Thursday, May 31, 2012

The "Queering" of America ... J. D. Longstreet

The "Queering" of America
Advancing the Homosexual Agenda in America
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
"Queer" was the acceptable term used to define homosexuals in America when I was a wee lad.  Now, well after the introduction (from Europe) of the Political Correctness agenda, homosexuals are referred to as "gay."  In my opinion, that compromises a perfectly good word in the English language that used to mean, "happy."

Two things are going on here.  Two very important, society and life changing agendas have joined together to force Americans to accept a way of life that is destructive to the individual and to society as a whole.

Political correctness is simply another name/term for "moral relativism."  Defined honestly, it is nothing more than a mask placed over the truth by a deliberate choice of words that convey a different meaning for -- and -- are intended to deflect a seeker of fact and truth from his/her goal ... the realization of certain facts or the truth.

Moral relativism is insidious.  It is man's way of giving himself approval to do the unthinkable.  Religiously, moral relativism allows one to sin with no guilt.  In law it allows one to violate the law with no guilt.    Moral relativism allows one to drown kittens, for instance, and not only feel no guilt, but to actually enjoy the experience as he reveals his treachery to others.

Moral relativism, known today as political correctness, is a tool of evil forged in Hell's foundry and deployed by the minions of The Evil One to advance the cause of man's defiance of all things good and decent -- even man's God. 

Political correctness/moral relativism is in direct conflict with the Judeo-Christian faith.   While the Judeo-Christian faith teaches right and wrong -- and the difference -- moral relativism teaches that there is no absolute right and there is no absolute wrong ... period.

Understand that civil law, for the most part, is based on the Judeo-Christian code of what is right and what is wrong.  Under moral relativism, each individual gets to decide what is right and wrong for himself/herself, never mind the Judeo-Christian code, and never mind the law based upon that code.

Political correctness, in my opinion, is pure, unadulterated EVIL.

Life is totally meaningless.  That is the basis for political correctness/moral relativism.  Under that reasoning there is no point in adherence to a code of good and bad, of decent and indecent behavior, of a lifestyle that contributes to the well being of all fellowman, or is strictly selfish, self-centered, and self-absorbed.  It makes no difference, whatsoever, because, hey, anything goes. 

Studies indicate 75% of American college professors currently teach that there is no such thing as right and wrong. Rather, they treat the questions of good and evil as relative to "individual values and cultural diversity."

The problem with this, according to Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, is that "they see the world not as it is, but as they want it to be. And annoying questions about moral absolutes and unacceptable behavior are usually left unanswered."  Source:           
You can easily see how and why those pushing the homosexual agenda in America latched onto political correctness, not only as a tool, but as a weapon to make themselves feel better about their own behavior, and to use as a bludgeon to force a society whose moral code and civil law code is based on the morality of the Judeo-Christian faith to accept the homosexual lifestyle as normal.

Today, in America, homosexuality is on display all around us.  It cannot be escaped.  Even the words "Homosexual Agenda" are said to be a pejorative term used by conservatives.  Pejorative, huh?  Do you see the use of moral relativism/political correctness at play in these few words.  

The homosexual agenda IS an agenda and it is hard at work everywhere in American society -- in our schools, or churches, in the workplace, EVERYWHERE.

The entertainment industry is pushing the homosexual agenda as though it were on steroids.  When a new TV show debuts, my wife and I begin openly guessing who the resident homosexual will be among the cast of the program. 

Our children are being indoctrinated in school that homosexuality is "normal."   Somehow, we've managed to "forget that a man and a woman having sexual relations and producing children, which guarantees the continued exitance of the human species -- IS NORMAL!   

The Homosexual Agenda is real.  "In 2003 Alan Sears and Craig Osten, president and vice-president of the Alliance Defense Fund, an American conservative Christian organization, offered another characterization:

    It is an agenda that they basically set in the late 1980s, in a book called After the Ball, where they laid out a six-point plan for how they could transform the beliefs of ordinary Americans with regard to homosexual behavior — in a decade-long time frame.... They admit it privately, but they will not say that publicly.[12] In their private publications, homosexual activists make it very clear that there is an agenda. The six-point agenda that they laid out in 1989 was explicit:

       1. Talk about gays and gayness as loudly and as often as possible(...)
       2. Portray gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers(...)
       3. Give homosexual protectors a just cause(...)
       4. Make gays look good(...)
       5. Make the victimizers look bad(...)
       6. Get funds from corporate America(...)"

