An appeal to sensibility

Sat, Jan 16, 2016 - 6:20am

They boy who cried “Wolf!”

A shepherd-boy, who watched a flock of sheep near a village, brought out the villagers three or four times by crying out, "Wolf! Wolf!" and when his neighbors came to help him, laughed at them for their pains. The Wolf, however, did truly come at last. The Shepherd-boy, now really alarmed, shouted in an agony of terror: "Pray, do come and help me; the Wolf is killing the sheep"; but no one paid any heed to his cries, nor rendered any assistance. The Wolf, having no cause of fear, at his leisure lacerated or destroyed the whole flock. There is no believing a liar, even when he speaks the truth.

I hate to be that boy, but I see a couple of differences with the fable. First, I am not chortling at anyone’s panic when I have warned of crashes in the past—crashes that did not manifest for two simple reasons I explain below. Second, the fable warns of more than just believing liars. The “moral” was probably added by an “editor” years after Aesop’s death—you see, real literary artists never explain their work, and real literary art is always deeper than the first glance would tell ). The fable also warns the villagers to not dismiss “wolf” cries flippantly. The adults of that community lost their flock, not the boy! And I need not mention that the town should have fired the boy after the first incident, or that one shouldn't hire a liar to guard your wealth.*

A number of you, my friends and relatives, read these posts and appreciate them. Others skip them, and still others chide me about my “fearfulness.” But if you will take time to view the charts below and ask yourself, “What happens next?” perhaps you will appreciate my warning. In what follows I hope to convince you that the economy is precariously balanced and the prudent are taking action.

The United States experiences a substantial market crash every seven years (Link). This “phenomenon” is well known by investors who make big plans to profit with short-selling (pros borrowing your stock shares from your brokerage, selling them, and buying the shares back cheaper as prices fall, returning the shares to the broker and pocketing the difference). The markets send warning signals in the Fall and take most of a year to complete their correction. It has been seven years since the last crash. We have had quite a bit of turmoil in late 2015 and things are looking downright dismal as we enter 2016. A full-on crash is due.

If you have kept your savings in mutual funds that track these markets from 2012 through 2014, you have earned gains of 15%, 24% & 19% in those years respectively. Good job! See how bullish the chart at right looks:

Note that the 100 day and 200 day “moving average” lines in the S&P index have risen in parallel nicely without crossing, indicating a stable uptrend. Life has been good. But you know that this “recovery” isn’t what we had all hoped. Companies have continued layoffs, jobs are created in service industries and lost in manufacturing, private income is falling, rents are rising while home ownership rates decline, new car sales are more reliant on easy credit than ever, and the S&P has become increasingly dependent on a handful of key companies that have done well.

The 2015 chart tells a different story.

I have circled eight market tops in the past year. Stocks just cannot seem to move any higher and we are just a few points shy of breaking below the lows of August. Each dip in stock prices throughout the year ends with a sharp reversal (I explain why below). Even the mini-crash in August was stopped and eventually prices were pushed back up toward the highs. But for the year 2015, you lost 1%.

As for 2016 (fair right end of the chart) you are down 7% and over 10% from your eight market tops last year.

Notice the 100 day and 200 day “moving average” lines. They crossed on Sept 18! This is known as the “death cross” (Link). The trend officially changed from bullish to bearish. You can see the topping out and fluctuations in the chart over the past year. I suspect 2016 will be looking a lot more like 2008--and you really just want to forget how bad that chart looked.

Here is the big picture, 4-year S&P chart:

The steady rise is over. The computer algos that trade these markets watch these things closely and are shifting their strategies in response. Wall Street jargon has even changed. Since 2012, the investing mantra has been “BTFD (Buy the Fucking Dip). Every time stocks have pulled back, the trading blogs resound with “BTFD.” Since September, professional traders are saying “STFR” (Sell the Fucking Rally). Now, every time stocks move higher, the pros sell short. These investing pros do not set the trend, they follow it … and the trend has changed, obvious in the overall chart:

So why have previous crashes stopped and reversed for the past 4 years? Because the economy is strong as our fine president has asserted? Because mutual fund investors see the dips as a big buying opportunity? No. The answer is twofold:

  • The intervention of the PPT
  • The polemics of the MSM.

