Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

California Government Tells Millions of Residents: "Fuck You!"

In California everything revolves around the state's agribusiness lobby. Whenever they yell "Jump!" their government prostitutes yell back "How high Sir?" And right now these skanks are getting ready to jump again.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is planning a massive aerial pesticide-spraying campaign this summer. Agribusiness is worried about the light brown apple moth. "Jump!"

Last fall there was a more "limited" spray campaign: Helicopters inundated Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties with a chemical mist. 487 people reported various medical symptoms after the spraying was done. State officials insisted that there was no clear link between the pesticide-spraying and people's breathing problems.

And now a bigger and better spray campaign is being planned for the entire San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to the health hazards, a lot of local officials are worried about economic devastation. The entire 9-county Bay Area is dependent upon tourism. How many vacationers will want to go there if every leaf and blade of grass has been (or is about to be) coated with poison?

The local real estate industry is also threatened. Sellers will have to warn potential buyers about the looming probability (and/or the after-effects) of being blanketed with pesticides. Failure to disclose this information would result in an expensive lawsuit.

And — not that it matters a flying fuck to the Powers That Be — organic farmers would lose their certification (hence their livelihoods) if their crops were sprayed with pesticides.

My only personal experience with this situation was in Sonoma County, CA. (I left California in 2004.) During the summer of 2001, the wine industry — Sonoma County's 800-pound gorilla — was threatened by the glassy-winged sharpshooter. If one was found, there would be spraying; no ifs ands or buts. Back yards, open windows, children, people with respiratory problems, pets — all fair game.

Fortunately, none were found; but it was a pretty tense summer.

I don't know the details of other insect pests, but the grape growers' farming practices attract and exacerbate pests. I assume that's true of modern agriculture in general.

Having a monoculture (thousands of perfectly lucrative orchards and vegetable fields were chopped down and plowed over and replaced by vineyards) makes insect pests much more likely. And there were other non-lethal methods the grape growers could have used, but they were either too "unsightly" (coating the grape vines with a harmless ash that would make them unattractive to insects) or they might cause a .01% profit reduction (leaving a few trees or shrubs around the periphery of the vineyard instead of planting grapes on every square inch).

Also, the nursery industry (another 800-pound gorilla) was partly responsible for this. The glassy winged sharpshooter is native to southern California; the species comes north by being imported on plants shipped and sold by nurseries. The nursery industry could prevent insect pests from being exported to other regions, but that would be too much effort and/or a .01% profit reduction.

This should be an interesting summer for the Bay Area. Here are some other links to the California spray controversy.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Blogger PoliShifter said...

And 20 years from now Scientists will link chemical spraying, ground water contaminants, food preservatives, air pollution, and household chemicals and cleaners with cancer.

April 15, 2008 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

PoliShifter: I wouldn't doubt it. But then the government will censor the scientists' findings, and preachers will announce that these diseases are caused by homosexuals and abortion.

April 15, 2008 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

Sometimes I wonder if this isn't all some elaborate conspiracy to make people sick (good for the medical industry) and die (good for the funeral industry).

April 15, 2008 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Lew: Makes perfect sense to me. At this point I wouldn't put anything past our corporate-government complex.

April 15, 2008 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Boy, you sure do hate progress and free markets, don't you.

I think the answer lies in a combination of poli's and lew's comments. Why promote anything resembling a cure or at the very least, better living. If you're not sick, you aren't popping pills.

April 16, 2008 at 6:43 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Randal: Undoubtedly, Big Pharm will come up with pills to cure any symptoms caused by the spraying. These pills will create other side effects which will create the need for a new pill, which in turn will create more side effects, which can be cured by...

April 16, 2008 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger BaxtersMum said...

dear god, i had NO idea that was going on - and in california, tree hugger land (Oregon being tree hugger capital)

I think if I were concerned citizens, I would see about funding a study on the toxicity of that chemical - one that isn't run by the manufacturer.

