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Desultory Heroics

By Robert Reich

Source: Nation of Change

Not long ago I visited some farmers in Missouri whose profits are disappearing. Why? Monsanto alone owns the key genetic traits to more than 90 percent of the soybeans planted by farmers in the United States, and 80 percent of the corn. Which means Monsanto can charge farmers much higher prices.

Farmers are getting squeezed from the other side, too, because the food processors they sell their produce to are also consolidating into mega companies that have so much market power they can cut the prices they pay to farmers.

This doesn’t mean lower food prices to you. It means more profits to the monopolists.

Monopolies all around

America used to have antitrust laws that stopped corporations from monopolizing markets, and often broke up the biggest culprits. No longer. It’s a hidden upward redistribution of money and power from the majority of Americans…

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Desultory Heroics

By Colin Todhunter

Source: CounterPunch

Environmental campaigner Dr Rosemary Mason has just written to President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans and Health Commissioner Vytenis Andruikaitis. As set out below, she asks these top officials some very pertinent questions about the EU’s collusion with the agrochemical corporations.

1) In authorising glyphosate on behalf of the Glyphosate Task Force led by Monsanto, why did President Juncker fail to state the European Chemicals Agency’ (ECHA) risk assessment in full?

2) Why did the EU collude with corporations that made nerve gases in WW2 for chemical warfare and for use in the Nazi concentration camps? These firms continued to use similar chemicals in agriculture to poison ‘pests’, beneficial insects, birds and people.

3) Could it be that is it is because biocides regulations in the EU are merely designed to make corporations money and are…

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Desultory Heroics

By Andre Damon

Source: WSWS.org

Since late 2016, the New York Times, working together with the US intelligence agencies and the Democratic Party, has been engaged in a campaign to promote internet censorship in the guise of targeting “fake news” and “Russian propaganda.”

In waging this campaign, the Times’ motives are both political and pecuniary. Speaking for a ruling elite that sees the growth of social opposition on all sides and expects far worse, the Times has promoted censorship to remove opportunities for the working class to organize outside the framework of official politics.

In addition, the Times, for the most part a clearinghouse for staid and predigested state propaganda, is seeking to carve back market share it has lost to online publications that carry out genuine investigative journalism and oppose the lies peddled by the US government and media.

In recent months, this campaign has entered…

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Desultory Heroics

By Margaret Kimberley

Source: Intrepid Report

Vladimir Putin is blamed for everything that goes awry in Europe and the United States. In the United Kingdom his country was even blamed for bad weather as tabloid headlines screamed about icy Russian winds. The Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s Electoral College victory are said to be the result of Putin’s interference, even though the machinations of American oligarch Robert Mercer are most responsible for both outcomes.

When high level vitriol is shared by the corporate media and the American political duopoly and then repeated ad nauseum it is clear that the target will be subjected to more than mere slander. Such an attack carried out against a foreign leader is proof that the United States is ready for war by other means if not outright military conflict.

Russia has been a target ever since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991…

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via The most perilous time in world history got worse

The Most Perilous Time In World History Just Got WORSE! Posted By Luther Blissett: By Stephen Lendman: Intrepid Report 03/19/18: https://desultoryheroics.com/2018/03/19/the-most-perilous-time-in-world-history-got-worse/ Or: https://randrewohge.wordpress.com/2018/03/19/the-most-perilous-time-in-world-history-just-got-worse/

Events ongoing should terrify everyone—things likely heading for greater war than already.

Most Americans, Brits, and others in NATO countries are unaware of the danger posed by hardline Western extremists in charge of policy-making—notably in Washington, London and Israel, the Jewish state an alliance Mediterranean Dialogue member.

Businessman Trump was co-opted to be a warrior president—neocon generals in charge of geopolitical policies, their agenda hardened by Mike Pompeo replacing Rex Tillerson at State, along with torturer-in-chief Gina Haspel appointed new CIA director.

An unholy alliance of US extremist policymakers allied with like-minded ones in partner countries risks war winds reaching gale force, a terrifying prospect if confrontation with Russia, Iran or North Korea occurs—the possibility increased by recent events.

Earlier this week, US Defense Secretary Mattis and UN envoy Haley threatened Russia and Damascus.

Russia vowed to retaliate against US attacks on Syrian forces in East Ghouta or elsewhere endangering its personnel in the country.

