Special thanx toLaura Martin-Vouk, David Tela, and Jim and Kathy Scott for their generous donations. Without your support we can't do what we do.
something (sent to us) to consider if you wish to support our work (deadline
July 12th): www.worldcultureopen.org/award
You can contact us at [email protected].
We have more pictures in our Online Friends. Our Prayer List is constantly being updated too.
People are like snowflakes: no two are alike. What works for one person doesn't necessarily have to work for another and can, at times, do damage. This information is presented to you as information only and is not designed for self-assessment or self-treatment. Never go it alone. Find a professional to help you on your way to perfect health.
Sure, the newsletter is published every three months, but the articles we point to from the newsletter are written during the hiatus. You can come and look for them as we go; they'll be marked in the Table of Contents with this:
This summer we plan to create a Recipe Index at our site, pointing to all the recipes we've given you in our newsletters and other articles. And this summer, we will teach you how to make pickles in just 4 days. The pickles in your store will turn your body acidic. These pickles are highly alkalizing. We will also, using this same technique, teach you how to pickle your own cayenne peppers (as well as other peppers) so that you can make your own hot sauces. If you've purchased our book, Bypassing Bypass, then you know the power of cayenne and how it affects the wellness of your cardiovascular system.
So, stop by our Table of Contents and take a look now and then for new articles. This way you'll be ahead of the game when we publish our newsletter.
It's spring, and I've been out futzing with the new camera, with whom I am having a love/hate relationship. It has every feature I could ever want in a camera, except that the pictures are grainy and at high ISO settings, the pictures are very grainy. So, what good are features if the final output, the pictures, are not up to your standards? Well, I've written about my experience with Sony for anyone interested in doing business with them in the future. Just click here to learn about the wonderful runaround they gave me: Sony Support - Ha!
But, still, I've gotten some pretty good pictures (if not up to my standards) and here is one (that I sent out to friends, and a friend played with it and sent this back (click on it to see the 800 X 600 original):
Next, my rooster of seven years has passed on. He came down with some sort of brain disorder and slowly deteriorated. He was such a great rooster to me, that I've created a web site dedicated to him. Go take a look at the most beautiful rooster ever to care for my hens. My Rooster.
And since we got new baby chicks, you have to see Bruiser and the Baby Chicks. These are adorable.
Finally, I've been able to capture two birds that I've never had any luck with, and you're going to enjoy these photos, so I put them in a single location: Spring Birds of 2004.
Please Note...many of the links in our Table of Contents below will bring you to the original article located on this site. In the past we've printed entire articles in this newsletter and at some location on our site. However, when we have to update them BOTH, this can be a chore.
1. Master's Miracle Update - You're not gonna like this
2. Letters - And our replies
3. We Answer the Advertisements - Sometimes you just want to scream at that TV
4. Corrections - Boy, did I screw up or what?
4. Coconut Oil - Yup, it's one of the healthiest (plus two reviews)
5. Coconut Recipes - Tasty ways to serve this medicine food
6. (removed temporarily)
7. Update: Super Size Me - And WebMD Hands Us More Bull About Nutrition
8. Fun Facts
9. Lollipops to Lose Weight - and one for the kids full of vitamins
10. Mice Lose Weight In Cancer Study
11. How Fat Kills
12. Prostate Health Update
13. New Test for Breast Cancer Approved by FDA
14. Another Famous Jogger Dead at 51
15. Ozone Depletion? UV Rays Cause Cancer? - Science or Myth?
16. Electrical Pollution: What is it doing to you and yours?
17. Biography: Dr J Marion Sims - Healer or Monster?
18. Biography: Anarcha - The True Mother of Gynocology
19. Biography: Pasteur - A fraud, a plagerist - Plus the Myth of Pasteurization
20. Biography: Marie Curie - When genius outruns common sense
21. The Myth of Radiation - Click here to see our contents page on Medical Fraud
22. A Brief History of Human Experiments - And these are the ones we know of
23. Lactofermenting Grains - Shivani’s flat bread
24. Shivani's Soap - A review
25. TF Cardio - A review
26. Tidbits - FDA Outlaws Food, Environment Update, and much, much more
27. Laughter is the Best Medicine - What the world needs now
Vitamins/Supplements Under Attack Again
100 people die each year using Tylenol as directed. 12,000 die each year using Coumadin as directed. How many die from smoking tobacco each year. So? What do they outlaw? Ephedra.
110 people died over a 10 year period "abusing" Ephedra. Yes, they did not follow the directions.
And in Europe CODEX is winning their war, outlawing vitamins and supplements from Germany to Great Britain. You need a prescription from a doctor to some good vitamin C--from a doctor that knows nothing about vitamins or supplements, no less.
And now it's come back to Washington DC: your senators and congresspersons are going to try to outlaw them here again. Why? Because the pharmaceutical industry has 685 lobbyists. That's more than one per representative in Washington.
Combined with the HMOs and Doctors, the medical lobbyists are the most powerful group of lobbyists in the world.
The pharmaceutical industrial complex has its hands in the chemical industry, the food industry, the oil industry, and in the media. Let them win, and health freedom will be dead.
Sure Your Legislators Know the Truth about Dietary Supplements
Let Congress Limit Your Access to Dietary Supplements
Want to keep assault rifles off the streets? Go here: http://www2.stopthenra.com/petition.html
"You cannot tell people the truth about their lives--it drives them crazy."
Master's Miracle Update
The owners Master's Miracle have left the founder of the original company and are making their own products now.
We are severing our ties with Master's Miracle. It's not that the products are inferior; they might be very good. I'm sure they're trying to keep them as natural and toxin free as can be.
However, we heard way too many stories, from both sides. It was like a dirty cat fight with a lot of claims that can't ever be substantiated made by both sides.
What we do know is this: Before Master's Miracle split from Miracle II, their products were supposed to be the same. They received their supplies from the head company. The only difference between the companies is that Masters Miracle is a Multi-Level Marketing company, and Miracle II sells either retail or wholesale.
So, the two products are supposed to be the same.
We took some Masters Miracle Neutralizer and put it into a small bottle labeled X and we took some Miracle II Neutralizer and put into a small bottle labeled Z and sent them to a chemist friend of ours. They were not the same. Which was better? We don't know. They had different energy levels. They were simply not the same and something was amiss.
So we've broken with Masters Miracle. You can still purchase from our site: www.mnwell.themastersmiracle.com if you want some non-toxic soap, but at the end of the year we will not resume our cooperation with them.
Everything at this site that once said, Master's Miracle now says Miracle II. All the testimonies came from customers of the original product. I'm told of wonderful testimonials for the new Master's Miracle, but they're not coming from "just" customers, but from resellers.
We're going to assume that the original product is still the original product and that's it.
If you need a good soap, and don't want to purchase from us, you can buy Miracle II almost anywhere on line. Just look for a good price. Right now we are reviewing a new soap made with Electrolyzed Water (link temporarily out of commission). The review will be published in our September 04 newsletter.
My name is David Sapirstein .I was introduced to alternative medicine and self healing two years ago after I was diagnosed with Prostate problem. It profoundly changed my life so effectively that I decided to open a company dedicated to selling appliances to improve the quality of life for people .The company name iswww.health-fit.com
Health Fit Tel:888:907:8737
I've checked out David's site (www.health-fit.com) . It's nice, and he's got some good products for a good price. I wrote him back asking for a discount for my readers, so if you wish to order, simply call David at the number provided, tell him you're a reader of the International Wellness Directory and he'll arrange for you a discount. (And no, the directory doesn't get a kick back/donation from this one. We just want to help a good business.)
We Answer The Advertisements
"Who knew women my age could get bone loss. I'm 35. I'm taking One-a-Day with extra calcium.
Who knew? Ask a high school gym coach. Kids are breaking legs while running around the track. Soda pop is so acidic to our system, we give up calcium to buffer the acid.
And supplementing calcium is not going to help you maintain bone mass. That's been demonstrated in study after study. You need calcium and MAGNESIUM.
Editor's note: researchers from India, using figures supplied by the USDA, discovered that, in America, consumption of soda pop per person over the last 54 years jumped from 11 gallons to 50 gallons per year. They also discovered that over the past 25 years, esophageal cancer rates among white males has risen more than 570%. [www.scienceblog.com]
Received in my email: Cholesterol is Today's #1 health Risk. Now you can protect yourself with an All-Natural Solution. No prescription drug side effects and it is Gluten Free
Cholesterol hype is Today's #1 Health Fraud. No study to date has shown that cholesterol CAUSES heart disease, and patients who took the first cholesterol lowering drugs were outlived by people with the same cholesterol levels who did not take the drugs. It wasn't until the statin drugs that people actually started living longer, but statin drugs are also anti-inflammatory. If you get a copy of Bypassing Bypass, you'll see that upwards of 80% of heart attacks are caused by inflammation in the blood stream. There are much better and safer anti-inflammatories than statin drugs.
Cholesterol drugs, according to market figures, are the number one selling medication in the US today.
For an entire book on this Cholesterol Fraud, read The Cholesterol Myths (his first edition of this book is online).
Zantac: for those people who don't want to wait.
Heart burn is an indication of something terribly wrong with your digestive system. If you simply treat the heart burn by neutralizing the acid, you will not digest your food. If you do not digest your food, you won't have to WAIT that long for a painful degenerative disorder.
Perhaps you'd like to read our series on Digestion: Section One; Section Two.
"I distrust those people who know so well what God
wants them to do because I notice it always coincides
with their own desires."
Susan B. Anthony
Yup, I goofed…
Concerning Graviola: we were among the first journalists to interview the person who first brought forth the information on Graviola. However, the claims that Graviola was 10,000 times stronger than Adriamycin were just a bit exaggerated. Were this the case, it would not only cure every cancer known to humankind, it would wash your car on your way home from work.
We've talked with a few herbalists, and they all agree that Graviola is a fine alternative cancer therapy, but it is not as powerful as initially reported. In our next newsletter we will let you in on the latest herbal therapy for cancers, Paw Paw.
Concerning IP6: In our Breast Cancer article, we pointed out that IP6 was contraindicated because it might help cancer grow if your cancer is estrogen positive. And we attributed this to information from the Gerson Clinic.
Boy, was I wrong. This is what happens when I trust my memory. It was someone from the Hoxsey Clinic who passed this on to us, and the Gerson Clinic does NOT support the claim that IP6 would "feed" estrogen positive breast cancer. In fact, IP6 has been tested (successfully) in breast cancer trials. Here is one trial: Inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) inhibits key events of cancer metastasis: I. In vitro studies of adhesion, migration and invasion of MDA-MB 231 human breast cancer cells.
We truly apologize for this error. We have corrected this in all our references.
There was a letter we published talking about using ligature of blood vessels in combination with anti-angiogenesis drugs/herbs. When the author of the letter stated, "... at least at inoperable tumors, where there is no other option than just leave them untreated," we wrote [Not sure what this means].
Well, it turns out our writer was not a native English speaker and he responded telling us that it simply meant that surgery was impossible.
"There can be several reasons, which can make removal of tumor impossible, e.g.: Tumor is not accessible. Tumor has grown through important organs. Patient is too weak to survive severe operation. Patient has too many other tumors."
He goes on to say, "But even at the tumors, which cannot be removed, there can still be a chance to find their veins, which are leading to and from that tumor, and access them easily. So why not close these veins by ligature, and stop thus undesirable supply of these tumors? So much more that it is usually very simple and easy operation, both for surgeon and patient."
Here are the links he's passed onto us:
www.devitalizace.euweb.cz/devitalization.htm His web site.
http://www.iapg.cas.cz/uzfg/gb/12/index.html Czech Academy of Science's web site (in English)
http://www.iapg.cas.cz/uzfg/gb/index.html The research lab located at the Czech Academy of Science.
Please: we have no ego invested in this web site. We are trying to get you the best, most thoroughly researched, honest wellness material possible. If we goof, please contact us and we'll straighten it out. Write to: [email protected].
Average number of smoking incidents
per hour in top-grossing US Films:
Size Me - Update
And WebMD Hands Us More Bull About Nutrition
The movie is making a splash! Everyone seems to be talking about it. Documentaries normally show up in small, independent theaters, but this one is beginning to spread to the large conglomerates.
One part of the film that we didn't mention in our previous story was that kids from the Miracle in Wisconsin are interviewed. After witnessing the behavioral changes and their grades improve, they all state that they prefer the good nutrition over the junk food they previously opted for.
You MUST get out to see this movie. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This movie speaks volumes.
Since the release of the movie Super Size Me, the following have happened at McDonalds:
1. McDonalds has
announced that they are ending the Super Sized meals;
2. The Adult Happy Meal contains a pedometer (tracking the steps you take on your walks);
3. They've announced that Ronald McDonald is coming out with an exercise video for kids.
Now who says activism is a waste of time?
And just as the interest in this movie grows, wouldn't you know it that my headlines on AOL one morning were: Busting The Food Myths.
I clicked on the link to WebMD and read the following: "The biggest myth of all is that food has any connection to behavior," says Steven Pliszka, MD, professor of psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. (And this man teaches Medical School.)
Followed by: Wesley Burks, MD, professor and chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at Duke University Medical Center, agrees. He says, "There haven't been any good scientific studies that show that there is an adverse effect on a child or adult's behavior chronically with the ingestion of foods."
What a bunch of bull from junkies who make money pushing pills off on our youth. But this shouldn't surprise many of you, for as we've pointed out previously, as late as 1977 the AMA's official stance was that nutrition had nothing to do with health.
There haven't been any good scientific studies? Oh really? Check out the research we discovered on Depression and Nutrition. There are at least 15 studies referenced there.
In one way, Dr Burks is right: there haven't been any studies by pharmaceutical interests showing that nutrition is better than drugs. That's for sure.
The number of studies on omega-3 essential fatty acids and behavior is staggering. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), one of the essential fatty acids from fish oils, has been studied for years on how it relates to depression. But you won't find any psychiatrist prescribing DHA when Prozac, Zoloft, and Welbutrin are so profitable.
My favorite example of how studies are manipulated for a specific outcome (and this is a foreshadowing to our next article on Health Fraud) concerns EDTA Chelation Therapy. A group of heart surgeons conducted a study on Chelation Therapy, about the same time, Walter Reed Hospital conducted their study The goal of the heart surgeons was to test which was better, Bypass Surgery or Chelation Therapy; the goal at Walter Reed was to find an inexpensive alternative to Bypass Surgery.
The surgeons determined that surgery was better than Chelation Therapy.
Walter Reed Hospital determined that Chelation Therapy was superior to surgery.
This makes perfect sense: If you're a surgeon, you do surgery. Surgery is always the answer. Or, as the saying goes, "When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail."
