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The ‘Burn Pit’ Is The New Agent Orange Of Our Era

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2019

The VA was dragged, kicking and screaming, to set up a registry for which veterans could voluntarily register what they believed to be burn pit-connected illnesses.

https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2019/12/04/the-burn-pit-is-the-new-agent-orange-of-our-era/


Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

Its a headline that should, by all appearances, be considered good news.” But somehow the November 18 declaration, VA announces plans to study military toxic exposures, connections to veteran illnesses,” just comes off as an Onion-esque parody.

Thats because the Veterans Affairs Department has been vowing to study” the effects of the ubiquitous “burn pits” on soldiers for more than a decade—so has the Pentagon. In fact, there have been tons of studies already, big and small, in both the public and private sectors. But like everything in Washington, launching one more study or task force allows the bureaucracy to stall real action—in this case, practical help for thousands of men and women who say theyre suffering from war-related illnesses.

Once upon a time, the lag time between when Vietnam veterans reported getting sick from Agent Orange exposure in the late 1970s to when the government began officially recognizing their illnesses, including cancer (in 1991), was considered the height of institutional inertia and neglect. In fact, many Vietnam veterans who did not fit the original parameters of the 1991 policy that made Agent Orange exposure a service-connected illness, affording them access to VA health care and disability compensation, are still fighting for their due.

But successive wars in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan have created two new generations of veterans who have been mostly denied VA health care and disability benefits for their toxic exposures overseas. In other words, waiting as long if not longer than their Vietnam counterparts has merely become the new normal.

This includes some 250,000 Persian Gulf veterans, now mostly in their 50s and 60s, who are suffering from a variety of mysterious health conditions many medical experts now believe resulted from their exposure to widely used pesticides, the pyridostigmine bromide pills taken by troops to protect against sarin gas, and actual sarin gas exposure during the 1991 war. Outside studies have been conducted for more than 20 years now, with many finding direct correlation between service and illness. The VA has stepped up in so far as there is a way for these veterans to file service-connected claims, but the way the requirements are set up, it is still very difficult to actually get approved. According to one explosive report, some 80 percent of Gulf veteransclaims were denied between 2010 and 2015.

Then there are the burn pits. For years after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, the U.S. military dumped all of the trash accumulating on its massive U.S. forward operating bases into unregulated, unfiltered, open air pits. These pits, often the size of football fields or larger, burned everything from broken down vehicles, batteries, styrofoam, medical waste, food, paint cans, tires, you name it. They burned day and night, notable for the smoky haze and big black angry plumes. Tens of thousands of troops and other personnel worked and lived right next to these pits, unprotected, and many complained about coughing up crud,” and getting sick right away when they arrived for the first time on base.

In one case, this author interviewed the wife of a soldier who, while stationed at Camp Taji in Iraq, began to lose all feeling in his feet. By 2009 he was home and confined to a wheelchair at the age of 49. VA doctors were flummoxed by his condition, finally diagnosing him with rheumatoid fibromyalgia. But his own neurologist believed, even at the time, that his condition was the result of nerve damage caused by toxic exposure.

That was 10 years ago. But now we know that there is fine particulate matter like heavy metals in the air around these unfiltered pits, and it was reported to Air Force officials as early as 2006 that it was an environmental health hazard. We know they sat on this information and even to this day will not acknowledge that the toxic air could be responsible for serious neurological and respiratory problems, not to mention cancer, among this cohort of  veterans.

Congress believed it enough to shut down the burn pits in late 2009 after the stories like the one above started flowing from veteransblogs and into their offices on Capitol Hill. But despite the order, burn pits are still being used in the war zone today.

The VA was dragged, kicking and screaming, to set up a registry for which veterans could voluntarily register what they believed to be burn pit-connected illnesses. Since 2014, some 187,630 veterans have signed up as of this October. Meanwhile, the media is now rife with stories about young veterans dying of cancer, of wasting away in wheelchairs and with ever-present oxygen masks. A new report shows a spike in cancer rates among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking VA care.

A class action suit by 800 veterans who wanted to hold the private contractor Kellogg, Brown, & Root responsible for the conditions caused by the burn pits went all the way up to the Supreme Court, but the justices wouldnt hear the case.

Sadly, thanks to testing by private medical doctors, we know that the worst of the damage to vets is irreversible and that taking care of those who do not die as a result will cost the government billions over time. And here is the rub: between this generation, and that of the Persian Gulf veterans behind them, the VA is faced with liabilities that will stretch beyond today and decades into the future. There is every incentive to stall.

The American government should not have this luxury. When Washington made the decision to surge hundreds of thousands of troops into Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq, it also entered into a covenant of care with those service members. Yes, this covenant has been broken many times before, but there is no reason to normalize the practice.

Had the government cared enough to find out what it was spraying, firing, burning and asking our troops to ingest, instead of treating them like guinea pigs, or worse, disposable, they would not be staring down the barrel of a trillion dollar gun. But here we are. It is up to us as citizens and policy makers to force some action, and say that one more study” just wont cut it.

