Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart
* WHO’S REALLY KING OF THE WORLD TODAY
By ilargi, TheAutomaticEarth
Well, if you thought you’d seen all the madness and absurdity that could possibly come out of the financial system by now, you are definitely being caught on the wrong flat foot as we speak. And there can be no doubt that much more of this will be revealed as we go along. Jamie Dimon renting Buckingham Palace to celebrate his $13 billion settlement with US regulators is just the beginning, though it’s a pretty clear statement of just how untouchable too big to fail policies have made Wall Street and the City feel. And they don’t feel that way for nothing, in every sense of the word, count on it.
A Labour spokesman said this about the party at the Palace, which included appearances by the Royal Philharmonic and the English National Ballet: ““There is also the fact that this should be a special place. This is the home of the Queen. Where is it all going to end?“ Well, sir, maybe it’s time to wake up, because the new kings and queens of the world have taken over. And they intend to be loud and proud about it, like any group of conquerors throughout history ever did.
It must have been a welcome spot of light relief for Jamie Dimon. Only days after he finally agreed to a $13 billion settlement with US mortgage regulators, the boss of JPMorgan – and dozens of his corporate clients – were sitting back amid the splendour of Buckingham Palace, enjoying a fine dinner and performances by the Royal Philharmonic and the English National Ballet.
The event, hosted by Prince Andrew, Duke of York, reflects growing enthusiasm by the Royal Family to use its premises to promote business interests. But it also risks stoking criticism over its apparent commercialisation and its intimacy with business.
The JPMorgan event on October 30, had a guestlist that included up to 100 corporate and political heavyweights, ranging from Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general, to Indian industrialist Ratan Tata. Also present was Tony Blair, the former prime minister who chairs JPMorgan’s “international council” of senior advisers.
That’s one sign that there’s been a takeover and a change of guards. The story coming out over the weekend about Royal Bank of Scotland – RBS – is another. And the “Royal” label in its name starts to sound mighty cynical. RBS is now being accused of pushing healthy client businesses into bankruptcy, so it could take over their assets for pennies on the pound. There’s one little detail that should make this even more preposterous: RBS is 81% government owned. […]
* FAST TRACK IS UNNECESSARY AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL
By John Olen, Economy In Crisis
President Obama believes the old ways of negotiating trade agreements are no longer good enough. Despite the United States operating for years with normal trade negotiations, the president is now asking for Fast-Track Trade Authority to push new agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) through Congress. This is the same process used to push through disastrous trade agreements with South Korea (KORUS), Colombia and Panama, which have been very damaging for the United States.
The agreements President Obama wants to push are likely to take the worst aspects of our old agreements and apply them to even more competitor countries. This administration has set a goal of doubling exports, but completely ignores our trade balance. Increasing exports alone is not good enough. Past agreements have proven that even if exports increase, scores of jobs are lost due to a flood of cheap imports that put American companies out of business or force them to outsource their manufacturing to compete.
Why should we believe new trade agreements will be any different? They will have all the damaging aspects of past agreements, and access to our economy will be extended to even more low-wage, low-regulation countries that can ship their cheap goods into our country, tariff- and duty-free. They may be even more damaging than past agreements, but we can’t know for certain because the negotiations have been taking place in secret and the details of the proposed agreements have been nearly impossible for members of congress to discover, let alone the general public. It is shameful that Wikileaks has provided more information about these proposed agreements than our own government has. […]
* MONSANTO, THE TPP, AND GLOBAL FOOD DOMINANCE
By Ellen Brown, Web of Debt
“Control oil and you control nations,” said US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the 1970s. ”Control food and you control the people.”
Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity with GMO (genetically modified) seeds that are distributed by only a few transnational corporations. But this agenda has been implemented at grave cost to our health; and if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) passes, control over not just our food but our health, our environment and our financial system will be in the hands of transnational corporations.
Profits Before Populations
According to an Acres USA interview of plant pathologist Don Huber, Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, two modified traits account for practically all of the genetically modified crops grown in the world today. One involves insect resistance. The other, more disturbing modification involves insensitivity to glyphosate-based herbicides (plant-killing chemicals). Often known as Roundup after the best-selling Monsanto product of that name, glyphosate poisons everything in its path except plants genetically modified to resist it.