And then there's that recent Echinacea study that was published in JAMA. Sure, if you want to make sure that a study fails, you can arrange it. Use crappy herbs and administer them contrary to their established use.
Perhaps WebMD hasn't heard of Johanna Budwig, or the Miracle in Wisconsin, or even the Feingold Study (a classic study in which he took kids off of artificial colors and flavors and all sorts of junk, and they became new kids). The Quackpots (Quackbusters) know about Feingold. They all attack his findings, because they, the pharmaceutical interests, know that there is no substitute for proper medication.
As far as the monied pharmaceutical interests (with their hands in the pockets of the food industry) are concerned, there are no scientific studies on nutrition and there NEVER will be any. If there were, the results would destroy the food industry as we know it because 95% of our food is highly processed and processed foods are killing us. And why would the pharmaceutical industry sponsor a study that shows that proper nutrition is better than drugs? Do not expect any studies soon.
WebMD, as they tell you in their television ads, is a nice place to go to for answers. But the answer is drugs.
Just say "NO."
"A lie can travel half way around the world
while the truth is putting on its shoes."
Maximum number of patients, each year, who leave the hospital with surgical equipment and other foreign objects inside of them: 1,500. [Source: Harper's Index]
Number one ranking drug (in sales) of the top selling drugs worldwide in 2003: Cholesterol Lowering Drugs. [Source: Harper's Index]
Increased chances of a man with a cholesterol level of 260 or greater dying of a heart attack over a man with a cholesterol level of 180 or less, over a six year period: 1.16% [Source: Dr Charles T. McGee, MD]
Increased chances of a person with a positive C Reactive Protein test dying of a heart attack over a person whose C Reactive Protein test is negative: 800%. [Source: Dr Garry Gordon, MD, DO, MD(HOM)]
Overall chances of surviving (five years) cancer with medical intervention prior to the War on Cancer: 33.3%. [Source: American Cancer Society]
Overall chances of surviving (five years) cancer with medical intervention as of 2000: 40%. [Source: American Cancer Society]
Overall chances of surviving (five years) cancer if the patient does nothing: 33.3%. [Source: Irwin Bross, biostatistician for the National Cancer Institute]
Most profitable industry in the world: Pharmaceuticals. [Source: Dr Wm Campbell Douglas, MD]
Country with the most expensive medical care system: United States of America. [Source: World Health Organization]
Rank of the US in quality of health care: 24th. [Source: World Health Organization]
Biggest suckers in the world: Us. [Source: Me]
To Lose Weight?
Lollipops with Vitamins?
I've told you long ago my theories on dieting. I don't like gimmicks. I've been sent tons of diet aids to review, but we've turned them all down. Dieting means hard work and if you can't do that, well, tough. I've seen far too many people mutilated in these stomach stapling surgeries to think that this is a solution. I've heard the reasoning: "It was either the surgery or my life, I'd grown so fat." Yeah, I suppose.
However, and this is a pretty big "however," people on diets usually cheat. My favorite joke about dieting is this:
"Oh you should see this new diet. I can't have any fat, no forms of sugar, no stimulants, like coffee and no soda pop at all; no Nutrasweet or saccharine, no dairy products at all, and I have to eat five servings of vegetables, and lots of dark green vegetables. I can't eat after five o'clock in the afternoon, and only one piece of fruit a day. Oh, I forgot, no fruit juice and I have to drink 64 ounces of water each day."
"My gosh," her friend responds, "How long have you been on it?"
"I start tomorrow."
People cheat. Some people have a sweet tooth and just need a stick of gum daily. Well, now there is something for you. It's a lollipop.
So far, testimonials from diabetics tell us that they have no problem with this lollipop. Additionally, one testimonial came from two sisters. One who had the surgery and the other who used the lollipops. The Lollipop Lady lost more in one month than Sister Surgery.
The company is Fun Unlimited, Inc.
The ingredients are Guarana (an herb that suppresses appetite and boosts metabolism), L-Tyrosine and Super Citrimax (amino acids), Vitamins B6 and B12, Corn Syrup, Sugar, Natural Color, Natural Flavors, and each lollipop (called Power-Pops) has only 28 calories.
Instructions are: drink an 8 oz glass of water before and after the Power-Pop, and take the Power-Pop whenever you get a craving, or half an hour before a meal to suppress your appetite.
Yes, they work. I tried them. However, I had friends try them and some people (we found out) are sensitive to the herb guarana. I wasn't sensitive to guarana, it did suppress my appetite, but I don't have a sweet tooth.
If you have high blood pressure, heart or thyroid disease, or diabetes, you should seek advice from your doctor before using Power-Pops.
To get kids to eat right, well, you have to start when they are weaned. Most aren't. Most families pass on their bad eating habits to their kids. And, sadly, most people don't even think about what they put in (or on) their bodies. I know I didn't. Till I got very, very sick.
Kids need energy, amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. They don't need a lot of sugar. They usually get more sugar than they need, though. There are many children's vitamins on the market, but this is the first to come in the form of a lollipop. And this form, just happens to be a great way for kids to get their vitamins. For one thing, licking/sucking on a lollipop delivers the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids through the salivary glands.
If you want to learn more or order Power-Pops or Kidspops, or make money distributing these treats, contact Evelyn Wentworth at [email protected] (or call 763.689.9361).
Speaking of fat…
Mice Lose Weight in Cancer Study
No, they did not develop the wasting syndrome (called cachexia).
Dr Wadih Arap of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston noticed that his mice were losing weight on a new cancer regimen they had been testing, and because obesity is "BIG" in America (it's an epidemic) he pushed his study out of the cancer world and studied how to reverse obesity in mice.
He'd been studying a new anti-angiogenesis drug. Tumors need lots of nutrition (hence blood) to grow and new blood vessels are constantly springing out of tumors (angiogenesis) to supply them with enough blood. Cutting off these blood vessels [as mentioned earlier in this newsletter and in our Alternative Cancer Therapies article] is one way of starving a tumor.
However, Dr Arap noticed that even aging mice (who tend to put on a little weight) were slimming down on his protocol. So, new studies began.
He gave his mice a "cafeteria" diet; one resembling our Standard American Diet (SAD) filled with fats and carbs and sugars, mostly empty calories. The mice doubled in size.
The mice were injected with this new "fat killing molecule" on a daily basis for 30 days, at the end of which, the mice had lost 30% of their body mass, with NO side effects.
Trying to downplay the study, Dr Arap notes that there COULD be serious side effects from this drug since it affects a vital function in every cell in the body. According to an interview conducted by Maggie Fox, of Reuters, Dr Arap stated that "They didn't have any signs of being ill. All measures look improved. If they had a side-effect we couldn't detect it."
Don't look for this soon on the market (especially if it does actually cure cancer), as there will be studies and more studies for the next five to ten years.
[Source: Anti-Cancer Drug Zaps Fat in Mice, Reuters]
And...speaking of fat...
How Fat Kills
Research into the biology of fat is turning up some surprising new insights about how obesity kills. The weight of the evidence: It's the toxic mischief of the flesh itself.
Experts have realized for decades that large people die young, and the explanation long seemed obvious. Carrying around all those extra pounds must put a deadly strain on the heart and other organs.
Obvious but wrong, it turns out. While the physical burden contributes to arthritis and sleep apnea, among other things, it is a minor hazard compared with the complex and insidious damage wrought by the oily, yellowish globs of fat that cover human bodies like never before.
A series of recent discoveries suggests that all fat-storage cells churn out a stew of hormones and other chemical messengers that fine-tune the body's energy balance. But when spewed in vast amounts by cells swollen to capacity with fat, they assault many organs in ways that are bad for health.
The exact details are still being worked out, but scientists say there is no doubt this flux of biological cross talk hastens death from heart disease, strokes, diabetes and cancer, diseases that are especially common among the obese.
"When we look at fat tissue now, we see it's not just a passive depot of fat," says Dr. Rudolph Leibel of Columbia University. "It's an active manufacturer of signals to other parts of the body."
The first real inkling that fat is more than just inert blubber was the discovery 10 years ago of the substance leptin. Scientists were amazed to find that this static-looking flesh helps maintain itself by producing a chemical that regulates appetite.
Roughly 25 different signaling compounds -- with names like resistin and adiponectin -- are now known to be made by fat cells, Leibel estimates, and many more undoubtedly will be found.
"There is an explosion of information about just what it is and what it does," Dr. Allen Spiegel, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, says of fat. "It is a tremendously dynamic organ."
Fat tissue is now recognized to be the body's biggest endocrine organ, and its sheer volume is impressive even in normal-size people. A trim woman is typically 30 percent fat, a man 15 percent. That is enough fuel to keep someone alive without eating for three months.
The fat cell's main job is to store our excess calories as fat. When people grow obese, their fat cells swell with fat and can plump up to three times normal size. As very overweight people get fatter still, they may also layer on many more fat cells.
The problem is the volume of chemicals these oversize cells churn out, says Dr. George Bray of Louisiana State University. "The big cell secretes more of everything that it secreted when it was small. When you get more of these things, they are not good for you."
Many scientists are trying to learn exactly what these excess secretions do that is so harmful. The answers will help explain -- and perhaps offer solutions to -- the real tragedy of the obesity epidemic, its disastrous effect on health.
Obesity is a huge and growing killer, in the United States just slightly behind smoking. Moderately obese people live two to five years less than normal-size folks. For the severely obese, the reduction in life span may be five to 10 years.
By far the biggest single threat of obesity is heart disease. Someone with a body mass index over 30 has triple the usual risk. Scientists can visualize many ways that fat cells' chemical flood contributes to heart attacks, heart failure and cardiac arrest.
For instance, it has long been known that weight increases blood pressure. Once doctors thought this was a matter of physics, the force needed to push blood through the many more yards of blood vessels that nourish the extra flesh.
But now it is clear that fat can trigger high blood pressure by making blood vessels narrow in several chemical ways. For instance, it produces a substance called angiotensinogen that is a powerful constrictor. At the same time, it stimulates the sympathetic nerves to squeeze the circulatory system. And that may just be the beginning.
"It's a very complicated system, and the more we learn about it, the more complicated it becomes," says Dr. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, head of obesity research at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City.
One of the clearest hazards of overfilled fat cells is their influence on the body's production and use of insulin, the hormone that instructs the muscle to burn energy and the fat cells to store it. Oversize fat cells blunt the insulin message, in part by leaking fat into the bloodstream. So the pancreas must compensate by making more insulin and other proteins.
Scientists now understand that increasing insulin levels -- part of a condition called insulin resistance -- are particularly harmful. They can directly damage the walls of arteries and lead to clogging.
That leaking fat may also infiltrate the heart muscle, contributing to congestive heart failure. Misplaced deposits of fat can also ruin the liver and have become the second-leading reason for liver transplants after hepatitis B.
Fat cells churn out a variety of proteins that cause inflammation, too. These may be especially destructive to the gunky buildups in the arteries, causing them to burst and triggering heart attacks and strokes.
These inflammatory proteins and other fat-driven chemicals, such as growth hormones, may also contribute to one of the less-appreciated consequences of obesity -- cancer.
"There is now conclusive evidence that obesity causes some cancers and strong evidence that it contributes to a wide variety of others," says Dr. Michael Thun, epidemiology chief at the American Cancer Society.
The cancer society estimates that staying trim could eliminate 90,000 U.S. cancer deaths a year. Among the varieties most clearly linked to weight are cancer of the breast, uterus, colon, kidney, esophagus, pancreas and gallbladder.
The best evidence of how obesity causes malignancy is in breast cancer in older women. When the ovaries shut down after menopause, fat tissue becomes the primary producer of estrogen, which in turn can fuel the growth of breast tumors.
The heavier women are when diagnosed with breast cancer, the more likely they are to die from the disease, says Dr. Michelle Holmes of Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Presumably it's because their cancers are dependent on estrogen, and heavier women have more estrogen."
Still, big-ticket killers like heart disease and cancer only start the long list of obesity's health ills. Among other things, obese people are more prone to depression, gallstones, even dying when in car accidents.
Says Dr. Michael Jensen of the Mayo Clinic, "There are so many ways that obesity can kill you."
Prostate Health Update
We got a letter from a reader who told us that ALA (an ingredient in Flax Oil) makes prostate cancer grow "like crazy" and referenced two newsletters (both of which we here subscribe to).
Yes, I'd heard that, but I did not believe it. Why not? All studies shown so
far show that Flax Oil helps to fight cancer. Why would
one cancer, prostate
cancer, thrive on it. So, I went to one of the experts on Oils, Udo Erasmus (who
Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill: The Complete Guide to Fats, Oils, Cholesterol and Human Health) to get his opinion.
Udo is an expert on oils. He and Mary Enig are probably the top two experts on oil and nutrition alive today. Udo points out in the article (linked above) that the ALA used in the study did NOT come from Flax Oil, but from animal fats, and the animals were not raised organically. The ALA used in the study, since the animals were raised conventionally, were probably tainted with every reason I don't eat conventionally raised livestock: pesticides, antibiotics, herbicides, and growth hormones. There are a lot more reasons the study produced those results. If you are interested, the article is great: FLAX OIL (ALA) & PROSTATE CANCER.
We do know that growth hormones are something that cancer patients MUST avoid. They can only help the cancer's growth accelerate. No matter how good the hype on IGH and a variety of growth hormones, if you have cancer, they are just not something you want to be taking. This is why you should also avoid eating animals that are fed growth hormones.
Next, we heard from an old friend of a study published last fall in the New England Journal of Medicine (we can't afford our subscription to this one, Lancet, or JAMA any longer, so we rely on readers and our volunteers to send us this information) concerning the PSA test.
Did you know that the PSA test is worthless?
And that doctor's know this but keep on prescribing and reading them?
We have to add this to our series on Medical Fraud (eventually), but for now, here are the facts:
The study showed that PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) tests administered to 6,500 known prostate cancer patients (under the age of 60) resulted in NOT detecting cancer in eight out of ten of them.
Yup, they missed by a whopping 82%.
Perhaps next time you go to your doctor and s/he prescribes for you a PSA test, you can remind her/him of the AMAS test. It is not 100% either, but it doesn't miss by 82%.
For more information on the AMAS test, you can have your physician contact Oncolab Inc. at 617.536.0095 or visit www.amascancertest.com on the web.
“There will come a point in everyone's life
where only intuition can make the leap ahead,
without ever knowing precisely how. One can
never know why, but one must accept
intuition as a fact.”
New Test for Breast Cancer Approved by FDA
(Our good friend Dr Mercola has allowed us (because we are a non profit) to reprint his articles here. Thanx, Doc!)
FDA Approves Electricity Test for Breast Cancer
A device that uses electricity to map possible breast lumps may reduce the number of women who get unnecessary biopsies because their mammograms are unclear, the Food and Drug Administration said April 19. American women undergo 30 million mammograms a year. The breast X-ray is the gold standard in detecting breast cancer, particularly early tumors.
