WAR: SOME POCKET PARADIGMS

Sam Smith

War is the joint exercise of things we were trained not to do as children.

War is doing things overseas that we would go to prison for at home.

Anyone can start a war. Starting a peace is really hard. Therefore it is much harder to be a peace expert than a war expert.

The media treats war as just another professional sport.

War has rules, which means that we can change the rules.

Murder, rape and slavery still exist. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have banned them. The same is true of war.

Telling a country we won’t negotiate with it until it does what you want is like saying you won’t play a game unless you are allowed to win.

There is no evidence that supporting war, or telling presidents to do so, improves your testosterone level, so Ivy League professors are better advised to stick to tennis.

There is one way to deal with guerilla warfare and that is to resolve the problems that allow it to thrive. The trick is to undermine the violence of the most bitter by dealing honestly with the problems and complaints of the most rational.

Of course, there can be peace with so-called terrorist organizations; it’s just a matter of whether one waits the better part of a century, as the British did in Northern Ireland, or whether you start talking and negotiating now.

Three thousand people is, of course, far too many to die for any reason. But it is also far too weak an argument for the end of democracy.

Peace is a state of reciprocity, of trust, of empirically based confidence that no one is about to do you in. It exists not because of intrinsic goodness or rampant naivete but because of a common, implicit understanding that that it works for everyone.

Implicit in the “what about their violence?” argument is the idea that what we do wrong is excusable because it has been matched by the other side. Of course, the other side sees it the same way so you end up with a perfect stalemate of violence. When I raised a similar argument as a kid, my mother’s response was, “If Johnny were to jump off a cliff, would you jump off a cliff, too?” I never could come up with good answer to that and so eventually had to concede that somebody else’s stupidity was not a good excuse for my own.

From the moment we commence a moral intervention we become a part of the story, and part of the good and evil. We are no longer the innocent bystander but a full participant whose acts will either help or make things worse. Our intentions become irrelevant; they are overwhelmed by the character of our response to them. The morality of the disease is supplanted by the morality of the cure. In fact, every moral act in the face of mental or physical injury carries twin responsibilities: to mend the injury and to avoid replacing it with another

One of the reasons America is in so much trouble is because it happily makes all sorts of compromises in order to get along with large dictatorships such as Russia and China, but thinks it can handle smaller operations like Hamas, North Korea, and Iran by simple obstinacy and belligerence. In other words, it is happy to talk with big terrorists, but not little ones. In fact, most of these small entities – and those who lead them – suffer from extreme inferiority complexes. By threatening war, imposing massive embargos and so forth, America merely feeds the sense of persecution and encourages the least rational reaction. A more sensible approach would be to constantly negotiate with these leaders and edge them towards reasonable participation in world affairs.

Imagine if we had told Israel and Palestine a few years ago that if they would just make nice we would give them enough money to equal Israel’s GDP for one year and Palestine’s for three. Take the time off, go to the Riviera or the Catskills, forget about productivity, and just party on thanks to the American taxpayer. Or if Israel and Palestine wanted to be really sensible, they could have invested in their countries’ future instead. Think how much safer we would be today. . . But where would such a large sum of money come from? Well, all we would have had to have done was to cancel the invasion of Iraq and used the money as a carrot rather than as a bludgeon. For that is just what it has cost us so far. (2007)

The people who built castles and walled cities and moats are all dead now and their efforts at security seem puny and ultimately futile as we visit their unintended monuments to the vanity of human presumption. Like the castle-dwellers behind the moat, we are now spending huge sums to put ourselves inside a prison of our own making. It is unlikely to provide either security for our bodies nor solace for our souls, for we are simply attacking ourselves before others get a chance.

Empires and cultures are not permanent and while thinking about the possibility that ours is collapsing may seem a dismal exercise it is far less so than enduring the dangerous frustrations and failures involved in having one’s contrary myth constantly butt up against reality – like a boozer who insists he is not drunk attempting to drive home. Instead of defending the non-existent, we could turn our energies instead towards devising a new and saner reality.

