skills and a blanket of protection afforded by his half black skin. Oppose him and you're a racist.

Nothing is worse for your career than being labeled a racist. When he has the full force of the New York Times and the major television networks ready to defend him at all costs wielding the sledge hammer of racism how can he lose? He can't.

Therefore, he does whatever he wants - who's gonna stop him? The Congress? Ha. The people? They can't unelect him. The media? And admit their worship was misguided? Not gonna happen.

American democracy, such as it is, will face death by a thousand cuts, not felled by one grand action. The national will, the hard working, the patriotic, the exceptional will be sliced and diced by the liberal bureaucracy until it no longer resembles the constitutional republic we learned about in school.

Mr. Williams lays it all out there. With the healthcare law alone the administration was given a rough framework in which his "team" got to fill in the blanks. With that the bureaucracy had years to prepare. Because it's a problem ill suited for a bureaucratic solution it threatened to derail a nascent economic recovery so the President chose to delay parts of the law (unlawfully so) and grant exceptions to his supporters (unions, per se).

When Congress failed to enact the DREAM Act which was intended to give the minor children of illegal immigrants legal status he simply enacted it by decree - again unlawfully.

When the citizens of Egypt staged a coup d’├ętat all military aid was to be cut-off as required by American law. The Obama administration refused to obey the law.

The President cannot legally have American citizens assassinated, yet he does. The President is not allowed to use agents of the government against his political opponents, yet the IRS was used during a critical phase of the 2012 election to suppress political action groups allied against him. He blatantly makes recess appointments when Congress is not in recess. His cabinet secretary for Health and Human Services blatantly ignores the Religious Freedom Restoration Act - the law of the land - and forces institutions and individuals to act against their consciences by requiring them to cover abortifacients and birth control pills in their health insurance plans. I could go on... Really.

Congress has plenty of blame for this state of affairs. With Harry Reid acting as the gatekeeper for any real action by the Congress, regardless of what the Republican led House does, the President acts with near impunity. The media whose job it is to hold powerful feet to the fire has abdicated all credibility when it comes to Obama. The loyal opposition is perhaps the sorriest joke of all. Other than a few - Ted Cruise, Rand Paul - no one in the Republican party is saying anything about this executive branch power grab. The headless Tea Party movement made some inroads before they were crushed by major media's character assassination.

In a sense we are stuck with a defacto one party system, in practice there's not a dimes bit of difference between the parties. It's the bureaucracy stupid.





Ugh









Sunday, November 24, 2013

Post Modern Lunacy

The tag line for this blog is "Up is down. That's just maddeningly unhelpful. Why are these things never clear?" The problem is that so many things are clear, what is right and true vs wrong and ridiculous is often as plain as the nose on your face. Yet popular culture, your teachers, your leaders, your bosses and even your family and friends ignore it or outright deny it. Or... They are too afraid to say it. It is an ancient problem, the story The Emperor’s New Suit was not written yesterday.

Many things have been written about the rise and fall of empires. As empires go the United States is the oddest by far. That it is an empire is not really in question. Since the end of World War II America has clearly been the prime influencer of the world. Initially this was simply the result of the devastation of world war. The U.S. was largely intact and ready to help rebuild the Western world - which it did. Even as the Cold War raged the influence of the U.S. trumped the Soviets wherever a modicum of freedom was present. The Cold War ended with whimper rather than a bang and the default for the world was one where business, trade and the successful exploitation of natural and human resources reigned. This came about not so much by the military conquest of the U.S. but the 800 pound gorilla clearly dictated the general outcome.

Glubb Pasha, a British soldier, scholar and author famously generalized about empires having seven stages: (1) the age of outburst (or pioneers), (2) the age of conquests, (3) the age of commerce, (4) the age of affluence, (5) the age of intellect, (6) the age of decadence, and (7) the age of decline and collapse. Now if we were to place America circa 2013 we'd probably choose stage 6 or 7. Stage 7 is probably terminal - the question is: is stage 6 terminal too?