Mammograms often clearly show which breast lesions should be biopsied immediately. But they also can be ambiguous, leaving a doctor in doubt as to whether to do a biopsy immediately, or to wait six months and X-ray again.
Some 800,000 biopsies are done every year, from which 180,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. The rest are benign lumps. So scientists have hunted ways to reduce unnecessary biopsies without missing women who have cancer. Some doctors use ultrasound machines that use sound waves to picture lumps as an addition to the mammogram's X-rays. The T-Scan 2000 is another alternative. It uses electricity to create a map of the breast.
A one-volt shot of electricity is sent into the hand, where it travels through the body into the breast. A handheld probe is moved over the breast, where it measures the electrical conductivity of breast cells. Cancer cells conduct much less electricity than healthy cells — so when the probe flashes its findings onto a computer screen, possible tumors show up as bright white spots.
TransScan's studies suggest that adding the electricity test for women with ambiguous mammograms can improve diagnostic accuracy and lower unnecessary biopsies by about 20 percent.
DR. MERCOLA'S COMMENT:
The T-Scan should be used only in women whose doctors cannot decide about ordering a biopsy based on other standard procedures. It seems to be a nifty application of using bioelectricity to enhance diagnostic capabilities. The new scan should add less than $100 to a woman's exam.
I do not know when or where this scan will be available but a quick visit to the Internet search engines on my site should easily locate those details for you.
"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism"
Another Famous Jogger Dead at 51
We've said it before and we'll say it again: If you are going to work out and work out hard, you need antioxidants. You need MEGA antioxidants. Olympic class athletes have some of the worst arteries in the world. Their arteries look like those of 70 year old, two-pack-a-day smokers.
Because strenuous exorcise causes oxidation and oxidation releases free radicals that attack your arteries.
Brian Maxwell, ranked the number 3 marathon runner in the world by Track and Field News, died of a heart attack last march. He and his wife, a nutritionist (no less), co-founded the PowerBar (candy bar with some good stuff in it) company in 1986.
Maxwell apparently came up with the idea after having to drop out of a marathon at the 21-mile mark. This is approximately the point where, according to experts, the body ceases to burn carbohydrates and begins to burn muscle tissue.
Expert or not, I can tell you that at a point much earlier, his antioxidants were used up and his body started rusting from the inside out. If I ever invent a sports bar, you can guarantee it will be filled with 5,000 mgs of Vitamin C, 200 IU of Beta Carotene, and 800 IU of Vitamin E and a touch of selenium for good luck. And I'd wash it down with Electrolyzed Plus Concentrate.
I love to work out. It's a great feeling. Especially when you don't kill yourself.
Question of the Month
Which country has a universal health care system
(ranked number one by the World Health Organization)
in which doctors still make house calls, waiting lists
do not exist, hospitals are considered immaculate,
and the expected life span is longer than here in the US?
e. Someplace on another planet.
UV Rays Cause Cancer?
Science or Myth
Rick Ensminger has one heck of an inquiring mind. He's sent me so much research that we could write volumes here (if I weren't so darn lazy!).
There are a few web sites he's found, with lots of scientific backing, that propose that our ozone depletion theories are a bunch of hooey; that UV Rays do not cause cancer, and that somewhere, someone (a lot of someones) wants us to believe the exact opposite of good science.
One original article is: New Scientific Evidence Proves Ozone Depletion Theory False [http://mitosyfraudes.8k.com/INGLES/Crista.html]
I'll let Rick tell you: It definitely appears that the ozone/UV scare is a hoax. I won't get into why because that is another subject. it's political and very financial.
What has made no sense to me whatsoever is how sunlight can help prevent and reduce internal cancers, as the statistics verify it does, and then they turn around and blame sunlight for external damage like skin cancer. How can it be benefiting us internally and damaging us externally? I know we can get too much sunlight and get burned. We can get too much of anything (even oxygen). But, that is not the situation now. People are not getting too much sunlight.
The other thing is that since there has been no increase in UV rays, and there hasn't despite all the hoopla, then what is causing the increase in skin cancer? My feeling is that the increase in skin cancer is caused by too little sunlight. People staying out of the sun more and using more sunscreen. Why would we have an epidemic of skin cancer when there has been NO increase in UV rays?
Here are some excerpts from the above mentioned article, by Rogelio Maduro (Co-author of the book "The Holes in the Ozone Scare")
(I would strongly recommend that you read the entire article if you are curious about the validity of the story we are getting on the alleged ozone hole.)
nationally, but when it was soon demonstrated by other scientists that the so-called trend was based on faulty statistical manipulation (8) this reverse got little publicity. The entire "rise" in UV was based on readings taken during the last 3 days of five years of measurements!
Curiously enough, while tens of billions of dollars have been spent on "ozone research" almost no money has been spent on UV readings at the surface.
The most extensive study to date of UV-B radiation at the surface is that conducted by Joseph Scotto and his collaborators at the National Cancer Institute. The study, published in the Feb. 12, 1988, issue of Science,(6) presented evidence that the amount of UV-8 reaching ground level stations across the United States had not increased, but in fact, had decreased between 1974 and 1985. Instead of rejoicing at the results, the promoters of the ozone depletion scare saw to it that the network of observing stations was shut down, by cutting its funding (less than $500,000 out of more than $1.75 billion in research funds to study "climate change").
One of the recent attempts to contradict the Scotto study was an article by J.B. Kerr and C.T. McElroy, published in Science magazine in 1993, claiming an upward trend in UV radiation over Toronto. (7) The results were front-page news inte
A correct statistical analysis showed that the trend in UV was zero that is to say, the amount of UV had neither increased nor decreased over the five-year period).
As you can see, those who control the funding control the information that reaches the public.
We’ve been told that a thinning ozone layer will mean a 10 to 20% increase in our UV exposure. Even if that were true, it is meaningless when it is put in context with our actual day to day UV exposure. All one has to do to increase their UV exposure by 20% is to travel about 120 miles south.
The ozone depletion theory predicts that there will be a 10 to 20 percent increase in the level of UV-B radiation at the surface as a result of ozone depletion. This might seem like a large increase, unless one knows something about the geometry of the Sun and the Earth. UV-B varies by 5,000 percent from the Equator to the Poles. It also varies with altitude. This is the result of simple geometry: There is more sunlight exposure at the Equator and the atmosphere is thinner in the mountains, so more ÚV-8 gets through.
In mid-latitudes such as that of the United States, a 1 percent increase in UV-B is the equivalent of moving 6 miles south (closer to the Equator). Thus, the alleged increase in UV radiation, according to the theory, would be the equivalent of what a person would receive if he were to move 60 to 120 miles south – the equivalent of moving from New York City to Philadelphia.
Actual instrumental measurements of ultraviolet radiation at the surface show that there has been no increase in UV levels, despite widespread claims of ozone depletion in northern latitudes. Just as with the ozone layer, the levels of UV radiation go through tremendous seasonal fluctuations.
A favorite method of the spin masters is to manipulate data by selecting time periods most likely to skew the results in their favor. ALWAYS notice the time period used in any study
Another way of taking on the unreliability of the ozone depletion theory is to examine the fudge factor in how the scare story data are presented. Harvard Astrophysicist Sallie Baliunas put the data in perspective in a paper presented at a congressional hearing on ozone, Sept. 20, 1995. (5) Baliunasfocused on the unreliability of the estimates of ozone depletion, which have claimed as much as 0.3 percent depletion per year. The natural variability of the ozone layer, she said, is orders of magnitude greater than the alleged man-made "depletion." "Over Washington, D.C.," she noted, "ozone varies annually by 25 percent, some 80 times greater than the stated anthropogenic decline."
Baliunas also examined the statistical fudge methods used by the ozone depletion theorists to embellish their theory. The 1994 World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) report on ozone depletion, for example, estimates the depletion starting from two points, 1970 and 1978-1979. The choice for the second set of data is clear; that's when satellites started measurements. The choice for the first starting point, supposedly arbitrary, is actually designed to skew the ozone record. As Figure 2 shows, the thickness of the ozone layer goes up and down considerably from year to year. The 1957 readings, however, show that the thickness of the ozone layer is about the same as it is today; thus, there has been no long-term depletion of the ozone layer. By ignoring ozone readings before 1970, the WMO begins its analysis with "a year of maximum ozone abundance for the entire 34-year record...." As Baliunas comments:
"Choosing 1970 or 1978-1979 as the starting point creates the maximum possible downward trends in ozone since then. The selections of the starting points, for example, 1976 or 1957, would indicate no significant downward trend since then. The fact that the inferred trend depends entirely on the selection of the endpoints means that the trend has not been reliably determined."
This same statistical spin game is being used to distort the true picture on global warming. It’s like choosing January as the starting point and July as the end point to show "scientific" proof of an increase in temperatures. Find a time period when measurements show the highest ozone content and start from there to "prove" your decline.
The ozone layer is like a patchwork quilt. It will vary in strength from one location to the other. It is not one smooth, homogenous layer and never has been. It varies just like the temperature, wind and pressures vary from one location on the surface to another.
And the CFC’s had little to no impact on the ozone layer.
From The Ozone Myth, by Ben Kowalski [http://tko.kenyon.edu/index.php?action=view_article&article=135 ]
The ozone layer is not some finite resource that can be exhausted. Natural processes are constantly creating and destroying ozone on a far larger scale than that associated with CFCs. For example, ozone is formed when UV light strikes an oxygen molecule (O2), splitting it into two oxygen atoms. Each of these oxygen atoms attaches itself to another oxygen molecule to form a total of two ozone molecules (O3). So even if the ozone layer were magically to disappear, oxygen molecules in the upper atmosphere would be exposed to UV light and new ozone would form.
Even if ozone levels drop slightly, the consequences would be far from catastrophic. Environmentalists assert that thinning of the ozone layer will expose us to increasing levels of UV, which in turn will lead to a greater incidence of skin cancer. In fact, studies that were done in the 1970s and early 80s, when CFC emissions were greatest, do not support this claim. While the amount of ozone decreased over this period, the amount of biologically effective UV (in other words, the kind of UV that can actually cause sunburn or skin cancer) did not rise as expected but in fact dropped slightly. This implies that the effect of CFCs is negligible compared to other factors, such as purely natural climactic or meteorological changes.
We’re looking at a political and economic game being played here with the ozone layer. The reasons for this hoax are another story and properly discussed in another category.
Where did we get this heightened fear of a very beneficial part of the sun’s energy, UV rays? Here’s one possible source (Seeing The Light):
The study most responsible for the fear of UV was conducted in the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Reported in 1981, it involved anesthetized monkeys whose eyes were dilated, held open and blasted for up to 16 minutes with a 2,500 watt xenon lamp containing high levels of UV radiation. The monkeys showed retinal damage, leading to the conclusion that UV light causes retinal damage. Similar studies in which researchers burned the skin of laboratory animals with high levels of UV light are cited to prove that it causes cataracts and skin cancer.
So-called scientific studies can come up with any results the financial backers desire. This is done on a daily basis with pre-approval drug testing.
Far less publicized was a study published in the British medical journal Lancet, which reported that a group of Australians who worked all day under fluorescent lights had higher incidents of skin cancer than people who frequently sunbathed or worked outside.
We’ve been brainwashed to avoid the very part of our environment, sunlight, that offers the greatest benefits. From Ultra-Violet: The Untold Story, by Michael Lofton [http://www.atlantisrising.com/issue11/ar11ultraviolet.html ] we get the following:
Niels Finsen, in 1903, won the Nobel Prize for successfully treating skin tuberculosis with the ultraviolet portion of light. On August 7, 1982 a British medical journal, called The Lancet, gave an interesting report on relationship between skin cancer and the sun. Researches found that the people who had the lowest risk of developing skin cancer were those whose main daily activity was outdoors. It was found that the incidence of malignant melanomas was considerably higher in office workers. Might this indoor phenomena be the cause of the continued rise in skin cancer death rates? The incidence of malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has increased 1,800 percent since 1930, and melanoma mortality rose 34 percent between 1973 and 1992, which has been documented by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Yet, outdoor activity without sufficient sun protection remains as the main concern of the Skin Cancer Foundatio! n and dermatologists. Interestingly enough in 1928, the world's first commercial use of a sunscreen, an emulsion of benzyl salicylate and benzyl cinnamate, was reported in the United States.
It should be noted that people who work primarily inside get more cancer than those who work outside. Studies have shown that most cases of malignant melanomas occur on people who work inside, and these melanomas appear on areas of the body not normally exposed to the sun.
We hear that increased UV has resulted in increased skin cancer. Well, we know there has been no increase in UV radiation, so we would have to look elsewhere for the real causes for any increase in skin cancer. Ironically, it might be due to a lack of sunlight.
And we also know that the closer one lives to the equator, the more sun one gets, the less incidence of many types of internal cancer. Why would the sun’s rays be protective of our internal organs and destructive of the external layer?
Dr Mercola tells us: [http://mercola.com/2004/mar/31/cancer_sunlight.htm]
I started with the maps of cancer mortality rates in the Atlas of Cancer Mortality [Devesa et al., 1999] and found the UVB irradiance/dose map for the United States for July 1992 made using data obtained by NASA’s Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) to use as a proxy for vitamin D production. In this study, I determined that UVB was inversely correlated[the less UV-B, the higher the incidence of the type of cancer] with mortality rates for 12 types of cancer, including five types of cancer already identified plus an additional seven, and estimated that 17, 000 to 23,000 Americans died prematurely each year due to insufficient vitamin D [Grant, 2002b].
The new study links UVB as protective to a total of 16 types of cancer, primarily epithelial (pertaining to the surface) cancers of the digestive and reproductive systems [Grant, submitted]. Six types of cancer (breast, colon, endometrial, esophageal, ovarian, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) were inversely correlated to solar UVB radiation and rural residence in combination. This result strongly suggests that living in an urban environment is associated with reduced UVB exposure compared to living in a rural environment.
Another 10 types of cancer including bladder, gallbladder, gastric, pancreatic, prostate, rectal and renal were inversely correlated with UVB but not urban residence. Ten types of cancer were significantly correlated with smoking, six types with alcohol, and seven types with Hispanic heritage. Poverty status was inversely correlated with seven types of cancer. Since the results for alcohol, Hispanic heritage, and smoking for white Americans agree well with the literature [Trapido et al., 1995; Thun et al., 2002], they provide a high level of confidence in the approach and its results for UVB radiation.
Over 40,000 Americans Die Annually From Cancer Caused by Vitamin D Deficiency [a vitamin that is ONLY produced from UV rays striking our skin. This is NOT the same vitamin D we buy off the shelf. The latter can be toxic; the sunlight-produced D is not toxic.]
