Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Open Thread - Wednesday

NPR related comments welcomed.


Willie said...

Well, the infantilization of NPR listeners continued this morning with an absolutely disgraceful report on seed banks. I don't know who the reporter was--her chipper, elementary-school-teacher tone was especially grating. According to her, the main threat to seed diversity is environmental--global warming forcing land plants to drink salt water, and so on. NOTHING about the corporate threat, which seems to me so much greater.

She did mention a person who went to prison for saving seeds, but not why. I didn't catch who the person was, but he may have been a farmer who had saved seeds as he did every year, but this year, he happened to save seeds that had been patented by Monsanto.

The NPR cheerleader mentioned that in Iraq, it's a good thing that some seeds were saved from one area, since the war subsequently destroyed so many plants their. Nothing about another seed bank in Iraq that was destroyed in the war.

I've heard that a quarter of the world's seeds are now controlled (patented?) by three corporations, who are vying mightily, of course, for control of all seeds on the planet. Aside from shooting such scary things as rabbit genes into strawberries and pesticides into potato genes, they also want to be able to sell neutered seeds to farmers--that is, seeds that produce plants that don't produce seeds (so that the farmers have to buy seeds every year from the corporations).

I obviously don't know much about the topic, but I do know more than NPR and its corporate overlords want me to know. This is primarily thanks to Ruth Ozeki's wonderful novel, All Over Creation, and a documentary on the amazing Indian activist Vandana Shiva entitled "Bullshit."

Once again, NPR lifts its nose above the fray and prances merrily along, tiptoeing through the tulips and dashing between the raindrops.

Liberality said...

There is a documentary called "The Corporation" and they have a section on Monsanto and it discusses this issue along with many other issues that corporations foist upon us. I'd encourage you to go to your local library and see if they have a copy to watch as it is very informative.

Comrade Rutherford said...

Listening to Morning Report the last few weeks has been quite the eye opener on how NPR censors topics of discussion.

My wife is an anti-nuclear weapons activist, and so I know about International Law (and according to the US Constitution becomes the Law of the Land here once signed by the President and ratified by congress).

There were two different days when guests were discussing Nuclear Weapons Proliferation. I was NOT surprised when neither the host nor the guest mentioned the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The NPT was ratified in 1972 and is the reason that only non-signatory states have acquired nuclear weapons since then: Israel, South Africa, India and Pakistan - South Africa gave their arsenal to Israel [that helped develop them] when it became clear that the white majority would lose to the native 'blacks'.

North Korea formally withdrew from the NPT at President Bush's urging so they could legally develop nuclear weapons to defend themselves against Bush wars of naked aggression (didn't we hang the Nazis for that?)

Iran is fully within the NPT to develop peaceful uses of atomic power, 'under strict and effective international control' - the IAEA. Iran rightly points out that the US is out of compliance with Article 6, and the US has no rights to complain about Iran, since Iran IS in compliance with the Law.

Both the guest and the host danced right around the edge of the existence of the NPT during their discussions, so close that I almsot expected the host to pine for some kind of international mechanism to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation.

All of this is even more irritating because the NPT Prep Com just wrapped up their meeting in Vienna!

The guest and host MUST have agreed beforehand to avoid dicussion of he NPT, since they did such a good job not talking about it and it's impact on nuclear weapons proliferation.

I have no respect for NPR anymore. The acronym stands for National Propaganda Radio now...

larry, dfh said...

This evening on ATC Dan Schorr continued the drivel with his piece about the lack of timetable for withdrawl in the supplemental spending bill. Schorr claims solid majorities of Americans don't want a timetable. Is that true? I think Schorr's been drinking the Kool-Aid.
And I completely concur with the above comments, the substance of NPR reporting is like empty calories. It is depressing when one considers the level of ignorance that NPR is trying to instill in the public discourse.

Willie said...

Thanks for the rundown on the NPT, Comrade R, but I was confused by this:

"North Korea formally withdrew from the NPT at President Bush's urging so they could legally develop nuclear weapons to defend themselves against Bush wars of naked aggression (didn't we hang the Nazis for that?)."

Huh? Bush urged North Korea to develop nuclear weapons because he planned to wage war against it? I don't get it.

Yes liberality, "The Corporation" does a great (if somewhat overly detailed) job of paralleling the corporate mindset and behavior with that of a psychopath. I too recommend it! It's a damn shame that with all these good sources of info out there, so many of the most intelligent, informed Americans listen with so little skepticism to the meager gruel offered on NPR.

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I have wasted my time reading the commentaries. I must say that it seems nobody any longer has earned the right to write in public. They can't spell and don't know what should be considered competency in grammar. Why should I credit such persons with any basic intelligence since they obviously didn't pay attention in school (or else haven't read enough to acquire basic communication skills.