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BREAKING: French Court Rules Monsanto Guilty Of Chemical Poisoning

September 13, 2015 by Amanda Froelich

Monsanto was found guilty of chemical poisoning of a French farmer by a French court earlier this week.

Credit: Jurist.org

When a court in southeast France found Monsanto guilty of chemically poisoning farmers in 2012, the biotech company fought tooth and nail for the conviction to be reversed. One can understand why: the court declared in that ruling that Monsanto’s Lasso weedkiller was responsible for devastating neurological problems, including memory loss.

But after an appeal process by Monsanto which lasted for years, a French appeal court recently upheld the ruling in full.

This news is monumental for a number of reasons: First, never before in French history has ‘chemical poisoning’ by Monsanto’s Lasso weedkiller been confirmed. While it was banned in France in 2007 (after already being pulled off the market by other nations), this matter centered around a French farmer who had been exposed to the deadly concoction.

Grain grower Paul Francois took Monsanto to court back in 2012, stating that he developed neurological problems such as memory loss and headaches after being exposed to the weedkiller in 2004. He was – rightly – upset that Monsanto failed to provide proper warnings on the product label and was left to suffer from the consequences of the poison.

The French court ordered an expert opinion to determine the sum of the damages, as well as to verify the link between Lasso and the reported illnesses. The case could not be more important, for previous legal action taken against Monsanto by farmers failed due to the inability to properly link pesticide exposure with the degenerative side effects.

Francois said to Reuters:

“I am alive today, but part of the farming population is going to be sacrificed and is going to die because of this.”

The farmer’s persistent efforts have paid off, thankfully. As IB Times reports, Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, was found guilty of chemical poisoning of a French farmer by a French court this week. “The decision Thursday by an appeal court in Lyon in southeast France upheld a 2012 ruling in which the farmer claimed he suffered neurological problems after working with the U.S. company’s Lasso weedkiller.“

The world is waking up to the dangers posed by Monsanto, and it won’t be long before the biotech company is forced to pay for its greedy ambitions.

This article (BREAKING: French Court Rules Monsanto Guilty Of Chemical Poisoning ) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com


Cannabis For Kids: From 700 Seizures A Day To A New Lease Of Life

September 14, 2015 by Sophie McAdam

Millie’s epilepsy was intolerable until her parents tried CBD treatment

Since she was a small baby, Millie had suffered from epilepsy and was having up to 700 painful and terrifying seizures a day. She was diagnosed with infantile spasms, a case so severe that her parents had little hope that she would ever walk or talk. In this clip from the National Geographic’s ‘Cannabis For Kids’ series, Millie’s consultant admits on camera that traditional pharmaceutical drugs for epilepsy can “cause tremendous problems for these children,” and her parents agreed. Millie was on three different medications and her parents wanted to explore the alternatives. “We felt like our hands were tied,” her father explains.

They made a tough decision to leave most of their possessions and move to Colorado, where medical marijuana is legal and accessible. Millie’s parents began administering CBD to treat the epilepsy, and saw a huge improvement immediately. “Within 15 minutes of giving her the first dose, she was wide awake and looking around,” says her mother. The first 90 days of CBD treatment amazed Millie’s parents: the number of seizures she suffered per day dropped by between 70-90%.

They admit that starting this journey was “scary and difficult,” but have no regrets whatsoever about their decision to use cannabis. “I don’t know why people are so afraid of this,” her father says. “We’ve gone from a place where we didn’t think we’d have our daughter with us for long to a place where it’s possible she will walk and talk like other children.” Her mother agrees, saying that when she thinks of the future, she imagines a happy one, one in which her daughter has “beaten the odds.”

This is all thanks to a miraculous natural healing plant, a gift to mankind which is still illegal in most of the world. Please share this video if you believe that more kids like Millie (and Sophie) should get a second chance at life.

This article (Cannabis For Kids: From 700 Seizures A Day To A New Lease Of Life) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com.