Be seeing you

VA asks for more veterans to sign up for Burn Pit Registry ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Realism & Restraint American Soldiers Are Not Bodyguards for Saudi Royals

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2019

Doesn’t anyone remember these are the people that did 9/11?

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/american-soldiers-are-not-bodyguards-for-saudi-royals/

 

President Donald Trump believes in America First except when it comes to the Saudi royal family. Then it is Saudi Arabia first.

At the end of November, U.S. military leaders were in Riyadh negotiating the employment terms for the royal’s new bodyguards. That is, the plan for an expanded American military presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), including Patriot missiles, Sentinel radars, a THAAD air defense system, fighter aircraft, and other equipment, as well as personnel, who will eventually number around 3,000.

Why is the president, who has loudly insisted that allies do more to defend themselves, even more determined to handle Saudi Arabia’s security?

Of course, the royals themselves want American backing. Having grabbed control of their people’s wealth, they long have hired others to do the hard, unpleasant, and dangerous work—including the U.S. military.

The status-conscious KSA spends lavishly, especially on modern fighter jets. Last year Riyadh devoted $83 billion to the military. In 2017 defense expenditures ran $89 billion. That put the Kingdom in third place globally, after America and China. Alas, possession of fine equipment alone is not enough to ensure its good use.

In 2015 the Saudi regime attacked neighboring Yemen, one of the poorest nations on earth. De facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman, who became crown prince two years later, decided on war to reinstate a friendly ruler. Unfortunately, a campaign that was supposed to take a few weeks has lasted almost five years. Saudi pilots proved highly competent at slaughtering civilians, bombing weddings, funerals, hospitals, school buses, and markets. Humanitarian groups figure that three-quarters of the estimated 12,000 civilian deaths have resulted from air attacks—delivered by KSA aircraft provided, armed, guided, and, until recently, refueled by the U.S. The destruction of critical infrastructure has resulted in mass malnutrition and disease, which may have taken another 150,000 lives.

Nevertheless, the royals may prefer not to have a capable military, as it could threaten a system in which the few mulct the many. After all, who other than a prince receiving a state subsidy has much incentive to defend the corrupt, repressive, and decrepit monarchy? It might be worth joining the armed forces to collect a paycheck, but certainly not to risk one’s life on behalf of some man or woman (very) distantly related to the desert bandit named al-Saud who long ago defeated his rivals.

For the regime, the National Guard is most important, since its role is to protect the princely rulers from internal enemies. Also critical is the Pakistani military, which deploys upward of 20,000 troops in Saudi Arabia on “security duties.” Islamabad has found the arrangement to be profitable.

Although Trump criticized the Kingdom during the campaign, on taking office he promptly turned U.S. policy over to Riyadh. He apparently viewed the royals’ checks to munitions makers as de facto compensation for the Pentagon playing bodyguard. Yet the revenues are minor compared to America’s overall economy and offer little benefit to most Americans. Worse still, military cooperation entangles the U.S. in regional conflicts and Sunni-Shia confrontation, of which Yemen is the latest manifestation.

Now the U.S. role is further expanding. President Trump promised that the KSA would pay “100 percent of the cost” of the new deployment, but that doesn’t include the expense of creating the units being deployed. Even if it did, the Pentagon should not hire out personnel to rich states. The role of Americans in uniform should be to protect America, not to act as foreign mercenaries...

Washington’s tight embrace of the Saudi royals always was a mistake. The justification for even a looser association has dissipated over time. Today the relationship is frankly criminal, given the horrors being committed by Riyadh with U.S. assistance in Yemen.

The U.S. should bring its forces home from the Kingdom and shift Saudi Arabia’s defense burden back where it belongs, on the royal regime. If the president really believes in America First, he should stop putting Saudi Arabian interests before those of the U.S.

Be seeing you

Currency Rate in Pakistan: US Dollar, UK Pound, Saudi ...

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Climate and the Money Trail

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2019

Back in 2010 the head of Working Group 3 of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr Otmar Edenhofer, told an interviewer, “…one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.” Since then the economic policy strategy has become far more developed.

https://journal-neo.org/2019/09/25/climate-and-the-money-trail/

Author: F. William Engdahl

Climate. Now who wudda thought. The very mega-corporations and mega-billionaires behind the globalization of the world economy over recent decades, whose pursuit of shareholder value and cost reduction who have wreaked so much damage to our environment both in the industrial world and in the under-developed economies of Africa, Asia, Latin America, are the leading backers of the “grass roots” decarbonization movement from Sweden to Germany to the USA and beyond. Is it pangs of guilty conscience, or could it be a deeper agenda of the financialization of the very air we breathe and more?

Whatever one may believe about the dangers of CO2 and risks of global warming creating a global catastrophe of 1.5 to 2 degree Celsius average temperature rise in the next roughly 12 years, it is worth noting who is promoting the current flood of propaganda and climate activism.

Green Finance

Several years before Al Gore and others decided to use a young Swedish school girl to be the poster child for climate action urgency, or in the USA the call of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a complete reorganization of the economy around a Green New Deal, the giants of finance began devising schemes for steering hundreds of billions of future funds to investments in often worthless “climate” companies.

