Two for Tuesday

Cale Sampson

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Malaysian Airlines MH17 Was Ordered to Fly over the East Ukraine Warzone

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Source: Global Research

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On the matter of MH17’s flight path, Malaysian Airlines confirms that the pilot was instructed to fly at a lower altitude by the Kiev air traffic control tower upon its entry into Ukraine airspace.

 ”MH17 filed a flight plan requesting to fly at 35,000ft throughout Ukrainian airspace. This is close to the ‘optimum’ altitude.

However, an aircraft’s altitude in flight is determined by air traffic control on the ground. Upon entering Ukrainian airspace, MH17 was instructed by Ukrainian air traffic control to fly at 33,000ft.”

( For further details see press releases at : http://www.malaysiaairlines.com/my/en/site/mh17.html)

33,000 feet is 1000 feet above the restricted flight altitude (see image below). The request of the Ukrainian air traffic control authorities was implemented.

Deviation from the “Normal” Approved Flight Path

With regard to the MH17 flight path, Malaysian airlines confirms that it followed the rules set by Eurocontrol and the International Civil Aviation Authority  (ICAO) (emphasis added):

I would like to refer to recent reported comments by officials from Eurocontrol, the body which approves European flight paths under ICAO rules.According to the Wall Street Journal, the officials stated that some 400 commercial flights, including 150 international flights crossed eastern Ukraine daily before the crash. Officials from Eurocontrol also stated that in the two days before the incident, 75 different airlines flew the same route as MH17.MH17’s flight path was a busy major airway, like a highway in the sky. It followed a route which was set out by the international aviation authorities, approved by Eurocontrol, and used by hundreds of other aircraft.

It flew at an altitude set, and deemed safe, by the local air traffic control. And it never strayed into restricted airspace. [this MAS statement is refuted by recent evidence]

The flight and its operators followed the rules. But on the ground, the rules of war were broken. In an unacceptable act of aggression, it appears that MH17 was shot down; its passengers and crew killed by a missile.

The route over Ukrainian airspace where the incident occurred is commonly used for Europe to Asia flights. A flight from a different carrier was on the same route at the time of the MH17 incident, as were a number of other flights from other carriers in the days and weeks before. Eurocontrol maintains records of all flights across European airspace, including those across Ukraine.

What this statement confirms is that the MH17 ‘s “usual flight path” was similar to the flight paths of some 150 international flights which cross Eastern Ukraine on a daily basis. According to Malaysian Airlines “The usual flight route [across the sea of Azov] was earlier declared safe by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. The International Air Transportation Association has stated that the airspace the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions.”

That approved flight path is indicated in the maps below.

The regular flight path of MH17 (and other international flights) over a period of ten days prior to July 17th ( day of the disaster), crossing Eastern Ukraine in a Southeasterly direction is across the Sea of Azov. (see map below)

-

The flight path on July 17th was changed.

The flight and its operators followed the rules. But on the ground, the rules of war were broken. In an unacceptable act of aggression, it appears that MH17 was shot down; its passengers and crew killed by a missile. (MAS, ibid)

While the audio records of the MH17 flight have been confiscated by the Kiev government, the order to change the flight path did not come from Eurocontrol.

Did this order to change the flight path come from the Ukrainian authorities? Was the pilot instructed to change course?

British Media: “Lets Conjure Up a Storm”

British news reports acknowledge that there was a change in the flight path, casually claiming without evidence that it was to “avoid thunderstorms in southern Ukraine”.

MAS operations director Captain Izham Ismail has also refuted claims that heavy weather led to MH17 changing its flight plan.“There were no reports from the pilot to suggest that this was the case,” Izham said. (News Malaysia   July 20, 2014)

What is significant, however, is that the Western media acknowledged tthat he change in the flight path did occur.

Ukraine Fighter Jets in a Corridor Reserved for Commercial Aircraft

It is worth noting that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet equipped with air-to-air R-60 missiles was detected within 5-10 km of the Malaysian aircraft, within an air corridor reserved for commercial aircraft.

-Image courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

Image courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

What was the purpose of this air force deployment? Was the Ukraine fighter jet “escorting” the Malaysian aircraft in a Northerly direction towards the war zone?

The change in the flight path for Malaysian airlines MH17 on July 17 is clearly indicated in the map below. It takes MH17 over the war zone, namely Donetsk and Lugansk.

CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE

Comparison: MH17 Flight Path on July 16, 2014, MH17 Flight Path Over the warzone on July 17, 2014

IngoGraph

Screenshots of Flight Paths of MH17 for July 14-17, 2014

14th July Route15th July Route  16th July Route17th July Route

The first dynamic map compares the two flight paths: The second flight path which is that of July 17th takes the plane over the Donesk oblast warzone, bordering onto Lugansk oblast.

