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Posted: July 14, 2016 at 1:55 am
Herbalism (also herbology or herbal medicine) is use of plants for medicinal purposes, and the study of botany for such use. Plants have been the basis for medical treatments through much of human history, and such traditional medicine is still widely practiced today. Modern medicine recognizes herbalism as a form of alternative medicine, as the practice of herbalism is not strictly based on evidence gathered using the scientific method. Modern medicine, does, however, make use of many plant-derived compounds as the basis for evidence-tested pharmaceutical drugs, phytotherapy, and phytochemistry works to apply modern standards of effectiveness testing to herbs and medicines that are derived from natural sources. The scope of herbal medicine is sometimes extended to include fungal and bee products, as well as minerals, shells and certain animal parts.
Archaeological evidence indicates that the use of medicinal plants dates at least to the Paleolithic, approximately 60,000 years ago. Written evidence of herbal remedies dates back over 5,000 years, to the Sumerians, who created lists of plants. A number of ancient cultures wrote about plants and their medical uses in books called herbals. In ancient Egypt, herbs are mentioned in Egyptian medical papyri, depicted in tomb illustrations, or on rare occasions found in medical jars containing trace amounts of herbs. Among the oldest, lengthiest, and most important medical papyri of ancient Egypt is the Ebers Papyrus dating from about 1550 BC, and covering more than 700 drugs, mainly of plant origin. The earliest known Greek herbals were those of Theophrastus of Eresos who in the 4th c. B.C. wrote in Greek Historia Plantarum, of Diocles of Carystus who wrote during the 3rd century B.C, and of Krateuas who wrote in the 1st century B.C. Only a few fragments of these works have survived intact, but from what remains scholars have noted that there is a large amount of overlap with the Egyptian herbals. Seeds likely used for herbalism have been found in the archaeological sites of Bronze Age China dating from the Shang Dynasty. Over a hundred of the 224 drugs mentioned in the Huangdi Neijing, an early Chinese medical text, are herbs. Herbs were also common in the medicine of ancient India, where the principal treatment for diseases was diet.De Materia Medica, originally written in Greek, by Pedanius Dioscorides ( ; c. 40 90 AD) of Anazarbus, Cilicia, a Greek physician, pharmacologist and botanist, is a particularly important example of such writings. The documentation of herbs and their uses was a central part of both Western and Eastern medical scholarship through to the 1600s, and these works played an important role in the development of the science of botany.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80 percent of the population of some Asian and African countries presently use herbal medicine for some aspect of primary health care. Pharmaceuticals are prohibitively expensive for most of the world’s population, half of whom lived on less than $2 U.S. per day in 2002. In comparison, herbal medicines can be grown from seed or gathered from nature for little or no cost.
Many of the pharmaceuticals currently available to physicians have a long history of use as herbal remedies, including opium, aspirin, digitalis, and quinine. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 25% of modern drugs used in the United States have been derived from plants. At least 7,000 medical compounds in the modern pharmacopoeia are derived from plants. Among the 120 active compounds currently isolated from the higher plants and widely used in modern medicine today, 80% show a positive correlation between their modern therapeutic use and the traditional use of the plants from which they are derived.
In 2015 the Australian Government’s Department of Health published the results of a review of alternative therapies that sought to determine if any were suitable for being covered by health insurance; Herbalism was one of 17 topics evaluated for which no clear evidence of effectiveness was found.
In a 2010 survey of the most common 1000 plant-derived compounds, only 156 had clinical trials published. Preclinical studies (tissue-culture and animal studies) were reported for about one-half of the plant products, while 12% of the plants, although available in the Western market, had “no substantial studies” of their properties. Strong evidence was found that 5 were toxic or allergenic, so that their use ought to be discouraged or forbidden. Nine plants had considerable evidence of therapeutic effect.
According to Cancer Research UK, “there is currently no strong evidence from studies in people that herbal remedies can treat, prevent or cure cancer”.
The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health funds clinical trials of the effectiveness of herbal medicines and provides fact sheets summarizing the effectiveness and side effects of many plant-derived preparations.
The use of herbal remedies is more prevalent in patients with chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, asthma and end-stage renal disease. Multiple factors such as gender, age, ethnicity, education and social class are also shown to have association with prevalence of herbal remedies use.
A survey released in May 2004 by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health focused on who used complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), what was used, and why it was used. The survey was limited to adults, aged 18 years and over during 2002, living in the United States. According to this survey, herbal therapy, or use of natural products other than vitamins and minerals, was the most commonly used CAM therapy (18.9%) when all use of prayer was excluded.
Herbal remedies are very common in Europe. In Germany, herbal medications are dispensed by apothecaries (e.g., Apotheke). Prescription drugs are sold alongside essential oils, herbal extracts, or herbal teas. Herbal remedies are seen by some as a treatment to be preferred to pure medical compounds that have been industrially produced.
In India the herbal remedy is so popular that the government of India has created a separate departmentAYUSHunder the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The National Medicinal Plants Board was also established in 2000 by the Indian government in order to deal with the herbal medical system.
There are many forms in which herbs can be administered, the most common of which is in the form of a liquid that is drunk by the patienteither an herbal tea or a (possibly diluted) plant extract. Whole herb consumption is also practiced either fresh, in dried form or as fresh juice.
Several methods of standardization may be determining the amount of herbs used. One is the ratio of raw materials to solvent. However different specimens of even the same plant species may vary in chemical content. For this reason, thin layer chromatography is sometimes used by growers to assess the content of their products before use. Another method is standardization on a signal chemical.
Herbal teas, or tisanes, are the resultant liquid of extracting herbs into water, though they are made in a few different ways. Infusions are hot water extracts of herbs, such as chamomile or mint, through steeping. Decoctions are the long-term boiled extracts, usually of harder substances like roots or bark. Maceration is the old infusion of plants with
high mucilage-content, such as sage, thyme, etc. To make macerates, plants are chopped and added to cold water. They are then left to stand for 7 to 12 hours (depending on herb used). For most macerates 10 hours is used.
Tinctures are alcoholic extracts of herbs, which are generally stronger than herbal teas. Tinctures are usually obtained by combining 100% pure ethanol (or a mixture of 100% ethanol with water) with the herb. A completed tincture has an ethanol percentage of at least 25% (sometimes up to 90%). Herbal wine and elixirs are alcoholic extract of herbs, usually with an ethanol percentage of 12-38%. Herbal wine is a maceration of herbs in wine, while an elixir is a maceration of herbs in spirits (e.g., vodka, grappa, etc.).Extracts include liquid extracts, dry extracts, and nebulisates. Liquid extracts are liquids with a lower ethanol percentage than tinctures. They are usually made by vacuum distilling tinctures. Dry extracts are extracts of plant material that are evaporated into a dry mass. They can then be further refined to a capsule or tablet. A nebulisate is a dry extract created by freeze-drying.Vinegars are prepared in the same way as tinctures, except using a solution of acetic acid as the solvent.Syrups are extracts of herbs made with syrup or honey. Sixty-five parts of sugar are mixed with thirty-five parts of water and herb. The whole is then boiled and macerated for three weeks.
The exact composition of an herbal product is influenced by the method of extraction. A tea will be rich in polar components because water is a polar solvent. Oil on the other hand is a non-polar solvent and it will absorb non-polar compounds. Alcohol lies somewhere in between.
Many herbs are applied topically to the skin in a variety of forms. Essential oil extracts can be applied to the skin, usually diluted in a carrier oil. Many essential oils can burn the skin or are simply too high dose used straight; diluting them in olive oil or another food grade oil such as almond oil can allow these to be used safely as a topical.[unreliable source?] Salves, oils, balms, creams and lotions are other forms of topical delivery mechanisms. Most topical applications are oil extractions of herbs. Taking a food grade oil and soaking herbs in it for anywhere from weeks to months allows certain phytochemicals to be extracted into the oil. This oil can then be made into salves, creams, lotions, or simply used as an oil for topical application. Many massage oils, antibacterial salves, and wound healing compounds are made this way. One can also make a poultice or compress using the whole herb or the appropriate part of the plant, which is usually crushed or dried and re-hydrated with a small amount of water and then applied directly in a bandage, cloth, or just as is.
Inhalation, as in aromatherapy, can be used as a mood changing treatment to fight a sinus infection or cough , or to cleanse the skin on a deeper level (steam rather than direct inhalation here)
A number of herbs are thought to be likely to cause adverse effects. Furthermore, “adulteration, inappropriate formulation, or lack of understanding of plant and drug interactions have led to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening or lethal.” Proper double-blind clinical trials are needed to determine the safety and efficacy of each plant before they can be recommended for medical use. Although many consumers believe that herbal medicines are safe because they are “natural”, herbal medicines and synthetic drugs may interact, causing toxicity to the patient. Herbal remedies can also be dangerously contaminated, and herbal medicines without established efficacy, may unknowingly be used to replace medicines that do have corroborated efficacy.
Standardization of purity and dosage is not mandated in the United States, but even products made to the same specification may differ as a result of biochemical variations within a species of plant. Plants have chemical defense mechanisms against predators that can have adverse or lethal effects on humans. Examples of highly toxic herbs include poison hemlock and nightshade. They are not marketed to the public as herbs, because the risks are well known, partly due to a long and colorful history in Europe, associated with “sorcery”, “magic” and intrigue. Although not frequent, adverse reactions have been reported for herbs in widespread use. On occasion serious untoward outcomes have been linked to herb consumption. A case of major potassium depletion has been attributed to chronic licorice ingestion., and consequently professional herbalists avoid the use of licorice where they recognize that this may be a risk. Black cohosh has been implicated in a case of liver failure. Few studies are available on the safety of herbs for pregnant women, and one study found that use of complementary and alternative medicines are associated with a 30% lower ongoing pregnancy and live birth rate during fertility treatment. Examples of herbal treatments with likely cause-effect relationships with adverse events include aconite, which is often a legally restricted herb, ayurvedic remedies, broom, chaparral, Chinese herb mixtures, comfrey, herbs containing certain flavonoids, germander, guar gum, liquorice root, and pennyroyal. Examples of herbs where a high degree of confidence of a risk long term adverse effects can be asserted include ginseng, which is unpopular among herbalists for this reason, the endangered herb goldenseal, milk thistle, senna, against which herbalists generally advise and rarely use, aloe vera juice, buckthorn bark and berry, cascara sagrada bark, saw palmetto, valerian, kava, which is banned in the European Union, St. John’s wort, Khat, Betel nut, the restricted herb Ephedra, and Guarana.
