Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Robert Reich: How the Pro-Corporate Elite Has Rigged the System Against the Rest of Us

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Ever wonder why Americans pay more for Internet, airplane tickets and medicines?

 You often hear inequality has widened because globalization and technological change have made most people less competitive, while making the best educated more competitive.

There’s some truth to this. The tasks most people used to do can now be done more cheaply by lower-paid workers abroad or by computer-driven machines.

But this common explanation overlooks a critically important phenomenon: the increasing concentration of political power in a corporate and financial elite that has been able to influence the rules by which the economy runs.

As I argue in my new book, “Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few” (out this week), this transformation has amounted to a pre-distribution upward.

Intellectual property rights—patents, trademarks, and copyrights—have been enlarged and extended, for example, creating windfalls for pharmaceutical companies.

Americans now pay the highest pharmaceutical costs of any advanced nation.

At the same time, antitrust laws have been relaxed for corporations with significant market power, such as big food companies, cable companies facing little or no broadband competition, big airlines, and the largest Wall Street banks.

As a result, Americans pay more for broadband Internet, food, airline tickets, and banking services than the citizens of any other advanced nation.

Bankruptcy laws have been loosened for large corporations—airlines, automobile manufacturers, even casino magnates like Donald Trump—allowing them to leave workers and communities stranded.

But bankruptcy has not been extended to homeowners burdened by mortgage debt or to graduates laden with student debt. Their debts won’t be forgiven.

The largest banks and auto manufacturers were bailed out in 2008, shifting the risks of economic failure onto the backs of average working people and taxpayers.

Contract laws have been altered to require mandatory arbitration before private judges selected by big corporations. Securities laws have been relaxed to allow insider trading of confidential information.

CEOs now use stock buybacks to boost share prices when they cash in their own stock options.

Tax laws have special loopholes for the partners of hedge funds and private-equity funds, special favors for the oil and gas industry, lower marginal income-tax rates on the highest incomes, and reduced estate taxes on great wealth.

Meanwhile, so-called “free trade” agreements, such as the pending Trans Pacific Partnership, give stronger protection to intellectual property and financial assets but less protection to the labor of average working Americans.

Today, nearly one out of every three working Americans is in a part-time job. Many are consultants, freelancers, and independent contractors. Two-thirds are living paycheck to paycheck.

And employment benefits have shriveled. The portion of workers with any pension connected to their job has fallen from just over half in 1979 to under 35 percent today.

Labor unions have been eviscerated. Fifty years ago, when General Motors was the largest employer in America, the typical GM worker, backed by a strong union, earned $35 an hour in today’s dollars.

Now America’s largest employer is Walmart, and the typical entry-level Walmart worker, without a union, earns about $9 an hour. 

More states have adopted so-called “right-to-work” laws, designed to bust unions. The National Labor Relations Board, understaffed and overburdened, has barely enforced collective bargaining.

All of these changes have resulted in higher corporate profits, higher returns for shareholders, and higher pay for top corporate executives and Wall Street bankers – and lower pay and higher prices for most other Americans.

They amount to a giant pre-distribution upward to the rich. But we’re not aware of them because they’re hidden inside the market.

The underlying problem, then, is not just globalization and technological changes that have made most American workers less competitive. Nor is it that they lack enough education to be sufficiently productive.

The more basic problem is that the market itself has become tilted ever more in the direction of moneyed interests that have exerted disproportionate influence over it, while average workers have steadily lost bargaining power—both economic and political—to receive as large a portion of the economy’s gains as they commanded in the first three decades after World War II.

Reversing the scourge of widening inequality requires reversing the upward pre-distributions within the rules of the market, and giving average people the bargaining power they need to get a larger share of the gains from growth.

The answer to this problem is not found in economics. It is found in politics. Ultimately, the trend toward widening inequality in America, as elsewhere, can be reversed only if the vast majority join together to demand fundamental change.

The most important political competition over the next decades will not be between the right and left, or between Republicans and Democrats. It will be between a majority of Americans who have been losing ground, and an economic elite that refuses to recognize or respond to its growing distress. 

 

 

 

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Obama’s Self-Deceit | Consortiumnews

Obama’s Self-Deceit | Consortiumnews:



There was stunned silence in the General Assembly Hall on Monday as U.S. President Barack Obama warned leaders against falling back to pre-United Nations days, in which strong nations imposed their will by force against the weak. There was apparent disbelief as he said it was Russia and China that wanted a “return to the rules that applied for most of human history and that pre-date this institution.”
These ancient rules included the “belief that power is a zero-sum game; that might makes right; that strong states must impose their will on weaker ones; that the rights of individuals don’t matter; and that in a time of rapid change, order must be imposed by force.”
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (Photo credit: United Nations.)
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (Photo credit: United Nations.)
The silence in the chamber came because everything Obama ascribed to others perfectly describes U.S. behavior from the end of the Second World War until today.
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Why The Banking Elite Want Riots in America

Why The Banking Elite Want Riots in America:



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Sunday, September 27, 2015

"Putin: we know for sure US helped overthrow of Yanukovych"

Signs of the Times
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The sovereignty of all states, including Ukraine, should be respected, Russian President Vladimir Putin told CBS's 60 Minutes, stressing that he knows "for sure" that the US was involved in the ouster of President Yanukovich in 2014 Speaking to veteran journalist Charlie Rose, Putin said that Russia respects the sovereignty of Ukraine, adding that "at no time in the past, now or in the future has or will Russia take any part in actions aimed at overthrowing the legitimate government." He added that Moscow "would like other countries to respect the sovereignty of other states, including Ukraine. Respecting the sovereignty means preventing coups, unconstitutional actions and illegitimate overthrowing of the legitimate government." It is "absolutely unacceptable" to address issues through unconstitutional means, he said referring to the coup in Ukraine in February 2014. "Our partners in the United States are not trying to hide the fact that they supported those opposed to President Yanukovich," he said. Putin added that he "knows for sure" that the US had in some way helped oust Viktor Yanukovich. Moscow knows "who had meetings and worked with people who overthrew" the ex-president, as well as "when and where they did it," he said. "We know the ways the assistance was provided, we know how much they paid them, we know which territories and countries hosted trainings and how it was done, we know who the instructors were. We know everything. Well, actually, our US partners are not keeping it a secret," he said.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

The Truth About Poor People's Eating Habits Will Surprise You

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Yet more anti-poor propaganda.

In a country where it is a national pastime to find new ways to blame poor people for the crime of being poor, even food choice becomes a site of class warfare. Consider the popularized image of the low-income family who subsists on a steady diet of fast food; each burger, fry and milkshake they consume regarded as yet more evidence of bad decision-making. It’s one of those ideas now deeply embedded in our poverty-pathologizing culture, the kind of untested “fact” politicians reference to ensure we remain “them” and “us,” even at the dinner table. The trouble is, it simply isn’t true.

A recent Centers for Disease Control survey of 5,000 American children and adolescents age 2 to 19 offers proof that poor people not only don't consume more fast food than those with higher incomes, they actually consume slightly less. The study, which looked at figures from 2011-'12, found that “no significant difference was seen by poverty status in the average daily percentage of calories consumed from fast food among children and adolescents aged 2 to 19.” In fact, the poorest children surveyed got the least amount of their daily calorie intake from fast food, at just 11.5 percent. That number rose to 13 percent for their more affluent peers.

