Film Review of Paint Your Wagon: A Musical about Consensual Non-Monogamy in the Old West

Welcome To Hell, Parson. No Name City, Population: drunk.
-Ben Rumson

Years back, I saw the 1969 film paint your wagon, which, in case you didn’t know, has the unusual distinction of being not only a western staring Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin, but also a full out musical, with both actors singing. I remembered the film being referenced in a Simpson’s episode, in which Homer rents it and is disappointed that it is not the type of gunfighter or cut-throat story that Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin are generally associated with. Needless to say, many younger people I talk to remember the movie entirely from the
Simpsons’ episode or think the Simpsons’ writers made the whole thing up. The film was somewhat doomed to obscurity, because of inability to fill a clear niche. Big name musicals were well on their way out by 1969, and neither Eastwood nor Marvin is much of a singer in the first place. Additionally the film’s subversive subject matter probably also alienated the taste of the more traditional audiences that big budget musicals tended to go for.

In the film, Lee Marvin’s character Ben and his “Pardner” Clint Eastwood, become the founders of a gold rush boom town, with an all male population. The gender imbalance is corrected when a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints comes through with his two wives. The townsfolk are initially confused and curious, but come to the conclusion that it is unfair for the Mormon to have two wives when none of them have any. They convince him to auction of his younger and more rebellious wife to the highest bidder, which ends up being a drunken Ben. She  threatens to shoot Ben on their wedding night and refuses to be treated as mere property, but eventually, they find an arrangement that is suitable for both of them.

Eventually, the other townsfolk get jealous of Ben for having the only woman in town, so they develop a scheme to kidnap prostitutes from a nearby town. Ben leads the kidnapping effort, but while he is gone his nearly purchased wife falls in love with Pardner, and upon his return they all agree to enter a polyandrous relationship. Meanwhile the kidnapping is a great success and town starts brothel, that is visited by men from all over, making it a local center of sin.

Eventually a traveling preacher hits town, and tries to get its population to repent out of fear that the place will be sucked into hell, and then it happens. Ben also, corrupts the preacher’s son leading to the exchange: “Pop… believe me, until you’ve had a good cigar and a shot of whiskey, you’re missing the second and third best things in life.” He latter reveals that “physical education” with a local “floozy” is his number one best thing in life.

The despite, the forced marriage, human trafficking and kidnapping (which probably is not a completely inaccurate depiction of how women lived in the old west) this film features the overall feel is light and some of the dialogue is pretty entertaining and the black and gray morality is interesting. Ben is clearly a scoundrel who does many immoral things
in the film, but he is depicted positively and makes things work for his wife and his “pardner”. It is also one of the few films I know that depicts a polyamorous relationship in a positive light. That said, the singing often comes off as a little awkward, but it features the song the “They Call the Wind Maria”, for which Mariah Carey was named.

The film came out at the height of the sexual revolution and much of it seems to be a challenge to the sexual norms of the old guard. This is not to mention that it portrays sex with prostitutes, consensual non-monogamy, heavy drinking and tobacco use, in fairly favorable terms, while the puritanical religious sorts definitely come off as prudish jerks. Needless to say, I like the film. I’m not sure who I would recommend it to, and I certainly recognize that it is a bit dated and a bit weird as a musical, but it is over all fun and I love to hear what some of the old guard thought of it when it came out.

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Christopher Columbus was a Horrible Person

I am sure I will not be the only person who will be echoing this sentiment in his or her blog, Facebook feed, or Twitter Page today, but seriously to hell with Columbus Day. I do not wish to celebrate a man whose legacy is one of conquest, imperialism, mass murder, enslavement and theft.

I tend to have mixed feelings about Government holidays in general. While I enjoy the fact that they have often allowed me to have time out of school and work, that conveniently coincided with everyone else getting time off, I am not sure I like the government dictating when we get time off to such a degree, and I feel a strong sympathy to those find themselves having to work on them when they would rather not (a situation I have been in a few times my self). This is not to mention the fact they often commemorate or celebrate dubious people or events as is the case here.