The four static images  indicate screen shots of the Flight Paths of MH17 for the period July 14-17, 2014

The information conveyed in these maps suggests that the flight path on July 17 was changed.

MH17 was diverted from the normal South Easterly route over the sea of Azov to a path over the Donetsk oblast.

Who ordered the change of  the flight path?

We call upon Malaysian Airlines to clarify its official statement and demand the release of the audio files between the pilot and the Kiev air traffic control tower.

The transcript of these audio files should be made public.

Also to be confirmed: was the Ukrainian SU-25 jet fighter in communication with the M17 aircraft?

The evidence confirms that the flight path on July 17th was NOT the usual approved flight path. It had been changed.

The change was not ordered by Eurocontrol.

Who was behind this changed flight path which spearheaded the aircraft into the war zone, resulting in 298 deaths?

What was the reason for the change in flight path?

The damage incurred to Malaysian Airlines as a result of these two tragic occurrences must also be addressed. Malaysian airlines has high safety standards and an outstanding record.

These two accidents are part of a criminal undertaking. They are not the result of negligence on the part of Malaysian Airlines, which potentially faces bankruptcy.

Posted in black ops, Corruption, culture, divide and conquer, Empire, Geopolitics, Psy-ops, Social Control, society, State Crime, war | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Top AIDS Researchers Killed in Malaysia Airlines Crash

Source: Cryptogon

Utopia, Series 2 Episode 1, 14 July 2014, Channel4, Britain: “We have to plant a bomb on board the plane and we have to kill all of them.”

Utopia is probably the best show I’ve ever seen on TV. The first two episodes from series 2 were recently broadcast in Britain.

Most people outside of Britain won’t have ever heard of Utopia, so I’ll just write a couple of sentences about it in case you need some context. Utopia is a show about the granddaddy of all “conspiracy theories”: A forced reduction in the population of planet earth. This is accomplished by Janus, a bioweapon that sterilizes most people and is delivered as a vaccine during a bogus flu pandemic.

No, it’s not a documentary. *wink*

So I’m leaning back in my chair, enjoying the Series 2 opener, drinking some tea, eating an apple and…

I’ll just type out some dialog from Series 2 Episode 1:

Assistant: The network lab in Tel Aviv, one of the men worked out the RNA codes for Janus. He has an idea of what it does.

Milner: Has he told anyone?

Assistant: Half the lab, as many as fifty people. We’re not sure exactly who yet but we have it locked down.

Milner: Do you have a plane ready?

Assistant: TWA 841 heading to JFK. We’ve told them they’re going to be debriefed by the CIA.

Milner: We know what we have to do then. We have to bring it down. We have to plant a bomb on board the plane and we have to kill all of them.

A few days later, we read that some of the world’s top AIDS researchers were killed in the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down incident.

Obviously, this is just another coincidence, like Neo’s passport or Sandy Hook labeled “Strike Zone” In Dark Knight Rises.

People in Britain can watch Utopia on the Channel4 Website. If you’re outside of Britain, you’ll have to look into bypassing the absurd geoblocking that Channel4 uses. I’m not going to get into that here, but there are countless sites out there that can help you.

Via: Time:

About 100 people traveling to a global AIDS conference in Australia were on board the Malaysia Airlines flight that crashed and killed 298 people in eastern Ukraine, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

The researchers, health workers and activists were on their way to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne. Among the victims planning to attend was Dutch national Joep Lange, a top AIDS researcher and former International AIDS Society president. Briton Glenn Thomas, a spokesperson for the World Health Organization and a former BBC journalist, was also on flight MH17.

The International AIDS Society expressed sadness over the news that its colleagues were on the Malaysian jetliner.

While the medical field mourns the lives of those killed, experts like Associate Professor Brian Owler, federal president of the Australian Medical Association, also fear that breakthroughs in HIV/AIDS research will now be stalled.

“The amount of knowledge that these people who died on the plane were carrying with them and the experiences they had developed will have a devastating impact on HIV research,” Owler told TIME.

“The amount of time it takes to get to a stage where you can come up with those ideas cannot be replaced in a short amount of time. So it does set back work for a cure and strategic prevention of HIV/AIDS very significantly,” he said.

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Check Mating Washington in its Own Backyard with BRICSIANSE

Vladimir_Putin-6

By Wayne Madsen

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation

The United States and its closest allies have attempted to isolate Russia and President Vladimir Putin from the world stage. As a result of Western support for the Ukrainian regime that came to power through violence in Kiev, actions taken by Western powers against Russia have included expelling Russia from the G-8 of capitalist powers, the freezing of the assets of Russian government officials and Russian banks, and imposing travel bands on Russian citizens.

