When You Can Feel The Pain Of Others, Society Has A Chance

When You Can Feel The Pain Of Others, Society Has A Chance

….. a very short fiction by Janr Ssor

I turned my Yamaha Silverado, off the main road, where Florida dust was covering my helmet and pants and left the crowd of bikers now caught up in the growing traffic jam. My dog, Mitzsy, recognizing the neighborhood, had jumped out of my open saddle bag and run across the highway. I was concerned she might get hit by a car.2005-Yamaha-RoadStarSilveradoB

Shortly down the road I came to a small one level Florida home with a nearly flat roof. The lawn was badly kept and the shrubs around the small 800 foot home were growing askance. It was my daughter’s home and so my dog had headed there. It was a poor but serviceable residence. I thought I might hang out and take a rest from the long bike ride so I went around the back where she always left the door open. I noted that some of her laundry was sitting there awaiting her free time, which was too precious now for its attendance. So, I tossed it in the laundry machine and started the job for her.

I then realized how hungry I was and went to the kitchen to find a cookie. Before beginning my search, I realized it wasn’t my home and I should not look around when she was not there. Hearing a car drive up, I walked to the front door and discovered it was my ex-wife. We had been divorced now over 35 years but I still had good feelings for her.

I was surprised to discover that she was again more slender as she had been when I had fallen in love with her in high school. She had apparently overcome the years of being overweight and finally got control of her diet and lifestyle. Even in your 60’s it was not too late to care of yourself and I was pleased to see she loved herself enough to make the effort. I walked out the front door and greeted her but she was hesitant to turn and look at me. When she finally did, she fumbled with a pair of dark rimmed glasses that she place on her aging face. The right side of her simple black frame held a horribly thick magnifying lens, the left was normal. Her magnified right eye had no iris and looked like an empty glass marble had been used to replace her eye. I realized someone had botched her cataract surgery badly. The skin on her face was pale and it showed and pain of suffering of the sleepless nights I thought this disfiguration had caused her.

I tried to find some positive words of comfort to recognize how positively she had regained her figure but they seemed empty, next to the pain on her face. We went inside to escape the heat of the Florida noonday sun and sat on the small couch where more laundry lay, crowding us into too close a sitting position.

I felt her pain and suddenly remembered what it had been like long ago. I was a different person then, and blossoming sympathy in my heart resurrected the youth from his death during that divorce. I felt anger that this person, I had loved, could be so abused again after all the injustice I knew her childhood had wrought upon her. How could God let this happen! She took off her glasses so that she could face me with less misery and it did help hide her injury. It made me think how easy it was to be human and live in our daily intellect, forgetting the emotions that made us more special than computers. By taking off her glasses she could not see my face, if it reflected her pain, and it helped her detach from the closeness of our bodies on the crowded couch. Disregarding this attempt, I reached around and hugged her unresisting body, and she began to cry.

I felt again like the 21 year old who early on in his marriage had learned about her childhood. We had been so very ignorant and naive. I wondered if nearly 40 years had taught us anything. I recalled all I knew about her incredibly painful childhood experiences. She had been raped and tortured at the hands of heroin addicts. She had told me that her parents never knew about it or cared but I did not recall which. They were frequently drunk or fighting and that had made her life even more miserable, if that was possible, until they divorced and left her in poverty. She had finally regained memories of this tragedy, years later, during our marriage. By comparison, I had been happy to believe that my life as a child was pretty near perfect, until I recalled the truth 40 years later. Such is the miracle of repression that it sweeps pain under the rug like so much dust for a lazy housekeeper.

I wished I could help her but I had been a writer for many years, not an ocular surgeon. The guy who ruined her eye must have been as pathetic as they one who ended my mom’s sex life, destroying her marriage and my childhood. I had little respect for egotistic medical doctors. I felt that their brush with power, that they interpreted as godliness, cause more pain and suffering than they would ever choose to recognized. Then I thought of God again. From my fiction writer’s perspective, I had recently decided that he spoke in binary code. Computers knew of two bits, On and Off. God seemed to use two also, pain and pleasure. Having written code for a few years, I often saw us a subroutines in a program that God had written. Each of us had a part to play in the world’s ongoing creation and I envisioned us being steered towards that goal by the only two things that mattered to human beings and that was pain or pleasure. I knew there was no end to this, other than maybe death. I recalled in the bible how Abraham, God’s most perfect man, had lived through 10 trials supposedly culminating in the near sacrifice of Isaac. He had then pleaded with God to “test” him no more! However, when Abraham came home, he discovered that his beloved wife Sarah, worrying about what might happen to Isaac, had died of a heart attack while he had been away. There was no end to the trials in this life.

