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Sat, 14 Dec 2019
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Industry Front Group Gets Taxpayer Money to Convince You to Eat Pesticide-Laden Food

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© Unknown
Thanks to the USDA, your hard-earned money has been given to a special interest group representing giant agribusiness and its pesticide company cohorts.

Would you pay for a campaign to assure consumers that pesticide residues in their fruits and vegetables pose no harm to their health? Because, whether you want to or not, you just have. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) recently awarded $180,000 in federal grant funding to an organization called the Alliance for Food and Farming for a project titled "Correcting Misconceptions about Pesticide Residues." The money came from the U.S Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grant program, a grant program intended to "enhance the competitiveness" of so-called specialty crops: fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops.

The Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF) is a front group representing California's large produce growers and marketers and suppliers who sell them pesticides and fertilizer. Some of the member organizations include the California Strawberry Commission, Western Growers, the California Table Grape Commission, Sunkist Growers, the Produce Marketing Association, the California Farm Bureau Federation, and the California Association of Pest Control Advisers. A look on the pesticides section of AFF's Web site shows headlines such as "US Farmers are Environmentalists Too" and "Everything Doesn't Cause Cancer," as well as produce industry documents refuting a recent study that linked pesticides to ADHD.

Heart - Black

Military Psychopath Pleads Guilty - Vets wonder: How did officers get there?

It has been a week like no other for the men and women who wear Canada's military uniform.

On Tuesday, Robert Semrau, a blue-eyed, rock-jawed infantry captain, was demoted and dismissed for fatally shooting a wounded Taliban insurgent. He was the first Canadian to stand trial for a battlefield death that was, by two sworn accounts, a mercy killing.

Then, yesterday, Russell Williams, a colonel who once commanded the country's largest airbase, announced through his lawyer he will plead guilty to two decidedly merciless acts: the sexual assault and murder of two young women.

Both cases sent shock waves through the military, not least because they involved command officers. These were men hand-picked to lead soldiers.

USA

America's Third World Economy

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© Unknown
For a number of years I reported on the monthly nonfarm payroll jobs data. The data did not support the praises economists were singing to the "New Economy." The "New Economy" consisted, allegedly, of financial services, innovation, and high-tech services.

This economy was taking the place of the old "dirty fingernail" economy of industry and manufacturing. Education would retrain the workforce, and we would move on to a higher level of prosperity.

Time after time I reported that there was no sign of the "New Economy" jobs, but that the old economy jobs were disappearing. The only net new jobs were in lowly paid domestic services such as waitresses and bartenders, retail clerks, health care and social assistance (mainly ambulatory health care services), and, before the bubble burst, construction.

The facts, issued monthly by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, had no impact on the "New Economy" propaganda. Economists continued to wax eloquently about how globalism was a boon for our future.

Light Saber

People Power! 250,000 Americans protest against Obama's policies

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© Unknown
An estimated quarter of a million people have staged a rally at The Lincoln Memorial in Washington against US President Barack Obama's policies.

Some 250,000 protesters from all over the US attended the rally, themed 'Jobs, Justice and Education,' to mobilize those who support the Democrats to turn out and vote in the mid-term elections and demonstrate against the billions of dollars being spent on war instead of jobs.

With over 400 groups participating in the march and rally, it was a diverse crowd of democratic-leaning organizations demanding that the government improve public education, do more to protect civil and human rights, and end the spending on war.

"We have a large contingent ... here as part of an anti-war march to say, 'lets take the money out of war and put it in investing in America'," CODEPINK member Medea Benjamin told a Press TV correspondent in Washington.

The largest numbers, however, were from unions demanding Congress produce jobs for the high number of jobless Americans.

Arrow Down

South Wales: "Bullied" 12-Year-Old Schoolgirl Dies in Dad's Arms

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© Clive Stuckey
Holly Stuckey, dead at 12
A 12-year-old girl collapsed and died in her father's arms after apparently suffering months of bullying.

Holly Stuckey, of Bridgend, South Wales, who suffered from asthma, died after coming home from Maesteg Comprehensive School complaining of chest pains.