First, our government, in 1987 intervened in the crashing markets. They became the buyer of last resort to halt the crash. They stopped the plunge in stock prices. What the Reagan administration instituted is called Working Group on Financial Markets, an office whose duty is to intervene in financial markets to prevent crashes (Link). They are now affectionately called the Plunge Protection Team (PPT). The Federal Reserve and our government provide all the money needed to complete their task. In fact, the PPT probably makes money since they control market direction. As the decades have passed since 1987, their methods have become more sophisticated and effective; they have staved off multiple mini-crashes and helped us recover from some large ones. But they cannot do it all alone, they have help.

That help comes from our mainstream media (MSM) who provides the news that will keep investors calm. They immediately pass along leaks from Federal Reserve chairs and FED committee members (You really should read this Link). Overall, they set the tone of the financial news: “Don’t panic, markets fluctuate.” They frame the news to suit an agenda (Link). Sometimes they respond to big stories with silence. From my view, with a PhD in Rhetoric, much of the financial news today consists of sophistry, propaganda, polemics--and even lies, intended to keep people invested in the right products. Such financial products typically help Wall Street profit while giving us just enough earnings to make it worth our while… during normal times. And “not panicking” during normal times is good advice also. But keep in mind that media analysts work for others. They look beautiful and they read scripts. Those who write the scripts have a vested interest in the general public not panicking and selling all their holdings. Just last week, a Yahoo Business news article declared that the recent stock sell off is happening in a “parallel universe.” In other words, “Pay no attention to the markets—all is well, the crash will not affect YOU” Since when are American stocks a parallel universe? This article goes beyond just setting an agenda (Link).

But periodic corrections are good for the markets. They wash out the weak and punish those to take on way too much risk.

Today, even the MSM is forced to recognize the problems in markets, though they still blame it on “global concerns” or “headwinds” suggesting the US is solid. Please do not fall for their sophistry.

I recall the crash in 2008. I was unable to log onto my retirement account to move from a mutual fund into cash—the TIAA-CREF server was overwhelmed and not working; the phone lines were constantly busy. I sat there at my desk totally frustrated and threw in the towel. I lost 30% by the next morning.

Nobody understood the depth of the problem in 2008. The extreme measures used to stabilize markets had not been approved. And nobody had a clue that the FED would implement Quantitative Easing as a “life support” system (Q.E. – the FED printing money and buying all the bad mortgages from banks at full value). Any claims from family brokers, analysts, and the media were completely fabricated and not based on knowledge of the situation. The financial markets had broken and still have not been repaired. Our Treasury secretary Hank Paulson reported that he was having panic attacks as he persuaded Congress to pass TARP to bail out Wall Street. Within weeks, AIG had failed, Fannie & Freddie had been bailed out, and Wall Street was bailed out. THAT, my firend, was no correction.

I have oversimplified the situation here to highlight some realities. Actually, there are lots of wolves out there—a whole pack of them. The ground under our feet has shifted: Laws about finances have been changed (Link). Central banks are printing money hand over fist to protect their currencies and keep markets stable (Link ). A genuine currency war is in progress (Link). Government and private debt is larger than ever (Link). And bankers have flooded the world with extremely risky financial products that few people understand (Credit Default Swaps, for one Link)—financial products that will melt down our system within a few hours if certain price thresholds are breached, like per barrel oil (currently at ).

If you have a good broker, she has already told you to move out of stocks and into other investments. Many hedge funds have closed down, returning client monies, saying “we can no longer be confident in a good return; the markets have changed and our trading models no longer work.” Link

Remember the adage: “Buy low and sell high!” Why not sell your hard-earned pensions, retirement funds, and savings out of these bank-controlled and crumbling markets now, selling while they are near all-time highs? The pros are leaving. Why are you staying? The markets are still high. This is a good time to sell. Looking at those charts, can you justify staying in you mutual funds?

But Jerome, what can I invest in that is low?

Take your savings and pay off debt—especially higher interest debt. This year’s markets are losing, whil you could be saving. How about your own home? Why not pay it off with your retirement money, if you are able? In my case, it will put our 0 house payment back in our pocket. Yes we give up a 00 tax deduction (which translates to a 00 tax savings). But we save ,000 per year. A “no brainer!” I’ll take the ,000 savings over the 00. People! Do the math. Stop giving the banks so much money in interest payments—the tax deductions come nowhere near making up for it.

