Shrekli-style Greed: Who is Heather Bresch, Mylan CEO

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Mylan Stock in free fall again.. Fortune Magazine (2015 Article)

Who is Heather Bresch? Did she not learn from the Shrekli affair? Did she not realize that the Pharma Industry is in dire need of an overhaul and governmental oversight?  If she did, she just doesn’t care.  Who is she? Where does such an awful misguided corporate CEO come from?

Heather Bresch grew up in Framington, West Virginia.  She graduated in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations, from West Virginia University.  She is the daughter of a Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin. After her under graduate degree she taught aerobics in San Diego before moving back to her home state as a 22-year-old newlywed in need of a job. Her father met the CEO of Mylan during a baseball game and urged him to hire his daughter in 1992.  She started with the company as a low level quality control clerk, where her job required her to type labels.  Mylan’s executive offices back then were located in a double-wide trailer in Morgantown.

She surely can be admired for having come a long way since then. So how did it happen?  Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Perhaps she loves making money at any cost? Her father a long time Senator for West Virginia has been accused of using his office to enrich himself.  Perhaps she is just “daddy’s little lady.” She seems to have very similar values as her father and her second husband.

Caught up in needless lies as nobody cares about the MBA

The Post-Gazette reported in 2007 only 8 years after Heather Bresch started her clerical position at Mylan that Ms. Bresch mysteriously ended up with an MBA, which initially was reported by Business Insider Singapore which listed 29 executives who had steep careers despite their “soft” MBAs. The University explained that she had completely only half of her course work. Apparently WVU initially told the Post-Gazette that the 38-year-old Ms. Bresch did not have an MBA, but reversed itself days later after she insisted she earned the degree in December 1998.  The article stated: “An Oct. 22 letter advising the admissions and records office to award Ms. Bresch the degree retroactively was signed by R. Stephen Sears, the Milan Puskar Dean of WVU’s business school.”

Ah, we are getting warmer. Why would the University decide to give our a “Free” MBA from the Milan Puskar Business School to the Senator’s daughter despite the fact she didn’t earn it?  Apparently is must have been a “private” matter.  The University kept insisting that they could not explain anything citing privacy laws.  Well, family matters must not be aired in public.  It kind of makes sense that her boss, Mylan’s Chairman Milan Puskar, who gave Heather the her initial job while he was still CEO upon the Senator’s urging is reportedly, a “longtime friend of the Manchin family”.  Mike Garrison served on the governor Bob Wise’ transition team with other members of WVU’s board of governors, when Heather Bresch’s classmate Mike Garrison was appointed as the University President. As former Gov. Bob Wise’s chief of staff, he was involved in selecting five members of WVU’s Board of Governors, including Chairman Stephen Goodwin, the Charleston attorney who headed the search committee for WVU’s new president.  It was convenient since Heather Bresch, graduated from Fairmont, W.Va., West High School in 1987 in the same class as West Virginia University President Mike Garrison and attended WVU with Mr. Garrison, earning an undergraduate degree in 1991.  She joined Mylan in 1992 as a data entry clerk, and was quickly promoted to served in several posts, including as a lobbyist, but her fortunes at the world’s third-largest generic drug maker rose dramatically after she was Mylan’s spokesperson during the 2004-05 proxy fight waged against the company by hedge fund operator Carl Icahn. At the time of the article she received a $500,000 salary as COO.  So Mike and Heather are pals and each has government connections. Additionally, Mylan donated $20 Million to the University, so the all around friendly attitude toward Heather’s mysterious and hence-forth unexplained matter of the MBA is understandable, right?  Poor Mike Garrison had to resign from his post following this unnecessary scandal. Full Article

Show me who you love and I tell you who you are! Let’s check out Heather Manchin’s second husband Jeff Bresch

Apparently she got married to first Douglas Kirby and soon divorced.  He is the CEO of a tech company that provides facial recognition software that can search videos. Bloomberg reports: “MXSERVER is used by law enforcement to monitor large-scale events, process live surveillance feeds identifying potential threats and conduct investigative analysis following a terrorist attack or criminal act. MXSERVER v2.7 is a significant upgrade to prior versions, improving back-end video/photo processing and face search speed and reliability. Numerous functional enhancements have been made which simplify and expedite video/photo analysis and biometric enrollment.”  Very cool and much needed technology.  That marriage didn’t last very long.