In 2013 after years of careful preparation, a Swedish real estate company, Vasakronan, issued the first corporate “Green Bond.” They were followed by others including Apple, SNCF and the major French bank Credit Agricole. In November 2013 Elon Musk’s problem-riddled Tesla Energy issued the first solar asset-backed security. Today according to something called the Climate Bonds Initiative, more than $500 billion in such Green Bonds are outstanding. The creators of the bond idea state their aim is to win over a major share of the $45 trillion of assets under management globally which have made nominal commitment to invest in “climate friendly” projects.

Bonnie Prince Charles, future UK Monarch, along with the Bank of England and City of London finance have promoted “green financial instruments,” led by Green Bonds, to redirect pension plans and mutual funds towards green projects. A key player in the linking of world financial institutions with the Green Agenda is outgoing Bank of England head Mark Carney. In December 2015, the Bank for International Settlements’ Financial Stability Board (FSB), chaired then by Carney, created the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), to advise “investors, lenders and insurance about climate related risks.” That was certainly a bizarre focus for world central bankers.

In 2016 the TCFD along with the City of London Corporation and the UK Government initiated the Green Finance Initiative, aiming to channel trillions of dollars to “green” investments. The central bankers of the FSB nominated 31 people to form the TCFD. Chaired by billionaire Michael Bloomberg of the financial wire, it includes key people from JP MorganChase; from BlackRock–one of the world’s biggest asset managers with almost $7 trillion; Barclays Bank; HSBC, the London-Hong Kong bank repeatedly fined for laundering drug and other black funds; Swiss Re, the world’s second largest reinsurance; China’s ICBC bank; Tata Steel, ENI oil, Dow Chemical, mining giant BHP Billington and David Blood of Al Gore’s Generation Investment LLC. In effect it seems the foxes are writing the rules for the new Green Hen House.

Bank of England’s Carney was also a key actor in efforts to make the City of London into the financial center of global Green Finance. The outgoing UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, in July 2019 released a White Paper, “Green Finance Strategy: Transforming Finance for a Greener Future.” The paper states, “One of the most influential initiatives to emerge is the Financial Stability Board’s private sector Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), supported by Mark Carney and chaired by Michael Bloomberg. This has been endorsed by institutions representing $118 trillion of assets globally.” There seems to be a plan here. The plan is the financialization of the entire world economy using fear of an end of world scenario to reach arbitrary aims such as “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”

Goldman Sachs Key Actor

The omnipresent Wall Street bank, Goldman Sachs, which spawned among others ECB outgoing President Mario Draghi and Bank of England head Carney, has just unveiled the first global index of top-ranking environmental stocks, done along with the London-based CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project. The CDP, notably, is financed by investors such as HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, American International Group, and State Street Corp.

The new index, called CDP Environment EW and CDP Eurozone EW, aims to lure investment funds, state pension systems such as the CalPERS (the California Public Employees’ Retirement System) and CalSTRS (the California State Teachers’ Retirement System) with a combined $600+ billion in assets, to invest in their carefully chosen targets. Top rated companies in the index include Alphabet which owns Google, Microsoft, ING Group, Diageo, Philips, Danone and, conveniently, Goldman Sachs.

Enter Greta, AOC and Co.

At this point events take on a cynical turn as we are confronted with wildly popular, heavily promoted climate activists such as Sweden’s Greta Thunberg or New York’s 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Green New Deal. However sincere these activists may be, there is a well-oiled financial machine behind promoting them for gain…

On October 17, 2018, days following the EU agreement at the One Planet Summit, Juncker’s EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Breakthrough Energy-Europe in which member corporations of Breakthrough Energy-Europe will have preferential access to any funding.

The members of Breakthrough Energy include Virgin Air’s Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Alibaba’s Jack Ma, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, HRH Prince Al-waleed bin Talal, Bridgewater Associates’ Ray Dalio; Julian Robertson of hedge fund giant, Tiger Management; David Rubenstein, founder Carlyle Group; George Soros, Chairman Soros Fund Management LLC; Masayoshi Son, founder Softbank, Japan. 

Make no mistake. When the most influential multinational corporations, the world’s largest institutional investors including BlackRock and Goldman Sachs, the UN, the World Bank, the Bank of England and other central banks of the BIS line up behind the financing of a so-called green Agenda, call it Green New Deal or what, it is time to look behind the surface of public climate activist campaigns to the actual agenda. The picture that emerges is the attempted financial reorganization of the world economy using climate, something the sun and its energy have orders of magnitude more to do with than mankind ever could—to try to convince us ordinary folk to make untold sacrifice to “save our planet.”..

Be seeing you

?u=https3.bp.blogspot.com-ZRPAY8qadAUW7qr0rVAdNIAAAAAAABelgnwFERD_MoHEk57V37H_GDGxXKTMwVzjTwCLcBGAss1600margareta-halvarsson-rothschilds-16-mins-expoDsing-the-http-www-snopes-com-george-soros-bring-down-us-im-24106648.png&f=1

 

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Pro Tip: Mentally Replace All Uses Of “Conspiracy Theorist” With “Iraq Rememberer”

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/12/05/pro-tip-mentally-replace-all-uses-of-conspiracy-theorist-with-iraq-rememberer/

I watched the film Official Secrets the other day, which I highly recommend doing if you want to rekindle your rage about the unforgivable evil that was the Iraq invasion.

