Smoking is good for you?

 

 

Smoking is good for you?

 

Why do governments want to ban smoking? I mean, it’s not as if they actually care about their citizens’ health. If so, they would spend more on healing than killing. But, more to the point, they would address the far more personally and socially destructive effects of alcohol and refined sugar, (which of course, are one and the same) evidenced by alcohol fuelled late night violence and sex between drunken obese teenagers (and beyond), who cram casualty departments and make our city centres no-go areas until the sun comes up. Yet, regardless of this epidemic, because the sugar/alcohol multinationals’ influence is so powerful, health is a minor distraction – however, tobacco companies carry the same political influence, so this is not the reason. In addition, governments make billions annually from smoking: taxes, needless to say, but also in terms of unneeded pensions and the extraordinary savings in health care which escalate dramatically in old age.

Given this perspective, is it not strange that whilst not exactly pushing it, (they would not want to appear heartless now, would they?) governments do not offer smoking the same tacit approval they give to alcohol, junk food and gambling – all of which are many times more socially destructive?

So why do they hate smoking so much?

It was a question that had tumbled around in my head for months. The best I could come up with, was that they wanted to use the fields for a more lucrative crop. But what, barring illicit drugs, could generate such revenue? (Particularly with Heroin production back up to pre Taliban levels.) It just did not make sense.

Then, by chance i happened upon ‘Political Ponerology’ by Andrew Lobaczewski, which considers how wicked, power hungry people gradually take control over society. And he points out, that the last organised attempt to stifle smoking on the scale now under way in Europe and the United States was in pre-war Germany, under the Nazis. (P.156)

You see, what Nazi scientists discovered very soon into their research, was that carbon-monoxide, a central component of tobacco smoke, creates resistance to pathocratic influence: i.e. imbibers are more likely to question and less likely to blindly follow orders from psychopathic leadership (perhaps we could think of it as ‘attitude’, as symbolised by ’50s icons like James Dean and Marlon Brando). What is more, research also suggests ‘second-hand smoke’, as breathed by children of smokers, may in fact immunise them against the influence of psychopaths. Hardly useful, one would suggest, if the objective is filling heads with supremacist beliefs and obtaining undivided loyalty.

To Nazi leadership, with their early, unsophisticated attempts at propaganda, reducing peoples’ critical thinking and increasing their susceptibility to messages of hate and fear and identification were central to their objective. So while the government made supply of tobacco increasingly difficult, and smoking areas increasingly limited, the Nazi propaganda machine set about pushing the party line, vilifying and condemning “red-man’s weed” and persecuting those who would smoke it. It was a campaign begun in the mid 1930s and continued and intensified until they were finally overthrown. (The anti-tobacco campaign of the Nazis – http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/313/7070/1450 )

Today, when one considers the enormous advances in psychological warfare, be it for product sales, national/religious/corporate identity or fear of the other, and the increasingly sophisticated delivery techniques, the need for smoking to be eradicated becomes blazingly obvious. What government or corporation (or religion) in their right mind, whose primary goals are submission and association, cannot see the benefit of losing a few million in taxes, pensions, operations… for the benefit of a compliant, malleable ready made workforce, and market. From such a perspective, considering our current political and corporate leadership, it is clear, smoking never stood a chance.

What a good job we have a free and independent news media to stand up for the citizen, expose authoritarian lies and ensure governments and corporations cannot cynically manipulate and frighten people into servicing their nefarious goals… oh, err… looks like we’re in big trouble.

Better get puffing guys!

 

 

 

 

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Depleted Uranium

Information compiled by Hei Hu Quan

1) What is D.U. or Depleted Uranium?
Depleted uranium is a by-product of the uranium enrichment process.

Depleted Uranium, or DU, is a waste material left over from the nuclear industry. A vast amount of this waste DU is produced when natural uranium is enriched for use in nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. Only the uranium isotope U-235 can be used in nuclear processes, such as reactors and weapons. As most of this isotope is removed from naturally occurring uranium, the remaining uranium product comprises U-238 and smaller amounts of the more highly radioactive U-235 and U-234. DU is both chemically toxic and radioactive. It is this latter product, the left over uranium, comprising mainly U-238, which has been used to make ‘depleted’ uranium weapons. It is used for weapons because this heavy, dense metal is judged by the army to be an excellent penetrator of enemy armour, tanks, and even buildings.

