Spring Agrichemical and GMO news Roundup (so to speak)

‘humanity vs. the machine’

One piece of good news is that a California judge recently issued her final ruling that requires Monsanto to label Roundup as a ‘possible carcinogen’, although what the label will say hasn’t been determined yet.  We can only hope other states follow the state’s example, but boy, howdy, do Monsanto flacks work against any labeling laws.  And almost always…win.  From sustainablepulse.com, March 11:

“Judge Kapetan formalized her ruling against Monsanto on Friday, which will allow California to proceed with the process of listing glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, as a chemical “known to the state to cause cancer” in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known as Proposition 65.

In January of 2016, Monsanto filed a lawsuit against the State of California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) over the agency’s notice of intent to list glyphosate as a Prop 65 chemical.”

Monsanto attorneys in law suit: “It’s unconstitutional!

Sustainable Pulse also has the story of UN two experts, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver, and the Special Rapporteur on Toxics, Baskut Tuncak, calling for a global treaty to phase out the use of agricultural pesticides, and turn instead to sustainable agroecology, although of course, organic farming isn’t ‘new’, and has proven far more likely to high yields, without depleting soil organisms, and using far less water.  But still:

“The Special Rapporteur on Food highlights developments in agroecology, which replaces chemicals with biology, saying its approaches are capable of delivering sufficient yields to feed and nourish the entire world population, without undermining the rights of future generations to adequate food and health.  And the Special Rapporteur on Toxics points to examples of where safer alternatives to hazardous pesticides and other toxic chemicals were developed and adopted only after strong regulatory pressures by States on industry.”

The sole class of pesticides that were mentioned in the piece were neonicotinoids, but the full report might list others.  Another source had noted that “The report said: “Chronic exposure to pesticides has been linked to cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, hormone disruption, developmental disorders and sterility.”

But it may arguably have been neonicotinoids that led to another piece of potentially helpful news ‘1st bee species officially placed on endangered species list’, March 22, at RT.

“The rusty patched bumble bee has been given the dubious honor of being the first bee to make the endangered species list. The bee, which was once a prominent feature of the Midwest, has lost 90 percent of its population, giving many cause for concern.

The rusty patched bumble bee on Tuesday became the first bee in the continental US to be placed on the endangered species list by the Department of the Interior. The bee was initially proposed for the list in September 2016 after it was determined that in the past 20 years, the rusty patched bumble bee’s population has decreased over 90 percent due to disease, pesticide, climate change and habitat loss, Reuters reported.”

The decision is being contested, and more lobbyists will join in, but for now, it’s a good thing.

A ghost in the making’ (vimeo), at rustypatched.com

From nationofchange.org March 23: ‘Monsanto faces hundreds of new cancer lawsuits as debate over glyphosate rages on’; The biotech giant refutes the classification and insists that glyphosate is safe and does not cause cancer.

“Los Angeles-based law firm Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman filed lawsuits last week on behalf of 136 plaintiffs from across the country who allege that exposure to Monsanto’s glyphosate-based weedkiller Roundup caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Three bundled complaints were filed last week in St. Louis County Circuit Court.”

The firm is R.F. Kennedy, Jr’s.

‘Monsanto Manufactured Scientific Studies And Then Used Those Studies To Influence EPA, Other Regulators’, Ed Mierzwinski Consumer Program Director, U.S. PIRG, March 15, via HuffPo

“Newly-accessible court papers allege that agrichemical giant Monsanto manufactured scientific studies affirming the safety of their star product, the hugely-popular weedkiller Roundup, and paid scientists to publish them. In February 2015, Monsanto executive William “Bill” Heydens emailed his staff instructions to ghostwrite portions of a scientific study on the safety of Roundup, and that he would tell scientists to, quote: “just sign their names” to the study.  According to this same email, Heydens knew that ghostwriting the study would work: he said that Monsanto had already ghostwritten a study on Roundup in the year 2000.

In the 2015 emails, Bill Heydens and his employees scramble to prepare for an international review of glyphosate by the the cancer arm of the World Health Organization. The emails reveal that some Monsanto employees were apprehensive about “noise” coming from independent scientific studies―studies that indicated Roundup is carcinogenic. In the emails, executives weigh the cost of paying independent experts to create studies ($250,000) versus the free option of “ghost-writing” studies.”

