Volatility

April 3, 2018

The Fire Inside Externalizes Itself

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The fire and hate inside
Now drive the fire outside.
The city’s galvanism, spasm, convulsion set trees aflame,
Send floods coursing, mountains tumbling,
Infinite surges from the sea scour the coasts clean.
All plagues thought buried return,
And the new plagues join them.
 
The fire outside rushes across vast spaces
To expand the ecstasy and hate of the fire inside.
All now in livid boils
Burns all you hate, all you fear, all you can’t live within, all you must die without.
 
Kinetic fire now will break all the bottlenecks,
The log-jam too tight to break free of itself
Can only be burned.
 
 
 
 
 
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January 17, 2018

The Dicamba Crisis Part Four: The Strict Intent of the Destructive System

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Parts one, two, three.
 
Monsanto dubbed the 2017 dicamba disaster a “tremendous success” with “wonderful results.” What does it mean when Monsanto proclaims success?
 
Monsanto’s commitment in the face of disaster to push on aggressively with the Xtend expansion, to double down, proves that disaster is a core goal for them. In 2015 Monsanto marketed Xtend cotton seed in the absence of regulatory approval for any of the allegedly “improved” herbicide formulations. Xtend soybeans followed in 2016, still no brand-name dicamba. Therefore from the start it was evident that the company envisioned off-label use of the cheapest, most volatile dicamba formulations. This didn’t matter because Monsanto and BASF knew their own brand-name formulations also were highly volatile. In 2015-2016 Monsanto merely was setting up one of its future alibis, the lie that farmers were illicitly using cheap formulations. The company secured any future plausibility of this lie by ensuring it would be true for Xtend adopters in 2016.
 
The 2017 crisis of volatility and destruction of non-Xtend soybeans and all other broad-leaf crops and plants followed like clock-work. It was predicted, it was forecast, it was intended by the sellers of dicamba and dicamba-tolerant seeds. Anyone who now wants to continue with business as usual, full speed ahead, self-evidently is a conscious criminal. Monsanto is ardent to expand at the most breakneck speed in the most reckless way. The company proclaims its goal to go from 20 million acres of soybeans planted to Xtend in 2017 to 40 million in 2018 and 55 million in 2019.
 
Monsanto’s campaign is classic disaster capitalism: Intentionally generate a disaster then use it to maximize your profit and power. Dicamba’s volatility is a campaign of extortion designed to force all soy farmers to buy Xtend seeds. More broadly the goal is to render food production as tenuous as possible. The worst part of dicamba’s ravages is that it’s destroying produce farms and vegetable gardens, it’s destroying actual food production. If the Xtend system continues to expand it will render everything but commodity dicamba-tolerant soybeans impossible to grow across the range of the Xtend deployment. This is a case study in the real goal of poison-based agriculture. The will to continue this deployment on the part of Monsanto, the US and state governments, academia and the mainstream media proves that this destruction is the goal.
 
The evidence for these truths is patent throughout the historical record. We see it with Monsanto’s scorched-earth resistance to all temporal, geographic, and temperature limitations, and to all application restrictions except those of its own label. We see it in their systematic campaign of lies, blaming everything imaginable except the inherent volatility of their product. We see it in their campaign of lawsuits and corruption against even the most moderate, rational response to the crisis. We see it in their rebate plan for farmers who buy Xtend seeds and XtendiMax dicamba herbicide. This is the carrot to go with the Xtortion stick. Both are toward the same goal of seizing and holding arable territory, market share. The goal is to entrench the Xtend system to the point that it would be impossible to dislodge it within the context of commodity agriculture.
 
From the start Monsanto refused to allow study of the volatility of its brand-name dicamba herbicide. Weed scientists had to wait until they could purchase XtendiMax at the store in order to subject it to scientific purview. In a perfect symbol of Monsanto’s scorched-earth anti-science policy the University of Arkansas soybean test plot was wiped out by volatile drift from outside.
 
Nevertheless researchers soldiered on and proved that all dicamba is volatile, including the alleged “improved, non-volatile” formulations like XtendiMax. They uncovered another example of the fraudulent “science” typical of the corporations. The claims of Monsanto, DuPont, BASF were based on perfunctory tests performed in ivory tower labs. When weed scientists tested the same formulations in the field, i.e. under real world conditions, they found significant volatility for all the formulations. This is to be expected, since volatility is a function of atmospheric suffusion and weather conditions. How is it possible to test dicamba volatility in a lab? Only in the world of corporate fake science, the kind exalted by the STEM establishment, academia, and media. (The same scam was used by Matin Qaim to claim good yields for Bt cotton. This scientific fraud is still often cited in the mainstream media.) This also is emblematic of the limitations of lab-controlled experiment even if it were to be undertaken in good faith. Of course the corporations and government regulators never have any but bad faith.
 
In reality, dicamba is so volatile that in a normal year there wouldn’t be enough appropriate spraying days even according to the bogus regulations Monsanto “voluntarily” agreed to with the EPA and Monsanto’s own impossible label restrictions.
 
Anyone familiar with the history of bureaucracy and legalistic Catch-22s designed to turn everyone into a potential lawbreaker knows what’s going on here. Monsanto, with EPA connivance, intentionally designed the label to be impossible to faithfully adhere to. That way in every case of drift or volatilization they can play “Gotcha” and blame the farmer for improper application. This also proves Monsanto and the EPA fully anticipated the epidemic of off-site damage.
 
This proves that the product is impossible to use safely. The state regulations are bogus and that Monsanto does not intend for farmers to abide by them (just like with Bt refuges). It proves the only purpose of the regulations is as a political ploy to buy time against public unrest, and to play Gotcha with even the most scrupulous dicamba users, to keep them ready to become scapegoats.*
 
[*Poison farmers are criminals as well, but low-level ones. Monsanto and the EPA give the orders and control everything. Monsanto would prefer to maintain industrial farmers as a united pro-poison front, submissive to corporate control and working to poison the people. But setting farmers at one another’s throats as they’re doing here isn’t bad either. Note that all calls for compromise, unity, reconciliation are only on corporate control terms and implicitly assume submission to Xtend, continued submission to herbicide-tolerant GMO-poison systems as such. Also, it seems that Monsanto is being intentionally confusing in order to force farmers to sign up for its otherwise unnecessary Climate Corporation subscription.]
 
 
All this is proof of the systemic destructive totalitarian intent of the corporate-technocratic system. On Monsanto’s part this intent indisputably is conscious and willful. All their actions, most of which are premeditated, prove this.
 
The dicamba crisis is the latest and most extreme example yet of how co-existence with GMOs is impossible. It’s obviously impossible for organic farming. It’s impossible for non-GM conventional farming. With Xtend Monsanto has upped the ante, stepping up the assault on organic and non-GM farming and even rendering all previous GM soy varieties untenable. This is the first effective example of what the cartel projects as an indefinitely re-writable blank slate it can force to be continually wiped clean and rewritten, a process of destruction and re-destruction redolent of using war to destroy in order to generate space profitable to rebuild. This is the essence of disaster capitalism. Monsanto dreams of an agriculture totally subjugated by the most profitable GM varieties, until these too are rendered obsolete and wiped out by even higher-stacked, more expensive, more extreme varieties.
 
Today it’s universally acknowledged that soybean co-existence is impossible. The volatility is too extreme for even the most conscientious sprayers to prevent it. Where it comes to planting dicamba-tolerant seeds, it’s all or nothing. “We can’t co-exist. It’s so volatile and unpredictable.”
 
At the same time Monsanto also is driving the pesticide treadmill as hard as it can. The more total the Xtend deployment, the more volatility/drift/atmospheric loading with dicamba, the faster Palmer amaranth and other weeds will resist. This proves Monsanto’s strict intent to generate dicamba-resistant superweeds as fast and expansively as possible.
 
The corporations like the pesticide/superpest arms race for obvious reasons: It’s the most potent fuel driving the machine of ever more extravagant GM stacks and multi-product pesticide slatherings. This maximizes profit, control, power, and destruction. Again, the lies, extortion, rebates, legal and political lobbying, and refusal to allow study all prove the intent.
 
