Elite Bias in Mainstream Media, Mental Disorders in Half the Population, The Promise of Regenerative Agriculture
Revealing News Articles
August 15, 2023
Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on elite bias in mainstream media shaping public discourse, a study finding that about half of all people will develop at least one mental disorder by the age of 75, evidence that 45 percent of the US water supply has been contaminated by so-called "forever chemicals," and more.
In our independent media section, don't miss articles on the public relations firm promoting the idea that pesticide levels in honey are safe, the increasing use of drones by police, and the deep ties between Wikipedia and the military-intelligence complex.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on the promise of regenerative agriculture to improve the food supply while sequestering atmospheric carbon and the potential of psychedelic medicine to address mental health issues without the negative side-effects of traditional antidepressants. You can also skip to this section now.
Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails, see this page. The most important sentences are highlighted. And don't miss the "What you can do" section below the summaries. By educating ourselves and spreading the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
Special note: In our newsletter this week, we explore a few articles that speak to the harms of PFAS, also known as "forever chemicals" that are found in our water, food, and household products. These chemicals have been linked to cancer, birth defects, liver disease, thyroid disease, decreased immunity, hormone disruption and other serious health problems. Read an excellent review of the research and advocacy done to raise awareness about these significant health concerns, including how corporate manipulation of science was used by PFAS manufacturers to hide this crucial information from the public.
Quote of the week: The best and most evolved technologies are those that do not destroy the very base on which we live. ~~ Vandana Shiva
Video of the week: Have you seen the groundbreaking and inspiring movie Kiss the Ground? In a time where we're told hopeless and divisive narratives about our current environmental challenges, people all over the world are reversing the damage from destroyed ecosystems, regenerating the world's soils, and creating abundant food supplies. Don't miss this powerful film on the growing regenerative agriculture movement and its power to revive global community and our connection to the natural world.
What if We’re the Bad Guys Here?
August 2, 2023, New York Times
When I began my journalism career in Chicago in the 1980s, there were still some old crusty working-class guys around the newsroom. Now we’re not only a college-dominated profession; we’re an elite-college-dominated profession. Only 0.8 percent of college students graduate from the super-elite 12 schools (the Ivy League colleges, plus Stanford, M.I.T., Duke and the University of Chicago). A 2018 study found that more than 50 percent of the staff writers at the beloved New York Times and The Wall Street Journal attended one of the 29 most elite universities in the nation. Members of our class also segregate ourselves into a few booming metro areas. In 2020, Biden won only 500 or so counties, but together they are responsible for 71 percent of the American economy. Trump won over 2,500 counties, responsible for only 29 percent. Like all elites, we use language and mores as tools to recognize one another and exclude others. Using words like “problematic,” “cisgender,” “Latinx” and “intersectional” is a sure sign that you’ve got cultural capital. Meanwhile, members of the less-educated classes have to walk on eggshells because they never know when we’ve changed the usage rules so that something that was sayable five years ago now gets you fired. Does this mean that I think the people in my class are vicious and evil? No. Most of us are earnest, kind and public-spirited. But we take for granted and benefit from systems that have become oppressive.
Note: Watch an excellent interview of journalist Batya Ungar-Sargon discussing how journalism has shifted from being a working class trade that held the powerful accountable to an elite industry that serves the upper class. She articulates that mainstream news has abandoned and divided the working class by creating a culture war around identity and race. Elites shaping the news industry benefit from this political polarization, which hides the tragic reality of income inequality that affect all races across political lines.
At least half of all people likely to develop mental health disorders before 75: study
August 5, 2023, The Hill
A recent study in The Lancet found that by the age of 75 about half of all people will develop a mental disorder. “These disorders typically first emerge in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood,” reads the study, co-led by researchers from Harvard Medical School and the University of Queensland. “Services should have the capacity to detect and treat common mental disorders promptly and to optimize care that suits people at these crucial parts of the life course.” The study included over 150,000 respondents aged 18 and older from 29 countries between 2001 and 2022. The study also noted a finding of different disorders more commonly affecting different genders than others. “The two most prevalent disorders were alcohol use disorder and major depressive disorder for male respondents and major depressive disorder and specific phobia for female respondents,” the study said. The study noted the importance of studying the frequency and timing of mental disorder development, calling it “fundamental importance for public health planning."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Map: Does your drinking water contain ‘forever chemicals’?
