Monday, September 19, 2011

"Safes" and safes.

Regarding "safes" - if it's not UL- or ETL-rated, it's not a safe.  Real safes are rated according to the number of minutes that they will withstand attack from a given set of tools in the hands of a trained safecracker.

From UL's site:

"Safes are rated for their resistance to attack against specific tools
for a set period of time. There are a dozen different ratings,
everything from ATM machines, to gun safes to bank vaults. For example, a
safe that bears a Class TRTL-15x6 rating, which might be found in a
jewelry store, should resist a hand tool and torch attack for a minimum
of 15 minutes. A TRTL-30x6-rated safe, which would protect important
documents or store money, should withstand an attack for 30 minutes. The
ultimate safe rating — a TXTL60 — should withstand an hour's worth of
attack that includes the use of 8 ounces of nitroglycerin."

Nearly 100% of "safes" that you will find in a big box store or online (even the imposing-looking gun safes) meet merely the minimum requirements for "residential security container" or RSC which is that they will withstand *5 minutes* of attack by common hand tools.  They are not "safes" at all and give virtually no protection due to their thin steel and unsophisticated locking mechanisms.  (Hint: if the description of the thing lauds what "gauge" the steel is, it's not a safe.  Real safes start at 1/4" armor plate steel and go up from there.)

Here's a video showing that most "safes" are crap:

Therefore, with this in mind, if you buy a "safe" and not a real safe, it will only secure valuables against the dumbest criminals under time pressure, and if the burglar has any time at all to work on it with even the most rudimentary tools, it will be cracked.

Therefore, the only real use of a "safe" is to protect against fire and the subsequent dousing by the fire department - and again, if it doesn't bear a UL listing for fire protection, it's not a safe, it's just a heavy box.  Again from UL's site:

"In addition to burglary protection ratings, UL also rates safes for
their fire resistance protection. Class 350 safes protect paper
documents, Class 150 safes protect magnetic tape and photographic film,
while Class 125 safes protect floppy disks. In addition to the Class
Rating, safes obtain an hourly rating for fire resistance — anywhere
from 30 minutes to four hours."

Waterproof safes are hard to make due to the fact that the door has to be sealed; therefore, for waterproofness, simply enclose your documents/valuables in plastic bags in a regular RSC as the more waterproof containers tend to be top-opening chests instead of front opening.

This should be enough of an education for you to pick your own safe.
AMSEC is a premier maker of safes and they start at $1000 and up.  Sentry makes good fire RSCs and they start at $50 or so.

Monday, July 18, 2011

You don't need AWD/4x4 for a snow car.

Everyone that actually lives in the mountains zooms around in little rusty manual transmission Civics with snow tires, blowing past all the tourists in their SUVs.

While Outbacks are better, anything between about 2000-2004 has head gasket problems. The Legacy is the lower Outback and still does great in the snow. Anything 4WD or AWD is not cheap to maintain, if you must get one, get a car with a completely mechanical 4x4 or AWD system. I live down in the plains and drive up to ski, and we figured in my buddy's AWD wagon we were in conditions that actually required the AWD (not "was nice", required as in "we would otherwise die") perhaps 4% of the yearly mileage, and we got in 60 days each.

Consider a manual transmission FWD wagon with 4 good snow tires (Blizzaks, Hakkapelittas, Green Diamonds) on steel rims. (Why steel rims? Because in winter you're a lot more liable to slide into a curb and ding your alloy rims/affect your alignment. Because steel rims bend, they absorb some of the impact that would otherwise go into messing up your alignment).

In the snow, the order of on-road capability goes: AWD with chains > AWD with snow tires > 4x4 with chains > FWD with chains > 4x4 with snow tires > FWD with snow tires > AWD with all season tires > FWD with all season tires > 4x4 with all season tires.

On all season tires, 4x4s are the worst car to drive in winter because of their high centers of gravity, solid axles, and unsophisticated differentials. Offroad, a 4x4 will own anything but on a road at high speed they are unsafe.

