Although many Americans believe their universities are places where administrators and faculty members coexist on a fairly equal basis, the reality is that this is far from the case.
According to recent surveys by the Chronicle of Higher Education, 35 private university presidents and 4 public university presidents topped $1 million in total earnings during the 2011-2012 fiscal year. Among the public university presidents, Graham Spanier of Pennsylvania State University received $2.9 million for that year, followed by Jay Gogue of Auburn University ($2.5 million), E. Gordon Gee of Ohio State University ($1.9 million), and Alan Merten of George Mason University ($1.9 million). Overall, the presidents of public universities — the poor relations of their private university counterparts — had a median annual total compensation of $441,392.
This very substantial income does not include many additional perks. According to the New York Times, President Gee is known for “the lavish lifestyle his job supports, including a rent-free mansion with an elevator, a pool and a tennis court and flights on private jets.”
Moreover, despite hard times, including pay cuts, for many Americans, university presidents are rapidly increasing their income. President Gogue’s annual earnings soared from $720,000 to $2.5 million in a single year. Between 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, the number of public university presidents in the $600,000 to $700,000 income range jumped from 13 to 28.
Of course, it might be argued that they “earned” these hefty incomes through superior performance on the job. But is this true?
President Spanier, whose $2.9 million income in 2011-2012 made him the best-paid public university president in the United States, resigned his post in November 2011. His resignation came five days after the arrest of Jerry Sandusky, the Penn State assistant football coach, on child sex abuse charges — charges that sparked nationwide outrage over that university’s failure for nearly a decade to alert law enforcement authorities to alleged sexual assault on campus. Spanier was himself charged criminally in an alleged cover-up of Sandusky’s crimes, although he continues to maintain his innocence.
In most cases, however, the bloated incomes of university presidents result from their fundraising prowess. President Gogue, whose $2.5 million compensation placed him second to Spanier, was lauded by Auburn University officials for his close relationship with business leaders. “In basic financial terms,” a university spokeswoman explained, “the return on investment is remarkably high.” Similarly, Hollis Hughes, Jr., the president of Ball State University’s board of trustees, justified the huge income of Jo Ann Gora, the university president — who, at just under $1 million income placed fifth in the financial ranking of public university presidents in 2011-2012 — on the basis of her success at fundraising.
Cultivating corporate and wealthy donors, of course, has long been a major task of university presidents, but it has become an obsession in recent years, especially as state governments have cut back funding for public universities. The nation’s largest public university system, the State University of New York, has gone from a situation in which the state paid 75 percent of the university’s costs and student tuition paid 25 percent to exactly the reverse, in which state support covers 25 percent of costs and student tuition covers most of the remainder. In these circumstances, public universities are desperately seeking to attract financial support from corporations and the wealthy, with obvious consequences when it comes to rewarding the top fundraisers and setting campus priorities.
Meanwhile, faculty members are left out in the cold. Despite the fact that most faculty at public universities have many years of graduate education, doctoral degrees, publications, and years of teaching experience, their average annual salary is just over $80,000 per year. These, of course, are the full-time, “regular” faculty. Part-timers, a talented but cheap labor force who administrators are increasingly substituting for full-timers, are paid, at best, a few thousand dollars per course. Thus, even when they shuttle from campus to campus, cobbling together the equivalent of a full course load, they are so impoverished that they qualify for food stamps. These part-timers and other “contingent” faculty — educators in temporary positions without job security– today constitute the vast majority of those who teach at American colleges and universities.
Nor do faculty salaries seem likely to rise very much. At the State University of New York, the faculty and professional staff are now voting on a new, five-year contract with the state that will provide them with a salary raise of about 1 percent a year – a raise that, when inflation is taken into account, will actually give them a salary reduction. Although United University Professions, their faculty/professional staff union that engaged in lengthy contract negotiations with the state, fought until the end for a minimum salary for part-time faculty, state negotiators — loyal to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s hostile approach to public sector workers — adamantly refused to consider it. Consequently, although top administrators can (and will) be paid increasingly outlandish amounts, there will be no salary floor for those who do the teaching and research.
On university campuses, it seems, everyone is equal. But some are much more equal than others.
Rio de Janeiro – Atomic power agencies from Brazil and Argentina signed an agreement to build two nuclear reactors for research and production of radioisotopes, said the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT) today.
The agreement, signed by the Brazilian National Commission for Nuclear Energy (CNEN) and the National Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA), is centered on the construction of two reactors: the Brazilian Multipurpose Reasearch Reactor (RMB) and the RA-10 in Argentina, said a spokesman from the MCT.
The action meets the Bilateral Integration and Coordination Mechanism, established in the Joint Declaration of 2008 and signed by Presidents Cristina Fernandez and Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, said the source.
To carry out the project, both sides created the Bi-National Commission on Nuclear Energy (COBEN) which will be in charge of the construction of both reactors.
The atomic agencies of these South American countries have closely collaborated since 2008. Argentina provides Brazil 30 percent of the Molybdenum 99 (Mo99) radioisotopes which are indispensable in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Since 2011 both countries agreed to move forward on greater integration, and carry out a joint project to develop multipurpose reactors, demonstrating the mutual interest in increasing the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Both reactors, once manufactured and functioning, will have a total capacity to cover 40 percent of the world radioisotope market.
At the present, only France, Canada, South Africa, Australia and Argentina have the technology to produce radioisotopes.
To understand Iran’s real stance toward the issue of the Holocaust, it is worth reviewing President Mahmoud Ahmadienjad’s remarks.
In an interview with NBC NEWS’s Brian Williams on Sept 19, 2006, Ahmadinejad raised three questions about the Holocaust:
1) In the Second World War, over 60 million people (at least 50 million civilians) lost their lives. They were all human beings. Why is it that only a select group of those who were killed have become so prominent and important?
