Volkswagen Scandal – Another angle

Volkswagen did wrong by falsifying data, crossing the line in a game where it is well know that every car maker uses canny tricks to massage their figures on emissions, fuel consumption and the like. I am glad that they were caught out, that they admitted it and that their chief executive has resigned. I suspect there will be sleepless nights across the car industry for weeks to come.

But what this accidental discovery also reveals is that Uncle Sam has not been checking acHippie-VW-Vantual emissions against laboratory emissions figures from Volkswagen vehicles, or any others. This has apparently been overlooked throughout some 40 years of emissions standards, with the same approach likely to have been true within the EU. I am reminded that in all my years in the food business many of my products were tested by state agencies, but never for the veracity of the ingredient listing or nutritional content.

It is ironic that the Uncle Sam Corporation, which is making a huge haul out of this ($18 Billion, possibly much more), is the same ”corporation” that hands out billions in subsidies to fossil fuel producers, the root source of the emissions in question. This same “corporation” encourages fracking, underwrites nuclear power, and uses depleted uranium in munitions that will pollute the land on which they explode for thousands of years. This collector of fines destroys entire nations overseas in pursuit of its own interests, or the interests of those pulling its strings. It doesn’t really give a damn about emissions, but has suddenly discovered a nice little earner.

It was two guys seeking to show the cleanliness of diesel that turned up this surprise, having expected Volkswagens’ performance to demonstrate their case. At the very least, the US government should be rewarding these two with a good share of their harvest in fines. Uncle Sam didn’t spend money finding this out and hasn’t personally lost anything, though many Volkswagen owners will be unable to drive vehicles made illegal overnight. Could those drivers and asthma sufferers also be calling the state to account for not doing its job over decades?

Those two guys got a surprise, as would we if our foodstuffs, body care products and many other goods were adequately vetted for damaging features.

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Here is a related extract from my book The State Is Out Of Date, We Can Do It Better, that discusses the alternatives to trusting the state to keep our foodstuffs safe, one that could be extended to motor vehicles and other consumer products. From the chapter “Way and Means”
“…And we want to be sure that our food is not contaminated with heavy metals, toxic bacteria, rat droppings, radioactive particles, pesticides, unexpected forms of flesh, hormone residues, or other noxious contaminants.

Though the state would have us believe that it looks after all the above and more, today’s increasingly conscious consumers are becoming ever more aware of the flimsiness of the state’s protection—a state whose own involvement in the food chain has led to dangers far more endemic and frightening than rat droppings or even a touch of heavy metal. Typically the state will try to deny or cover up its own dangerous mistakes, assuring us that there has been no risk to human health. Occasionally, when scientists speak out about the dangers, they will suggest that consumers, if they want to be absolutely sure, should consume fewer farmed salmon, or be sure to peel their potatoes and apples, while not suggesting they be overly concerned. Then, one suspects, they will take steps to ensure that such information does not unexpectedly leak out again in the future, and wait for things to get back to abnormal.

Where consumers are unconcerned about their food quality, no amount of regulations will make much difference to the quality of their diet—a diet that has often been downgraded by government interference in the food chain. Today, as consumers increasingly appreciate the connection between their health and the foods with which they make and power themselves, a vacuum exists for a company whose remit is to provide genuine certification to food producers, incorporating regular testing of their products and verification of claims made for products. This can be done with bonded personnel able to review, among many other factors, a company’s working recipes, relative to ingredient listing. It will be in the long-term interests of the food industry to have a standard of integrity that can be trusted by the public.

If such a standard is developed and maintained by a private organization, its very existence would be threatened were integrity lost by colluding with a food company over false data. Today there is always the chance of such activity being exposed online or on Twitter, TV, or by the press. Such a certification mark adds value to the product and would be paid for by a modest charge to the company based on volume or value. There can be alternative validation schemes available so, for instance…”

 

The OTHER Drug Problem

The real drug problems rarely make headlines – those caused by pharmaceuticals designed to be addictive. We recently discovered that opioid painkillers claim the lives of 312 Americans every week, compared to 285 lost to murder. Since 2000 these drugs have killed three times as many Americans as were killed in Vietnam. A further 160 die each week from overdosing on heroin, most having become addicted via prescribed opioids. Yet nobody is fighting a war against them, while Big Pharma pockets big profits and markets them freely. Competition to Big Pharma is suppressed by law enforcement agencies spending vast sums of taxpayers’ money in the War on Drugs. Sometimes major drug enforcement agencies work with drug cartels, enforcing monopolies and suppressing free enterprise in the unlicensed drugs trade. For more on opioid painkiller killers, here’s the Forbes coverage.

