Saturday, June 23, 2012

maybe-we-dont-know-as-much-as-we-think about GM foods

"Preliminary tests revealed the Tifton 85 grass, which has been here for years, had suddenly started producing cyanide gas, poisoning the cattle.
'Coming off the drought that we had the last two years ... we're concerned it was a combination of events that led us to this,' Dr. Gary Warner, an Elgin veterinarian and cattle specialist who conducted the 15 necropsies, told Kelly.
What is more worrisome: Other farmers have tested their Tifton 85 grass, and several in Bastrop County have found their fields are also toxic with cyanide. However, no other cattle have died."

So... maybe we should go a little slower on this genetic modification of our foods?  If one variety decides to start pumping out poison after a while, that's not a good sign.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Occupy Our Homes saves foreclosures

"The group also aided a Detroit husband and wife who spent months worrying they could be evicted from their home of twenty-two years. The couple received news they would be permitted to stay after an aggressive campaign that was led by members of Moratorium Now, Occupy Detroit and Homes Before Banks and included the family’s supporters blocking the contractor from placing the dumpster.
Additionally, Occupy Atlanta prevented the eviction of a family when two dozen protesters encamped on the family’s lawn, and Occupy Our Homes delayed another foreclosure in Rochester, as did Occupy Cleveland in November."

Why do banks so aggressively foreclose?  It turns them into homeowners, which is not how this is supposed to work. Then the banks are responsible for upkeep.  why not RENT the home to the previous homeowners if nothing else?  Or renegotiate a tad to at least save some mortgages.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Buy direct, cut out the middleman, save $

"Athens, Greece - When an economy shrinks, prices are meant to go down in response to falling demand. This has not happened in Greece - at least not yet. While the Greek economy shrank by an average of five per cent a year between 2009 and 2011, consumer prices rose by an average 3.7 per cent a year. The combination of falling revenues and rising prices has led to an explosive political mix."
"The potato movement is giving renewed impetus to two institutions that could have been expected to channel market economics in hard times but didn't. The first, farmers' cooperatives, were set up in the 1980s to give producers the clout to compete with wholesalers. 'Cooperatives have the ability to sweep wholesalers aside, but they don't sell any cheaper,' Kamenidis said. 'They mark up produce even more.'
Farmers' markets, set up throughout Greece to help producers compete with retailers, also reportedly fall prey to the same greed. "Producers have succumbed to the logic of the market. They are trying to gouge consumers in the same way as middlemen," Ilias Tsolakidis, who created the Pieria group in Katerini, told Al Jazeera."

So the idea is for farmers to sell directly to consumers. This idea is actually older than our current system, of course.  Or you just grow your own food, which is time consuming but even better.  If the farmers get greedy, find a work-around for that too.  Way to go Greece!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

old quote on a modern problem

"So long as all the increased wealth which modern progress brings goes but to build up great fortunes, to increase luxury and make sharper the contrast between the House of Have and the House of Want, progress is not real and cannot be permanent." [Henry George, 1876]