There is also concern with respect to the numerous well-established interactions of herbs and drugs. In consultation with a physician, usage of herbal remedies should be clarified, as some herbal remedies have the potential to cause adverse drug interactions when used in combination with various prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, just as a patient should inform a herbalist of their consumption of orthodox prescription and other medication.
For example, dangerously low blood pressure may result from the combination of an herbal remedy that lowers blood pressure together with prescription medicine that has the same effect. Some herbs may amplify the effects of anticoagulants. Certain herbs as well as common fruit interfere with cytochrome P450, an enzyme critical to much drug metabolism.
A 2013 study published in the journal BMC Medicine found that one-third of herbal supplements sampled contained no trace of the herb listed on the label. The study found products adulterated with filler including allergens such as soy, wheat, and black walnut. One bottle labeled as St. John’s Wort was found to actually contain Alexandrian senna, a laxative.
Researchers at the University of Adelaide found in 2014 that almost 20 per cent of herbal remedies surveyed were not registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration, despite this being a condition for their sale. They also found that nearly 60 per cent of products surveyed had ingredients that did not match what was on the label. Out of 121 products, only 15 had ingredients that matched their TGA listing and packaging.
In 2015 the New York Attorney General issued cease and desist
letters to four major U.S. retailers (GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart) who are accused of selling herbal supplements that were mislabeled and potentially dangerous. 24 products were tested by DNA barcoding as part of the investigation, all but five contained DNA that did not match the products’ labels. The investigation was prompted by the 2013 BMC study.
A herbalist is:
Herbalists must learn many skills, including the wildcrafting or cultivation of herbs, diagnosis and treatment of conditions or dispensing herbal medication, and preparations of herbal medications. Education of herbalists varies considerably in different areas of the world. Lay herbalists and traditional indigenous medicine people generally rely upon apprenticeship and recognition from their communities in lieu of formal schooling.
In some countries formalized training and minimum education standards exist, although these are not necessarily uniform within or between countries. For example, in Australia the currently self-regulated status of the profession (as of April 2008) results in different associations setting different educational standards, and subsequently recognising an educational institution or course of training. The National Herbalists Association of Australia is generally recognised as having the most rigorous professional standard within Australia. In the United Kingdom, the training of medical herbalists is done by state funded Universities. For example, Bachelor of Science degrees in herbal medicine are offered at Universities such as University of East London, Middlesex University, University of Central Lancashire, University of Westminster, University of Lincoln and Napier University in Edinburgh at the present.
The World Health Organization (WHO), the specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that is concerned with international public health, published Quality control methods for medicinal plant materials in 1998 in order to support WHO Member States in establishing quality standards and specifications for herbal materials, within the overall context of quality assurance and control of herbal medicines.
In the European Union (EU), herbal medicines are now regulated under the European Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products.
In the United States, herbal remedies are regulated dietary supplements by the Food and Drug Administration under current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) policy for dietary supplements. Manufacturers of products falling into this category are not required to prove the safety or efficacy of their product so long as they don’t make ‘medical’ claims or imply being other than for ‘dietary supplement’ use, though the FDA may withdraw a product from sale should it prove harmful.
The National Nutritional Foods Association, the industry’s largest trade association, has run a program since 2002, examining the products and factory conditions of member companies, giving them the right to display the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) seal of approval on their products.
Some herbs, such as cannabis and coca, are outright banned in most countries though coca is legal in most of the South American countries where it is grown. The Cannabis plant is used as an herbal medicine, and as such is legal in some parts of the world. Since 2004, the sales of ephedra as a dietary supplement is prohibited in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration., and subject to Schedule III restrictions in the United Kingdom.
Native Americans medicinally used about 2,500 of the approximately 20,000 plant species that are native to North America.
Some researchers trained in both western and traditional Chinese medicine have attempted to deconstruct ancient medical texts in the light of modern science. One idea is that the yin-yang balance, at least with regard to herbs, corresponds to the pro-oxidant and anti-oxidant balance. This interpretation is supported by several investigations of the ORAC ratings of various yin and yang herbs.
In India, Ayurvedic medicine has quite complex formulas with 30 or more ingredients, including a sizable number of ingredients that have undergone “alchemical processing”, chosen to balance “Vata”, “Pitta” or “Kapha”.
In Ladakh, Lahul-Spiti and Tibet, the Tibetan Medical System is prevalent, also called the ‘Amichi Medical System’. Over 337 species of medicinal plants have been documented by C.P. Kala. Those are used by Amchis, the practitioners of this medical system.
In Tamil Nadu, Tamils have their own medicinal system now popularly called Siddha medicine. The Siddha system is entirely in the Tamil language. It contains roughly 300,000 verses covering diverse aspects of medicine. This work includes herbal, mineral and metallic compositions used as medicine. Ayurveda is in Sanskrit, but Sanskrit was not generally used as a mother tongue and hence its medicines are mostly taken from Siddha and other local traditions.
In Indonesia, especially among the Javanese, the jamu traditional herbal medicine is an age old tradition preserved for centuries. Jamu is thought to have originated in the Mataram Kingdom era, some 1300 years ago. The bas-reliefs on Borobudur depicts the image of people ground herbs with stone mortar and pestle, drink seller, physician and masseuse treating their clients. All of these scenes might be interpreted as a traditional herbal medicine and health-related treatments in ancient Java. The Madhawapura inscription from Majapahit period mentioned a specific profession of herbs mixer and combiner (herbalist), called Acaraki. The medicine book from Mataram dated from circa 1700 contains 3,000 entries of jamu herbal recipes, while Javanese classical literature Serat Centhini (1814) describes some jamu herbal concoction recipes.
Though highly possible influenced by Indian Ayurveda system, Indonesia is a vast archipelago with numerous indigenous plants not to be found in India, which include plants similar to Australia beyond the Wallace Line. Indonesians might experimented and figure out the medicinal uses of these native herbal plants. Jamu may vary from region to region, and often not written down, especially in remote areas of the country. Although primarily herbal, materials acquired from animals, such as honey, royal jelly, milk and ayam kampung eggs are also often used in jamu.
According to Eisenburg: The Chinese and Western medical models are like two frames of reference in which identical phenomena are studied. Neither frame of reference provides an unobstructed view of health and illness. Each is incomplete and in need of refinement.” Specifically, the traditional Chinese medical model could effect change on the recognized, and expected, phenomena of detachment to patients as people and estrangement unique to the clinical and impersonal relationships between patient and physician of the Western school of medicine.
Four approaches to the use of plants as medicine include:
1. The magical/shamanicAlmost all societies, with the exception of cultures influenced by Western-style industrialization, recognize this kind of use. The practitioner is regarded as endowed with gifts or powers that allow him/her to use herbs in a way that is hidden from the average person, and the herbs are said to affect the spirit or soul of the person.
2. The energeticThis approach includes the major systems of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and Unani. He
rbs are regarded as having actions in terms of their energies and affecting the energies of the body. The practitioner may have extensive training, and ideally be sensitive to energy, but need not have supernatural powers.
3. The functional dynamicThis approach was used by early physiomedical practitioners, whose doctrine forms the basis of contemporary practice in the UK. Herbs have a functional action, which is not necessarily linked to a physical compound, although often to a physiological function, but there is no explicit recourse to concepts involving energy.
4. The chemicalModern practitioners – called Phytotherapists – attempt to explain herb actions in terms of their chemical constituents. It is generally assumed that the specific combination of secondary metabolites in the plant are responsible for the activity claimed or demonstrated, a concept called synergy.
Herbalists tend to use extracts from parts of plants, such as the roots or leaves but not isolate particular phytochemicals. Pharmaceutical medicine prefers single ingredients on the grounds that dosage can be more easily quantified. It is also possible to patent single compounds, and therefore generate income. Herbalists often reject the notion of a single active ingredient, arguing that the different phytochemicals present in many herbs will interact to enhance the therapeutic effects of the herb and dilute toxicity. Furthermore, they argue that a single ingredient may contribute to multiple effects. Herbalists deny that herbal synergism can be duplicated with synthetic chemicals They argue that phytochemical interactions and trace components may alter the drug response in ways that cannot currently be replicated with a combination of a few potentially active ingredients. Pharmaceutical researchers recognize the concept of drug synergism but note that clinical trials may be used to investigate the efficacy of a particular herbal preparation, provided the formulation of that herb is consistent.
In specific cases the claims of synergy and multifunctionality have been supported by science. The open question is how widely both can be generalized. Herbalists would argue that cases of synergy can be widely generalized, on the basis of their interpretation of evolutionary history, not necessarily shared by the pharmaceutical community. Plants are subject to similar selection pressures as humans and therefore they must develop resistance to threats such as radiation, reactive oxygen species and microbial attack in order to survive. Optimal chemical defenses have been selected for and have thus developed over millions of years. Human diseases are multifactorial and may be treated by consuming the chemical defences that they believe to be present in herbs. Bacteria, inflammation, nutrition and ROS (reactive oxygen species) may all play a role in arterial disease. Herbalists claim a single herb may simultaneously address several of these factors. Likewise a factor such as ROS may underlie more than one condition. In short herbalists view their field as the study of a web of relationships rather than a quest for single cause and a single cure for a single condition.
In selecting herbal treatments herbalists may use forms of information that are not applicable to pharmacists. Because herbs can moonlight as vegetables, teas or spices they have a huge consumer base and large-scale epidemiological studies become feasible. Ethnobotanical studies are another source of information. For example, when indigenous peoples from geographically dispersed areas use closely related herbs for the same purpose that is taken as supporting evidence for its efficacy. Herbalists contend that historical medical records and herbals are underutilized resources. They favor the use of convergent information in assessing the medical value of plants. An example would be when in-vitro activity is consistent with traditional use.
