Bayer AG is a huge, multinational corporation with more than $46 billion in revenue for 2015. Its profit last year was a cool $4.11 billion.
Monsanto Company is a huge, multinational corporation with some $15 billion in revenue for 2015. Its net income last year was a cool $2.3 billion.
Bayer, a Leverkusen, Germany firm, has offered Monsanto, of Creve Coeur, Missouri, $62 billion to buy out the latter outfit. Monsanto says $62 billion isn’t good enough but it’d be happy to listen if Bayer wishes to sweeten the offer.
Bayer makes pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, over-the-counter consumer health products, miscellaneous biotechnology products, and plastics. The company got its start in 1863, making aspirin. Later it would go on to produce heroin (to relieve coughing) and Flintstones vitamins. During World War II, its parent company at the time employed slave labor for pharmaceutical experiments and produced Zyklon B, used in concentration camp gas chambers.
Monsanto makes agricultural and biotechnology products. The company got its start in 1901, making food additives like saccharine. Later it would go on to produce such terrifying substances as PCBs, DDT, Agent Orange, and bovine growth hormone.
Should the sale go through, Bayer-Monsanto would be one of only five enormous global agribusiness giants producing the vast majority of seeds and chemicals used by farmers. Monsanto long has created products and employed practices designed to make farmers ever more dependent on it. One of Monsanto’s favorite tricks is to create seeds whose resultant plants produce sterile seeds. Farmers long have depended on the “saving seeds” process — using this year’s crops’ seeds for next year’s planting — to reduce costs. Monsanto’s lawyers have been wildly successful in curtailing this prudent practice.
In any case, a proposed Bayer-Monsanto unholy matrimony would result in much of the planet’s farming coming under its thumb.
The Nazis wanted to take over the world and IG Farben (Bayer’s parent from 1925 through 1946, the year the occupying Allied powers broke the conglomerate up) tried its damnedest to help them do it.
Now, it seems, Farben’s bastard child Bayer itself may come a lot closer to achieving that nefarious goal without the help of the Wehrmacht, the Gestapo, and the SS.
Jason & Ginger
I couldn’t be happier to be back at work at the Book Corner. No. 1, it’s evidence I’m getting better every day after my late winter-early spring foray into cancer territory and, No. 2, I get wired in again to all the happenings around town (the gossip, too).
For instance, Bloomington’s favorite guitarist, Jason Fickel, came in today to buy some music mags. He happened to let drop the news — news to me, at least; remember, I’ve been out of the loop — that he and Ginger Curry have a spanking new album coming out this summer.
Ginger & Jason
The two will release their third opus, “Some Kind of Love,” some time around August 1st on iTunes. The CD will come out Saturday, August 6th, with a release party that evening at 8 at the Waldron Arts Center.
Jason and Ginger put out their first disk in 2011. All three of their albums thus far have been on Fickel’s own Lost Canyon Records label. “Some Kind…” was engineered by Rich Morpurgo and Christina Ondrik.
Jason told me why he continues working with Ginger: “It’s so gratifying to have my songs performed by that voice — and we just have a lot of fun.”
BTW: Here’s a vid demonstrating how to make ginger curry, AKA inchi curry, a side dish served during Onam, a Hindu festival celebrated in the Indian state of Kerala:
It occurs to me if I were to be lucky enough to be named after food ingredients, I’d want to be called Tomato Garlic. OTOH, that doesn’t trip off the tongue as well as Ginger Curry.
We still don’t know if terrorists brought down that Egypt Air jet last week. In fact, the only thing we can say for certain is those who want us to remain in a never-ending state of fear are milking the crash for everything it’s got. And, no, I’m not referring to terrorists.
Jeff Isaac found this before I did:
Click Image For Washington Post Piece
The Republican standard bearer has been sucking on the government teat for decades now.
May 24th & 25th Birthdays
Jean-Paul Marat — I’ve always felt vulnerable when lying or sitting in a bathtub.
Lillian Gilbreth — Born Lillian Moller, she was perhaps the first female PhD engineer to actually work in her chosen field. She was a psychologist, industrial management consultant, and college professor. The book and movie, Cheaper by the Dozen, were based on her family’s story (she and her husband did indeed have twelve children.)
Harry Burnett (H.B.) Reese — Inventor of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. BTW, he and his wife had 16 children, putting the Gilbreths to shame.
Wilbur Mills — Member of the US House from Arkansas from 1939 to 1977, the powerful Democrat was the House Ways and Means Committee chair from the 1950s through his retirement. And that retirement came about dramatically. Mills one night in the fall of 1974 was stopped by police in Washington DC. The officers determined he was drunk only after an Argentine stripper who performed under the stage name Fanne Foxe dashed out of the car and jumped into the Tidal Basin fully clothed. Apparently, Mills and Fox were loath to have their affair discovered. Foxe was apprehended and thrown in a mental institution. Mills was reelected to the House in a landslide four weeks later. At the end of that month, Mills again appeared in public drunk, taking the stage at the Pilgrim Theater in Boston where Foxe was performing. After this incident, Mills admitted to a drinking problem and subsequently resigned form his committee chairmanship. He did not run for reelection in 1976.
Mills With Fanne Foxe
Bobby Zimmerman — Some kid from far northern Minnesota.
Jane Byrne — The first female mayor of Chicago, she was tough as nails. Acc’d’g to lore, on election night she phoned Alderman Fred Roti, the Mob’s man in City Hall and a notorious ballot box stuffer, and told him, “Look Fred, I’ve got a good chance to win this thing. All I ask is that you and your boys give me a fair count. If you do, I’ll be fair with you. If you don’t, I’ll cut your balls off.” Roti later claimed he ordered a fair count for Byrne mainly because he was so impressed with her guts.
Michael Chabon — Pulitzer Prize winner for the novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Chabon was misidentified as homosexual in a 1987 Newsweek magazine piece on young gay writers. Chabon later claimed the error actually helped broaden his audience as many gay readers bought his books.
On this day in 1974, Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington died. He won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1999. The Pulitzer committee wrote: “Bestowed posthumously, commemorating the centennial year of his birth, in recognition of his musical genius, which evoked aesthetically the principles of democracy through the medium of jazz and thus made an indelible contribution to art and culture.”
Bill “Bojangles” Robinson — The highest paid black entertainer in the age of vaudeville. As a solo tap dancing act, he smashed the prohibition against blacks appearing alone on stage. Known as the “two-colored rule,” the ban required all black stage acts to be duos. At the same time, as ridiculous as it sounds, blacks had to appear on stage in blackface.
Eve Ensler — Originator of the The Vagina Monologues franchise. Despite its groundbreaking treatment of violence against women, TVM has occasionally been criticized. Early on, the play was slammed as being oriented toward a white, middle-class woman’s point of view. Last year, Mount Holyoke drama students ceased their yearly production of the play because it was not inclusive of transgender people.
On this day in 1981, Ruby Payne-Scott died. The first female radio astronomer, she was among the pioneers in that field regardless of gender. She also was engaged in top-secret research into radar during World War II. Payne-Scott worked for Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. At the time Australia had a ban on married women holding government jobs so she had to keep her 1944 marriage a secret.