The USDA and EPA also intend and desire all this. The EPA explicitly endorsed part one of my corporate template with this quote: “We’re committed to taking appropriate action for the 2018 growing season with an eye toward ensuring that the technology is available, number one, to growers but that it is used responsibly.” Throughout the crisis the agency has provided Monsanto with its imprimatur, as per part three of the template. The EPA itself refused to perform or require volatility testing in the first place. Therefore both Monsanto and the EPA strictly admit the volatility of Monsanto’s XtendiMax. Such an admission is always implicit where those with the resources and responsibility to test refuse to do so and work to prevent anyone else from doing so. In the broad sense this is Strict Proof that the corporations and governments know or believe pesticides and GMOs to be harmful to human health. If they didn’t believe this they certainly would have performed legitimate safety tests instead of promulgating the religious lie of “substantial equivalence” along with a passel of methodologically fraudulent tests and rumors of “secret science”, a contradiction in terms. We know that the worst we can speculate is in fact true. The corporations and governments themselves admit this, proven by their consistent pattern of action.
 
In the same way, any consistent course of action on the part of those who can choose a different course proves their Strict Intent to cause all the consistent significant effects of their consistent course of action. Here we see the intent of Monsanto and the US government to wipe out all non-GM soy, as much of any other kind of farming, gardening, ornamentals, and wild plants as possible, and along the way to poison the soil and environment as totally as possible. Whatever human and animal health effects soon arise from the atmospheric suffusion of the dicamba zone also have been intended by these organizations.
 
The refusal of government and private insurers to cover off-target dicamba damage is further proof that this is a comprehensive campaign to drive out all non-Xtend soy farming. It’s government/insuser collusion against farmers.
 
 
What recourse does the imputation of justice have, what course the law? There’s a welter of lawsuits arguing correctly that the product is impossible to use safely, that the damage is the result of negligence or malice on the part of Monsanto and BASF, and that the dicamba sellers colluded to form an extortion racket.
 
We know this is true. Xtortion plus rebate is meant to add up to an offer you can’t refuse if you’re a soy farmer. Monsanto wants to maximize dicamba use (sales, from a mundane profiterring point of view; but maximal poison deployment has implications for power and control far beyond mundane profits) regardless of destructive effects, or intentionally to maximize the destruction. It makes no difference since by Strict Intent there’s no practical difference between willful premeditated nihilism and the active will and premeditation to destroy. Therefore there is no moral difference, and there should be no difference from the perspective of the law or policy. This doctrine is necessary especially in a case like poison drift where it’s difficult to impossible to pinpoint responsibility for specific damage and where, even if this circumstance of non-responsibility hadn’t been anticipated and pre-planned, all the perpetrators rush to take advantage of it in a deliberate, systematic way.
 
Therefore it follows that abolitionist doctrine must be to impose Strict Liability upon all participants in the poison racket, from developers to sellers to users. It’s the same principle as for any other criminal conspiracy: The guy driving the getaway car is just as guilty of murder as the robber inside the bank who pulls the trigger, even though he never left the car. Everyone knows how toxic and destructive all these chemicals are, the corporations and regulators most of all, so no one can claim innocent ignorance. This is a core movement principle and the movement must promise to put this into effect wherever it gets the power. This principle follows practically from the principles of Strict Proof and Strict Intent.
 
Everyone, abolitionists and reformers alike, should take up these doctrines, make them mainstays of philosophy and political communication, and promise to make them the law of the land.
 
To prevent confusion, I’m not saying there’s a master cabal somewhere consciously plotting all this out, though Monsanto certainly is conscious of much of it. I’m describing an existential inertia and a biological campaign. Therefore we’re only dealing proximately with conventional moral philosophy. Rather, we’re dealing with an elemental process whose morality we must view more primally in terms of its consistent action rather than foolish speculation about the “consciousness” of the creatures driving it. You might as well speculate about the consciousness of corporations, patents, and dollars while you’re at it. Anyway, in this case the primary organisms involved are Agrobacterium tumefaciens, soybeans and cotton, and weeds like Palmer amaranth. The humans involved behave according to the same patterns. The technocratic propagandists who exalt corporate personhood, artificial intelligence, and robots are similarly disparaging their own role on the other, “post-human” end.
 
We see how inadequate conventional moralizing is to the crisis. Rather we need the strict morality of Strict Intent, Strict Proof, Strict Liability. We must apply it to the corporations, the regulators, the scientific establishment, academia, the mainstream media, the technocratic political class in general.
 
 
Herbicide-tolerance is a proven failed technology. Xtend and Enlist are as doomed as Roundup Ready. Any support for the continuation of this genre is automatic bad faith and automatic support for all the worst effects of the deployment. Therefore all harms caused by it are willful, deliberate, malicious.
 
The system has literally zero ideas beyond poison plants, which is all GMOs are. Literally no amount of failure and destruction could cause these creatures to think in any terms other than betting even more of the future of humanity and the Earth on an already busted hand. They are criminally insane, or analogous to pathogenic microbes, and can be dealt with only as such.
 
As for soybeans, we have to purge them from processed food and from animal feed. Once again we see the critical need to abolish factory farms.
 
 
Propagate the necessary new ideas.
 
 
 
 

January 13, 2018

Dicamba Crisis Part 3: Bottleneck

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Parts one and two.
 
The common contrast of “natural” and “unnatural” is not untrue but is hard to define. Like with “terrorism”, everyone agrees it exists but finds it hard to give a definition which isn’t to some extent arbitrary. Almost all definitions of terrorism are fraudulent since each bogusly excludes things which by all rights ought to be included and includes things that ought to be excluded. So it is often with the natural-unnatural contrast.
 
As I’ve written before, a more fruitful distinction is ecological as opposed to anti-ecological because this gives us a clear criterion: Are accumulation and waste building up? Whether or not a process generates waste, defined here as a by-product the ecological system cannot readily assimilate, distinguishes ecological and anti-ecological processes. Any such build-up indicates an anti-ecological bottleneck. In a healthy ecology accumulation is rare and quickly generates the means to put it back in motion. Real bottlenecks almost always are man-made; offhand I can’t think of any species which can generate a bottleneck on its own. (Under man-made bottleneck conditions other species can participate, such as the algae which directly generate dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico, Chesapeake Bay and elsewhere. These dead zones are man-made, driven by nitrogen run-off from massive overuse of synthetic fertilizer in industrial agriculture.)
 
Anti-ecological bottlenecks often boil down to a simple equation: Wealth and power accumulation, itself an emitter of noxious political, social, cultural pollution, must be accompanied by an equal level of physical/ecological destruction.
 
The primary reason industrial agriculture (especially its GMO model) is unsustainable and must be abolished isn’t because it’s unnatural, though it is this too, but because it’s radically anti-ecological in all the bottlenecks it generates and the way its accumulations and waste poison the Earth.
 
This is the fundamental paradigm of industrial agriculture. It denudes the soil and renders it near-sterile, imports artificial fertility and poisons (the corporations accumulate the pollution of concentrated wealth and power), and exports the combination of these inputs with sunlight as a form of pollution (commodities in order to accumulate and concentrate more wealth, cheap food for biologically and ecologically worthless parasites). The great majority of the synthetic nitrogen runs off or leaches. The pesticides pollute the crop, the soil, the water, and the air. In the case of dicamba the air becomes the most acute crisis point. The nitrogen is transferred into groundwater as a form of poison and down the rivers into the gulfs and bays in order to generate dead zones. Every step of the industrial agricultural process burns vast amounts of fossil fuels and further destroys carbon and nitrogen sinks. The warmer air in turn aggravates the volatilization of dicamba, the quintessential anti-ecological, anti-agronomic disaster capitalist pesticide.
 
The herbicide tolerant GMO model is perhaps the most extreme distillation of the industrial paradigm. It’s designed directly to accelerate human and ecological harm, job destruction, farm consolidation, and the evolution of pest resistance driving the pesticide treadmill ever faster and most intensely.
 