Indigenous healers often claim to have learned by observing that sick animals change their food preferences to nibble at bitter herbs they would normally reject. Field biologists have provided corroborating evidence based on observation of diverse species, such as chickens, sheep, butterflies, and chimpanzee.The habit has been shown to be a physical means of purging intestinal parasites. Lowland gorillas take 90% of their diet from the fruits of Aframomum melegueta, a relative of the ginger plant, that is a potent antimicrobial and apparently keeps shigellosis and similar infections at bay. Current research focuses on the possibility that this plants also protects gorillas from fibrosing cardiomyopathy which has a devastating effect on captive animals.
Sick animals tend to forage plants rich in secondary metabolites, such as tannins and alkaloids. Since these phytochemicals often have antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antihelminthic properties, a plausible case can be made for self-medication by animals in the wild.
Posted: at 1:51 am
Civil rights attorneys say surveillance evidence used to convict a Somali-American man who plotted to bomb a 2010 Christmas tree-lighting ceremony was gathered unconstitutionally through the U.S. government’s warrantless foreign surveillance program.
They laid out their arguments Wednesday before a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in downtown Portland — directly across the street from the plaza where almost six years prior Mohamed Mohamud tried detonating a fake bomb that was part of an undercover operation.
Mohamud is appealing his 2013 conviction on grounds that he was entrapped by undercover federal agents posing as al-Qaida members and the warrantless surveillance of his foreign communications violated his constitutional rights.
It marks the first time a federal appeals court is considering whether the National Security Agency’s foreign surveillance programs — the same ones that came under scrutiny after the Edward Snowden leaks a few years ago — violate the Fourth Amendment rights of criminal defendants.
Stephen Sady, Mohamud’s public defender, and another attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union urged the court for a new trial on grounds that the evidence used against Mohamud should’ve never been allowed in the courtroom.
Sady told the judges that using surveillance information on foreigners, which doesn’t require a warrant, to spy on any Americans they communicate with is “an incredible diminution of the privacy rights of all Americans … That is a step that should never be taken.”
U.S. prosecutors defended the program, saying it’s perfectly legal under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to access information on Americans that was obtained through foreign communications.
Kelly Zusman, assistant U.S. attorney, said the information they glean on Americans, such as the communications that was used as evidence against Mohamud, already exists in the NSA databases.
“The query is not a search,” Zusman said. “It’s simply a means by which we access the information we have already lawfully acquired.”
Mohamud, 24, is a Somalia-born naturalized U.S. citizen who was 19 when he attempted the Christmas bombing.
Tung Yin, a professor at Portland-based Lewis & Clark Law School who specializes in national security issues, said it’s tough to predict how the court will proceed. But he said Mohamud only needs to win on one of the arguments for a new trial.
“At one level, it’s a question of what can the government do within the bounds of the Fourth Amendment? And a second issue is, even if the government is allowed to do something, should it? And that’s not a judicial question, but a political question,” Yin said.
Continue reading here:
Federal appeals court considers constitutionality of NSA …
Posted: at 5:28 am
by Daniel Smartt
Would Richard Dawkins ever acknowledge that his rabid atheism is actually a religious view?
Atheism is the belief that there is no god. According to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
Buddhism is atheistic in the sense of denying that there is any overarching deity such as the Creator-God of the Bible. Atheism in the western sense excludes Buddhism, and adherents claim that it is not a religion. One Atheist said:
However, atheists make such claims so Atheism can avoid legal imperatives placed on religions in many countries, and can avoid some of the ideological hang-ups people have about religion. It also creates a false dichotomy between science (which they claim must be naturalistic and secular) and religion.
Atheism3 will be defined in the contemporary western sense: not just the lack of belief in a god, but the assertion about the non-existence of any gods, spirits, or divine or supernatural beings. Atheists in this sense are metaphysical naturalists, and as will be shown, they DO follow a religion.
Atheism creates a false dichotomy between science (which they claim must be naturalistic and secular) and religion.
Religion is a difficult thing to define. Various definitions have been proposed, many of which emphasize a belief in the supernatural.4 But such definitions break down on closer inspection for several reasons. They fail to deal with religions which worship non-supernatural things in their own right (for example Jainism, which holds that every living thing is sacred because it is alive, or the Mayans who worshiped the sun as a deity in and of itself rather than a deity associated with the sun)5; they fail to include religions such as Confucianism and Taoism which focus almost exclusively on how adherents should live, and the little they do say about supernatural issues such as the existence of an afterlife is very vague; they also dont deal with religious movements centred around UFOswhich believe that aliens are highly (evolutionarily) advanced (but not supernatural) beings.
A better way to determine whether a worldview is a religion is to look for certain characteristics that religions have in common. The framework set forth by Ninian Smart,6 commonly known as the Seven Dimensions of Religion, is widely accepted by anthropologists and researchers of religion as broadly covering the various aspects of religion, without focusing on things unique to specific religions.
The seven dimensions proposed by Smart are narrative, experiential, social, ethical, doctrinal, ritual and material. Not every religion has every dimension, nor are they all equally important within an individual religion. Smart even argues that the secularisation of western society is actually a shift of focus from the doctrinal and ritual to the experiential.
Every religion has its stories. Almost all religions have stories explaining where the universe came from and what humanitys part in it is. Smart calls this Narrative.
Narrative is a particularly important aspect of western Atheism. As the prominent Atheist Richard Dawkins said, referring to Charles Darwins theory of evolution:
Evolution is an explanation of where everything came from: the cosmos (came out of nothing at the big bangnothing exploded and became everything); humans evolved from non-human creatures, hence humanitys place in the cosmos is being just another species of animal. Some have gone so far as to say that humanity is a parasite on earth, and advocate killing up to 90% of humanity.8 There are some who attempt to combine belief in God with belief in evolution, not realizing the foundational nature of evolutions connection to Atheism.9 The testimony of those who after learning about evolution in science reject Christianity should alert church leaders to the incompatibility between evolution and the Gospel.
There are two aspects to the experiential dimension. The first is the events experienced before someone founded a religion (for example the Disciples physically saw and touched the bodily resurrected Jesus). It is often asserted that Charles Darwin, after observing evidence from around the world during his voyage on HMS Beagle, developed the theory of evolution. (In reality, he had already learned a version of evolution from his grandfather Erasmuss book Zoonomia and similar ideas were around at the time).
According to the Humanist Manifesto II, the only meaning in life is what the person gives it.
The second aspect of the experiential dimension concerns the experiences of latter adherents. Many people feel certain emotions when they participate in certain religious ceremonies. Atheists often believe that Atheism is freedom from religion, and some Atheists have reported feeling liberated after converting.10 Karl Marx said that the removal of the illusion of happiness by the removal of religion was a step towards true happiness. Atheistic denial of the divine entails denial of an afterlife. If there is no afterlife,11 then ultimately there is no higher purpose in life for Atheists than to be happy. According to the Humanist Manifesto II, the only meaning in life is what the person gives it. In the Humanist Manifesto III, this was changed to finding meaning in relationships. Belief in evolution also causes people to aim for self preservation and to spread their own genes.12
Smart also seems to include faith as part of the experiential dimension. The meaning of the word faith is often twisted to make it mean things it does not. In Christianity, faith is logical, being defined in Hebrews 11:1 as being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is not blindly believing the impossible (which is how many Atheists define faith), but rather trusting the promises of God, whose past promises have all been fulfilled. I would classify Christian faith as part of the doctrinal dimension rather than experiential. On the other hand, Atheism requires faith (using their own definition) that the laws of chemistry, physics and biology were once violated and life arose from non-life via chemical evolution.
The social dimension of religion looks at the hierarchies and power structures present within the religion, such the Hindu caste system. In missionary religions, it also includes how people get converted and how missionaries go about their work.
Contemporary Atheism has been fueled largely by authors promoting their Atheistic beliefs. In the preface to The God Delusion, Dawkins says,
Dawkins is saying he hopes that his book converts religious people to his worldviewexactly what a missionary of any religion hopes to do.
Communist countries often made the state religion Atheism, often to the point of persecuting (other) religions.13 This followed from Karl Marxs statement:
Marxists saw the removal of religion as a step toward true happiness for the common people, although in practice this did not occur, and contemporary critics see Marxism itself as a religion15. (I would contend that Marxism is a sect of a larger religion: Atheism).
Many scientists are high up on the social hierarchy of Atheism because their research enhances their understanding of the world. Particularly honoured are those scientists who write extensively about evolution. Because of this, many scientists include a little about evolution in their research papers, even when there is little or no relevance (one recent example concerns research into the chameleons catapult tongue and suction cap; see Created, not evo
Atheism is also taught to children in many schools in science classes as evolution. As atheistic philosopher Michael Ruse admits, evolution is a religion, and it could be considered the narrative dimension of Atheism. Thus teaching evolution is teaching Atheism. Several Atheists even support teaching lies, as long as the end result is more children believing evolution.16
Doctrines are the beliefs and philosophies that develop out of a religion (not necessarily being specifically stated in the religious narratives, etc). For example, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, while not directly stated in the Bible, is logically derived from it.
Contemporary Atheism gained popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries, after the enlightenment. In 1933, some prominent Atheist philosophers realised the effects the lack of a belief in a god would have on the morals of society and wrote what they believed would be a suitable set of beliefs and goals for a secular society in the 20th century. In doing so, they formed the branch of Atheism known as Secular Humanism. By and large, Atheists believe and adhere to the things written in the Humanist Manifesto, even if they dont know the specifics of the document. After all, many Atheists do want to do what is good.
The doctrines, ethics and goals outlined in the Humanist Manifesto, while being atheistic and accepting evolution as true, are opposite of what would be expected if they were solely derived from the evolutionary narrative. This is because Humanism also makes the assumption that humans are basically good.
In 1973 however, the Humanist Manifesto was updated because of the atrocities that humans inflicted upon other humans during the intervening years (specifically mentioned are Nazism and communist police states).