The good news is civilization itself will not end with the fall of a post Obama America -- any more than it ended when the British Empire collapsed or the Roman Empire faded or when the Pharaohs succumbed to invaders. The torch that was lit at the dawn of human civilization will be picked up by someone somewhere else, and the human race will eventually move forward again. Is it better that the world be dominated by a profit seeking state like the United States or a totalitarian state like China or a dysfunctional state like India, a theocratic state like the Caliphate of Islam or a dying state like Russia? (Gee, America doesn't  seem so bad does it?)

This post modern lunacy we see before us now is very sad news for America & the West. It didn't have to be this way, we have been betrayed by the leaders we allowed to grab power. Perhaps it is inevitable anyway, I don't know, perhaps Glubb Pasha is exactly right. Empires rise and empires fall.

Part of me blames the people as much as the leadership - we get the leaders we deserve. It's clear that poor leadership and poor parenting has failed us and our children. We also bear responsibility for the apathy that has permeated society. Sure life has become complicated and its hard to stay on top of the millions of issues that face modernity, but there is no excuse for the belief that we can do well enough in life despite exerting no particular effort to learn the truth behind the issues. By accepting what politicians, scientists and the media tell us without questioning or even having a modicum of curiosity - then indeed, we get the leadership we deserve.

What is really astonishing is how the U.S. has structured itself into a well educated elite ruling over the poor and stupid. But the odd part is that the really stupid are the well educated elite. What Obama says, what so-called Republican leaders say is more often than not vacuous nonsense. What the talking heads on TV say is often worse. They are not intellectual giants, they are master manipulators that's all. Our true intellectuals may be technically brilliant, this does not necessarily make them suitable to lead the world or even a car wash. What we end up with is the lunacy of ego.

It's the average people acting with the freedom of their own self interest that gets things figured out. Entire systems grow up and function without central planning, and if there is value it sustains, if not it dies. Government has a role in keeping the playing field level and mediating disputes through practical law making and through the courts if necessary. Unfortunately government is used to tilt the playing field in favor of its cronies and to feather the nest of the politicians.

They do it by creating one artificial crisis after another. The energy crisis, the population bomb, the S&L crisis, the education crisis, the Gulf War, the global warming crisis, the terrorism crisis, the Gulf War, the mortgage crisis, the debt crisis, the health insurance crisis, the looming entitlement crisis. Almost to a "t" these are actually a failure of leadership and made-up political crisis'. The solutions are nearly always worse than the problems and lo and behold the rich and connected come out smelling like a rose - every time.

Are we in last stages of decadence and decline? Are we in stage 7?

Economics is only part of the picture...

In past empires the people often thought most highly of the athletes, musicians, and actors, regardless of how corrupt these celebrities’ private lives were. Sound familiar? The precipitous decline of sexual morality, a dearth marriages in favor of “living together,” and a skyrocketing divorce rate all hurt family stability - the very bedrock of any healthy society. This is what happened to the upper class of the Roman Empire in the first-century A.D.  The birth rate declined, abortion and infanticide became common and family size was deliberately squelched. Is this that much different than what has happened here and now? It was clearly one reason for Rome’s decline. This is followed by gay sex becoming celebrated as publicly acceptable, such as it was among the ancient Greeks before Rome conquered them - is that not also happening here and now?

These patterns repeat, piling one on top the other. Maybe we can defy the odds. It's not looking too good.



Ugh




Friday, November 15, 2013

Climate Change Deniers ARE Stupid, right?

Not to drag out the old standby "Climate Change" to fill a blog post, OK that's exactly what I'm doing... Below is a back and forth I had a year ago when I came across an article on some greenie website. The interesting thing was that the responders absolutely hit on every single contradictory cliche I accused them of while trying to come off as reasonable, intelligent and patient.

For instance, at one point one of them put down a bunch of links to studies (proving his point) and when I suggested I could find a bunch of links that would say exactly the opposite, he chided me saying links that any fool could post prove nothing.

