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Dickweeds of the Decade

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Crappy New Year, everyone! I have a year-end confession to make: When I was a kid, going strictly by what the talking heads on the teevee said, I fully expected the 2000s to be awesome, full of glorious futuristic things like conveyor-belt sidewalks, aircars, jetpacks, mood lipstick, and oh yeah, world peace. Well, they weren't. None of those things they promised us ever materialized. Starting with that stupid Y2K hysteria (which I will never let the conspiracy freaks live down) and ending with...well, tonight, the first decade of the 21st Century has been one hell of a washout. Doesn't it feel good to put the Worst Decade Ever behind you? Don't worry, it will...when the hangover wears off. And it will. And if you need to blame anyone for making that last decade so goddamn fucking awful, I've got the list of prime suspects right here. Feel free to construct your voodoo dollies accordingly, and be sure to buy plenty of pins. And pitchforks, tar and feathers. Here they are, in no particular order:

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1. Alvaro Fucking Uribe. Oh, where to start with El Narco? The ironies are layered thick and deep with this one. He bombed Ecuador and repeatedly ordered illegal cross-border raids on Venezuela, then screamed that they were attacking him. He's on the State Dept.'s list of known cocaine traffickers from way back, yet they still heralded him as their best ally in the fight against cocaine trafficking. He's well known for his repressive measures (called, ironically, Democratic Security), and his links to right-wing narcoterrorist death squads and paramilitaries are no secret in the region, yet he was also the State Dept.'s golden boy of democracy and freedom and all that cal--because he was supposed to be their cat's-paw against Chavecito and El Ecuadorable. He even had spies in Europe! Alas, he was an epic fail on all fronts. Colombia is still as drug-and-crime-ridden as ever, the FARC and ELN are still there, and oh yeah--it's not a real democracy either, because all leftist parties have been ruthlessly extirpated, thus eliminating an entire spectrum of valid voter choices. If you're a Colombian, you get to choose between conservative, ultra-conservative, and flat-out fascist, with heavy pressure to go for the latter. And anyone who dares to oppose El Narco in any serious way, like the liberal senator Piedad Córdoba, will find themselves hounded out of office and threatened with arrest. Even now, after he's left office, El Narco is still fucking Colombia over like there's no tomorrow. But hey, at least Spain is pressing charges against him. For all the good it may do them. He is a psychopath, and there is little doubt in my mind that he will manage to get away, literally, with murder.

2. Lucio Fucking Gutiérrez. His nickname in Ecuador is "Sucio", meaning "dirty". And yes, he earned it. How? By running as a leftist, and reigning as a rightist. He directly contradicted his key campaign promises, ran up odious debts (which El Ecuadorable, Rafael Correa, has been working hard and often successfully to nullify), and just generally was a corrupt, toadying, pro-imperial little piece of shit. He was run out of office, not surprisingly, by ordinary Ecuadorians who were simply furious at him; he's been unpopular ever since. And never was that more evident than during the September 30 coup attempt against El Ec, when Sucio lost no time in getting in front of the cameras and blaming the victim. Funnily enough, he showed up with right-wing ex-Cuban CIA operatives in tow. What was most hilarious was his denial that a coup attempt occurred. Funny, but the president's armored car has pockmarks from at least four high-calibre bullets that were fired at it after his loyal army troops finally freed him from the hospital where the police were keeping him prisoner! Next, I suppose, Sucio will try to convince the world that Rafael Correa isn't really president, and that he still is. Dissociated doesn't begin to describe this filthy rat.

3. Roberto Fucking Micheletti. His nickname is "Gorilletti", an allusion to the military dictatorships of the far right that have plagued Latin America for as long as the region has been speaking Spanish, more or less. And for those who claim Gorilletti isn't a military dictator, wise the fuck up. He could not have gotten into power--or shovelled the last democratic president of Honduras out of it--without the help of the crooked, fascist Honduran military. Thanks to him, Honduras is a banana republic once more, with everything that that term implies: disappearances, torture, murders, repression. It's an ideal environment for Yankee crapitalism and local oligarchs, but for everything and everybody else, it's a fucking nightmare. And the sham election of Pepe Lobo hasn't done a thing to improve the situation. It's still going on, and it's now such that even he, who relied on dictatorship to get himself elected, is feeling the pain. Hey Pepe, welcome to the new, improved, "free" Honduras...same as the old, degenerate dictatorship of the '80s. You're not really in charge there. Gorilletti and his goon squads-o-death are. Get used to it.