In a recent article entitled: "Gay Superheroes?  Boycott DC Comics!"  author Alan Caruba says:  "Shame on the rest of us who stand idly by while the President of the United States casually dismisses the ancient and essential element of society—marriage—and the spiritual blessing bestowed on the union of one man and one woman as irrelevant.

According to Wikipedia, “As of April 2011, approximately 3.5% of American adults identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, while 0.3% are transgender—approximately 11.7 million Americans.” There was a time gays were “in the closet” and being homosexual was best kept private. Now gays parade in the streets, demand their “rights”, and seem to be everywhere in the public culture and media. For a mere 3.5% of the     population, they make a lot of noise."  Source:

As usual, Caruba is spot-on.  Judging from the volume of those pushing the homosexual agenda, you'd think half the population of America is homosexual.  But they're not.  They're only a tiny percentage of our population using political correctness/moral relativism much the me as a teenager plugs his electric guitar into an electronic amplifier.  Without that amplifier, the sounds made by that guitar are barely audible.  With it, a single guitar can drown-out all the other instruments in the band.

Once again, a minority is setting the standards for American society.  Once again their noise has caused us to lose perspective.  Isn't it about time the majority in America reassert itself and reclaim its country and its society?

J. D. Longstreet

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Not THIS Time! ... J. D. Longstreet

Not THIS Time!
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

Every so often in life there comes a time when inaction is the best action.  In other words -- do nothing.

This is such a time.  I refer to the crisis in Syria.

While the slaughter in Syria cries out for someone/some country or countries to get between the warring factions and stop the blood letting, it is NOT the place of the United States to intervene.  Not THIS time.

May I remind you -- they HATE Americans!  We are the Great Satan, remember?  Stepping in now, in what is essentially a civil war in Syria, is certainly not going to do a single thing to make the Syrians or the Islamic peoples of the Middle East love us -- or -- even hate us less.

The Syrian quagmire is beckoning someone, anyone,  to get sucked in.  The US should tread very carefully here and not allow our charity to override clear thinking.

While American "hawks" in the Congress are bristling and showing their fangs, no one should be surprised if the US government fails to act.

Let me be clear:  I expect, at some point, US officials will be swayed to, at least, send arms to the Syrian rebels.  Sounds great, right?  I mean, we get to assist the underdog again.  You know.  Like we did in Afghanistan against the Russians.  Remember? 

Uh, who, exactly, are WE fighting today in Afghanistan ... huh? 

Yep.  The very same people to whom we provided arms in their fight against Russia. Oh, and one of their leaders was a guy you may have heard of ... Osama Bin Laden.

There is a near overpowering urge to take delight in standing on the sidelines and watching America's enemies tear each other apart.  It is a feeling, an emotion, if you will,  as old as man.  Wolves, that were attacking him, have suddenly turned on themselves and are ripping each other to shreds.  It is only human to feel relief that your enemies are about to be decimated -- at their own hand.

I refuse to accept any feelings of guilt for that authentic human emotion.

I also refuse to accept guilt when I see nothing in the national interest of the United States that would compel the US to offer up more blood and treasure to save a people who are our enemies now and will continue to be our enemies when the dust settles and the blood drains away into the sewers.

Cold?  Maybe.  Realistic? Absolutely!

The United States became the global police by default --  the world's sheriff, if you will.  So long as the world insists on the US carrying that burden then the global community is going to have to accept that we will pick and choose our battles/wars.

At my last count, there were something like one hundred and ninety-three countries on this planet.  That leaves one hundred and ninety-two who, it seems to me, ought to, and COULD, step up and handle the situation in Syria.  Look, the Arab nations in Syria's own backyard are standing around wringing their hands and casting their eyes, pleadingly, toward the US.   Do you see why the people of America are asking -- why don't YOU do something?