I stayed on and had some fun with it anyway...

Note: I interjected a few comments in [brackets]




_____________________________


Craig said...

Oh for God's sake who is denying climate change? No one is denying climate change. Informed, educated, well-intentioned people disagree about "global warming" and more specifically what can or should be done about it - if anything. Treating skeptics as flat-earthers and fools only diminishes you. The climate is going to change, that's a fact. What is causing it is way too complicated to distill down to humanity burning fossil fuels, and specifically the emitting of carbon dioxide.

I am sick and tired of the debate being waved off as if we who question proposed drastic measures are knuckledragging protohumans. There is a legitimate debate to be had about what should be done.
Reply07/16/2012 at 01:01 PM



Ted Lee Eubanks said...

Craig, I wondered how long I would have to wait before one of the denier birders would speak up. You comment that "treating skeptics as flat-earthers and fools only diminishes you." Nonsense. Undermining you are the histrionics about the subject and your inability to actually offer a "legitimate debate." So here is the invitation, Craig. Gut it up and show us your data. Let me see the peer reviewed studies that would argue otherwise. Give us your case that argues against this being "way too complicated to distill down to humanity burning fossil fuels, and specifically the emitting of carbon dioxide." Don't just snivel. Debate.
Reply07/16/2012 at 02:00 PM



Ted Lee Eubanks said...

For those like Craig who are nonplussed by climate change (what a way to rain on a parade?), here are a few current papers related to the science rather than the politics. http://certiclean-certified.com/lcs/docs/2007_Climate_EOS_Projection.pdf  http://www.discoverlife.org/pa/or/polistes/pr/2010nsf_macro/references/Parmesan_and_Yohe2003.pdf  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC23258/

If you are not up to reading these papers, at least read this last one. As the authors state, "But there is a scientific consensus on the reality of anthropogenic climate change. Climate scientists have repeatedly tried to make this clear. It is time for the rest of us to listen." http://leisureguy.wordpress.com/2007/09/04/the-scientific-consensus-on-global-warming/

Craig, anthropogenic means caused by man. Your comment that climate change is "way too complicated to distill down to humanity burning fossil fuels" is contrary to the published science. We await your data.
Ted
Reply07/16/2012 at 09:49 PM


Craig said...

Gee, thanks for the vocabulary lesson on anthropogenic, I never knew... This is exactly what I mean, by the way, about the arrogant superiority complex you folks display toward anyone who differs with you. Consensus, scientific or not, isn't necessarily the truth. I can get a list together of nice links that will say exactly the opposite - if I must. (I'd start with http://wattsupwiththat.com/)

One question that has always bothered me and none of you can answer without a hockey stick. How did medieval man "cause" global warming? And even more important how was it bad for humanity? Everything I have read points to nothing but good coming out of warmer temperatures for health and well being of mankind.

But let's just say you're right about absolutely everything. What should we do that's practical, rational and dare I say actually doable. Wasting billions on carbon sequestration and other redistribution schemes is none of these. As Lomborg suggests the rational thing to do is to learn to adapt to warmer temperatures just as mankind learned to adapt to colder temperatures a few centuries ago. Science and technology will continue to advance just as it has since the dawn of the industrial revolution and practical solutions will arise - yes, before it's too late. Or, just in time for the next anthropogenic ice age.
Reply07/17/2012 at 02:12 PM


Joshua said...

Craig, a few things. First, your statement "Everything I have read points to nothing but good coming out of warmer temperatures for health and well being of mankind." You apparently need to read something a bit less biased. Warmer temperatures are likely to be disastrous to mankind for a number of reasons, starting with tropical diseases like malaria and dengue spreading over wider areas of the globe. Agricultural pests will similarly spread more readily from the tropics into temperate zones. Throw in increased demand for electricity and water, demands that many communities are already struggling to satisfy. That assumes that warmer temperatures actually happen. It's called "global" climate change, not "your neighborhood" climate change, for a reason. A temperature 5 degrees (F) warmer in any one state or even country would be barely noticeable. A global change of 5 degrees would just about end life as we know it. But a global change is not going to change every single place on the planet by the same amount; some areas will likely get cooler. And the changes of real significance are likely to be in areas indirectly affected by temperature, such as precipitation, evaporation, ocean currents, etc.