Traumatic experiences of childhood, were hard to recall. The pain of our experience was so conveniently buried by other memories in our middle age that they vanished like brown leaves under freshly fallen snow. If they were really traumatic, they were repressed to a place we could not recall without great difficulty and often age. So most of us went through life functioning on an ‘intellectual’ level, ignoring the rich past of our pain and pleasure as if it was someone elses history. What would it be like if we could always remember the feelings? How different would life be?

In the late 60’s when the Hippie’s dreamed of the Age Of Aquarius, it was prophesied to be the age of love, peace and harmony that we all dreamed of. Perhaps it was even the biblical prophecy of coming of the Messiah and world peace. However that dream had not come to be. The misery of the Viet Nam era had blossomed into the era of terrorism heralded by a pathetic attempt of the British to restore the Israeli homeland. In this “effort” greed had triumphed when England returned some of the lost Jewish homeland to the remnant of Hitler’s cannibalized Jewish nation, a land too small to be defensible and too barren to be desirable. It had only revived the Islamic hatred for the nation they and others had banished from its homeland, many years earlier.

The history of America then began its slow decline from the glory that earned our harbour the Statue of Liberty, to a nation of junk food, a poisoned environments and greed that transcends all the love our fathers gave in fighting the injustice of World war II. I had drifted off into the reverie that was my way of hiding from pain.

By this time my ex had stopped sobbing and went to her car to bring in some groceries she had brought to surprise our daughter. I helped her unpack the bags and put things away. She saw me eying the box of low carb healthier cookies and handed me one. I had almost forgotten my hunger. I sat down to enjoy my cookie and my mind drifted back to my day dream.

I began to wonder, If humans could bury their emotions and live in what they thought was logic, could corporations and governments be only reflections of this disease? There is a test for psychopathy. It is called the Hare PCLR, or psychopathy checklist revised. Simplistically defined, It is an interesting tool for understanding how human beings can be so divorced from all compassion (emotional memories) as to kill and torture others without remorse. It made me think, what if we applied this to corporations, their board of directors and empowering investors? In this era we have defined corporations as people. Why not test their sanity?

I flashed back for just a moment to Bill McGuire, the past CEO of United Health Care. During his “leadership” of 5 years, he managed to abscond with nearly 2 billion dollars in stock value and earnings. He did this, in my opinion, by denying healthcare to millions of men and women who were sick and dying. This is how “managed care companies” make profits in America. When Bill left, he gave himself a bonus by taking with him nearly 2 billion dollars. I believe he would have fit in just fine with the Nazi surgeons, like Josef Mengele, who tortured the children in the death camps of Germany. Mengele had no remorse and neither does Bill who claims he earned this money doing good. Oh yes, UHC became much larger and more profitable; but, not paying for the health care people thought they were purchasing is very profitable. Of course we all know how self delusion is self serving. Look at Al Capone, who when finally sentenced to jail, said, “I have spent the best years of my life giving people the lighter pleasures, helping them have a good time, and all I get is abuse, the existence of a hunted man.” Here is a man who would surely test positive for Psychopathy unless his delusional depth of heroism can fool the 20 questions.

So what about testing corporations and their leadership? I suspect we would find that the intellectuals who lead them are often divorced from their emotions. Killing others for profit means nothing to them. They are psychopathic and it is quite possible they should be imprisoned for the safety of mankind. In his best selling book ‘In Defense Of Food,” Michael Pollan tells us that “we should shake the hand of the man who feeds us.” Here is trying to create a connection between buyer and seller that in old times assured us of the safety of the produce we purchased. It is a good idea. However, the problems with corporate greed run deeper than lack of memories and connections with other human beings. The psychopathy of corporations who poison people and destroy the environment will not be solved by psychotherapy; indeed I believe it requires the imprisonment of the criminals who run them. In addition we would all benefit by the reconnection of people and corporations with a new tool, perhaps the internet, that can ruin or raise a corporation, much as a man’s reputation could do this to his business in our communities of early America. Online communities may one day serve us more than the banal entertainment of knowing what Suzy did on her date with Mike, that they foolishly published on Facebook.

For now I will dream of this community where corporations live and die not by Wall Street but by the communication of nation size communities that know what the corporations are doing, much as you read about Mike and Suzy.

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Preventing Armageddon Would Cost Only $100 Million … But Congress Is Too Thick to Approve the Fix | ZeroHedge

In my story,  Not Kid’s Games,  this very real issue below is examined!  Read this very valuable story from a factual viewpoint below published on ZeroHedge.

The government has thrown tens of trillions of dollars at the big banks, even though bailing out the big banks hurts – rather than helps – the American economy. See this, this and this. (And it doesn’t take a PhD economist to guess that using bailout funds to buy gold toilet seats and prostitutes is probably not the best way to stimulate the economy as a whole)..

Nobel prize winning economist Joe Stiglitz says that the $3-5 trillion spent on the Iraq waralone has been very bad for the American economy. See thisthis and this. Security experts – including both hawks and doves – agree that waging war against Iraq and in other Middle Eastern countries weakens national security and increases terrorism. Seethisthisthisthisthisthisthis and this. Read more at this link below….

via Preventing Armageddon Would Cost Only $100 Million … But Congress Is Too Thick to Approve the Fix | ZeroHedge.