August 5, 2023, The Hill
So-called “forever chemicals” have been found in 45% of the nation’s tap water, according to a recent government study, but is your tap water affected? If you’re wondering whether or not your tap water might contain synthetic chemicals known as PFAS, nonprofit Environmental Working Group created an interactive map using official records and data from public drinking water systems to show where forever chemicals were found to be above and below the advised maximum concentration level, 4 parts per trillion (PPT). EWG notes that while researchers used the highest quality data available, contamination levels are based on a single point in time and may not reflect changes to the water system or treatment efforts. PFAS is an umbrella term for thousands of chemicals that are used to make nonstick pans, food packaging, fire-fighting foams, to-go boxes, furniture, rugs, clothing and more. The chemicals are so ubiquitous it would be nearly impossible for most Americans to rid their home of them. The chemicals are both extremely common and potentially dangerous. Described as “forever chemicals” because they don’t degrade naturally in the environment, PFAS have been linked to a variety of health problems, including liver and immune-system damage. Studies of lab animals have found potential links between PFAS chemicals and some cancers, including kidney and testicular, plus issues such as high blood pressure and low birth weight.
Chemical companies’ PFAS payouts are huge – but the problem is even bigger
August 3, 2023, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
When the chemical giant 3M agreed in early June to pay up to $12.5bn to settle a lawsuit over PFAS contamination in water systems across the nation, it was hailed by attorneys as “the largest drinking water settlement in American history”, and viewed as a significant win for the public in the battle against toxic “forever chemicals”. A second June settlement with the PFAS manufacturers DuPont, Chemours and Corteva tallied a hefty $1.1bn. But while the sums are impressive on their face, they represent just a fraction of the estimated $400bn some estimate will be needed to clean and protect the nation’s drinking water. Orange county, California, alone put the cost of cleaning its system at $1bn. Because PFAS are so widely used and the scale of their harm is so great ... the industry’s final bill could exceed the $200bn paid by big tobacco in the 1990s. PFAS are a class of about 15,000 compounds used to make products across dozens of industries resistant to water, stains and heat. They are called “forever chemicals” because they do not naturally break down, and are linked to cancer, kidney disease, liver conditions, immune disorders, birth defects and other health problems. The chemicals are thought to be contaminating drinking water for over 200 million Americans. Tens of thousands of contaminated private wells are not included in the settlement. The chemicals are also widely used in thousands of consumer products from dental floss to cookware to clothing, and have been found to contaminate food, soil and air.
A Democrat’s obsessive quest to change the way America is farmed and fed
July 26, 2023, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Each year for the last 26 years – nearly his entire tenure in the US Congress – Earl Blumenauer has advocated for a law that would utterly transform US agriculture. Nearly every time, though, his proposals have been shut down. Even so, he persists. Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, wants to see a version of US agriculture that centers people, animals and the environment, rather than the large-scale, energy-intensive commodity crop farms that currently receive billions of dollars in subsidies. Blumenauer’s newest plan, the Food and Farm Act, was introduced earlier this year, as an alternative to the farm bill – the package of food and agricultural policies passed every five years that is up for renewal this fall. His proposal would redirect billions of dollars away from subsidies for commodity farms towards programs that support small farmers, climate-friendly agriculture and increasing healthy food access. “Most of us don’t even know that the public dollars initially designed to protect farmers and keep supply managed to feed a hungry nation in the Great Depression are now reinforcing wealthy agribusiness corporations to grow commodities that are not even meant for human consumption,” said Joshua Newell, a policy analyst. Most of the farms excluded from subsidy payments are those using sustainable growing methods that preserve soil and benefit the climate. Blumenauer’s bill would ... ensure more funding goes toward sustainable farming practices.
There’s far more scientific fraud than anyone wants to admit
August 9, 2023, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Scientific misconduct does not happen only at Stanford and Harvard. Of the nearly 5,500 retractions we catalogue in 2022, and the thousands of cases we have reported on since launching our watchdog website Retraction Watch in 2010, the vast majority involve researchers at institutions without anywhere near Stanford and Harvard’s pedigrees. The number of retractions each year reflects about a tenth of a percent of the papers published in a given year – in other words, one in 1,000. Yet the figure has grown significantly from about 40 retractions in 2000, far outpacing growth in the annual volume of papers published. Retractions have risen sharply in recent years for two main reasons: first, sleuthing, largely by volunteers who comb academic literature for anomalies, and, second, major publishers’ (belated) recognition that their business models have made them susceptible to paper mills – scientific chop shops that sell everything from authorships to entire manuscripts to researchers who need to publish lest they perish. These are not merely academic matters. Particularly when it comes to medical research, faker hurts real people. The truth, however, is that the number of retractions in 2022 – 5,500 – is almost definitely a vast undercount of how much misconduct and fraud exists. We estimate that at least 100,000 retractions should occur every year. Journals and publishers ... fail to do their part, finding ways to ignore criticism of what they have published, leaving fatally flawed work flagged.
