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Mon, 23 Jan 2017
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The Health & Wellness Show: ‌Big Pharma Karma - Magic bullets and the astonishing rise of mental illness

© scientificamerican.com
Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, ADHD, major depression, anxiety disorders -- there is a rising epidemic of 'madness' in America. Nearly 78 million Americans take psychiatric drugs and there are over 6 million people rendered permanently disabled by a psychiatric disorder. What was once viewed as a temporary emotional and psychological crisis has now become a lifelong illness that is only treatable with psychiatric medications. One has to wonder, when it comes to psychotropic drugs, is the cure worse than the illness? A review of the scientific literature shows quite clearly that it is our drug-based paradigm of care that is fueling a modern-day plague that comprises of debilitating and worsening psychological symptoms, an inability to work, disastrous medication side effects, altered mental functioning and brain shrinkage.

On this episode of the Health and Wellness show we take a closer look at the ill-advised biological notion of mental illness, 'magic bullet' drugs and their ill effects and how the course of a so-called mental illness is different depending on where you live. Join us as we explore how psychiatry and Big Pharma pushed the chemical imbalance myth that took hold of the public mind and set the world on the road to crazy town.

Do pets, like humans, get depressed or it is just emotional maladjustment to living in a sick environment? Stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health segment to find out more.

Running Time: 01:52:36

Download: OGG, MP3

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Automation, economic collapse, basic income slavery: Our dystopic future?

Everything is awesome.
A thought occurred to me a few days ago about a potential chain of events that might transpire in the near future. It felt like a eureka moment; some things just kinda clicked and suddenly made sense when considered together. First, a quick background. There is a lot of talk that developments in artificial intelligence and automation will automate many jobs and create huge numbers of people whose skills are no longer useful because machines will be able to do those jobs. And worst of all, they won't be able to re-train and/or get different jobs because those jobs too will be automated - there are no replacement jobs coming. This video covers this really well:


SOTT News Snapshot: The new JIT MH17 report is in - rebels did it, case closed, don't ask any questions

© AP Photo/ Peter Dejong
Today the Joint Investigation Team released their findings on the shoot-down of MH17. This follows the October 2015 Dutch Safety Board report, which concluded that the plane was shot down with a Buk missile armed with a 9N314M warhead, and stressed that Ukraine had failed to close the airspace over the war zone. However, the Russian company that produces the Buk system conducted their own tests, allegedly ruling out the separatist-held village of Snezhnoye as the launch site, pointing to Kiev-held Zaroshchenskoye as the only possible site, and questioning the type of warhead identified by the DSB based on the physical damage to the wreckage. (See: Closing the BUK on MH17? Dutch final report is clearly biased.)

Initially, on July 21, 2014, Russia released data showing that a Ukrainian jet was in the vicinity of MH17 before it was shot down. This matched up with eyewitness accounts and analysis of the damage suggesting the possibility of fighter jet machine-gun fire. However, just two days ago, Russia released some "newly discovered" civilian radar data alleging to show the situation in the air at the time of the shoot-down and crash. The data showed three civilian aircraft in the vicinity, but "no foreign objects near the Malaysian plane which could have caused its destruction". So this latest release contradicts their earlier statements: the radar shows no indication of a fighter jet in the air.

According to the Russian experts, due to the capacities of the radar station involved, the data suggests that a Buk was not fired from rebel-held territory, but the same could not be said for the territory held by Kiev, because the radar station wouldn't have been able to detect a missile fired from Zaroshchenskoye. (The author of the What Happened to Flight MH17 blog argues the opposite - that the radar would have detected a missile fired from Zaroshchenskoye more easily, but without a detailed expert analysis, it's hard to say either way.) According to the Russians, Ukraine has yet to release their radar data, and the investigation is proceeding based on false premises, namely the misidentification of the type of missile used.


First Clinton-Trump debate: Worth a laugh, but not much else

This is the first debate I've watched since the first Obama debate back in 2008. I tuned in to be entertained more than informed. I have to say I was a little bit disappointed in Trump - he tossed out a couple of minor zingers but seemed to be really holding back. Perhaps he is following the "American TV model" where the first episode or two in a season are usually really suspenseful and draw you in, the middle of the season is often tangential standalones that are rather boring, and the finale brings it all to a climactic clash. Perhaps he's luring Clinton into a false sense of security and he's really going to make a media splash at the "season finale" of the presidential campaign that will stick with everyone, and which will be harder for her to redirect. Outside of that or someone strong-arming him to shut up, it really seemed like he wasn't all there.

