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Wed, 11 Dec 2019
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The GMO Elephant in the Room - From the Trenches of America's Hidden Food War

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© Salem-News.org
Sen. Ron Wyden & Sen. Jeff Merkley
A large grass-roots movement is diligently advocating for your right to pure non-genetically modified food and honest labeling. In most states, you won't see their name on any ballot, nor will you see them on TV amidst economic crisis and Middle East talks.

In a rare, but impervious display of integrity, several state senators have urged the Food and Drug Administration to stop the approval process for genetically modified salmon, including Oregon's very own Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.

Many of our pure food advocates feel dismayed, because their always preaching to the choir from the trenches of the infinite battle. They commonly take every opportunity to educate the public and everyone they know about the dangers of the GMO industrial food chain. This faction of society is working to educate the public, as quickly as possible, while holding off the big dogs in court by the skin of their teeth.

Bulb

Sanity strikes! U-turn on Smoking Ban as Holland Allows Lighting Up in 2000 Bars and Pubs

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© Reuters
Light up: The Netherlands is the first country to partially overturn its smoking ban. Smokers in small bars and pubs will now be able to light up without fear of a fine
Smokers in the Netherlands will now be able to light-up again in over 2000 of the country's small owner-operated bars or pubs.

The partial over-turning of the blanket ban, which was introduced in 2008, is a huge victory for for smokers' rights campaigners who had argued that the blanket ban was driving small bar owners out of business.

An incoming coalition government in the country has allowed the partial lifting of the ban for pubs which are less than 743.5 sq ft in size and which are staffed solely by the owner.

It is a major victory for anti-ban campaigners and the first relaxing of the controversial ban anywhere in Europe.

Yoda

Give Us This Day Our 'Daily Show'

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© Mr Fish
"The Anarchist"
In 1936, the Nazis organized a massive get-together in Nuremberg for malleable nincompoops and called the gathering Reichsparteitag der Ehre, or "Rally of Honor." Watching clips from Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor Rally" held in Washington, D.C., in August, I was reminded of how, while growing up and flipping through channels, I would occasionally come across grainy footage of Adolf Hitler in Nuremberg and see the enthusiastic crowds applauding him and waving little flags, and I'd ponder what made these people so gullible to the nationalistic lunacy and bug-eyed, fascistic tribalism they were being inundated with. Is it really possible, I wondered, to imbibe fear and hatred with so much charisma that the end result of heeding its precepts will appear gleeful and positive and finally gratifying? How, I asked myself, could such a whopping organizational feat as a Nuremberg rally even come off, with the weeks of preparation and all those opportunities for second-guessing by so many people? How, with all those workers setting up chairs and hanging banners and angling lights and arranging flowers and loading film cameras and proofreading speeches, did nobody suddenly stop doing what he or she was doing and say, "Hey, wait a minute - this is absolutely bat-shit crazy!?"

Of course, as a political cartoonist, such grand gestures of vaulting ignorance, particularly when marked by all the mindless rage and gaudy, ostentatious celebration of a sporting event, can often make my job way too easy to be at all effective. When Glenn Beck, the headliner at the most recent, though by no means the last, honor rally (the same Glenn Beck who regularly warns his radio and television audiences of the lethal concoction that is Islamic God and Islamic country) stands up in front of the Lincoln Memorial and says that the United States has been wandering around in the dark for too long and that it is time - a civic duty, in fact! - for every American to return to a position of complete subservience to a famously intolerant Christian god who has a long history of murdering and torturing his critics both in and after life, the joke has already been made. The cartoon has already been drawn. In other words, when somebody takes a crap on the floor it doesn't matter how good your thesaurus is, the actual stench of the shit will always trump any artistic description of it.

Bomb

Remember, Remember This Fifth Of November

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© Labour Youth/Flickr
A lot of people can see that today's politicians and corporate heads are a pretty corrupt bunch. At the same time however, most people don't worry too much about that particular problem because, at the end of day, those guys still work for 'we the people', right? I mean, they're not called 'public servants' for nothing and we put them in office! ... right? If things get really bad we'll just expose them through the media or, if things get really bad, we might even start a revolution! ...right?? ... Or failing that, God will save us??!