Even an AWD on all-seasons will be all over the road compared to a FWD on good snow tires.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Marin Lombard 2011 review.

When disc brakes came out 15 years ago, I lusted after having a road bike with disc brakes.  I never got one - until now.  With a 30 mile roundtrip commute, my singlespeed track bike was painful to grunt up those hills.

You can read the specs at Marin's site here.  They don't list the weight but my LBS put my Large size on the scale for 25lb 11oz with the stock pedals.

There are a couple of things I love about it that other reviews don't talk about.  The seatpost is really nice and allows you to fine-tune the tilt of the seat to a degree not normally found in this pricepoint of bike.  The wheelbase is relatively long, giving good stability.  All of the hardpoints that you'd find on a touring bike are there and in the right places, so you can mount full fenders plus front and rear racks with no problem.  The fork, though not steel, resembles an MTB fork and gives a good strong mount point for the front disc brake plus it nicely dampens road vibration.  I would not be surprised if MTB tires fit nicely. The stock tires have relatively low rolling resistance but have good siping on the sides for cornering in the wet.  The seat tube and handlebars both have numbered lines so fine-tuning the bike's fit is easy, and they left you lots of head tube on the fork so you can chop it yourself.  The frame is neat, combining a high BB height, low CG, and more cross-like handlebar position.  They basically went right down the middle with the geometry between a dedicated road bike and a cross bike. Cyclocrossers will like the fact that the top tube has a crease running down its length on both sides, making it easy to pick up and shoulder over obstacles. The Tektro Lyra disc brakes are nice and will bring you to a screeching halt wet or dry.

The drivetrain is a little low in Shimano's lineup for my liking, but it's solid and any parts that I blow up will get replaced with nicer ones anyway.

I paid $720 at my LBS, and I think that's a damn good deal.

edit: I had a "clunk" going on with the rear disc brake when the brake was first applied (not a constant clicking, just a "thunk" as you engaged the brake). My LBS called Tektro directly and they suggested looking to see if the ball bearing that the disc actuator rides on had slipped, or if the return spring had popped out. It was the latter, the spring was out of it hole due to the bolt working a bit loose. They fixed that and it's been fine for 30 miles. I suggest locktiting the bolt that holds the spring in.

150 miles on the bike so far and no other complaints.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

"But I ran out of steam trying to find new ways to prepare swiss chard, kohlrabi, eggplant, and collard greens. "

This is a common reaction to CSAs. What most people don't realize is that if you're not getting it in your local CSA, it's generally not *possible* to grow the tomatoes, peppers, corn, etc. *with good yield* where you live. Sure, you can grow a couple Brandywines on your porch, but what about 30,000 plants in continuous production across seasonal variations in weather and in local soil? People think that "well, I put a plant in $3 of compost I bought from the store and *I* was able to get 3 tomatoes from it last year, so clearly the CSA should be able to give me a dozen tomatoes a week if they just planted enough! What idiots!"

The "swiss chard, kohlrabi, eggplant, and collard greens" that people whine about are the foods that actually *grow well* where they live, which is the whole intent of "eating local" in the first place. If you're not willing to eat the foods that actually grow well where you live, then admit that you really don't care about eating local in the first place and just want to be trendy.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Government power is fungible.

The problem is that people love government force and meddling when it gets them something they want, but are against it when it's something they don't want. They don't see that any money or power they give the government today to, say, enact mandatory recycling laws or mandate health coverage gets used the very next day to create restrictive building codes, eavesdrop on all their telephone or Internet use, or fly halfway around the world to drop bombs on children. Government power is fungible, and needs to be kept as small as possible – even if it means giving up things that you want the government to do for you.

What people don't know is that government power is not vested in the politicians. They come and go every couple years and don't have much of a chance to set up significant power structures. Political power is in the bureaucrats, and it is here that we find the true reason why *all* government power gets used for bad ends.