The term “depleted uranium” is a misnomer. DU is “depleted” only in the isotopes U234 and U235 which constitute less that 1% of the total uranium. The fact is that both “depleted” uranium and “natural” Uranium are over 99% composed of uranium-238. Depleted uranium is almost as highly concentrated as pure uranium and may contain plutonium in trace amounts.

A large amount of DU in the stockpiles held in the United States has been contaminated with recycled spent nuclear fuel from nuclear reactors. For example trace amounts of U-236 and highly radioactive substances such as plutonium, neptunium and technetium were found in a DU anti-tank shell used in Kosovo. Hundreds of thousands of tons of this contaminated stock was exported to the UK, France and other countries in the 1990s. The extent to which this DU has been contaminated with recycled spent fuel is still unknown and undisclosed.

Depleted uranium is a risk to health both as a toxic heavy metal and as a radioactive substance. The UK and US Governments have long sought to play down these risks.

2) What is it used for and why?
DU is used in a variety of military applications. It is attractive to the military, governments and the nuclear industry for three main reasons. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, it is in cheap and plentiful supply and solves the problem of storage and monitoring. Secondly, it is a very effective battlefield weapon because its high density and self-sharpening qualities enable it to penetrate hard targets with ease. Thirdly, DU is pyrophoric, which means it burns on impact, enhancing its ability to destroy enemy targets.

The US military uses DU mainly for its Abrahams tanks and A10 warplanes, although it is also used in its Bradley fighting vehicles, AV-8B Harrier aircraft, Super Cobra helicopter and its Navy Phalanx system. It is also used by the US military for a variety of other applications including bombshells, tank armour plating, aircraft ballast and anti-personnel mines. Although the US and UK militaries are the only countries who have been properly documented as using DU weapons, they are known to be held by at least seventeen other countries including: Australia, Bahrain, France, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

Modern warfare since the Gulf War in 1991 has employed weapons which make use of DU for its properties:

1. It is cheap and available to arms manufacturers free of charge.
2. It has a very high-density which makes it a superior armour piercing material.
3. It burns upon impact producing intense heat and easily cuts through steel.
4. It acts as a self-sharpening penetrator.

The 1991 Gulf War saw the first verified use of DU weapons. Around 320 tonnes of DU in weapons were used in the war, of which about 1 tonne was used by the UK military. According to data from the US Department of Defense, tens or hundreds of thousands of US military personnel could have been exposed to DU. Both the US and UK Governments refused any responsibility for decontamination and both refused to study the exposure rates or after-effects of this DU use. After a few years, evidence began to emerge from Iraq about the increasing incidence of cancer and birth deformities in the south of the country. After heavy US lobbying in November 2001 the UN General Assembly voted down an Iraqi proposal that the UN study the effects of the DU used there.

In the 2003 attack on Iraq, the US and UK militaries used DU again despite the lack of reliable data on the effects of using it in Iraq 12 years previously. The British Government has admitted using 1.9 tonnes of DU. Even though this is only a tiny proportion of all DU used in Iraq, it is double the amount used in 1991. The US authorities have still not said how much has been used, although an initial Pentagon source revealed 75 tons of DU may remain in Iraq from A-10 planes alone.

The implications for Iraqi civilians are very alarming. Unlike the first Gulf War, which was largely confined to desert areas, much of the DU use has been in built-up, heavily populated areas. The US Government has refused any cleanup of DU in Iraq, clinging to the statement that it has no link with ill health, while the British Government has for the first time admitted it does have a responsibility but says it is low on their list of priorities.

3) Are there international laws against its use?
No, there are none.

4) What countries are using D.U. currently?
The United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Bahrain, France, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

5) What are the specific health threats?
Uranium is most dangerous when it burns and is aerosolized as happens when it is used in weapons. Inhaled uranium can remain in the lungs and bones for years where it continues to emit alpha, beta and gamma radiation. Each alpha particle can traverse up to several hundred cells causing somatic and genetic alterations. Soldiers inside a tank or armoured vehicle can inhale tens of milligrams of DU after the shell goes through the tank. Compare this to the maximum allowable yearly dose in the U.S. for inhaled uranium is 1.2 milligrams per year.