To illustrate the type of guy Christopher Columbus, I’ll start with a quote Howard Zinn’s passage on his Columbus from A People’s History of The United States:

Now, from his base on Haiti, Columbus sent expedition after expedition into the interior. They found no gold fields, but had to fill up the ships returning to Spain with some kind of dividend. In the year 1495, they went on a great slave raid, rounded up fifteen hundred Arawak men, women, and children, put them in pens guarded by Spaniards and dogs, then picked the five hundred best specimens to load onto ships. Of those five hundred, two hundred died en route. The rest arrived alive in Spain and were put up for sale by the archdeacon of the town, who reported that, although the slaves were “naked as the day they were born,” they showed “no more embarrassment than animals.” Columbus later wrote: “Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold.”

But too many of the slaves died in captivity. And so Columbus, desperate to pay back dividends to those who had invested, had to make good his promise to fill the ships with gold. In the province of Cicao on Haiti, where he and his men imagined huge gold fields to exist, they ordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months. When they brought it, they were given copper tokens to hang around their necks. Indians found without a copper token had their hands cut off and bled to death.

This is hardly an individual worth celebrating and it is even worse when one takes into account that his “discovery” which was really nothing of the sort, led to epidemics the wiped out the vast majority of the native populations of two continents. As I mentioned before, Columbus did not discover the American Continents. He the Vikings were here centuries earlier and the Indians were here long before them. Furthermore Columbus refused to acknowledge that he had not made his way to Asia, and for that reason called the people he enslaved and murdered Indians.

A few years back, a rather religious and conservative gentleman insisted on celebrating Columbus, because of the sincerity of his Christian faith and dedication to its spread. While I have to question how one can accurately judge the sincerity of the convictions of a man who lived centuries ago, the sentiment shown here tells me much of what I need to know about his brand of Christianity. He did not care that Columbus was a murderer and enslave nor did he find such brutality in contradiction to the Christian faith. Apparently Columbus did not either, and the whole story reflects the degree to which Christianity was spread through violence rather than through its own merits.

While I have rather strong opinions about Columbus and the holiday associated with him, in practice, like so many other holidays, it often goes by without my notice. Perhaps in a way, it is not all that important and I could use be using today’s post discuss some other, more pressing matter, but I believe that cultural values and the mythology built around them have a great influence on a society and that often tearing down the more problematic pieces of mythology is a great place for change and dialogue to start.

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Entomophagy: Why People Should Eat More Bugs

John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt
around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.
-Matthew 3:4

“I’d rather eat a big old bug! Than ever take a stupid drug!”
-1998, anti-drug psa

Industrial meat production is environmentally destructive, horribly cruel to the animals involved, unsanitary, source of noxious odors, and highly inefficient. I have witnessed the environmental destruction, for example, that large scale hog facilities do to both air and water quality (not to mention property values), and I have heard countless stories of these creatures being over crowed, unable to move and subject to painful body modifications.

With this in mind, I did a Google search and found that it takes  around estimated 7 to 15 pounds of grain to produce a single pound of beef. Much of this grain of course is produced, through agricultural systems which involve high levels of chemical inputs, including fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. As such, maybe it is time for to look for
alternatives, to the typical American Diet.

There are plenty of resources on the web that discuss, the pros and cons of vegetarianism and veganism, and I do not wish to explore those options here. There is also, the option of eating more wild meat. This can actually be a very positive thing, since there are many places in the country where deer and other herbivores are in need of population control. This is especially true, since many of this continents native predators have been killed in places they were once very abundant. That said, I’m not sure, that we would be able to feed a population as large as ours, with wild meat, and sadly many do not have the time or ability to go to America’s wild lands and hunt or fish (not to mention the countless other ways to enjoy the America’s wild places). There are other people, of course, who simply do not want hunt or fish, and find the killing of sentient beings objectionable.

There is little to know, talk about a very practical solution: Entomophagy, the practice of eating insects as food. Insects have long been a major part of the human diet, and are an excellent source of protein. Though, eating ants and beetles has become taboo, in much
of the western world, it is still a common practice in many parts of Central and South America; and Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. As such, entomophagy has been documented in 80% of the world’s nations. There are currently 1,417 known species of arthropods edible to humans, making for endless variety. The include not only insects, but arachnids, and myriapods (the group that includes centipedes and millipedes).