Studies keep confirming the benefits of sunlight. Sunlight produces Vitamin D in our bodies. From the article "Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis" [http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/79/3/362]
From the Vitamin D, Skin, and Bone Research Laboratory, Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston
The purpose of this review is to put into perspective the many health benefits of vitamin D and the role of vitamin D deficiency in increasing the risk of many common and serious diseases, including some common cancers, type 1 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. Numerous epidemiologic studies suggest that exposure to sunlight, which enhances the production of vitamin D3 in the skin, is important in preventing many chronic diseases. Because very few foods naturally contain vitamin D, sunlight supplies most of our vitamin D requirement. Vitamin D deficiency is often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia.
From the article: "Sunlight: The Great Healer" [http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/healthy_aging/43857]
80,300 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. It is a major concern for women of all ages. But there is hope. According to Judie Gaillard and Donald Smith of Sun Wellness, a study by researcher Ester M. John at the Northern California Cancer Center, entitled "Vitamin D and Breast Cancer Risk…" concluded that casual exposure to sunlight, along with other factors, can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. The scientists concluded "high exposure to sunlight was associated with a 25 percent to 65 percent reduction in breast cancer risk among women whose longest residence was in a state of high solar radiation."
"If vitamin D is absent, calcium, which is vital for normal bone growth and development, will not be absorbed from the intestinal tract and the bones become deformed," says Zane Kime, M.D., M.S. in his book Sunlight. One of the best ways to get adequate vitamin D is moderate exposure to the sun.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in men over age 75. In a recent study by Hanchette and Schwartz of the University of North Carolina and published in the journal Cancer they found that there was a 20 to 40 percent lower incidence of prostatic cancer among men in southern climates
Dr Gabe Mirkin, MD tells us: [http://www.drmirkin.com/men/9431.html]
An article in the British medical journal, Lancet, offers evidence that lack of vitamin D causes prostate cancer.
Most men meet their needs for vitamin D through exposure to sunlight because they do not get enough from their diet. Men who live in colder climates have a higher incidence of prostate cancer because they get less sunlight. Studies from Harvard School of public Health show that men who drink more than four glasses of milk a day have low blood levels of vitamin D and are at increased risk for prostate cancer. Calcium uses up vitamin D and not enough vitamin D is added to milk to cover the extra calcium used.
This study shows that prostate cancer is associated with not exposing skin to sunlight and not going on holidays to beach resorts. Susceptibility to prostate cancer was not found to be associated with vasectomy, benign prostatic enlargement or eating any particular food. [Lancet August 25, 2001]
Michael Lofton's article "Ultra-Violet: The Untold Story" goes on to say: [http://www.atlantisrising.com/issue11/ar11ultraviolet.html]
…still more information from the book Sunlight by Zane Kime MD shows beneficial results with moderate exposure to ultraviolet frequencies. Noted in Dr. Kime's book single exposures of a large area of the body to ultraviolet light were found to dramatically lower elevated blood pressure (up to a 40 mm Hg drop), lowered abnormally high blood sugars as found in diabetics, to decrease cholesterol in the bloodstream, and to increase the white blood cells, particularly the lymphocytes which are largely responsible for the body's ability to resist disease.
The real irony and injustice of the ozone/UV hoax is that it may well be the lack of sunlight and UV radiation that contributes to many of our health problems. As Ben Kingsley told Robert Redford in the movie Sneakers, "The real power is not with who controls the money but with who controls the information."
Now you'd think that Rick would stop here and let me rest, but no, the next day I got this in my mail.
I've been doing some research on sunlight and esp. UV rays. I'm completely convinced that UV light is most definitely one of the good guys and that the medical mafia has done a cholesterol job on it too.
As Drs Ott and Lieberman say, UV is a NUTRIENT and our body absolutely has to have it in order to function in a healthy state. Our bodies are basically photocells and thrive off sunlight. Of course, we can get too much, but then we can get too much oxygen too.
I am amazed at the enormous influence funding has on medical research. If the power elite tells the researchers and medical authorities that they want studies showing UV is harmful, that is exactly what they will get. The money will just keep flowing as long as the results are to the liking of those funding it.
One of the most outrageous things that this "scientific" research is allegedly finding is that UV light will suppress our immune system. What a crock. What I'm finding is just the opposite. Yet, one can find a hundred web sites with medical authorities quoting "research" and "scientific" studies verifying that UV light suppresses the immune system.
Having put themselves in that position, they then have to contort themselves to explain some of the surprising benefits of UV light. Here is a prime example:
Transplant rejection averted by simple light exposure in Stanford animal study
STANFORD, Calif. - One of the unfortunate side effects of bone marrow and stem cell transplantation is that the newly implanted cells often stage an internal attack against the patient they're intended to help. Stanford University School of Medicine researchers now have a better grasp of this phenomenon, known as graft-versus-host disease, or GVHD, and have proposed a possible method of prevention: simple ultraviolet light.
In a new animal study, researchers identified the principal culprit in GVHD: an immune cell in the skin known as a Langerhans cell. These cells normally function as flag posts for the immune system, signaling infection-fighting T-cells to come to a particular site to fight off a virus or bacteria. But in transplants, they do patients a great disservice, alerting T- cells to attack the patient's own tissues, researchers found. [http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-05/sumc-tra050504.php]
The researchers were able to effectively eliminate the Langerhans cells in transplanted mice by exposing them to ultraviolet light, giving the animals mild sunburn. Transplanted mice that received this treatment experienced no GVHD while those that didn't showed severe signs of the disease, said Edgar Engleman, MD, professor of pathology and medicine and senior author of the study.
They were not about to come out and say that UV light only worked in a beneficial way. First, they have to paint it as an immune suppressor and then concoct a story about how suppressing some immune cells is what makes a transplant compatible. If the body is having an immune response, then suppressing that response will NOT bring about a desired healthy reaction.
Now, I don't know exactly how they have come to the conclusion that UV light suppresses the immune system, especially when they know that UV light can zap any harmful bacteria, fungus or virus. I've read where they say that UV light kills T-Cells. But these are the same people who support of vaccines that bypass the primary and most vital parts of our immune system by injecting poisons directly into the bloodstream. They don't know JACK about our immune systems.
I suppose that it is possible to do some T-Cell damage if they run the same kind of experiment that they ran on monkeys [mentioned above] to "prove" that UV light damaged the retina.
They've used this same ridiculous approach to "prove" that UV light allegedly causes skin cancer. They repeatedly burned the skin of some animals with high intensity UV light and, supposedly, this caused the growth of some cancer cells. Who knows what caused what since the raw data to these experiments are kept from us?
Why are medical researchers trying to prove that UV suppresses the immune system? How are these experiments designed? What intensity of UV light is being used? How do they measure immune response? And finally, how did they faithfully reproduce sunlight reacting with our bodies in a laboratory situation?
Here's where it really gets weird: The National Psoriasis Foundation reports that UV light is very effective in treating psoriasis. And yet, dermatologist will say that UV light causes some psoriasis.
They've even used UV light to treat some forms of skin cancer. (I'm not making this up!)
From Dr Andrew Weil's web site, Published 08/30/2002, I found: [http://www.drweil.com/app/cda/drw_cda.html-command=TodayQA-questionId=98869]
Ultraviolet blood irradiation is used in both conventional and alternative medicine for different reasons. In conventional medicine, UV blood irradiation, also called photopheresis or extracorporeal photochemotherapy, is an FDA-approved treatment for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (a type of cancer affecting the skin) and its variants as well as for psoriasis. It is also used in clinical trials for treatment of such autoimmune disorders as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and graft-versus-host disease, a complication that can occur after stem cell transplants.
The really crazy part is that there is no more UV radiation coming through now than there ever has been. The ozone thing is a complete hoax [mentioned above]. You can get a 2, 3 or 400% increase in UV exposure simply by traveling south towards the equator. That has always been true. And these goons are screaming about a 10 to 20% increase in UV because of an alleged thinning of the ozone layer. It's insane and only a sleepwalking public buys into it.
Now get this, even if it were true, you'd think the people living down near the huge hole near Antarctica (which is seasonal and always has been) would be consumed with skin cancer now. Not so.
Contrary to general belief, there is no evidence that reduction in the ozone layer, observed at the poles, has caused any increase in melanomas.3 Even a study of Punta Arenas, the largest South American city close to the Antarctic ozone hole, showed no increase in health problems related to depleted ozone. In fact, UV measures were too small to have any noticeable effect.4 3. British Journal of Cancer research 1992; 65: 916-21 4. American Journal of Public Health 1995;85(4):546-50. [http://www.caduceus.info/articles/best.htm]
I thought it was also interesting that a Dr. Auguste Rollier used sunlight to cure tuberculosis and he located his clinic 5,000 feet above sea level in order to get more UV light. The other interesting thing is that he noticed if the patients wore sunglasses, the UV did not help. The UV needs to come through the eyes. Duh!
Sunglasses are not only damaging to our eyes, but to our entire health.
And there have been several studies to show an inverse relationship between some internal cancer and exposure to sunlight. That is, the more sunlight one is exposed to, the lower the incidence of internal cancer.
…the nearer you live to the equator the less chance you have of developing an internal cancer. This association has been clearly demonstrated in a number of studies such as the one carried out in 1941 in the United States by Dr Frank Apperly. He examined the statistics on cancer deaths across North America and Canada and found that compared with cities between 10 and 30 degrees latitude, cities between 30 and 40 degrees latitude averaged 85 per cent higher overall cancer death rates; cities between 40 and 50 degrees latitude averaged 118 per cent higher cancer death rates, and cities between 50 and 60 degrees latitude averaged 150 per cent higher cancer death rates.
In 1992, Dr Gordon Ainsleigh published a paper in the journal Preventive Medicine in which he reviewed 50 years worth of medical literature on cancer and the sun. He concluded that the benefits of regular sun exposure appear to outweigh by a considerable degree the risks of squamous-basal skin cancer, accelerated aging, and melanoma. He found trends in epidemiological studies suggesting that widespread adoption of regular moderate sunbathing would result in approximately a one-third lowering of breast and colon cancer death rates in the United States. Colon cancer and breast cancer are the second and third leading causes of cancer deaths in North America and Dr Ainsleigh estimated that about 30,000 cancer deaths would be prevented each year if moderate sunbathing on a regular basis became the norm. [http://www.innerself.com/Health/cancer_sun.htm ]
So, are we to believe all the dermatologists and medical "experts" who tell us that UV light causes skin cancer and yet, at the same time, it's helping to protect us from internal cancers?
UV light does NOT cause skin cancer. The absence of it will make us vulnerable to skin cancer. At the start of the 20th century about 75% of the people in the U.S. worked outdoors. Now, it is less than 10%. That is most likely why skin cancer and all kinds of internal cancers have skyrocketed.
UV light lowers blood pressure, increases the efficiency of the heart, increases the absorption of calcium (preventing osteoporosis), and many other minerals and nutrients, and it even increases the level of male and female sex hormones. The Russians have used it to treat black lung disease and it has also been used effectively to treat severe asthma. It's a life saver.
No wonder the medical Mafia went after it.
Wow. Thanx, Rick.
Just to add a few things, it was Johanna Budwig who was one of the first to propose that trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils) cause skin cancers. From our article on Skin Cancer:
Dr Johanna Budwig’s research has demonstrated that certain wavelengths of sunlight vibrate at the same frequency as the chemical bonds in unsaturated fatty acids (trans fatty oils are unsaturated). This, she feels, leads to early mutations that can become skin cancers.
And just one more thing. Oftentimes our government gives us the "Big Lie" to distract our attention from what's really happening. Take the subject of Cloning. Congress really honed in on that horrible science, while silently avoiding the real problem of genetic engineering in which our military scientists are trying to create germs for which humans have no resistance and food companies engineering foods our bodies were never designed to absorb.
Focusing on ozone depletion and a 2 percent rise in carbon dioxide has kept us all in the dark about the 3 percent loss of oxygen. Now THIS is a problem. But no one seems to talk about this. Oxygen is life/life is oxygen. Yet, somehow, our government is very silent about this one.
William Campbell Douglass II, MD
and Shivani’s Flat Bread
Grains contain phytic acid that combines with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and particularly with zinc in our intestinal tract, blocking their absorption, so that a diet high in grains can lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. Sour soaking and fermentation of grains, such as done by traditional cultures worldwide, allows lactobacilli and other healthful microorganisms and enzymes to break down the phytic acid. In addition, digestive enzyme inhibitors are neutralized, beneficial enzymes produced, vitamin levels increased and gluten and other difficult-to-digest grain proteins partially broken down for easier digestion and absorption.
If you can get whey from raw organic milk, that makes a wonderful culture for lactofermenting grains. If you don’t have access to that, you can buy some organic yogurt and strain it through multiple (7 or more, no kidding) layers of very small mesh cheesecloth to get whey. (Look for unflavored, unsweetened organic yogurt that has not had thickeners added to it to make it firmer and dryer. You want it as juicy as possible. Most natural yogurt is about 1/2 whey.)
Alternatively, you can just soak some organic whole grain in pure water for a couple of days and "grow" yourself a culture, as lactobacilli are present in small amounts on all grains. When the soaking water gets a few bubbles in it, is just a bit thicker and tastes a bit sour, you have got a culture. You can now use your living culture to soak any grain to reduce the phytic acid.
You can soak the whole grain or you can crack it up some first. Cracking rice, for instance, lets the liquid soak into it more so it cooks up more quickly and is easier to chew. With rolled oats, of course, no need to do anything more to them but lactoferment or sour soak them. (You can soak them in water to which lemon juice has been added. Genuine lemon juice, not "Real" lemon in a plastic bottle. If you press out and reuse the liquid from this for a few days, it should grow a living culture from the lactobacilli present on the oats.)
Whole oat groats, however, will ferment better if cracked open first. I have a great grinder I can set to different settings that I use to do this, the Family Grain Mill. You might try a quick whiz in a coffee or spice grinder. Or just use the whole goats and let them sit a whole day instead of overnight.
Once a grain is cracked or rolled it oxidizes, so starting with whole grains and grinding, cracking or rolling them as needed is definitely preferable Also, organic grains are far superior to others.
The grains I use for my flatbread "cakes" are short grain brown rice and oat groats. They are good nutritionally, and the mixture gives a good consistency to the flatbread, too. (Wheat is terribly overused in our culture. Good to try some other grains. I am wheat sensitive, as many of us are, even though we may not realize it. Also, wheat breaks down into sugar faster than any other grain, so has a disruptive effect on our insulin metabolism. If you do use wheat, it should be sprouted or sour soaked, as it is very high in phytic acid.) Using rice alone will give a bread that is dry and grainy. Oats alone would be heavy and gummy. Together they are great.