Atheism is a morally relativist religion. Most Atheists adhere to one ethical system or another, but in Atheism there is ultimately no foundation for morality, as atheists Dawkins and Provine admit. Many systems of ethics have been proposed; utilitarianism is probably the most popular one.
Some people have taken a further step by creating ethical systems based on the evolutionary narrative and the principle of survival of the fittest. People who have lived by such principles include the perpetrators of the Columbine Massacre, the Jokela School Shooting in Finland, and on a much larger scale, the Nazis.
Most people (Atheist or not) inherently know that systems that lead to such atrocities must be wrong, but Atheists cannot give a logical reason for why it is wrong. This contradiction was highlighted by Dawkins when he said Im a passionate Darwinian when it comes to science, when it comes to explaining the world, but Im a passionate anti-Darwinian when it comes to morality and politics. It was also graphically shown when two evolutionists wrote a book claiming that rape is an evolutionary mechanism to spread male genesand see how one of them squirmed to justify why he agreed that rape is objectively wrong under his philosophy.
A world governed purely by Atheistic, evolutionary ethics has been shown by history to be a horrible place to live. Most Atheists recognise this and choose to live by the ethical systems of other religions instead, or at the very least, live by the laws enforced by the government.
Ritual is the only dimension which on the surface might appear to be absent from the religion of Atheism. In some religions, rituals have meanings attached to them, such as Passover commemorating the Israelites escape from Egypt. Because Atheism is a relatively recent movement, it doesnt have much of a history to commemorate. In other religions, rituals such as sacrifices and dances are done to appease the gods or the spirits. Because Atheism denies the existence of gods and spirits, it doesnt have the second type of ritual either. Many Atheists do practice secular rituals such as their birthday celebrations, or the ritual holidays of other religions such as the Christmas and Easter public holidays of Christianity, but this is usually to simply maintain the tradition of a public holiday, and the original meaning of the celebrations are rejected. Its noteworthy that in recent years, the atheists public commemoration of the anniversary of Darwins birth each February (and even of the publication of his Origin of Species in November), along with calls for the general public to do the same, is rapidly becoming something of an annual ritual, even in some churches. One might even say that this modern Atheistic commemoration is being celebrated with greater fervour and passion than many longstanding religious rituals.
While Atheism by its nature of denying the divine cant have objects that represent the divine (such as icons or idols), nature is treated as sacred by some Atheists in and of itself.
The material dimension of religion, says Smart, includes all the physical things created by a religion such as art and buildings, and also natural features and places treated as sacred by adherents. While Atheism by its nature of denying the divine cant have objects that represent the divine (such as icons or idols), nature is treated as sacred by some Atheists in and of itself.
There are two extremes in the range of ideas held by Atheists on the material:
Both ideas can be derived from the evolutionary narrative, but views tending towards the second idea are more prevalent than the views tending towards the first. But as G.K. Chesterton said a century ago:
An Atheists view of the material dimension is strongly influenced by their view of the ethical dimension.
Atheists often claim that their belief is not a religion. This allows them to propagate their beliefs in settings where other religions are banned, but this should not be so.
Contemporary Western Atheism unquestionably has six of the seven dimensions of religion set forth by Smart, and the remaining dimension, ritual, has also started to develop. Thus its fallacious to assert, Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour. Perhaps a better analogy would be calling a shaved head a hairstyle. Other than the denial of the divine, there is little difference between Atheism and other worldviews typically labelled as religions.
The dichotomy that Atheists try to create between science and religion is false. The conflict is between interpretations of science coming from different religious worldviews.
Atheism shouldnt be taught or enforced in settings where other religions are banned and shouldnt be favoured by laws which imply a religiously neutral government.
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Posted: July 1, 2016 at 9:53 pm
In an environment of worsening economic conditions, Dagny Taggart, vice president in charge of operations, works to repair Taggart Transcontinentals crumbling Rio Norte Line to service Colorado, the last booming industrial area in the country. Her efforts are hampered by the fact that many of the countrys most talented entrepreneurs are retiring and disappearing. The railroads crisis worsens when the Mexican government nationalizes Taggarts San Sebastian Line. The line had been built to service Francisco dAnconias copper mills, but the mills turn out to be worthless. Francisco had been a successful industrialist, and Dagnys lover, but has become a worthless playboy. To solve the railroads financial problems, Dagnys brother Jim uses political influence to pass legislation that destroys Taggarts only competition in Colorado. Dagny must fix the Rio Norte Line immediately and plans to use Rearden Metal, a new alloy created by Hank Rearden. When confronted about the San Sebastian mines, Francisco tells Dagny he is deliberately destroying dAnconia Copper. Later he appears at Reardens anniversary party and, meeting him for the first time, urges Rearden to reject the freeloaders who live off of him.
The State Science Institute issues a denunciation of Rearden metal, and Taggarts stock crashes. Dagny decides to start her own company to rebuild the line, and it is a huge success. Dagny and Rearden become lovers. Together they discover a motor in an abandoned factory that runs on static electricity, and they seek the inventor. The government passes new legislation that cripples industry in Colorado. Ellis Wyatt, an oil industrialist, suddenly disappears after setting fire to his wells. Dagny is forced to cut trains, and the situation worsens. Soon, more industrialists disappear. Dagny believes there is a destroyer at work, taking men away when they are most needed. Francisco visits Rearden and asks him why he remains in business under such repressive conditions. When a fire breaks out and they work together to put it out, Francisco understands Reardens love for his mills.
Rearden goes on trial for breaking one of the new laws, but refuses to participate in the proceedings, telling the judges they can coerce him by force but he wont help them to convict him. Unwilling to be seen as thugs, they let him go. Economic dictator Wesley Mouch needs Reardens cooperation for a new set of socialist laws, and Jim needs economic favors that will keep his ailing railroad running after the collapse of Colorado. Jim appeals to Reardens wife Lillian, who wants to destroy her husband. She tells him Rearden and Dagny are having an affair, and he uses this information in a trade. The new set of laws, Directive 10-289, is irrational and repressive. It includes a ruling that requires all patents to be signed over to the government. Rearden is blackmailed into signing over his metal to protect Dagnys reputation.
Dagny quits over the new directive and retreats to a mountain lodge. When she learns of a massive accident at the Taggart Tunnel, she returns to her job. She receives a letter from the scientist she had hired to help rebuild the motor, and fears he will be the next target of the destroyer. In an attempt to stop him from disappearing, she follows him in an airplane and crashes in the mountains. When she wakes up, she finds herself in a remote valley where all the retired industrialists are living. They are on strike, calling it a strike of the mind. There, she meets John Galt, who turns out to be both the destroyer and the man who built the motor. She falls in love with him, but she cannot give up her railroad, and she leaves the valley. When she returns to work, she finds that the government has nationalized the railroad industry. Government leaders want her to make a speech reassuring the public about the new laws. She refuses until Lillian comes to blackmail her. On the air, she proudly announces her affair with Rearden and reveals that he has been blackmailed. She warns the country about its repressive government.
With the economy on the verge of collapse, Francisco destroys the rest of his holdings and disappears. The politicians no longer even pretend to work for the public good. Their vast network of influence peddling creates worse chaos, as crops rot waiting for freight trains that are diverted for personal favors. In an attempt to gain control of Franciscos mills, the government stages a riot at Rearden Steel. But the steelworkers organize and fight back, led by Francisco, who has been working undercover at the mills. Francisco saves Reardens life, then convinces him to join the strike.
Just as the head of state prepares to give a speech on the economic situation, John Galt takes over the airwaves and delivers a lengthy address to the country, laying out the terms of the strike he has organized. In desperation, the government seeks Galt to make him their economic dictator. Dagny inadvertently leads them to him, and they take him prisoner. But Galt refuses to help them, even after he is tortured. Finally, Dagny and the strikers rescue him in an armed confrontation with guards. They return to the valley, where Dagny finally joins the strike. Soon, the countrys collapse is complete and the strikers prepare to return.
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Posted: at 9:53 pm
The story of Atlas Shrugged takes place in the United States at an unspecified future time. Dagny Taggart, vice president in charge of operations for Taggart Transcontinental Railroad, seeks to rebuild the crumbling track of the Rio Norte Line that serves Ellis Wyatt’s oil fields and the booming industrial areas of Colorado. The country is in a downward economic spiral with businesses closing and men out of work. Other countries in the world have become socialist Peoples’ States and are destitute. Colorado, based on Wyatt’s innovative method of extracting oil from shale, is the last great industrial center on earth. Dagny intends to provide Colorado the train service it requires, but her brother James Taggart, president of Taggart Transcontinental, tries to block her from getting new rails from Rearden Steel, the last reliable steel manufacturer. James wants to do business with the inefficient Associated Steel, which is run by his friend Orren Boyle. Dagny wants the new rail to be made of Rearden Metal, a new alloy that Hank Rearden developed after ten years of experiment. Because the metal has never been tried and has been denounced by metallurgists, James won’t accept responsibility for using it. Dagny, who studied engineering in college, has seen the results of Rearden’s tests. She accepts the responsibility and orders the rails made of Rearden Metal.
Worsening the economic depression in the U.S. is the unexplained phenomenon of talented men retiring and disappearing. For example, Owen Kellogg, a bright young Taggart employee for whom Dagny had great hopes, tells her that he is leaving the railroad. McNamara, a contractor who was supposed to rebuild the Rio Norte Line, retires unexpectedly. As more great men disappear, the American people become increasingly pessimistic. Dagny dislikes the new phrase that has crept into the language and signifies people’s sense of futility and despair. Nobody knows the origin or exact meaning of the question “Who is John Galt?,” but people use the unanswerable question to express their sense of hopelessness. Dagny rejects the widespread pessimism and finds a new contractor for the Rio Norte Line.
The crisis for Taggart Transcontinental worsens when the railroad’s San Sebastian Line proves to be worthless and is nationalized by the Mexican government. The line, which cost millions of dollars, was supposed to provide freight service for the San Sebastian Mines, a new venture by Francisco d’Anconia, the wealthiest copper industrialist in the world. Francisco was Dagny’s childhood friend and her former lover, but she now regards him as a worthless playboy. In this latest venture, d’Anconia has steered investors completely wrong, causing huge financial losses and a general sense of unrest.