Crickets, cicadas, grasshoppers, ants, various beetle grubs,Give Bugs a Chance caterpillars and tarantula’s are common snack foods around the world. For example, Algerians collect Dessert locust, that they cook with salt water and dry in the sun. Australian Aborigines use
Bogong moths to make into cakes. They also use witchety grubs, for a snack that has be compared to almonds. The Japanese still use a number of insects including Silk moths, after they have passed the stage of producing silk, as food. Roasted crickets and grasshoppers are eaten in much of Africa, and I have been told, that fried or chocolate covered ants are eaten in a manner similar to pop corn in several places.

These are a good source, of Iron, Calcium, unsaturated fats, lysine and many vitamins and minerals.  They are also much more efficient source of these nutrients the meat of larger livestock. Mammals use a lot of what the eat, keeping themselves warm, and only around 10% of what cattle consume, become parts of their bodies. With insects the range is more like 20-40% depending on the species. A study, with house crickets, in fact, found them to be 2 to 6 times as efficient as various forms of traditional food animals. They also, have he
advantage of reproducing much faster, and requiring less, space, food and water than traditional livestock. These factors give insects a food conversion efficiency nearly 20 times higher than beef.

Entomophagy, has gotten some exposure in recent years from reality TV, which often does not present it in an appealing light. I have also attended events where people with much more sophisticated cooking backgrounds produce much more accessible insect based food.  This is not to mention that production processes inevitable get insects into our food, and we have all ingested countless insect parts without realizing. The USDA currently allows an “Average of 150 or more insect fragments per 100 grams” of wheat flower.

One last thing, insect consumption, is far more ethical than that of other animals, in that you are not killing creatures with with sophisticated brains or high levels self awareness, as opposed to animals like the pig, which are apparently as intelligent as our dogs.

Insects lack sophisticated mental hardware, and as such, there is little remorse associated with eating them, swatting them or seeing them die. As such, they are a much more humane food choice than cattle, lambs, chicken or pigs. I also, expect in this era of communication and epicurean adventurism, there will be many new and exciting dishes featuring them coming soon.

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The Paralysis Tick: Another Case Against The Existence of God

Over the years I have heard quite a few variants of the “look at the trees” argument for the existence of a god. Normally, a theist will point to something wonderful in the natural world such as trees, flowers or charismatic animals and insist that these are signs that their god must have created the world and must be benevolent, because otherwise how could such things exists?

Beside pointing out the structural flaws in this argument, I have heard atheists flip this argument on its head by noting that attributing the more wondrous aspects of life in this universe to a god is hardly necessary and really only cheapens them. Is the real world not good and amazing enough without us having to trivialize it with man-made mythology?

While I favor this approach I tend to find it brings the issue much closer to home, if one counters the apologetic by pointing out the many nasty things in this world such as deadly diseases, horrifying birth defects and malicious parasites. Knowing of these things makes it quite hard to imagine that this world was created or is being watched over by a being with benevolent intent.

Today’s case in point was brought to my attention by a friend who recently traveled to Australia. In addition to the numerous species of highly venomous snakes, spiders and jellyfish, not to mention the notorious crocodiles and sharks, Australia is home to the Australian Paralysis Tick, a tiny blood sucking parasite that injects paralysis inducing neurotoxins into its host.

While many of the native marsupials such as Kangaroos, Koalas and Bandicoots develop immunities to the tick’s neurotoxins, tick encounters can lead to anemia in native animals in cases of large quantities of blood are drawn. In humans the ticks can spread infectious diseases, cause severe allergic reactions and in some cases induce paralysis. It is domestic animals and live stock that are most severely harmed by the ticks. Some 100,000 are domestic animals are affected by the tick’s venom each year with around 10,000 of these needing a rather costly treatment from a veterinary surgeon.

Paralysis Ticks are incredibly small, only 3.8 mm long, 2.6 mm at their adult stage, and incredibly difficult to detect until they become engorged with the blood of their host after a few days of attachment. This is especially true for animals that have especially thick coats. Signs of paralysis are not usually detectable until three or four days after the tick attaches to the host. Once the paralysis starts it attacks the animal’s skeletal muscles, restricting movement, and the respiratory muscles making it difficult for the creature to breath or cough, while increasing the risk of choking and pneumonia. Paralysis also occurs in the laryngeal muscles causing a change in the animals bark or meow (or whatever other sound the creature in question happens to make).  As the paralysis progresses the animal begins having problems with drooling and throwing up as well as the onset of congestive heart failure. Left untreated the outcome is usually fatal.

