Tuesday, August 30, 2005
So happy anniversary Little Muddy, and may the Great Spaghetti Monster be with you.
His major crime was that he insisted that the bounties of oil profits should benefit the poor rather than the oligarchy. Since Venezuela is also the 3rd largest supplier of oil to the US, after Saudi Arabia and Canada this made them nervous.
Despite his many "democratic" elections since then, the Bush administration, who wants to impose US-style democracy on Iraq, has done everything it can to isolate and topple him. Unfortunately his esteem has only increased in Latin America and inspires other regions under US imperialist domination to rebel, such as Bolivia and Equador. It also doesn't increase his popularity with the US that he is chummy with Cuba's Fidel Castro and uses their donation of some 300 doctors to alleviate the suffering in the poor districts. He in turn besides using oil profits to help the poor, is also offering oil at bargain basement prices to his latin american neighbors. One of the greatest fears of the US policy analysts has to be, what if the huge country of Argentina were to be infected with this Bolivarism.
Weirdly or predictably enough, the liberal and social democratic left, view him as a despotic ruler. Their great white hope is Lulu the President of Brazil, a former union leader who will show the way (responsibly) in Latin America. His government is presently under crisis because of corrupt actions by some of his ministers. So far he's given in to almost all the demands of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund which have so castrated any efforts by poor countries to improve their situation. Usually they demand the privatisation of state-owned enterprises like energy or water supply as well as cutbacks in social assistance. Sounds to me the IMF and World Bank are purveyors of Revolution. Bless their secret souls, torn by the evident injustices.
Pat Robertson is aware of this and vocalized what Bush, Cheny, and Rumsfield think and try to implement. Their response to the issue was that individuals have a right to their own opinion. But Robertson was not simply voicing these "opinions" to his fellow workers or neighbors, he was voicing them to the multitude of the "700 club" tv audience. Surely advocating the assassination of a head of a country publically is as heinious as publicly advocating "hate crimes" and should be prosecuted by law.
Of course Robertson will not suffer anything like the fate of Dan Rather for voicing what everyone knows is true. The religious right has too much power and is also one of the last bastions of support for Bush whose approval rating now is at 40%.
Robertson likes to wrap himself in the US flag and identifies with the US founders, especially Thomas Jefferson. Here is another take on that from the mouth of Jefferson and another from Thomas Payne whose book "The Rights of Man" in response to the British conservative Edmonde Burke's condemnation of the French revolution in 1790, resulted in his imprisionment for 2 years in France. It is still an inspiring book which has been little accorded the respect it deserves, perhaps because it espouses the beliefs that Americans say they stand for.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
One way or another, Monsanto wants to make sure no food is grown that they don't own -- and the record shows they don't care if it's safe for the environment or not. Monsanto has aggressively set out to bulldoze environmental concerns about its genetically engineered (GE) seeds at every regulatory level.
So why stop in the field? Not content to own the pesticide and the herbicide and the crop, they've made a move on the barnyard by filing two patents which would make the corporate giant the sole owner of that famous Monsanto invention: the pig.
The patent applications were published in February 2005 at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva. A Greenpeace researcher who monitors patent applications, Christoph Then, uncovered the fact that Monsanto is seeking patents not only on methods of breeding, but on actual breeding herds of pigs as well as the offspring that result.
"If these patents are granted, Monsanto can legally prevent breeders and farmers from breeding pigs whose characteristics are described in the patent claims, or force them to pay royalties," says Then. "It's a first step toward the same kind of corporate control of an animal line that Monsanto is aggressively pursuing with various grain and vegetable lines."