Genetically Modified Food Fight Fails!

Proposition 37, Requiring the labeling of genetically modified “food’,  failed to be approved by California voters by a small margin in the 2012 election.  Foods that may poison you and your children will be on your table,  unknown to you!

It is a tragedy that greedy unethical companies like Monsanto, Bayer, Dow and Dupont  have kept the right to deceptively poison our population.  How could this happen?   See the inserts below to understand and perhaps see the dangers of being a Plutocracy,  which many have now claimed is America’s new form of  government.

California Proposition 37
Result Votes Percentage
Defeated No 4,845,291 53.1%
Yes 4,285,787 46.9%
Total campaign cash Invest.png
as of November 3, 2012
2012 ballot measure endorsements Support: $8,700,000
Circle thumbs down.pngOpposition: $45,600,000

Money donated to support this proposition:

Donor Amount
Organic Consumers Fund $1,334,865
Mercola Health Resources $1,115,000
Kent Whealy $1,000,000
Nature’s Path Foods $660,709
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps $566,438
Mark Squire/Stillonger Trust $440,000
Wehah Farm (Lundberg Family Farms) $251,500
Ali Partovi $219,113
Amy’s Kitchen $200,000
Great Foods of America $177,000
Alex Bogusky $100,000
Clif Bar & Co. $100,000
Cropp Cooperative (Organic Valley) $100,000
Annie’s, Inc. $50,000
Michael S. Funk $50,000
Nutiva $50,000

Money Donated To defeat This Proposition:

Donor Amount
Monsanto $8,112,867
E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co. $5,400,000
Pepsico, Inc. $2,145,400
Grocery Manufacturers Association $2,002,000
DOW Agrisciences $2,000,000
Bayer Cropscience $2,000,000
BASF Plant Science $2,000,000
Syngenta Corporation $2,000,000
Kraft Foods Global $1,950,500
Coca-Cola North America $1,700,500
Nestle USA $1,315,600
Conagra Foods $1,176,700
General Mills $1,135,300
Kellogg Company $790,000
Smithfield Foods $683,900
Del Monte Foods $674,100
Campbell’s Soup $500,000
Heinz Foods $500,000
Hershey Company $493,900
The J.M. Smucker Company $485,000
Bimbo Bakeries $422,900
Ocean Spray Cranberries $387,100
Mars Food North America $376,650
Council for Biotechnology Information $375,000
Hormel Foods $374,300
Unilever $372,100
Bumble Bee Foods $368,500
Sara Lee $343,600
Kraft Food Group $304,500
Pinnacle Foods $266,100
Dean Foods Company $253,950
Biotechnology Industry Organization $252,000
Bunge North America $248,600
McCormick & Company $248,200
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company $237,664
Abbott Nutrition $234,500
Cargill, Inc. $226,846
Rich Products Corporation $225,537
Flowers Foods $182,000
Dole Packaged Foods $171,261
Knouse Foods Cooperative $164,731

Is Heart Surgery Worth It? – Businessweek

For nearly 10 years I have been reading articles about cholesterol,  high blood

Is Heart Surgery Worth It? - Businessweek

pressure and blocked arteries.  An article by Dr Eddy,  an epidemiologist,  showed that open heart surgery,  bypass, and angioplasty was not only a waste of time but very likely to cause more health issues than just medication and lifestyle changes.  Don’t believe it?  See the article below before you donate your body just to help a hospital make some extra income.

Is Heart Surgery Worth It? – Businessweek.

Janr Ssor

Your Tax Dollars Fund’s “China Motors!” – The GM Bail Out Results.

Here is an amazing video showing how your tax dollars are financing the profits of Wall Street while selling America’s jobs and technology to a communist nation,  China.

There is no end to the greed of wall street and our corrupt government.

But,  what could a creative mind do with such real estate opportunities?    Do you not think there are people living in Detroit that would be willing to work a production line rather than accept welfare?   Do you think they would be willing to live in “Condo Micro’s,”  a concept I have proposed for many years,  that would offer pride of ownership to workers  and allow low salaries to manufacturer’s  who created opportunity?  Look at Detroit and imagine not the economic destruction you see but the opportunity it offers.  Bailing out a dying industry is like feeding a cancer rather than killing it.   It is time to kill GM,  which is now a cancer on America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is not wreckage,  it is infrastructure;  this is not the end it can be the beginning.  America must manufacture products as we did before because its workforce needs jobs that are not all “intellectual.”    China is proof that manufacturing is profitable!    If we don’t accept this needed industry, we will have rebellion.   If  this need is not recognized  the fate of  America’s elite leadership,  in Washington and Wall Street may be like that of Marie Antoinette.