Bureaucratic "skill", such as it is, is simply the ability to read and zealously apply whatever rules you are charged to enforce, and as such a "skilled" bureaucrat can work at the EPA one week and the DHS, FDA, EPA or BATFE with a week of training.  Say you create a new government department and staff it entirely with a broad spectrum of people, from the nice people that don't seek power to budding petty tyrants.  Because being nice - taking special cases and making exceptions - takes longer than simply blindly enforcing rules and smashing flat those citizens that oppose you, the petty tyrants will be more efficient and take over the organization eventually.  Therefore, all government departments must eventually be staffed entirely by petty tyrants, even innocuous ones like the Patent Office and the Department of Education.

Now, how does the power you give a "nice" department like, say, the Department of Education get turned into the power of a "nasty" organization like, say, the BATFE or FBI?

One has to realize that the strength of an organization is in the number of bureaucrats that it commands.  Each bureaucrat is only capable of enforcing a fixed number of rules actions in their 5-hour workday, and it is the number of enforcement actions that determines their advancement, so they are incentivized to hand down as many enforcement actions as possible.  Again, this is a skill.  The greater the job market for bureaucrats, the better the competition for people with the bureaucrat's skill of zealously enforcing rules.  Therefore, the bureacrats within the system are incentivized to perform better and better the more bureaucrats are added to the system, *no matter where you add those bureaucrats*, as again they can work in the Department of Education just as easily as they can in the IRS or the FBI.  Of course, it is the frontline people that actually have useful skills in the area of science, law, medicine, or whatever, but it is the middle managers that determine where they go and what they do, and a middle manager is a middle manager no matter what department they work for.

Therefore, it's not possible to give certain "good" areas of government more power without making the other "bad" parts more powerful as well.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How to buy a car at a dealership.

Never talk price in a dealership at all. Inform them that you're just test-driving and all price negotiations will be over email. If they bring up price after you say this, remind them, walk, or ask to work with a different salesperson that will remember your requests better.

When you get to the point of buying send an email to all dealerships in your area: "I want X car, Y year, Z options. Options in excess of Z are nice but I will not pay extra for them. I will be taking bids for final out the door price until (date) and paying on (date) at (time) with a loan from my credit union, so I will not be financing with you. "

Get bids and then send out a second email, "The current low bid is $S. If you can beat that, please email me before (same date as before)." Be honest and not stupid with this step, if you say something made up, everyone will bail as they all know the real bottomline price.

Get the loan paperwork from your credit union and walk into the dealership. Fill out the paperwork and hand it to them, they will work with the credit union to finalize the purchase.

How to find a good mechanic.

Something that people always ask is "How do I find a good mechanic?"

Well, here's the answer.

Go to a bigbox store and buy one turkey baster, one bottle of DOT4 brake fluid, and some rubber gloves. Put on the gloves, go to your ABS reservoir and take out brake fluid until it's a mm or two below the "LOW" mark on the reservoir. The fluid is mildly corrosive so be careful. Don't go too much below this. Put the cap back on and start the car. The ABS light should go on.

This won't impact the car's driveability other than ABS won't work, normal braking will. Don't do this when you might actually need ABS, like during winter.

Spend a Saturday going around to different mechanics, saying "My ABS light is on and I don't know what's wrong." If what comes back is anything that sounds like "brake system", "ABS relay", "computer replacement", "caliper replacement", anything other than "fluid low and I filled it, no charge", RUN AWAY and go to the next guy.

At then end of the day, simply fill up your reservoir with brake fluid and go on your way.

If you really want to screw with their heads put in an overgapped spark plug and say "I'm getting bad gas mileage" but that's more work to do on your end especially if you have an engine with buried sparkplugs.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Some various travel tips that you won't find elsewhere.