Heather Kirby married her true love with whom she has four children, Jeff Bresch.  Jeff is a litigation lawyer at Jones Day.  This law firm protects their clients against attacks. His corporate resume shows that he represented Education Management Corporation against “false claims.”  The company was sued for defrauding the public.  While Jones Day still claims the allegations were false the negotiated a successful settlement agreement with the Obama Administration and various US states. In an article by TribLive it was reported: “The company’s CEO, Mark McEachen, said prosecutors were flexible in negotiating the settlement and the agreement with attorneys general in 39 states and the District of Columbia. The state prosecutors agreed to end their investigations into EDMC in exchange for the company implementing more transparent recruiting practices and improving staff monitoring. ” They also agreed to a $95.5 Million fine without admitting any wrong doing.  Full Article  Jeff Bresch’s resume also shows that prior to working with Jones Day he gained experience. “As lead trial lawyer, successfully defended several exploration and production companies in connection with OSHA investigations and citations arising out of alleged work safety violations, including a fatality and environmental losses from drilling operations in the Marcellus Shale.”  Heather’s husband is clearly an effective attorney fighting successfully for his clients.  Full resume

Jeff Bresch’s value system is similar to the one Heather’s father Joe Manchin espouses.  Here is a report about Joe Manchin’s first speech in Congress:  “Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is making millions from a private coal company even as he fights public health efforts that would raise costs for the coal industry, Senate financial disclosure records reveal. Manchin’s first speech in Congress was an attack on the Environmental Protection Agency for trying to fight the crime of mountaintop removal mining. Manchin opposes EPA regulation of greenhouse pollution, produced disproportionately from burning coal. Last week, Manchin lashed out at Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the billionaire’s contribution to a campaign to shut down toxic coal-fired power plants.”  Full Article

Heather Bresch’s questionable Value System is Nothing New

As early as 2015 Fortune reported:  As CEO, Bresch has been eclipsed by Robert Coury, her predecessor and mentor, now Mylan’s executive chairman—a brash fountain of expletives who many observers believe still pulls Mylan’s strings. Institutional investors have long accused Coury and Bresch of putting their interests ahead of those of shareholders—a suspicion that Mylan’s rebuff of Teva only deepened. “They’re kind of in the penalty box,” says Marty Sass, a money manager of $7.5 billion who sold half his Mylan stake in July. “Everybody hates them.”

Bresch helped write and rally support behind the 2012 Generic Drug User Fee Act, a law that funded more FDA inspections of generic-drug factories overseas.

In 1989 the NYT reported: “When a drug comes off patent, enormous profits can be gained by the company that gets its generic version approved first. When Mylan Laboratories Inc. of Pittsburgh felt its applications were being deliberately held up in the F.D.A. approval process, it hired private detectives who discovered an F.D.A. official had accepted bribes from a competitor. So much money is at stake that falsification and bribery are constant dangers. The generic drug industry needs also to take the lead in policing its own members. The industry has been a potent force in keeping down the high price of drugs, and medical costs will rocket if the industry fails to overcome the doubts that may now be raised about its products.”

The FDA itself: “The generic drug industry has grown from modest beginnings into a major force in health care. According to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, generic drugs now account for 88% of prescriptions dispensed in the United States, and saved the U.S. health system $1.68 trillion from 2005 to 2014.”   Mylan is the world leader in this industry and young Bresch is the CEO of the leading company.  As the Puskar and later on Coury appointed government liaison she assisted in creating this industry.   So why do the changes in law Bresch has pushed through Congress have such a profound impact on the Pharma Industry’s pricing structure? Why instead of saving money are the prices sky-rocketing?