Anti-Russia hysteria in Britain over the Sergey Skripal poisoning affair, most certainly Moscow had nothing to do with, soured bilateral relations more than already.

In response to British PM Theresa May demanding swift Russian answers to questions posed about the incident, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman (speaking for her government) replied sharply saying, “One does not give 24 hours notice to a nuclear power,” adding the “Skripal poisoning was not an incident but a colossal international provocation,” adding not a “single international legal mechanism [exists] to probe the Skripal case.”

Russia’s embassy in London said “Moscow will not respond to London’s ultimatum until it receives samples of the chemical substance to which the UK investigators are referring.”

“Britain must comply with the Chemical Weapons Convention which stipulates joint investigation into the incident, for which Moscow is ready.”

“Without that, there can be no sense in any statements from London. The incident appears to be yet another crooked attempt by the UK authorities to discredit Russia.”

“Any threat to take ‘punitive’ measures against Russia will meet with a response. The British side should be aware of that.”

“Not only is Russia groundlessly and provocatively accused of the Salisbury incident, but apparently, plans are being developed in the UK to strike Russia with cyber weapons.”

“Judging by the statements of the prime minister, such a decision can be taken at tomorrow’s meeting of the National Security Council.”

Given the gravity of the situation, the above comments by Russian diplomats were uncharacteristically strong.

Sergey Lavrov warned Washington that “[i]f a new [US] strike . . . takes place [against Syrian forces], the consequences will be very serious,” adding, “I simply don’t have any normal terms left to describe all this.”

What’s coming remains to be seen. Hostile rhetoric from US and UK officials, along with hawkish extremists Pompeo in charge at State and Haspel appointed new CIA chief likely signal more war, not less.

What’s ongoing assures no possibility of improving dismal bilateral relations with Russia, China, Iran and other sovereign independent countries.

Talks with North Korea could either be scuttled or confrontational if they take place.

Given very disturbing ongoing events, the perilous state of world conditions reached a new low.

Be scared about what may follow—be very scared!

via Shocking victory for proponents of alternative medicine

Shocking Victory For Proponents Of Alternative Medicine
By Jon Rappoport 03/08/18: https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/shocking-victory-for-proponents-of-alternative-medicine/ https://wordpress.com/post/randrewohge.wordpress.com/3581

Breaking: In Australia, an effort to label all alternative (traditional, complementary) medicine products as “based on pseudoscience” has failed.

Traditional remedies (much older than mainstream medicines) are defended as appropriate, and can include health claims.

The Crazz Files, a major defender of health freedom in Australia, reports: “In a major win, the Federal Government has ignored the Australian Greens and anti-complementary medicine activists like Doctor Ken Harvey…and passed a reform package that protects traditional medicine.”

“The Therapeutic Goods Amendment (2017 Measures No. 1) Bill, which passed Parliament on February 15, supports positive claims for complementary medicines based on traditional evidence, and abolishes the current complaints system.”

“Greens voters were shocked to learn Greens Leader and General Practitioner, Senator Dr Richard Di Natale was aligned with skeptics, whose platform is: ‘There is no alternative to [modern] Medicine’.”

“One of his [Dr. Di Natale’s] ‘concerns’ was that people were being ‘misled’ by traditional claims about the effectiveness of complementary medicine.

He, and the skeptics, wanted labels on complementary and traditional medicines to state: ’this traditional indication is not in accordance with modern medical knowledge and there is no scientific evidence that this product is effective’.”

“The Minister for Rural Health, Senator Bridget McKenzie, told Di Natale: ‘I think it is offensive and disrespectful to those who practice traditional medicine’.”

“’For some, particularly those using Chinese medicine, the history of practicing in that traditional medicine paradigm goes back thousands of years.

It’s been extensively refined, practiced and documented and in many cases incorporated into mainstream medicine.

So, a statement required by the Australian Government that the indication is not in accordance with modern medical knowledge and that there is no scientific evidence will be seen as arrogant and insensitive to those practicing and using traditional Chinese medicines,’ Senator McKenzie said.”

Boom.

All right.

Now I want to treat readers to a brief analysis of “modern medicine,” the so-called scientific system that is the “only valid system.”

It is the system employed in Australia, America, and virtually all countries in the world.

People who watch the news or read mainstream news have the impression that “scientific” medical research is remarkably valid and always progressing.