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4. Avigdor Fucking Lieberman. He wasn't elected head of state for Israel; I'm really not sure what he was elected to, other than maybe a parliamentary seat. But somehow he's managed to hijack the entire Knesset and lurch it hard to starboard. He's also managed to make one hell of an ass of himself wherever he goes, dishing up ignorant pronouncements on anyone who's smart enough to see through him. He's particularly asinine about Latin America--coincidentally, the very place where people are most likely to mistrust Israel for sending torturers and spooks to terrorize the region and meddle overtly in its politics. Now he has the chutzpah to say the Palestinian Authority is "illegitimate". Yeah, we saw that one coming! The only advice I can give to anyone perplexed by this putzy little man is to take whatever he says and rotate it 180 degrees; and if he slams another person, just take it to be a projection of the crawly maggotry that's forever festering inside of him. It's the only way his words could ever be said to make sense.

5. The Fucking US Republican (Tea) Party. It is the essence of what's wrong in the US, kiddies...these crazy, angry, gun-toting, self-righteous, ignorant white people. Totally racist, totally dissociated...and totally lacking in self-awareness, much less any sense of history. Or the irony of their own positions. Their notion of "liberty" is based on the enslavement of the nation's majorities, which, ironically, happen to include the vast majority of voters, regardless of party affiliations. The diabolical genius of the whole tea-tard thing is how this astroturf "movement" has suckered millions into voting directly against their own interests.

6. Sarah Fucking Palin. The queen bee of the tea-tards. Two years ago, I thought for sure that she would fade back into deserved obscurity when she lost John McCain his chance at the White House. Unfortunately, she has yet to do so. In fact, all the signs point to another, and even bigger, Epic Fail in 2012 (the year the Mayan calendar is supposed to run down, by some weird coincidence.) She's "written" two crappy books, made up a whole new vocabulary of stupid, dragged her daughter onto one of the tackiest glorified game shows on TV, and generally done whatever it takes to keep her own profile high. She's even tried to hijack feminism (while actually practising the opposite), to the point where an overwhelming majority of women can't fucking stand her anymore. Oh yeah: and she's a big one on censoring dissent--and library books. If she died tomorrow, I'd fully expect her to sit up in her coffin the next day and start screeching a whole new load of horseshit, in an attempt to stay "relevant" even while dead. So, even though she only blipped onto the world's radar in the last two years of the decade, she qualifies most thoroughly as a dickweed, n'est-ce pas?

7. Lanny Fucking Davis. Lest anyone think that conservatives have a complete monopoly on dickweedery, I offer you this "liberal" DINO. Not content to help Gorilletti and his thugs whitewash their brutal coup in Honduras in '09, now he's helping a thug in Africa's Ivory Coast retain his power. The common denominator is thuggery. Lanny Davis loves it. He battens on it. His wallet fattens on it. And, like Screech Palin, Davis may only have blipped my radar in the last two years, but he's more than justified his presence on this list by being such a fucking asshole.

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8. The Fucking Pope. There's so much wrong with this one, and it goes so far back. Way beyond the past decade, in fact. He was in the Hitler Youth, and claims he couldn't get out? Hell, that's a lie. All he had to do, if he were really opposed, was not show up. My dad played hooky from it, no problem. What were they going to do, arrest a 12-year-old? Line him up in front of a firing squad? Even the Nazis didn't go there; they needed all the warm bodies they could get. And Ratzi is older than my old man; age of reason, you know. So I'm going to go way out on a limb and assume that Ratzi was, in fact, reasonably convinced--enough to go along, regardless of the Vatican's hilarious early attempts to deny the obvious:

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Yes, that's him, in altar-boy gear, giving the Nazi salute. Heil!