Places like Harvard and Oxford – and their after-school programs such as the Washington think tanks – teach the few how to control the many and it is impossible to do this without various forms of abuse ranging from sophism to corporate control systems to napalm. It is no accident that a large number of advocates of war – in government and the media – are the products of elite educations where they were taught both the inevitability of their hegemony and the tools with which to enforce it. It will, therefore, be some time before places such as Harvard and the Council on Foreign Relations are seen for what they are: the White Citizens Councils of state violence.

Castro, in his early days, spoke at the UN. But the hotels of New York refused him space. The result: Malcolm X found him a hotel in Harlem and a key early step was taken in the alienation of a man who, with just a little respect and effort, might not have tormented every American president since by refusing to die or fade away. Respect is important because it is a door wide enough for peace to enter. We need to try it more often.

THE SILENT SURRENDER

Sam Smith-One of the scariest things about living in America these days is how few – especially in government and the media – seem to care about the things that used to define the place. Thus there is hardly a murmur as the Senate approves by a voice vote the extension of the despicable Patriot Act or when Bush and Obama wreck the Fourth Amendment or as the latter increasingly treats the U.S. like a corporation he has taken over in a merger deal – with those who used to be considered citizens now just employees wondering how much longer they’ll have a job. What we have now is a silent surrender. No terrorists, no war, no revolution, just incremental capitulation led by those supposed to guard our rights and our freedoms. A case in point is the mandatory mandate in the Democrat’s health plan. The idea that the government can order how you spend your money in the private sector is unprecedented. No, auto insurance is not a parallel, since you don’t have to drive a car on a public road. You do, – if you want to be human, that is – have to live. There is one reason for this extraordinary plan: to avoid having to admit that the government would be raising taxes. In fact, the mandate is a tax on some of those least able to pay it and it would be one of the great tax increases in American history. To understand the madness, consider that if the government can order you to pay a badly administered, fiscally irresponsible, avaricious corporation for some health insurance, that same government could order you to buy a computer for each of your children so they will be properly educated or purchase a condo for your aged parents. It could even close all public schools and fire stations and require you to pay tuition to corporate beneficiaries of its plan. But the greatest madness is that no one is talking about this. Once again, as we have done so often in recent years, we are simply giving up our rights because there is no one in power to tell us what is really going on.

Thoughts on the chemical ‘Feminization’ of Cannabis Seeds

“Is the ‘Feminization’ of Cannabis Seeds for the purpose of forcing the plant to yield Pistillate or ‘female’ flowers NATURAL and acceptable?”

Maji:

I grow traditional method, outdoors, THUNDERGRO™ treated, cull the males, and raise the females through the flowering process, and the use the graduated cull method to harvest the flowers. I feel like it is an important part of the process to let the seeds flower whichever way they wish to go, HOWEVER- I have experienced an ‘influence’ of older more mature flowering females over young undifferentiated (have not turned male or female yet)-
whenever I have a bunch of those (older flowering females) around, and also young plants, I have a HUGE increase in the number of the young plants that turn male! This influence must be happening by the females using pheromones or something, so in a sense nature is doing the same thing in a subtler way, soooo……..  still undecided on it, but lean toward the natural , NON PROHIBITION INDUCED methods and processes. I guess that would technically mean indoor growing as well..  tough to draw the line when we are a part of nature herself, so you are telling nature she cannot do anything she wishes!!! You see the conundrum I am attempting to reveal here…?!”
grin

THUNDERGRO™ IS MAKING SOME BIG IMPRESSIONS

The new soil and hydro super charger formula by Living Organic Vitality Enterprises LLC,  of Rapid City Michigan THUNDERGRO™ is making a big impression on the medical marijuana producers in many areas of California and Michigan, as trials are underway to attempt to get a handle on what we can realistically expect from this ‘Physics-based’ formula. Thundergro is not a nutrient formula. It contains Minerals, Water and Electricity, and Humates. The way this formula is vibrating is one of the secrets to its ability to bring soil back to life, and the ionized silver in the formula helps to sustain this vibrational frequency. The Humates are wonderful for bringing the conditions back that invite micro-organisms and other life in the soil to flourish. The formula also derives paramagnetic force from another component  and this force is very important for all living things. Pay visit over to THUNDERGRO.COM and you can get more information.