What can you own that does not change as markets collapse? What kinds of investments do you understand best? What investment is out there that does not depend on some other company or country to stay solvent? Land? Rental homes? Antiques? Classic collectibles? Art? Cattle? Invest in something you understand and trust.

When you investment depends on another to remain solvent, this is called counterparty risk. Even cash has counterparty risk embedded in the economy of the government that prints it, not to mention stocks, bonds and paper documents. Invest in things that are real, that do not depend on another's financial stability.

I also invest in the SGDM fund with my retirement account. Its price is low right now. The fund specializes in gold and silver mining companies, balancing its holdings each year, weeding out weaker companies and expanding holdings of strong ones. But since it is a ETF fund, based on stocks, it has risk. While its recent track record looks weak as markets have fallen, keep in mind, buy low, sell high.

Actually, gold is probably as low as it will ever be again. You can buy it now cheaper than mines are able to dig it up and refine it. It could go lower, pushed down by fearful investors and bank trading desks that want to keep its price unattractive. But gold will return to its mining cost and higher, and those mining costs will not be getting cheaper. Some very wise and wealthy people are recommending and putting 10-30% of holdings into gold.

But Jerome, you can’t eat gold!

And I say, “You can’t eat stocks & bonds … all must be converted to a common currency.” I can convert a one ounce gold bar to cash in hand in 15 minutes. Ten ounces gets me a check in hand that I take downtown to the bank—45 minutes for cash.

But Jerome, gold is just a pet rock, a barbarous relic.

And I say, “Tell that specious propaganda to the Chinese, Russians, Indonesians, Africans, Indians, Mid- easterners—two thirds of the world’s population.” They save in gold. China has just bought a very large gold vault in London to facilitate their buying from the world’s oldest gold market (Link).

But Jerome, keeping gold at home invites thieves.

And I say, “Don’t keep it at home. There are reputable precious metal storage companies that have international offices and offer the ability to transfer holdings out of the country. Or, don’t tell anyone you have it hidden at home. Don’t breathe a word. Hide your ounces in a steel bucket of bolts, nails, and other pieces of metal junk and stick it in the corner of your garage or workroom. Be creative. Besides, thieves normally look for cash, jewelry, and guns.”

If you are willing to take on a bit more risk and invest in a commodity that has a very large upside potential, buy some silver--coins, bars, doesn't matter. Just make sure it is from a reputable mint or dealer. Avoid sterling jewelry or tableware--its buy price is higher due to artistic value, but its sell price is only 75% of the price of coins and bars.

Remember, buy low, sell high.

But Jerome, everything will be fine; it has always recovered in the past.

And I say, “I hope you are right, I pray you are right, but geo-political events, changes in the markets, and changes in banking laws demonstrate that it really may be different this time. Nobody knows what will happen, but Wall Street and our governments have prepared for the worst. Have you? What is the old saying? Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”

But Jerome, you are not a licensed securities adviser!

True, and I can give no professional advice. But i do have some common sense to contribute: Buy low, sell high. My suggestions are just there to prompt you to think. Don’t do anything that you are not comfortable doing.

Personally, we are selling some real estate investments while the price is solid, paying off debt, trying to get totally out by summer, buying a little gold, and trying to enjoy life in the meantime. We are not panicking, simply taking reasonable actions to protect ourselves. My eyes are wide open. At best I expect some rather large changes incrementally forced upon us beginning in 2016. At worst, we are staring at another great depression. go ask your grandparents about that! Ask them what they wish they had done to prepare for it. Alas, mine are gone, but it changed them into very practical people.

Remaining in Wall Street managed mutual funds is riskier than it has ever been. If you stay in your mutual funds, the thieves of Wall Street have easy access to your wealth.

So here I am today crying “WOLF!”

There really is one out there. And if the PPT and MSM are not up to the task of saving the markets, we WILL be feeling his bite. Banks will fail. Currencies will inflate Zimbabwe style. Our sheep will be carried off in the night. And since they never repaired the problems that caused the last crash, since there was no washout, since there was no real correction, this time will be even rougher.

