Saturday, October 12, 2013

World Food Day March Against Monsanto

At left: We had our second March Against Monsanto today in Falls Park. It was much smaller than our first march in May, but still pretty well-attended for Greenville.

We marched through our annual autumn downtown festival, Fall for Greenville, which is an excellent PR opportunity. We passed out leaflets, talked to interested onlookers and (hopefully) drew lots of attention. Today's demonstration has been organized globally around World Food Day.

Me and Mr Daisy are currently arguing over GMOs as I post this. (GMO = Genetically Modified Organism) Yes, we both hate Monsanto on principle, but Mr Daisy believes GMOs are safe and fills up my inbox with scientific studies.

If they are safe, why doesn't Monsanto want to label them? I personally believe GMOs are magnifying allergens in food, but I realize this is a hard assertion to prove. (Why do all these kids have peanut allergies these days? NO ONE I grew up with had peanut allergies. NO. ONE. And now? It's fairly common.)

I trust Monsanto as far as I can throw them.

And the argument continues!


Above, photos from today: 1) Save the bees! 2) protester shirt 3) part of our group masses in Falls Park.

As always, you can click all photos to enlarge. (More photos HERE.)


Radio updates:

As we reported on our show yesterday, South Carolina has granted ‘Stand Your Ground’ legal immunity to a man who shot at a car full of teen girls and instead killed an innocent 17-year-old black male bystander.

This is the first case of its kind. Apparently, Stand Your Ground now applies to innocent bystanders who may accidentally get shot. Rania Khalek (above link) reports:
That the victim was an innocent bystander rather than one of the alleged “aggressors” sets a new precedent for the application of Stand Your Ground, which can now shield people who are bad shots and accidentally shoot a bystander, from prosecution.

As 5th Circuit Assistant Solicitor April Sampson warned over the summer, a decision in favor of Scott marks “the first time any state in this Union” has awarded Stand Your Ground immunity in the killing of an innocent bystander.
The shooting happened on April 18, 2010. Shannon Anthony Scott (33), was arrested for the murder of 17-year-old unarmed Darrell Andre Niles, shot to death in his car. From Khalek's piece:
Richland County Judge Maite Murphy has thrown out those charges, ruling on Wednesday that Scott reasonably believed his life was in danger and is therefore immune from prosecution by the state’s 2006 Protection of Persons and Property ACT, South Carolina’s version of “Stand Your Ground”, a law that gives private citizens the right to use deadly force whenever and wherever they feel threatened.
We will be talking more about this story on the air in the next week, so stay tuned.


Thursday's show was about Raleigh (NC) police spying on NAACP Moral Monday planning meetings. The show included an informative interview with Kevin Gosztola, so CHECK US OUT.


JoJo said...

I was such an anomaly when I was a kid b/c I was the only one w/ food allergies. I don't know why all these kids have allergies now though; it's incredible. And the lactose intolerance, gluten has to be coming from somewhere.

Anonymous said...

tree roots = awesome!

Sevesteen said...

It's really easy to rely on the media and agree "OMG, Stand Your Ground, Racism!, rely on the police!"--but what should the laws be? What should happen when a preponderance of the initial evidence points to a valid self defense shooting--should that person go to jail anyway? Should deadly force be OK to use in self defense, and if so when?

I'm not sure I agree that a self defense shooter should be immune from civil damages if they harm innocent bystanders, but if they were acting in good faith, they shouldn't get criminal charges.

GMO foods have done unquestioned good in feeding people in starving countries. Allergies are often diagnosed on self-reported symptoms rather than verifiable tests (and for drug allergies people will say "I'm allergic to this drug because it gave me..." and go on to describe a symptom unrelated to the allargy--but if a doctor prescribes that drug anyway he's liable. We cannot eliminate all risk in life, and on balance I'll feed starving people and risk the other low-probability harms of GMO foods.

(and my word verification is dcommie)

DaisyDeadhead said...

Sevesteen, did you read the piece? The bystander may in fact have been safely seeing the shooter's daughter home when he was shot. Shooting at moving cars is irresponsible and I think hardly qualifies as someone's life being in danger, when they are, you know, DRIVING AWAY.

Is there ANY use of deadly force you don't approve of?

Sevesteen said...

Is there any law allowing self defense that you approve of?

Based on nothing more than the obviously biased story you point to, and assuming that local Stand Your Ground law is similar to the ones I'm familiar with, this appears to be a bad ruling rather than a bad law. Most SYG laws have a "reasonable man" clause--and even I don't consider shooting at the back end of a retreating car as reasonable under the circumstances that were reported.

The law will never be perfect, and at some point every attempt to add another law to fix one problem adds two more.

Stan Your Ground is more likely to benefit minorities than it will me. Minorities have been more likely to claim SYG, and more likely to succeed in those claims. Meanwhile, respectable middle aged white men like me already had de facto protection against most criminal charges--all I have to worry about is some TV advertizing lawyer suing me.