The extent of the corruption in our world today goes far beyond what most people know or could even imagine in their darkest, most politician-phobic nightmares. And arming ourselves with the simple idea that 'power corrupts' hasn't exactly acted as a check or balance to the excesses of these 'captains of industry'. In order to even hope of standing up for and protecting our rights and lives in this increasingly draconian world, we need to understand the nature of the problem we are facing, or, to be more specific, we need to understand the nature of those corrupt leaders. We need, to some extent, to get inside their heads and know what makes them 'tick'. We need to ask ourselves, 'do their actions match their words'? If you have been paying attention, you know that the answer is 'hardly ever...if ever'. Many answers to this question can be found in Andrew Lobaczewski's scientific study on the nature of evil, Political Ponerology. His work identifies the pathological nature of our leaders and the governing bodies that they create around themselves. Although it is written in the framework of politics, Political Ponerology just as easily applies to all the structures that make up our global society.

The unfortunate result of humanity being invaded by pathological thought, is a weakness in discerning healthy conditions from pathological ones. Our tyrants follow no rules to maintain their position of control over humankind, yet they set the conditions that men and women follow 'for a better life'. Revolution, protest, elections, free speech, and religion are just a few things touted as means by which me might find our humanity. And yet we exist as we have for millennia, suffering at our own hands, at the hand of our fellow man and, at the source, at the hands of pathocrats.

Star of David

My Encounter with a Zionist in Crisis with Her Beliefs

Palestinian woman v sign

It is true that I am ‘much, much more invested’ in ‘all of this’ than she is.
As if it is not insulting to me that an American woman, with absolutely no ancestral, historic, cultural, or biological ties to the land, should announce to me that she needs to do more research to determine whether or not I indeed have a right to inherit my grandfather's farm, reserving, of course, her own right to my grandfather's farm.

I received a lovely letter from a reader who identified herself as a Jewish American. To preserve her anonymity, I'll call her 'Sally'. She wrote that she loved Mornings in Jenin, even though the historic backdrop of the narrative did not reconcile with what she learned about Israel growing up. It seemed a heartfelt letter and thus worthy of a similar response. I did not see Sally as a Zionist or even as a Jew. I saw her as a woman, a mother, and a fellow writer. So, I was delighted when she came to my panel debate with Alan Dershowitz at the Boston Book Festival, and when she asked if we could talk more after the event, I was happy to invite her to lunch with a group of friends. She was soft spoken, with a gentle demeanor and through the course of the table conversation, I realized that we also shared similar beliefs regarding some matters of spirituality.

Sally and I continued to correspond occasionally, both privately and with a group of people who were at lunch that day. Soon, she let me know that one of her friends was now questioning her own Zionist beliefs because of something she heard at her Temple. As a result, Sally's friend had chosen a list of documentaries to watch. Naturally, I asked what those documentaries were and she sent a list of about 12 or so films that were made 1) to show how awful Arabs are, 2) to present rosy pictures of normalization of Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, 3) to show what Israel's aggression against Lebanon was like from an Israeli paratrooper's perspective!, or 4) to depict mixed Arab and Israeli towns as a paradise where everyone is equal.

I find that when people are truly searching to understand, they can find the right sources, especially in this information age. Likewise, when people are confronted with an uncomfortable reality that jars an existing belief, they can turn around and find what they need to prove that they were right all along. Reading the list that Sally sent to me, it was easy to see what category she fit into. Here is the response that I sent to Sally:
"If I were trying to get a better view of something, i'd at least look for ones made by third party sources who don't have their own personal beef in the situation. Although with this list, she'll be able to put her head back in the sand and say she did her research and it all proved she was right before."

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Your Vote Doesn't Count...

I'm seeing a lot of hoopla about 'voting', which is not surprising given that today is 'Voting Day'. But there are a few things about voting we should all acknowledge before we head off to the ballot box, or rather, the unaccountable electronic voting machine.

1.) Voting doesn't make a difference in state policy. A few prime examples of this are: the Wars in Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan; Invasion of Privacy (having our phone calls, emails, websites, forum posts, naked bodies scanned, recorded, and filed by alphabet agencies); universal support of the terrorist state of Israel - even after it kills American citizens, deliberately; Poor Food/Medicine Quality Control Standards; Bank Bailouts... etc.

2.) Voting can, and often is rigged. Take a few minutes and research these newfangled voting boxes... hackers have been able to alter the outcome of elections with a usb jump drive without violating the machines internal controls. Diebold is likely responsible for GWB getting reelected in 2004. Thinking that it doesn't happen locally is naive and ignorant.