Forbes reported in 2005 that generic drugs are going up by sometimes thousands of percent due to Drug Shortages related to Manufacturing Issues

“But post-industry consolidation, fewer generic manufacturers are applying to the FDA for permission to produce those drugs. With substantially fewer manufacturers producing a particular generic drug (in some cases only 2 or 3 makers), generic prices have crept up with time. However, there are more influential factors than this. When one or more of the manufacturers making a particular drug run short of inventory, demand overtakes supply and results in a price rise. Quality and manufacturing issues are a major reason for drug shortages, according to the FDA. The FDA monitors every facility that is used for production and should any issue arise, the manufacturing company will be issued a notice accordingly.”

Bresch started her carrier in the manufacturing control department. Mylan has an outstanding record.  The law she helped write and get approved, is cutting out manufacturers, creating a free reign in price-gouging for Mylan.  That children and human beings are adversely affected doesn’t seem to bother her one bit.  To her and her husband it is all about money and power.  Only about that.  In her way of looking at the world she is brilliantly successful, while kids die needless from bee stings.

Now would be a good time to genuinely study the proposal of how to get the pricing back down to a reasonable level.  The public and the legislators need to want it and vote for it.  Full Proposal.

 

 

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Misinformation … CNN has long been accused as a “cross-dressing” Media company

 Jane Fonda with Ted Turner
Jane Fonda with Ted Turner

CNN wrote in an article covering that the Trump/Putin joint effort to influence the US election was normal. We agree with the fact that every country always wants to influence as many other countries as possible.  Of course to keep a country safe and for its economic advantage politicians in the foreign office promote the countries values.  However CNN provides examples that are factually incorrect or at minimum slanted and actually seem to spread misinformation.  Full Article

For example the article claims that UK intelligence “spread rumors” about Charles Lindbergh. However, in fact the rumors were factually correct as the actual Autobiography of Charles Lindbergh shows.

Hermann Göring presents Nazi Medal to Charles Lindbergh on behalf of Hitler
Hermann Göring presents Nazi Medal to Charles Lindbergh on behalf of Hitler

The US government was not correctly informed about the rise of Hitler by Charles Lindbergh.  The UK government did not spread rumors it corrected the point of view that was based on false information, by Hitler fans, Charles Lindbergh and his Nazi admiring wife.  Here is a quote from a PBS article :

Charles Lindbergh was convinced that no other power in Europe could stand up to Germany in the event of war. "The organized vitality of Germany was what most impressed me: the unceasing activity of the people, and the convinced dictatorial direction to create the new factories, airfields, and research laboratories...," Lindbergh recalled in "Autobiography of Values." His wife drew similar conclusions. "...I have never in my life been so conscious of such a directed force. It is thrilling when seen manifested in the energy, pride, and morale of the people--especially the young people," she wrote in "The Flower and the Nettle." By 1938, the Lindberghs were making plans to move to Berlin.

The public’s cry for authenticity shows that there is a world wide trend of people being tired of being misled. While it is natural that every person wants to present their best possible public image, as they should, ideally people’s expressions and assertions are backed up by facts.

Particularly in the “new GOP” the Trump led GOP in contrast of the previous economically conservative GOP, the concept of facts being replaced by feelings that have nothing to do with facts is widely used and accepted.

Media, particularly the most prominent media companies, should return to fact based reporting. CNN has more people watching than any other media company. CNN recently hired Corey Lewandowski despite his rather questionable behavior toward women to tap deeper into the Fox TV audience. People who like history know that CNN was started by the successful advertising executive, Ted Turner in 1980. His business philosophy was so flexible it was aptly described by Eric Guthey (2001). Ted Turner’s Corporate Cross-Dressing and the Shifting Images of American Business Leadership. Enterprise and Society, 2, pp 111-142. doi:10.1093/es/2.1.111.  Until media companies like CNN who hold the largest audiences and therefore influence the majority of the people returns to seeking truths and spreading fact. We each need to take responsibility of getting out of the emotionally based echo chambers that erode out grasp on reality.