However, Putin has check-mated U.S. President Barack Obama in the American president’s own backyard. Obama’s defenders fancy their president as a master of «11-dimensional chess». However, what is transpiring in Brazil at the summit of the BRICS nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa has shown the world that it is Putin, not Obama, who is the master of 11-dimensional chess. In fact, Obama could never even make it to the chess board.

Putin is visiting Brazil where he is participating in the 2014 summit in the city of Fortaleza. The BRICS summit comes as members of the Obama administration, including neo-cons like Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, have instituted plans for increased sanctions against Russia, bringing them to the level as those directed against Iran, Syria, and Cuba.

Putin and his BRICS colleagues will sign an agreement in Fortaleza on establishing a BRICS development bank that will help bypass the neo-cons’ attempt to isolate Russia from international banking networks. Any strengthening of sanctions in the same manner that U.S. sanctions have been imposed by Washington on Iran, Syria, and Cuba runs the risk of punishing Brazilian, Indian, Chinese, and South African banks and other corporations, something that could land the Obama administration in hot water before the World Trade Organization court that rules against trade practices that violate WTO regulations.

The legacy of the Obama administration is that its Cold War-era policies directed against Latin America have permanently ended America’s long-standing political and economic domination of the Western Hemisphere. Obama put the final nail in the arcane Monroe Doctrine that stipulated the United States would bar non-Western Hemisphere nations, including the powers of Europe, from intervention in the Americas. The interventionist policies in countries like Venezuela and Honduras carried out by Nuland’s fellow neocon ideologue Roberta Jacobson, the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, have resulted in a large contingent of Latin American leaders in joining Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and the other BRICS leaders in Brazil for a summit where the United States will not have a seat at the table. In fact, the United States and its imperialistic policies will be a major subject in Brazil, a country that has seen its telecommunications, including the private calls and e-mail of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff routinely spied upon by the U.S. National Security Agency.

Putin is making the most of his six-day visit to Latin America. He forgave Cuba’s debt to Russia while visiting Havana and also stopped in Nicaragua and Rio de Janeiro. While in Cuba, Putin met with former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul Castro, Cuba’s president, two leaders who continue to infuriate the neo-con and right-wing power centers of Washington. Putin also attended the final game of the World Cup in Rio. Russia is the host of 2018 World Cup. Putin also visited Argentina where he signed a deal on nuclear energy.  The interest of Iran, Argentina, Nigeria, Syria, and Egypt in joining BRICS may soon see the group’s acronym become «BRICSIANSE». Such a development would triumph the nations of the world that refuse to take orders from Washington and the presence of Syria would spell ultimate defeat of the Obama doctrine of «R2P», or «Responsibility to Protect» pro-U.S. and Western intelligence agency-financed opposition leaders intent on replacing anti-American governments with pro-U.S. regimes. Syria joining BRICS as a full or associate member would drive a stake through the heart of R2P.

The Obama administration could not convince a single South American leader to avoid the BRICS summit in Brazil. In fact, two of the South American leaders sitting down with Putin, Xi, Rousseff, and the other leaders in Brazil, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro and Suriname’s President Desi Bouterse, have been the subject of CIA- and State Department-linked destabilization efforts and sanctions threats. Also in attendance at BRICS are Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Bolivia’s President, Evo Morales Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet, Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar, Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartes, Peru’s President Ollanta Humala, and Uruguay’s President José Mujica. America’s sanctions against Russia and its saber-rattling against China on behalf of Japan and the Philippines have fallen on deaf ears in South America. The teenager-like antics of Nuland, Jacobson, along with those of U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice and U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, are sure to be discussed in sideline gossip by the leaders gathered in Fortaleza.

The presence of President Santos of Colombia is particularly noteworthy. Santos recently defeated a right-wing candidate supported by the same Obama administration’s interventionists who have helped disrupt the economy of Venezuela. The losing candidate, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, had the full support of Santos’s right-wing and pro-Israeli/pro-U.S. predecessor Alvaro Uribe. Recent disclosures have shown that Uribe instituted an NSA-like national communications surveillance system aimed at his opponents. Zuluaga’s ties with the same elements who are trying to depose Maduro in Venezuela have not been lost on Santos. He continues to engage in peace negotiations in Havana with left-wing DARC guerrillas and improve ties with Venezuela much to the chagrin of the CIA operatives who live in splendor in the Miami area of Florida.

While in Rio, Putin managed to cast off U.S. efforts to isolate him internationally by meeting with Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, in addition to Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orban, Namibian President Hage Geingob, Gabon’s President Ali Bongo, and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel and Rousseff have much in common as both had their personal cell phone conversations monitored by NSA, a fact that Putin, who has provided asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, was likely sure to have mentioned in passing.

