A non-profit news blog, focused on providing independent journalism.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Mexico: New graves found in hunt for missing students

protesters missing students

© www.ibtimes.com

Protesters hold photos of missing students outside the Attorney General's office.

The 43 have been missing since they clashed with police almost three weeks ago in the town of Iguala. Vigilantes who joined the search said they had found six new burial pits, at least two of which contained what they believe are human remains. The search had been stepped up after forensic tests showed bodies found on 4 October were not those of the students.

Gruesome find

The latest burial pits were found by members of a group of vigilantes who had travelled to Iguala to help with the search. They said they had found six pits, two of which looked freshly dug but had not been used yet.

They searched three of the remaining four and said they found what looked like human remains, clothes and hair in two of them. If confirmed, this would bring the total number of mass graves found around Iguala since the students' disappearance to 19.

grave hole

© www.nytimes.com

Hillside grave examined for missing students.

'No match'

So far, forensic experts have only concluded tests on 28 bodies found on 4 October. They could not be matched with the DNA provided by the relatives of the students, raising questions as to who was in the mass grave. It is also not clear how long ago the grave may have been dug and by whom.

About 50 people have been arrested in connection with the students' disappearance, with the vast majority being local police officers. The officers are believed to have been working for a drugs gang, known as the Guerreros Unidos.

The missing students all attended a teacher training college in Ayotzinapa. The college has a history of left-wing activism but it is not clear whether the students were targeted for their political beliefs. They disappeared after clashes with the police on 26 September in which six people died. Eyewitnesses reported seeing them being bundled into police vans.

Comment: The Mexican state of Guerrero is notorious for marijuana and opium traffic. The relentless drug wars have resulted in over 40,000 gang-related murders and thousands of missing persons. Numerous mass graves and hundreds of bodies riddle drug-run localities victimized by a combination of organized crime, corrupt local police and territorial drug gangs. There is speculation that the 43 students were turned over to a local drug gang by the police. In the scuffle, two students died and one was left in a vegetative state. The body of a third student was found later, his face skinned and his eye gouged out. Iguala's mayor and police chief, both suspected of working with the cartel, are on the run. There are eight more mass burial sites yet to be examined. Psychopathic Gangsters. Pure Evil. Not Muslims. To speculate who is keeping these cartels in business...just look northward.

Russia's blacklisted Rosneft, billionaire Rotenberg take EU to court over sanctions

Arkady Rotenberg, Igor Sechin

© RIA Novosti/Vladimir Fedorenko, Vladimir Astapkovich

Arkady Rotenberg, Igor Sechin

State-owned oil company Rosneft and billionaire Arkady Rotenberg have filed a case in the European Court of Justice against the European Council challenging its decision over sanctions, according to papers filed with the court.

Rosneft submitted the claim on October 9, and Rotenberg the next day, October 10.

On October 9, Rosneft announced a tender to law firms worth £17.7 million for five of legal work to help win the case, TASS reports citing Rosneft documents.

The full text of the claim isn't available on the court website, but the says the Russian oil giant is challenging the European Council decision dated July 31 that placed the company and Arkady Rotenberg, President Putin's judo partner, on the blacklist.

That round of sanctions banned some of Russia's biggest and most important firms from borrowing long-term on European financial markets. Individuals sanctioned, included Arkady Rotenberg, are faced with a travel ban and a freeze of assets held in Europe.

Rosneft declined to give RT comment on the issue.

Arkady Rotenberg is the Chairman of SMP Bank, Russia's 36th largest bank which was sanctioned by the US in March after Crimea voted to rejoin Russia. He is a long-time friend and former judo sparring partner of President Putin.

Along with his brother Boris, the two Rotenbergs have substantial business interests in Russia. Together, they own a controlling share in the Stroygazmontazh Corporation (SGM Group), Russia's largest gas pipeline construction and electrical power line supplier.

SGM is the Gazprom's biggest contractor, and is currently constructing sections of the 2,446 km pipeline that will stretch across Southern and Eastern Europe. The brothers were also in charge of the construction of the Druzhba pipeline project for the Sochi Olympics.

They began aquiring Gazprom subsidiaries in 2008.

Recently, they sold their shares in the Finnish hockey team Jokerit, along with the stadium they built to Boris's son, Roman Rotenberg.

1.6 million UK pensioners living in poverty

Uk pensioner poverty 1

© Reuters

More than one and a half million British pensioners are "floundering" on low incomes and consigned to poverty, a report by elderly care charity Age UK suggests.

The research, How We Can End Pensioner Poverty, published on Friday, reveals that poverty among pensioners is rife in Britain, with 1.6 million living below the poverty line and a startling 900,000 living in "severe poverty."

While Age UK acknowledges the number of this category of British pensioner has fallen since 2000, the charity warns progress has stalled recently.

The charity's research reveals the single biggest cause of pensioner poverty in Britain is older peoples' failure to claim from the £5.5bn state benefit they are entitled to. These benefits would amount to an extra £1,700 per year, or £33 per week, for the claimants in question.

The charity says it assisted UK pensioners in claiming £160m worth of benefits in 2013. But it warns many continue to "miss out on the money that is theirs by right."

Uk pensioner poverty 2

© Reuters / Luke MacGregor

As a result, struggling pensioners have difficulty affording life's most basic essentials, Age UK warns, with fresh produce, warm garments, and adequate heating in winter time unattainable to many.

Age UK argues many of these pensioners have "been walking a tightrope in recent years," in the wake of increases in the cost of food and utility bills. One 88 year-old pensioner, Lilly, told the charity she "was going to bed at seven o'clock to keep warm" because she "couldn't turn the heating on."

Some 2.2 million pensioners are not claiming their Council Tax Benefit - a sum of £728 per year - while 390,000 older people are not claiming £48 of housing benefit per week, Age UK warns.

The charity's research indicates many pensioners are unaware of their benefit entitlements, while others were simply to embarrassed or too proud to claim the money.

Pensioner poverty 'scandal'

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, says the sheer volume of vulnerable older people living in poverty in Britain is "nothing short of a scandal."

A large proportion of UK pensioners are "unable to afford decent food, heat their home or live an independent life - when billions of pounds in benefits are unclaimed," she warns.

Among the charity's key recommendations is a call for clear targets to reduce poverty with a view to abolishing it altogether. Efforts must be made to increase pensioners' awareness of their entitlements and ensure they have all the information they require, the report said.

Other policy recommendations include the immediate introduction of a single-tier state pension system, the extension of the "triple lock guarantee" to additional aspects of the state pension, and increased "social support" for financially struggling pensioners.

Uk pensioner poverty 3

© Reuters

RT asked the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) how the government plans to tackle the issue. A spokesman claimed "there are many definitions of poverty," adding the government's commitment "to protect pensioners with the triple lock guarantee means the basic state pension is at the highest percentage of earnings since 1992."

"We are absolutely determined to make sure that pensioners receive the full support they are entitled to with as little hassle as possible," the spokesman added.

News of widespread pensioner poverty and falling living standards comes as new revelations show financial inequality is rising in the UK.

Britain is the only G7 country where inequality has grown since the start of the 21st century, according to a report by Credit Suisse published on Tuesday. The research indicated the UK's richest 10 percent have become wealthier since the financial crisis.

Meanwhile, Britain's highest earning boss, Simon Peckham, earns the nation's annual living wage in a mere 49 minutes, it emerged on Friday. Peckham earned a startling 2,238 times more than the £13,923 thought to be sufficient to sustain a basic cost of living in Britain.

Ebola scare at Pentagon after woman vomits in the parking lot

Pentagon Ebola scare

© REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Emergency workers in hazmat suits work in a Pentagon parking lot after a woman who recently traveled to Africa vomited there, in Washington October 17, 2014. The Pentagon confirmed an Ebola scare on Friday in one of its parking lots when the woman vomited after getting off a bus headed to a high-level Marine Corps ceremony. She was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital at 9:53 a.m. (1353 GMT), 43 minutes after Pentagon police identified her. The general area of the parking lot where she vomited was closed off, as was one of the Pentagon's entrances, "out of an abundance of caution and to allow the investigation to proceed."

