It was just yesterday when we documented the continuing slide in the loonie, which is suffering mightily in the face of oil’s inexorable decline.
As regular readers are no doubt acutely aware, Canada is struggling through a dramatic economic adjustment, especially in Alberta, the heart of the country’s oil patch. Amid the ongoing crude carnage the province has seen soaring property crime, rising food bank usage and, sadly, elevated suicide rates, as Albertans struggle to comprehend how things up north could have gone south (so to speak) so quickly.
The plunging loonie “can only serve to worsen the death of the ‘Canadian Dream'” we said on Tuesday.
As it turns out, we were right.
The currency’s decline is having a pronounced effect on Canadians’ grocery bills.
As Bloomberg reminds us, Canada imports around 80% of its fresh fruits and vegetables. When the loonie slides, prices for those goods soar. “With lower-income households tending to spend a larger portion of income on food, this side effect of a soft currency brings them the most acute stress” Bloomberg continues.
Of course with the layoffs piling up, you can expect more households to fall into the “lower-income” category where they will have to fight to afford things like $3 cucumbers, $8 cauliflower, and $15 Frosted Flakes.
As Bloomberg notes, James Price, director of Capital Markets Products at Richardson GMP, recently joked during an interview on BloombergTV Canada that “we’re going to be paying a buck a banana pretty soon.”
Have a look at the following tweets which underscore just how bad it is in Canada’s grocery aisles. And no, its not just Nunavut: it from coast to coast:
No “Jack Nasty” it’s not The Great Depression, but as we highlighted three weeks ago, it is Canada’s depression and it’s likely to get worse before it gets better. “Last year, fruits and veggies jumped in price between 9.1 and 10.1 per cent, according to an annual report by the Food Institute at the University of Guelph,” CBC said on Tuesday. “The study predicts these foods will continue to increase above inflation this year, by up to 4.5 per cent for some items.”
If you thought we were being hyperbolic when we suggested that if oil prices don’t rise soon, Canadians may well eat themselves to death, consider the following from Diana Bronson, the executive director of Food Secure Canada:
“Lower- and middle-class people — many who can’t find a job that will pay them enough to ensure that they can afford a healthy diet for their families” — also feel the pinch of rising food prices”
“The wrong kind of food is cheap, and the right kind of food is still expensive.”
In other words, some now fear that the hardest hit parts of the country may experience a spike in obesity rates as Canadians resort to cheap, unhealthy foods. As we put it, “in Alberta it’s ‘feast or famine’ in the most literal sense of the phrase as those who can still afford to buy food will drown their sorrows in cheap lunch meat and off-brand ice cream while the most hard hit members of society are forced to tap increasingly overwhelmed food banks.”
And the rub is that there’s really nothing anyone can do about it.
Were the Bank of Canada to adopt pro-cyclical measures to shore up the loonie, they would risk choking off economic growth just as the crude downturn takes a giant bite out of the economy – no food pun intended.
Are people in the United States actually becoming more aggressive and violent, or is it merely a misperception caused by slanted news coverage?
Certainly we are exposed to far more neurotoxins than prior generations, and in much higher doses, in the form of the plethora of industrial chemicals that surround us and permeate every part of our environment. And while many different toxins are known to produce neurobehavioral effects, two categories in particular are worthy of further consideration: psychiatric drugs and heavy metals. Heavy metals such as lead and mercury are, of course, already well-known to cause brain damage and behavioral disturbances. Psychiatric drugs, likewise, are actually designed to alter the function of the brain — that is, if they disrupt your brain’s chemical equilibrium, it means they are working as designed.
Doping the people without cause
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antidepressants are among the top three most prescribed classes of therapeutic drugs in non-hospital settings. Yet even people who know of these drugs’ common metabolic and sexual side effects are often not aware that they can regularly produce psychiatric disturbances as well including anxiety, irritability and agitation. Nearly all antidepressants can also actually increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
Yet shockingly, a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that more than 67 percent of those taking antidepressants had “never met the criteria for major depressive disorder” — that is, the condition that the drugs are supposedly meant to treat.
In addition, a full 38 percent of those taking the SSRI class of antidepressants have never been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder or social phobia.
“Many individuals who are prescribed and use antidepressant medications may not have met criteria for mental disorders,” the researchers wrote. “Our data indicate that antidepressants are commonly used in the absence of clear evidence-based indications.”
While antidepressants may be the most commonly prescribed of psychiatric drugs, they are not the only ones with mood- and behavior-altering side effects. The anti-smoking drug Chantix, for example, can cause “changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions,” according to the company that makes it. Indeed, as with antidepressants, any drug designed to modify the brain’s chemistry may change a person’s behavior, including for the worse.
According to the mental health watchdog group Citizens’ Commission on Human Rights, “Despite 22 international drug regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs citing effects of mania, hostility, violence and even homicidal ideation, and dozens of high profile shootings/killings tied to psychiatric drug use, there has yet to be a federal investigation on the link between psychiatric drugs and acts of senseless violence.”