You can experiment with the proportions. Presently I am using about 3 parts oats to 4 parts rice, but 2/4 or even 1/4 work, too, depending on what consistency you like.
Lactoferment (or, sour soak in water to which some lemon juice has been added) oats at least 8 hours at room temperature. With rice it's not so crucial to do it that long as they don't have nearly as much phytic acid that needs to be neutralized.
At the end of the fermenting time, dump the grain and the liquid it has been in into a fine mesh strainer, over a bowl to catch the liquid. You want a mesh fine enough to catch all the grain, and just let the liquid through.
I use a soft spatula to push the grain against the strainer and get most of the liquid out. Then I pour a little fresh water on top of the mash in the strainer, stir it around a bit, and press again, to rescue as much of the living culture as possible. Then the lactobacillus culture liquid back into the soaking jar to be used for the next batch of grain, and the grain goes into the blender. (There is no benefit from adding the soaking liquid to what you are going to cook, as the beneficial organisms and enzymes are destroyed by cooking. If you have an infinite supply of whey and like a more sour taste, you can use your fermented grain along with its soaking liquid and start a fresh culture each time.)
I like to ferment oats in one jar, and rice in another. I discovered that blending up the rice first by itself, then adding the oats after the rice is blended to a smooth batter means much less blending time is needed than when both are blended together. For some people, soaking and blending them together might feel easier.
Be aware that as the grains ferment carbon dioxide is formed. You want to leave some space in the jar for the fermenting grains to move upward, as sometimes the carbon dioxide actually pushes the grain up enough to make the liquid overflow if you have your jar too full. When you see those bubbles, you can really appreciate how hard those little lactobacilli are working for you.
Add just enough water to the blender to get a nice batter consistency. I have got the feel of how much water to add and put that amount all in with the rice, as I feel it blends the rice better if it can move easily in the blender. Then when that batter is smooth, I blend in the oats. I like to blend the oats less, to give a bit of texture to my flat bread.
I store this batter in glass, enamel or stainless steel in the refrigerator. (Never in plastic or aluminum, as the acidity would leach toxins into the batter. And not in stainless steel that has been cleaned with a metal scrubber, as that will leach nickel.) The batter will keep well in the fridge for several days. The slight acidity adds to its keeping quality, as other, harmful bacteria do not grow well in it. (This is why lactofermentation has traditionally been used worldwide as a means of preserving food.) Similarly, once your grains are fermented you can just set the fermenting jar in the fridge if you are not going to get to blending it for a day or so.
To lactoferment your next grain, just add it to the remaining ferment liquid, adding additional fresh water as needed. (Oats soak up a lot more liquid than rice does.) You can use the "same" culture liquid for years, as long as you keep feeding it by using it frequently. If you use it daily, there is no need to ever refrigerate it. (You need room temp. for the lactobacilli to work on your grains.) If you are not going to use it again immediately, however, put it in the refrigerator. It will keep all right there for a few days. (If it goes icky you will know from the smell. If your "smeller" is not too good, just taste a few drops. It should taste like whey, or like yeast. If the taste is foul, you need to begin with a new culture.)
When I want to make something with the batter, I melt a bit of clarified butter in a Corelle bowl first, on a very low gas flame, then quickly stir in the desired amount of refrigerated batter. (Room temp. butter is too chilled by refrigerated batter and lumps up.)
Never set a hot Corelle bowl on a metal surface. I did this just once. There was a cracking sound, then the bottom of the bowl fell out when I picked it up.
If you don't have a Corelle bowl, you can heat a bit of butter in the skillet you are going to cook the flat bread in.
Add a pinch of baking soda for each flat bread you are going to make. I don't actually measure, so cannot tell you exactly how much. Less than 1/8 tsp. per cup of batter. If your cake cooks with too many bubbles, you've used too much, and vice versa.
Add a bit of water if your batter is too thick. Add a bit of Celtic Sea Salt. (Ordinary table salt is toxic, not nutritious.) Add herbs, etc. if you wish.
I brush a thin coat of clarified butter on the bottom of a fairly hot Le Creuset skillet, then pour the batter, moving circularly from the edge in to the center (which pushes extra butter into the center of the pan where it becomes part of the cake, vs. pushing it up the sides of the skillet where it will burn as the cake cooks), to just cover the bottom of the skillet. My skillet is a bit under 7 1/2 inches across the bottom. I make 3 flat breads with about 1 1/4 cup of batter.
If the batter is too thick, your "cake" will tend to burn on the outside before the inside is done. (When I get one too thick, I cook it a bit, then turn down the heat to try to get the inside to finish cooking. In winter, I set these doughy ones on a rack on our wood stove, which finishes them nicely. A higher percentage of oats also makes for a doughy cake.) It is too thin, it tends to break.
If you have a good cooking surface, the outer edges of the cake will start to lift from the skillet when it is ready to turn over. If you try to turn it over too soon, it will break. You can turn up an edge and check the color if you are not sure if it's ready to turn. There will be some golden when it's time to turn it.
I've tried a variety of skillets, and Le Creuset is the one that works the best for making these flat breads, which tend to stick to other skillets. (Le Creuset is iron with a baked-on enamel finish.)
Of course "nonstick" cookware will work, but all of these products are coated with toxic materials that eventually come off bit by bit into your food!
If you are going to make these flat breads regularly, a Le Creuset or similar skillet is a wonderful investment. They are also great for cooking eggs, fish, sautéing veggies.... I love mine. You can order one online and have it delivered to your door. Be sure to get the original enamel finish, not their new nonstick coating.
Flat breads made from fermented grains have satisfied and nourished countless generations of traditional peoples. They are wonderful with just about any meal, and make a great dessert too. Try spreading clarified butter and then raw honey, sorghum syrup, maple syrup, rice syrup, preserves, or lactofermented cream on one! Mmmmm.
This is a food you can fully enjoy, as you know it is truly good for you.
Copyright © 2004
"A useless but amusing fact is that if all the DNA in all the
cells in a single human being were stretched out it would
reach the moon and back eight thousand times."
Steve Jones - The Language of the Genes.
(we review her handmade soaps and stuff)
Shivani makes handmade soaps. She wanted us to review them, and since I'm always up to support a cottage industry (and I love pampering myself with exotic soaps), I agreed.
She uses the best ingredients in her soap; no short cuts. The Patchouli she sent me was superb. I loved it. She tells me she uses pure essential oils in her products.
Her soaps have a bit of extra oil and natural glycerin in them, so they don't dry you out and you get a little moisturizing treatment. She does not use any detergents, and only the most expensive ingredients. Her soaps are toxin free.
She also sent a Shampoo Bar. I'd never heard of this before. It really lathers up. I liked it.
She also sent a body balm. She tells us she's not sure how to market it. Personally, I think a body balm is something women would appreciate more than men.
Finally, she also sent a tooth powder. The secret ingredient is Myrrh powder. Now this stuff was something else. After brushing, my teeth felt like they'd had a session with my hygienist and had a polishing. Really good stuff.
So, if you want something special, give Shivani a buzz. I quickly ordered more from her. I was sold. Contact her at: [email protected] or 920-994-4082.
Her new web page is: www.geocities.com/shivanissoaps
None Dare Call It Conspiracy
Don’t you find it interesting that the same companies that make our toxic
(pesticides, herbicides, cleaning supplies, industrial chemicals) are the
same companies that make our drugs and chemotherapies?
They get you sick with one, then "treat" you with the other.
It’s not a conspiracy, just business as usual in this great country of ours.
So…let’s say we take it back?
Transfer Factor Cardio
In a previous newsletter, we reviewed a product called Transfer Factor Plus. The same company that makes Transfer Factor Plus sent us a bottle of Transfer Factor Cardio. Since Transfer Factor is part of a healthy immune system, the question is this: what does the immune system have to do our cardiovascular system?
If you've purchased our book, Bypassing Bypass (cheapest eBook on the web!) then you already know that upwards of 80% of heart attacks come from infections in the blood.
Keeping these infections to a minimum is one way to avoid a heart attack.
Transfer Factor Plus was designed to boost overall immune function, whereas Transfer Factor Cardio (TF Cardio) is a "targeted" immune stimulant, in that it boosts immunity towards pathogens that have been implicated in causing these infections in the blood. Some of the pathogens found thus far in our blood stream are: chlamydia pneumonie, helicobacter, pylori, and cytomegalovirus.
Additionally, TF Cardio contains a few supplements that are just good for the heart: CoQ10 (every cell needs this for energy), red yeast extract, resveratrol (potent antioxidant), and a few B vitamins known to help lower homocysteine levels (folic acid, B6, B12).
Together, TF Cardio, in clinical studies, has been effective in lowering C Reactive Protein levels. For those of you who have not purchased Bypassing Bypass, testing positive for C Reactive Protein tells you that you've got an infection in your blood. A positive test result for C Reactive Protein pushes your chances of a heart attack up 800%. (Whereas a high cholesterol level increases your chances a mere 20%; but cholesterol drugs are the biggest profits for the pharmaceutical industry.)
The transfer factor in TF Cardio comes from eggs. The eggs are exposed to a wide variety of pathogens associated with CVD (cardiovascular disease) and the resulting transfer factors are targeted against these pathogens. The company, 4Life, has a patent on the method of extracting these transfer factors, so we can't tell you how they do this.
So, there you have it. Clinical studies are being conducted presently in which blood tests are being reviewed for those factors contributing to CVD and TF Cardio is working as it was designed. You now have TF Plus and TF Cardio. The first aimed at general immunity and the second specifically aimed at those factors contributing to CVD.
I think they've got a winning combination here.
If you want more information, or would like to purchase any of these Transfer Factor products from a 4Life distributor, you can contact my neighbor, Evelyn Wentworth at [email protected] (or call 763.689.9361).
A recent study from the University of California-Berkeley and
the University of Guadalajara in Mexico isolated the antibacterial
compounds from cilantro: dodecnal. It is found in the
fresh leaves and in the seeds.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, June 2004
In order for your vote to affect the outcome of this election, it must be counted. As November nears we must act now to ensure that our voting systems produce accurate and verifiable results.
Right now, some states are planning to use machines that will not allow voters to verify their choices. This means that any flaws in the machine or software will never be caught -- and no recount will be possible. And the head of the largest e-voting machine company -- who is a major contributor to George Bush and has promised to deliver Ohio to him -- asks that we just trust him.
Today we call on Congress and the states to require any electronic voting machine used in this election to produce a paper trail -- one that allows voters to verify their choices and officials to conduct recounts. Add your name to the call for accountability:
We will deliver the petition to Congress and the secretaries of state of every state planning to use electronic voting machines.
Please forward this message to everyone you know who wants to see that every vote is counted this year. You can also spread the word by using our grassroots action center, Organize for America, to invite your friends to sign the petition:
Casting a vote is the most fundamental action we take as citizens. But voting is not a symbolic act -- the last presidential election demonstrated that every vote matters. Our responsibility in the months before November is to ensure that this time, every vote will be counted.
Thank you. Governor Howard Dean, M.D.
* * *
Poems From Iraq
From an anonymous second lieutenant: Knock the dust off your boots, my boy, It's time to ride again. The frontier has gone restless now And we must crush this rebellion. . . . These people understand only violence, So let's give it to 'em now. We'll ride 'em down like Cherokee; We'll trample 'em like Pueblo. These savages are ruthless; They understand no law. So we'll pick up our Peacemakers, And shoot 'em like Choctaw. . . . Rally round the flag, my boy, And grab your rifle, too. The Red Man's turned Brown, my boy, And there's a lot of peacemaking to do. A trooper from Minnesota writes: Outside the city, shivering with dread, We're Falluja bound. Can hear the explosions when I raise my head. . . . Foreign soldiers, invaders from another land; When I look through the hatred in their eyes, I almost understand. R.P.G.'s, mortars, and friends dead on the road. My youth is gone, Crushed from sensory overload. Assaulted yesterday up an Iraqi street. R.P.G. explosion, a scream, Seared my face with the heat. Dragged him through the blood-streaked dust and dirt, His screams in my ears, His blood type tagged to his shirt. Covered with blood, he cried, Don't leave me alone. Died in my arms; Now I just want to go home. Officers yelling, Get out of your holes! We're Falluja bound; Please pray for our souls.
* * *
Bush Thanks Veterans, Then Cuts Their Health Care
President Bush spent the Memorial Day weekend thanking the nation's veterans for their service, saying "we acknowledge the debt [we owe them] by showing our respect and gratitude."  Yet, his rhetoric came just hours after the Bush Administration announced new plans to slash veterans health care funding if it returns to power in 2005.
Late last week, the Administration released a memo detailing a plan to cut $1 billion from the Veterans Administration  in the first budget of its second term. The cut would come even after the White House has tried to close veterans hospitals throughout the country,  and has proposed veterans health care budgets that have been criticized by veterans groups and the President's own Veterans Affairs secretary.  It also comes after the president decided to cut off 164,000 veterans from their existing prescription drug coverage,  and threatened to veto  any bill that would allow veterans to receive both the military pension they were promised, and any disability compensation to which they are entitled.
Visit Misleader.org for more about Bush Administration distortion. http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=2159761&l=38248
Sources: 1. Presidential Weekly Radio Address Speech,
WhiteHouse.gov, 05/29/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=2159761&l=38261.
2. "Democrats rip Bush's outline for cuts in domestic programs," Palm Beach Post, 5/28/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=2159761&l=38262.
3. "VA Seeks Major Hospital Overhaul," CBS News, 8/05/03, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=2159761&l=38263.
4. "President Bush's Veterans' Budget Called Woefully Inadequate and Inexcusable," Senate Democratic Policy Committee, 2/12/04, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=2159761&l=38264.
5. "VA Cuts Some Veterans' Access to Health Care," Washington Post, 1/17/03, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=2159761&l=38265.
6. " Bush Threatens Veto of Defense Bill," Washington Post, 10/7/02, p.A02.
* * *
News You Won't Find on CNN
Wednesday March 17, 08:59 PM
Purported al Qaeda letter calls truce in Spain By Opheera McDoom
CAIRO (Reuters) - A group claiming to have links with al Qaeda says it is calling a truce in its Spanish operations to see if the new Madrid government would withdraw its troops from Iraq, a pan-Arab newspaper says.
In a statement sent to the Arabic language daily al-Hayat, the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, which claimed responsibility for the Madrid bombings that killed 201 people, also urged its European units to stop all operations.
"Because of this decision, the leadership has decided to stop all operations within the Spanish territories... until we know the intentions of the new government that has promised to withdraw Spanish troops from Iraq," the statement said.
"And we repeat this to all the brigades present in European lands: Stop all operations."
Scepticism has greeted previous claims of responsibility by the group for attacks in Turkey and Iraq. U.S. officials say its links with Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network are unclear.