The Pentagon was gripped by an Ebola scare on Friday after a woman vomited in a parking lot, triggering authorities to send in a HazMat team and shut off part of the military complex before concluding she did not have the deadly virus.

The Pentagon initially said in a statement that the woman indicated she had "recently visited Africa."

But her employer told Reuters she had not traveled abroad recently and local county health authorities later acknowledged that her travel history had been uncertain.

"Based on the public health investigation, which included the travel history of a woman who became ill this morning in a Pentagon parking lot ... medical authorities are confident that she does not have Ebola," the local health authorities said in a statement.

The public health investigation also included questioning of the woman by medical staff, they said.

There has been mounting alarm in the United States about the risks from Ebola after two nurses who cared for an Ebola patient in Texas contracted the virus. Ebola has killed more than 4,500 people, mostly in West Africa.

The incident outside the Pentagon triggered emergency protocols. The Arlington County Fire Department sent emergency medical aid and a HazMat response team, and the Pentagon closed down part of the parking lot and one of its entrances.

Since the woman had briefly boarded a bus before falling ill, the vehicle and its passengers were stopped for about four hours, one passenger recounted to Reuters. The passengers included uniformed Marines headed to a Marine Corps ceremony attended by top brass and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

The Pentagon later said the passengers were being screened.

"An investigation of this person and her illness led investigators to believe at the time that they were potentially dealing with a person with an infectious disease," it said.

WikiLeaks: Updated Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - IP Chapter


© consciouslifenew.com

On Thursday 16 October 2014, WikiLeaks released a second updated version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the world's largest economic trade agreement that will, if it comes into force, encompass more than 40 per cent of the world's GDP. The IP Chapter covers topics from pharmaceuticals, patent registrations and copyright issues to digital rights. Experts say it will affect freedom of information, civil liberties and access to medicines globally. The WikiLeaks release comes ahead of a Chief Negotiators' meeting in Canberra on 19 October 2014, which is followed by what is meant to be a decisive Ministerial meeting in Sydney on 25 - 27 October.

Despite the wide-ranging effects on the global population, the TPP is currently being negotiated in total secrecy by 12 countries. Few people, even within the negotiating countries' governments, have access to the full text of the draft agreement and the public, who it will affect most, none at all. Large corporations, however, are able to see portions of the text, generating a powerful lobby to effect changes on behalf of these groups and bringing developing country members reduced force, while the public at large gets no say.

Playing European countries against one another: NATO is to blame for Serbia-Albania brawl on a football pitch

Who would expect that a football match between Serbia and Albania would turn into a battle? Everyone! It's Serbia and Albania; it was bound to happen.

Not until US influence is excised from the Balkans can things ever settle down there, argues analyst Nikola Mirkovic.

[embedded content]

Frustrated parent with engineering degree lashes out at Common Core

© f_a_r_e_w_e_l_l/Flickr

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Common Core Standards, and one parent's rant quickly made the Internet rounds after he expressed frustration over his child's math assignments.

Earlier this year, Jeff Severt's son was given a math problem to solve using a number line and strategies, which is the new Common Core approach used in schools, KSDK reports. The assignment instructs kids to help a boy named Jack subtract 316 from 427.

The answer of 111 can be found in seconds using the old fashioned math, but the new way was difficult for the father to figure out.

According to The Blaze, Severt wrote a sarcastic response on the math problem.

"I have a bachelor of science degree in electronics engineering which included extensive study in differential equations and other higher math applications," he wrote. "Even I cannot explain the Common Core mathematics approach, nor get the answer correct. In the real world, simplification is valued over complication," he added, signing the letter as a "frustrated parent."

© via IJ Review

Some parents and teachers are divided on the initiative, with one commenter writing on KSDK's Facebook page: "I can't help my third and fifth graders with their homework because they have to follow ten extra steps to come up with an answer that I was taught how to do in two steps."

One teacher wrote: "[I] think it is very good for students."

As the notes, the image above says everything about what Common Core's legacy has proven to be. Why fix something that isn't broken?

Heavy rain floods Toronto streets, snarls transit

© Garnet Fraser / Toronto Star

A car is stuck in water on Ossington Ave. at the CP Rail underpass.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms wreaked havoc on Toronto streets Thursday night, leaving cars stuck in water at several flooded intersections and lengthening the commute for many Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) riders trying to get home.

Subway service was suspended both ways between York Mills and Eglinton stations due to flooding at Lawrence Station, which was to remain closed until the morning, according to the TTC.

Hundreds of people were lining up to catch one of the 28 shuttle buses running between York Mills and Eglinton stations. On social media, commuters were posting photos of the long lines, water on subway tracks, as well as flooding on buses.

A number of other TTC service alerts were issued as well, and they can be seen here. Regular service was restored on some of the previously disrupted routes.

Environment Canada also issued a special weather statement for Toronto and parts of the GTA, with an expected 50 mm of rain on Thursday night. The advisory ended for Toronto on Thursday night, but the rainfall warning continued for York and Durham regions.

Environment Canada warned that heavy downpours could cause flash floods, water pooling on roads, and localized flooding in low-lying areas.

Toronto Hydro workers were scrambling to deal with a number of power outages in Scarborough and East York. Crews were dispatched, but there was no predicted restoration time as damage caused by rain and lightning would have to be assessed first.

In Markham, over 4,000 people were affected by power outages, but PowerStream was quickly able to bring that number down to 124, with an expected full restoration time of 2 a.m.

After being cancelled by Sean Hannity, Russell Brand threatened with arrest for presenting 'The Trews' outside Fox News HQ in New York City

After Fox News cancelled my appearance on 'Hannity' we paid them a visit at their New York Headquarters.

Subscribe Here Now and send links to video news items of topical stories that you'd like me to analyse.

Produced & directed by Gareth Roy. Thanks to Jimi Crayon: @jimimackay

and Urban Nerds: @urban_nerds for our creative services

[embedded content]

EPA gives green light to 'Agent Orange' herbicide, failing humans and the planet

© Chafer Machinery/cc/flickr

Enlist Duo herbicide will threaten the existence of over 20 endangered species. "This was an unbelievably foolish decision," said an animal watchdog group.

Ignoring the concerns of scientists, doctors, food safety advocates, environmentalists, and more than half a million U.S. citizens, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday issued their final approval for what has been dubbed Dow AgroSciences' 'Agent Orange' herbicide.

In a press statement, the agrochemical giant said that their Enlist Duo herbicide is now registered for use on Dow Enlist-brand genetically engineered corn and soy crops, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved less than a month ago.

The herbicide is made from a combination of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, and 2,4-D, a component of the toxic Agent Orange herbicide used during the Vietnam War, which has been linked to numerous health issues including increased risks of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Parkinson's and immune system problems.

Organic advocates and environmental groups were quick to condemn the move, saying that the use of Enlist Duo will threaten the health of humans and environment, promote the expanded use of genetically modified seeds (or GMOs) and spur the growth of more herbicide-resistant weeds.

By the USDA's own estimate, approval of the herbicide and crop system will increase the annual use of 2,4-D from 26 million pounds to 176 million pounds.

"The EPA's approval of this highly toxic herbicide flies in the face of scientific evidence that not only are these chemicals toxic to humans and the environment, but that the escalation of their use will only lead to the evolution of a whole new crop of herbicide-resistant superweeds," said Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association.

Scientists and food safety experts have long warned that such herbicides will only worsen the problem of "superweeds" while at the same time creating a more toxic and less sustainable agriculture system. As the agrochemical giant itself noted, "tens of millions of acres of American farmland are infested with glyphosate-resistant weeds, and the problem has grown worse every year." Weed infestation doubled between 2009 and 2013, it says.

"The EPA has failed in its mission to protect the environment, just as the biotech industry's toxic, chemical-intensive industrial agriculture has failed to deliver on its promises of higher yields and higher profits for farmers, and fewer poisons for the environment," Cummins continued.

Further, conservation watchdog groups charge that the EPA is "ignoring its legal duty" to protect key animal species in their expeditious approval of "two known dangerous pesticides."

