the holistic radical

April 9, 2008

What is the Significance of the National Debt?

It’s a good indicator of how we ruined a once solid economy.

http://www.naturalnews.com/022931.html

Comments by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

As we wind our way towards an election between the professional liars that have been put forward as candidates for U.S. President, it seems to be a great time to remind us all about the issue being routinely ignored by virtually everyone (except Ron Paul, of course, who was never really embraced by the “please lie to me” mainstream public). To what issue am I referring? The national debt, of course.

As you can see in this bumper sticker, the way to annoy a liberal is to “get a job,” as the pop culture bumper sticker says. To annoy a conservative, all you have to do is “defend the Constitution.” But how do you annoy everybody? That’s simple: Explain the national debt.

Americans don’t want to hear about the national debt. It’s like a family living paycheck to paycheck, maxed out on their credit cards, trying to pretend the collection notices are all being lost in the mail. They don’t want to admit they have no ability to actually pay off the debt they’ve incurred by pursuing a flamboyoant lifestyle, blowing wads of cash on high-priced wines, luxury vehicles, and an occassional line of coke — they desperately want to imagine they can keep living on money that appears from nowhere, regardless of how much they owe to everybody else and the fact that their incomes don’t even come close to matching their expenditures.

Too bad every household in America doesn’t have its own Federal Reserve, huh? If it did, we could all just print money to pay off our debt, save our skins, and ignore the fundamentals of economics. But even in Washington today (and New York), the Federal Reserve is too busy bailing out greedy, criminally-operated banks to turn much attention to the much larger issue of the United States’ national debt. Apparently, saving the banks is more important than anything else, and the Fed is now committed to destroying the U.S. dollar through runaway hyperinflation in order to prevent a few rich bankers from facing the consequences of their outrageous sub-prime lending sprees.

America runs its finances like a crack addict

But let’s get back to the national debt for a moment. The United States government is broke. The only reason it’s been able to operate for this long is because other nations and foreign central banks have been foolish enough to keep lending the U.S. government more money. It’s like giving cash to a crack addict and hoping he will somehow seek out a drug rehab center on his own.

This is the person who never gets a job, never makes an honest living, but yet somehow manages to hit up everybody else for cash. You know how it works: “I need to buy a car to get a job,” they say. And then when you pony up the cash for their car, they get drunk and wreck the car, and they never try very hard to get a job in the first place. They keep spending and spending, tossing money down the drain on blows of crack, meth, heroin or booze. They promise to go into rehab someday, if you’ll only help them through “the next month” with a little more cash. This is the life of a drug addict. (Do you know one? Everybody does, it seems…)

America is that drug addict. It borrows cash from the central banks around the world, blowing it all on Medicare prescription benefits signed into law by Bush (money for drugs, see?). It spends trillions on military campaigns that accomplish nothing positive, yet enrage the global community and recruit lifelong enemies of this nation. Notice how the price of oil has more than tripled since the war with Iraq started? It’s so bad now that truck drivers are going on strike over the price of diesel.

America spends money not merely like a drunken sailor, but like a crack-addicted sailor with a wheelbarrel piled high with one-hundred dollar bills, locked in a room full of Gov. Spitzer’s favorite hookers and a suitcase spilling over with blow.

Don’t dare explain the national debt to anyone

But try to explain the simple workings of finance, debt and economics to the uninformed, and you’ll be accused of being a doomsayer, a pessimist, or — the worst insult in today’s fear-based society — unpatriotic! How dare you point out the economic truths that will soon bring this country’s federal government to its knees! Such blatant truths shall not be tolerated… especially not in a country whose entire financial system is based on a cascade of fictional financial instruments propped up by nothing more than wishful thinking and Enron-style accounting fraud.

Let me translate all this for you in serious terms: The United States is already broke. The Federal Reserve is destroying the currency. The U.S. dollar will soon be virtually worthless. There is no saving the dollar, and there’s no saving the savings of any U.S. citizen foolish enough to be holding dollars when the music stops. The Federal Reserve has already decided to do anything in its power to save the rich bankers; even if it means destroying the value of all the dollars held by hard-working Americans. The day will come, folks, when your savings accounts will all be “recalibrated” and you’ll be given ten cents on the dollar while the Fed slinks away with 90% of your savings, using it to bail out overpaid bank owners.

And the federal government? Under a long string of presidential crooks — Democratic and Republican alike — it has decided to pursue a dangerous experiment called, “What happens if we never pay our debtors while running up more debt?” That experiment, not surprisingly, will end in the financial demise of this nation. (But there’s good news: A new, better system may emerge from the dust of the greenback… keep reading…)

You can’t defy the laws of gravity… nor economics

These aren’t careless predictions, by the way. These are simple observations the follow the fundamentals. Why are the nations of the world fleeing the U.S. Treasury debt auctions? Why are dollars increasingly worthless everywhere except in the United States itself? The answer is because the Fed is hyperinflating the currency to save the banks, even while the government is snorting yet more crack and spending unprecedented levels of increasingly-worthless dollars on drugs and war (or, as they call it, “medication and defense”).

Hence the bumper sticker: Annoy everyone. Explain the national debt. People don’t want to hear this. They’d rather imagine none of these problems exist; that debt doesn’t matter; that unlimited dollars can be created out of nothing with zero impact on peoples’ savings; that the U.S. government is wise enough to avert financial disaster. These are the hopes of the deluded. These are precisely the ramblings of Enron’s accountants before the crash, or dot-com stock pushers before that crash. They’re the slobbering blatherings of all the people who said housing prices will never fall, and therefore everyone will get rich off the never-ending housing price booms!

Being right does not make you popular

I’ve spend many years pointing out the idiocies of the deluded. I publicly predicted the dot-com crash and began warning people to get out of the market in 1998 – 2001. (This is a matter of public record, not some wishful hindsight.) I also publicly predicted the collapse of the housing market right here on this website, beginning nearly two years ago. And now, those predictions that once seemed “radical” are the Wall Street Journal’s front page news. What am I predicting now? Like I said, it’s not a prediction, it’s just an observation.

It’s like observing gravity. If you toss something into the air, you can be confident it’s going to come falling back to the ground. You don’t have to “predict” gravity; it’s a law of the universe. It works by itself, like clockwork, regardless of what you want it do to (I’m ignoring near-light speed travel, relativity, quantum physics, and all that fun stuff for the purposes of this metaphor, by the way, for those readers who are physicists). Likewise, when you see a nation throw its dollars into the air, spending its way to oblivion, ignoring its debt and ramping up its spending to even higher levels, it doesn’t take much of a prediction to know that it’s all going to fall back to the ground in a grand economic collapse.

So I’m not even calling the coming collapse of the U.S. government a “prediction.” It’s just common sense. It’s as obvious as gravity. If you don’t believe me, do the math. There is no mathematical solution to the current financial crisis facing not merely the banks and the currency, but the federal government itself. The only unknown factor is WHEN things will happen. Can the Fed help the economy limp along in a state of near-collapse for another year? Perhaps. Five years? Maybe. Ten years? I doubt it.

Now for the good news: The good news is that the U.S. federal government will eventually go bankrupt. Yes, that’s the good news! Because after the financial chaos passes (which will not be fun, believe me), we have a chance to create a new society, a new currency and a new, honest system of government that actually represents the People for a change. The current cabal of corruption and criminal behavior that sits in Washington and pretends to protect the interests of the voters is about to find itself on the receiving end of an angry mob. The 200+ year experiment called The United States of America is in its final chapter. But out of its failure, we can learn important lessons. We can learn things that will help us create a better future society. Lessons like:

• Never let a private company (the Federal Reserve) control the money supply.

• Never let “representative” legislators vote in your place. Insist on a DIRECT Democracy in the next society. (We don’t need Senators and Congresspeople, folks. The whole concept is long since outdated, and most Senators and Congresspeople are crooks.)

• Never let a government abandon the gold standard for its currency. If you do, that government will inevitably hyperinflate the currency and leave the people broke.

• Never let corporations run the government. If you do, your government will become a branch of the corporations, and the regulators (like the FDA, USDA, etc.) will become agents of corporate-sponsored terrorism that abandon all ethics and destroy the health and safety of the People.

• Never allow the centralization of power in one branch of government. For example, do not allow the creation of Executive Orders we’ve seen signed by the President.

• Never allow one man (the President) to commit acts of war. Didn’t we learn this after Vietnam?

• Never allow people from industry to take jobs in the government where they become biased, pro-corporate pushers of everything from pharmaceuticals to beef.

• Never allow politicians to censor scientists.

• Never allow the population to be dumbed-down through sub-standard public schools that only raise a generation of obedient workers, not skeptical thinkers.

• Never allow the media to control the population through advertiser-supported propaganda and violent programming.

• Never allow politicians to destroy citizens’ rights. When they attempt to do so, march on your capitol (in a non-violent way, of course). Arrest the politicians. Prosecute them for crimes against the People.

• Never allow corporate lobbyists to have access to lawmakers. If you do, you’ll end up with a corrupt government that only protects corporations, not the People.