Well, not a shock, but jeezum crow; I just ran into: ‘USDA Drops Plan to Test for Monsanto Weed Killer in Food’. Mar. 23, 2017, ecowatch.com

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has quietly dropped a plan to start testing food for residues of glyphosate, the world’s most widely used weed killer and key ingredient in Monsanto’s branded Roundup herbicides.

The agency spent the last year coordinating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in preparation to start testing samples of corn syrup for glyphosate residues on April 1, according to internal agency documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests. Documents show that at least since January 2016 into January of this year, the glyphosate testing plan was moving forward. But when asked about the plan this week, a USDA spokesman said no glyphosate residue testing would be done at all by USDA this year.” [snip]

“FDA Tests Remain in Limbo”  (file under: small wonder…)

We’ll turn to Colin Todhunter’s twitter account for more; he spends time between the UK and India, and is one of the keenest critics of agribusiness products.

The essay was from 2015, but key to understanding the US-backed coup; a snippet, but you’ll likely want to read it all:

“Reforms mandated by the EU-backed loan include agricultural deregulation that is intended to benefit foreign agribusiness corporations. Natural resource and land policy shifts are intended to facilitate the foreign corporate takeover of enormous tracts of land. (From 2016, foreign private investors will no longer be prohibited from buying land.) Moreover, the EU Association Agreement [wd here: you remember, the one that Victor Yanukovytch had refused to sign and was driven out?] includes a clause requiring both parties to cooperate to extend the use of biotechnology, including GMOs.

In other words, events in Ukraine are helping (and were designed to help) the likes of Monsanto to gain a firm hold over the country’s agriculture.

Frederic Mousseau, Policy Director of the Oakland Institute last year stated that the World Bank and IMF are intent on opening up foreign markets to Western corporations and that the high stakes around control of Ukraine’s vast agricultural sector, the world’s third largest exporter of corn and fifth largest exporter of wheat, constitute an oft-overlooked critical factor. He added that in recent years, foreign corporations have acquired more than 1.6 million hectares of Ukrainian land.”

(The correct link to  his Tweeted Sweat Shops essay above)

(above, pdf)

Jan 17: and we still haven’t heard if the merger will happen; I’m betting YES.  If it’s stopped, it will be the EC’s doing.  Herr Trump already met w/ the CEOs months ago.  Jobs!  Jobs! High-tech Jobs!  It’s hard to see his DOJ anti-trust division blocking it, but then the EC had extended the use of glyphosate until the end of 2017 in January, and will be taking comments and ‘studying’ the issue.

Not quite on topic, but still us entwined with thug Hindu Modi:

Is there still an EPA?

‘I like Roundup’, anthony freda

28 responses to “Spring Agrichemical and GMO news Roundup (so to speak)

  1. Todhunter’s notes about how “EPA testing” works applies to equally to Big Phrma & the FDA. and etc.

    someone identifying himself as a “brite green environ mentalist” cheerily posted a USA Today article on derpspace on how the Nat’l Academy of Scienticians has found gmo’s 100 billion percent safe. safer than safe. we’ll all be eating just handfuls of gmo food additives one day.

    “Bright green environmentalism is an ideology based on the belief that the convergence of technological change and social innovation provides the most successful path to sustainable development.” such social innovation excludes even the faintest soupcon of Uncle Karl, of course. not at all hot for Trot. and if they won’t share food today, why would they share whiz bang techno-immortality tomorrow? (amazing to trust one’s future to people shooting DU & dropping bombs all over the peasant-filled world.)

    but in any case, I noted that it is the policy of the NAS to never ever say anything that would cause the tiniest sub atomic particle of disruption to any major US industry.

    and offered this as proof:

    yeah, those 40 year old reactors. real safe. thanks NAS. tell unkie Shmuel what he wants to hear & count your $$ while his media says, “See? Science!” the atom and you, partners in freedom

    • yeppers to your first sentence, and sure, all the in-house testing of gen-tech foods leading to such white-washing reports include the charges that “none of them even read or consider critical oppositional studies, such as this.

      good on you for pushing back on the NAS. parallel: post deepwater horizon blowout,, colleges were being given big bucks to er…fiddle their testing a bit, or mebbe a lot. but that fukushima ‘lessons learned; we’re good to go!’ on the nei site made me absolutely nutz and queasy. true believers, plus possibly in their economic interest to be such?

      the bright green environmentalism (blink, blink) sounds a hella lot like bill gates and other faux-lanthropists’ credo, doesn’t it?

