Blacknell.net

Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

Friday Notes: Feeling Like I’m Missing Something Edition

If you live in the US, the initials GM probably bring a car company to mind, and then likely nothing after that.  If you live in the EU, you’re probably sick to death of hearing about Genetically Modified food.  I’ve always been a bit disappointed by the lack of a public conversation about it in the US.  Not because I think that GM necessarily equals danger to human health – that’s a question of science.  Rather, I have strong societal concerns about it – something as basic as food ought not be subject to intellectual property laws, and thus controlled by a few owners.  There’s a great quick summary over at Phronesisaical, which in turn points us to this Vanity Fair article on Monsanto, describing it as:

a look at Monsanto’s approach to “protecting” its intellectual property — its phalanx of investigators and lawyers threatening farmers (and some non-farmers) who they suspect of planting their GMO seeds without paying for them.

Worth reading.

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The Republican Party of Virginia is having its nominating convention this weekend (apparently picking their nominee is too important to be left to a statewide vote).  Waldo gives us his wishlist of results.  My favorite observation:

[G]iven a choice, Virginia Republicans will always choose wrong. Not wrong in hindsight, but wrong like should I pick up some dinner on the way home, or drive off a bridge?

Me, I’m not standing under any bridges this weekend.

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Something I think might be informative to the recent conversation here about the death penalty is Jared Diamond’s examination of vengeance and the impact that the state has on expressing (and suppressing) one of our most powerful emotions.

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3 Comments

  1. Peej

    “[G]iven a choice, Virginia Republicans will always choose wrong. Not wrong in hindsight, but wrong like should I pick up some dinner on the way home, or drive off a bridge?”

    Hah, that sounds like something out of the Jim Carrey standup routine about impulses!

  2. My Friday notes:

    Hello from Savannah, GA.

    We came here from Atlanta, where we went to Six Flags Over Georgia. Have you ever felt that someday human-sized costumed WB cartoon characters would take over the world? Too late, I did that on Wednesday. Thanks, Bugs.

    2. I also don’t recommend spending the week with your family, in the car, in the restaurant, in the hotel room, etc. I will need a few weeks to recover.

    3. RPV = the latest in the epidemic of stupidity going around. It’s a pitiable sight.

  3. MB

    Savannah is one of my favorite places in the world. Six Flags is not, but given that I think I only paid for entrance twice out of the 50 something times I must have gone there in high school, I suppose I should appreciate that place, too.

    If the family gets to be too much, Savannah is an *excellent* place to go on a bender. Just make sure you don’t all do that together, too.

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