What do you think the laws should be here--No matter how clear-cut a case of self defense, someone needs to go to jail for a few days without a trial? The police should decide if it's "really" self defense primarily on the shooter's standing in the community? If I shoot someone who is obviously committing a violent felony against me just enough to make them stop, should they or their family be able to sue me for damages?

You keep pointing out how awful Stand Your Ground is...but what are your alternatives?

DaisyDeadhead said...

Sevesteen, the law has always allowed for self-defense. I know two people (one a biker with a record), who got off through claiming self defense (tellingly though: no guns involved). It was the NRA that largely invented "Stand Your Ground" and then made it legal to shoot someone AFTER you approach them and start a fight, as Zimmerman the wife-beating bully did. (They invented SYG to sell guns, and it worked. Advertising!)

In this case, the girl called her father ahead of time and said she was being followed BY A CARLOAD OF GIRLS. And instead, Dad (probably after a few brews), shoots a black male ... after all, shooting at GIRLS? Controversial! Might get him into trouble!

"Bad ruling" rather than "bad law"? Since we have now seen this outcome in multiple cases, it is CERTIFIABLY a bad law. (Just like Dred Scott was a bad ruling based on a bad law.)

This is not the white Midwest, this is the South. Like Florida, just flip a switch and this place can easily morph into a hotbed of racial/ethnic resentment--which is what Midwestern libertarians like you simply do not understand. Minorities will not have justice until they are fairly represented in congress, senate and the judiciary, obviously. As long as the southern-based Tea Party continues to run this place (through gerrymandering), then that will not happen. I am talking about systemic change, not short term band-aid solutions. No, SYG cannot help minorities in a place where they are being rendered more and more powerless every day.

If we lived in a fair country instead of a racist one, then everything would of course be hunky dory. But we instead live in a country in which white lawyers (who become white judges) see 17-year-old black youths as an intrinsic threat and then rule accordingly.

Its just like Amanda Knox in Italy: is she an irreligious, sexy, affluent American floozy? Well, yes. Okay then, off with her head: guilty. The facts of the case became secondary to emotion. That is not fairness or justice.

We see this easily when its in another country and directed at an American simply for being an American--yet you don't seem to see this when it's white judges/juries repeatedly ruling in favor of majorities.

Why don't you?

Conseglieri said...

Seversteen, just where have you ever seen any of us swallowing mainstream media stories without questioning them? Indeed, I think you will find that we look with a jaundiced eye even at alternative media sources.

If the evidence points to self defense then an investigation and trial is the way to establish these facts. When a child, uninvolved in ANY WAY gets caught up in needless crossfire, what is it that you suggest is a fair response? What would you tell this child's mother? "Shit happens" seems to be your attitude.

Deadly force is acceptable when one's life in in danger in an immediate sense. If you can walk or run away from someone trying to do you harm, that should be the first option. The cavalier attitude you have is astonishing to me. You come across to me as cold as ice. Maybe you think this is a game of "My freedom versus your oppression" but if you believe your right to shoot at anyone anywhere if you feel threatened then your freedom is crap in my mind.

You seem to believe that bankrupting the shooter will in some way compensate the family for the wanton killing of their child. I pray you nor anyone you know ever has to face this sort of killing. The idea that there is no price to pay for shooting at a passing car without any idea who is inside is beyond belief. I honestly have just about lost all respect for you and your comments. I imagine that's of little consequence to you, and that's fine, but it is what I feel about you at this point. You're not a libertarian, you're an advocate for chaos, he with the bigger gun and faster finger wins.

On an unrelated note, on what do you base your assertion that GMOs have done good in feeding starving people anywhere? That, it seems to me, is deserving of a link, and not to some think tank bull. Your assertion that GMOs have a "low probability" of harm also deserves proof. Read a bit about The Precautionary Principle and you may have a bit of a better understanding of why we are concerned along with millions of others across the globe.

Sevesteen said...

made it legal to shoot someone AFTER you approach them and start a fight,

Bullshit. I've read the actual text of several states' SYG laws. The language in all of those is quite similar, none of them allow you to be the initial aggressor and still claim SYG immunity. You either haven't read the law, or don't care about facts unless they are on your side. (I haven't read every state SYG law--point to reliable text showing one that works like you say, I will apologize)

as Zimmerman the wife-beating bully did.
When I said I wanted a divorce, my ex falsely claimed I abused her and filed before I did. Based on that, I must be a wife-beating bully, too. That was good enough to get jurisdiction in her county...but I wound up "winning" the divorce on the counterclaim, and wound up with full custody of both my children. She wound up arrested several times for failure to pay child support, then wound up in prison for unrelated crimes against other people.

Men aren't the only liars in divorce.

Boys, girls, doesn't matter--I don't see any legal excuse to shoot at them as they left, the danger was over.

Since we have now seen this outcome in multiple cases, it is CERTIFIABLY a bad law

You keep saying that. You keep including Martin/Zimmerman, where SYG didn't apply. You ignore studies that say minorities will more likely benefit from SYG. That seems extremely logical to me--I'm a relatively privileged middle aged white man who works in a respectable IT job, with "failure to yield" as my worst offense. My brother in law is an illiterate Hispanic foundry worker with an extensive arrest record and a minor criminal record (mostly alcohol related). He has been sober and law abiding for the last 30 years, he barely qualified to get a carry license. We both live in the same small, 90% White town. With SYG, he has almost as much chance of not getting arrested for valid self defense as I do without SYG.