Today when even the top media companies are using feelings and opinions inter changeable with facts every intelligent person is required to fact check before choosing to be influenced.  Let’s to keep civilization alive.

 

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Happy Fourth of July 2016 and the fight for democracy continues

Chris Van Etten appears in the new Jockey campaign What's Underneath (PRNewsFoto/Jockey)
Chris Van Etten appears in the new Jockey campaign What’s Underneath
(PRNewsFoto/Jockey)
Chris Van Etten symbolizes the American Can-Do Spirit or did he do it in vain because we are too lazy to protect Democracy?

Marine Chris Van Etten, who lost both legs in Afghanistan in July 2012, returned to his family’s Illinois home for the holidays, after spending half a year at a Californian rehabilitation center. He was met with racist graffiti on his family home which was particularly strange as he is Caucasian. Someone spray-painted racial slurs on and threw raw eggs at the Van Etten’s house, likely as the family slept. Van Etten was critically injured from a roadside bomb explosion, which killed his best friend. Lance Cpl. T.J. Baune from Minnesota while on night patrol June 13.  Full Article

Chris Van Etten, a Marine fought for America, presumably to spread Democracy to Afghanistan.  He fought to stop Al-Qaeda from spreading their terror attacks to the West. He fought to uphold our freedom that began on July 4th of 1776 when Americans declared their independence from the British Tax System which they perceived as a yoke.

A few weeks ago the British Population declared that they wish to be freed from the yoke of the EU.  In a recent podcast, Mr. Krugman, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics in 2008, says that “Brexit” was “a terrible blow to the elite leadership in Europe,” explains how the people who are most likely to emerge on top as a result of the move are “the Donald Trumps of England” and talks about the way in which the E.U. is fundamentally at odds with democracy and the idea of a democratically elected government.  Full article and podcast

The world is once again at a cross road.

Shall a few rule over the many and subjugate them or shall the many fight for freedom of information which demands the protection of freedom of speech? In the EU a few bureaucrats rule over the many without regards for their opinion, wishes, preferences. The European Parliament gave them the power to do so, without any recourse but extreme measures for the pubic. Is the Brexit a good idea? Many agree that it is not and that it is based on misinformation presented by the originally Australian Rupert Murdoch’s news empire. He also is working on his fascists aims in breaking Democracy in the US using Fox TV and since a few years the Wall Street Journal.

A book by Larry Bartels promoted by Princeton University explains what is going on in a succinct way:

Unequal Democracy debunks many myths about politics in contemporary America, using the widening gap between the rich and the poor to shed disturbing light on the workings of American democracy. Larry Bartels shows the gap between the rich and poor has increased greatly under Republican administrations and decreased slightly under Democrats, leaving America grossly unequal.” The review goes on to say: “Bartels demonstrates that elected officials respond to the views of affluent constituents but ignore the views of poor people. He shows that Republican presidents in particular have consistently produced much less income growth for middle-class and working-poor families than for affluent families, greatly increasing inequality.”

All of us have to choose whether the Independence our forefathers fought for should regress because we are too passive and allow the fascists and hyper-wealthy, uncaring people to repurchase yokes that make our lives miserable. The Brexit shows what dis-information can do to a civilized country. Will it happen here in the US?

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With TTIP corporations will no longer be liable for any damage they cause. Time to remind us what freedom means?

Would TTIP have passed during the times of the Declaration of Independence?

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The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

TTIP is against democracy and it creates a framework for oligarchy to reign supreme.  Read this article for details.

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Misinformation wars shape our minds and hearts unless we analyze the source of information.