The Refugee Crisis is a Crisis of Imperialism

by T.J. Petrowski / September 12th, 2015

The widely circulated photo of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy whose body was found on a beach in Turkey and whose family was “making a final, desperate attempt to flee to relatives in Canada even though their asylum application had been rejected” by the Stephen Harper Government, has caused widespread outrage and forced Western leaders to acknowledge that there is a “refugee crisis”.

In Canada, the leaders of the Liberal and New Democratic parties have used the news of Kurdi’s tragic death, along with the deaths of his five-year-old brother and his mother, to criticize the Harper Government’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair have called on Canada to accept more Syrian refugees, while the Harper Government, with its lust for military action, insists on more illegal bombing raids in Syria and Iraq as the solution to the surge of Syrian refugees.

The real tragedy is the refusal of Western leaders to acknowledge the cause of the refugee crisis: Western imperialism’s genocidal and never ending wars on the people of the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa.

There are now more refugees than at any time since World War 2, and the number of refugees has increased markedly since the start of the Global War on Terror. Wherever the U.S. and its imperialist allies have intervened, whether through direct military action or indirect proxy wars, economic sabotage, and coups, in the name of “democracy”, the “war on terror”, or the “responsibility to protect”, death and despair have been forced upon millions of innocent people who have been left no other choice than to abandon their native lands to embark on a dangerous future of desperate struggle.

More than 2, 500 have died this year trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe, while the International Organization for Migration estimates that 30, 000 could die by the end of 2015.

Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/09/the-refugee-crisis-is-a-crisis-of-imperialism/

Subversion Against Cuba Continues Uninterrupted Amid Normalization

by Matt Peppe / September 15th, 2015

Superficially, it would seem that U.S. policy has moved away from a half-century of economic warfare, terrorism, subversion, and interference in the internal affairs of the nation American politicians have long considered a “natural appendage” of the United States, which would fall into the U.S. orbit like an apple from a tree, as John Quincy Adams once said.

USAID — after being exposed for its subversive Cuban Twitter program “ZunZuneo“, which sought to sow discontent and stir unrest among the Cuban population, and its effort to co-opt Cuban hip hop artists — announced last week that it is seeking three program managers to be awarded six-figure salaries.

Eaton writes that the job description calls for “experience in the areas of democracy promotion, human rights, civil society development” and that candidates must obtain a “secret” security clearance. It is not hard to imagine that these highly compensated program managers would likely be implementing similar covert programs to destabilize Cuban society and attempt to turn its citizens away from the Revolution.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – an arm of US foreign policy that overtly carries out programs that previously were undertaken covertly by the CIA – is also hiring a Program Officer to work on NED’s “Cuba grants program” and “developing the Endowment’s strategy for Cuba.” Unlike the USAID positions, which are indicated to be in Washington, this position would require “regular field visits.”

Cuban blogger and former State Security Agent Percy Francisco Alvarado Godoy writes that the position is for “someone in charge of mounting all types of subversion against the Cuban government on behalf of the NED… completely illegal, meddlesome, and violative of our sovereignty and, therefore, will not admit any of his activity in our territory.”

Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/09/subversion-against-cuba-continues-uninterrupted-amid-normalization/#more-59787

I am afraid for Cuba.

Everything Americans Think They Know About Drugs Is Wrong: A Scientist Explodes the Myths

Columbia University scientist Dr. Carl Hart combines research and anecdotes from his life to explain how false assumptions have created a disastrous drug policy.

By Kristen Gwynne / AlterNet June 13, 2013

What many Americans, including many scientists, think they know about drugs is turning out to be totally wrong. For decades, drug war propaganda has brainwashed Americans into blaming drugs for problems ranging from crime to economic deprivation. In his new book High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society, Dr. Carl Hart blows apart the most common myths about drugs and their impact on society, drawing in part on his personal experience growing up in an impoverished Miami neighborhood. Dr. Hart has used marijuana and cocaine, carried guns, sold drugs, and participated in other petty crime, like shoplifting. A combination of what he calls choice and chance brought him to the Air Force and college, and finally made him the first black, tenured professor of sciences at Columbia University.