Serious long-term effects include: Compromised immune system, metabolic, respiratory and renal diseases, tumours, leukemia, and cancer.

A 1998 study conducted by Dr. Livengood showed that DU contamination transforms normal bone cells into tumorous ones.

It is estimated that 300 – 800 metric tons of DU were deposited in the battlefield in Iraq and Kuwait in 1991. Dr. Doug Rokke (DU expert and former US army physicist) estimated that 120 to 480 million grams of DU would be aerosolized if 40% of the DU were burnt up.

The smaller the particles of DU, the greater the danger. Particles less than 5 microns can be inhaled and deposited in the lungs where they can remain for years. A study found DU particles 42 km away from the source.

Compare these numbers to the allowable limits for radiation releases in the US. The National Lead Industry Plant in Colonie, NY was closed down for violating a New York state court order which limited the amount of radiation released to 387 gram of DU metal per month. The plant closed down in February of 1980 for exceeding this limit and closed permanently in 1983. The area has been decontaminated. The engineering report states that the soil from 53 of the 56 nearby properties was beyond the radiation limits and had to be removed to a low-level radiation storage site. The cost was over 100 million USD. The cleanup cost was 1000 USD per cubic meter.

It’s not just in terms of increased risk of cancer that DU DNA damage can affect health. It is also implicated in causing a depressed immune system, reproductive problems, and birth defects. For example, a study of US Gulf War veterans has found that they are up to three times as likely to have children with birth deformities than fathers who had not served; and that pregnancies result in significantly higher rates of miscarriage. A major 2004 Ministry of Defence-funded survey study from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has found that babies whose fathers served in the first Gulf War are 50 per cent more likely to have physical abnormalities. They also found a 40 per cent increased risk of miscarriage among women whose partners served in the Gulf.

There are three main routes through which DU exposure on the battlefield takes place: inhalation, ingestion and wounding. As a DU penetrator hits its target some of the DU from the weapon reacts with the air in the ensuing fire and becomes a fine dust (often called an ‘aerosol’) that makes inhalation and ingestion a possibility for those in the area. Even after the dust has settled, the danger remains that it may be resuspended in the future by further activity or the wind, and again pose a threat to civilians and others for many years into the future. DU particles have been reported as travelling twenty-five miles on air currents. Open wounds also allow a gateway for DU into the body and some veterans have also been left with DU fragments in their bodies, remaining after combat.

Inhaled DU dust will settle in the nose, mouth, lung, airways and guts. As a DU penetrator hits its target, the high temperatures caused by the impact ensure the DU dust particles become ceramic and therefore water insoluble. This means that, unlike other more soluble forms of uranium, DU will stay in the body for much longer periods of time. This aspect of uranium toxicology has often been ignored in studies of the health effects of DU, which base their excretion rates on soluble uranium. DU dust can remain in the sticky tissues of the lung and other organs such as the kidneys for many years. It is also deposited in the bones where it can remain for up to 25 years. This helps explain why studies of Gulf War veterans have found that soldiers are still excreting DU in their urine over 12 years after the 1991 conflict. Ingested DU can be incorporated into bone and from there will irradiate the bone marrow, increasing the risk of leukaemia and an impaired immune system.

In Basra, in southern Iraq, there have been striking reports for a number of years about the rise in local childhood cancers and birth deformities seen there. The findings of a leading Iraqi epidemiologist, Dr Alim Yacoub, were presented in New York in June 2003 and suggest there has been a more than five fold increase in congenital malformations and a quadrupling of the incidence rates of malignant diseases in Basra.

The Dutch Journal of Medical Science reported the findings of the Flemish eye doctor, Edward De Sutter. He found 20 cases out of 4000 births in Iraq of babies with the phenomenon anophthalmos: babies who have been born with only one eye or who are missing both eyes. The very rare condition usually only affects 1 out of 50 million births.

6) Other Countries Contaminated by DU Include:

BOSNIA 1994-1995 – Around 10,800 DU rounds, or 3 tonnes, were used in Bosnia.