Note: Back in 2015, the editor-in-chef of The Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, wrote that much of scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. According to a revealing article by Nature, a leading science journal, medicine is plagued by untrustworthy clinical trials. Who can we trust? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on science corruption from reliable major media sources.
America’s state media: The blackout on Biden corruption is truly ‘Pulitzer-level stuff’
May 13, 2023, The Hill
This week, Rep. Byron Donald (R-Fla.) tried to do the impossible. After he and his colleagues presented a labyrinth of LLC shell companies and accounts used to funnel as much as $10 million to Biden family members, Donald tried to induce the press to show some interest in the massive corruption scandal. “For those in the press, this easy pickings & Pulitzer-level stuff right here,” he pleaded. Despite showing nine Biden family members allegedly receiving funds from corrupt figures in Romania, China and other countries, The New Republic quickly ran a story headlined “Republicans Finally Admit They Have No Incriminating Evidence on Joe Biden.” For many of us, it was otherworldly. A decade ago, when then-Vice President Joe Biden was denouncing corruption in Romania and Ukraine and promising action by the United States, massive payments were flowing to his son Hunter Biden and a variety of family members, including Biden grandchildren. The brilliance of the Biden team was that it invested the media in this scandal at the outset by burying the laptop story as “Russian disinformation” before the election. That was, of course, false, but it took two years for most major media outlets to admit that the laptop was authentic. But the media then ignored what was on that “authentic laptop.” Hundreds of emails detailed potentially criminal conduct and raw influence peddling in foreign countries. The media simply fails to see the story.
Key Articles From Independent Media
Why did the National Honey Board hire a PR firm that works for the pesticide industry?
August 8, 2023, U.S. Right to Know
In 2016, the American honey industry faced a crisis: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had found high levels of glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer, in honey samples from Iowa. The National Honey Board (NHB), a honey industry-funded agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, did what many businesses under fire have done: They hired a crisis management public relations firm, in this case to downplay the risks of glyphosate in honey. The PR firm, Porter Novelli, later worked with the NHB to deflect concerns about honey containing neonicotinoids. The insect-killing chemicals are tied to the collapse of bee colonies. At the same time, Porter Novelli was working for Bayer, a leading manufacturer of glyphosate and neonicotinoids. The PR firm’s work for Bayer included promoting the use of neonicotinoids and opposing regulations that would safeguard honey bees. CropLife America, the pesticide industry lobby group, has also hired Porter Novelli’s subsidiary, Paradigm Communications, to “lead the effort to shift how pesticide products were portrayed in search engine results,” according to the Intercept. Search terms compiled by CropLife America staff included “neonicotinoid,” “pollinators,” and “neonics.” As other countries responded to the science by banning neonics, in the U.S., “industry dug in, seeking not only to discredit the research but to cast pesticide companies as a solution to the problem." Studies show the insecticides are toxic to the brain and nervous system [of humans].
Note: According to the CDC, about half the U.S. population is exposed to at least one neonic on a regular basis, with children ages 3-5 years old having the highest levels. Merchants of Poison: How Monsanto Sold the World on a Toxic Pesticide is a recent and comprehensive analysis of documents released in litigation against Monsanto that expose years of pesticide industry disinformation. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption.
It’s a Bird. It’s a Plane. It’s the Police Responding to a 911 Call.