Do not panic, but stay awake, be watchful, take precautions.

The wolf is out there circling, slowly and steadily. Your shepherd is being as honest as he can. Don’t be a skeptical villager that loses all.

* additions inspired by G-Rod... there are many possible moral to this story that warn of doing business with sociopaths.

About the Author


Jan 18, 2016 - 2:44am
Safety Dan
Jan 18, 2016 - 2:32am

Gold & Silver Price Update -

Gold & Silver Price Update - January 17, 2016 - Stock Market Break Down

Gold & Silver Price Update - January 17, 2016 - Stock Market Break Down

Safety Dan
Jan 18, 2016 - 12:43am

Journalist Reveals Tactics Brainwashing Industry Uses to Manipul

Journalist Reveals Tactics Brainwashing Industry Uses to Manipulate the Public

New Brainwashing Tactics Called Astroturf

With alternative media on the rise, the propaganda machine continues to expand. Below is a video of Sharyl Attkisson, investigative reporter with CBS, during which she explains how “astroturf,” or fake grassroots movements, are used to spin information not only to influence journalists but to sway public opinion.

“Astroturf is a perversion of grassroots. Astroturf is when political, corporate or other special interests disguise themselves and publish blogs, start facebook and twitter accounts, publish ads, letters to the editor, or simply post comments online, to try to fool you into thinking an independent or grassroots movement is speaking.” ~ Sharyl Attkisson, Investigative Reporter

How do you separate fact from fiction? Sharyl Attkisson finishes her talk with some insights on how to identify signs of propaganda and astroturf.

A repost of mine (Sharyly Attkission video) as important for the present and future.

Safety Dan
Jan 18, 2016 - 12:39am

Missiles are yesterdays

Missiles are yesterdays weapons. Still effective…unless you have LAWS. To think public knowledge of weapons is 10 years behind what we actually have….wow. Good stuff starts at 12:00

Video unavailable

​A directed-energy weapon (DEW) emits highly focused energy, transferring that energy to a target to damage it. Potential applications of this technology include anti-personnel weapon systems, potential missile defense system, and the disabling of lightly armored vehicles such as cars, drones, jet skis, and electronic devices such as mobile phones.

The energy can come in various forms:

- Electromagnetic radiation, including radio frequency, microwave, lasers and masers
- Particles with mass, in particle-beam weapons (technically a form of micro-projectile weapon)
- Sound, in sonic weapons

Safety Dan
Jan 17, 2016 - 11:46pm

Gold Breaches R18000/oz in

Gold Breaches R18000/oz in South Africa, Up 11% In Two Weeks!


The price of Gold breached R 18,000/oz for the first time ever on the 11th of January 2016 in South Africa (R = Rand). It is currently standing on R 18,239/oz.

Let’s take a look at the price of Gold in South African Rands (ZAR) over the last 30 years, and the returns a saver would have earned had they bought and held Gold over various time periods since then:

You will be hard pressed to find an equity fund in South Africa that outperformed Gold over the last 10 years.

Over the last 10 years Allan Gray’s Equity Fund only managed a 14.3% annualized return, while Coronation’s Equity Fund delivered an annualized return of 15.2%, according to their latest fund commentaries. Neither of these two examples take into account the rather spectacular fall we saw in the equity markets over the last two weeks.

Even though Gold performed so remarkably well, the financial services industry and mainstream media still has an overwhelmingly negative opinion about Gold.

If you are wondering why none of those extremely intelligent and well educated financial people are talking about these admittedly uncomfortable facts… well… I’m wondering too.

Gold as an inflation hedge

Safety Dan
Jan 17, 2016 - 11:44pm

Changes On The COMEX As

Changes On The COMEX As Bankers Increase War On Cash & Gold

Filed in Precious Metals by SRSrocco on January 15, 2016 •

There have been some recent changes on the COMEX in response to the Bankers “War on Cash.” Last year, Chase Bank in the U.S. advised its clients who rent safe deposit boxes there would be some policy changes. Some of these changes had to do with the storage of cash and coins.