      • yes, of course. that bill gates could feed the world from his goddam pocket change, like yesterday, means nothing to those fetishizing The Omega Man of gates’ delusions. nope. the promised gmo super foods of the ever receding tomorrow are way more important than the crusty unwashed begging for scraps today. yep, the people starving the Yemenis to death are gonna save us…any day now…

        funny how the wiki summary of this sci fi novel focuses on gender, not war crimes, self-image, not the tyrannical erasure of the past. a fascinating story, w/the obvious point that reaching another level of techno “advancement” does not make the inventors of astroturf, napalm, mirvs and panopticon prison societies suddenly see the light. Not even when such advancement includes quasi-immortality for us meat puppets.
        (in fact, techno “progress” only seems to excite the lust for domination.)

        later babylonians

  2. son of a biscuit eater

    oh hurray for Monsanto. monoculture to the rescue! whiteness wins! (i’m j/k. except the bleaching of culture part.)

    anyway, the scribe was scribbling last night, something about how capitalist monoculture necessitates religious sci-fi fantasies b/c both the past & whatever was “outside culture” that could be called “nature” is now gone. (but bill gates ate my deep thoughts.) no seas to sail, no forests to run away to, no natives to learn any other way from. Waziristan has been bro’t into the panopticon. no wild west star to hitch a wagon too. so of course “space” must be the answer, and the techniques & tools to explore space will redeem & compensate for all that has been lost. (the imagination is limited to space fantasy b/c of the impoverishment of the world around us? I guess that would be my thesis.)

    and not even missed. how can one have nostalgia (or grief) for what one never experienced? when the coral reefs are all gone, and bright pixely pix are shown to the children, who are the future, of what used to be, don’t be surprised when they all say, “hey, just like “Avatar.’ cool.” and move right the hell on. no one will ever miss the iPhone 7, only long for iPhone 8. (lol. I wake up to shiny phone & ‘puter and FB & iTunes & google this & droid that have another goddamed update. Pavlovian responses to our beeping sparkly devices makes us happy! not as happy as cocaine, but cocaine is wrong.)

    anyway, la la la la. the EU is fully invested in the Ukraine program, incl. gmo’s. might as well click buttons on FB as on the EU web page for all the good it’ll do. they monitor them both, you know?

    they monitor all. it’s funny in a horrible way to think: every conversation, etc., etc. is being recorded and some subset listened to, observed, etc.

    and what does the observer see of this gigantic slice of the world? who to assassinate, render, turn, infiltrate, sabotage, etc., etc.

    and what does the observer refuse to see? what is seen, and not seen, in Sanaa?

    • this could be a stand-alone blog, son of a biscuit eater; excellent scribbling.

      ‘white’ kinda works for me in a way, as so many european “explorers” conquered, committed genocide, sociocide, as well as nuking sustainable life, as in village agroecology in africa. “the other” is still the silent underpinning of most post-modern wars and soft-power coups, esp. if one considers anti-capitalist societies.

      your final sentences are of course a punch to the gut, heart, as: it didn’t have to be this way, as STA often says. said. the corporations who convinced the world that happiness lies in tech baubles, the newest, the shiniest….were geniuses. how many tech shopaholic therapy groups are out there? not enough, i reckon.

      not only is a ruined planet providing incentive for space “exploration”, but clearly to create earth exit/emigration. similarly, in a tangential way, artificial intelligence is a ‘new frontier’, isn’t it? but everything can be fixed w/ tech; you say Omega Man, i’d ad ‘Davos Man’. but i went to visit my pal bill earlier, and you’ll just kiss him for his new faux-lanthopic venture to keep sham science out of his creations!