You will have noticed, by now, that I have not mentioned the United Nations breaking up this family feud.    There's an excellent reason I left them out, or, at least on the periphery.  The plain truth is -- the UN is a joke -- a BAD joke.  The only people who take them seriously are -- well, truthfully, nobody leaps to mind.  I mean, there ARE those countries that USE the UN, like Russia, China, and even the US, to some degree, but those countries are sophisticated enough to know that the UN is only good as a water boy for the big guys on the block.  It is a "playpen" for the worlds bad kids, tin-horn dictators, third-world monarchs, bush-country bandits and pirates, so-called socialist dictators, and such.  Serious countries, I mean REAL governments -- as in the western democracies -- KNOW what the UN REALLY is and they put very little stock in it for anything.  It is a "strutting and stroking society," and very little else.  The UN is quite likely history's largest "cluster blunder," ever!

I am convinced the ONLY reason the US maintains membership in the United Nations is simply because the US needs to be able to keep an eye on them -- much as wary parents keep a watchful eye on their errant kids.

The UN can always be counted on to make things worse.   Their "Responsibility to Protect" philosophy is just one of their programs that is guaranteed to keep the world at war -- indefinitely (Maybe the better word here would be: FOREVER!).  Keeping the world at war for a prolonged period would seem an integral part of their scheme to create a one-world government (called global governance) with the UN as the ruling body over the entire planet.  But that's a story for a future commentary.

On the other hand, I fully expect we will see the UN's  "Responsibility to Protect" program/scheme rolled-out any day now in reference to the mayhem in Syria. 
The US MUST NOT allow itself to be suckered into flushing more of its treasure and more of the blood of its troops into the vast septic tank created by the UN's connivance.  Besides, we must be about the job of re-arming and allowing our battle-hardened/battle weary troops some R&R as we prepare for the looming war with Iran proper over their nuclear ambitions.

Unfortunately, America's current Presidential administration can be expected to buckle under the international pressure and the pressure from domestic "hawks."  Truly, TRULY,  unfortunate, for the American people, is the fact that the Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces is a lackey of the United Nations.  This can-- and -- this MUST be corrected in November.

While it is truly disturbing to see men, women, and children literally slaughtered by a brutal dictator, the hard truth is -- the United States cannot assume the  thankless responsibility of rescuing another Islamic nation.  It is past time they grew up, put their tribal and religious blood feuds behind them  and learned to live in the modern world.

The American people understand that a war with Iran is in the offing.  It has been brewing since the Carter Administration. When it comes, hell will be unleashed on Iran. 

Americans don't want war with Iran,  but they understand that with each passing day it becomes less avoidable. 

But it must be understood that Americans are tired of rescuing countries, and propping up their governments, only to see them spiral right back into the political morass from which American blood and treasure rescued them in the first place. 

When Americans view the utter mess in Syria objectively, they see Iraq and Afghanistan all over again.  And THAT they will not abide.  Not again.  Not this time. 

J. D. Longstreet

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Obama Frantic For A Deal With Iran ... J. D. Longstreet

Obama Frantic For A Deal With Iran
A Realistic Israel Leery and Frustrated
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

Israel/Netanyahu has reluctantly, and even hesitantly, agreed to step back from the military brink with Iran to allow Obama a six-month window within which to win an agreement with Iran in which the latter would abandon it's endeavor to create a nuclear bomb.

Here's what DEBKAfile reported on May 19th:  "Netanyahu and Ehud Barak have decided to stand back for Barack Obama to put his interim deal with Iran to the test, debkafile’s sources report. They decided to go along with it despite their reservations after receiving assurances from the White House that any Iranian violations would result in the immediate termination of all negotiations and bring military action forward as the sole remaining option for stopping a nuclear Iran. It was not clear if US intended to exercise the military itself. The Obama administration handed similar assurances to the G-8 leaders meeting at Camp David Saturday May 19.

That same report from DEBKAFILE went on to say the following:  " Israel’s qualified acquiescence to the deal negotiated by Washington was accompanied by assertions by its ministers that Iran was lying about its nuclear intentions and playing the world for a fool. Tehran would therefore not stand up to the test."

It's not going well for Obama.