Which is a good thing to do, in my opinion. Absolutely nothing was ever done to address the fact that a million people were murdered with the assistance of government lies just a few short years ago; no new laws were passed mandating more government transparency or accountability with its military operations, no war crimes tribunals took place, no new policies were put into place. No one even got fired. In fact we’ve seen the exact opposite: the people responsible for unleashing that horror upon our species have been given prestigious jobs in government and media and the US government is currently collaborating with the UK to set the legal precedent for charging under the Espionage Act any journalist in the world who exposes US war crimes.

The corrupt mechanisms which gave rise to the Iraq invasion still exist currently, stronger than ever, and its consequences continue to ravage the region to this very day. The Iraq war isn’t some event that happened in the past; everything about it is still here with us, right now. So we should still be enraged. You don’t forgive and forget something that hasn’t even stopped, let alone been rectified.

Apart from the howling rage surging through my veins during the film, the other thing I experienced was the recurring thought, “This was a conspiracy. This is the thing that a conspiracy is.”

And, I mean, of course it is. How weird is it that we don’t use that word to describe what the architects of that war did? Conspiracy is defined as “a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.” From the secret plan between the NSA and GCHQ to spy on and blackmail UN members into supporting the illegal invasion which is the subject of Official Secrets, to the mountain of other schemes and manipulations used by other government bodies to deceive the world about Iraq, it’s absolutely insane that that word is never used to describe the conspiracy within the Bush and Blair governments to manufacture the case for war.

The engineering of the Iraq war was a conspiracy, per any conceivable definition. So why isn’t that word reflexively used by everyone who talks about it?

Easy. Because we haven’t been trained to.

The use of the word “conspiracy” is studiously avoided by the narrative managers of the political/media class who are tasked with the assignment of teaching us how to think about our world, except when it is to be employed for its intended and authorised use: smearing skeptics of establishment narratives. The pejorative “conspiracy theory” has been such a useful weapon in inoculating the herd from dissident wrongthink that the propagandists do everything they can to avoid tainting their brand, even if it means refraining from using words for the things that they refer to.

This is why the word “collusion” was continuously and uniformly used throughout the entire Russiagate saga, for example. It was a narrative about a secret conspiracy between the highest levels of the US government and the Russian government to subvert the interests of the American people, yet the word “conspiracy” was meticulously replaced with “collusion” by everyone peddling that story.

Syria narrative managers on Twitter have been in meltdown for a week ever since the Rolling Stone podcast Useful Idiots featured oppositional journalist Max Blumenthal talking about the US-centralized empire’s involvement in the Syrian war and its pervasive propaganda campaign against that nation. The entire site has been swarming with high-visibility blue-checkmarked thought police demanding the heads of the show’s hosts Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper for giving this evil “conspiracy theorist” a platform to say we’re being deceived about yet another US-led regime change intervention in yet another Middle Eastern nation.

Narrative managers use the “conspiracy theorist” pejorative to shove skepticism of establishment narratives into the margins of political discourse, far away where it can’t contaminate the mainstream herd. Whenever you see a dissenting interpretation of events getting too close to mainstream circles, as with Blumenthal appearing on a Rolling Stone podcast, Tulsi Gabbard saying on national television that the US government has armed terrorists, or Tucker Carlson interviewing Jonathan Steele about the OPCW leaks, you see an intense campaign of shrieking outrage and public shaming geared at shoving those dissident narratives as far into the fringe as possible by branding them “conspiracy theories”.

My suggestion then is this: whenever you see the label “conspiracy theorist” being applied to anyone who questions an establishment narrative about Syria, Russia, Iran or wherever, just mentally swap it out for the term “Iraq rememberer”. When you see anyone shouting about “conspiracy theories”, mentally replace it with “Iraq remembering”. It makes it much easier to see what’s really going on: “Oh those damn Iraq rememberers! Why can’t they just trust their media and government about what’s happening in Syria instead of indulging in Iraq remembering?”

Powerful people and institutions secretly coordinating with each other to do evil things is the absolute worst-case scenario for the rest of the population; it is precisely the thing we fear when we allow people and institutions to have power over us. We need to be able to talk about that worst-case scenario occurring, especially since we know for a fact that it does indeed happen. Powerful people do conspire to inflict evil things upon the rest of us, and we do need to use thoughts and ideas to discuss how that might be happening. We are not meant to think about this, which is why we’re meant to forget about Iraq.

The Iraq invasion was like if a family were sitting around the dinner table one night, then the father stood up, decapitated his daughter with a steak knife, then sat back down and continued eating and everyone just went back to their meals and never talked about what happened. That’s how absolutely creepy and weird it is that the news churn just moved on after a conspiracy within the most powerful government in the world led to the murder of a million human beings, and now we’re all somehow only supposed to care about Trump’s rude tweets.