• Never allow your government to operate in secret, with secret prisons, secret wiretapping laws and secret war “evidence” that is never made public. Secrecy breeds corruption. Honest societies do not need to conduct their judicial processes in secret.

• Never allow corporations to play God with the food supply by genetically modifying the crops.

• Never allow corporations to be granted intellectual property ownership over seeds, genes, animals and medicines. If you do, you will one day wake up impoverished, “homeless on the continent your fathers conquered,” to quote Jefferson.

• Never allow banks to operate on a fractional reserve system of loans and money creation that’s just begging for a series of cascading failures.

… I could go on, but you get the point. We have learned some very tough lessons over the last 200+ years, and once this present government collapses, it is crucial that we apply those lessons in creating a new system that abandons tyranny and embraces genuine freedom. We will have this opportunity soon. Many Americans will lose their life savings on the journey towards this new opportunity, but if we maintain our collective vision of a brighter future society, I believe we can create something much better out of the ashes of this failed experiment called the United States of America.

Please note: In no way do I support violence of any kind in creating a new society in the aftermath of this current one. I only support collaboration, openness, freedom and great respect for all living creatures as well as our sacred planet Earth. I believe the passing of this failed government is a blessing, not a curse, and I believe the collapse of the U.S. dollar will ultimately help awaken many to the tough but rewarding decisions that will face us all in the very near future. We must consciously decide to take back our freedoms, our rights and our futures from a system of corporate and government control that has destroyed our planet, exploited our people, and stolen our savings. But if can make the rights decisions based on creating a more promising future for our children, then the rewards will be unimaginable.

We the People hold the power to create a new society based on the freedoms and promises once held sacred in this land. Be ready to play your role, a constructive role, in the aftermath of this current society. And do not be surprised when gravity kicks in and this entire fictional government charade comes crashing down along with the fractional reserve banking system, the criminal Federal Reserve, the war-mongering politicians and the endless, endless debt. There is no way out now other than collapse and rebirth.

I can’t say when it will come, or exactly how it will play out. I only urge us all to remain positive, informed and constructive. The coming chaos will be painful in the short term, but out of the ashes of a failed society, we can work together to rebuilt a new one based on real freedom, honest money, sensible medicine and limited government.

Excellent Piece on Food Imperialism

If you don’t think food production can be political, read this piece.

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The new rules of imperialism: Economic warfare, consumer products and disease exports

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 by: Mike Adams | Key concepts: America, consumer products and intellectual property

History tells us that imperialist nations quite predictably invade weaker nations on a regular basis… especially when those weaker nations happen to be standing on valuable natural resources like oil or uranium. Thanks to this desire for strategic control over territories, the twentieth century was the bloodiest in human history, with more people being lost to war, greed and conquest than during any single century in recorded history (including the centuries spanning Greek and Roman civilizations).

War remains as supported as ever today, and in fact, many nations actually thirst for war. Just look at the pro-war coverage on Fox News and the unending war games being played on computers and game consoles by young men who find entertainment in war. (In fact, the U.S. Army is actually recruiting young men now through a free, downloadable video game that teaches young boys how to pick up a rifle and kill people with it.)

Why some nations create war

The people of some nations actually create war (or support it) in their quest to express a sense of nationalistic heroism. Failing nations need heroes, and when those heroes are no longer found in the realms of science, art, politics or global achievement, they will be fabricated from the false victories of war.

The tearful American mom whose son dies in Iraq is, indeed, suffering a tremendous personal loss, but her loss is a necessary part of feeding the population’s desire to proclaim there are heroes among them. Through the sacrificing of young men who are killed in Iraq, the people of America can find common connection, righteousness, and purpose where none existed before. War gives meaning to empty lives, and it delivers a masochistic form of entertainment to those who are too young, too old or too wealthy to participate. This is precisely why, throughout human history, the leaders of failing nations have habitually turned to military imperialism as a method to distract the people from far more serious problems at home. When the sons of a nation are returning home in body bags, nobody pays much attention to failures in education or the economy.

This is not to say that there are not some instances in which going to war has genuine justification. When a nation is threatened by an invading force, for example, going to war to defend your own land against invading aggressors is not only necessary, it is also truly heroic. Defending your own land is courageous; invading your neighbor’s land is cowardly. (Some people claim, by the way, that the only way to protect America’s land is to invade other countries first. This concept, called “preemptive war” is based on mass distortions used to falsely justify actions of war.)

In America today, the thirst for war remains as strong as ever. But the real war being waged on the world right now by America is not merely found in the limited military action in the Middle East. That’s only the blunt instrument of this war. The real American invasion is happening through foods, medicines, personal care products, international banking and intellectual property law. Through the proliferation of fast food restaurants, pharmaceutical companies, chemically-contaminated consumer products and similar items invented in America, the world is being bombarded by systems of food, medicine and distorted intellectual property claims that are producing far more casualties than any bombs-and-bullets war.

How to control a nation

In World War II, the Germans attempted to steal natural resources from neighboring nations by forcefully occupying and controlling the targeted territories. Today, war is far more sophisticated: America steals national resources by patenting seeds, genes, medicines and ideas, then applying economic and political pressure against targeted nations to forcefully take a cut of their productivity through the application of intellectual property law. Only Thailand has offered any sort of resistance in an attempt to protect its people from the predatory, monopolistic drug pricing of Big Pharma, for example, but most countries just go right along and pay tribute to the western world through outrageous patent royalties on medicines that should belong to the people.

If that’s not enough to dominate the targeted nation’s economy, America sends in the World Bank. The World Bank makes predatory loans to desperate nations, knowing full well they cannot pay them back. It then uses the leverage of debt to invade those nations with western financial institutions. Those banks and lending institutions subsequently turn around and engage in predatory financial practices that soak the people of the target nation, skimming off productivity and exporting it back to the West where rich white men cash in billions without a single honest day’s work.

The World Trade Organization, for its part, makes sure that targeted nations comply with imperialistic western trade practices. The huge push of Big Tobacco into Asia, for example, is the result of support by “world trade” proponents who threatened to impose trade sanctions against Asian nations if they tried to ban cigarette advertising. Today, more than a third of Chinese men are addicted to cigarettes, generating billions in annual profits for Big Tobacco companies who are right now producing more Chinese casualties than any war in China’s long history.

Western medicine is also invading the continents around the world, bringing its expensive, heartless and corporate-controlled system of medicine to nations who were actually far healthier, happier and more financially solvent before America showed up with all its patented chemicals. Chinese medicine, for example, is routinely discredited in China by arrogant Chinese doctors who went to med school in America then returned home to betray their own fellow citizens. Drug companies see China’s one billion people as nothing more than revenue-generating patients, and convincing all those people to take more medicines will require a well-planned, well-funded economic and philosophical assault on Chinese medicine. Essentially, Big Pharma must find a way to disconnect the Chinese from their heritage, turning them all into depressed, diseased “white” consumers whose medical mythology worships the falsehoods of western reductionism.

Consequences of the great American invasion

All around the world, America is invading nations through its foods, medicines, consumer products, dangerous economic practices, synthetic chemicals and intellectual property. And everywhere that American products are adopted, widespread disease and death soon follows.

Small island nations in the South Pacific, for example, had never heard of diabetes, heart disease or depression just two generations ago. But then American-made processed food products invaded their islands, edging out traditional foods like raw coconut, fresh fish, seaweed and taro. Today, South Pacific populations are suffering from widespread diabetes, depression, heart disease, learning disabilities, asthma and much more — all thanks to the “invasion” of American foods, medicines and products.

America is the world’s largest exporter of disease. Through our popular soda products, cigarettes, fast food chains and manufactured foods, we have caused more death and disease around the world than any nation in human history (including Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot). And it all remains perfectly legal. Our chemical companies even manufacture and export pesticide chemicals that have been banned in the United States. Poor agricultural nations openly use those deadly pesticides on their crops, then ship the produce back to the U.S. where consumers buy it at grocery stores. It’s all perfectly legal and, in fact, encouraged by U.S. political leaders.

Resistance is futile

It’s actually more than legal: It’s required! Any nation that says “no” to western products and intellectual property is immediately branded an enemy of world trade and is targeted for legal action by the WTO. Even creating pro-consumer safety standards such as banning aspartame, sodium nitrite or hydrogenated oils can be deemed a violation of international trade agreements. Product sales, you see, are the No. 1 priority, even when nations are being decimated by the products manufactured and exported by American companies.

Poor nations with undereducated populations suffer enormously under western economic imperialism. It’s easy to sell Pepsi, cigarettes and lotto tickets to people in a country like Panama, for example, where the education level remains low and people are easily tricked into thinking that western products will make them happier. Pepsi, in fact, is the dominant consumer product throughout most of Central and South America. You can hardly travel anywhere south of the U.S. / Mexico border without being inundated with Pepsi propaganda. The Pepsi logo is more prominent than images of the Virgin Mary or the Pope, even though many South and Central American populations are Catholic. (It’s quite clear what they actually worship!)