KOSOVO, YUGOSLAVIA 1999 – US A-10 aircraft fired around 31,300 rounds of DU, or 9 tons of DU in areas of Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro during NATO action there in 1999.

AFGHANISTAN 2001- 2004 – There is some evidence that DU has been used in Afghanistan, although this has never been confirmed officially. For example, US A-10s and Harrier aircraft, which both use DU ammunition, are known to have been active in the region.

Geneva Convention Rules (to which US and UK are signees)

– The limitation of unnecessary human suffering [Art.35.2]
– The limitation of damage to the environment [Art. 35.3 and 55.1]
– It is prohibited to employ weapons, projectiles and material and methods of warfare of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering [Art. 35.3]
– It is prohibited to employ methods or means of warfare which are intended, or may be expected, to cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment. [Art. 35.2]
– In order to ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives. [Art. 48]
– Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are:
(a) those which are not directed at a specific military objective;
(b) those which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or
(c) those which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by this Protocol; and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction. [Art.51.4]
– Care shall be taken in warfare to protect the natural environment against widespread, long-term and severe damage. This protection includes a prohibition of the use of methods or means of warfare which are intended or may be expected to cause such damage to the natural environment and thereby to prejudice the health or survival of the population. [Art. 55.1]

Sources:
The Uranium Medical Research Centre – DU Facts and Fictions – http://www.umrc.net/facts_and_fictions.aspx

Viewzone – Depleted Uranium – The Truth – http://www.viewzone.com/du/du.html

Foxes and Chickens, and Sheep and Psychosis

ConCen Blog Feature

By mothandrust
The Conspiracy Central Blog
Monday, August 20, 2007

There is a quaint old English custom, well until at least until a couple of years back, that entailed ‘upper crust’ twits in red blazers, charging around the countryside on horseback, tooting little brass horns and trying to keep up with a pack of dogs. And if they were really lucky they got to witness a wild (untamed) animal being ripped to pieces by said dogs. Whilst in our current ‘enlightened’ times it is easy to stand aghast or shake one’s head at the idea of seeing such fun as a sport, this process killed a few thousand foxes a year. Tragic of course for the fox (or whatever they got hold of), but, nevertheless, still inherently, survival of the fittest, genetic lines extinguished or evolved (and why no doubt the craftier fox has taken to living off humanity’s waste in suburbia), and, although savage, a swift and natural (albeit engineered) death.

Governments rise and fall, the debate goes on and on, (costing the taxpayers tens of millions), eventually after screams of protest, countless column inches, such practice was banned. Hurrah!

Yet, whilst all this flag waving for animal rights and freedom for foxes occupies the public’s ‘imagination’, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF CHICKENS ARE BEING TORTURED EVERY WEEK, for the sake of a cheap roast on Sunday or a KFC family bucket. Chickens, pumped full of growth hormone, unable to stand (as their bones fail to develop in line with their flesh), never to see the light of day, to be shoved on a mechanical conveyor, destined to have heads ripped off before ever seeing natural sunlight or feeling breeze ruffling their mangy feathers.

Anyone see a problem here? I do, and it’s about perspective – or, the lack of it. Is it not astounding that people are so easily distracted from the real world by irrelevance and inducement? Perhaps not, but to me it seems, the incapacity of humanity to rationalise lies at the heart of global difficulty. It gives authority carte-blanche to shepherd willing grazers in whatever way they choose using just a few techniques and tricks revolving around our basic drivers, hunger and fear, which of course includes identification, i.e. as a social animal, security through belonging. It is a practice repeated over and over again (religion and nationalism being the two prime examples). Sheep flock to the bidding of threat or inducement, never pondering for one moment the statistical relevance in relation either to their personal security or global perspectives.

We are subjected to a daily bombardment of examples, as the half dozen or so Americans killed during a bridge collapse demonstrates, for while this was being paraded across BBC news headlines, tens of millions were being displaced and thousands drowned in Bangladesh and India. What makes this all the more preposterous is that there are thousands of times more Bangladeshi and Indian residents in the UK than Americans!