The only attempt the United States could make to have any Latin American officials criticize contact between Western Hemisphere leaders and Putin was to arrange for Trinidad opposition leader Keith Rowley to condemn his country’s prime minister’s private trip to Brazil. Rowley criticized Persad-Bissessar and her grandson for meeting with Putin and other leaders in Rio because the trip was made during a labor dispute involving Trinidad’s immigration department. The power of Washington to influence events in the Western Hemisphere has truly plummeted to new depths.

The agenda of the BRICS nations is as diversified as that of any G-7 meeting, no longer called G8 after Russia was expelled. On the BRICS summit agenda are trade, development, macroeconomic policy, energy, finance, terrorism, climate change, regional security, drug smuggling and trans-border crime, industrialization of Africa, and, kin what should serve as a wake-up call to Wall Street, the World Bank, European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other tools of western capitalism, international financial institution (IFI) reform.

The security operations by BRICS in Afghanistan stand to replace those of the United State after the withdrawal of its troops from that country. Russia has led BRICS efforts on dealing with money laundering and cross-border crime and it has drawn the participation of Belarus, India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in its efforts. Observers from Mongolia and Armenia also joined the talks. In the area of security, synergism is apparent between the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that brings Russia and China into a common security policy with central Asian states like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Russia and China appear determined that Ukraine and Georgia will be the «line in the sand» for any further encroachments by George Soros- and CIA-led «R2P» revolutions in the Eurasian space. It is also clear that Putin outsmarted Obama in his own backyard.

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Saturday Matinee: Quartermass

quatermass1979al

“Quartermass” (1979) (aka “The Quartermass Conclusion” and “Quartermass IV” is the fourth and final production written by Nigel Kneale featuring the character of Bernard Quartermass, a British space program scientist who seems to encounter extraterrestrial life forms on a regular basis.

In this last chapter of his story, Quartermass is struggling as a grandfather in post-collapse London desperately searching for his missing granddaughter. At the same time, he investigates an unusual signal from space and a cult-like nomadic community of young people traveling to various neolithic sites. Quartermass ultimately connects the various plot lines into a seemingly logical narrative, but the story is made more interesting if interpreted as a once-brilliant man’s descent into madness as he attempts to make sense of a decaying and chaotic society, inexplicable cosmic events, the loss of his relationship with his granddaughter and a vast generation gap. Though the film is stylistically dated and obviously low budget, it’s worth watching for its intelligent but deeply pessimistic screenplay and parallels with other dystopian visions.

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Kiev Losing, Sanctions Flopped, Airliner Down, War Back On?

mh17-crash8-data

By Tony Cartalucci

Source: New Eastern Outlook

With Kiev’s forces being encircled and decimated in eastern Ukraine, western Ukrainians in Kiev protesting the war, and US sanctions receiving global ridicule as feckless - the downing of a Malaysian Boeing 777 airliner with over 280 on board in eastern Ukraine – allegedly shot down over a conflict zone – will undoubtedly be exploited by NATO to vilify Kiev’s opponents, particularly fighters in the east and Russia who NATO accuses of “destabilizing eastern Ukraine.”

Preceding the downing of Malaysian flight MH17, just hours beforehand, Ukraine claimed Russia had shot down one of its SU-25 ground attack aircraft. The BBC’s article, “Ukraine conflict: Russia accused of shooting down jet,” stated that:

A Ukrainian security spokesman has accused Russia’s air force of shooting down one of its jets while it was on a mission over Ukrainian territory. 

Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council, said an Su-25 ground attack plane was downed on Wednesday evening. 

Russia’s defence ministry called the accusation “absurd”, Russian state media reported. 

Rebels in eastern Ukraine say they shot down two Su-25 jets on Wednesday. 

Ukraine also alleges rockets were fired at its forces from Russian territory.

While the weapon systems used to down the Ukrainian SU-25′s were not mentioned, previous aircraft lost to separatists in eastern Ukraine were most likely hit by Igla man-portable anti-air systems. The downed 777 was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet – unreachable by the Igla system. To down it would require a sophisticated weapon system most likely inaccessible to eastern Ukrainian fighters. This was confirmed by the regime in Kiev itself. New York Daily News reported in an article titled, “Malaysia Airlines plane feared shot down in Ukraine near Russian border,” that:

Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister, said on Facebook that the plane was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet when it was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher, reported Interfax, a Ukranian news agency.

The Buk system is maintained by both Russia and Ukraine. Russia would most likely not supply the sophisticated weapon system to fighters in Ukraine even if it were backing them militarily, because it would be nearly impossible to prevent its use or abuse from being traced directly back to Moscow. Ukrainian Buk systems, had the regime in Kiev lost control of one or more, should have been reported missing and international precautions taken to divert vulnerable aircraft around the conflict zone.