Iran is playing Obama like a Stradivarius.  Plus, Obama, as the naive kid on the block, has invited Russia into the negotiation so than any deal with Iran will include Russia,  thereby bringing a third party influence to the mix.  (Actually, considering that Israel has given up none of its stake in the deal, there will now be FOUR countries involved in the negotiations even though Israel is silent.)

Think about it a moment:  Russia backs Iran AND Syria.  Iran Backs Syria, as well.  Obama's blunder has now connected BOTH issues in such a way that the problem with a single country, Iran, is now a regional problem making the matter much, much, more complicated than before.  It also turns the heat on Israel up even more.

Seems to me, Obama is going to have to produce some extremely fancy footwork while perfectly juggling all the countries now involved and, at the same time, try to convince Israel not to renege on the deal with him and go bomb the living daylights out of Iran

To be a fly on the wall within Israel's government, (Netanyahu's office, perhaps)  would, I suspect, be very, well, interesting!  It is well to remember that when Israel is publicly silent, that is when Israel is most dangerous to her enemies.

Obama has rolled the dice and he is losing this crap game.

Why Mr. Obama seems always afraid to go it alone, to stand tall, like a man, and confront America's enemies rather than seek refuge in numbers and/or behind the skirts of America's allies -- and in Russia's case -- America's enemies -- is an utter mystery.  Does he not understand it makes him, and America, appear weak?  Does he not understand that in world politics perception is extremely important?  Does he not understand that he is embarrassing his countrymen? 

I have lived through a lot of US Presidential administrations and I have yet to experience an American presidential administration as TIMID as the Obama administration.  Considering the timidity of the Carter administration,  that is saying a LOT.

No wonder Netanyahu is frustrated.  Bibi walks, talks and acts like a man, an Alpha male, if you will.   I would expect he would prefer to interact with an American with the same traits.  Alas, he is stymied with Obama, an obvious metrosexual male -- and it must be exasperating, infuriating, and confounding,  all at the same time.

In the meantime, the mess Obama is making of the Iranian situation is doing absolutely nothing toward moving the Iranians off the dime.  Indeed, it would appear that it is only muddying the waters even more. In the end, when military action is finally taken it is this kind of "dance of the diplomatic dunces" that will run the death toll upwards and extend the military action longer than would have been necessary otherwise.

By bringing Russia into the negotiations with Iran, Obama has pulled the unmitigated mess in Syria into the mix as well.

Why?  Is this part of that "flexibility" Obama promised Putin he'd demonstrate after the November election?

Russia is supporting Bashar Assad, dictator of Syria, with arms, moral support, and -- there have been reports that Russian boots are actually on the ground in Syria, as well. With Washington actively considering sending arms to the rebels in Syria, we may well be looking at another proxy war between the United States and Russia.  Shades of the old Cold War, huh?

From DEBKAfile comes this:  "The Iranian nuclear impasse and the Syrian civil war are more tightly interlinked than ever by President Barack Obama’s decision to cooperate with Moscow for solutions of both - a partnership that promises the eventual three-way carving-up of Middle East influence. The six-month break Israel allowed Obama for diplomatic solutions before exercising its military option, gives Tehran the freedom to defy the six powers in nuclear negotiations and ties US hands against Bashar Assad’s atrocities. Obama's diplomatic path is already cluttered with obstacles."

In the meantime, there are reports (by Reuters) from the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) that Iran has enough high grade uranium to produce at least five (5) nuclear bombs.  The report by Reuters continued: "This is nearly 750 kg more than in the previous IAEA report issued in February, and ISIS said Iran's monthly production had risen by roughly a third.

"This total amount of 3.5 percent low enriched uranium hexafluoride, if further enriched to weapon grade, is enough to make over five nuclear weapons," ISIS said in its analysis."

It would appear that Iran is less than persuaded by Mr. Obama's argument and/or threats(?).  Need anyone be surprised?

Courtesy of the carter administration, Iran has much experience in "negotiating" with an American president and, as a result, has little, if any, respect for the office of the US President.  They will do (or say) whatever they feel necessary to maintain these on-going "talks" while, behind the curtain, they are continuing to enrich uranium as quickly and efficiently as possible.  When they are ready, or when they grow tired of the charade, they will pull the plug on the talks and leave Obama slack-jawed wondering what happened.

