Some Saturday Stuff- May 18th.
For the past four days, I feel I’ve been running on steam. Just blah. Not blech, but blah. I think it started when my IVIG treatment went wrong on Tuesday. I have tiny (i.e., bad) veins, but Melissa, my nurse, has amazingly been able to work with them on a weekly basis for the past fifteen months. Things started off fine. She put the IV in my left arm, and the drip was flowing nicely… until Zoe decided to tackle me, thus knocking the IV askew, despite it being taped securely. Try as she might, Mel couldn’t get another vein to work, and half my meds had to be thrown out. She came yesterday, and was able to administer the final, unopened third of my dose, thank God. But it was like my spirit just never recovered. I haven’t been mad or depressed. More like deflated.
So I lazily started a post at BOLD yesterday, but never finished it. Same goes with a drawing last night. Blah.
My mother-in-law sent me a bunch of glossy magazines about Trinidad & Tobago. They’re gorgeous. The beaches look amazing, and the food, scrumptious. In the wake of my case of hate on Kandi’s Paris jaunt, I’m now wanting to travel even more. Realistically, though, with my bottles of dehydrated blood part and craptastic veins, I’m realizing more and more, how unlikely any long distance travel for me is. Double blah.
Let’s get to some links now, shall we? Greed, thy name is Nestle. From Why Don’t You Try This:
Is water a free and basic human right, or should all the water on the planet belong to major corporations and be treated as a product? Should the poor who cannot afford to pay these said corporations suffer from starvation due to their lack of financial wealth? According to the former CEO and now Chairman of the largest food product manufacturer in the world, corporations should own every drop of water on the planet — and you’re not getting any unless you pay up.
Watch the video below for yourself:
The company notorious for sending out hordes of ‘internet warriors’ to defend the company and its actions online in comments and message boards (perhaps we’ll find some below) even takes a firm stance behind Monsanto’s GMOs and their ‘proven safety’.
In fact, the former Nestle CEO actually says that his idea of water privatization is very similar to Monsanto’s GMOs.
In a video interview, Nestle Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe states that there has never been ‘one illness’ ever caused from the consumption of GMOs.
The way in which this sociopath clearly has zero regard for the human race outside of his own wealth and the development of Nestle, who has been caught funding attacks against GMO labeling, can be witnessed when watching and listening to his talk on the issue. This is a company that actually goes into struggling rural areas and extracts the groundwater for their bottled water products, completely destroying the water supply of the area without any compensation.
In fact, they actually make rural areas in the United States foot the bill. As reported on by Corporate Watch, Nestle and former CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe have a long history of disregarding public health and abusing the environment to take part in the profit of an astounding $35 billion in annual profit from water bottle sales alone. The report states:
“Nestlé production of mineral water involves the abuse of vulnerable water resources. In the Serra da Mantiqueira region of Brazil, home to the “circuit of waters” park whose groundwater has a high mineral content and medicinal properties, over-pumping has resulted in depletion and long-term damage.”
Nestle has also come under fire over the assertion that they are actually conducting business with massive slavery rings. Another Corporate Watch entry details:
“In 2001, Nestlé faced criticism for buying cocoa from the Ivory Coast and Ghana, which may have been produced using child slaves. According to an investigative report by the BBC, hundreds of thousands of children in Mali, Burkina Faso and Togo were being purchased from their destitute parents and shipped to the Ivory Coast, to be sold as slaves to cocoa farms.”
So is water a human right, or should it be owned by big corporations?
Well, if water is not here for all of us, then perhaps air should be owned by major corporations as well.
Please don’t give these people any more ideas. From Buzz Dixon, a different take on the oft-disected, oft-debated Biblical story of Sodom & Gomorrah:
Here’s the scenario:
You are camping out in the wild when you are awakened in the middle of the night by something very large sniffing around your tent flap, growling with hunger.
What to do?
If you’re out in the middle of the African veldt,
you’ve got a lion to deal with.
If you’re in Yellowstone, you’ve got a grizzly bear.
With a lion, you are going to have a confrontation,
because the lion is a carnivore and you are meat.
…with the grizzly you’ve got a chance of distracting him by tossing a can of Pringles out the tent flap. See, the bear is an omnivore, and what he wants is food, the exact kind he ain’t particular about.
So what has this got to do with the story of Sodom?
If the rapists at the door were homosexuals, Lot offering them his daughters would have been as logical as holding a handful of Pringles out to a lion and saying, “Nice kitty.”
Lot knew exactly who he was dealing with; he lived in Sodom, he interacted with them on a daily basis, his daughters were engaged to be married to Sodomites, he had no qualms about going out and talking to the Sodomites face to face.
If the would-be rapists of Sodom were fueled purely by homosexual lust, there was nothing Lot could possibly gain by offering his daughters to them; the rapists simply wouldn’t be interested if their drive was sexual attraction.
But rape is not about sex, it is about power. The rapists of Sodom wanted to wield power over the men under Lot’s roof, to shame and humiliate them, to show them who was boss.
