Fw: Importing Bulbs and Seeds

Adam Fikso adam14113@ameritech.net
Tue, 27 Jan 2009 18:59:31 PST
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Adam Fikso (by way of Mary Sue Ittner<msittner@mcn.org>)" 
To: <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 7:41 PM
Subject: Re: [pbs] Importing Bulbs and Seeds

>I fully endorse Ellen's position and do not think that this is "bickering".
> The term "bickering" diminishes the importance of the subject.  I have 
> been
> critical before of APHIS during this administration, and expect to be
> again. But they do seem to be getting their act together. The work is
> important, but it will only be through a back and forth exchange of ideas
> and criticism of ideas and procedures that the system will be improved.
> At  present, there are NO foolproof methods for ensuring that potential
> pests can be stopped at our door.  And the nature of the problem is such
> that it CANNOT be made fool proof.  Organisms mutate. Wind blows.   Pests
> from China ride the winds around the world 6 miles above our country,  and
> pollution is not only from "those foreigners", but from every country in
> the world, including ours, all mixing in the "soup" of viruses, molds,
> bacteria, excreta, metal powders, radioactive particles, etc. that we all
> live in.
> I am absolutely for an open exchange of ideas including criticisms.  It is
> the only way to improve our common welfare]
> A few days ago, I was annoyed about the repetition of "old" ideas and 
> their
> repetition, and posted my annoyance-- because apparently, some folks had
> not yet learned about the ongoing restrictive conditions for
> importation.  But some people come late to knowledge that may be "old
> hat"  to others, and room needs to be made for newcomers with tolerance 
> for
> repetition of old information
> I note in passing that Mr Aley may not be aware of how threatening his
> arrival, coupled with his  eMail address, on this list was-- to some
> people. He probably regards himself as benign, and his workplace as 
> equally
> benign. but,..to others it had the effect of a comment such
> as   (Hmmm...  You have relative in Odessa?  No?   Minsk?   Is all
> right..Ve can check.) The implied threat could also be rendered in more
> clearly defined Cyrillic or Germanic overtones.
> The Department of Homeland Security and its nearly unlimited power under
> the PATRIOT Act is not viewed as altogether necessary nor benign.  So,
> Bill, I'm old enough to be a vet of WWII, and may therefore have a longer
> view of certain kinds of events, including the forcible overnight removal
> of my Japanese friends to places we didn't even know about for a quite a
> while. Having the USDA under Homeland Security is downright spooky even
> though it may be logical if one thinks only in terms of apparent
> effiiciency and economy in a Table of Organization.  It remains to be seen
> whether it will be.  Also, it's hard for the military aspects of DHS to be
> reconciled in many  minds with peaceful little flowers.  Not ham and eggs,
> but ham and chocolate truffles, with mayo on the side  as an analogy--or
> worse.}
> Regardless of the utility or necessity of certain government moves
> undertaken by the recent past administration, or one's view of them
> politically-- politics affects bulbs, and diseases of geophytes, and their
> survival in out of the way locations.  I note the fact that military bases
> have been havens for many threatened and endangered species, in California
> for the kit fox, in Israel (The Golan Heights for oncocyclus irises ). I
> mention this because there is a tendency in this group to set the
> boundaries of acceptable topics for discussion wa-a-ay too narrowly.  Down
> to the species level and below for taxonomic distinctions of no use to
> anybody except a taxonomist, and the connoisseur who wants to be sure that
> s/he has the "true"  species, when there may be no recent agreed-on 
> picture
> of the entity in question.  PBS works to supply it.  Sometimes annoyance
> follows close on the heels of such concerns being voiced...but
> rarely.      And Mary Sue does a magnificent "presidential " job of
> moderating the discussions. If she wanted to drop my entire presentation
> here, I'd understand--and accept it .
> But I think that in order to advance the case of the PBS, and its future
> without its becoming hidebound or calcified, we need to work out ways of
> easier importation and distribution so that we continue to have samples of
> what we talk about.  If Bill Aley (WDA) and his associates can help us do
> this, I'm for welcoming him.  Maybe he could even help simplify some of 
> the
> rigmarole of getting registered as an importer of small samples.   Do we
> really need a 10-letter password composed of 2 symbols from the top
> line,... etc?.   Sincerely,
> Adam Fikso, Ph.D.,(psychology-- not one of the botanical subspecialties.)
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