don’t think obey
“… read with skepticism and doubt the conventional wisdom presented as “news” by the so-called mainstream media. There are agendas at work and information is disseminated, in my view, for the express purpose of shaping public opinion to manipulate the mass rather than informing the citizens….”
August 9th, 2017
As the U.S. growing season entered its peak this summer, farmers began posting startling pictures on social media: fields of beans, peach orchards and vegetable gardens withering away.
The photographs served as early warnings of a crisis that has damaged millions of acres of farmland. New versions of the herbicide dicamba developed by Monsanto and BASF, according to farmers, have drifted across fields to crops unable to withstand it, a charge authorities are investigating.
As the crisis intensifies, new details provided to Reuters by independent researchers and regulators, and previously unreported testimony by a company employee, demonstrate the unusual way Monsanto introduced its product. The approach, in which Monsanto prevented key independent testing of its product, went unchallenged by the Environmental Protection Agency and nearly every state regulator.
Typically, when a company develops a new agricultural product, it commissions its own tests and shares the results and data with regulators. It also provides product samples to universities for additional scrutiny. Regulators and university researchers then work together to determine the safety of the product.
In this case, Monsanto denied requests by university researchers to study its XtendiMax with VaporGrip for volatility – a measure of its tendency to vaporize and drift across fields.
The researchers interviewed by Reuters – Jason Norsworthy at the University of Arkansas, Kevin Bradley at the University of Missouri and Aaron Hager at the University of Illinois – said Monsanto provided samples of XtendiMax before it was approved by the EPA. However, the samples came with contracts that explicitly forbade volatility testing.
“This is the first time I’m aware of any herbicide ever brought to market for which there were strict guidelines on what you could and could not do,” Norsworthy said.
August 9th, 2017
Academic papers vindicating its Roundup herbicide were written with the help of its employees.
Monsanto is an international agriculture company that develops products for farmers around the world. Recently, the company has come under fire for allegedly participating in a cover-up campaign to suppress a study that was critical of one of their most popular products, Roundup.
The study that Monsanto worked to retract, led by Prof GE Seralini and coined the “Seralini Study,” found that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide was causing rats to develop massive tumors, as well as serious kidney and liver damage.
New documents that have been released during an ongoing court case in San Francisco reveal that as Monsanto was working to get the damaging study retracted, the company was simultaneously trying to hide the fact that it was ever involved in the matter in the first place. Monsanto scientist David Saltmiras admitted to creating a “third party expert” campaign, where independent scientists would demand that the editor-in-chief of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, A. Wallace Hayes, retract the study.
In one of the documents, Saltmiras brags about all of the things he has accomplished during his time with Monsanto, writing that he “Successfully facilitated numerous third party expert letters to the editor which were subsequently published, reflecting the numerous significant deficiencies, poor study design, biased reporting and selective statistics employed by Seralini. In addition, coauthored the Monsanto letter to the editor with [Monsanto employees] Dan Goldstein and Bruce Hammond.”
Saltmiras goes on to say how “Throughout the late 2012 Seralini rat cancer publication and media campaign, I leveraged my relationship [with] the Editor in Chief of the publishing journal… and was the single point of contact between Monsanto and the Journal.” This is factual evidence that Monsanto did play an active role in the attempts to influence research on their Roundup weed killer product.
Another Monsanto employee by the name of Eric Sachs wrote an email regarding Bruce Chassy, a scientist who pro-GMO Academics Review website. Sachs says in the email that Chassy “understands the urgency” of retracting the study. In response, Chassy urged Wallace Hayes to do just that: “My intent was to urge you to roll back the clock, retract the paper, and restart the review process.”
It was also revealed that a writer for Forbes by the name of Henry Miller had allowed Monsanto to ghost write an article downplaying the environmental risks associated with Roundup. Conveniently, Forbes took the article down just as Monsanto admitted to the New York Times that, “Our scientists have on occasion collaborated with Dr. Miller on other pieces.”
So Monsanto could have potentially been collaborating with Forbes for years and intentionally crafting articles in a way that benefits their company and their products, even if they were lying to the public in the process.
The potential risks and dangers associated with the use of Roundup have been well documented. Last year, The Intercept published an article about a farmer by the name of John Sanders, who worked for over three decades in the orange and grapefruit groves of Redlands, California. Both he and another landscaper by the name of Frank Turner routinely used Roundup to kill invasive weeds with ease.
However, after years of being exposed to Monsanto’s weed killing product, both men developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which is a blood cancer that starts in the lymph cells before spreading to the rest of the body. Each of them filed lawsuits against Monsanto, thus marking one of the most pivotal moments in the ongoing debate over the risks of excessive Roundup use.
As a well-established international company, it goes without saying that Monsanto has a responsibility to be honest with their customers and truthful about the products made available to them. Sadly, it appears that in recent years, the company has been anything but truthful.
WikiLeaks whistleblowing website has shed a light on the “CouchPotato” project, a secret tool that the US Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) used to remotely hack into computers and steal images of users’ video streams.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — WikiLeaks announced the release of a classified user guide for “CouchPotato” in a statement on Thursday.
The document explained that the CouchPotato tool allows for a video stream to be collected either as a video file in AVI file format or as series of still images of frames from the stream in JPG format.
“[CouchPotato] utilizes ffmpeg [software] for video and image encoding and decoding as well as RTSP [The Real Time Streaming Protocol] connectivity. CouchPotato relies on being launched in an ICE v3 Fire and Collect compatible loader,” the statement overviewing the tool concluded.
The creation of the CouchPotato user guide dates back to February 14, 2014.
WikiLeaks released the first batch from the Vault 7 project in March, containing a total of 8,761 documents. Some of the latest releases were dedicated to a CIA project targeting SMS messages sent and receive on Android devices and to CIA tools for stealthy hacking of Apple’s operating system.