You also keep avoiding what actual parts of the law are the problem.

In layman's terms, SYG:

1. Someone claiming self defense shouldn't be arrested if a preponderance of the evidence says their claim is valid.

2. If injured during the commission of a felony, the felon or their family doesn't have the right to sue. (Some states may require that the person claiming self defense be convicted of something for a civil suit to succeed)

3. You don't have to give up your 5th amendment rights to claim self defense.

4. If you are in a place legally, you don't have to retreat to retain the right of self defense.

Based on the actual law, what have I missed?

Which of those do you object to, and why?

(And if you can't or won't answer that, continued discussion is pointless)

DaisyDeadhead said...

Sevesteen: Bullshit. I've read the actual text of several states' SYG laws.

And you don't understand, I am not talking about the ACTUAL TEXT but the way the laws will popularly BE APPLIED under the CURRENT REGIME. Zimmerman was the perfect case in point. This is another. Since racial bias is encoded into our society, it will inevitably factor into the law. "Life being threatened" "whether they felt they were in danger" blah blah blah becomes "are black men around?" and if they are, open fucking fire.

That is the way it is shaking out. NO it is not in the text. It doesn't have to be. It is a given. It is part of the fabric of our society and has been since 1619 when they brought the first African Americans here against their will and forced them to abide by laws they never had any chance to vote on, and they STILL do not have a chance to vote for people like themselves.

These cases are proof of it. The fact that you see Zimmerman as innocent, when he picked a fight and followed a minor child, is further proof of it. You take it for granted that Trayvon must have been a dangerous person, whereas I just see a teenager talking to a girl on the phone. We see two different situations... and why is that? I am talking about the repercussions of seeing those different situations.

Perhaps you missed THIS, which I posted on Tumblr. Check the second photo. As I wrote, it goes a long way towards explaining why blacks developed a strong suspicion of police, whereas you and I were taught that "the policeman is your friend." I am talking about the fact that there are (in Michael Harrington's terminology) two Americas, and you seem to be very familiar with one and take it as a given, but you don't care about the other one, and do not understand that the existing laws are often used specifically to subdue them. Would you like a reading list? Start with Frantz Fanon and get back to me.

You keep including Martin/Zimmerman, where SYG didn't apply.

Um, then why did juror B-37 say that SYG influenced the jury during deliberations and contributed to their not-guilty verdict?

OF COURSE it applied.

For a libertarian, you sure do believe in laws, chapter and verse. I am talking about the way things are IN REAL LIFE, not whether the Gospel says such and so. I am sure it does, but I also know how Christians act in REAL LIFE, and often it is diametrically opposed to what the Gospel tells them to do.

We can fuss and complain and point at the Bible and exhort them to practice what they preach (and I have done that), or we can just logically accept that modern American Christianity has little to do with what the Gospel actually says and more to do with what its current adherents have decided it means. Likewise, I am sure that BY THE BOOK, THE LETTER OF THE LAW, blah blah blah, but I am talking about real life and the fact that Trayvon Martin is dead and several jurors thought the man who shot him was cleared of responsibility through SYG. That means SYG is responsible for setting a murderer free. The End. Spin that however you want, but that is how it played out in REAL LIFE. Not on paper, in the country called Ideology-land, where nobody actually lives.

Please stop defending Zimmerman here. On this blog, he deserved being found guilty of first degree murder. Beating a dead horse. You will not change my mind, in fact, you are having much the opposite effect.

Sevesteen said...

For a libertarian, you sure do believe in laws, chapter and verse.

Before I knew what a libertarian was, I believed in fewer laws, but more strictly enforced. I still do. Discretionary enforcement will inevitably be discriminatory. A study in California found that Hispanic surnames were several times more likely to be denied gun licenses than Anglo names. Race isn't listed on applications (but in-person interviews are required) but denial rates are closely correlated with minority population rates.

If a judge or jury will misapply SYG, there's no reason to think they NEED SYG to come to the same conclusion--they can abuse some other law as well. "Gun licensing rules were never meant to apply to white men".

There are only a handful of controversial SYG cases, while millions of black men are in jail due to unjust drug laws. There are more nonviolent people killed by the governments in the US in a year than all the questionable SYG cases ever. If justice is your real goal, there are many orders of magnitude more injustice in drug laws than self defense--and self defense law at least can show some benefit to some decent people.

I want just laws, justly enforced--but I know perfection is an unachievable goal. It is not possible to have a set of laws for self defense that will always protect the innocent defender while always prosecuting false claims. On balance broader allowance for self defense favors decent people over the violent and the criminal even if there are occasional aberrations. I believe there are far more people of all races being unjustly persecuted for true self defense than people getting away with murdering innocent victims by claiming self defense.

(and unless you ask a direct question, I'll let you have the last word here, since we really aren't talking about the same things)