2) If this event (Holocaust) happened, and if it is a historical event, then we should allow everyone to research it and study it. The more research and studies are done, the more we can become aware of the realities that happened. We still leave open to further studies absolute knowledge of science or math. Historical events are always subject to revisions, and reviews and studies…Why is it that those who ask questions are persecuted? Why is every word so sensitivity or such prohibition on further studies on the subject? Where as we can openly question God, the prophet, concepts such as freedom and democracy?
3) If this happened, where did it happen? Did the Palestinian people have anything to do with it? Why should the Palestinians pay for it now? Five million displaced Palestinian people is what I’m talking about. Over 60 years of living under threat. Losing the lives of thousands of dear ones. And homes that are destroyed on a daily basis over people’s heads. You might argue that the Jews have the right to have a government. We’re not against that. But where? At a place where their people were — several people will vote for them, and where they can govern. Not at the cost of displacing a whole nation. And occupying the whole territory.
The Israeli – Palestinian confrontation is one of the longest lasting world crises in recent times and many believe an end to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would also be the key to solving the other issues and conflicts in the region.
As Iran’s President has frequently asserted, if the Holocaust happened in Europe, what is the fault of the Palestinian people? The Palestinian people’s lives are being destroyed today in the pretext of the Holocaust. Lands have been occupied, usurped. But what is their fault? What role did they play in the Holocaust?
“Well, assuming that the Holocaust happened, then, what does it have to do with the Palestinian people?”
So, What Are Iran doubts?
Let’s review some major points Iran has raised about the Holocaust:
1. The evidence of the honoured history of each nation is always open to study; you have never heard of a ban on studying war crimes; for instance Iran has always presented evidence and proof to the world of what Iraq did to Iran’s people, as most countries do; but the Holocaust is the only part of history, which is kept out of questioning!
2. Let’s consider that the Holocaust is true, and as they say, “six million Jews during World War II, were murdered by Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, throughout German-occupied territory.” Still we need to ask: Why Palestinians should pay the price?
Though the solution to this dispute is not very complicated! (Churchill once said: “Study history, study history. In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.”) Iran suggests that the Holocaust events should be further investigated by independent and impartial parties;
Iran is against using the Holocaust to justify the behaviour of Israel in the region, and this is a merely a political and humanitarian argument, nothing to do with Jews and cannot be interpreted as anti – Semitic.
Jews, like other minorities are living peacefully in Iran. Jews are protected in the Iranian constitution and a seat is reserved for a Jew in the Majlis (Iran’s Parliament). Iran hosts the largest Jewish population of any Muslim-majority country. And it is home to the second-largest Jewish population in the Middle East.
View another excerpt from the documentary film Statin Nation.
For more information, please visit www.statinnation.net
- Bad Pharma And The Statin Wars (cardiobrief.org)
November 24, 2007
Dr Malcolm Kendrick speaks to Leeds BMA Meeting about why Cholesterol does not cause heart disease:
Cardiovascular Disease Populations
Since the early 1980′s the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans have urged trusting Americans to eat a low-fat high-carbohydrate diet for their health and weight control. Since then, there has been an alarming increase in chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes. In addition, obesity rates have shot up to 30%, and more than 70% of Americans are overweight.
Can the dietary guidelines be to blame?
Many experts believe that the USDA and other government agencies have stubbornly disregarded the science and continued a 30-year long nutrition experiment on Americans that has had disastrous results.
Nutrition experts from The Healthy Nation Coalition, which includes the Weston A. Price Foundation, the Salt Institute, and the Nutrition and Metabolism Society, have voiced concerns about the current USDA Dietary Guidelines issued in 2010. They criticize the guidelines for perpetuating the wrong-headed advice to eat a low-fat diet, high in processed grains and cereals, which has contributed to the current obesity and health crisis.
What’s wrong with the government’s nutrition advice?
Dietary guidelines are a creation of politics and not science. Critics claim that the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee ignored scientific research that validates low-carbohydrate diets for weight loss and improved health. Low-carb diets generally recommend 60 to 120 grams of unprocessed carbohydrates per day, although some provide more, and some as little as 20 grams.
Besides encouraging people to eat processed carbohydrates such as cereal, rice, pasta and bread, the guidelines have made Americans fearful of eating real natural whole foods such as whole milk, cheese, red meat, eggs, salt, butter and full-fat yogurt. As a result, Americans have stocked their pantries with processed fake soy meats, vegetable oils, margarine and skimmed dairy products, all of which are depleted or completely devoid of key nutrients, such as vitamins D, A, K and choline.
The Campaign Against Saturated Fats
Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, faults the guidelines for continuing to demonize saturated fats based on unsound science. The most recent guidelines reduce the recommended intake of saturated fats from 10% of calories to less than 7%.
The proposed 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines perpetuate the mistakes of previous guidelines in demonizing saturated fats and animal foods rich in saturated fatty acids such as egg yolks, butter, whole milk, cheese, fatty meats like bacon and animal fats for cooking. The current obesity epidemic emerged as vegetable oils and refined carbohydrates replaced these healthy, nutrient-dense traditional fats. Animal fats supply many essential nutrients that are difficult to obtain from other sources,” explained Ms. Morell in a press conference sponsored by the Healthy Nation Coalition.
Ms. Morell noted that for the past 60 or 70 years, saturated fats have been blamed for clogging arteries, and for causing heart disease, diabetes and even multiple sclerosis. None of these accusations is based on sound science she says.
Health Benefits of Saturated Fats
On the other hand, Ms. Morell points out the critical roles that saturated fats play in the body, including:
- Make up 50% of cell membranes
- Help the body put calcium in the bones
- Lower Lp(a), a marker for heart disease
- Protect the liver from alcohol and other poisons
- Are required for lung and kidney function
- Enhance the immune system
- Work together with essential fatty acids
- Support the body’s detoxification mechanisms
The government’s rationale for promoting a low-fat diet is the belief that fat makes us fat. Ms. Morell cites, however, the famous Framingham Heart Study which demonstrated that those eating more saturated fat, more cholesterol and more calories actually had lower blood serum cholesterol levels, weighed less and were more physically active.