An unrelated videotape of a man describing himself as al Qaeda's European military spokesman also claimed responsibility for the Madrid bombing, saying it was in retaliation for outgoing Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's domestically-unpopular support for the U.S.-led Iraq war.
In a shock election result three days after the Madrid bombs, Spain voted in the Socialist party, which has since said it will probably withdraw its troops from Iraq.
"The Spanish people... chose peace by choosing the party that was against the alliance with America," the statement said.
WE WANT BUSH TO WIN
The statement said it supported U.S. President George W. Bush in his reelection campaign, and would prefer him to win in November rather than the Democratic candidate John Kerry, as it was not possible to find a leader "more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom."
In comments addressed to Bush, the group said:
"Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilisation."
"Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected."
The group said its cells were ready for another attack and time was running out for allies of the United States.
"Whose turn is it next? Will it be Japan or America, or Italy, Britain or Oslo or Australia?" the statement said, adding Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were also targets.
The group is named after Muhammed Atef, also known as Abu Hafs, a close bin Laden aide killed in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. [http://uk.news.yahoo.com/040317/325/eotq9.html]
* * *
WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration's promotion of the new Medicare law through videos made to look like news reports violated a prohibition against using public money for propaganda, Congress's General Accounting Office said yesterday.
The materials in English and Spanish were produced by the Health and Human Services Department, but did not identify their source. The videos, or parts of them, were broadcast on at least 40 television stations in March, the department said.
The GAO report was issued just as the administration was trying to blunt criticism of the new law by trumpeting discounts for people who use Medicare-approved drug cards when filling prescriptions.
The Congressional Research Service said this month that administration efforts to keep estimates of the Medicare bill's cost from Democratic lawmakers last year probably violated federal law.
While there were several components to the video news releases, the GAO faulted the administration for distributing seemingly independent, ready-to-air reports that did not inform viewers that they came from the government.
The story packages violated the law because the government ''did not identify itself as the source of the news report," said the GAO, Congress's investigative arm.
The English version ends with a woman's voice saying, ''In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting." A man identifies himself as a reporter named Alberto Garcia in the Spanish-language version.
''The viewing audience does not know . . . that Karen Ryan and Alberto Garcia were paid with HHS funds for their work," congressional investigators said.
HHS has said it spent about $43,000 to produce the materials.
A campaign spokesman referred calls to the White House, where a spokesman declined to comment.
The promotional materials were produced under a contract with Ketchum Inc., a Washington-based public relations firm. Ketchum hired Home Front Communications, which specializes in video news releases, the GAO said.
They were distributed by CNN Newsource, a service that distributes video news releases, as well as news reports. GAO said some news executives mistook the story package for an independent news report. Congressional investigators previously examined a television ad about changes in Medicare that the administration distributed in the winter..
* * *
Thank you Mr. President, I had forgotten how crushingly dull these ceremonies are. Thank you.
My best to the choir. I have to say, that song never grows old for me. Whenever I hear that song, it reminds me of nothing.
I am honored to be here, I do have a confession to make before we get going that I should explain very quickly. When I am not on television, this is actually how I dress. I apologize, but there’s something very freeing about it. I congratulate the students for being able to walk even a half a mile in this non-breathable fabric in the Williamsburg heat. I am sure the environment that now exists under your robes, are the same conditions that primordial life began on this earth.
I know there were some parents that were concerned about my speech here tonight, and I want to assure you that you will not hear any language that is not common at, say, a dock workers union meeting, or Tourrett’s convention, or profanity seminar. Rest assured.
I am honored to be here and to receive this honorary doctorate. When I think back to the people that have been in this position before me from Benjamin Franklin to Queen Noor of Jordan, I can’t help but wonder what has happened to this place. Seriously, it saddens me. As a person, I am honored to get it; as an alumnus, I have to say I believe we can do better. And I believe we should. But it has always been a dream of mine to receive a doctorate and to know that today, without putting in any effort, I will. It’s incredibly gratifying. Thank you. That’s very nice of you, I appreciate it.
I’m sure my fellow doctoral graduates—who have spent so long toiling in academia, sinking into debt, sacrificing God knows how many years of what, in truth, is a piece of parchment that in truth has been so devalued by our instant gratification culture as to have been rendered meaningless—will join in congratulating me. Thank you.
But today isn’t about how my presence here devalues this fine institution. It is about you, the graduates. I’m honored to be here to congratulate you today. Today is the day you enter into the real world, and I should give you a few pointers on what it is. It’s actually not that different from the environment here. The biggest difference is you will now be paying for things, and the real world is not surrounded by three-foot brick wall. And the real world is not a restoration. If you see people in the real world making bricks out of straw and water, those people are not colonial re-enactors—they are poor. Help them. And in the real world, there is not as much candle lighting. I don’t really know what it is about this campus and candle lighting, but I wish it would stop. We only have so much wax, people.
Lets talk about the real world for a moment. We had been discussing it earlier, and I…I wanted to bring this up to you earlier about the real world, and this is I guess as good a time as any. I don’t really know to put this, so I’ll be blunt. We broke it.
Please don’t be mad. I know we were supposed to bequeath to the next generation a world better than the one we were handed. So, sorry.
I don’t know if you’ve been following the news lately, but it just kinda got away from us. Somewhere between the gold rush of easy internet profits and an arrogant sense of endless empire, we heard kind of a pinging noise, and uh, then the damn thing just died on us. So I apologize.
But here’s the good news. You fix this thing, you’re the next greatest generation, people. You do this—and I believe you can—you win this war on terror, and Tom Brokaw’s kissing your ass from here to Tikrit, let me tell ya. And even if you don’t, you’re not gonna have much trouble surpassing my generation. If you end up getting your picture taken next to a naked guy pile of enemy prisoners and don’t give the thumbs up you’ve outdid us.
We declared war on terror. We declared war on terror—it’s not even a noun, so, good luck. After we defeat it, I’m sure we’ll take on that bastard ennui.
But obviously that’s the world. What about your lives? What piece of wisdom can I impart to you about my journey that will somehow ease your transition from college back to your parents' basement?
I know some of you are nostalgic today and filled with excitement and perhaps uncertainty at what the future holds. I know six of you are trying to figure out how to make a bong out of your caps. I believe you are members of Psi U. Hey that did work, thank you for the reference.
So I thought I’d talk a little bit about my experience here at William and Mary. It was very long ago, and if you had been to William and Mary while I was here and found out that I would be the commencement speaker 20 years later, you would be somewhat surprised, and probably somewhat angry. I came to William and Mary because as a Jewish person I wanted to explore the rich tapestry of Judaica that is Southern Virginia. Imagine my surprise when I realized "The Tribe" was not what I thought it meant.
In 1980 I was 17 years old. When I moved to Williamsburg, my hall was in the basement of Yates, which combined the cheerfulness of a bomb shelter with the prison-like comfort of the group shower. As a freshman I was quite a catch. Less than five feet tall, yet my head is the same size it is now. Didn’t even really look like a head, it looked more like a container for a head. I looked like a Peanuts character. Peanuts characters had terrible acne. But what I lacked in looks I made up for with a repugnant personality.
In 1981 I lost my virginity, only to gain it back again on appeal in 1983. You could say that my one saving grace was academics where I excelled, but I did not.
And yet now I live in the rarified air of celebrity, of mega stardom. My life a series of Hollywood orgies and Kabala center brunches with the cast of Friends. At least that’s what my handlers tell me. I’m actually too valuable to live my own life and spend most of my days in a vegetable crisper to remain fake news anchor fresh.
So I know that the decisions that I made after college worked out. But at the time I didn’t know that they would. See college is not necessarily predictive of your future success. And it’s the kind of thing where the path that I chose obviously wouldn’t work for you. For one, you’re not very funny.
So how do you know what is the right path to choose to get the result that you desire? And the honest answer is this. You won’t. And accepting that greatly eases the anxiety of your life experience.
I was not exceptional here, and am not now. I was mediocre here. And I’m not saying aim low. Not everybody can wander around in an alcoholic haze and then at 40 just, you know, decide to be president. You’ve got to really work hard to try to…I was actually referring to my father.
When I left William and Mary I was shell-shocked. Because when you’re in college it’s very clear what you have to do to succeed. And I imagine here everybody knows exactly the number of credits they needed to graduate, where they had to buckle down, which introductory psychology class would pad out the schedule. You knew what you had to do to get to this college and to graduate from it. But the unfortunate, yet truly exciting thing about your life, is that there is no core curriculum. The entire place is an elective. The paths are infinite and the results uncertain. And it can be maddening to those that go here, especially here, because your strength has always been achievement. So if there’s any real advice I can give you it’s this.
College is something you complete. Life is something you experience. So don’t worry about your grade, or the results or success. Success is defined in myriad ways, and you will find it, and people will no longer be grading you, but it will come from your own internal sense of decency which I imagine, after going through the program here, is quite strong…although I’m sure downloading illegal files…but, nah, that’s a different story.
Love what you do. Get good at it. Competence is a rare commodity in this day and age. And let the chips fall where they may.
And the last thing I want to address is the idea that somehow this new generation is not as prepared for the sacrifice and the tenacity that will be needed in the difficult times ahead. I have not found this generation to be cynical or apathetic or selfish. They are as strong and as decent as any people that I have met. And I will say this, on my way down here I stopped at Bethesda Naval, and when you talk to the young kids that are there that have just been back from Iraq and Afghanistan, you don’t have the worry about the future that you hear from so many that are not a part of this generation but judging it from above.
And the other thing….that I will say is, when I spoke earlier about the world being broke, I was somewhat being facetious, because every generation has their challenge. And things change rapidly, and life gets better in an instant.
I was in New York on 9-11 when the towers came down. I lived 14 blocks from the twin towers. And when they came down, I thought that the world had ended. And I remember walking around in a daze for weeks. And Mayor Giuliani had said to the city, "You’ve got to get back to normal. We’ve got to show that things can change and get back to what they were."
And one day I was coming out of my building, and on my stoop, was a man who was crouched over, and he appeared to be in deep thought. And as I got closer to him I realized, he was playing with himself. And that’s when I thought, "You know what, we’re gonna be OK."
Thank you. Congratulations. I honor you. Good Night. [http://web.wm.edu/news/index.php?id=3650]
* * *
By Kurt Vonnegut In These Times
Monday 10 May 2004
Many years ago, I was so innocent I still considered it possible that we could become the humane and reasonable America so many members of my generation used to dream of. We dreamed of such an America during the Great Depression, when there were no jobs. And then we fought and often died for that dream during the Second World War, when there was no peace.
But I know now that there is not a chance in hell of America's becoming humane and reasonable. Because power corrupts us, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas.
When you get to my age, if you get to my age, which is 81, and if you have reproduced, you will find yourself asking your own children, who are themselves middle-aged, what life is all about. I have seven kids, four of them adopted.
Many of you reading this are probably the same age as my grandchildren. They, like you, are being royally shafted and lied to by our Baby Boomer corporations and government.
I put my big question about life to my biological son Mark. Mark is a pediatrician, and author of a memoir, The Eden Express. It is about his crackup, straightjacket and padded cell stuff, from which he recovered sufficiently to graduate from Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Vonnegut said this to his doddering old dad: "Father, we are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is." So I pass that on to you. Write it down, and put it in your computer, so you can forget it.
I have to say that's a pretty good sound bite, almost as good as, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." A lot of people think Jesus said that, because it is so much the sort of thing Jesus liked to say. But it was actually said by Confucius, a Chinese philosopher, 500 years before there was that greatest and most humane of human beings, named Jesus Christ.
The Chinese also gave us, via Marco Polo, pasta and the formula for gunpowder. The Chinese were so dumb they only used gunpowder for fireworks. And everybody was so dumb back then that nobody in either hemisphere even knew that there was another one.
But back to people, like Confucius and Jesus and my son the doctor, Mark, who've said how we could behave more humanely, and maybe make the world a less painful place. One of my favorites is Eugene Debs, from Terre Haute in my native state of Indiana. Get a load of this:
Eugene Debs, who died back in 1926, when I was only 4, ran 5 times as the Socialist Party candidate for president, winning 900,000 votes, 6 percent of the popular vote, in 1912, if you can imagine such a ballot. He had this to say while campaigning:
As long as there is a lower class, I am in it.
As long as there is a criminal element, I'm of it.
As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
Doesn't anything socialistic make you want to throw up? Like great public schools or health insurance for all?
How about Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes?
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. ...
And so on.
Not exactly planks in a Republican platform. Not exactly Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney stuff.
For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that's Moses, not Jesus. I haven't heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere.
"Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon? Give me a break!
There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
But, when you stop to think about it, only a nut case would want to be a human being, if he or she had a choice. Such treacherous, untrustworthy, lying and greedy animals we are!
I was born a human being in 1922 A.D. What does "A.D." signify? That commemorates an inmate of this lunatic asylum we call Earth who was nailed to a wooden cross by a bunch of other inmates. With him still conscious, they hammered spikes through his wrists and insteps, and into the wood. Then they set the cross upright, so he dangled up there where even the shortest person in the crowd could see him writhing this way and that.
Can you imagine people doing such a thing to a person?
No problem. That's entertainment. Ask the devout Roman Catholic Mel Gibson, who, as an act of piety, has just made a fortune with a movie about how Jesus was tortured. Never mind what Jesus said.
During the reign of King Henry the Eighth, founder of the Church of England, he had a counterfeiter boiled alive in public. Show biz again.
Mel Gibson's next movie should be The Counterfeiter. Box office records will again be broken.
One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us.
And what did the great British historian Edward Gibbon, 1737-1794 A.D., have to say about the human record so far? He said, "History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind."
The same can be said about this morning's edition of the New York Times.
The French-Algerian writer Albert Camus, who won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957, wrote, "There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide."
So there's another barrel of laughs from literature. Camus died in an automobile accident. His dates? 1913-1960 A.D.
Listen. All great literature is about what a bummer it is to be a human being: Moby Dick, Huckleberry Finn, The Red Badge of Courage, the Iliad and the Odyssey, Crime and Punishment, the Bible and The Charge of the Light Brigade.
But I have to say this in defense of humankind: No matter in what era in history, including the Garden of Eden, everybody just got there. And, except for the Garden of Eden, there were already all these crazy games going on, which could make you act crazy, even if you weren't crazy to begin with. Some of the games that were already going on when you got here were love and hate, liberalism and conservatism, automobiles and credit cards, golf and girls' basketball.
Even crazier than golf, though, is modern American politics, where, thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.
Actually, this same sort of thing happened to the people of England generations ago, and Sir William Gilbert, of the radical team of Gilbert and Sullivan, wrote these words for a song about it back then:
I often think it's comical
How nature always does contrive
That every boy and every gal
That's born into the world alive
Is either a little Liberal
Or else a little Conservative.
