Archive for February, 2014

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US Geological Survey:

“Glyphosate and its degradation product, AMPA, were detected in ≥75% of air and rain samples in 2007…”

Glyphosate, Hard Water and Nephrotoxic Metals: Are They the Culprits Behind the Epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology in Sri Lanka?
Study Connects Monsanto’s Roundup to Fatal Kidney Disease Epidemic

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BBC:

A billionaire fashion designer says scientists have found a way to reverse his ageing process, it seems…

He adds: “I am taking perhaps more stem cell treatment than anybody else in the world. I have been doing it for four years now, so I am sort of a testimonial that this stem cell really works.”

 

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Wow – Shameless self-promotion moment:

This type of anti-aging treatment is the central plot of my novel Hell of a Deal, where the mogul in question is a Hollywood tycoon.

 

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See more:

All the King’s Trolls
Disinformation Killed 9/11 “Truth”
MUST SEE: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden
Russell Tice on Breaking the Set
Optic Nerve: Hacks Your Web Cam

All posts on NSA

 

 

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The story started off weakly.  Essentially we get the true meaning of the term flyover states.  The world lacks the charm, plot and urgency of a Coen brothers slice of Americana.  It seemed all thought out and planned but lacking spontaneity.

Nebraska does, however, pick up about midway through.  This is a grim story, a painful story about the sum of a life and the small, petty lives of average mid-western people.  I’m not sure what to make of it really, and I probably should have seen it in a theater rather than at home on DVD.  It has a big, wide black and white environment and convincing enough performances.  A few miscues with the lighting particularly brought it down a couple of notches in my scale, but overall it was shot well.

I may revisit it someday in the future and try and see what critics have been gushing over.  Perhaps so few serious American films get made at all that their standards tend to accommodate.  Or maybe any film full of elderly actors receives instant award season credibility.

My vote is 3/5, with the possibility of revising upward.

 

Internet Market Considers MIcrosoft Bid for Yahoo

NSA’s UK branch has now been exposed for spying directly into people’s residences with imagery from hacked web cameras.  These unaccountable monsters are the enemies of humanity and should be arrested and tried for their myriad ongoing crimes.

Yahoo webcam images from millions of users intercepted by GCHQ
• Optic Nerve program collected Yahoo webcam images in bulk
• 1.8m users targeted by UK agency in six-month period alone
• Yahoo: ‘A whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy’
• Material included large quantity of sexually explicit images

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NSA British partner GCHQ spills secrets over at Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept site.  Their reach is global, and they are partners who share what they call “intelligence” with one another in secret arrangements.  NSA conspiring with GCHQ to target innocent American citizens could be construed as Treason, waging a cyber “war” against them.

How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

They also target businesses, particularly foreign business rivals in order to protect and advance their own nation’s corporate behemoths.  This is the empire business.  This is not democracy.

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More:

Reddit Censors Big Story About Government Manipulation and Disruption of the Internet

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How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

 

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… I forgot to mention: ON PURPOSE.  This is the toxic waste they dump in the nation’s drinking water on the bogus claim that it contains “fluoride” so it must help teeth somehow.  Does anyone actually believe that drinking fluoride in your water is helping your teeth?  How about brushing them?  There’s a novel approach.

This drinking water fluoride claim has never been proven, and yet this practice continues like a zombie set loose to stumble the earth.

Fluoride Spill at Water Facility Literally Burns Holes in Parking Lot Cement

 

 

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by Steven Jonas | Originally at Buzzflash

Many readers of this column will know of the movie The Monuments Men. It received a huge build-up through previews and advertising, and also through personal appearances. (I saw John Goodman do an interview for “Morning Joe.”) It is about a group of fine art and architectural experts who are assigned to closely follow allied forces through France and Northern Europe as they slowly push the Nazi Army back to Germany and then closing in with the Red Army coming from the East, force the German unconditional surrender on May 7, 1945.

Their assignment (and there was no “Mr. Phelps” to accept or reject it) was multifold: to try to prevent where possible damage to priceless and irreplaceable art and architecture by allied forces, prevent the theft of fine art by the Nazis and in the case of art already stolen, recover it.

As Manohla Dargis points out in her review in The New York Times, “The story’s real life heroes were a group of curators, restorers, archivists and the like who served in the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Section, an Allied effort to protect Europe’s cultural heritage.”

