Thursday, October 30, 2014

My political choices...bleech.

I usually don't talk about politics.  But I thought I'd talk about some of my votes in the most non-ideological way I can.  There is no certainty in these things.

I'm not interested in arguing about them.

I consider myself a progressive liberal, but I can see how some of my my choices may seem conservative.  They are conservative in the old-fashioned sense, that is, I'm not interested in change for change sake.


For the GMO measure, I tend to come down on the side of the majority of science.  In this case, I believe the GMO's (probably) aren't harmful. 

In my opinion, you can't be a partaker of science when it is convenient to you, and a denier when it isn't.  The height of hypocrisy.  So for instance, it behooves me, if I believe the science of climate change, to believe that vaccines are helpful.  Hell, I drive a car, write on the internet, live in a cocoon of public health measures, all brought about by science.  So, I've often thought that if you don't want to vaccinate your kids, then you have to give up any modern medicine.  If you don't believe in climate change, you have to give up something else science has given you, you know, just to be consistent.

The idea that GMO's may have unintended consequences, Bill Nye, the science guy's argument, is almost persuasive, except that all human actions in nature have consequences, both positive and negative.

But even more to the point to me, and this is the conservative argument, would be: does labeling do any good?  Does it change either the behavior of the manufacturers or the consumer?

It appears to me like this is just a penalty, basically, a negative reinforcement, and a stalking horse.  I don't like people not coming out and saying what they really think. You want to outlaw GMO's and all that means, then say so.


I fully intended to vote for the legalization of marijuana.  But the closer I come to actually voting, the more I doubt.  I think pot had a negative effect on me as a teenager.  I'm convinced that it was partially responsible for the clinical depression I suffered as a young man.  It's been 45 years, and for most of that time, I've been anti-drug in a big way.

But I've come around to believing that the "war" on drugs has been counter productive.

I'm for decriminalizing pot -- but maybe not for legalizing it.  Which seems pretty contradictory.  So my brain says, vote yes.  But my heart says, vote no.

Again, a fundamentally conservative reaction.


For the city council, it was interesting to read The Sources recommendations.  Their argument basically was that the current council hasn't be proactive, and we need a new slate.

But from my perspective, not being proactive is a good thing.  The city council has done some dumb things over the years, and the wounds were self-inflicted.  If Juniper Ridge isn't good enough for the university (and it probably isn't) then it was a dumb idea.

The proactive stance I'm looking at now is the redesign of 3rd St.  I have a conservative reaction to this.  I think you would be likely to destroy or at least hurt most of the existing businesses in this part of town.

Yes, I have a business on the corner of 3rd and Greenwood, but I doubt any of these changes will happen soon enough to affect us.  But it does make me aware of the costs of these urban renewal projects.  I really do prefer that commercial interests change the nature of things, not government.  If you want to change something, then use incentives for businesses to get involved.

So, yeah, I'd like the city council to stick to the basics and stop promoting pie-in-the-sky boondoggles.

Still not sure how I'm going to vote on city council.  I will be voting for Barb Campbell because she is a fellow downtown business owner, and thus should have an awareness of what is needed down here.


For the rest of the slate, I'm voting Democratic.  The Source really did give me pause when they quoted Wilhelm as being inflexible, and Buehler as being non-ideological.

Except I don't believe it.  I think The Source is being naive about this.  I believe Buehler will be a full fledged member of the Republican caucus, and his 'independence' will go away until the next election.

I'll be voting for Jodie Barram for county commissioner because she seems so engaged in our local community.

And I'm not certain about any of it.


P. J. Grath said...

You’re breaking my heart. GMOs “probably” aren’t harmful? How much have you read on the subject? And who pays for what you accept as “information”?

Even if (and I don’t) one accepts that GMO seeds and crops themselves are identical to what nature and hybridization accomplish, the sad truth – and it’s even sadder that this truth is not reaching the American public – is that GMO crops, designed to be resistant to glyphosate herbicides, have now kicked plant evolution into high gear, with herbicide-resistant weeds. It’s the Cold War all over again, with escalation on both sides, corporate chemistry vs. nature. Weeds evolve to resist chemicals, and more and more chemicals are needed.

Our government has now re-approved old herbicides that were banned for years, and the total herbicide blanket now will be thicker than ever. These herbicides are systemic: they don’t kill the plants designed to tolerate them, but they are still there, in every part of the plant, coming to your dinner table now. The following are only a sample of information sources I found in a few minutes. The better solution is to subscribe to AcresUSA and get monthly “Eco-Update” and “Industrial Ag Watch” reports. What you get in mainstream media is so skewed and superficial that it is worse than nothing at all.

Human health, soil health, the health of livestock and of our water tables – there is nothing that is not affected.

It’s not a question of “partaking of” or “denying” science. More to the point is to look at objective scientific research and use its findings, rather than bury them under mountains of corporate-funded pseudo-studies. It is not “scientific” to leap onto every possibility without carefully weighing its consequences. Please!!!

P. J. Grath said...

Here's something I wrote about news in general and GMO/herbicide news in particular:

Duncan McGeary said...

"The broad scientific consensus that currently marketed GM food poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food has not eliminated public concerns about such risks. No reports of ill effects from currently marketed GM food have been documented in the human population. WIKI.

"Scientific Consensus: Scientific consensus is the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientists in a particular field of study. Consensus implies general agreement, though not necessarily unanimity."

Duncan McGeary said...

My reading of the National Academy of Sciences paper on the subject is that they have found no proof of danger to humans. However, they do express caution, and suggest further study.

P. J. Grath said...

Remember that science is, by its nature, and reasonably so, conservative. Consensus changes slowly, and it's difficult for individual scientists to go against the majority. Historically, this has always been true.

Studies done for 6 weeks on rats show no harm. The human life span is much longer.


Also think about those rising levels of toxins throughout the food supply. We are creating the world our grandchildren will inherit.