Doctors and medical bureaucrats line up to confirm and ceaselessly push this view.

But they are concealing a dark truth.

Let’s go to the record.

Here are two editors of two of the most prestigious and respected medical journals in the world.

During their long careers, they have read and scrutinized more studies than any doctor, researcher, bureaucrat, or so-called medical blogger.

And this is what they have written:

ONE: “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.

I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” (Dr. Marcia Angell, NY Review of Books, January 15, 2009, “Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption)

TWO: “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.

Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness…

“The apparent endemicity of bad research behaviour is alarming. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world.

Or they retrofit hypotheses to fit their data.

Journal editors deserve their fair share of criticism too.

We aid and abet the worst behaviours.

Our acquiescence to the impact factor fuels an unhealthy competition to win a place in a select few journals.

Our love of ‘significance’ pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale…Journals are not the only miscreants.

Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent…” (Dr. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief, The Lancet, in The Lancet, 11 April, 2015, Vol 385, “Offline: What is medicine’s 5 sigma?”)

There are many ominous implications in these two statements.

I will point out one.

Incompetent, error-filled, and fraudulent studies of medical drugs—for example, published reports on clinical trials of those drugs—would lead one to expect chaos in the field of medical treatment.

And by chaos, I mean: the drugs cause widespread death and severe injury.

Again, if a person obtains his news from mainstream sources, he will say: “But I see no evidence of such a vast scandal.”

That is a conspiracy of silence.

Because this widespread death and grievous harm HAS been reported.

Where?

In open-source medical literature.

For example:

On July 26, 2000, the US medical community received a titanic shock, when one of its most respected public-health experts, Dr. Barbara Starfield, revealed her findings on healthcare in America.

Starfield was associated with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

The Starfield study, “Is US health really the best in the world?”, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), came to the following conclusion, among others:

Every year in the US, correctly prescribed, FDA approved medical drugs kill 106,000 people.

Thus, every decade, these drugs kill more than a MILLION people.

On the heels of Starfield’s astonishing findings, media reporting was rather perfunctory, and it soon dwindled.

No major newspaper or television network mounted an ongoing “Medicalgate” investigation.

Neither the US Department of Justice nor federal health agencies undertook prolonged remedial action.

All in all, those parties who could have taken effective steps to correct this ongoing tragedy preferred to ignore it.

On December 6-7, 2009, I interviewed Dr. Starfield by email.

Here is an excerpt from that interview.

Q: What has been the level and tenor of the response to your findings, since 2000?

A: The American public appears to have been hoodwinked into believing that more interventions lead to better health, and most people that I meet are completely unaware that the US does not have the ‘best health in the world’.

Q: In the medical research community, have your medically-caused mortality statistics been debated, or have these figures been accepted, albeit with some degree of shame?

A: The findings have been accepted by those who study them. There has been only one detractor, a former medical school dean, who has received a lot of attention for claiming that the US health system is the best there is and we need more of it. He has a vested interest in medical schools and teaching hospitals (they are his constituency).

Q: Have health agencies of the federal government consulted with you on ways to mitigate the [devastating] effects of the US medical system?

A: NO.

Q: Are you aware of any systematic efforts, since your 2000 JAMA study was published, to remedy the main categories of medically caused deaths in the US?

A: No systematic efforts; however, there have been a lot of studies. Most of them indicate higher rates [of death] than I calculated.

Q: Did your 2000 JAMA study sail through peer review, or was there some opposition to publishing it?

A: It was rejected by the first journal that I sent it to, on the grounds that ‘it would not be interesting to readers’!

—end of interview excerpt—

Physicians are trained to pay exclusive homage to peer-reviewed published drug studies.

These doctors unfailingly ignore the fact that, if medical drugs are killing a million Americans per decade, the studies on which those drugs are based must be fraudulent.

In other words, the medical literature is suspect, unreliable, and impenetrable.

WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THE TWO ESTEEMED MEDICAL EDITORS I QUOTED ABOVE—MARCIA ANGELL AND RICHARD HORTON—ARE SAYING.

If you know a doctor who enjoys sitting up on his high horse dispensing the final word on modern medicine, you might give him the quotes from Dr. Angell and Dr. Horton, instruct him to read them, and suggest he get in touch with Angell and Horton, in order to discover what has happened to his profession.

As in: DISASTER.