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An Angel On My Shoulder

There we were – focussed on a political tsunami across South America and Chris B has to raise the subject of genetically modified foods.

Then our inimitable Kirribilli Removals (KR) throws in a rebuttal and Enemy Combatant (EC) throws a counter argument and things escalate (go figure). Thing is – there are multiple valid positions here.

Me? I appreciate food, I understand the construction of that instance when food enters you mouth and your brain takes a moment to pause – the ambient noise dissipates and for a few moments you recognise that while Italian opera is good, Italian cuisine is better. But KR is throwing up the lowest common denominator – the solution to feed the masses on GM based crops. KR is right – but if KR is right we are simultaneously selling our souls.

I like locally grown fresh vegetables (and I like British aged beef but that’s another subject). I like going to a restaurant that has a vegetable patch with 45 different vegetables on offer and 145 different varieties (and it happens to be a French restaurant in France). I like vegetables that are really fresh (and I’m talking hours from harvest). I love diversity – a cross between a Coz and a Buttherhead is just entertainment in the making.

What I don’t like is the feeling that the agriculture business is our next incarnation of an unregulated financial market. And I figure KR has a feeling for where this could be taking us to and I hoping EC is the angel on KR’s shoulder.

526 Responses to “An Angel On My Shoulder”

  1. 501
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Apologies to Catrina…here’s a list of the companies that are members of the body she quoted above:

    Aceto Agricultural Chemicals Corp.
    AGDATA
    AgProfessional
    Agrilead, Inc.
    Albaugh, Inc.
    American Warehouse Co., Inc.
    AMVAC Chemical Corporation
    Banjo Corp.
    BASF Corporation
    Bayer CropScience
    Becker Underwood, Inc.
    Big River Agri-Supply
    Blackhawk Whse & Leasing Co.
    Cascio Storage & Warehouse
    CDMS, Inc.
    Cheminova Inc.
    Chemorse, Ltd.
    Chemtura Corporation
    Crop Production Services, Inc.
    Cross Road Centers
    dmrkynetec
    Dow AgroSciences
    Drexel Chemical Co.
    DuPont Crop Protection
    FMC Corporation
    Gowan Company
    GROWMARK, Inc.
    Helena Chemical Co.
    Inland Empire Distribution Systems, Inc.
    ISK Biosciences Corporation
    Jacobson Warehouse Inc.
    Junge Control, Inc.
    KOVA Fertilizer, Inc.
    Lee Container Corp.
    Madison Warehouse Corp.
    Makhteshim-Agan of North America
    Meister Media Worldwide
    MFA Incorp.
    Monsanto Company
    Nickey Warehouses, Inc.
    Nufarm
    Oil Dri Corp. of America
    Pat Robinson
    Pretium Packaging
    Prochaska & Company, Inc.
    Regulatory Consultants Inc.
    Rosen’s Inc.
    Rotam North America, Inc.
    Sipcam Agro USA
    Sotera Systems
    Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc.
    Tri-Rinse, Inc.
    UCPA
    United Phosphorus Inc.
    United Suppliers, Inc.
    Valent USA Corporation
    Van Diest Supply Co.
    Westheffer Company Inc.
    Wilbur-Ellis Company
    Winfield Solutions
    Wright Distribution Center, Inc.

    There’s a similar list of agricultural organisations from various states to also attach to that list.

    Their business is agriculture, food production on a scale that allows us to afford food that is cheap and nutritious, and healthy. (Or, you can eat processed junk…your choice)

    A statement like the one quoted above is pretty funny because the bulk of the population is more than aware they can’t do more than ‘potter’ in a garden (even if they’ve got the right combination of soil/sunshine on sufficient area).

    Your point is, what exactly Catrina? If the name of Monsanto is appended to anything it must ipso facto be ‘evil’, or at the least somehow ‘misleading’?

    I’d say it’s a statement of the near bleeding obvious, but you may of course wish to correct me with the tonnage of food produced in your neighbourhood’s gardens (as opposed to the tonnage bought regularly)

  2. 502
    Catrina says:

    at 501

    Apologies to Catrina

    I’m not at all sure about what your apologising about – but I’ll lodge it as credit in case you do something I think you really need to apologise about. Think of it as a default swap apology hedge fund.