Russia shapes opinions in the West by sponsoring anti-government media content

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Supporters of anti-immigration right-wing movement PEGIDA take part in a demonstration march, in reaction to mass assaults on women on New Year’s Eve, in Cologne, Germany, January 9, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay Full Article

The war for “hearts and minds” is in full force like never before.  The internet has liberated both the distribution and the reception of content.

In the East, Radio Free Europe in particular has spread Western News and Western concepts for many years to counter act the spread of Communism in the Border States of the Soviet Empire.  This created a cushion of discontent and mistrust against the Soviet Union and eventually its disintegration. The Soviet people dreamed of living in a “free world” and they wished especially to gain the Western style material comforts.  What they had not learned while growing up in an oppressive society is the concept of trust, sharing, caring, and the fact that you have to actually work and earn that material wealth.  Many were well versed in “working the system.”  As a result the economies quickly became the personal playgrounds of oligarchs who were not at all interested in creating a strong middle class.  History shows that a strong middle class is a prerequisite of a free society.  It takes a lot of political will to support a strong middle class.  The oligarchs take and take and take and use the public without their knowledge.  This works primarily through misinformation.

For the past decades and especially since the inception of Cable TV and the Internet Russia has joined the information war.

Their press release reads:

RT’s (Russia Today) Spanish channel and pan-Latin American network TeleSUR in Venezuela launched a new joint project on Monday, aimed at providing a different perspective to Western mainstream media. RT is already the leading news provider on YouTube. Last December, RT hit 2 billion views on the popular video hosting resource. Only a year earlier, RT International was the first news channel to achieve over 1 billion views.

Are you aware how impactful the spread of the Communist point of view is?

On a daily basis misguided news clips that are fantastically well produced and design to spread hate and discontent are not only shown on YouTube but are spread on facebook, twitter and other social media outlets.

When watched without analysis as to the source of the material it may look like a “normal” news report.  But when viewed through the lens of what the news provider in RT’s case the Putin government and in TeleSUR’s Case the Venezuelan Communist Party are trying to accomplish it is rather ominous.

We are now entering an era of true democracy of information.  Everyone has access to every point of view.  When someone shares information make sure you analyze the source of the information before you swallow it hook, line and sinker.  One of the best ways to know if the source of information is trust worthy is to check whether the owners and their countries providing it protect freedom of the press. If a country openly suppresses journalists you already know dictators and/or would be dictators are trying to get you to support their nefarious cause to suppress knowledge and public opinion. Their goal is to undermine and destabilize countries that offer freedom of speech.   Let your friends know when they are being brainwashed by horrid people without realizing it.  Promote critical and analytical thinking.  Russia does not love freedom of speech as it is reported that 56 Journalists were killed since 1992.  When they sponsor people like Abby Martin to do their bidding in the West – Buyer Beware, know the source.  More When watching her Russia / Venezuela sponsored content knowing it comes from Russia makes it sound entirely different.

Reuters reported recently that until a few years ago Germany had been left out of the misinformation war stemming from Russia.  Those days are gone and while Putin is railing and making fun of Germany’s problems with Neo Nazi’s the Russian government is actually sponsoring it.  Full Reuter’s Article

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Consumers influence officials and corporate execs toward pro-health and pro-sustainability actions and attitudes

Enjoy listening to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony while reading.

International response for glyphosate is moving along providing credence to those who are against the international trade deals. In May India decided to tightened rules for the sale of genetically-modified cotton seeds in a move that will cap royalties. Since Glyphosate kills all variety of plants, except for those that are artificially and genetically modified the crops in India now comprise 90% of all crops. After local farmers, regions and states complained about the financially abusive pricing by Monsanto, the world’s largest supplier of both Glyphosate Weedkillers and Weedkiller resistant seeds the government finally acted. From now on the seed prices are held at 800 rupees ($11.87) for a packet of 450 grams nearly one pound. In a country where you can hire a full time maid for an entire week for three dollars this new price is still quite expensive. This high price of $11.87 per slightly less than a pound will be held for a period of five years and then it will decrease by 10% per year thereafter. Once a GM seeds variety looses their traits or its effectiveness it will not be eligible for royalties.  The seeds typically loose those traits as the use of weed killers has starkly increased because of new weed killer resistant crops, GM traits are expected to have a limited period of efficacy.   More

The order also aims to break up the Monsanto monopoly without naming the company by adding that any local seed company seeking licenses for selling any new Bt cotton variety shall get the license within 30 days of requesting the licensor.