FOR insight on the drugs problem, here’s a paragraph from “The Drugs Problem,” a chapter in The State Is Out of Date, We Can Do It Better

Society does have a problem with drug use. It is a serious problem that is getting worse. For some reason, though, the perception of this problem is focused entirely on the very small range of drugs that are being used illegally. We cannot ignore the very real problems faced by those who are using drugs prescribed by doctors. Their lives can be damaged and sometimes destroyed as a result of diagnostic error, their own abuse of the prescribed stocks (few recreational drug users have a month’s supply in a bottle), or just years of being dependent on pharmaceuticals with known side effects. These legal drugs must be obtained through controlled channels, but these channels translate into a multi-billion dollar industry throughout the world—the real drugs trade. While we condemn it when drug barons bribe and seduce judges, police, and politicians, we think nothing of the lobbyists employed by the pharmaceutical industry in Washington DC, who number more than three for every single Congressman or Senator.

The most successful, and profitable, pharmaceutical drugs are those which do not cure, but instead create a lifelong habit for the user…”

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Protecting a child or defending their authority?

At issue in the sad case of young Ashya King is NOT concern over the life and well-being of a young child but a response to his parents’ defiance of the state’s authority over them and their child. This story has eclipsed that of the 1400 children in Rotherham who were abducted, abused, raped, and sex trafficked for 15 years or more WITH the knowledge of the police and social services. In that case, too, parents who intervened to try and help these children were ignored by social services and/or arrested by the police.

Nature has instilled in our genes the paramount need to protect our young – to secure the next generation’s survival. We hear of parents sacrificing their own lives to save that of their children. How on earth can employees of the faceless state assume greater authority over a child than that child’s own parents? In this case Ashya’s parents were willing to defy the authority of the NHS and sacrifice their holiday home in Spain to try a promising treatment in another land. Of course, they discovered this treatment after exhaustively trawling the Internet and, of course, the NHS doctors dismissed the world’s largest and most extensive database of information as not worthy of trust. What world do they inhabit, these official guardians of our health, who still find it difficult to accept that our diet has much to do with our health, let alone any treatments neither in their university training nor promoted by pharmaceutical companies? These are the health guardians who held so little hope for the future of Ashya King and wanted nobody to prove them wrong.Ashya‘s parents defied the authority of the state, triggering an international response, major headlines, and their immediate tracking down, arrest and rough handling by Spanish police. Their very ill child was forcibly taken into care and deprived of contact with his loving parents, who now face extradition to the UK, with them accused of kidnap. How can you kidnap your own kid? Who is the victim of their crime? The state simply asserts that its care of young Ashya will be superior to the care of his parents, with no track record suggesting this would be the case.. It is worth noting the Barnardo’s report citing the care system as putting two thirds of its young girls at risk of sexual exploitation, with half of those only coming into risk after going into care. That state care costs us some £200,00 a year, about six times the cost of an elite private school. How can we be naive enough to believe that the state has our best interests at heart when it criminalizes caring parents whilst ignoring widespread paedophile activities?1400 children were horribly abused in Rotherham, triggering no extraditions nor even a resignation by those who let this happen with eyes wide open. Girls of 11 were violently raped in front of other children, some were doused in petrol, and many trafficked for repeated abuse over a period of 15 years leading up to 2013. The majority of victims had been in the protective care of the state at the time. Hundreds must have been involved in the purveying and abuse of these children, yet just five Pakistani men were convicted, with three of them receiving lighter sentences than did the highly publicized Rolf Harris for offences committed over 30 years ago.Barnado’s Homes and others qualified to comment assert that Rotherham is only the “tip of the iceberg” with systematic abuse of children taking place across the UK. This is happening here and now! Why are police and politicians not rallying in response? Why has the recent enquiry into Westminster’s organized paedophile ring fizzled out? Have we forgotten the appalling Kincora Boys Home scandal in Belfast? All this is now overshadowed by two parents whose love for their child was greater than their fear of the state.Gregory Sams,  author of The State Is Out of Date – We Can Do It Better
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Sunlight – blessing or curse?

