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What Are YOU Waiting For?

What are YOU doing about the incredibly pathetic state of pretend freedom in the world today? Seriously.

This was inspired by concern about an important health issue, but has morphed into a strange brew – mostly about the delusional perception of freedom in modern society and delving into a taste of corporate misdirection. Yes, we have dozens of brands of toxic toothpaste, animal flesh and cookies on the shelves of our stores. And, we have hundreds of “choices” of crap to mesmerize us on the television. But, this is not freedom.

Freedom would be having a media that provokes critical thinking by engaging a population in informative discussions about important issues facing the world today. Freedom would be having the right to elect government officials instead of selecting one of the “choices” given us by the rulers. Freedom would be the entire population actually being able allowed to eat healthy food instead of having to consume toxins and fillers because organic (real) food is too expensive. (Hmmm, wealthy people finance the selling of most toxic food, but can afford real food that they cause to be prohibitively expensive for the pedestrian hordes banging at the gates). We are committing societal suicide and most of us seem content to sit on our asses eating toxic substances while watching intelligence-draining infomercials, dysfunctional “comedy” and serial dramas that condition us to accept violence as a necessary and accepted part of life.

I was reading an article by the caring people at Environmental Working Group and was disgusted by the continuing show of derision for all living beings by food manufacturers. Environmental groups, animal rights activists and advocates for healthy food have worked diligently to get manufacturers to stop putting parabens in our foods, pharmaceuticals, soaps and lotions. We now see some personal care products advertised as “paraben-free” so we think we made a difference. Right?

Well, think again.

These insidious compounds not only are still being used as preservatives in packaged “food” products, the practice has actually increased. Products sold by “trusted” companies like Weight Watchers and Sarah Lee still contain substances which have been shown to be endocrine disruptors despite growing concern by the public.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, endocrine disruptors are substances which alter gene expression and hormonal signaling. Because the human body is a complex whole of integrated parts, this causes disorders of the neurological, immune and reproductive systems. And, the FDA lists them as “generally recognized as safe.”

Yes, the government agency we expect to safeguard our food supply in the U.S. is OK with allowing the consumption of substances that disrupt systems critical to maintaining a normally functioning body.  A study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology in December 2002 stated, “Daily sperm production and its efficiency in the testes of all groups receiving propyl paraben significantly decreased.” Also, “The exposure level at which this effect was observed is the same as the upper limit acceptable daily intake (10mg/kg of body weight/day) of parabens in the European community and Japan.” In 2004, a study conducted by Dr. Phillippa Darbre of the University of Reading in the U.K. found parabens in 100% of breast tumors tested. The results were published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology.

Additionally, studies by the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health, the European Food Safety Authority and the Harvard School of Public Health have found a decrease in sperm in rats that were tested after ingesting “relatively low concentrations” of parabens. This is associated not only with decreased fertility, but with problems in the development of the reproductive system. The European Union banned parabens from use in cosmetics in 2014. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations banned them early in 2015.

Here’s one of the more interesting facts for residents of the United States and Canada to ponder: as of 2011, the European Union had a list of over 11,000 chemicals banned from use in the manufacturing of personal care products “because they may cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive problems.” The list for the U.S. and Canada contains nine. If European scientists believe the risk of exposure to this many chemicals is too great to allow them in personal care products, why does the U.S. FDA still allow them in our food?    

                          THE RULES OF CORPORATE CONTROL

The first commandment in a society controlled by corporate executives is that they make the rules and everyone except corporate executives must follow them. This is necessary for corporate class warfare. The greatest trick the rulers ever perpetrated is getting people to follow rules designed to keep themselves in virtual bondage. This is done by convincing people that reading propaganda keeps them informed. (Actually, it keeps them in formation). Then, when their belief becomes dogmatic, people think obedience (obeying the rules of engagement) will allow them to “succeed.” This has allowed corporations to amass incredible wealth giving them the ability to purchase government legislation and call it regulation – with a large section of the populace accepting it as “business as usual.” That way they become too big (and important) to fail and get bailed out by the working class after they’ve wrecked the economy.

Competition can cause businesses to lower prices (and profits) so corporations decided they’d eliminate it. But bypassing government regulation was only the beginning. People want choices so corporate executives figured that if they purchase the smaller competition and keep the old name nobody will be the wiser. Need a little intrigue to pique your interest in an issue of health? We’ve got it. You can buy Sara Lee cakes, but did you know there is no more Sarah Lee Corporation? It was broken up and the food division was swallowed by Hillshire Brands. Never heard of Hillshire Brands? They were swallowed by everyone’s favorite Nazi-like “food” company, the evil multinational corporation Tyson Foods. Tropicana, Quaker Oats, Gatorade? All owned by PepsiCo. So are Aunt Jemima syrup, Lipton tea, Mountain Dew, 7-up and Aquafina bottled water among many others. Weight Watchers? Two owners. One is H.J. Heinz. How clever is that? Make $900 million selling high fructose corn syrup to increase obesity, then sell “diet” food products. And, Heinz merged with Kraft Foods Group in 2015 to become the fifth largest food manufacturer in the world. And that massive multinational is owned by two investment firms. Bankers in charge of food. You can imagine how that will work out.