    :-)

  3. 503
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Oh, it was an already paid for apology Catrina, to balance the one you offered at 497. I wouldn’t like to accept one without also giving one in return!

  4. 504
    Catrina says:

    Kirribilli Removals at 503

    Sorry KR but my apology to you was clearly within the context of raising a subject to which you would normally be obliged to respond and to which my apology gave to you the opportunity to cease and desist and as a benevolent and opportune consequence – giving you the grace to refrain from a critical retort. On the other hand, your apology was out there and floating – sort of like a sub-prime morgage – just there for the taking. For the record, I’ll be taking bids on that credit default swap – if anyone want to acquire KR’s apology, I’m open to offers.

    :lol:

  5. 505
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    So, Catrina, does that mean you won’t be making a call on aspartame too? (Dear Ecky, he never could commit himself on that, despite all the opportunities he had.LOL!)

    Nor, the amount of food you can produce with your spade in your backyard?

    Maybe trading apology derivatives is a smarter move then! LOL

  6. 506
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    We’ve all had a shot bagging Stephen Conroy on his ‘web filter’ furphy thingo, but listen to him run of the National Broadband Network story with the Business Spectator guys, and he’s pretty impressively on top of it:

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/KGB-INTERROGATION-Stephen-Conroy-pd20090409-QWVYH?OpenDocument&src=sph

  7. 507
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Oh, and by the way, ‘critical retort’ is the only thing I cannot refrain from!

    Make an inference, whack in the name “MONSANTO”, and I’m sure to find it impossible not to debunk, just for the fun of it.

    Like I said to DG, if the left leaves it’s collective intelligence at the door and signs up to any cult that fits an hysterical agenda, we are no better than the rightwing nutjobs we so love and detest.

  8. 508
    Chris B says:

    506 Kirribilli Removals Couldn’t agree more with your assessment. The whole thing is about out flanking Telstra. But at the same time out flanking Turnbull and his Telegraph network.

  9. 509
    Chris B says:

    Let’s hope Conroy has had his fingers burnt enough to drop the firewall thing.

  10. 510
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    It’s a strange moment CB, the years of Labor trending to the middle with the ‘market knows best’ mantra has just exploded in one global financial bomb, and suddenly we’re about to nationalise the broadband network!

    yeah, and it wedges the Coalition into the bargain. What a gambit to play in the middle of a recession. It’s Rudd’s New Deal, and Turnbull is left high and dry with his own party in disarray, the voters convinced he’s a prat for talking down the need for fiscal stimulus, and Rudd suddenly the champion of every voter who lives outside the state capitals, (and by definition detests Telstra).

    Mal’s been clobbered, I’m afraid, so I guess that leaves the door wide open for the great Costello comeback?

  11. 511
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Even more perverse than Pell’s pronouncement on condoms and the Philippines, is this bit of economic demography:

    In some countries effective family planning programs have been a great boon to development. Falling birthrates, which for a time increase the percentage of working adults to dependent children in a society, create a window where a greater share of the population is productive. Demographers call this the “demographic dividend,” and it can be a major spur to development. Harvard economists David Bloom, David Canning, and Jaypee Sevilla have argued that the demographic dividend created by East Asia’s postwar embrace of family planning “was essential to East Asia’s extraordinary economic achievements, accounting for as much as one-third of its ‘economic miracle.'” (The Philippines, conversely, is the only big East Asian country to eschew family planning, and the only one whose economy never took off.)

    …so barefoot and pregnant, and quietly getting HIV, is Pell’s ‘moral’ solution.

    These creeps in frocks are truly repulsive.

  12. 512
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Oh, that quote above is from a Salon piece about America and its role in spreading abortion, ah, that is before it tried to stamp it out:

    http://www.salon.com/mwt/excerpt/2009/04/10/means_reproduction/index1.html

    …fascinating history.

  13. 513
    Chris B says:

    Don’t think Costello wants to play pass the parcel at the moment.

  14. 514
    Chris B says:

    It’s ticking!

  15. 515
    Chris B says:

    In some ways, Democrats are in a good news/bad news situation.
    Cooks good news bad news for the Democrats article.

    The good news for them is that the Republican Party still has horrific ratings — 31 percent favorable, 58 percent unfavorable in the CBS/Times poll, compared with 56 percent favorable, 34 percent unfavorable for Democrats. And nothing the GOP is saying or doing is helping its cause.