In the meantime, Israel would be well advised to maintain its military on a high state of alert while seriously considering canceling the deal with Obama in favor of the continued existence of their country.

J. D. Longstreet

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Day Bought With Blood ... J. D. Longstreet

A Day Bought With Blood
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
I worry about America ... a LOT.   We have become so removed from our heritage, our history, and the core values upon which this country was founded that we have lost our way and we are foundering and in real danger of collapse. 

Our culture is now so crude, so repellent, AND repugnant, that the good people of Sodom and Gomorrah would blush -- were they to see us today.

America has become the sort of country to which WE (America) used to send missionaries!

There IS a struggle in progress for America -- but the soul of the country has long been lost.  Nothing much is left today but a hollowed-out husk of a nation that once led the world from the pinnacle of power and influence.  Like the Roman Empire, America died at its own hand.

All we have left today are memories of a time of grandeur.  And even those pictures from the past are fading into nothingness.

And it was quick. Oh, how swiftly we succumbed to the assault on our foundation.  We thought it was solid -- built on granite of the ages -- only to learn that it wasn't granite, it was, in fact, sand, a house built on sand.  And like that proverbial house, it was swept away by our own avarice, our own covetousness, our own selfishness, laziness, our inability to grasp the obvious, which was simply -- that America had chosen the lap of luxury over the eternal fight for freedom. Added to all the above was the loss of American's will to preserve the most precious gift their ancestors had to give -- freedom and liberty. 

When Americans finally reached a point in the evolution of the country that they no longer VALUED freedom, the fate of the country was sealed.

America's founders knew -- and understood fully -- that freedom is not free.  It exacts a price. It is bought, over, and over again, with blood.  It can be obtained no other way.  Blood is the ONLY acceptable currency when purchasing one's freedom.  A peoples simply GIVEN freedom do not value it.  They cannot -- for the know nothing of its cost. And they soon lose it.  Freedom once lost is almost never regained. 

Once a people have acquired their freedom -- it must be maintained.   It, too, requires blood payment.  Even more important is the fact that to maintain one's freedom WILL is required.  A people must have the will to do that which is necessary to maintain their freedom -- or they will most certainly lose it.

Americans used to take pride in the expression: It's a free country."  You don't hear that much anymore.  Because we are not a free country -- anymore.

The state America finds herself in today is the culmination of a process that was begun many decades ago to slowly distance Americans from their birthright.  Yes, freedom is, or at least WAS, a birthright of modern Americans.  It bought and paid for by the men and women we are supposed to be remembering on this Memorial Day.  

G. K. Chesterton once said:  "The way to love anything is to realize it might be lost."  America has had at least two generations without the realization that "freedom" MIGHT be, or COULD be, lost.  They were the low hanging fruit for the leftist/globalist/multiculturalist agenda that has so successfully stripped America of its liberty.

So, how do you go about separating a people, a nation from its heritage, its history, and its core values?   Consider the following words carefully:  "The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history, Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. The world around it will forget even faster ..."  ......- Milan Kundera

Mr. Kundera was spot-on.  Today we use the word "revisionist" to describe the process he lays out above.  And it is absolutely effective.

We have a generation of Americans who haven't a clue WHO they are.  They have been taught that American culture is no better or worse than the culture of any other nation on earth.  "Multiculturalism" has been force-fed our young scholars in the government controlled public education system in America.  Their young minds were soaked in leftist propaganda for twelve years before they are delivered up to the masters of socialist and Marxist thought at the thresholds of the nation's colleges and universities we laughingly refer to as "institutions of higher learning."  I submit, they are a lot of things, but institutions of higher learning they are not.

They no longer believe in American Exceptionalism.  Even the American President denies the existence of an exceptional America pushing his own country from a leadership position in the world to just another member of the pack following ... WHOM or WHAT ... exactly?

Our young have been taught that the way to accomplish anything is to compromise.  Even when you are right ... compromise. 

Right never wins in compromise.

One of the greatest politicians ever produced by the state of North Carolina was Senator Jesse Helms.  As far back as 1959, Mr. Helms said:  "Compromise, hell!  If freedom is right and tyranny is wrong, why should those who belive in freedom treat it as if were a roll of Bologna to be bartered a slice at a time?"