We see another extreme example of the participants in man-made anti-ecological bottlenecks: The pesticide treadmill, and monoculture cultivation in general, provide the best terrain for the most aggressive and hardy weeds, insect pests, and disease organisms.
 
Dicamba’s intrinsic volatility renders it the most potent driver of these phenomena. Most directly, dicamba’s volatile drift is destroying all other soy crops, vegetables, fruits, and many trees, thus generating an intense wastage. The more herbicide volatilization, the more drift, the more atmospheric loading, the faster Palmer amaranth and other potent weeds will develop resistance. We see the Strict Intent of Monsanto and the EPA and USDA to drive the pesticide resistance treadmill as hard as they can. In general monoculture cultivation, as a simple application of plowing and poison, provides the best terrain for pests compared to the complexity of agroecological pest control based on biodiversity and a diversity of tactics. The model of herbicide tolerant GMOs is the most pure manifestation of this weed-maximizing terrain.
 
Therefore in addition to the great accumulations and waste inherent to industrial agriculture we have the build-up of pest resistance to pesticides which drives further escalations of the poison paradigm and all its bottlenecks. Dicamba’s volatility and suffusion of the regional atmosphere comprise an acute poisoning crisis, an acute crisis of waste buildup. The land is condemned to sterile production of commodity soybeans. This really is designed to be a waste dump for surplus fertilizer and pesticide, which are generated in the first place as a by-product and weapon of the system whose real action is to generate money and power for those who control it. By striving to force all soy farmers to buy Xtend seeds if only in self-defense against the deliberate toxic suffusion of the poison, Monsanto and the US government are trying to further strangle the already threadbare diversity of soybean varieties and farming diversity in general, thus further intensifying the genetic bottleneck the monoculture commodity system has been ruthlessly imposing for decades.
 
The land is condemned, fossil fuels pointlessly are extracted and burned, generating carbon and nitrogen pollution in the air and fertilizer and pesticide waste to be dumped into the soil, dumped in the water, dumped in the air, driven into our bodies.
 
Dicamba is designed to suffuse the air and resettle on all broad-leaf crops and other plants as destructively as possible. This is an extreme anti-ecological bottleneck. Look at all it destroys: Food production, human and animal health from wholesome food, the spiritual and cultural work of growers, the aesthetic love of trees and flowers. All these already are bottled up by the corporate-technocratic civilization. Specific extreme outbreaks like the dicamba crisis make these bottlenecks even worse.
 
The entire system of poison-based agriculture is designed to bottle up and destroy the entire ecology replacing it with a technologically controlled monoculture. In this way the biotech/agrochemical cartel joins the finance sector and other core corporate sectors working to bottle up all elements of nature and the real economy, replacing these with the purely fake economy of money, corporate personhood, finance, and patents. The corporate-technocratic accumulation of wealth and power directly corresponds with the technosphere’s physical poisoning and destruction of the Earth. Accumulation naturally indicates an ecological bottleneck. Accumulation equals waste. It is pollution. Those who manipulate such wastes are merely using poison as a weapon. The modern agrochemical onslaught is the latest, worst, most literal use of poison to destroy the Earth in order to hoard power.
 
And this goes with the legal and physical condemnation of the land. The corporate agricultural campaign ultimately is a campaign of land seizure, forcing all human beings off the land and enclosing it within a system of a few big corporate-controlled robot-managed plantations. As I said earlier, herbicide tolerant GMOs are a milestone in the corporate enclosure program, designed directly to eliminate all hand-weeding jobs while enabling farmers to manage much greater acreage, thus accelerating farm consolidation and the forced exodus of humans from the land. By rendering impossible all competing forms of soybean farming and many other kinds of farming, Monsanto’s Xtend-dicamba system is designed to escalate this totalitarian process. The systematic refusal of government and private insurers to cover drift damage, a massive consumer fraud, is another example proving that this is economic warfare against all but the biggest farmers. As is the concurrent campaign, even among the same state governments and weed scientists who deplore the dicamba crisis, to force 2,4-D tolerant crops upon agriculture. The clear goal is an agriculture where no crop (or any other plant) not resistant to both dicamba and 2,4-D will be able to exist at all.
 
The industrial monoculture and land enclosure system also is meant to render food production as tenuous as possible by forcing all people into a condition of complete dependency upon money and the corporate system, while deliberately rendering food production as vulnerable as possible to drought, erosion, pest ravages, soil degradation, intrinsic crop failure, and ultimately the guaranteed shortages of necessary fossil fuels. The corporate food system already systematically generates hunger; it is also preparing famine.
 
As Howard Vlieger points out, the worst part of the dicamba GMO system is how it’s destroying actual food production at fruit orchards and vegetable farms and gardens, rendering anything but commodity soybean production more and more difficult. This is a case study in the real goal of poison agriculture. The will to continue this onslaught, on the part of the corporations, the US and state governments, academia and the media proves their Strict Intent to reach an outcome of total destruction.
 
Here we have the full consummation of the inherently destructive character of industrial soybean production in general. All land planted to commodity soybeans is condemned, lost to us. Soybeans aren’t food; they’re used only destructively, for CAFOs, biodiesel, and processing; a diet loaded with processed soy is hormonally unhealthy even leaving aside the soybeans’ GM character and high pesticide residues; a soy-based economy is a plunder economy which offers nothing to the people but only ravages the countryside for the benefit of the corporate criminals. Soybean cultivation is ground zero for all the pathologies, and dicamba-tolerant Xtend soybeans are most extreme. The land is bottlenecked; the economy is bottlenecked. Industrial soy itself must go. (And as for so many other reasons here too we see the critical need to abolish CAFOs.)
 
 
The extreme energy civilization, having bottlenecked all human potential and driven humanity into a socioeconomic and political dead end, now drives itself into its own terminal bottleneck.
 
Do you feel ill, or your children or pets? Do you fear sickness? Do you feel financially secure? Secure in your job? Are you optimistic things will change for the better? Do you know who has destroyed all security? Do you know what’s making us sick? Do you feel safe when you look at the news from America and around the world? Do you know why the world is going insane?
 
You’re feeling the great bottleneck. Our health, our security, our peace of mind, our work, our culture, our spirit, our freedom, all are bottled up. You feel the fear, you sense our psychological, spiritual, cultural, economic bottleneck.
 
To anyone who feels bottlenecked, whatever the surface reason seems to be, you must understand that yours is a symptom of a global ecological crisis. You cannot solve your crisis within the bottleneck which causes it any more than the civilization can pull itself out of its own bottleneck.
 
All of this civilization’s bottlenecks boil down to the simple equation: Wealth and power accumulation must be accompanied by an equal level of physical, economic, spiritual, cultural, and ecological destruction. The elites’ wealth and power equals your destruction.
 
 
Propagate the necessary new ideas.
 
 
 
 
 

January 3, 2018

The US Voter Says to Earth, Happy New Year

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Donald Trump says to North Korea, “my button is bigger than yours”. This is just the latest and most extreme example of how Trump is nothing more or less than the logical consummation of the last fifty years of US government policy and US electoralism. I’d call him the most typical US president of all. Starting where you wish, let’s say Jimmy Carter, name a single president for whom a US-provoked nuclear standoff, and likely nuclear war, wasn’t portended by the entire thrust of his foreign and especially economic policy (corporate globalization, i.e. flat-out aggressive war by economic means). The Clintons and Obama never once said anything other than my button, my bombs, my guns, my dollars, are bigger than yours.
 
As I wrote before, all US voters voted for Trump. And today there’s consensus among all Republicans and Democrats that they want nuclear war. The only difference is whether they want it with North Korea or Russia or both. But they all want nuclear war. They lust for it. They lust for the total death of all that’s human and earthly. That, to say again, is the logic implicit in the entire thrust of all they’ve sought for decades now with their votes and with every other political action. Today the entire thrust of the US electoral system, which votes unanimously every election for total global war, is reaching its logical consummation.
 
