Monday, November 21, 2011

Cancer, the FDA, Big Pharma, Burzynski, & Fascism in the U.S.

For this story I'm using Mussolini's definition of Fascism: the perfect marriage of the power of the State to the power of mega corporations. FDR also used that definition. I suspect that they both knew what they were talking about when it came to that subject.

I'm basing this essay on the completely amazing documentary, Burzynski: Cancer is Serious Business. It can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jRua3NLg-Z8 .  If that doesn't work, try Googling it. Due to time constraints, I'm greatly condensing the story; I hope everyone takes the time to view the film. It's a fascinating illustration of Fascism in America.

Have you ever heard of the cancer treatment "antineoplastons"? These substances, which have no toxic side effects, were discovered and developed over a period of about 20 years by Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski. Basically, the substances turn genes ON and OFF, genes important in fighting cancer. [Everyone gets cancer; usually the body can fight it off.] Even the FDA and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) admit that antineoplastons completely cure a wide variety of cancers in up to 50% of cases. Why not 100%? No one knows; more research is needed. Research is extremely expensive.

About 30-40 years ago, many States had laws allowing individuals, not just large pharma companies, to research & develop new drugs and to conduct clinical trials as long as it was all done within the State. At that time, the Feds agreed. After discovering antineoplastons in the urine of cancer-free patients and cancer patients with none, Dr. B (I'll abbreviate to save time) founded the Burzynski Research Institute (BRI) in Houston, Texas in the '70s. He is not only a medical doctor, but also holds a PhD in Biochemistry. He hired a staff of MDs, chemists, and other researchers and began developing a protocol for antineoplaston cancer treatment. As the months and years went by, he began to experience significant success with people who had tried chemo and radiation to no avail (& were pronounced irreversibly terminal) AND with cancer patients who had opted for no chemo and/or radiation. Shortly thereafter, he began having big problems with the Texas Medical Board, the FDA, and eventually the NCI.

Cancer treatment is a trillion dollar business. Patented chemo treatments (drugs) are a large part of that business. Due to "user fees" charged drug companies by the FDA, the FDA literally is on the payroll of Big Pharma. Some applications for new drugs entail a "user fee" of a million dollars. Half of FDA's funding comes from fees charged to drug companies. It would be naive to think that kind of money won't be protected by any means necessary. But we don't need to speculate; we have the crystal clear case of Dr. B and BRI.

Over a total of 14 years, Dr. B was relentlessly pursued by both the Texas Medical Board and the FDA. Through the Justice Department, the FDA convened a half dozen (one at a time, over years) grand juries attempting to get an indictment on Dr. B. All resulted in no indictment. After a series of strange events (see the movie), the Feds finally got an indictment. This allowed them to seize all of the Dr.'s medical records on all of his patients, as well as research files. After two trials (number one was a mistrial, hung jury), Dr. B was cleared of all 75 charges. None of the charges involved the efficacy of antineoplastons; for some reason, the FDA was not claiming that the good doctor was a quack. Now, one would think after all that, the FDA would cease and desist; that was not to be. See the movie.

The harassment continued and the reason became clear. While the FDA was discrediting Dr. B over all those years, it also was working with a drug company to steal the patents regarding antineoplastons. Eventually the FDA applied for and received eleven (might be one off) patents on antineoplastons, even though Dr. B held patents on those same substances. [One of the antineoplastons couldn't be patented according to Dr. B's attorneys, but it was by the FDA.]

The story doesn't end there. The FDA, according to Dr. B, is using incorrect protocols (dosages, intervals of treatment, types of cancer, etc.) in their clinical trials of the antineoplastons. The result will be unsuccessful trials. You can see where this is going.

There is much, much more to this tale. The movie is almost two hours, and a few times gets a bit tedious; but if you hang in there with it, I think you'll agree that it's a highly explosive illustration of Fascism in America. The documentation alone of the whole shabby affair is worth the watch. The Government-Mega Corporate Complex's control of the cancer industry is laid bare for all to see. It's all about the money.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What Happened to Hemp?

We're talking here about industrial hemp, a cousin of marijuana. It is well known and scientifically proven that industrial hemp contains so little of the chemical THC (which produces the "high" from smoking marijuana) that the plant cannot be considered a controlled substance. I don't have the time to give this subject the treatment it deserves, but will attempt to cover the highlights in an understandable way.