Lot knew these men, both culturally and doubtlessly personally. Clearly he understood them to be either heterosexual oriented or as we would use the term today, bisexual. Again, if satisfaction of sexual desire was the objective, offering women in the place of the men under Lot’s roof would have done the trick.
Think not? Well, apparently the practice of heterosexual male gang rape was not unheard of in that neck of the desert. In Judges 9 thru 11 we’re given the story of The Levite And His Concubine which pretty much parallels the story of Lot and Sodom: Stranger in town gets surrounded by rapacious male citizens, a female substitute is offered.
Unlike the story of Lot in Sodom, in the story of The Levite Etc. the rapists are fellow Israelites from the tribe of Benjamin in the town of Gibeah and they accept the offer of the concubine in question. After being brutalized all night, the woman makes her way back to the place where her husband the Levite was staying and collapses on the doorstep dead, nearly dead, or catatonic from shock.
So were the citizens of Sodom and Gibeah bisexuals driven by lust?
Again, the crime — or in this case the atrocity — of rape is only tangentially related to sexual desire. Rape is a crime of control and power: It is the stronger forcing the weaker to submit to the demands of the rapist. This is why statutory rape is treated as seriously as forcible rape: Certain relationships (adult and child, mentor and pupil, doctor and patient, etc.) by their very nature are not mutual arrangement between equals, and the stronger taking advantage of the weaker through guile or guilt is just as much a rapist as the thug with a knife.
Finally, the Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates weighs in on “Race/I.Q.” debate that has arisen anew lately on a number of smarty-pants websites. If you haven’t heard about it, good for you. The few times I’ve stumbled upon these types of stories in the last couple of weeks, I’ve found myself knee-deep in thinly veiled racism, elitism and a smattering of pro-eugenics talking points. What I’m always amazed at is how the dudes pushing for this never see themselves or their progeny in the “inferior/weaker/dumber/deficient” category. It always amounts to, As Mark Shea likes to say, “More of us, less of you.” Anyway, Coates writes:
Most of the honest writing I’ve seen on “race and intelligence” focuses on critiquing the idea of “intelligence.” So there’s lot of good literature on whether it can be measured, its relevance in modern society, whether intelligence changes across generations, whether it changes with environment, and what we mean when we say IQ. As Freddie mentions here, I had a mathematician stop past to tell me I needed to stop studying French, and immediately start studying statistics — otherwise I can’t possibly understand this debate.
It’s a fair critique. My response is that he should stop studying math and start studying history.
I am not being flip or coy. If you tell me that you plan to study “race and intelligence” then it is only fair that I ask you, “What do you mean by race?” It’s true I don’t always do math so well, but I understand the need to define the terms of your study. If you’re a math guy, perhaps your instinct is to point out the problems in the interpretation of the data. My instinct is to point out that your entire experiment proceeds from a basic flaw — no coherent, fixed definition of race actually exists.
Our notion of what constitutes “white” and what constitutes “black” is a product of social context. It is utterly impossible to look at the delineation of a “Southern race” and not see the Civil War, the creation of an “Irish race” and not think of Cromwell’s ethnic cleansing, the creation of a “Jewish race” and not see anti-Semitism. There is no fixed sense of “whiteness” or “blackness,” not even today. It is quite common for whites to point out that Barack Obama isn’t really “black” but “half-white.” One wonders if they would say this if Barack Obama were a notorious drug-lord.
When the liberal says “race is a social construct,” he is not being a soft-headed dolt; he is speaking an historical truth. We do not go around testing the “Irish race” for intelligence or the “Southern race” for “hot-headedness.” These reasons are social. It is no more legitimate to ask “Is the black race dumber than then white race?” than it is to ask “Is the Jewish race thriftier than the Arab race?”
The strongest argument for “race” is that people who trace their ancestry back to Europe, and people who trace most of their ancestry back to sub-Saharan Africa, and people who trace most of their ancestry back to Asia, and people who trace their ancestry back to the early Americas, lived isolated from each other for long periods and have evolved different physical traits (curly hair, lighter skin, etc.)
But this theoretical definition (already fuzzy) wilts under human agency, in a real world where Kevin Garnett, Harold Ford, and Halle Berry all check “black” on the census. (Same deal for “Hispanic.”) The reasons for that take us right back to fact of race as a social construct. And an American-centered social construct. Are the Ainu of Japan a race? Should we delineate darker South Asians from lighter South Asians on the basis of race? Did the Japanese who invaded China consider the Chinese the same “race?”
I look at my own family as examples of the blurriness of race. We run the gamut from fair to ebony and everything in between. Here in the U.S., we’re all Black. As such, I readily indentify as so. But I know enough people from a number of countries who informed me that I’m actually, “Colored/ Mulatto/Cinnamon (really!)”. The definition of race is heavily dependent on where you’re from.
Anyway, Zoe is hollering at me for ignoring her. Shame on me. Let’s hope today breaks the blah. I’ll start with some music. Let’s see… Okay, enjoy:
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