Kristen Gynne: What are some of the false conclusions about drugs you are challenging?:

KG:You talk about how people are always blaming problems on drugs, when those issues really spring from the stress of poverty. What are some examples?:

KG:What kinds of environmental factors matter?

CH: ..... If you have competing reinforcers or alternatives, like the ability to earn income, learn a skill, or receive some respect based on your performance in some sort of way, those things compete with potentially destructive behavior. And so as a psychologist, you just want to make sure people have a variety of potential reinforcers. If you don't have that, you increase the likelihood of people engaging in behaviors that society does not condone.

Skills that are employable or marketable, education, having a stake or meaningful role in society, not being marginalized—all of those things are very important. Instead of ensuring that all of our members have these things, our society has blamed drugs, said drugs are the reasons that people don't have a stake in society, and that's simply not true.

KG:What is actually responsible for problems often linked to drugs?

CH: Poverty. And there are policies that have played a role, too. Policies like placing a large percentage of our law enforcment resources in those communities, so that when people get charged with some petty crime, they have a blemish on their record that further decreases their ability to join mainstream, get a job that's meaningful, and that sort of thing.

KG:What would policy that reflects reality look like, and how do we get there?

CH: That is complex, but quite simple to start. The first thing is we decriminalize all drugs. More than 80% of people arrested for drugs are arrested for simple possession. Wen you decriminalize, now you have that huge number of people—we're talking 1.5 million people arrested every year—that no longer have that blemish on their record. That increases the likelihood that they can get jobs, participate in the mainstream........

Full article: http://www.alternet.org/drugs-addiction?sc=fb

Freedom from Slavery in 21st Century

by James Hoover / September 10th, 2015

Just before the Civil War, some 4 million men, women and children were owned, comprising nearly one-seventh of the total population. We fought a savage civil war for four years, the cause initially for the union, with the issue of slavery predominating by the end of 1862. In the twenty-first century, we are experiencing a more visceral, less brutish form of slavery but one which in many ways carries its own oppression and cruelty.

We are not speaking of actual ownership of people as chattels which slavery entailed, but we are speaking of a certain depravity that a managed economic and social system has helped to fashion. How many, in effect, are owned today, maybe not in the same respect as slaves, but what we might call virtual ownership – the weak under the control of all manners of authority around them.

Poverty has its own flavor of a modern slavery, involving a state of deprivation, or a lack of the usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions, this with the denial, scarcity and societal dispossession that accompanies it, socially and politically. Accordingly, if your mind and body are not captive, your hope and your prospects are.

All experience higher levels of harassment at home or work, whether coming from employers, landlords, or public authorities who exist to protect property, something the impoverished do not own. Their children suffer from learning deficiencies, wrought by substandard schools, food deprivation, or environmental scourges of various kinds. Their offspring often languish in prison.

Many small cities dependent on fines for revenue are traps for the poor. The impoverished live in places like Ferguson, Missouri where the little money they have is forfeited to fines from white police traffic stops for things such as broken tail lights which often mushroom into heavy fines. Blacks proportionally were stopped and searched much more often than whites, Ferguson black disparity is 1.37, while statewide it is 1.59.

In some southern towns minor civic offenses can turn into a “debtor prison” scenario where privatized contracted collectors have authority to incarcerate for payment, often leading to doubling unpaid fines when interest and penalties are applied.

Full article:


I see this with our First Nations people here, especially those that have flocked to the cities in hopes of something better. I'm sure it happens worldwide with any people discriminated against, as well even with those who aren't, but are still vulnerable and greatly harmed just because of the economic disparity and inability to find decent employment with livable pay and benefits. Those who society has historically deemed 'less than' though are definitely at greater risk, and it's horrible and sad to watch. Those at the top who 'own' most of the world's remaining resources d/t trade agreements, shipping off jobs to slave labour, etc. are quite content to stand by and watch those most at risk suffer the most - worldwide. It's like they're invisible to it ... or maybe it is purposeful.