"This was an unbelievably foolish decision - Enlist Duo will harm dozens of endangered species, and is another nail in the coffin for the monarch butterfly,"said Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). "Once again the EPA has turned a blind eye to endangered species, clean water and human health in its apparently endless desire to placate multinational pesticide companies."

Violating the Endangered Species Act, the EPA failed to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the negative impacts to such species before issuing their approval, Hartl added. CBD estimates that the approval now puts over 20 endangered species in harm's way.

Over half a million people submitted public comment this summer urging the EPA not to green light the pesticide mix. In the past two weeks alone an additional quarter of a million people signed a White House petition calling on President Obama to block the approval.

Condemning the federal office for "turn[ing] its back on those it purports to protect - the American people and our environment," the Center for Food Safety is vowing to take legal action "to stop the commercialization of these dangerous crops."

Meanwhile, Organic Consumers Association and other groups say this will only embolden their state-by-state campaigns to pass mandatory GMO-labeling laws and other agriculture policies "that promote organic, regenerative agriculture over an industrial model that is destroying our health, polluting our environment, and has been identified as one of the leading causes of global warming."

No No Nano: Micro-Machinations of industrial processed food

Mammona (Aaronsims)

"To be interested in food but not in food production is clearly absurd." - Wendell Berry

Steadily, stealthily, corporations are driving the goodness of natural life itself from our food, and cleverly - though unwisely - infesting it with dim bits of microscopic material substance that are obscured from human awareness. I object. Wholeheartedly.

Just as synthetic chemicals, manufactured additives, irradiation, and then genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been corporately imposed upon processed food, now a micro-invasion of nanoparticles is gaining momentum. Patented lab-created nanoparticles are even penetrating the realm of organic food, as the USDA's organic program chooses to do nothing.

The invisible, insidious micro-mechanistic food interventions being aggressively advanced by industry are now incarnate via nanotechnology. That's the practice of manipulating materials on an atomic or molecular scale, and then incorporating the synthetic molecules into processed stuff, including our food.

The scale of nanotech is so infinitesimal that it's a mindstretch for most people. A sheet of newspaper, for example is about 100,000 nanometers thick.

The chemical-food industry has already incorporated nanomaterials into dietary supplements as well as packaging materials and cutting boards. They claim their nano-products make food safer, and they have dozens of direct food applications in development.

A MishMash of Micro-Machinations

Overall, at this early stage of the 21st Century, corporations are churning out a complex mishmash of novel, man-made, synthetic materials to impact the industrial food chain, and eventually our bodies and souls. They are doing it with minimal or no regulation. Consider:

  • The market right now offers more than 300 foods and food packaging materials that likely contain engineered nanomaterials, according to the Center for Food Safety. Nanomaterials can cause damage to ecosystems by transporting toxic contaminants through the environment, potentially causing cancer and organ damage.

  • Researchers are now developing nanocapsules containing synthetic nutrients that can be released in your intestines when nanosensors detect a vitamin deficiency in your body.

  • Nanoproducts already on sale in Europe purport to smuggle fat through your stomach and into your small intestine. This triggers a feeling of satiety and manufacturers claim it can help people cut their food intake.

Nano is the latest dimension, but by no means the whole of the manufactured machinations impacting the corporately patented and processed food chain:

  • We are consuming a wholesale eruption of food additives. In the 1950s there were only about 800 food additives. Today there are an estimated 10,000, many of them dubious and provoking a cascade of health complaints. Since the days of the Bush-Quayle Administration in the early 1990s, the FDA has shrugged its regulatory shoulders. It provides no scrutiny of food additives to determine whether they are safe for human consumption. The government allows corporations to monitor themselves.

  • Over 275 chemicals used by 56 companies appear to be marketed as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Secret) and are used in many products based on companies' safety determinations that, pursuant to current regulations, do not need to be reported to the FDA or the public. This is probably just the tip of an iceberg.

  • The science is just not in on the safety of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and their long-term impact on health and the environment. Yet against the explicit recommendation of FDA scientists, the FDA does not test GMOs. The FDA, in fact, does not even have a testing protocol for GMOs. Since the Bush-Quayle era, the federal government has placed faith in the corporations and their dubious dogma of "Substantial Equivalence."

  • Fake DNA is now worming its way toward our food chain. As Tom Philpott reports in Mother Jones , synthetic biology - synbio for short - is tantamount to "genetic engineering on steroids." Synthetic biologists generate new DNA sequences for food the way programmers write code for computers. Like nanotech, food additives and GMOs, synbio foods may well also escape government oversight, independent testing, and the requirement of labels so people may know what they are eating.

This foreboding fiesta of micro-mechanistic manipulations to our human food chain is happening in the context of an assault of disinformation being perpetrated through both social and mass media. As reported by Reuters, GMO, chemical and processed food corporations have committed themselves to a multi-year, multimillion-dollar campaign to defeat attempts to require GMO labels.

The campaigns pursue a number of different strategies to manipulate public opinion, including false claims that there is scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs, and the oft-echoed meme that we (citizens and consumers) are just too stupid to appreciate corporate scientific brilliance. Meanwhile, well-funded attacks continue in efforts to corrupt or undermine the integrity of organic food.

My Macro Objections

Although in time some innovations may prove worthy, in general I've got a skullful of reality-based objections to these micro-materialistic manipulations of the natural world and our food. But for the sake of brevity, here's a half dozen of my macro-objections:

1. Free Will. First, I object to corporate micromanipulation of our human food supply on the spiritual basis of free will. As consumers of processed food, we are not asked for input or permission. We are not even afforded the basic respect of being informed about the material substances being mechanically ingrained to alter our food. That constitutes a direct violation of free will. That's unacceptable.

I suspect that - if more widely known - such fundamental transgressions would be unacceptable to the vast majority of human beings. With no corporate or governmental transparency there can exist no trust on the part of citizen consumers. That's pretty damn basic, despite the info war to convince us that our knowledge is wanting, and that our free will is irrelevant.

Scientific research indicates that when nucleic acids are introduced into our foods - such as through genetic engineering - they can survive digestion and wind up woven into the fabric of our blood and our body organs. Corporate GMOs can become part of our human bodies, and interact with our normal, natural genes in ways not understood or predictable.

Thus, I object to having corporately designed, produced and patented genes intermingling with my natural genes without my informed consent, or my even knowing about it. My genes are a key part of the spiritual, biological recipe for me. They are sacrosanct, and not available against my will for corporate exploitation with their unknowable synthetic entities.

2. Relationship. My second objection is spiritual as well. It has to do with our relationship with the earth and the land and all the animals and plants that are part of our world. These relationships are integral to our health and well-being. The complex relationship of the web of life is identified and appreciated in both leading-edge science and in ancient native knowings concerning The Sacred Hoop.

When corporate science isolates factors such as genes, and studies them short-term for isolated results, it's examining perhaps half of reality, and ignoring the rest. That is dangerously myopic. We are part of a cosmic web. All of life is related and interconnected whether corporations allow themselves to be aware of it or not. When you pluck a single thread on the web and it vibrates throughout the whole. This basic reality must become a consideration for the entire technological realm.

The establishment of synthetic constructs between human beings and nature - as is the case with the action of many drugs, chemicals, GMOs and other materials concocted in the lab - causes distortions, and tends to incrementally divorce human beings from the natural world and its rhythms.

Many materials used in industrial agriculture have the capacity to enhance plant growth and performance. But at the same time they exterminate or otherwise suppress the billions of life forms found with healthy soil biology. Industrial-chemical agriculture has already diminished vast tracts of the earth into denser, dimmer material substance. This conquering and controlling approach to nature in the food chain tends intensify the material aspect and blunts the animating spiritual life elements. With chemical-mineral fertilizers, and synthetic chemical herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides, industrial agriculture systematically snuffs out or reduces life so that a dull monoculture may exist.

Soil forms the basis for healthy food, and food forms the building blocks of our bodies and health. Deader, denser soil yields duller, denser food which over time - as I see it - yields denser, duller people. Even our mental health is linked to healthy soil, rich in living microbes. So when the soil is deadened, ultimately the light (biophotons) in our bodies and souls is deadened as well. Metaphorically speaking, zombie soil gives rise to zombie culture.