These international product invasions are important to the bottom line of U.S. corporations, of course, who are expanding their propaganda campaigns to non-U.S. countries following the wising up of American consumers. Only uneducated, ignorant consumers drink soft drink products in America these days. It’s the same crowd that buys lotto tickets, smokes cigarettes, watches TV infomercials and lives on frozen dinners. Smart consumers in America switched to healthier drinks long ago. That’s why soda sales continue to fall each year, and that’s why U.S. soda corporations have to increasingly crank up their marketing machines in countries that haven’t yet caught on to the toxicity of aspartame or the links between diabetes and high-fructose corn syrup.

The west is conquering the world

There’s no more need to drop tanks, soldiers and bombs on nations in order to conquer them. Countries can be controlled through economics, intellectual property law, banking and finance systems. Consumers can be controlled through advertising, publicity and corporate-fabricated fake news.

The corporations, as always, rake in the profits while the consumers pay the price all over the world. They eat their American hamburgers, drink their American sodas, take their American medicines and think they’re cool, sophisticated consumers even while their internal organs are beginning to fail from all the toxic chemicals. Soon, they will suffer from American diseases: Cancer, diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity and violent, psychotic behavior. In fact, we’re already seeing it: Countries like Thailand and Japan are witnessing unprecedented obesity for the first time in history, and diseases like diabetes and depression are only a few years away from becoming pandemic throughout Asia. This is almost entirely from their adoption of western diets and medical practices.

Those nations that continue to worship western culture are engaged in a dangerous game of paying homage to precisely the wrong group. Worshipping American foods, products and medicines will only destroy the health and happiness of any nation, and mimicking American financial markets will only spell economic suicide in the long run. There is nothing good that can come of debt spending, intentional disease proliferation (through ignoring disease prevention programs), widespread chemical contamination and corporate dominance over the people and the government. These are the things that will come to destroy the world’s nations, probably starting with America.

The last days of America as we know it

The era of American dominance in the world is nearly over. It will likely be replaced by an era of Chinese dominance, in which western medicine, western science, western debt spending and western culture will ultimately be rejected by most world nations.

It’s time for Americans to face up to the reality of the country they’re living in. Take the issue of health care as a rather important example. Did you know that you can get better health care in Cuba than America? Did you know that the life expectancy of a Cuban citizen is the same as an American citizen, and yet Americans spend hundreds of times more money per capita on disease care and sickness care than Cubans? American medicine is an utter failure, and it’s destroying the economic viability of the entire country. Businesses are going bankrupt or moving offshore because of health care costs, and even those that can afford to operate on U.S. soil are faced with the reality that it’s almost impossible to hire employees who can actually think these days thanks to the widespread use of brain-damaging prescription drugs. Success stories like Google are increasingly rare.

I remember living in Taiwan in the 1990’s, and I paid something like $4 / month for health insurance coverage. A visit to the doctor cost me $2 out of pocket. Every person in Taiwan who has a job gets automatic health insurance coverage, and the nation has prospered economically over the last four decades in a way that the U.S. simply cannot match. The Taiwan people are innovative, resourceful and hard working. Of course, they’re also hopelessly corrupt when it comes to politics, but that seems to be a universal law: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

America’s reputation is in shambles

If you travel the world these days and ask about America, you might be surprised at the negative answers you’ll hear. This is not obvious to people living in America because, of course, they only have access to the controlled, pro-America news sources that dominate mainstream thinking. But the world opinion of America has already suffered a severe setback under the leaderhip of President Bush, and in time, the world will reject American intellectual property, the American medicine scam and the harmful effects of American foods and beverages.

History will reveal America to be a nation that burned itself out on drugs, debt spending and junk foods, destroying the health its own people until its population could hardly even reproduce without medical intervention. Lacking any useful ideas, steeped in the defense of the status quo and abandoning the true needs of its own people, American political leaders have set our nation on a destructive course that may prove impossible to reverse. And they seem to want to destroy as many other nations as possible along the way — as long as it generates more profits for U.S. corporations in the short term. “Poison the world and reap the profits!”

The future belongs to smart nations

Any nation that wishes to protect itself from the same fate America is headed towards would be wise to reject American foods, medicines, beverages, consumer products, intellectual property laws and financial practices.

The nations that survive and prosper over the next hundred years will be:

• Those nations that save money and invest in their future (rather then spending it on war or underfunded entitlement program).

• Those nations that reject western foods and pass laws to protect their populations from dangerous chemicals in foods, beverages and consumer products.

• Those nations that reject American intellectual property guidelines and ban corporations or private individuals from “owning” patents on medicines, seeds and genes.

• Those nations that invest in education, energy efficiency and environmental cleanup in order to create a better future for their children.

• Those nations that invest now in energy independence, teaching their people to use less energy while switching to vehicles that can run on electricity (which can be produced domestically in any country).

• Those nations that reject elite-controlled banking and money systems and restore the power of the currency to the people, where open trade can happen with zero inflation, creating enormous abundance for the people.

No nation will likely fully embrace all these points, but those that manage to fulfill at least some of them will do far better than those who don’t. What’s certain is that those nations attempting to mimic the culture of America will suffer the same fate as America — a fate that will soon be obvious to even the most insistent deniers who claim that environmental pollution, endless debt spending and the mass contamination of food and medicines with deadly synthetic chemicals are somehow sustainable practices. The end result of all this is not in question by any serious thinker: Widespread bankruptcy, disease pandemics, environmental collapse and a bursting of the food production bubble.

Papua New Guinea may ultimatey emerge as one of the few successful, sustainable nations in the world. If you’re not sure why, I urge you to read Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond, and then study the history of human civilization from a geographic viewpoint. You will see that the only nations with any sort of future are those that protect and nurture the health of their people and their environment, taking a long-term perspective rather than short-term economic gain. America has no long-term vision other than controlling world oil resources. America has no investment whatsoever in the health of its people and virtually no effort to protect its environment. America is fixated on short-term thinking and stop-gap measures, ignoring the greater concerns of education, renewable energy, individual health and individual liberty. And finally, America is a bankrupt nation by any honest accounting method, and it is only by the grace of debt holders of Asia that America can continue to sell debt at all.

No wise nation will follow America into this quagmire (and why should they, when they have their own quagmires to explore?).

The good news in all this, by the way, is that you don’t have to follow the fate of your nation. By protecting your own health, saving your own wealth and investing in the future of yourself and your children (through education, fertile land, etc.), you can avoid the worst of what’s coming and actually thrive during difficult times. That’s why taking charge of your own life right now is more important than ever. Be independent from the mainstream. Learn how to protect your own health and reject medical propaganda. Understand the basic laws of economics and how debt is manufactured and sold. (A good book on that is called the Concise Guide to Economics and it’s available free at http://www.conciseguidetoeconomics.com ). Teach yourself the basic principles of sustainable living, green living and “hippie wisdom.” These are the things that will get you through the tough times ahead.

In terms of financial news, be sure to read the Daily Reckoning (www.DailyReckoning.com) if you want to hear the truth about world financial news. Also check out the book Empire of Debt, which earns my top recommendation for the best book available on the coming financial collapse of America.

I haven’t even mentioned peak oil yet, by the way. Ever wonder what happens when the oil runs out? Check out this page on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil

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About the author: Mike Adams is a holistic nutritionist with a passion for teaching people how to improve their health He has authored more than 1,500 articles and dozens of reports, guides and interviews on natural health topics, reaching millions of readers with information that is saving lives and improving personal health around the world. Adams is a trusted, independent journalist who receives no money or promotional fees whatsoever to write about other companies’ products. In 2007, Adams launched EcoLEDs, a manufacturer of mercury-free, energy-efficient LED lighting products that save electricity and help prevent global warming. He’s also a noted technology pioneer and founded a software company in 1993 that developed the HTML email newsletter software currently powering the NaturalNews subscriptions. Adams volunteers his time to serve as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and regularly pursues cycling, nature photography, Capoeira and Pilates.

http://www.naturalnews.com/021873.html

Shocker: Endless, Unjust Wars Lead to Economic Crisis

Vote Ron Paul or we’ll be in Iraq forever and watch our dollar go down with it.

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USA in Iraq: Recession in the Crosshairs
By Jean-Louis Denier
Marianne2

Sunday 30 March 2008

The exorbitant cost of the war in Iraq risks plunging the United States a little further into a recession catastrophic for it … and the rest of the world!

If one effects a comparative analysis with other conflicts, one realizes that the binomial, quagmire/occupation of a large territory is not economically neutral. The longer this kind of war lasts, the more it costs; the more it costs over a long period, the more it disturbs and distorts the economic machine, notably by the inflation and monetary depreciation it generates. The consequences of Operation Iraqi Freedom on the American economy seem, in appearance at present, to limit themselves to the sole question of the United States’ federal deficit, since the increase in military expenses, including those related to Iraq (total US federal budget for 2009: $3,100 billion, with a 7.5 percent increase in the Pentagon’s budget, which represents $515 billion, in addition to which a special supplement of $70 billion is reserved for Iraq and Afghanistan) has consequences.