But what's worst about this one, worse even than the HJ affiliation, is the fact that he was instrumental in covering up child-sex-abuse scandals at the highest levels of the Vatican. And by the sounds of things, he still is. But hey! Let's blame those swinging '70s. After all, we know pedophilia wasn't invented before then, and certainly not rampant among priests since time immemorial!

9. The Fucking IMF. Not content merely to wreck Latin America one economy at a time, now it's trying to do the same up here. Trouble is, we don't want their wreckage; we've got enough problems as it is, thanks to NAFTA and CAFTA giving us the shafta. Oh wait, I know what to do: How about scrapping the IMF, and going back to the "bad" old days of, you know, Canadian protectionism? Too obvious? Funny, because it's working kind of well for Latin Americans to chuck them out (and the World Bank, too) and use homegrown solutions for their economic problems instead of bad prescription medicine from Bretton Woods! But there's one person up here whom I would NEVER trust further than I could kick his ass on a muddy day when it comes to homegrown solutions, and it is...

10. Stephen Fucking Harper. What makes him a dickweed? We could be up all night if I had to list all the traits. But off the top of my head, here are the ones that blipped my dickweed-radar the most: Promising to give us an elected senate. Hasn't happened yet; he's packed it with 38 Tory appointees to date. There was even a time when he tried to appropriate Jack Layton's proposal to abolish the senate, but that never happened either; Harpo probably backed off because he realized there was no way he could pack it if it didn't exist, and no way his SupposiTories could ever get a majority in Parliament, either. And then there were those two prorogations, both of which could best be summed up as "spoiled Tory baby trying to turn the Parliament blue by holding his breath". Too bad for Harpo that he couldn't make it third-time-sucky, but this time he made the colossal blunder (for him, anyway) of appointing a Governor-General who (a) understands the constitution (and its allowance for coalitions), and (b) isn't a pushover. So now he's reduced to sniping at all the other parties again, which is always soooooo democratic and becoming.

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11. All the fucking rightard talking heads in the media. Surely it's not just me thinking they've multiplied. Or how they've tugged the media further and further to the right, to the point where a lot of news reporting has getting damn hard to read, listen to or watch because it's just so goddamn fucking stupid. And it's gotten that way because of these goddamn fucking pundits. And we all know how much they've profited from all the war and economic catastrophe they helped to cause by cheerleading. Even worse, they've spawned...

12. All those fucking rightard bloggers. They have turned the Internets from a 21st-century vision of information superhighways...into a big, fat, stinking hog wallow of mental derangement, greed, stupidity, mediocrity, denial, superstition, bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, racism, hysteria and paranoia. And those in turn have spawned...

13. All those fucking rightard Internet trolls. Some of whom (how many, no one has yet determined) are paid by the post from the ample coffers of wingnut welfare for injecting Teh Stoopid into every serious online discussion EVER. Reasons may vary, but the most common one is probably plain old derailment, for the simple reason that no progress can be made if the train is off the tracks. (No, I'm not shitting you. Unlike them, I'm not being paid.)

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14. Pedro Fucking Carmona. I chose to assign him the number 14 because that's the day in April of 2002 he got his coup-mongering ass handed to him, and Chavecito booted it out of Miraflores palace where it didn't belong. He was under house arrest in Caracas for a while, then fled to Colombia, and from there, to Miami--the scum capital of the Americas. He has yet to be extradited back to Venezuela to face trial. Was this creepy little man even elected head of the Venezuelan chamber of commerce, which was his post before he crowned himself president-for-a-day, or was it just another ooky little backroom putsch? The lack of transparency about this one alone is enough to give any serious democrat pause, but apparently some people thought it worthwhile to endorse him. And the most powerful ones could all be found in...

15. The Fucking US State Department. A collection of dickweeds in any given decade since the early 1800s, as far as the American continent is concerned, they really outdid themselves, as far as dickweedery goes, in the past one. Practically as soon as they'd declared independence from Britain, they were looking to take away the independence of their neighbors, including us. Look up the Monroe Doctrine sometime; it's clear they learned nothing from their loss in the War of 1812. Solving all their country's problems would be a no-brainer for them if they could only cut the purse-strings tying them to...

16. The Fucking Military-Industrial Complex. Fifty years ago Ike Eisenhower warned us about them. Fifty years later, his warning holds true more than ever. These dickweeds profited massively from every war the US has ever been involved in, including the ones in Afghanistan and Iraq. They also benefit directly from any coup the US has ever endorsed, since someone's got to supply all those putschists with weapons. Gotta keep the world safe for shameless profiteering democracy, you know!

17. Fucking Halliburton. And while we're on the subject of shameless profiteering democracy, let's talk about some of the most shameless profiteers fine upstanding corporatist democrats of all. This labyrinthine corporation (along with its subsidiary, Kellogg, Brown & Root) makes the list for a whole roster of egregious examples: supplying the US military with grossly overpriced food (which, in turn, was just plain gross--and left more than a few soldiers feeling gross, too); sexual and mental abuse of women; "sailboat fuel"; and oh yeah, have we forgotten maggots yet?

18. Fucking Blackwater. Speaking of maggots...how about mercenaries? Yup, the past decade was a banner one for the mercenary-industrial complex, too. Because when war is this profitable, why not multiply the number of profiteers civilian contractors that can benefit from it? What could possibly go wrong? Well, I could think of a few things...but I bet Erik Fucking Prince did not.

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19. Dick Fucking Cheney. Why was there a Gulf War II? Because this horrid cyborg from Halliburton didn't think he was rich enough yet. And lord knows he already was richer than about 99% of his fellow Amurricans. Which may explain why someone so obviously not physically fit to be in such a high office could still pass the medical. And who can forget those five draft deferments during the Vietnam era? That was the only time in his life that the Big Dick was fit to actually fight a war instead of sending the 99%ers' sons to die in one.

20. Donald Fucking Rumsfeld. Another obscene war profiteer, Rummy owned stock in a pharmaceutical firm that just happens to manufacture the antiviral drug, Tamiflu. Was it any coincidence that we got scare stories every morning, noon and night on the news about the Bird Flu and how it was wreaking havoc...in the poorest, dirtiest, most down-at-heel poultry farms in Vietnam? Flu shots are cheaper and more effective (DUH: they prevent you from actually GETTING flu in the first place), but of course that wouldn't have lined Rummy's war-mongering pockets, either. He didn't own stock in a flu-shot manufacturer, after all.

Oh, and who can forget this picture?

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Apparently, Rummy could--and did. Not even so much as a blush or a mea culpa for having supplied Saddam with all those infamous chemical weapons that could later not be found. How could he not acknowledge the man who made him so obscenely rich and powerful? I'm shocked. SHOCKED, I tellz ya.

21. Karl (Rat)Fucking Rove. Otherwise known as Bush's Brain, or more politely, Turdblossom. He learned the fine art of ratfucking from Nixon's master of dirty tricks, one Donald Segretti. So of course, it stands to reason that he would use everything he learned to make Dubya the Worst President Ever. (And that's quite the feat, considering what a bag of dicks ol' Milhous was.) But let's not be too mean on Unka Karl; after all, he had a lousy childhood. A little girl beat the shit out of him once, and he's been avenging himself on femaledom (and especially, women voters) ever since. He's all turd and no blossom.

22. Michele Fucking Bachmann. Why?

That's why. She's a glassy-eyed freak who can do nothing but recite the same vacuous lines, over and over and over again. Either she's on drugs, or she's a pull-string doll made in Stepford. She is, like Sarah Fucking Palin, of absolutely no consequence, having done nothing real for the voters of Minnesota. And yet, inexplicably, she seems to be politically indestructible, in spite of all evidence of her utter incompetence. Which forces me to conclude that those who voted for her are even dumber and more programmed than she is. She represents...essentially nothing. And THAT is what's truly scary: You can get people to vote, and keep voting, for an actual black hole in this political environment, as long as it talks the conservatard god-talk. Style, you suck. Substance, we hardly knew ye.

23. Alan Fucking García. I've wank-listed him before (in fact, even before I was making a regular feature of the wank-list, or calling it that), but srsly, this one can go on that list again and again until his term is over. Otto calls his Peru "investment grade", and believe me, that phrase is NOT complimentary...especially not when followed by "Viva, Viva, Viva". In plain old non-bizspeak English, "investment grade" means "corrupt, polluted, and fraught with every imaginable kind of human rights abuses". And if you want to see how uncomplimentary it is, why honey, you just clicky right here, stick that phrase into the searchy-thingy down there the right-hand side, and let ol' Otto explain it all to you. He can do it so much better than I because he actually lives there. (And spends a lot of time with his face in his palm, I imagine.)

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24. Charles Fucking McVety. If you live in Ontario, you already know why this one is on the list. For those who don't, allow me to introduce you: World, dickweed; dickweed, world. Charles McVety is the unchristian asshole who fucked up Ontario's education system almost singlehandedly. I say "almost", because obviously it took someone to listen to him and take his shit seriously in order for our education system to get so fucked up and all. Comprehensive sex-education is a no-no for Charlie because he thinks we'll all learn how to be Teh Ghey and use condoms to boff each other in the butt. That's his main area of "concern", and he never misses a chance to push it in the attempt to make this entire liberal province all backward and homophobic and dumb and uptight like him and his buttboy, Little Stevie Peevie. In reality, what he's opposed to is protecting our kids against ignorance and all its fruits...no, not that kind...I'm talking unwanted pregnancy, repression, suicide, and oh yeah...STD outbreaks like the syphilis one that's currently raging in "God's country", Alberta. But y'know, I often think that inside every homophobe is a gay guy screaming to get out. And if you saw Chuckles, you'd know why he was screaming. If I were his inner gay guy, I'd be screaming to get out of him, too.

25. Faytene Fucking Kryskow. Who she? Basically, she's Chuckles McBetty's younger, "hipper", and scarier female incarnation. It took me a while to realize who she was, too. Her name is something I couldn't make up if I tried; it sounds like a hair product made of hydrogenated palm oil. And, quite by concidence, she has a vast array of very strange and shudder-inducing coiffures. The first time I saw her on the nightly news, in a spot about the theo-cons preying/praying on Parliament Hill, I didn't even catch her name, but her face was burned in my memory; how could it not be? I had never before seen a fundie chick with so much raccoon eyeliner, never mind those devil horns that were actually two big messy rolls of hair perched right on top of her head. Honestly, I thought I was staring into the face of Jezebel or the Whore of Babylon herself. If you thought all goth girls were Wiccans like me, you'd be in for a helluva shock on meeting either of us. I look natural and normal; she looks like she sleeps in a casket and drinks virgins' blood. Maybe she does! She runs a youth-ministry-type thingy with all kinds of Nürnberg-rally shows and thrash-metal music and an apocalyptic theological line that would make Jesus scream and run for his life, because that's exactly the kind of lynch mob that would crucify his poor ass all over again. Even the fundies think she's a satanist, and when you get those freaks thinking along those lines, well...

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26. Pat Fucking Robertson. Hey, we're on the subject of what makes Jesus vomit, and I'd say he's a pretty fair candidate. He pals around with African dictators, is rich from blood diamonds, calls for disasters to hit areas where gay people have been treated with a modicum more respect and dignity than to simply be carted off to a gas chamber, he hates Haiti, and oh yeah, he also called for the assassination of my man Chavecito--who, unlike Patwa, is a real Christian. He says stupid shit all the time, and he was not always as righteous as he might have you believe (if you are dumb and blind, that is.) But you know what really frosts my cake? He actually came out in favor of legalizing pot. Which makes me suspect two things: He's dying of something ghastly that can only be relieved with one drug, and he's actually looking to get right with God at last.

27. John Fucking Hagee. Here's another of those asshats whose head Jesus is going to snap off on judgment day and toss into the Lake of Fire for the demons to play soccer with. Oh, he's a great friend of Israel, all right, but he's no friend of the Jews. His views on Hitler as "God's hunter" ought to offend every self-respecting Jew on the planet. He did, however, use to pal around with a non-self-respecting one, Jack Fucking Abramoff, who's currently in the clinker for corruption; does that sound to you like the kind of company a godly man should keep? Well, to him it does, no doubt because of all the shekels this schmeckel stood to make off it all. He also hates the poor and would like nothing better to see them starve (unlike himself, of course; did I mention that he's corpulent?) Oh yeah, and he hates Chavecito, too. Why do you suppose that is? Surely not the tyranny of a good example again?