Janr Ssor

 

McDonalds – Is It Food?

Recently McDonald’s was again in the news for deceiving its customers.  On-line, on their website,  you will see they use “100% Beef” in their burgers.   However it is very popular for corporate America to lie to people if the lawyers say they can get away with it!   After all,  “Pink Slime,”  that you would not feed your dog,  is 100% pure beef.  Here is the text from McDonalds food ingredient listing:

Hamburger:
100% Beef Patty, Regular Bun, Ketchup, Mustard, Pickle Slices, Onions

So you might say, “If it isn’t true why would they risk putting it in writing?”   Well lets see another viewpoint:  McDonalds as you see above says their burgers are made from 100% Beef but that does not say it was not pink slime!  McDonalds admitted to using pink slime in your 100% Beef patty.  Now of course,  they will discontinue this product.   So what is pink slime?

Microbiologists Carl Custer and Gerald Zernstein (who coined the term “pink slime”) concluded in a study that the pink slime is a “high risk product.” The trimmings come from parts of the cow that are most likely to be contaminated with dangerous bacteria like E. coli. This is why it has to be treated with ammonia to basically kill off all of the pathogens. Still, even after treatment a New York Times investigation found bacteria still exists in the product.   Here is a quote from their report:  ” … government and industry records obtained by The New York Times show that in testing for the school lunch program, E. coli and salmonella pathogens have been found dozens of times in Beef Products meat, challenging claims by the company and the U.S.D.A. about the effectiveness of the treatment. Since 2005, E. coli has been found 3 times and salmonella 48 times, including back-to-back incidents in August [2009] in which two 27,000-pound batches were found to be contaminated.”

How do the pink slimers get around safety testing of food?  While the USDA routinely tests meat used in hamburger products for contamination; however,  meat from B.P.I (Beef Products, Inc.)  is exempt from the testing because the USDA believes the ammonia treatment is so effective

Nutritionally speaking, eating connective tissue is not the same as eating muscle meat. As reported by The Daily:  “We originally called it soylent pink,” Custer told The Daily. “We looked at the product and we objected to it because it used connective tissues instead of muscle. It was simply not nutritionally equivalent [to ground beef]. My main objection was that it was not meat.”  Custer said he first encountered the product — which gained fame recently as “pink slime” in part due to the efforts of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver — back in the late 1990s. Despite voicing his concerns to other officials at the food inspection service, however, the USDA ruled that Lean Beef Trimmings were safe. “The word in the office was that undersecretary JoAnn Smith pushed it through, and that was that,” Custer said.   Could Smith have an ax to grind?   Smith has had deep ties with the beef industry, serving as president of both the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and the of the National Cattlemen’s Association.”  You decide if you trust him!

Because the ammonia used to treat the meat is technically a processing agent, not an ingredient, it doesn’t have to be listed on the label. So there’s no way to tell if a BPI product labeled Lean Beef actually contains ammonia-treated beef scraps and connective tissues.

Ammonia is a toxin that can turn into ammonium nitrate, which is used in fertilizer and cleaning products.

Worms.  Years ago McDonald was slammed for putting worms in their burgers to increase the protein content.   They have fought this issue for years and it is hard to find good documentation to prove it.  Their BIG argument against it however is that worms are more expensive,  per pound,  then beef.  After the pink slime issue,  I am not buying this story.   In fact when people come into my office who have worked at or managed a McDonalds,  they frequently tell me “NEVER EAT ANYTHING THERE!”  Maybe it is time you took their advice,  “NEVER EAT ANYTHING AT MCDONALDS!

Janr Ssor

The largest wave of recorded suicides in human history

The “Massive Con” Causing a Suicide Every 30 Minutes

Story at-a-glance

  • The introduction of genetically engineered seeds, and the coercion of Indian farmers to use them, has led to the largest wave of recorded suicides in human history
  • More than a quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide over the past 16 years as their crops have failed, leaving them in financial ruin, largely as a result of Monsanto’s genetically engineered seeds (especially Bt cotton); an Indian farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes, typically by ingesting his own pesticides
  • Bt cotton is much more expensive than traditional cotton seed, requires more water and pesticides, and has failed to produce the increased crop yields promised by Monsanto
  • India’s government has largely abandoned small farmers, discontinuing support programs and failing to address factors such as lack of rural credit and access to irrigation, among others, and new government programs have barely scratched the surface of this crisis

Reprinted with permission of  Dr Joseph Mercola:

It’s been called the “largest wave of recorded suicides in human historyi.”

Indian farmers have been robbed of their livelihoods, causing them to take their own lives in despair.

Over the past 16 years, it is estimated that more than a quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide.

Who is responsible for this tragedy?

The most obvious culprits are global corporations like Monsanto, Cargill and Syngenta and the genetically engineered seed they have forced upon farmers worldwide.