According to The International Man article, The End of Safe Deposit Box For Wealth Storage:

Of particular interest is the following condition:

“Contents of box: You agree not to store any cash or coins other than those found to have a collectible value.”

Interesting. After all, cash and precious metals are traditional primary stores of wealth. Why single them out as no longer being acceptable?

When Chase refers to “Coins” they mean gold and silver bullion coins. I would imagine they give a rats azz about someone who has a few rolls of quarters in their safe deposit box. Also, individuals or the wealthy are no longer able to store some extra cash in their safety deposit boxes at Chase.

This has impacted many wealthy investors as they have been forced to move their gold and silver bullion out of safe deposit boxes at Chase and likely at other large financial institutions. This has caused a new demand for storing cash and precious metals outside the banking industry.

Fred Hayek
Jan 17, 2016 - 11:32pm

What if we have two down days in asia before the nyse opens

Right now, the Nikkei and Hang Seng exchanges are both down a couple hundred points and a little over 1%. What if this remains a down day and then tomorrow is also a down day on both those exchanges. Can they nyse really plausibly have a big up day after two more bad days in asia before it finally reopens on Tuesday?

Safety Dan
Jan 17, 2016 - 11:30pm

Growing Doubt: A Scientist's Experience With GMOs

Growing Doubt: A Scientist's Experience With GMOs

By Dr. Mercola

Scientific misconduct and fraud: most of us have no concept of how they influence our food. Jonathan Latham, a scientist with a master's degree in crop and a Ph.D. in plant virology, sheds much-needed light on this issue.

Together with his wife, Allison Wilson, who is also a scientist, he founded theBioscience Resource Project, an organization with a mission "to provide the highest quality scientific information and analysis to enable a healthy food system and a healthy world."

He's also the editor of Independent Science News.

Part of his career was spent doing medical research in the genetics department at the University of Wisconsin. He also worked in the U.K., where many of his coworkers were proposing ambitious research projects designed to alter soil microbiology and cure plant viruses using novel transgenic techniques.

As explained by Latham in the video, when you make a transgene, you take different parts of genes from different organisms, and you put them together to (hopefully) get them to do what you want them to do.

Once a transgene performs according to expectation, it is used to develop commercial transgenic plants carrying that particular feature. However, Latham noticed that the end results were frequently potentially very dangerous, both to plants and people, which made him question the purpose of it all.

"There were people proposing ideas in molecular genetics and genetic engineering that were incredibly ambitious and interesting to think about from an intellectual perspective, but really quite scary if you thought about what would happen in the real world," he says.

U.S. Regulatory System Allows Unsafe Products to Be Brought to Market

Eventually he became quite concerned about the potential implications the commercialization of genetically engineered plants might engender.

"I saw these ideas people were having, which had potentially major implications for human health or for the soil, and were risky in my opinion.

I didn't worry about them too much because I imagined no serious person would take up these ideas, and the regulatory system would work as advertised ...

But when I moved to the genetics department, I started looking at the regulatory system in the United States.

I came to realize that the regulatory system was intellectually bankrupt and also corrupt. It wasn't asking questions that it should've been asking. And they were perfectly happy with answers they shouldn't have been happy with ...

Between people making products that I was really unhappy with, and the risk assessment process that wasn't functioning intellectually ... it didn't take me long to realize that you can put 2 and 2 together here and see that bad products are going to come on the market.

Scientific Profession Is Ruled by Secret Culture of Fear

It's not uncommon for people to be fired from their academic positions or blackballed in the scientific community when disagreeing with the status quo, but fortunately that did not happen in Dr. Latham's case.

He decided to resign instead, in the late 1990s, after becoming dispirited with the scientific profession. He did see it happen to another virologist however.

"He published a couple of papers, skeptical of the idea that you can put virus genes into transgenic plants and expect nothing to go wrong. He was hounded out of his position and had to take a position in a completely different branch of science to still get grants.

This is a real thing that scientists are facing: professional intimidation, harassment, and personal effects.

Sometimes they lose their jobs over these issues. So there's a culture of fear in the scientific community. Scientists don't like to discuss it because it implies all sorts of things about academic freedom and so on. But it's a real thing."