And finally, the man who is surely THE Dickweed of the Decade, if ever there had to be just one:

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28. George W. Fucking Bush. Can anyone deny that he screwed the last ten years up for the entire world? Watch Fahrenheit 9/11 and tell me you don't think so. "They" don't hate the US for its freedom, they hate it for taking theirs away. And no one's done more taking-away, or at least enabled it, than The Decider. Arrogant, stupid, a phony, a piss-poor businessman...I could go on about Dubya all night, but I'm not in the mood. I was happy to see Obama wave him off two years ago, and am only sorry he hasn't done more to rid the world of the damage that dirty little fucker left behind. Fuck you, Dubya, for all you have done. Fuck you very much.

And a crappy New Year to you, too.

Comments

They're a perfect bunch aren't they? Number 8 is my fucking favorite.

I saw that alternet piece about teabagging trolls being paid to disrupt online discussions.

Two words: Comment. Moderation.

Sabina, this is a very good list. One addition to the following:

20. Donald Fucking Rumsfeld. Another obscene war profiteer, Rummy owned stock in a pharmaceutical firm that just happens to manufacture the antiviral drug, Tamiflu. Was it any coincidence that we got scare stories every morning, noon and night on the news about the Bird Flu and how it was wreaking havoc...in the poorest, dirtiest, most down-at-heel poultry farms in Vietnam? Flu shots are cheaper and more effective (DUH: they prevent you from actually GETTING flu in the first place), but of course that wouldn't have lined Rummy's war-mongering pockets, either. He didn't own stock in a flu-shot manufacturer, after all.

Rumsfeld is a war criminal and scumbag, no doubt about it. And he was CEO of the company that owned the patent on Tamiflu. (He also was CEO of Searle, Inc. which produced NutraSweet (aspartame) despite the fact that it causes lesions in the brain.)

Please keep in mind that Tamiflu does nothing for Avian flu whatsoever. It was all a scam. And there is much controversy over flu shots as well, which appear to be dangerous. In the U.S. 23,000 people die from REGULAR flu and from flu shots (combined statistics -- we need to see them separated) every year.

Here's an excerpt from a piece I wrote on all this for the No Spray Coalition (against pesticides) and for the Brooklyn Greens / Green Party:

PHARMAGEDDON: SPRAYING IN LIGHT OF 9/11

In the years that followed 9/11, we were made to fear one health emergency after another: First West Nile, then Anthrax. That little item suddenly dropped out of the news in a hurry when they traced the Anthrax sent to key officials and media to (surprise!) the U.S. Army's top-secret biowarfare laboratory in Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Next came the great Smallpox vaccination scare, remember? And then SARS, followed by Avian Flu. Then it was Swine Flu. Each time they spread panic and sell hundreds of millions of dollars of worthless drugs. And -- and here's where things start tying together for the purposes of this essay -- each time they announce a new health scare they put into place more facets of a massive surveillance and repressive apparatus, under the rubric of a "health emergency".

All of this began two years before the repressive stipulations in the USA Patriot Act and other "anti-civil liberties" legislation.

Avian Flu is a disease birds may develop, particularly chickens. It's a modern result of the horrible, cramped conditions of factory farming. So, do they pass laws banning chickens from being raised and slaughtered under such conditions? No -- although one proposition in California that passed in the last election does address the horrible conditions under which some animals are raised and how they are treated. But what does Sen. Robert Frist (R -- Tennessee), who is also an M.D., and other officials say about what to do if Avian Flu hits the U.S.? Dose yourself and your kids with the pharmaceutical, TamiFlu. What none of them tell us is that TamiFlu does absolutely nothing to treat the causes of Avian Flu or Swine Flu. They also don't tell us who owns the patent -- Donald Rumsfeld, the architect of the war on Iraq. As former CEO of Gilead and a major stockholder, Rumsfeld gets a percentage of the profits on every box of TamiFlu sold. (Roche was assigned distribution rights.)