Western Reaction

US Senator John McCain, who had been standing in Kiev on stage with Neo-Nazis of the Svoboda Party shortly before they overthrew the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych, stated in an NBC interview:

“To leap to conclusions could be very embarrassing and really inappropriate until we have more information,” he told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “But there have been, as you mentioned, previous incidents of shot down of Ukrai

nian aircraft. This was an airliner headed towards Russian air space. And it has the earmarks, and I’m not concluding, but it has the earmarks of a mistaken identification of an aircraft that they may have believed was Ukrainian.

“If that’s true, this is a horrible tragedy event which was certainly unanticipated by anybody, no matter who they are,” he said. “And there will be incredible repercussions if this is the case. Exactly what those will be will have to be determined by how we find out who was responsible.”

McCain added, “If it is a result of either separatists or Russian actions mistakingly believing that this was a Ukrainian warplane, I think there’s going to be hell to pay and there should be.”

McCain never mentioned what should or could happen if it was the regime he helped put into power that was responsible for downing the airliner.

With the most likely weapon system responsible being the Buk launcher, and the regime in Kiev ascertaining so quickly how the plane was downed and who was responsible, it is now up to Kiev to explain how a Buk system ended up in the hands of separatists and why they would have fired at a plane flying at 33,000 feet heading toward the Russian border at speeds consistent with an airliner.

Cui Bono?

The remote possibility that separatists obtained a sophisticated Buk anti-air missile system, was able to maintain and operate it, failed to identify the Malaysian 777, and exercised the poor judgement to fire on it – would make the tragedy a catastrophic case of mistaken identify – for the separatists have no conceivable reason to fire on a Malaysian passenger liner – and absolutely nothing to gain by doing so.

However, for the regime in Kiev facing decimated and unraveling military forces in the east, growing dissent in the west, and Western sponsors who are unable to materialize any form of meaningful aid militarily, economically, or politically – shooting down a civilian airliner and blaming it on the separatists could unite public opinion and the leadership of European nations behind NATO and the US for a more direct intervention on behalf of Kiev and change the tide of what is now a battle they will otherwise inevitably lose.

The West is already working hard to set the stage for such a scenario. The BBC in an article titled, “Malaysia airliner crashes in east Ukraine conflict zone,” stated that:

Sir Tony Brenton, a former UK ambassador to Russia, told BBC News it would not be a huge surprise if suspicion initially fell on the rebels.

“That would be very damaging both for them and for their Russian supporters,” he said.

“The Russians have undoubtedly been supplying them with weapons, almost certainly with anti-aircraft weapons, so Russia would very likely be implicated and that would raise the volume of international criticism of Russia.”

Only the West and their proxies in Kiev would stand to benefit from this – and commentators like Tony Brenton and the BBC intentionally prey on the ignorance of their audience in hopes that they don’t know the difference between the Igla systems separatists most likely have, and the Buk system they most likely don’t have or are unable to operate.

This is the second Malaysian 777 to be lost under extraordinary circumstances this year. Malaysian flight MH370 disappeared in March, 2014, and has yet to be found despite unprecedented international search efforts.

In the RT timeline of the event, the following report was posted:

13:07 GMT: Ukraine’s traffic controllers ordered the Boeing-777 to lower by 500 meters when the aircraft entered Ukrainian airspace, says a statement on the Malaysia Airlines official website.

“MH17 filed a flight plan requesting to fly at 35,000ft (10,660 meters) throughout Ukrainian airspace. This is close to the ‘optimum’ altitude. However, an aircraft’s altitude in flight is determined by air traffic control on the ground. Upon entering Ukrainian airspace, MH17 was instructed by Ukrainian air traffic control to fly at 33,000ft (10,058 meters).”

Related Article: Obama Definitely Caused the Malaysian Airliner to Be Downed

 

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Big Corporations Have an Overwhelming Amount of Power Over Our Food Supply

By Michael Snyder

Source: The Economic Collapse

From our fields to our forks, huge corporations have an overwhelming amount of power over our food supply every step of the way.  Right now there are more than 313 million people living in the United States, and the job of feeding all of those people is almost entirely in the hands of just a few dozen monolithic companies.  If you do not like how our food is produced or you don’t believe that it is healthy enough, it isn’t very hard to figure out who is to blame.  These mammoth corporations are not in business to look out for the best interests of the American people.  Rather, the purpose of these corporations is to maximize wealth for their shareholders.  So the American people end up eating billions of pounds of extremely unhealthy food that is loaded with chemicals and additives each year, and we just keep getting sicker and sicker as a society.  But these big corporations are raking in big profits, so they don’t really care.