Overall this debate seemed like a draw, with both Trump and Hillary mainly doing "fan service" without getting into a real debate outside of their respective boxes. We had a sort of watered-down Trump trying to keep his angry unemployed people roused up without whipping them into a fervor, and Clinton recycling the same old yuppified pseudo-intellectual social equality/great society stuff that the so-called intelligentsia of the nation loves to slurp down. If you weren't already in one of these two camps, I don't see where there was anything of substance said that would sway your opinion, which is nothing new with these so-called "debates."


SOTT News Snapshot: U.S. rages at Russia for attacking its terrorist allies in Syria

Churkin stares down a terrorist.
For the second week in a row, developments abroad in Syria have been closely followed by chaos and violence at home in the United States. Yesterday, in a pathetic copy-cat maneuver of the (justified) emergency UN Security Council meeting called by Russia last week following NATO's egregious act of war against Syria, the U.S., UK, and France yesterday called an emergency UNSC meeting over the Syrian Arab Army's "shocking" and "barbaric" offensive on eastern Aleppo. The collective Western idiocracy called for an immediate end to the offensive, with pseudo-humanitarian troll Samantha Power laying all the blame on Russia and Assad, as usual:
What Russia is sponsoring and doing is not counter-terrorism, it is barbarism. Instead of pursuing peace, Russia and Assad make war. Instead of helping get life-saving aid to civilians, Russia and Assad are bombing the humanitarian convoys, hospitals and first responders who are trying desperately to keep people alive.
No, Samantha is the barbarian for supporting terrorists. She is the barbarian for bombing humanitarian convoys and hospitals. She is the barbarian for representing the most odious, murderous, genocidal regime in recent history. She represents terrorists, defends them, and deserves to be held accountable for her lies and her glib denial of American-supported war crimes. Maria Zakharova had an appropriately cutting response:
Historically speaking... a barbarian is someone not belonging to an empire, and we have only one of those today ... As for the imagery... the world has seen nothing more barbaric in modern history than Iraq and Libya done the Washington way.
Power also accused Russia of abusing its "historic privilege" of sitting on the UNSC, and Britain's UN lapdog, Matthew Rycroft, played fetch with the suggestion, saying Russia would be excluded from the Syrian peace process due to the recent escalation in fighting, adding:
"The regime and Russia have instead plunged to new depths and unleashed a new hell on Aleppo. Russia is partnering with the Syrian regime to carry out war crimes."
The pusillanimous French foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault joined in, calling for Russia and Iran to rein in Syria, lest they too be complicit in war crimes. It looks like Power really does corrupt...

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Behind the Headlines: U.S. had its chance and failed - Syrian war enters new stage

On the surface, the cessation of hostilities was a failure. But it has its advantages, simply by virtue of the fact that it has exposed the reality of U.S. support for terrorism: the attack on Deir ez-Zor, the attack on the aid convoy in Aleppo, and the failure to separate moderates from extremists. With the cat out of the bag, Syria, Russia and Iran are now relatively free to continue their war on terrorism. One of the most important battles of the war - Aleppo city - has entered a new and critical phase. That doesn't mean the end of U.S. treachery, but it does mean the end of treating the U.S. as a partner with good intentions.

On this episode of Behind the Headlines, we discussed the latest developments, and other news.

Running Time: 01:34:30

Download: OGG, MP3

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Propaganda spin cycle: 'Syrian Observatory for Human Rights' is funded by US and UK governments

For 5 years, bloody mayhem has been going on in Syria, and in all that time only independent media has picked up on the really obvious flaw in the official narrative about the "Syrian civil war" ...

Officially, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) is a UK-based organization providing data to the Western press about troop movements, government policy and public sentiment in Syria. The Western press then reprints the information they are given - no questions asked:
What Western media editors conceal from the public however, is that the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" is neither based in Syria nor is it an observer of what actually goes on there. It is essentially one man - Abdul Rahman, aka Rami Abdulrahman, aka Osama Suleiman - a three-term convicted criminal in Syria, based out of a small house in Coventry, England, and his 'team of four activists in Syria'.

