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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Is There in Truth No Beauty?

Is There in Truth No Beauty?
or, Lies and Fear Must Be Rejected,
by Liviana (Giovanna L.)

So you've read or heard some scary things about Doctor Jill Stein, Green Party nominee for President?  You're wondering if those things might be true?  Let's look and see.

Are Doctor Jill Stein and the Green Party opposed to vaccinations?  Do they believe that vaccinations cause Autism?

Here is the truth.  Please read it.

First, let's address the question itself, whether vaccines themselves cause Autism.

No.  They do not.  You want evidence?  Okay ...

No MMR-Autism Link in Large Study of Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated Kids

12-Year-Old Sets Out To Prove Link Between Vaccines And Autism: Here’s What He Found (with Video)

American Academy of Pediatrics: Pediatrics Journal:  Addressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Vaccines Cause Allergic or Autoimmune Diseases?

Have there been contaminated vaccines in the past?  Apparently so.

Are there risks involved in vaccines?  Of course, and even in something as common as a flu vaccination, you are given a disclosure form which you must sign stating that you have been informed of the risks of, among other things, the possibility of getting Guillain-Barré syndrome from the vaccine.

But this hysterical claim that MMR vaccinations cause Autism is thoroughly debunked and unworthy of being promoted.

Now, where did all this stuff about Doctor Stein being an "anti-vaxxer" come from?  Who stands to gain by spreading these claims?

The Hillary Clinton for President campaign is feeling the Bern rather strongly, as large numbers of those who supported Senator Bernie Sanders in the primary have decided to support Doctor Jill Stein in the general election.  Hillary's ratings continue to fluctuate wildly, but her approval and trust ratings have taken a nose dive.  The Hillary campaign is trying their damnedest to promote the idea that Doctor Stein is an anti-vaxxer or at least "pandering" to anti-vaxxers:

And they have not limited their smear attempts to the vaccination question:
Smearing Stein: Media as Propaganda

So does Doctor Jill Stein oppose vaccination?  Is she an "anti-vaxxer," or does she "pander" to those who are?

These attempted smears of Doctor Stein by the Hillary for  President campaign are _not_ a reflection of Doctor Stein's views in the least, as shown in multiple sources (including Snopes):

Dr. Jill Stein Tweet on the Question

Their smears to discredit Jill Stein

Dr. Jill Stein joins On Point for a conversation about politics and policies
Beginning about 35 minutes in, Doctor Stein addresses charges that she is anti-vaccination, or might somehow be "pandering" to anti-vaxxers.

Jill Stein answers science questions

Flashback: When Hillary and Obama Gave Credence to Anti-Vaccine Theories

Jill's Line
Claim: Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein has stated that she opposes the use of vaccines.  X False

Can we once and for all lay to rest this desperate lie that Doctor Jill Stein is in any way opposed to vaccination?  Can we once and for all bury the lie that Doctor Stein is "pandering" to those who are opposed to vaccination?  Can we stop listening to the corrupt, voter suppressing, election rigging, establishment and do some research to find out the truth of the claims with which we are inundated by the corporate media and the establishment parties' candidates?

What about other claims that Dr Stein is anti-science?  What's this stuff about her worrying about children being exposed to wifi?  That's gotta be some kind of crazy, right?

As for the Wi-Fi business? The French actually have a law to limit exposure to electromagnetic waves generated by wireless technology (mobile phones, tablets , Wi-Fi):

La loi sur les ondes électromagnétiques en 5 questions

TEACHERS in the UK seem to have had some concerns as well:

Wi-fi 'should be banned in schools'

Obviously educated people. Probably a majority of them are rational, too.  Some might even be science teachers.

And before you insist that Wi-Fi is perfectly safe, and that the UK teachers and the French government are being hysterical, you might want to look into this:

Major Cell Phone Radiation Study Reignites Cancer Questions
Exposure to radio-frequency radiation linked to tumor formation in rats

Again, this attack on Doctor Stein is nothing but the Hillary campaign trying to discredit a superior candidate by playing on fear.