- Speak the language. Prices will drop, access goes up, and enjoyment goes up the more of the language you know. Find a language immersion program or teacher. You might never leave the city you're learning in, but your teacher will take you to all of the out-of-the-way local places you'd never see if you just trudged through the museums like the rest of the cattle. 
- Don't hang around other tourists. A common way to do this is to have a Lonely Planet tourguide - if a place is highly rated in LP, don't go there as you'll be around others just like you, all thinking you're having a unique experience. If you don't want to lug around an LP, simply follow the rule: "if you see white people/backpackers/tourists, time to go somewhere else." 
- Don't wear camouflage, brown, black, or red in places with significant rebel/narco presence. Blue is good. 
- Stay in one place for a couple weeks, don't try to do the this-is-Thursday-so-this-must-be-Hungary whirlwind. I like to rent an apartment and a bicycle. 
- Don't carry on luggage ever, or allow anyone to put your bag anywhere where you can't see it. 
- When in doubt, eat vegetarian. 
- Don't use or buy illegal drugs. 
- Take a shortwave radio. The BBC or VOA can be comforting after six weeks of hearing only Swahili, and will be invaluable if a disaster strikes. 
- When going to a marginally stable country for an extended time, register with the US embassy so they know where to get you if the place goes to hell. 
- Horrible smells are the norm while traveling - sewage, rotten food, vomit. Carry a small bottle of peppermint extract and dab a bit under your nose. 
- A full steel water bottle with a loop of rope tied through the lid will break an attacker's arm easily yet will go through any security screening. 
- The machete/bolo/parong/panga/golok is ubiquitous in third world countries. Get a cheap one for utility/defense if you're going out into the countryside, then throw it in the trash at the airport when you leave. Saved my bacon at least twice. 
- While guns might be common in a lot of countries, the ammunition is often old, degraded, and useless, so remember this if you happen to need a firearm overseas. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bugging in, bugging out, and why neither really works.

My ancestors escaped Russia in post-WWI, because they saw which way the wind was blowing. If they had followed the advice of "survivalists" and "emergency prep gurus", they would be dead.

The thing that no one talks about as a component of emergency preparedness is having infrastructure in another country to sustain you: bank accounts, storage lockers, businesses, and a second passport to get there. A storage locker in a foreign country can run as little as $20 a month, and a foot locker in a friend's garage there often is free. For as little as $2000 you can have an entirely separate life to get to in the event your current country goes psychotic - and yet no one does this.

"Bugging in" doesn't work if the local disaster is longer than 3 weeks in length as you become a target after local supplies are exhausted.

"Bugging out" to the countryside doesn't work either, as then you're more isolated and are a target as well.

When my ancestors saw the conscription and farm confiscations, they set up a base of operations in Chicago with distant relatives. They had a trunk pre-packed in the cellar. When the government came to town and started grabbing all the males for the army, they grabbed the trunk, hopped a boat, and were running a successful butcher shop in Chicago three months later. Everyone who stayed died or was enslaved - the "bugged in" ones had their houses burned down around them and the "bugged out" ones were rounded up and shot eventually.

Their successful business also allowed my great-grandfather's family to send money and supplies to anticommunist groups at virtually no risk to himself in the US, and they were proud when the USSR finally fell. Their old bug-out trunk is still in my basement, and I have the first money my family ever made in the US hung in a frame on the wall, it's a 1904 Morgan silver dollar.

In another part of my family, all their eggs were in one basket despite being wealthy. They didn't leave the country when the Nazis took power, and as a result half of them died in death camps.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Whole Foods and GMOs.

I was pointed to this article, let's look at it.

"The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well. True coexistence is a must."   -  Whole Foods Market, Jan. 21, 2011

Out of context.  WF is looking at two options - total deregulation or coexistence with the organic standards. 

In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto's Genetically Engineered (GE) crops from contaminating the nation's 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America's organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it's time to surrender to Monsanto. Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the mass commercialization of GE crops, such as Monsanto's controversial Roundup Ready alfalfa, and are prepared to sit down and cut a deal for "coexistence" with Monsanto and USDA biotech cheerleader Tom Vilsack.

Uncited assertion.