The ticks themselves have a habit of hanging out in tall grasses and other places where pets often like to play. They have no-slip grips on their feet making them great climbers and are difficult to kill by  simply smashing them. In fact they often seem near indestructible. I have experienced many nights of camping and days of hiking and know, first hand what horrible pests ticks can be in general. Adding the fact that these cause a deadly bouts of paralysis in our pets makes them about as intolerable a species as one could imagine.

So while this world may be a wonderful place in many ways, it is still crawling with horrific disease causing obligate parasites. This for me is just one more reason to expect that a god does not exists, either that or that one exists who is deeply cruel and mean spirited. Either way this is one more reason to dismiss the possibility of an all-powerful, benevolent deity that takes an interest in our well being.

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Why Unmarried Americans Outnumber Married Americans

It is purely coincidental that this is my second consecutive marriage related post. I wrote the previous one on the wedding culture, and generally lost interest in the topic until it was brought to my attention that the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that this is the first time (since they started tracking these things in 1976) that unmarried adults now outnumber married ones. It was this summer that the percentage of unmarried Americans above the age of 16 hit the 50.2% mark. This is up from 37.4% in 1976.

Being an unmarried American, these numbers were not completely surprising for me. I even wrote a piece, questioning whether there were any real tangible benefits to marriage besides the government granted ones. I argued that absent the numerous government granted benefits to marriage, the institution may become less attractive to growing numbers of people. Apparently, we have now reach a time that even with the government benefits people are still choosing not to get married in record numbers.

This is not to say that these unmarried Americans are not entering relationships, living together or having children. Many of them are doing all these things, just without being married. I suspect that this is due in part to the fact that young American adults are generally less traditional and less religious than previous generations were. Even among young people who are religious, marriage does not feel like the religious duty it once did. Further more it is no longer, simply the thing to do the way it was a few generations back. People born since the 1970s grew up being told that they can do whatever they want and be whatever they want, more than any previous generation and for a lot of people in that age range getting married for traditions sake is not high on their priority list.

Additionally, we live in times in which no level of government is particularly popular. In fact some levels such as the two houses of congress are seeing unprecedented levels of unpopularity. Additionally we have heard quite a bit of unsettling information about government spying, drone warfare, and a general disregard among those in the state for the rights and well being of the general population. It is hardly surprising to me that in such a climate many people would wish to forgo having the government officially recognize their status as a couple. To be honest, I have no way of knowing how much of contributing factor this is, but I do not dismiss the possibility that it influenced at least some couples who have opted out of marriage for the time being.

In addition to these cultural issues there are the economic factors, which unfortunately may have the most explanatory power. The economy has been weak for half a decade now, and job security is not a luxury that large numbers of young adults have. With such instability, making any types of long term commitments are out of the question for most people. This is not to mention, how expensive the big traditional American weddings are, as I discussed in greater detail in my previous post. For many people it is simply easier to live together and hold off on the expensive wedding until more prosperous times. Of course for many who have made this choice, the more prosperous times have been slow in coming. This is almost certainly related to another trend, in which people who would like to get married are simply waiting longer periods before doing so. Often this is motivated by a desire to achieve a certain level of financial stability, and security before getting married.

On another note, I have talked to quite a few people for whom the notion of lifelong monogamy is unrealistic of unappealing. This is an attitude that people are becoming increasingly more open and up front about. Simply put, nothing in our biology makes us particularly suited for lifelong monogamy, and this may go a long way to explain why infidelity is as common phenomenon as it is.

This brings us to the  issue of divorce. Since the introduction of the No-fault divorce in the 1970s it has become increasingly easy to get divorced. I favor this, because it means more freedom for the general population, and I am happy that it has allowed people who have been in abusive or simply unhappy relationships to be able to leave and start fresh. However, divorce  is often a nasty and often expensive prospect, even when in relatively straight forward cases . This is made worse by the fact that laws concerning divorce are not always fair to both parties. I suspect that for many people, wishing to avoid being in such a situation it is easier to not get married in the first place.