      i’ll add a couple more:
      GenEngNetwork “Chinese Remain Hesitant To Plant GM Crops, Despite Pending ChemChina/Syngenta Deal” http://www.agrimarketing.com/s/109086

      the thing is, well, one of the things is: pests and weeds adapt. the first set of superweeds required spraying w/ glyphosate thrice in a season. then agent orange 2,4-D popped up.

      both Bt corn and cotton (bayer): well, bugs mutated, and those little pesticide factories act similarly on human guts, eating beneficial bacteria, or colonizing it out of existence, possible causes of all manner of chronic intestinal disease, and iirc, obesity. pay no attention to the sham studies that pretend that earthworms are dying, beneficial soil bacteria are no longer, and that no-till scorched earth factory farming is wrong! just put some more petro-chemical fertilizers on your mono-crop! it’s like dope to the plants; just add more water!

      but we must feed the world! 11 billion soon, no? to hell w/ the cautionary principle; we Know it’s all safe. ah, sorry, this stuff’s bumming me out.

      oh, and could you check your mail? i have a question.

      • son of a biscuit eater

        “how many tech shopaholic therapy groups are out there? not enough, i reckon.” nice.

        …all the doings of mankind, their vows, their fears, their angers and their pleasures, their joys and goings to and fro, shall form the motley subject of my page.” Juvenal, S. 1. 81ff. Homer claims to have seen it all about war (yes, he does, in a way), and, about certain aspects of it, maybe he did. But it was Blake’s “true man” who did so, the spirit of poetic inspiration.

        “all the doings of mankind.” and what do people see who now see & hear unlike anyone in human history? disgust, disdain, despisal, lust to dominate & destroy. non-robotic movements get you killed in Yemen, Af-Pak, etc. imagine what sort of surveillance was going on in that mosque in Raqqa? I can understand why people handling the joysticks in the drones & bombing programs are so frickin’ depressed. what did they hear & see before this bombing? and what afterward?
        I don’t mean to be a jerk about sci fi. reading & writing lit, even if it’s dan frickin’ brown, is better than a lot of other things and is a manifestation of creative eros, even if the result is pretty laughable. all lit & art is, loosely speaking, “fantasy,” escapism. there are elements of sci fi in other earlier genres & writings (epic: Aeneid 6; apocalyptic: Ezekiel 1, etc., etc.) but using the development & popularity of a genre as a window onto the Jungian zeitgeist or whatev I think is valid. Compare the crime drama. for all practical purposes, this genre didn’t exist until the mid- late 19th c. Its rise & massive proliferation, its usefulness as propaganda (i.e., getting people to worry about “crime”), its appeal to many of us, etc., offer insights, I think, into our psychic & social orientations. we “worry” about crime in our fantasy life precisely b/c we are not worrying about war, famine, etc. and to a degree there’s nothing wrong w/that. but reflecting on how these things affect us is probably a good thing. all that CSI Law & Order BS….snooooooze. are there any stories in Merka that don’t involve cops?

        • oh, my. these two comments are so full, not only will i need to read them more than once, but beg off until tomorrow to answer in any way semi-intelligently.

          but for tonight, i’ll offer a question: aren’t almost all, or all, addictions at their core, not only not only wanting to escape our perceived realties, but using our drugs of choice, even addiction to extreme shopping, a temporary gratification to obscure our hearing our shouts from our inner selves? now i know folks like my own sister who claim they have no inner lives ((hubbie)”mike says i’m pretty low maintenance.”), but i reckon it’s quite a self-con in the end. they just can’t Afford to seek their higher selves, their unconscious selves, lest….they go starkers.

          but tomorrow for more, and may i thank you kindly, sir biscuit, for being the sole commenter on this thread. who’dda thunk?