In addition, a 1965 British heart study showed that heart attack survivors eating a saturated fat diet lived longer than those eating a diet of polyunsaturated or mono-unsaturated vegetable oils.
Finally, she cites a study of European countries which found that countries in which the population ate a diet high in saturated fats had lower rates of heart disease and those eating a low saturated fat diet had higher rates of heart disease.
The government and nutrition experts often lump saturated fats in with trans fats. Even worse, the fear of saturated fats has led many to replace the butter in their diets with trans fat laden margarine. Since 1926, Ms. Morell points out, use of butter in the U.S. has plummeted and at the same time rates of cancer and cardiovascular disease have skyrocketed.
Other “grave concerns” with the guidelines include
- Restriction of dietary cholesterol to 300 mg per day (less than 2 eggs);
- Restriction of sodium to 1,500 mg per day (2/3 of a teaspoon of salt);
- Promotion of low-fat milk and lean meats;
- Use of meat substitutes in federally funded school lunches; and
- Absence of any restrictions on refined carbohydrates and sweeteners in school meals.
Ms. Morell warned that the harm resulting from these misguided recommendations fall disproportionately on the nation’s children who will be fed these nutrient poor, fat inducing diets every day at school. And that is a tragedy.
An Interview With Marshall Sahlins
Last Friday, esteemed University of Chicago anthropologist Marshall Sahlins formally resigned from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the United States’ most prestigious scientific society.
Sahlins states that he resigned because of his “objections to the election of [Napoleon] Chagnon, and to the military research projects of the Academy.” Sahlins was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1991. He issued the below statement explaining his resignation:
“By the evidence of his own writings as well as the testimony of others, including Amazonian peoples and professional scholars of the region, Chagnon has done serious harm to the indigenous communities among whom he did research. At the same time, his “scientific” claims about human evolution and the genetic selection for male violence–as in the notorious study he published in 1988 in Science–have proven to be shallow and baseless, much to the discredit of the anthropological disciple. At best, his election to the NAS was a large moral and intellectual blunder on the part of members of the Academy. So much so that my own participation in the Academy has become an embarrassment.
Nor do I wish to be a party to the aid, comfort, and support the NAS is giving to social science research on improving the combat performance of the US military, given the toll that military has taken on the blood, treasure, and happiness of American people, and the suffering it has imposed on other peoples in the unnecessary wars of this century. I believe that the NAS, if it involves itself at all in related research, should be studying how to promote peace, not how to make war.”
Napoleon Chagnon rose to fame after his fieldwork among the Yanomami (also known as Yanomamo) in the rainforests of northeastern South America’s Orinoco Basin in the 1960s and 70s. He wrote a bestselling ethnography used in introductory anthropology classes around the world, describing the Yanomami as “the fierce people” because of the high levels of intra- and inter-group warfare observed during his fieldwork, warfare that he would describe as innate and as representing humankind in some sort of imagined natural state.
Chagnon, is currently basking in the limelight of a national book tour, pitching a memoir (Nobel Savages) in which he castes the bulk of American anthropologists as soft-skulled anti-science postmodern cretins embroiled in a war against science.
The truth is that outside of the distortion field of the New York Times and a few other media vortexes, there is no “science war” raging in anthropology. Instead the widespread rejection of Chagnon’s work among many anthropologists has everything to do with the low quality of his research. On his blog, Anthropomics, anthropologist Jon Marks recently described Chagnon as an “incompetent anthropologist,” adding:
“Let me be clear about my use of the word “incompetent”. His methods for collecting, analyzing and interpreting his data are outside the range of acceptable anthropological practices. Yes, he saw the Yanomamo doing nasty things. But when he concluded from his observations that the Yanomamo are innately and primordially “fierce” he lost his anthropological credibility, because he had not demonstrated any such thing. He has a right to his views, as creationists and racists have a right to theirs, but the evidence does not support the conclusion, which makes it scientifically incompetent.”
The widely shared rejection of Chagnon’s interpretations among anthropologists comes from the shoddy quality of his work and the sociobiological nature of his analysis, not with an opposition to science.
Among Chagnon’s most dogged critics was my dissertation chair, anthropologist Marvin Harris, himself an arch positivist and a staunch advocate of the scientific method, yet Harris rejected Chagnon and his sociobiological findings in fierce academic debates that lasted for decades, not because Harris was anti-science, but because Chagnon was a bad scientist (I should note that Harris and Sahlins also famously feuded over fundamental theoretical differences; yet both shared common ground objecting to the militarization of the discipline, and rejecting Chagnon’s sociobiological work).
I suppose if there really were battles within anthropology between imagined camps embracing and rejecting science, I would be about as firmly in the camp of science as anyone; but if such divisions actually existed, I would be no closer to accepting the validity and reliability (the hallmarks of good science) of Chagnon’s findings than those imagined to reject the foundations of science.
In 2000, there was of course a huge painful crisis within the American Anthropological Association following the publication of Patrick Tierney’s book Darkness in El Dorado, in which numerous accusations of exploitation (and worse) were leveled against Chagnon and other anthropologists working with the Yanomami (see Barbara Rose Johnston’s essay on the José Padilha’s film, Secrets of the Tribe). Without detailing all the twists and turns involved in establishing the wreckage of Chagnon and the paucity of his claims, suffice it to say that the choice of offering one of the select seats in the National Academy of Sciences’ Section 51 to Dr. Chagnon is an affront to a broad range of anthropologists, be they self-identified as scientists or not.
Marshall Sahlins’ resignation is an heroic stand against the subversion of science to those claiming an innate nature of human violence, and a stand opposing the increasing militarization of science. While Sahlins’ credentials as an activist opposing the militarization of knowledge are well established—he is widely recognized as the creator of the “teach-in,” organizing the February 1965 University of Michigan teach-in—it still must have been difficult for him to resign this prestigious position.
