EU approves GMO corn due to Germany’s abstention from opposing it; on legalisms

2-11-14  Cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMO) stokes suspicion in the EU and all over the world on health and environmental grounds. However, GMO enjoys a special place in the business of agriculture – especially in the United States.

GMO crops have won repeated safety approvals, and in Tuesday’s debate several ministers noted that they are imported into the EU in large amounts and, having been fed to animals, had by now entered the human food chain. And there is the simple fact that GMO seeds can be carried on the winds from farm to farm and country to country, making personal preference or national law powerless to stop the spread.


…the true person has some vision of higher things, of a realm beyond the immediate existence, beyond the material world.  He or she may not be able to define very precisely what these larger, transcendent elements are, those we sometimes refer to as spiritual or religious.  They touch the deepest levels of our consciousness and solace us, insipre us, reconcile us to our humanity.  They are the wellsprings of life.  The most familiar and most mysterious is love–“agape” as the Greeks called it.  Love is of course what holds the world together….If a professor doesn’t know his students he obviously can’t love them.  He may be fair and decent to them in the abstract but they, tender young souls that they are, need above all to be loved and cared for.  And in a curious way the professor, although he seldom realizes it, needs them as much as they need him.  So long as he refuses to take them to heart they are simply an inconvenience, a burden, a part of his teaching load.    -Page Smith:  Killing the Spirit, Viking, NY, 1990, pp. 203-4


  The land of freedom has become a legal maze of obligation, ritual and obeisance….Law began infiltrating the nooks and crannies of our lives in [by at least] the 1960s, crowding out common sense. Rules replaced thinking.  Process replaced responsibility.  One false idea lay at the bottom of these developments:  that human judgment should be banned from anything to do with law.  We fell for the [mechanistic] idea that all could be laid out in a tidy legal system where decisions were predetermined, social choices premade.     -P. Howard:  The Death of Common Sense, Random House, NY, 1994, liner-notes

Society can be as liberal as we want it to be.  But that requires a mechanism, which democracy used to provide, for injecting common sense and working out compromises [that don’t subvert real purpose]….

But as Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell warned in a dissenting opinion…”Few rulings would interfere more extensively in the daily functioning of schools than subjecting routine discipline to the formalities and judicial oversight of due process.”

Due process [as applied of late] deprived teachers and principals of the authority to respond to difficult situations [pupil-misbehavior] immediately….

Handing out rights was supposed to provide justice in a fragmented society.  But social structure cannot be divided up like land.  We  all live here together.   -ibid., pp. 154-158-9, 165

It may be helpful to restate it this way:  the rights that are the foundation of this country are rights against  [government] law [mainly the “rights” of the common good and of perspective]….

Madison understood that factions are “sown in the nature of man” stemming inevitably from differences of wealth and circumstances.  The goal of the republic was to create a system that would “emphasize deliberation” by government rather than allowing the passion or power of a particular cause to take hold.   -ibid., p. 166

After the 1994 earthquake in Los Angeles toppled freeways, California Governor Pete Wilson suspended the thick book of procedural guidelines….Instead of a 4-year trudge through government process, the Santa Monica freeway was rebuilt in 66 days to a higher standard than the old one.   -ibid., p. 172


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