If anything, the takeaway from the study is that American kids across the board are eating way too much fast food, with “34.3 percent of all children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 consum[ing] fast food on a given day.”

As the Atlantic notes, this isn’t the first study to indicate that the much cited link between poverty and fast food consumption doesn’t really exist. At least, not in numbers any more glaring or worrisome than for other socioeconomic groups. In 2011, researchers from UC Davis noted that people with lower-middle-class incomes — not the poor — ate the most McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Domino’s and the like. “Fast-food restaurant visits rose along with annual household income up to $60,000,” researchers wrote. And a Gallup poll from 2013 found “[t]hose earning the least actually are the least likely to eat fast food weekly — 39% of Americans earning less than $20,000 a year do so.” Conversely, more affluent Americans — “those earning $75,000 a year or more — are more likely to eat [fast food] at least weekly (51%) than are lower-income groups.”

Still, the mythical relationship between poverty and fast-food is used and manipulated, time and time again. In 2014, the Daily Caller — Tucker Carlson’s website — stoked anti-poverty sentiments among its conservative readership with a list of “questionable” items which food stamps can be used, including two fast food restaurants. (“Taco Bell is one of many fast food restaurants that accept EBT cards. Guacamole is extra? Who cares? It’s on the taxpayer.”) Fox’s Boston affiliate, in a piece on its website titled “Should Welfare Recipients be Blocked from Buying Fast Food?” opens with this fine bit of scaremongering: “Massachusetts State welfare recipients have spent a whopping $44,000 worth of Big Macs, Happy Meals and Chicken McNuggets last year in a debit card spending spree.”

But perhaps most troubling is the way this fallacious idea is trotted out when it comes to policy for the poor. Earlier this year, Arizona Senate Republican Kelly Townsend submitted a bill to prohibit the use of food stamps at fast food restaurants. Maine’s Republican governor Paul LePage has been pushing legislation that would keep food stamp recipients from buying “unhealthy” food, whatever that means. In Wisconsin, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, state Rep. Robert Brooks has put forth a bill that would keep food stamp recipients from buying “crab, lobster or other shellfish” — none of which, last I checked, falls under the banner of “junk food.” And Republicans in Missouri are trying to pass a law that would make food stamps invalid for buying “cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks” — and unbelievably, “seafood or steak."

“I have seen people purchasing filet mignons and crab legs with their EBT cards," Missouri state Rep. Rick Brattin, who introduced the bill, told the Washington Post. "When I can't afford it on my pay, I don't want people on the taxpayer's dime to afford those kinds of foods either."

I don’t for one nanosecond believe Rick Brattin when he says he saw, with his own eyes, EBT card users buying fancy steaks and seafood. I also can hardly believe that Brattin, whose salary is paid with tax revenue, doesn’t see the irony in complaining about anyone doing anything on the “taxpayer’s dime.” However, the one thing I appreciate about Brattin’s words is how they cut to the chase on all this pretend handwringing and faux outrage about how poor people use their food stamps, or what they buy for dinner, or the kind of cellphones they own, or cars they drive, or any of the other nonsense reasons used as justification for taking punitive action. Because let's just admit that this constant restricting of rights and tightening of resources is absolutely punishment against the poor.

Fundamental to this way of thinking is the idea that being poor is a crime for which one must be humiliated and stigmatized at every possible turn, an offense for which people should be constantly reminded that they both deserve and inherently are less. It perpetuates the dumb and simple idea that the poor are poor because they simply refuse to stop being poor: that they spend their money frivolously and foolishly, and so must be told what to buy and what to eat. It’s an idea that, followed to its logical end, suggests that the poor deserve to be poor. Which is absurd for endless reasons, mainly that it’s straight-up wrong about how poor people use their money.

Talking Points Memo notes “[t]he poor spend nearly double the share that the rich spend on food they cook at home, while the rich spend more on eating out” according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. And a recent Mother Jones article points out that food stamp recipients are more mindful about food than the aforementioned lawmakers would have us know:

[D]ictating what you can buy with food stamps is the kind of thing that only sounds good to people who don't actually have to survive on a poverty income. No one denies me the occasional candy bar or Coke; why would I feel entitled to exert that kind of control over poor people? And guess what: SNAP recipients already eat more virtuously than the rest of us. A 2008 USDA report found that they are less likely than those with higher incomes to consume at least one serving of sweets or salty snacks per day. More recently, a 2015 USDA study concluded that, adjusting for demographic differences, people who take SNAP benefits don't consume any more sugary drinks than their low-income peers who aren't in the program.

There are questions worth investigating based on the CDC study findings. For example, researchers are still trying to understand why the poorest Americans, despite consuming less fast food, are disproportionately obese. (The Food Research and Action Center offers up a number of ideas, from food deserts to unsafe playgrounds that make exercise difficult.) But what it does clear up is the false idea that poverty is somehow uniquely synonymous with fast food. Or that being poor is a simple problem of poor people's own making.

 

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

'Snowden Treaty' Aims To Protect Privacy, Whistleblowers — And End Mass Surveillance

VICE News
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NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, journalist Glenn Greenwald, and activist David Miranda previewed the treaty at a New York event, which they hope might prevent the type of mass spying they exposed.

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U.S. Government Nutrition Advice Is Stuck in 1980s

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The Uncle Sam Diet mantra: Don't eat anything your ancestors wouldn't have while watching Cheers on network television.


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Obama blocks brilliant teen critic on twitter, then lies about it

Pamela Geller
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How small and petty can the narcissist-in-chief get? Who’s the child? Conservative YouTube sensation CJ Pearson, a 13-year-old black middle schooler from Georgia, revealed today that he’s been blocked from following President Obama on Twitter. He’s also unable to view the president’s tweets. So much for freedom of speech — and this kid didn’t even […]

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New Data Reveals Stark Gaps in Graduation Rates Between Poor and Wealthy Students

ProPublica: Articles and Investigations
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by Annie Waldman

A new report released Thursday provides a detailed look at the graduation rates of low-income college students. At many colleges, low-income students graduate at much lower rates than their high-income peers.

At the University of Missouri-Kansas City, only 35 percent of Pell Grant recipients graduate college, a rate that is more than 20 percentage points lower than that of their wealthier peers. And at St. Andrews, a liberal arts college in Laurinburg, North Carolina, only 13 percent of Pell Grant recipients graduate, more than 50 percentage points less than students who don’t receive the grants.

The study found 51 percent of Pell students graduate nationwide, compared to 65 percent of non-Pell students. The average gap between wealthy and poor students at the same schools is much smaller: an average of 5.7 percentage points. That’s because many Pell students attend schools with low graduation rates. (You can now look up whether poor students are graduating at the same rate as their classmates in our newly updated interactive database, Debt by Degrees.)

Ben Miller, the senior director for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress, said that schools with large graduation gaps deserve greater scrutiny.

“Colleges have responsibility to ensure that the students they enroll are well served,” said Miller. “If you’re going to enroll someone, you should do the absolute best you can to graduate them, or else don’t take their money.”