Breaking news on Marijuana in California

The California Supreme Court today struck down the state’s limits on how
much medical marijuana a patient can possess, concluding that the
restrictions imposed by the Legislature were an unconstitutional
amendment of a 1996 voter-approved initiative.

The decision means that patients and caregivers with a doctor’s recommendation to use marijuana can now possess as much as is
“reasonably related to the patient’s current medical needs,” a standard
that the court established in a 1997 decision.

“I’m very pleased. They gave us exactly what we wanted,” said Gerald F. Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Clara University who argued
the case for Patrick K. Kelly, a medical marijuana patient from
Lakewood who was convicted of possession and cultivation. “This makes
it very clear that all of the rights of patients under the
Compassionate Use Act are fully preserved.”

The initiative did not limit the amount of marijuana that a patient could possess or cultivate other than to require it be
“personal medical purposes.”

How Factory Farms Are Pumping Americans Full of Deadly Bacteria and Pathogens

Kathy Freston

broilersWe’re getting sicker and sicker, thanks to gruesome conditions in animal agriculture nationwide.

After reading www.BirdFluBook.org, by Dr. Michael Greger, I was stunned to realize the extent to which we have endangered our health by allowing factory farms to flourish and produce 99 percent of the meat, dairy and eggs we eat. Not only are dangerous flu viruses mutating because of these concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), but we are also being exposed to some other very serious bacteria and pathogens. Things have gotten out of hand in our food production, especially in the livestock sector.

In Part I of my interview with Dr. Greger, he explained the growing potential of deadly flu viruses. In Part 2 of the interview, we discuss E. coli, salmonella and other worrisome pathogens.

Kathy Freston: Where does E. coli come from and how does it get into food? Why is it often found on vegetables?

Michael Greger: E. coli is an intestinal pathogen. It only gets in the food if fecal matter gets in the food. Since plants don’t have intestines, all E. coli infections – in fact all food poisoning – comes from animals. When’s the last time you heard of a person getting Dutch elm disease or a really bad case of aphids? People don’t get plant diseases; they get animal diseases. The problem is that because of the number of animals raised today, a billion tons of manure are produced every year in the United States – the weight of 10,000 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. Dairy cow and pig factories often dump millions of gallons of putrefying waste into massive open-air cesspits, which can leak and contaminate water used to irrigate our crops. That’s how a deadly fecal pathogen like E. coli O157:H7 can end up contaminating our spinach. So regardless of what we eat, we all need to fight against the expansion of factory farming in our communities, our nation and around the world.

KF: What percentage of the population gets hit by the bacteria? How many of them die? Could that number increase?

MG: While E. coli O157:H7 remains the leading cause of acute kidney failure in U.S. children, fewer than 100,000 Americans get infected every year, and fewer than 100 die. But millions get infected with other types of E. coli that can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) that can invade the bloodstream and cause an estimated 36,000 deaths annually in the United States.

KF: We only occasionally hear of the very few fatal E. coli cases; is it really a widespread problem?

MG: When medical researchers at the University of Minnesota took more than 1,000 food samples from multiple retail markets, they found evidence of fecal contamination in 69 percent of the pork and beef and 92 percent of the poultry samples. Nine out of 10 chicken carcasses in the store may be contaminated with fecal matter. And half of the poultry samples were contaminated with the UTI-causing E. coli bacteria.

Scientists now suspect that by eating chicken, women infect their lower intestinal tract with these meat-borne bacteria, which can then creep up into their bladders. Hygiene measures to prevent UTIs have traditionally included wiping from front to back after bowel movements and urinating after intercourse to flush out any invaders, but now women can add poultry avoidance as a way to help prevent urinary tract infections.

KF: Are there any long-term problems for people who ingest E. coli and have a bad day or two with diarrhea, or is the problem over once out of the system?

MG: Last month the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention released a report on the long-term consequences of common causes of food poisoning. Life-long complications of E. coli O157:H7 infection include end-stage kidney disease, permanent brain damage and insulin-dependent diabetes.