In late 1965 Sahlins traveled to Vietnam to learn firsthand about the war and the Americans fighting it, work that resulted in his seminal essay “The Destruction of Conscience in Vietnam.” He became one of the clearest and most forceful anthropological voices speaking out against efforts (in the 1960s and 70s, and in again in post-9/11 America) to militarize anthropology.
In 2009 I was part of a conference at the University of Chicago critically examining renewed efforts by U.S. military and intelligence agencies to use anthropological data for counterinsurgency projects. Sahlins’ paper at the conference argued that, “in Vietnam, the famous anti-insurgency strategy was search and destroy; here it is research and destroy. One might think it good news that the military’s appropriation of anthropological theory is incoherent, simplistic and outmoded – not to mention tedious – even as its ethnographic protocols for learning the local society and culture amount to unworkable fantasies. ”
Yesterday, Sahlins sent me an email that had been circulated to NAS Section 51 (Anthropology) members, announcing two new “consensus projects” under sponsorship of the Army Research Institute. The first project examined “The Context of Military Environments: Social and Organizational Factors,” the second, “Measuring Human Capabilities: Performance Potential of Individuals and Collectives.” Reading the announcement of these projects forwarded by Sahlins, it is apparent that the military wants the help of social scientists who can streamline military operations, using social science and social engineering to enable interchangeable units of people working on military projects to smoothly interface. This seems to be increasingly becoming the role Americans see for anthropologists and other social scientists: that of military facilitator.
Below is the exchange, I had with Sahlins yesterday discussing his resignation, Chagnon’s election to the National Academy of Sciences, and the Academy’s links to military projects.
Price: How has Chagnon so successfully turned numerous attacks on his ethically troubling research and scientifically questionable methods and findings into what is widely seen as an attack on science itself?
Sahlins: There has been no address of the issues on Chagnon’s part, notably of the criticism of his supposed empirical results, as in the 1988 Science article, and the numerous criticisms from Amazonian anthropologists of his shallow ethnography and villainously distorted portrayal of Yanomami. These Cro-Chagnon scientists simply refuse to discuss the facts of the ethnographic case. Instead they issue ad hominem attacks–before it was against the Marxists, now it is the ‘fuzzy-headed humanists.’ Meanwhile they try to make it an ideological anti-science persecution–again ironically as a diversion from discussing the empirical findings. Meanwhile the serious harm, bodily and emotionally, inflicted on the Yanomami, plus the reckless instigation of war by his field methods, are completely ignored in the name of science. Research and destroy, as I called the method. A total moral copout.
Price: Most of the publicity surrounding your resignation from the National Academy of Sciences focuses either exclusively on Napoleon Chagnon’s election to the Association, or on the supposed “science wars” in anthropology, while little media attention has focused on your statements opposing the NAS’s increasing links to military projects. What were the reactions within NAS Section 51 to the October 2012 call to members of the Academy to conduct research aimed at improving the military’s mission effectiveness?
Sahlins: The National Association of Science would not itself do the war research. It would rather enlist recruits from its sections–as in the section 51 memos–and probably thus participate in the vetting of reports before publication. The National Research Council organizes the actual research, obviously in collaboration with the NAS. Here is another tentacle of the militarization of anthropology and other social sciences, of which the Human Terrain Systems is a familiar example. This one as insidious as it is perfidious.
Price: Was there any internal dialogue between members of NAS Section 51 when these calls for these new Army Research Institute funded projects were issued?
Sahlins: I was not privy to any correspondence, whether to the Section officers or between the fellows, if there was any–which I don’t know.
Price: What, if any reaction have you had from other NAS members?
Sahlins: Virtually none. One said I was always opposed to sociobiology
Price: To combine themes embedded in Chagnon’s claims of human nature, and the National Academy of Sciences supporting to social science for American military projects; can you comment on the role of science and scientific societies in a culture as centrally dominated by military culture as ours?
Sahlins: There is a paragraph or two in my pamphlet on The Western Illusion of Human Nature, of which I have no copy on hand, which cites Rumsfeld to the effect (paraphrasing Full Metal Jacket) that inside every Middle eastern Muslim there’s an American ready to come out, a self-interested freedom loving American, and we just have to force it out or force out the demons who are perpetrating other ideas [see page 42 of Sahlins; The Western Illusions of Human Nature]. Isn’t American global policy, especially neo-con policy, based on the confusion of capitalist greed and human nature? Just got to liberate them from their mistaken, externally imposed ideologies. For the alternative see the above mentioned pamphlet on the one true universal, kinship, and the little book I published last month: What Kinship Is–And Is Not.
Price: You mention a desire to shift funding streams from those offering military support, to those supporting peace. Do you have any insight on how we can work to achieve this shift?
Sahlins: I have not thought about it, probably because the idea that the National Academy of Sciences would so such a thing is essentially unthinkable today.
There is a rising international response supporting Sahlins’ stance. Marshall shared with me a message he received form Professor, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, of the National Museum, Rio de Janeiro, in which de Castro wrote,
“Chagnon’s writings on the Yanomami of Amazonia have contributed powerfully to reinforce the worst prejudices against this indigenous people, who certainly do not need the kind of stereotyping pseudo-scientific anthropology Chagnon has chosen to pursue at their cost. The Yanomami are anything but the nasty, callous sociobiological robots Chagnon makes them look – projecting, in all likelihood, his perception of his own society (or personality) onto the Yanomami. They are an indigenous people who have managed, against all odds, to survive in their traditional ways in an Amazonia increasingly threatened by social and environmental destruction. Their culture is original, robust and inventive; their society is infinitely less “violent” than Brazilian or American societies.