Never forget the Iraq war conspiracy, no matter how hard they try to make you. They did it before, they’ve done it again in Libya and Syria, and they’ll continue to attempt it in the future. When you sound the alarm about this they will call you a conspiracy theorist. All they’re really saying is that you’re one of those annoying pests who just won’t shut up and forget about Iraq.

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Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemitthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

 

 

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Doug Casey on the Crisis “Medicare for All” Will Cause

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2019

https://internationalman.com/articles/doug-casey-on-the-crisis-medicare-for-all-will-cause/

by Doug Casey

…The system revolves around the FDA. In theory, it should protect the consumer, but in fact it does the opposite. The FDA should be renamed the Federal Death Authority, because it kills more people every year than the Defense Department does in a typical decade.

Why do I say that? For one thing, it takes 10 years for a new drug to be approved, and it averages not just $1 billion dollars, but now more than $2 billion for the typical drug to be approved—and only very few are ever approved. That’s because there’s only a minimal risk to the FDA in not approving them but a huge risk that they’ll be embarrassed if something goes wrong with one that is approved.

Second, the whole system is very bureaucratized. When you go to a doctor’s office, you’ll notice that probably half the staff is not engaged in delivering medical services. They’re shuffling papers: insurance forms, regulatory forms, and various cover-your-ass records.

Third, the medical system is law driven more than science driven. Doctors have to be very careful about what they say and do; the society has become very litigious. One of the major expenses of being a doctor is malpractice insurance. Particularly for some specialties.

There are thousands of lawyers in the US who specialize in suing doctors for real or imagined mistakes. For that reason, some specialists pay hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for their malpractice insurance.

Because of the dangers of being sued, doctors are practically forced to engage in defensive medicine. They prescribe all kinds of tests that don’t make sense, but they figure that it’s better to be safe than sorry—not for the patient’s sake but for the sake of a potential lawsuit.

All of this started with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. During World War II, he installed wage and price controls, and it was impossible for companies to give raises to workers. So they substituted benefits for cash, namely employer-paid medical insurance. One of the many disastrous distortions FDR cranked into the US economy.

On the bright side, despite these things, medical care has gotten much better because of advances in science and technology. The cost of medical care should have and would have been dropping—like the cost of computers—if not for State intervention. But that’s beside the point we’re discussing…

It’s a subtle corruption of the language to call “medical insurance” “health insurance.” It doesn’t insure your health. All it does is cover medical expenses. But they like to use the term “health care” because it sounds friendly and loving. “We’ll care for your health.” That sounds great! Sign me up! “Medical,” however, implies surgery, dangerous drugs, hospitals, and pain.

It’s a euphemism, and like all euphemisms, it’s dishonest. Health care or health insurance should always be called “medical insurance,” because it will at best cover your medical expenses. Calling it “health care” and saying it’s “free” is just dishonest marketing…

Doug Casey: To start with, the 34% of Americans who are “insured” through a government plan aren’t actually insured. They’re not paying market-based premiums based on actuarial tables—considering age, preexisting conditions, and the like—intended to spread the risk of serious sickness or injury.

Medicare and Medicaid are actually welfare programs. They have nothing to do with insurance. Using that term gives them and those who use them undeserved respect.

Medicaid is one hundred percent welfare, and Medicare is mostly a welfare program. They shouldn’t be termed “insurance.”

The important point is that they shouldn’t exist. Why should the State cover a person’s medical costs? If it should, maybe it should also cover their food, shelter, and clothing—oh, wait, I forgot, it does. And even the cost of their cellphones. But cars are also important. When someone’s car stops working, shouldn’t that be covered as well?

How about their dog? How about farm animals?

Is somebody else’s bad health a mortgage on my life?

Bad things happen. That’s why you buy insurance. If you can’t afford insurance, that means you managed your life badly. It’s not up to strangers to kiss it all and make it better for you.

Most diseases and many injuries are a result of people not taking care of themselves. They overeat, don’t exercise, use alcohol and drugs, and engage in bad lifestyles. Those are moral failures. I don’t want to pay for those people’s moral failures. Neither should you.

International Man: Over 59 million Americans are on Medicare. Bernie Sanders and other presidential candidates have made “Medicare for all” one of their biggest campaign promises.

What type of care can Americans expect to receive in a single-player system, with national coverage for all?

Doug Casey: It would mean disastrous and degenerating care.

They like to bring up Canada and Britain as examples—and they’re very good examples.

The medical systems of both countries are in crisis. If you need an operation, it can be delayed for many months, sometimes more than a year. Forget about something that’s noncritical. The reason is simple: When you have scarce commodities like a doctor’s time and medical equipment, they have to be rationed.

There are three ways you can ration a commodity. By dollars, time, or political connections. In other words, you can pay for it and get it when you want it. Or you can wait in line—for who knows for how long. Or if you’re a VIP with friends in high places, you’re moved to the front of the line.

In places like Canada and Britain, you hardly have a choice. The single payer determines if you get treated, when you get treated, and how you get treated.

Furthermore, if something is “free,” which care from a single payer supposedly is—although it’s paid for by taxes—everybody wants as much as they can get. And as with any free good, people won’t economize.