James Taggart, in an attempt to recover the railroad’s losses on the San Sebastian Line, uses his political friendships to influence the vote of the National Alliance of Railroads. The Alliance passes what’s known as the “Anti-dog-eat-dog rule,” prohibiting “cutthroat” competition. The rule puts the superb Phoenix-Durango Railroad, Taggart Transcontinental’s competitor for the Colorado freight traffic, out of business. With the Phoenix-Durango line gone, Dagny must rebuild the Rio Norte Line quickly.
Dagny asks Francisco, who is in New York, what his purpose was in building the worthless Mexican mines. He tells her that it was to damage d’Anconia Copper and Taggart Transcontinental, as well as to cause secondary destructive consequences. Dagny is dumbfounded, unable to reconcile such a destructive purpose from the brilliant, productive industrialist Francisco was just ten years earlier. Not long after this conversation, Francisco appears at a celebration for Hank Rearden’s wedding anniversary. Rearden’s wife Lillian, his mother, and his brother are nonproductive freeloaders who believe that the strong are morally obliged to support the weak. Rearden no longer loves and cannot respect them, but he pities their weakness and carries them on his back. Francisco meets Rearden for the first time and warns him that the freeloaders have a weapon that they are using against him. Rearden questions why Francisco has come to the party, but Francisco says that he merely wished to become acquainted with Rearden. He won’t explain his presence any further.
Although public opinion and an incompetent contractor are working against them, Dagny and Rearden build the Rio Norte Line. Rearden designs an innovative bridge for the line that takes advantage of the properties that his new metal possesses. The State Science Institute, a government research organization, tries to bribe and threaten Rearden to keep his metal off the market, but he won’t give in. The Institute then issues a statement devoid of factual evidence that alleges possible weaknesses in the structure of Rearden Metal. Taggart stock crashes, the contractor quits, and the railroad union forbids its employees to work on the Rio Norte Line. When Dr. Robert Stadler, a brilliant theoretical scientist in whose name the State Science Institute was founded, refuses to publicly defend Rearden Metal even though he knows its value, Dagny makes a decision. She tells her brother that she will take a leave of absence, form her own company, and build the Rio Norte Line on her own. She signs a contract saying that when the line is successfully completed, she’ll turn it back over to Taggart Transcontinental. Dagny chooses to name it the John Galt Line in defiance of the general pessimism that surrounds her.
Rearden and the leading businessmen of Colorado invest in the John Galt Line. Rearden feels a strong sexual attraction to Dagny but, because he regards sex as a demeaning impulse, doesn’t act on his attraction. The government passes the Equalization of Opportunity Bill that prevents an individual from owning companies in different fields. The bill prohibits Rearden from owning the mines that supply him with the raw materials he needs to make Rearden Metal. However, Rearden creates a new design for the John Galt Line’s Rearden Metal Bridge, realizing that if he combines a truss with an arch, it will enable him to maximize the best qualities of the new metal.
Dagny completes construction of the Line ahead of schedule. She and Rearden ride in the engine cab on the Line’s first train run, which is a resounding success. Rearden and Dagny have dinner at Ellis Wyatt’s home to celebrate. After dinner, Dagny and Rearden make love for the first time. The next day, Rearden is contemptuous of them both for what he considers their low urges, but Dagny is radiantly happy. She rejects Rearden’s estimate, knowing that their sexual attraction is based on mutual admiration for each other’s noblest qualities.
Dagny and Rearden go on vacation together, driving around the country looking at abandoned factories. At the ruins of the Twentieth Century Motor Company’s factory in Wisconsin, they find the remnant of a motor with the potential to change the world. The motor was able to draw static electricity from the atmosphere and convert it to usable energy, but now it is destroyed.
Realizing how much the motor would benefit the transportation industry, Dagny vows to find the inventor. At the same time, she must fight against new proposed legislation. Various economic pressure groups, seeking to cash in on the industrial success of Colorado, want the government to force the successful companies to share their profits. Dagny knows that the legislation would put Wyatt Oil and the other Colorado companies out of business, destroy the Rio Norte Line, and remove the profit she needs to rebuild the rest of the transc
ontinental rail system, but she’s powerless to prevent the legislation.
Dagny continues her nationwide quest to find the inventor of the motor, and she finally finds the widow of the engineer who ran the automobile company’s research department. The widow tells Dagny that a young scientist working for her husband invented the motor. She doesn’t know his name, but she provides a clue that leads Dagny to a cook in an isolated Wyoming diner. The cook tells Dagny to forget the inventor of the motor because he won’t be found until he chooses. Dagny is shocked to discover that the cook is Hugh Akston, the world’s greatest living philosopher. She goes to Cheyenne and discovers that Wesley Mouch, the new economic coordinator of the country, has issued a series of directives that will result in the strangling of Colorado’s industrial success. Dagny rushes to Colorado but arrives too late. Ellis Wyatt, in defiance of the government’s edict, set fire to his oil wells and retired.
Months later, the situation in Colorado continues to deteriorate. With the Wyatt oil wells out of business, the economy struggles. Several of the other major industrialists have retired and disappeared; nobody knows where they’ve gone. Dagny is forced to cut trains on the Colorado schedule. The one bright spot of her work is her continued search for the inventor of the motor. She speaks to Robert Stadler who recommends a young scientist, Quentin Daniels of the Utah Institute of Technology, as a man capable of undertaking the motor’s reconstruction.
The State Science Institute orders 10,000 tons of Rearden Metal for a top-secret project, but Rearden refuses to sell it to them. Rearden sells to Ken Danagger, the country’s best producer of coal, an amount of Rearden Metal that the law deems illegal. Meanwhile, at the reception for James Taggart’s wedding, Francisco d’Anconia publicly defends the morality of producing wealth. Rearden overhears what Francisco says and finds himself increasingly drawn to this supposedly worthless playboy. The day following the reception, Rearden’s wife discovers that he’s having an affair, but she doesn’t know with whom. A manipulator who seeks control over her husband, Lillian uses guilt as a weapon against him.
Dr. Ferris of the State Science Institute tells Rearden that he knows of the illegal sale to Ken Danagger and will take Rearden to trial if he refuses to sell the Institute the metal it needs. Rearden refuses, and the government brings charges against himself and Danagger. Dagny, in the meantime, has become convinced that a destroyer is loose in the world some evil creature that is deliberately luring away the brains of the world for a purpose she cannot understand. Her diligent assistant, Eddie Willers, knows that Dagny’s fears are justified. He eats his meals in the workers’ cafeteria, where he has befriended a nameless worker. Eddie tells the worker about Dagny’s fear that Danagger is next in line for the destroyer that he’ll be the next to retire and disappear. Dagny races to Pittsburgh to meet with Danagger to convince him to stay, but she’s too late. Someone has already met with Danagger and convinced him to retire. In a mood of joyous serenity, Danagger tells Dagny that nothing could convince him to remain. The next day, he disappears.
Francisco visits Rearden and empathizes with the pain he has endured because of the invention of Rearden Metal. Francisco begins to ask Rearden what could make such suffering worthwhile when an accident strikes one of Rearden’s furnaces. Francisco and Rearden race to the scene and work arduously to make the necessary repairs. Afterward, when Rearden asks him to finish his question, Francisco says that he knows the answer and departs.
At his trial, Rearden states that he doesn’t recognize his deal with Danagger as a criminal action and, consequently, doesn’t recognize the court’s right to try him. He says that a man has the right to own the product of his effort and to trade it voluntarily with others. The government has no moral basis for outlawing the voluntary exchange of goods and services. The government, he says, has the power to seize his metal by force, and they have the power to compel him at the point of a gun. But he won’t cooperate with their demands, and he won’t pretend that the process is civil. If the government wishes to deal with men by compulsion, it must do so openly. Rearden states that he won’t help the government pretend that his trial is anything but the initiation of a forced seizure of his metal. He says that he’s proud of his metal, he’s proud of his mills, he’s proud of every penny that he’s earned by his own hard work, and he’ll not cooperate by voluntarily yielding one cent that is his. Rearden says that the government will have to seize his money and products by force, just like the robber it is. At this point, the crowd bursts into applause. The judges recognize the truth of what Rearden says and refuse to stand before the American people as open thieves. In the end, they fine Rearden and suspend the sentence.
Because of the new economic restrictions, the major Colorado industrialists have all retired and disappeared. Freight traffic has dwindled, and Taggart Transcontinental has been forced to shut down the Rio Norte Line. The railroad is in terrible condition: It is losing money, the government has convinced James Taggart to grant wage raises, and there is ominous talk that the railroad will be forced to cut shipping rates. At the same time, Wesley Mouch is desperate for Rearden to cooperate with the increasingly dictatorial government. Because Rearden came to Taggart’s wedding celebration, Mouch believes that Taggart can influence Rearden. Mouch implies that a trade is possible: If Taggart can convince Rearden to cooperate, Mouch will prevent the government from forcing a cut in shipping rates. Taggart appeals to Lillian for help, and Lillian discovers that Dagny Taggart is her husband’s lover.
In response to devastating economic conditions, the government passes the radical Directive 10-289, which requires that all workers stay at their current jobs, all businesses remain open, and all patents and inventions be voluntarily turned over to the government. When she hears the news, Dagny resigns from the railroad. Rearden doesn’t resign from Rearden Steel, however, because he has two weeks to sign the certificate turning his metal over to the government, and he wants to be there to refuse when the time is up. Dr. Floyd Ferris of the State Science Institute comes to Rearden and says that the government has evidence of his affair with Dagny Taggart and will make it public dragging Dagny’s name through the gutter if he refuses to sign over his metal. Rearden now knows that his desire for Dagny is the highest virtue he possesses and is free of all guilt regarding it, but he’s a man who pays his own way. He knows that he should have divorced Lillian long ago and openly declared his love for Dagny. His guilt and error gave his enemies this weapon. He must pay for his own error and not allow Dagny to suffer, so he signs.