3. Precaution. I object to the heedless velocity of these synthetic enterprises. As a core value, I embrace thoughtful, independent science and sober progress. I advocate accuracy of perception of the whole, not just a few precise but narrow peeks and pecks at the web of life.

For this reason I stand with the moral community in championing the common sense embodied in the Precautionary Principle. The principle states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action - in this case that would be the corporations manufacturing micro chemicals, synthetic materials, and GMOs for the human food chain. The fundamental level of conservative common sense expressed in the Precautionary Principle is generally missing from these enterprises.

The probability of major problems underlying this mish mash of mechanistic meddling with nature and our food is exceedingly high. The risks of GMOs are far higher than nuclear energy, and far less well understood. Statistically speaking, GMO risks are extreme, global, unknown, and perpetual.

With a fundamental matter such as human sustenance, we are wise to take a conservative stance and proceed more prudently, honestly appraising both the short and long-term consequences of actions on the web of life. This is the essence of Seventh Generation thinking, a core ethical principle in North America for many thousands of years.

4. Oversight. My fourth macro objection is that these manufactured micro materials are entering the market place, and eventually our bodies, with little if any regulatory oversight.

As established under the Bush-Quayle Administration, the FDA relates to GMO foods as part of a team of federal agencies that includes the EPA and the USDA. Their policies (unchanged since 1992) place responsibility on producers or manufacturers to assure the safety of the food. If a company tells the government their stuff is safe, the government takes their word for it. There's rarely independent scientific review.

Meanwhile, both corporocrats and bureaucrats are busily striving to establish further hegemony for industrial food through new rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA). These 600 pages of proposed rules tend to favor indsutrial-scale operations, and to place onerous burdens on small and moderate-scale organic and agroecological farm operations.

5. Mechanistic Metaphysics. My fifth macro objection is to the widely held corporate-scientific materialist yang notion that mechanistic "fixes" can and will trump nature. The industrial food juggernaut strives for control and domination, and apparently rejects the possibility of working in respectful relationship with nature.

We see this kind of thinking embodied, for example, in many CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations). The animals, crowded together, are systematically injected with antibiotics and growth hormones at a notoriously high rate according to reports from a Reuters investigative team. Eighty percent of all antibiotics used in America are given not to human beings directly, but rather to the animals that we human beings eat. This practice of food-chain drug abuse is giving rise to superbugs that directly impact human health.

With thousands of pigs, chickens, or beef cattle all crowded together and essentially treated as Units of Production in ruthlessly efficient industrialized settings, the creatures tend to be disregarded as individual, sentient beings, even though they are. Animals are our relatives, part of the Sacred Hoop or Circle of Life. They merit basic respect.

As with the CAFO meat factories, similarly utilitarian and materialistic ethics and procedures hold sway in the realms of micro and nano manipulations of processed food. The subjugation of living interests to the impersonal mechanisms of corporate profit-seeking by the artificial, mechanical "person" or "citizen" that is the modern corporation is establishing a chain of troubling consequences for the environment and human health.

This mechanical material approach of corporately striving to trump nature arises in a realm of abstract thinking. It's devoid of connection to soul of the world and of human beings. It's a kind of automatic intelligence, often disguised as science, yet so rigid and narrow as to disregard half or more of whatever it considers. The world is just not a material conglomeration of bits and mechanical processes open to ongoing exploitation. There are consequences.

6. Obsfucation. My sixth macro objection is to the obscured nature of the whole corporate enterprise. Almost all of this stuff that's happening to our food is lacking in transparency, but is patented to ensure corporate profit and control. Without full-time vigilance - a challenge far beyond the capability of almost every citizen consumer - you cannot know what the chemical, bioscience, agriculture and industrial processing conglomerates are doing to the land and to the material substances they sell us as food.

Integrity of Body, Mind & Soul

I choose to stand on - and to eat from - conservative turf. I also choose in my own life to buy, or to grow, and to consume what I have come to call "agrarian food." By that term I mean to suggest food that is clean, that is grown with organic or agroecological techniques. I cultivate a large organic garden and I buy clean, natural food that is grown with sustainable organic, biodynamic, or agroecological techniques from a co-op (Open Harvest), which does business with over 100 local farms, and that I and my fellow townspeople own and manage for the benefit of our community.

Agroecological growing techniques have long, established solid track records for environmental and dietary excellence. Even the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is now declaring definitively that the world must change from radically polluting, petroleum-based industrial ag practices to sustainable agricultural systems as the heart of our efforts to manage climate chaos. Agroecological approaches have become so sophisticated and dependable in recent decades, that they can supply all the clean food necessary to feed the world. And they can do it while improving soil, air, and water quality, helping to stabilize Earth's climate, and enhancing human physical and mental health.

There is genuine 21st century wisdom in knowing your farmer, or in knowing where and how your food was grown and processed, or in having some kind of food firewall that gives you information and allows you to make informed choices for yourself and your family. Of this I am certain.

For the moment co-ops, CSAs, Farmers Markets and the burgeoning local food movement are the firewalls, and the clear choice for people who recognize the troubling mish mash of patented mechanical material corporate factors, ethics and practices at work on our daily sustenance, and who choose something that is clean, more natural, more full of life.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at http://ift.tt/jcXqJW.

Psychopathic Israeli minister exploits Holocaust to justify making "1000 Palestinian mothers cry"

© Reuters

A Palestinian looks out from the remains of his house in Beit Hanun, a town in the northern Gaza Strip

The countries who have pledged vast sums to rebuild the Gaza Strip in Cairo Sunday will have made worthless donations if the people of the Gaza Strip return to terror, Transportation Minister Israel Katz said Sunday.

Katz, who is one of the ministers closest to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, issued the warning at a gathering of some 2000 Likud activists outside his Sukka on his ranch on the Moshav Kfar Ahim in the northern Negev.

"The Gazans must decide what they want to be Singapore or Darfur [which rhymes in Hebrew]," Katz said. "They can pick between economic recovery and war and destruction. If they choose terror, the world should not waste its money. If one missile will be fired, everything will go down the drain."

He quoted one of Hamas's founders, Mahmoud a-Zahar threaten Israel using terminology that the minister said sounded like it came from the Islamic State about turning Palestine into an Islamic Kingdom and destroying Israel. Katz said there was a much greater chance that Zahar will soon see in hell fellow Hamas founders Sheikh Ahmed Yassein and Abdel Aziz Rantisi, who were assassinated by Israel.

"The days when the Jews did nothing and were slaughtered are over," Katz said. "If one Protective Edge was not enough, you will get two and three until Hamas terror ends. I prefer 1000 Palestinian mothers crying than letting one Jewish mother cry."

Katz called upon the international community to learn from its failure to prevent large swaths of Iraq and Syria from falling into the Islamic State's hands.

"The next time they offer us a deal in which we withdraw from territory in return for promises and international forces, we will send them to do their homework in Kurdistan," he said. "We will continue to trust only God and the IDF. Jewish blood is not worthless"

The event was attended by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, deputy ministers Tzipi Hotovely and Ophir Akunis, and coalition chairman Yariv Levin.

Katz said an election should be held soon for Likud leader and a system should be selected for choosing the party's list for the next Knesset in order to properly prepare well in advance for the next general election. He said the Likud must ensure that it will have 30 MKs in the next Knesset in order to advance its agenda in the ministries it will control.

In Katz's ministry, he promised that by Succot in three years there will be trains that take only 28 minutes to get from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and 20 minutes from the capital to Ben-Gurion International Airport.

"We can even declare a special offer," he said. "Free train rides to Jerusalem on Sukkot, Shavuot, and Passover."

Nuland Lands In Kiev As US-Backed Regime Tools Up For War

In an ominous sign that the war in Ukraine is set to further escalate, US state department official Victoria Nuland arrived in Kiev where she met with senior members of the Western-backed regime.

In recent days the ceasefire brokered on September 5 has come under intense pressure as Kiev military forces have stepped up their barrage of the eastern city of Donetsk, with several civilian casualties reported almost on a daily basis.