The new report comes on the heels of recently released federal education data that has brought new focus on how low-income students fare at college, including how much federal debt they take on and how much they earn after graduation. The graduation rates of low-income students were not included in that data.

The group behind the new report, the Education Trust, collected the graduation rates of Pell Grant recipients — typically students whose families make less than $30,000 a year — for a selection of more than 1,000 colleges across the country.

A spokesman for University of Missouri-Kansas City said many of their students are low-income and that the school is working to do better. “We are not satisfied with that gap,” said John Martellaro. “We are investing more resources in our student success programs in an effort to narrow that gap.” (Read their full statement.)

St. Andrews did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

At more than a third of the colleges studied, schools were able to serve their Pell students almost as well as non-Pell students, with a gap of less than 3 percentage points.

Other schools have managed to graduate Pell students at an even higher rate than their non-Pell peers. According to the new data, nearly 90 percent of Pell recipients are able to graduate Smith College, compared with an 85 percent graduation rate of non-Pell students. And at Western Oregon University, Pell recipients have a graduation rate of 50 percent — nearly 10 percentage points better than their peers.

Both schools worked hard to ensure high graduation rates, including improving admissions policies and bolstering financial aid, as well as increasing advising and support services for students at school, says the new report.

The Pell Grant program is the nation’s largest need-based student grant program, giving out billions of dollars annually. Yet for years, the data on Pell recipient graduation rates was mostly hidden from the public eye.

Although colleges are required to give the government graduation-rate data that's broken down by gender and race, the data is not required to be reported by income or Pell Grant status. Since 2008, schools are required to disclose Pell graduation rate data if it’s requested by prospective students.

“It’s kind of astounding when you think about how much money is spent on the Pell Grant program,” said Andrew Kelly, the director of the Center on Higher Education Reform at the American Enterprise Institute. “We don’t have any idea about how much of that money goes to producing degrees. We don’t know what happens to Pell recipients after they enroll.”

In order to collect Pell graduation rates, the Education Trust filed requests for data through state higher education systems as well as with the schools themselves. Some of the data was purchased from U.S. News and World Report. However, only around 1,150 schools were included in the report, out of the more than 7,000 institutions in the country. The survey also did not include data from for-profit colleges, where many Pell-recipients attend school.

Sisi Wei contributed to this report.



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How Scientific Are the US Dietary Guidelines?

MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones
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Later this year, the US government is set to unveil its new dietary guidelines—advice on what Americans should eat to stay healthy. The guidelines, once known as the Food Pyramid, are updated every five years and are hugely influential: They affect everything from food labeling and doctors' advice to school lunch menus, aid programs for low-income families, and research priorities at the National Institutes of Health. They also have some clout globally, with governments in other Western countries often adopting similar nutrition policies.

So how exactly does the US government come up with these guidelines? The process might be less scientific than you'd expect, according to a new investigation in a major British medical journal that suggests Big Food is playing too big of a role in the government's dietary recommendations.

The guidelines, writes journalist Nina Teicholz in the BMJ journal, are based on a report by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, a panel of experts tasked with reviewing scientific studies on nutrition. For years, the advisory committee faced criticism about its review process, so in 2010 the US Department of Agriculture created the Nutrition Evidence Library, which set up a system to methodically evaluate scientific research based on a hierarchy of evidence and a transparent grading process.

But in the 2015 report for the new guidelines, the advisory committee said it did not use NEL reviews for more than 70 percent of topics it covered; instead, Teicholz found, the committee used studies by outside professional organizations, including some with backing from Big Food, like the American Heart Association (which she says received 20 percent of its revenue from industry in 2014) and the American College of Cardiology (which she says received 38 percent of its revenue from industry in 2012).

In her investigation, Teicholz also examined the industry ties of specific members of the advisory committee, finding that they received support from groups like the California Walnut Commission, the International Tree Nut Council, Unilever, and Lluminari, a health media company that works with General Mills, PepsiCo, and Stonyfield Farm. "While there is no evidence that these potential conflicts of interest influenced the committee members, the [2015 dietary guidelines] report recommends a high consumption of vegetable oils and nuts," Teicholz writes, while noting that most scientists in the field of nutrition receive some support from industry due to a shortage of public research funding.

Teicholz, author of The Big Fat Surprise, a book about the politics behind dietary fat recommendations, takes particular issue with the advisory committee's push to restrict saturated fats, which it describes as a form of "empty calories." She writes, "Unlike sugar, saturated fats are mostly consumed as an inherent part of foods such as eggs, meat, and dairy, which together contain nearly all the vitamins and minerals needed for good health." She says the committee also did not sufficiently consider studies showing that low-carbohydrate diets are effective for promoting weight loss and improving heart disease risk factors.

Barbara Millen, the chair of the advisory committee, rejects allegations that the committee's dietary recommendations are not supported by science. "The evidence base has never been stronger to guide solutions," she was quoted as saying in the BMJ. "You don't simply answer these questions on the basis of the NEL [Nutrition Evidence Library]. Where we didn't feel we needed to, we didn't do them. On topics where there were existing comprehensive guidelines, we didn't do them."

Millen defended the recommendations on saturated fat and said there had been insufficient evidence to consider low-carbohydrate diets, while adding that committee members were vetted by counsel to the federal government. But Teicholz isn't convinced: "It may be time to ask our authorities to convene an unbiased and balanced panel of scientists to undertake a comprehensive review, in order to ensure that selection of the dietary guidelines committee becomes more transparent, with better disclosure of the conflicts of interest, and that the most rigorous scientific evidence is reliably used to produce the best possible nutrition policy," she writes.



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What Coca-Cola Is Doing With Its Money Right Now Is Actually Kind of Genius

MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones
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Coca-Cola has had a bad summer. Last month, the New York Times revealed that the soda giant funded scientific research suggesting that people who want to lose weight and improve their health should focus on exercise instead of cutting out high-calorie items—like soda—from their diets.

Oxford University Press

Consumers were outraged, so in the wake of the investigation, Coca-Cola CEO Muthar Kent vowed in a piece in the Wall Street Journal's opinion section to publish a complete list of people and organizations that the company has funded. Earlier this week, Coca-Cola did just that.

The list—which includes a breakdown of the $118.6 million in donations that the company has doled out over the last five years—is sprawling. To make sense of it, I spoke to Marion Nestle, a professor in New York University's Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health. Nestle's new book, Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning), uncovers how soda companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo became some of the most powerful corporations in the United States. Their success, Nestle argues in the book, comes in no small part from their strategic alliances with a diverse range of communities—from minority groups to doctors to physical fitness organizations.

Sure enough, those very groups are well represented in Coca-Cola's list. Here's a quick guide to the main kinds of organizations that Nestle noticed—and the strategy behind Coke's decision to give to them:

Professors and university research centers, including the University of South Carolina's South Carolina Research Foundation (more than $1 million), the University of Alabama Birmingham Educational Foundation (more than $1 million), and the University of Colorado ($1.25 million): "This is a big part of what Coke does, funding university research centers to incentivize them to do work that makes soda look not quite so bad," says Nestle. "I was particularly interested in the list of health professionals and scientific experts. The soda industry is very interested in these people, who tell people in hospitals what to drink."