Humanity, if it survives this crisis, must never forget this and never forgive it.
 
If there are any fellow mammals out there, better find cover, preferably in groups, while the dinosaurs cheer on the asteroid they’ve long prayed for.
 
 
 
 
 

December 26, 2017

Genesis and Anti-Genesis

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The dominant religions of today have their version of the book of life and the lake of fire. They give themselves the false moniker “life sciences”, though theirs is more verily a necrology. We know that the corporate power system and the scientism cult seek to wipe out all natural and humanly crafted ecology and replace these with their centrally engineered technological pseudo-ecology. They do this for profit reasons, reasons of power and control, and out of religious zealotry.
 
Let’s look to their own mythology and self-image. Star Trek II and its sequel featured a technology called the Genesis Device. According to government propaganda it was to be used to seed barren planets and moons with proliferant life. But what if instead of deploying it on a barren planet they fired it into a planet which already had indigenous life? It would be a weapon of planetary genocide and ecocide. Power could have no other plan for it. Even if we grant the mythical “good intentions” at the outset, once all the so-called empty space is filled, action demands that the already-occupied space be re-occupied. This is the fundamental logic of power. History proves that once power is concentrated it can never stop concentrating. Power becomes and remains inherently aggressive the moment it’s allowed to begin the concentration process.
 
This is true at the secular level of the corporate technocracy and at the religious level of Mammon and scientism. Whether conceived religiously or at a more mundane level, the corporation represents the ultimate form of this totalitarian process. It elegantly concentrates all the energies of greed, aggression, powerlust, egotism, sadism, hatred, and places them all at the service of profiteering and power-seeking. In turn, the profit motive is the most purely concentrated sociopathic assault on every value, institution, and physical creature, except insofar as any of these can serve the ends of profit. Profit is the one and only end, money relations the one and only relation. All means, and literally all of existence, are to be judged instrumentally, relative to this end. Corporations, purely sociopathic in principle, obligated in principle to the profit motive and nothing but the profit motive, are the organizational form of this totalizing process. This is the essence of Mammon, and the essence of technocracy.
 
Corporate technocracy has no choice but to completely encompass the globe. By its very nature it can tolerate no limit upon its expansion. Up against any limit whatsoever, profiteering immediately stagnates and soon collapses. It must fully reach the extreme limits of the earth itself, and then dream of going beyond. As Cecil Rhodes put it, “I would annex the stars if I could.” Thus he found the words to express the cancer of the mind which drives all cadres of these cults. Anyone who fantasizes about “getting off the rock” is an enemy of humanity and the Earth.
 
The religious fantasies of interstellar colonization and asteroid mining are pipe dreams. If there were ever enough fossil fuels to seed such a project which would send the likes of Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump to the stars (anyone who’s not an idiot knows such colonization would be only for the 1% and its flunkeys while humanity dies on its destroyed rock), the system long since has squandered them on more terrestrial luxuries. Alas, these fanatics are stuck with the planet we have, and they must kill and violently die upon it. Expansion, colonization, financialization, the corporate welfare state, these are all attempts at meta-profiteering, the capture of all society and economy within the fictive bonds of Mammon’s tokens, the corporate mark, the hypnosis of propaganda.
 
Mammon is trying to use its globalized economy of phony cash and debt to gather all real assets and resources in its hands. But this too has a strict limit. In the end the earth is finite, and its most important resources, those of food and water, are renewable. These are the essence of the globe’s indigenous cycle of life. Humanity is anchored in this cycle, and when the vicious parasite finally is purged, humanity amid nature shall remain intact.
 
But what if Mammon and technocracy could find a way to destroy indigenous nature and replace it with a proprietary, enclosed pseudo-nature sufficient to sustain some version of hominid life? This would, at one stroke, wipe the slate clean and replace a full planet with an empty one, ready to be recolonized and re-enclosed. At the same time it would prevent the redemption of the Earth and wipe out the final land base for any form of independent human existence. Once we’re forced into dependence upon the corporate Satan for our literal food – first politically, through tyrannical police enforcement of patent prerogatives, and eventually physically, as the seeds will be engineered to render their replanting physically impossible – it will be the end of any human hope whatsoever.
 
That’s the goal of GMO imperialism: To drive out nature itself and replace it with the corporate-marked pseudo-flora and fauna. They intend this to be the death blow to the resistance of humanity and Earth and plan to open up a literal new world for Mammon’s accumulation and domination. In principle this process will be infinitely repeatable, as each genetically engineered “order” is superseded by a new one, much like how Louis XIV would sell titles of nobility, then declare them void and resell them. Repeat as necessary. Each time the globe shall be wiped clean to present Mammon and Science with a blank slate. This will be the final, fullest development of disaster capitalism, which by now is synonymous with capitalism itself. This will be the ultimate harmony of total destructive chaos and total order. This harmonized contradiction is the holy grail of totalitarianism. It is the anti-religion vs. all religion, the anti-science vs. all science, the anti-reason vs. all reason. It will use its pesticides to exterminate all seed of the Garden of Eden once and for all and prevent by force the descent of the New City. It will prevent forever the building of civilization. This is the nightmare and the goal
 
They shall fail and this evil shall be destroyed. Gaia shall destroy them, humanity shall help. The fraudulent anti-miracles of corporate technology such as the pesticide/GMO complex cannot in fact sustain life. They’ve done nothing but fail in every way while subverting all physical health and fertility. This system can lead to nothing but total biological collapse. It would be a race to see what happens first – a catastrophic crop failure and subsequent famine pandemic, or a non-linear health cataclysm suddenly crippling people after years of ingesting these poisons.
 
But this is irrelevant to Mammon and irrelevant to the corporate imperative, which cares about nothing but carrying out its power mission for as long as the corporate-technocratic system exists. Think of the Terminator and its single-minded murderous focus. That’s the character of totalitarian psychopathy in individuals, groups, and organizational forms. Indeed, this appetite for collapse is a feature, not a bug. The system considers the hyper-vulnerability of monoculture in general and GMO monoculture in particular to be desirable. That’s why the system is unconcerned with the strength of Bt- and herbicide-resistant superbugs and superweeds. This always was a desired outcome, since it now escalates biological warfare, requiring the purchase of ever greater amounts and varieties of herbicide and ever more expensive proprietary seeds. Each new GMO generation is more expensive than the failed one it must replace. GMOs were the epitome of disaster capitalism from their inception. We’ve long known that corporate agriculture, via the Big Lie of the “green revolution”, seeks scarcity and disaster, not plenty. Only continuous disaster makes capitalism and corporate domination possible at all. Thus we have the preparation of the GMO Genesis Device, whose goal is to wipe out a flourishing living planet and fill the artificial dead zone with its synthesized “life” whose one and only goal will be to continue the hideous death march of profit.
 
Earth shall destroy them, and humanity shall help. This abuse of ecology and humanity contains its own destruction as it triggers the counteractions of revolution. Politically and ecologically it is unsustainable.
 
The situation is untenable and intolerable. We must, with all organized speed, decentralize, relocalize, and democratize food production and distribution on the basis of agroecology and food sovereignty.
 
 
Propagate the necessary new ideas. Destroy the dinosaurs’ eggs every chance you get.
 
 
 

December 21, 2017

The Dicamba Crisis Part 2: GMO/Pesticides Vs. Evolution

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The final step would be no plants and therefore no humans.

 
 
Part one, describing the crisis.
 
 
Contrary to modernist religion evolution does not “progress”, but barring extreme events it tends in a linear way toward greater diversity. It doesn’t make great leaps outside of its own limits and laws. This is why scientifically sound agriculture is based on soil-building, biodiversity, attracting beneficial insects and other organisms, and putting natural stress on pests. These are the basis of agroecology.
 
Poison-based agriculture comprises, in theory and practice, the radical repudiation of science and wisdom. Rejecting biodiversity in every way and exalting monculture, it is anti-evolutionary and counter-evolutionary. It seeks to break out of evolution and nature completely and replace these with a technological desert. We see this most clearly with the GMO campaign.
 