Glyphosate-based herbicides are now the most commonly used herbicides in the world. Glyphosate is an essential partner to the GMOs that are the principal business of the burgeoning biotech industry. Glyphosate is a “broad-spectrum” herbicide that destroys indiscriminately, not by killing unwanted plants directly but by tying up access to critical nutrients.
Because of the insidious way in which it works, it has been sold as a relatively benign replacement for the devastating earlier dioxin-based herbicides. But a barrage of experimental data has now shown glyphosate and the GMO foods incorporating it to pose serious dangers to health. Compounding the risk is the toxicity of “inert” ingredients used to make glyphosate more potent. Researchers have found, for example, that the surfactant POEA can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. But these risks have been conveniently ignored.
The widespread use of GMO foods and glyphosate herbicides helps explain the anomaly that the US spends over twice as much per capita on healthcare as the average developed country, yet it is rated far down the scale of the world’s healthiest populations. The World Health Organization has ranked the US LAST out of 17 developed nations for overall health.
Sixty to seventy percent of the foods in US supermarkets are now genetically modified. By contrast, in at least 26 other countries—including Switzerland, Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico and Russia—GMOs are totally or partially banned; and significant restrictions on GMOs exist in about sixty other countries.
A ban on GMO and glyphosate use might go far toward improving the health of Americans. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a global trade agreement for which the Obama Administration has sought Fast Track status, would block that sort of cause-focused approach to the healthcare crisis. […]
* NEW HEALTH RANKINGS: OF 17 NATIONS, U.S. IS DEAD LAST
Will seeing just how far we’ve fallen behind other countries, across almost all measures of health, finally motivate change?
By Grace Rubenstein, The Atlantic
We’ve known for years that Americans tend to be overweight and sedentary, and that our health care system, despite being the priciest in the world, produces some less-than-plum results. Health nerds who closely follow the news may even have known that we live shorter lives than people in other rich nations, and that infants in the U.S. die from various causes at far higher rates.
But a fresh report, out Wednesday, tapped vast stores of data to compare the health of affluent nations and delivered a worrisome new message: Americans’ health is even worse than we thought, ranking below 16 other developed nations.
“The news is that this is across the lifespan, and regardless of income,” said Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, who was not an author of the study. “A lot of people thought it was underserved populations that were driving the statistics — the poor, the uninsured. They still are a big part of our challenge, but the fact that even if you’re fairly well-to-do you still have these problems shatters that myth.”
The question is: Will it make a difference? […]
* GENETICIST DAVID SUZUKI SAYS HUMANS “ARE PART OF A MASSIVE EXPERIMENT”
By Arjun Walia, Activist Post
We are doing our part to try and spread the word about GMOs, (genetically modified organisms) but we’re not the only ones. Multiple public figures, scientists and researchers have been speaking out about GMOs for a number of years. For example, not long ago a former Canadian Government Scientist at Agriculture Canada, Dr. Thierry Vrain (one of many) spoke out against GMOs.
Another prominent public figure, geneticist David Suzuki, has been a long-time advocate against GMOs, and has been speaking out about how they can be hazardous to human health as well as the environment. Below, I’ve provided a video example of Suzuki explaining why he feels the way he does about GMOs. Public figures with a wide audience can have a great impact on the consciousness of the masses, they are great ‘tools’ for waking up more people to the reality that GMOs can be harmful to human health as well as the environment. It’s time to pay attention, do your own research and to question what you’ve been told. We can no longer trust branches of the government that deal with food and health, we must not take their word for it; it’s better if you actually look into it yourself rather than blindly believing what your are told.
It doesn’t seem to be much of a debate anymore; it’s clear that GMOs can indeed be harmful to human health. There is a reason why a majority of countries around the world have permanently banned GMOs, so what’s taking North America so long? One reason might be the fact that biotech corporations like Monsanto seem to be above the government and influence policy, but thankfully these things are changing. Big Island, Hawaii has recently banned all GMO products and bio-tech company products. Various bills calling for moratorium on GE food include Vermont, North Dakota, Boulder, Colorado, San Francisco and more.
This large movement against GMOs is not based on belief — multiple researchers and scientists all around the world have shown that GMOs can be harmful. Here is a study that shows how Bt toxins found in Monsanto crops can be damaging to red blood cells, and potentially cause leukemia. Here is another one that shows how GMO animal feed caused severe stomach inflammation and enlarged uteri in pigs. There have been multiple studies linking GMOs to cancer, and a range of other diseases. Scientists all over the world have come together to show their support for the ban of GMOs. […]