As civilian homes burn in Donetsk, the Kiev regime has also begun openly talking about resuming its war footing by «raising combat readiness» and mobilising new army units toward the eastern Donbass regions, where it is trying to suppress a pro-independence movement in the self-declared People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Assistant Secretary Nuland greets Petro Poroshenko in Warsaw on June 4, 2014.

Assistant Secretary Nuland greets Petro Poroshenko in Warsaw on June 4, 2014.

For the past month, the Kiev regime has been talking out of both sides of its mouth. At times it has been declaring commitment to a ceasefire brokered by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). At other times, hardliners in the regime have been warning that there was no such truce in practice, and that it was on the verge of an all-out war with Russia.

All the while, the putative ceasefire has been in tatters largely because Kiev’s forces have refused to withdraw from the conflict lines and continued to shell civilians centres.

Now the Kiev President Petro Poroshenko has flipped to a strident war rhetoric. In a televised appearance this week, the former industry tycoon had swapped his tie and suit for military uniform, and was warning that forces under his command were ready to use «modern fighting techniques».

Poroshenko said that «Ukraine has transferred its economy to a military footing and will provide everything possible for the Ukrainian army to be stronger». This while his bankrupt country owes Russia $5.3 billion in unpaid gas bills.

Last week his hardline Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk declared that Kiev’s military had been replenished with new equipment and winter gear.

The timing of this renewed militarism across the board in Kiev’s political leadership – together with increasing violations of the ceasefire in the east – seems more than coincidental with the arrival of eminence grise Victoria Nuland.

Nuland, who is Assistant Secretary of State to John Kerry, hasn’t been in Kiev since March. For the past seven months, she has taken a noticeably low profile with regard to Ukraine. Her absence was no doubt aimed at deflecting from her earlier controversial involvement in overseeing the CIA-backed coup on February 22, when the elected government of then President Viktor Yanukovych was deposed by the fascist cabal headed up by Yatsenyuk.

Two weeks before that coup, Nuland had been caught in a private phone call with the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, plotting on the shape of the new regime, with Yatsenyuk nominated as the point man. Nuland was also caught disparaging the European Union with expletives, in a clear signal that Washington was taking the driving seat to install the new regime, headed up by their man «Yats».

Yatsenyuk’s Fatherland Party and the neo-Nazi Svoboda party, with its Right Sector stormtroopers, have dominated the regime’s anti-Russia policies ever since. Following a secret visit to Kiev in April by CIA director John Brennan, the regime embarked on a massive military offensive to suppress dissident ethnic Russian populations in the east of the country who were refusing to recognise the legitimacy of the US-backed coup.

That offensive – dubbed an anti-terror operation – has been largely under-reported by Western news media, even though it has resulted in more than 3,600 deaths and up to one million refugees. Most of the casualties have been civilian, with a Russian Investigative Committee reporting last week that at least 2,500 people have been killed from indiscriminate shelling of civilian centres in Donetsk and Luhansk by Kiev forces. The latter comprise regular army units, as well as neo-Nazi paramilitaries belonging to the so-called National Guard and various private militia (death squads) run by pro-Kiev oligarch figures, such as Igor Kolomoisky.

Both Washington and Brussels have obfuscated this terror campaign by affecting to give it legality by referring to the Kiev regime as the «government of Ukraine». Washington and Brussels have also amplified Kiev’s diversionary propaganda accusing Russia of covert aggression and destabilising the Donbass regions. Moscow has consistently denied any involvement; and Western governments, the Kiev regime and NATO have not produced a shred of verifiable proof to support their tendentious claims against Russia.

Russia’s President Putin and the OSCE chairman, Didier Burkalter, who is also the Swiss president, this week reiterated that all sides in the Ukrainian conflict must abide by the terms of the ceasefire signed in Minsk on September 5.

But it seems that Kiev is now moving to dispel any pretence of recognising that ceasefire.

Since the truce was called – and apparently signed up to by Kiev’s President Poroshenko – the pro-independence Russian-speaking militia in Donbass have claimed that Kiev’s forces were only using the lull in violence as an opportunity to regroup.

Speaking on September 8, Donetsk People’s Republic deputy premier Andrei Purgin said: «They are doing what was impossible without truce conditions. All the movements of convoys would have been impossible. During the truce, convoys of combat vehicles are reaching destinations and preparing for attacks.»

Poroshenko’s public role in all this seems to have been to give an outward impression of adhering to a cessation and paving the way for political dialogue with the dissident regions.

However, that impression has to be set against continual breaches of the ceasefire and mounting civilian casualties by his forces, relentless anti-Russian rhetoric from the hardliners like Yatsenyuk, and the supply of military aid to the Kiev regime from Washington – the last tranche worth $53 million was announced while Poroshenko was being feted in the White House three weeks ago.

This week on the day that Nuland landed in Kiev, the regime announced what many suspected all along – that it was merely using the month-old ceasefire as a tactical launchpad to redouble its military operations.

Andrey Lysenko, Kiev’s National Defence and Security Council spokesman, said on Monday: «We have managed to upgrade the equipment currently in service, to get new armaments, and to reorganise and retool the defence industries that manufacture armaments and repair hardware.» He added: «We have also managed to regroup our forces, to carry out deep reconnaissance and to gather more information about the enemy. We have completed the third wave of mobilisation. We have replaced the units that needed that, we gave them a chance to have some rest after heavy fighting and to get back to normal».

By «normal», Lysenko means «terrorising civilians in eastern Ukraine».

This underscores what Poroshenko has in recent days said about «the economy moving to a war footing».

The sinister sign is that the Kiev regime, including the «Candy King» Poroshenko, is now realigning to an all-out belligerent policy toward the people of eastern Ukraine, and by extension, toward Russia itself.

The long overdue visit to Kiev this week by Victoria Nuland – Washington’s Ukraine hawk – carries the foreboding imprimatur of US-backed war escalation.

U.S. Government to Award $1 Million for Best Ebola Hazmat Suit Design

ebola, unsaid, us government, cdc, department of defense, hazmat suit, fighting ebola a grand challenge for development, crowd sourcing, personal protective equipment

Photo by Shutterstock

The White House has teamed up with USAID, the CDC, and the U.S. Department of Defense to offer a $1 million award for a superior and improved HAZMAT suit design in hopes of better assisting healthcare workers in their fight against Ebola. Due to the humid environments of Ebola-affected countries, current personal protective equipment used by health workers cannot be comfortably worn for long periods of time. Titled ‘Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development,’ this crowd sourcing initiative asks innovators across the world to improve the design of protective wear and is accepting proposals from now until December.

The $70 Trillion Problem Keeping Jamie Dimon Up At Night

Yesterday, in a periodic repeat of what he says every 6 or so months, Jamie Dimon - devoid of other things to worry about - warned once again about the dangers hidden within the shadow banking system (the last time he warned about the exact same thing was in April of this year). The throat cancer patient and JPM CEO was speaking at the Institute of International Finance membership meeting in Washington, D.C., and delivered a mostly upbeat message: in fact when he said that the industry was "very close to resolving too big to fail" we couldn't help but wonder if JPM would spin off Chase or Bear Stearns first. However, when he was asked what keeps him up at night, he said non-bank lending poses a danger "because no one is paying attention to it." He said the system is "huge" and "growing."

Dimon is right that the problem is huge and growing: according to the IMF which just two days earlier released an exhaustive report on the topic, shadow banking (which does not include the $600 trillion in notional mostly interest rate swap derivatives) amounts to over $70 trillion globally.

What he is very much wrong about is that nobody is paying attention to shadow banking: Zero Hedge has been covering the topic since early 2009.

Which is why we urge anyone who is curious to catch up on the issues surrounding non-bank lending, to read our 1,000+ articles on the topic.

However, for those who are time-strapped, here is a recent take from Bloomberg summarizing the IMF's 192-page report on Shadow Banking released last wee titled "Risk Taking, Liquidity, and Shadow Banking."