Hm, okay, maybe we should not dismiss her concerns about wifi out of hand.  But she's anti-scientific on GMOs, right?  GMOs are perfectly safe, so why's she so 'paranoid' about them?

No.  You will occasionally encounter people who insist that Genetically Modified Organisms are perfectly safe and who attack any suggestion to the contrary as somehow anti-scientific.  But let's look at this assertion a bit more closely.

Are GMO’s Safe? The Case of Bt Corn

Well, there!  That seems pretty safe!  So what's all the hoopla about GMOs about?
Let's dig a little deeper.

Public Health Association of Australia:  GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS

Union of Concerned Scientists:  Genetic Engineering in Agriculture

Boston College Law Review:  Risk and Regulation: U.S. Regulatory Policy on Genetically Modified Food and Agriculture

Now let me quote a brief passage from page 741 of "A literature review on the safety assessment of genetically modified plants," published in Environment International, Volume 37, Issue 4, May 2011.

<< Moreover, it is worth mentioning that most of the studies demonstrating that GM foods are as nutritional and safe as those obtained by conventional breeding, have been performed by biotechnology companies or associates, which are also responsible of commercializing these GM plants. ...  Scientists know quite well how different may be the information published in reputed international journals, which has been submitted to peer-review processes, from those general comments/reports not submitted to this selective procedure.

A relatively remarkable finding of the present review is that the published scientific literature between October 2006 (Domingo, 2007) and August 2010 (current review) on edible GM plants, concerns only to three products: corn/maize, soybeans, and rice, rice being comparatively the less abundant. We have not been able to find citations involving investigations on GM potatoes (except a review by Arvanitoyannis et al., 2008), peas, tomatoes, pepper, etc., after October 2006. ...  Séralini's group raised concern regarding some commercialized GM maize (NK 603, MON 810 and MON 863) (Séralini et al., 2007, 2009; de Vendômois et al., 2009). Similarly, scientific controversy is also present in relation to the safety of GM soybeans. While it has been reported that 356043 (Sakamoto et al., 2007) and 305423 (Delaney et al., 2008) soybeans were as safe as conventional non-GM soybeans, some authors are still concerned by the safety of GM soybeans and recommend to investigate the long-term consequences of GM diets and the potential synergistic effects with other products and/or conditions (Malatesta et al., 2008a,b;  Cisterna et al., 2008; Magaña-Gómez et al., 2008).

In the period here revised, October 2006–August 2010, a few reviews on health risks of GM foods/plants have been also published (Dona and Arvanitoyannis, 2009; Magaña-Gómez and de la Barca, 2009; Key et al., 2008). In general terms, all these authors agree in remarking that more scientific efforts are clearly necessary in order to build confidence in the evaluation and acceptance of GM foods/plant by both the scientific community and the general public. Especially critical is the recent review by Dona and Arvanitoyannis (2009), who remarked that results of most studies with GM foods would indicate that they may cause some common toxic effects such as hepatic, pancreatic, renal, or reproductive effects, and might alter the hematological, biochemical, and immunologic parameters. These authors also concluded that the use of recombinant GH or its expression in animals should be re-examined since it has been shown that it increases IGF-1 which, in turn, may promote cancer. A harsh response to that review was recently published in the same journal (Rickard, 2010). This is indeed only an example on the controversial debate on GMOs, which remains completely open at all levels. >>
(Again, this is on p. 741.)

No scientific controversy?  Hmm, maybe that's not quite so;  maybe there is some scientific controversy:
An Illusory Consensus behind GMO Health Assessment

The British Medical Association (not exactly an "anti-scientific" group) recommends caution and further research:
Genetically modified foods and health: a second interim statement

<< These principles dictate a case-by-case premarket assessment that includes an evaluation of both direct and unintended effects. >>
~ "Codex guidelines for GM foods include the analysis of unintended effects," Nature Biotechnology 21, 739 - 741 (2003).