Minority group organizations, including 100 Black Men of America Inc. ($350,000), the NAACP ($550,000), and the National Association of Hispanic Nurses ($671,000): "The soda industry deliberately markets to African American and Hispanic communities," says Nestle. "They're sending the message, 'You're part of mainstream America. You're like this sports figure.'" Interestingly, Coca-Cola has a troubled history with the African American community. In her book, Nestle chronicles how, from the time of the civil rights movement through the early 1980s, Coca-Cola faced criticism for hiring few black employees in its Atlanta headquarters. The company has spent decades repairing its relationship with black Americans.

Sports and fitness groups, including the National Foundation for Governors' Council on Physical Fitness ($4 million), and the National Recreation and Park Association ($2 million): "That's part of this concerted effort to make people think that if they're physically active, they don't have to think about what they're drinking," says Nestle.

Youth organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs (more than $6 million), the American Academy of Pediatrics (nearly $3 million) and Girl Scouts of the USA ($1 million): Nestle explains that soda companies have pledged not to advertise to children under the age of 12 on TV—and they have largely kept their promise. But "there are lots of other ways in which they can market to children," she says—and donating to charitable groups that support kids is one of them. That strategy "gets these children's organizations not to make drinking less soda a priority. And if they're using sodas around their place, it keeps the brand visible. It buys silence." Nestle sites the example of when, in 2013, the soda industry trade group American Beverage Association spent millions to defeat a proposed soda tax in Philadelphia—and, at the same time, gave a $10 million grant to the city's children's hospital.

Medical professionals groups, including the American Academy of Family Physicians (more than $3.5 million), the American College of Cardiology ($3.1 million), the American Dietetic Association (more than $1 million), the American College of Sports Medicine ($865,000), and the Preventative Cardiovascular Nurses Association ($383,500): "The soda companies have a very big presence at medical professional meetings," says Nestle. "They sponsor specific sessions, as well as the meetings in general. They choose the lecturers, or they appoint people to choose the lecturers. You can bet that these people are not going to be saying very much about the need to drink less soda, even though the evidence suggests that's the best advice."

Disaster relief funds, including Mercy Corps ($150,000), and the Global Disaster Response Fund ($150,000): "This one is a no brainer, because these groups bring bottled water in," says Nestle. (Coca-Cola owns leading bottled water brand Dasani.)

Food banks, including Atlanta Community Food Bank, Inc. ($570,000) and the San Antonio Food Bank ($300,000): Nestle explains that one metric by which food pantries are often evaluated is the overall weight of the food they provide. "Sodas are very heavy, so food banks love sodas," she says.

Parks, including the National Park Foundation (more than $2 million) and Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance ($3 million): Some public park groups—including the National Park Foundation—are trying to cut down on plastic litter by banning the sale of bottled water on park premises. "So it makes sense that Coke is supporting parks to keep bottled water in," says Nestle.

Really tiny organizations, including many local chapters of the YMCA, the Boys & Girls Club, and Police Athletic Leagues: Coca-Cola's list includes some donations in the millions, but most of the contributions that the company has made are smaller—$50,000 or less. "It doesn't take very much to form a good impression," says Nestle. "I bet the Portland After-School Tennis & Education at St. Johns Racquet Center was very happy with their $25,000. You can bet that small groups that get any donation at all are not going to be really motivated to get Coke out of their offices."



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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Vancouver Aquarium’s Radioactive Cover-Up

SGTreport - The Corporate Propaganda Antidote - Silver, Gold, Truth, Liberty, & Freedom
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by Richard Wilcox, Ph.D., Activist Post:

An Open Letter To The Vancouver Aquarium: Jay Cullen’s Blatant Lack Of Transparency http://www.vanaqua.org

From: Richard Wilcox September 23, 2015

I just watched the video now on YouTube featuring presentations by Ken Buessler and Jay Cullen regarding ocean radiation pollution from the Fukushima nuclear disaster:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Za96sw2Kw

In his [...]

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What did Hillary Clinton do wrong?

Sharyl Attkisson
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That’s how Hillary Clinton summed up her email controversy in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on September 4. Indeed, those who haven’t closely followed developments may be confused as to what, exactly, Clinton did—and what, if anything, she allegedly did wrong. Here’s an attempt to sort it out in simple terms. Clinton may have […]

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Russia Completely Bans GMOs in Food Production

Global Research
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Russia has just announced a game-changing move in the fight against Monsanto’s GMOs, completely banning the use of genetically modified ingredients in any and all food production. In other words, Russia just blazed way past the issue of GMO labeling…

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Profound Conversation About Reality

Zen Gardner
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A profound conversation from the 1981 movie "My Dinner with Andre" that is more applicable today than it was then. Let this blow your mind. The truth is out there! Grab it!

The post A Profound Conversation About Reality appeared first on Zen Gardner.



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Friday, September 18, 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Rethinking Public Schools: Does America Really Need Them?

Western Journalism
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What would children learn if they weren't required to absorb a pre-determined curriculum is a question hardly anyone is asking.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Psy-Op: Executive Order Creates an Orwellian Policy of Enlightenment and Propaganda

The Daily Sheeple
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The ink is still wet on a brand new executive order that reads like a cross between the Reich’s Ministry of Enlightenment and Propaganda and George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth. Make no mistakes: this is a psy-op and we are the targets.

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Yesterday, Obama Signed An Executive Order That Encourages The Feds To Perform Behavioral Experiments On The American People.

Downtrend
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President Obama’s latest executive order is a doozy. In effect, it authorizes federal agencies to experiment on the American people to essentially get them to do what they’re told. Signed yesterday, it’s called “Using Behavioral Science Insights to Better Serve the American People.” “A growing body of evidence demonstrates that behavioral science insights — research […]

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Citigroup Was Using Taxpayer Bailout Funds While Committing Its Foreign Currency Felony

The Daily Coin
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bank collapse economy war KINGWORLDNEWSby Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Wall Street on Parade While the U.S. taxpayer was involuntarily shoveling over $2 trillion in bailout funds and loans into Citigroup from 2008 to 2010, the bank was committing at least one admitted felony on its foreign currency trading desk. And if ongoing testimony in a London court is to be believed, the U.S. Justice Department could have brought charges against individuals instead of settling its case for one...

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

"Countless" dead birds reported in Pacific off US coast, nothing will eat the bodies

Signs of the Times
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"There are no seals present"Expert: "The fish are not there... all of them are starving"Animals "acting weird, sick and weak, too weak to fly, too weak to run" Resident: We want to know if it's from Fukushima (VIDEO)KGW, Aug 25, 2015 (emphasis added): Birds dying of starvation along coast — Hundreds of birds are washing ashore either dead or dying along the Oregon and Southwest Washington Coast. The majority of them are common murres... Researchers say that the die-off started about three weeks ago... the Wildlife Center of the North Coast [says] Almost all of them are starving. "They're totally emaciated..." said Laurel Berblinger, a volunteer at the center. According to the biologists, the fish the birds normally eat are not there... with so many dead birds along the beaches now, it's important to keep children and dogs away... Biologists say they are bracing for a lot more of this.