Virtually all anthropologists who have worked with the Yanomami, many of them with far larger field experience with this people than Chagnon, find his research methods objectionable (to put it mildly) and his ethnographic characterizations fantastic. Chagnon’s election to the NAS does not do honor to American science nor to anthropology as a discipline, and it also bodes ill to the Yanomami. As far as I am concerned, I deem Chagnon an enemy of Amazonian Indians. I can only thank Prof. Sahlins for his courageous and firm position in support of the Yanomami and of anthropological science.”
We are left to wonder what is to become of science, whether practiced with a capital (at times blind) “S” or a lower case inquisitive variety, when those questioning some of its practices, misapplications and outcomes are increasingly marginalized, while those whose findings align with our broader cultural values of warfare are embraced. The NAS’s rallying around such a divisive figure as Chagnon, demonizing his critics, claiming they are attacking not his practices and theories, but science itself damages the credibility of these scientists. It is unfortunate that the National Academy of Sciences has backed itself into this corner.
The dynamics of such divisiveness are not unique to this small segment of the scientific community. In his 1966 essay on, “The Destruction of Conscience in Vietnam,” Sahlins argued that to continue to wage the war, America had to destroy its own conscience—that facing those destroyed by our actions was too much for the nation to otherwise bear, writing: “Conscience must be destroyed: it has to end at the barrel of a gun, it cannot extend to the bullet. So all peripheral rationales fade into the background. It becomes a war of transcendent purpose, and in such a war all efforts on the side of Good are virtuous, and all deaths unfortunately necessary. The end justifies the means.”
It is a tragic state of affairs when good people of conscience see the only acceptable act before them to be that of resignation; but sometimes the choice of disassociation is the strongest statement one can courageously make.
David Price a professor of anthropology at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington. He is the author of Weaponizing Anthropology: Social Science in Service of the Militarized State published by CounterPunch Books.
America Unearthed taken to the Wood Shed (Lost Colony)
http://www.cashatteras.com for real history not polluted by the entertainment industry.
- Local auditions for The Lost Colony are Saturday (outerbanksvoice.com)
UCtelevision | July 30, 2009
Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that fructose (too much) and fiber (not enough) appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin. Series: UCSF Mini Medical School for the Public.
The “Coca Cola conspiracy” and the obesity epidemic
The processed foods industry knew that their products would cause an epidemic of obesity among their customers, but they also realized that their bottom line would see a huge boost. The FDA and USDA provided all the cover needed and then some by pointing the finger in the wrong direction. The “low fat” foods fad was a complete hoax. …
Psychotropic drugs. It’s the story of big money-drugs that fuel a $330 billion psychiatric industry, without a single cure.
The cost in human terms is even greater — these [legal] drugs now kill an estimated 42,000 people every year.
And the death count keeps rising. Containing more than 175 interviews with lawyers, mental health experts, the families of victims and the survivors themselves, this riveting documentary rips the mask off psychotropic drugging and exposes a brutal but well-entrenched money-making machine.
Before these drugs were introduced in the market, people who had these conditions would not have been given any drugs at all.
So it is the branding of a disease and it is the branding of a drug for a treament of a disease that did not exist before the industry made the disease. (Excerpt from cchr.org)
The United Nations recently announced that its Fifth Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee session, scheduled for January 2013, would propose a binding treaty to ban ethylmercury (commonly known as thimerosal) from all medications and vaccines worldwide. That is welcome news. But it has laid bare the battle lines between those government health departments and professional medical organizations who value the health of children and those who favor drug profiteering.
It is no surprise that the pharmaceutical industry and its special interest groups are moving aggressively to oppose a UN treaty ban on mercury. After all, one of Big Pharma’s prime directives is to resist any legislation, domestic or international, that threatens its sales and revenues. But it is a big surprise, indeed, that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)—once a leader in advocating the removal of mercury from all medical products and vaccines—would now suddenly hold hands with Big Pharma to oppose the UN’s proposal.
Why would the AAP join with Big Pharma to oppose the UN mercury ban? Why would it back-pedal away from its earlier confirmation that vaccine mercury is toxic and poses serious health risks? A look at the history of the AAP’s position on mercury will show us why. In its July 2001 issue of Pediatrics, the AAP released its official position on mercury: “Mercury in all its forms is toxic to the fetus and children, and efforts should be made to reduce exposure to the extent possible to pregnant women and children as well as the general population.” Yet in the recent December 17 2012 issue of Pediatrics, former AAP president Louis Cooper writes, “Science clearly documented that we can’t find hazards from thimerosal in vaccines… The preservative plays a critical role in distribution of vaccine to the global community. It was a no-brainer what our position needed to be.”
The AAP’s original warning against thimerosal arrived a year following the illegal secret meeting convened by the CDC at the Simpsonwood retreat center near the CDC’s headquarters in Atlanta. At that meeting, federal and international health officials, executives from the vaccine industry, and members of professional medical associations, including the AAP, were informed about the CDC’s analysis of vaccine injury reports in its Vaccine Safety Database (VSD). The study, known as the Verstraeten study after the name of its chief investigator, concluded that there was a direct link between vaccine mercury and the rise in autism. In a letter published in the journal Pediatrics, Dr. Eric Coleman at the FDA wrote, “the fact is, no preclinical or clinical studies were ever conducted to specifically examine the safety of thimerosal at the doses found when used in multiple infant and childhood vaccines. Thus, there is no conclusive evidence because there were no studies.”
The Verstraeten study also led to Congressional hearings. The CDC was reprimanded for negligence, careless scientific oversight, conflicts of interest with the pharmaceutical industry and administrative incompetence regarding decisions to protect children’s health. Eventually policies were enforced to remove thimerosal from vaccines given in the US; although this mandate was never carried out thoroughly to this day.
However, thimerosal reduction and removal only applied to vaccines distributed in the US. Vaccine makers continued to manufacture vaccines containing thimerosal to other countries, particularly in the developing world. American stockpiles of mercury containing vaccines were simply sold and exported overseas.