First, a little history. Industrial hemp was a common crop in America for decades, both before and after the American Revolution. Thomas Jefferson grew it for market and George Washington once stated (paraphrased), "Indian hemp is a most useful plant; sow it throughout the land." One of the more common uses back then was in the making of rope. Throughout the 1930s, however, a campaign by the oligarch William Randolph Hearst (Hearst newspapers) was launched to paint a dark picture of hemp. One of the thrusts of the smear campaign was to associate hemp with marijuana. That was the time, of course, of the so-called "reefer madness" propaganda in America. Hearst had invested heavily in the timber industry, and hemp was beginning to be seen as a viable alternative relative to pulp for the manufacture of paper.

Presently hemp is recognized worldwide as a source of: pulp for paper; a wide range of clothing items; biomass fuel; bricks, fiberboard, and shingles for home construction; farm animal feed; and even protein utilized in aquaculture operations. The U.S. imports many hemp products, but farmers here are prohibited from growing the plant. Lakota Indians of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota lined up numerous contracts for raw hemp, but the DEA moved in and destroyed their crop---more than once. Thinking that various treaties [giving them sovereignty] signed with The Feds over the years would be honored, the tribe had passed a law allowing the growth of hemp within their nation. As with most treaties between American Indians and our Fed Government, the U.S. broke the treaty of 1868... again. Farmers in Kentucky and Vermont, looking for a viable rotational crop, attempted to import hemp plants from Canada. Given the long-standing Health Fascist campaign against tobacco, Kentucky in particular needed a crop to supplement (or replace) tobacco. Customs and the DEA put a stop to the importing.

It's important to recognize two things. First, employees of agencies such as the DEA are not elected; they are bureaucrats. Second, they write regulations. Regulations are not legislative in nature; instead, they're administrative. When a legislative bill is passed into law, it is handed over to the Executive Department/Agency charged with enforcing the law. That agency then writes the REGULATION (sometimes called a Rule or Standard) that will be used to bring about enforcement. Regulations usually are much more detailed and comprehensive than are legislative acts (laws). Details can be found in regulations that do not exist in laws. In other words, unelected bureaucrats can add items not found in the legislative act. They also can leave out clarifications that reasonably should be included.

Enter the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The CSA lumps all forms of the genus Cannabis into the same category regardless of THC content. [Marijuana contains anywhere from 3% to 24% of the psychoactive chemical; industrial hemp contains far less than 1%.] Reason suggests that the DEA should have excluded industrial hemp when they wrote their regulation. The primary reason that they did not (according to them) is because they cannot tell the difference between the two varieties from the air. That basically is nonsense. Hemp is grown closely packed, with no light between plants; marijuana plants are more spread out.

The entrenched, establishment industries of paper pulp (from trees) and petro-chemical manufacturing do not want the competition that industrial hemp would engender. In my opinion, that's why the U.S. is the only developed nation on Earth that prohibits industrial hemp farming. I'm open to considering other reasons.

Hemp generates about three times more pulp per acre per year than does timber. Plus, for technical reasons I won't bother with here, hemp does not require chlorine bleaching in order to make the final product (paper) marketable. In terms of clothing fiber, a hemp crop does not require the pesticides necessary to raise a cotton crop. In addition to fiber uses, hemp seed oil is both nutritious and found in numerous skin care products. As a rapidly growing plant and one that chokes out weeds, industrial hemp is a small-farmer-friendly crop with an excellent variety of markets.

Hemp would be good for our dismal economy, the small farmer, and American jobs, and just as importantly, it impacts the environment much less harshly than do timber paper pulp and petro-chemical products. Unfortunately for us, industrial hemp legalization and growing have powerful enemies in the almighty Corporatocracy.

If you can, catch the documentary Hempsters: Plant the Seed online. Interesting and entertaining.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Goldman Sachs and Others Lie

I've noticed that Goldman Sachs has been blitzing the online national newscasts with commercials claiming that their investments are extremely beneficial to various communities around the country. The whole thing appears to be an effort on their part to untarnish their shabby image. Let's keep in mind why they have a shabby image. Below are a few of the fines or settlements they've paid for wrongdoings.

$550 million for "misleading investors in a subprime mortgage product just as the U.S. housing market was starting to collapse". Business Ethics, July 15, 2010. The SEC stated that investors lost a total of one billion dollars. The SEC charge was "civil fraud".

$27 million for failing to notify the U.K. financial regulatory agency about the investigation resulting in the above $550 million fine. Such disclosure is required under the U.K.'s reporting obligations for financial activity. Robert Barr, "Goldman Sachs FINED $27 Million by U.K. Agency", Associated Press, 9-9-10.