Invisible War Crimes: The Corporate Media On Yemen

by Media Lens / September 10th, 2015

Anyone struggling to understand the violent upheaval in Yemen this year might be tempted to consult the country’s ‘most important source of news’ – the BBC. An online piece titled ‘Yemen crisis: Who is fighting whom?’ explains:

And the cited source for such alleged concerns? ‘Western intelligence agencies’ who ‘consider AQAP the most dangerous branch of al-Qaeda because of its technical expertise and global reach.’ This fits the usual pattern of ‘our’ government being concerned about ‘keeping people safe’ from the ‘shadows and threats’ that surround us on all sides.

One line hints at the West’s real concern:

Yemen is strategically important because it sits on the Bab al-Mandab strait, a narrow waterway linking the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden, through which much of the world’s oil shipments pass.

One local resident described the aftermath of an attack in which ‘corpses and heads’ were scattered everywhere, ‘engulfed by fire and ashes’, comparing the horrific scene to ‘judgement day’. Another local told Amnesty that he was haunted by the memories of walking through the ‘pools of blood and severed limbs’ of more than 20 victims.

Amnesty observed that:

the United States and United Kingdom have been providing intelligence and logistical support to the coalition.

In an article titled ‘Total War in Yemen Totally Ignored by Western Media’, Tony Cartalucci observes:

After NATO’s attempt to invoke the “responsibility to protect” (R2P) as justification for the destruction of Libya, it became clear that NATO was merely hiding behind the principles of humanitarian concern, not upholding them.

He continues:

However, R2P is conveniently absent amid what little talk of Yemen that does take place in the Western media. US-backed blockades and months of aerial bombardments have tipped Yemen toward a humanitarian catastrophe

Building and maintaining a successful career in the corporate media requires that journalists do not report this reality. Instead, media professionals keep their heads turned away from Western complicity in war crimes and suffering in the Middle East, including Yemen’s ongoing nightmare.

Full article:


Noam Chomsky: Yemen is the most extraordinary global terrorism campaign in history

German Lawmaker: At the Root of Refugee Crisis are Wars Led by the United States in the Middle East

Published on Sep 9, 2015

The United Nations is now estimating at least 850,000 people are expected to cross the Mediterranean this year and next, seeking refuge in Europe to escape violence and unrest in Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, sub-Saharan Africa and other regions. Already 366,000 people have arrived in Europe this year. Earlier today, the president of the European Commission called on European Union member states to accept a total of 160,000 asylum seekers from war-torn countries. We speak to Annette Groth, member of the German Parliament and spokeswoman for human rights for the Left Party. She just returned last week from a trip to Hungary, where she saw thousands of migrants stranded at the Budapest train station. "What is the root for this massive migration?" Groth asks. "It is war, it is terror, and it is the former U.S. government who is accountable for it."

Speaking to Democracy Now from Stuttgart, Germany, Groth outlines the ways in which Western governments are to blame for the crisis.


AMY GOODMAN: Well, today we’ll spend much of the hour discussing the migrant crisis with policymakers, volunteers and organizers. We’re going first to Stuttgart, Germany, where we’re joined by Democracy Now! video stream by Annette Groth. She is a member of the German Parliament, spokesperson for human rights for the Left Party. Annette just returned last week from a trip to Hungary, where she saw thousands of migrants stranded at the Budapest train station.

Welcome to Democracy Now! Can you talk about what you saw and what, Annette Groth, you think needs to happen?

ANNETTE GROTH: Well, I saw really horrible pictures—I mean, families, many, many families, lying there on the ground, babies on the ground, hardly any water, hardly no toilets, no sanitation, no medical service. It was really appalling. And I’m glad that some of the people I met there made it to Germany. I am in contact with several of them. And I hope that every German, you know, will warmly welcome them, because they deserve it. They have such a horror story behind them. And so, I only appeal to every person in the world: Please welcome refugees.