If we did actually have a capitalist system in this country, we would have a high level of competition in the food industry.  But instead, the U.S. food industry has become increasingly concentrated with each passing year.  Just consider the following numbers about the U.S. agricultural sector…

The U.S. agricultural sector suffers from abnormally high levels of concentration. Most economic sectors have concentration ratios around 40%, meaning that the top four firms in the industry control 40% of the market. If the concentration ratio is above 40%, experts believe competition can be threatened and market abuses are more likely to occur: the higher the number, the bigger the threat.

The concentration ratios in the agricultural sector are shocking.

-Four companies own 83.5% of the beef market.
-The top four firms own 66% of the hog industry.
-The top four firms control 58.5% of the broiler chicken industry.
-In the seed industry, four companies control 50% of the proprietary seed market and 43% of the commercial seed market worldwide.
-When it comes to genetically engineered (GE) crops, just one company, Monsanto, boasts control of over 85% of U.S. corn acreage and 91% of U.S. soybean acreage.

When so much power is concentrated in so few hands, it creates some tremendous dangers.

And many of these giant corporations (such as Monsanto) are extremely ruthless.  Small farmers all over America are being wiped out and forced out of the business by the predatory business practices of these huge companies

Because farmers rely on both buyers and sellers for their business, concentrated markets squeeze them at both ends. Sellers with high market power can inflate the prices of machinery, seeds, fertilizers and other goods that farmers need for their farms, while powerful buyers, such as processors, suppress the prices farmers are paid. The razor-thin profit margins on which farmers are forced to operate often push them to “get big or get out”—expanding into mega-operations or exiting the business altogether.

Of course the control that big corporations have over our food supply does not end at the farms.

The distribution of our food is also very highly concentrated.  The graphic shared below was created by Oxfam International, and it shows how just 10 gigantic corporations control almost everything that we buy at the grocery store…

10-Corporations-Control-What-We-Eat-425x265

And these food distributors are often not very good citizens either.

For example, it was recently reported that Nestle is running a massive bottled water operation on a drought-stricken Indian reservation in California

Among the windmills and creosote bushes of San Gorgonio Pass, a nondescript beige building stands flanked by water tanks. A sign at the entrance displays the logo of Arrowhead 100% Mountain Spring Water, with water flowing from a snowy mountain. Semi-trucks rumble in and out through the gates, carrying load after load of bottled water.

The plant, located on the Morongo Band of Mission Indians’ reservation, has been drawing water from wells alongside a spring in Millard Canyon for more than a decade. But as California’s drought deepens, some people in the area question how much water the plant is bottling and whether it’s right to sell water for profit in a desert region where springs are rare and underground aquifers have been declining.

Nestle doesn’t stop to ask whether it is right or wrong to bottle water in the middle of the worst drought in the recorded history of the state of California.

They have the legal right to do it and they are making large profits doing it, and so they are just going to keep on doing it.

Perhaps you are thinking that you can avoid all of these corporations by eating organic and by shopping at natural food stores.

Well, it isn’t necessarily that easy.

According to author Wenonah Hauter, the “health food industry” is also extremely concentrated

Over the past 20 years, Whole Foods Market has acquired its competition, including Wellspring Grocery, Bread of Life, Bread & Circus, Food for Thought, Fresh Fields, Wild Oats Markets and others. Today the chain dominates the market because it has no national competitor. Over the past five years its gross sales have increased by half (47 percent) to $11.7 billion, and its net profit quadrupled to $465.6 million. One of the ways it has achieved this profitability is by selling conventional foods under the false illusion that they are better than products sold at a regular grocery store. Consumers falsely conclude that these products have been screened and are better, and they are willing to pay a higher price.

The distribution of organic foods is also extremely concentrated. A little-known company, United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) now controls the distribution of organic and natural products. Publically traded, the company has a contract with Whole Foods and it is the major source of these products for the remaining independent natural food stores. This relationship has resulted in increasingly high prices for these foods. Small manufacturers are dependent on contracts with UNFI to get their products to market and conversely, small retailers often have to pay a premium price for products because of their dependence on this major distributor. Over the past five years, UNFI’s net sales increased by more than half (55.6 percent) $5.2. billion. Its net profit margin increased by 88 percent to $91 million.

Everywhere you look, the corporations are in control.

And this is especially true when you look at big food retailers such as Wal-Mart.

Right now, grocery sales account for about half of all business at Wal-Mart, and approximately one out of every three dollars spent on groceries in the United States is spent at Wal-Mart.

That is absolutely astounding, and it obviously gives Wal-Mart an immense amount of power.

In fact, if you can believe it, Wal-Mart actually purchases a billion pounds of beef every single year.

So the next time someone asks you where the beef is, you can tell them that it is at Wal-Mart.

On the restaurant side, the ten largest fast food corporations account for 47 percent of all fast food sales, and the love affair that Americans have with fast food does not appear to be in danger of ending any time soon.