Apparently all it takes to inform the entire Western media about everything that is happening on the ground in Syria is four people. Four people could, theoretically, provide reasonably objective reports, but only if they were open to receiving information from many sources, including ones supportive of the Syrian government. They might even be able to produce - using objective discernment - reliable statistics of casualties, refugees and terrorists/rebels. But SOHR has consistently reported the 'civil war' from only the perspective of the so-called 'rebels', discounting Syrian government reports out of hand, as well as reports from civilians that reveal rebels' crimes.

That fact alone makes SOHR about as reliable a source of information on the Syrian conflict as the US State Department and the British Foreign Office, who have a vested interest in spinning the war to produce one end: the death or removal of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.


SOTT News Snapshot: Syria ceasefire failure is entirely the U.S.'s fault

Kerry: 'No, really, I DO have the final say on all foreign policy decisions!'
The Russian cellist and conductor Sergei Roldugin recently shared an eye-opening anecdote regarding Putin and Obama. He apparently told a group of journalists - "confidentially" - that "Obama's bodyguards are not trusting enough to leave him alone with Putin, so that they can speak one-on-one." Sure, Putin is a martial arts master and ex-KGB, but to imagine he would put Obama in a chokehold or poison his tea is ridiculous. There has to be another reason, besides concerns for his physical safety, why Obama needs minders during his meetings with Putin. What could it possibly be?

The answer should be clear, and it has to do with what we wrote about on Tuesday regarding the differences of opinion between the State Department and the Pentagon, for example. But it goes deeper than that. Even disregarding the infighting and departmental rivalries, there is a power structure in the U.S. which goes beyond any individual group, whether the Pentagon, CIA, FBI, State Department, etc. Peter Dale Scott, among others, calls it the 'deep state' - a network of individuals in the public and private spheres who wield a disproportionate amount of influence on policy. This is the "CIA within the CIA", and the interconnections with Wall Street, private intelligence firms, Big Oil, big banks, arms manufacturers, and so on.

When it comes down to it, Obama has relatively little power. He was probably sincere in his promises to close Guantanamo, for example, but the simple fact is: it wasn't his decision to make. He may have had a hand in averting all-out war on Syria in 2013, but he couldn't have done it without the catalytic role of Russia's intervention with Assad to destroy Syria's chemical weapons. When it comes to unilateral decisions, however, Obama doesn't make any. And he can't. Thus, his minders. If Obama were to have a private conversation with Putin, there's a risk he may go "off script", and that simply isn't allowed.

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The Health & Wellness Show: Some of my best friends are germs

The human body is teeming with billions -- nay, TRILLIONS -- of microbes with over a thousand different species populating the gut alone. We are covered with bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites from the top of our heads to the bottom of our feet, inside and out. How did we come to be populated with such a vast array of these little beasties and what's their purpose? What influence do they exert on our physical and mental health and, more importantly, what can we do (and what can we avoid doing) to keep our microbial community happy and in balance?

Join us on this episode of the Health and Wellness Show as we take a look at the role these microbiota play from infancy to adulthood, in sickness and in health. Learn how to create poo you can be proud of and a microbiome that works in your favor. Cause -- let's face it -- germs are here to stay!

Stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health Segment and learn about probiotics for your pets.

Running Time: 01:32:55

Download: OGG, MP3

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Samantha Power, the 'unintentional' act of war against Syria, and Western silence on the blockade of Deir ez-Zor

US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power last weekend unleashed a tirade of vitriol at the emergency session of the UN called by Russia following US-led coalition airstrikes which killed approximately 80 Syrian soldiers in Deir ez-Zor last Saturday.

Vile bizarre, ugly, is how Jason Ditz described her performance in AntiWar.com. I think he is only scratching the surface, as the petulant, almost childish performance of Power left the visibly shaken Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, to front the media, explaining that Power said she was not interested in what he had to say as what he had to say was "a stunt." Churkin said: "I have never seen such an extraordinary display of American heavy-handedness."

As well as labelling calling the emergency session a "stunt," Power said Russia was grandstanding, hypocritical and accused it of killing civilians and hitting hospitals and refugee camps. The Syrian government was not spared her acid tongue either; she accused it of routinely using chemical weapons, intentionally striking civilian targets, preventing the delivery of humanitarian supplies, and brutal torture. Power glossed over the horrendous crime of the day, the slaughter of 80 Syrian soldiers, before launching into her full frontal attack on Russia and Syria. It was a slap in the face of Syrian families who have lost their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons, and of the ceasefire now hanging on tenterhooks.