The exploits (and there were many) of the real Monuments Men (and women) are recounted in several books, among them one by Robert Edsel with Bret Witter entitled “The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History.” The actual number of monuments men and women was 345. For the purposes of his movie George Clooney whittled the number down to six.

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The movie has received only lukewarm reviews (at the ones I saw were lukewarm). It has been generally summed up as “Ocean’s Eleven” meets “The Dirty Dozen.” An art historian whom I know well, whose specialty is World War II art, who also knows a great deal about the work of the real monuments men, dismissed the movie as a very light treatment of a piece of serious history. But I happen to think that when one gets beyond the matter of the compression of the MM unit and the way the story was presented (“pedestrian” and “predictable” were two adjectives widely used) it is a very important movie, for several reasons.

First of all, as we get further and further away from the Second World War, for understandable reasons fewer and fewer movies are being made about it. To me this one is important first because it shows a side of the Nazis and their regime which once covered the whole of Europe aside from Sweden, Spain, and Portugal, not often seen. In addition to all of their other crimes, they were common thieves. In fact, once they had fully established State anti-Semitism in Germany in the mid-1930s, a significant source of their financing came from stolen Jewish property. And they did not stop stealing Jewish property when they went into the occupied countries.

The movie makes it clear that much of the art they stole had been in private Jewish collections, and while they kept the art for the most part they shipped their former owners off to the furnaces. In certain instances, they stole public art too. And so while World War II made war on civilians commonplace, the Nazis added war on culture to it. (There had of course been prior instances of war on civilians, of course. Sherman’s March through Georgia, Sheridan’s campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, and the centuries-long was on the Native Americans, culminating in the (ironically) Sherman/Sheridan-led Indian Wars of the 1870s, are examples. But both sides engaged against widespread war on civilians in World War II. I think that it is important to illustrate how the Nazis went after art. Hitler, who when he was young had had aspirations to be an artist, planned a huge museum to display the stolen work, in his home city of Linz, Austria.

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But then the movie brings other examples of the war on culture in the modern era to mind, which is why I think that it is important. In World War II, while the Nazis stole art for their hoped-for post-war private collections as Goering, who knew what he was looking at, wanted to do, a famous Allied raid destroyed the priceless medieval city of Dresden, which had no military value. The destruction of the even more priceless Japanese city of Kyoto by Curtis Lemay’s bombers was prevented only by the direct intercession of the Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson. There had long been a story that the Japanese scholar Edwin O. Reischauer which I believed until I went to Google once again had achieved this, but Reischauer gave the credit to Stimson.

More recently, there has been the famous destruction of a 1500 year-old Buddha by the Talban in Afghanistan. Then think of what happened to the museums in Baghdad, which contained priceless relics of the ancient Middle Eastern cultures. As US forces entered Baghdad in the early days of the War on Iraq, museum officials pleaded with US commanders to send soldiers to set up guard posts. While the story as to what really happened has been somewhat murky, when Donald Rumsfeld was asked at the time why whatever had happened happened, he replied “s__t happens.”

It was fortunate in the Second World War that with Nazi cooperation Rome was declared an Open City, that the rumours (shown but not corrected in The Monuments Men) that the Nazis had destroyed Florence were false, and that through a combination of the hesitancy of the German Commandant in Paris and the revolt engineered by Resistance, Paris did not burn. Even the Nazis, at least some of them, had a certain respect for art, even if they wanted to steal it for various private and to-be public collections. But one wonders (at least I do) when the Second Civil War comes, would the religio-fascist forces, if given the opportunity to do so, go out of their way, say, to destroy the great art collections in New York City, which certain of their number regard as “sinful.” The Christian Air Force, anyone?

And so, The Monuments Men if nothing else makes one think. At least it made me think.

 

Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 30 books. In addition to being a columnist for BuzzFlash@Truthout he is the Editorial Director of and a Contributing Author to The Political Junkies for Progressive Democracy (http://thepoliticaljunkies.org/). Dr. Jonas’ latest book is The 15% Solution: How the Republican Religious Right Took Control of the U.S., 1981-2022: A futuristic Novel, Brewster, NY, Trepper & Katz Impact Books, Punto Press Publishing, 2013, http://www.puntopress.com/jonas-the-15-solution-hits-main-distribution/, and available on Amazon.

www.indiewire.com

Blood in the Face

Yay for ignorant racism.

“We’re more Nazi than the Nazis.”