During a period of several years the CDC further manipulated, massaged, and distorted the original Verstraeten research to hide any data that would suggest possible causality between mercury and autistic disorders. On five separate occasions Dr. Verstraeten slanted data. For example, 25% of reported vaccine injuries were cherry picked and removed to generate statistical confusion. The CDC’s final paper was published in the AAP’s Pediatrics journal and declared vaccine thimerosal safe and does not contribute to neurological damage in infants and children. As a side note, Dr. Verstraeten had already slipped out of the CDC to work for GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine division when his paper was published.
The CDC’s publication in Pediatrics completely altered how vaccines would be manufactured for American children and resurrected the thimerosal-autism debate. But more important it is among the greatest scientific perversions in the history of medical literature. The AAP was complicit in the fraud for having failed to conduct due diligence and proper peer-review before approving it for publication. Instead the Academy sided with Big Pharma’s favorite lobbying group—the CDC.
The story of the secret Simpsonwood meeting, the CDC’s subsequent fraudulent studies, Congressional investigations and the National Institute of Environmental Health Science’s analysis of the CDD’s research is well documented. However, what is less known is the CDC’s attempts to avoid answering many NIEHS and Congress’s complaints. In a letter to Pediatrics, Dr. Ken Stoller, a UCLA pediatrician and a former fellow of the AAP, noted how then CDC Director Dr. Julie Geberding in the final moments under pressure to give account for the CDC’s wide range of errors in its study stated, “CDC concurs that conducting ecologic analysis using VSD administrative data to address potential associations between thimerosal exposure and the risk of autism spectrum disorder is not useful.”
And here is the rub. Every study the pro-vaccine community quotes to discredit a thimerosal-autism association is either an ecologic study (investigating and comparing statistics between one or more populations) or cohort study (looking at risks or illness in the history of a group or population). Both types of studies are inferior to controlled studies looking at medical conditions in vitro or in vivo. Neither do they follow sound scientific protocol in order to draw definitive conclusions. Moreover, the most frequent criticism of ecologic and cohort research is the wide scope of deceptive data manipulation such studies lend themselves to in order to arrive at the researcher’s desired result. For example, in CDC studies, the agency has never compared autism rates in vaccinated children with a population of children who were unvaccinated or had not received mercury laced vaccines. The lack of such a study should have been a no-brainer for the AAP.
Therefore, if the CDC ecologic study was ruled bogus by its own head of the agency, then why should any credibility be given to other ecologic and cohort studies performed, supported by and/or funded by the CDC. And it is only such studies that are repeatedly quoted and referred to by thimerosal-autism deniers.
Not a single study in the vaccine industry’s arsenal is biologic. The federal health agencies refuse to conduct convincing biologic studies to bring the thimerosal-autism debate to closure. The reason is simple: there is not an ounce of evidence that such studies would conclude in their favor, otherwise such research would have been performed during this decades long argument.
Nevertheless, independent biologic studies have shown repeatedly that thimerosal is linked to neurological degeneration, including autism, Asperger’s, ADD and ADHD, tics and seizures, etc. A recent review of all thimerosal research recorded in the National Institutes of Health publication database, PubMed, by the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Universidade de Brasilia in Brazil determined that the biologic data reveals 1) low doses of thimerosal against isolated human and animal brain cells found in all studies characteristic mercury neurotoxicity, 2) there has yet to be studies showing the neurotoxic effects when thimersosal is combined with aluminum, another neurotoxic chemical and common vaccine ingredient, and 3) animal studies show that thimerosal exposure leads to the accumulation of inorganic mercury in the brain.
Dr. Stoller concludes that we now “have a generation of pediatricians, who face perhaps the greatest iatrogenic accident in the history of pediatrics, who actually need to be deprogrammed to understand what the true nature of all neuro-behavioral problems are that they confront without any understanding of etiology or potential interventions.” And the organization mandated to assure America’s pediatricians remain ignorant about the dangers of thimerosal-containing vaccines is the AAP.
A favorite rationale voiced frequently by professional medical associations, such as the AAP and AMA, is since we don’t have conclusive proof to confirm the health risks of a particular vaccine, or chemical found in every day foods and products, or a GM frankenfood, then it is best to side with private industry rather than adopt preventative cautionary measures until such proof is determined. Common sense unveils this distorted logic, which exonerates the drug, food and chemical industries from having to prove their product is safe before entering the market.
Although AAP has taken positive social stands to improve child welfare, it has failed to protect children from their greatest enemy — the pharmaceutical and chemical industrial complex. To its credit the Academy has opposed budget reductions affecting the health and welfare of children in poverty; it supports funding that would increase consumption of fruits and vegetables in school programs, and has supported the removal of school soda vending machines in its fight against obesity. But when addressing the prevention of diseases that directly affect the medical industry, the AAP’s record is dismal. Among its official recommendations favoring corporate profit rather than promoting pediatric health are the following:
Routine HPV Vaccine. AAP officially supports the CDC’s recommendation that all males, starting at age 11, be routinely vaccinated with Merck’s quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (Gardasil). Earlier the Academy gave its full approval for routine vaccination of all school aged girls. Since then, Drs. Christopher Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic at the University of British Columbia have published a peer-review study of their investigation into brain tissues from two New Zealand teenagers who died after Gardasil vaccinations. In both cases, DNA from the vaccine’s HPV virus was found embedded in the girl’s brain cells, which resulted in the likely cause of death. 
Psychiatric Drugs for Four-Year Olds. In 2011, AAP changed their recommendations for prescribing mood-altering psychiatric and psychotropic medications to children. The Academy reduced the age for diagnosing ADHD to 4 years from its prior threshold of 6 years. Its recommendations are that behavioral therapy precede administering drugs, in particular Ritalin. Yet this recommendation will unlikely be followed. Today, less than 20 percent of practicing psychiatrists perform behavioral therapy and prescribing drugs is now the ruling paradigm regardless of age. Ritalin is classified in the same category with cocaine, morphine and opium. Its adverse effects include hallucinations, mania, heart problems and death. But the AAP seems to be fine with that for pre-schoolers. Then again, the AAP’s chairman for ADHD guidelines, Dr. Mark Wolraich, is a consultant for psychotropic drug companies including Shire Pharmaceutical, Eli Lilly, Shinogi and Next Wave Pharmaceuticals.