The group maintains a database of known psychiatric drug side effects at here.
Brain-damaging metals are everywhere
Another category of brain-damaging toxins that nearly all people are exposed to is heavy metals. Because these metals are so widely used in industrial manufacturing, they have permeated the environment and are now found in everything from air pollution and soil to household products such as electronics and even sewage sludge (which is spread on food crops as fertilizer).
Among the metals known to damage the brain and produce cognitive and behavioral effects are lead, mercury, aluminum and manganese.
As Natural News editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, has pointed out, even people seeking to protect themselves from radioactivity exposure may inadvertently dose themselves with heavy metals. Zeolites, marketed for their ability to bind to radioactive isotopes and flush them from the body, all contain high levels of lead and aluminum. When zeolites are ground up, these toxins become even more bioavailable.
Sources for this article include:
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/051912_psychosis_Big_Pharma_heavy_metals.html#ixzz3zOZ4l4xs
This is some wonderful and amazing news. Hawaii lawmakers have killed a bill to speed up the process for adopting federal vaccination guidelines. The bill would have created an easier pathway for the Health Department to adopt federal rules for vaccinations.
According to ABC News.
Under the bill considered by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health, the department would have 90 days to adopt rules.
Immediately after hearing opposition to the bill, Sen. Rosalyn Baker said Thursday it wouldn’t move forward. Her announcement came before the usual time when lawmakers decide on the bills.
Sen. Will Espero, who is on Baker’s committee, said he hasn’t seen a lawmaker do that before.
“Normally she would wait to the end of the agenda,” Espero said. “But in this case, she felt that it might be best before we get to the other bill to just share with them that, ‘FYI, I hear you, and I’ve made the decision.’ “
This is amazing news. Celebrate the small victories, they don’t come often enough. We will update this page as more information becomes available, in the mean time, share this.
Chuck Norris has set his sights on Monsanto’s agenda. He has recently released a detailed article speaking out against Monsanto. Everything from their decimation of the food supply to their hazardous Roundup herbicide has been focused within his article.
The article, ‘Chuck Norris raises the red flag over Monsanto’, was featured on World Net Daily. In the article Norris speaks out against Monsanto’s destructive force, specifically the use of glyphosate (used in Roundup) and the effects it has.
“…Monsanto began marketing glyphosate under the Roundup name in the 1970s, and it quickly became an industry standard. In 1997, its use tripled with the introduction of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops, plantings genetically modified to withstand glyphosate in order to enable farmers to use more of the herbicide in killing crop-threatening weeds. Glyphosate is sprayed on most of the corn and soybean crops in the United States, as well as over sugar beets, canola and other crops.
In 2007 alone, the agricultural sector applied between 180 million and 185 million pounds of glyphosate to crops in this country. The home and garden sector applied 5 million to 8 million pounds, and industry, commerce and government applied 13 million to 15 million pounds of glyphosate. It was the most widely used herbicide in U.S. agriculture and second-most widely used herbicide in the home and garden sector.
… The only real way you have of knowing whether glyphosate traces or residue is in the food you eat is if you grow it yourself or only buy products that are certified organic.
The EPA promised a completed preliminary risk assessment of glyphosate by the end of last year.”
When a public figure speaks out against Monsanto it shows just how far we have come in spreading the word about this corporation’s attempt to dominate our food supply. Let’s hope that the masses of the world will listen to Norris’ words and decide to join the fight against Monsanto.
Just when the Silk Road’s saga of dirty money and double-dealing seemed to be winding down, one of the federal agents who investigated the site has added an audacious footnote: What looks like a brazen attempt to flee the United States after he was convicted and sentenced to prison for corruption in his handling of the case.
Former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges was re-arrested on Thursday of last week, just a day before he was scheduled to turn himself in at a Baltimore prison to begin serving a 71-month prison sentence. Bridges pleaded guilty in October to charges of money laundering and obstruction of justice and was released on bail; he confessed that as part of the team investigating the Silk Road anonymous drug market he had secretly stolen around $800,000 worth of bitcoins from the site and placed them in his own account. Federal agents seized hundreds of thousands of dollars in his possession, and he was sentenced to pay another half a million dollars in restitution.
But despite his guilty plea, Bridges may have planned to escape his prison sentence and leave the country, potentially taking more hidden wealth with him. According to a filing from prosecutors in the Northern District of California last week, the agents who arrested Bridges found that he’d packed his passport, a cell phone, documents related to his wife’s application for citizenship in another country, and corporate records for at least three “offshore entities” in Belize, Nevis and Mauritius (including one that had been created after his guilty plea) into two briefcases. They also found a MacBook with its serial number scratched off and bulletproof vests, at least one of which prosecutors believe Bridges stole from the Secret Service.
Exactly what that collection of evidence adds up to isn’t clear, but prosecutors argue that it shows that Bridges didn’t plan to report to prison as promised. “It should be noted that this was not the sum of evidence agents recovered,” the prosecutors’ filing notes. “Rather, the government is only including facts here that it believes are relevant to the defendant’s risk of flight.”