Certain people are going to live at the doctor’s office. It’s going to turn some people into hypochondriacs. The idea of Medicare for all—or for that matter, Medicare for oldsters—is stupid and uneconomic from every point of view. More important, it’s morally depraved, because it uses the State to force some people—namely doctors and productive people—to pay for those who were too imprudent to provide for their own care.

As a fringe benefit, it will destroy the medical system. Doctors will wind up as veritable government employees. That will discourage them from spending six years and hundreds of thousands to learn their trade. There will be a lot more demand but a much smaller supply of doctors. At the same time, the amount of capital available for developing new drugs, new technology, and basic research will collapse. Why? All governments today are running gigantic deficits. This is likely to get much worse. They’ll put off the important in favor of the urgent, and the results are inevitable…

Just the other day I got an email from someone in Aspen who’s a member of a luncheon group I attend. Most of the guys are typical Aspen rich guys. One member, who’s in temporary (I presume) financial straits, wrote that his dog has a type of operable cancer. But it’s an expensive operation, and he can’t afford to pay for it.

He’s asked the guys at the luncheon group and his other friends to contribute to the cost of the surgery.

I have zero doubt he’ll raise the money. I don’t believe in charity, for reasons I’ve spelled out in the past. But I sent him a hundred dollars.

I wouldn’t, however, send anything to someone in the Third World with a problem (not to mention the fact it’s probably a scam run by some Nigerians). There are roughly 7.5 billion people on this planet. They all have problems and would all like $100.

But I sent him $100 for his dog. Why?

The fact that I did might generate further good feelings between us. (He seems like a decent guy, although I don’t know him well.) If I had just sent it into the ether for the medical care of some person in Africa, as opposed to this man’s dog, I know I’d be getting nothing back for it. In fact, maybe the African is a member of Boko Haram and would want to kill me just on general principles. This is one of many reasons giving money to “charity” is usually a mistake. Giving to an individual, even as a test of their character, is much wiser

Frankly, sometimes you value the life of a dog more than the life of some poor person outside of your circle. And sometimes you should. If it were my dog, there’d be no question about it.

That’s what this whole thing about insurance, Medicare, and a single-payer system is all about. It’s up to individuals—not State bureaucrats, not “the system”—to decide who lives and who dies. Including you yourself.

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How Is The Disengagement and Bringing Troops Home?

Posted by M. C. on December 5, 2019

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U.S. finally admits Agent Orange residue poisoned its own soldiers

Posted by M. C. on December 5, 2019

A start. Now there is depleted uranium, toxic burn pits and all the military bases that are essentially superfund sites. Like Subic Bay.

I’ll bet you know vets that are dealing with Agent Orange. I do.

The American military is the US soldier’s worst enemy.

https://www.newstarget.com/2016-05-09-u-s-finally-admits-agent-orange-residue-poisoned-its-own-soldiers.html

By

After decades of denial, the Department of Veteran Affairs finally acknowledged that Monsanto’s Agent Orange, a herbicide sprayed across Vietnam during the war, was responsible for the health ailments of over 2,100 Air Force servicemen.

Federal officials have agreed to release over $45 million in disability benefits to Air Force active duty personnel and reservists who were exposed to Agent Orange from residue off C-123 aircraft, despite never having been to Vietnam.

The admission follows an Institute of Medicine study that concluded that “some C-123 reservists stationed in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts had been exposed to Agent Orange residues in the planes and suffered higher risks of health problems as a result,” according to a report from ABC.

“Opening up eligibility for this deserving group of Air Force veterans and reservists is the right thing to do,” said VA Secretary Bob McDonald in a statement.

The toxicity of Agent Orange

According to the non-partisan Aspen Institute in Washington D.C., Agent Orange was a herbicide used by the military to defoliate the Vietnamese jungle and expose Vietnam Cong and North Vietnamese troops using the jungle as a cover to move men and material to South Vietnam. Even though its use ended decades ago, the toxic contaminant of Agent Orange, dioxin, did not degrade as readily and is still causing health problems in Vietnam.

“The Red Cross estimates that three million Vietnamese have been affected by dioxin, including at least 150,000 children born with serious birth defects,” said the Institute. “Millions of Americans and Vietnamese are still affected, directly and indirectly, by the wartime U.S. spraying of Agent Orange and other herbicides over southern and central Vietnam.”

Monsanto is still in business

The payout is the least the government can do to compensate for all the years of suffering our servicemen had to endure. Unfortunately, despite the seemingly positive turn of events, injustice remains deeply rooted in our system. Monsanto, the corporation behind the deadly Agent Orange and the now destructive Roundup herbicide, continues to wield significant influence over the government and the mainstream media.

Funny, isn’t it? The military, after supporting the company through the purchase of millions of gallons of its herbicides, is now paying millions of dollars to deal with the aftermath of its deadly mistake – all the while, Monsanto and its cohorts continue to laugh all the way to the bank.

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The Doctor, the Depleted Uranium, and the Dying Children ...

 

 

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NATO’s Dirty Little Secret Is Out

Posted by M. C. on December 5, 2019

The first question that U.S. leaders should ask about any alliance commitment is whether the ally is even worth risking a sacrifice of American treasure and lives. Does that country have great strategic or economic significance to the United States? Risking war to defend another country ought to be no casual matter.