In a cleverly worded, but profoundly misleading email sent to its customers last week, Whole Foods Market, while proclaiming their support for organics and "seed purity," gave the green light to USDA bureaucrats to approve the "conditional deregulation" of Monsanto's genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa. 

With the other option being total deregulation.  From WF's blog, it looks like the USDA had already decided between two options and that greater control of GMO was not one of them.
Beyond the regulatory euphemism of "conditional deregulation," this means that WFM and their colleagues are willing to go along with the massive planting of a chemical and energy-intensive GE perennial crop, alfalfa; guaranteed to spread its mutant genes and seeds across the nation; guaranteed to contaminate the alfalfa fed to organic animals; guaranteed to lead to massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soil food web by the toxic herbicide, Roundup; and guaranteed to produce Roundup-resistant superweeds that will require even more deadly herbicides such as 2,4 D to be sprayed on millions of acres of alfalfa across the U.S.
Uncited assertion.

In exchange for allowing Monsanto's premeditated pollution of the alfalfa gene pool, WFM wants "compensation." In exchange for a new assault on farmworkers and rural communities (a recent large-scale Swedish study found that spraying Roundup doubles farm workers' and rural residents' risk of getting cancer), WFM expects the pro-biotech USDA to begin to regulate rather than cheerlead for Monsanto. In payment for a new broad spectrum attack on the soil's crucial ability to provide nutrition for food crops and to sequester dangerous greenhouse gases (recent studies show that Roundup devastates essential soil microorganisms that provide plant nutrition and sequester climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases), WFM wants the Biotech Bully of St. Louis to agree to pay "compensation" (i.e. hush money) to farmers "for any losses related to the contamination of his crop."

Um, that seems pretty common sense to me in light of Monsanto's tendency to bring lawsuits against farmers that get GMO in their fields.

In its email of Jan. 21, 2011 WFM calls for "public oversight by the USDA rather than reliance on the biotechnology industry," even though WFM knows full well that federal regulations on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) do not require pre-market safety testing, nor labeling; and that even federal judges have repeatedly ruled that so-called government "oversight" of Frankencrops such as Monsanto's sugar beets and alfalfa is basically a farce. At the end of its email, WFM admits that its surrender to Monsanto is permanent: "The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well  True coexistence is a must."

Again, the momentum is towards GMO foods entering into the "natural" foods feedstream, and WF isn't going to fight this battle, but rather is going to confine their efforts towards keeping their organic line GMO-free.

Why Is Organic Inc. Surrendering?

According to informed sources, the CEOs of WFM and Stonyfield are personal friends of former Iowa governor

Uncited assertion.
, now USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack

The same guy that pushed SB510.  Bad guy for sure.
, and in fact made financial contributions to Vilsack's previous electoral campaigns.

Uncited assertion.  From what I've researched, Mackey has contributed mostly to Libertarians, and none of Vilsack's campaigns are mentioned in public records.
Vilsack was hailed as "Governor of the Year" in 2001 by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and traveled in a Monsanto corporate jet on the campaign trail.

Uncited assertion.
Perhaps even more fundamental to Organic Inc.'s abject surrender is the fact that the organic elite has become more and more isolated from the concerns and passions of organic consumers and locavores. The Organic Inc. CEOs are tired of activist pressure, boycotts, and petitions. Several of them have told me this to my face.

Personal anecdote.
They apparently believe that the battle against GMOs has been lost, and that it's time to reach for the consolation prize.  The consolation prize they seek is a so-called "coexistence"

That's pretty much the only line you need to read in this article.  If you're WF, you tried to get GMOs out but are now going for the compromise instead of trying to hold your position.  This is smart business, move on from the battlefield when it's apparent you aren't winning.
between the biotech Behemoth and the organic community that will lull the public to sleep and greenwash the unpleasant fact that Monsanto's unlabeled and unregulated genetically engineered crops are now spreading their toxic genes on 1/3 of U.S. (and 1/10 of global) crop land.