After quitting his job with the Genetics department at the University of Wisconsin, he and his wife worked on an organic farm in England and raised a child. Still people would ask him to get involved in GMO issues, asking him to give talks and explain various issues to laypeople.

He eventually got drawn back in when the British government was setting up field trials under false pretenses.

"They were trying to bamboozle people with scientific information that, in my opinion, was incorrect," he says.

"They were trying to convince the legal system, the media, and the rest of the public that these projects were perfectly well-understood scientific experiments, and that there was nothing to worry about — most of which I disagreed with, so I ended up getting drawn back into all these issues."

Genetic Engineering Is an Imprecise Science

Latham and Wilson,ended up writing a scientific paper,1 published in 2006, which reviews what happens when you put a transgenic DNA into the genome of a plant.

Prior to that, no one had ever collected the data to show whether or not the biotech industry was correct in saying that the process of genetic engineering was precise.

"They wanted to argue that this is much more precise than conventional plant breeding, in which you don't know what's going on because you're just crossing plants together. They wanted to argue that their methodology was very precise. We wanted to test that thesis," he says.

Together with Wilson, he collected a vast amount of data showing the process of plant transformation through genetic engineering was making a mess of plant genomes.2 The process caused:

  • Unexpected gene mutations
  • Movement and activation of transposons
  • DNA damage

Moreover, most genetically engineered (GE) plants contain more than one transgene: some of the plants they evaluated had as many as 40 different transgenes in them.

They even discovered that some of the now commercially available GE plants had transgene insertions that were so complicated the companies themselves had actually given up trying to get to the bottom of how much damage had been done to the plant's DNA. It was simply too difficult to do so.

"The more complex and damaging the DNA effects are, the more difficult it is to do the research. We published this in the peer-reviewed literature. It was very important in our view because the whole risk assessment process, and the whole of the reassurance process for the public, depends on the idea that we know what we're doing, and that what we're doing is precise. None of those things were true," he says.

Viral Transgenes

Latham and Wilson have also published a paper3 on viral transgenes. A viral transgene is when you take a piece of a virus and put it into a transgenic plant, and for reasons that are still unclear, that plant becomes resistant to the virus from which the transgene came.

Essentially, there's an entire process of making plants resistant to viruses, but no one has any real grasp of how it works, and this lack of understanding is a serious concern according to Latham.

"To me, this was a total no-no from the perspective of risk assessment. The whole point of risk assessment is that you have to understand what it is that you're doing in order to do experiments and to answer the questions that appear to be pertinent ... So we wrote an article about all the different ways in which viral transgenes can cause ecological hazards and various other problems."

Important Science Remains Hidden Behind Expensive Paywalls

Another problem with science is that so much of the research remains hidden behind very expensive paywalls. Scientists are legally restricted from sharing their research with the public. To address this, Dr. Latham and his wife created a non-profit to publicize their and other scientists' papers, and allow the public access to this crucial information.

"I went to a scientific panel, for example, in which all of the scientists were explaining the wonders of GMOs. I wanted the public to understand that there are lots of contradictory information out there that could've discredited what these people were saying, but no one's allowed to share it because it's behind the paywall. If they do, it'll cost them a lot of money and they may have to face legal consequences. So there's a very one-sided discussion going on."

Viral Promoter Used in GE Plants Produces Potentially Hazardous Protein

Independent Science News has also published documentation that the global regulators were unaware of, such as that the viral promoter used in most transgenic plants (cauliflower mosaic virus promoter) actually contains a viral gene (called gene VI), which may be producing proteins that have never undergone risk assessment.

This despite the fact that this protein is something you would expect to cause harm to human health.

It’s known to disrupt or inhibitRNA interference (RNAi), a process by which both people and plants resist viruses. According to Latham, it appears that the protein produced can stop that process, thereby rendering plants (and possibly humans as well) susceptible to viruses.

The gene VI protein also causes other protein production in the plant to become scrambled, which will likely have additional negative effects.

"It's a multifunctional protein that has all these interesting biological consequences, so that things will happen in plants. But also, if you ingest that protein, because it's being produced in the plant you're eating, then it can go into your stomach, your gut lining, or your bloodstream, and potentially cause problems there. What happened is the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) discovered what they'd done.