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Goats Fed GM Soy Have Altered DNA, Milk, and Offspring

SGTreport - The Corporate Propaganda Antidote - Silver, Gold, Truth, Liberty, & Freedom
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by Christina Sarich, Natural Society:

First, the herbicide chemical glyphosate was found in breast milk of mothers around the country. Now, there is a new study showing that the DNA in goats fed transgenic, GM soy feed is altered, and the milk itself is of lower quality, affecting the offspring.

Kid goats were studied both in [...]

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Public School Students Are The New Inmates In The American Police State

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-14/public-school-students-are-new-inmates-american-police-state

If you want a nation of criminals, treat the citizenry like criminals.

If you want young people who grow up seeing themselves as prisoners, run the schools like prisons.

But if you want to raise up a generation of freedom fighters, who will actually operate with justice, fairness, accountability and equality towards each other and their government, then run the schools like freedom forums. Remove the metal detectors and surveillance cameras, re-assign the cops elsewhere, and start treating our nation’s young people like citizens of a republic and not inmates in a police state.

2 Weeks Later – Virginia Shooting Hoax Completely Vanished From Mainstream Media


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Throughout alternative media over the last few years many people have written about what to look for in a false flag. Many including yours truly have outlined steps to look for when trying to diagnose the next government false flag. … Continue reading

The post 2 Weeks Later – Virginia Shooting Hoax Completely Vanished From Mainstream Media appeared first on .



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Massie on the 28 Pages: Documents Will Challenge Americans to Rethink 9/11

Freedom Outpost
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Fourteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Washington continues to hide the truth about 9/11 and the FBI cover-up. Truth in Media has reported extensively on the allegations that the government of Saudi Arabia financed the 9/11 hijackers and why the U.S. government wants to protect them. Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) posted on Facebook today to challenge […]

The post Massie on the 28 Pages: Documents Will Challenge Americans to Rethink 9/11 appeared first on Freedom Outpost.



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The amazing significance of what a mother-to-be eats

BBC News - Home
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Where life chances depend on which season you're born in

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mammography Is Harmful & Should Be Abandoned, Review Concludes

GreenMedInfo
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Mammography Should Be Abandoned

"I believe that if screening had been a drug, it would have been withdrawn from the market long ago."

~ Peter C Gøtzsche

With Breast Cancer Awareness Month just around the corner, a new study promises to undermine the multi-billion dollar cause-marketing orgy that shepherds millions of women into having their breasts scanned for cancer with x-rays that themselves are known to contribute to breast cancer

read more



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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Whitewashing Wall Street crime: 'Useless' Yates memo in Justice Department is a day late and billions of dollars short

Signs of the Times
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This week, the Justice Department felt the need to write a memo to staff instructing them to indict individuals when they commit crimes, seemingly something implied by their job titles. It doesn't say as much about the current Justice Department regime under Loretta Lynch as it does about the former one under Eric Holder. No major Wall Street executive went to jail for the illegal actions that precipitated the financial crisis, despite a mountain of documentary evidence of fraud. Corporations and their employees got away with what amounted to slaps on the wrist. And Holder, after presiding over this, joined the head of his Justice Department criminal division and several top deputies at Covington & Burling, a white-collar defense firm that represents most major banks. You can draw a direct line from this failure back to the "Holder memo," written when he served as a deputy in the Clinton Justice Department. That memo created the "collateral consequences" policy, arguing that prosecutors who seek criminal cases against large companies should take into account innocent victims who may get hurt. It laid out a host of alternative remedies, such as fines and deferred prosecution agreements. This eventually gave prosecutors a way to shrink from complex cases, to talk themselves into not wasting the effort. The working theory inside the Holder Justice Department was to only go after cases where victory was absolutely assured, and where collateral damage was minimized. And this philosophy drifted to preventing prosecutions of individuals as well, even though there's no shred of evidence that sending an executive to jail would sink a company (or that juries won't be able to understand complex cases against individuals, for that matter). This Holder doctrine has soured opinions of the Justice Department, giving the impression that it serves only to protect the rich and powerful from the consequences of their actions. It's a perception that DoJ wants to correct, which is why it made the "Yates memo," named after Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, public.

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The Depatment of Injustices new policy is a brutal admission of Eric Holder's corruption

Signs of the Times
Link
This week, the Justice Department felt the need to write a memo to staff instructing them to indict individuals when they commit crimes, seemingly something implied by their job titles. It doesn't say as much about the current Justice Department regime under Loretta Lynch as it does about the former one under Eric Holder. No major Wall Street executive went to jail for the illegal actions that precipitated the financial crisis, despite a mountain of documentary evidence of fraud. Corporations and their employees got away with what amounted to slaps on the wrist. And Holder, after presiding over this, joined the head of his Justice Department criminal division and several top deputies at Covington & Burling, a white-collar defense firm that represents most major banks.

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Is the Government Pursuit of Wall Street Criminals Too Little Too Late?

VICE News
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Nearly seven years since the outbreak of the financial crisis, banks have paid out billions of dollars in settlements for financial misdeeds, but not a single Wall Street executive has been put in jail.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a new policy to go after the individuals who have committed financial crimes. It's a sharp divergence from the strategy championed by outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, which sought to levy fines against banks and financial institutions, but spare executives and others responsible for decision-making from criminal prosecution.

Assistant Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates outlined the new approach in a speech at NYU law school on Thursday. The DOJ will now pursue criminals "regardless of whether they commit their crimes on the street corner or in the boardroom," she said. "A crime's a crime."

But, with the five-year statute of limitations for criminal charges stemming from the financial crisis long past, it's unclear if the policy will translate to more corporate accountability.

"It is my belief that the new DOJ stance is a defensive smokescreen to shield itself from widespread criticism," Richard Bowen, a former senior vice president at CitiGroup and mortgage fraud whistleblower, told VICE News.

Related: How Eric Holder's Corporate Law Firm Is Turning Into a 'Shadow Justice Department'

In 2006, Bowen sounded the alarm that CitiGroup was involved in massive mortgage fraud; he later turned over thousands of pages of documents to the SEC, and met with the DOJ to help build a case against the bank. Last year, CitiGroup settled with the DOJ for $7 billion — but no one at the bank was held criminally responsible.

Bowen thinks the new policy is pure public relations.

"By now all of this is a moot point," he said.

The DOJ, meanwhile, is heralding the policy as a new day for corporate accountability. Laying out the details in a memo addressed to the entire Department of Justice staff, Yates argued that, "one of the most effective ways to combat corporate misconduct is by seeking accountability from the individuals who perpetrated the wrongdoing."

She directed attorneys to play hardball with corporations, and to pursue individual executives from the outset of any investigation. The DOJ should not, she said, offer to drop criminal charges against executives in exchange for cooperation.

"Corporations can only commit crimes through flesh-and-blood people," she told the New York Time's on Wednesday. "It's only fair that the people who are responsible for committing those crimes be held accountable."

When asked by VICE News if the policy was an implicit admission of past failures to put corporate criminals behind bars, a DOJ spokesperson declined to comment.