But that is precisely what America did.  We compromised -- and we traded our freedom away.  We made a Faustian deal and the bill has come due.

What happened to our reason and to our common sense?  Regrettably, we traded and compromised it away, as well. 

Our national memory?  Almost gone.  Does anyone even remember what Memorial Day is all about, anymore?

Memorial Day was a day originally set aside as a day to remember our war dead and to honor those men and women who fought in all the wars of the United States.  Here, in the American South, we celebrate the Confederate dead as well as the US dead.  After all, Memorial Day began as a Southern holiday to honor the Confederate dead by cleaning their grave sites and cemeteries.

No longer.  Today we "celebrate" Memorial Day. 

There is something fundamentally WRONG about that. Where's the quiet contemplation owed America's warrior's for their sacrifice.  After all, Memorial Day, indeed, every day of freedom in America is a day bought and paid for in the blood of America's warriors.  This calls for solemnity -- not celebration.

No, I don't expect anything to change as a result of my comments here.  Unfortunately, we are too far down that slippery slope to ever climb back up.  But -- it needed saying.  A friend reminded me, only a couple of days ago, "someone needs to say these things."   And now-- someone has.

J. D. Longstreet

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rare corporate courage and common sense

Rare corporate courage and common sense
Wal-Mart stands up to activist intimidation, ensuring affordable, wholesome food for customers
Paul Driessen 

