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The idea that the United States has always been a bastion of religious freedom is reassuring--and utterly at odds with the historical record



Here's a link relevant to the Gates/Monsanto question above:

Monsanto Now Owns Blackwater Xe

Oops. I stepped in it. Monsanto didn't buy Blackwater. They just engaged them for a little corporate security work.


No tip of the hat to 1GM?

Do you get nutspam, Norm?

I do, though I don't currently have any SPECIAL FRIENDS.

In the climax of the movie "Chinatown," Jake Gittes asks his rival, Noah Cross, "What can you buy that you can't already afford?" Cross' reply: "The future, Mr. Gittes. The future."

That's what the Gates Foundation is trying to buy with its investment in Monsanto. On the surface, and in the extreme short-term, Monsanto's efforts in Africa appear to be altruistic, but the long-term goal of this partnership is to consolidate control of the future of food production. There's nothing wrong with that from a business perspective, except that it seems callous and craven, which is why this purely profit-motivated transaction is being conducted under the cloak of charity. Karl Haro von Mogel knows this, of course, which is why he decorated his article with images of that whackaloon Beck just to make sure that everyone knows that criticizing the Gates Foundation's designs on our future is analogous to denying global warming or some such thing. Nice work, Karl.


$27 million represents on the order of 0.1 % of the Gates Foundation's holdings and about the same fraction of Monsanto's total market capitalization. If I were to go into the details of the mutual funds of my retirement accounts, I would not be surprised to learn that 0.1 % of my "holdings" are in Monsanto too. If the Gates Foundation is trying to buy "the future", I would think that they would/could push a lot more chips into the pot.

It's really quite amazing how little it takes to convince someone whose mind is already made up that there is a conspiracy afoot.

It's really quite amazing how much it takes to convince someone whose mind is already made up that there is a conspiracy afoot.

That's a rationalization. First of all, 0.1% of the Gates Foundation's holdings is still a huge number. And your portfolio is irrelevant, since you are not involved in AGRA. Second of all, they will "push more chips into the pot" when they think no one is looking or when they have come up with an even better rationalization.

Third of all and most importantly, Karl writes, "So the investment managers thought that by buying $27 million in stock, they could make money off of a $42 million grant for drought-tolerant corn that might benefit Monsanto if a lot of commercial-sized growers in Africa adopt the varieties they develop?" This question is either stunningly naive or intentionally obtuse. The point behind this isn't for Monsanto and the Gates Foundation to make money in Africa; the point is to wear down resistance to GMOs, particularly in the EU, so that Monsanto (and Gates) can increase their global market share.

There is always an ulterior motive. The first "Green Revolution" wasn't simply about feeding the poor; it was about preventing leftist regimes from gaining footholds in famine stricken regions. AGRA is about patenting the global food supply. If a few poor folks happen to get fed in the process, well, you've got to break a few eggs if you want to make an omelet.


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