"The new policy guidance is forward-looking," the spokesperson said. "Our goal in putting forward this guidance was to put in place some concrete steps that will ensure that individual accountability is at the heart of our corporate enforcement strategy."

Related: Greece Approves Creditors' Reforms to Protest on the Streets

So far, such "individual accountability" has been elusive. Over the last six years, 49 financial institutions have paid out nearly $190 billion in fines and settlements. But only Kareem Serageldin, a mid-level trader at Credit Suisse, has received any jail time for activities linked to mortgage fraud — he's currently serving a 2.5 year sentence.

In fact, the vast majority of the top dogs at financial firms that profited off toxic mortgage-backed securities have been able to ride out the crisis, using shareholder money to pay off the fines leveled by the DOJ. In 2014, JPMorgan paid $13 billion to settle accusations of massive mortgage fraud — the largest such settlement in US history. No one went to jail, and the company was not required to admit criminal wrongdoing. A few months later, the board of directors awarded the CEO James Dimon a 74 percent raise.

"Up until now senior executives were basically immunized by paying shareholding funds and that does little to curtail future misconduct," Bartlett Naylor, a former chief of investigations for the US Senate Banking Committee, told VICE News. "In fact, it reinforces bad conduct."

Naylor is now with the advocacy group Public Citizen, and has been a sharp critic of the Obama administration's handling of white-collar crime.

In the wake of the financial crisis, the Justice Department worked closely with banks to hammer out massive financial settlements that skirted around the issue of criminal liability, and instead focused on putting a price tag on misconduct.

The DOJ's post-financial crisis strategy diverge significantly from the approach taken in the wake of the Savings and Loans Crisis of the 1980s where some 1,100 individuals faced criminal prosecution and the heads of several major banks served jail time.

William Black, a renowned former bank regulator who played a key role in exposing the fraud at the center of the Savings and Loan Crisis, called the new memo "desperate" and "farcical.

"Words are cheap. The Department is 4,000 days late and $24.3 trillion short," he wrote in an article for New Economic Perspectives.

Related: Unemployment Is Killing 45,000 People Each Year

Black told VICE News that after the financial crisis he offered to help the DOJ go after the mortgage banks. Instead, he was hired by the government in Iceland, where he helped advise prosecutors who eventually put the heads of the largest Icelandic banks in prison.

"This is an implicit admission that the DOJ committed a great strategic failure," Black said. "But, it's too late — don't expect any big changes."

DOJ officials have long maintained that pursuing settlements allowed the government to extract financial penalties without going through the costly ordeal of a criminal trial, and without causing collateral damage.

"In reaching every charging decision, we must take into account the effect of an indictment on innocent employees and shareholders," Lanny Breuer, then the Assistant Attorney General for the criminal division, explained in 2012. "Those are the kinds of considerations in white-collar crime cases that literally keep me up at night."

In an interview with the Financial Times conducted after he left the DOJ, Holder made a similar point, saying he had no interest in "trying to make examples of people" with jail time.

The new DOJ memo seemed to depart from this sentiment.

"In the short term certain cases against individuals will not provide as robust of a monetary return… pursuing individual action will result in significant long term deterrence," Yates wrote. Though, she also praised Holder for "understanding" that white-collar crimes involved "not just corporate entities" but "also individuals."

Naylor at Public Citizen is cautiously optimistic that the new policy will put white-collar criminals on notice.

"Ideally going forward this will change the prosecutors' playbook," he said. "And that is encouraging"

Related: Banks and Car Dealerships Are Using an Orwellian New Tactic on Debtors

But those calling for more aggressive white-collar prosecutions are frustrated by the timing of the announcement.

"You could say 'better late than never," Phil Angelides, the chairman of the Financial Crisis Commission, a government task force that investigated the causes of the 2008 economic collapse, said in a phone interview. "But it's very late."

The Commission— which is often called the 9/11 Commission for the great recession — handed over a detailed report to the DOJ in 2011 laying out the scope of the misconduct committed by banks in the lead up to the 2008 crash.

"We thought the prosecutors would pursue it… but they didn't' run very hard or very fast," Angelides said. "The new strategy is encouraging, but it's a tragedy these years went by apparently, without the vigorous investigatory effort to unveil the truth."



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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sandy Hook hoax: 6 signs that school was closed before massacre


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The alternative media have blogged and made countless YouTube videos on what Wolfgang Halbig calls “things that don’t make sense” about the Sandy Hook Elementary School (SHES) shooting massacre of 20 first-graders and 6 adults on December 14, 2012, in … Continue reading

The post Sandy Hook hoax: 6 signs that school was closed before massacre appeared first on .



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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Nowhere to Run To; Nowhere to Thrive

The Burning Platform
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Nowhere to Run To; Nowhere to Thrive FREEMANSPERSPECTIVE It’s something of a truism in physics that closed systems tend toward entropy. In other words, building walls around a process will make it degrade faster than it normally would. And this principle clearly applies beyond physics. An academic named John B. Calhoun famously documented this effect […]

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Washington Seeks Invasion and Occupation as US and Coalition Fighters Flood Syria

Global Research
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US corporate-funded policy think-tank, the Brookings Institution, published a June 2015 paper titled, “Deconstructing Syria: Towards a regionalized strategy for a confederal country.” The signed and dated open-conspiracy to divide, destroy, invade, then incrementally occupy Syria using no-fly-zones and both…

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Food Industry Enlisted Academics in G.M.O. Lobbying War, Emails Show

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/09/06/us/food-industry-enlisted-academics-in-gmo-lobbying-war-emails-show.html?referrer=

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Founding Fathers Agree With Kim Davis 100%

Western Journalism
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Jefferson, Hamilton, and Lincoln would beg to differ with the toxic liberal lie that Supreme Court (SC) opinions immediately and without exception “invalidate” Constitutionally enacted laws and statutes.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism - Equipping You With The Truth



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Five Big Banks Plead Guilty to Rigging Currency Markets and No One Goes to Jail

The Daily Coin
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economy collapse nwo bankby James S. Henry, Republic Broadcast Network

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Fukushima? Extremely high radiation levels all across America

Intellihub
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Stefan Stanford | Pummeling of Pacific Ocean brings 'invisible blanket of death' to US shores

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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Russian officials propose bill to grant every citizen one hectare of farm and forest land to use for self-sufficiency

NaturalNews.com
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(NaturalNews) The Pacific Rim of Russia could soon see a mass migration of young people if a government scheme to repopulate this largely uninhabited area is successful. In an effort to promote self-reliance and good land stewardship, the Russian government is planning to grant every...


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Kiev Chief of Staff: Ukraine's intelligence reports are 90% wrong

Signs of the Times
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Viktor Muzhenko, head of the Ukrainian General Staff, has assessed the clearance rate of military and intelligence in the "anti-terrorist operation" in the Donbass. According to his remarks, 90 percent of the information collected on the situation in eastern Ukraine would have to be counted as false. This perhaps explains assertions of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko about the all edged "200,000 Russian soldiers" in the Donbass. One might think that Viktor Muzhenko's declaration resembled a late admission. It took more than a year took for the head of the General Staff to designate Kiev's accusations against Russia as wrong. "There are intelligence reports and briefings data. Intelligence reports are what we get, and the data are, what the reports confirm" explained Muzhenko, in the best soldierly bureaucratic form, in an interview with the Ukrainian newspaper ZN.UA, and went on: "Last summer 90 percent of the information through official briefings re the Anti-Terrorist Operation -- was wrong." The head of the General Staff said only five to ten percent of the information received was credible. At the same time Muzhenko accused the self-defense militias in Donbass of "active disinformation tactics."

