THE HILARIOUSLY NONSENSICAL “GANG OF FIVE”

Gang_of_Five

 

HARRRR HAHA HEE HEE HEE HARDY HAR HARRRRR! This is so unreal as to be completely and entirely drifting in from another dimension.

First of all, is this not the most grammatically uncomfortable thing you’ve ever read? Leadership, media, smear groups, Wall Street, and partisans. Some are people, some are concepts, some are places, and some are things. Some are more than one of those. None are generally recognized as running in “gangs”. In fact, it would be physically impossible for a concept such as “leadership” to be in a “gang”. And then, some are plural and some are singular. “THE extremist liberal leadership” is different grammatically than “THOSE Hollywood partisans.” And NONE of these are individual sentient beings, so you just can’t say “WHO are the “Gang of Five”. It just sounds lame and strained, which I doubt would be the effect the authors are going for.

Second of all, if I were a Chinese person who was around in the 70’s, I might feel resentful that my national history was being milked for a very silly conservative campaign in 2013 USA. The original “Gang of Four” were four individuals in a 70’s Red Chinese political faction, who in a series of complicated political maneuvers, supposedly intended to take over the country upon Mao’s death. It was a big deal in China, and kind of a big deal here too, because in those days we had actual independent journalists reporting actual news from other parts of the world, instead of the slop we are currently being fed by the “Gang of Six”, otherwise known as the 6 giant media conglomerates that pre-chew all your information for you.

What else can we gather from this interesting document? Well, for one thing, we know these conservative buckwallers are not talking to anybody under the age of 30, because no current 30-year-olds were born yet. To get the maximum creepy, Mao-reminding, sneaky-Chinese-politics impact of the “Gang of Five” label, you have to be old, because they don’t tell you about it in high school either. You kind of had to be there, so to speak. So, conservatives, here you are, speaking only to all the old-fart, get-off-my-lawners yet again. When are you going to figure out there are people out here that don’t share your weird, uptight history? And, in fact, weren’t even around for most of it? Seriously, you guys should think about that.

Oh! Oh! And then there are the … the… what are they, anyway? Elements? List items? Talking points? Hallucinations? It’s hard to tell. The first one refers to “extremest liberal leadership”.

OH. MY. GOD. Where? Who? Name one! No, don’t just name one, name one and list their extremist liberal views. Because I am DYING to hear a few of those issuing out of the catbox called Washington DC. But I can tell you right now, there aren’t any. The most liberal legislator in the august Congressional ranks is barely a moderate in any other country. Obama himself is more conservative than the Republican president Richard Nixon. This “extremest liberal leadership” claim is such a pot of lard it deserves to be fed back to the hogs.

Next there is “The Elite Media”. Whatever. Giant media conglomerates are owned by fabulously wealthy people. Hmm… are these fab Richie Riches liberals or are they conservatives? I would say – neither. Whoever helps them make more money, that’s who they go for. Believe you me, media has its own agenda (more about that here), and it has little to do with you, me, or Nancy Pelosi.

Next up: “anti-American foreigners and mega-rich environmentalists” and their ‘SMEAR CAMPAIGNS”. Seriously, you guys? I don’t know why you keep talking about this, because the ONLY person any conservative  can EVER name as being both “rich” and “liberal” is George Soros. I’ve read books by George Soros. He’s a very smart guy. He made money by being smart, and not by lying, cheating, misleading, bullshitting, or being so crazy he’d sacrifice anyone and anything for the next dollaroo. And he isn’t very liberal, at least by Earth Firster standards. And “anti-American foreigners”? Really. Aren’t you CONSERVATIVES the ones who cheered the stupidest Supreme Court decision ever, where Roberts and Scalia and their pet Clarence Thomas declared money as free speech? So everybody ON EARTH could pour money into political campaigns to get the kind of American laws they wanted? If there were tons of “anti-American foreigners” dumping wads of green into Democratic coffers, not only would the Dems win a lot more elections, but we would be hearing it blared from your dozens of media outlets both ceaselessly and tirelessly. So I’d say … it ain’t happening.