NATO is a CIA “asset”. One of it’s tools. I don’t see US leaving it anytime soon.

Anyone powerful enough to get US out of NATO and is close to doing it may end up suicided.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/nato%E2%80%99s-dirty-little-secret-out-102017

by Ted Galen Carpenter

Pro-NATO politicians and pundits never tire of citing polls and studies showing that a majority of Americans continue to support the Alliance. Frequently, that argument is presented as part of the larger case that President Trump’s periodic expressions of skepticism about NATO’s relevance are out-of-touch with the views of the American public. However, the pro-NATO case is built on a fundamental deception.

Few (if any) surveys of U.S. public opinion about NATO even hint about the extent of the risks Americans incur because of Washington’s obligations under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which commits the signatories to consider an attack on any member as an attack on all. A typical poll question will ask respondents whether the United States should defend country X, if Russia attacks that country.  A more honest question would be whether the United States should defend country X from a Russian attack, even if doing so might result in a nuclear war with Russia that could kill millions of Americans.

Granted, such an outcome is a worst-case scenario, but Washington’s Article 5 obligations bring it into play. The escalation risk is especially relevant with respect to defending Estonia and the other Baltic republics. A 2016 RAND Corporation study concluded that it would be nearly impossible for NATO to defend its Baltic members against a full-scale Russian invasion for more than a few days without an extensive upgrade of the Alliance’s existing force deployment. Even after such an upgrade, the outcome of a struggle waged solely with conventional weapons would be uncertain. Escalation to the nuclear level would remain an ever-present danger…

In other words, even with wording designed to elicit positive responses—and no disclosure of a potentially dire nuclear risk arising from America’s military obligation to a NATO ally—the survey showed no clear public mandate for defending that ally. Hannah concludes: “It’s not just President Donald Trump who is skeptical of the North Atlantic alliance, in other words. It’s the American people. To the extent that U.S. citizens think about NATO at all, they disagree about whether honoring its commitments would be worth the sacrifice.” He’s correct, and if they were explicitly told about the nuclear risk, it is highly probable that anti-NATO sentiment would surge…

Estonia and the other NATO members added since the late 1990s don’t even come close to meeting that standard…

Washington’s implicit assumption is that Russia would not dare challenge the Article 5 commitment. Foreign policy should never be based on a bluff, yet for the United States, the obligation to regard an attack on any NATO member (no matter how insignificant) as an attack on America itself potentially puts the very existence of the republic at risk. Smart great powers don’t put themselves in such a position…

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Alternative News Reasons Why Many People Refuse The Flu Shot: Facebook Has No Right Censor This Information

Posted by M. C. on December 5, 2019

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2019/12/03/reasons-why-many-people-refuse-the-flu-shot-facebook-has-no-right-censor-this-information/

By

In Brief

  • The Facts:Despite the fact that Facebook and other platforms like Google are censoring important information pertaining to vaccines, science is science and should be made freely available. Studies show that the flu vaccine is not really effective.
  • Reflect On:Why are terms like “anti-vax” and ridicule used by advocates of vaccines instead of simply addressing and countering the points made by vaccine safety advocates?

If you haven’t already heard, Facebook is censoring information and articles about vaccines that are “anti-vax” or information that in some way paint vaccines in a harmful light. This is extremely concerning, because there are a number of experts in the field, doctors and scientists, who have been publishing research in several peer-reviewed journals that do bring up concerns about vaccines. It’s simply facts, information and science, yet it’s still being censored which makes no sense.

Why is Facebook limiting the reach of posts and articles that are presenting peer-reviewed science and the view-points and research of medical health professionals and scientists? Is it because Facebook’s ‘fact checkers’ are funded by big pharmaceutical interests? An important question to ask. FakeNews watchdog NewsGuard aims to hold independent media accountable for their stories. Funded by Clinton donors and big pharma, with ties to the CFR, NewsGuard seems to have a clear agenda in favour of mainstream media. That’s one example, and  you can read more about that here. Why does mainstream media always use ridicule and terms like “anti-vax” instead of simply addressing and countering the concerns made by vaccine safety advocates, like the points presented in this article?

When it comes to the flu vaccine specifically, Dr. Alvin Moss, MD and professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine emphasizes in this video:

The flu vaccine happens to be the vaccine that causes the most injury in this country. The vaccine injury compensation program, 40 percent of all vaccinations in this country are flu shots, but 60 percent of all the compensations are for the flu vaccine. So a disproportionate number of  vaccine related injuries are the flu shot. I think many of you it’s been recommended to you that you get the flu shot, I don’t know if you’re aware of the fact, the CDC statistics are, that every year they look at vaccine effectiveness, for this particular year the vaccine effectiveness is 48 percent, so that means it’s not highly effective. It’s not even all that effective, if you look at the scientific literature…the evidence to support giving the flu vaccine is moderate to weak. It is not strong evidence. They say the evidence to support giving the flu vaccine to people over the age of 65 is not there, it’s inconclusive. So a lot of the things we’ve been told as Americans about vaccinations are not really based on the science. (source)

Here’s a great video of Doctor Toni Bark, who has been the medical director for various departments and hospitals, explaining why vaccines are not a one size fits all product. Here’s another one of Dr. Mary Holland, who is a professor at New York University School of Law. This is evident when one examines the The National Childhood Vaccine Injury (NCVIA), because it’s already paid out approximately $4 billion to compensate families of vaccine injured children. As astronomical as the monetary awards are, they’re even more alarming considering HHS claims that only an estimated 1% of vaccine injuries are even reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS).