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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Shaking the foundation of medical research: Half of failed peer reviewed papers "spun" as success

Signs of the Times
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Dr. Malcolm Kendrick reports on a new study that he says should "shake the foundations of medical research" but laments that it almost certainly won't. In the year 2000, the US National Heart Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) insisted that all researchers register their "primary aim" and then later their "primary outcome" with clinicaltrials.gov. This one small change in the way medical studies were reported transformed the "success" rates in peer reviewed papers. Before 2000, fully 57% of studies found the success they said they were testing for, but after that, their success rate fell to to a dismal 8%. When people didn't have to declare what their aim was, they could fish through their results to find some positive, perhaps tangential association, and report that as if they had been investigating that effect all along. The negative results became invisible. If a diet, drug or treatment showed no benefit at all, or turned up bad results, nobody had to know. The world of peer reviewed climate research: like a universe of dark matter It's not like climate science suffers from unpublished "negative results" — no, it's more like it's built on them: like all the model runs that ran off the ranch and disappeared, and the hot spot that never went missing, but keeps being "found". The infamous Pause in the Climate barely existed until a forest of explanations for it appeared. Then there are the strange missing proxies — like the tree rings from the last 30 years. Did no one look, have all the trees gone, or were those awkward results dropped down the memory hole? Or is it because when someone did, the proxy turns out to be useless like the Sheep Mountain hockey-stick tree rings did?

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Measles and mumps protect against heart attack and stroke!

Health Impact News
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Breaking news. Measles and mumps protect against heart attack and stroke! Could the mass vaccination program of the U.S. lead to an explosion of heart attacks? Myocardial infarctions are already the leading cause of death in the world today. The situation could get much worse. A prestigious journal reported that men who had measles and mumps as children suffered 29% less heart attacks and 17% less strokes! Women with a history of both infections had a 17% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and 21% lower risk of stroke. The journal Atherosclerosis recently published these shocking findings in the June 2015 issue.


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Cops Demand NFL Star Apologize for Speaking Out After Police Pulled a Gun and Illegally Searched Him

AlterNet.org Main RSS Feed
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The officer who pulled him over became aggressive and pulled his gun out when Lathon reached under his seat to grab his licence.

Pearland, TX – Former NFL player Lamar Lathon had his car illegal searched and had a gun pointed at him by a police officer because he reached for his licence during a traffic stop. Lathon got pulled over after midnight on September 1st for going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit while he was passing a vehicle in another lane. He was going 65 in a 50 mile per hour zone in the middle of the night when there was hardly anyone else on the road.

The officer who pulled him over became aggressive and pulled his gun out when Lathon reached under his seat to grab his licence. After running his information, the officer demanded to search his vehicle because he suspected him of having a gun. Lathon plainly refused the search multiple times, but the officer called for backup and searched the vehicle anyway. There was no gun or anything else illegal in the vehicle and eventually the police let him go after wasting his time.

Days later, the Pearland Police Department released the dashcam video, bafflingly insisting that Lathon’s version of events is a fabrication. The video shows clearly that the police officer pointed a gun at him, searched his car illegally and found absolutely nothing, proving that the accusations of him having a gun were false.

The Pearland Police Department issued a press release this week defending the officer, and calling Lathon a liar, even though the video confirms his story. In the statement the department said:

Based on review of the video footage, it is the position of the Pearland Police Department that the response of the officers involved in this traffic stop was professional and within both the law and policies of this agency. The primary officer was tactically aware, maintained control of the scene and attempted to de-escalate a volatile situation brought on by a driver who refused to follow directions and whose primary complaint seemed to be the issuance of a citation.

The local police union is going a step further and demanding that Lathon apologize for lying when he was telling the truth all along.

The Pearland Police Officer’s Association made the following, nauseating statement:

“As a former NFL Pro Bowler, Lathon is looked up to and considered a role model by many in the community. Mr. Lathon needs to take ownership of words and actions and apologize to the men and women of the Pearland Police Department that fearlessly protect and serve their community in these very dangerous times.”


 



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Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide Linked to Brain Cancer in Children

SGTreport - The Corporate Propaganda Antidote - Silver, Gold, Truth, Liberty, & Freedom
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by Christina Sarich, Natural Society:

Scientists from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry have published a damning study for Monsanto. It shows a correlation between parental exposure to the toxic herbicide Roundup and an increased chance of offspring developing brain cancer. Specifically, parents exposed to the toxic stew up to 2 years before giving birth are more [...]

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Friday, September 4, 2015

If You Want To Know The Truth About The Unemployment Rate Read This Article

End Of The American Dream
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The Obama administration is telling us that the unemployment rate in the United States has fallen to 5.1 percent, but does that number actually bear any resemblance to reality? On Friday, news outlets all over America celebrated the fact that the U.S. economy added 173,000 jobs in August. We were told that the unemployment rate [...]

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No Inflation Friday: The government admits its own statistics are phony

No Inflation Friday: The government admits its own statistics are phony:

"When I was a kid, my father earned enough money to support his family with a single salary.
We had a house, a car, an occasional vacation, and we never missed a meal. All on one income.
But those days are long gone. Now it’s almost obligatory to live in a dual-income household just to make ends meet.
The official statistics never paint this picture.
They focus on some palatable number, telling us the inflation rate is 2%, and then adjust their computational methods to derive that figure.
In fact, the US federal government has changed the way it calculates inflation at least twenty times since the mid 1980s.
And it’s obvious that they have a huge incentive to do so.
The #1 expense of the federal government today is the mandatory entitlement programs that are paid out to seniors in the US– primarily Social Security."

'via Blog this'

The Polio VACCINE is Causing the New Polio

The Daily Coin
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syringe medicine health ebolaby Aaron Dykes, Truth Stream Media Yes, the vaccines are causing the problem. The authorities know it. It is admitted. This is not conspiracy theory, but sad fact. The system is willing to break a few eggs and ruin lives in order to achieve their global vaccination agenda – all while they insist that vaccines are both safe and effective. To say otherwise – even in the face of admitted facts – is pure heresy....

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AP Coverage of Manufacturing Continues to Ignore Its Steep, Documented Decline


Link

The press's failure to tell the public how seriously the U.S. economy is struggling is not the most egregious exercise in reality avoidance we've seen during the past several months. The willful denial of Iran's intent to destroy Israel and its Western enemies, the refusal to acknowledge the inherent institutional ugliness of Planned Parenthood, and the failure to accurately characterize Hillary Clinton's deliberate circumvention of established national security laws and protocols (all because "Her personal privacy was more important than the national interest") are clearly worse.