KF: Is E. coli a problem if the meat is cooked?

MG: With the exception of prions, the infectious agents responsible for mad cow disease and the human equivalent – which can survive even incineration at temperatures hot enough to melt lead – all viral, fungal and bacterial pathogens in our food supply can be killed by proper cooking. Why then do tens of millions of Americans come down with food poisoning every year? Cross-contamination is thought to account for the bulk of infections. For example, chicken carcasses are so covered in bacteria that researchers at the University of Arizona found more fecal bacteria in the kitchen – on sponges and dish towels, and in the sink drain – than they found swabbing the toilet. In a meat-eater’s house it may be safer to lick the rim of the toilet seat than the kitchen counter top, because people aren’t preparing chickens in their toilets. Chicken “juice” is essentially raw fecal soup.

KF: What goes on inside the body when a human ingests E. coli?

MG: Depending on the strain, the number of bacteria ingested, and the immune status of the victim it can fail to cause any disease at all, or in the worst cases, cause multi-system organ failure. Here’s how one mother described what E. coli O157:H7 did to her 3-year-old daughter Brianna:
The pain during the first 80 hours was horrific, with intense abdominal cramping every 10 to 12 minutes. Her intestines swelled to three times their normal size and she was placed on a ventilator. Emergency surgery became essential and her colon was removed. After further surgery, doctors decided to leave the incision open, from sternum to pubis, to allow Brianna’s swollen organs room to expand and prevent them from ripping her skin. Her heart was so swollen it was like a sponge and bled from every pore. Her liver and pancreas shut down and she was gripped by thousands of convulsions, which caused blood clots in her eyes. We were told she was brain-dead.
KF: What a horror. Why is it deadly for some and not others?

MG: We think it has to do with the virulence of the bacteria – some strains are deadlier than others – and the vulnerability of the host. We’re not sure why children under 5 years of age are at the highest risk for dangerous complications, but that is certainly a finding that has been consistent.

KF: Is factory-farmed meat more likely to get E. coli out into the market, or is all meat (even free range) carrying that potential?

MG: In chickens, these bacteria cause a disease called colibacillosis, now one of the most significant and widespread infectious diseases in the poultry industry due to the way we now raise these animals. Studies have shown infection risk to be directly linked to overcrowding on factory chicken farms. In caged egg-laying hens, the most significant risk factor for flock infection is hen density per cage. Researchers have calculated that affording just a single quart of additional living space to each hen would be associated with a corresponding 33 percent drop in the risk of colibacillosis outbreak. This is one of the reasons many efforts to improve the lives of farmed animals is critical not only for animal welfare, but for the health of humans and animals alike.

In terms of other infections like Campylobacter, the most common cause of bacterial food poisoning in the United States, Consumer Reports published an analysis of retail chicken in its January 2010 issue. The majority of store-bought chickens were contaminated with Campylobacter, which can trigger arthritis, heart and blood infections, and a condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome that can leave people permanently disabled and paralyzed. Comparing store brands, 59 percent of the conventional factory-farmed chickens were contaminated, compared to 57 percent of chickens raised organically. So there might be a marginal difference, but the best strategy may be to avoid meat completely. With the virtual elimination of polio, the most common cause of neuromuscular paralysis in the United States now comes from eating chicken.

KF: What about salmonella? Is it really a big deal, or is it just a matter of an upset stomach?

MG: Salmonella kills more Americans than any other food-borne illness. There is an epidemic of egg-borne food poisoning every year in the United States. To this day, more than 100,000 Americans are sickened annually by salmonella-infected eggs.

KF: Do we have more salmonella now than we did 25 or 50 years ago? If so, why?

MG: There was a time when our grandparents could drink eggnog and children could eat raw cookie dough without fear of joining the thousands of Americans hospitalized with salmonella infections every year. Before the industrialization of egg production, salmonella only sickened a few hundred Americans every year and Salmonella enteritidis was not found in eggs at all. By the beginning of the 21st century, however, Salmonella enteritidis-contaminated eggs were sickening an estimated 182,000 Americans annually.