        • you seem to believe that USian’s fear has now been commodified like every other potential revenue source./s yes, it has. the nation changed irrevocably on 9/11, and the lies, obfuscations, and partial truths will rule forever on that, plus, of course, what it all meant for endless war on the wrong nations, endless funding for the military and even the creation of ‘ze dept. of homeland security’ (stasi, arrrgh), and globally, rampant and illogical nationalism

          i don’t agree that all art and literature are escapism, but act as tolstoy said of ‘war and peace’, it’s not a novel: it’s a philosophical treatise’ (h/t mr. wd), but that’s a whole ‘nother subject. and i’d guess we’d have to differentiate between crime drama and mysteries, myownself, both in books and on the teevee. i’ve had a few favorite authors that may straddle the two, but the ones i liked best involved the mystery of the psychologies on the perpetrators of crime. living in the tulies as we do, we don’t live in fear of ‘the criminal element’, save for our Rulers, of course. ;-)

          but yes, as a guided direction for national worry, you may be just right. by the by thd had put up a link to a robert parry investigation into the long history of psyops; you might like it; it’s far 2 long 4 me.

          on edit: thanks for the links; both are worth exploring further. phone, gotta go.

      • son of a biscuit eater

        out of curiosity…

        less interesting, I think, is this (though 1001 nights? Chinese crime stories? interesting):
        classical tragedy and its familial crimes, attorneys’ speeches from court cases (a la Cicero, see Verrine Orations, which is about the prosecution of a criminal magistrate) are also part of this tradition. and obvs people didn’t start worrying about crime when Law & Order episodes popped up but their fantasy life was focused on other things.

        speaking of crime, it’s tax time…

  3. addiction: quick tho’t: maybe the clockwork nature of our life compels us to
    suck repetitively on some awful orange? drinking too much has def been round forev.

    you might like this, if the ads don’t crash your & all of CO’s computers.


    • I’m somewhat familiar with Johann Hari’s work and mostly agree with his findings.
      Without having read his book: I would add that the historic cultural and ritual use of drugs has been systematically stamped out of existence by the use of the power of the law. Thus drug users lack any spiritual guidance in the use of drugs, so abuse is the price payed; much like the war waged on the world’s indigenous populations with very few exceptions.
      The result is of course Hari’s very sick society in the U.S. and Europe in general; but most severely in the U.S..

      • can peace be smoked?

        yes, how about the oxy scandal in the US? just where were those addicts getting all the dope? (“we need more regulations!” “we need to unfetter the marketplace!” boy these debates are idiotic.)

        alcohol is drug use. i may have mentioned this here before, and it is thanks to a WaPo article i know about this, an article i can’t seem to track down, but: why do VA & NC and probably others have state-run liquor stores? “liberal” DC & MD don’t. cuz the state, in the guise of public health of course, took over the *distribution* of alcohol & destroyed the “informal” gift exchange economy of the autochthonous, the children of the soil, of the Appalachians. so Jim Beam & those guys make most of the alcohol sold in the state. The individual can only make moonshine for personal use (hahahahaha. where have I heard this shit before???)

        and why was about 90% of the US a smoker before all of a sudden, tobacco became the enemy? if tobacco is so bad, why is it still so profitable?

        we are bounded by artificial compulsions on all sides. part of the anti-addiction addiction is just Big Brother taking away the Victory Cigarettes & Victory Gin. nagging & haranguing people about one of the few things people find pleasureful in life. so they can be more effective in the cubicle. fuck all that way of thinking.

        I hear you on the ritual thing. did the native americans have group therapy sessions & colloquia & committees thinking & talking really earnestly about the tribes’ tobacco addicts? “Tonight, shaman Wayne Hawk Talon Dyer will share his journey thru addiction & recovery. tomorrow, Anthony Pearl Teeth Robbins will be with us to ask, “How Big Is Your Wigwam?” and to talk about the 7 habits of successful braves.”

        • okay; that made me laugh out loud; thanks, i needed it. but at least there’s this:

          “Although ceremonial use of peyote was also illegal at one time, the United States now exempts this type of peyote use as legal. However, legal peyote use is restricted to the Native American Church. The distinction does not extend to other Native American groups that use peyote in religious ceremonies.” i can’t remember which other psychotropic botanicals turtle island indigenous used; globally, yes. ganja, for one, magi mushrooms, perhaps, even sacred datura, ugh. but even back in the day, lsd was first known as ‘the sacrament’, wasn’t it?

