Monthly Archives: November 2009

Sometimes learning is depressing

Monsanto is a name that those of us in the south grow up hearing.  It is synonymous with farming, cotton, seeds, soy beans, and farmers that you know and see everyday.  It has a non-intrusive, non-threatening, “we love farmers” vibe around here.  With Round-Up selling as fast as they can produce it and their Round-Up Ready Soy Beans and Cotton genetically modified seeds, needless to say they are more than a minor influence in the southern United States. So, when I saw the documentary “The World According to Monsanto” listed on my DirecTV guide, I immediately flagged it to record.  What I learned shocked me and really made me think about what Monsanto and its genetically modified seeds are doing for food production and the “intellectual rights” associated to a seed produced by a plant.

We learn in grade school that plants grow from a seed of some sort.  When that plant continues to grow it produces seeds of its own.  The plant does this so the plant can propagate its species.  You may assume that if you grow something from a seed you can replant the seeds that original plant produces and grow more plants.  That may be true…sometimes.  It is never true for a Monsanto seed.  Farmers must sign contracts that state they may not keep any seeds produced by the plants that they grow from Monsanto seeds.  Monsanto uses this policy to protect their “intellectual property.”

We also learn about cross pollination in grade school.  If a farm growing seeds bought from Monsanto cross pollinates with another crop near there grown from non-Monsanto grown seeds. The result is both fields produce genetically modified crops that fall under Monsanto’s GM seed property rights and the non-Monsanto crop owner will be sued. Mr. Schmeiser won is his ordeal, but hundreds others haven’t.


MONSANTO OWNS PATENTS FOR “TERMINATOR SEEDS” These seeds will yield pants with sterile seeds so farmers will have to buy MORE seeds next year and the next year and the next year.  This coupled with their stance on “seed savers” MONSANTO POLICY The only reasonable motivation is domination and control of the global food market.

WAIT, with all this talk about global food production and market domination, I have missed one important question… Is genetically modified food safe to eat? Well, Reports vary.  However the American Academy of Environmental Science has issued a moratorium on GM foods.  According to their study GM foods caused damage to the organs to animals who ate it.   Here is their position paper concerning their findings and an excerpt from that paper.

“However, several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.”

In all fairness this may be a biased study…WHAT?  A former Monsanto employee feels GM food is unsafe????


So this study is saying that GM crops, like the ones Monsanto manufactures, are unhealthy to consume and cause health problems. I need to calm down….

Well thank god we have non GM foods to consume….ummm, apparently not.

“As of 2001, 75 percent of all food crops grown in the United States were genetically modified, including 80 percent of soybeans, 68 percent of cotton, and 26 percent of corn crops.”

Just to make it worse:  Here are the Top 10 Dangers of GM Foods

Well shit.

All I can say now is that we need to be more informed.   We just need to know that when we stop to smell the roses,  it may be a genetically “enhanced” blue rose.



I am completely floored by this.   If you think I am completely off base for posting this…follow the links included and cut off your biases and weigh the evidence for yourself.


YOU HAVE BEEN EDUCATED thanks to Dan Benbow.



Fox “news” is editing video to make something look different than it really is and calling it a “production error?”  Just admit you are not “Fair and Balanced” and no one will care what you do anymore.  Please.

Fox News again accused of airing misleading video

For the second time in just over a week, Fox News is coming under fire for misusing old news footage. The latest flap is leading some people to charge that the cable news network is intentionally misleading its audience, while Fox claims a “production error.”

Wednesday’s incident occurred when Fox News host Gregg Jarrett mentioned that a Sarah Palin appearance and book signing in Grand Rapids, Michigan had a massive turnout. As footage rolled of a smiling and waving Palin amidst a throng of fans, Jarrett noted that the former Republican vice-presidential candidate is “continuing to draw huge crowds while she’s promoting her brand-new book,” adding that the images being shown were “some of the pictures just coming in to us…. The lines earlier had formed this morning.”

However, the video used in the segment was from a 2008 McCain/Palin campaign rally. In response to the minor uproar that arose after clips of Jarrett’s report hit the Internet, Fox senior vice-president of news Michael Clemente issued an initial statement saying, “This was a production error in which the copy editor changed a script and didn’t alert the control room to update the video.”

On Thursday afternoon, Fox News issued an on-air apology delivered by host Jane Skinner:

Yesterday we told you about Sarah Palin kicking off her book tour and then we spoke to Sean Hannity about an interview that he did with former Governor Palin. When introducing the segment we showed you footage of people lining up in Michigan for a book signing that evening. In the tease before the segment, the tease to commercial, we told you how those people were already lining up to meet Palin. The problem is we didn’t show you the video we were actually referencing. Instead we mistakenly aired what’s called “file tape” of Sarah Palin. We didn’t mean to mislead anybody in that tease. It was a mistake, and for that we apologize.

The current mishap comes on the heels of a controversy sparked last week when footage from a conservative rally held over the summer was played on “Hannity” during a segment on a more recent rally. During the clip, host Sean Hannity marveled over the large turnout for a Washington, DC protest. The Daily Show later pointed out that there seemed to be some inconsistencies with the video shown on Hannity’s show, namely that the atmospheric conditions seemed to vary from shot to shot. Hannity later apologized on the air for what he called “an inadvertent mistake.”