Perhaps the greatest example of this inability to rationalise, to perspectivise, for the fear drummed into us, is 11th September 2001. The day, in case anyone has forgotten, when three buildings in New York were demolished and approaching three thousand people lost their lives. It is perhaps worth noting here that many times more people die every day through lack of clean drinking water, or food, or shelter, but who know of it? Who would care? Not sheep, happy to graze on diets of game show get-a-life and mega size family buckets. Gobbling up fear and hunger as it is fed through the airwaves and microwaves. No matter that one is ten times, one hundred times more likely to win the lottery than die through ‘Terrorism’ (hardly terrifying one would suggest) or ten thousand times more likely to die in a road accident. It would be laughable if it were not so tragic.

Terrorism itself is a word for sheep, bleated night and day, yet, in itself, absolutely meaningless. For it is not these so called ‘terrorists’ who create terror, but the media in their reporting and the politicians with their posturing. This, to me, is the greatest irony of all – terror – from were does it come? really? It is not of course from a bunch of towel-heads or sand niggers hiding in mountain caves, in reality it is distributed through cluster bombs and land-mines and depleted uranium and ‘shock and awe’ and polluted rivers, destroyed sewage/water/power networks and vulnerability and poverty and, and, and when you stand back to find a perspective, rationalise the situation, it becomes blazingly obvious, real terror (rather than imagined) comes from the liars and hypocrites squealing “TERRORIST!” in the first place!

Nothing is ever offered in context, so the Palestinians are labelled terrorists despite their daily suffering and humiliation and occupied territories, whilst the sheep hear no more than ‘occupied territories’ and believe Palestinians occupy them, rather than understanding Israel stole them! Indeed, contextualisation is impossible for the tension, hypocrisy, paradox and dichotomy it offers. Again, examples are endemic – take for example the need for capitalism to expand, to have people consume more and more, to make stocks rise and rise, and consider it in relation to destruction of planet-wide resources and consequential/subsequential pollution. The two pull in opposite directions and must therefore never be contextualised.

The question, “Why?” (beyond the label of evil) must never be heard – much less discussed, or discovered. Rationality, perspective, consequence and connection must be entirely expunged from the picture. Ignorance is strength, most particularly for mobilisation. Dumb it down and offer it in boxes but never stack the boxes or put them side by side. Isolate – offer potted, dishonest, useless solutions with gravitas and grandeur, then listen as the sheep bleat in unison, “two legs good, four legs bad” “freedom good, terrorism bad”.

Never must dots be joined. Ignorance is bliss, and that is just how society must be managed – bread and circuses. Anyone considering global suffering, inequality and tension and finding connections to government and/or corporate motivation (that is, markets, resources and power) must themselves be isolated, as if the very process of thinking, or challenging Capitalism, becomes evil in itself.

It is best of course if people know nothing, kept in ignorance from cradle to grave. So what education starts, (with its silly little awards of ‘A’ levels and degrees, proving sheep know absolutely nothing useful, coherent or contextualised), media finishes, with its mindless pap, to hypnotise and lobotomise. The population sits drooling over fabrication and fantasy, ignorant to anything meaningful and terrified by everything unknown, which, beyond their soaps and (ever expanding) stomachs, becomes the whole world.

Those who question, who fight above the pap, who see history and connection, who see motivation and fabrication, who attempt to make sense of the fragmented disorder, who challenge received wisdom, are heaped with scorn and derision and tarred with labels like terrorist, traitor, turncoat or ‘self hating Jew’.

To make a connection between cause and effect, action and reaction, must be condemned, ridiculed, obscured; and sheep, who have dusted at least some of the sleep from their eyes – to discover history beyond text books and reason beyond evil – must be isolated, stifled and accused of psychosis.

But remember dear readers, “it is inherently more psychotic to remember than it is to forget.” (‘Waking Life’)

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Northern Alberta Surface Water Study

James Reamsbottom conducted a surface water study around the town of Worsley, Alberta from the year 2000 to the present. He discovered a disaster of monumental proportions. “Several town water systems were contaminated by the concealment of transportation of a deleterious byproduct.” Key players in the Baytex Corportation, other corporations, and the Canadian government allowed this catastrophe and subsequent coverup to happen.

It’s time to expose the coverup.

Read more here.