July 29, 2023, The Marshall Project
If you call 911 to report an emergency, the odds are increasing that a drone will be the first unit sent to respond. More than 1,500 departments across the country now use them, “mostly for search and rescue as well as to document crime scenes and chase suspects,” according to ... MIT Technology Review. Generally, police drones don’t carry weapons and are used primarily for video surveillance. It is possible for small drones to deliver chemical irritants like tear gas, however, a technology that police in Israel have used against Palestinians. In a report published on Thursday, American Civil Liberties Union Senior Policy Analyst Jay Stanley worries that these kinds of drone programs may normalize usage and “usher in an era of pervasive, suspicionless, mass aerial surveillance.” He notes far more invasive turns that police drone usage could take, including warrantless surveillance of specific people, crime “hotspots” or even whole neighborhoods or cities. Stanley wonders if drone usage won’t just ... “amplify the problems with the deeply broken U.S. criminal legal system.” Many of the cities using drones in policing are doing so from so-called “real-time crime centers.” These units function as centralized hubs to connect the various bits of surveillance and data that police collect from things like stationary cameras, drones, license plate readers and technology that listens for possible gunshots. Some centers can even integrate police body cameras and video from Ring doorbells.
Note: Police have been using military predator drones for domestic law enforcement since 2011. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
Wikipedia and the Military-Intelligence Complex: How the Free Encyclopedia Feeds the National Security State from Which It Emerged
June 25, 2021, Counterpunch
Wikipedia is part of the very internet developed by the military with public money in the 1950s-60s, then called ARPANET. Generally speaking, corporations hope that the systems developed in the military that evolve in the public-corporate realm—satellites, computers, data analysis, etc.—will inspire new military-intelligence innovations in a permanent feedback loop. The overarching “values” [of Wikipedia] and its contributors—mainly young, white, middle-class liberals—will reflect those “values”. They include progressive slogans but reactionary policies, humanitarianism but pro-war positions, and conformity to consensus opinion even when the consensus is wrong (e.g., “regime change” in Libya and Syria). By 2006, the Intelligence Community had developed its own Intellipedia. A Top Secret report released under a FOIA request instructed intelligence officers how to edit Wikipedia’s entry on MK-ULTRA, the CIA’s mind control program (1953-circa 1970s), for Intellipedia. Funded by weapons contractors like BAE Systems and Boeing, and until recently led by people like Katherine Maher, ex-World Banker and Fellow of the Truman National Security Project, which exists to promote “US values” at home and abroad, the Wikimedia Foundation that enables Wikipedia does not exist in a vacuum. Wikipedia does not present unbiased, scholarly encyclopedia entries. It is as much part of the military-industrial-complex as mainstream corporate media.
Note: Some Wikipedia entries have been professionally manipulated. Watch a fascinating video with Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia, who now says he no longer trusts the website he's helped created. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and media manipulation from reliable sources.
Key Articles From Years Past
When the C.I.A. Was Into Mind Control
September 10, 2019, Times
read on nytimes.com
A new biography by Stephen Kinzer ... "Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control" ... traces the life and career of Gottlieb. [He was] the brains behind ... MK-ULTRA, the notorious research endeavor that employed mind-altering drugs, including LSD. In 1952, Gottlieb led a team of scientists to a safehouse in Munich ... where prisoners of war were pumped full of drugs, interrogated and then allowed to die. [Back in the U.S.,] Gottlieb worked with a sadistic narcotics officer in opening a “national security whorehouse” to dose unwitting victims being serviced by prostitutes on the C.I.A. payroll. Drugging johns was easy, but when Gottlieb started dosing unwitting government colleagues the research hit turbulence. Frank Olson, an Army scientist working with MK-ULTRA who had been given LSD without his knowledge, jumped, or was possibly pushed, out of a hotel room window in New York in 1953. [Olson's story is] covered most recently in [the] docudrama “Wormwood.” His death has overshadowed the “expendables.” We just don’t know most of their names since Gottlieb destroyed the records. Some of the details in the book, like the coercion of African-American prisoners to participate in C.I.A. experiments, are astounding. [MK-ULTRA] should be remembered for what it was: a vehicle for abominable experiments that often targeted the most vulnerable — drug users, prisoners and psychiatric patients, who were deprived of meaningful informed consent. Kinzer’s book is also a good reminder that there is rarely legal accountability for the C.I.A.’s misdeeds.
Note: Explore concise excerpts from the astounding declassified CIA documents on MK-ULTRA. They reveal a very successful program to create Manchurian Candidates or spies who don't know they are spies. The Times' title of this article implies that the CIA is no longer into mind control. If you think that is true, think again. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind control from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Mind Control Information Center.