Barely a week into Palin’s blitz to promote “Going Rogue,” media coverage is becoming its own story. Fox News rival MSNBC caught heat last week for using altered images of Sarah Palin on the air, for which they later apologized. On Wednesday, Yahoo! News reported Newsweek’s defense of their latest controversial cover, which Palin herself blasted as “sexist.”

— Brett Michael Dykes is a contributor to the Yahoo! News Blog

Democrats have Robocalls?

Huh, You learn something new every day.

Here is a CNN article by Emily Sherman concerning the public option health care plan.  I thought I should post it so all of you nice people could read it and send Sen. Reid some good thoughts.  Good Luck Harry!

Robocalls defend Reid on public option

Posted: November 20th, 2009 09:16 AM ET

WASHINGTON (CNN)– The day before Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid opens the debate on health care reform, a group of liberal activists who once attacked the Nevada Democrat announced they will begin making robocalls encouraging Reid to stand strong in the fight for health care reform and the public option.

In the calls, longtime Nevada nurse Lee Slaugher – the star of an attack ad released late last month which questioned Reid’s political strength, tells residents in her state to stand behind their Senator.

“I’m very thankful that Senator Harry Reid has included a public health insurance option in his health care bill. He shocked the political world by being so bold on this issue.” Slaughter says in the calls released by The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal political action committee with the express goal of electing progressive candidates to federal office.

“If you want to join me in thanking Senator Reid, and letting him know that we’ll stand with him as long as he keeps fighting for a public option, please press one on your keypad,” Slaughter concludes.

The group says the calls are expected to reach 10,000 Nevada voters beginning Saturday, as Democrats and Republicans take to the Senate floor to vote on beginning debate on health care legislation introduced by Democrats.

The 2,074-page Senate bill seeks to reduce long-term costs of health care for the government, businesses and individuals while reforming how services are delivered to increase efficiency and effectiveness. It includes controversial provisions such as a government-run public health insurance option.

Republicans have vowed to try to block the bill, requiring Reid to round up 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to overcome a GOP filibuster and launch debate.

And the award goes to…

My wife and I had talked about getting some form of tattoo as a sign of devotion to our marriage for weeks leading up to our 1st anniversary, as if mutual debt, marital property, matching towels, and a Yorkie weren’t enough?  As part of the Surprise Memphis Night Out, my wife had made me an appointment with Vanessa Waites to discuss my matrimonial tattoo. (So much for being able to plan ahead.)  Upon entering Underground Tattoo, the scent of incense filled my nose.  The Rev. Maynard Keenan was singing from another room.  I felt comfortable immediately.  The casual atmosphere and … eclectic decor was ok with me.  *NOTE: I have never felt more comfortable around multiple speculum.* I met Vanessa and we discussed the ins and outs of my tattoo ideas.  It became clear to me during that initial discussion that her attitude and humor were well suited for the person I was going to choose to adorn my body with the name of my beloved wife.  Her comments about marriage and how she “marked” her husband were pretty funny and appropriate.  It was a good time.  We said our “thanks yous” and left after making a date for the application of the ink.

When Sabrina and I arrived for the tat.  My research on Mrs. Waites was complete.  I had looked at her painting and tattoo gallery. (LINKS ARE BELOW) I was impressed by her artistic ability and not at all wary of her tattooing my wife’s name into (or onto…I don’t know which is more appropriate in the tattoo world)  my back.

As she began tattooing me, I was constantly reminded to keep my head down and “slunch” over.  As my wife took pics, we talked about education, art, tattoo apprenticeship, food and Carl Sagan.  I couldn’t have drawn up a better discussion list to be involved in as ink was jammed into my dermal layer of skin.

This was the best experience in tattooing that I have ever been apart of.  I have other tattoos before Vanessa.  No one has yet to tattoo me twice.  Vanessa will be the first. ( Assuming she agrees to…)


Vanessa Waites

Vanessa is an artist at Underground Art in Memphis, TN.

A gallery of her tattoo work is here.

A summary of her bio is here.


Some posts just write themselves

Let me start by showing you the “official response” to this from Palin.

“The choice of photo for the cover of this week’s Newsweek is unfortunate. When it comes to Sarah Palin, this ‘news’ magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant,” she wrote on her fan page, adding, “The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now.” (Full Article)

What is unfortunate for Sarah is the fact that she thought this photo shoot was something that is…OK…for an American candidate, especially in light of the the “VALIDITY FACTOR”  that is in play these days. She told Barbara Walters that the photo on the cover was  “a wee bit degrading.” OMG! SHE POSED FOR THE PICTURE BEFORE IT WAS PRINTED!

Maybe her realization that that photo is a bad idea coming too late is an indication of her decision making skills??????

WAIT, put your pitch forks away….let me explain further.

Is it wrong for a  male/female political figure to pose for Runners World in 8″ shorts.  NO.  Does it increase her visibility in the country? YES.  Is it looked on favorably by the country in terms of what we expect our politicians to be? NO.  Is that my fault. NOWell, maybe.