The larger food corporations get, the less competition there is and the more detached from their customers they become. This makes decisions that cause death and severe illness easier to make by executives because we’re just a faceless mass of names and numbers. When you lose the humanity in a society, you lose freedom. Things don’t have freedom. They’re just commodities to squeeze money from.

This essay touched on a variety of issues. One, however, might be more important than the others merely because it affects the others so profoundly. We hear a lot about “freedom” and “free speech” in so-called democracies. They’re talking points used by corporate media in a disingenuous way so that we think that killing the people of Iran or some other “enemy of the month” will “preserve” our freedom delusional perception of freedom. Free speech is contingent upon knowing what is going on in the world. If you don’t pay attention, your rights will be taken away and you’ll be busy watching caricatures of yourself on television and laughing at how stupid they you are.

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9 comments on “What Are YOU Waiting For?

  1. Very good article, and very much with what I am interested in also. I recently carried out a bit of research, and by using pieces of different articles I put together a global look at how we are where we are, and what defences we might have. The essay is in three parts, if you’d like a copy I will send it.
    I have credited the original authors where appropriate.

    • I’m glad you liked it. I assume you’re referring to the aspect of freedom. It started as a piece on health, then went into corporate malfeasance and settled on the issue of apathy and complacency affecting our freedoms.

      I’d like to read what you wrote. Maybe you can send a link to it in a repy.

      Thanks for reading the essay and commenting. I appreciate it. Peace.

  2. The pending Trans-Pacific Partnership has the potential to elevate multinational corporations to the status of statehood. Anything that affects their ability, no their divine right, to profit obscenely from the land, labor and natural resources of the planet can be litigated. Sometimes, we lose our freedoms, sometimes we give our freedoms away. In the end, whatever freedoms we don’t fight for, as you’ve eloquently stated, will be stripped away and conceded to our corporate overlords.

  3. You got that right. Too many people don’t seem to understand that the type of person that “rises to the top” in a field in which greed, cunning, lack of empathy and cold-blooded ambition are “acceptable” traits is going to be somewhat of a sociopath. This is the type of person that “succeeds” in industry in today’s world. To trust this type of person is far beyond gullible. It’s more along the lines of suicidal apathy.

    Therefore, we must keep attention on what these people are doing and show the apathetic masses it’s not normal and healthy. We can’t allow twisted perceptions of what life is about to become more entrenched in the psyche of society as a whole.

    I think we’ve got to find ways of simplifying the message of cooperation in society. Corporate media has perfected the art of using soundbites and images to stimulate certain emotions in people that trigger feelings which feed unbalanced opinions that corporate rulers pounce on.

    We need to use these methods in a way that will resonate with compassion and tolerance. It appears that trying to appeal to the intellect of people who are fearful is like giving a sandwich to a drowning person. Good intentions aren’t enough.

    Thanks for the comment, Jeff, your addition to the conversation is always perceptive and welcome.

    Peace, my friend.

  4. According to a recent BBC documentary, Americans aren’t nearly as apathetic as they are portrayed. I’m beginning to suspect that this is just another propaganda ploy – they try to convince us resistance is useless because everyone else is too apathetic to come to our support.

    A sampling of these opinion polls reveals that 60% of Americans oppose the pro-corporate agenda Obama has foisted on them, 63% would pay higher taxes to guarantee health care for everyone, 70% oppose nuclear power, 81% want to reduce the deficit by taxing the rich and cutting the military budget and only 3% support cutting Social Security.

    There is also growing opposition to Obama’s corporate agenda at a grassroots level, both by right wing libertarians and by leftist progressive groups. However none of this is covered on the 6 pm news (which most of us still equate with reality), we assume it ain’t happening.

    • The corporate media is very clever. Of course that is one of their techniques to keep people obedient. While apathy might not be as rampant as it appears, complacency is. Many people in the U.S., when asked, will express an opinion about an important issue and even show some passion about it. However, ask people here to actually do something and they are weighed down with so many excuses their feet drag.

      I experienced it during the Occupy Wall Street movement. I’d go home occasionally for a day or so and tell people the truth (because the media rarely came close) and they’d express admiration and enthusiasm. Everyone had an opinion on what issues were most important. When I asked these same people to drop by Zuccotti Park for a couple of hours on a day off, they stammered excuses with a glazed look in their eyes and lost their enthusiasm.

      We have a lot of armchair activists who want to see change and enjoy giving their opinion, but aren’t willing to help make that change. I didn’t ask many people to take time off from work – although I thought some people would. If everyone that wants to see change had shown up even a couple of times things might have played out much differently. The media would have had a tougher time dismissing us.

      And, the excuse that people don’t want to risk their jobs doesn’t qualify everyone for a pass. I lost mine. I sold most of my belongings the next year or so and didn’t eat well for a while. I thought we had an opportunity to create actual change if enough people got involved and decided it was worth the risk. And I have no regrets. The people who hit the streets didn’t fail at what we were doing. The people who care but stayed home to watch television failed everyone.

      Thanks for the comment, Dr. Bramhall. It’s great when people add to the discussion.

      Peace.

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