In a summary of the report, the IMF estimated the shadow banking industry at $15 trillion to $25 trillion in the U.S.; $13.5 trillion to $22.5 trillion in the euro area; $2.5 trillion to $6 trillion in Japan; and about $7 trillion in emerging markets.

Not included in the summary were estimates of the size of shadow banking in countries including the U.K., and Gelos said later at a press conference said the industry globally exceeds $70 trillion, citing figures from the Financial Stability Board.

One can see why Dimon is concerned.

“Shadow banking can play a beneficial role as a complement to traditional banking by expanding access to credit or by supporting market liquidity, maturity transformation and risk sharing,” the IMF said in the report. “It often, however, comes with bank-like risks, as seen during the 2007-08 global financial crisis.”

The report urges policy makers to address shadow banks with “a more encompassing approach to regulation and supervision that focuses both on activities and on entities and places greater emphasis on systemic risk.”

“Shadow banking tends to take off when strict banking regulations are in place, which leads to circumvention of regulations,” Gaston Gelos, chief of the IMF’s global financial analysis division, said in a statement accompanying portions released today of its Global Financial Stability Report. The full report is scheduled to be released Oct. 8.

Non-traditional lending “also grows when real interest rates and yield spreads are low and investors are searching for higher returns, and when there is a large institutional demand for ‘safe assets’” such as insurance companies and pension funds, he said.

Shadow banks include money-market mutual funds, hedge funds, finance companies and broker-dealers. They pose a risk to the broader financial system because they rely on short-term funding, “which can lead to forced asset sales and downward price spirals when investors want their money back at short notice.”

Below are the main findings reported by the IMF regardign shadow banking. Note: those following our periodic updates on the state of the US and global shadow banking system know all of this.

  • Although shadow banking takes different forms around the world, the drivers of shadow banking growth are fundamentally very similar: shadow banking tends to flourish when tight bank regulations combine with ample liquidity and when it serves to facilitate the development of the rest of the financial system. The current financial environment in advanced economies remains conducive to further growth in shadow banking activities.

  • Most broad estimates point to a recent pickup in shadow banking activity in the euro area, the United States, and the United Kingdom, while narrower estimates point to stagnation. Whereas activities such as securitization have seen a decline, traditionally less risky entities such as investment funds have been expanding strongly.

  • In emerging market economies, shadow banking continues to grow strongly, outstripping banking sector growth. To some extent, this is a natural byproduct of the deepening of financial markets, with a concomitant rise in pension, sovereign wealth, and insurance funds.

  • So far, the (imperfectly) measurable contribution of shadow banking to systemic risk in the financial system is substantial in the United States but remains modest in the United Kingdom and the euro area. In the United States, the risk contributions of shadow banking activities have been rising, but remain slightly below precrisis levels. Our evidence also suggests the presence of significant cross-border effects of shadow banking in advanced economies. In emerging market economies, the growth of shadow banking in China stands out.

  • In general, however, assessing risks associated with recent developments in shadow banking remains difficult, largely because of a lack of detailed data. It is not clear whether the shift of some activities (such as lending to firms) from traditional banking to the nonbank sector will lead to a rise or reduction in overall systemic risk. There are, however, indications that, as a result, market and liquidity risks have risen in advanced economies.

  • Overall, the continued expansion of finance outside the regulatory perimeter calls for a more encompassing approach to regulation and supervision that combines a focus on both activities and entities and places greater emphasis on systemic risk and improved transparency. A number of regulatory reforms currently under development try to address some of these concerns. This chapter advocates a macroprudential approach and lays out a concrete framework for collaboration and task sharing among microprudential, macroprudential, and business conduct regulators

The main risks surrounding shadow banking per the IMF:

  • Run risk: Since shadow banks perform credit intermediation, they are subject to a number of bank-like sources of risk, including run risk, stemming from credit exposures on the asset side combined with high leverage on the liability side, and liquidity and maturity mismatches between assets and liabilities. However, these risks are usually greater at shadow banks because they have no formal official sector liquidity backstops and are not subject to bank-like prudential standards and supervision (see Adrian 2014 for a review).

  • Agency problems: The separation of financial intermediation activities across multiple institutions in the more complex shadow banking systems tends to aggravate underlying agency problems (Adrian, Ashcraft, and Cetorelli 2013).

  • Opacity and complexity: These constitute vulnerabilities, since during periods of stress, investors tend to retrench and flee to quality and transparency (Caballero and Simsek 2009).

  • Leverage and procyclicality: When asset prices are buoyant and margins on secured financing are low, shadow banking facilitates high leverage. In periods of stress, the value of collateral securities falls and margins increase, leading potentially to abrupt deleveraging and margin spirals (FSB 2013b; Brunnermeier and Pedersen 2009).

  • Spillovers: Stress in the shadow banking system may be transmitted to the rest of the financial system through ownership linkages, a flight to quality, and fire sales in the event of runs (see Box 2.1 and the section “Systemic Risk and Distress Dependence”). In good times, shadow banks also may contribute substantially to asset price bubbles because, as less regulated entities, they are more able to engage in highly leveraged or otherwise risky financial activities (Pozsar and others 2013).

And for the visual learners, here is the chart breakdown:

Much more in the usual place

Confronting battered citizen syndrome

State-sponsored terrorism poses a significant challenge to the psychological well-being of the body politic. While evident in many geopolitical locales, this condition arising from such government abuses is especially prevalent in the West. Such a disorder is comparable to the psychological manipulation recognized on a micro-level in some spousal relationships.

Indeed, the 13-year-old "war on terror" has contributed to a grave societal malady that might be deemed "battered citizen syndrome." As the project of a transnational New World Order is laid out, the psychological constitution of the polity must necessarily experience perpetual crises and the threat thereof. Genuinely non-conventional political communication, organization and activism are among the few substantial means of combating battered citizen syndrome and the spiritual and psychological slavery it perpetuates.

Battered citizen syndrome is an extremely damaging psychological condition impacting individuals who are collectively subjected to emotional abuse and political disenfranchisement by the psychopathic types that all-too-frequently occupy public office in an era of political and socio-economic decay. The condition is often the result of "false flag" terrorism initiated by a tyrannical state that has long grown unresponsive to the citizen's actual needs. This syndrome subdues individuals' awareness of their own historical and political agency, and discourages them from seeking assistance for and ultimately remedying their unsafe situation.

There are various stages one will experience as a result of this condition. When persons in the singular or aggregate undergo the threat or experience of state violence in the form of false flag terror (i.e., political assassinations, seemingly spontaneous bombings or shootings, gigantic skyscrapers falling inexplicably at free-fall speed, CIA-sponsored terror bogeys such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, and perhaps even deadly plagues) they will find it expedient to deny such exploitation and decline to admit they are being manipulated by a paranoid and psychopathic state. Corporate-owned or controlled mass media routinely propagating the notion of "free choice" and personal agency by touting the supposed integrity of electoral processes and political institutions actively aid in this denial.

Once a victim accepts the fact that such manipulation is taking place, they will feel remorse. Victims will often believe that the abuse is their fault and not the fault of criminal governance. Eventually, a victim of state terror and violence will realize that they are not to blame for the cruelty they are being subjected to. Despite this realization, the individual will typically choose to remain in the abusive relationship. It may take some time, but eventually the truly self-respecting citizen-victim will understand that in order to defend themselves and their loved ones from harm they must escape their injurious relationship. These stages can be observed in many of the victims who have ultimately recognized and escaped their relationships with an abusive state.


The first stage of battered citizen syndrome is denial. Denial occurs when a victim of abuse is unable to acknowledge and accept that they are being subjected to political violence in the form of false flag terror and contrived events. During this stage, a victim of such psychological abuse will not only avoid admitting the mistreatment to their friends and their family members, but they themselves will not acknowledge the brutality from which they suffering. They will fail to recognize any problems between themselves and their government. There are numerous factors that may contribute to such steadfast denial.

In many instances, an individual does not realize they are being subjected to such calculating state violence. This is largely due to the manipulative and coercive behavior of the offending government. The acts of abuse may be so subtle that they do not appear to be harmful or damaging. In other instances, a victim of Machiavellian offenses may suppose that denial is the most effective way to avoid being subjected to further violence and cruelty. Whatever the cause, denial is extremely unhelpful to the victim. Until citizens individually and collectively admit and confront the abuses they are experiencing, they will not be able to secure necessary psychic and material aid and protection.