Uncited assertion / opinion.

WFM and most of the largest organic companies have deliberately separated themselves from anti-GMO efforts and cut off all funding to campaigns working to label or ban GMOs. The so-called Non-GMO Project, funded by Whole Foods and giant wholesaler United Natural Foods (UNFI) is basically a greenwashing effort (although the 100% organic companies involved in this project seem to be operating in good faith) to show that certified organic foods are basically free from GMOs (we already know this since GMOs are banned in organic production), while failing to focus on so-called "natural" foods, which constitute most of WFM and UNFI's sales and are routinely contaminated with GMOs.

WF tried, and now they're withdrawing as it's apparent it's not working.

From their "business as usual" perspective, successful lawsuits against GMOs filed by public interest groups such as the Center for Food Safety; or noisy attacks on Monsanto by groups like the Organic Consumers Association, create bad publicity, rattle their big customers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Kroger, Costco, Supervalu, Publix and Safeway; and remind consumers that organic crops and foods such as corn, soybeans, and canola are slowly but surely becoming contaminated by Monsanto's GMOs.

Whole Food's Dirty Little Secret: Most of the So-Called "Natural" Processed Foods and Animal Products They Sell Are Contaminated with GMOs

The main reason, however, why Whole Foods is pleading for coexistence with Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta, BASF and the rest of the biotech bullies, is that they desperately want the controversy surrounding genetically engineered foods and crops to go away. Why? Because they know, just as we do, that 2/3 of WFM's $9 billion annual sales is derived from so-called "natural" processed foods and animal products that are contaminated with GMOs.

"Natural" does not mean GMO-free.  We already knew this.
We and our allies have tested their so-called "natural" products (no doubt WFM's lab has too) containing non-organic corn and soy, and guess what: they're all contaminated with GMOs, in contrast to their certified organic products, which are basically free of GMOs, or else contain barely detectable trace amounts.

Really?  Where is a link to the test results?  A paper?  Anything?

Approximately 2/3 of the products sold by Whole Foods Market and their main distributor, United Natural Foods (UNFI) are not certified organic, but rather are conventional (chemical-intensive and GMO-tainted) foods and products disguised as "natural."

Again, we already knew that "natural" means nothing.

Unprecedented wholesale and retail control of the organic marketplace by UNFI and Whole Foods, employing a business model of selling twice as much so-called "natural" food as certified organic food, coupled with the takeover of many organic companies by multinational food corporations such as Dean Foods, threatens the growth of the organic movement.

Covering Up GMO Contamination: Perpetrating "Natural" Fraud

Many well-meaning consumers are confused about the difference between conventional products marketed as "natural," and those nutritionally/environmentally superior and climate-friendly products that are "certified organic."

Retail stores like WFM and wholesale distributors like UNFI have failed to educate their customers about the qualitative difference between natural and certified organic, conveniently glossing over the fact that nearly all of the processed "natural" foods and products they sell contain GMOs, or else come from a "natural" supply chain where animals are force-fed GMO grains in factory farms or Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).

Well, sure.  WF could do more, but they're not.  This is hardly an indictment.

A troubling trend in organics today is the calculated shift on the part of certain large formerly organic brands from certified organic ingredients and products to so-called "natural" ingredients. With the exception of the "grass-fed and grass-finished" meat sector, most "natural" meat, dairy, and eggs are coming from animals reared on GMO grains and drugs, and confined, entirely, or for a good portion of their lives, in CAFOs.

Again with the natural vs. organic.  Again, WE KNOW.  This article is going on and on.

Whole Foods and UNFI are maximizing their profits by selling quasi-natural products at premium organic prices.

No, WF charges what the market will bear. 
Organic consumers are increasingly left without certified organic choices while genuine organic farmers and ranchers continue to lose market share to "natural" imposters.
It's no wonder that less than 1% of American farmland is certified organic, while well-intentioned but misled consumers have boosted organic and "natural" purchases to $80 billion annually-approximately 12% of all grocery store sales.