Personally, if you do not like how these corporate giants are behaving, you can always complain.

But you are just one person among 313 million, and most of these big corporations are not going to consider the ramblings of one person to be of any significance whatsoever.

Collectively, however, we have great power.  And the way that we are going to get these big corporations to change is by voting with our wallets.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans seem quite satisfied with the status quo.  So the population as a whole is likely going to continue to get sicker, fatter and less healthy with each passing year, and the big food corporations are going to keep becoming even more powerful.

Posted in Activism, Corporate Crime, Corruption, culture, Economics, Environment, Financial Crisis, Health, History, Science, Social Control, society | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Podcast Roundup

7/12: Host Douglas Lain has a freewheeling discussion with Steven Michalkow connecting an odd episode of Columbo with psychoanalysis, theology, philosophy, surrealism, “The Prisoner” TV series and beyond:


http://dietsoap.podOmatic.com/enclosure/2014-04-11T10_19_14-07_00.mp3

7/13: On Expanding Minds, author Mitch Horowitz discusses the history of positive thinking, William James and the modern skeptic movement among other related topics:


http://expandingmind.podbean.com/mf/web/in3m76/ExpandingMind_071314.mp3

7/14: Paul Molloy and Mark Thornton of the Von Mises Institute discuss potential pitfalls of the recent minimum wage increase in Seattle:


http://library.mises.org//media/Interviews/Minimum%20Wage%20and%20Unintended%20Consequences.mp3

7/14: On The Progressive Commentary Hour retired US Army Colonel Larry Wilkerson discusses parallels between the build up to war with Syria and build up to the invasion of Iraq followed by Dr. Douglas Hall, Executive Director of National Priorities Project, who discusses the backwards priorities of the federal budget.


http://s50.podbean.com/pb/41fd9bbc863f4b9cc489a55a2783e998/53c5c21e/data2/blogs18/371244/uploads/PCH_Madhi_070714.mp3

7/15: Guillermo Jimenez and Danny Benavides tackle the immigration issue and the escalating “humanitarian crisis” along the US-Mexico border on Traces of Reality Radio:


http://tracesofreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Traces-of-Reality-Radio-2014.07.11-Danny-Benavides.mp3

7/15: On the Project Censored Show, Mickey Huff is joined by Ken Walden of “What the World Could Be” to discuss public banking for the 99%:


http://s39.podbean.com/pb/c913d2484774a3f6ad1f69a136e87968/53c5c81f/data1/blogs18/405745/uploads/ProjectCensored071414.mp3

Posted in Activism, culture, Economics, History, Labor, media, Philosophy, Podcasts, Psychology, Recession, Social Control, society, Spirituality, war, wasted taxpayer dollars | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two for Tuesday

Bruce Springsteen

Chamillionaire

Posted in Art, culture, Music Video, Two for Tuesday | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Israel is Captive to its “Destructive Process”

By Chris Hedges

Source: OpEdNews.com

Raul Hilberg in his monumental work, “The Destruction of the European Jews” chronicled a process of repression that at first was “relatively mild” but led, step by step, to the Holocaust. It started with legal discrimination and ended with mass murder. “The destructive process was a development that was begun with caution and ended without restraint,” Hilberg wrote.

The Palestinians over the past few decades have endured a similar “destructive process.” They have gradually been stripped of basic civil liberties, robbed of assets including much of their land and often their homes, have suffered from mounting restrictions on their physical movements, been blocked from trading and business, especially the selling of produce, and found themselves increasingly impoverished and finally trapped behind walls and security fences erected around Gaza and the West Bank.

“The process of destruction [of the European Jews] unfolded in a definite pattern,” Hilberg wrote. “It did not, however, proceed from a basic plan. No bureaucrat in 1933 could have predicted what kind of measures would be taken in 1938, nor was it possible in 1938 to foretell the configuration of the undertaking in 1942. The destructive process was a step-by-step operation, and the administrator could seldom see more than one step ahead.”

There will never be transports or extermination camps for the Palestinians, but amid increasing violence against Palestinians larger and larger numbers of them will die, in airstrikes, targeted assassinations and other armed attacks. Hunger and misery will expand. Israeli demands for “transfer” — the forced expulsion of Palestinians from occupied territory to neighboring countries — will grow.

The Palestinians in Gaza live in conditions that now replicate those first imposed on Jews by the Nazis in the ghettos set up throughout Eastern Europe. Palestinians cannot enter or leave Gaza. They are chronically short of food — the World Health Organization estimates that more than 50 percent of children in Gaza and the West Bank under 2 years old have iron deficiency anemia and reports that malnutrition and stunting in children under 5 are “not improving” and could actually be worsening. Palestinians often lack clean water. They are crammed into unsanitary hovels. They do not have access to basic medical care. They are stateless and lack passports or travel documents. There is massive unemployment. They are daily dehumanized in racist diatribes by their occupiers as criminals, terrorists and mortal enemies of the Jewish people.