          • just another orphan

            lsd? ugh. stay away from mkultra products, i’d say. I’m not into this sort of thing, ritual drug use, oh no, mine is more the desacralized compulsive Merkin apple pie & salute the flag kind, so what do I know? and of course it’s not “the same thing” as native drug use, but is it even the same ballpark? same game? I have my doubts.

            hard to disagree w/your thoughts on the huffpo article I posted. yep, big blind spot about the nature of the family there. I don’t think that negates the general idea though.

            I didn’t care for the movie Fight Club, not at all, except there is something to its thesis that pop therapy culture (and that includes a lot of the professional side too) is a bunch of disempowering drivel. (am I misremembering this movie? been so long, and I don’t really care.)

            a couple of years ago I got hit by a car going about 12 miles an hour while I was crossing the street. thank you Lard, my back wasn’t screwed up enough already. after my oxy ran out, I started working a crappy job that involved a huge amount of walking, which was good for me. except I started drinking heavily. so I did 90 in 90 in AA. it was a good experience but you know what? in 90 meetings I was the *only person* who mentioned, just once, a possible connection b/n alcoholism and disgust w/work (“alienation”). what’s the clichés? crickets, pins dropping etc. (and AA was born out of prohibition. oh, and “don’t even think about sex. you are not ready.” excuse me? what if there is a relationship b/n sexual frustration, dysfunction, etc. and getting plastered? I get that there are concerns there, but there is a not good puritanical protestant work ethic side to this mentality too.)

            genre distinctions are fluid generalizations, inductive, not deductive. Poe has both the psychological crime thriller like Tell-Tale Heart & the Black Cat, and the procedural crime investigation, Murder in the Rue Morgue. and certainly an interest in crime stories in the age of Poe & Doyle seems more “organic”, more “naturally” arising from people’s interests, than the Law & Order: Child Rape Fantasy Unit crap shoved down our throats constantly. (of course these readers were generally at the relatively safer & more prosperous core of empire.)

            i’ll stand by my comments about escapism. we read etc to move to another place, outside ourselves. to project ourselves into a story and onto the characters. it’s not the only reason or only interest or result. but it’s big. and there’s an element of “detective work” to all stories, arousing the desire to see how the story ends, how the characters get out (or not) of situations, etc., etc. true, in different ways, for both author & reader. I don’t think Tolstoy’s comment negates what I’m saying.

            “how come so many vets struggle w/the stigma of PTSD???” boy the people on pbs news hour are sure stupid.

            did we solve it?

            • unsurprisingly, i had to look up ‘fight club’ at the wiki, too long 2 read 4 now, but i was tickled to see that’s the origin of zero hedge’s generic authors: tyler durden.

              too late to say stay away from lsd; i used a lot of it in my younger days. but there are new studies discovering that psychedelics lsd, psilocybin, (some reports mention the benefits of ecstasy, which may not be that designation), for depression, ptsd, ocd, anxiety, and addiction.

              interesting that no one moved, breathed…at your AA group when you spoke of crap work/alienation, but wasn’t that what education was all about? being a useful cog in the machine, then becoming another consumer cog once one could afford to buy new shiny things?

              i see your point about art and lit as escapism, and i might buy literature, but not art as a broad category. picasso called art ‘the lie that tells the truth’. your paragraph on genre generalizations was educational; thanks. and i reckon you’ve read ‘gilgamesh’, which one of your links names as one of the origins of sci-fi? ;-)

              dunno about law and order; we don’t watch network teevee, but i did see that there was a new serial called ‘homeland’ or HS starring claire danes, boooo. i really liked her in ‘my so-called life’ and ‘the hours’.

        • I should also have added that the horrible societal conditions for a great many Usian’s invites escape by whatever means that works. Initially, opioids are a first class ticket for temporary relief/escape from whatever hell one finds themselves a captive of; however, peyote, and psilocybin mushrooms are a far better way of finding a permanent way to peace and accepting the way things are but, very important, acceptance doesn’t equate to attachment.
          And the latter two don’t end in addiction.
          But that’s a whole other story…

          • ritual vs robotic behavior. and yes the social scene being so terrible, but even in that awfulness, one is supposed to act like a computer program, not a human being. and clearly the PTB’s interest is in *controlling addiction*, not limiting addiction. (btw, by “it” above I meant LSD. all plants are good in my book, incl. tobacco; stuff brewed in CIA kitchen, not so much.)

            anyway, be yourself today people! personalize those ring tones!