Maybe it is all our faults that Sarah Palin thinks that Runner’s World photo shoots, in attire that wouldn’t meet the dress code in her own fund raisers, is what she needs to do to really gain market share and appeal to all the “Joe Six-Packs” and “Hockey Moms” out there.

This part is to Sarah Palin.  Just another thought about your exposure issue

AARP: The Magizine has roughly 24 million (UNREAL) copies going out every month.  Whereas Runner’s World has approximately 650k copies (ITS NO AARP) every month in distribution.  Lets be honest you need to appeal to your base and they read AARP not  Runner’s World.


My China,Debt crystal ball is dead on!

If you didn’t see my post about debt look below.   If you didn’t see my post on China look deeper below….ANYWAY.  Sometimes it is nice to see what you think validated by someone else.  READ!

Obama’s leverage in China negotiations limited by massive U.S. debt

By: Lita EpsteinLita Epstein RSS Feed

President Barack Obama will work hard to build trust with China during his trip there, but how far will he be able to go in seeking changes on the key issues — currency, the trade surplus, North Korea, Iran, human rights and others — when he’s sitting down with his nation’s largest creditor? China holds $800 billion in U.S. debt and gets $50 billion a year in interest.With that level of U.S. debt in its hands, China holds most of the cards. If China started dumping that debt, the value of the U.S. dollar would fall dramatically. China knows it’s in the stronger position, as evidenced by its recent decision to ignore the IMF as it continues its stimulus programs. So no matter who was sitting at the table representing the U.S., they wouldn’t have much ability to move the Chinese.


China flexed its muscles almost as soon as President Obama arrived. Obama held a town hall meeting for more than 400 Chinese university students, which was supposed to have been televised. But at the last minute, China pulled the plug and the event was not carried on state television. Further, to make the statement that it’s not interested in discussing human rights, China rounded up dissidents before Obama’s arrival. Clearly, China is sending the signal that human rights will not be one of the issues to be negotiated.So what issues will be discussed?


The U.S. and China are partnering more than ever in the battle against global warming, but the nations differ on hard targets for reductions in the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause it. China has some severe environmental problems because of its emissions. Perhaps a technology exchange could build a stronger bond on global warming and while developing a market for technologies developed in the U.S. for cleaning the environment.

China does support sterner sanctions to halt North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. But it differs with the U.S. on reining in Iran’s uranium enrichment program. It is possible the two countries can come to an agreement on how to move forward in parallel on Iran.
Improving the trade imbalance will be the biggest item on the agenda for President Obama. China could be a huge and lucrative market for American goods and services. But as long as China will not allow its currency to float freely and instead keeps it closely tied to the U.S. dollar, U.S. goods will remain expensive in China, while Chinese goods will continue to be cheap in the U.S. The only way to improve the trade imbalance would be for the yuan to be allowed to appreciate. While I’m sure the discussion will come up, I doubt the Chinese will budge on this issue.

For the Chinese, the biggest issue on the table will be the U.S. deficit and their biggest question will be how President Obama plans to get it under control. China has a big stick it can wield if it doesn’t like the answers. If China stops buying U.S. debt, most of President Obama’s plans — such as health care reform — would have to be shelved until the U.S. finds another lender.

Of course, if the Chinese did start selling U.S. debt, the drop in its value would cost them many billions as they tried to unwind their U.S. bond holdings. Unless they are willing to risk major losses, they would be ill-advised to wield their big stick. But for Obama to call this trip a win, he needs to bring home evidence of change from China, while for China, maintaining the status quo is a win. They don’t have to use their doomsday weapon — just having it is enough to let them say ‘no’ to Obama.

Lita Epstein has written more than 25 books including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Foreign Currency Trading and Trading for Dummies.

Linda, Thank you for making me smarter.

Sadly, Inspiration Is Too Strong To Ignore

As I was heading to work today my mind was deciding on what topic I should write about today.  Honestly, I was not  feeling overly creative, until inspiration struck.  There, at a convenience store ATM, was the spark I needed to choose a topic.  (See above) It was a print out that made me realize something about the state of most American’s lives…as well as America as a whole.  Credit card abuse is a pandemic that effects the USA.   Poor education and brilliant marketing are at the root of the problem.  Let’s face it.  Most American’s don’t understand how interest works.  (WANNA LEARN?  CLICK HERE)  Learning how credit works, frankly, isn’t stressed enough in our lives.  If it was illustrated and taught as is SHOULD be our financial system in the US would crumble due to no one accepting horrible terms on that line of credit.  I KNOW…I KNOW.  That may be an overestimation. (Maybe not.)

Surely our elected leaders, the best among us would not let our country be based on money we OWE SOMEONE ELSE…

Yeah they would-and have-and its bad for us all. (SEE!)  Our country is being slowly owned by our lenders.  The Christian Bible says the “Borrower is slave to the lender.”  Well, get used to the shackles everybody, because your share of our nations debt comes to (CLICK HERE TO SEE).  I think that is over our collective credit limit.  Maybe they will take a check????

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