April 16, 2008 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Don't forget the Malathion spraying for Med Flies that have caused unknown damage both to people and the biosphere.

You used to live in the Russian River Valley if I remember right. Del Rio Woods, or was it Forestville?

April 16, 2008 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Ken Albin said...

Just lovely. I bet they want to bring back DDT spraying. It was really effective against most organisms. *grin*

April 16, 2008 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Baxtersmum: Yes, there definitely needs to be some research into the effects of these pesticides. And like you said -- not funded by agribusiness or the chemical companies.

PragueTwin: I forget when the Malathion spraying was, but I think I was out of California during that time. I remember hearing and reading references to it, but it seemed to be after the fact. I lived in Berkeley for 2 years in the early '70s, then left the state; then moved to Sonoma County in 1978.

Good memory -- it was Forestville where I moved from. We were there from 1989 to 2004.

Ken: Ah yes, good old DDT. And while we're at it we should bring back the short-handled hoe. So what if a bunch of sniveling farmworkers end up walking bent-over for the rest of their lives.

April 16, 2008 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger GeekGurl said...

I agree with you !!!! I actually did some research on something quite similar an gloomy called Chemtrails. to me it is really shady. All those chemicals that we breath, eat, drink daily ... i'm starting to think it's some experiments for mind/population controll... i'm getting paranoid !!

April 16, 2008 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

What else could one expect from a Republican Nazi.

April 16, 2008 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Geekgurl: That name rings a bell -- Chemtrails. A bus driver was talking about that one morning a few years ago. I forget exactly what he was saying but it sounded pretty sinister.

Larry: Yup, good old Ahnuld.

April 16, 2008 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger LET'S TALK said...

I guess the "illnesses reported by hundreds of residents after the first round of aerial spraying on California's central coast couldn't conclusively be linked to the pest eradication effort."

Just maybe the State want be satified until there's only the landmarks remaining and all the people are gone just as most tourist.

April 16, 2008 at 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Malathion was 1981-1982 The Famous aide to Jerry Brown BT Collins (my republican since linclon) drank of jar of it and lived.


April 17, 2008 at 12:30 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Let's Talk: Who knows what the state government wants or how many mass illnesses there'd have to be before they see a connection.

Erik: So that was '80-81? I was in Sonoma County then; I guess I either wasn't following the news as much as usual right then, or it just faded from my memory.

April 17, 2008 at 12:45 AM  
Blogger The Prince of Centraxis said...

All is illuminated when you realise none of this - neither chemical fertilisers nor big pharmaceutical companies - existed before WWII.
The weapon manufacturers had to manufacture a use for the phosphate, potassium and nitrogen mountains left over when their armaments contracts went belly up - so they invented the chemical fertiliser industry.
These are the same chemical manufacturers who produce the toxic drugs coursing through the bloodstreams and rivers of our world. Hardly a surprise - they were merchants of death to start with!
No, friends, the poisoning of our world, bodies and minds is no accident. This is no conspiracy 'theory' - it's what you do when all of humanity is considered a seperate lesser species when compared with your own family...
A common error, actually, rooted in primate love and twisted into supremacist claptrap.
See http://newilluminati.blog-city.com

April 17, 2008 at 7:50 AM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

I wish the parents of some of these stupid politicians had been exposed to a sterilizing agent back in the day.

To test the safety of this stuff, why not set up little demonstration patches around the State Capitol and try the sprays out THERE first?

April 17, 2008 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Prince of Centraxis: Unfortunately, that makes a lot of sense. With all these chemicals lying around unused, the manufacturers had to invent a "need" for them.

And that mindset you describe is all too true. VIPs have great empathy for their own family members and close friends, and the other 6 billion of us are just chattel.

JR: Yes, if only...

And yes it would only be right for politicians and manufacturers to test out new products on themselves first.

April 17, 2008 at 10:52 AM  

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