          • yes, i’d just mentioned the burgeoning studies and reports on the ‘therapeutic values’ of psychedelics to jason above, and of course, forgot to leave the link to a, yeah, well..Time mag piece from 2015, but i really liked this paragraph and another similar to it:

            “The same year, Johns Hopkins University physician and researcher Roland Griffiths showed that in healthy volunteers, psilocybin produced lasting benefits like improved mood and peacefulness six months after ingestion. Study participants “made claims to be more sensitive, compassionate, tolerant, to have increased positive relationships, an increased need to serve others,” according to Griffiths. “Those kinds of changes are not delusional, because blinded interviews with family members, friends and work colleagues [confirm these reports].”

            this article didn’t talk of the benefits of lsd quite as much, but it’s out there.

            • should I reconsider my tho’ts on LSD? I have no experience w/anything but pot, booze, and tobacco, each in truly heroic amounts, I mean zippo. never even seen cocaine in the real world and lots of people use coke. somebody told me I had taken ecstasy once but I couldn’t tell the pill he gave me did anything. but I .known plenty of people who have done lsd, shrooms, etc., and they didn’t seem any worse than anyone else.

              except that guy….oh lord, drawing a blank here…timothy leary. yeah, he might be an argument against lsd.

              • dunno if you should reconsider; it’s likely not your cuppa psychedelic…at least by now. yeah, before mda became ecstasy…it was akin to the promises of soma. 70s, i’d guess.

                leary. himmm; depends, i expect. ‘turn on tune in drop out.’ went to see him once at cu boulder, but it was to noisy to hear him. ally to an extent of john lily (whale or dolphin song, sensory deprivation tanks, etc.), richard alpert (ram dass: ‘be here now’). the lye and psilocybin were experimental back on the day, when richard nixon declared leary ‘the most dangerous man in amerika’.

                but at any rate, timothy leary’s dead. ;-)

    • yeah…i remember reading it when a commenter on one of NC’s coverage of the ‘opioid epidemic’. i do get where his beliefs come from, though i call bullshit on the studies ‘only 5% of viet nam vets continued heroin’ stuff. but then, i hadn’t clicked into ‘the study’, either. but yes, opium was the first ‘drug’ to be banned or controlled, in ohio when i was growing up, paregoric had to be ‘signed for’, and the aging women hooked on the stuff would drive for miles…and miles…to score it. really, it’s the only botanical that ends the GIs, and i wish i had some in my herbal medical kit.

      “connections” (family, extended family?) are arguably part of the key, but for me, i’d still have to go back to ‘honest family connections’, which requires knowing one’s own truth and inner lies, equivocations, etc. how many USian families are completely dysfunctional? most are certainly authoritarian (mainly male authoritarianism) from the top down, yes? how many kids suffered from life-long emotional and/or physical abuse? fear? you bet your bippy. but stfu to save yourself, and also: some stockholm syndrome can come into play, esp. if “authorities” ask what’s wrong?”.

      was it scott peck in ‘people of the lie’ who talked about most every family having an ‘official narrative’, leaving out all of the warts and weirdos and love-children, suicides (called as other causes), etc., and that said family members stuck to the lies both in the narratives *and* in alleged inter-family communications. and that the only way to break the cycle would be to push back against it, and for a child of toxic parenting to look for self-truth help in order not to continue the cycle once they’d become parents.

      i]there was something else, but i cannae remember right now. oh! one thing was ‘the lives of quiet desperation’ so many live, un-moored from the land, the natural life whatsoever, doing meaningless bullshit ‘jobs’ or work, rarely providing ‘kindness to strangers’, and only rarely being able to tlk w/ anyone honestly about the emptiness of their lives, much less imaging what others’ lives might be like. especially in other classes, or ‘the others’ lives.