Dagny has retreated to a hunting lodge in the mountains that she inherited from her father. She’s trying to decide what to do with the rest of her life when word reaches her that a train wreck of enormous proportions has destroyed the famed Taggart Tunnel through the heart of the Rockies, making all transcontinental traffic impossible on the main track. She rushes back to New York to resume her duties, and she reroutes all transcontinental traffic. She receives a letter from Quentin Daniels telling her that, because of Directive 10-289, he’s quitting. Dagny plans to go west to inspect the t
rack and to talk to Daniels.
On the train ride west, Dagny rescues a hobo who is riding the rails. He used to work for the Twentieth Century Motor Company. He tells her that the company put into practice the communist slogan, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” a scheme that resulted in enslaving the able to the unable. The first man to quit was a young engineer, who walked out of a mass meeting saying that he would put an end to this once and for all by “stopping the motor of the world.” The bum tells her that as the years passed and they saw factories close, production drop, and great minds retire and disappear, they began to wonder if the young engineer, whose name was John Galt, succeeded.
On her trip west, Dagny’s train is stalled when the crew abandons it. She finds an airplane and continues on to Utah to find Daniels, but she learns at the airport that Daniels left with a visitor in a beautiful plane. Realizing that the visitor is the “destroyer,” she gives chase, flying among the most inaccessible peaks of the Rockies. Her plane crashes.
Dagny finds herself in Atlantis, the hidden valley to which the great minds have gone to escape the persecution of a dictatorial government. She finds that John Galt does exist and that he’s the man she’s been seeking in two ways: He is both the inventor of the motor and the “destroyer,” the man draining the brains of the world. All the great men she admires are here inventors, industrialists, philosophers, scientists, and artists. Dagny learns that the brains are on strike. They refuse to think, create, and work in a world that forces them to sacrifice themselves to society. They’re on strike against the creed of self-sacrifice, in favor of a man’s right to his own life.
Dagny falls in love with Galt, who has loved and watched her for years. But Dagny is a scab, the most dangerous enemy of the strike, and Galt won’t touch her yet. Dagny has the choice to join the strike and remain in the valley or go back to her railroad and the collapsing outside world. She is torn, but she refuses to give up the railroad and returns. Although Galt’s friends don’t want him to expose himself to the danger, he returns as well, so he can be near at hand when Dagny decides she’s had enough.
When she returns, Dagny finds that the government has nationalized the railroad industry and controls it under a Railroad Unification Plan. Dagny can no longer make business decisions based on matters of production and profit; she is subject to the arbitrary whims of the dictators. The government wants Dagny to make a reassuring speech to the public on the radio and threatens her with the revelation of her affair with Rearden. On the air, Dagny proudly states that she was Rearden’s lover and that he signed his metal over to the government only because of a blackmail threat. Before being cut off the air, Dagny succeeds in warning the American people about the ruthless dictatorship that the United States government is becoming.
Because of the government’s socialist policies, the collapse of the U. S. economy is imminent. Francisco d’Anconia destroys his holdings and disappears because his properties worldwide are about to be nationalized. He leaves the “looters” the parasites who feed off the producers nothing, wiping out millions of dollars belonging to corrupt American investors like James Taggart. Meanwhile, politicians use their economic power to create their own personal empires. In one such scheme, the Taggart freight cars needed to haul the Minnesota wheat harvest to market are diverted to a project run by the relatives of powerful politicians. The wheat rots at the Taggart stations, the farmers riot, farms shut down (as do many of the companies providing them with equipment), people lose their jobs, and severe food shortages result.
During an emergency breakdown at the Taggart Terminal in New York City, Dagny finds that John Galt is one of the railroad’s unskilled laborers. She sees him in the crowd of men ready to carry out her commands. After completing her task, Dagny walks into the abandoned tunnels, knowing that Galt will follow. They make love for the first time, and he then returns to his mindless labor.
The government smuggles its men into Rearden’s mills, pretending that they’re steelworkers. The union of steelworkers asks for a raise, but the government refuses, making it sound as if the refusal comes from Rearden. When Rearden rejects the Steel Unification Plan the government wants to spring on him, they use the thugs they’ve slipped into his mills to start a riot. The pretense of protecting Rearden is the government’s excuse for taking over his mills. But Francisco d’Anconia, under an assumed name, has taken a job at Rearden’s mills. He organizes the workers, and they successfully defend the mills against the government’s thugs. Afterward, Francisco tells Rearden the rest of the things he wants him to know. Rearden retires, disappears, and joins the strike.
Mr. Thompson, the head of state, is set to address the nation regarding its dire economic conditions. But before he begins to speak, he is preempted, cut off the air by a motor of incalculable power. John Galt addresses the nation instead. Galt informs citizens that the men of the mind are on strike, that they require freedom of thought and action, and that they refuse to work under the dictatorship in power. The thinkers won’t return, Galt says, until human society recognizes an individual’s right to live his own life. Only when the moral code of self-sacrifice is rejected will the thinkers be free to create, and only then will they return.
The government rulers are desperate. Frantically, they seek John Galt. They want him to become economic dictator of the country so the men of the mind will come back and save the government, but Galt refuses. Realizing that Dagny thinks the same way that Galt does, the government has her followed. Mr. Thompson makes clear to Dagny that certain members of the government fear and hate Galt, and that if they find him first, they may kill him. Terrified, Dagny goes to Galt’s apartment to see if he’s still alive. The government’s men follow her and take Galt into custody, and the rulers attempt to convince Galt to take charge of the country’s economy. He refuses. They torture him, yet still he refuses. In the end, the strikers come to his rescue. Francisco and Rearden, joined now by Dagny, assault the grounds of the State Science Institute where Galt is held captive. They kill some guards and incapacitate others, release Galt, and return to the valley. Dagny and Galt are united. Shortly after, the final collapse of the looters’ regime occurs, and the men of the mind are free to return to the world.
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Posted: June 29, 2016 at 6:34 pm
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What if your local company runs into difficult times? Remember the US and European recession of 2008, 2009 and following years? During that time the economies in Southeast Asia and Australia were booming. By having an offshore money machine, you limit your exposure to the local economy.
Why not have multiple global online businesses running simultaneously? The low cost of establishing a number of offshore companies and accounts, along with new low-cost website development services makes the initial investment just a drop in the bucket compared to the tremendous upside potential. Our organization provides all of these services, and has for tens of thousands of clients. If a farmer wants to harvest a crop he must first plant the seeds. Not all of the seeds grow but a majority of them do; and the ones that do can make him and his family a living for many generations.
Within minutes of filing a lawsuit, an attorney can file another document freezing your bank account, your home, your business, and other assets. However, operating a business offshore puts up a huge barrier to a viscous litigants ability to freeze and seize your hard earned resources.
A whopping 96% of the worlds lawsuits are filed in the US yet it only has about 4.5% of the worlds population. Why in the name of Molly Strudel would one want to have a sizable bank account sitting out in the open in the US when the odds of having that money taken are 23 times greater than anywhere else on the planet? Think about it. Keep enough funds locally to satisfy current needs. Then wire funds from your offshore account as the need arises. Keep funds offshore, held in the name of an offshore company and/or asset protection trust. Doing this puts you in the drivers seat rather than some money grubbing attorney who wants to put food on his familys table by taking it from yours.
Concerned about safety of your money offshore? Think again. Global Finance Magazine researches and publishes a list of 50 of the worlds safest banks each year. Can you guess how many national US banks made the list on the date of this writing? Would you think 40? 45? How about zero? Yes, NONE. The only US banks that made the list were three small regional farming banks. That is all. They ranked 30, 45 and 50 on the list. The safest banks on the list were from Germany, Switzerland the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg, Canada and Australia.
So, if you are in the US or South America, the question is not Is offshore banking safe? The question is, Is local banking safe? The United States is the most in-debt country in the world by a long shot. If countries were companies, and you were looking for one to invest in, would you look for one that was deeply in debt or one that was flush with cash? Would you look for one with a growing industrial base or one where manufacturing has been steadily eroding for decades? Think about it. Just because it is familiar doesnt make it good.
Keeping at least a portion of ones assets offshore in safer havens just makes good sense. At least have an offshore account ready to dump funds into on a moments notice if the need arises. Questions about offshore company formation and offshore banking? There is a number above to call and an inquiry form to complete on this page.
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Posted: at 6:18 pm
Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House. One is from Chicago, another is from Tennessee, and the third is from Minnesota. All three go with a White House official to examine the fence. The Minnesota contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. “Well,” he says, “I figure the job will run about $900. $400 for materials, $400 for my crew, and $100 profit for me.” The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, “I can do this job for $700. $300 for materials, $300 for my crew, and $100 profit for me.” The Chicago contractor doesn’t measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers, “$2,700.” The official, incredulous, says, “You didn’t even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?” The Chicago contractor whispers back, “$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire the guy from Tennessee to fix the fence.” “Done!” replies the government official. And that, my friends, is how the new stimulus plan will work.
Posted: June 28, 2016 at 2:57 am
The Early Stages of Drug Prohibition
Many currently illegal drugs, such as marijuana, opium, coca, and psychedelics have been used for thousands of years for both medical and spiritual purposes. So why are some drugs legal and other drugs illegal today? It’s not based on any scientific assessment of the relative risks of these drugs but it has everything to do with who is associated with these drugs.
The first anti-opium laws in the 1870s were directed at Chinese immigrants. The first anti-cocaine laws, in the South in the early 1900s, were directed at black men. The first anti-marijuana laws, in the Midwest and the Southwest in the 1910s and 20s, were directed at Mexican migrants and Mexican Americans. Today, Latino and especially black communities are still subject to wildly disproportionate drug enforcement and sentencing practices.
In the 1960s, as drugs became symbols of youthful rebellion, social upheaval, and political dissent, the government halted scientific research to evaluate their medical safety and efficacy.
In June 1971, President Nixon declared a war on drugs. He dramatically increased the size and presence of federal drug control agencies, and pushed through measures such as mandatory sentencing and no-knock warrants. Nixon temporarily placed marijuana in Schedule One, the most restrictive category of drugs, pending review by a commission he appointed led by Republican Pennsylvania Governor Raymond Shafer.