The arrest, which was first noted by the Baltimore Sun on Friday, comes as the corruption in the Silk Road investigation receives new scrutiny. Last month the defense team for Ross Ulbricht, the convicted creator and administrator of the anonymous drug market, filed a lengthy appeal brief. Its arguments focused in part on the two corrupt agents who had been part of the Silk Road investigation: Bridges and Drug Enforcement Administration agent Carl Mark Force IV, who was convicted of selling information to Ulbricht and attempting to extort cash from him. While the defense had been told of the sealed charges against Force and ordered to keep them under wraps for fear of upsetting the ongoing corruption investigation, Ulbricht’s attorneys wrote that they were never told of the accusations against Bridges until Ulbricht had been convicted.
After the charges against him were unsealed, Bridges confessed to using the account of an arrested Silk Road administrator, Curtis Clark Green, to secretly steal hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of bitcoin from the site. At the time, Ulbricht allegedly believed Green had stolen the money and paid Force, an undercover agent posing as a drug dealer on the Silk Road, to have him murdered. The DEA faked Green’s death, sending Ulbricht spoofed photos of his body.
Green was released on bail and then sentenced to time served just last week for his part in the Silk Road’s drug dealing conspiracy. Bridges received less clemency from the judge in his case. And if it’s found that he was attempting to escape his sentence, his new one will no doubt be harsher.
U.S. Navy sailors exposed to radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster have been falling ill, even as the Defense Department insists that they were not exposed to dangerous levels of radiation. Many of the sailors have now joined in a class action lawsuit against Fukushima operators and builders Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), Toshiba, Hitachi, Ebasco and General Electric.
Even if they wanted to — which many do not — the sailors would be unable to sue the Navy. According to a Supreme Court ruling from the 1950s known as the Feres Doctrine, soldiers cannot sue the government for injuries resulting directly from their military service.
Mocked and attacked
On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. It was the worst nuclear disaster in history, releasing twice as much radioactive material as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
That same day, the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan was redirected to the coast of Japan to participate in relief work for tsunami survivors. When sailors from the ship later began to fall ill, Congress asked the Defense Department for a report on the issue. The Pentagon report concluded that the sailors had not been exposed to enough radiation or contaminated water to cause health effects.
Yet in the four years since the disaster, at least 500 sailors have fallen ill, and 247 of them have joined the class-action suit. The 100-page legal complaint chronicles their symptoms: an airplane mechanic suffering from unexplained muscle wasting; a woman whose baby was born ill; a sailor told his health problems must be genetic, even though his identical twin is perfectly healthy; and case after case of cancer, internal bleeding, abscesses, thyroid dysfunction and birth defects.
The defendants initially claimed that they could not be sued in a U.S. court, so plaintiffs’ attorney Paul Garner asked the sailors to come to a court hearing in San Diego, to offer moral support.
Nearly all of them refused, for fear of public attack. Initial plaintiff Lindsey Cooper, for example, had already been mocked by atomic energy experts on CNN and by conservative radio hosts. Others were afraid of being perceived as anti-military, or un-American.
Powerful interests at stake
Only one plaintiff was willing to show up: Lieutenant Steve Simmons. Once a triathlon runner, Simmons fell ill a year after returning from Japan, suffering from hair loss, muscle wasting, migraines, bloody discharge and incontinence. His fingers turned yellow or even brown, and his feet have now turned dark red. He suffers from whole-body spasms and must now use a wheelchair.
He has never received a diagnosis for his problems, and sometimes he wonders if his Defense Department doctors are deliberately withholding one, so that the Department need not be held responsible. One doctor, he said, told him it would be better if he didn’t know the cause of his illness.
Disturbingly, Spiegel Online reported:
Early on, [Simmons] was in a military hospital in Washington DC together with three other men who had similar symptoms, he says. They had served on nuclear-powered submarines, but they disappeared from one day to the next, and when he asked what happened to them, everyone acted as though they had never been there in the first place.
Simmons believes that the Navy meant to do good with the mission to Japan, and does not blame USS Ronald Reagan’s commander, Captain Thom Burke, for what happened to him. But he is troubled by Burke’s silence now, he says. He believes that Burke will not speak out about the case because he hopes to become an admiral.
“Personal, diplomatic and economic interests are all at stake,” Simmons said. “They’re leaving us alone. They’re closing their eyes, keeping quiet and waiting for it to blow over. There are sick soldiers everywhere, many in the hospital in San Diego, or in the medical center in Hawaii. They are ordinary folks who are poorly insured, with family and kids. Loyal and scattered. Most of them don’t know how to react. Those who raise their voices are denounced in the Internet for being unpatriotic. You have to put up with a lot.”
Sources for this article include:
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/048942_US_Navy_sailors_Fukushima_radiation.html#ixzz3zE2faW79