Okay, this one is priceless. “Wall Street Liberals.” Well, we know that Wall Street SOMETHINGS screwed over the entire PLANET with their magical money-generating bullshittorama of a few years back. And I know Geithner was a Wall Street loyalist, and Larry Summers is a dick, and neither of those guys was any kind of liberal whatsoever. I know that the conservatives HATE Elizabeth Warren, the scourge of American bankers and hedge-fund managers. And I know the conservatives do NOT support such measures as, let’s say, taxing each exchange of stock a mill or two (that’s “mill” as in “one-tenth of a penny”, not “mill” as in what you want to win in the lottery), or making speculators actually take possession of that hundred-thousand barrels of crude oil, as opposed to buying it on paper, stashing it on paper, and then selling it on paper when the big-ass shortage hits in the real world because they were playing their little money games. “Wall Street liberals”. Hah. Stupidest, most transparent claim ever.

“Hollywood partisans.” Whuh? What are they talking about? Like, Bruce Willis is a real librul, fer shur, and then there’s that librul bastard Arnold Schwarzzeneger. Oh yeah, but my favorite is Craig T. Nelson, who famously said on the Glenn Beck show on Fox TV 2009,  “What happened to society? I go into business, I don’t make it, I go bankrupt. I’ve been on food stamps and welfare, did anybody help me out? No. No.”

Priceless!

I get it, though. There’s a lot of actors with various hobbies and causes that could be considered “liberal”, like sympathy for the homeless, or women’s rights to health care, or even (gasp!) vegetarianism. And there’s the whole Hollywood gay thing, which drives authoritative bossypants religious people straight up a wall.

But do these Hollywood folk have any real power? Let’s see, there’s probably a couple hundred of them at the most generous estimate, and none of them is anywhere near as rich as Bill Gates. In fact, there isn’t a billionaire among them, unlike the Republican Party. And how, exactly, do those two hundred non-billionaire actors affect the nation? Explain it to me. If you don’t like a movie they make, don’t freaking go to it. That’ll show ’em. Cuz if there’s anywhere near the huge majority of Americans you claim on your side, the movie will quickly sink, and you will  be free forever of annoying people in Hollywood holding any kind of view that does not entirely match your own. Just like the McCarthy blacklisting days! Then we can look forward to a steady diet of “Little House on the Prairie”, and “Breaking Bad” will be entirely erased from our collective memories.

You’d like that, wouldn’t you, you crazy werewolf Republicans. Your happy place is where everybody thinks and acts exactly like YOU. But it’s a big ol’ complicated world, and it will never be the way you think it should be – even when you paper the country with malarkey like “The Gang of Five”. What a futile, self-serving, transparent, oh-so-obvious attempt to scare people over to your questionable position.

Really. It’s embarrassing. Stop it.

 

THIS GMO LABELING KERFUFFLE

Finally, something that Washington voters can actually DO something about! Cast a real vote on I-522 and see a functional result occur at some future point in time! It is one thing to get furiously angry about things I can do nothing about – like the sequester, or the fact that Mitch McConnell still lives and breathes, or that Cathy McMorris Turniphead-Rodgers still has people who actually vote for her despite her complete vacancy of intellect.

But this, I can sink my teeth into, so to speak! Corporations have been stupiding the American consumer down for decades, starting back in the day when corporations sponsored “news TV” for free in classrooms, liberally peppered with product endorsements. And that was in the 70’s!

Again, but this! This anti-GMO labeling madness is dumb from the get-go, because who DOESN’T want to know what they are eating? I mean, if I am going to be consuming some mysterious Key Lime Ham Tostada Souvlaki Medley from a little cardboard box, wouldn’t it be nice to know if there was actually ham in it? Or, at least, “ham-flavored protein derivative”, which is, as most of us consumers already know, would be pig noses and hog bungholes that have been briefly swished in salt water? Who would disagree with the basic Constitutional good sense of this? Truth in advertising! The American way! Apple pie, or at least, vegetable-oil baked wheat-based flour husks containing apple-flavored fruit residue of prunes, plums, coconuts, aloe and pine bark. May have been produced on equipment exposed to tree nuts!