Statin Drugs for Children. The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) has investigated AAP’s financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. At the time AAP officially recommended prescribing statin drugs to lower cholesterol for children, it had received over $1.4 million in contributions from major statin makers, including Merck, Abbott and Bristol Myers Squibb. The Academy also had lowered the minimum age for children to take statins from 10 years to 8 years. Among the statins being prescribed, the FDA expanded warning list of adverse effects to include liver injury, memory loss, increased diabetes risk, and muscle damage.
Genetically Modified Food. During the autumn 2012 battle in California to mandate labeling of genetically modified foods, AAP fell on the side of Monsanto, DuPont and other agro-chemical corporations. In the Academy’s official report on its position regarding GM produce, it agrees with the seed industry that GM and organic products are nutritionally equivalent. “Current evidence,’ the report reads, ‘does not support any meaningful nutritional benefits or deficits from eating organic compared to conventionally grown foods, and there are no well-powered human studies that directly demonstrate health benefits or disease protection as a result of consuming an organic diet.” Neither has the Academy come out publicly to favor the urgent need for safety trials to be conducted on GM foods before entering the food supply.
Milk and Dairy. In its GMO statement, the AAP claims there are no significant health benefits from organic milk and downplayed the risks posed from growth hormone and estrogen given to dairy cattle. The reports states, “Ingestion of milk from estrogen-treated cows appears to be safe for children.” Apparently the AAP had a moment of unconsciousness during the time studies flooded journals showing that genetically modified bovine growth factor (rBGH) increased IGF-1, which contribute to prostate, breast, colorectum, gastrointestinal and lung cancers.
Pesticides. The AAP is ambiguous regarding the dangers and health risks of pesticides, although all independent research shows chemical pesticides contribute to serious diseases that are appearing increasing among American children. The Academy’s policy report on GMOs states, “Although chronic pesticide exposure and measurable pesticide metabolites seem undesirable and potentially unhealthy, no studies to date have experimentally examined the causal relationship between exposure to pesticides directly from conventionally grown foods and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes.”
Water Fluoridation. AAP continues to support the Department of Health and Human Services’ and the Environmental Protection Agency’s commitment to water fluoridation. In 2005, EPA employee unions called for a moratorium on fluoridation programs after a cover-up at Harvard’s School of Dental Medicine leaked and revealed elevated risk of fatal bone cancer in young boys consuming fluoride. However, the US remains one of the few developed countries that continue the barbaric practice of water fluoridation. Throughout most of Europe, 97% of nation populations drink fluoride-free water. The Swedish government health authorities officially state that there is no credible safety data available to support fluoride; Japan’s official policy is that water fluoridation “may cause health problems.” As early as 1977, Germany’s association of water experts rejected fluoridation” because “the so-called optimal fluoride concentration of 1 mg per liter is close to the dose at which long-term damage to the human body is to be expected.”
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We believe there should be an independent Congressional investigation overseen by experts in immunology and public health science to review all existing studies that have been used as a basis for determining the safety and efficacy of schedules for all vaccines. We propose a long-term human study comparing one group of vaccinated people following existing protocols and another group given no vaccines, followed on a three month basis for five years, to determine which group is provided with a statistically significant benefit. However, no one affiliated with the study should have any direct or indirect financial ties to any vaccine industry or pharmaceutical interest nor should anyone be selected who has shown previous bias on the topic.
Richard Gale is the Executive Producer of the Progressive Radio Network and a former Senior Research Analyst in the genomic industry. Dr. Gary Null is the host of the nation’s longest running public radio program on nutrition and natural health and a multi-award-winning director of progressive documentary films, including Vaccine Nation and Autism: Made in the USA.
 Levin, Myron “Battle Lines Drawn Over Mercury in Shots” Los Angeles Times, April 10, 2006)
 Tavernise, S “Vaccine Rule is Said to Hurt Health Efforts” New York Times, December 17, 2012
 Dorea JG. “Integrating Experimental (In Vitro and In Vivo) Neurotoxicity Studies of Low-dose Thimerosal Relevant to Vaccines” Neurochem Res. 2011 Feb 25.
 Stoller, K op cit.
 Tomljenovic L, Shaw C. “Death after Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination: Causal or Coincidental?” Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs, doi.org/10.4172/2167-7689.S12-001
 Citizens Commission on Human Rights “American Academy of Pediatrics Promotes Big Pharma Agenda Drugging 4-year-olds” October 17, 2011 http://www.cchrint.org
 “FDA Expands Advice on Statin Risks” http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm293330.htm
 Forman J, Silverstein J, “Organic Foods: Health and Environmental Advantages and Disadvantages” http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/10/15/peds.2012-2579
 Petersen A, “Report Supports Organic Produce but Not Milk” Wall Street Journal, October 22, 2012
 Food and Water Watch, “rBGH: What the Research Shows” http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/factsheet/what-research-shows/
- PhD in Biochemical Engineering exposes CDC fraud and malfeasance in Congressional Testimony (therefusers.com)
- Pediatricians Want to Keep Thimerosal in Vaccines Despite Health Risks (occupycorporatism.com)
Well, you probably don’t want to look at more than 60 different documented school shooters and stabbers who were on antidepressant drugs when they attacked innocent children in suicidal, violent outbursts. Not if your mind is already made up that “it’s the guns” and that yet another “gun control” law will suddenly fix things. It won’t. Nor will the congressional testimony of Dr. Peter Breggin on the dangers of SSRIs and the proven links to suicide and violent ideation interest you, as long as there is one factor, and one solution, and this sort of information doesn’t fit into your preconception.