Two million dollars for "violating a waiting period for marketing an IPO before a registration became effective". Ari Weinberg, "Wall Street Fine Tracker", Forbes.com, 7-15-04.

$45.5 million for "NYSE rule violations" in various market activities. Ari Weinberg, "Wall Street Fine Tracker", Forbes.com, 7-15-04.

Citigroup also has been fined millions of dollars for NYSE rule violations, as have Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Bank of America. In fact, dozens of Wall Street firms over and over have been fined millions, sometimes billions, of dollars for misconduct related to market activities. Some of these same firms are the ones to which Hank Paulson convinced Congress to give hundreds of billions of dollars.

A final note--- don't be misled by reports (usually by the national Corporate Media) of Wall Street firms or auto companies "repaying" their government loans. They borrow more money from the government and use that to "repay" previous loans; that is according to several Republican and Democrat lawmakers in DC. These same lawmakers predict that the government will lose $30 billion on loans to General Motors alone. Of course, by "the government" these folks mean the taxpayers.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Radiation

Having constructed and taught an Environmental Technician Training Program for a private vocational college, as well as having taught numerous HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) classes over the years, I know a little something about ionizing radiation. The main thing to remember about it is this: there is no such thing as a "safe dose" of ionizing radiation. There are instead doses which present an ACCEPTABLE RISK. Some people in government, the field of medicine, and the nuclear industry misleadingly use the term "safe dose" or the phrase "not dangerous". They should know better.

The probability is extremely high that everyone of my generation has radioactive strontium-90 in their bones. The cause of that was above-ground testing of nuclear weapons by various nations (including ours) in the 1950s. Depending upon how close one was to the explosions and numerous other factors, we "downwinders" have various amounts of the substance in our bones. What are the long-term effects? No one knows for certain. Who qualifies as a "downwinder"? Certainly everyone living at that time in both the temperate and tropical latitudes...because of global wind patterns. Those in the arctic latitudes most likely should be included as well.

We humans like to believe that in this day and age we know a lot about most everything on Earth. Well, guess what? People in the '50s felt pretty much the same way. I suspect that people in almost any modern time period felt that way. In the beginning of the Nuclear Age, it was thought that above-ground testing of nuclear weapons was "safe". I'm convinced that a small number of folks in positions of power and/or prestige knew better, but that knowledge never was conveyed to those who not long ago were characterized by the head of BP as the "small people". My point simply is this: those who now are saying that ionizing radiation from Japan will be dispersed to the point of rendering it "not dangerous" either are speaking without a sufficient level of knowledge (because no one has that amount of knowledge) or are being deceitful. I suspect it's the former, not the latter.

Various "experts", especially those in medicine, sometimes say something like: "You get more radiation from natural sources than you will from _________." They seem to think that makes __________ OK...and "safe". It puzzles me that anyone would come to such a conclusion. While it's true that we do receive some amount of ionizing radiation from natural sources, that does not mean it's "safe" to receive additional radiation from non-natural sources. No one knows the long-term effects of low doses/concentrations of ionizing radiation. No one. Such exposure may be an acceptable risk, but it's still a RISK.

A quick note on iodine tablets (usually potassium iodide). They only protect the thyroid (not other organs), and only against radioactive iodine (not cesium, plutonium, etc.).

History has shown us that we should put little stock in whatever the Government or the mega corporations say about ionizing radiation, especially if their pronouncements involve risk assessment. When their representatives claim that such-and-such ionizing radiation is "not dangerous", ALL they mean is that if you're exposed to it, you won't die vomiting and with your skin hanging in shreds. They have no way of knowing the long-term effects. Just remember one thing: "safe" or "not dangerous" only means acceptable RISK.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tempus Fugit

My abstract painting is taking more and more of my time, so somewhat regrettably, I must cut way back on posts to this site. Apologies to all, especially the new folks who recently joined/visited. You may wish to utilize this website's Search function and seek posts with the following terms: corporatocracy, or constitution, or republic, or globalization, or fascism, etc. I'm especially pleased with the three-part series on Globalization; that took a lot of work, and I believe it contains much valuable information.

If you care to visit, my new website is:
http://scott-haley.fineartamerica.com/
I've had a passion for art for several decades now, and because "Tempus Fugit", it's now that I must pursue it wholeheartedly.

Sincerest thanks to all for your support and kind remarks relative to Individual Sovereignty. From time to time, I'll try to squeeze in a post here...especially when the actions of the one-party corporatocracy are so outrageous that they beg for a scathing comment or two. (I know, that's almost every day.) :)

Be at peace...be well.