None are hit harder than those in India, where socioeconomic and environmental factors have magnified the impact, making it almost impossible for these farmers to survive.

In fact, genetically engineered seeds are so fundamental to the problem that it’s been termed “GM Genocide.”ii

The rate of Indian farmer suicides has greatly increased since the introduction of Bt cotton in 2002iii.

This is not a pleasant subject to read about, but it is a necessary one… one that can help you understand why it’s so important to continue fighting seed monopolies with ever-increased resolve.

I experienced the Indian farmers’ plight firsthand while spending two weeks in India, where I saw for myself the devastating effects of GM seed upon the lives and livelihoods of these rural farmers.

I worked closely with Organic India, a company helping more than 150,000 farmers change back to time-honored methods of producing high quality plants and herbs. If you have any doubts about the dire global implications of GM crops, the plight of these farmers should put those doubts to rest.


I personally visited India when I met with Organic India.

A Farmer Commits Suicide by Pesticide Every 30 Minutes in India

The statistics are staggering. According to a publication from the New York University School of Lawiv, in 2009 alone (the most recent year for which official figures are available) 17,638 Indian farmers committed suicide—that’s one farmer every 30 minutes. A great number of those affected are cash crop farmers, and cotton farmers in particular.

Cotton exemplifies India’s general shift toward cash crop cultivation, a shift that has contributed significantly to farmer vulnerability. The cotton industry, like other cash crops in India, has been dominated by foreign mega-corporations that promote genetically modified seeds and exert increasing control over the entire agricultural industry. Most farmer suicides are a direct result of overwhelming indebtedness. And the suicide numbers may be grossly underestimated.

According to the authors of the NYU report:

“While striking on their own, these figures considerably underestimate the actual number of farmer suicides taking place. Women, for example, are often excluded from farmer suicide statistics because most do not have title to land—a common prerequisite for being recognized as a farmer in official statistics and programs.”

The general trend over time is increasing suicides, despite the generally decreasing numbers of Indians performing farming each year, which makes the statistics even starker: It’s estimated that more than 250,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide so far. But this problem is not limited to India, as the suicide rate for farmers is higher worldwide than for the non-farming population.

In the Midwestern U.S., suicide rates among male farmers are twice that of the overall population. In Britain, one farmer commits suicide every week.v

For every Indian farmer who takes his own life, a family is hounded by the debt he leaves behind, typically resulting in children dropping out of school to become farmhands, and surviving family members themselves frequently committing suicide out of hopelessness and despair. The Indian government’s response to the crisis—largely in the form of limited debt relief and compensation programs—has failed to address the magnitude and scope of the problem or its underlying causes.vi

India’s “Suicide Belt”

India is an agrarian country, populated by 1.1 billion people, about 60 percent of whom are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture. Two-thirds of farmer suicides occur in five Indian states/territories, which has come to be known as India’s “Suicide Belt”: Maharastra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Chattisgarh. The worst area is Maharastra. In 2007, there were 4,238 farmer suicides in this state alone, accounting for one fourth of the total farmer suicides in India that year. These territories represent zones of highly diversified, commercialized agriculture where cash crops dominate—especially Bt cotton, grown from Monsanto’s genetically modified cotton seed. So, what is it about genetically engineered seed that is so damaging for Indian farmers?

Genetically Engineered Seeds Spell Global Disaster

There are four primary factors directly related to the use of genetically engineered seed that contribute heavily to this grim situation:

  1. Compared to traditional seed, genetically engineered seeds are very expensive and have to be repurchased every planting season
  2. Genetically engineered crops require much more water to grow, have much higher requirements for fertilizer and pesticide, in spite of Monsanto’s claims to the contraryvii and, in spite of their cost to farmers, provide NO increased yield

While companies like Monsanto have plenty of blood on their hands, additional social, economic and environmental factors make matters worse for these small rural farms:

  • The “Green Revolution” of the 1960s and 1970s has funneled money toward the middle class and away from the farming/peasant classes
  • Rising prices for seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and other farm supplies, along with falling prices for farm commodities, are forcing farmers to take out high-interest loans from opportunistic moneylenders
  • A trend from polyculture farming (diverse crops) to monoculture farming (primarily cotton) has depleted the soil and increased crop infestation by opportunistic pests
  • Limited water supplies, periodic drought, decreased monsoonal rainfall, and poor access to irrigation
  • Dishonest, predatory salesmen; lack of government support; and grossly inadequate government relief programs


Here I am with local Indian farmers.

Green Revolution Not Kind to Small Indian Farmers

The introduction of hybrid seeds marked the beginning of the current issues plaguing Indian farmers today. Prior to the 1960s and 1970s, Indian farmers grew diverse food crops, but that all changed with the Green Revolution as modern machinery, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and hybrid seeds were introduced from the West. Most farmers in India now plant cash crops for export, rather than rice, legumes, millet, and other foods for local consumption.