If this latest psycho-killer boy, Adam Lanza, had stolen a car and run over 26 people, would the most glaring problem be not enough car regulations?
Or if he had chosen to run around with a chainsaw instead, would the call now be for more chainsaw control? Or would the focus have turned to just banning the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films?
Why do they do it?
More than a little evidence suggests that antidepressant medications, prescribed by psychiatrists – who have a vested stake in the public perception of this issue – are a contributing factor in the majority of such spree massacres. The drug corporations, which produce these medications and which pay for massive advertising campaigns on TV, in newspapers, on the radio and in magazines, certainly want their friendly press outlets to come up with a different culprit. However, the lengthy list of warnings, right on the labels of these drugs, is an indication that the links are real, not very well understood, and potentially catastrophic.
Even Time Magazine reported on links between prescription drugs and violence:
Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) … 7.9 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.
Venlafaxine (Effexor) … 8.3 times…
Fluvoxamine (Luvox) … 8.4 times…
Triazolam (Halcion) … 8.7 times…
Atomoxetine (Strattera) … 9 times…
Mefoquine (Lariam) … 9.5 times…
Amphetamines: (Various) … 9.6 times…
Paroxetine (Paxil) … 10.3 times…
Fluoxetine (Prozac) … 10.9 times…
Varenicline (Chantix) … 18 times… (Time)
As Dr. Breggin calls it on his website:
“Antidepressants cause emotional anesthesia and numbing or sometimes euphoria, providing a fleeting, artificial relief from emotional suffering. … In the long run, all psychiatric drugs tend to disrupt the normal processes of feeling and thinking, rendering the individual less able to deal effectively with personal problems and with life’s challenges. They worsen the individual’s overall mental condition and produce potentially irreversible harm to the brain.”
Breggin provided expert testimony and dire warnings to a congressional committee and cautioned against dispensing antidepressants to military personnel out of a very real fear of resulting violence by well-armed troops.
Even the FDA has had to impose stronger warnings on these “medicines” over the years, in response to the real world data. The 2007 update to the “Black Box” warnings, which are mandatory and included with all antidepressants says:
“Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk: Patients, their families, and their caregivers should be encouraged to be alert to the emergence of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, mania, other unusual changes in behavior, worsening of depression, and suicidal ideation, especially early during antidepressant treatment and when the dose is adjusted up or down. Families and caregivers of patients should be advised to look for the emergence of such symptoms on a day-to-day basis, since changes may be abrupt. … Symptoms such as these may be associated with an increased risk for suicidal thinking and behavior and indicate a need for very close monitoring and possibly changes in the medication.” (FDA, emphasis added)
The United States abandoned its mentally ill citizens back in the 1980s. Now they live under bridges. I see them with their tent city near my favorite Chinese restaurant. The great shining city on the hill doesn’t give a damn who’s living outdoors now. The stigma about mental illness has worked its way through the rest of society, but not in the obvious way.
People don’t reject “treatment” as long as it’s a pill you can take, a brain fix-all. This convenience culture idea of the quick fix is what has lived on, and now psychiatric “treatment” consists primarily of trying various drugs on patients, having them report the way the drugs affected them, and then trying other drugs. Repeat ad infinitum. This guinea pig approach to psychiatry is what I have witnessed for many years, and with a variety of different psychiatrists. They no longer seek out the underlying traumas of patients, as in the old quaint days. It is all about the drugs today, and nothing else is even discussed.
Psychiatrists are corporate America’s drug pushers.
Banning Guns For Citizens?
Now I’m going to get a lot of hostile responses for bucking the knee-jerk hysteria about banning assault rifles that’s going around. It seems to me like this issue was custom-tailored to distract the nation from the “fiscal cliff” backroom betrayals currently gutting your Social Security and Medicare inside the centers of power. There are numerous massacres, unfortunately. The media volume generated by this particular one is like a tsunami and changes the top story away from the machinations of the White House and Congress, where their long-planned deal-making could potentially kill many, many more people than the occasional shooting spree. They actually do kill many, many more children in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere… but that’s a different article.
I see no problem clamping down on high-capacity assault rifles. But I don’t for a second believe that’s going to change anything. What exactly can you do with an assault rifle, that you can’t do with a thousand other different kinds of guns? Reloading isn’t really that time-consuming or difficult. Multiple weapons are easy to obtain, especially if one is motivated enough and doesn’t care if they make it out alive. So how does that solve the problem?
Similarly, the “background checks” don’t catch spree shooters who don’t have criminal records and just one day snap. There’s nothing to check, and future-crime has not been wiped out yet.
Ah, the nuclear option – ban all the guns. That’s next.
There’s an interesting idea. With 300,000,000 guns in America, it should be no problem to just collect them all. Criminals would be first to line up at the weapon depository and rape scan center. Once the criminals are disarmed, things will go smoothly.
Some suggest that the population doesn’t need to be armed, as an armed rebellion against a tyrannical regime is futile. That’s a selective reading of history (and of the Bill of Rights), but even granted it was true, weapons are useful for self-defense from whomever. They can be indispensable in times of chaos or collapse. We do retain the right to defend ourselves, but apparently a lot of liberal/left types would make that technically impossible, by forcibly disarming everyone who complies.
Oh, no doubt, you could be re-armed by enlisting in some civilian human-drone force, as Obama first proposed back in 2008. Selective service in some organized policing force or military unit in order to graduate from high school was a wet dream proposal of the current president’s. There explains the “450 million rounds of 40 caliber” hollow-point ammunition that the Department of Homeland Security just ordered. Perhaps forced teenage DHS police labor can replace professional local police forces, which can be laid off in order to enact even more budget cuts around the nation. There’s a great idea.
But guns are here to stay. They aren’t going anywhere. America is an “armed madhouse” as Greg Palast phrased it, so perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at the “mad” part of the equation.