If the GMO industry was actually interested in preserving their profit margins, which is what this is all about, they should STFU about it. Then they could go with the standard corporate playbook: sort of half-assedly follow the law, if in fact enough people showed up to vote on it, pay some fines when they blew off the requirements, and barely comply with the letter and totally not the spirit of whatever legislation it turns out to be. You know, USA business as usual, where corporations rule and the rest of us kind of mill around in the grass at the bottom of the giant corporate headquarters buildings.

But now, corporate food purveyors have committed to a path, and blazed the way along this path by spending $46 MILLION dollars to defeat California proposition 37 to hoodwink consumers into ever more deeply blindered ignorance. That might be just about the first time corporate food giants actually tipped their hands about intentionally trying to keep consumers stupid and compliant. Oops! Backfire! Now EVERYBODY is starting to feel they have a dog in the fight!

So, you know what that means, Washington State voter. Hyperbole, lies, BS, leading the consumer by the nose, tightening the reins, sitting on the consumer’s chest while his head is underwater, etc. etc. In short, desperate actions in desperate times. It is entertaining, in fact, to peruse the information corporations are using as “proof” that labeling GMO products would be AWFUL. And, here’s a selection, just for you!

1) It’ll cost consumers wads of money. Haven’t we heard this one before? These outfits  change their boxes every three weeks to keep the product “fresh” in consumer minds, yet adding a teeny logo is gonna cost a fortune? Europe labels GMO’s, without a corresponding hike in prices. Trader Joe’s labels non-GMO’s, and claim it doesn’t cost them any more. And, you know why Joe’s labels NON-GMO’s instead of GMO’s? Because the corporate food masters would sue the pants off them otherwise. Yet it seems like suing is … you know … expensive.

2) Arbitrary exemptions for special interests will just confuse consumers. Oh, I get it. We are WAY TOO STUPID to figure anything out. Okay, here are the exemptions for I-522: restaurants, meat-cheese-egg-dairy products, and alcohol. Are you too confused? Better take a couple Advil and go to bed, you poor overtaxed consumer.

3) American consumers can just buy organic, which is already labeled. WHAT? Have you been to Huckleberry’s lately? It costs a FORTUNE to buy organic. And besides, “organic” covers a whole host of requirements besides GMO or not-GMO. Seems like GMO labeling would open up a whole marketing area for American business entrepreneurs: food that isn’t necessarily organic, but is non-GMO. Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen in a capitalist democracy? Competition on the level playing field?

4) Washington will be the only state in the Union that requires GMO labeling. Flat lie alert: Connecticut, Maine and Alaska have passed labeling laws and dozens of other states are considering identical proposals. And incidentally, 64 other countries require it too. Seems like markets would open up for growers and farmers, rather than the other way around.

5) I-522 will encourage lawsuits against food growers, producers, and store owners over the wording on the label. Really? The proposal as written gives everybody a good long opportunity to fix their label problem. If they don’t, why wouldn’t they?? Lying cheating, thieving… Sorry! Sorry! I mean, if they don’t, and there is a lawsuit, then the penalties recovered go to the state, not the plaintiff. So, where’s the incentive to sue?

6) Labeling GMO’s would be a nightmare for grocers, retailers, and the state government in charge of monitoring the labeling. Actually, it would be the corporate producer’s responsibility to label. They’re the guys who put the label on the can, or whatever, so they are supposed to do it. And if they fail in their sworn duty, it is THEY who cost the state, and from THEM will come the penalty dollars. Ha, ha!

7) “Genetically enhanced” foods pose no health safety risks. Jury’s still out on that one, but The FDA requires no pre-market health safety studies, The only long term peer-reviewed animal study conducted involving GMO corn sprayed with Monsanto’s Round Up herbicide, found massive tumors, organ failure and premature death in rats. Ick! And you know why there’s only one study? Because Monsanto found ways to block funding, disgrace scientists, and preemptively conduct their own studies that “prove” whatever it is they want to prove, because they are the foxes monitoring our big national food chicken coop.