After a citizen experiences the denial period they will move on the guiltstage. During this phase, victims of such coercive violence will undergo feelings of extreme guilt and dishonor by being fingered as potential terrorists themselves. Through the suggestion that they may also be terrorists, citizens will believe they may have somehow caused the harm that in reality elements within their exploitative government has subjected them to.

Abusive governments stage false flag terror events not only to create confusion, but also induce guilt in their subjects. Professional political and opinion leaders prompt feelings of guilt through similar rhetorical appeals. Those of the liberal or "progressive" sort in particular claim that such events are the result of "blow back," due to the given nation's foreign policy and imperialist overreach. Similarly, conservatives assert that the nation has been victimized because it has been too forthright in parading its "freedoms."

Once internalized, "war on terror" guilt ideation is reinforced via the messaging slogans of state agencies. Typical messaging may include communications such as, "Is your neighbor or coworker a homegrown extremist?" "Keep your luggage with you at all times," "Step this way after removing your shoes and valuables," and so on.

Regardless of guilt stimulus, feelings of culpability are used to exert further control via rituals of submission, such as enacting excessive and unwarranted security measures to partake in travel, gain access to a public building, or withdraw cash from one's bank account.

Along these lines, the offending government will convince the victim that it must resort to physical violence in order to punish the citizenry for their negative qualities or behavior. They may threaten or enact violence to teach the citizen not to take part in the activities of which it disapproves or finds inconvenient, such as public demonstrations and civil disobedience.

In addition to such acts, tyrannical governments strip citizens of their civil liberties and establish or strengthen a police state in order to further expand their control. As a result, the citizen's already low self-esteem and depression will accelerate downward. Once this occurs, it is not difficult to convince the victim that they are being subjected to abuse due to their own faults and inadequacies. If they could only be more dependent on the state and live up to its expectations, they would not be experiencing state terror and exploitation. Victims of such manipulation will believe this. Therefore, they will not contest the abuse being experienced because they have rationalized that their abusive government is not to blame for such cruelty.


One of the most important phases of the battered citizen's syndrome is enlightenment. This occurs when a target of abuse recognizes how they are not to blame for their ill-treatment. They will begin to understand that no one deserves to be subjected to state-inflicted terror and violence regardless of their personal characteristics or perceived shortcomings. The fact that the state seeks to manipulate their subjects and exhibits disapproval of their victim's behavior does not justify exposing the victim to the trauma prompted by terrorist threats and violence.

During this stage, a citizen will begin to acknowledge that most states are abusive, violent, overseen by psychopathic personalities, and thus the violence experienced is the result of an external socio-political condition and not inherent in themselves. It is now that a victim begins to realize the importance of coming to terms with their situation and holding those in power accountable.

Despite the realization that their fear, anxiety, and loss of civil liberties likely stem from the broader designs of treacherous individuals in power, victims will continue to accept overzealous state power and commit themselves to saving the seriously flawed relationship. They will often use various reasons in order to justify this decision. However, individuals who choose to remain in such an environment will soon find that in most cases the tyrannical government will only increase the severity of its abuses.


Once a citizen recognizes how the psychological torment and terroristic violence they are suffering from is the fault of their government, it is only a matter of time before these victims understand the importance of taking responsibility and escaping their current situation. In the majority of cases, state violence does not improve over time. Most governments subjecting their citizens to violence and brutality are "repeat offenders" and will continue to reinforce control by exposing subjects to heightened abuses. When an individual acknowledges this, they will understand that their safety, and the safety of their loved ones, depends on establishing new modes of governance. During the responsibility stage of the battered citizen's syndrome, a victim of state violence may experience a vast array of difficulties.

It is essential that an individual plan their escape well. Citizens who have decided to depart from their unfavorable situation should avoid the enticements of major political parties that are usually the root cause of battered citizen syndrome.

If a victim would like support and advice about leaving their abusive relationship they may wish to contact or support a third party candidate running for public office. Citizen violence shelters in the form of information derived from alternative news media, meaningful political discussion and debate, and grassroots and independent political organizing can also provide victims with the necessary support to make a clean break from tyrannical state power that will ultimately lead toward the forging of more constructive political realities for themselves and their fellow citizenry.

Abandoned mines in southern Arizona spill orange sludge caused by heavy rainfall from Hurricane Odile

© AP Photo/Arizona Republic, Gooch Goodwin

This undated photo shows orange sludge leaking from the Trench Camp Mine near Patagonia, Ariz. Heavy rain from Hurricane Odile has caused the two abandoned mines to spill orange sludge into waterways that lead to the popular Patagonia Lake in southern Arizona.

A popular tourist attraction in southern Arizona is at risk of being contaminated with orange and brown sludge that spilled from two abandoned mines near Patagonia. The Trench Camp and Lead Queen mines overflowed late last month because of heavy rainfall caused by Hurricane Odile.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has issued a notice of violation to an Asarco trust that owns the Trench Camp Mine near Patagonia, Arizona. "We've talked to our consultants, and we're gonna do what the state requires us to do," Jay Steinberg, who runs the trust, said Wednesday.

A resident near the town of Patagonia noticed the sludge at the end of September, first at the Lead Queen Mine and later at the Trench Camp one, said Wendy Russell, coordinator for the Patagonia Area Resource Alliance. Both waterways lead to Sonoita Creek, which runs off into Patagonia Lake, the site of the state park.

"This is an ongoing hazard to our community's water supply," Russell said, adding that Patagonia Lake State Park is a tourist attraction. "Folks fish and swim there."

Initial tests showed the water had unsafe levels of pH, but more will be conducted.

The Lead Queen Mine ended operations in the 1940s. Trench Camp closed in the 1960s.

Since then, Arizona has taken Asarco to court to get the company to invest in cleanup efforts at its shuttered mines around the state. The parties settled in 2009, and $2.85 million was allocated to cleaning up Trench Camp and another mine.

Russell said not enough has been done to ensure the sites are free of any toxic materials that could leak into the area's water supply.

"There's been minimal efforts to clean them up, and we just witnessed what happens when they don't get cleaned up properly," she said.

Other parts of the southern part of the state have been affected by the hurricane that damaged the Baja California peninsula. Last month, a copper mine in Sonora, Mexico, spilled into a water supply that leads to the San Pedro River. However, tests revealed the San Pedro River had not been contaminated.

Wild boar and pig attacks in Vietnam - 2 in hospital in same week

© Minh Thu

People in the central province of Nghe An tie up a feral pig that attacked a group of locals on August 3, 2013.

Pigs sent two people in the central province of Quang Binh to the hospital in the same week.

Nguyen Thi Hoai, 54, was given emergency surgery and a blood transfusion at the Vietnam-Cuba Dong Hoi hospital after a feral pig she was raising mauled her while she was feeding it.

The woman suffered deep injuries to her thigh and buttocks that led to the heavy blood loss.

She said the hog was a hybrid between a wild hog and a domesticated pig.

Ho Van Thay, 52, suffered injuries to both arms and legs when a different wild boar attacked him while he was working in a field on the edge of the jungle.

Wild boars, bison and elephants have been attacking people and damaging fields in the area, recently, raising questions about the extent of human encroachment into their jungle habitats.

Japan's massive 2011 earthquake may trigger more, and larger, volcanic eruptions

© AFP Photo/Yoshikazu Tsuno

Snow-covered Mount Fuji is seen from Tokyo, Japan, on February 16, 2014

Japan's massive 2011 earthquake may trigger more, and larger, volcanic eruptions over the next few decades, perhaps even that of Mount Fuji - but predicting them remains close to impossible, a volcano expert said on Friday.

The nation last month suffered its worst volcanic disaster in nearly 90 years when Mount Ontake, its second tallest active volcano at 3,067 meters (10,062 feet), suddenly erupted, raining down ash and stone on hikers crowding the summit.