Which one are you in this country? It's practically a law of life that you have to be one or the other? If you aren't one or the other, you might as well be a doughnut.
If some of you still haven't decided, I'll make it easy for you.
If you want to take my guns away from me, and you're all for murdering fetuses, and love it when homosexuals marry each other, and want to give them kitchen appliances at their showers, and you're for the poor, you're a liberal.
If you are against those perversions and for the rich, you're a conservative.
What could be simpler?
My government's got a war on drugs. But get this: The two most widely abused and addictive and destructive of all substances are both perfectly legal.
One, of course, is ethyl alcohol. And President George W. Bush, no less, and by his own admission, was smashed or tiddley-poo or four sheets to the wind a good deal of the time from when he was 16 until he was 41. When he was 41, he says, Jesus appeared to him and made him knock off the sauce, stop gargling nose paint.
Other drunks have seen pink elephants.
And do you know why I think he is so pissed off at Arabs? They invented algebra. Arabs also invented the numbers we use, including a symbol for nothing, which nobody else had ever had before. You think Arabs are dumb? Try doing long division with Roman numerals.
We're spreading democracy, are we? Same way European explorers brought Christianity to the Indians, what we now call "Native Americans."
How ungrateful they were! How ungrateful are the people of Baghdad today.
So let's give another big tax cut to the super-rich. That'll teach bin Laden a lesson he won't soon forget. Hail to the Chief.
That chief and his cohorts have as little to do with Democracy as the Europeans had to do with Christianity. We the people have absolutely no say in whatever they choose to do next. In case you haven't noticed, they've already cleaned out the treasury, passing it out to pals in the war and national security rackets, leaving your generation and the next one with a perfectly enormous debt that you'll be asked to repay.
Nobody let out a peep when they did that to you, because they have disconnected every burglar alarm in the Constitution: The House, the Senate, the Supreme Court, the FBI, the free press (which, having been embedded, has forsaken the First Amendment) and We the People.
About my own history of foreign substance abuse. I've been a coward about heroin and cocaine and LSD and so on, afraid they might put me over the edge. I did smoke a joint of marijuana one time with Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, just to be sociable. It didn't seem to do anything to me, one way or the other, so I never did it again. And by the grace of God, or whatever, I am not an alcoholic, largely a matter of genes. I take a couple of drinks now and then, and will do it again tonight. But two is my limit. No problem.
I am of course notoriously hooked on cigarettes. I keep hoping the things will kill me. A fire at one end and a fool at the other.
But I'll tell you one thing: I once had a high that not even crack cocaine could match. That was when I got my first driver's license! Look out, world, here comes Kurt Vonnegut.
And my car back then, a Studebaker, as I recall, was powered, as are almost all means of transportation and other machinery today, and electric power plants and furnaces, by the most abused and addictive and destructive drugs of all: fossil fuels.
When you got here, even when I got here, the industrialized world was already hopelessly hooked on fossil fuels, and very soon now there won't be any more of those. Cold turkey.
Can I tell you the truth? I mean this isn't like TV news, is it?
Here's what I think the truth is: We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey.
And like so many addicts about to face cold turkey, our leaders are now committing violent crimes to get what little is left of what we're hooked on.
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From the Organic Consumers' Association
GREAT NEWS: MONSANTO BACKS DOWN ON GE WHEAT!
PEOPLE DIG SMALL FAMILY FARMERS
A new Roper poll shows that 85% of those surveyed trust small family farms over large scale factory farms in producing safe and nutritious food in a more environmentally-friendly manner. 70% of those surveyed said they are concerned about the pesticides, hormones and antibiotics used in food production. The challenge is to get that same constituency to vote for small-scale sustainable food production with their consumer dollar.
YOU ARE THE OCA!
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) represents a half million people, like you, working together to support family farms, sustainable agriculture, safe food, and a healthy environment. Without you, there is no OCA. Together we are bringing about positive change! Thanks for your support!!
THERE MAY BE DOLPHIN IN YOUR "DOLPHIN SAFE" TUNA
The San Francisco Chronicle has discovered documents that reveal U.S. government inspectors have been taking massive bribes from Mexican fishing boats to create fake reports that overlook the capture and killing of dolphins during the tuna-netting process. "The whole basis for protecting dolphins in countries that set nets on them is that there are
BUSH ADMINISTRATION THREATENS ORGANIC STANDARDS
Over the past few weeks America's organic standards have once again come under heavy attack. First the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP) announced on April 14 that they would no longer monitor or police "organic" labels on non-agricultural products, literally opening the door for unscrupulous companies to put bogus organic labels on products such as fish, body care products, pet foods, fertilizer, and clothing. Then on April 28 the Feds shocked everyone by announcing that pesticides, animal drugs, growth hormones, antibiotics, and tainted fishmeal would be allowed on organic farms. The OCA is working hard to stop the degradation of organic standards by the USDA and head-off the takeover of the organic market by corporate agribusiness and biotech interests. We are now launching a national campaign called SOS--Safeguard Organic Standards, to make sure that strict organic standards are maintained and that organic monitoring, certification, and policing extends to the full range of consumer products, including body care, clothing, pet food, fertilizer, and other items. But to Safeguard Organic Standards we need your donations and we need your grassroots volunteer energy. Join us, and ask your friends, family, and neighbors to do the same. DONATE:
THE MAD COW COVER-UP
Pressure is mounting for a federal investigation into a possible second case of Mad Cow Disease in San Angelo, Texas. Two weeks ago, a cow staggered and collapsed at a Lone Star Beef slaughterhouse, and under federal law should have been tested for the deadly disease. According to government and industry sources, a federal inspector was in the process of taking a brain sample to test for the disease but was ordered to stop by the regional headquarters of the Texas Department of Agriculture. Instead, the cow was sent to a rendering plant to be made into animal food. According to Felicia Nestor, director of food safety at the Government Accountability Project, there have been several recent instances where government offices have attempted to keep inspectors from testing cows showing symptoms of Mad Cow Disease.
FRANKENGRASS - COMING TO A GOLF COURSE NEAR YOU…
OCA TO HELP REGISTER YOUTH TO VOTE
Given the recent USDA attack on organic standards, not to mention other, even more serious, crises in the U.S. and the world, the OCA is exploring ways our members can increase voter participation in the 2004 elections, both by organic consumers and youth. In 2000 only 51% of potential voters showed up at the polls. A strategic segment of non-registered voters are high school students and recent graduates. Sadly, according to statistics, recent high school graduates are the least likely to vote. See the "Open Letter from OCA on Registering Youth to Vote in 2004" at
See also: "Carry It Forward!" a multi-media project honoring the legacy of Paul and Sheila Wellstone--a 5-minute voter mobilization video targeting first time voters. Go tohttp://www.carryitforward.org/votefilm.html to view and order a $10.00 copy of "VOTE!" and to download the companion materials prepared to support teachers and others interested in carrying out lessons on voter registration and voting.
HAPPY NEWS TIDBIT OF THE WEEK - BANNING IRRADIATED FOODS
U.S. GETS A WTO SPANKING OVER COTTON SUBSIDIES
In late April, the World Trade Organization (WTO) surprised the world by supporting a Brazilian complaint against the U.S. regarding the massive funding wealthy nations put into subsidizing cotton. The U.S. subsidizes its 25,000 cotton farmers with $3 billion of taxpayer money each year. Eighty percent of these subsidies go to the 2,000 largest cotton plantations in the U.S.. This has allowed U.S. Cotton exporters to dump massive quantities of subsidized cotton on the world market-driving 15 million cotton farmers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America into desperate poverty. The WTO has ruled that these subsidies are illegal impediments to free trade.. The WTO decision will likely lead to similar lawsuits from other developing countries in the global South. President Bush has vowed to appeal. Meanwhile, cotton farmers in Brazil and Africa are hoping that an end to U.S. Subsidies could mean they might actually be able to afford to send their kids to school some day.
EAT CHICKEN, GET CANCER
STORY TIME: HOW MAGIC GE BEANS MAKE LOTS OF MONEY (BROUGHT TO YOU BY YOUR FRIENDS AT MONSANTO)
Here comes the shocker: The small print in the agreement between the farmer and the corporation stated that if the farmer breaches the contract, he owes 120 times the actual cost of the seeds to the Monsanto Corporation. As a result, in 2002 the multi billion dollar Monsanto Corporation successfully sued small family farmer McFarling for $780,000.
Happy Ending: Last week, a Federal appeals court ruled that Monsanto's demands for financial reparations from McFarling are far too excessive. A revised fine has not yet been set.
No So Happy Ending: In a similar case in Tennessee, Monsanto put cotton farmer (Kem Ralph) in prison for eight months for saving seeds (farmers have done this for thousands of years all over the world). In addition to the prison sentence, the small family farmer is being forced to pay $1.7 million in damages to Monsanto, despite the fact that the seeds in question actually cost a tiny fraction of that.
Moral of the Story: Join OCA's "Millions Against Monsanto" campaign -http://www.organicconsumers.org/monlink.html
ALERT: DEFEND THEMendicino VICTORY & SPREAD GE-FREE ZONES EVERYWHERE
But as the OCA warned in an Action Alert last week, Monsanto and their friends are fighting back. Sources have warned the OCA that the biotech lobby will soon introduce a bill in California to nullify theMendicino GE ban and make it illegal for other California counties to pass similar laws. World Trade Organization bureaucrats and the White House have also made it clear in the past that local citizen control over unpopular technologies such as genetic engineering will not be tolerated. OCA has launched a major campaign called the Biodemocracy Alliance to defeat this legislation and spread GE-Free zones across at least a dozen of California's 59 counties, as well as counties all over the U.S.
We need your help to spread the word, organize GE bans in your local area, and, most of all, we need donations to finance this effort. In the past 10 days, since we sent out an Action Alert, we have raised $20,000 from online donations and checks in the mail, but we need to raise at least $30,000 more in the next few weeks to keep up the momentum. We believe this is the most crucial moment in the ten-year history of the anti-GE foods movement. Please make an online donation today by clicking here:https://www.securemysite.com/greenpeople/ocadonate.cfm
NEW MAD COW REGULATIONS STILL MAKE US MAD
In response to the discovery of the first case of Mad Cow Disease in the U.S. last December, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced it will increase testing of the nation's cattle up to 480,000 cows per year. Consumer groups, including the Organic Consumers Association and the Consumers Union, say these new projections for testing are completely inadequate, given that the U.S. Cattle industry slaughters 35 million animals annually. The government and large beef corporations fear more tests since they know Mad Cow disease has now spread to more and more cattle in North America. However, many ranchers in Kansas, California, and other states, desperate to regain their export markets, say they're willing to test all cows, as Japan and other nations have demanded.
EARTH FRIENDLY LABELING LIES
Consumers are quickly learning that government oversight of product labeling is all too loosely regulated. To add to the already existing confusion, the Hudson Institute's Center for Global Food Issues (CGFI), an agribusiness and biotech front group, has announced it will now be labeling qualifying products as "Earth Friendly". This designation will be placed on genetically engineered foods and factory farmed meat and dairy products.. The corporate-funded CGFI claim they have a right to label products as such, given their "scientific" opinion that certain aspects of GE crops and densely packed feedlots are better for the environment than organic agriculture.
SCARY FISH FACTS
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released new safety guidelines for fish consumption, due to ever-increasing levels of mercury contamination. The fish containing the highest levels of mercury are: shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. The guidelines suggest eating up to two meals a week (totaling 12 ounces) of fish that are low in mercury such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish.
GETTING JUNK FOOD OUT OF SCHOOLS
With the Bush Administration's reduced funding for education, many school districts have been forced to seek other sources of income, including widespread installation of junk-food vending machines. School districts can make up to $100,000 per year under these contracts, but as a result of increased access to unhealthy foods, the childhood obesity and diabetes epidemics are on the increase. In response, two dozen states are now considering banning junk food vending machines in schools. The National Soft Drink Association is contesting this ban, claiming that high levels of junk food consumption are okay, and placing the blame on schools for not teaching the kids to exercise more.
REGULATING ROCKET FUEL LEVELS IN WATER
California has become the first state to consider regulating the levels of allowable toxic perchlorates in drinking water. The pollutant has been found in increasing levels in waterways around the U.S., particularly in areas near military bases and test sites (the toxin is most commonly originates in rocket fuels). Perchlorates cause severe neurological and thyroid dysfunction and are currently unregulated. In related news, the U.S. Department of Defense is insisting to Congress it should not be forced to comply with any environmental regulations, as a matter of national security.
WE NEED TO TALK
Interested in sharing your thoughts and ideas with other like-minded folks locally and around the world? Check out OCA's new online web forum and chat center.
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Aside from memory control, what other neurotechnologies are you looking at?
Hypersonic sound . This is a focused beam of sound used to deliver marketing noises or other messages in a very personal way. The sound is inaudible unless you walk into its narrow path.
It sounds entertaining.
Yes. It does have fun possibilities. But it's also invasive. It's sudden and it acts inside your head, as if you're hearing something through headphones. And Forbes magazine reported last September that American Technology Corporation, the company that invented hypersonic sound, isinstalling this in soda machines right now on Tokyo's streets . As you walk past, you'll suddenly hear inside your head the sound of the ice cubes dropping into the glass and the soda making that "psst" can-opening noise. You are going to be startled, you won't know where the sound came from and then you'll realise, wow, I was just hijacked by an advertisement.
Wouldn't there be a lot of scope for abuse?
It's not an expensive technology - you can buy hypersonic sound generating devices for about $600 - and they will get cheaper. If anyone wanted to destabilise other people they could do it really easily by making them think they were hearing voices in their heads. The victims would be unable to distinguish whether those sounds or voices had an external or internal source. Again the law is a big black hole on cognitive liberty issues like this.
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As Americans struggle to cut down on the carbs, the Bush administration is helping pump up organic foods with preservatives, mercury and PCBs.
By Amanda Griscom
May 21, 2004 | Over the course of 10 days in mid-April, the USDA issued three "guidances" and one directive -- all legally binding interpretations of law -- that threaten to seriously dilute the meaning of the word "organic" and discredit the department's National Organic Program. And the changes -- which would allow the use of antibiotics on organic dairy cows, synthetic pesticides on organic farms, and more -- were made with zero input from the public or the National Organic Standards Board, the advisory group that worked for more than a decade to help craft the first federal organic standards, put in place in October 2002.
The USDA insists that the changes are innocuous: "The directives have not changed anything. They are just clarifications of what is in the regulations that were written by the National Organic Standards Board," USDA spokesperson Joan Shaffer told Muckraker. "They just explain what's enforceable. There is no difference [between the clarifications and the original regulations] -- it's just another way of explaining it."
