Saturday, January 17, 2015


Again, this entry is a little disjointed but I think/hope some threads are beginning to look more like a ball of yarn and less like the Gordian knot. A little bit of Berry (Tomas and Wendell), a bit of Callenbach, a touch of Fox and Starhawk. I may need to make up a graphic that reads "Caution, blogger thinking in public."

We’ve allowed the far right/radical libertarian definition of liberty as unfettered hyper individualism. While the corporatacracy hopes that we won't notice that the flip side is their right to do what they damn well please no matter what the cost to the lives and health of the rest of us.

How can we be “free” when our whole economy is based on a finite resource? And the bringing of new sources on line involves contaminating fresh water resources and dumping even more pollution into the earth and atmosphere. How much stronger would our economy be if we weren’t dependent on foreign energy sources. The corporations will defend your “right” to purchase a big ass SUV or pickup that gets the wonderful MPG of 32 MPG whether you really need it or not. Or if it’s just a way to prove how big a “man” or “woman” you are.

And in actions that seem from my point of view part of the reason that oil prices have been dropping like a rock is that OPEC is trying to drive US production out of the market. Please explain to me how pumping your finite supply of petroleum faster is going to be good for YOUR bottom line in the long run. I'm obviously missing something here. But, I can count my business classes on one hand. They didn't make any sense almost thirty years ago and still don't now.

How can we be free when our food supply is dependent on a finite source of energy to transport the product, is used to make chemical fertilizers and powers the machinery needed even begin to bring in a crop. Big Ag will fight to the death your right to buy a Big Gulp at a 7-11 but fight like hell to block efforts to add non GMO to the food labels.

And last fall the WTO ruled against at least some US country of origin labeling for meat products. Seems they might lead to discrimination by US customers against meat from Canada and Mexico. Hell yes, I’m going to discriminate. Why should I buy beef or chicken that’s traveled half way across the continent when we can get better results from critters raised on the other side of the state. Or better yet, just north of town.

How can you even hope to raise healthy children if you live in a “food desert” where you can buy nachos at the corner bodega but it’s almost impossible to find a head of lettuce or fresh fruit? And the closest decent produce is two or three bus transfers away.

A few years ago we had a bit of a bruhaha when a local sand and gravel company wanted to expand out the River Road area west of town. This area between Eugene and Junction City is home to a couple of nurseries, fruit stands, orchards and berry fields. Thistledown and Lone Pine Farms led the opposition. Lacking a plan B Eugene Sand and Gravel tried to dismiss the opposition as “hobby farms.” Whatever that means. Actually I believe what it meant was "we're not getting what we want and we don't have a plan B."

Well, we hit both of them several times last summer, during the week, and they were doing land office business. The parking lot was full, people were coming and going constantly and a lot of the customers looked like working class type families so the market is there.

We had a measure on the ballot in Oregon last year that would have required products that contain GMO’s to be labeled. It almost passed in spite of the millions of dollars spent by the opposition. The biggest argument was that it would be too “expensive” to label the products. Give me a freakin’ break. I’m willing to bet that with the technology we have now labels are printed as needed and slapped on that just packed chicken as it heads out the door to the loading dock.

Right, you’ll defend to the death my right to guzzle Big Gulps and natter on about the Nanny state but God help anyone who really wants to know what’s in those Chicken Nuggets from McDonalds.

And in a tip of the hat to Orwellian doublespeak the likes of Dow and Monsanto are trying to pass off tradition hybridization practices as GMO’s. Trying to breed a flock of sheep that can prosper on hillside pastures by carefully breeding back within the same species is a far cry from breeding plants that can make their own pesticides.

Actually some of the most chilling sections of Ecotopia Emerging were pseudo memos discussing the acceptable levels of death and illness caused by pollution, uninspected meat and poultry, barely inspected nuclear power plants, over use of herbicides/ pesticides and unsafe working conditions. How many of us have to die or suffer from preventable illnesses to protect the corporate bottom line?

Guess I’d better bring this rant to a close. For now.

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