They panicked and produced an article. But they tried to bury the article. They wanted on the one hand to say that they knew what was happening and they published about it, and on the other hand to make sure that nobody read it. Because I'm a virologist, I was aware of this gene. I actually had wondered about this problem before.

As soon as I saw the paper, I knew what it was they were talking about. So, we were able to show that the European Union didn't know what it was talking about and that all these other regulators around the world had been ignoring this problem for 20 years. They failed to notice that there was a gene being produced in the transgenic plants that they had not risk assessed and not told anyone about."

Worst Case Scenario

According to Latham, the worst case scenario is that this protein is directly harmful to human health. And in his opinion, some of the proteins produced by GE plants are indeed harmful, and therefore you certainly would not want your gut microbes or your cells to take up transgene DNA and therefore produce them.

In his estimation, the most likely of those scenarios is that your gut microbiome would take up those genes, some of which can have "potentially interesting" consequences.

For example, the Roundup Ready resistance gene—which is incorporated into every cell of Roundup Ready plants—could potentially be taken up and become integrated into your gut microbiome. This gene confers resistance to Roundup. Bugs that acquire this gene can become resistant to Roundup. Indeed, Monsanto originally isolated their gene from such a bug, which was isolated from a chemical plant that made the Roundup herbicide.

Were harmful bacteria to take up this gene in your gut, they may become more successful in your gut than they might have been otherwise. And we've now come to realize that gut bacteria have very complex roles in human health. So the possibilities of how Roundup Ready resistant gut bacteria might interact with your health are really difficult to foretell.

Countering GMO Propaganda

As noted by Latham, multinational corporations spin every single piece of information that might possibly benefit them, and what many are taught in school and read in the news is quite simply not true. Oftentimes the truth is the complete converse of what's being taught or presented, but these untruths are repeated so often and so consistently that people assume they must be correct.

"If you want to make change in the world; if you don't think the world is fair and if you don't think that people should have to eat food with pesticides on it, then you have to understand the politics of what is going on," Dr. Latham says. "Our project is to help people with the politics, but also with the science. The two kind of go together ...

For example, we wrote about how people are promoting GMOs online and on social media. There is always that question: Are they just irate people upset about people who are offering false solutions like organic farming, or are these people mostly working for agribusiness? Now we know pretty much that they're working for agribusiness ...

You see this whole network of people working in one way or another for Monsanto, for Bayer, the trade associations, and the biotech industry. We can see that these people are all connected together. A month ago, I would've said, 'I suspect they are but I can't prove it.' Now we know."

GMO Risk Assessments Are Severely Flawed

According to Latham, there are many shortcomings when it comes to GMO risk assessments, and companies have developed ways of fudging their risk assessments. This applies not only to GMOs but chemicals as well. Say you have a product you want the public to eat. You know that once this product comes to market, it will end up in numerous places: the water supply, the food supply, and in people's bodies, for example.

You’ve likely heard that the risk assessment can account for all these issues and will accurately demonstrate whether a product is safe or not. The million dollar question is whether this really is true. Can a risk assessment actually provide these answers?

Our industrial technological system depends on the answer to that question being, "Yes, we can find out. We can answer that question." Sadly, the true answer is "No, we cannot." So, as Latham says, "the system is intellectually bankrupt."

"The way it works is, somebody comes to the regulator and says, 'I want to test this product.' The standard method is you feed it to rats for 15 days or 30 days, and that experiment becomes the basis of your risk assessment. That is supposed to demonstrate that even though this chemical is going to get into the bodies of different organisms, and it's going to be in all these different places, in rivers, streams, and lakes, it didn't harm the rat.

Therefore, it's going to be fine for other animals, or for humans [eating it] or drinking the [contaminated] water. But that experiment violates the fundamental principle of science. The fundamental principle it violates is that inferences can only be drawn from an identical situation.

For example, if you do your experiment on rats, fed on a particular diet, at the particular stage of their life, you can't infer information about another stage of its life or about another species, or about rats fed under different circumstances, say with different diets or with different combinations of chemicals in their diets and so on. You can't do that in science.