One of the core cult faiths of genetic engineering cultism is that the engineers can lift themselves and their product out of the framework of natural evolution, leap over all its processes and safeguards, and superimpose their own anti-evolved, non-contexted product over the entire globe in minimal time. The GMO ideology is based on a technological leaping-out of natural evolution, in the same way technocracy as an order of social engineering wants to leap out of human politics, indeed out of human nature as such. As we see with the unfolding dicamba crisis, the results are likely to be disastrous.
 
 
The networked organisms of the ecological system are always reacting to changes in their environment. Their organic reactions generally sum up to relative stability over evolutionary time, and this is part of the process of evolution. Where a change radically leaps over the dampening effect of evolutionary time including its many safeguards and diminishing feedback loops, especially where this radical change is combined with many other drivers of chaos and destruction, the network becomes overstressed as many component organisms find it difficult or impossible to adapt.
 
Naturally evolving organisms and the conventional crop breeding which necessarily is done within the framework of evolution must encounter the naturally evolved safeguards against mutation and ecological disruption. Changes need time and effort to run a gamut of naturally imposed challenges, or the challenges of breeder selection, to become established. Genetic engineering, on the contrary, aggressively seeks to override these safeguards and leap over these challenges. It seeks to deploy the infected genome in the environment over vast regions as fast as it can. This is such a difference of magnitude, speed, and geographical reach as to comprise a qualitative difference. It seeks to maximize mutations and chaotic effects in the environment, along with the great disruptions the impresarios deliberately premeditate.
 
Black Swan author Nassim Taleb co-authored a paper on the systemic risk of genetic engineering. Genetic engineering has zero in common with conventional breeding, physically or ecologically. The lies and denials of pro-GMO activists with regard to this fact demonstrate their general ignorance of evolution and flippant disregard for its implications. The most extreme manifestation of pro-GM evolution denial is this incapacity or refusal to recognize the great difference between adaptation to a wide range of natural environmental hurdles encountered over evolutionary time, as opposed to seeking to leap over all the hurdles in an instant, with the entire process from genetic extraction to insertion to breeding to distribution taking place in a totally artificial, hermetic, alien, non-contextual bubble, and from there to deploy a biological technology developed in this anti-environmental way all at once on a global basis in the real world. Under such circumstances a rational person would expect nothing but disaster.
 
No one even slightly familiar with ecology, biology, genetics, agronomy, or history could take this seriously for a moment. Any natural allele, mutation, horizontal genetic transfer, must run a long gauntlet of safeguards developed by evolution including the genome’s own repair mechanism, then the greater hurdles of the local environment, and must adapt and spread over millions of years. Farmer selection and conventional breeding have followed such a pattern for 10,000 years.
 
But the genetic engineering technique which has existed for just a few years now claims to supersede these thousands and millions of years. It claims to be able to leap over the evolutionary genetic hurdles using technology. This is impossible. Therefore the genetic engineering project implicitly seeks to maximize the harmful mutations, latent weaknesses, unfit traits, and hazards.
 
Similarly, genetic engineering and the political-economic GMO deployment system claim to be able to leap over the evolutionary environmental hurdles, as well as the geographic hurdles, using economic brute force. This means it wants to spread the infected, harmful genetic and biological material, and the agronomic and ecological destruction which follows from it, as globally as possible as fast as possible.
 
Genetic engineering ideology wants to leap over the entire evolutionary time and action during which all matters of fitness, quality, and toxicity are worked out by nature, or by human thought and labor in conjunction with nature. The hubris and contempt for science on display with these persons is staggering. Genetic engineering has nothing in common with conventional breeding. GMOs can be only a debilitating parasite free riding on conventional breeding and destroying its work.
 
Therefore with GMOs we have a phenomenon where politics and economics meld inextricably with ecology. Ecologists, and those whose science is sculpted by an ecological mindset, are the only scientists qualified to speak about GMOs. Beyond that this technology is fundamentally a political and economic phenomenon. GMOs as deployed in the real world, rather than in the depraved minds of their idolators, have very little to do with science. This renders it all the more ironic when the pro-GM activists go hysterically braying about how even the most modest questions or criticisms are “anti-science! anti-science!” We see the evolution denialism of the pro-GMO activists.
 
 
The pesticide model of agriculture is conjoined with the GMO ideology of technologically leaping out of natural evolution. Pesticides are dedicated to the scorched earth monoculture model of agriculture and the ideology which regards the natural world as something to be wiped out. Poisonism is a radical rejection of biodiversity in principle and practice and comprises the will to wipe out all life except that specially selected to be part of the technocratic socio-ecological engineering.
 
The primary privileged organisms in this anti-evolutionary order are the bacterium A. tumefaciens (used as the main insertion vector in genetic engineering, thus using the engineers for its own purposes) and the proprietary GM crops themselves, along with the corporate persons (dogmatically declared to be “real” life forms) and the few humans who are monetarily wealthy. Ironically, the other main group of life forms privileged under this system are the pests, weeds, and diseases whose eradication is the alleged reason for deploying pesticides in the first place.
 
Corporate industrial agriculture denies weed and pest resistance in principle, even as its monoculture provides the best terrain for these organisms to prosper. (It does the same for rats, now the subject of a pro-CRISPR propaganda campaign against “invasives”; more on how the corporate system deliberately privileges rats for its own purposes in an upcoming piece.) Where forced by reality to discuss resistance, the corporations and media blame farmers for sloppy pesticide application and thus pretend that proper application can forestall the development of resistance. But everyone knows the pesticide treadmill, the endless arms race between the escalation of poisons and the resistance the targets inevitably develop against these poisons, is an intrinsic element of the system. In fact this is deliberate planned obsolescence. Everyone knows that no poison works longer than a few years and then must be supplemented by additional, more destructive poisons. The entire model of agrochemicals and GMOs is based on this malevolent dynamic. Therefore weed and pest resistance is the phenomenon upon which they are completely dependent for their continued profit and power. By contrast, if farmers switched to agroecology and dealt with pests and weeds by balancing them out within the framework of evolution rather than a scorched earth arms race running directly counter to it, agriculture would be far more productive, constructive, efficient, and profitable for the actual growers, and it would be the end of the power of agribusiness.
 
We see the horror this prospect strikes in the minds not only of the corporate operatives and scientism cultists themselves, but of the entire governmental, scientific, academic, and media system. That’s why, in spite of some lip service here and there about mixed systems like integrated pest management (IPM), the only truly allowable response to the patent failure of each pesticide and pesticide/GMO system is to deploy even more and worse poisons. The deployment of the Xtend/dicamba system is in response to the collapse of the Roundup Ready system as glyphosate-resistant weeds make a mockery of even the most copious slatherings of the poison. Dicamba and 2,4-D (upon which Dow’s Enlist system is built) both, Monsanto and the USDA promised in the 1990s, would be rendered obsolete by the Roundup Ready system based on the allegedly less harmful glyphosate. All the weed scientists researching and publicizing the dicamba disaster nevertheless agree that the dicamba deployment is the necessary response to Roundup’s collapse, even as they acknowledge that dicamba inevitably will fail and, implicitly, that the herbicide-tolerance GMO model itself is a complete failure. Dicamba’s revival is just the latest proof. For the corporate-technocratic system the only allowed response to failure is to escalate on proven failure. Poison-based agriculture is the most clear and extreme example.
 
Sure enough, weed scientists already are touting the upcoming corporate poison escalations.
 

Scott talked about the HT3 soybean from Monsanto, a “triple stack” soybean that will tolerate three herbicide chemistries: glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba. Glyphosate is known commercially as Roundup. Glufosinate is known as Liberty. Scott said these beans may be available as early as 2019, but likely in limited amounts.

“We observed very good pigweed control with these technologies”, he said.

Also on the horizon, possibly as early as 2018, are the Enlist soybeans. Scott said these beans are “only awaiting Chinese approval for their being legal to use in the U.S.”