If the numbers from VAERS and HHS are correct – only 1% of vaccine injuries are reported and only 1/3 of the petitions are compensated – then up to 99% of vaccine injuries go unreported and the families of the vast majority of people injured by vaccines are picking up the costs, once again, for vaccine maker’s flawed products. Furthermore, this act safeguards pharmaceutical companies from harm, meaning that they cannot be sued or blamed, nor held accountable for their productscausing injury. Therefore, vaccines are a liability free product that are being mandated on children, the manufacturers have no incentive to make a safe product.

What We Did As A Result of Censorship…

The Takeaway

We are living in an age where access to information is becoming extremely limited. Independent media outlets that present information and evidence, no matter how well sourced, are being blocked and threatened by social media platforms like Facebook and organizations like Google if the narrative threatens various corporate and political agendas. This censorship should serve humanity, and play a role in waking up even more people as to just how wrong this is, clearly, there are many people out there who are feeling threatened by organizations that share credible information that threatens their interests. At the end of the day, truth cannot be stopped and will continue to leak out on various topics. When it comes to vaccines, science, and the questioning of vaccine safety should obviously encouraged, and not shunned.

Highly Recommended: Flu Vaccine Facts: What You Need to Know for 2018-19

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Global Warming: A Scheme to Redistribute Wealth

Posted by M. C. on December 5, 2019

https://panamazonsynodwatch.info/articles/commented-news/global-warming-a-scheme-to-redistribute-wealth/

Ottmar Edenhofer

As the “science” behind man-made global warming has been increasingly discredited, the story has changed. Now it’s not about saving the environment but about redistributing wealth, says a leading member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Ottmar Edenhofer, a co-chair of the IPCC’s Working Group III and a lead author of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report, 2007 (its latest), recently said, “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.”

Edenhofer told a German news outlet (NZZ AM Sonntag): “Basically, it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War.”

“First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community,” said Edenhofer. Thus the developers of coal and oil should pay reparations in the form of global carbon emission rights and taxes. Investors Business Daily commented “U.N. Warm-mongers are seeking to impose a global climate reparations tax on everything from airline flights and international shipping, to fuel and financial transactions.”

The Cancun agreement set up a “Green Climate Fund” to administer assistance to poor nations suffering from floods and drought due to global warming. The European Union, Japan and the United States have led pledges of $100 billion per year for poor nations up to 2020, plus $30 billion in immediate assistance.

The agreement says it “recognizes that deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are required according to science” and calls for “urgent action” to cap temperature rises. But this chart gives lie to such claims. You can clearly see that on a multimillion-year scale global temperatures have been confined to a steady band unrelated to even huge changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Does this graph reveal any need for “urgent action” “according to science?” Yet at the Cancun conference, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned, “Nature will not wait….Science warns that the window of opportunity to prevent uncontrolled climate change will soon close.”

The window of opportunity that is going to close is not a scientific one but a political one—because more and more people are realizing that global warming alarmism is based on phony science and outright lies.

Dr. Fred Singer

Foremost in the struggle to bring essential scientific truths to light on this issue is the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) founded and directed by the distinguished atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer. With assistance from climate experts in 16 countries—who donated their time and efforts—the NIPCC produced a massive, extensively-illustrated 880-page report “out of concern that the IPCC was provoking irrational fear of anthropogenic global warming,” in the words of Dr. Singer. The report references 4,000 (!) research papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals that contradict IPCC conclusions but were not used by the IPCC though it claims to be the definitive source of climate research. The entire report can be downloaded free from the Heartland Institute website.

I shall discuss only one item from the NIPCC report, but it is fundamental to the whole carbon dioxide/greenhouse hypothesis of global warming. Worldwide, there are 20-some GCMs (General Circulation Models) for computer modeling of global climate change. They all agree—for sound theoretical reasons—that greenhouse gases cannot warm the earth directly. They must first warm the atmosphere, which in turn warms the surface of the earth. So the atmosphere must be warmer than the earth’s surface. The NIPCC Summary Report explains: “Climate models all predict that, if GH gases are driving climate change, there will be a unique fingerprint in the form of a warming trend increasing with altitude in the tropical troposphere, the region of the atmosphere up to about 15 kilometers. Climate changes due to solar variability or other known natural factors will not yield this characteristic pattern; only sustained greenhouse warming will do so.” The models show this “hot spot” perfectly—but it is missing in actual observations, which show instead this area to be cooler than the earth’s surface. The Summary Report states—in boldface type: “This mismatch of observed and calculated fingerprints clearly falsifies the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming.

 

The rest here

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TIME Magazine Cover Warning of Coming Ice Age Is a Fake ...

 

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