“A deep and wide moral abyss separates us from our enemies,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said recently of the Palestinians. “They sanctify death while we sanctify life. They sanctify cruelty while we sanctify compassion.”

Ayelet Shaked, a member of the right-wing Jewish Home Party, on her Facebook page June 30 posted an article written 12 years ago by the late Uri Elitzur, a leader in the settler movement and a onetime adviser to Netanyahu, saying the essay is as “relevant today as it was then.” The article said in part: “They [the Palestinians] are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

The belief that a race or class of people is contaminated is used by ruling elites to justify quarantining the people of that group. But quarantine is only the first step. The despised group can never be redeemed or cured — Hannah Arendt noted that all racists see such contamination as something that can never be eradicated. The fear of the other is stoked by racist leaders such as Netanyahu to create a permanent instability. This instability is exploited by a corrupt power elite that is also seeking the destruction of democratic civil society for all citizens — the goal of the Israeli government (as well as the goal of a U.S. government intent on stripping its own citizens of rights). Max Blumenthal in his book “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel” does a masterful job of capturing and dissecting this frightening devolution within Israel.

The last time Israel mounted a Gaza military assault as severe as the current series of attacks was in 2008, with Operation Cast Lead, which lasted from Dec. 27 of that year to Jan. 18, 2009. That attack saw 1,455 Palestinians killed, including 333 children. Roughly 5,000 more Palestinians were injured. A new major ground incursion, which would be designed to punish the Palestinians with even greater ferocity, would cause a far bigger death toll than Operation Cast Lead did. The cycle of escalating violence, this “destructive process,” as the history of the conflict has illustrated, would continue at an accelerating rate.

The late Yeshayahu Leibowitz, one of Israel’s most brilliant scholars, warned that, followed to its logical conclusion, the occupation of the Palestinians would mean “concentration camps would be erected by the Israeli rulers” and “Israel would not deserve to exist, and it will not be worthwhile to preserve it.” He feared the ascendancy of right-wing, religious Jewish nationalists and warned that “religious nationalism is to religion what National Socialism was to socialism.” Leibowitz laid out what occupation would finally bring for Israel:

“The Arabs would be the working people and the Jews the administrators, inspectors, officials, and police — mainly secret police. A state ruling a hostile population of 1.5 to 2 million foreigners would necessarily become a secret-police state, with all that this implies for education, free speech and democratic institutions. The corruption characteristic of every colonial regime would also prevail in the State of Israel. The administration would suppress Arab insurgency on the one hand and acquire Arab Quislings on the other. There is also good reason to fear that the Israel Defense Force, which has been until now a people’s army, would, as a result of being transformed into an army of occupation, degenerate, and its commanders, who will have become military governors, resemble their colleagues in other nations.”

Israel is currently attacking a population of 1.8 million that has no army, no navy, no air force, no mechanized military units, no command and control and no heavy artillery. Israel pretends that this indiscriminate slaughter is a war. But only the most self-deluded supporter of Israel is fooled. The rockets fired at Israel by Hamas — which is committing a war crime by launching those missiles against the Israeli population — are not remotely comparable to the 1,000-pound iron fragmentation bombs that have been dropped in large numbers on crowded Palestinian neighborhoods; the forced removal of some 300,000 Palestinians from their homes; the more than 160 reported dead — the U.N. estimates that 77 percent of those killed in Gaza have been civilians; the destruction of the basic infrastructure; the growing food and water shortages; and the massing of military forces for a possible major ground assault.

When all this does not work, when it becomes clear that the Palestinians once again have not become dormant and passive, Israel will take another step, more radical than the last. The “process of destruction” will be stopped only from outside Israel. Israel, captive to the process, is incapable of imposing self-restraint.

A mass movement demanding boycotts, divestment and sanctions is the only hope now for the Palestinian people. Such a movement must work for imposition of an arms embargo on Israel; this is especially important for Americans because weapons systems and attack aircraft provided by the U.S. are being used to carry out the assault. It must press within the United States for cutoff of the $3.1 billion in military aid that the U.S. gives to Israel each year. It must organize to demand suspension of all free trade and other agreements between the U.S. and Israel. Only when these props are knocked out from under Israel will the Israeli leadership be forced, as was the apartheid regime in South Africa, to halt its “destructive process.” As long as these props remain, the Palestinians are doomed. If we fail to act we are complicit in the slaughter.

Posted in Activism, anti-war, culture, divide and conquer, Empire, Geopolitics, History, propaganda, Racism, Social Control, society, State Crime, war, wasted taxpayer dollars | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments