Tuesday’s debate and vote in the U.S. Senate on whether to end (technically whether or not to vote on whether to end) U.S. participation in the war on Yemen can certainly be presented as a step forward. While 55 U.S. Senators voted to keep the war rolling along, 44 voted not to table the resolution to end it. Of those 44, some, including “leaders” like Senator Chuck Schumer, said not a word in the debate and only voted the right way once the wrong way had won. And conceivably some could say they were voting in favor of having a vote, upon which they would have voted for more war. But it’s safe to say that at least most of the 44 were voting to end a war — and many of them explicitly said so.
I use the phrase “end a war,” despite the fact that Saudi Arabia could continue its war without U.S. participation — in part, because it’s easier, and in part because experts have suggested that Saudi Arabia could not do anything like what it is doing without the participation of the U.S. military in identifying targets and refueling planes. It is of course also true that were the United States to go beyond what was under consideration on Tuesday and cease providing Saudi Arabia with planes and bombs, and use its influence as an oil customer and general war partner to pressure Saudi Arabia to end the war and lift the blockade, the war might end entirely. And millions of human lives might be spared.
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine has for years been a leading proponent of getting Congress to authorize wars, making clear that he wanted to keep those wars going but with Congressional authorization. This time was different. Kaine pushed publicly for votes to end U.S. participation in the war on Yemen. He and even his colleague from Virginia Mark Warner (!) voted to end the U.S. war. I’m not sure any senator from Virginia had ever done such a thing before. And, in fact, no senator from anywhere had ever voted on a resolution raised under the War Powers Act before, because this was the first time any senator had bothered to try such a thing. Kaine tweeted:
“Millions in Yemen may starve and 10,000-plus are dead because of a war with no end in sight, that the U.S. has stumbled into. Proud to support this proposal to direct the removal of U.S. armed forces.”
“Stumbled into”? Forget it, he’s rolling.
And Kaine was the least of it. To watch Dianne Feinstein argue for ending a war had a very Twilight Zone aspect to it. Look through the list of who voted “Nay” and re-define them in your mind as people who under just the right conditions (possibly including guaranteed failure to reach a majority) will sometimes vote to end a war. I’d call that progress.
But if you watch the debate via C-Span, the top question in your mind might not be “What incredible activism, information, accident, or luck got 44 people to vote the right way?” but rather “Why did 55 cheerful, well-fed, safe people in suits just vote for mass-murder?” Why did they? Why did they take a break for political party meetings in the middle of the debate, and debate other legislation just before and after this resolution, and walk around and chat with each other exactly as if all were normal, while voting for genocide?
The facts of the matter were presented very clearly in the debate by numerous U.S. senators from both parties. They denounced war lies as “lies.” They pointed out the horrendous damage, the deaths, the injuries, the starvation, the cholera. They cited Saudi Arabia’s explicit and intentional use of starvation as a weapon. They noted the blockade against humanitarian aid imposed by Saudi Arabia. They endlessly discussed the biggest cholera epidemic ever known….
(Natural News) Back in 1996, annual spending on psychiatric disorders was $79 billion in the United States. Two decades later, that figure has nearly trebled to $201 billion. While some might see this as evidence of progress and a sign that more people are receiving the mental health care that they need, others recognize that there is an epidemic of misdiagnosing and over-prescribing in this country across all healthcare fields, and that includes psychiatry.
To state it plainly: Psychiatric drugs represent big money for Big Pharma, and when you consider that this is the same industry that has broken all the rules to keep pushing killer opioids on vulnerable patients, you certainly can’t trust that they will take the moral high ground when it comes to those afflicted with mental health problems.
If it were just a case of exploiting vulnerable people with high-cost drugs that would be bad enough. However, the problem is so much worse than that because these drugs are not only ineffective, but downright dangerous. They carry serious side effects, including mania, violence, psychosis and homicidal ideation (the desire to commit murder), and have been linked to dozens of mass shootings, including at least 36 school shootings in which the killer was found to have been on or withdrawing from some kind of psychiatric drug at the time of the killings.
Waking Times recently reported on an eight-year study by medical researcher Craig Wagner, which investigated the efficacy of and dangers associated with antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs and benzodiazepines. His findings are both shocking and enlightening.
Wagner explained that while antipsychotics do reduce psychosis for some people, for many others they offer no relief, but many life-altering side effects:
[L]ess than a quarter of those with chronic psychosis see even a 50% reduction in symptoms when using them.4 And this partial symptom relief often comes with life-altering side effects. Additionally, evidence suggests that antipsychotics may do more harm than good in the long term.