Good for Wal-Mart! Despite intense pressure by anti-biotechnology activists, the retailing giant didn’t cave in to demands that it “reject” Monsanto’s genetically engineered (GE) sweet corn (maize).
Other retailers had capitulated to intimidation campaigns by Food and Water Watch, Greenpeace and similar anti-technology groups: McDonald’s, Heinz, Frito-Lay, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods. So this rare display of corporate courage, ethics and common sense should be applauded.
FWW launched its campaign in January 2012, claiming GE corn “hasn’t been tested for human safety” and contains DNA traits that “are potentially unsafe.” What utter nonsense.
All biotech crops, including GE sweet corn, have gone through years of testing, studies and approval processes by the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Nutrition, Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Environmental Protection Agency and other labs, before being placed on the market. In fact, biotech crops have been tested far more rigorously than any other foods (including organic products), hundreds of peer-reviewed studies have determined that they are safe to eat. In the 16 years since such crops were first introduced in 1996, people have eaten more than two trillion servings of foods containing biotech ingredients – without a single documented case of injury to a person.
We all want safe, nutritious food, grown under the best agricultural and environmental practices. That’s what makes biotechnology so important. By precisely inserting specific traits into the genetic makeup of important food crops, scientists have been able to make many foods safer, equally or more nutritious, and better for the environment. The following traits are especially important.
Herbicide resistance. Corn that is resistant to Roundup or other herbicides enables farmers to employ no-till techniques to control weeds, instead of using cultivators to bury them too deep to grow. This preserves soil nutrients and organic matter, increases water absorption and retention, and significantly reduces erosion – improving soil fertility and crop yields, while reducing irrigation and fuel costs.
Insect resistance. A single gene (derived from a natural soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, and inserted into the corn genome) enables corn plants to make a protein that is harmless to humans, but disrupts the digestive system of insects that munch on the plants’ roots or kernels, while leaving ladybugs, butterflies and other beneficial insects unaffected. The Bt gene augments corn plants’ natural defenses, slashes insecticide spraying (by up to 85% for sweet corn), dramatically reduces corn borer (caterpillar) and rootworm (beetle larvae) damage, keeps roots healthy and plants alive, and minimizes the amount of insect-damaged corn ears that are left to rot in fields or are rejected by consumers and thrown out by grocers.
By killing insect borers in the ears, Bt corn largely eliminates pathways for fungal contamination that leads to dangerous levels of fumonisin in corn meal. This fungal toxin causes fatal diseases in horses and is linked to esophageal cancer in people and neural tube defects (like spinal bifida) in developing fetuses.
These benefits are hugely important for US farmers; for consumers who want safe, affordable, nutritious food; and especially for farmers and consumers in poor, drought-stricken, insect-plagued regions like Africa. They mean less land must be devoted to crops, leaving more for wildlife habitat, thereby improving biodiversity and ensuring sustainable agriculture. They explain why 10% of US sweet corn is already Bt (Syngenta introduced its Bt sweet corn more than a decade ago), 70% of processed foods in American diets contain ingredients from biotech crops (including corn, squash, soybeans, canola, sugarbeets and papayas), 88% of all corn (field and sweet) grown in the USA is biotech, and 17 million farmers in 29 nations (90% in developing countries) grow biotech crops on 395 million acres.
Wal-Mart doubtless understood all or most of this – and was not going be bamboozled or intimidated by a few noisy activists who did not represent its customers, sound science or the public interest.
Those activists may actually believe their allegations. They certainly know how to generate letters and phone calls, harass businesses, and frighten urban consumers who’ve never been on a farm, know little about how their food is produced, don’t understand genetics or biotechnology, and are thus susceptible to clever hoaxes and ridiculous claims by activists, who are often enlisted and paid by organic producers and retailers that profit mightily from their land and labor-intensive alternatives to conventional food.
In any event, Wal-Mart didn’t cave. So a few months later Food and Water Watch sent out a “we give up” letter, whining that Wal-Mart had “ignored the petitions, calls and public pressure” it had orchestrated. (Its 370-word letter included nine separate pitches for contributions.)
FWW also announced that it was launching a new campaign – to get state and federal laws passed, requiring that all GE foods be labeled. The proclaimed justification for labeling is that “people have a right to know what’s in their food and how it is produced.” The real reason is that labels will make it easier for anti-biotech activists to single out and stigmatize biotech products, generate consumer anxiety, and intimidate grocers into taking nutritious and perfectly safe products off their shelves.
While “progressive” (anti-business) states like California and Oregon may go along with this nonsense, responsible legislators will tell the activists to take a hike. Or they could require that all foods carry relevant (and spooky) safety labels, and consumers be offered more detailed information (prepared by competitors). For instance, lawmakers could mandate that organic products carry warnings like these.
* No studies have ever demonstrated that organic products are safer or more nutritious than milk, meat, fruits or vegetables produced by conventional or biotech methods.
* Various organic crops were developed using gamma rays, x-rays and potent chemicals like colchicine, to induce numerous (mostly unknown) mutations in seeds, in the hope that a few might be beneficial.
* Many organic farmers regularly spray live Bt spores and proteins, copper sulfate, petroleum oils and other insecticidal chemicals, to control crop pests. Some secretly use chemical herbicides and insecticides.
* Random testing has found that biotech corn meal has fumonisin levels well below the 500 parts per billion regulatory limit, whereas pure (non-blended) organic corn meal is often far above the limit – with some organic corn meal testing at 9,000 or even 16,000 ppb: 18-32 times above safety standards.
* Mad cow disease was first found on an English organic farm – and some organic dairy farmers continue milking cows infected with mastitis until the animals die, rather than treating them with antibiotics.
* The deadly spinach E. Coli outbreak several years ago was traced to a farm that was in transition from conventional to organic. Organic produce is always more susceptible to bacterial contamination, because the farmers rely on manure instead of chemical fertilizers (many derived from nitrogen in the air).
All these statements are true – but largely irrelevant. Thanks to regulations, inspections, and responsible practices by seed producers, farmers, processors and retailers, America’s food is generally very safe. The few occasional E. coli and salmonella outbreaks could be prevented by irradiating the most susceptible fruits, vegetables and meats – but anti-biotech activists also oppose irradiation. Go figure.
We’d all be better off if these ridiculous attacks on conventional and biotech (and organic) foods were simply thrown out with the garbage. Most critically, Third World farmers and families would suffer far less poverty, malnutrition, starvation, Vitamin A deficiency and deprivation, if anti-biotech activists (especially in Europe) would end their fanatical obsession about “potential” biotech “contamination” of conventional and organic foods (and flowers!) imported from Africa and other impoverished regions.
Meanwhile, let’s all congratulate Wal-Mart for taking a principled, ethical, scientific stand.
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death (