Monsanto is successfully battling attacks on their corporate ethics successfully on many fronts.  However in April 2016
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria disagreed Monsanto’s request to dismiss a lawsuit by Edward Hardeman, because simply having an EPA-approved label “does not prevent a jury from finding that that same label violates FIFRA.” The judge also said FIFRA requires “adequate” warnings about the potential risks of herbicides. In an order (PDF) denying the motion to dismiss, Judge Chhabria wrote:

“In this light, it’s hard to see how Hardeman’s failure-to-warn claims could ‘be construed more broadly than’ FIFRA. Indeed, Hardeman’s complaint explicitly bases his California-law failure-to-warn claims on Monsanto’s alleged violation of FIFRA.”

Europe Delegates decided in March to delay their vote to extend the permits to market Glyphosate products through-out Europe based on opposition from Germany and France.  They decided to await the results of a study that will definitely determine whether or not Glyphosate causes cancer. Currently Glyphosate has a 2A – maybe and maybe not – rating.

Greenpeace EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg said: Rushing to grant a new license now, without waiting for an evaluation by Europe’s chemical agency, would be like skydiving without checking your equipment first. As long as there is conflicting scientific advice, glyphosate should not be approved for use in the EU. And countries would be better advised to do without it.

Monsanto is the largest manufacturer of Glyphosate based products while Chinese Companies hold approximately 50% of the market.  Other companies involved are Adama, Albaugh/Atanor, Bayer, Cheminova, Dow, Excel, Nufarm, Phytereup, Sinon, and Syngenta.

The Guardian reported:

Meanwhile officials who wish to vote on the issues are uncovered to be completely biased and in many instances are working for organizations who receive large “donations” from Monsanto and similar firms. In 2012, the ILSI group took a $500,000 (£344,234) donation from Monsanto and a $528,500 donation from the industry group Croplife International, which represents Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta and others, according to documents obtained by the US right to know campaign.

The Green MEP Bart Staes said: “The timing of the release of this report by the FAO/WHO could be described as cynical, if it weren’t such a blatantly political and ham-fisted attempt to influence the EU decision later this week on the approval of glyphosate.” More

Meanwhile in the US  ISP reports:  “The department must recognize the harm that is already being done to organic and non-GMO farmers and put the responsibility squarely where it belongs – with the biotech companies … Now USDA can no longer claim ignorance about this problem.”

Even as contamination reports continue to grow, the U.S. government’s most recent response, drawn from the AC21 recommendations, has been to encourage “good stewardship” practices and communication between neighbouring farmers. Yet non-GM farmers say that, in practice, this has meant substantial outlays of both time and money in order to safeguard their crops – and virtually no corresponding responsibility on the part of farmers using genetically modified crops.

Glyphosates are a big deal and GMO crops may end up causing much harm, despite the fact that as survey conducted in 2013 showed that 93% of the US populations wishes to have GMO ingredients clearly labelled.

Consumers cannot rely on the regulatory bodies to care for their health.  The regulatory bodies are influenced by their funding, their goals in the defense industry, their corporate bottom line and their duties to share holders.  However, as consumers become more aware perhaps consumer demand will dictate a more health oriented stance by governments and industry alike.

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David Mort’s latest book Voodoo Child now available on Kindle

David Mort’s latest book “Voodoo Child” is available now from the Kindle Book Store. You may be interested in it as it covers the evolution of the blues and rock.