Nevertheless, the economy-related deceptions have not been unimportant. The press promotes the general impression that, well, conditions aren't ideal, but they're the best we can hope for — and besides, our mess isn't as bad as what we're seeing in rest of the world (and by the way, if the U.S. economy does tank, it will be the rest of the world's fault, and certainly not Dear Leader's). Let's compare Wednesday's exercise in furthering that impression at the Associated Press and compare it to what is really happening.



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The Dark Side of Alternative Medicine and Holistic Healing

AlterNet.org Main RSS Feed
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Some forms of holistic healing come perilously close for blaming sick people for things beyond their control.

Holistic healing sounds like a good thing. I certainly believe that each of us is far more than a cluster of discrete organs, bones and cells. I also believe that the thigh bone is connected to the hip bone; the mind and the body are a cohesive unit; that every illness experience is embedded in a wider social context; that environment matters; and that the manner in which a healer relates to a patient can result in widely different outcomes. And while we Americans may be suspicious that some brands of healing are nothing but quackery, unless the healer interferes with standard bio-medical treatment (for example, by telling patients they must stop receiving cancer chemotherapy) we tend to see holistic healing as benign” Even if it doesn’t “work” it helps people struggling with pain and disease feel better.

That assumption, I’ve come to see, needs to be looked at a bit more closely.

A number of years ago I conducted interviews with 46 Boston-area complementary and alternative medicine practitioners who told me during an initial phone call that they treat breast cancer patients. 

Their healing modalities ranged from acupuncture to Zen shiatsu therapy and from homeopathy to past life regression.

All of the healers explained that bio-medical treatment alone is insufficient because it only targets the symptom (cancer) and not the underlying causes of the disease. (Only a very few of the healers actively discourage their patients from continuing bio-medical treatment.) The deeper, root causes identified by the healers cluster into a few categories:

*Elements of the modern environment or lifestyle that cause or contribute to the rise in rates of breast cancer;  for example, air pollution, computers sending out electromagnetic rays which typically are parallel to the level of a woman’s breast, deodorants and antibiotics.

*Food and drink related causes such as alcohol abuse, dairy products, artificial sweeteners and gluten.

*Personal experiences and character traits including trauma, social isolation, lack of self-acceptance and feelings of resentment.

As I listened to healers (almost all of whom I very much liked on a personal level) I began to understand that through invoking these root causes the healers were actually reframing or expanding breast cancer from a discrete physical disease of a body part to a much larger problem potentially involving all areas of a woman’s life (and possibly her past lives as well). 

This reframing is what I’ve come to call holistic sickening – a process in which the illness trajectory is expanded beyond a particular organ, body system or body part into diffuse environmental, lifestyle, personality and volitional issues. Holistic sickening is a necessary prerequisite to holistic healing: Perceiving the whole person as sick is the logical foundation for healing the whole person.

Happily, holistic healers, for the most part, absolve cancer patients of the kind of blame often heard in both popular and bio-medical discourses: if you have cancer that you must have done something wrong, either a crime of commission such as smoking or omission such as not going for timely mammograms (regardless of the obvious fact that mammograms do not prevent breast cancer). At the same time, however, holistic healing saddles patients with another set of responsibilities along the lines of: “If you have the power to heal yourself, then you must shoulder the blame for the extent to which you fail to do so.”  This observation challenges the common notion that “if holistic healing doesn’t help at least it can’t hurt.” Because (for better or for worse) holistic sickening reveals an expanding constellation of unhealthy environment, food choices, life history and character traits, holistic healing becomes a lifetime journey or vocation that potentially engages every area of one’s being.

I was particularly struck by the gender-specific explanations offered by many of the healers. “Women [with breast cancer] are too good for their own good,” said a macrobiotic counselor. “They over nourish other people at their own expense. They are too ‘sweet’ and they also tend to eat too many sweet foods such as candies, chocolate and cakes.”  According to a chakra-based energy healer, “Women with breast cancer are often nurturing of other people. [But] like they say on the airplanes, you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you help other people.” In this double-whammy, women are blamed both for behavior that many women see as of the highest possible moral value (caring for others) and blamed lack the self-discipline to avoid eating sweets.

For some of the practitioners, holistic explanations were framed in feminist terms. According to a past life regression therapist, “women want to be recognized and cherished, like everybody else. They want to be heard. Instead, they are shut down and not able to speak for themselves.” But more often, healers voiced nostalgia for patriarchal power and for conservative social arrangements, interpreting breast cancer as a symptom of changing gender roles and relations.  A psychotherapist / energy healer explained that  there is more breast cancer now because “women have to shut down the heart chakra in order to be super-women, having full time careers in addition to raising children and taking care of the home… There was a time that being a mother and nurturing and raising children was the best possible way to be; now economically it’s not good enough.”

Similarly, a holistic movement therapist, who herself is a cancer survivor, pointed out that, “As the women’s movement brought so much opportunity for women, it also brought women into an arena dominated by men – and we are simply wired differently. If women are not able to voice their truth or express their hearts, there is a build up AMA (yoga term for good) in the body that needs to find a way out…. According to Kundalini Yoga, women are 11 times more powerful, 11 times more wise and 11 times more sensitive than men. … Because of that yogic belief, if women are not given the opportunity to ‘show their true stuff’ there is a real stifling of energy. … Fifty years ago, women’s roles were different, but I wonder if perhaps they had more connection, more community, more support amongst each other. I am feeling like we are still needing that community of support but our lives are about 100 times busier.”

What, then, is a woman to do? As much as I dislike – and distrust -- the cancer industry’s slash / poison / burn (surgery, chemo, radiation) approach and as much as I am nauseated by October’s pink ribbon extravaganzas, I’m not sure that holistic sickening is all that much better. Indeed, in speaking with healers, I often felt that if a breast cancer patient had to resolve her issues with self-esteem, anger, nurturing, balancing work and family, and her relationship with her mother, not to mention transforming her “negative” or “toxic” thoughts into “positive energy” and (somehow magically) cleaning up air and water pollution she would easily die of old age before getting cured!  

A longer version of this article can be found here: Susan Sered and Amy Agigian. 2008. “Holistic Sickening: Breast Cancer and the Discursive Worlds of Complementary and Alternative Practitioners,” Sociology of Health and Illness 30(4): 616-631.

 

 

Susan Sered, PhD is a Professor at the Department of Sociology and Senior Researcher, Center for Women's Health and Human Rights at Suffolk University.

 

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

As Shanghai Stock Market Tanks, China Makes Mass Arrests: ‘You Could Disappear at any Time’

SGTreport - The Corporate Propaganda Antidote - Silver, Gold, Truth, Liberty, & Freedom
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from Wall Street On Parade:

The Shanghai stock exchange, which has been creating global stock market convulsions while trimming 39 percent off its value since June, will be closed for the next two days. The Chinese holiday started on Thursday in Beijing with a big parade and show of military might to commemorate the [...]

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University Statistician Accuses Government of Voter Fraud

The Daily Sheeple
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At least we have another phony election to look forward to next year. Once the results come in on November 8th, we'll know exactly who the most corrupt politicians are.

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Deleting American History: Under New Standards, “U.S. Constitution Simply Ignored by Teachers”

SHTF Plan - When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
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Incredibly, public schools are now actually beginning to ignore altogether the founding of the United States, the Constitution and our rights.

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