Daily Archives: September 19, 2012


French Study Finds Tumors and Organ Damage in Rats Fed Monsanto Corn

Truth Out has the story French Study Finds Tumors and Organ Damage in Rats Fed Monsanto Corn.

Rats fed a lifetime diet of Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn or exposed to the company’s popular Roundup herbicide developed tumors and suffered severe organ damage, according to a French study released on Wednesday.

The study, published in a reputable American journal, links varying levels of both the Roundup herbicide and the transgenes in Monsanto’s patented NK603 corn to mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage.

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A spokesperson for Monsanto told Truthout that the company will thoroughly review the data, but pointed out that scientific claims made by Séralini in regards to previous studies on rats have been refuted by a European food regulatory agency.

If you click on the above link to the study, you will find that the publisher of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology is Elsevier.  This is a for profit publisher that publishes many technical books and journals including in my field of electrical engineering and computers.  I do not know if their peer review process in their journals is as rigorous as you find in the journals of the not-for-profit technical societies.  In my field that would be the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers).

Given that this is published by Elsevier and that Monsanto has tried to discredit the study, I am not sure how excited one should get over this report.  Eventually the technical community will figure out if the authors of this paper or if Monsanto is correct.  Remember that Monsanto has a huge financial stake in proving this report to be false.

If you go to the Elsevier web site, you will find:

Who we are: A global company headquartered in Amsterdam, employing more than 7,000 people in 24 countries.

So I don’t know about the Truth Out claim about the journal being American.  It’s not that being American would make the journal any more respectable, but it is about Truth Out getting all its facts straight.


I Was In The 47%

Here is the video clip of Mitt Romney talking about the 47% who pay no income taxes.


Let me give a little tax advice to people, but first I must admit I am totally unqualified to be giving such advice to anyone.

I am retired and have no income other than what my investments bring me plus Social Security and a miniscule pension.

I have investments in taxable accounts and in tax deferred accounts. After the stock market crash in about the 2008 to 2009 period, I decided to sell some of my investments in my taxable accounts in order to realize huge losses. In my tax deferred accounts, I took free cash and invested in stocks to compensate for what I sold in the taxable accounts. I did not invest in the same stocks so I would not run afoul of the wash rule. In effect these sales and purchases left my investment allocation at exactly the same place it was before making the trades.

This let me shift some of my income into the tax deferred accounts and out of the taxable accounts while realizing tax deductible losses and not realizing non-deductible losses.

For several years I paid zero income taxes at both the state and federal levels.

Unfortunately President Obama has reigned over huge increases in the stock market. It has gotten so bad that I eventually ran out of tax losses to compensate for my taxable earnings so that I have had to pay income taxes again. I don’t know why, but somehow this situation does not make me angry at President Obama. In fact it makes me want to vote for him again.

I also don’t understand about being retired and having to live on a fixed income. I invest in companies who pay increasing dividends every year. So my income is also increasing every year. I may even be getting bigger percentage raises now than when I was working.


The origins of accounting

This one is for my daughter, Shelah, the accountant. My cousin, Michael, the CPA, ought to appreciate this too.


Jane Gleeson-White, author of a new book about the genesis of double-entry book-keeping, discusses the little known roots of the practice in Renaissance Venice



Carter Grandson Arranged Romney Video’s Release

ABC News has the story Carter Grandson Arranged Romney Video’s Release.

“I’ve gotten a lot of Twitter messages from people supporting me and saying that it’s poetic justice that it was a Carter that uncovered this, considering the way that the Romney campaign has been talking about my grandfather,” Carter said. “I agree with that sentiment wholeheartedly.”

Maybe Romney has learned a lesson here.  Old former Presidents are not defenseless.