I am sure there are numerous other reasons less people are getting married, but since I generally find marriage to be a cultural institution with a great deal of baggage that I dislike, I cannot be unhappy to hear people are seeking alternatives. Furthermore I reject the conservative line of reasoning that says everyone should get married and that we would all better off as a result. In fact I cannot say that I am unhappy to hear that many people are simply rejecting this advice. On the other hand, if the drop in marriages is not due to people reexamining their options and more due to necessity caused by economic uncertainty then perhaps I should be a little more cautious in celebrating this development.

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A Few things I Hate About the Wedding Culture

I generally do not mind going to weddings, if only because I enjoy seeing people I haven’t seen in a while all together in one place. Weddings often provide one with good opportunities to reconnect with people, and I tend to enjoy the free food and wine. In the past I have seen them as good opportunities party and to meet single women. The film Wedding Crashers inevitably comes to mind when I think of going to weddings in my younger and single days. At the same time, I have always had to admit that the way we do weddings in this country strikes me as being a bit ridiculous, if not a little cynical, scamish as well as decadent and depraved.

A quick Google search for the cost of the average American wedding threw numbers at me ranging from around $25,000 to $35,000. Presumably, around half of American weddings cost more than that. I understand that for some people, such cost is insignificant, but to me and the vast majority of Americans that is an enormous amount of money, and it is about half of this country’s median yearly income. Traditionally, it is expected that the bride’s father should pay for this (a holdout of the sexist and highly self-serving traditional expecting dowries or money from the bride’s family as in exchange for accepting a new woman into the family). Nowadays it seems whichever person’s family is richest, most interested, or has the most to prove gets the bill.

The money is, of course, spent on expensive dresses for brides, somewhat uglier dresses for brides maids, expensive suites, thousand dollar cakes, floral arrangements, churches, reception halls, wines and expensive meals and appetizers. Note that this includes thousands of dollar spent on clothing and accessories that will only be used only once. Though many Americans opt for more practical and minimalist weddings, in the company of families and friends, there is this strong if not dominant trend within American culture of viewing weddings as a strange mix of flaunting ones wealth as much as possible, while at the same time fulfilling the deeply held school-girl princess fantasy of having the world revolve around you for a day. There seems to be a social expectation that if you are throwing a wedding it had better be pushing or exceeding the upper limits of your financial means or you are not doing it right. I cannot help but wonder why any grown adult would want something like this. On a side note, it is for the reasons discussed here that I believe a nationwide legalization of same sex marriage would great for the economy.

In my college days (and probably earlier), I knew young women who did not even have boyfriends much less fiancés, and yet had already developed elaborate plans for what their future wedding day would be like and it was always some sort of glamorous extravagant affair more fitting of the crown-heads of Europe than middle class Americans. Christian concepts of humbleness are completely out the window in many Christian weddings. It seems that as a culture, we have opted to smother our daughters in prince charming fairy tells rather than give more realistic images of what marriages and relationships are. Weddings tend to be time in which fulfilling our most infantile and vain fantasies combines with are most depraved, insecure needs to keep up with our neighbors.

Wedding season is when Americans work there butts off and spend their money largely to impress people they often hardly know and often hardly like.  I cannot help but suspect the multi-million or perhaps billion dollar industry that has built up around wedding culture is a highly cynical one that thrust it’s over priced wears on hapless fathers who wanna do right by there little girls, or bourgeois families who feel pressured to go all out impress friends and rivals or simply are trying to come up with a decent networking event. I tend to think of the people selling thousand dollar dresses and cakes, as hucksters who come upon a brilliant scam, producing a continuously self-reinforcing culture of potential victims. I have similar feelings about the industries that have grown around funerals, graduations and proms. Nothing disgusts quite the way ultra-conformist, white-bread, unthinking costly traditions do.

This of course brings me to all the unhealthy cultural baggage associated with the wedding culture. Brides wear white to symbolize their purity or more bluntly their sexual virginity. This reflects ages of unambiguously sexist, and sex-negative baggage and superstition. It is absolutely stupid that we some how link a woman’s worth as a wife, to her virginity (meanwhile the guy can be as unpure as he wants). It is also complete nonsense as well. It is highly likely that the couple being married has had sex, and if they did so what?  It hardly diminishes their feelings for each other, and frankly the ideaof committing to spend ones life with a person you’ve never made love with seems idiotic. After all would you buy a car without taking it for a test drive? While it may sound like a crude analogy, one has to remember that a lifelong commitment to another person is a much bigger commitment than the purchase of a car.