These drugs literally shrink the brain, causing atrophy. Close to half (48 percent) of those who take them do not respond well initially, while 77 percent of chronic patients who take them long-term do not respond well. Upwards of 93 percent of people relapse, obtain no benefit or stop taking antipsychotics within a year, while 60 percent experience ongoing functional impairment, and 53 percent have to deal with sexual dysfunction. Antipsychotics also treble their users’ risk of diabetes and double the risk of cardiac death in elderly patients. Long-term patients are up to three times less likely to hold down a job, and up to four times less likely to recover from their mental illness. (Related: Young women have the highest risk of mental health issues.)
Wagner noted that meta-analyses and the Food and Drug Administration’s own studies have proved that antidepressants have virtually no benefit in comparison to placebo:
To gain this small advantage people must accept antidepressants’ side effects, risks, and limitations which can be significant. Even more startling, at milder symptom levels — representing about 85% of people taking these drugs for depression — antidepressants have no advantage over placebo.
Virtually half of all antidepressant studies (49 percent) failed to prove that these drugs offer any benefit, and it is believed that 82 percent of the beneficial effects experienced by users are pure placebo effect. At least 60 percent of those who take antidepressants feel emotionally numb, with 54 percent of their symptoms remaining after they start taking the drugs, and 62 percent experiencing sexual dysfunction. For those who try to get off these drugs, 55 percent experiencing debilitating withdrawal effects. Children and young adults under the age of 25 double their risk of suicide if they take antidepressants, and patients of any age who take them increase their risk of developing mania between two and four times.
While these drugs quickly and effectively reduce anxiety symptoms, they are highly addictive and carry dangerous side effects. While guidelines recommend prescribing them for no more than 28 days, in practice some patients have been on them for years. And this is not surprising, since dependence occurs within days or just a few weeks. Benzo users double their risk of suicide and increase their risk of a hip fracture by a staggering 80 percent after more than one month’s use. Those who take these drugs for more than six months increase their risk of Alzheimer’s by 84 percent, and can expect a 3.5 times greater risk of cognitive decline and loss in 12 functional areas.
Sadly, all of the conditions above respond well to cognitive behavioral and other psychological therapies, but these are hardly ever prescribed or recommended. (Related: Gardening and volunteering boosts mental health, relieving stress, anxiety and depression.)
After all, nobody’s making money off a patient who gets better, are they?
Read Psychiatry.news for more coverage of psychiatric drugs.
Yes but they provide a great cover for the “need” to disarm us as our luciferian overlords close in.
Content creators are being reminded of the power in alternative platforms such as Steemit and DTube after YouTube announced that it is updating its policies and banning thousands of gun videos.
YouTube has announced that it is banning videos that show users how to manufacture or modify firearms, adding to its ban on videos that link to firearms sales, and as users find that their videos have been removed or their channels are being suspended, some are moving to PornHub and other alternative platforms to promote their content….
As The Free Thought Project has reported, while YouTube has ignored ISIS recruiting videos, it has chosen to label videos that show the United States committing war crimes, conducting airstrikes that kill innocent civilians and aiding the enemies it claims to be fighting as “extremist content” that is banned from the site.
At the same time, YouTube hosts thousands of videos with millions of views that are disguised as child-friendly content, while they actually promote violence, sex, and pedophilia. Its moderators also revealed in November 2017 that “YouTube’s system for reporting sexualized comments left on children’s videos has not been functioning correctly for more than a year.”
Many content creators who have been targeted by YouTube have found a new home in Steemit’s DTube, which allows users to benefit from the content they create without the fear of how the platform’s constantly changing policies may affect them. To find out more about how Steemit provides an alternative to sites like Facebook and YouTube, check it out here.
By Yasha Levine, Surveillance Valley.
Levine’s investigative reporting on the connection between the Silicon Valley tech giants and the military-intelligence community has been praised by high-level NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, and many others. [See my interviews of Drake here:
- NSA Started Spying On Journalists in 2002 … In Order to Make Sure They Didn’t Report On Mass Surveillance
“Google has partnered with the United States Department of Defense to help the agency develop artificial intelligence for analyzing drone footage, a move that set off a firestorm among employees of the technology giant when they learned of Google’s involvement.” — Gizmodo / March 6, 2018
Gizmodo’s report on Google’s work for the Pentagon has been making headlines all day. It’s also thrown the normally placid halls of Google’s Mountain View HQ into chaos. Seems that Googlers can’t believe that their awesome company would get involved in something as heinous as helping the Pentagon increase its drone targeting capability.