Syngenta and Bayer are working on HPPD-tolerant soybeans, “which are further down the line.” The timeline for availability may be 2020 to 2023, Scott said, and the beans are likely to be stacked with other traits.

Still, the message was hopeful at a time when current weed management methods are dividing the farm community.

“This is the first time in a long time that I’ve heard the chemical companies say they’ve got some new tools in the pipeline,” he said.

 
And if these are commercialized, just as surely as glyphosate and dicamba before them these too inevitably will fail, causing even more extreme damage along the way. And so they ratchet from poison to poison, each allegedly representing the end of all other poisons.
 
This proves that the system’s mode of action systematically selects for weed resistance (just as the Bt refuge scam and the entire insecticide model select for insect resistance). This is the one and only point of contact between the poison system and evolution. The system denies evolution in principle and claims some magic combination of poisons will overcome it, even as in practice the system intentionally drives the evolution of resistance in order to sustain and increase its own political and economic power.
 
Therefore, just as monocultural cropping provides the optimal terrain for pests and weeds, the pesticide treadmill fosters their accelerated evolutionary resistance to poisons. In the same way dicamba, like all herbicides and like the entire industrial system based on CAFOs and the antibiotic resistance markers used in genetic engineering, drives the evolution of antibiotic resistant microbes. This too must be seen as an intended goal of the system, a way it manipulates evolution even while denying it. This affects most of all those people directly in contact with the herbicides – farmers, applicators, and in the case of dicamba’s atmospheric loading, all people who live in the dicamba zone. Herbicides decimate our microbiome, selectively sparing pathogens and boosting their resistance to antibiotics. The greater the drift effect, the greater the antibiotic resistance effect. Therefore the dicamba deployment, and the entire glyphosate/2,4-D/dicamba campaign, must be placed in the context of the systematic campaign of governments and corporations to wipe out antibiotics as a medically effective treatment. No one who understands and respects evolution could be in any doubt about this goal.
 
 
We understand the insanity of the dicamba GMO crisis. It builds on the failure of Roundup and of the pesticide model as such. It simultaneously denies evolution and drives a specially destructive mode of evolution. Herbicide tolerant GMOs systematically select for weed resistance. Sure enough, dicamba-resistant weeds already are on the rise. The greater the atmospheric loading of volatile dicamba vapor, the faster it’ll drive weed resistance along with every other ecological and health harm.
 
Dicamba’s inherent volatility renders it impossible to control even assuming the greatest care in spraying. Contrary to Monsanto’s lies, all dicamba is volatile including the name brand formulations of Monsanto and BASF. Indeed there’s evidence that dicamba’s volatility is essential to it having any proximate herbicidal effect on weeds in the first place. The more dicamba is sprayed under the warm, humid conditions which cause it to become volatile (i.e., the way it’s intended to be used with the Xtend system), the more the atmosphere in the dicamba zone will become suffused with dicamba vapor and the more completely it will settle over the entire countryside. Under those conditions it will become impossible for any other soybean variety, GM or non-GM, to exist. Farmers will be forced to purchase the few soybean varieties engineered with the Xtend trait. This is Monsanto’s deliberate campaign of biological extortion. (“Xtortion”, as many soybean farmers are calling it.)
 
Therefore Monsanto’s goal is to wipe out all non-Xtend soybeans and attain a monopoly. But that’s just the beginning. We also see the system’s implicit will to destroy vast swaths of vegetables, ornamentals, and trees. However senseless this might seem from the point of view of any textbook profit motive, it’s an expression of the fanatical monoculture mentality which wants to wipe out all natural plant growth and reduce all cultivation to corporate-controlled industrial monoculture.
 
What alternative intent can we infer from the system’s will to escalate the deployment in 2018 after 2017 already proved it so indiscriminately destructive? All USDA and Monsanto projections and proclamations continue to prove that their strict goal is to maximize dicamba’s use and destructiveness. If all goes according to corporate plan, by fall 2018’s seed increase 80% of the commercial soybean seed and 90% of the cotton will be engineered to maximize spraying of dicamba or 2,4-D. Monsanto’s rebate plan for 2018 is further proof that the goal is to attain a complete monopoly over soybean seed, and dicamba’s complete geographical and biological domination, as quickly as possible in order to forestall all social resistance and agronomic alternatives. Any advcacy of full speed ahead with business as usual proves the will to drive out all non-Xtend soybeans and from there all other broad-leaf plants, period. (Meanwhile 2,4-D threatens/promises to do the same for grasses.)
 
We see what an extreme renunciation of evolution’s process and diversity this campaign is. The ultimate monoculture goal is nothing less than to wipe out all biodiversity except for the pests themselves and replace it with a technocratic blank slate. The cultists and operatives first deny evolution in principle, then seek to wipe it out in practice. The goal is to use violence (technological and where necessary conventional) to force their nightmare vision of technocratic “progress” onto natural succession.
 
They cannot succeed because their program seeks to defy evolution. In spite of their pretensions to, as one of their leaders in the Bush administration said, “create our own reality”, they cannot do so. However grim things look right now, their anti-nature, anti-evolution program dooms them to destruction.
 
 
We mammals must wait it out, taking every opportunity to destroy the dinosaurs’ eggs.
 
 
Propagate the necessary new ideas.
 
 
 
 

December 15, 2017

Fool’s Gold

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Golden rice is only about one kind of gold

 
 
No form of “golden rice” has ever gotten past the test stage. The pro-GMO activists lie when they tout this hoax product. All lies: That the product exists, that it’s ready to go, that it’s only being held up by the likes of Greenpeace. The truth is that golden rice has never worked in reality and has never been anything but a media hoax. The lies are part of the hoax.
 
In its test form the original “golden rice 1” contained only a meager amount of vitamin A. To use it as a vitamin supplement would’ve required eating unthinkable amounts of it every day.
 
These days they’re working on “golden rice 2” which allegedly produces greater amounts of vitamin A so that people could eat it without turning into a big grain of yellow rice. But they’re having all sorts of technical problems back-crossing it from the japonica variety they first engineered to any kind of indica variety which is readily commercial. It’s not only a media hoax but a very expensive technical boondoggle.
 
And let’s say this hypothetical product ever did become ready for release.
 
1. By design it would be the first direct-to-eat Frankenfood which is meant to be consumed on a mass basis. Compare it to other direct-food GMOs: Virus resistant zucchini or papaya, Bt sweet corn, GM salmon, the “non-browning” apple, GM potatoes. As dangerous as these may be, none of them is designed to be a daily dietary staple. But the designers of golden rice want for the first time for a direct-food GMO to be a daily staple.
 
There’s only one place where significant numbers of people have eaten GMOs directly on a large scale, and that’s among the farm workers and rural population of South Africa who eat large amounts of the Bt corn from the farms where they labor. No funding being available, the effects haven’t yet been subjected to a scientific study, but many severe neurological and organ damage effects have been documented on an anecdotal basis.
 
Michael Hansen of Consumers Union has theorized that there could be a severe problem with retinoic acid oversignaling if a product like golden rice were to be eaten in large amounts, which is how the engineers intend for it to be eaten. This would be a pathway to cancer and birth defects. This is just one of the potential dangers of making a GMO the very basis of one’s diet.
 
2. Any deployed golden rice would also be engineered to be herbicide tolerant and/or to express Bt toxins. So this direct food will also be laden with endotoxins and herbicide residue. Not only is the idea of golden rice meant to distract from the fact that the only real-world GMOs are pesticide plants; any real world version of golden rice would itself be such a poison plant.
 
3. Syngenta’s promise to donate its patented golden rice transgene applies only to pilot “humanitarian” programs. It would not apply to any general commercial deployment. That’s why the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the organization in charge of actual development, has reserved the right to take out patents of its own. Beyond that, Syngenta wouldn’t give away the herbicide tolerance and Bt traits free of charge. So the alleged “humanitarian donation” aspect of the thing is also a scam. (We also don’t know how ChemChina’s imminent purchase of Syngenta will affect the disposition of the patent.)
 