The eruption killed 56 people, exceeding the deaths in the 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens in the United States. Seven victims remain missing, and recovery efforts have been suspended until the spring.

Japan may well be moving into a period of increased volcanic activity touched off by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake of March 11, 2011, said Toshitsugu Fujii, a volcanologist and professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo.

"The 2011 quake convulsed all of underground Japan quite sharply, and due to that influence Japan's volcanoes may also become much more active," Fujii told reporters.

"It has been much too quiet here over the last century, so we can reasonably expect that there will be a number of large eruptions in the near future."

Earthquakes of magnitude 9.0 or greater around the world have led to repeated volcanic eruptions in the last 50 years, sometimes within days, Fujii said.

Previous periods of seismic activity in Japan have seen major quakes interspersed with eruptions, he added.

One noteworthy candidate for eruption is iconic Mount Fuji, which used to erupt roughly every 30 years, but has been silent since its last eruption in 1707.

A catastrophic eruption at the 3,776-metre-high (12,390-ft-) snow-capped peak could rain some 10 cm of ash on the capital Tokyo, located 100 km (60 miles) to the northeast.

"The last eruption was 300 years ago, ten times longer than before," Fujii said. "So it could erupt at any time."

Ontake, thought to have been dormant until it erupted in 1979, had been quiet since a minor eruption seven years ago. Small tremors were recorded several weeks before last month's eruption, but in the absence of other signs an eruption could not be predicted, experts said.

Japan monitors 47 of its 110 active volcanoes around the clock, but the research budget has always been less than for earthquakes and critics say there is insufficient equipment.

Fujii said the nation was suffering from a shortage of volcano experts that has left most peaks without observers at the site to constantly keep watch for small changes.

Even with the best measurement, prediction is hard. Of Japan's nine major eruptions since 1977, the longest warning was a week. Most were a matter of hours.

"Fuji is showing absolutely no signs of eruption at this point," Fujii said. "But that says nothing about next year."

This is what school lunch looks like in Chickasha, Oklahoma


© EAGnews.org

This has to be a joke.

I don't think this is a joke.

Please, someone tell me this is a joke.

From EAGNews:

Lunch meat, a couple of crackers, a slice of cheese and two pieces of cauliflower qualified as lunch in Chickasha Public Schools Monday.

Student Kaytlin Shelton took a photo of the skimpy lunch and showed it to her parents.

"It makes me want to take that and take it to the Superintendent and tell him to eat it for lunch," the girl tells Fox 25.

"I can go pay a dollar for a Lunchable and get more food in it," her father, Vince Holton, says.

Shelton is pregnant and eating for two, complicating the problem.

Chickasha superintendent David Cash agrees the skimpy lunches need to be addressed.

Oh, but here's the best part...

The new lunch complies with lunch regulations championed by First Lady Michelle Obama and implemented by the USDA.

If her plan is to starve children to death, then it seems to be on track.

According to FOX25 in Oklahoma, that feast of lunch meat, a couple crackers, a slice of cheese and two pieces of cauliflower is served to students every other week.

Eat up boys and girls!

In Liberty,

Michael Krieger

Starvation brings new nightmare to Ebola ravaged countries

© Independent

Sierra Leone's fields are without farmers. Its crops go un-reaped. In the quarantine areas, feeding is patchy - some get food, others don't. People then leave the enforced isolation in search of a meal, so Ebola spreads. In three West African countries where many already live a hand-to-mouth existence, the act of eating is increasingly rare.

Ebola, the virus that has ravaged Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea at an unprecedented rate, continues its devastating spread. The number of dead doubles with each passing month; the bodies unburied. More lives are devastated with each passing day.

And in the absence of a mass-produced vaccine, its treatment - enforced isolation, mass quarantines - now threatens to bring a new crisis: starvation .

Earlier this month, two children who were among the thousands orphaned by the virus, were visited by aid workers in Liberia's capital, Monrovia. At the time, the workers did not have the resources to take the children away. When they returned days later, the children were dead. They died not from Ebola, but starvation.

Yesterday, as the World Health Organisation warned that more than 4,500 people would be dead before the end of the week, a new threat to West Africa's stability emerged: three quarters of a million people may die from malnutrition, as an unprecedented modern famine follows the disease - if urgent action is not taken. While Ebola's direct consequences prompt terror, its indirect results are equally disturbing - food prices spiral, farms are abandoned, meals are scarce and those most in need, the estimated 4,000 orphans of the virus, go hungry.

Speaking on the eve of World Food Day, Denise Brown, the United Nations World Food Programme's regional director for West Africa, said: "The world is mobilising and we need to reach the smallest villages in the most remote locations.

"Indications are that things will get worse before they improve. How much worse depends on us all."

The UN agency estimates that it has provided food to a little over half a million people in the three worst-hit countries. It is aiming to feed at least another 600,000 before the end of October.

But for Tom Dannatt, founder and chief executive of Street Child, a specialist West Africa children's charity, the food crisis in West Africa is not unexpected.

If current projections are correct, there could be up to 10,000 Ebola cases a week in West Africa before Christmas. That would, if mortality projections of 70 per cent remain correct, result in 7,000 deaths every week and thousands more orphans.

Speaking to The yesterday, Mr Dannatt described the "very patchy" feeding programmes in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

"Some get food, others don't," he said. "They go unfed and they don't have the right nutrients and they are then susceptible to disease. They break the quarantine and go out in town to eat [so] the infection spreads."

Some districts in Sierra Leone have been under quarantine for 10 weeks.

© AP

Testing for the virus in Freetown, Sierra Leone

"Life in those districts - it's like holding your breath: you can do it for a while, but you can't do it for huge periods," said Mr Dannatt. "It's the most vulnerable that reach the sharp end first."

Yesterday, Koinadugu in the country's far north - the last district where Ebola had not previously reached - recorded its first two cases.

Mr Dannatt said food prices in quarantined districts had increased by up to 100 per cent for certain goods, while opportunities to earn money were greatly reduced.

"Villagers and agricultural workers are frightened to go out to the field to do their normal work. They are frightened to go market as well," he said.

On Monday, Kanayo Nwanze, president of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development, said that up to 40 per cent of farms have been abandoned in the worst-affected areas of Sierra Leone. There are already food shortages in Senegal and other countries in West Africa, because regional trade has been disrupted.

According to the World Food Programme's survey of people in the Kailahun and Kenema districts of Sierra Leone - where most Ebola cases have been reported - many are resorting to desperate measures to cope - often making do with scraps.

In Lofa County, the worst affected rural area in Liberia, the price of food and other commodities increased from 30 to 75 per cent, just in August. The NGO Action Against Hunger said the price of cassava - a key staple - increased by almost 150 per cent in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, during the first week in August.

It is not just food that is scarce in Liberia. The country and its overwhelmed government also faces a projected shortage of 80,000 body bags to bury the dead and 100,000kg of chlorine powder to disinfect quarantine zones.


The Army’s 22 Field Hospital at their home base in Aldershot, before deploying to Sierra Leone.

"Everyone from the governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone, through to the international donor community, has been slow on the medical response and on the food response," said Mr Dannatt.

"This coming as obviously and clearly as light at the end of the night." He added: "The excuse is, 'We're focused on just stopping Ebola'. I find it frustrating when people say the hungry will get through it. I wonder whether that division is an accurate one. If we made sure every quarantined family was fed a proper ration they wouldn't break out and infect others."

An Oxfam spokesperson said yesterday: "The priority for Oxfam and other aid agencies at this stage is to bring the Ebola outbreak under control by scaling up our response.

"Nevertheless, the wider impact of this crisis is already tangible. People are losing their income as fields, markets and goods are inaccessible, and [are] thus being pushed further into poverty.

"There is less local food in markets and what is there is becoming more expensive. In some areas, this already means that people do not have enough food to eat. This crisis has wiped away years of development gains, hard-won after brutal civil wars, which is likely to increase the fragility of the countries and stability of the region."

Mr Dannatt added: "The saving Grace of West Africa in terms of Ebola may be in this miniscule, overblown link to the West; that it might come and get you - it's bewildering and extraordinary."

Ebola cases