Rudy Giuliani's speaking tour early in his 2008 Presidential campaign was bankrolled by Eli Lilly, another giant pharmaceutical company.

George Bush, Sr. presided over the Executive Board of Eli Lilly, Inc., from 1977 to 1979, fresh from his stint as director of the CIA. The company is controlled by the Quayle family of Indiana (remember Dan Quayle, Bush Sr.'s Vice-President?). Bush's Budget Director Mitch Daniels was also a Lilly senior executive.

Lilly boosted the sales of Sen. Robert Frist's book on bioterrorism, published after 9/11, by buying 5,000 copies and distributing them to doctors. At the same time Sen. Frist submitted an amendment to the Homeland Security Act limiting Eli Lilly Inc.'s liability from lawsuits by people suffering negative reactions to vaccines, particularly by families who believe their children were harmed by the mercury-based preservative thimerosal.(1)

Government-orchestrated health scares have turned out to be an essential component in stripping away our freedoms and establishing a 1984-type surveillance infrastructure, in the name of "health" and "fighting bioterrorism." HIV/AIDS played an early role here in government experiments over how to orchestrate hysteria to control the beliefs and activities of a target population.

After the events of September 11, 2001, the Office of Homeland Security and other federal agencies began urging cities across the country to spray toxic pesticides over urban populations and eco­systems "to prevent West Nile." Those were areas that had not even had any indication of West Nile Virus.

---------
Mitchel Cohen
No Spray Coalition, and
Brooklyn Greens / Green Party

Mitchel, thanks...that is excellent information. I've got a history of susceptibility to respiratory viruses, so I get my flu shots whenever they're offered (for free here in Ontario) and that helps cut down on my wintertime sick days. (I still get a lot of colds and Norwalk, though--obviously unrelated conditions, but markers of susceptibility. Some people just are naturally more prone to viral illness than others.) We do get information beforehand on what's in the shots, and are given the choice of ones that don't contain thimerosal as a preservative; our government's been good that way. I'm hoping that eventually something will be discovered that's safe to use and will result in the phase-out of all mercury-containing preservatives. (I already avoid thimerosal when I can; as a long-term contact lens wearer, I don't buy any cleaning or wetting solutions that contain it. I also opted for ceramic rather than mercury-amalgam dental fillings.)

I've never used Tamiflu and never will; I prefer to use herbal teas and tinctures when I do come down with anything, even if it's only for symptomatic relief. And I hate diet pop--it just has that awful aftertaste, and it leaves you craving calories from other sources, so it's actually a dietary saboteur. Plain old cane sugar is no health food, but it's ultimately better to use--you end up craving less and using less. Better still to condition the taste buds for less sweets--that way, cravings can be sabotaged before they sabotage your health.

And yeah, who wants to line the pockets of polluters and poisoners? Not me. Big Pharma and Big Farming are both major environmental culprits, and it's all in the name of profit. We need more industrial regulation all across the board. No more factory farming, and less reliance on drugs for conditions that tend not to respond to them anyway. Local small-to-mid-scale production needs to be brought back; it creates local jobs, ensures better quality control, and means less pollution generated in transporting food to market. Organic, less processed, and free-range foods are best--they taste better, are more nutritious, and are less likely to cause disease. And definitely no more antibiotics in food or milk production! The fact that superbugs now exist that defy almost all antibiotics in use is proof that bacteria only thrive in the face of everything we do thinking to thwart them. What gets done in the name of "protecting" the factory farm is probably going to end up killing a lot of people before the insanity finally ends.

Bina, thanks for keeping this blog current. This is a lot of work, and you do quality analysis.

All I have to say is this: where's my flying fucking car and my jet-pack?

Thanks for nothing capitalist pig-fuckers!

In a society based on healthy values, solidarity, and authentic health, I'd be flying my car over a verdant, ecologically intact planet.

Our work is to make it happen. Word.

Happy New Year.

mood lipstick?

Yeah...you know? Changes color with your body chemistry/temperature? Like a mood ring, only lipstick? They actually predicted that there would be something like that. Oh, and nail polish that only sticks to your nails, not anything else. I'm still waiting for that one, too. At this point, I'll settle for something that doesn't come off five minutes after I apply it...

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