One of rock music’s more iconic images is that of Jimi Hendrix onstage at the Monterey Pop Festival in ’67, kneeling over the remains of his burning guitar after his performance of “Wild Thing.” He was beckoning the flames to rise as if summoning up demons and dragons from hell, which is what several fans described as witnessing after ingesting “Monterey Purple,” a strain of LSD concocted especially for the event.

Thirty years earlier, a bluesman by the name of Robert Johnson supposedly made a pact with the Devil at the crossroads in return for becoming an Ace” on the guitar. So perhaps Jimi had made a similar pact as both their souls were claimed at the age of 27. And before Robert there was another “Ace” named Charlie Patton who, like Jimi, could play the guitar behind his back, above his head and with his teeth. And before Jimi there was T Bone Walker who performed in a similar fashion. And as these three musicians were African Americans with Cherokee ancestors, perhaps they’d inherited an added spiritual dimension.

By the time Robert Johnson made his supposed pact however, the myth was already as old as the hills. The fact is that most blues musicians were itinerants who’d chosen a life on the road over a mundane, family or domestic existence, leading loved ones to conclude they were dancing to the devil’s tune.

For the purposes of my story, which traces the evolution of blues, r n b, soul and rock n roll from the Mississippi flood of ’27 to the deaths of Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, all such talented musicians, those deemed “Aces” “Kings” or “Queens,” had made similar pacts with the devil. Artists such as Buddy Holly, Bessie Smith, Eddie Cochran, Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, who when their respective souls passed over, often after meeting a violent death at an early age, could be claimed to play for the “ARKestra Paradiso.”

This “ARKestra,” so called because it boasts two players per instrument, performs in a room whose walls are made of a membrane fashioned from tightly stretched goat skin or vellum. Therefore, it can pick up on sound waves travelling through air and water. This room is situated in an old slave ship named “the Paradiso” which floats on a giant underground lake, so can detect vibrations through its wood, taut ropes or sheets, and surroundings. This lake is in a giant cavern known as the Orpheus chamber, situated deep inside a mountain, home to stalactites, stalagmites and crystalline, flower like structures named anthodites, which also pick up on vibrations passing through rock. Consequently, these musicians are performing in a closed environment that resonates like a gigantic bell, thereby creating a wall of sound.

The “ARKestra” is composed of pairs of those musicians deemed “Aces,” “Kings” or “Queens,” plucked from the flood of misery that segregation created to help change the New World for the better. They mentor and sympathetically resonate with musicians still alive, and working through their performances and recordings, seek to create a new vibe called the “big beat,” woven from different strands of music.

The old slave ship, “Paradiso,” is also home to the largest record repository in the world. Known as the “ARKhive,” it comprises two copies of all the recordings ever made in the New World, arranged year by year in the aisles of the original slave hold.

David Mort

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WomenNow and New Delhi Restaurant host Spring India Day on June 11th in Union Square

WomenNow and New Delhi Restaurant will be hosting their second Spring India Day on June 11th in Union Square in the heart of San Francisco. Spring India Day is a free annual festival. It is a celebration of the colorful and exuberant Indian culture.

Come join us as we take over beautiful San Francisco’s crown jewel – Union Square – for a full day of fun and entertainment. Spring India Day will be featuring henna artists, Bollywood dancing, music, a high couture fashion show, and more! Our food booths will entice your taste buds with several Indian regional cuisines including samosas, keebabs, curried rice, exotic island delights, South Indian delicacies, and roadside chat selections.

Where: San Francisco’s Union Square
When: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Date: Saturday, June 11th, 2016

This event is organized by WomenNow TV in association with New Delhi Restaurant and benefits Compassionate Chefs Cafe a 501(c) non-profit organization with a mission to help Kids Across the Street in the Tenderloin After School Program and Across the Ocean in Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, India to help them become global citizens.

