Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

VILSACK CHOICE OF AGRI-BUSINESS & BIO-TECH INDUSTRY

Obama is picking many people for his cabinet who are directly associated with the Clinton-controlled Democratic Leadership Council (DLC). The DLC has been the conservative rallying place for corporate Democrats to gather and find ways to undercut the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, just appointed by Obama to be his Secretary of Agriculture, is a DLC kind of guy.

According to the Organic Consumers Association, “Obama’s appointment of Vilsack indicates that agri-business will control the Agriculture Department. Vilsack supports genetically engineered pharmaceutical crops, especially pharmaceutical corn. The Biotechnology Industry Organization named him Governor of the Year. He was also the founder and former chair of the Governor's Biotechnology Partnership. When Vilsack created the Iowa Values Fund, his first poster child of economic development potential was Trans Ova and their pursuit of cloning dairy cows.”

“Vilsack was the initiator of the seed pre-emption bill in 2005, which many people in Iowa fought because it took away local government's possibility of ever regulating seeds - where genetically engineered (GE) seeds would be grown, having GE-free buffers, banning pharma corn locally, and the like. Representative Sandy Greiner, the Republican sponsor of the bill, bragged on the House Floor that Vilsack put her up to it right after his state of the state address.”

Vilsack has a reputation as being an errand boy for agribusiness biotech giants like Monsanto. Vilsack often traveled in Monsanto's corporate jet.

Tom Vilsack is an ardent supporter of corn and soy-based biofuels, which use as much or more fossil energy to produce as they generate, while driving up world food prices and literally starving the poor. Listen to the recent cries of peasants in Mexico who can’t afford to make their tortillas because of corn price increases.

Vilsack has been a partner at a lobbying firm that used his “expertise” in agribusiness development and renewable energy. This appears to run counter to Obama’s promise to bar his appointees from working on issues related to their lobbying history for two years.

One organic farming activist said about Vilsack, “Obama has picked someone who is fundamentally undemocratic in the service of destroying organic farming and establishing an economic anti-trust monopoly.”

Another president from Illinois, Abe Lincoln once said, "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."

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