The effects of this headlong rush:

  • A $410 billion deficit for the 2008 fiscal year (2.9 percent of American GNP) and another deficit of $407 billion for 2009 which the new administration will inherit next January. You will note that these sums are twice the size of the $162 billion deficit recorded for fiscal 2007 and approach the record $413 billion deficit recorded in 2004.
  • Dark dealings in the federal budget, such as the 22 percent reduction (to $2 billion only) in the amount available to help poor families pay their heating cost, or the 34 percent reduction in investments accorded Amtrak, the national passenger railway company.

But one should not trust appearances, for the deficit in American public finances interacts with the global economy as a whole. Since the American taxpayer does not have enough money to pay all the expenses of his federal government, that government turns abroad to borrow money and bring capital back to the USA. In this way, the savings of foreign countries are solicited – notably through the purchase of American Treasury bonds or other dollar-denominated assets – to cover purely American expenses. No comment up to there. Except that the foreign countries exporting capital to the USA are primarily Asian – with China in the lead – which countries profit from the financial flows created to align their currencies to the dollar – to undervalue it even – and thus put their own international trade competitiveness on steroids through that exchange rate chicanery. Moreover, overindebted and consequently overexposed vis-à-vis their creditors, the Americans are happy to reimburse them with worthless currency and consequently … to depress the dollar exchange rate – by reducing US interest rates – notably vis-à-vis other currencies, including the euro, but also against the British pound sterling.

And the Rest of the World in All This?

This vicious spiral (deficit plus dollar fall plus undervaluation of other currencies, like the Chinese yuan and the Japanese yen) has been ongoing for several years, but is especially dangerous:

  • For the USA’s creditors: The dollar’s nosedive entails the progressive devaluation of assets denominated in that currency; those who hold those assets find themselves less rich now than they were the day they bought them for more.
  • For the USA itself: How long will the USA’s creditors trust the USA and continue to cover its unbridled spending if the federal government seems too exposed through its abysmal debts? Moreover, the rise in foreign capital equates to increased dependence, even submission to foreign financial power. Finally, if $1,300 billion of subprimes generate $1,000 billion to $2,000 billion of losses and suffice to plummet global exchanges, what will happen when the markets realize that the war in Iraq could cost between $1,000 billion and $3,000 billion in the middle of a complete American economic recession, consequently with fewer fiscal revenues for the US federal government, consequently with more deficits?
  • For the Europeans, including the French: The depreciation of the dollar will never stop, since it results from a deliberate American strategy of lightening the federal government debt burden, a strategy that condemns the euro to an unremitting rise and European products to no longer being produced or even conceived in the euro zone, transforming said zone into an economic and social desert over the long term. More than ever, Europeans could hear: “The dollar is our currency; it’s your problem.”

Conclusion:

The Vietnam War, through its length and its cost, provoked the abandonment of the gold standard for the dollar, as well as strong American inflation, provoking a temporary crisis in the exercise of American hegemony over the world. The war in Iraq is taking the same path, with two exceptions, only worse: it combines with a mixed (American household and the federal government itself) overindebtedness and recession in the American economy against the background of a rampant global banking and financial crisis.

Consequently, all the ingredients for a crash followed by a wide-ranging and long-lasting depression (like the one of the 1930s) are potentially brought together. And this time the revision of American hegemony will not be temporary only. Will Osama bin Laden have won not only “his” war, but the war?


Translation: Truthout French language editor Leslie Thatcher.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/040108G.shtml

Shocker: Doctors Think Nationalized Health Care Is a Good Idea

For one, it lets them do their job without being concerned about being paid (“reimbursed”) by a heartless corporation only concerned with profit. But hey, maybe someday we’ll join other industrialized nations who believe in treating their citizens like human beings.

Why do you think Big Media isn’t reporting this?

———

Doctors Support Universal Health Care: Survey
By Maggie Fox
Reuters

Monday 31 March 2008

Washington – More than half of U.S. doctors now favor switching to a national health care plan and fewer than a third oppose the idea, according to a survey published on Monday.

The survey suggests that opinions have changed substantially since the last survey in 2002 and as the country debates serious changes to the health care system.

Of more than 2,000 doctors surveyed, 59 percent said they support legislation to establish a national health insurance program, while 32 percent said they opposed it, researchers reported in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

The 2002 survey found that 49 percent of physicians supported national health insurance and 40 percent opposed it.

“Many claim to speak for physicians and represent their views. We asked doctors directly and found that, contrary to conventional wisdom, most doctors support national health insurance,” said Dr. Aaron Carroll of the Indiana University School of Medicine, who led the study.

“As doctors, we find that our patients suffer because of increasing deductibles, co-payments, and restrictions on patient care,” said Dr. Ronald Ackermann, who worked on the study with Carroll. “More and more, physicians are turning to national health insurance as a solution to this problem.”

Patchwork

The United States has no single organized health care system. Instead it relies on a patchwork of insurance provided by the federal and state governments to the elderly, poor, disabled and to some children, along with private insurance and employer-sponsored plans.

Many other countries have national plans, including Britain, France and Canada, and several studies have shown the United States spends more per capita on health care, without achieving better results for patients.

An estimated 47 million people have no insurance coverage at all, meaning they must pay out of their pockets for health care or skip it.

Contenders in the election for president in November all have proposed various changes, but none of the major party candidates has called for a fully national health plan.

Insurance companies, retailers and other employers have joined forces with unions and other interest groups to propose their own plans.

“Across the board, more physicians feel that our fragmented and for-profit insurance system is obstructing good patient care, and a majority now support national insurance as the remedy,” Ackermann said in a statement.

The Indiana survey found that 83 percent of psychiatrists, 69 percent of emergency medicine specialists, 65 percent of pediatricians, 64 percent of internists, 60 percent of family physicians and 55 percent of general surgeons favor a national health insurance plan.

The researchers said they believe the survey was representative of the 800,000 U.S. medical doctors.


Reporting by Maggie Fox; editing by Will Dunham and Xavier Briand.

http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/040108HA.shtml

April 8, 2008

Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) Exposure–The Downside to the Digital Lifestyle No One Wants to Talk About

Filed under: Uncategorized — sesame seed @ 3:47 am

Again, where are our representatives, our elected officials on this?

An exploited populace trying to survive is too exhausted to orchestrate outcry, which is exactly what the powers that be would like.

It’s hard to find a place without these fields, but knowledge is power. I believe these fields, like any toxin, are cumulative in nature, so reducing any amount possible–even as we spend record amounts of time in front of computers–is essential.

——–

Reducing Electromagnetic Frequency Exposure May Improve Your Health

by Julie Genser (see all articles by this author)

(NaturalNews) In September 2007, the EU’s European Environment Agency (EEA)1 and the country of Germany2 both issued warnings to their citizens advising them to avoid the use of WiFi and cell phones until further long term studies are conducted, citing fears that the ubiquitous use of wireless technology has the potential to become the next public health disaster on the level of tobacco smoking, asbestos, and lead in automobile gas (as reported by The BioInitiative Working Group3). Israel’s Knesset recently banned the placement of cellular antennas on residential buildings4. According to Canadian Underwriter, Lloyd’s of London is already “preparing for the next big liability action — for personal injury damages based on the use of cell phone technology.”5

Referred to as “electro-smog” by some, the danger of magnetic, electric, radio (microwave), ground current, and high frequency radiation is that it is mostly invisible until great damage is done – like the increased risk of some brain tumors in long term cell phone users6. Added to the worry are the unknown effects of electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) on the more vulnerable: children, infants, the elderly, and the infirm; all of whom are equally blanketed by the invisible electro-storm of today’s Blackberrys, cell phones, Game Boys, cordless phones, and WiFis (not to mention refrigerators, air conditioners, electric heaters, dishwashers, microwaves, and other large appliances found in almost every home). There are currently over 210,000 cell towers, providing 81% wireless penetration in America alone7, and one would be hard-pressed to find an inhabitable place on Earth that is not within range of cell frequency transmissions.

Ask those who have become “electrically sensitive” (ES), people who now experience a wide range of symptoms upon exposure to even low levels of EMF radiation and have a most difficult time finding a place to live safely in our wireless age. Symptoms can range from the uncomfortable (headaches, burning sensations, tingling) and debilitating (severe “brain fog,” heart arrhythmias, migraines, severe depression, chronic insomnia) to even life threatening (seizures, heart attacks). Many of today’s ES started out as healthy working citizens and through chronic and acute exposures to electric radiation (some worked directly with electronics and computers, others worked in standard school and business/office settings), they became electrically sensitive with little warning. Their message: it could be you next.

Hayley Robinson*, a 41-year-old “type A personality” who spent 15 years of her working life in New York City offices warns “Keep cell and cordless phone use to a bare minimum and take care of your general health: eat organic, sleep 8 hours a day, drink lots of purified water, exercise regularly and spend time in nature regularly. We are exposed to an increasing amount of invisible toxins in our lives – from chemicals and heavy metals to electro-smog. We’ve become unwilling, and unwitting, guinea pigs in the biggest experiment of all time. Take notice before it’s too late for you and your family.” Hayley spent many years in front of a computer and is now so electrically sensitive she cannot be around microwaves, air conditioners, cell phones, or airports without experiencing distressful cardiac and neurological symptoms. *pseudonym

Not only do EMFs impact your own health and that of your children and pets, but also the Earth as a whole, as our overuse of electricity contributes greatly to pollution from coal-fired electricity plants. Those who are wise will heed the warnings of the electrically sensitive and reduce the EMF radiation in their homes through good design and reduction of dependence on electric appliances. Below is an excellent start: an abbreviated list of construction and lifestyle tips based on a survey I took of those with severe electrical sensitivity8.