 
The idea of golden rice is part of monoculture ideology. Vitamin A deficiency disease is the deliberate result of how corporate industrial agriculture has driven millions off their land and stripped them of their ability to grow nutritious food for themselves. Therefore both in principle and in practice the deployment of golden rice or any other “biofortified” GMO would be the disaster capitalist treatment of a symptom caused by the same system which deploys the “cure”.
 
This puts in perspective the 2013 direct action of Philippine farmers against the IRRI’s golden rice field trials. The people took action in self-defense against the corporate program to economically liquidate them, drive them off their land, and doom them to the same misery and illness which the “golden rice” slogan mocks with its fake solicitude.
 
So, ultimately, must we the people, everywhere on Earth, take all necessary action to abolish corporate agriculture and undertake the necessary transformation and renaissance of agroecology and food sovereignty. This and only this will solve vitamin A deficiency, and every other problem and crisis afflicting us.
 
 
Propagate the necessary new ideas.
 
 
 
 

December 9, 2017

Lessons of the Burkina Faso Bt Cotton Debacle

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Cotton as part of a bizarre sculpture. It’s still better crafted than Monsanto’s Bt cotton.

 
 
I’ve written so much on GM cotton I’m sick of it, but I’ll point out two salient points brought out in this piece on Burkina Faso’s brief, disastrous experience with Monsanto’s Bt cotton.
 
1. As I emphasized previously regarding Bt cotton, it’s a rich man’s technology which assumes optimum conditions and highly expensive inputs of fertilizer, irrigated water, and pesticides in order to work.
 
Today one of the government stooges who touted Monsanto to the country’s cotton farmers is falling on his sword, loyal to the last:
 

Roger Zangre, a Burkinabe agricultural scientist who helped bring Monsanto to Burkina Faso, said Burkina’s technical shortcomings were partly to blame for the problems with the GM crops. “Before the introduction, our capacities should have been reinforced. But all of that fell by the wayside, and that’s on us … We can’t blame Monsanto alone,” said Zangre, who was employed by the state and said he had never been paid by Monsanto.

 
But this makes no sense. If you sell a technology to people who don’t possess the technical infrastructure to use it, like selling cars to people who have no roads, then you’re committing a fraud. Monsanto, and government shills like this one, of course waved off all such concerns in the beginning. Just as to this day Monsanto’s shills still claim that Bt cotton is good for small farmers, and still look for marks among small cotton farmers anywhere on earth it can find them.
 
Sure enough, “in Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria, growers have also been testing Bollgard II, but they say Burkina Faso’s experience has made them more cautious. “We are being very sceptical now,” said James Wiyor, executive secretary of Ghana’s Cotton Development Authority.” This proves that Monsanto will tout this shoddy, high-maintenance, extremely expensive product to anyone it can gull, and is telling them the same lies it told the Burkinabes, and the South Africans of Makathini Flats, and the Indians.
 

Wilfried Yameogo, the director of Sofitex, Burkina Faso’s biggest cotton company, said the decision to go ahead was based on a pledge from Monsanto that it would fix the quality problems ahead of the commercial launch.

“Monsanto made promises, and we continued to produce it. They said, ‘No, no, no. It will be okay.’” Yameogo said.

 
 
2. Also as I’ve discussed previously, Monsanto always has disdained every aspect of agriculture and plant breeding except for its transgenic traits (and of course its pesticides). In particular it had a grandiose notion that its traits would be the smart “software” which would be the key monopoly input for the stupid “hardware” of the natural and conventionally bred plant genome. Their idea was that they’d become analogous to Microsoft and Windows. (Cf. Dan Charles’s Lords of the Harvest for more on this.)
 
Under pressure of reality Monsanto was forced to accept that the transgene is worthless if it’s inserted into what one of its Australian affiliates called “dogshit germplasm”. One type of dogshit germplasm was the low-quality no-frills varieties Monsanto originally wanted to sell to farmers everywhere on a global one-size-fits-all basis. We see here a typical example of the scientific reasoning and general intelligence level of pro-GM activists.
 
A second type is where, even after Monsanto bowed to reality and bred its transgene into higher-quality varieties, it then brings one of these varieties to a place to which it is unsuited. In the case of Burkina Faso, Monsanto sent varieties bred for American cultivation to the African country, where country-based breeders under intense time pressure did a shoddy rush job of crossbreeding the American variety with Burkinabean varieties.
 

The Burkinabes knew from the start that American cotton varieties containing Monsanto’s gene could not deliver the quality of their home-grown crop, cotton company officials and researchers told Reuters. But they pressed on because Monsanto agreed to breed its pest-resistant genes into their native plants, which they hoped would protect the cotton and keep its premium value. That, they say, was a failure…

[Geneticist Jane] Dever, who has developed cotton varieties for companies including Bayer, estimated that carrying out three more backcrosses would have pushed back the release date of Bt cotton by at least a year.

Zangre said that if the Burkinabes had possessed the proper tools and technical knowledge to introduce the Bt genes themselves, they could have avoided the mistake.

Yves Carrière, an entomology professor at the University of Arizona who studies Bt crops, arrived in Burkina Faso in 2009 planning to set up a programme to monitor the introduction. He was worried, he said: The Burkina authorities had plans to head off potential problems, but the universities and state agencies that in the developed world would typically support such a biotechnology launch appeared weak.

“It was rushed. That’s for sure … It was rushed and far from optimal,” he said. “It shows the shortcomings of the largest corporations, which do not have the structure and the means to do everything that needs to be done in developing countries.”

For its part, Monsanto never based technical staff in the country, a former Monsanto employee who was involved in the process told Reuters. Instead, he said Monsanto developed the new Bt varieties in the United States, paid around $350,000 annually to fund research institute INERA’s work on the GM cotton, and flew in its own scientists when required…

For Monsanto, whose $13.5 billion in revenues in 2016 were more than Burkina Faso’s GDP, it proved uneconomical to tailor the product closely to a market niche.

 
The result was a steep decline in the quality and salability of Burkinabean cotton. (Note also how this is yet another example of foisting the technology on a customer lacking the infrastructure to use it effectively.)
 
 
“Geneticists like Dever say the problem was the process, not the Bt gene.” By “the process” they mean the technical backcrossing process, while by “the Bt gene” they mean the transgene, but also the entire paradigm of GM crops. But on the contrary the Burkina Faso fiasco is a microcosm of how GMOs don’t work, solve problems which don’t exist and make existing problems worse, and are deployed with zero concern for any context or value other than profit, power, and the religious commitment to the idea of genetic engineering as such. The problem is indeed the entire process, and the entire paradigm of genetic engineering.
 
Meanwhile: “Mali, Africa’s number two producer and Burkina Faso’s main local rival, says it stuck with conventional, high-quality strains; it says this decision gave it an edge over its GM rivals.”
 
 
 
 
 

November 19, 2017

Trickles and Blasts

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Life is complete right here

 
 
Picture a steady trickle of water from a faucet. Now picture this trickle, over hundreds of millions of years, filling a cistern whose walls gradually close in. Eventually the water would be so compressed that if you could insert a pipe the water would blast out with great force.
 
So far the analogy with an oil well is fairly direct. And for the sake of argument let’s go further and say the compressed water could be extracted and its force used in all kinds of ways. So we have an analogy with fossil fuels.
 
Now instead let’s say we want to go directly to the trickle and extract force from it. Immediately we see the problem. Yet the cultists of industrial renewables – industrial wind farms, concentrated solar panels, the whole notion of using solar power for consumerist electricity generation – think that the concentrated solar energy of hundreds of millions of years, compressed into fossil fuels (and of course it took vastly greater energy to concentrate fossil fuels in the first place than is contained in the fossil fuels themselves), can be replaced by tapping the present trickle. This is an example of the religious insanity of the modern ideological complex of productionism-consumerism-technocracy-scientism-progress-corporate rule.
 