    The bad news for Democrats is that midterm elections are rarely a referendum on the party out of power. The only exception that comes to mind is the punishment that the GOP took in 1998 for trying to oust President Clinton from office.

    Complet article here on the National Journal Magazine

    The only direct comparison that’s around is in the depression. The Republicans were then punished for quite a long time. Twelve years I think. They only had 16 senators left then. The ball is entirely in the Democrats court. They are the only one’s that can stuff it. I am very sure their eyes a wired open.

  16. 516
    Chris B says:

    KR did you like the Rachel Meadow interview?

  17. 517
    Jen says:

    Catrina – I have also given Kirri and apology so he now has 2. I thibk we need to remedy this unbalanced situation.

    As for Pell et al – obviously abstinenece is the answer. I am finding it just marvellous. I have not got HIV even once this week, and am happily wearing shoes sans pregnanacy. Can’t imagine why anyone would want it any other way.
    :twisted:

  18. 518
    Chris B says:

    There has got to be a good line there somewhere. But its too early on Sunday for the brain!

  19. 519
    Chris B says:

    Speaking of Catholics.

    Vatican blocks Caroline Kennedy appointment as US ambassador.
    The Vatican has blocked the appointment of Caroline Kennedy as US ambassador, according to reports.
    Vatican sources told Il Giornale that their support for abortion disqualified Ms Kennedy and other Roman Catholics President Barack Obama had been seeking to appoint.

    Mr Obama was reportedly seeking to reward John F Kennedy’s daughter, who publicly gave her support to his election bid. She had been poised to replace Hillary Clinton as New York senator, but dropped out amid criticism that she lacked enough experience for the job.

    Either this appointment was poorly thought out or deliberately provocative.
    Read the rest on The Huffington Post

  20. 520
    Chris B says:

    Here’s one for you Jen.

    Sexy Saturdays! A Look Back At The Obamas’ Date Nights (SLIDESHOW, VIDEO).
    Michelle and Barack Obama have stated many times that they make date night a priority (see Michelle speak to this below).

    True to their word, the couple steps out for dinner on a regular basis, and were rumored to have had a little quality time in Prague last Saturday.

    See the video in The Huffington Post

  21. 521
    Chris B says:

    Rachel Meadow You’re in trouble. :twisted:
    Oh, GREAT. Thanks, Rachel.

    Actual conversation with my 74 year old mother, a fightin’ liberal from way back, and HUGE fan of KO, Rachel, Jon Stewart and Colbert:

    Mom: “Honey, what does ‘teabagging’ mean?”

    Me: Spews last sip of cocktail all over room.

    Mom: “I was watching Rachel last night and they were talking about these asshole teabag parties and it was clear that it is a double entendre for something else.”

    Me: “Jesus Christ, you’re 74; aren’t you supposed to be getting a little fuzzy?”

    So I explained teabagging and the resulting howls of laughter sent her into an asthmatic coughing binge. Now this (the post about 2M4M). I’m hoping she can figure it out on her own.

    http://www.americablog.com

  22. 522
    Chris B says:

    I find it ironical that the conservatives complained about teabagging/turkey slapping on Big Brother yet in America Teabaging is being promoted by the conservative/Republican minorities.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/09/rachel-maddow-ana-marie-c_n_185445.html

  23. 523
    Chris B says:

    Funnily enough following Rachel’s comments, they’ve now changed it from tea bagging to tea party.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS-cAd9iPDA

  24. 524
    gaffhook says:

    Hi gang. Just had a beaut couple of days in Lucinda totally spoiled by rain.
    Meanwhile we look like we are slowly catching Penang as a user friendly nation with some Free high speed internet soon to be available in SE Qld;

    PASSENGERS will soon be able to surf the web free of charge while catching the train in southeast Queensland.

    Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said commuters with laptops will have high-speed internet access on their high-speed train trips.

    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,25321035-3102,00.html

    However some locals have observed that when the high speed trains leave the stations and reach top speed they are actually going faster than the current speed of the 1 MBS, therefore their internet will be running in reverse.
    Station Masters at all stations have been issueing statements that one day the internet will catch up.

  25. 525
    gaffhook says:

    It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry.
    H. L. Mencken

    Philosophy consists very largely of one philosopher arguing that all others are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he also usually proves that he is one himself.
    H. L. Mencken

  26. 526