15 Ways to Reduce EMF Radiation in Your Home and Life Right Now

1. Rise with the sun and go to bed early to make maximum use of daylight and avoid using artificial lighting whenever possible.

2. Do things manually if there’s a way – don’t use electricity as a matter of convenience or to save time. For example, use a manual juicer, a “bike blender,” or a broom/mop instead of a vacuum cleaner – all great ways to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle and stay fit, without needing a gym membership or having to leave your home!

3. Keep your immune system strengthened with a nutrient-rich organic diet, 8 hours of sleep, moderate exercise, and plenty of fresh air and sun.

4. Practice a chemical-free lifestyle to reduce your total body burden of toxins: replace all personal care and home-cleaning products with chemical free versions, wear organic clothing, use organic bedding, etc.

5. Wear shoes with a sole made from natural materials (like undyed leather), walk barefoot on the beach or earth, or hug a tree – these all may help you release excess EMFs into the earth and ground your body.

6. Unplug electrical appliances when not in use.

7. Keep your bedroom free of electrical appliances, especially near your head while you sleep – use a battery-operated alarm clock rather than electric; unplug lamps.

8. Remember that walls, floors, and ceilings do not block EMFs when arranging your furniture.

9. Replace dimmer switches with regular switches to eliminate high-frequency radiation, or “dirty electricity,” that can be hidden in your home’s electrical wiring.

10. Avoid low-voltage halogen and fluorescent lighting (including the currently popular energy-efficient compact fluorescent lighting). Fluorescent lighting has been shown to cause migraines10 and contains mercury, which is a hazardous material that can create huge health and environmental problems.

11. Avoid the use of appliances with variable speed drives, such as fans, heaters, front-loading washing machines and some furnaces.

12. Avoid the use of microwave ovens, hair dryers, electric toothbrushes, electric blankets, heating pads, baby monitors, and other electric products.

13. Do not buy cordless DECT phones, which emit a constant electromagnetic signal even when not in use. Save cell phones for emergencies and use land lines whenever possible. Make sure cell phones are turned off when not in use, and avoid using them inside a car. When you do use cell phones, use appropriate air tubes and shielding devices: see RFSafe.com and LessEMF.com for available products. Keep cell phone chargers unplugged when not in use.

14. Use LCD computers and TV screens and avoid plasma TVs. Keep computer use to a minimum; keep unplugged when not in use.

15. Avoid areas with wireless networking (WiFi) – internet cafes, airports, etc.

sources: 8, 9

If you are currently buying or building your own home, make sure you choose a home at least 5 miles from the nearest microwave or cell phone tower, high tension power line, or other radio and TV transmitters. Check for future cell tower sites as well as existing ones. Design with as much natural lighting as possible so that you are less dependent on artificial lighting. For added protection against radio and cell phone waves, use low-e coatings on windows8.

Locate the electrical power panel, solar inverters (if you are using active solar), clothes dryer, hot water heater, and any other large electric appliance at least 20 feet from living/sleeping areas. The routing of any dedicated circuits for computer and other electronics should be kept away from critical areas like the bedroom. Provide a dedicated circuit for the refrigerator so that you can turn off other breakers at night if desired, except for the fridge8.

Good sources for EMF related products include LessEMF.com, RFSafe.com, and CutCat.com.

Sources:

1 Geoffrey Lean, “EU watchdog calls for urgent action on Wi-Fi radiation,” The Independent, September 16, 2007, ((http://environment.independent.co.uk/gr…) .

2 Geoffrey Lean, “Germany warns citizens to avoid using Wi-Fi,” The Independent, September 09, 2007, ((http://environment.independent.co.uk/gr…) .

3 The BioInitiative Working Group, “BioInitiative Report: A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF),” BioInitiative, August 31, 2007, (http://www.bioinitiative.org/report/index.htm) .

4 Zafrir Rinat, “Knesset bans placing cellular antennas on residential buildings,” Haaretz, October 24, 2007, (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/916666.html) .

5 “Lloyd’s preparing for personal injury related to cell phone use,” Canadian Underwriter, October 22, 2007, ((http://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/issue…) .

6 Lennart Hardell, Michael Carlberg, Fredrik Söderqvist, Kjell Hansson Mild, L. Lloyd Morgan, “Long-term use of cellular phones and brain tumours: increased risk associated with use for >=10 years,” Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2007;64:626-632 (http://oem.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/64/9/626) .

7 “Wireless Quick Facts,” CTIA, The Wireless Association, June 2007, ((http://www.ctia.org/media/industry_info…) .

8 Julie Genser with Melinda Honn and Greg Conrad, “Safer Construction Tips for the Environmentally Sensitive,” September 2007, (http://tinyurl.com/3259rj) .

9 Maria Tzavaras, “Tips to have less EMFs in your home,” Toronto Community News, November 27, 2007, ((http://www.insidetoronto.ca/News/Featur…) .

10 “Low-energy bulbs ’cause migraine’,” BBC News, January 2, 2008, (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7167860.stm) .

About the author

Julie Genser is the founder and director of www.PlanetThrive.com , a grassroots community for personal wellness with a focus on the health-environment connection.

http://www.naturalnews.com/z022926.html

Mercury’s Harmless–So Why is Norway Banning It?

Filed under: alternative health news, autism/adhd, mercury — Tags: , , , , , — sesame seed @ 3:42 am

Because they have more cojones than we do, and because they know mercury is a neurotoxin responsible for poor health and (probably) autism.

——-

Norway Becomes First Country to Ban Amalgam Fillings

Friday, April 04, 2008 by: Adam Miller (see all articles by this author)
| Key concepts: mercury, mercury pollution and natural health

http://www.naturalnews.com/022943.html

(NaturalNews) Effective January 1st of this year, Norway has become the first nation to legislate a sweeping ban on the use of amalgam fillings in dental work. Previous laws forbid the use of mercury-containing fillings in more vulnerable segments of the population, such as pregnant women and children, but the new law is the first to forbid the use of the toxic metal without exemption. Mercury has also been banned from all other products produced, imported, exported, sold, and used in the country.

In a prepared statement, Norway’s Minister of Environment and Development, Erik Solheim stated that “Mercury is among the most dangerous environmental toxins. Satisfactory alternatives to mercury in products are available, and it is therefore fitting to introduce a ban.”

Sweden has followed suit with a ban on mercury fillings effective April 1st, 2008, and other countries are now contemplating similar moves.

Amalgam fillings, which unbeknownst to many are composed primarily of mercury, raise the level of mercury circulating in the blood. Mercury is listed as one of the most toxic substances on earth and many who are sensitive to the substance have reported improvements in health upon removal of the toxic fillings. The Norwegian and Swedish bans come at a time when alternative composite fillings have become strong enough to replace amalgams under practically any circumstance.

The issue, however, is as much environmental as it is salutary. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, medical waste incinerators emit 70,000 pounds of mercury into the biosphere each year, making medical use of the metal one of the leading contributors to mercury pollution. So the question has to be asked, why has U.S. policy been so slow to catch up with common sense?

“These bans clearly indicate that amalgam is no longer needed. There are viable non-mercury filling substitutes that are used everyday in the U.S.,” said Michael Bender of the U.S. Mercury Policy Project. “By eliminating amalgam use, which is 50% mercury, we can reduce mercury pollution much more efficiently than end-of-the-pipeline solutions.”

It should come as no surprise that many figures in the U.S. are taking the new emerging consensus kicking and screaming. “Banning ‘dental amalgam’ is a political issue that will not only have no impact on total worldwide mercury pollution, but also removes a viable treatment option for dentists and their patients,” argues Derek Jones in an editorial published in the Journal of Dental Research. Bold steps are being taken, but there is still much work to be done before a similar ban will be seen in the U.S.

About the author

Adam Miller is a student of life who has dedicated literally thousands of hours of personal research on top of formal institutional training in Dietetics to learn the secrets of achieving vibrant health and extended lifespan. His passion and dedication is in bringing the best ideas for self-empowerment through nutrition and nutraceuticals as well as alternative therapies, technology, and information to the public through various means.

The greatest country in the world has 28 million on food stamps–but, hey, no recession here–just business as usual

The number of people on food stamps does not reflect the number of people who are malnourished because they do not qualify for food stamps–i.e., unsteady addresses, lack of documents, etc. Food is a human right. This is civilization?

USA 2008: The Great Depression
By David Usborne
The Independent UK

Tuesday 01 April 2008

Food stamps are the symbol of poverty in the US. In the era of the credit crunch, a record 28 million Americans are now relying on them to survive – a sure sign the world’s richest country faces economic crisis.