And in India, cotton is king.

In 1998, under the World Bank’s new lending policies, India opened its seed sector to international agribusiness, forcing small cotton farms to compete with giant cotton plantations in the West. Companies like Monsanto promoted their new hybrid seed technology. However, it was soon discovered that the new high-tech cotton required more water and more chemicals to grow. This was not good for small Indian farmers, for whom both money and water were, and still are, in short supply.

Seeds of Evil

In 2002, Monsanto “came to the rescue” with the introduction of even higher-tech seeds: genetically engineered Bt cotton. The company claimed that these miracle seeds were a dream come true for farmers everywhere—more pest resistant, higher yields, etc. Bt cotton contains a bacteria gene, an insecticide that repels bollworm, cotton’s most voracious parasite.

But this genetically engineered cotton actually required far MORE water and far MORE pesticides than hybrid or traditional cotton!

These seeds were heavily marketed in India, using film stars and even religious deities to lure farmers in. And they came with a steep price tag—they are four to 10 times more expensive than hybrid seeds. Prior to hybrids, farmers were able to harvest their own seeds from each crop, to be planted next season. However, many genetically engineered seeds contain “terminator technology,” meaning they have been genetically modified so that the resulting crops don’t produce viable seeds of their own. Therefore, new seeds must be purchased every year from big seed companies, at the same punitive prices.

Bt Cotton is a Debt Trap

Bt cotton requires more pesticide sprayings than indigenous cotton—MANY times more. Bt cotton has created new resistant pestsviii, and to control these, farmers must use 13 times more pesticidesix than they were using prior to its introduction. Rates of infestation by aphids, thrips, jassids, and other pests have risen since Bt cotton’s introductionx.

Meanwhile, yields for Bt cotton are disappointingly low. Monsanto claims Bt cotton will yield 1500 kg per year, but farmers have gotten only 300 to 400 kg per year, average. High costs and unreliable output make GM cotton a debt trap. According to Voltairenet.org:

“When Monsanto first introduced Bt cotton in 2002, the farmers lost one billion rupees due to crop failure. Instead of 1,500 kilos per acre as promised by the company, the harvest was as low as 200 kilos per acre. Instead of incomes of 10,000 rupees an acre, farmers ran into losses of 6,400 rupees an acre… Poor peasants of the South cannot survive seed monopolies. The crisis of suicides shows how the survival of small farmers is incompatible with the seed monopolies of global corporations.”

This has all been amplified by the dramatic fall in cotton prices as a result of the WTO’s free trade policies, which make cotton farming financially unsustainable. Foreign agricultural subsidies have driven down the price of crops on the global market, and unsubsidized Indian farmers can’t compete.

In 1994, one pound of raw cotton fetched $1.10. In 2006, that same pound brought in a meager 54 cents. A study carried out by the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology (RFSTE) shows that due to falling farm prices, Indian peasants are losing $26 billion annually.

Add to All of That a Water Shortage

Bt cotton requires irrigation, which only 10 percent of Indian farmers have. The other 90 percent depend on monsoonal rainfall, and in drought years, they risk losing their crops, their financial investment, and even their land.

Droughts are becoming more frequent due to the changing climate. Rains have largely failed for the past several years, and many genetically engineered crops have simply withered and died, leaving the farmers with crippling debts and no means of paying them off.

One studyxi showed that, although most Bt cotton seed packets carry the information that they are “best grown in irrigated conditions” (in fine print), NONE of the homes of suicided farmers had irrigated land. These farmers aren’t educated about what it takes to make these seeds grow and the potential risk for total crop failure. And many farmers are completely illiterate and sign on the dotted lines without the benefit of reading, much less understanding, a contract.

And a Banking Shortage…

Another factor contributing to the problem is that farmers no longer have access to good loans. Thousands of rural bank branches have shut down since 1993, redirecting their lending away from farmers and toward elite city dwellers in Mumbai and Delhi, where high-tech growth and technology is booming. Lacking the financial means to pay for high-tech seeds and chemicals, about 80 percent of Indian farmers can borrow only from private moneylenders, who charge exorbitant interest rates. In order to obtain these loans, they must put up their land as collateral. When their crops fail, they lose everything and become servants to the moneylenders.

Many seed dealers operate like America’s infamous subprime mortgage lenders.

India has an army of salesmen out selling farm products to farmers who can’t afford them. A famer is manipulated into the deal with high-pressure sales tactics, and then borrows from a moneylender to do the deal. When his harvests fail, he has no choice other than to borrow even more. This marks the beginning of a downward spiral of indebtedness and despair. After crops fail and moneylenders hover like buzzards over their decimated fields, many farmers take their lives by ingesting the very pesticides they went into debt to purchase, suffering slow, agonizing deaths.