The thing is, I listen carefully to the news. I mean, what is the root for this massive migration? It is war, it is terror, and it is the former U.S. government who is accountable for it, and the NATO state governments. I’m very sorry to say so, but it is the truth. It was Bush who invaded Iraq. It was Bush—then Libya, destroying Libya, then Syria. Now Saudi Arabia, with the help of German weapons, is invading Yemen. This is the next country, you know, where we will receive refugees. The whole area of the Middle East is a zone by war and terror, so therefore people are leaving their countries.


I don't discount Canada and many other nations' participation in all of this. We have a moral responsibility to take many, many of these people in. It's just horrific.

World Refugees

Blowback on a NATO beach

By Pepe Escobar
Monday, Sep 7, 2015

A man holds a poster with a drawing depicting drowned Syrian toddlers during a demonstration for refugee rights in Istanbul, Turkey, September 3, 2015. © Osman Orsal

We’ve had it coming. And when it came, virtually the whole planet reacted with stunned silence. Sometimes it takes just a photograph to put a noxiously complex version of hell in perspective.

So to put hell in perspective we must retrace some steps of the arc:

Aylan was also one refugee among millions fleeing “liberation” bombing and the convoluted ramifications/unintended consequences of GWOT – the global war on terror – in the “arc of instability”, from Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan to Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Mali.

These refugees are poor but they are also middle-class, like Aylan’s family. Thousands of them die in the Mediterranean, the Mare Nostrum of Roman times now converted into Cemetery Nostrum; 3,500 dead in 2014, over 2,000 since early 2015.

UNHCR detailed fifteen ongoing wars since 2010; eight in Africa (including Libya, Mali, northern Nigeria and South Sudan); three in the Middle East (Syria, Iraq and Yemen); one in Europe (Ukraine – with refugees absorbed by Russia); and three in Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Pakistan).

The absolute majority of refugees are from Syria. By early 2015, UNHCR was already cataloguing no less than an astounding 11.7 million displaced Syrians – from an initial population of 23 million. The situation that European public opinion now seems to be awakening to is so dramatic that UNHCR automatically recognizes as a “refugee” every single person fleeing Syria.

The “West” also seems to have forgotten, but still 4.1 million refugees are Iraqis; 1.5 million of them are internally displaced.

Full article: http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_71513.shtml

The Migrant Crisis: Arms That Welcome, Arms That Kill

Posted on Sep 9, 2015

By Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan

Syrian refugees request help from Germany at the Keleti Palyudvar train station in Budapest, Hungary, on Friday. (Spectral-Design / Shutterstock)

The flood of people fleeing war and misery is swelling daily, reaching the shores and borders of Europe in a desperate bid for safety. They come from Syria, where a brutal civil war during the past half-decade has killed well over 200,000, and caused the displacement of 12 million people, both inside and outside the country’s borders—half of Syria’s population.

Other migrants come from sub-Saharan Africa, fleeing poverty and conflict. Like many Syrians, these people make their way to Libya, a country now in a state of near anarchy, to venture across the Mediterranean Sea in dangerous, overcrowded boats. Thousands have drowned. Ironically, many of these migrants are running toward the very countries that sold the weapons that are fueling the warfare they are fleeing.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, speaking of the migrant crisis, said this week at the State of the European Union speech in Strasbourg, France: “I’m not talking about 40,000. I’m not talking about 120,000. It’s 160,000. That’s the number Europeans have to take in charge and have to take in their arms.” Junker, of course, meant by “arms” a protective embrace. But another European with firsthand knowledge of the plight of the refugees takes the word in its other sense:

“It is our arms which are also killing and destroying these countries,” Annette Groth told us on the “Democracy Now!” news hour. She is a member of the German Parliament and spokeswoman for human rights for Germany’s Left Party. She just returned from a trip to Hungary, where she witnessed thousands of migrants stranded at the Budapest train station. “Germany is the third-biggest weapons exporter, and we have very good relations with, for instance, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, despite massive protest,” she said. “Our government is still delivering arms to Saudi Arabia, is also supporting ISIS, the jihadists”

Full article: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_migrant_crisis_arms_that_welcome_arms_that_kill_20150909

The Nightmare Since 9/11 — 14 Years of War, Torture and Kidnappings - Tom Engelhardt

Over a decade later, we've learned nothing and gotten infinitely more barbaric.

By Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch September 8, 2015

Fourteen years later and do you even believe it? Did we actually live it? Are we still living it? And how improbable is that?

Fourteen years of wars, interventions, assassinations, torture, kidnappings, black sites, the growth of the American national security state to monumental proportions, and the spread of Islamic extremism across much of the Greater Middle East and Africa. Fourteen years of astronomical expense, bombing campaigns galore, and a military-first foreign policy of repeated defeats, disappointments, and disasters. Fourteen years of a culture of fear in America, of endless alarms and warnings, as well as dire predictions of terrorist attacks. Fourteen years of the burial of American democracy (or rather its recreation as a billionaire’s playground and a source of spectacle and entertainment but not governance). Fourteen years of the spread of secrecy, the classification of every document in sight, the fierce prosecution of whistleblowers, and a faith-based urge to keep Americans “secure” by leaving them in the dark about what their government is doing. Fourteen years of the demobilization of the citizenry. Fourteen years of the rise of the warrior corporation, the transformation of war and intelligence gathering into profit-making activities, and the flocking of countless private contractors to the Pentagon, the NSA, the CIA, and too many other parts of the national security state to keep track of. Fourteen years of our wars coming home in the form of PTSD, the militarization of the police, and the spread of war-zone technology like drones and stingrays to the “homeland.” Fourteen years of that un-American word “homeland.” Fourteen years of the expansion of surveillance of every kind and of the development of a global surveillance system whose reach -- from foreign leaders to tribal groups in the backlands of the planet -- would have stunned those running the totalitarian states of the twentieth century. Fourteen years of the financial starvation of America’s infrastructure and still not a single mile of high-speed rail built anywhere in the country. Fourteen years in which to launch Afghan War 2.0, Iraq Wars 2.0 and 3.0, and Syria War 1.0. Fourteen years, that is, of the improbable made probable.

Fourteen years later, the 9/11 attacks and the thousands of innocents killed represent international criminality and immorality of the first order. On that, Americans are clear, but -- most improbable of all -- no one in Washington has yet taken the slightest responsibility for blowing a hole through the Middle East, loosing mayhem across significant swathes of the planet, or helping release the forces that would create the first true terrorist state of modern history; nor has anyone in any official capacity taken responsibility for creating the conditions that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands, possibly a million or more people, turned many in the Greater Middle East into internal or external refugees, destroyed nations, and brought unbelievable pain to countless human beings. In these years, no act -- not of torture, nor murder, nor the illegal offshore imprisonment of innocent people, nor death delivered from the air or the ground, nor the slaughter of wedding parties, nor the killing of children -- has blunted the sense among Americans that we live in an “exceptional” and “indispensable” country of staggering goodness and innocence.

Fourteen years later, how improbable is that?

Full article: http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/911-torture-wars-and-kidnappings

The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use To Change The World

A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!

Originally featured on Films For Action

Documentaries have an incredible power to raise awareness and create transformative changes in consciousness both at the personal and global levels.

Over the last 8 years, we’ve watched hundreds of social change documentaries and cataloged the best of them on the site. There’s now so many that we realized we needed to filter this down even further. So what follows is our list of the very best 100 – hand-picked for their quality, insight and potential to inspire positive change.

All of the films have been selected because they are either free to watch online, or can be rented online. There are several films we would have loved to add to this list, but they currently don’t have an accessible way to view them. As that changes, we’ll be updating this list over time. Enjoy!


I've watched a lot of these ........ good to see so many others I hadn't heard of.
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