As for medieval man, they were certainly capable of burning wood, which on a per-unit-of-energy basis is thought to generate more climate change than burning fossil fuels. They also had livestock, considered a source of atmospheric heat-trapping gases including methane (more potent than carbon dioxide). They clear-cut many forests which releases a great deal of carbon from organic forms into the atmosphere. And really, the data on the medieval warming period indicates that it was milder than the current one, [no, sir, no it wasn't. Ugh] and possibly not even global. 


Adaptation is a fine idea for those who can do it. Unfortunately, adaptation requires money and resources. Many countries lack those. So the poorer countries wind up stuck with that other, less pleasant sort of adaptation, the Darwinian natural selection sort, where the fittest survive and everyone else dies. For the wealthy countries who have generated most of the greenhouse gases, and profited hugely from doing so, to fret about the monetary cost of carbon sequestration and other climate stabilization strategies, is not going to be received well if people in poorer countries are dying and think that we made most of our money while causing it. I'm also surprised how much that you, ostensibly a birder, emphasize the survival of humans. If climate change takes place as predicted,
we are going to see an avalanche of extinctions of birds, mammals, fish, and other life forms across the planet. Our adapting does nothing to help other species. Some of us care about that.

Not surprised that you mention Bjorn Lomborg. Unfortunately, the man's area of expertise is political science; both his Master's and Ph.D. were in that area. He lectured a bit on statistics within the political sciences, but never earned any degrees in that area. And everything that he knows about climatology and the rest of the natural sciences, he learned after he had already made up his mind to
oppose environmentalism, which allowed him (maybe conciously, maybe not) to cherry-pick the bits that supported his preconceived notions and conveniently overlook the parts that were contrary to his personal views. To get a degree in a field, you have to learn the entire thing, not just the parts that you find agreeable.

Which brings me to your claim "Consensus scientific or not isn't necessarily the truth. I can get a list together of nice links that will say exactly the opposite" A collection of links vs. scientific consensus. Links come from websites that Ted, or I, or you, or anyone else could put up. I could pull a bunch of numbers and graphs out of my behind and post it on a website. More to the point, I could post my opinions somewhere even if they were based on a complete misinterpretation and misunderstanding of the facts. Scientific consensus rides on publications, which each have to make it through a long and arduous process of quality control involving dozens of people before they make it into print. Misunderstandings and misinterpretations get corrected by this process. If any conclusion seems wrong, other scientists can repeat the steps of the study and try it out for themselves, and if they find out that the previous study was wrong, they can publish that too. Contrary to the conspiracy theories, it happens all the time. So, links vs. scientific consensus? Not much of a choice there.
Reply07/18/2012 at 10:39 AM



Craig said...

Why is everything I read biased? Because it disagrees with your "consensus"? Don't even try to tell me there hasn't been shenanigans played with the science behind these theories. There is a lot of money riding on making global warming scary - we must do something NOW. Billions have been thrown at scientists and there are billions more at stake. Scientists need to eat too and this research has been an incredible boon monetarily. Sorry if I don't trust the ultimate motives behind all this. (You of course are above reproach) Call me a conspiracy nut if you must.