Gandhi’s intention behind his Ashram in Ahmedabad, India, was to help uplift the underprivileged. On this very location, we are helping to fund the school for children of Harijan (Untouchable) Street Cleaners. This school helps us continue Mahatma Gandhi’s movement to eradicate the social injustice of being labeled Untouchable. These children will help to uplift their impoverished communities from within. It is most basic of all human needs to be clean and have nurturing human touch.

Closer to home, we are also supporting Tenderloin After School Program – which provides valuable services to kids of families living in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. The Tenderloin After School Program serves as a shelter from the street culture and many harmful influences that abound in this area. TASP provides kids with a safe space to be, where they can play and study, and get the proper support and training necessary to succeed in life.

Compassionate Chefs will be hosting a photo booth next to the main stage with props and backgrounds. Bring your smiling face and help out a great cause!

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Glyphosate, what’s the big deal?

Monsanto denies that Glyphosate is linked with cancer.  Other industry experts in this interview disagree and claim that there are many links with cancer as well as severe environmental damage.

Long term use lowered yield due to ever more glyphosate resistant weeds

“Widespread use of glyphosate has led to the evolution of glyphosate-resistant weeds covering an estimated 120 million hectares globally in 2010. So far, 23 species of weeds have been recorded, forcing Monsanto to acknowledge the problem and protect their profits by declaring that their warranty does not cover yield losses. Glyphosate-resistant weeds are threatening the utility of glyphosate and glyphosate-tolerant crops. Resistant weeds are likely responsible for increased herbicide use. Argentinian use went from 2 to 20 liters per hectare between 1996 and 2010.” PermaCultureNews explains. That is a 10 fold increase of a toxic matter.

The National Pesticide Information Center reports that glyphosate is linked to cancer and to skeletal mal formation in the fetus.

When high doses were administered to laboratory animals, some studies suggest that glyphosate has carcinogenic potential. Some studies also have associated glyphosate use with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Glyphosate exposure has been linked to developmental and reproductive effects at high doses that were administered to rats repeatedly during pregnancy. These doses made the mother rats sick. The rat fetuses gained weight more slowly, and some fetuses had skeletal defects. These effects were not observed at lower doses.  Doses have been increased by 10 fold due to the fact that weed it proposes to eradicate actually grows immune.

Nature announces glyphosate probably carcinogenic to humans.

Nature reported on March 23, 2015 that the World Health Organization release a report stating:  “The cancer-research arm of the World Health Organization last week announced that glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, is probably carcinogenic to humans.”

The Oncology Lancet reported in March, 2015, 17 experts from 11 countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC; Lyon, France) to assess the carcinogenicity of the organophosphate pesticides tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate (table). These assessments will be published as volume 112 of the IARC Monographs.

Wenonah Hauter’s investigative article in Ecowatch, a foremost provider of scientifically-based, environmental news explains why the scientific studies are often so feeble about reporting their findings.  She wrote:  “Under the Influence: The National Research Council and GMOs charts the millions of dollars in donations the NRC receives from biotech companies like Monsanto, documents the one-sided panels of scientists the NRC enlists to carry out its GMO studies and describes the revolving door of NRC staff directors who shuffle in and out of agriculture and biotech industry groups. The new issue brief also shows how NRC routinely arrives at watered-down scientific conclusions on agricultural issues based on industry science.” Full article

The American Cancer Society gives glyphosate a 2A rating which means it it probably causes cancer in humans.  More

So what is the big deal with Glyphosate?   It lowers yield in the food supply, it increases weeds’ immunities and it most likely causes cancer, skeletal disturbances in fetuses, and it attacks the enzyme household in brain, liver and hearts of fetuses if the mother is exposed to high levels.

European governmental officials volunteered for a test checking the level of exposure in their urine.  The level turned out to be several hundreds of percentage higher than the legal limit.  Andrew Kniss wrote an excellent article for weedcontrolfreaks that shows in-depth research in on place.  Article  Glyphosate turns out to be a bid deal.

 

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