8) Genetically enhanced foods are as, or more, nutritious than organic foods. If you grow corn that has been genetically enhanced by – let’s say – marmot genes, that make it possible to grow said corn in a brickyard, does that mean it is going to be “more nutritious”? Plants are only as nutritious as what goes into them, or so has been demonstrated by scientists not employed by Monsanto.

9) The World Health Organization, AMA, National Academy of Sciences and other respected medical and health organizations all conclude that GE foods are safe. Well, only if they DID come to these conclusions, which they have NOT. They all want pre-market testing, which the industry, as noted above, wants to to do all by its lonesome with no troublesome dissent. And then, there are a bunch of health organizations who DO support GMO labeling, like the American Public Health Association, Washington State Nurses Association, Breast Cancer Action, Allergy Kids Foundation, and Autism One. Hmmmm…..

10) GMO’s are feeding the world; what, you want people to STARVE? This is misleading out of the gate. First of all, starvation and/or malnutrition is not a result of a food shortage, it is a result of problems of distribution, and distribution problems are due mainly to corruption. Remember the whole Rwanda thing, where the Hutus wiped out the Tutsis? Well, the Tutsis got pissed, and did some wiping out of their own once they had collected themselves, so the Hutus fled to refugee camps in the Congo. These refugee camps were full of starving, hollow-eyed women and children, but the young bucks with their AK-47’s looked as sleek and well-fed as racehorses. Problem: distribution as remodeled by corruption.

Oh! Oh! And remember the “golden rice” campaign in Asia, where Vitamin A was going to be delivered via rice that had been genetically modified by adding material from daffodils and soil bacteria? First go didn’t work: not enough Vitamin A. Second attempt had enough beta-carotene in the rice, but Vitamin A is unstable and doesn’t hold up well in storage and cooking. Of course, then there was the problem that you could not plant a new crop from last year’s seed; you had to buy it from Monsanto, which meant a lot of people starved simply because they couldn’t afford replacement seed. Monsanto: company with a heart of gold. Hah. My ass.
(Mr. Science alert! Golden rice does NOT supply a person with vitamin A! The rice supplies beta carotene, which then can be used by the body to synthesize Vitamin A. My bad. Thanks, Mr. Science!)

11) Creating GMO seed is just like crossbreeding plants for specific traits! Right, if you considering mating a jellyfish with a crocus as “crossbreeding”. Crossbreeding in a garden is basically speeding up Darwinian evolution by pairing the best with the best, as reflected by the genetically expressed traits of the plant. However, foreign species cannot be “crossbred” into a plant outside of a laboratory.

12) GE crops reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides. NOT! According to a new study by Food and Water Watch, the “total volume of glyphosate (Round Up) applied to the three biggest GE crops — corn, cotton and soybeans — increased 10-fold from 15 million pounds in 1996 to 159 million pounds in 2012” with the overall pesticide use rising by 26 percent from 2001 to 2010.

Then there’s the problem of super-weeds, weeds that we are specifically (though inadvertently) breeding to ignore our most-often-used weedkillers:
jason norsworthy at test plotGuess which are the Round Up-tolerant weeds, and which are the cotton crop plants.

13) GE crops aren’t harmful to the environment. Even if they weren’t, how about all the Round Up we are pouring over them because those crops can “take it”? That stuff has been implicated in all manner of criminal aftermaths. We are engaged in the same war we have always fought: the bugs and weeds evolve to overcome whatever we throw at them. There is no magic bullet. As “Jurassic Park’s” Dr. Ian Malcolm pointed out in his pithy Jeff-Goldblum style, “life will find a way.”

 

There you have it. Voters: start your engines! Be prepared for lies, misdirection, heartwarming made-up anecdotes about babies’ lives being saved by judicious applications of 2,4-D to Agent-Orange-tolerant corn crops  (WARNING: the Agent Orange site contains images that are EXTREMELY unsettling), how a label on a package of hamburger buns is gonna cost you at least 20 bucks more, and how our American way of business is being threatened.

You know. The usual.