False claims and flawed conclusions being used to push GMO crops

Monsanto Protection Act Signed By Obama, GMO Bill “Written By Monsanto” Signed Into Law

Minimizing Pollen Drift & Commingling of GMO and non-GMO Corn Grain

"GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health," The New England Journal of Medicine, 2015; 373:693-695, August 20, 2015

How One GMO Nearly Took Down the Planet

Time Magazine:  "Over Half of E.U. Countries Are Opting Out of GMOs"

Genetically Modified Maize: Doctors' Chamber Warns of "Unpredictable Results" to Humans

10 Problems Genetically Modified Foods Are Already Causing

"GM crops and the rat digestive tract: A critical review," Environment International, Volume 73, December 2014, Pages 423–433

"Safety assessment of GM plants: An updated review of the scientific literature," Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 95, September 2016, Pages 12–18

Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment Statement on Genetically Modified Organisms in the Environment and the Marketplace

And even if GMOs themselves were uncontroversial as some claim, there's more to it than the GMOs themselves;  there are also issues related to chemicals used with GMOs:
Pesticide Action Network:  Monsanto vs farmers. Again.

Okay, okay, so maybe GMOs aren't quite as safe as Monsanto and other corporations producing them would like for us to believe.  Alright, then, she's not anti-scientific.  But what about her praising Russia and condemning the US?  While she was in Russia, even;  what about that?

Okay, let's look at that.

<< ...

On Saturday, it was Jill Stein’s turn in the Kremlin seat. As the Green Party candidate rises in the polls, it was only a matter of time before Democrats turned their Russia-smearing eyes toward her. One of the most widely-shared tweets of the weekend was this one from Andrew Weiss of the Carnegie Endowment: a total fabrication that was nonetheless heralded by dozens of Clinton-support journalists because it did the job of smearing a Hillary dissenter as a Russian tool:
This tweet is, to state it plainly, a lie. Stein simply did not “gush over Russian support for human rights.” To the contrary, in this very video, she criticized Russia for diverting scarce resources into military spending while its people suffered, and merely praised her fellow participants from around the world who attended an RT-sponsored conference. But no matter: Democratic operatives and journalists widely hailed it as proof that she, too, is some sort of Russia dupe or worse.

One Clinton-supporting blog – while also lying by claiming that “she only criticized the US” – attacked Stein for criticizing the U.S. while standing on dirty foreign soil (“with Red Square as her backdrop”), a long-standing trope used by the Far Right to attack liberals and Democrats for being unpatriotic by virtue of criticizing the U.S. while outside its borders. Commenting on that post, numerous Clinton supporters predictably denounced Stein as a traitor, saying “I don’t think it goes too far to suggest these are acts of sedition and possibly treason,” while the blogger himself dismissed objections over his “red-baiting” by saying “Putin is former KGB!” Journalists from major media outlets used all this to announce that Putin now has not one but (at least) two presidential candidates he controls:

So just like that, literally overnight, Clinton-supporting journalists and Democratic operatives converted Jill Stein into an agent of the Kremlin – all because she went to Russia and attended an event where Putin spoke.

So that’s the Democratic Party’s approach to the 2016 election. Those who question, criticize or are perceived to impede Hillary Clinton’s smooth, entitled path to the White House are vilified as stooges, sympathizers and/or agents of Russia: Trump, WikiLeaks, Sanders, The Intercept, Jill Stein. Other than loyal Clinton supporters, is there anyone left who is not covertly controlled by or in service to The Ruskies?

THERE ARE SO MANY LEVELS OF IRONY to the Democrats’ reliance on this ugly tactic. To begin with, one presidential candidate who actually has significant, questionable ties to Russia is named . . . Hillary Clinton. ... >>

Read the full article, watch the videos, read the tweets:
Democrats’ Tactic of Accusing Critics of Kremlin Allegiance Has Long, Ugly History in U.S.

Below are excerpts from the text shown at the end of the video the Hillary supporters are claiming was anti-American and pro-Russian:

<< Stein noted that the United States, and to a lesser extent Russia, are wasting enormous sums of money on military spending that is not increasing the security of either nation.