But Jim Riddle, vice chair of the NOSB and endowed chair in agricultural systems at the University of Minnesota, argues that what the USDA is trying to pass off as a clarification of regulations is actually a substantial change: "These are the sorts of changes for which the department is supposed to do a formal new rulemaking process, with posting in the Federal Register, feedback from our advisory board and a public-comment period. And yet there is no such process denoted anywhere."
Organic activists suspect that industry pressure drove the policy shifts. They point out that the USDA leadership has longstanding industry sympathies: Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman served on the board of directors of a biotech company, and both her chief of staff and her director of communications were plucked right out of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.
"Even though it evolved as a reaction against large-scale American agribusinesses, the organic food industry has seen tremendous growth, roughly 20 to 24 percent a year for the past 10 years," said Ronnie Cummins, founder and national director of the Organic Consumers Association. "That, not surprisingly, has brought with it investments from big business and demands for conventional farming practices more favorable to mass production."
One practice favored by large agribusiness is the use of antibiotics on cows, and a guidance issued on April 14 will allow just that on organic dairy farms, a dramatic reversal of 2002 rules. Under the new guidelines, sickly dairy cows can be treated not just with antibiotics but with numerous other drugs and still have their milk qualify as organic, so long as 12 months pass between the time the treatments are administered and the time the milk is sold.
"This new directive makes a mockery of organic standards," said Richard Wood, a recent member of the FDA's Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee and executive director of Food Animal Concerns Trust. "Organic farmers that we have talked to are furious because they have been very careful to follow the antibiotics rule. [The rule change] undercuts their ability to make a living doing things right."
Furthermore, said Wood, the use of antibiotics will reduce the pressure on organic farmers to provide healthy accommodations for their livestock. If they know they can pump their animals up with drugs, they won't have to worry so much about disease spreading when cows are penned up in close quarters, or about weaning calves from their mothers at an unnaturally early age.
"It's hard to deny that this looks awfully like a political move by USDA to do the bidding of larger dairy operations that want to produce organic milk by expanding their herds with cattle that were once on non-organic farms," Wood said.
Another new guidance put out on the same day would allow cattle farmers to feed their heifers non-organic fishmeal that could be riddled with synthetic preservatives, mercury and PCBs, and still sell their beef as organic.
And the following week, on April 23, the USDA took the particularly egregious step of issuing a legal directive [PDF] that opens the door for use of some synthetic pesticides on organic farms.
Previously, organic farmers were only allowed to use natural, nontoxic pesticides on their crops, which effectively prohibited use of pesticides with hidden ingredients (pesticide manufacturers often don't list certain ingredients, claiming the information is proprietary).
According to the new guidelines, however, organic farmers and certifiers are only required to make a "reasonable effort" to find out what is in the pesticides being applied to crops. "If they can't come up with the info on toxic inert ingredients that may be in their pesticides, they're off the hook" said Liana Hoodes, organic policy coordinator for the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture. "This takes all the pressure off of pesticide manufacturers to reveal their ingredients and develop nontoxic products. In fact, it creates a disincentive."
Last but certainly not least, another guidance [PDF] released on April 14 narrows the scope of the federal organic certification program to crops and livestock, critics say, meaning that national organic standards will not be developed for fish, nutritional supplements, pet food, fertilizers, cosmetics and personal-care products.
"Consumers beware: This basically allows any opportunistic company to put fraudulent 'organic' labels on products outside of the regulated domain, without any liability concerns," Hoodes told Muckraker. There have never been federal organic standards for these product categories -- which is why you cannot now trust an "organic" label on a bottle of shampoo or a package of farm-raised salmon -- but the USDA had previously said it would develop such standards. In anticipation of that eventuality, many companies have invested millions of dollars over the past decade to develop fish farms and factories for non-agricultural products that adhere to criteria consistent with those for organic crops and livestock.
"All that effort has just flown out the window," Cummins told Muckraker. "It's an outrage for the 30 million consumers who pay a premium for organic products and expect that they can trust the organic claim."
The USDA rejects activists' interpretation of this particular guidance: "There's a process to go through [to develop organic guidelines for non-agricultural categories] and it hasn't happened [yet]," said Shaffer. "It could still happen. I'm not clairvoyant."
Despite the USDA's demurrals, activists view the department's changes as a serious threat to hard-won standards for organic products. The National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture and other groups are investigating possible industry influence into the USDA's process, and some environmental groups are preparing to take legal action.
"Secretary Veneman should withdraw these new directives and follow the appropriate rulemaking procedures," said Riddle of the NOSB. "We want them withdrawn and to do it right."
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Quotes from Paul Bremmer:, chief US administrator in Iraq, former member Hart-Rudman Commission, former Reagan admin official.
The new administration seems to be paying no attention to the problem of terrorism. What they will do is stagger along until there's a major incident and then suddenly say, 'Oh, my God, shouldn't we be organized to deal with this?' That's too bad. They've been given a window of opportunity with very little terrorism now, and they're not taking advantage of it. Maybe the folks in the press ought to be pushing a little bit." Feb 26, 2001
''If you call it a war, you suggest there's a victory,'' he said. ''I would argue there is no final victory in the war against terrorism any more than there is in the so-called war against crime.''
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"Why is it when men express their view, they have opinions, and when women express their view, they're opinionated?" Teresa Heinz Kerry
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"Back in 2000 a Republican friend warned me that if I voted for Al Gore and he won, the stock market would tank, we'd lose millions of jobs, and our military would be totally overstretched. You know what? I did vote for Gore, he did win, and I'll be damned if all those things didn't come true!" James Carville
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A reader sent the following. I get a lot of glurge in my email. Most of the time it's been forwarded a kazillion times and by the time I actually find the piece I'm supposed to read, I'm in no mood to read it. Especially if it ends with a threat of "bad luck" if I don't forward it.
I don't know the author. If someone does, PLEASE, send us her name. Authors must get credit for the work they pen, especially when it is so well written.
THE DAFFODIL PRINCIPLE
Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. "I will come next Tuesday, " I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call.
Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!"
My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother."
"How far will we have to drive?" "Just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this. It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."
After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign that read, "Daffodil Garden."
We got out of the car and each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight. It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns - great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow.
Each different-colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.
"But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn.
"It's just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house.
On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking" was the headline.
The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read. The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and very little brain. "The third answer was, "Began in 1958."
There it was, The Daffodil Principle.
For me, that moment was a life-changing experience.
I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun - one bulb at a time - to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world. This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of indescribable magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.
The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration. That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time - often just one baby-step at a time - and learning to love the doing; learning to use the accumulation of time.
When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.
"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn.
"What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years. Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"
My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use today?"
* * *
How much of a man's behavior has to do with testosterone? Well, here is one of the most enlightening programs you'll ever hear (I caught it on Public Radio). If you have the time, just tune in and listen. It's a real eye-opener and well worth the time spent: http://126.96.36.199/pages/descriptions/02/220.html
* * *
Some Great Links:
Terry Jones, of Monty Python fame, writes about torture: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1239688,00.html
t r u t h o u t - Latest Insider Book: Bush Plays into Bin Laden's Hands
Great take on the state of the union: http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_4636.shtml
Study Shows Dogs Can Remember Words
Reagan Remembered - With Clarity This Time
Laughter is the Best Medicine
A mother enters her daughter's bedroom and sees a letter over the bed.
With the worst premonition, she reads it, with trembling hands:
It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm telling you that I eloped with my new boyfriend. I found real passion and he is so nice, with all his piercings and tattoos and his big motorcycle. But its not only that mom, I'm pregnant and Ahmed said that we will be very happy in his trailer in the woods.
He wants to have many more children with me and that's one of my dreams too. I've learned that marihuana doesn't hurt anyone and we'll be growing it for us and for his friends, who are providing us with all the cocaine and ecstasy we want.
In the meantime, we'll pray for the science to find the cure for AIDS, so that Ahmed can get better. He deserves it. Don't worry Mom, I'm 15 years old now and I know how to take care of myself. Some day I'll visit for you to know your grandchildren.
Your daughter, Judith
PS: Mom, it's not true. I'm at the neighbor's. I just wanted to show you that there are worse things in life than the school's report card that's in my desk's drawer... I love you!
* * *
A State Government Employee sits in his office and out of boredom, decides to see what’s in his old filing cabinet. He pokes through the contents and comes across an old brass lamp.
"This will look nice on my mantelpiece," he decides and takes it home with him. While polishing the lamp, a genie appears and grants him three wishes. "I wish for a beautiful Castle right now!" He gets one.
Now that he can think more clearly, he states his second wish. "I wish to be on an island where beautiful nymphomaniacs reside." Suddenly he is on an island with gorgeous females eyeing him lustfully. He tells the genie his third and last wish: "I wish I’d never have to work ever again."
He’s back in his government office.
* * *
A woman has had serious headaches for several years and has tried everything without success. One day, she was having lunch with a friend who referred her to a hypnotist who, according to her friend "works wonders on anything."
The woman comes home from the hypnotist and tells her husband, "Remember those headaches I've been having all these years? Well, they're gone." "No more headaches?" the husband asks, "What happened?" His wife replies, "Margie referred me to a hypnotist. He told me to stand in front of a mirror, stare at myself and repeat, 'I do not have a headache, I do not have a headache. I do not have a headache.' It worked! The headaches are all gone."
The husband replies, "Well, that is wonderful." His wife then says, "You know, you haven't been exactly a ball of fire in the bedroom these last few years. Why don't you go see the hypnotist and see if he can do anything for that?" The husband agrees to try it.
Following his appointment, the husband comes home, rips off his clothes, picks up his wife and carries her into the bedroom. He puts her on the bed and says, "Don't move. I'll be right back." He goes into the bathroom and comes back a few minutes later and jumps into bed and makes passionate love to his wife like never before. His wife says, "Boy, that was wonderful!"
The husband says, "Don't move! I will be right back." He goes back into the bathroom, comes back and round two was even better than the first time. The wife sits up and her head is spinning. Her husband again says, "Don't move, I'll be right back." With that, he goes back in the bathroom.
This time, his wife quietly follows him and there, in the bathroom, she sees him standing at the mirror and saying, "She's not my wife. She's not my wife. She's not my wife!"
* * *
The Real Man Test
1. Alien beings from a highly advanced society visit the Earth, and you are the first human they encounter. As a token of intergalactic friendship, they present you with a small but incredibly sophisticated device that is capable of curing all disease, providing an infinite supply of clean energy, wiping out hunger and poverty, and permanently eliminating oppression and violence all over the entire Earth.
You decide to:
A. Present it to the President of the United States.
2. As you grow older, what lost quality of your youthful life do you miss the most?
3. When is it okay to kiss another male?
A. When you wish to display simple and pure affection without regard for narrow-minded social conventions.
4. In your opinion, the ideal pet is:
A. A cat.
5. You have been seeing a woman for several years. She's attractive and intelligent, and you always enjoy being with her. One leisurely Sunday afternoon the two of you are taking it easy. You're watching a football game; she's reading the newspaper when she suddenly, out of the clear blue sky, tells you that she thinks she really loves you, but, she can no longer bear the uncertainty of not knowing where your relationship is going. She says she's not asking whether you want to get married; only whether you believe that you have some kind of future together. What do you say?
A. That you sincerely believe the two of you do have a future, but you don't want to rush it.
6. Okay, so you have decided that you truly love a woman and you want to spend the rest of your life with her, sharing the joys and the sorrows the world has to offer, come what may. How do you tell her?
A. You take her to a nice restaurant and tell her after dinner.
7. One weekday morning your wife wakes up feeling ill and asks you to get your three children ready for school. Your first question to her is:
A. "Do they need to eat or anything?"
8. When is it okay to throw away a set of veteran underwear?
A. When it has turned the color of a dead whale and developed new holes so large that you're not sure which ones were originally intended for your legs.
9. What, in your opinion, is the most reasonable explanation for the fact that Moses led the Israelites all over the place for forty years before they finally got to the Promised Land?
A. He was being tested.
10. What is the human race's single greatest achievement?
How to score your test:All "real men" answer "C" to each of these questions. In understanding this and carefully reviewing the "C" answer, women will come far in understanding men and enriching their own lives.
* * *
A fellow walks in to a bar and
shouts out "All lawyers are idiots!"
A fellow responds, "I resent that remark!"
The first guy says, "Are you a lawyer?"
"No, I'm an idiot."
* * *
One day a traveling salesman was driving down a back country road at about 30 mph when he noticed that there was a three-legged chicken running alongside his car. He stepped on the gas but at 50 miles per hour, the chicken was still keeping up. After about a mile of running the chicken ran up a farm lane and into a barn behind an old farm house.
The salesman had some time to kill so he turned around and drove up the farm lane. He knocked at the door and when the farmer answered he told him what he had just seen.
The farmer said that his son was a geneticist and he had developed this breed of chicken because the he, his wife and his son each like a drumstick when they have chicken and this way they only have to kill one chicken.
"That's the most fantastic thing I've ever heard," said the salesman. "How do they taste?"
"I don't know," said the farmer. "We've never caught one."
"The Bush campaign for re-election has officially begun. They're actually
running television commercials. Have you seen any of the television commercials?
In one of the commercials, you see George Bush for thirty seconds. In another
commercial, you get to see George Bush for sixty seconds -
kind of like his stint in the National Guard."
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Which country has a universal health care system (ranked number one by the World Health Organization) in which doctors still make house calls, waiting lists do not exist, hospitals are considered immaculate, and the expected life span is longer than here in the US?
Fromhttp://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2004_05/003972.php we get:
Its hospitals gleam. Waiting-lists are non-existent. Doctors still make home visits. Life expectancy is two years longer than average for the western world.
....For the patient, the French health system is still a joy. Same-day appointments can be made easily; if one doctor's advice displeases, you can consult another, a habit known as nomadisme médical. Individual hospital rooms are the norm. Specialists can be consulted without referral. And while the patient pays up front, almost all the money is reimbursed, either through the public insurance system or a top-up private policy.
For family doctors too, liberty prevails. They are self-employed, can set up a practice where they like, prescribe what they like, and are paid per consultation. As the health ministry's own diagnosis put it recently: "The French system offers more freedom than any other in the world."
And despite the Economist's scary headline, which proclaims that "crisis looms," the French system provides this service to everyone in the country and does it for less than half the cost per person of the U.S. Even if they decide to raise taxes to cover a growing deficit in their healthcare fund (the subject of the Economist's article) their costs will still be less than half ours per person.
Now, there are undoubtedly drawbacks to the French system. They probably have fewer high-tech machines than we do, and the comparative cost figures may be skewed by the American love of elective procedures. Still, there would have to be a lot of drawbacks to make their system less attractive than ours.
So why not adopt it? Well, that would be socialized medicine. Can't have that, can we? After all, everyone knows that when you socialize something it automatically declines slowly into anarchy and uselessness. Right?
My thanx to our proofreaders Joanne and Suzanne.