3.) We live in neither a democracy nor a republic, and therefore your vote doesn't make a difference. While on paper, we're supposed to elect representatives to represent us, more often than not they represent themselves and uber-rich folks who donate large sums of money to their campaigns. There's also the strangle-hold AIPAC has on all branches of congress, insuring that Pro-Israeli sentiment is the status quo. How can we justify believing that we're a sovereign nation when another government from another country influences our state policy without our consent?

4.) Elections are bought. It's simple math really, when one guy can outspend another he can easily acquire more name recognition, he can also tar the other guy. More money = More ads, more staff, more TV time. Obama was outspending McCain 3:1 when it came to TV ads in the last few weeks of the 2008 Election.

Laptop

Bridgend, Wales MP wants Europe-wide action on suicide sites in an attempt to control the unexplained

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© homedefenceuk.com
A fresh crackdown is needed on websites offering youngsters advice on how to commit suicide, a South Wales MP warned last night.

Madeleine Moon welcomed a tightening of the law last year to make assisting or encouraging suicide a criminal offence.

But the Bridgend MP said the move needed to be extended to cover the whole of the European Union.

"We now urgently need to address the legal status of those sites on a European level, so that we can increase our control over them and prevent them from reaching out and damaging the lives of people across the UK," Ms Moon said.

Comment: For more information on the unusual happenings in Bridgend, Wales, see these Sott links:

What is going on in Bridgend, Wales? Another case in the string of weirdness: Schoolgirl battered to death with brick

UK: Bridgend hanging is 23rd suicide in area in 20 months


Health

The care and feeding of U.S. Citizen JoeAmerican™

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© unknown
Hello kiddies! Today we're going to explore the toxins and various poisons we can enjoy consuming from our local grocery store, pharmacy and dentist's office! We're going to touch on an occasional day in average Joe American's life.

So you, Joe American, have an appointment with the dentist today, better Wake Up! and get out of bed, don't want to be late. You're missing a few hours work (unpaid) and need to get moving.. so it's off to shower and shave!

"Fight Cavities with C-R-E-S-T"

The joy of fresh breath, promises of whiter, stronger teeth and the lies that go with it. May, 2001 Congress expands its probe into the health effects of fluoride that's added to 62% of U.S. public water sources. Turns out we're mass-medicating ourselves and our kids with doses of toxic chemicals which were never meant to be ingested through our public water supply.

Publicly purchased bottled water, the stuff that claims to be pure, natural or fresh from the spring is more often than not fluoridated. And what are some of the direct effects?

USA

American Job Loss Is Permanent

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Now that a few Democrats and the remnants of the AFL-CIO are waking up to the destructive impact of jobs offshoring on the US economy and millions of American lives, globalism's advocates have resurrected Dartmouth economist Matthew Slaughter's discredited finding of several years ago that jobs off-shoring by US corporations increases employment and wages in the US.

At the time I exposed Slaughter's mistakes, but economists dependent on corporate largess understood that it was more profitable to drink Slaughter's kool-aid than to tell the truth. Recently the US Chamber of Commerce rolled out Slaughter's false argument as a weapon against House Democrats Sandy Levin and Tim Ryan, and the Wall Street Journal had Bill Clinton's Defense Secretary, William S. Cohen, regurgitate Slaughter's claim on its op-ed page on October 12.

I sent a letter to the Wall Street Journal, but the editors were not interested in what a former associate editor and columnist for the paper and President Reagan's Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy had to say. The facade of lies has to be maintained at all costs. There can be no questioning that globalism is good for us.

Bug

US: New York Bedbug Epidemic Hits UN Building

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© Getty Images
The UN press office said a bedbug-sniffing dog had confirmed the presence of bedbugs in furniture in the basement of the Dag Hammarskjold Library
New York City's bedbug epidemic has spread to yet another landmark - the United Nations, officials at the world organization said on Wednesday.

The pests appeared at places like the Empire State Building and Bloomingdale's before reaching the city's centre of international diplomacy on the East Side of Manhattan.

The UN press office said a bedbug-sniffing dog had confirmed the presence of bedbugs in furniture in the basement of the Dag Hammarskjold Library, where the offices of the team overseeing the UN headquarter's $1.9 billion (£1.2 billion) renovation project are housed.

"This furniture has been moved to a part of the building not occupied by staff to facilitate fumigation," it said.

The library is a three-story annex to the main building.