My point is there is probably not much man can do - reasonably - that would make a difference considering the cost/benefit ratio. Mankind has adapted to climate change way before the evil ones drove their cars and fired up their power plants. Populations soared during the Medieval Warming Period and plummeted during the Little Ice Age - people suffered. I'm sorry but warmer is just better.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking all reasonable measures to mitigate the junk mankind throws up into the air. But going backward economically will never get us there - ever. How does a economically weaker "West" make the world a cleaner, greener place? Poverty stricken countries and emerging countries like China and India are belching cesspools, yet they were never going to be required to adhere to the standards the West was facing. In my view advancing science and technology from a position of economic strength is going to do far more good than forcing the West to reduce our wealth through direct confiscation and the high prices of false scarcity.



Joshua said...

Craig, to answer your question "Why is everything I read biased?" You said before that "Everything I have read points to nothing but good coming out of warmer temperatures for health and well being of mankind." There is an avalanche of evidence pointing to warmer temperatures being disastrous to mankind for a wide variety of reasons, some of which I already listed. If you have not read any of that material, then what you have read is presenting only one side of the issue. That is a dictionary definition of "biased".

A little light reading for you:
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719
This is not a scientific article, but the author is at least familiar with the scientific basis of climate change and the predictions it makes for human welfare. I do not necessarily agree with 100% of the article's content, but it's certainly closer to reality than what you've been reading. The population numbers from the medieval warming period and little ice age do not apply to our current situation. World population then was a tiny fraction of what it is now. Populations boomed during the warming period because we were making advances in agriculture, medicine, exploration. Populations plummeted after the warming period because, oh yeah, the Black Death, among other things. The climate was not driving the population changes.

If you really want to stay buried in your conspiracy theories, then nothing I say will penetrate the sand in which you've buried your head. But just look at your own statements like "There is a lot of money riding on making global warming scary" and think about that. How much money is there in making global warming *not* scary? Several million times more. Scientists' grants are a pittance relative to the revenue pulled in by the industries that extract, process, sell, and consume fossil fuels. [BS, the money shoveled into "climate change" by governments alone dwarfs that of industry by orders of magnitude, add the free media trumpets and you're comparing apples to blue berries]

Now, if you want to make the arguments about affordability of the various schemes to stabilize the climate, or about the fairness of deals that demand the West make changes while exempting rapidly developing countries with far higher populations, you might have valid arguments there. Unfortunately, any points you make in those areas have been sorely undermined by your disputing the scientific evidence. When you make claims that are unsupported by the facts, it casts doubt on your opinions in the areas where facts may actually exist to support your case. [There you go, the science is settled - the facts are in. Not quite]
Reply07/24/2012 at 01:15 AM



Craig said...

Conspiracy theories??? Ever hear of ClimateGate? Cmon. There have been numerous fallicies that have come to light as the pushers ramp up the fear mongering. I am neither a scholar nor a scientist (probably obvious by now) but I am a bullshit detector. All up and down the cast of characters pushing this notion are bullshit artists and profiteers along with the serious scientists. These folks have the megaphone of the major media and the money of superpower governments so the constant drumbeat against the "oil companies" and the "Koch Brothers" bank rolling the opposition is falling on my sand-filled deaf ears.

There is BS and dishonesty on both sides of this debate. Just like anything else identified and embraced by the left-side of the political spectrum the elements of truth and rightousness are buried in the rubble of the sledge hammer they (always) employ. This is probably why the opposition is so adamant. Cooler heads and wiser men could probably come to a compromise that would work for both sides. Me, I still think technological advancements (not friggin' windmills) will make most of the pollution/spewing elements of this debate just go away. Maybe not as quickly as you would like, but eventually.

_______________________



The sheer arrogance and condescension of these guys is what struck me. I continued with this far longer than I should have or needed to. Neither ceded any of my points to any degree - they, along with the science and the scientists were above reproach and had nothing but pure scientific motives. These guys along with all the other anti-capitalist crowd fails to acknowledge that it is capitalism that is the engine that drives science, scientific advancements and scientific progress for all kinds of reasons. All of which needs the power and the strength of strong economies - economies that rely on increasing energy consumption. I say clean it up where ever possible, but to purposely kill the economies of advanced societies for this theory is the epitome of denial. It isn't going to happen.