While her death is not being treated as suspicious, police are looking at the circumstances surrounding it.

After she died, Holly's parents, Clive and Lee, found hidden letters written by their daughter, giving details of months of misery.

Her father, a care worker, passed copies of the letters to police with the names of 13 children he claims were involved in her torment.

Keith Edwards, chairman of school governors, said police have "categorically" ruled out bullying as a factor in Holly's death.

"Obviously, these people are really, really hurting. It is such a tragic thing to happen to a 12-year-old girl. We have the greatest of sympathy for them," he said.

Sherlock

Science for Sale: Protect Yourself From Medical Research Deception

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© unknown
A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found over 40 percent of the best designed, peer-reviewed scientific papers published in the world's top medical journals misrepresented the actual findings of the research.(i) The "spin doctors" writing the papers found a way to show treatments worked, when in fact, they didn't.

Doctors and health care consumers rely on published scientific studies to guide their decisions about which treatments work and which don't. We expect academic medical researchers to determine what needs to be studied, and to objectively report their data. We rely on government regulators to prevent harmful medications from being approved, or to quickly remove harmful medications or treatments from the market.

What most physicians and consumers don't recognize is that science is now for sale; published data often misrepresents the truth, academic medical research has become corrupted by pharmaceutical money and special interests, and government regulators more often protect industry than the public. Increasingly, academic medical researchers are for hire, and research, once a pure activity of inquiry, is now a tool for promoting products.

Wall Street

Shock Therapy for Wall Street: JPMorgan Suspends 56,000 Foreclosures; GMAC and BOA Many More

"Maybe this is like shock therapy. Maybe this will actually get the lenders to the table and encourage them to work out deals that are to the benefit of everybody."

--Economist Karl E. Case, quoted in the New York Times

The hits are coming fast and furiously. It appears major Wall Street mortgage lenders could again be in serious trouble - and looking again for handouts.

On September 20th, Ally Financial Inc., which owns GMAC Mortgage, the nation's 4th largest lender, halted evictions and the resale of repossessed homes in 23 states. This was after a document processor for the company admitted that he had signed off on 10,000 pieces of foreclosure paperwork a month without reading them. The 23 states were all those where foreclosures must be approved by a court, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida and Illinois.

Magnify

Female sexual dysfunction 'excuse by drug firms to sell pills'

Female sexual dysfunction pills
© Kevin Fitzgerald/Getty Images
Can loss of sexual desire in women be treated by pills, or is relationship counselling a better bet?
Pharmaceutical firms accused of trying to turn women's loss of desire into a condition treatable with pills.

Drug companies are today accused of attempting to turn the loss of sexual desire that some women experience into a medical condition that can be treated by pills.

Although drugs, from antidepressants to variants of Viagra, have been found ineffective, the companies are charged in an article in the British Medical Journal with inappropriately trying to create a market for pills to treat a condition that is as much psychosocial as biological, and which may need the intervention of a relationship counsellor as much as a doctor.

Ray Moynihan, a journalist and lecturer at the University of Newcastle in Australia, argues in the BMJ that a variety of drug companies have tried to construct a scientific basis for medical treatment for women's loss of libido, running surveys that purport to find that it is widespread and devising ways to diagnose the condition.

Ambulance

Health Reform to Worsen Doctor Shortage

The U.S. healthcare reform law will worsen a shortage of physicians as millions of newly insured patients seek care, the Association of American Medical Colleges said on Thursday.

The group's Center for Workforce Studies released new estimates that showed shortages would be 50 percent worse in 2015 than forecast.

"While previous projections showed a baseline shortage of 39,600 doctors in 2015, current estimates bring that number closer to 63,000, with a worsening of shortages through 2025," the group said in a statement.

"The United States already was struggling with a critical physician shortage and the problem will only be exacerbated as 32 million Americans acquire health care coverage, and an additional 36 million people enter Medicare."

Bad Guys

The Meaning of "Austerity"

With massive protests taking place in dozens of European cities today, September 29th, 2 years on from the launch of the banksters' campaign of plundering the Western economies, James Corbett explains the real meanings behind the words which psychopaths in power tell us daily...