In 1972, the commission unanimously recommended decriminalizing the possession and distribution of marijuana for personal use. Nixon ignored the report and rejected its recommendations.
Between 1973 and 1977, however, eleven states decriminalized marijuana possession. In January 1977, President Jimmy Carter was inaugurated on a campaign platform that included marijuana decriminalization. In October 1977, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use.
Within just a few years, though, the tide had shifted. Proposals to decriminalize marijuana were abandoned as parents became increasingly concerned about high rates of teen marijuana use. Marijuana was ultimately caught up in a broader cultural backlash against the perceived permissiveness of the 1970s.
The presidency of Ronald Reagan marked the start of a long period of skyrocketing rates of incarceration, largely thanks to his unprecedented expansion of the drug war. The number of people behind bars for nonviolent drug law offenses increased from 50,000 in 1980 to over 400,000 by 1997.
Public concern about illicit drug use built throughout the 1980s, largely due to media portrayals of people addicted to the smokeable form of cocaine dubbed crack. Soon after Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, his wife, Nancy Reagan, began a highly-publicized anti-drug campaign, coining the slogan “Just Say No.”
This set the stage for the zero tolerance policies implemented in the mid-to-late 1980s. Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates, who believed that casual drug users should be taken out and shot, founded the DARE drug education program, which was quickly adopted nationwide despite the lack of evidence of its effectiveness. The increasingly harsh drug policies also blocked the expansion of syringe access programs and other harm reduction policies to reduce the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS.
In the late 1980s, a political hysteria about drugs led to the passage of draconian penalties in Congress and state legislatures that rapidly increased the prison population. In 1985, the proportion of Americans polled who saw drug abuse as the nation’s “number one problem” was just 2-6 percent. The figure grew through the remainder of the 1980s until, in September 1989, it reached a remarkable 64 percent one of the most intense fixations by the American public on any issue in polling history. Within less than a year, however, the figure plummeted to less than 10 percent, as the media lost interest. The draconian policies enacted during the hysteria remained, however, and continued to result in escalating levels of arrests and incarceration.
Although Bill Clinton advocated for treatment instead of incarceration during his 1992 presidential campaign, after his first few months in the White House he reverted to the drug war strategies of his Republican predecessors by continuing to escalate the drug war. Notoriously, Clinton rejected a U.S. Sentencing Commission recommendation to eliminate the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences.
He also rejected, with the encouragement of drug czar General Barry McCaffrey, health secretary Donna Shalalas advice to end the federal ban on funding for syringe access programs. Yet, a month before leaving office, Clinton asserted in a Rolling Stone interview that “we really need a re-examination of our entire policy on imprisonment” of people who use drugs, and said that marijuana use “should be decriminalized.”
At the height of the drug war hysteria in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a movement emerged seeking a new approach to drug policy. In 1987, Arnold Trebach and Kevin Zeese founded the Drug Policy Foundation describing it as the loyal opposition to the war on drugs. Prominent conservatives such as William Buckley and Milton Friedman had long advocated for ending drug prohibition, as had civil libertarians such as longtime ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser. In the late 1980s they were joined by Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, Federal Judge Robert Sweet, Princeton professor Ethan Nadelmann, and other activists, scholars and policymakers.
In 1994, Nadelmann founded The Lindesmith Center as the first U.S. project of George Soros Open Society Institute. In 2000, the growing Center merged with the Drug Policy Foundation to create the Drug Policy Alliance.
George W. Bush arrived in the White House as the drug war was running out of steam yet he allocated more money than ever to it. His drug czar, John Walters, zealously focused on marijuana and launched a major campaign to promote student drug testing. While rates of illicit drug use remained constant, overdose fatalities rose rapidly.
The era of George W. Bush also witnessed the rapid escalation of the militarization of domestic drug law enforcement. By the end of Bush’s term, there were about 40,000 paramilitary-style SWAT raids on Americans every year mostly for nonviolent drug law offenses, often misdemeanors. While federal reform mostly stalled under Bush, state-level reforms finally began to slow the growth of the drug war.
Politicians now routinely admit to having used marijuana, and even cocaine, when they were younger. When Michael Bloomberg was questioned during his 2001 mayoral campaign about whether he had ever used marijuana, he said, “You bet I did and I enjoyed it.” Barack Obama also candidly discussed his prior cocaine and marijuana use: “When I was a kid, I inhaled frequently that was the point.”
The assault on American citizens, however, has persisted. President Obama, despite advocating for reforms such as reducing the crack/powder sentencing disparity, ending the ban on federal funding for syringe access programs, and supporting state medical marijuana laws has yet to shift the majority of drug control funding to a health-based approach.
Marijuana reform has gained unprecedented momentum throughout the Americas. Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana for adults. In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legally regulate marijuana. In Can
ada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised to legalize marijuana.
Public opinion has shifted dramatically in favor of sensible reforms that expand health-based approaches while reducing the role of criminalization in drug policy. Yet the assault on American citizens and others continues, with 700,000 people still arrested for marijuana offenses each year and almost 500,000 people still behind bars for nothing more than a drug law violation.
Progress is inevitably slow but there is unprecedented momentum behind drug policy reform right now. We look forward to a future where drug policies are shaped by science and compassion rather than political hysteria.
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Posted: June 27, 2016 at 6:31 am
F. William Engdahl Financial Sense Friday, March 5, 2010
Microsoft founder and one of the worlds wealthiest men, Bill Gates, projects an image of a benign philanthropist using his billions via his (tax exempt) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to tackle diseases, solve food shortages in Africa and alleviate poverty. In a recent conference in California, Gates reveals a less public agenda of his philanthropypopulation reduction, otherwise known as eugenics.
Gates made his remarks to the invitation-only Long Beach, California TED2010 Conference, in a speech titled, Innovating to Zero!. Along with the scientifically absurd proposition of reducing manmade CO2 emissions worldwide to zero by 2050, approximately four and a half minutes into the talk, Gates declares, First we got population. The world today has 6.8 billion people. Thats headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.1 (authors emphasis).
In plain English, one of the most powerful men in the world states clearly that he expects vaccines to be used to reduce population growth. When Bill Gates speaks about vaccines, he speaks with authority. In January 2010 at the elite Davos World Economic Forum, Gates announced his foundation would give $10 billion (circa 7.5 billion) over the next decade to develop and deliver new vaccines to children in the developing world. 2
The primary focus of his multi-billion dollar Gates Foundation is vaccinations, especially in Africa and other underdeveloped countries. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a founding member of the GAVI Alliance (Global Alliance for Vaccinations and Immunization) in partnership with the World Bank, WHO and the vaccine industry. The goal of GAVI is to vaccinate every newborn child in the developing world.
Now that sounds like noble philanthropic work. The problem is that the vaccine industry has been repeatedly caught dumping dangerousmeaning unsafe because untested or proven harmfulvaccines onto unwitting Third World populations when they cannot get rid of the vaccines in the West. 3 Some organizations have suggested that the true aim of the vaccinations is to make people sicker and even more susceptible to disease and premature death.4
Dumping toxins on the Third World
In the aftermath of the most recent unnecessary Pandemic declaration of a global H1N1 swine flu emergency, industrial countries were left sitting on hundreds of millions of doses of untested vaccines. They decided to get rid of the embarrassing leftover drugs by handing them over to the WHO which in turn plans to dump them for free on select poor countries. France has given 91 million of the 94 million doses the Sarkozy government bought from the pharma giants; Britain gave 55 million of its 60 million doses. The story for Germany and Norway is similar.5
As Dr. Thomas Jefferson, an epidemiologist with the Cochrane Research Center in Rome noted, Why do they give the vaccines to the developing countries at all? The pandemic has been called off in most parts of the world. The greatest threat in poor countries right now is heart and circulatory diseases while the virus figures at the bottom of the list. What is the medical reason for donating 180 million doses? 6 As well, flu is a minor problem in countries with abundant sunshine, and it turned out that the feared H1N1 Pandemic new great plague was the mildest flu on record.
The pharmaceutical vaccine makers do not speak about the enormous health damage from infant vaccination including autism and numerous neuro-muscular deformities that have been traced back to the toxic adjuvants and preservatives used in most vaccines. Many vaccines, especially multi-dose vaccines that are made more cheaply for sale to the Third World, contain something called Thimerosal (Thiomersol in the EU), a compound (sodium ethylmercurithiosalicylate), containing some 50% mercury, used as a preservative.
In July 1999 the US National Vaccine Information Center declared in a press release that, The cumulative effects of ingesting mercury can cause brain damage. The same month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerted the public about the possible health effects associated with thimerosal-containing vaccines. They strongly recommended that thimerosal be removed from vaccines as soon as possible. Under the directive of the FDA Modernization Act of 1997, the Food and Drug Administration also determined that infants who received several thimerosal-containing vaccines may be receiving mercury exposure over and above the recommended federal guidelines.7
(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
A new form of eugenics?
Gates interest in inducing population reduction among black and other minority populations is not new unfortunately. As I document in my book, Seeds of Destruction,8 since the 1920s the Rockefeller Foundation had funded the eugenics research in Germany through the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institutes in Berlin and Munich, including well into the Third Reich. They praised the forced sterilization of people by Hirtler Germany, and the Nazi ideas on race purity. It was John D. Rockefeller III, a life-long advocate of eugenics, who used his tax free foundation money to initiate the population reduction neo-Malthusian movement through his private Population Council in New York beginning in the 1950s.
The idea of using vaccines to covertly reduce births in the Third World is also not new. Bill Gates good friend, David Rockefeller and his Rockefeller Foundation were involved as early as 1972 in a major project together with WHO and others to perfect another new vaccine.