Ugh
(AKA Craig)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Roosevelt Security

With all this talk about ObamaCare also known the Affordable Care Act something serious is getting lost in the noise. As bad as ObamaCare seems to be it pales in comparison to the culturally pervasive and universally accepted Roosevelt Security Act. ObamaCare could only hope to be a tenth as successful as the Roosevelt Security Act.


Never heard of the Roosevelt Security Act? How about Johnsoncare or Johnsonaid? Of course not. That's not what they are called. Neither Roosevelt or Johnson would have stood for it, not for one minute. ObamaCare, it just seems so damn pretentious. I realize that it didn't start at the White House, but the President has embraced the moniker wholeheartedly. Of course now his detractors are hoping he wears it around his neck like the albatross it is, but he could have insisted the news media called it by it's rightful name - or at least never allowed his personal army of talking heads in and out of government from referring to the ACA by its nickname.

This phenomenon of derisively re-labeling programs and legislative bills probably started in earnest with overly cute nickname given to Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a missile defense system. It came to be known as Star Wars - brought to you by Ronnie Raygun. But President Reagan didn't call it Star Wars, no one in his administration called it that.

As for the reality of what ObamaCare is and how it came to be it probably should be perpetually tagged to one of the most partisan and constitutionally subversive figures to ever come to power in the history of the United States. Its seemingly inevitable failure should serve as a lesson, but it probably won't. More likely it will serve as a model to get what you want in Washington. F--k the opposition party!

Was this legislation really written by the health insurance industry? No one knows, because there were no negotiations, there were no hearings on the final bill. It was finally rammed through the Senate on Dec 24th 2009 on the last day of the session without a single Republican vote. No one had read the bill that they passed - no one. Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously said "you'll have to pass it to see what's in it". Let's just imagine this happening when Roosevelt was pushing Social Security, or with Johnson when Medicare or the Civil Rights Act was passed. Something this big needed careful consideration, give and take, and bi-partisan support.

Even after it was the law of the land, upheld by the Supreme Court and frankly inevitable do you suppose it became transparent public policy? No and hell no. So paranoid was the Obama Administration they held the whole thing close to the vest - failed to hire the best and the brightest to craft and develop a system that would touch the lives of every single American in one way or another. What were they afraid of? Well, I think they were afraid of the truth coming out about the total BS it really is until it was too late. I'm afraid it's too late.

So far more people have lost their insurance than have been added to ObamaCare's roles. It doesn't look like it will get better anytime soon. The technical issues with the website and the integration with the states and the insurance carriers is just the tip of the iceberg. Its success hinges on getting enough people - particularly young, healthy people - signed up to offset the cost of the poorest and sickest. It doesn't seem it's likely to happen, at least not until it is buried financially.

Some believe that was the plan all along. The system will get in so deep that a government rescue will be in order - that will mean a single payer system which of course will be the Federal government - the one institution the most ill-equipped to handle it. This doesn't really sound like a good deal for the health insurance industry, does it?

The true believers will pin this failure on those evil Republicans. Sorry folks, that dog won't hunt. Even if some of the provisions in the law are old Republican ideas it doesn't mean the Republicans had any say in this monstrosity. They were constantly and continually shut out. I'm not saying the ever vigilant strategy of trying to overturn or de-fund the law was good and right, its just that human nature eventually clicks on when you been whipped and kicked to the curb over and over.

Yes, by all means and measures there were - are - serious problems with access and cost in the American health system. There are some good ideas - even Republican ideas - to help the situation, but I am doubting Obama and the hard left were ever interested in fiddling around the edges where experimentation might unearth a good model. Total control is the only goal.

ObamaCare is a disaster precisely because it was designed to be a problem not the solution. It may be too late to fix it if the make up of Washington doesn't change soon. I just don't see that happening.




Ugh

Friday, November 01, 2013

Hell no GMO will never go

A product comes along - maybe a process is a better word - a process comes along that solves a number of problems plaguing modern man, huge problems, and instead of rejoicing and singing its praises the reactionary left cooks up a boogieman and riles the masses into a frenzy.