  4. just another orphan

    I think of the negress, meagre & phthisical
    dragging her foot in the mud, seeking with a haggard eye
    the absent palm trees of haughty Africa
    behind an immense wall of fog;

    I think of whoever has lost
    what can never be recovered. Never! Never!
    I think of those who collapse in tears
    and suckle Grief like a kindly wolf;
    I think of withering orphans, drying like flowers.

    In the forest where my spirit is exiled
    an old memory sounds with the full blast of a horn:
    I think of shipwrecked, forgotten on an isle,
    of captives, of conquered…and of many others also!
    –the swan, Baudelaire

  5. while i was at common dreams on a different errand, i found this lovely news:

    ‘EPA Rejects Own Science to Greenlight Brain-Damaging Pesticide’; EPA chief Pruitt’s move rejecting his scientists’ advice to ban a pesticide? That’s exactly what the pesticide maker, DowChem, asked for.”

    and thank you for the poignant baudelaire, generic orphan.

  6. I recently signed a petition against the spraying of glyphosate on the roadsides of our little township here in NM – totally stupid given that we have a desert like climate in general and the few plants managing to survive like chamisa, cholla and sages are to be encouraged rather than deterred.

    I was disheartened whilst listening in on NZ’s recent cricket season to hear the occasional advertisment in which glyphosate was enthusiastically endorsed by some crazy sounding farmer – all sorts of sale enducements however indicating that perhaps folk are wising up. Here’s an older news item spelling that out:


    Rachel Carson, we need you!

  7. All the NZnews articles I saw on glyphosate simply mentioned carcinogenic properties, but the problem is far greater. Not only the loss of insect habitation but of interrelations in the plant world which we are only just beginning to explore.

    I will just add here a further plug for the book a friend sent me: ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’ by Peter Wohlleben. While the author deals mainly with interactions between tree families in natural old growth forests, his findings relate directly to what is happening in our own gardens. Specifically, that we have been trained to think of plant relationships for the most part as antagonistic battles for supremecy and thus the use of pesticides becomes a weapon of war.

    If instead we consider the less evident cooperative arrangements between plants through their root systems, we might become hesitant to disrupt those. There’s a biblical admonition about tares and wheat that says to leave the tares until just before harvest and then remove them. I always thought this was simply in order not to disrupt the tender growth of seedlings, and it is this indeed; but it can also mean that something is being contributed to the health of the wheat itself by presence of the tares, and as long as they are not completely crowding out the wheat, they might just be strengthening the harvest.

    I’m really disheartened by some of the spraying that’s currently going on along New Zealand’s countryside and city roads, not to mention on the farms. Some communities have already opted out, but more need to do so.

    • sounds like what the aukland councils and your township are considering is ruled by simple economic, juliania. oh, it costs soooo much to cut the weeds w/ a mower, but w/ glyphosate: spray it once, weeds begone! ooopsie; they adapted. spray it again, weeds begone. oooopsie, here they come again!/s

      but you’re right, cancer isn’t the only danger to humans from glyphosate. add in kidney/liver problems, sterility, parkisons, gut disease and food sensitivities; oh, quite a long list, anyway.

      but yes to the over-spraying eradicating insect habit, esp. milkweed for monarchs. and it turns out that even small doses contribute to honeybee failure to ‘find home’ again. earthworms take great offense at it, as well as other soil organisms.

      well, that sounds like quite a book, ww; i’m so glad you’re enjoying it and sharing the theories.

  8. add this to the “swamp” mix:

    “Like Scalia, Delrahim is widely viewed as friendly to mergers. In a memorandum to clients, the corporate law firm Davis Polk characterized him as “in line with previous Republican-appointed” DOJ antitrust enforcers, hewing to a “pragmatic, economically based approach to antitrust enforcement,” wary of “over-zealous enforcers and courts,” and attuned to the “need to promote and preserve efficiency-maximizing collaborations” among corporations. Such views mark a “significant shift from the view expressed” by President Barack Obama’s antitrust enforcers, who, the law firm noted, expressed skepticism about “proclaimed benefits and efficiencies” of mergers.”

care to comment? (no registration required)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s