New York – We knew things were bad on Wall Street, but on Main Street it may be worse. Startling official statistics show that as a new economic recession stalks the United States, a record number of Americans will shortly be depending on food stamps just to feed themselves and their families.

Dismal projections by the Congressional Budget Office in Washington suggest that in the fiscal year starting in October, 28 million people in the US will be using government food stamps to buy essential groceries, the highest level since the food assistance programme was introduced in the 1960s.

The increase – from 26.5 million in 2007 – is due partly to recent efforts to increase public awareness of the programme and also a switch from paper coupons to electronic debit cards. But above all it is the pressures being exerted on ordinary Americans by an economy that is suddenly beset by troubles. Housing foreclosures, accelerating jobs losses and fast-rising prices all add to the squeeze.

Emblematic of the downturn until now has been the parades of houses seized in foreclosure all across the country, and myriad families separated from their homes. But now the crisis is starting to hit the country in its gut. Getting food on the table is a challenge many Americans are finding harder to meet. As a barometer of the country’s economic health, food stamp usage may not be perfect, but can certainly tell a story.

Michigan has been in its own mini-recession for years as its collapsing industrial base, particularly in the car industry, has cast more and more out of work. Now, one in eight residents of the state is on food stamps, double the level in 2000. “We have seen a dramatic increase in recent years, but we have also seen it climbing more in recent months,” Maureen Sorbet, a spokeswoman for Michigan’s programme, said. “It’s been increasing steadily. Without the programme, some families and kids would be going without.”

But the trend is not restricted to the rust-belt regions. Forty states are reporting increases in applications for the stamps, actually electronic cards that are filled automatically once a month by the government and are swiped by shoppers at the till, in the 12 months from December 2006. At least six states, including Florida, Arizona and Maryland, have had a 10 percent increase in the past year.

In Rhode Island, the segment of the population on food stamps has risen by 18 percent in two years. The food programme started 40 years ago when hunger was still a daily fact of life for many Americans. The recent switch from paper coupons to the plastic card system has helped remove some of the stigma associated with the food stamp programme. The card can be swiped as easily as a bank debit card. To qualify for the cards, Americans do not have to be exactly on the breadline. The programme is available to people whose earnings are just above the official poverty line. For Hubert Liepnieks, the card is a lifeline he could never afford to lose. Just out of prison, he sleeps in overnight shelters in Manhattan and uses the card at a Morgan Williams supermarket on East 23rd Street. Yesterday, he and his fiancée, Christine Schultz, who is in a wheelchair, shared one banana and a cup of coffee bought with the 82 cents left on it.

“They should be refilling it in the next three or four days,” Liepnieks says. At times, he admits, he and friends bargain with owners of the smaller grocery shops to trade the value of their cards for cash, although it is illegal. “It can be done. I get $7 back on $10.”

Richard Enright, the manager at this Morgan Williams, says the numbers of customers on food stamps has been steady but he expects that to rise soon. “In this location, it’s still mostly old people and people who have retired from city jobs on stamps,” he says. Food stamp money was designed to supplement what people could buy rather than covering all the costs of a family’s groceries. But the problem now, Mr Enright says, is that soaring prices are squeezing the value of the benefits.

“Last St Patrick’s Day, we were selling Irish soda bread for $1.99. This year it was $2.99. Prices are just spiralling up, because of the cost of gas trucking the food into the city and because of commodity prices. People complain, but I tell them it’s not my fault everything is more expensive.”

The US Department of Agriculture says the cost of feeding a low-income family of four has risen 6 percent in 12 months. “The amount of food stamps per household hasn’t gone up with the food costs,” says Dayna Ballantyne, who runs a food bank in Des Moines, Iowa. “Our clients are finding they aren’t able to purchase food like they used to.”

And the next monthly job numbers, to be released this Friday, are likely to show 50,000 more jobs were lost nationwide in March, and the unemployment rate is up to perhaps 5 percent.

——-

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/040108T.shtml

Pesticides and Parkinson’s: If the Western Way of Life is So Great, Why Is It Killing Us?

When is the system going to change, when are we going to stop needless suffering?

When consumers, through their actions, tell the market how to act. Don’t wait for the government–where’s, say, the FDA on this? Buy organic!

_____________

Study Links Parkinson’s Disease to Long-Term Pesticide Exposure
By Alok Jha
The Guardian UK

Friday 28 March 2008

Scientists have found further evidence of a link between Parkinson’s disease and long-term exposure to pesticides.

A study of more than 300 people with the neurological disease – which can affect movements such as walking, talking and writing – found that sufferers were more than twice as likely to report heavy exposure to pesticides over their lifetime as family members without the disease.

Previous studies have pointed to a possible link between pesticide exposure and Parkinson’s and public authorities are trying to work out whether these risks should be classed as significant. A £906,000 project to study the links launched in 2006 by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for example, is due to report this summer.

Variations in several genes have been identified that contribute to the disease, but these defects are rare and only account for a small proportion of the incidence of the disease, which afflicts around 120,000 people in the UK. The majority of cases are thought to be a result of an interaction between genes and the environment.

Lifetime Exposure

The new research, led by American scientists, looked at the lifetime pesticide exposure of 319 Parkinson’s patients and more than 200 of their relatives without the disease. The results, published today in the journal BMC Neurology, showed that people with Parkinson’s were 1.6 times as likely to report an exposure to pesticides in their lifetimes compared with the controls.

In addition, people with the Parkinson’s were 2.4 times as likely as people without the disease to report heavy exposure to pesticides, classed as more than 215 days over a lifetime.

The strongest associations were between people with Parkinson’s who had been exposed to herbicide and insecticide chemicals such as organochlorides and organophosphates. No links were found between Parkinson’s disease and drinking well-water or living or working on a farm, two commonly used proxies for pesticide exposures.

“In this dataset, these tended to be people who used a lot of pesticides in their homes and in their hobbies,” said William Scott of the University of Miami, who took part in the study. “There were not many people who routinely used pesticides for their occupation.”

Though the evidence is growing, the researchers said that there was not enough biological evidence yet to conclude that Parkinson’s was definitely caused by pesticide exposure. The biological mechanism linking the two is still unknown. The researchers added that future genetic studies of Parkinson’s could consider the influence of pesticides, because exposure to these chemicals may trigger the disease in genetically predisposed people.

Key Role

Kieran Breen, director of research at the Parkinson’s Disease Society (PDS), said: “The association between pesticides and Parkinson’s has been recognised for some time, and this study supports this link and strengthens the fact that pesticides play a key role.”

The PDS has carried out a survey of more than 10,000 people with Parkinson’s and preliminary results show that 9% had long-term pesticide or herbicide exposure, which is defined as exposure for more than a year.

“Of the 3,000 carers surveyed, most of whom were family members, less than 2% had had similar exposure,” said Breen. “This demonstrates that pesticides may be contributing to nerve cell death in some people with Parkinson’s, but is unlikely to be the only cause.”

Symptoms of the disease first tend to appear when a patient is older than 50, and can include tremors and muscle rigidity. The Parkinson’s Disease Society estimates that around 10,000 new diagnoses of the disease are made every year in the UK.

http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/033108HA.shtml

April 2, 2008

More ammunition: Yes, you really do want to eat organic

Do you need more proof or do you want to keep believing the current system is just fine?

—–

Tracing Pesticides in Children From Ingestion to Elimination

by Cathy Sherman (see all articles by this author)

(NaturalNews) If a child eats conventionally grown produce, will it affect his or her health? Recent research revealed that pesticides do show up in the urine of children after consuming non-organic foods. Though the study did not look at whether or not some of the chemicals stay in the tissues and cause damage, other research says they do.

Researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle and Emory University in Atlanta, headed by Chensheng Lu, tested urine samples from 21 children in the Seattle area who ate conventionally grown foods and then ate similar organic varieties for five days, before returning to seven more days of conventional foods. To be extra certain, the organic foods were tested and found to be free of chemicals.

Urine samples were collected twice daily for a period of 7, 12, or 15 consecutive days during each of the four seasons. It was found that levels of organophosphates, a family of pesticides resulting from the creation of nerve gas agents in World War II, could be identified in the urine during the time conventional produce was eaten. Within eight to 36 hours after switching to organic versions, the pesticides in the urine disappeared.

Previous studies have found a correlation between pesticides and neurological problems in the brains of rats. Dr. Theodore Slotkin of North Carolina’s Duke University has written up the results of several such studies. He found that brain development and behavior were both negatively impacted after exposure to organophosphates, especially chlorpyrifos, one of the pesticides in the recent study.

Andrew Schneider, writing in the Seattle P.I. quotes Lu, who says “more research must be done into the harm these pesticides may do to children, even at the low levels found on food… In animal and few human studies, we know chlorpyrifos inhibits an enzyme that transmits a signal in the brain so the body can function properly. Unfortunately, that’s all we know.

“It is appropriate to assume that if we – human beings – are exposed to (this class of) pesticides, even though it’s a low-level exposure on a daily basis, there are going to be some health concerns down the road,” said Lu, who is on the Environmental Protection Agency’s pesticide advisory panel.