Once again the pro-science crowd who revels in accusing their religious and conservative opponents of being knuckle-dragging luddites ignore the facts, ignore the actual science and promulgate lies to further an anti-human agenda. GMO derangement rivals climate change hysteria for the pinnacle of all manufactured doomsday scenario's.

Just as the concept of global warming has caused the average person to change his or her behavior (as well as lightening his or her wallet) the reactionary left has succeeded in turning the advantaged class against a literal miracle that would help the world's disadvantaged in a most profound way.

GMO food and GMO crops have already changed the world for the better. Not one person has been poisoned, not one stream has been polluted, not one bird has fallen from the sky because of GMO. It may surprise you that every respected scientific organization that has studied GM crops including such institutions as the American Medical Association, the National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization, and others have found GM crops both safe for humans for and the environment. Yes, it's impossible to prove anything is completely without risk, it's worth noting that none of these organizations is in the tank for big agribusiness, yet they all agree that there’s simply no evidence that it’s dangerous to eat genetically modified foods. Notoriously skeptical science-oriented publications including Nature and Scientific American have also concluded there’s just no evidence that GMOs are bad for us.

So why the hysteria. Frankly, excellent marketing by the same types who brought you two terms of Barack Obama, the tar and feathering of the Tea Party and conservatism in general. While both sides cherry-pick evidence to support the positions they expound, the left slathers on the pure emotion of scare tactics that seem to work every time.

So successful have been the scare mongers that entire continents have banned GMO's. Ignoring actual benefits that could save millions from malnutrition and death the scare tactics are having an effect on the very nations and regions that could benefit the most. GMO's offer the farmer, any farmer, a cost benefit by reducing chemical usage, fuel usage and potentially larger yields due to less loss to insects. There is also the benefit to the poorly nourished by the injection of nutrients - such as vitamin A into rice - grown in regions where the deficiencies have a profound impact on the poor.

It would seem that with 7 billion humans to feed with a couple billion of them going hungry day after day that the benefits of GM food would outweigh the bull horn people. But it doesn't look that way. I think there a couple of reasons for this that have nothing to do with rational arguments. First, it is very hard to get the masses to rally around big -business. Pop culture in the West has made big-business literally toxic, deserved or not. And yes sometimes it is deserved. I will not stand up for some of the practices of agri-giant Monsanto. They use blackmail tactics and lawyers to gain and maintain market share in a way that would make the mafia's protection racket look like a boy scout jamboree. Business does what business can get away with and Monsanto and the other giant agri-business players have the best politicians money can buy. It doesn't necessarily mean their products are dangerous.

Secondly, many nations and regions see big agri-business as an extension of the United States. Cutting off your nose to spite your face is a long held tradition when it comes to protecting the home town team from being swallowed or crushed. American business can be a bit of a bull in a China shop so to speak. It still doesn't mean their motives beyond making profit are purposely destructive. That makes no business sense at all.

Finally, just like with "Climate Change" my belief is that the leftists have a far more sinister set of motives than any evil corporation that has ever existed. The anti-GMO crowd rather than being out to protect humanity from evil is bent of the reduction of the human population by orders of magnitude from today's numbers. GMO has the potential of allowing us to feed the world, pulling billions out of mere subsistence to thriving abundance - just as a warmer world is better for the survival of human beings than a colder one.

I don't think GMO foods or crops will go away anymore than nuclear energy did with a similar onslaught. However, poor safety practices in places like Chernobyl and Fukushima give the doomsayers ammunition, and rightly so. GM products have to be tested and studied with extreme vigilance - and that is the sliver lining provided by the rabid opposition.



Put that GMO tobacco in your pipe and smoke it!



Ugh

PS: I have no stock (that I know of) in any agri-business. It's not that I trust big business all that much, I just distrust leftists that much more