Sunlight – a dangerous drug for humans or a life-prolonging blessing? Different scientists claim both.

TWO SUNS

Sun’s rays make us feel so good that they are addictive, which is a serious health problem, according to doctors in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, scientists in Sweden have found that women who avoid sunbathing during the summer are twice as likely to die as those who sunbathe every day.

Which is right?
The scientists in Massachusetts base their conclusions on indoors trials with shaved mice and UV light, followed by injections of opiate-blocking drugs to block the endorphins.  Mice are nocturnal. Full story click here…

The epidemiological study in Sweden followed 30,000 women for over 20 years and “showed that mortality was about double in women who avoided sun exposure compared to the highest exposure group.” Full story click here…

Shedding light on our life-giving star: Sun of gOd, by Gregory SamSoG Cover Blog small

We Can Do It Better – a timely example

The subtitle of my book The State Is Out Of Date is “We Can Do It Better” and here is a great example. Many would like to think the government is keeping an eye on our safety, intervening to be sure our drugs and food are safe enough to consume (often banning chemicals that for decades they assured us were safe).  The truth is very different, especially when there is nothing  to tax and nobody to fine – especially when activities they support, such as nuclear power, are posing the risk. In this case, the state is telling us that the risk from Fukushima’s catastrophic meltdowns is so negligible it is not worth spending the money to prove the waters of the Pacific are safe.   After all, for the same cost, they could buy at least one, maybe even two $2 Million F35 fighter pilot helmets.

People along the British Columbia coast are being asked to step in where governments in Canada and the U.S. have not — to measure radiation from Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in B.C.’s ocean waters.

Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass., are calling on the public to collect data from B.C.’s oceans for a crowd-funded research project.

The website ourradioactiveocean.org is recruiting “citizen scientists,” ordinary people who can raise $600 for a home testing kit and then take water samples to return to Woods Hole for analysis.

‘When you don’t know, people can speculate all kinds of things’– Ken Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

“I think it’s important to geocean-currents-300x157t measurements, and since the governments aren’t doing it, we thought the public has a large concern we’d ask them help collect and fund the sampling,” said Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute researcher Ken Buesseler.

Although it has been urged, Buesseler says there is incomplete monitoring, and little data, for radiation in Pacific coastal waters from either Canadian or American authorities.

Full story click here

– – – – – – –

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How pharmaceuticals infect NHS policy

The Independent sheds light on the means by which pharmaceutical companies shape government health policy to their own bottom line. It seems like most patient’s lobby groups are funded, managed, and represented by agents of the pharmaceutical industry. The industry says it is all above board because if you look into the small print you can discover this. But it’s rarely mentioned in the newspaper headlines when hand-picked desperate sufferers are crying out for the NHS to spend more money on wonder drugs. Nor is it mentioned when new laws are proposed to restrict herbal and alternative treatments. Full story from the Independent here.

I have a few words to say about Big Pharma in The State Is Out Of Date. Here’s an excerpt from chapter 28, The Drugs Problem
Society does have a problem with drug use. It is a serious problem that is getting worse. For some reason, though, the perception of this problem is focused entirely on the very small range of drugs that are being used illegally. We cannot ignore the very real problems faced by those who are using drugs prescribed by doctors. Their lives can be damaged and sometimes destroyed as a result of diagnostic error, their own abuse of the prescribed stocks (few recreational drug users have a month’s supply in a bottle), or just years of being dependent on pharmaceuticals with known side effects. These legal drugs must be obtained through controlled channels, but these channels translate into a multi-billion dollar industry throughout the world—the real drugs trade. While we condemn it when drug barons bribe and seduce judges, police, and politicians, we think nothing of the lobbyists employed by the pharmaceutical industry in Washington DC, who number more than three for every single Congressman or Senator. To rephrase that, there are 535 elected representatives shaping law and regulation in the capital of the United States, attended to by 1,724 paid persuaders from the pharmaceutical drug barons alone (as well as some 9,750 lobbyists from other interest groups in 2011).
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The Consciousness Revolution

Graham Hancock for Russell Brand in the New Statesman.