There are many industrial practices that contribute to the alarming rates of this disease. Most eggs come from hens confined in battery cages, small barren wire enclosures affording these animals less living space than a single sheet of letter-sized paper for virtually their entire one- to two-year lifespan. Salmonella-contaminated battery cage operations in the United States confine an average of more than 100,000 hens in a single shed. The massive volume of contaminated airborne fecal dust in such a facility rapidly accelerates the spread of infection.

Factory farming practices also led to the spread of salmonella around the world. Just as the feeding of dead animals to live ones triggered the mad cow crisis, this same practice has also been implicated in the global spread of salmonella. Once egg production wanes, hens may be ground up and rendered into what is called “spent hen meal,” and then fed to other hens. More than half of the feed samples for farmed birds containing slaughter-plant waste tested by the FDA were found contaminated with salmonella. CDC researchers have estimated that more than a million cases of salmonella poisoning in Americans can be directly tied to feed containing animal byproducts.

KF: What happens to the body when salmonella gets into the system?

MG: Within 12 to 72 hours of infection the fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps start. If the victim is lucky it’s over within a week. If not, the bacteria can burrow through the intestinal wall and infect the bloodstream, seeding its way to other organs, including the heart, bones and brain.

KF: Are there any long-term consequences from exposure?

MG: Thanks to salmonella infection one breakfast omelet can now trigger persistent irritable bowel syndrome and what’s called reactive arthritis, which can become a debilitating lifelong condition of swollen painful joints. Because salmonella can infect the ovaries of hens, eggs from infected birds can be laid prepackaged with the bacteria inside. According to research funded by the American Egg Board, salmonella can survive sunny-side-up, over-easy and scrambled egg cooking methods.

KF: Would free-range meat or eggs make a difference in preventing it?

MG: There is evidence that eggs from cage-free hens pose less of a threat. In the largest study of its kind (analyzing more than 30,000 samples taken from more than 5,000 operations across two dozen countries in Europe) cage-free barns had about 40 percent lower odds of harboring the egg-related strain of salmonella.

KF: Can we get salmonella just from touching something tainted?

MG: Absolutely. In fact the infective dose for salmonella is as few 15-20 bacteria, and a single egg can be infected with hundreds. It’s important to understand where the egg comes out. Eggs emerge from the hen’s vent, which is kind of a joint opening for both her vagina and anus, which explains the level of fecal contamination one can find on eggs.

KF: Is it contagious?

MG: Person-to-person transmission of salmonella can occur when an infected person’s feces, unwashed from his or her hands, contaminates food during preparation or comes into direct contact with another person.

KF: Who is most at risk for serious illness or even death?

MG: More than half of all reported salmonella infections occur in children, who are especially susceptible to serious complications. Elderly and immuno-compromised adults are also particularly vulnerable. In the United States, though, some strains of salmonella are growing dangerously resistant to up to six major classes of antibiotics, due in large part to the irresponsible factory farming practice of feeding millions of pounds of antibiotics to animals every year as a crutch to combat the stressful and overcrowded conditions of intensive animal agriculture systems. This puts everyone at risk.

KF: What is the overall solution to prevent these dangerous pathogens and bacteria?

MG: Over the last few decades new animal-to-human infectious diseases have emerged at an unprecedented rate. According to the World Health Organization, the increasing global demand for animal protein is a key underlying factor.

Swine flu is not the only deadly human disease traced to factory farming practices. The meat industry took natural herbivores like cows and sheep, and turned them into carnivores and cannibals by feeding them slaughterhouse waste, blood and manure. Then they fed people “downer” animals – those too sick to even walk. Now the world has mad cow disease.

In 2005 the world’s largest and deadliest outbreak of a pathogen called Strep. suis emerged, causing meningitis and deafness in people handling infected pork products. Experts blamed the emergence on factory farming practices. Pig factories in Malaysia birthed the Nipah virus, one of the deadliest of human pathogens, a contagious respiratory disease causing relapsing brain infections and killing 40 percent of people infected. Its emergence was likewise blamed squarely on factory farming.