"The United States is now embarking on a $1 trillion program to update its nuclear weaponry while we are slashing programs to fight hunger, address homelessness, and provide economic security for our people," Stein noted. "In Russia also, money runs short for critical needs because of the heavy burden of military spending. Imagine how much better off the world would be if our two nations could lead the way for the major powers to reduce the size of our military establishments. We could invest the money saved in something truly beneficial - such as job creation to expand renewable energy and stop climate change. Ending our multinational fossil fuel addiction will make disastrous wars for oil obsolete in the first place."


Stein continued, "Tomorrow I will meet with the foreign affairs chair of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, to explore whether Russia would be receptive to a more collaborative approach to foreign policy that I have been talking about in my presidential campaign. Citizens of our countries and the world deserve a new commitment to collaborative dialogue between our governments to avert disastrous wars for geopolitical domination, destruction of the climate, and cascading injustices that promote violence and terrorism. Opening such a dialogue would be a first step towards real progress on the interlocking threats that both nations - and the world - are facing." >>

This can be seen not only at the end of that video, but also here:

In Moscow, Stein calls for foreign policy of principled collaboration
If this link will not work for you, go to the News section of the site and click through the pages till you get to this article, which was published on 13 December 2015.

So, once again, we see that these accusations are nothing but attempts by the Hillary for President campaign to smear Dr. Stein and besmirch her reputation.

Okay, okay, so that's just typical partisan political mudslinging.  But didn't she herself conflate Neoliberalism with Fascism when she was attacking Hillary Clinton?

I dunno what to tell you if you don't know much about the economic viewpoint known as "Neoliberalism," which has characterized the economic policy of every US President since Reagan took office in 1981.  To a traditional Democrat, who remembers "Liberalism" as something the Democrats once espoused, an ideal involving individual rights and so on, it might at first sound lovely.  But we're talking about an economic perspective here, not the pro-liberty ideals of the Enlightenment.  I suppose I could recommend that you go research the subject, but fortunately, I can give you some references on the matter.

Neoliberalism is a species of fascism

Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems

What is Neoliberalism?

America's Future Depends on Containing Neoliberalism

We Have Reached an Age of Disintegration: How Greedy Neoliberalism and Deadly Wars Are Destroying Modern Life

Neoliberalism Is Destroying Almost Everybody's Lives—How Many People Even Know What It Is?

And if you don't trust all these Progressive Leftist sources I've been throwing at you, well, the moderately Liberal site "Wikipedia" has an article on "Neoliberalism," too.

This is our neoliberal nightmare: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and why the market and the wealthy win every time

From May:
Cornel West: Trump is a “narcissistic neo-fascist in the making”; Clinton is a hawkish “milquetoast neoliberal”

Even the IMF—the IMF!—Turns on Neoliberalism

You’re witnessing the death of neoliberalism – from within

After Empowering the 1% and Impoverishing Millions, IMF Admits Neoliberalism a Failure

The Real Reason They Attack Jill Stein

So Hillary is a neoliberal, yes.  And Neoliberalism and Fascism certainly have a number of common features, yes.  So what exactly is the problem with Doctor Stein calling Hillary what she is?  Oh, right.  Hillary and her supporters can't easily get away with her favorite attack on an opponent in the case of Jill Stein, because calling her "sexist' would be, well, frankly, fucking ridiculous, so Hillary and her team have to manufacture other alleged "wrongs" for Jill, and twist her words, take them out of context, and so on, in an effort to discourage progressives from supporting Dr Stein's candidacy.

Finally, this:
Hillary Is Her Own "Spoiler," and Jill Stein Is Not a Scary Leftist Wacko

There are your answers.  Next time you read or hear something disturbing about Dr Stein, please feel free to ask me about it (or just check this post, since I'll keep updating it as I encounter these accusations and research them), because I've probably already seen any given claim before most of you have, and have already done the research to verify or deny those claims.

Thanks for reading.  Now, please, Go Green in 2016.

If you would like a yard sign like the image I have used for this post, they are unfortunately no longer available, but you can get a Stein/Baraka yard sign and various other products here:
Jill Stein for President Store Products

The title of the post comes from Star Trek (The Original Series), Season 3, episode 5;  episode 60 overall;  production code 62.

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