We do know that toxins affect children differently than adults, as they are still developing and are thus more fragile neurologically. Some pesticides contain potent neurotoxicants, which work by disrupting an organism’s nervous system. There are studies which have found that exposure to pesticides affects growth and neurological development. So it would seem very likely that ingestion of pesticide residue in young children especially would lead to negative effects on health and development. At the very least, there must be an effect to the liver and kidneys for the extra work they are forced to do.

Consider what a teacher’s curriculum guide from Yale University states:

“-A young child’s renal system is not fully developed. For example, a newborn’s kidneys are immature compared to an adult’s, making it more difficult for the infant to eliminate toxic waste. This can lead to a greater buildup and increases their vulnerability.

-A young child’s brain, nervous system, immune system, and other organ systems are still developing and are therefore most susceptible to abnormalities and malfunctions.

-When children are exposed to toxins, there is more time for resulting damage to occur than when adults are exposed. To elaborate, if a series of events have to occur before the toxic effects of chemicals present, then it is more likely that those events will occur someday if the children are exposed early in life as opposed to exposure much later.

-Due to the rapid cell growth in children, they appear to be more susceptible to some carcinogens than adults are.”

Because of such concerns, the Food Quality Protection Act required that by 2006, the EPA was to complete a comprehensive reassessment of the 9,721 pesticides permitted for use. They were to determine safe levels of pesticide residues for all food products.

Even though this law’s passage resulted in a lowering of pesticide amounts applied to foods intended for children, many critics still consider the levels too high for safety. The other concern is that there are no restrictions on imported foods.

This effect was born out by the study, as higher levels of pesticides were found in the children’s urine in the fall and winter, when consumers rely more on imported fruits and vegetables.

Other critics point out that because of this and the EPA’s too lenient restrictions, more needs to be done. They state that it only makes sense to strengthen the limits on such exposure to pesticides at a time when children are evidencing more behavior, learning and neurological problems.

According to Schneider, Lu does not believe children should only eat organic. For Lu’s family, which includes two sons, about 60 percent of the diet is organic. “‘Consumers,’ he says, ‘should be encouraged to buy produce direct from the farmers they know. These need not be just organic farmers, but conventional growers who minimize their use of pesticides.’”

To help consumers make choices as to which foods to buy as organic, the Environmental Workers Group produced a ranking. In this list, the higher the number, the lower the amount of pesticides found in that item. So if a family can only buy some organic produce, the priority would be peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines and strawberries, etc.

The Full List: 43 Fruits & Veggies

RANK FRUIT OR VEGGIE SCORE

1(worst) Peaches 100 (highest pesticide load)

2 Apples 96

3 Sweet Bell Peppers 86

4 Celery 85

5 Nectarines 84

6 Strawberries 83

7 Cherries 75

8 Lettuce 69

9 Grapes – Imported 68

10 Pears 65

11 Spinach 60

12 Potatoes 58

13 Carrots 57

14 Green Beans 55

15 Hot Peppers 53

16 Cucumbers 52

17 Raspberries 47

18 Plums 46

19 Oranges 46

20 Grapes – Domestic 46

21 Cauliflower 39

22 Tangerine 38

23 Mushrooms 37

24 Cantaloupe 34

25 Lemon 31

26 Honeydew Melon 31

27 Grapefruit 31

28 Winter Squash 31

29 Tomatoes 30

30 Sweet Potatoes 30

31 Watermelon 25

32 Blueberries 24

33 Papaya 21

34 Eggplant 19

35 Broccoli 18

36 Cabbage 17

37 Bananas 16

38 Kiwi 14

39 Asparagus 11

40 Sweet Peas-Frozen 11

41 Mango 9

42 Pineapples 7

43 Sweet Corn-Frozen 2

44 Avocado 1

45 (best) Onions 1 (lowest pesticide load)

Note: A total of 44 different fruits and vegetables were ranked, but grapes are listed twice because they looked at both domestic and imported samples. – Pesticides in Produce by Environmental Working Group

As is often the case, moderation and balance are the best policies. Whether your family can afford to go 60-40, 70-30, or 50-50, the above chart can help determine how you spend your precious organic dollars. Whatever the case, the move toward organic can be shown to result in lower levels of pesticides entering our bodies and those of our children.

Sources:

Chensheng Lu, Dana B. Barr, Melanie A. Pearson, and Lance A. Waller; Dietary Intake and Its Contribution to Longitudinal Organophosphorus Pesticide Exposure in Urban/Suburban Children.
((http://www.ehponline.org/members/2008/1…)

Schneider, Andrew: “Harmful Pesticides Found In Everyday Food Products”. Seattle P.I., January 30, 2008. ((http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/349…)

Robinson, Kelley N.: “Food Pesticides and Their Risks To Children”.
((http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/un…)

Environmental Working Group Shopper’s Guide: (http://www.foodnews.org/index.php)

About the author

Cathy Sherman is a freelance writer with a major interest in natural health and in encouraging others to take responsibility for their health. She can be reached through www.devardoc.com.

http://www.naturalnews.com/z022897.html

When Labor Is Pushed to Its Limit, What Does it Mean for All of Us?

Will we ever have a living wage in America? When will we learn that social safety nets are not handouts but SOCIAL JUSTICE allowing everyone to have a better quality of life?

———-

AlterNet

Fair Labor Standards Under Attack

By Eric Schlosser, The Nation
Posted on March 24, 2008, Printed on April 2, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/story/80471/

“The proposal is unworkable, un-American, impractical and dangerous to our institutions,” said Representative Wade Kitchens, a Democrat from Arkansas, during the Congressional debate over the Fair Labor Standards Act. What were these radical ideas, guaranteed by the last great piece of New Deal legislation, that in Kitchens’s view threatened the future of the Republic? A minimum wage, limits on overtime and a prohibition of child labor. In submitting the act to Congress on May 24, 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt succinctly explained its basic goal: “a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.”

It’s good to keep in mind some of the labor conditions in the United States before passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Workers were often forced to work ten to twelve hours a day, six days a week. They earned as little as twelve cents an hour. They were sometimes paid in scrip, redeemable at a company store, instead of money. A survey of American children conducted by the Labor Department found that one-quarter worked for sixty or more hours a week. The median wage for children was $4 a week. All of this was justified in the name of “freedom,” as business groups championed the liberty of contracts and the liberty of employers to hire, fire and set wages without any restrictions. The Supreme Court had consistently upheld that notion of freedom, overturning a federal child labor law in 1922 and a local minimum wage law the following year.

The Court abruptly switched course in March 1937–amid Roosevelt’s effort to pack it with sympathetic Justices–and affirmed the right of Washington State to require minimum wages for women and minors. Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes argued that “the denial of a living wage” not only harmed workers but placed an unfair burden upon society. “What these workers lose in wages the taxpayers are called upon to pay,” Hughes noted in his majority opinion. “The community is not bound to provide what is in effect a subsidy for unconscionable employers.”

Two months later Roosevelt sent the Fair Labor Standards Act to Congress, launching one of the most bitter legislative battles of the New Deal. Despite overwhelming popular support, Southern Democrats joined forces with Republicans to oppose the act, forming a coalition that would thwart future New Deal legislation. Their spirited defense of low wages and the liberty of employers delayed passage of the bill for more than a year. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, signed by Roosevelt that June, was a watered-down version of the original. It provided exemptions for agriculture and other industries, as well as a minimum wage of just 25 cents an hour. Nonetheless, it established fundamental economic rights for American workers.

Seventy years later, the Fair Labor Standards Act is still under attack. “A higher minimum wage equals less economic freedom,” a Heritage Foundation essay claimed last year. Although the rhetoric is more subdued, the underlying attitude has changed little since Representative Kitchens railed against the bill. The minimum wage doesn’t eliminate poverty; it creates poverty, we are told. When do-gooders demand a higher wage, poor workers lose their jobs. Countless studies are cited as proof. Yet the period of America’s greatest economic growth coincided with its highest minimum wage rates. In 1956 the minimum wage in today’s dollars was about $7.93 an hour. Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage reached its peak in 1968, at about $9.91 an hour. During the decades that followed, its real value declined by almost 50 percent. That enormous pay cut for the nation’s poorest workers benefited some industries enormously–supplying cheap labor to fast food restaurants, retail stores and farms–while imposing enormous costs on society. When the federal minimum wage hits $7.25 in July 2009, it will still not reach the level considered adequate by President Dwight Eisenhower.

The high-minded arguments against the minimum wage, for the most part, are merely justifications for higher corporate profits. Since passing a minimum wage law in 1998, Britain has enjoyed some of the fastest economic growth rates and lowest unemployment rates in the European Union. The British minimum wage is now equivalent to more than $11 an hour. “No business which depends…on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country,” President Roosevelt once declared. “By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level–I mean the wages of a decent living.” Those words are as true today as when they were first spoken. I hope our next President will not only agree with Roosevelt on this subject but will have the courage and compassion to do something about it.

Eric Schlosser is the author of ‘Fast Food Nation’ and ‘Reefer Madness.’