India’s Farmers are Abandoned and Forgotten by their Government

The Indian government used to have agricultural extensions to help farmers, but those days are gone. Farmers now have no one to turn to for advice, except for predatory seed salesmen who don’t have the farmers’ best interests in mind. The Indian farmers have lost faith in their government, and who could blame them?

The government’s priority is clearly India’s new urban high-tech based economy. Corrupt officials are disinterested in protecting farmers, and little money is spent on infrastructure, in spite of the fact that 70 percent of Indians live in rural areas. Until the government begins to address irrigation, rural credit, and regulation of the business practices of multinational corporations, the farmer suicide crisis will unfortunately continue.

Genetic Engineering Brings Magnitude 10 Dangers

Genetically tinkering with the human food supply… what could possibly go wrong? Plenty, as it turns out. The potential dangers of genetically engineered food run the gamut, including:

  • Contamination of organic crop varieties
  • Development of herbicide-resistant super weeds
  • Organ disruption, cancer, and increased rate of miscarriage and infertility in animals raised on genetically engineered feed
  • Air and rain samples contaminated with glyphosate, and waterways in agricultural areas contaminated with a genetically engineered bug-killing protein
  • A brand new organism related specifically to genetically engineered crops, found to be responsible for disease and sudden death in both plants and mammals

The potential risks of genetically engineered crops are so enormous that I have devoted an entire segment of Mercola.com to the subject.

The Importance of Buying Organic Cotton

http://embed.5min.com/342490697

A few Indian farmers have decided to switch to growing organic cotton. There are numerous advantages, of course, from the standpoint of health—but there are also financial advantagesxii. A minimum price for organic cotton is guaranteed. And the cost of growing organic cotton declines over time as the ecosystem regains its balance.

Organic cotton fields may harbor a few bollworms, but you’ll also find plenty of helpful insects, such as ladybugs, and birds that help keep pests under control. Organic farmers make their own insecticides from a renewable mixture of cow dung, cow urine, and butter, and compost fertilizers as well.

You Can Help the Indian Farmers’ Plight

Monsanto has been ruthless in their drive to use India as a testing ground for genetically modified crops, and it gives us a very clear picture of what could be in store for the rest of the world’s small farmers if GM seed conglomerates are allowed to continue. This is why it’s so important to vote with your pocket book, being vigilant about not purchasing GM foods.

I have visited thousands of Indian farmers who’ve escaped the clutches of Monsanto, thanks to the efforts of Organic India that has taught them how to grow crops organically. Organic India has also constructed a number of hospitals and clinics to serve these farmers, which has helped tremendously in restoring their dignity.

Your best strategy, to help both yourself and small organic farmers everywhere, is to buy USDA 100% Organic products whenever possible, (as these do not permit genetically engineered ingredients) or buy whole fresh produce and meat from local farmers. The majority of the genetically engineered crops you’re exposed to are via processed foods, so by cooking from scratch with whole foods, you can be sure you’re not inadvertently consuming something laced with genetically engineered ingredients. When you do purchase processed food, avoid products containing anything related to corn or soy that are not 100 percent organic, as any foods containing these two non-organic ingredients are virtually guaranteed to contain genetically engineered ingredients, as well as toxic herbicide residues.


Here I am with Organic India and local Indian Farmers.
You may also find this Non-GMO Shopping Guide helpful, created by the Institute for Responsible Technology. Share it with your friends and family, and post it to your social networks. You can also download a free iPhone application, available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for “ShopNoGMO” in the applications. To learn more, I highly recommend the following films and lectures:

Important Action Item: Support California’s Ballot Initiative to Label GMO’s!

In 2007, then-Presidential candidate Obama promised to “immediately” require GM labeling if elected. So far, nothing of the sort has transpired.

Fortunately, 24 U.S. states have (as part of their state governance) something called the Initiative Process, where residents can bring to ballot any law they want enacted, as long as it has sufficient support. California has been busy organizing just such a ballot initiative to get mandatory labeling for genetically engineered foods sold in their state. The proposed law will be on the 2012 ballot.

Michigan and Washington are also starting similar campaignsxiii.

Since California is the 8th largest economy in the world, a win for the California Initiative would be a huge step forward, and would affect ingredients and labeling nation-wide. A coalition of consumer, public health and environmental organizations, food companies, and individuals has submitted the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act to the State Attorney General. Now, they need 800,000 signatures to get the Act on this year’s ballot.

Proof Positive that GMO Labeling WILL Change the Food Industry

Many don’t fully appreciate the strategy of seeking to have genetically engineered foods labeled in California. The belief is that large companies would refuse to have dual labeling; one for California and another for the rest of the country. It would be very expensive and a logistical nightmare. So rather than have two labels, they would simply not carry the product, especially if the new label would be the equivalent of a skull and crossbones. This is why we are so committed to this initiative as victory here will likely eliminate genetically engineered foods from the US.