We need regenerative farming, not geoengineering
March 9, 2015, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Geoengineering is a technological fix that leaves the economic and industrial system causing climate change untouched. The mindset behind geoengineering stands in sharp contrast to an emerging ecological, systems approach taking shape in the form of regenerative agriculture. More than a mere alternative strategy, regenerative agriculture represents a fundamental shift in our culture’s relationship to nature. Regenerative agriculture comprises an array of techniques that rebuild soil and, in the process, sequester carbon. Typically, it uses cover crops and perennials so that bare soil is never exposed, and grazes animals in ways that mimic animals in nature. It also offers ecological benefits far beyond carbon storage: it stops soil erosion, remineralises soil, protects the purity of groundwater and reduces damaging pesticide and fertiliser runoff. Yields from regenerative methods often exceed conventional yields. Likewise, since these methods build soil, crowd out weeds and retain moisture, fertiliser and herbicide inputs can be reduced or eliminated entirely, resulting in higher profits for farmers. No-till methods can sequester as much as a ton of carbon per acre annually. In the US alone, that could amount to nearly a quarter of current emissions. Ultimately, climate change challenges us to rethink our long-standing separation from nature. It is time to fall in love with the land, the soil, and the trees, to halt their destruction and to serve their restoration.
Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.
‘Common Ground’: Tribeca Film Connects Regenerative Farming, Politics And Public Health
June 20, 2023, Forbes
Healthy soil makes healthy food which makes healthy people. That’s one of the key premises behind the documentary, Common Ground, which premiered at the Tribeca Festival. The documentary explores the connection between farming, public policy and disease, and aims to spark a cultural and political movement rooted in the practice of regenerative agriculture. The film hopes to rally for the transition of 100 million more acres of U.S. land to regenerative by tripling the reach and impact of the filmmakers’ 2020 film, Kiss the Ground. Common Ground’s core message about soil, climate and human health is endorsed by star-studded narration from actor-activists Laura Dern, Jason Momoa, Donald Glover, Woody Harrelson, Rosario Dawson and Ian Somerhalder as well as New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. Regenerative agriculture [is] a philosophy and approach to land management that nourishes people and the earth. The holistic principles of regenerative farming aim to restore soil and ecosystem health, address inequity and leave our land, waters and climate in better shape for future generations. According to North Dakota farmer ... Gabe Brown, “Regenerative agriculture is a renewal of a food and farming system that focuses on the whole chain, from soil to plant health to animal and human health. The nutrient density of the foods we produce is directly related to the health of the soil.” The current model doesn’t pay farmers who make nutrient-dense products. Regenerative agriculture is changing that.
Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.
Psychedelics as Antidepressants
January 30, 2021, Scientific American
As of 2018, nearly one in eight Americans use antidepressants. Unfortunately, more than a third of patients are resistant to the mood-improving benefits of medicine’s best antidepressant drugs. These people are not completely out of options. There are chemicals already out there that can restore their mood balance, and in some cases, even save their lives. Chemicals such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and dimethyltryptamine (DMT) are more accurately called “serotonergic psychedelics” among the neuroscience community. At the correct doses, psychedelics are well tolerated, producing only minor side effects such as transient fear, perception of illusions, nausea/vomiting or headaches. These fleeting side effects pale in comparison to the severity of commonly prescribed antidepressants, which include dangerous changes in heart rate and blood pressure, paradoxical increases in suicidality, and withdrawal symptoms. As far as outcomes go, psychedelics in combination with psychotherapy are remarkably efficient at treating depression. Compared to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, the current gold standard in antidepressant medication, psychedelics have a faster effect on patients, sometimes effective with only a single therapy session. Psychedelics also have a longer-lasting effect than an SSRI regimen. A 2015 study ... demonstrated that past history of psychedelic use decreases the odds of suicidal thoughts or actions over the course of a lifetime.
Note: Read more about the healing potentials of psychedelic medicine. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.
Vitamin D May Double Chances of Surviving Breast Cancer
March 7, 2014, TIME Magazine
read on time.com
In a new study, researchers found that breast-cancer patients who had high levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to survive [as] women with low levels. They reviewed five studies that observed more than 4,440 women. “The study has implications for including vitamin D as an adjuvant to conventional breast cancer therapy,” study co-author Dr. Heather Hofflich, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California San Diego, said in a press release. The researchers recommend that vitamin D should be added to the various treatments given to women fighting breast cancer. The body naturally produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but milk, fatty fish and other foods can also boost production. Patients could also take vitamin D supplements.
Note: This is huge news! Why isn't this exciting development getting more press coverage? Read numerous major media articles revealing potential cancer cures which have received little attention. And see an informative article with more on the Vitamin D connection.
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