I have, of course been to weddings where a big deal was made out of the fact that the couple in question had “saved themselves” for each other. Seeing the old priest talking about this and the new pleasures the couple would experience in the “wedding bed,” was observably unsettling to many of the  people in attendance. I will go out on limb and say that most people do not want to hear this. This is not to mention the promises that the bride should “obey” the husband or practice of her father “giving away” the bride to the husband. This all strikes me precisely the type of sexis  antiquated crap we need to move away from. Of course, all of this is in service to the ideal of lifelong monogamy, which for many people is likely to be an unrealsitic and generally unhealthy expectation of them. That however may need to be left as a topic for some future entry.

The Wedding ceremony is usually followed by a reception, which I usually find to be the most enjoyable part of the whole experience  Great food, drinks and dancing are always enjoyable, and as I pointed out as someone who moves around a lot it is good to reconnect with people. But, as it progresses we get into the awful music.  At any wedding reception, nowadays you are guaranteed to hear the music of 1980’s era Bon Jovi, Journey, Def Leopard and Thriller era Micheal Jackson. “Pour some sugar on me, in the name of love”.  I may be a little biased, but I consider this stuff to have been dated, as well as commercial and disgustingly formulaic from the time it came out.  I also really dislike the recent reemergence of outdated1980’s radio rock as today’s official party music and the fact that DJs play it at every party or wedding reception I go too.  It is as if wedding reception DJs all use the same play list, and no one cares about the predictability or complete lack of creativity in it. I figure it’s supposed to be the most important day of your lives so play something interesting, and do something creative or different for once.

Overall I have mixed feelings about the hole marriage concept  and I really dislike the hole keeping up with the Jones’ mentality behind so many weddings. But, if people are going to feel the need to to engage in over the top displays of wealth, I can think of worse ways to manifest it them than treating me to good food and drinks.

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What I am Regretably not Hearing in the Genetically Modified Food Debate

Earlier this summer Cosmos host and generally likable guy, Neil DeGrasse Tyson released a video arguing that people who oppose laboratory created genetically modified foods were misguided. He used the often repeated argument that we have been genetically modifying foods for years, through hybridization and selective breeding.

While I am not against modification of organism through laboratory means per se, I cannot imagine anyone who is against such things finding this augment the least bit persuasive. To quote Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum “we shouldn’t pretend that millennia of creating enhanced and hybrid breeds tells us anything very useful about the safety of cutting-edge laboratory DNA splicing techniques.” Tyson’s argument strikes as be one of those arguments that seems more interested in annoying, confusing and dismissing the people it is addressed at, than it does in taking their concerns seriously. In this way it reminds me of the arguments associated with privilege theory which despite making good points often alienate the very people who most need to develop and understanding of them. For more on this topic I recommend this piece by Cathy Reisenwitz.

While I do not object to using cutting edge techniques to genetically modify organism I do find it highly problematic that the results of such splicing can be patented, that governments are involved in funding and directing these lines of research and development in collusion with big business that we are moving towards sheltering those who grow them from liability above and beyond the already excessive liability protection that big business normally receives. It seems to me that Monsanto and other large agribusiness firms are using government collusion to further their control and domination of the world’s food supply, at the expense of ordinary producers and consumers.

As I have argued before, I favor a legal regime in which government is neutral to the development of such technology and no one is allowed to contaminate the crops of others or sell what they have produced under false pretense.This unfortunately is not what I see happening.

Mean while the only debate I am hearing on this topic comes off as being rather superficial. I rarely hear anyone from the pro-GMO side question whether they should be patented or what role if any government should have in RD or liability protection. It seems that supporters of this technology unconditionally support its expansion and any policies that will promote this, while those who oppose it also do so unconditionally. This strikes me as a complicated issue and the last thing that is needed is for the discussion to be dominated by two dogmatic sides which lack any nuance. This is a promising technology but I fear it is being introduced in a manner that will further the goals of big business rather than those of ordinary people and it is regrettable that I hear so few people making this point.

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