The Solution: Truth-in-Labeling Will Enable Consumers to Drive So-Called "Natural" GMO and CAFO-Tainted Foods Off the Market

There can be no such thing as "coexistence" with a reckless industry that undermines public health, destroys biodiversity, damages the environment, tortures and poisons animals, destabilizes the climate, and economically devastates the world's 1.5 billion seed-saving small farmers.  There is no such thing as coexistence between GMOs and organics in the European Union. Why? Because in the EU there are almost no GMO crops under cultivation, nor GM consumer food products on supermarket shelves. And why is this? Because under EU law, all foods containing GMOs or GMO ingredients must be labeled. Consumers have the freedom to choose or not to choose GMOs; while farmers, food processors, and retailers have (at least legally) the right to lace foods with GMOs, as long as they are safety-tested and labeled. Of course the EU food industry understands that consumers, for the most part, do not want to purchase or consume GE foods. European farmers and food companies, even junk food purveyors like McDonald's and Wal-Mart, understand quite well the concept expressed by a Monsanto executive when GMOs first came on the market: "If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it."

At least you should cite the guy that said it, Norman Braksick, Asgrow CEO.

The biotech industry and Organic Inc. are supremely conscious of the fact that North American consumers, like their European counterparts, are wary and suspicious of GMO foods. Even without a PhD, consumers understand you don't want your food safety or environmental sustainability decisions to be made by out-of-control chemical companies like Monsanto, Dow, or Dupont - the same people who brought you toxic pesticides, Agent Orange, PCBs, and now global warming.

So buy organic instead, don't blame WF for putting food on the shelf that people have indicated they will buy.
Industry leaders are acutely aware of the fact that every single industry or government poll over the last 16 years has shown that 85-95% of American consumers want mandatory labels on GMO foods.

Uncited assertion.
Why? So that we can avoid buying them. GMO foods have absolutely no benefits for consumers or the environment, only hazards. This is why Monsanto and their friends in the Bush, Clinton, and Obama administrations have prevented consumer GMO truth-in-labeling laws from getting a public discussion in Congress.

Although Congressman Dennis Kucinich (Democrat, Ohio) recently introduced a bill in Congress calling for mandatory labeling and safety testing for GMOs, don't hold your breath for Congress to take a stand for truth-in-labeling and consumers' right to know what's in their food. Especially since the 2010 Supreme Court decision in the so-called "Citizens United" case gave big corporations and billionaires the right to spend unlimited amounts of money (and remain anonymous, as they do so) to buy media coverage and elections, our chances of passing federal GMO labeling laws against the wishes of Monsanto and Food Inc. are all but non-existent. Perfectly dramatizing the "Revolving Door" between Monsanto and the Federal Government, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, formerly chief counsel for Monsanto, delivered one of the decisive votes in the Citizens United case, in effect giving Monsanto and other biotech bullies the right to buy the votes it needs in the U.S. Congress.

With big money controlling Congress and the media, we have little choice but to shift our focus and go local. We've got to concentrate our forces where our leverage and power lie, in the marketplace, at the retail level; pressuring retail food stores to voluntarily label their products; while on the legislative front we must organize a broad coalition to pass mandatory GMO (and CAFO) labeling laws, at the city, county, and state levels.

The Organic Consumers Association, joined by our consumer, farmer, environmental, and labor allies, has just launched a nationwide Truth-in-Labeling campaign to stop Monsanto and the Biotech Bullies from force-feeding unlabeled GMOs to animals and humans.

Why not just label organic things as "Not genetically modified"?  That's something that every organic producer could do right now.

All in all, this article expends much wind without actually saying much.  We know that natural doesn't mean organic and non-GMO.  WF tried to change regulations, but failed.  They failed but at least they're trying to compromise instead of giving up entirely.  I could do without the Chicken Little tone of the article and all the uncited assertions, it dilutes the message.