It’s no wonder the apostles of a renewables-based “future” always support the fossil fuel status quo in the present. Just as almost all who verbally deplore climate change support this climate-wracking status quo. And as a Green Queen might say, it’s “fossil fuels today, renewables tomorrow, never renewables today!” Because deep down they know that the great renewables Millennium, like all utopian techno-hype, is a pipe dream. The idea of powering the extreme energy civilization on renewables is only that: An empty idea, a propaganda campaign. Like all other such propaganda, its purpose is to prop up faltering faith in the model of civilization based on fossil fuels, extreme energy consumption, productionism, and high-maintenance technology. Its purpose is to keep the gate against any thought of an ecological future. Keep “civilized” (i.e. technocratic) thought and action in, keep ecological thought and action out.
 
But the faith continues to falter, because deep down everyone knows fossil fuels are finite, these cannot be replaced, the Earth is not an infinitely disposable waste dump, Gaia shall impose its correction, there will be no technological savior and there are no “stars” to go to (i.e., no god will descend to save us, which is what both of these really mean). The extreme energy civilization, having bottlenecked all human potential and driven humanity into a socioeconomic and political dead end, now drives itself into its own terminal bottleneck.
 
Anyone who feels bottlenecked, whatever the surface reason seems to be, must understand that yours is a symptom of a global ecological crisis. You cannot solve your crisis within the bottleneck which causes it any more than the civilization can pull itself out of its own bottleneck.
 
There’s only one liberation, for all of us, for humanity, for the hope of an ecological civilization. This is to liberate ourselves from the decadent barbarism of the corporate-technocratic extreme energy Babylon. We must liberate ourselves first in thought, and propagate the necessary new ideas. Then we must organize, taking all actions possible within the existing framework, while preparing for the coming physical, political, and spiritual tribulations as the extremist civilization begins its collapse in earnest.
 
Renewable energy offers great benefits for the coming transformation. We must think in terms of passive solar heating, rebuilding and improving wind energy for pumping water and other on-site and local uses, small-scale electrical generation, and similar uses. In the same way many of us are working on agroecology, many are working on a truly rational theory and practice for renewable energy, starting with off-grid development today. These are thoughts and actions toward a human ecological future.
 
But typically extreme, gigantist, megalomaniacal notions of renewables powering vast cities floating on the sand are nothing but typical desert mirages, as often occur in the minds of those crazy from the heat. We must renounce such dinosaur notions ourselves and counteract them by propagating the necessary new ideas, the ideas of an ecological way of life, which is the only possible human way of life.
 
The trickle is indeed more than enough for all we need and all we could sanely want. For four billon years now it’s been more than enough for all life on Earth. All we need is to give up the insanity of thinking we need the blast.
 
 
 
 
 

November 4, 2017

The Lies of the CRISPR/Gene Editing Media Campaign

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The allegedly “new” GMOs are nothing but retreads of the old in every way. This is the case no matter whether the flacks call them by a technical name like CRISPR or Zinc Finger Nuclease, “gene editing”, “new breeding techniques”, or the more internet-colloquial GMOs 2.0 or what have you. The alleged novelty of these retreads is just the latest lie designed to rehabilitate all the same stale old lies.
 
GMO critics often have noted the self-contradiction between the original lie that genetic engineering was “precise” and the more recent hype touting CRISPR as “more precise than earlier methods”, thus conceding that these methods weren’t all that precise. This Wall Street Journal piece goes further, openly acknowledging that the GMO cartel wants simply to start over and “reset” all the lies. It doesn’t even say “more precise” but that “gene-editing technology…enables scientists to make precise changes to plants’ existing DNA”, thus admitting the complete lack of precision of the earlier methods. They’re also simply starting over with the lie equating genetic engineering with conventional breeding. The idea, evidently, is to pretend they never deployed these same lies for the earlier generation of GMOs, and that these lies weren’t all completely debunked.
 
Of course the same liars who tout the alleged greater precision of the retread GMOs still claim in other contexts that the old GMOs are “precise”. So we have two mutually exclusive versions of the “precision” lie being double-thought at all times by the same pro-GM activist liars. Then there’s the stealth version of the lie where a pro-GMO activist, pretending to be reasonable, concedes the failure of GM-based agriculture and pays lip service to emphasizing better farming practices over technological magic bullets, but in the very course of this smuggles in “gene editing” as “…a very different thing to GM [which] will change the whole picture.” This is the furthest I’ve seen a pro-GMO activist go in denigrating earlier GMOs while stealth-touting gene editing as something completely different and with completely different future prospects. In the same way as the more brazen liars he’s trying to get a do-over, a new beginning, for the products of genetic engineering. This fits with my analysis of agricultural GMOs as a stalking horse and preliminary experiment toward GE human eugenics, with animal modification a mid-point. And indeed pseudo-precise gene editing already is being used in human eugenic experimentation.
 
There’s more propaganda along those lines in these pieces, including a typical, indeed standard example of the reporter himself asserting “CRISPR is a far more accurate method of modifying genes than scientists have had access to before” instead of reporting this as a claim being made by the developers and sellers, the way a bona fide journalist would. This and other installments comprise a coordinated mainstream media propaganda campaign dedicated to ensuring the retreads are exempt from the meager, usually farcical regulation earlier GMOs were subject to, and to persuading the public to rescind its suspicion of GMOs as such by trying to convince them of all the same “precision” lies which were so evidently false the first time around.
 
This campaign also is a good example of a much greater confusion and lie. In principle science and technological development (engineering) are two completely different, although often related, things. I stress often but not necessarily related, since in the case of genetic engineering we have one of the cases where the technical deployment has nothing to do with the state of the science and indeed runs counter to it. Genetic engineering is based on nothing but determinist junk science and brute force empiricism (best symbolized by the fact that they literally shoot the transgenes into tissue cultured cells with a gun; read Lords of the Harvest for the image of how gene gun experimenters literally got splattered with onion gore; “precision” indeed!) and has almost nothing to do with science. Indeed, the more the actual science of genetics learns, the more geneticists realize how basically ignorant they are about how the genome works, and how impossible it is to attain any kind of “precision” with artificial genetic manipulation. Here’s a recent book (published in 2016) on the state of genetic science, written by a geneticist who is typically pro-GM. That is, no one could accuse her of slanting anything in an anti-biotech way. And yet the book completely demolishes any claim that genetic engineers could ever have the slightest idea what they’re doing and what the effects will be. (The author seems unaware of this; she’s an example of the double-think I described above.) Yet the propaganda of genetic engineering always systematically has conflated engineering with “science”. The media’s propaganda campaign touting gene editing is a typical example.
 
This leads to one of my basic points, that today’s establishment “science” is indeed nothing but the corporate science paradigm. (Cf. Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions for his use of the terms “science paradigm” and “normal science”.) Under the corporate science paradigm, “science” is indeed defined as nothing more or less than the development of profitable technologies. From that point of view, GMO deployment would be called “science”. But this has zero to do with the mythology of the scientific method like we were taught in school, and in fact directly contradicts it. Yet the professional liars depend upon the average pseudo-educated reader to conflate the two in their mind.
 
The CRIPSR media campaign boils down to one of the fundamental political lies: [Insert failed policy] had this-or-that problem the hundred times we touted it before, but THIS time we really promise it’ll work, so believe us again and keep submitting. The most amazing thing is that this self-evident mode of lying works, so long as there’s enough people who are still desperate enough to believe the lie. In the case of genetic engineering, the idea and its toolkit of canned lies comprise a proxy for the crumbling, ever more desperate religious faith of middle class Westerners in technocratic “progress”. As I’ve long said, GMOs are most of all a propaganda campaign. Until enough Westerners are willing to face reality and psychologically burn their ships, the GMO idea, and from there the real-world deployment, will continue to have traction. That’s why the “anti-GMO” people as well are so peculiarly ambivalent and modest in their prescriptions: Most of them too are pro-technocracy consumerists whose opposition to one facet of that system (GM/pesticide food) is more a personal fluke than anything based in a coherent opposition to the system of which genetic engineering and eugenics comprise the supreme idea and product.
 
 
Propagate the necessary new ideas.
 
 
 
 
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