© 2008 The Nation All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/80471/

Big Pharma Kills–But Not before Taking Your Money

There are so many better natural alternatives out there, for just about every medical problem. Treating symptoms is not true health or wellness. Big Pharma keeps people in poverty, causing further illness, thereby increasing their profits. This isn’t an accusation–this is logic, folks. Get informed.

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The 5 Kinds of Prescription Drugs That Zap the Most Nutrients from Your Body and What to Do

by BodyEcology.com 

The side effects of prescription drugs are more insidious than those listed on the side of the box. In fact, common drugs like statins, acid reflux drugs and antidepressants rob your body of the very nutrients you need to have healthy blood cholesterol, easy digestion, and a positive outlook.

Prescription drugs may be the blessing and the curse of our times.

In some situations they can be necessary for restoring health. Unfortunately, in many others, long-term use of prescription drugs — and their side effects — cause more harm than good.

But whether you like it or not, you and the people you love are likely to take prescription drugs at some point in your life.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 45% of Americans used a prescription drug in the past month. And over the course of a year, over 2 billion prescriptions are written!1

Still, many people don’t know about the real damage that some drugs can do to your overall health, even while they seem to be helping a specific symptom.

One of the most important keys to remember is that drugs make your blood more acidic and when you are on them you must eat a more alkaline diet.

If you must take prescription drugs, we’ve outlined some common drugs that zap nutrients from your body and the recommend foods and supplements that can counteract the negative side effects.

Drugs: The 5 Worst Offenders

1. Statins

  • The Drugs: Cholesterol drugs, also known as statins, including brands like Lipitor, Provacol and Zocor
  • The Damage: Statins deplete your body of coenzyme Q10, an essential enzyme that protects your body from heart disease and cancer2,3 and is considered an effective treatment for heart attacks and heart failure. Drug manufacturers know that statins dramatically reduce your body’s level of this heart-healthy enzyme but have managed to keep it quiet.
  • The Defense: If you take statins, consider taking a hefty coenzyme Q10 supplement. You can get CoQ10 by eating organ meats as well.
  • To further reduce your risk for artherosclerosis and heart disease, up your exercise to increase your good cholesterol (HDL) levels. For a dietary approach, read Why the Body Ecology Diet Is Ideal to Lower Cholesterol LDL Levels and Raise HDL Levels.

2. Diabetes Drugs

  • The Drugs: Diabetes drugs like Diabinese, Tolinase, and Metformin
  • The Damage: Diabetes drugs deplete magnesium and vitamin C, two substances essential for metabolic health.4

The Defense: Avoid Sugar – use Lakanto instead. The Body Ecology System of Health and Healing provides you with a high plant fiber, gluten-free, sugar-free diet that is excellent for anyone with diabetes now or for anyone who wants to prevent it. Research shows that even if you have a genetic tendency toward this disease the right foods can “silence” the gene that causes diabetes.

Fermented foods and probiotic liquids are enzyme-rich, microflora rich, nutrient-dense and are ideal for anyone sensitive to sugar because they negate many of the negative side effects of sugar.
3. Heartburn and Acid Reflux Drugs

The Drugs: Heartburn and acid reflux drugs, including brands like Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec

The Damage: Proton-pump inhibitors that are used to treat acid reflux, heart burn and GERD rob your body of calcium and vitamin B 12.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that “people over age 50 who take the drugs for more than one year have a 44% increased risk of breaking a hip.” Higher doses taken for longer periods of time significantly increase the risk.

If you are deficient in vitamin B 12, you could experience symptoms ranging from hair loss, anemia, fatigue, mental confusion to signs of nerve damage such as tingling or numbness. 6
The Defense: Find a colon therapist (see I-ACT.org) and have a series of colon therapy sessions. Follow the Proper Food Combining Rules so that foods are easier to digest. Eat cultured veggies and probiotic liquids.
If you feel you must take an acid reflux or heartburn drugs, increase your intake of magnesium and get outside for some sunshine (a natural source of vitamin D).

Magnesium and vitamin D from the sun both help you build strong bones.

Also have your doctor test your B 12 levels and consider supplementation and some dietary changes. Fortunately, the Body Ecology diet is full of foods rich in B vitamins! Excellent sources of B 12 are fermented foods and drinks and grain-like seeds.

If you have acid reflux or heartburn on a regular basis, read GERD in Children and Adults Part One: The Symptoms and the TRUE Causes to find out more about your condition and the natural steps to treat it.

4. Antidepressants

  • The Drugs: Antidepressants, including brands like Prozac and Zoloft
  • The Damage: Even researchers use B12 to increase the effectiveness of anti-depressants and recognize that most depressed people are mildly to severely deficient in B vitamins.
  • The Defense: Serotonin, the feel good, antidepression brain chemical is actually made down in our gut. So a healthy inner ecosystem is going to help many of us feel much happier. The word “kefir” means “feel good” in Turkish. The Turks have consumed this delicious milk drink for thousands of years and it really does make you feel good. You can make kefir at home in your own kitchen and even use raw or pasteurized milk. It’s fun and easy to make.
  • Taking a B vitamin supplement enhances the effects of antidepressants and can correct deficiencies that may have triggered your depression in the first place. Donna Gates recommends Max Stress B Nano-Plex by Premier Research. This liquid B vitamin is derived from natural sources,Guess where? Friendly microflora! It tastes great sprinkled into one of our probiotic liquids.

    You probably know this already but one of the most efficient ways to get B 12 is to consume fermented foods and drinks. The friendly microorganisms in fermented foods and drinks, like Innergy-Biotic, actually manufacture B vitamins right down inside your intestines where they are immediately absorbed.

5. Arthritis Drugs

  • The Drugs: Arthritis drugs, like prednisone, and hydrocortisone are often prescribed for inflammatory conditions.
  • The Damage: Corticosteroids decrease the absorption of calcium and cause your body to excrete it. They also deplete magnesium, which is vital to absorbing calcium and building bone density.

    Corticosteroids are also linked to decreased levels of trace minerals like copper, selenium and zinc.8

  • The Defense: Once again a sugar-free, cleansing, nutrient-dense diet coupled with colon therapy should be the first steps to take when arthritic symptoms develop. You can also counteract some of the effects of arthritis drugs with a healthy calcium and magnesium supplement and by eating an alkalizing diet. Eating vegetables that come from the ocean will help you obtain these minerals. Also consider taking Body Ecology’s Ocean Plant Extract, which packs the vital nutrients of sea vegetables into an easy supplement.
Is your over-the-counter or prescription drug depleting your body of vital nutrients and trace minerals? Then make sure you replenish those vitamins and minerals with the sea vegetable laminaria Japonica, one of the world’s perfect foods. Body Ecology’s Ocean Plant Extract is a potent and concentrated source of this amazing sea vegetable. Try Ocean Plant Extract to enhance your nutrition today.

A Word About Antibiotics and Antifungals

For more on how antibiotics and antifungals deplete your health and what to do about it, read: If You’ve Ever Taken Antibiotic or Antifungal Drugs, Here’s Why You (Desperately) NEED Probiotics.
Drugs and Your Diet

Here at Body Ecology, we treat food as medicine and urge you to see how you can heal your body with nutrition, possibly rendering drugs unnecessary. In fact, if you create a hardy inner ecosystem inside your body, you will be establishing the foundation for a strong immune system and a cleaner, less toxic body. Even aging (which is called a disease by some) is slowed down tremendously when you eat the nutrient-dense foods in our amazing system of healing.

Side effects of prescription drugs are a real danger, so if you are taking prescription (and even over-the-counter) drugs, you need to pay extra attention to your diet and colon cleansing. Make sure that you are informed about which nutrients are being depleted so that you can help nourish your body to health.
Sources:

Therapeutic Drug Use, CDC.gov. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/drugs.htm

2 Wagner, Daniel, “Common Drugs Deplete Nutrients,” Alive.com.http://www.alive.com/3761a1a2.php?subject_bread_cramb=181
3 Gupta, Chris, “Statin Drugs & Coenzyme Q10 Depletion,” NewMediaExplorer.org.
http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/chris/2003/12/13/statin_drugs_coenzyme_q10_depletion.htm

4 Gupta, Chris, “Statin Drugs & Coenzyme Q10 Depletion,” NewMediaExplorer.org.
http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/chris/2003/12/13/statin_drugs_coenzyme_q10_depletion.htm

5DeNoon, Daniel, “Acid Reflux Drugs May Up Fractures,” WebMD.com, 26 Dec 2006.
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=78729

6Graedon, Joe and Teresa, “Drugs may cause B-12 deficiency,” LATimes.com, 13 Mar 2006. http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-pharmacy13mar13,1,50828.column?coll=la-headlines-health&ctrack=1&cset=true

7Guthrie, Catherine, “Vitamin B for the Blues,” NaturalSolutionsMag.com.
http://www.naturalsolutionsmag.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/center.article/articleID/8539/subTopicID/119/VitaminBfortheBlues

8Melitis, Chris, “Nutrition Depletion and ,” VRP.com.
http://www.vrp.com/articles.aspx?ProdID=art2079&zTYPE=2

http://bodyecology.com//08/03/27/5_kinds_of_prescription_drugs_that_zap_nutrients.php

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