Powerful confirmation of this belief occurred in early 2012 when both Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo Inc. chose to alter one of their soda ingredients as a result of California’s labeling requirements for carcinogensxiv:

“Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. are changing the way they make the caramel coloring used in their sodas as a result of a California law that mandates drinks containing a certain level of carcinogens bear a cancer warning label. The companies said the changes will be expanded nationally to streamline their manufacturing processes. They’ve already been made for drinks sold in California.”

This is a PERFECT example of the national impact a California GMO labeling mandate can, and no doubt WILL, have. While California is the only state requiring the label to state that the product contains the offending ingredient, these companies are switching their formula for the entire US market, rather than have two different labels. According to USA Today:

“A representative for Coca-Cola, Diana Garza Ciarlante, said the company directed its caramel suppliers to modify their manufacturing processes to reduce the levels of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, which can be formed during the cooking process and as a result may be found in trace amounts in many foods. “While we believe that there is no public health risk that justifies any such change, we did ask our caramel suppliers to take this step so that our products would not be subject to the requirement of a scientifically unfounded warning,” Garza-Giarlante said in an email.”

You CAN Make a Difference

I urge you to get involved and help in any way you can. Be assured that what happens in California will affect the remainder of the U.S. states, so please support this important state initiative, even if you do not live there!

  • Whether you live in California or not, please donate money to this historic effort
  • Talk to organic producers and stores and ask them to actively support the California Ballot. It may be the only chance we have to label genetically engineered foods.
  • Distribute WIDELY the Non-GMO Shopping Guide to help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content. You can also download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.
  • For timely updates, please join the Organic Consumers Association on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
  • Look for in-depth coverage of the issue at the Institute for Responsible Technology, subscribe to Spilling the Beans, and check out their Facebook or Twitter.

Donate Today!

Regarding This Article’s Author:  Dr. Mercola is the founder of the world’s most visited natural health web site,Mercola.com. You can learn the hazardous side effects of OTC Remedies by getting a FREE copy of his latest special report The Dangers of Over the Counter Remedies by going to his Report Page.

References:


Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund

Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund.

If you are tired of being poisoned by GMO crops that are NEVER labeled as the FrankenFood they are, then do something!

Donate to this Organic Food effort which may be the first opportunity to get food labeled so you can KNOW what you are buying!

Janr Ssor

(Dr Joe Ross)

President Obama’s First Day

In one universe or another, this is exactly what happened on Obama’s first day in the Oval Office.

“Mr. President, welcome to your first security briefing”, said Secret Service Director, Mark Sullivan.  “Assembled here in your oval office are your 24 S.S. top level contacts.  Each contact will be in touch with you as needed, to discuss the security of your friends and family.  Now that you are president, all your close friends and family are targets for kidnapping, assassination, torture, ransom, etc.  Your S.S. not only protects you and your family but guards all these important people.  Tom Lenov, for example, is assigned to your immediate family and close relatives.  Tom will be guarding your daughters Sasha, Malia and of course your wife, Michelle.  Each top level contact will have up to 24 people in his security focus.  This will help free you from concerns about family that could otherwise distract you from your sworn duties.  Over the next two hour, each agent will review with you the scope of their focus and be sure it is in agreement with your needs.  At the end, I will then return to you for a private 15 minute briefing and that will be your S.S. update for today.”

Two hours later, all the agents leave and again the Director,  Mark Sullivan arrives.  The doors are closed and there is only the president and director Sullivan.  “Mr. President, at this point you should have the scope of our security plans, if there is anyone neglected that you feel needs our attention please let me know at any time.”  “No, Mark, I have no one in mind at this time your work has been admirable.”  “Excellent, Mr. President,  then I wish to explain a few more details that are for your ears only.   Your biggest supporters are not just your supporters during your election campaign but they are here for you throughout your term of office, as they mentioned to you during funding meetings.  It is their largess that allows my people to perform the level of security that you desire. It is true that taxes pay for the allotted funding but that leaves you with what we call basic security.  The largess of your friends in Banking,  Wall Street and many others, who you have agreed to support,  will provide the level of care that you will appreciate as meeting your needs.  All presidents are privy to this private briefing on their first day in office.  No one else in government service will be aware of any of our private discussion.  The financial powers that have helped elect you, will provide a second, shall we say ‘shadow’ level of security that is beyond anything we could offer and is a long established tradition dating back to just after President Eisenhower’s term ended.

Tomorrow morning, you will have a 15 minute meeting with representative of the Banking Community who are funding the security of your wife and children.  I know they will look forward to your full support!  I will now leave you as I am sure you have much to think about.  Congratulations, Mr. President.”

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Of course this is Sci-Fi and cannot possibly explain why Mr. Obama has failed to achieve so many of his promised goals.  As a scientist,  researcher and writer I look upon events and try to explain them.   Newton looked at a falling apple and tried to explain it.  Perhaps his explanation is better than mine.

Janr Ssor