The inference of doing that experiment is that you can extrapolate to all these different circumstances ... The whole principle of risk assessment is based on the idea that you can do a very simple experiment and extrapolate basically to the whole world ... So it's a scientifically bankrupt process ... But the risk assessment process depends on people accepting that these experiments can do exactly what science says they cannot do."

Investigators like Gilles-Eric Séralini, who has conducted lifelong feeding studies, have revealed tremendous differences in outcomes compared to feeding studies lasting for mere weeks or a few months, and his adverse findings on GMOs include tumors, increased mortality, decreased fertility, and sterility.

Seralini became a massive target of discrediting; so much so, that industry supporters retracted his paper even though it was done using the identical methods Monsanto used. He merely extended the length of the experiment, and was discredited for finding adverse health outcomes. As lifelong consumers of food, this is indeed important information, and you ignore it at your own risk.

Err on the Side of Caution in Your Own Decision-Making

Faking data that doesn't "fit" the outcome you want to see is also all too common a phenomena. In the '50s, '60s, and '70s, chemical companies were sending their products to independent testing companies. One of them, Industrial Bio-Test Laboratories (IBT), was eventually caught faking data; moving animals from the control groups to the test groups, and so on.

Some of the employees went to prison, and after an investigation, the US Food and Drug Administration concluded that only1 percent of IBT's animal experiments were scientifically valid.

Yet, chemicals that are still on the market today were approved based on these faked experiments! Both Roundup and Atrazine were approved based on IBT experiments. There are also far more subtle ways of fudging data, and Latham saw such tactics employed in GMO testing.

"So you have a fraudulent and intellectually bankrupt risk assessment process, which means that ultimately you can assume that none of the industrial chemicals that enter your body have been adequately tested, and you have no idea whether they're safe or not. You should act in accordance with that conclusion," Latham warns.

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Safety Dan
Jan 17, 2016 - 11:26pm

How the Oil Industry Conquered Medicine, Finance and Agriculture

How the Oil Industry Conquered Medicine, Finance and Agriculture

Many of you will not like this post as it directly reflects the state of the current and past government and economy. Its a Corbett report must watch video and article for me..

Big Oil — An Industry Founded on Treachery and Deceit

As noted by Corbett, certain details of the Big Oil story are well known. Others are more obscure. The story begins in rural New York state in the early 19th century, with William Avery Rockefeller, an authentic "snake oil salesman" going by the fictional name of "Dr. Bill Livingston."

While neither a doctor nor a cancer specialist, Rockefeller, aka "Dr. Livingston," aka "Devil Bill," traveled the country's back roads conning people into buying his "Rock Oil" tonic for cancer — "a useless mixture of laxative and petroleum that had no effect whatsoever," according to Corbett.

William Avery Rockefeller fathered numerous children with three women, and took the name Livingston after being indicted for rape in 1849. One of those children was John D. Rockefeller, who became the world's first billionaire after founding Standard Oil.

As noted by Corbett:

"When he wasn't running away from them or disappearing for years at a time, [William Avery Rockefeller] would teach his children the tricks of his treacherous trade. He once bragged of his parenting technique: 'I cheat my boys every chance I get. I want to make 'em sharp' ...

The world we live in today is the world created in 'Devil' Bill's image. It's a world founded on treachery, deceit, and the naïveté of a public that has never wised up to the parlor tricks that the Rockefellers and their ilk have been using to shape the world for the past century and a half."

The Birth of the Oil Industry

Another character with a similarly dubious background is "Colonel" Edwin Drake, an unemployed railroad conductor who managed to secure himself a job with the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company after running into the founders, George Bissell and James Townsend, at a hotel.

The title "Colonel" was bestowed on him by Bissell and Townsend, who thought it might help him "win the respect of the locals" as he went about the company's business, collecting Seneca oil, which the company distilled into kerosene (lamp oil).

His mission was to collect enough Seneca oil to make the business profitable — a task that turned out to be more difficult than expected, as mere gallons could be collected using the standard collection methods.

Eventually, he tried drilling through the shale bedrock to reach greater reservoirs of oil, and on August 28, 1859 — literally the day he'd used up the last of his funds — the oil began to flow from the ground. And with that, a new industry was born.

Jan 17, 2016 - 9:48pm

@ ag1969

You are probably least in the big time cases of government dirty deeds.

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