THE CONSCIOUSNESS REVOLUTION

Consciousness is one of the great mysteries of science – perhaps the greatest mystery. We all know we have it, when we think, when we dream, when we savour tastes and aromas, when we hear a great symphony, when we fall in love, and it is surely the most intimate, the most sapient, the most personal part of ourselves. Yet no one can really claim to have understood and explained it completely. There’s no doubt it’s associated with the brain in some way but the nature of that association is far from clear. In particular how do these three pounds of material stuff inside our skulls allow us to have experiences?

…later, he continues…

I refer here to the so-called “war on drugs” which is really better understood as a war on consciousness and which maintains, supposedly in the interests of society, that we as adults do not have the right or maturity to make sovereign decisions about our own consciousness and about the states of consciousness we wish to explore and embrace. This extraordinary imposition on adult cognitive liberty is justified by the idea that our brain activity, disturbed by drugs, will adversely impact our behaviour towards others. Yet anyone who pauses to think seriously for even a moment must realize that we already have adequate laws that govern adverse behaviour towards others and that the real purpose of the “war on drugs” must therefore be to bear down on consciousness itself.

Read the full article here, on Graham Hancock’s website.

Extract from The Drugs Problem, chapter 27 of the book   –

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“It seems a reasonable desire for people to find some means to get “out of their heads” from time to time—to take a totally different perspective on life. Perhaps some new perspectives are needed in the world today, and the attraction to drugs is evolution trying to happen. We should be pleased that many of today’s generation are avoiding the trap of alcohol addiction, together with the anti-social behavior, depression, trivia worship, and middle-age burnout that abusers risk. When not abused, alcohol can be an enjoyable and stimulating drug that is beneficial to our health and well-being. Alcohol has a well-earned place in our culture, but that place does not deserve to be defended by state legislation and turned into a drug monopoly.

Drugs are an integral part of our culture and, as we learned in school, they made up the core of the early international business that brought the world’s differing cultures into trade with each other. Those products of trade included tobacco, alcohol, opium, tea, coffee, chocolate, cocaine, and sugar. Tea was such a costly drug in the pre-revolutionary US that users would season and eat the dried leaves after drinking the strong tea. Prior to the discovery of sugar cane, the sweetening for Europe had been expensive honey; the intense sugar hit was once a luxury drug. Today, we are made addicts from childhood, with many seeing it as a child’s inalienable right to consume large quantities of sugary things. Yet it is clear that the effects of sugar consumption are more damaging than many illegal drugs, and that for many, sugar is a harder drug to kick. The other major items of trade were pepper and spices, products we might view as virtual drugs to the taste buds of the bland European palate of the mid-millennium. The glorious history of trade in the civilized world was firmly anchored in humanity’s desire for new and diverse drugs and sensory inputs.

People have always sought to include drugs in their life- style for many non-medical reasons: whether to stay awake longer or to fall asleep sooner; whether to drown their sorrows or to better understand them; whether to enjoy a banter in the bar with friends or have mystic communication with a tree; whether to explore their dark side or say hello to the god within. Some drugs are not an escape from “reality” but a gateway to exploring the very nature of reality. Even the humble drug tea was first discovered by Buddhist monks, who used its stimulatory qualities in their quest for higher consciousness when meditating through the night. One could imagine how dismayed they would be at the level of tea abuse taking place in modern Britain.”

Big Business battles against GMO’s

  • I had quite a few things to say about GMO’s in The State Is Out Of Date, so was delighted to see that Dr Bronner’s soaps are in the forefront of the campaign to get GMO foodstuffs labeled as such in the state of Washington. Today, the 5th of November, is the critical day when voting takes place on what could be a historic turning point.

yes-on-522-300x98

It’s midmorning at the hive of cheap buildings that serves as the global HQ of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, and, as usual, David Bronner isn’t working on anything to do with soap. Sure, his phone is ringing off the hook with business calls and a rep from Trader Joe’s is visiting tomorrow, but the 40-year-old CEO—who looks like a 6-foot-5 raver version of Captain Jack Sparrow—could care less. A Burning Man amulet dangles on a hemp necklace over his tie-dye shirt as he leans in toward his computer screen, staring at what really matters to him: the latest internal poll results for Washington Initiative 522, a ballot measure that would require the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms.

The initiative, which Washingtonians will vote on tomorrow, is one of the costliest in state history: Its proponents have spent a little more than $7 million, while their opponents in biotech and agribusiness have poured in $22 million.* Dr. Bronner’s has donated a whopping $1.8 million to the Yes on 522 campaign. (That’s on top of $620,000 it gave in support of a similar California ballot measure last year.) At stake, Bronner says, is consumers’ right to decide what they put in their bodies. “If we don’t win the right to label and enable people to choose non-GMO, then everything is going to be GMO.”  Read the full story here.

From “Natural Government vs State Control,” chapter 7

The reason there are virtually no GMO products on sale in the European food chain is not because they are illegal but because they must be labeled as GMO, and people remain unconvinced on the benefits versus the risks.”

Death in/of the Pacific?

Why is there so much death and disease among sea life living near the west coast of North America right now? Could the hundreds of tons of highly radioactive water that are being released into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima every single day have anything to do with it?Pacific-currents-300x217
…Polar bears, seals and walruses along the Alaska coastline are suffering from fur loss and open sores…Along the Pacific coast of Canada and the Alaska coastline, the population of sockeye salmon is at a historic low…Something is causing fish all along the west coast of Canada to bleed from their gills, bellies and eyeballs…the Vancouver Sun reported that cesium-137 was being found in a very high percentage of the fish that Japan was selling to Canada…
Read full story here

We thought that the one positive spin-off of Three Mile Island was that it would be the death-knell for nuclear power. We thought the same after Chernobyl, and Fukushima. Yet the madness continues with the UK now going to China for money to build more. The risks are so unacceptable that only the disconnected thinking of a coercive state could countenance them.extract from The State of Business, chapter 20

“‘False Legitimacy’ is often extended to businesses that would otherwise have neither the means nor any reason to exist. As mentioned earlier, this is patently the case with nuclear power, a dangerous and uneconomic activity that would never merit its existence in a free economy. Unless exonerated by the state, companies have responsibility under common law for their activities. Nuclear power companies do not take responsibility for obsolete plants that will remain toxic and need minding for many tens of thousands of years beyond their thirty- to forty-year working lifespan. No insurance company is willing to cover for the incalculable potential costs of nuclear accidents, as demonstrated at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. The state will attempt to underwrite any disaster repairs, with our money. If I keep referring to nuclear, it is because nothing else on this planet matches its potential to so permanently destroy virtually all of this beautiful thing called life.” (get the full ebook online for less than a cup of coffee)

Who controls the press?

I am bemused by the ongoing story about how “we” (the state) should be curtailing press freedoms in response to recent phone hacking scandals by scurrilous journalists. Let me get this right: the people who are known to be illegally scooping up countless millions of our phone calls, emails, and social media exchanges are now responsible for making sure the press doesn’t do it. NSA-300x192 It was the press, notably the Guardian and Washington Post, who blew loudly on Edward Snowden’s whistle, alerting us to widespread global hacking done by the US National Security Agency with the complicity of overseas security agencies like MI5.  It was the press who themselves shut down the offending News of the World, and who are facing charges for behaviour that is illegal under existing rules. Are any NSA officials being charged for their hacking, which was quite literally millions of times more invasive than that done by the press? I suspect not.
The press gets some positive and negative criticism in the chapter touching upon it.from So What’s News, chapter 19

“Despite its tendency to fill our heads with all the world’s anguish and grief, a free media can perform an invaluable service for society and does a better job of monitoring and exposing the abuses and iniquities of our world than does the “protective” state. How often have we witnessed the government being the last to acknowledge its own corruption and abuse, and then only after revelation in the media? The media is often the first to inform us of scandals involving large or small corporations and dangers facing us through exposure to environmental chemicals or diseases in the food chain.”
“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter’. Thomas Jefferson, American Founding Father, 1743–1826