The results of the WHO-Rockefeller project were put into mass application on human guinea pigs in the early 1990s. The WHO oversaw massive vaccination campaigns against tetanus in Nicaragua, Mexico and the Philippines. Comite Pro Vida de Mexico, a Roman Catholic lay organization, became suspicious of the motives behind the WHO program and decided to test numerous vials of the vaccine and found them to contain human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, or hCG. That was a curious component for a vaccine designed to protect people against lock-jaw arising from infection with rusty nail wounds or other contact with certain bacteria found in soil. The tetanus disease was indeed, also rather rare. It was also curious because hCG was a natural hormone needed to maintain a pregnancy. However, when combined with a tetanus toxoid carrier, it stimulated formation of antibodies against hCG, rendering a woman incapable of maintaining a pregnancy, a form of concealed abortion. Similar reports of vaccines laced with hCG hormones came from the Philippines and Nicaragua.9
Gates Gene Revolution in Africa
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, along with David Rockefellers Rockefeller Foundation, the creators of the GMO biotechnology, are also financing a project called The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) headed by former UN chief, Kofi Annan. Accepting the role as AGRA head in June 2007 Annan expressed his gratitude to the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and all others who support our African campaign. The AGRA board is dominated by people from both the Gates and Rockefeller foundations. 10
Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, Syngenta and other major GMO agribusiness giants are reported at the heart of AGRA, using it as a back-door to spread their patented GMO seeds across Africa under the deceptive label, bio-technology, a euphemism for genetically engineered patented seeds. The person from the Gates Foundation responsible for its work with AGRA is Dr. Robert Horsch, a 25-year Monsanto GMO veteran who was on the team that developed Monsantos RoundUp Ready GMO technologies. His job is reportedly to use Gates money to introduce GMO into Africa.11
To date South Africa is the only African country permitting legal planting of GMO crops. In 2003 Burkina Faso authorized GMO trials. In 2005 Kofi Annans Ghana drafted bio-safety legislation and key officials expressed their intentions to pursue research into GMO crops. AGRA is being used to create networks of agro-dealers across Africa, at first with no mention of GMO seeds or herbicides, in order to have the infrastructure in place to massively introduce GMO.12
GMO, glyphosate and population reduction
GMO crops have never been proven safe for human or animal consumption. Moreover, they are inherently genetically unstable as they are an unnatural product of introducing a foreign bacteria such as Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) or other material into the DNA of a given seed to change its traits. Perhaps equally dangerous are the paired chemical herbicides sold as a mandatory part of a GMO contract, such as Monsantos Roundup, the most widely used such herbicide in the world. It contains highly toxic glyphosate compounds that have been independently tested and proven to exist in toxic concentrations in GMO applications far above that safe for humans or animals. Tests show that tiny amounts of glyphosate compounds would do damage to a human umbilical, embryonic and placental cells in a pregnant woman drinking the ground water near a GMO field.13
One long-standing project of the US Government has been to perfect a genetically-modified variety of corn, the diet staple in Mexico and many other Latin American countries. The corn has been field tested in tests financed by the US Department of Agriculture along with a small California bio-tech company named Epicyte. Announcing his success at a 2001 press conference, the president of Epicyte, Mitch Hein, pointing to his GMO corn plants, announced, We have a hothouse filled with corn plants that make anti-sperm antibodies. 14
Hein explained that they had taken antibodies from women with a rare condition known as immune infertility, isolated the genes that regulated the manufacture of those infertility antibodies, and, using genetic engineering techniques, had inserted the genes into ordinary corn seeds used to produce corn plants. In this manner, in reality they produced a concealed contraceptive embedded in corn meant for human consumption. Essentially, the antibodies are attracted to surface receptors on the sperm, said Hein. They latch on and make each sperm so heavy it cannot move forward. It just shakes about as if it was doing the lambada. 15 Hein claimed it was a possible solution to world over-population. The moral and ethical issues of feeding it to humans in Third World poor countries without their knowing it countries he left out of his remarks.
Spermicides hidden in GMO corn provided to starving Third World populations through the generosity of the Gates foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and Kofi Annans AGRA or vaccines that contain undisclosed sterilization agents are just two documented cases of using vaccines or GMO seeds to reduce population.
And the Good Club
Gates TED2010 speech on zero emissions and population reduction is consistent with a report that appeared in New York Citys ethnic media, Irish.Central.com in May 2009. According to the report, a secret meeting took place on May 5, 2009 at the home of Sir Paul Nurse, President of Rockefeller University, among some of the wealthiest people in America. Investment guru Warren Buffett who in 2006 decided to pool his $30 billion Buffett Foundation into the Gates foundation to create the worlds largest private foundation with some $60 billions of tax-free dollars was present. Banker David Rockefeller was the host.
The exclusive letter of invitation was signed by Gates, Rockefeller and Buffett. They decided to call themselves the Good Club. Also present was media czar Ted Turner, billionaire founder of CNN who stated in a 1996 interview for the Audubon nature magazine, where he said that a 95% reduction of world population to between 225-300 million would be ideal. In a 2008 interview at Philadelphias Temple University, Turner fine-tuned the number to 2 billion, a cut of more than 70% from todays population. Even less elegantly than Gates, Turner stated, we have too many people. Thats why we have global warming. We need less people using less stuff (sic).16
Others attending this first meeting of the Good Club reportedly were: Eli Broad real estate billionaire, New Yorks billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Wall Street billionaire and Council on Foreign Relations former head, Peter G. Peterson.
In addition, Julian H. Robertson, Jr., hedge-fund billionaire who worked with Soros attacking the currencies of Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea and the Asian Tigen economies, precipitating the 1997-98 Asia Crisis. Also present at the first session of the Good Club was Patty Stonesifer, former chief executive of the Gates foundation, and John Morgridge of Cisco Systems. The group represented a combined fortune of more than $125 billion. 17
According to reports apparently leaked by one of the attendees, the meeting was held in response to the global economic downturn and the numerous health and environmental crises that are plaguing the globe.
But the central theme and purpose of the secret Good Club meeting of the plutocrats was the priority concern posed by Bill Gates, namely, how to advance more effectively their agenda of birth control and global population reduction. In the talks a consensus reportedly emerged that they would back a strategy in which population growth would be tackled as a potentially disastrous environmental, social and industrial threat. 18
Global Eugenics agenda
Gates and Buffett are major funders of global population reduction programs, as is Turner, whose UN Foundation was created to funnel $1 billion of his tax-free stock option earnings in AOL-Time-Warner into various birth reduction programs in the developing world.19 The programs in Africa and elsewhere are masked as philanthropy and providing health services for poor Africans. In reality they involve involuntary population sterilization via vaccination and other medicines that make women of child-bearing age infertile. The Gates Foundation, where Buffett deposited the bulk of his wealth two years ago, is also backing introduction of GMO seeds into Africa under the cloak of the Kofi Annan-led Second Green Revolution in Africa. The introduction of GMO patented seeds in Africa to date has met with enormous indigenous resistance.
Health experts point out that were the intent of Gates really to improve the health and well-being of black Africans, the same hundreds of millions of dollars the Gates Foundation has invested in untested and unsafe vaccines could be used in providing minimal sanitary water and sewage systems. Vaccinating a child who then goes to drink feces-polluted river water is hardly healthy in any respect. But of course cleaning up the water and sewage systems of Africa would revolutionize the health conditions of the Continent.
Gates TED2010 comments about having new vaccines to reduce global population were obviously no off-the-cuff remark. For those who doubt, the presentation Gates made at the TED2009 annual gathering said almost exactly the same thing about reducing population to cut global warming. For the mighty and powerful of the Good Club, human beings seem to be a form of pollution equal to CO2.
1 Bill Gates, Innovating to Zero!, speech to the TED2010 annual conference, Long Beach, California, February 18, 2010, accessed in http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates.html.
2 Telegraph.co.uk, Bill Gates makes $10 billion vaccine pledge, London Telegraph, January 29, 2010, accessed in t: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/dav
3 Louise Voller, Kristian Villesen, WHO Donates Millions of Doses of Surplus Medical Supplies to Developing countries, Danish Information, 22 December 2009, accessed in http://www.theflucase.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2419%3Awhos-swine-flu-jab-donations-to-developing-countries-demarks-information-reports&catid=41%3Ahighlighted-news&Itemid=105&lang=en
4 One is the Population Research Institute in Washington, http://pop.org/
5 Louise Voller et al, op. cit.
7 Noted in Vaccinations and Autism, accessed in http://www.mercurypoisoningnews.com/vacautism.html
8 F. William Engdahl, Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, Global Research (www.globalresearch.ca), Montreal, 2007, pp. 79-84.
9 James A. Miller, Are New Vaccines Laced With Birth-Control Drugs?, HLI Reports, Human Life International, Gaithersburg, Maryland; June-July 1995.
10 Cited in F. William Engdahl, Doomsday Seed Vault in the Arctic: Bill Gates, Rockefeller and the GMO giants know something we dont, Global Research, December 4, 2007, accessed in http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=7529
11 Mariam Mayet, Africas Green Revolution rolls out the Gene Revolution, African Centre for Biosafety, ACB Briefing Paper No. 6/2009, Melville, South Africa, April 2009.
13 Nora Benachour and Gilles-Eric Seralini, Glyphosate Formulations Induce Apoptosis and Necrosis in Human Umbilical Embryonic, and Placental Cells, Chemical Research in Toxicology Journal, American Chemical Society, 2009, 22 (1), pp 97105.
14 Robin McKie, GMO Corn Set to Stop Man Spreading His Seed, London, The Observer, 9 September 2001.
15 Ibid. McKie writes, The pregnancy prevention plants are the handiwork of the San Diego biotechnology company Epicyte, where researchers have discovered a rare class of human antibodies that attack spermthe company has created tiny horticultural factories that make contraceptivesEssentially, the antibodies are attracted to surface receptors on the sperm, said Hein. They latch on and make each sperm so heavy it cannot move forward. It just shakes about as if it was doing the lambada.
16 Ted Turner, cited along with youTube video of Turner in Aaron Dykes, Ted Turner: World Needs a Voluntary One-Child Policy for the Next Hundred Years, Jones Report.com, April 29, 2008. Accessed in http://www.jonesreport.com/article/04_08/28turner_911.html
17 John Harlow, Billionaire club in bid to curb overpopulation, London, The Sunday Times May 24, 2009. Accessed online in http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6350303.ece.
19 United Nations Foundation, Women and Population Program, accessed in http://www.unfoundation.org/about-unf/experts/
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This article was posted: Friday, March 5, 2010 at 11:31 am
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