The pork industry in the U.S. feeds pigs millions of pounds of human antibiotics every year just to promote growth in such a stressful, unhygienic environment, and now there are these multi-drug-resistant bacteria and we as physicians are running out of good antibiotic options. As the UK’s chief medical officer put it in his 2009 annual report, “Every inappropriate use of antibiotics in agriculture is a potential death warrant for a future patient.”

In the short term we need to put an end to the riskiest practices, such as extreme confinement – gestation crates and battery cages – and the non-therapeutic feeding of antibiotics. We have to follow the advice of the American Public Health Association to declare a moratorium on factory farms and eventually phase them out completely. How we treat animals can have global public health implications.

KF: Sounds like part of the solution is to gravitate toward a vegetarian diet. Check out One Bite At a Time for information on how to do it.

About the author

Kathy Freston is a health and wellness expert and a New York Times bestselling author. Her latest book is The Quantum Wellness Cleanse: The 21-Day Essential Guide to Healing Your Body, Mind, and Spirit. She has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Ellen, The View and Good Morning America.

http://www.alternet.org/healthwellness/145068/how_factory_farms_are_pumping_americans_full_of_deadly_bacteria_and_pathogens/?page=entire

SAFETY OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS

International Journal of Biological Sciences, Abstract, 2009 – We present for the first time a comparative analysis of blood and organ system data from trials with rats fed three main commercialized genetically modified maize, which are present in food and feed in the world. . . Approximately 60 different biochemical parameters were classified per organ and measured in serum and urine after 5 and 14 weeks of feeding. GM maize-fed rats were compared first to their respective isogenic or parental non-GM equivalent control groups. This was followed by comparison to six reference groups, which had consumed various other non-GM maize varieties. . . Our analysis clearly reveals for the 3 GMOs new side effects linked with GM maize consumption, which were sex- and often dose-dependent. Effects were mostly associated with the kidney and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, although different between the 3 GMOs. Other effects were also noticed in the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system. We conclude that these data highlight signs of hepatorenal toxicity, possibly due to the new pesticides specific to each GM corn. In addition, unintended direct or indirect metabolic consequences of the genetic modification cannot be excluded.

Wikipedia – A 2008 review published by the Royal Society of Medicine noted that GM foods have been eaten by millions of people worldwide for over 15 years, with no reports of ill effects. Similarly a 2004 report from the US National Academies of Sciences stated: “To date, no adverse health effects attributed to genetic engineering have been documented in the human population.” A 2004 review of feeding trials in the Italian Journal of Animal Science found no differences among animals eating genetically modified plants. A 2005 review in Archives of Animal Nutrition concluded that first-generation genetically modified foods had been found to be similar in nutrition and safety to non-GM foods, but noted that second-generation foods with “significant changes in constituents” would be more difficult to test, and would require further animal studies. However, a 2009 review in Nutrition Reviews found that although most studies concluded that GM foods do not differ in nutrition or cause any detectable toxic effects in animals, some studies did report adverse changes at a cellular level caused by some GM foods, concluding that “More scientific effort and investigation is needed to ensure that consumption of GM foods is not likely to provoke any form of health problem”.

Physorg, 2005 – A recent Russian study says 55.6 percent of the offspring of female rats fed genetically engineered soy flour died within three weeks. The female rats reportedly received 5-7 grams of the Roundup Ready variety of soybeans, beginning two weeks before conception and continuing through nursing. By comparison, scientists said only 9 percent of the offspring of rats fed non-GM soy died.

Furthermore, Russian researchers said offspring from the GM-fed group were significantly stunted — 36 percent weighed less than 20 grams after two weeks, compared with only 6.7 percent from the control group.

The study was conducted by Dr. Irina Ermakova of the Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology in Moscow, a part of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The study was presented during the recent conference of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine in Tucson, Ariz.

The AAEM board issued a statement saying: “We recognize this study is preliminary in nature. It hasn’t yet been peer reviewed and the methodology has not been spelled out in detail. But given the magnitude of the findings and the implications for human health, we urge the National Institutes of Health to immediately replicate the research.”