There’s a new kind of “privilege” in town, and if you suffer from it, you can’t help it any more than you can help your skin color or your gender. (Although, of late, gender seems to be completely open to debate and have nothing to do with biology.) If you are an intelligent person, you have “cognitive privilege” according to an op-ed in the Daily Iowan.
Well, that’s just really not fair, is it?
With all the “privileges” out there that need to be kept in check, may God help you if you are white, male, attractive, and smart. You are public enemy #1 to the social justice set, you privileged scumbag.
I’ll let the author, Dan Williams, explain cognitive privilege because I couldn’t possibly do it justice in a summary:
We now know that intelligence is not something we have significant control over but is something we are born with. We are living in a society in which success is increasingly linked to one’s intelligence. This is not to say that intelligence is the only factor that is important. All that is implied is that below a certain threshold of intelligence, there are fewer and fewer opportunities. These opportunities are being shifted upward to jobs that require heavier cognitive lifting or else are being replaced by robots. Thus, the accident of having been born smart enough to be able to be successful is a great benefit that you did absolutely nothing to earn. Consequently, you have nothing to be proud of for being smart. (source)
So, in other words, if you’re not that smart, your job may be taken by a robot, and that isn’t your fault. I assume that this will eventually lead to the assumption that if you cognitively “disabled,” the world probably owes you something. Because we’re all about “fairness” in the United States, right? RIGHT?
Furthermore, if you are smart, in the wise (cough) words of former President Obama, “You didn’t build that.” You just hit the genetic lottery and should be humbled (and perhaps a little embarrassed) as opposed to proud.
Will this be the next thing that kiboshes people who deserve it from getting a job? “We wanted to hire her, but she is smart. We have already exceeded our quota of cognitively privileged individuals, so we’ll have to go hire that dumb guy or we’ll be breaking labor laws.”
Sometimes there is so much ridiculous stuff out there that you all must just think, “She has to be making this up.” Oh, that I was so creative. Nope, this is the society in which we dwell, with one ridiculous outrage on top of another.
DISREGARD THE FACT THAT YOU COULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR LACK OF COGNITIVE PRIVILEGE.
Of course, none of this takes into account the possibilities we all have to improve our lots in life. Between libraries and the internet, opportunities abound to learn more about basically any topic you want. Perhaps you won’t end up being a neurosurgeon, but what is stopping you from being an expert on some other topic that perhaps takes a brain with common sense as opposed to book sense?
If we all devoted our time to improving ourselves, instead of watching reality television and walking around with our faces and thumbs firmly engaged with our cell phones, perhaps the “cognitive privilege” of those who do focus on learning would not provide so great a disparity amongst our opportunities.
So much of this is a choice about how we spend the hours in our days. It’s about our drive and the habits we intentionally develop.
Williams doesn’t want you to feel too guilty if you are intelligent. Just the right amount of guilt will do:
The purpose of pointing out someone’s privilege is to remind them of the infinite number of experiences that are possible and the very large number of experiences that are actual [sic] that they know very little about. The purpose is to enlarge their moral consciousness, to make them more sympathetic to people who are less fortunate than they are.
Feelings of guilt are natural when coming to consciousness of one’s place in the scheme of things — and noticing that one has been conferred benefits through sheer accident — but guilt is an impediment to social-justice action, not a motivator (guilt slides easily into resentment).(source)
Okay, isn’t that possibly the worst kind of condescension that ever existed? You know how feminists always talk about men with whom they work “mansplaining” something to them and how it infuriates them? Wouldn’t “smartsplaining” and moral sympathy be every bit as infuriating to one without “cognitive privilege?”
I don’t know about you, but if I had a “disability” the last thing in the world I would want is sympathy. Particularly if my disability was that I was stupid, I wouldn’t want the intellectual elite fawning over me superciliously.
PRIVILEGE IS JUST THE OTHER SIDE OF THE “ISM” COIN.
A while back, I wrote an article called The Great American Butthurt and it was all about how much I loathe any word ending in “ism.”
Words to express our affront are being made up left and right by the mere addition of “ism” to the ends of what were formerly perfectly neutral words. It seems like pundits can take basically any word and add “ism” to the end of it and that means they’re being slighted. The list of isms could go on and on, but instead of promoting more equality, all they’re doing is promoting more division. Isn’t that divisionism?
Personally, I’m affronted by the constant barrage of affronts. When did we, as a nation, become such weenies? How is it that such a collection of whiners has become the vocal majority? Certain people are constantly offended and demand the attention of others so they can express the epic level of their personal offendedness.
So vast is the recent level of Great American Butthurt that no mainstream news outlet is complete without breathlessly exposing a secret “ism” each day. These secret “isms” are called “microaggressions,” defined as “the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.”
Oh my gosh. SHUT UP ALREADY. (source)
How can our country ever again expect to be united when we are constantly divided by a never-ending series of isms and privileges? What if we just stop labeling everyone and everything and just be human beings with choices and personal responsibility for those choices?
I’m not denying that racism and sexism exist – of course, they do – but why would people spend so much time focusing on some perceived negative instead of focusing on the positive aspects of self-improvement? I’m also not denying that being an intelligent person makes it easier to succeed, but there are plenty of very bright people who can’t make a go of it.
When everything is an ism or a privilege, doesn’t that take away from the true, serious issues that exist? If everyone is so busy competing for victimhood, don’t the actual victims get drowned out in the roar? And if everyone is angry at everyone else for accusations about isms and privileges, it’s a pretty good bet folks will never be able to get along.
Success isn’t about your privileges or your lack of isms. It’s about your drive. It’s about the choices that you make.
We can get out there and make opportunities happen or we can complain about it. Guess which decision will make you more successful?