But the fact that Google helps the military build more efficient systems of surveillance and death shouldn’t be surprising, especially not to Google employees. The truth is that Google has spent the last 15 years selling souped-up versions of its information technology to military and intelligence agencies, local police departments, and military contractors of all size and specialization — including outfits that sell predictive policing tech deployed in cities across America today.
As I outline in my book Surveillance Valley, it started in 2003 with customized Google search solutions for data hosted by the CIA and NSA. The company’s military contracting work then began to expand in a major way after 2004, when Google cofounder Sergey Brin pushed for buying Keyhole, a mapping startup backed by the CIA and the NGA, a sister agency to the NSA that handles spy satellite intelligence.
Spooks loved Keyhole because of the “video game-like” simplicity of its virtual maps. They also appreciated the ability to layer visual information over other intelligence. The sky was the limit. Troop movements, weapons caches, real-time weather and ocean conditions, intercepted emails and phone call intel, cell phone locations — whatever intel you had with a physical location could be thrown onto a map and visualized. Keyhole gave an intelligence analyst, a commander in the field, or an air force pilot up in the air the kind of capability that we now take for granted: using digital mapping services on our computers and mobile phones to look up restaurants, cafes, museums, traffic conditions, and subway routes. “We could do these mashups and expose existing legacy data sources in a matter of hours, rather than weeks, months, or years,” an NGA official gushed about Keyhole — the company that we now know as Google Earth.
Military commanders weren’t the only ones who liked Keyhole’s ability to mash up data. So did Google cofounder Sergey Brin.
The purchase of Keyhole was a major milestone for Google, marking the moment the company stopped being a purely consumer-facing Internet company and began integrating with the US government. While Google’s public relations team did its best to keep the company wrapped in a false aura of geeky altruism, company executives pursued an aggressive strategy to become the Lockheed Martin of the Internet Age. “We’re functionally more than tripling the team each year,” a Google exec who ran Google Federal, the company’s military sales division, said in 2008.
It was true. With insiders plying their trade, Google’s expansion into the world of military and intelligence contracting took off.
What kind of work?
Here are just a few data points from Surveillance Valley:
- “In 2007, it partnered with Lockheed Martin to design a visual intelligence system for the NGA that displayed US military bases in Iraq and marked out Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad— important information for a region that had experienced a bloody sectarian insurgency and ethnic cleansing campaign between the two groups.”
- “In 2008, Google won a contract to run the servers and search technology that powered the CIA’s Intellipedia, an intelligence database modeled after Wikipedia that was collaboratively edited by the NSA, CIA, FBI, and other federal agencies.”
- “In 2010, as a sign of just how deeply Google had integrated with US intelligence agencies, it won a no-bid exclusive $27 million contract to provide the NGA with “geospatial visualization services,” effectively making the Internet giant the “eyes” of America’s defense and intelligence apparatus.”
- “In 2008, Google entered into a three-way partnership with the NGA and a quasi-government company called GeoEye to launch a spy satellite called GeoEye-1. The new satellite, which was funded in large part by the NGA, delivered extremely high-resolution images for the exclusive use of NGA and Google.”
- A few years ago it started working with PredPol, a California-based predictive policing startup. “PredPol did more than simply license Google’s technology to render the mapping sys- tem embedded in its product but also worked with Google to develop customized functionality, including ‘building additional bells and whistles and even additional tools for law enforcement.'”
More from the book:
“Google has been tightlipped about the details and scope of its contracting business. It does not list this revenue in a separate column in quarterly earnings reports to investors, nor does it provide the sum to reporters. But an analysis of the federal contracting database maintained by the US government, combined with information gleaned from Freedom of Information Act requests and published periodic reports on the company’s military work, reveals that Google has been doing brisk business selling Google Search, Google Earth, and Google Enterprise (now known as G Suite) products to just about every major military and intelligence agency: navy, army, air force, Coast Guard, DARPA, NSA, FBI, DEA, CIA, NGA, and the State Department. Sometimes Google sells directly to the government, but it also works with established contractors like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation), a California-based intelligence mega-contractor that has so many former NSA employees working for it that it is known in the business as ‘NSA West.'”
Want to know more?
Today we talk to Dr. Paul Connett of the Fluoride Action Network (fluoridealert.org) about Food & Water Watch Inc., et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, a lawsuit that could bring an end to the practice of water fluoridation in the United States. We discuss the Toxic Substances Control Act under which the suit is being filed, how recent court rulings have allowed the case to proceed, and the incredible significance of the chance to depose the EPA’s “experts” under oath. Please help spread the word about this exciting development.